a/n: I've been writing this in bits and pieces for a while now, and I hope it all came together okay in the end. Title and lyrics from "Hello Hurricane" by Switchfoot.
I've been watching the skies,
They've been turning blood red.
Not a doubt in my mind anymore,
There's a storm up ahead.
Hello hurricane, you're not enough,
Hello hurricane, you can't silence my love,
I've got doors and windows boarded up.
All your dead end fury is not enough.
You can't silence my love, my love.
She plans it all down to every detail.
He's assigned to pick the food, but she takes care of the rest, of the ceremony, the flowers, the tuxes, the dresses, the limo, the photographer — everything. He thinks it's kinda crazy that so much planning (and so much of his paycheck) goes into one day. But he's not gonna complain, 'cause it makes her so happy. Food's the most important part, anyhow.
Really, though, after it's all over, he doesn't so much remember the food.
He remembers Kurt adjusting his tie as Finn's hands were trembling too much to do it himself. He remembers Rachel walking towards him, bright and beaming and beautiful. He remembers how her fingers gripped his coat as she, his wife, kissed him. He remembers the first dance, the one they spent months rehearsing. He remembers when a drunk Puck agreed to go down on all fours like a stool so Rachel could sit on him while Finn pulled off her garters.
And now, straddling him with her hands splayed against his bare stomach, she beams down at him, and he remembers how very much he adores her. They're in the honeymoon suit of the one fancy hotel in Lima, she's giving him a list of all her plans for their future, and she's naked except for the tiara and veil that sit slightly askew on her mussed hair. (She refuses to take them off.)
"Where was I?" she asks, giggling. He thinks she's still a little drunk, despite her ardent protests otherwise.
"Children," he reminds her, giving her thighs an affectionate squeeze.
"Right," she nods, "children. We will have seven, and then we will be a family of singers, like the Von Trapps in Sound of Music. You know, it broke my heart when I learned that wasn't actually based on a true story. I cried for days."
"Isn't it kinda obvious that's it's not true?" he asks. "Like, don't they climb the alps or something to escape Nazis?"
She swats his chest. "I'll have you know that's perfectly realistic! You'd carry me over the alps to save me from Nazis, wouldn't you?" She looks at him with wide, earnest eyes.
He laughs. "Of course, baby."
She beams and starts to sing, making him laugh even more. "I am sixteen going on seventeen, / I know that I'm naive. / Fellows I meet may tell me I'm sweet, / And willingly I believe!" And then she breaks into giggles and tumbles forward, burying her face in his chest. He runs his hands down her back, but moments later she's straightened and is looking down at him with as serious an expression as she can muster.
"Children," she says. "Children."
"Right," he replies, smirking, "children."
"I've picked out our children's names," she tells him matter-of-factly, "but you can pick out their middle names if you like."
"Oh, wow," he teases, grinning at her. "All seven?"
"Yes," she says eagerly. She frowns. "Wait, no, only six. I've already picked out the first girl's middle name." She leans forward, her face flushed with pleasure. "Guess what it is!" Her breasts brush his chest, so he's kinda distracted, but he manages to reply.
"Maria," he says.
"Finn, no!" she exclaims, her eyes going wide with outrage. Yeah, she's so totally drunk. "That'll be her first name, Finn. Duh. Her middle name is, wait for it —" She lifts up her hands dramatically to make her declaration. "— Drizzle!"
"I know," she says, nodding enthusiastically, "I'm a little stunned by my own fabulous idea as well. Maria Drizzle Hudson." She sighs happily. His heart melts. He loves her so fucking much, and he doesn't know how he even has the time to breathe when he's so busy loving her. "Now," she goes on, "let's talk about pets. We'll have two dogs, both girls from the SPCA, and —"
He leans up swiftly and smothers her words with a kiss. He loves hearing her plan their future with tipsy giggles, but it's been a good half hour since he's been inside her, and that's far too long. She presses into him, her arms circling his neck as she rocks against him, only to pull away. "Finn," she protests, "wait! We have to talk about our pets! That's what married people do!"
"We'll talk about our pets tomorrow," he assures. "We'll still be married tomorrow."
She gasps. "We will, won't we?" she says brightly, her eyes glowing as if it's a great discovery. He grins and kisses her again, even as she suddenly rocks up on her heels and then sinks down on him, making his breath come out in a low groan. "I love being married," she declares.
"Me, too," he says, kneading her breasts as she pushes herself up and then slides back down again. "Almost as much as I love you, Mrs. Hudson."
He's pretty sure it's safe to say her detailed plans worked. It's the best day (and night) of his life, and he can't wait for what comes next, for Broadway, for a yellow kitchen with daisy wallpaper, for a bedroom with a balcony, for seven children and two dogs.
They're at the DMV for hours.
She's brought a book with her, some biography, and he brought his gameboy, and they manage to hold hands even as she reads and he plays. He gets hungry, though, and he really wishes they had gone for lunch and then come here, but she'd insisted it wouldn't be as crowded in the morning. "I may have miscalculated," she admits. "But, really, it shouldn't be too much longer."
"I have to pee," he whines.
"Hold it," she says. "They might call our number while you're in there and then where will we be?"
He bites back a groan. When their number is finally called, Finn nearly runs to the counter. They're ushered back to a desk, and they have to fill out all this paperwork, and he really wishes they had just waited until after the honeymoon to bother with all this.
But when the surely-looking man hands Rachel a brand new driver's license and she beams up at Finn, he can't help but grin. They go to a really, really late lunch and then to the airport, just in time for the flight to London, and all along Rachel sneaks glances at her new license.
He sneaks glances, too.
She really is Rachel Hudson now.
They really are a family now.
"Oh, my, look at that," Rachel says.
"Look at what?" Finn asks, keeping his eyes on the road.
"I just saw a slug outstrip us. Do you mind stopping here and letting me out so that I can crawl home? I'll make it back several hours before you. I can have dinner waiting."
He makes a face. "I'm being a defensive driver," he tells her. Jeez.
"You know, if someone took a chainsaw to my hands and all I had were two gruesome, bloody stubs and I were bleeding to death and you were charged with taking me to the hospital, you still wouldn't go faster than sixty miles per hour, because that's the law, Rachel! You do know there aren't any mailmen on the interstate, right?"
"Why is someone cutting off your hands with a chainsaw, babe?"
"That's not the point," she snaps.
He frowns. "What's up with you? You've been upset ever since I picked you up."
She sighs. "I apologise for my irritable attitude, but lately I've found it more and more difficult to swallow how little anyone appreciates my talent." Frustration seeps out of her every word.
"They will soon," he says, wishing he had something better to offer her. The years since college have been hard on her, he knows. She's sang in crappy productions in crappy venues, she's tried dinner theatre, she's even worked as a piano teacher for the cash. He feels bad; the only thing he's ever wanted as much as Rachel wants to be a star is Rachel, and he has her. She's still waiting on her dream.
"You're gonna make it to Broadway," he says, so truly sure of it.
"Oh, I know," she replies, "I simply wish it didn't have to be such a long road. If I have to put up with one more pretentious small theatre director who knows as little about acting as he does personal hygiene, then, I swear, Finn, I will be forced to take drastic measures."
He chuckles, about to ask what exactly she has in mind, but she gives another sigh, this one soft. "You're pretty much the only good part of my life right now," she tells him. "You're the best part of my life — always." She reaches forward and squeezes his thigh.
He risks a glance from the road to meet her gaze and give her a small smile. "You're mine, too, babe."
"You mean to say you love me even more than selling computer security software to schools and offices?" she asks, a teasing note in her voice.
"Hard to believe, I know," he says.
It's quiet for a few minutes. "You know what I need?" she finally asks, and she starts to flip through the CDs in the console. He doesn't have time to guess who she wants to listen to today before she slips something into the player.
The first notes of The Power of Love fill the car.
"A little Celine," she says. She takes in a deep breath, and then her voice reverberates through the car as she loudly sings along. Her voice only grows as she proclaims, "'Cause I'm your lady, and you're my man!" He eventually joins in with a little backup singing, because the sound of her voice is infectious.
He knows she's frustrated with work, and he can't say he loves his job, either. But he's good at it, and she'll make it to Broadway eventually. And they've got each other to sing Celine to in the car, which is pretty much all kinds of awesome. She's all he really needs.
And he likes to think that, at the end of the day, he's all she really needs.
"Shampoo?" she asks.
He looks over the list. "Nope," he replies. "We're good."
"Mmm . . . yes. You need some."
"Do we have any coupons?" He searches through her bedazzled coupon box and hands her the first one he finds for shaving cream. She matches it to a bottle and adds it to the cart. They move a little further down the aisle. "Body wash?" she asks.
"Tampons?" she asks.
"Still good," he says.
He waits for whatever item comes next. He's totally mastered the fine art of grocery shopping with Rachel, of following her around with a cart and checking things off her list. (He even sits with her the night before as she takes inventory of what they need — it's the only way he can talk her into adding things like cheese puffs and Cap'n Crunch to the list.)
"When was the last time we bought tampons?"
He frowns and glances up. "I . . . I don't know. I don't much pay attention, 'cause, you know, I'm not really a big tampon user." He cracks a small smile.
But the crease in her forehead only grows. "I can't remember. But . . . I know we don't have any, but I didn't think to add it to the list because I don't usually get my period this time of month, but I do usually get it in the middle of month, and I was so stressed this month with The Scarlet Pimpernel and I didn't think . . . oh, God, Finn."
He didn't understand any of that ramble. And why's she so freaked out all of a sudden? "What? I don't get it." He tries to catch her gaze, but she's frozen, staring blankly at the floor. "Do you — do you want to buy tampons or not?" She finally looks at him, and panic seizes him when he realises her eyes are shimmering with tears. "Rach, what's the matter?"
She grabs her purse from the cart suddenly, yanks out her planner, and flips through the pages madly. "No," she mutters, "no, no, no, no!"
"Rach," he begs, "what's going on?"
Her face snaps to his. "Finn, I haven't had my period in well over a month." She pauses. He only stares. "Finn. When a very sexually active woman who has a regular period suddenly goes over six weeks without her period, it usually means one thing."
He racks his brain. She's not sick or something, is she?
"Finn, I think I'm pregnant."
He blinks, unsure he heard her right. Pregnant? Like, with a kid? She doesn't wait for a response, however; she storms back down the aisle, and he watches dumbly as she snatches several boxes off the shelf. Moments later, she dumps them into the cart, and the labels stare up at him. They're home pregnancy tests. "Let's go to check out," she says. "We'll do frozen food later."
Still shocked, he simply follows her. He's not really sure how she pays, or if the cashier is amused or curious about the nine — yes, nine — pregnancy tests Rachel grabbed, or even of how they get home. All he knows is that suddenly he's leaning against the bathroom counter and Rachel is squatting over this little stick, and then they're both waiting, and then the kitchen timer goes off and —
"I can't look at it!" she says, shoving the test at him. "Two lines means positive. One line means negative. Well?" He takes it from her with a trembling hand. "Well?" she pushes.
The words come out hoarse. "Two lines," he says. "Positive."
She gasps and grabs it from him to see for herself. Moments later, she's tearing open the second box. She goes through all nine. (He briefly wonders how she can pee that much.) She needn't have bothered — they all clearly declare the same fact. Rachel's pregnant.
They're going to have a baby.
"Finn," she says, breathless, "what're we going to do?"
He looks at her, at the panic in her gaze and the few errant tears on her cheeks. And he realises suddenly that his confusion and shock have given way to something else entirely. He's calm, and quickly bubbling up in him is something even better: excitement.
He cups her small face in his hands and wipes away her tears with his thumbs. "We're gonna have a baby, that's what we're gonna do."
"But — but I'm not ready to have a baby! We're only twenty-seven! And I expected to have won at least one Tony by the time I had my first child. It's too soon, Finn. I have too much more I have to accomplish!" She drops down onto the closed lid of the toilet.
He squats in front of her. "You can still accomplish all that," he assures. "You're gonna make it to Broadway, Rach. It's an — an inevitability. But you're gonna be a mom, too. We can do this right, babe. We're married and we've got a house and money and . . . it's a little us, Rachel." He can't stop himself from smiling. The more he thinks about it, the more excited he becomes. They can do it right this time.
She sniffs quietly. "A little us?" she repeats.
"Yeah," he says, nodding. "A little us."
"I suppose . . . the theatre's showing of Pimpernel will be finished before the . . . the baby would come, and I could take a few months away and then return and —"
"And it could work," Finn encourages. "Think about it, Rach. Think about a baby."
She bites her lip, and slowly that wide, beaming smile he loves starts to spread across her face. She nearly falls into him, then, and he hugs her (but he's careful not to squeeze too tight — he doesn't want to squish the baby). She whispers the words into his neck. "A little us."
He can safely say this amounts to the best grocery shopping trip of his life.
It all starts out so well.
That very night, he buys a Buckeyes onesie online.
Rachel makes an appointment at the doctor's, and it's confirmed: she's about five weeks pregnant.
It's strange, being there with her and holding her hand as the nurse sets up the ultrasound. He feels like he's sixteen again. But when the screen shows that little something, it's Rachel who turns to him in excitement. He realises he's crying a little, which is totally stupid, but Rachel's crying, too. He squeezes her hand and feels her wedding band press into his hand, and he's so glad that this time is gonna be so much better than last time.
Rachel comes home from work the next day with more books that Finn has ever seen in his life. "I went to Barnes n' Noble when I had some free time," she explains. They spend the rest of the night on the living room floor looking through the books on what to expect and ways to prepare and advice on just about everything.
It's nearly midnight when Rachel declares that she isn't going to get morning sickness. "It's almost been six weeks," she says, "and this book here says that it usually starts between four and six weeks. I'm immune, clearly." She speaks proudly, as if it's all her own doing.
"Sure thing, babe," he says. "But these books are kinda freaking me out," he confesses, looking up from a picture that describes afterbirth. That's just so . . . gross. Poor Rachel. "Look at something pleasant, then," Rachel replies, highlighting something in one of the books.
"Like what?" he asks, eyeing a book that warned him about how you could kill a baby just by rocking it too much. He's already decided that he's not touching the baby until it's at least, like, six months old. He's not gonna mess this up.
"Like this," Rachel says, smiling as she holds out the ultrasound picture.
He smiles, too. And then Rachel convinces him that it won't hurt the baby to have sex, and they totally make a mess of all the books, and he totally doesn't care.
This is the best his life has ever been, and it's only going to get better, he's sure.
But somehow it doesn't.
He's tossing around baby names in his head as he gets home from work, only to stop in his tracks when he realises Rachel is already home. She's standing in the kitchen, her whole face glowing, and he can smell cookies in the oven. "You're early," he says. "I thought you had an audition at five today."
"I'm skipping it," she replies, and he realises that she's nearly bouncing up and down. He doesn't even have a chance to ask what's happened. "Do you remember how Leo Harris — my favourite professor at NYU — pulled some strings for me and got me an audition for Broadway's revival of Funny Girl a few months ago?"
"Yeah," he says, not sure why that makes her happy. Like, it made her happy at the time, but nothing came of the audition, as far as he knows, and she was actually pretty upset about that for a while. He hated that she hadn't gotten the part — it was the perfect role for her. It was a dream for her.
"Well, it turns out that the audition process has actually been happening for months and they've only just now begun calling people back and — and Finn, I got a call back!" The words start tumbling out. "I actually got it last night, and I didn't say anything because I didn't want us both to get our hopes up, but the audition was this morning and . . . Finn, I got the part. I, Rachel Barbara Hudson, will be making my debut on Broadway in the revival of Funny Girl."
He's stunned, and then the happiness builds up and explodes out of him. He knew she'd make it to Broadway! He knew it! He starts to grin, and she claps her hands a little, as if she just can't contain her excitement. He picks her up and twirls her around until they're both dizzy, and he feels kind of drunk on the sound of her delighted laughter.
"I can't believe this," Rachel gushes.
"I can," he tells her, keeping her wrapped up in his arms as he holds her up off ground. "I knew you'd get there eventually." He kisses her quickly, pulling back just enough to nuzzle her nose with his. "This is amazing, Rach. We're gonna have a baby and you're finally gonna be a star."
She stiffens suddenly, and gently slips away from his grasp. She steps back from him an instant after her feet hit the ground, and he's quickly growing confused as he watches the happiness frozen uncomfortably on her face suddenly slip away. What did he miss?He starts to get seriously worried when she presses down on his shoulders and literally forces him into a seat at the kitchen table. "What's the matter?" he asks nervously.
They were just super happy, like, half a minute ago, right? He didn't imagine that, did he?
"What's the matter?" he repeats, because she has this look on his face that's killing him.
"Finn, if I take this part —" She pauses, and he feels his heart clench a little. "If I agree to play this part," she repeats slowly, "I can't have a baby."
He frowns, even more confused. "What — what do you mean?"
"I can't go on Broadway heavily pregnant!" she says. "I'd look ridiculous, and there's no way they'd allow it. And the show would run longer than nine months. I'd have to step down to let my understudy take over when I had the baby, and — and I couldn't do that." He can barely process what she said, even as she goes on, but her final words manage to penetrate the fog in his brain.
"It's Broadway or the baby," she says.
"What? No," he protests, "no, it doesn't have to be that way."
"It does," she replies.
He just stares at her for a moment. "What did the casting guys say?" he finally asks, because somebody has to say something. "When you told them you were pregnant, I mean."
"I didn't mention it, actually," she says. "Because I thought . . . if I take the role, then there's no need for them even to know. . . ." She looks at him imploringly, and he knows she's willing him to understand.
He doesn't. "How could they not know?"
"Finn," she says, stepping close to him and taking his hand. "We're young. We have so many years ahead of us, so much more time to have a baby, to have a family. But opportunities like this, offers like this, they don't come around again and again. This could be my only shot at achieving what I've dreamed of since I was little."
"But you said it's Broadway or the baby," he says, trying to work it all out. "You said you can't do both, so either you don't take the role or you don't have the baby." His own words sink in. He looks at her, and he knows she can see him slowly catching up to her. "You want to get an abortion?" he asks, the words an unintentional whisper. No. He misunderstood. He's an idiot.
"It's certainly an option to consider," she says.
"No!" he exclaims, incredulous. "No, it's not! You can't — you can't do — do — that to our baby, Rachel!" Has she already forgotten the onesie and the doctor's visit and the books? Does she need to see the ultrasound? 'Cause he has it in his wallet; he'll get it for her right now.
"Finn, please," she says, wringing her hands, "think about this. You're pro-choice, I know, and —"
"Are you kidding?" he says, rapidly losing all control. How can she honestly be saying this? "We're not teenagers who made a mistake!" How can she even — "You can't," he tells her. "You can't have an abortion. You can't." The words pour out of him. "The kid's just as much mine as yours. I won't let you."
Her lips purse slightly. "I won't sacrifice my career, my future, and my dreams, because you won't listen to reason," she tells him sharply.
"Oh, but you'll sacrifice our kid, you'll sacrifice us, because you won't listen to reason?"
She gapes at him. "It's not like that!" she exclaims. "And it's not even close to an actual baby yet —"
"It's exactly like that! It is a baby, and that baby, Rachel, it's you and me, it's us, and you're willing to dump it down the drain or have some doctor suck it out or whatever it is they do 'cause you want to be a star. You don't mind dumping us down the drain —"
"No! Stop it! You're being stupid!"
"Oh, yeah, right," he says, "I forgot I was just your dumb Ohio trophy husband. Never mind, Rach. Don't listen to what I say." He barely knows what he's saying, but he knows she's not listening to a word he says, like he really is just some dumb jock, and she's the only person who's never treated him like that, until now, when she wants to kill their baby —
"I didn't say that," she yells. They're both suddenly silent then, and the only sound is their own harsh breathing as they stare across the kitchen at each other. He forces himself to stay calm, to coach himself that she must be freaked out, too.
She's not really gonna go through with his, he just knows it.
"All I've ever wanted since high school, Rachel," he says softly, "is to make you happy, to see your dreams come true, to watch you on Broadway." He stares at her. She has to listen to him. "I've never asked anything of you that might keep you from that. I've even thought maybe I'd hold you back."
"You could never hold me back," she whispers.
He manages a smile. "Look . . . I . . . I'm finally asking for something, Rachel. Don't have an abortion."
Her eyes are wet now. "It's not that simple, Finn."
"Yes, it is," he pushes softly, and he steps closer to her and takes her hands. "Please. If you really love me, Rachel, more than anything — the way you say you do — if you really love us and this family and the future of us, together, then have the baby.
"For me. You said at our wedding that the only thing you wanted more than to be a star was to spend the rest of your life with me, to have a future with me. Prove it, Rach. For once, prove that you love me more than all of that. Have the baby."
"Finn," she whispers, and a few tears spring free. "It's Broadway."
His heart drops in this chest. He stares at her, really wanting to misunderstand. But he does understand. He understands perfectly. And he can't stand here. He can't look at her. He can't be anywhere near her. He doesn't know where to go, but he has to get out of this house. He abruptly turns and heads for the front door. He has to get out.
"Finn," she says, following him. "Wait, Finn —" He yanks open the front door, and her hand grasps at his coat. "Finn, I know you understand — I was meant to be a star. It's my dream. It doesn't mean I don't —"
"It's not Broadway or the baby, Rachel. It's Broadway or me. And you picked Broadway. You pick Broadway. Don't you?"
She opens her mouth to say something, but no words come out.
He tears his arm from her hold and leaves.
"What the fuck are you doing here?" Puck asks.
Finn pushes past him into the apartment. "I'm spending the night here." He should probably give more of an explanation than that, but whatever. He may or may not be slightly drunk, and after the bar closed, he had to go somewhere. This is the place that made the most sense. He thought briefly of going to Kurt's, but he has a bad feeling that Kurt will side with Rachel in all of this.
Because being a star is so important.
Finn drops down on the couch beside Quinn, who's painting her nails and watching some dumb chick movie, the kind not even Rachel likes.
He's always loved that about Rachel — she never wants to watch movies about Bridezillas or sappy epic romances or teen crushes. She goes for the musicals, and for the old stuff, too. Finn'll take A Star Is Born or His Girl Friday over Mean Girls any day of the week. But that's really not important right now.
"Problems with the wife?" Quinn asks, not taking her eyes off the screen. "Actually, don't answer that. I really don't want to know."
"She kick you out?" Puck shoves a beer at Finn.
"No," Finn growls. "I left."
Puck look surprised, which somehow makes Finn angry. "What happened?" Puck asks. "Last I checked, you were shitting sunshine you were so happy."
"She's wrong," Finn says, shaking his head. "She's so wrong about this. She can't. I won't let her do this. It's mine, too!"
"Dude, you're gonna have to gives us a little more than that."
Puck starts choking on his drink. "What the hell?"
"Yeah," Finn says, "kind of an accident. She had this thing about not telling anybody until it had been ten weeks or some stupid thing like that. But before today it was a good accident." His thoughts are growing more muddled. He doesn't give a fuck.
"Wait, hold on," Quinn says, pausing her movie. "Are you telling me that Rachel's pregnant and you stormed out on her to get wasted at a bar and then come here?" There's a cutting edge to her voice that makes Finn defensive.
"So?" Finn mutters, drinking the cheap bear Puck gave him. "She deserves it."
"Give me your phone," Quinn says, holding her hand out.
"Leave me alone," Finn says darkly, wishing Quinn would go back to her chick movie.
"Give me your phone, Hudson," she hisses. Glaring at her, he takes it out of his coat and shoves it at her. He watches her look through it, and when she glances up again she looks so pissed he's a little freaked out. "She's called you seventeen times. You complete jackass. She's probably freaking out."
Guilt momentarily seizes Finn. He hadn't realised . . . but no. He can't talk to her. She should know that. He thought he made that clear after she made it so clear that she'd rather watch their marriage and their baby both die before giving up her oh-so-precious Broadway. "I don't care," he declares. He downs the rest of his beer in one go.
"Fuck, man, what happened?" Puck demands.
"She's a star, that's what," Finn spits.
"Go home," Quinn snaps. "Whatever happened, you're going to get over it. Go home."
"I said go home, Finn! She's pregnant. You don't treat a pregnant woman like this, even if it's Rachel Berry. I don't care what the fight was about. You're going to go home, you're going to apologise, and I don't want you to stumble through my door drunk ever again."
"I hate you," Finn tells her. Doesn't she get it? Rachel doesn't even want to be pregnant.
"Get out of my apartment."
"No!" Finn yells.
Quinn's eyes narrow. "Babe," Puck starts, "maybe —"
"One more word, Puck, and we're not having sex for a month. Get out of here, Finn. I mean it. Go home. Rachel is pregnant, and —"
"She won't be for long," Finn snarls. "Not if she gets her way. 'Cause she can't have a baby and be a star!" The anger works it way up and abruptly explodes. "Fuck Funny Girl!" He starts to rave, then, and he doesn't know what he's saying, but somehow the whole story must come out, because Quinn's glare slowly softens and fades away. Finn doesn't much notice, though.
He barely even knows when he himself stops talking. It just gets quiet, and he wonders if there's more beer. He wants to get so wasted he never has to remember a single moment of this night.
"Get some sheets from the bathroom closet," Quinn says suddenly, looking at Puck. Her voice is closed and quiet. "Finn'll sleep on the couch." She pauses. "I'll text Rachel."
Finn doesn't bother replying. He falls asleep soon after that. When he wakes up, his head is pounding, sunshine is pouring onto his face, and he feels like complete shit as everything that happened last night comes rushing back. He still can't believe she wants to have an abortion.
He still can't believe she actually picked Broadway over him and it and their family.
He presses his face into the couch pillow and wills his head-ache to go away and his heart-ache to follow soon after. He fails on both counts. And, glancing at the clock, he realises with a sinking stomach that he has to be at work in about fifteen minutes.
Quinn walks in, dressed in prim work clothes, and she places a cup of coffee and a bottle of aspirin down in front of him. "Get it together, Hudson," she says. "Puck's already at work, and I don't know when yours starts, but it's got to be soon."
"I'm not going," he moans.
"Fine. Go sit in the park and feed pigeons for all I care. But you're not spending the day hung-over on my couch. And, no matter what, you're going home tonight, you're going to make up with Rachel, and in eight months I expect to be the child's godmother."
"There's not gonna be a baby," he mutters darkly.
"Not if you don't get a move on and convince her otherwise," Quinn snaps.
"Quinn," Finn whines, pushing himself up and rubbing tiredly at his eyes. "You don't get it. She actually cares more about Broadway than . . . than anything. I mean, I always knew that, but I didn't think anything included me or our baby." He grabs the bottle of pills and pops it open, wishing someone would turn the sun off.
"It doesn't," Quinn says softly. He glances over at her. "But you and Rachel have been chugging along without much happening, and now suddenly everything's happening at once. And sometimes it takes something bad to remind us what matters. Which kind of sucks, but that's how it is." She pauses. "Rachel does love you. Anyone who's ever met you two knows as much."
"Thanks," he says.
She straightens. "You're welcome. Now get out of my apartment."
He doesn't want to go home.
He works overtime, and then he goes to Applebees by himself, which is totally lame, but he just doesn't want to go home. Like, he knows he and Rachel aren't going to get a divorce or anything, he knows they'll work this out, but he doesn't know how. And he definitely doesn't know how, or even if, he'll be able to convince her to have a baby the way Quinn expects.
Rachel's been the best part of his life since he was sixteen, and he's always considered himself to be the best part of hers. She's even said as much before. But that's because she's never had the chance to be an actual legit star, isn't it?
He's being stupid.
Rachel loves him, he knows.
But is it so bad for him to want her to say it and to mean it and to act on it?
It's nearing ten when he finally pulls into the driveway. He sits in the car and stares at the house, the one he repainted green last year after Rachel begged and prodded and spent hours at the paint store picking just the right shade of green. He sighs. All the lights upstairs are off. She must already be in bed.
The house is quiet when he enters. There's a light on in the kitchen, and a note on the counter.
Finn,- I put a plate of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and peas in the oven to keep warm for you. There are cookies in the pooh bear. Also, the washing machine is making that scary noise again, like it wants to eat me. If you have time, can you look at it?
He reads it twice, takes the plate from the oven, and feels like an ass.
And he shouldn't feel like an ass. She's the one that started this whole mess. Still, he eats the food 'cause he doesn't want to make her feel bad, and he is a little hungry again. He heads into the laundry room and fiddles around with the stupid machine. They just need to buy another one.
It takes over an hour, but with a few beers and some cookies from the cookie jar that he bought her last year, he manages to make it work well enough, and he loads it up with the laundry that she'd left sitting in a basket on the drying machine. Once he's finished, he realises he wishes it had taken longer.
He doesn't want to go upstairs.
God, he's such a baby.
Dammit, why does she have to make it like this?
He sits on the couch and flips through the channels until he finds a game on ESPN classics. He can't really focus on it, though. He wonders if he should just sleep on the couch. Maybe she expects him to. Does she? He suddenly really wants to go upstairs and see if she's locked the bedroom door.
He's pretty sure she has.
She's probably pissed at him now. He's always the bad guy when shit like this goes down. But something like this hasn't happened in ages, not between them, not since they were married. They've had little bumps in the road, sure, but it's 'cause she spends too much money on Broadway tickets and she doesn't want to listen to Car Talk on the radio, and 'cause he spends too much money on cable and football tickets and he doesn't want to go to Synagogue every week.
But they haven't fought like this since college.
It's well past midnight now. He clicks off the television and climbs the stairs slowly. The bedroom door is closed. He touches the knob hesitantly and twists. It's open. He's surprised. When he goes in, he feels his heart swell up slightly at the sight of her curled up in a little ball. It isn't a sad, defensive position or anything; Rachel always likes to curl up in bed, like some kind of cat. It's adorable.
He shuts the door behind him quietly, fumbles his way to the bathroom, and mechanically brushes his teeth and strips down to his boxers. He's feeling a little better about everything now that she doesn't seem to be angry at all, and then he notices the stack of pregnancy test boxes still in the trash.
Well, it doesn't matter if she's angry, 'cause he still is.
He stumbles through the dark bedroom and to the bed.
Will he be able to convince her to keep the baby? But where would that leave them? She would probably resent him and the baby — no, no, Rachel would never take it out on the kid. The kid she doesn't even want. But she did want it before! Angrily, Finn yanks the sheets up to his chest and punches his pillow.
Rachel snorts a little in her sleep, and he suddenly feels her hand on his arm. She pats him sleepily, as if to check he's there, something she always does when he comes to bed after her. But then suddenly she recoils, obviously having come to her wakeful senses, and he feels the bed shift as she moves further away from him. He's somehow both depressed and made further furious by the action, and he determinedly faces the opposite direction.
He's not sure when he falls asleep, but he knows when he wakes up. There's noise coming from the bathroom, and the door's slightly ajar, letting bright yellow wash over Finn's dazed, sleepy eyes. He realises Rachel isn't beside him in bed anymore, and he wonders groggily if it's already morning. He glances at the alarm clock and frowns. It's only a little past four in the morning.
And it doesn't sound like Rachel's just brushing her teeth or doing her business.
It occurs to him with a random kind of kick to the gut what she's doing, and he pushes himself out of bed. He goes to the bathroom, waits a moment to adjust to the bright light, and sees what he thought he would: Rachel, her hair in a messy ponytail, ralfing her guts out into the toilet.
"Immune, huh?" he asks quietly.
She glances up at him, her face pale, and she looks as if she might say something. She doesn't. She only focuses back on the toilet and starts up again, and, yeah, that's nasty. Whatever lingering anger he has flees, 'cause he just can't handle anything other than a happy, chipper Rachel. He goes over to her, kneeling down on the ground and rubbing her back hesitantly.
"You wanna me to get you some milk or something? Or crackers? That helps, right — crackers?"
She shakes her head, he keeps rubbing her back, and after a few minutes she leans back on her heels and wipes at her mouth. "Feel okay?" he asks, wishing he had something better to say. She sinks back slightly into him, and he's hit by that strong, protector feeling he gets a lot as he wraps his arms around her small frame.
"I will after I brush my teeth," she says quietly. "Sorry I woke you."
"It's okay. Was that, um, the — the first time?"
"Last night was," she says, and he feels a swooping sensation of guilt in his gut. "But maybe this will be the last time."
He's not sure if what he thinks is what she meant for him to think, but he stiffens slightly and wishes he had never woken up to this. "Right, so barfing isn't a side effect of abortion? That's great." He pulls away from her and shoves himself to his feet.
"Finn," she says. "Don't do this. Don't act this way." She looks at him tearfully, but there's an accusation in her eyes, and dammit, he's not the bad guy.
"Act like what?" he spits. "Like a guy whose freakin' wife tore his heart out and danced all over it in her little Broadway tap shoes? Sorry, babe, can't help it."
"Don't act like I've done something so terrible!" she replies, pushing herself to her feet. "You know who I am, Finn, you know what I've always wanted! How can you really hate me and treat me so terribly for wanting to achieve a dream you've always encouraged?"
"It's not about that!"
"Yes, it —"
"No, Rach, it's not, and that's the point! It's not supposed to be about Broadway. It's supposed to be about what's more important." He looks at her, not even sure what he feels now — tired and angry and sad and a little sick and — "You've been telling anybody who'll listen that you're going to be a famous Broadway star someday, like it defines you.
"But I always thought that I was more important to you. At least after high school and college and once we were married and . . . I always just thought that you knew Broadway doesn't actually define you, and I love who you are with and without Broadway, and that's why you loved me more than. . . ." He's not really making sense anymore, and he just wants to cry.
He wishes he had pushed his way into Puck and Quinn's apartment again tonight.
He just can't do this confrontational stuff.
"Finn," Rachel says quietly.
He can't look at her. "Whatever. I'm gonna . . . go watch some TV or something." He turns on his heel to get out of the bathroom and away from her, and he makes it out of the bedroom and nearly to the stairs before he hears it. He pinches his face in an attempt to reign himself in, to reign all the feelings in, and slowly one wins.
He can't just let her sit there by herself. He goes does to the kitchen, pours a glass of milk and grabs some of those weird, healthy crackers she likes, and he heads back to the bathroom. He sets the food by the sink, sits down beside her, and rubs her back as she has the morning sickness she plans not to have for much longer.
He has work again.
Funny enough, life's still happening. He wakes up to the sound of Rachel in the kitchen, and he really wants to call in sick and go back to sleep. But he's pretty sure he'd end up spending the day wishing he had something to distract him. When he's showered and shaved and dressed, he enters the kitchen to find she won't meet his gaze.
She's all dressed up, her hair in a neat bun. "What're you doing today?" he asks, annoyed that she's ignoring him so he can't properly ignore her.
"Rehearsal," she says, smoothing her skirt.
"For Funny Girl?" he asks, his insides coiling painfully.
"Yes," she says curtly. And then she sets a plate of food down in front of him, and he feels the urge to scream. What the hell is she doing leaving dinner in the oven for him and serving him breakfast and making him feel like an asshole?
"So you're really gonna do it?" he says. "You're gonna have an abortion."
She sits down with her own plate of pancakes. "It wasn't an easy decision," she says, "but it's the one I've made."
He slams his fist on the table and she looks at him with wide eyes. "Damn it, Rachel! I get a say, too. It's not just a decision for you to make."
She meets his gaze, her back straightening as if she's getting ready to battle it out. "I did want you to have a say. I did want you to help me make a decision. But you seemed more interested in yelling and storming out and spending the night at Puck and Quinn's."
He grinds his teeth. "I'm ready to talk now."
They stare at each other.
"Look," he says, his voice low, "marriage is about compromise, and we've done pretty good with that so far. So let's just . . . let's just figure out what the . . . the compromise is."
"I don't think this is something easily made into a compromise," she replies.
"Then what the fuck are we going to do?"
She closes her eyes for a moment, as if asking for patience. "Please don't use crass language like that, Finn. You know it offends me."
He bites back a scoff. "What are we gonna do, Rachel?"
Her shoulders slump suddenly. "I don't know," she whispers. "Finn . . . if I pass this opportunity, I may well regret it for my entire life. However much I wish that weren't the case, it is, and I can't change the way I feel."
"You mean you can't make yourself care about me."
"Stop it!" she cries. "Please! Don't make it about that! I do care about you — more than anything!"
"Then why won't you do this for me? Why do you have to have an abortion when you know it would hurt me so bad if I'm really what matters most?"
"It's not that simple! Just — I — it's not about you, okay? It's not!"
"I'm making it about me," he says.
And, again, they stare at each other.
"I have to go to work," he finally declares, pushing back from his seat.
She looks down at the table. "You didn't eat any of your breakfast," she murmurs.
"Not hungry," he grunts, and he leaves her there, because he can't stand to be in this house any longer. Once at work, though, he wishes he hadn't left. He wishes they had talked more, had figured it out. But what's there to figure out? She's right — there isn't a really easy compromise to this.
He stares at her picture on his desk. It's an old one, from when he drove up in his new truck to see her at NYU their junior year. She's sitting on the bed of the truck and he's leaning against it, his head tilted slightly towards her as he listens to whatever she's passionately saying. He doesn't remember who even took the picture, but Rachel loves it, and that kind of makes him love it, too.
He thinks randomly of Mike Chang, who went with Finn to buy his truck.
It's weird, but Finn and Rachel aren't the only Glee couple that survived out of McKinley. Puck and Quinn did, too, and so did Mike and Tina. But Tina didn't believe in marriage. Finn can remember clearly Christmas two years ago back in Lima when Mike told Finn, Puck, and Artie of Operation Persuade Tina I'm Right.
"It's all in the little stuff," Mike said sagely. "Like ordering checks that have our names together, Mr. and Mrs., and then acting all innocent and claiming the company must have messed up."
It worked, too. There wasn't a ceremony, but Finn has seen the courthouse photos, and Mike beams in every single one, perfectly happy with how it all played out. If Mike can do that, then Finn can pull his own kind of operation.
Operation Persuade Rachel I'm Right.
He spends the rest of the day that should be sent on sales calls making a list of things to do that'll convince Rachel to have the baby. The Buckeyes onesie is bound to come any day, and he'll open it and claim it can't be returned. And there's gotta be a song he can sing that works. Rachel always goes for the heart-wrenching song. He'll go to Synagogue that weekend, too, and actually make a point to chat with one of the women there who has a baby, so Rachel has to be around the kid. He'll . . .
. . . think of more ways to be manipulative. He sighs. He feels a little bad, but . . . What choice does he have? He knows that she must want the baby, too; she certainly did before Funny Girl got in the way. She's just freaked because she's finally gotten the dream she was just starting to believe she would never get.
But she can still have that after the baby is born, and it'll be a win-win, and he'll show it to her.
And if he can't . . . fuck.
By the end of the work day, his list is only, like, four bullet points long. Plus, he can't really take back the fact that he did make this about him, so if she still won't change her mind, then she's rejecting him, and he really wishes they could rewind a few weeks to when everything was so much simpler. Or maybe just to a few days ago when everything was so perfect.
He's feeling sullen when he leaves the office, so he goes to Happy Hour, and he ends up texting Puck, who stops by and goes a few rounds with him. "You grow some balls and make up with Rachel yet?" Puck asks.
"You grow some balls and buy Quinn a ring yet?" Finn replies. They drink in silence after that.
When he gets home, the house is once more quiet. There are still dishes in the sink, and though he doesn't find a note, when he opens the oven, there's a covered plate in it. He tears off his tie and swallows back his frustration and his guilt and . . . and he decides he's gonna talk to Rachel and they're gonna figure this out tonight.
When he gets upstairs, though, he realises she's in the shower. He lies back on the bed and waits for her to come out. But she doesn't. She's in there for nearly an hour. He starts to freak out a little, and he finally goes to the door, knocks gently just to warn her, and then goes in.
And he's pretty sure he's never cared less about Broadway or a baby or anything in the world that's not Rachel.
The shower's running, but Rachel's sitting in the tub naked, her back to the wall, her knees drawn to her chest, and her eyes bloodshot as she cries in choked, silent sobs. "Rach," he says, alarmed.
She looks over at him, clutches her mouth a little, and then whispers, her voice broken. "Please," she says, "please don't leave me."
He kicks off his shoes and steps into the bathtub, a little shocked at how cold the water is. He ignores it as he squats down beside her. "Leave you?" he whispers. "I could never leave you. Never. No matter what — never."
She only cries harder, and he tugs her to him so that she collapses into his lap, pressing her face into his chest. He sits there for a moment, holding her tiny, cold, wet, shaking body, and he breaks. He can't help it. He can't ever leave her, and he can't ever deny her something. He loves her too damn much.
Besides, this is obviously messing her up, and he hates that. She must feel guilty about having an abortion, she must, because despite the last few days, he does know her. She feels guilty, and he's only added to that, and this is hurting her.
"It's okay," he whispers, pressing his lips to her damp hair. "We can make another baby. You can have an abortion — I'll go with you, and we'll start fresh, okay? We're probably not ready for a kid anyway. And you deserve all your dreams. It's okay." He rocks her a little. "It's okay."
He'll do anything to spare her from hurting.
He puts the mug down in front of her.
It's orange cinnamon spice, her favourite. She smiles a little in thanks as he sits down beside her with his own mug. He doesn't really like tea, but if he puts lots of milk in it, it's not so bad. And the orange cinnamon spice is kinda okay. "So," he says, "let's talk." She nods. It's quiet, and there's so much he wants to say, but he waits.
Rachel traces the rim of her mug with her pinky finger. She tucks a lock of hair behind her ear. She takes a deep, steadying breath, and she finally meets his gaze. "I've always had my dream," she says. "No matter what happened to me, what went wrong or right or . . . whatever, I always had my dream. Kids could bully me and say terrible things about my dads. Jocks could throw slushies in my face. Jesse St. James could break my heart. I could take anything, because I knew one day, one day, I'd have my dream come true."
He thinks about telling her that he knows all this, but he's pretty sure she's got a hell of a lot more to say, so he just takes a sip of tea and suppresses an unpleasant face (definitely not enough milk).
"I've always had abandonment issues. You know that better than anyone. And even with fathers who worked all the time, a mother who didn't want me, fairweather friends, and boys who jerked me around, I could take heart in the knowledge that a dream? My dream? Couldn't abandon me. You're really the only other thing, person, part of my life, that I can say the same for."
He reaches forward and takes her hand, just so she can be sure that yeah, that's right, he's definitely something, someone, a part of her life, that she can count on.
She manages a smile. "So, see, being out in the real world and — and having everything be so much more difficult than I've envisioned . . . it's hard. And these last few months it's started to dawn on me that . . . maybe that dream that had sustained me for so long? Maybe that dream had served it's purpose. Maybe it was simply meant to take care of me until something better came along. Something like you."
He squeezes her hand.
"When, for that one week, I was pregnant and I had no idea that I had chance with Funny Girl, I started to see it. I imagined a life so different from any I had ever wanted. I saw you and me and . . . baby makes three." She chuckles a little, her eyes teary. "I saw us, a little family, and maybe — maybe I would work at a school. I could be a teacher like Mr. Shue and I could bring music to kids' lives, and that would be so rewarding.
"Finn, I saw this whole life that . . . was so perfect despite how little it was like anything I had ever imagined. There was no fame or applause or awards. It was me and you and a baby and music that meant something."
He feels his own eyes burning with tears, because she's describing his dream, everything he's always wanted and always hoped that someday, maybe after she became famous, she would want, too.
"And then I was offered the part in Funny Girl," she says, pausing, and he nods to encourage her onward. "I was offered that part, that dream, and I realised that I didn't know what I wanted anymore. I didn't have a clear goal, a clear future all mapped out, and that terrified me, Finn. What terrifies me even more, though, is that I still don't know what I want. I'm sitting here and I don't know what I want for my future."
"Welcome to the ranks of the rest of the world," he says, and when she looks like she doesn't know whether to laugh or cry, he wants to smack himself over the head. "Look, I know this is hard, but . . . " But what? He knows what he means, sort of, but how does he say it?
"Do you . . . do you remember, back in high school, the first time I got to second base with you?"
Her brow furrows in confusion, but moments later she catches up to him. "You mean when you prayed to a grilled cheese sandwich to let you touch my boobs?" She has this look on her face, this expression of fond annoyance.
"Yeah, that, anyway, I really remember that first time. 'Cause it was awesome, first of all, but also 'cause of what you said before. Do you remember?"
She nods slowly. "I was concerned about the faith of our children with consideration to your new found — and temporary, I might now add — love of Jesus."
"Right," he says, "and you said that when you were twenty-five and had won a bunch of Tonys and were ready to have intercourse and babies, blah, blah, blah."
"Finn," she says.
"The point is that you once thought you could have it all," he goes on. "Why don't you think that anymore? Maybe you can't have it all by twenty-five, but you can still have it all, babe. You can be on Broadway and have kids. I mean, not at the same time, I guess, but . . . you're not even thirty. We can have a baby and then you can keep auditioning, or you can be in Funny Girl and in a few years we'll have a kid, or . . . you can have both."
"That's a nice thought, Finn," she says quietly, "but reality isn't so simple."
"Since when did Rachel Hudson care about reality?"
She smacks his arm, but he can see her lips starting to curl up. "Look, I'm not saying it's easy. But you can still do it. I'll back you up. No matter what," he says, "I'll be here. Even if none of it happens and we end up as unfamous, childless, homeless hobos by fifty, at least we'll be unfamous, childless, homeless hobos together. I'll even, like, eat the gross parts of the food we get from dumpsters and leave the nice parts for you."
"Always so chivalrous," she says, a teasing tint to her voice.
"Count on it, baby," he replies, trying to sound smooth, and Rachel laughs. She leans forward and hugs him. He presses his face into her hair, silently vowing never to let things get all messed up again. Communication is key, right?
She pulls back. "I still need to decide what I want to do now," she says, wiping at her eyes. "We still need to decide." She glances down at the table.
"Okay," he says, running a hand through his hair. "Um, try closing your eyes or something. And, like, think about the future and tell me what you see. That's what my mom used to make me do. Here, I'll do it with you." He closes his eyes.
Moments later, he opens one eye to find Rachel staring at him, biting back a smile.
"Do you have any better ideas?" he says, a little disgruntled.
She smiles softly, reaches towards him, and runs a hand over his hair, tucking a little of it behind his ear. "You need a haircut," she notes quietly.
"Yeah, um, I'll get right on that," he replies, not sure how that's really, you know, relevant.
She brushes her knuckles affectionately across his cheek, looks down, and then meets his gaze with glossy eyes. "I don't need to close my eyes," she says. "I know what I'll see. It's the same thing I see even when my eyes are open." She leans forward, placing her hands on his shoulders. "You holding a baby — our baby, a little piece of us," she says. She takes another slow breath, and then her voice is firm. "I want to keep the baby, Finn. For you. And, honestly, for me, too."
It takes a moment for her words to soak in.
And then he tries not to look too excited. "Are you sure?"
"Positive." She tilts her head at him, looking almost mischievous. "You can be excited."
He grins widely, and she starts to laugh. He relishes in the sound as he grabs her around the waist and picks her up, spinning her around. He knows she loves when he does that. Before long, though, he brings her down to kiss her.
And then he hoists her up over his shoulder.
"Finn! What are you doing?"
"I'm taking you to the bedroom. I say it's time to reward ourselves for our good communication skills. Plus, it's been, like, three days, and that's some kinda cruel torture."
She giggles into his shoulder, only to wiggle out of his grasp, and he reluctantly lets her feet hit the ground moments later. Before he can pout at her and tell her that no, Rach, we don't have to clean up the tea mugs now, or something like that, she smiles this wicked little smile. And she leans up, nips at his ear, and whispers, "We don't have to go all the way to the bedroom for that."
When Mike and Tina are in town, Mike mentions Funny Girl at dinner. "Kurt said you got offered a part in the Broadway revival," Mike says. "Why'd you turn it down?"
Finn tenses, and he can see Puck and Quinn both freeze as well, but Rachel replies calmly. "The part was the very same played by Barbra Streisand in the original production. Although Barbra has always been a role model to me, in the future I do not want biographers to look back on my life and view it merely as an imitation of hers. I need a role that is all my own. Also, I wanted a baby."
Mike nods, Tina starts talking about her niece, and Finn smiles into his water glass.
Rachel's a different kind of crazy while pregnant.
She doesn't crave too much crazy food — pickles dipped in ice cream is the only combination he truly finds revolting — but she does have this weird schedule that he starts to follow. Like, by the sixth month, he knows that when she sends him out for radishes and cottage cheese, he should also get some spaghetti and blueberries.
The baby also seems to love meat, and one night Finn prods a reluctant Rachel, the vegan-turned-vegetarian, to accept her fate and eat a little meat now and then, starting with some chicken he's grilled. Once she caves, she wants meat all the time, wants a good steak or a ham sandwich or some fried chicken, and she doesn't try to deny herself.
The food's the least of it, though.
She's surprisingly relaxed all the time, except when somebody says the wrong thing and she bursts into tears and won't stop crying for hours. On occasion, she even starts to cry for no reason at all and he's helpless to cheer her up. She never, like, yells or gets angry or anything like that, though, which is totally weird. (But he's not going to question it.)
The community theatre production of The Scarlet Pimpernel ends when Rachel is about four months pregnant. Finn's glad, really, 'cause he doesn't know if it's really okay for the baby to undergo all that, like, stress and stuff. Rachel still works a little as a private piano and voice teacher, and she seems content with everything.
She doesn't even seem at all upset with gaining weight or anything like that. She goes out maternity shopping with Quinn, and she models everything for him afterward, and he makes sure to say she looks really great in everything. (He's pretty sure God's gift to men for putting up with all the crazy pregnancy hormones is the bigger boobs thing. He keeps that insightful gem to himself, though.)
But, honestly, she really doesn't seem to mind the changes. When Puck makes a comment at dinner, Quinn doesn't even have the chance to elbow him. "If you've got it," Rachel declares, "flaunt it. I am with child, Noah. It's nothing to be ashamed of." She smiles serenely and shoves another forkful of pork into her mouth.
Yeah, so, pregnancy makes Rachel mellow.
He doesn't like it or dislike it, he just thinks it's kinda strange.
He does, however, really like that she starts to want to have sex all the time.
Rachel's always loved sex, sure; she's always done cool stuff like wake him up in the middle of night for sex or randomly join him in the shower or go down on him at breakfast, but now it's like she can't get enough. She does all this research on the best way to have sex when pregnant, she makes him read it, and then every moment they're alone she's all over him.
It's totally awesome.
As soon as this baby's out, he's getting her pregnant again. (Just kidding. Sort of.)
The only other person that Finn has ever known while pregnant is Quinn, and the differences are huge. Like, Finn was barely allowed to touch Quinn's stomach, even when he thought he was the dad. Rachel, though, is that woman who grabs the stranger's hand in the elevator to put on her stomach when the baby starts kicking.
Finn loves it when the baby kicks. Night after night, long after Rachel falls asleep in bed, he's still awake, leaning on his elbow and running his hand over her stomach, waiting for the jolt. It's so amazing. One night she falls asleep in front of the television and he sees it — this little bump that pushes out suddenly from Rachel's belly.
He's alarmed. What was that? He shakes her as gently as he can. But she has to wake up. Something's wrong. "Rach," he says, starting to freak out. "Rach, something's wrong."
"Mm sleepy," she mutters.
"Rachel, something's wrong with the baby!" he shouts.
Her eyes flutter open and she frowns at him. "W'do'u mean?" she asks.
"It just . . . like . . . there was this random, like, bulge from your stomach. What — what was that? Do you know? Should I call the hospital?" He starts to reach for the phone.
"That was just the baby kicking, Finn," she says, looking at him with tired eyes. "And, for the record, I'd rather have the kid kicking out then kicking in. I pee enough as it is. Can I go back to sleep now?" Her eyes have already slipped shut again.
"That was just the baby kicking?" he asks, a little awed.
She yawns and seems to nestle further into her pillow. "Or punching," she murmurs.
"Wow," he whispers. He settles down into bed beside her, pushes her shirt up slightly, and runs his hands over the stretched skin. "C'mon, Baby," he says. "Kick for me." He really wants to see it again. That was his baby's little foot or hand or . . . that's just so cool.
He doesn't go to bed for a few more hours. He's too wired.
"Christopher," Rachel says.
She doesn't even look at the nurse with the clipboard, or anyone else in the room. She has eyes only for the baby. "Christopher Finn Hudson." She nuzzles the baby's tiny nose with her own. And then she glances at Finn. "That sounds okay, right?" He swallows thickly and nods, first at her and then at the nurse, who copies the name onto her clipboard.
That's the name they've talked about, the name they settled on a few weeks ago.
But it seems crazy that somebody actually has that name now.
He sits hesitantly beside Rachel on the bed, and she curls slightly into him. He still can't believe this. The baby's so tiny, so small and red and loud and perfect, and Finn can't find the right words. He has a son. Sure, the baby's head is a little cone-shaped, and he was covered in all this gunk at first, but the nurses cleaned him off.
And now, nestled in Rachel's arms, he's all pink and clean and soft, and he has this downy layer of dark hair on his head, and these big dark eyes that look up at Rachel as if he knows her. Finn's always thought babies were kind of boring, and not all that cute, really, but his baby definitely is.
Plus, his kid totally aced that, like, baby test thing they give babies; he got a ten every time they gave it to him, which Rachel says means he's really healthy. Finn reaches out, his hand shaking a little, and touches the tiny, red cheek. A little hand jumps in the air. Finn presses his finger to the palm, and five fingers clamp around his one. He looks at Rachel, excited, and she smiles softly at him. "Hey buddy," Finn says. "Hey."
A tiny head whips around, eyes swivelling, and Finn feels like his kid's looking for him. He leans closer. "Right here," he says. The baby wiggles around and his eyes return steadfastly to Rachel. Finn's positive he's never loved anything so much this quickly in his entire life.
He knows he should call everyone, should call Kurt at work to update him, should call his mom and Burt and the Mr. Berrys, should could Puck and Quinn, but he can't bring himself to leave Rachel and . . . and Chris for even a minute.
"Okay, Mrs. Hudson," one of the nurses says, "let's try breastfeeding."
Rachel shrugs down her hospital gown, and the nurse starts giving instructions and advice. It takes a few minutes, but then Finn watches in amazement as his son finally latches on and nurses. "That's good," the nurse says. "Like that. Shift him down a lift. Yes. Perfect." She smiles. "He's an eager little one!"
"Knows a good thing when he sees it," Finn declares happily. The nurse looks amused, but Finn doesn't mind; he keeps his focus on Rachel and Chris. Rachel leans slightly further into Finn, nearly sinking into him, and he knows she's even more exhausted than he is. But this? This moment? This is as good as they come, he's sure of it.
"We should call our parents," Rachel says softly. "My dads will be so upset when they learn they've booked a flight to come up here for the birth only for that plane to be two days too late." She smiles a little, tracing the shell of Chris's ear. "But it's not anybody's fault little Christopher came early."
"He just wanted to be prompt and ahead of schedule like his mom always is," Finn says, grinning. He presses a kiss to her sweaty temple. "We did good, Rach," he whispers. "We did so good."
"Yes," Rachel says, "we did." She glances up at him. "I don't think anyone could have found a better and more beautiful symbolic manifestation of our love, of us." Her eyes are soft as she speaks, and his breath catches in his throat, even as she looks back down at Chris. Finn wants to say something, he really does, but he doesn't know what.
The nurse returns, uses all these terms that Finn totally needs to research, and talks more with Rachel about breastfeeding and vitamin K and blood screening tests and all this other stuff. "You want me to take him to the newborn nursery?" the nurse finally offers as Rachel finishes nursing. "You can gets some sleep."
"Not yet," Rachel protests. "Give us a few more minutes."
The nurse nods. The moment she's gone, Rachel turns to him. "Finn," she whispers, a tone of conspiracy to her voice. "You have to go with her to the nursery, and you have to keep an eye on Christopher the whole time, okay?" She looks at him with serious, determined eyes.
"I mean it, Finn, don't let him out of your sight. There was a 60 Minutes about couples whose babies had been accidentally switched in careless hospitals, and I do not want that to happen to us. I do not want to raise somebody else's baby, and I definitely do not want someone else raising Christopher."
"Right," he says, slightly amused and slightly worried. He presses another reassuring kiss to her temple. "I won't let him out of my sight. I promise, babe."
She smiles. "Thank you. Now, here, open your arms like this."
"So you can hold him," she says.
He's slightly startled and then a little alarmed. What if he drops him or holds him too tight or —? But he can't make a single protest before Rachel has handed Chris to him and is shaping his giant hands around Chris's tiny body. Finn's afraid to breathe. Chris stares up at him. His tiny eyes seek Rachel again, twirl around the room, and then focus on Finn. He gurgles a little and blinks slightly, almost sleepily.
"There," Rachel declares. "Perfect." She beams at him. "This is your daddy, Christopher," she says, speaking sweetly to Chris. "He's going to take such good care of you." She leans down and presses a kiss to his little face. Chris's eyes follow her as she pulls away.
He totally knows his mommy, Finn thinks. Chris looks back at him. And maybe his daddy, too.
He looks over at Rachel to find her gaze on him. "I love you," he says, taking in her pale face and tired eyes and messy hair and unsinkable smile, and the words come out almost breathlessly. "So, so much."
She kisses him lightly. "I love you, too."
He squats down next to Chris. "Ready?" he asks. Chris looks at him, as if trying to decide, and he accidently crushes one of the flowers in his hand. Chuckling, Finn uncurls Chris's chubby fist from around the bud and then helps his son clasp the stems. "There. Are you ready? You ready, buddy?"
"Yeah!" Chris finally declares brightly.
Moments later, Rachel appears, talking animatedly with two of her cast mates, the director, and a few people Finn doesn't recognise. Chris points wildly. "Ma!" he says, looking up with Finn as if to share his great discovery. "Mama!"
"That's right, buddy," Finn says. "That's her. Go give her the flowers." He nudges the little boy forward, and Chris toddles towards his mother, who spies him instantly. She beams, crouching down and accepting the flowers he thrusts at her as Finn slowly approaches.
"Are these for me?" Rachel says. "Are these for me, baby?"
"Oh, thank you," Rachel gushes, swooping down to give him a loud, wet kiss that makes him giggle. "They're very pretty. Thank you." She lifts him up into her arms and faces Finn. "Did Daddy help you pick out the flowers, Chris? Did Daddy help you?"
Rachel laughs, even as Finn gapes playfully at Chris. "Are you sure?" Rachel teases.
"Mmm . . . no!"
Rachel and Finn both laugh, then, and Finn leans down and kisses Rachel, unable not to despite the thick make-up still plastered across her face. "That was amazing, babe," he murmurs, pressing another quick kiss to her lips.
"Really? You think it was good?" There's the slightest bit of vulnerability to her voice.
"Best show I've ever seen, hands down," he replies, "and that counts that time you got me tickets to Rock of Ages." He grins and considers kissing her again, even as Chris squirms in her arms for attention.
"RACHEL BARBRA HUDSON!"
Kurt, the Mr. Berrys, Puck, and Quinn all hot on his heels, rushes towards them. "Amazing," Kurt raves, "absolutely amazing. I must admit I was sceptical that you could pull off such a risqué performance in the second act, but I was pleasantly surprised, and, well, let me be honest, absolutely and delightedly stunned, and . . . ." He goes on and on as they all crowd Rachel, hugging and kissing and telling her wonderful it was.
She deserves it all.
This might have only been the press show, but Finn knows it's gonna be on stage for years, and she's gonna get all sorts of awards, and it's gonna be everything she's always wanted. As if she can hear his thoughts, Rachel glances at him and cuddles Chris to her, smashing his cheek to hers. He smiles at his wife, and his twenty month old son, too.
They aren't headed home for hours, but when they're finally on the road, Chris slumped over asleep in his car seat and Rachel resting a hand on Finn's knee as he drives, he doesn't feel even a little tired. "The critics I've talked to seem impressed so far," Rachel says.
"They are," he assures. "How could they not all love you?"
"Very true," Rachel says brightly, and Finn clasps her hand, squeezing it. She gazes at him as a quiet pause stretches into a few quiet minutes. "Finn?"
He doesn't take his eyes off the road. "Yeah?"
"Thank you," she says.
He risks a glance to her, and her gaze is soft and full of that adoration that makes his heart swell inside him. "For what?" he asks.
"For the world," she tells him, and she leans across the console to kiss his cheek.
"Sure," he says, trying not to grin too widely, or to blush, for that matter, as he focuses on the highway. "Anytime."
She plans it all down to every detail.
He's assigned to pick the food, but she takes care of the rest, of the music, the entertainment, the decorations, the invitations — everything. He thinks it's kinda crazy that so much planning (and so much of his paycheck) goes into one day. But he's not gonna complain, 'cause it makes her so happy, and it makes Chris happy, too. Food's the most important part, anyhow.
Really, though, after it's all over, he doesn't so much remember the food.
He remembers when one of the little boys ate so much that he threw up all over Puck. He remembers when Chris insisted that Finn play tag with them because he was Chris's best friend, so of course he had to play with them. He remembers the delight on Chris's face when he managed to blow out all five candles at once and the tears in Rachel's eyes, as if she were so proud of the feat. He remembers how she leaned into him, he wrapped his arms around her, and then she murmured, "I want another one."
And now, straddling him with her hands splayed against his bare stomach, she beams down at him, and he remembers how very much he adores her. They're in the bedroom, because Grandpa Burt volunteered to sleep out in the tent in the backyard with Chris, and Rachel's naked except for the party hat that sits slightly askew on her mussed hair.
"Hey," he says softly, because they haven't really talked about it since her sudden, quiet declaration. "Are you sure?" he asks, squeezing her thighs.
"Positive," she replies. "Besides, I threw my birth control out a week ago, so I may already be pregnant, especially after the last two hours."
He's a little shocked, though he can't help but pleased at the idea that she might really be pregnant already. "What if I said no?" he asks, trying to look serious and angry.
She scoffs. "As if you don't want ten more children," she says, and there's a kind of gleam in her eyes. "I should take this time to tell you that ten is certainly out of the question. A few more, however, are certainly in the foreseeable future."
"Oh, yeah? Have all their names picked out, do you?"
"That's right," she says. "You can pick the middle names, though. I promise."
"Gee, thanks, babe," he says, and he finds himself grinning at her as she laughs. He tugs her down suddenly, rolling so that she's trapped beneath him. "And I promise to carry you all over the alps when the bad guys come."
"My hero," Rachel says, fluttering her eyelashes dramatically. She starts to say something more, but he kisses his way to her breasts and takes a nipple into his mouth, and her words dissolve into a moan. Her hands clutch at his hair. "Finn," she purrs.
He grips her thighs tightly and thrusts, groaning with her.
And someone knocks on the door. "Mommy? Daddy?"
Finn freezes. "Door's locked," Rachel breathes. "But what — what's the matter, Chris?" she yells. "If you need something, have Grandpa get it for you."
"But grandpa's asleep," Chris whines. "And he's impossible to wake up. And I'm hungry, Mommy. Can you make me a sandwich? Pleeeeeease?" He knocks on the door as if to help his point.
"He's hungry?" Rachel whispers. "My lord, that child is a bottomless pit."
Finn buries his face in her neck. "Damn my genes," he mutters.
"Mommy, please! It's still my birthday! Please! Please! Please!" Finn can just imagine Chris hopping from foot to foot in the hall.
Rachel chuckles slightly but pushes at Finn's chest. "Sorry, baby," she tells him. "I need to feed your son." He reluctantly pulls out of her and rolls away, sighing and watching as she pulls on her nightgown. He slips under the sheets as she finally goes to the door.
"Yes! Thanks, Mommy! Hi Daddy! Can it be peanut butter? But no jelly. Jelly's gross. C'mon." He grabs her hand and starts to tug her into the hallway and out of sight.
Rachel glances back at him for a moment. "Sure you want more of this?" she asks.
"Definitely," Finn replies. He can't wait for more, for more Broadway shows that will win his wife not only nominations but actual Tonys, for buying a bigger house like they talked about, for one or two or even three more kids, for the rest of his life with Rachel, peanut butter sandwich interruptions and all.
I'm a fighter, fighting for control.
I'm a fighter, fighting for my soul.
Everything inside of me surrenders.
You can't silence my love,
You can't silence my love, yeah.
Hello hurricane, you're not enough.
Hello hurricane, you can't silence my love.
I've got doors and windows boarded up,
All your dead end fury is not enough.
You can't silence my love.
Yeah, I said hello hurricane.
a/n: Okay, so I have a request of you all. Honestly, I've been having trouble writing F/R lately, and I have four or five unfinished stories to prove it. I was okay with the Finn/Rachel break-up and the last two episodes when they first aired, but I find the more I read fanfiction revolving around the breakup and anaylse what went wrong and their relationship up until now, the more frustrated with their relationship I become. Rest assured, I'm not abandoning ship now, as I'm like a baby duckling to TV couples-once I imprint, there's no changing my mind. But I hoped perhaps people could offer me some F/R prompts to get me back in the saddle. What would you all like to see? More futurefic? Something totally AU? Is there a problem somewhere in the second season with their relationship that's bothering you that you'd like to see some fanfiction address? Let me know, please!