This is my first ever Glee fanfic, "The Future." Basically, the story is what happens to Finn and Rachel after they graduate. They continue to struggle with their feelings for each other, but when a crisis strikes, their lives, and the lives of the entire club, are forever changed.

And without further ado, here's Chapter 1! Chapter 2 will be posted soon

Chapter 1: The End of the Beginning

Last performance with New Directions ever,
Rachel Berry thought. This is it. After this, I'm done.
It was graduation day for the Class of 2012 at McKinley High School. For Rachel, this was a bittersweet day.
She'd been accepted to the school of her dreams and gotten a full scholarship. But this could well be the last time she saw Finn Hudson.
Rachel had struggled with her feelings for Finn for what felt like forever. Heck, in first grade, she played tag with him at recess. In fifth grade, she got sent to the principal's office for pulling his hair (as a dare from Santana Lopez). But it wasn't until they both joined the Glee club together in tenth grade that the feelings she had for him strengthened. They dated their junior year until Rachel found out Santana had slept with him and he lied about his virginity. To get revenge, Rachel made out with Noah Puckerman, or Puck, as he was known. Finn got mad and broke up with her. Then Finn got back together with Quinn Fabray, his previous girlfriend. Finn and Rachel remained friends throughout their junior year and got together at Nationals in New York that year. They stayed together senior year, helped each other through the college process, took care of each other in hard times, led the Glee club to a Nationals victory, went to prom together, and even had sex, but she still wasn't sure this relationship would survive.
Rachel would be going to Princeton on a music scholarship. Finn would be going to OSU on a football scholarship.
The seniors in glee club - Rachel, Finn, Puck, Santana, Sam Evans, Quinn Fabray, Mercedes Jones, Kurt Hummel, Blaine Anderson, Brittany Pierce, Artie Abrams, Lauren Zizes, Mike Chang and Tina Cohen-Chang - had been together for the past three years. Now they were about to scatter to the four winds.
There were now lots of underclassmen, but the seniors, who would be walking the stage tonight, were the core group.
They held it together. They all cried at senior night, even the boys.
New Directions had become a second family.
After tonight, it would just be a memory.
Sam and Quinn, the golden couple, would be going to Miami University of Ohio. Brittany was going to a local community college. Blaine was going to NYU. Kurt was going to DePaul in Chicago. Tina and Mercedes were going to OU. Mike was going to Haverford. Santana was going to UCLA on a cheerleading scholarship. Artie was going to Indiana. Puck was going to Bowling Green. Lauren got a wrestling scholarship to University of Kentucky.
Nothing would ever be the same.
And it was all beginning to hit Rachel, right before "Pomp and Circumstance" began. The Class of 2012 began to enter the auditorium. The seniors of New Directions would go to stage for their graduation song, "For Good" from Wicked. Finn and Rachel had the solos - as usual.
"This may be the last duet together," Finn whispered to Rachel as they waited to enter.
"I know," Rachel said. She looked away, now getting tears in her eyes.
"Rachel, what's wrong?" Finn asked.
"I'm okay," Rachel said.
"No, you're not," Finn said. "What's wrong?"
"I'm just sad," Rachel whispered.
Finn gave Rachel one of those hugs that felt so good. "So am I," he said. "I'm going to miss you so much. We'll have to stay in contact."
"After everything we've been through..." Rachel began. But now it was time for her to enter. She looked over her shoulder. Finn was looking on, watching her go in, with his million dollar smile and big brown eyes. His cap and gown didn't make him look dorky, unlike virtually everyone else.
Rachel took her position on stage, waiting for the rest of the Glee club to enter. When the rest of the Class of 2012 had their seats, Rachel and Finn took their places by the microphones, with the rest of the club behind them.
And the music began, with Finn's solo. I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason,
Bringing something we must learn,
And we are led to those who help us most to grow,
If we let them and we help them in return.
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true,
but I know I'm who I am today
because I knew you...

He was looking at Rachel when he was singing. Still, Rachel could only cry.
She cried throughout the rest of the club singing the chorus, Like a comet pulled from orbit as it passes a sun;
Like a stream that meets a boulder halfway through the wood;
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you, I have been changed for good.

Now it was time for Rachel's solo: It well may be that we will never meet again in this lifetime,
so let me say before we part:
So much of me is made of what I learned from you.
You'll be with me like a handprint on my heart
and now whatever way our stories end, I know you have re-written mine by being my friend...

The group joined in again: Like a ship blown from its mooring by a wind off the sea;
like a seed dropped by a sky bird in a distant wood...
who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you, because I knew you, I have been changed for good.

Now the girls sang: And just to clear the air, I ask forgiveness for the things I've done you blame me for
And the boys sang: But then, I guess we know there's blame to share and none of it seems to matter anymore
Finn and Rachel closed the song: And because I knew you, because I knew you, because I knew you, I have been changed for good.
And that was it. It was the last performance of the seniors with New Directions.
Rachel felt pathetic throughout the rest of the ceremony. Graduation was supposed to be a happy time. Instead, she was fighting back tears with everything she had. Was this the end? What would the future hold for her and Finn? She'd heard so many stories about kids who went off to college and were forgotten by their friends from high school. Would that be her? She could hardly focus on the band's tribute, the student speeches and the speeches by the principal, superintendent and school board president.
Finally, it was time for the awarding of diplomas. And before she was ready, "Rachel Barbara Berry!"
Rachel went on to the stage, waved to the crowd and accepted her diploma from the school board president. "You're going to do something great," he said to her. "Congratulations."
"Thanks," Rachel said. She waved to the crowd as she headed back to her seat. She could see Finn applauding.
And before she knew it again, "Finn Christopher Hudson!"
Rachel cheered as loud as she could as Finn crossed the stage and accepted his diploma.
Finally, the last senior received his diploma. The Class of 2012 was declared official graduates, the alma mater was performed and the graduates processed out of the theatre.
It was really over now.
Rachel searched for her mom, her dads and her two year old sister Beth in the crowd. It wasn't easy, there were flocks of people. Finally, she found them.
"We're so proud of you, Rachel," her dad Hiram said.
"I did it!" Rachel declared. She got out her camera and had her pictures taken with her dads, then with her mom, then with all three of her parents. She found some of her Glee friends. She took pictures with Kurt, Blaine and Mercedes. With Brittany, Artie, Mike and Tina. With Quinn and Sam. With Puck and Lauren. Even Santana was being nice today and asked for a picture with Rachel.
Rachel was chatting with her parents when she heard a voice, "Rachel! Rachel!"
Rachel turned around, it was Finn.
"Congratulations!" Finn said, pulling Rachel in for a hug. "We did it!"
"Oh, Finn," Rachel giggled. "I'm so proud of you!"
"I'm more proud of you!" Finn said. "We need a picture!" He handed his mom Carole his camera and Rachel's other dad, Leroy, took out his camera.
Finn and Rachel held up their diplomas, but Finn put his arm around Rachel and tilted his head toward hers.
"That's beautiful!" Carole declared. She showed Finn the camera.
"That's going in my dorm room!" Finn said.
"I'll have to put it in mine, too," Rachel said.
"Hey Rachel, do you and your family have any plans for tonight?" Finn asked as he took his little sister, Ally, from his mom's arms and gave her a hug. (Ally was about ten months old.)
"Not definite," Rachel said.
"How about you guys join us for dinner, then?" Carole asked Rachel's parents.
"It's Rachel's big day. Do you want to, honey?" her mom Shelby asked.
"Yeah, definitely," Rachel said. Might as well have one more dinner with him before we go off to different states, she thought.
Turned out dinner reservations had been made in advance and it was a surprise for Finn, Rachel and Kurt (Finn's stepbrother). Rachel got to go home to change out of her robe.
She looked in the mirror. The graduation dress she'd picked out was beautiful. Rather, Kurt, Mercedes and Quinn picked it out for her because she couldn't decide. It was ice blue with shoulder bows and a belt. It had no sleeves and a wispy skirt. She quickly did her hair before heading downstairs.
Rachel and her dads drove to dinner. When they got there, the Hudson-Hummel family was waiting.
"Rachel, you look amazing!" Finn said almost immediately. "I love your dress."
"Quinn, Mercedes and I picked it out," Kurt pointed out.
"Whatever," Finn said. "Rachel looks beautiful in it."
"Thanks Finn," Rachel said, struggling to hold in her embarrassment. "You look great, too." The truth was, Finn's tux was something anyone could wear.
But no one looked good in it like Finn did.
Rachel tried to enjoy dinner, but her fears of this being the last dinner with Finn clouded her mind. All summer she would be working at a performing arts camp and Finn would be working at a sports day camp.
Dinner was delicious. But Rachel still didn't feel better.
She didn't want to be a downer. Everyone else was so happy.
"I'd like to propose a toast," Kurt's dad (and Finn's stepdad) Burt said as they finished dinner. He stood up and declared, "To Kurt, Finn and Rachel, of the McKinley Class of 2012."
"To Kurt, Finn and Rachel!" the restaurant said before clinking their glasses.
After dessert and sips of the drinks, it was time for presents. Rachel gave Finn her gift for him first. She'd gotten all the girls in New Directions the same bracelet and all the boys iTunes cards, but Finn got something special. She watched him open it. It was custom drumsticks with gold stars on them and "I'm Forever Yours, Faithfully" engraved. "Rachel, I love them," Finn said, hugging Rachel. "Thanks so much."
"I knew you would," Rachel said.
"Here's yours now," Finn said, handing Rachel a box wrapped in gold paper.
"Oh, Finn!" Rachel tore the wrapping paper off the box and opened it. There was a beautiful gold star necklace. 14 Karat.
"Finn!" Rachel gasped. "How many hours did you have to work at Sheets N Things to get me this?"
Finn smiled. "It was worth it," he told her.
"Could you put it on me?" Rachel asked.
"I'd be honored," Finn said. He clasped the necklace around Rachel's neck. "Rachel, I know you'll be a star. You will be amazing. You'll do great things."
Now Rachel couldn't hold it in anymore and began to cry.
Finn gave one of those hugs only he could give. "Rachel, what's wrong?"
"I don't want to leave you!" Rachel sobbed. "I'm going to miss you so much. You're who I have to thank for not being a stuck up egotistic bitch anymore. I'm scared." She finally gathered the courage to look Finn in the eyes. "Do you think this is the end?" she asked, finally getting the nerve to say what she'd dreaded.
Finn shook his head. "No," he said. "In fact, I think this is only the end of the beginning."