Author Notes: Wow, I can't believe I'm done with another FanFic! Thanks so much for all your nice reviews, alerts and favorites. They mean so much to me. I love writing FanFics and I'm glad my fellow Gleeks and Finchel shippers enjoy reading them. My next FanFic should be up within a few days, so be sure to add me to your author alerts.

For now, enjoy the last chapter!

Chapter 12: Champions

"And the winners of the 2011 US National High School Show Choir Championships - "

Rachel grabbed Finn's hand.

"From Minneapolis, Minnesota - Choral Explosion!"

They hadn't won, but Rachel and Finn high-fived the Choral Explosion captains right before they were presented with the first place trophy and the gold medals.

"Congratulations!" Rachel said to the captains. "You were really good."
"Yeah, you deserve it," Finn said.

The captains smiled at Finn and Rachel. "Thanks," one of them said. "Your team was really good, too."

"Which means our runner-ups for 2011, from McKinley High School in Lima, OH - the New Directions!"

Finn and Rachel hugged and kissed on stage before they were handed the silver medals for all members of the team and the second place trophy. They looked down in the audience where their teammates were. Kurt and Blaine were making out. Mercedes and Tina were jumping up and down screaming. Mike was doing an epic dance with Artie clapping along to the beat of his music. Puck, Lauren, Brittany and Santana were in a big group hug. Sam was spinning Quinn around.

Finn turned to Rachel, who was carrying the medals and the trophy as he carried her down the stairs. "I can't believe it!" he said, feeling happier than he had after winning any football game.

"Me neither," Rachel said. "I'm so happy right now. So happy."

Their teammates ran up to them and threw their arms around them in a big group hug. "We love our captains!" Brittany shouted.

"And we love our teammates!" Rachel shouted back. She began dealing out the medals and then draped Finn's around his neck. Then Finn draped Rachel's around her neck.

"You would have thought you guys had won, as happy as you are," Mr. Schue said.

"Second place is pretty awesome," Puck said.

"It is," Mr. Schue said. "I am SO proud of all of you. Who would have thought that small group of five that sounded terrible would grow to fourteen that were runner-ups in the nation? Everyone, get out your cameras. You need this moment captured."

Everyone got out their cameras and sat together, with their medals draped around their necks. Rachel sat on Finn's knee. They had the two biggest smiles.

"I want a picture of our captains with the trophy, too," Mr. Schue said after he took pictures of everyone. Finn held the trophy and put his arm around Rachel's shoulders. Rachel hugged Finn. Mr. Schue handed them their cameras. Rachel looked. "Finn, that's my new Facebook profile picture," she said proudly.

"Well, what are we waiting for?" Ms. Holliday said. "Let's go back to the hotel and party!"

Still in their costumes and with the medals draped around their necks, the group headed back to the hotel, as if they were walking on air. No one could believe they'd just placed second at the National Championships and everyone was arguing about who was happiest.

In the hotel lobby, the Vocal Adrenaline students sat, pouting about the results. "You know, you probably only beat us because Rachel broke her ankle and they felt bad for you," sneered one of the members.

"Are you serious? The judges didn't even know," Sam said.

"This is our worst place in four years," moaned another member.

"Ignore them," Mr. Schue told the teenagers. "I don't care about hotel rules. Pick someone's room and go celebrate. Order room service too if you like."

"If it's okay with Quinn, I'd like it to be in our room," Rachel said.

"Let's do that!" Quinn said.

Everyone boarded the elevators they were supposed to be on, but all elevators were headed to the twelfth floor.

Once they were on the twelfth floor, everyone headed for Quinn and Rachel's room for their celebration.

"I can't believe we're the second best show choir in the country!" Mike said.

"I know!" Artie agreed.

"It feels unreal," Mercedes said.

The group looked over the room service menu and called it down. Right after they called down, there was a knock on the door.

"Everyone hide behind the beds!" Rachel said. "Remember, we're not all supposed to be here."

"Okay, but I'm going to the door with you," Quinn said. "Just in case it's he-who-must-not-be-named."

Rachel and Quinn headed for the door. A basket with seven corsages and seven bouttenires was there, along with a cake.

"Awww!" Rachel said. "Could you carry it in? I can't very well with my crutches."

"Of course." Quinn picked up the basket and the box with the cake and put them on the table. Everyone else got up and came over to see what it was.

"It's flowers for us," Rachel said, handing the corsages to the girls and the bouttenires to the boys. "Let's see who they're from." She opened the card, which had her name on it. "Dear Rachel - Congratulations to you and your team on a great debut at Nationals. Next year I'm sure you'll win. Please share the flowers and cake with your friends. Hope we can begin a relationship together. Love, Mom." She looked up and turned to her teammates. "These are from my mom."

"Maybe she is serious about becoming your mom, Rach," Finn said.

"Maybe," Rachel said before they heard another knock at the door. "That must be the food."

It was the food. The group had ordered pizza, fries, salad and ice cream. They spent the night talking, eating and listening the music until about 11:30, when they heard another knock at the door. "May we come in?" they heard Mr. Schue call.

Quinn let Mr. Schue and Ms. Holliday in. "Guys, I hate to break up your party, but it is past your curfew and you guys have some packing to do."

"Awwwww!" the group whined.

"I'm sorry, everyone," Mr. Schue said. "Really, I've never seen all of you so happy."

"Well, if we must break up the party, we can't forget where we began," Rachel said. "Mr. Schue, Ms. Holliday, take a seat, and listen to the runner-ups in the country perform our theme song."

She flipped on the radio and a familiar tune began.

Finn : Just a small town girl

Livin' in a lonely world

She took the midnight train goin' anywhere

Rachel: Just a city boy

Born and raised in south Detroit

He took the midnight train goin' anywhere

Finn: A singer in a smokey room

Rachel: The smell of wine and cheep perfume

Finn and Rachel: For a smile they can share the night

It goes on and on and on and on

New Directions: Strangers waiting

Up and down the boulevard

Their shadows searching in the night

Streetlight people

Living just to find emotion

Hiding somewhere in the night

Finn: Workin' hard to get my fill

Rachel: Everybody wants a thrill

Finn and Rachel: Payin' anything to roll the dice just one more time

Rachel: Some will win

Finn and Rachel: Some will lose

Some were born to sing the blues

New Directions: And now the movie never ends

It goes on and on and on and on

Strangers waiting Up and down the boulevard

Their shadows searching in the night

Streetlight people

Living just to find emotion

Hiding somewhere in the night

Finn and Rachel: Don't stop believin'

Hold on to that feelin'

Street lights people

New Directions: Don't stop beleivin'

Hold on to that feelin'

Street lights people

Don't stop!

Minutes later, everyone was in their respective rooms, packing. "I can't believe we're going home tomorrow," Rachel said to Quinn.

"Me neither," Quinn said. "I don't want to leave!"

"Neither do I," Rachel said. "I can say without a doubt that this has been the best week of my life. I don't care about my broken ankle or all the incidents with Jesse or the drama earlier in the week. That's not what I'll remember. What I'll remember is all my nights with Finn, the girl time we had in our room, our shopping trips with Kurt and the girls and of course our second place performance! I can't wait for next year!"

"Neither can I. It's so odd, thinking next year we'll be seniors."

"It is odd. I'd rather not think about how next year is going to be the end."

"Me neither. But while we're on the subject of next year, if it's okay with you, I'd really like to be roommates again."

"That sounds good to me!"


Finn was packing in his room when the phone in the room rang. "Finn, it's for you," Puck said.

Finn took the phone. "Hello?"

"I guess you had too much fun this week to call your own mother, huh?"

Finn blushed. "Hi Mom. It was quite a week."

"What happened?"

"Well, let's see, Rachel and I went out every night and we're back together and happier than ever. And we got second place!"

"Finn, that's wonderful! Both those things."

"I know. It doesn't matter that there was some drama at the beginning of the week. We all had a great time. I have to pack, I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"

"See you tomorrow. Congratulate your friends."

Finn hung up the phone and went back to packing.

"So, you're back with Rachel now. I bet you're so, so happy, lover boy!" Puck teased.

"Hey, I'm back with Quinn and I'm 'so, so happy!'" Sam said.

"You two!" Puck said. "Well, I'm 'so, so happy' with Lauren!"

The boys laughed and continued packing their luggage.


The next morning, the members of New Directions were at the airport, waiting for their plane to arrive. Their tickets for the way home were all in the same general area, so people could sit with whoever they pleased.

"Sit with me?" Rachel asked Finn as they began boarding the plane.

"I'd love to," Finn replied. "Just to warn you though, I didn't get much sleep last night because I was so excited, so would it be okay if I use you as a pillow?"

Rachel giggled. "You have no idea how happy I'd be to be your pillow."

Finn and Rachel took their seats on the plane next to each other. Finn put down the partition between their seats and lay across Rachel's lap to sleep. Rachel giggled at the sight of her boyfriend sleeping on her lap. She leaned down and kissed his forehead. "I love you," she said, running her hands through his hair.

Rachel looked around the plane. Directly across from her and Finn, Sam had his arm around Quinn, who was resting on his shoulder. She heard Mercedes, Artie, Mike and Tina laughing behind her. Behind Sam and Quinn, Puck and Lauren were sharing iPod earphones. Kurt and Blaine were in front of Sam and Quinn and were making out, which Rachel knew she and Finn would probably be doing if he wasn't sleeping. Brittany and Santana sat behind Puck and Lauren. Rachel could hear them laughing.

When they got back to Ohio, things would be back to normal. But one thing was different. All fourteen members of New Directions had a strengthened sense of confidence and a strengthened sense of belonging. That wouldn't be going away and they'd bring it when they returned in the fall to begin another season.