Hey everyone! Here it is, my fourth fanfic, set in 2024. Finn and Rachel are married and have four kids and are living in the Cleveland area. Rachel receives an offer to fufill her dreams, but then there is a setback that shakes the whole Hudson family's life. Many other Glee club members appear in this story.
Thanks for all your positive reception to my first three!
I won't be able to update as often as I could in the past because I'll be at my summer job as a camp counselor in Virginia. I hope you enjoy - I'll try to update once a week.
Chapter 1: Saturday Morning
"I've been in this business for years and seen lots of talent, and I can tell you that you are one of the most talented people I have ever seen, Rachel Hudson."
Rachel smiled. "Thank you." She had just finished an impromptu performance of "On My Own" from Les Miserables for her show choir to demonstrate the solo she planned for them to use at Sectionals. She hadn't noticed the three people in black in the back of the room. After practice finished, the three asked Rachel to stay for a while so they could talk to her. It turned out they were talent scouts from Broadway searching the United States for singers and actresses for the new production of Wicked. Someone had given them Rachel's name and information.
"We rarely hear voices like yours," the blond woman said. "You have a gift, a real gift."
Rachel smiled. "Thank you."
"Which is why we'd like you to come to New York this weekend to audition for our musical."
Rachel paused. "I don't know. I have four young children and I don't know if I can move them to New York. They just started a new school year..."
"This production won't start until July," the man with glasses said. "The kids could finish up the school year and you could move to New York after they're done."
"That's not all," Rachel said. "My husband and I have pretty solid jobs here and I really care about my show choir I coach here..."
"Don't worry," the brunette woman said. "You'd make so much on Broadway, your husband wouldn't have to work. And why live out your dreams through these kids when you can live out your own dreams?"
Rachel paused. She wasn't living out her dreams through the kids. She'd lived out her dreams plenty by being in show choir in high school. She'd dreamed of being a Broadway star when she was little, but she liked the life she had here and wasn't sure if she wanted to give that up. Broadway would be all about her. It seemed selfish to uproot the family when they were so happy here so she could sing on the Broadway stage.
"You've got twenty four hours to get back to us," the blond woman said, handing Rachel her card. "We really encourage you to do it though. Like we said, you have a gift."
"I'll need to talk to my husband," Rachel said. "I'll get back to you." She thanked the representatives and began driving home. She arrived home to find her husband cooking dinner in the kitchen.
"Hey," Rachel said, kissing Finn. "How was your day?"
"It was good," Finn said. "You're home kind of late today."
"Yeah, there's actually something I need to talk to you about..." Rachel told Finn the whole story of what happened. "They want me to be in the new production of Wicked, but I don't know if I should do this... the kids are so happy here and I'd hate to uproot them for selfish purposes."
"Go to the audition this weekend and see if you get the part," Finn said.
"I insist. Rachel, we'll figure something out."
"Okay, but I don't want to tell the kids. At least not yet."
Finn and Rachel were sure they had the ultimate love story. They'd fallen in love when they were sophomores in high school while Finn was dating Quinn. Then Quinn became pregnant and said the baby was Finn's when it wasn't, so Finn had felt like he had to stay with Quinn. When word came out that the baby was really Puck's, Finn broke up with Quinn. He and Rachel sort of dated, then he decided that he needed some time to be single for a little while. He quickly realized he wanted to date Rachel, but not quickly enough. Rachel was now dating the lead singer of Vocal Adrenaline, Jesse St. James. Finn continued to fight for Rachel and finally confessed his love to her at Regionals their sophomore year.
They continued to date until Sectionals their junior year, when word got out that Finn had lied to Rachel about his virginity and she made out with Puck to get even. He returned to Quinn to help him get over Rachel. He was absolutely miserable, but got back with Rachel at Nationals their junior year. They stayed together throughout senior year and went off to college, still together and planning to maintain a long-distance relationship while she was at Princeton and he was at Ohio State.
A month into their college experience, Rachel was attacked and almost died after a massacre at Princeton. Finn was absolutely devastated by the thought of losing her and realized he could never lose her. He proposed to her on her birthday that year and they got married the July after their freshman year of college.
For their second year of college, Rachel left Princeton and started at Ohio State with Finn. A few weeks into their second year of college, she learned she was pregnant - with a boy AND a girl. On April 16, 2014, Finn and Rachel were the parents of Ryan Nicholas Hudson and Emma Grace Hudson.
The next three years of their lives were spent juggling their studies and being parents. To support themselves, Ryan and Emma, they both worked part-time, but in 2017, Finn and Rachel graduated from Ohio State summa cum laude.
That fall they moved to a suburb of Cleveland where they still lived. Finn taught writing at the local middle school and Rachel was the vocal music instructor and show choir director at the high school. They had added two more children to their family - Sarah Elizabeth Hudson was born on February 19, 2018, and Jack Christopher Hudson was born on June 24, 2019.
In the past Rachel had dreamed of becoming a Broadway star and Finn had dreamed of becoming a professional football player. Today, they both loved the life they lived here with their children. The one downside was being far away from their families and friends. Rachel's mom and dads still lived in Lima, as did Finn's mom and stepdad and his twelve-year-old sister Ally. Their friends from Glee were about half near Lima and the other half scattered around the country.
Ryan and Emma were ten years old and in fifth grade at the public elementary school. Sarah was six and in first grade. Jack was five and had just started kindergarten. All four kids were at the same public elementary school, but it would be for one year only - next year Ryan and Emma would be in middle school.
Finn and Rachel set the table and called the children down for dinner. After the children ate, they made arrangements for Rachel to go to New York that coming weekend and told the kids she was just going to visit Kurt and Blaine, who lived there now with their two sons.
The morning after Rachel left for New York, Finn woke up and looked at the clock, realizing he'd slept too late. Whenever he and Rachel slept late on the weekends, the kids always ended up making themselves a not-so-nutritious breakfast that usually consisted of whatever sweets or junk food lay around the house.
Finn pulled on his clothes and went downstairs. Sure enough, his three oldest children were sitting at the dining room table, happily eating ice cream sandwiches. "Morning, Daddy," Sarah said happily.
"Hey Ryan. Hey Emma. Hey Sarah. Where's your brother?" Finn said.
"He's upstairs," Ryan said. "He's a really heavy sleeper. We tried to get him up but he wouldn't budge."
Finn looked at his children with concern. He knew Jack had been under the weather this past week, but hoped it wasn't serious.
"I'll go check on him," Finn told the kids. "And I believe that we have a rule against ice cream for breakfast."
Finn went upstairs to Jack's room and found his youngest son sleeping. "Hey, honey," Finn said quietly, nudging his son. "Time to get up."
"I don't want to get up," Jack moaned.
"If you don't get up, your brother and sisters might eat all the ice cream," Finn said. Normally he was against the kids eating ice cream for breakfast, but if it would motivate Jack to get up...
Jack moaned and rolled back over. Finn rubbed his son's back.
"Don't touch me, Dad! My back hurts!"
Finn pulled up his son's shirt and jumped back in horror. Something in the coloring of his son's back definitely wasn't right. It looked like a big bruise. LOTS of big bruises mushed together.
"Dad?" Finn turned to see Ryan standing in the doorway. "I'm sorry - I know we shouldn't have had ice cream for breakfast..."
"You can have all the ice cream you want," Finn said, putting his arm around his oldest son in concern.
"What's wrong?" Ryan asked. "You said we can have all the ice cream we want..."
"Ryan, I'm going to take your brother to the doctor," Finn said. "You and the girls stay here."
"Is he sick?"
Finn pointed to Jack's back. Ryan gasped and covered his mouth.
"I don't know. Maybe he fell down on the playground or something..."
"Should I call Mom?"
"I don't want to worry her. You guys just stay home. If anything happens, I'll deal with it then."
"Okay." Ryan went back downstairs. Finn turned his attention back to Jack. "Jack, you've got to get up."
"It hurts to stand up, Daddy!" Jack cried.
"I know it hurts, and you've got a pretty nasty bruise," Finn said as calmly as he could, trying to avoid seeming panicked. "I'm going to take you to the doctor and see if there's a medicine they can give you."
"Could you just carry me?" Jack asked.
Finn nodded. "Of course." He lifted his youngest child out of bed, holding him in his arms. He carried Jack downstairs, where Ryan, Emma and Sarah had put away the ice cream and were now eating fruit.
"Jack and I are going to the doctor," Finn told the three kids. "If you need anything, I'll have my cell phone with me. Do whatever you want, eat whatever you want, watch whatever you want, play whatever games or toys you want, just be safe and stay home. Please just don't call your mother and tell her. I don't want to worry her."
"We'll be fine," Emma said.
"Okay, I'll see you guys in a few hours," Finn said. He went outside and carefully lay Jack on the back seat of the car, not wanting to make his son uncomfortable. Panic rushing through his mind, he began driving to the Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital downtown.
"Jack, did you fall down on the playground or anything recently?" Finn asked.
"No," Jack said. "I don't know why I'm so ouchy, Daddy."
"It's okay," Finn said, hoping it was okay.
Finn pulled into the parking lot at the hospital. What he wanted to do more than anything was call Rachel, but he didn't want to worry her. Not when her Broadway dream might finally come true. He needed Rachel. He needed her presence to make him feel less scared. Of all the weekends she could have gone to New York and he could be left alone with the kids, this had to be it.
Finn carried Jack into the waiting room of the Emergency Room. "Hi, I'm Finn Hudson and this is my son Jack," he said to the receptionist. "He has some odd bruises and we'd like a doctor to look at them. We aren't sure where they came from..."
"We'll sign you guys in. A doctor will be with you shortly," the receptionist said.
Finn carried his son to the waiting area and sat down. "Dad, can I have something from the vending machine?" Jack asked.
"Of course you can," Finn said. "What do you want?"
"Can I have some peanuts?"
"Yeah, just let me get them." Finn went to the vending machine and paid for some peanuts for Jack. As his son at the peanuts, Finn called the other three children to make sure they were okay. This was the first time they'd been home alone.
The kids were okay. A doctor came to the waiting room and let Finn and Jack know he was ready. Finn explained the situation to the doctor as the doctor examined Jack.
"Well, what do you think it is?" Finn finally asked.
"I'm not sure," the doctor said. "I'm going to take a blood sample and a few x-rays and then we'll take it from there. We'll need to run a few tests."
"Okay," Finn said, panicking. He held his son's hand as the x-rays were taken and blood was drawn from Jack's arm. The doctor looked at the x-rays on his computer and turned to face Finn.
"Where's Jack's mother?"
"Oh, she's at an interview out of state."
"Do you know when she'll be back?"
"Well, we should have the test results by then. You should bring her with you when we have the test results ready. We'll schedule a follow up appointment."
"No, here's who I'm referring you to." The doctor handed Finn a card. Finn's heart skipped a beat when he saw the words "pediatric" and "oncologist" next to each other on the card. Oncology was cancer. Could his son have cancer?