Well, here it is, the last chapter. :( I'm really happy with how this story turned out and how my fanfic career is going. I definitely want to write another fanfic, if I should, let me know. I hope you enjoyed this story - and this chapter has the happy ending I promised.
Chapter 12: Healing
"Congratulations to Cambridge Elementary School's Class of 2025!"
Finn smiled with pride as he looked at the stage where his two oldest children, with the rest of the fifth graders at Cambridge, stood, being promoted to middle school. Ryan was in khaki dress pants, a light blue collared long sleeved shirt and a blue and yellow striped tie, while Emma was in a red sundress with white polka dots, wearing a navy blazer. They both looked very happy, probably the happiest they'd looked since their brother's death.
Finn felt a nudge and looked into Rachel's smiling face. "Our little boy and our little girl are growing up."
Finn kissed Rachel on the cheek. "We are not old enough for our babies to be in middle school!"
"Well, they're in middle school, as of today," Sarah whispered to her parents.
"You'll be the only Hudson kid at Cambridge in the fall, Sarah," Finn whispered. He felt a quick stinge of guilt. Had Jack not died, Sarah wouldn't be the only Hudson kid at Cambridge in the past six months had been difficult. Finn and Rachel both knew they wouldn't have been able to handle it without each other or their other kids. All three of the other kids had struggled greatly during the first few weeks following Jack's death. They were doing better now, but something was still missing. Nothing would ever be the same for Finn, Rachel, Ryan, Emma and Sarah, but things were getting better every day.
As the newly minted adolescents processed off the stage, Finn felt Rachel's hand squeezing his tightly. He snapped pictures of Ryan and Emma, then handed Sarah the camera and turned to Rachel.
"Finn, I think it's happening," Rachel whimpered.
"Oh my God!" Finn gasped. "Should I call an ambulance?"
"Don't be silly, Finn, it can wait until after the reception!" Rachel hissed.
Finn rolled his eyes. "Okay, but let me help walk you to to the reception hall. Sarah, could you take one of your mom's arms?"
"Is it time?" Sarah asked, her eyes wide.
"It won't be long," Finn said.
When Finn heard Rachel's scream from Kurt and Blaine's bathroom, he got really worried. Something couldn't be happening again. Especially not on Christmas. This was the first time he'd seen Ryan, Emma and Sarah smile since Jack died.
"What is it, Rach?" Finn called, running to the bathroom.
"Just come in," Rachel said.
Finn opened the door and ran in. "Are you okay, Rach?"
Rachel handed Finn a strip. "I'm pregnant."
"What?" Finn gasped.
"I'm pregnant," Rachel said, handing Finn the strip.
"When? How?" Finn asked. "We haven't even - not since Jack got sick."
"I thought it was stress but I haven't had a period since Jack got sick and I've gained weight."
"It all adds up," Finn said, feeling an intense mixture of feelings. This new life growing inside Rachel would never know Jack, but he or she would give their lives a new meaning, a purpose, something to be happy about. The baby would help Finn and Rachel heal and would be good for the other kids too.
"Let's go tell the other kids the news," Finn said as he rubbed Rachel's stomach.
Soon enough, that baby would be making his or her appearance. This time around Finn and Rachel had chosen not to find out the gender, but soon they'd know. Finn could tell by the way Rachel was holding on to him.
Ryan and Emma came up to their parents and sister in the reception hall. "No more elementary school!" Ryan declared.
"My oldest kids, in middle school," Finn said.
"I am so proud of both of you," Rachel said weakly.
Finn turned to Rachel. "Are you sure you're okay?" he whispered.
"My water just broke," Rachel said.
"Oh my God!" Finn gasped, feeling daunted of having to do this all on the spot. "Okay... Ryan, call an ambulance. Emma, go to the car and get your mom's hospital bag. Rach, just sit down until the ambulance gets here."
"Of all times to have a baby, you chose my graduation?" Emma pouted.
"I'm sorry," Rachel said. "Today's supposed to be about you and your brother."
"It's okay," Emma said.
Within five minutes, the ambulance arrived. As the Hudson family boarded the ambulance, Finn whispered, "Hey Jack, watch over your mom and the baby today."
Finn sat next to Rachel on the stretcher on the ambulance while Ryan, Emma and Sarah sat on the floor. Finn called some friends and asked them to meet the kids in the waiting room and sit with them, then called his parents and Rachel's to tell them to come into Cleveland because soon they'd have another grandchild.
When they arrived at the hospital, Finn wheeled Rachel into the maternity ward and the kids went to the waiting room. The wait for the pushing to begin was long. During that wait Finn received texts from his parents and Rachel's saying they'd arrived at the hospital and were with the three older kids. After about three hours, the doctor told Rachel it was time to push. Finn had always been in awe by how calm Rachel was while giving birth. Sam, Puck, Mike, Artie and Matt had told him all about how Quinn, Ashley, Tina, Brittany and Mercedes had screamed and used profanity while giving birth. Rachel said it was nothing after being attacked in college - and now, after what Jack had gone through. Finally, the baby was out and the doctor handed it to Rachel. "Finn, Rachel, congratulations. Another boy."
Finn smiled and looked at the baby in Rachel's arms. He had Rachel's eyes and face shape and Finn's nose and mouth, just as Jack had. Rachel smiled at Finn. "He looks like you. He looks like his brothers and sisters, too."
Rachel smiled at Finn. "Would you like to hold him?"
Finn nodded. Rachel handed him the baby.
"He needs a name," Finn said, cradling his newborn son.
"Should we name him in honor of his brother?" Rachel asked.
Finn shook his head. "We need to let him be his own person, not a replacement for Jack."
Rachel nodded. "I guess you're right. Can we please name him Finn?"
Finn shook his head and laughed. "Like I said, he should have his own name."
Rachel sighed. "We probably should have found out the gender in advance so we could have done this ahead of time."
Finn and Rachel sat quietly for a few minutes before Finn spoke. "How about Grant?"
Rachel smiled. "I like that name. Do you have a middle name in mind?"
"I picked his first name. You pick his middle name," Finn said.
"Well, I like the name Cory and I think it sounds good with Grant."
"Grant Cory Hudson. I like it." Finn smiled at his wife, then at his newborn son.
"Maybe little Grant should meet his brother and sisters now," the doctor said.
"I'll go get them. You wait here," Finn told Rachel. He went into the waiting room, where Ryan, Emma and Sarah, still dressed in their good clothes from the Cambridge promotion, were waiting with their grandparents.
"Come with me," Finn said to his children. "There's someone you guys need to meet."
"The baby was born?" Emma asked excitedly.
Finn smiled. "Yup."
Finn led his three oldest kids into Rachel's hospital room, where Rachel was holding Grant. "Kids, this is Grant, your little brother," she told the kids, smiling.
"Can I hold him?" Ryan asked.
"Of course you can," Rachel said, handing Grant to Ryan. Finn put his arm around Rachel and smiled at the sight of his oldest son holding his youngest son.
"Hey Grant," Ryan said. "I'm your big brother Ryan. You're going to sleep in the room next to mine at home. It's been empty there, but not anymore. When you're old enough, I'm going to teach you how to play sports. Whatever you play though you'll be number 5, just like Dad and me."
Sarah tickled Grant's toes. "I'm your sister Sarah, Grant. I'm going to teach you how to play tricks on our big brother and sister. Of course you're going to be in Glee one day. Just like the rest of us."
Emma went and took Grant. "And I'm Emma, your other sister. You have another brother too. His name is Jack. He's in Heaven, so you won't get to meet him, but you'll hear all about him from us. I think you're a gift from him. He's letting us know that it's okay to be happy."
Finn smiled at Rachel. Emma always had been mature and insightful for her age. Finn also felt like Grant was a gift from God. He wasn't a replacement for Jack, but rather a new beginning. He gave the family the strength to smile again, the strength to be happy. Today, Finn believed in miracles.
Finn and Rachel watched as Ryan, Emma and Sarah spent the afternoon playing with Grant and talking to their new little brother. When the grandparents met their new grandson, they agreed that he was a gift from God. The older siblings had to be torn away from Grant when their parents decided they needed to go home for the night. The grandparents took them home, leaving Finn, Rachel and Grant at the hospital.
Grant fell asleep in Rachel's arms after a few minutes. On their first opportunity, Finn and Rachel sang to him before he fell asleep.
Rachel put Grant in his crib, then gave Finn a kiss. "Miracles do happen."
Finn kissed Rachel back. "Definitely."
Rachel gave Finn a big hug. "I just feel like there was a period where I wondered if I was wrong to think things would get better, then today, when Grant was born and I saw Ryan, Emma and Sarah so happy, I realized I was right to believe that things would get better. Eventually, life is beautiful again. I could feel Jack with us today."
Finn took Rachel's hand and held it, amazed that she still always knew exactly what he was thinking. "He was with us today, Rach. I remember shortly after Jack died, Mr. Schue told me he hoped one day, we would feel pure joy again rather than joy overshadowing sadness. Well, that happened for me today. What about you? Did that happen for you?"
Rachel looked up at Finn and smiled. "Yes. I know in my heart that Jack wants us to be happy and to give Ryan, Emma, Sarah and Grant the best childhood we can. One day I believe that you, I and all five of our children will be together."
"I love you," Finn said.
"I love you too," Rachel said.
Finn looked at his watch, realizing it was getting late. "I don't want to leave you and Grant, but we do have three kids at home, so I should probably head back."
Rachel nodded. "Give them each a kiss for me. I'll see all of you in the morning."
Finn gave Rachel a kiss. "Good night Rach." He leaned in to kiss his newborn son. "Good night Grant." He took one last look at Rachel and Grant before getting in the car and heading home. As he began driving up the hill, he noticed how brightly colored and beautiful the sky was, as if it was Jack sending them a message. Finn looked up at the sky and smiled. "Thanks Jack. And thanks for a good delivery of Grant. We love him."
"This is New York, Grant," Emma said, wheeling her little brother's stroller around Times Square. It was already the last weekend of summer and the Hudsons were in New York to visit the Hummel-Andersons before the kids started. Grant was twelve weeks old now and was already being taken to New York. On Monday Ryan and Emma would begin sixth grade at Miramar Middle School, while Sarah would begin second grade at Cambridge.
"Can you say New York, Grant?" Ryan asked.
Grant made gurgling noise.
"Close enough," Ryan said. "Anyway, I got good Times Square hot dogs. Want one?"
"No, Ryan," Rachel said. "You're not feeding Grant hot dogs yet. He'll have plenty of opportunities for Times Square hot dogs."
"So true," Emma said.
"Look over there, balloons!" Sarah pointed at a vendor with balloons. "Let's go get Grant his first balloon from New York."
Finn reached into his wallet and handed Sarah a ten dollar bill. "You each go get a balloon."
Finn put his arm around Rachel and watched as Emma pushed Grant's stroller toward the balloon stand, with Ryan and Sarah walking with them. Ryan, Emma and Sarah were talking and laughing. "Look how happy they are," Finn said to Rachel. "I'm so glad to see them smiling again."
Rachel smiled at Finn. "Another baby may not have been exactly what we were ready for, but Grant was a godsend. He's brought you and me and Ryan and Emma and Sarah back to life."
Finn gave Rachel a hug. "We'll always be a family. We have five kids. Only four of them live with us, but we're still a family."
Rachel looked up at Finn. "During the first few days after Jack's death, life had lost its meaning. Now I realize he's always with us. He's here with us today, smiling at his brothers and sisters."
Finn gave Rachel a kiss. "Rach, you and the kids make my life worth living. Life gets difficult and we've been put to the ultimate test. You, Ryan, Emma, Sarah and Grant have helped me heal."
"We got balloons." Finn and Rachel turned to see their kids standing there, Sarah holding one, Ryan holding one, Emma holding one and two tied to the handlebars of Grant's stroller.
"We got five," Ryan said. "Because there's still five of us."
Finn felt a tear coming. "You guys are the best."
A group of high school kids began performing a song nearby. "Let's take Grant to hear it," Ryan said. "We know he'll be in Glee. It's part of being a Hudson."
Ryan began pushing Grant's stroller towards the high school kids. Sarah linked her arm in her brothers. Emma stood there smiling at Finn and Rachel.
"What is it?" Rachel asked.
"I just love you both, a lot," Emma said.
Finn smiled. "I love you, too. And I love your brothers and your sister."
"Life gets better, remember that, sweetie," Rachel said.
"I think it's already better," Emma said. "Let's go join Ryan, Sarah and Grant." She grabbed Finn's hand with one hand and Rachel's with the other, leading her parents toward her siblings. Finn and Rachel smiled at each other over their daughter. The void in their lives would never go away, but Jack would always be with them, and with the four children they had with them, they could continue to be happy.