I'm a bit sad to finish this story! I really enjoyed writing it! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and I'm glad you guys enjoyed it. I'm still in the process of finishing "We are Young," so be sure to check that out. I'm not sure what my next story will be after "We are Young" but I'll let you know when I finish it. So, enjoy the epilogue (which I love!), review, and put me on author alert! :) Thanks for all the support!
"Are you sure you have everything?" Shelby asked.
"Mom, relax, I know I do," Rachel said, loading her last suitcase into the car. "Besides, you can always send me things if I don't, but what won't I be able to find in New York?"
"Beth and I are going to be coming to visit as often as we can," Shelby said.
"Good, because I will miss you," Rachel sighed. She'd gone to visit her dads' grave yesterday, knowing it would just be too hard to do today. She was really leaving the town she'd grown up in. All her life she'd been picturing New York. It was hard to believe it was really here now.
Rachel closed the trunk as Shelby put Beth in her carseat. Rachel got in the passenger seat and looked out the window. She was going to New York, with her boyfriend and her best friend.
Rachel's phone went off and she looked at it. It was a text from Kurt. "We're setting the apartment up now! Can't wait till you get here!"
Rachel began to feel excited. Finn and Kurt had driven out with their parents to New York yesterday, since Burt needed to be in Washington the next day. Classes at NYADA were starting a week from today, and the classes at SUNY would start in another week.
"That was Kurt," Rachel told her mom. "They're already at the apartment."
"That's good," Shelby said. "That way we won't have as much work to do."
"Knowing Kurt, he'd probably rearrange the whole thing anyway if we got there first," Rachel said. "All the furniture we ordered has been shipped there, so really all we needed to do was organize it and set up our bedrooms."
The drive to New York was about ten hours. Usually Rachel flew there, but they couldn't fit all the luggage on the plane. Shelby had a CD with Broadway music playing as they drove. Rachel just got more excited about all the Broadway shows she'd be going to. She and Kurt had already gotten tickets for one this weekend.
Her schedule for this semester looked simple enough. Since it was her first semester, she was only able to take one musical theatre course (Musical Theatre 101), but was getting her basic requirements out of the way by taking courses in all four core subjects. She had 15 credit hours, which would leave for some free time.
Finally, they arrived at the apartment building in New York. It was a pretty ideal location, close to Times Square, Central Park and Broadway, decent trainrides to NYADA and SUNY, but still had a decent price. Rachel texted Fin as they pulled into the parking garage: "We're here!"
Five minutes later, Finn came running into the parking lot and picked up Rachel, spinning her around. "You're here! Here in New York!"
"I know!" Rachel exclaimed as she kissed Finn. Burt and Carole came down to joing them.
"Need any help with the luggage?" Burt asked.
"Thank you, that would be great," said Shelby.
"Where's Kurt?" Rachel asked.
"Putting his room together," Carole said. "But he's been waiting for you to get here, Rachel."
Burt, Carole, Finn, Shelby and Rachel divied up Rachel's luggage and got on the elevator. Finn, Rachel and Kurt's apartment was Apartment 2534. The entire building had 42 floors. Looking out the window in the hall of their floor, Rachel saw how high up they were. As Rachel wheeled her suitcase, Finn put the bag he was carrying over his shoulder so he could hold Rachel's hand. Finn unlocked the door and led Rachel in. Kurt was setting up the living room and looked up in excitement. "Rachel!"
"Hey Kurt!" Rachel said. She really was here. This was her apartment.
"I'll show you your room!" Finn said. He led Rachel down the hall and into a bedroom. Rachel noticed the walls were painted pink. They began putting together her bed, dresser and desk and hanging up her posters. Rachel smiled as she put framed photos on her desk of her dads. She wished they could be here to see her in New York, but memories were bringing her happiness again. Next to the photo of her and her dads, she put the photo taken of her, Shelby and Beth from graduation. She had one of the entire glee club from Regionals her sophomore year, one of the whole group in New York for Nationals junior year, one of the whole group at the beach senior year, one with Quinn, Santana, Brittany, Mercedes, Tina, Sugar and Kelly at prom, and one of her and Finn with the Nationals trophy. She already missed everyone, but was confident they'd keep in touch.
That night, her family had dinner in Chinatown with Finn and Kurt. Burt and Carole had left for Washington shortly after Shelby, Beth and Rachel had arrived. Shelby and Beth went back to Ohio the next day, and Rachel promised her mom she'd call the next night.
She'd get to see her amazing boyfriend 24 hours a day now. They were in charge of themselves in the best city on Earth. The first morning in New York, Rachel, Finn and Kurt went to breakfast at Tiffany's and for a walk around Times Square and Central Park. That evening, when Kurt was skyping with Blaine, Finn asked Rachel if she wanted to go out for a walk. Since Kurt was skyping with Blaine, Rachel didn't feel bad about leaving him at the apartment alone.
Finn took Rachel out to dinner and for a walk through an old neighborhood. It was a fun night. Finn ended the night by taking Rachel to the top of the Empire State Building as he put his arm around her and they watched fireworks. Rachel snuggled to Finn, already loving living in New York with him so much.
Finn suddenly spoke. "You know, whenever I'm with you everything just feels so... right. It feels like nothing's wrong in my world and I feel safe and secure and happy and loved. I hope I give you that."
Rachel smiled. "I feel the same way with you."
"I want you to wake up every morning for the rest of your life and know how loved you are," Finn said.
Rachel hugged Finn. "I already do feel loved just being in your arms is the best gift of all."
Finn gulped. "Well, Rachel, I need to ask you something. I talked to your mom and she said it's fine."
Rachel had no idea what was going on. "What?"
Finn began pacing. "I can't do this. I'm scared."
Rachel grabbed Finn's arm. "What's wrong?"
Finn sighed. "I was going to ask you something but -"
Rachel was even more confused now. "But what?"
Finn looked down. "I'm scared. Fine say no if you want, but someday -" He got down on one knee. "Rachel Barbra Berry -"
Rachel bit her lip holding back tears. Was this really happening?
Finn reached into pocket and pulled out a small velvet box. He opened the box to reveal a small diamond ring. "Will you marry me?"
Rachel nodded smiling as a bunch of tears fell. "Y-yes YES!"
Finn smiled and slipped the ring on Rachel's finger. Rachel couldn't believe what had just happened. She smiled wide and sniffled, speechless.
"That's why I was stressed, I wanted to propose our first night in New York."
Rachel smiled and looked at the ring on her finger. "My answer will always be yes."
"I love you," Finn said, hugging Rachel. "I hope you like the ring."
"It's beautiful, Finn. But how did you afford it?" Rachel giggled. "Gosh, I love you."
She hugged her fiancee as tight as she could. Tonight was proof that no matter how down and out things were, in the end, they worked out. She was engaged to Finn, she was in her favorite place on Earth with her fiancee and her best friend, she was going to the school of her dreams, she had great friends. Rachel Berry (soon to be Rachel Hudson) was a lucky person.