So - here it is, the last chapter. Sorry it took longer than usual to post. The Finchel cliffhanger in the last episode had me pretty distressed, and it was hard for me to write. I really enjoyed this story, and am still holding on to hope that Finchel will be married.
As for my next story - I was thinking I'd do Finchel in college, after Episode 3x22. Kind of like my own version of S4. I know other people have done that, too, but I just like the idea. It would begin with Rachel in New York and Finn in Lima, but end with them TOGETHER!
Please enjoy this chapter, and leave a review! :)
Chapter 22: Full Circle
Rachel looked out into the audience. This was it, her final show on Broadway. Her final bow. An MC acknowledged that, and she felt tears in her eyes. This had been an amazing experience. It wasn't perfect, but she'd loved it nonetheless. In a few days, she'd be returning to her quiet life in Ohio. She missed Ohio and had even cried a few times about being away. Now she was crying about leaving New York. Maybe she just didn't like to see things end.
Her whole family was up in the stands: Finn, Ryan, Emma, Sarah, Grant, Zoe, her dads, Shelby, Beth, Burt, Carole, Ally, Kurt, Blaine, Michael and Brendan. She hadn't expected her parents and sister to come to New York for her last show. Burt, Carole and Ally were there anyway, for Ally's college orientation. Most of her friends from Glee had come to see her in both the shows. She secretly hoped she'd also get nominated for a Tony in West Side Story, but for now she was just happy with her Wicked one.
The curtains closed, and Rachel ran off the stage toward the front row where her family was, into Finn's awaiting arms. Finn hugged Rachel tight and kissed the top of her head. "I'm so proud of you."
"I love you so much," Rachel whispered.
"Mom, you need to see tonight's program!" Sarah said, handing the program to Rachel. Rachel smiled as she opened it, seeing a full page ad.
To our shining star, Rachel,
We are so proud of the actress our little girl has become. We are blessed to be your parents and are pleased with all you have accomplished. We love you.
Mom, Dad, Daddy and Beth
The day you joined our family was one of the best of our lives. You bring so much joy into our family, and we love seeing you perform.
Burt, Carole, Kurt and Ally
We loved seeing you perform on Broadway this year. We admire you so much and are so glad you're our mom. You say we're your greatest joy, but we'd be nothing without you.
Ryan, Emma, Sarah, Grant, Zoe, and watching from above, Jack
I am so proud of my Tony award winning wife. You make me smile, you open your heart to me, and you won't go breaking my heart. I'm forever yours, faithfully, and I know I'll never have to start pretending. Days without you feel like days with no air. I just can't stop loving you.
As Rachel finished reading the ad, she felt tears coming back. She then told herself she cried too much and looked up at Finn. "You organized this, didn't you?"
Finn smiled and shook his head. "I wish it had been my idea, but it was Kurt's."
Rachel smiled at her best friend, who she was so happy to have for her brother in law. "We love you, Rachel."
"I love all of you, too," Rachel said.
"Don't worry Mom, in a few years, we'll all be back to see me on Broadway," Sarah said.
"That's right," Rachel said, hugging her daughter.
"And this wouldn't be complete without some Glee people!" a voice said. Rachel turned to see Sam and Mercedes walking toward her.
"I didn't know you two were in New York!" Kurt exclaimed.
"We both had conferences here this week," Sam explained. "You were really good, Rachel."
"Thank you," Rachel said. "It means a lot to me that you two are here."
"Where are the kids?" Blaine asked.
"Mine are home with their dad," Mercedes said.
"Yeah, mine are with their mom," Sam added. "We just found out we'd both be here."
"Well, it's really great to see you both," Finn said.
"You deserved all those solos in Glee club," Mercedes told Rachel.
Rachel laughed. "I'm sorry I was such a spotlight hog."
"You were our star," Finn said, wrapping his arms around Rachel.
"You're the proud husband, aren't you?" Sam asked.
Finn kissed Rachel. "Yes I am!"
"You guys are heading back to Ohio soon, aren't you?" Mercedes asked.
"They leave in a few days," Blaine said. "We're going to miss them."
"How do you guys feel?" Sam said, turning to the kids.
"I liked New York, but I do miss my boyfriend and my friends," Emma said.
"Yeah, I really miss my girlfriend," Ryan added.
"Once we get home, you'll be seeing them all the time," Rachel told her kids. She honestly didn't know how they'd done it. Being at college away from Finn for a month before she went home, then transferred to OSU, had been torture.
The apartment had been packed up, and the luggage had been loaded into the moving truck. Emma looked around the barren apartment. This had been home for a year, and it was weird to be leaving. She had missed living in Ohio a lot this year, but there were lots of things she'd miss about New York.
Earlier that week, she'd gone to lunch in Central Park with Lula, Michaela and Callie. The three of them had been best friends since they were little, and they'd been nice enough this year to let her into their group. She promised them that she'd hang out with them when she came to New York for Thanksgiving, and reminded them that there was always the option of visiting in Ohio.
The Hudsons had gotten together for dinner with the Hummel-Andersons the night before. Kurt and Rachel had both been crying, but families could withstand any distance and they knew that. She hoped that if she and Nick ended up getting married and Ryan and Ava also did, they wouldn't live so far apart.
Rachel had invited Emma and Sarah to come along for lunch with Harmony. Emma thought Harmony was a nice person, even though she'd hated Jesse when she'd met him in the past. Her mom did deserve a close friend on the Broadway circuit, and Rachel promised Harmony that once she was done with maternity leave, they'd come to see some of her shows.
The Hudson family got on the elevator, turned in their keys and caught a taxi to the airport. The plane was smaller than most, which was an annoyance. Emma and Sarah's seats were practically squished together, as were Ryan and Grant's and Finn and Rachel's (with Zoe alternating between their laps). The ride was a bit bumpy, and they sat quietly. Sarah turned to Emma and whispered, "It feels a little odd to be going home, doesn't it?"
"Yes!" Emma said. "I just hope everyone back home will still like us..." She'd finally said it. Even though she'd seen many of her friends, she still had a fear that Nick would have gotten used to not having her around, that Ava, Lizzie, Lexie, Laura, Izzy and Meg would decide there wasn't enough room for her in their group anymore.
After the plane landed in Ohio, it was nice to drive around the Cleveland area and see everything again. Downtown Cleveland, though not as big or exciting as downtown New York, looked more appealing than it had when they lived there regularly. The family had always secretly rooted for the Browns, Cavaliers and Indians instead of the Giants, Jets, Knicks, Nets, Yankees and Mets. Traffic also wasn't as bad as traffic in New York.
It was a nice relief to see their house when they pulled up to the driveway. The family that was renting their house had left a few days ago, so it was totally empty. It was weird for her to see the house so empty, but she went up into her room, it was as if she'd never left.
"Are you glad to be home?" Emma looked up to see Rachel standing in the door.
"I am," Emma said. "I love New York, but Ohio is home."
"I feel the same way," Rachel said. "And you still have most of the summer to spend with Nick and your friends."
Emma heard her phone vibrate and looked at it. It was Nick. "Has your plane landed yet?"
Emma texted back. "Yeah, I'm home."
Nick texted Emma. "Can I come over?"
Emma went downstairs, where Finn and Rachel were unloading some furniture. "Do you want to invite Nick over for dinner? Mom and Dad said I could invite Ava."
"I can?" Emma asked her parents.
"Of course you can," Finn said. "You two survived something your mom and I had such a hard time with for a month."
"Thank you!" Emma said. She texted Nick before returning to help with the unloading. About an hour later, she heard the doorbell ring and saw her boyfriend and her best friend.
"Hey!" Emma said, hugging Ava and then making out with Nick.
"You're really here," Nick said.
"I'm really here," Emma said. "And I'm not leaving again."
"We missed you both so much," Ava said, hugging Ryan.
"Don't worry," Ryan said, kissing Ava. "We're here to stay now."
And Emma knew she was now home, where she belonged. She was still loved, and no amount of miles could have changed that.