Hey, sorry it's taken so long to update! I'll hopefully be starting weekly updates for this fic *fingers crossed* so you won't be waiting long again :)
Thank you to Lucy for beta'ing :)
Finn used to complain to Puck that they never got any time off, that the team always seemed to be overwhelmed with cases, meaning they don't have time for anything else in their lives. And that was true – every few days they'd be whisked off somewhere new, with tunnel vision on their case and nothing more. Any home problems were just that; left for home.
But now, he wishes that he could go back to work. The absence of his work is so prominent, that he just doesn't know what to do with himself during his suspension, and it's only been six days.
Each day shouldn't be passing so slowly, so dully, the only thing that he'd looked forward to was the weekend, because that when Annie arrived, and she's the only thing that can cure the monotonous hours that drone on and on.
Still, it's not like she's always there.
And all of his friends are those that he works with, who are all in Illinois on some case right now, where he should be. But no, he had to piss off his boss and screw everything up. Maybe this is a sign that he needs to get some friends outside of the BAU, but then again it could just be another example of how his and Berry's ideas of how things should be done just don't match. Honestly, it's sometimes a wonder how they've even managed a year working together; she can't stand him, and he purposely riles her up, just for the fun of it.
With a sigh, he ends up calling Kurt, his step-brother, in hopes of just doing something.
"Finn?" the clearly flustered voice of Kurt comes, and on the other end there's the distant sound of a baby crying. Kurt mumbles something and then, "this isn't exactly the best time."
Just his luck. "Oh," he frowns.
"It's just she's been crying for two hours straight and I don't know what to do. I've fed her, changed her, even played her Celine Dion's greatest hits, but that only seemed to make it worse. And now I've got the world's biggest headache and she still won't calm down."
"You tried singing to her yourself?" he questions, "I read somewhere that babies like that."
"I know. Blaine and I normally sing together, but with him not being here I haven't wanted to do it by myself. It'll make me miss him too much," he says.
Finn laughs, "then don't get upset when she keeps on crying."
"I'm going to try feeding her again. Hopefully it'll work this time." A sound of gentle clatters follows that, the baby still crying, until suddenly silence appears and he hears Kurt give a relieved sigh. "Thank God. I thought it was going to be a long night." Finn smiles; Kurt and Blaine are completely new to parenting, but you know, they're doing pretty awesome to say that it's their first time. It's like from the minute they saw their baby, they just knew what to do, and they love her unconditionally. "Anyway, what were you calling about?"
Now it's his turn to sigh, "I was just –"
"Bored?" Kurt finished for him. "Blaine said you looked it when he saw you a couple of days ago. Not liking suspension, huh?"
"Kurt, it's practically torture. I just don't like knowing that I could be doing good out there, but instead I'm stuck inside." He groans, the frustration building up just at the thought of it.
"Well, if you're so annoyed about it, why don't you just ask Rachel to end your suspension? Tell her that it won't happen again, basically just grovel."
Finn frowns, "okay I don't know what that means and it sounds totally gross, but this is Rachel Berry, remember? She's stubborn, and there's no way I can just ask her to remove it. She would go all ape shit on me. Do you think I have a death wish?"
"Hmm, sometimes," he replies casually. "But, you know, she might take sympathy on you. Blaine says that she's nice."
He pauses, wondering if it could actually work; Rachel doesn't seem like the type to let things go so easily, but maybe, just maybe she could realize how frustrating this is for him, and want to put him out of his misery. Besides, it's not like he isn't a good team member, one that has come through on many cases, and so she's probably already counting down the hours to his return.
"You know what, Kurt, I may just take your advice."
It's busy, as usual, so it's actually good cover to move himself around the room and get to Berry's office without anyone else seeing him. He's this desperate to get back on the job, and he hopes that it pays off.
The team only arrived back this morning, Finn waiting for a call from Blaine to tell him when they land, so that he could get there just in time.
Slinking around as much as his height will allow, he comes to a problem when he notices that Rachel isn't in her office, instead standing with Blaine and Artie as they talk, obviously disagreeing with whatever Artie is saying judging by the sour expression on her face. Honestly, the only person who she truly gets along with in the group is Blaine, and that's because he is the one who always agrees with her, and never disobeys an order, loyal little Blaine. Hey, but it's not like Blaine is bad; he just wants to do well at work – he's a people pleaser, has been ever since they met (through the not so wonderful circumstances of Finn accidentally walking in on Blaine in the shower – how was he supposed to know that Kurt had invited his date to stay the night.) and despite that the two quickly became friends, especially when things with Kurt and Blaine blossomed into their true love, or whatever it is they call it.
Just as Rachel's about to walk away from the pair, and he's half way through accelerating that way, he's halted by Lopez, holding a hand to his chest. "Well, look what the cat dragged it." She swirls her tongue slowly, "I thought you weren't supposed to come back for another week? You miss us, Hudson?"
"You wish," he retorts with a roll of his eyes, "what do you want, anyway? I thought you were enjoying my suspension enough without having to mock me about it."
"Hmmm, it wouldn't be half as fun if I couldn't see that sad look on your little potato face."
His face scrunches up, "potato face?" Seriously, Santana and her insults just seem to be getting more and more random. Finn just shakes his head.
"Really though," she begins, "what are you doing here? The munchkin is still pretty pissed at you. She's been in a mood all week, so if you're going to try and dazzle her with your Hudson charm then you've got another thing coming."
"We'll just see about that," he announces, now dead set on getting his suspension cut short, using nothing but his powers of persuasion, and Berry won't know what hit her. Now not bothering with staying out of sight from the others, as to not cause a scene, he heads straight over to her, wondering how he's going to pull this off.
She's the last to see him, her head stuck in one of the case files as she reads it closely, all the while Blaine and Artie are staring at him as if he's doing something completely stupid. Maybe he is. But hey, he's desperate, okay?
Finn clears his throat, causing Rachel to snap her attention his way, her eyes widening quickly when she sees him there. But she's the boss and like, she can't freak out in front of everyone, so she hides it. "Agent Hudson," she begins, cautiously, then asks in disbelief, "what are you doing here?" A little annoyance seeps through her voice.
He stands up that little bit straighter, beginning with, "I'd like to ask that my suspension is removed, and that I return to work." Really, the silence that follows isn't at all reassuring, and then Rachel stares at him, mouth agape. All eyes are on them, awaiting her response, and she seems to know it, too.
"Agent Hudson, please go home," she begins.
"No, I'm not moving until you consider my request."
With the deepest frown he's ever seen on her, she takes a deep breath and then repeats, "go home. You still have a week left until you can return, and I won't hesitate to have you kicked out by security." Her face says it all; she's not even going to let him discuss this with her. This totally and royally sucks.
"Agent Berr – "
"This isn't up for discussion," she snaps, "you broke the rules, you deserved that suspension, now go home before I extend it." Her mouth is tight, eyes angry, and he wonders if he's just made it even worse for himself. With a defeated slump of his shoulders, he turns around and makes to leave, ignoring all eyes on him.
So much for his powers of persuasion.
"So what did she say?" Kurt asks, half amused, as he cradles Matilda in his arms. The four month old stares up at him with Blaine's wide, brown eyes, almost as though smiling at her dad. He smiles back, and then turns his attention to Finn again.
From outside, relentless winds batter the window, rain joining them. But Finn just takes another sip of his coffee, wincing a little at the bitter, and shrugs his shoulders ever so gently. "She didn't really say much – she just had that pissed off look that she gets. You know, when her mouth gets all tight and her eyes super hard…" He trails off, imagining said look in an instant, but a soft, almost fond smile grows in place of a frown.
Kurt tilts his head to the side, "that isn't a good thing, Finn."
"Oh, it is," he responds.
Matilda begins squirming in Kurt's lap, and he peers down to her with a loving gaze. "Your Uncle Finn is being silly, isn't he?"
He sets a look to his brother. "Dude, do you not know what I mean? Don't you like, totally love it when Blaine acts all authoritative and stuff?"
With a blush riding across his cheeks, Kurt clears his throat. I err, don't know what you're talking about." He shakes his head, standing up with haste, "anyway, we should get going. I didn't even realize that it'd gone past two. Crap, her sleep is going to be messed up – you know what it's like when you take them out of routine." Finn just nods along dumbly as he rambles on about something he doesn't quite catch. But he does help him get her into the stroller and gather all the bags together. "Come on," Kurt says, "Daddy will be getting back from his night out soon. Let's get back so we can tuck him in bed." And then Kurt's out of the apartment, before he even gets a chance to say much else.
After Kurt leaves, he's left to his own devices. Not a good thing.
But just as he's about to turn the TV on, in hopes of filling the time, there's a knock on the door. Finn perks up, frowning. It can't be Kurt again, because he'd just walk straight in, and anyone else would have to get past the doorman first… He stands, a tight, nervous feeling in his stomach as he nears the door, where more impatient knocks suddenly sound.
As soon as he opens it, he's shocked to see Rachel standing on the other side, her hand suddenly rising to push against his chest, and she moves him forward with surprising strength. Unable to do anything, he walks backwards until she slows, glaring up at him with narrowed eyes.
"Look, if this is about what happened toda –"
"You humiliated me!" she's straight to the point, arms folding across her chest stiffly. Her nostrils flare, pupils tiny, angry dots. Once again, he can't help thinking that being pissed totally works for her, and being the one to rile her up like that is almost fun, like a game, although one day he's sure it'll land him in crap with his boss.
He peers down at her, raising an eyebrow, "I thought that being the boss meant that you could handle whatever problems came your way?"
Rachel gives him a look. "Those problems aren't supposed to evolve from my own team. What were you pulling there today, Hudson? Are you trying to sabotage my job? Can you not handle having a woman in a higher position than you?"
"Whoa," he frowns, "that's totally not it… okay, maybe I find it a little suspicious how you're so young and you're already a SSA, but it's not because you're a chick or anything."
"I'm an SSA because I work incredibly hard and I give nothing but my all when on a job, and unlike some people I know when to listen to my authoritative figures." Shaking her head in frustration, she walks after him as he steps away.
"You're still pissed about that?"
"I'm not taking this lightly, Finn," she begins, her voice more delicate than he's ever heard before, and she'd called him Finn; that doesn't happen often. It's always a detached Agent Hudson, so he's curious as to why the change. "I don't want you to lose your job. I know how important this is to you." For once, he can't disagree with her – for as long as he can remember being the good guy has always been his dream, helping other people, and the chance to do that, with the added thrill of the action ultimately drove him into the FBI. But that'd taken years of work, years of dedication, and a few sacrifices that he's not proud of, one being his failed marriage.
He looks to Rachel, and he tries not to be bitter as he considers how easy it must have been for her to join. Of course, she's good at her job, but she's always had the right people around her as she's grown up; her Father works for the FBI, too, and surely that's another reason why she became SSA so easily.
Finn sighs, "look babe, I'm not sorry for acting so rash, but I won't do it again, okay?"
Jaw set, she asks, "will you stop with the pet names? I'm your superior, you know."
"Like I could forget," he drawls, "you take every opportunity to remind me, such as this suspension." He sighs out in frustration, still adamant as ever that it was uncalled for. Okay, his actions weren't the best, but to suspend him for two weeks? It's a little much, considering that he's one of the best agents they've got.
Rachel narrows her eyes, "you should be lucky that I don't extend it considering your little stunt today. That was not professional at all, and if you wanted to talk to me about it I have an office, you know, or better still, a phone number."
He smirks, "you want me to call you?"
"Not like that." She says bluntly, "I'm just saying that you could have handled the situation more delicately, rather than making a scene." The expression she's giving him is one of exasperation, the same one that she normally wears when talking to him, for some reason he just pushes all of her wrong buttons, and the two often butt heads.
But for once, he's agreeing with her. "Okay, I'll admit it, I shouldn't have done that, but then again I wouldn't have been compelled to if I hadn't had a mind-numbing week away from the job. Do you know how hard it is doing nothing all day?" Finn groans, hoping that his frustration transcends and she takes pity on him.
Looking to her, he finds no pity on her face, instead it's stoic and stubborn. "It's your own fault, Agent Hudson." Oh great, now they're back to agent Hudson. "And I hope that this serves as an incentive to change your attitude, because I will not hesitate to do it again if needs be, or worse, fire you."
That hits him hard, his face falling quickly. Rachel notices, sympathy slipping into her own expression, and she does something that kind of shocks the hell out him. Reaching forward, she wraps her soft fingers around his arm, the simple touch causing him to freeze, unable to do anything than stare into her suddenly doe like eyes. "You're good," she says, "you know that, and I know that, so don't waste that by letting your attitude get in the way." Then she does something that really shocks him; she smiles, a warm and comforting smile, meant for none but him, and he smiles back, he can't help it.
Just as he's about to say something, her cell erupts with noise, and she snatches her hand away from him to retrieve it. "Excuse me," she tells him, taking a few steps back so she can take the call. While she's distracted, he gets himself a beer from the refrigerator, gently sipping at it as Rachel just seems to talk and talk.
Then, he feels a small tug on his pants, eyes following the movement to find Annie by his side, tear tracks on her cheeks. His worried dad mode is turned on immediately, leaning down so that their heights match, with a look of concern on his face. "Hey, what's wrong? Why the tears?"
She rubs at her eyes, sleepily, and then wraps her arms around his neck, squishing her face against his chest. "I had a bad dream," she mumbles, making a small whimper as she curls herself further into him.
"Shh," he gently soothes her, running a hand up and down her back. In one swift movement, he has her held in his arms, "it was only a dream. I'm here now."
"Daddy," Annie whispers, tightening her grip. This isn't uncommon with the girl, and he's used to being woken up at the early hours in the morning by his shaken daughter. But by now he's an expert on calming her down, gently swinging her body back and forth, while humming in her ear. Her body relaxes, muscles becoming less tense, and he smiles, running a hand through her soft, brown curls.
With more hushes and patience, he feels her head dropping as he lulls her back to sleep. Finn smiles down at his daughter; before she'd been born he hadn't known that you could love another human being as much as he does her. He just wishes that he could be there for her more; at the moment the arrangement is that she's with her Mom the majority of time, and with him when he doesn't have any cases. The problem with that is that he's usually always got a case, taking him away for days at a time. And he misses all the important parts of her life, of watching her grow up – he kind of gets angry at himself for that.
Right now he hugs her close to his body, cherishing the time spent with her, even if she's asleep, and he's so focused on that that he doesn't realize Rachel's finished her call, and is now making her way over to him.
She slows, however, when she notices the girl in his arms, her brows swooping down in confusion. He gestures for her to give him a moment, making sure Annie is secure in his arms before he takes her to her own room, arranging her neatly on the bed. With a loving smile, he leans forward and presses a kiss to her hairline, whispering, "I love you angel." Then he gets the soft, pink comforter tucked over her, hoping that her dreams are much nicer this time around.
When he turns, Rachel is stood in the doorway, watching him with a look of curiosity; he has a feeling he knows what's about to come.
Finn is proved correct the moment he has the door closed. "You have a daughter?"
"Yes," he responds simply, picking up his beer again, "is that a problem?"
"I just… I would have thought that you'd tell people something like that," she says.
"There are just some things about our personal lives that we don't need to share with everyone," Finn claims, "we all have them. Lopez, Puck, even you. It's no big deal." Her face saddens, only for a moment, yet Finn can tell that his predictions are true, even Rachel Berry has her own secrets. He then adds, "but yes, Annie is my daughter."
"Annie," Rachel suddenly smiles, "like the musical." She then gives a nod, "it's pretty. Did you come up with it?"
And this is totally not the normal type of conversation that occurs between the two of them. She's his boss, and so they've only ever talked at work, about work. Rachel is probably the team member that he knows the least about, too, and he never realized that he wanted to learn more until now. Seeing her, outside of her professional side, is almost alien to him, as though there are two Rachel Berry's. "Yeah," he breathes, nervously tapping at his beer can, "my brother Kurt used to make me watch it as a kid and I dunno, the kid was pretty cool. When she was born, I just… it felt right to call her that." He then grins, "she's a Hudson, so she's gonna be cool."
Rachel laughs, shaking her head gently. "Sure." Her gaze then lowers, catching sight of her cell, and she immediately shifts back into work Rachel Berry, all business and no nonsense. "I should go. We've got to fly out to Ohio for a case tomorrow."
His ears perk up, and surely his eyes turn into two big pleading balls.
She quickly realizes what he wants. "Oh no, you're still suspended, for another week. The team will function just fine without you."
"Look, I know what I did as reckless, alright? But don't you think me having to spend a few days on the case with you reminding me of that is a better punishment than being stuck here all day doing nothing?" Rachel's eyes narrow at him, a scoff leaving her lips, but he knows that what he's said has swayed her, even if it's the most miniscule amount – it's something.
"What about Annie?" she poses the question.
"She goes back to her Mom tomorrow."
He's met with her thoughtful expression, hopefully watching as she internally debates. Only, he feels she needs a little push in the right direction, "I'll do everything you say, follow it to the letter. You won't have one problem out of me." Rachel doesn't seem to agree, raising an eyebrow. He rolls his eyes; contrary to popular belief, he has the ability to listen to orders, he just chooses not to most of the time.
"Rachel," he starts, "You said it yourself, I'm a valuable member of the team."
"I didn't say those exact words," she bites back.
Finn continues, "but still, the notion remains the same, and I can help. Please, just let me do what I joined the FBI to do."
He watches as she finally cracks. "You promise that you'll listen to every word that I say?"
"And not to make any rash decisions."
"Not one," he says.
Rachel looks conflicted, but eventually groans, "fine, I'll cut the suspension early, but if you cause one ounce of trouble, I will not hesitate to send to back here immediately, are we understood agent Hudson?"
Relief washes over him, a large, genuine smile gracing his lips. "Yes, yes, thank you Ra – err, ma'am." (It's still weird for him to call someone who is two years younger ma'am.) She nods, standing up straight.
"The plane leaves at eight, be there. I'll have your gun and badge, and then we can start the briefing."
"What is the case?" he quickly asks, "I mean, the basics, just out of curiosity."
Her face becomes more saddened, gaze moving down to her hands. "Three girls have been found dead in Lima, Ohio, between the ages of thirty one and thirty two."
"How did they die?"
"Marley didn't say yet, we'll find out in the morning when we get the case file." She looks to him, gravely, "Try to get a couple hours sleep Finn, you'll need it." She bows her head, "goodnight. I'll – I'll let myself out."
Finn watches as she goes, a mixed feeling settling in his stomach. That's how it always is before a case; there's the lingering worry that what you find will be the worst yet, but at the same time the thrill of it all is what he wants, why he joined this team, and the satisfaction of taking down criminals being another.
The real action will start in the next chapter with the case; this was still more build up.
Please review! :)