So this is it. The end to another story. Thank you to everyone for following me through this, and I know I'm awful at updating (awful is an understatement there) but thanks for sticking with me, as always :)
Thank you to Lucy for beta'ing!
The atmosphere back at the bureau is somewhat solemn, and she can feel all eyes on her as she steps out of Will's office. She tries to ignore it, though that doesn't mean it's exactly easy. A hand falls on her shoulder, "are you sure this is what you want, Rachel?" Tilting her head upwards and brushing some stray hair behind her ear, she nods. Will gives her a sympathetic smile, "I understand that you've been through a lot, but you love this job."
"I know," she agrees, "but I just think it's time."
She doesn't tell him the exact truth, but she doesn't want to say it aloud, especially to Will. He'll be even more worried for her than he is. As her surrogate father for the past twenty five years, he's always been over caring, not that she minds, but right now all she wants is to be left alone to mull over her thoughts and feelings. "Okay," he says gently, nodding in understanding. "I'll call you when I get home from work."
Rachel nods, "alright." Her voice is quieter than usual, and once again worry sweeps over him, but he knows that she'll get better with time. With one last hug goodbye, she slowly makes her way over to her own office, where she begins to collect the few personal things she has. There's a picture of her cat, a few notebooks that she uses, and a picture of her and Will together when she was younger. Other than that, it's a standard, professional office.
To her box, she adds some of her textbooks, then stationery too. And the office becomes barer and barer with each thing she removes. She feels a sudden sadness wash over her – for years this has been the place that she's come to in order to escape her troubles and now she's leaving. It's her own choice, but that doesn't mean that she isn't going to miss her job. Her eyes drift through the window that peers out onto the other team members, who're gathered around Blaine as they talk and laugh. A sad smile graces her lips. She's going to miss them, too.
With a sigh, she takes her box of things, and as she's turning around she suddenly finds a looming figure at her office door. "Finn," she says in surprise, and then adds, "come in."
He looks hesitant, but listens to her. Stepping further into the room, he slowly eyes the box and then her, but she gets her question in first. "How are you? And Annie?" Her voice sounds more worried than she would've liked.
"She's getting better – she's having a little trouble sleeping though," he admits. Rachel nods – she knows that feeling. "And I'm kind of...confused. What's the box for? Are you getting a bigger office or something?"
Rachel frowns, and then leans against the desk as she looks up at Finn. "No, I'm not getting a different office. I'm actually..." She sighs, "I quit."
A mix of shock and dismay floods into his expression. "What?" His forehead creases together. "You quit?"
"Yes," she says quietly, suddenly finding her desk very interesting.
"Rach, you can't quit," he starts, "you're one of the best agents in the BAU. You -"
"I can't do this anymore Finn." She drags in a shaky breath, suddenly drowned in a panicky feeling. "I just can't."
He swoops closer to her, hand finding its way onto her arm, "what's wrong?" She sighs; though she knows that it's only because he cares, Finn has been a little overbearing the past few days. She shakes her head, to which he gently says, "Rachel."
His voice manages to soothe her, and she dares a glance his way. "It's just all too much for me. I need a break from this before I -" She cuts herself short, arms sweeping around her own body in a hug.
Finn seems to realize that the job has just become overwhelming for her, and it's time that she said her goodbyes to it. "Well, what are you going to do?"
"I'll be teaching profiling at this University in New York a few days a week, but other than that I'm just going to have some me time. I mean, this job has been my life 24/7 for years... I think I deserve a little me time."
"Yeah, you do," he replies gently. Then, she spies the sadness to his expression, "but Rach, I don't want you to go. We only ever see each other at work... I..."
The same sad feeling spreads to Rachel. Ever since she admitted that she has feelings for him, their relationship has been rather... cautious. Obviously with her recent trauma, Finn doesn't really want to impose, and he knows that she needs time, but if she's not at work, when is he going to be able to talk to her? She takes one of her pens from the box, tearing out some paper from her notebook to write on.
"This is my address," she tells him as she hands over the small slip. "For if you ever want to come over. But, um, I'd like it if you did."
Finn smiles down at the paper, then nods. "I will." But then he's frowning again, "wait, if you're going, then who's going to lead the team? Are they bringing someone new in?"
She shakes her head, "no, of course not." Her hands somehow find his, holding onto them tightly as she shares the news. "You're gonna lead the team."
"I spoke the Agent Schuester this morning, and when I'm gone, this will be your team."
"Rachel, are you serious?" he breathes.
For the first time in days, a real smile lights up her face as she nods. "Of course I am. Why would I lie to you about that?" Finn surprises her by pulling her in for a hug, hands holding the small of her back. She relishes in the feel of it, resting her chin comfortably against his shoulder. "And besides," she adds as they slowly slip apart, "you're one of the best agents, too – I couldn't think of anyone better to be my successor."
"Thank you," he says to her, "I'll make you proud, Rachel."
"I don't doubt that." Hands still joined, she adds, "and I, er – I never thanked you, for saving me from... well, you know what from."
"I'd do it again," he quickly, "I'd do anything to make sure that you were safe."
She smiles again, hands squeezing his before they drop apart. "Well, I've got things to do, people to talk to." Rachel reaches for her box of things, "and I need to tell the rest of the team that this is my last day, though I guess some of them will probably be glad. Santana especially."
"Rach, they'll miss you. We all will."
Shaking her head, she sadly admits, "thanks, but I don't think that's true. And it's fine, really..." Rachel peers down at her things, then back to Finn. "Well, I guess this is goodbye."
"More like a see you later," he corrects with a small, hopeful nod. She manages a tiny smile in return.
Rachel tiredly makes her way up the path to her house, eyes peering up at the darkening sky, while Blaine walks beside her. She'd tried to leave work over an hour ago, just wanting to go home and relax, but he'd insisted upon taking her out for a coffee to end her last day. Yet the whole time he'd been on his phone and unusually nervous. She's never seen him so nervous before. And she was even more surprised when he invited himself back with her, too.
"Don't you have a husband and daughter to go home to?" she gives him a pointed look, still trying to figure out what he's hiding.
"Kurt can manage a couple of hours," he says, "and a bit of company isn't going to harm you."
With another curious look sent his way, she quickly unlocks the door and steps into the dark entrance hall. Before she even has a moment to respond the room bursts with light and a loud, "surprise!" Rachel blinks a couple of times, seeing all of her team in her living room, as well as some of the other agents that she's worked with.
A smile grows on her face as Blaine pulls her into a tight hug, whispering, "you didn't think we'd let you go without a real goodbye, did you?" She doesn't mention that's exactly what she thought, and instead returns his embrace.
Peering over his shoulder, her eyes meet with Finn's across the room, silently thanking him for the party that she knew was all his idea. He smiles her way.
It's the first party she's been to in years, and she's almost forgotten how nice it is to be surrounded by all the people that she cares about. And who apparently reciprocate those feelings. She'd been completely shocked when Santana of all people hugged her, admitting that she'd be missed. Puck had even joined in, though he'd then made a joke about missing her ass the most, to which she'd only glared toward the man.
By the time it's ended, she's left with a messy house, an exhausted body, and a slightly tipsy Finn. He helps her put away the glasses in the dishwasher, while cleaning up the leftovers of the take-away they'd ordered, seeing as she didn't exactly have that much party food in the house she hardly spends any time at.
"Thank you," she quietly says, leaning against the hard counter, "you really didn't have to do this." A thought then occurs to her, "although you abused your position as a federal agent to effectively break into my house, it was a sweet gesture."
He shrugs, "Hey, if I would've asked for the key, you'd know what we were up to. And, ah, I couldn't let you leave thinking that nobody cared about you. We may have complained about you, but that's just because you were so good you made us all look bad." A wry smile grows on his lips.
She shakes her head, eyes shining. "That's not true. Not at all."
"It kind of is," he laughs, jumping a little when a yowl sounds from the back door. Rachel slowly opens it, a cat slowly sauntering in and rubbing its white head against her legs. "So this is your cat then," he chuckles.
Lifting the animal into her arms, she strokes his forehead, smiling when he purrs in response. "Yup. This is Vince." The cat flinches away as Finn tries to stroke him, "he's, ah, not really used to strangers." With a small smile, she lowers him onto one of the bar stools, before looking to Finn again, "I know we already spoke about her, but are you sure Annie's really okay? I mean, the same thing happened to me when I was her age and I struggled for years."
Finn shifts uncomfortably, "she's getting better... she just – she doesn't like to be left alone, and we don't really know what to do."
With a nod of understanding, Rachel says, "maybe you should take her to a therapist? I didn't think it would help when I started, but I've only had two sessions and the improvement is... good – it's relieving."
"I'll mention it to Quinn. We just want Annie to be herself again, you know?" His shoulders slump, gaze lowering to the ground. She reaches for his hand, having learned that the simple action makes the both of them feel better.
"She will," Rachel assures him, "she just needs time and support – with you as a Father I'm sure she'll have everything that she'll ever need." She sends a gentle smile his way.
"And what about you?" he asks.
Her gaze drops, "I worry a lot. I mean, I know that he can't do anything to me anymore, but there's always that nagging feeling that he will. But the other day I couldn't help but feel sorry for him – it wasn't his fault that he was mentally ill." A sad sigh follows, "and he was my father. I guess I just don't know how I feel about it all really."
Finn's arms slide around her in a tight hug, wrapping her in the safety of his embrace. She smiles, and leans into him. "But you'll be okay," he says, "I promise you will be."
Keeping her eyes on him, she feels herself nod. And she knows that she will be. Maybe not now, or in a few weeks, but at some point she'll be herself again – a new, free version of herself, who can focus on doing what she's always wanted, rather than losing herself in work. Speaking of what she's always wanted...
She gently takes hold of his tie, pulling him down so quickly that he doesn't have time to react. Their lips crush together in a matter of seconds, Rachel's soft lips fighting against his own for dominance. His hand gently lingers over his waist, before resting there with a delicate touch, while hers run through his hair, completely disheveling it. She feels like she's floating, every inch of her body so light and carefree. She's never remembered a kiss feeling this good.
Finn pulls back briefly, just to smile at her. His free hand reaches up to cup her chin, thumb brushing over her cheek. She shivers, leaning into his touch. As he moves in for another kiss, her eyes slowly close, allowing her to just focus on the feel of his lips. All worries fly out of her mind, and she can only feel happiness. Rachel smiles.
2 years later
"Introducing Mr and Mrs Hudson!"
The two step inside the reception room to the sound of applause, both smiling brightly at the sight of their friends and family. Hand in hand, they walk to the head table, joining the wedding party. He smiles at Kurt and Blaine, and then helps Rachel into her seat, not before kissing her gently. Upon seeing this, Santana shakes her head, "seriously, save it for the honeymoon!" He really has no idea how she ended up being one of the bridesmaids – somehow since Rachel left the BAU the two have grown incredibly close. Still, Santana isn't that much of a pain in the ass; only when she's stopping him from kissing his new wife.
"I can kiss her whenever I want," he retorts, sitting down himself. The second he's comfortable, his nine year old daughter crawls into his lap. "Hey sweetheart," he smiles, wrapping his arm around her shoulder. "You were so good out there." And she was – she was absolutely beautiful, while at the same time he needs her to stay his little girl forever and stop growing up so damn fast.
"You were amazing," Rachel agrees with him, beaming toward Annie, "the best maid of honor I could ever have asked for."
Smiling, she holds her arms out for Rachel, who slowly takes her from Finn's lap. She ignores the pointed look from Kurt, surely because she's ruining both of their dresses, but that doesn't matter to her. She hugs her new daughter to her chest, smiling brighter than ever.
And then her eyes drift over to Finn, a glint of happiness within them. She reaches out a hand, which he takes, gently kissing the back of. "My two favorite girls," he smiles, squeezing her hand, before planting a kiss to Annie's cheek.
Rachel honestly thought this day would never come – with her years dedicated to the job, and then the insecurities from her past always at the forefront of her mind. But, with time, those healed, and once away from the bureau, she soon eased herself into her new, relaxed lifestyle, with Finn by her side for ever new step she took. Not working full time really did her some good – she could finally focus on herself and not just bury away her emotions with each new case that came along.
Her relationship with Finn had been slow and careful at first, the transition from being his boss to his girlfriend a little strange, but not unwelcome. As they both grew into their new roles, everything became easier, and she truly found herself the happiest she'd ever been in her entire life. Of course, they had their differences – Finn has always been someone to overlook the consequences, while she's more of a worrier about such things. And sometimes these differences ended up in fights, but nothing to deter the pair.
And now, here they are, on their wedding day. Rachel beams to herself. She's the luckiest girl in the world; she's sure that Finn is going to be the most wonderful husband, seeing as he's been a best friend to her already for the past two years.
"I still can't believe you two got married," Santana cuts across her thoughts, "remember when you used to hate each other?"
"I never hated Finn," Rachel rolls her eyes, "I just got annoyed by him a lot."
Finn gives a humorous smile, "love you too, babe."
"I didn't mean that in a bad way," she says, though they all know that it's the truth; they did used to annoy each other, yet Finn forgets to mention that he only did that because angry Rachel is actually pretty hot. "Besides," she grins toward him, "you weren't exactly my biggest fan, either. What was it – you were too afraid of a woman being in a higher position that you?" Rachel smirks his way.
"No way," he denies, "I'm the boss now, anyway."
"Yeah, and who made you the boss?" she raises her brow, laughing when he gives her an incredulous look. Just as he's making his comeback, she pulls him forward, "shut up and kiss your wife."
He grins, "Gladly." Finn closes the gap between their lips, bringing a hand up to gently cup her cheek, just as groans sound from everyone else on the table. "What?" he asks, "We're not allowed to kiss now? It's our wedding."
Kurt rolls his eyes, "yes but when you two kiss, it escalates rather quickly. I'm surprised you held back so much during your kiss at the ceremony." He then adds, "it's like you're making up for missed time or something."
"Well, we did work together for a whole year arguing when we could've been doing... better things," he gives Rachel a sly look, though is still ever cautious that his nine year old daughter is between them.
Santana mocks a gagging noise. "You two are gross," she then says. Used to this, Rachel just rolls her eyes and leaning into Finn, gently kissing the top of Annie's head.
After the speeches and meal, the celebration begins with their first dance, and Finn is thankful that those dance lessons paid off – kind of – because he didn't step on Rachel's foot once, nor did he look like a complete fool. While he's then dragged off to dance with Annie, Rachel finds herself standing with Kurt, Blaine and their daughter – the esteemed flower girl -, Matilda.
She raises a brow at Kurt, who is talking down the phone with an exasperated tone. "What's all that about?" she asks.
"He's talking to our surrogate," Blaine explains, while his two year old daughter puts flowers from her basket in his hair. Having already told her not to about ten times, he gives up and just lets her. "She's great and everything," he explains, "but she's a little panicky about the pregnancy – she calls us about everything, when she has a perfectly good doctor to question."
Rachel smiles sympathetically, and then eyes Kurt, "so that's why he isn't so happy."
"It's the fifth time she's called today," he says with a roll of the eyes, "I'm kind of relieved that this is the last baby we're having."
She now gives a soft smile, "do you know what sex it is yet?"
"Another girl," he beams, eyes glinting excitedly, "only four months to go now. We can't wait."
"I'm sure you're going to be kept busy with two little girls around the house," she grins, knowing herself how full of commotion the days are that Annie spends with her and Finn. After she and Finn had moved in together, it'd mean that there would always be someone at home to care for her, so rather than staying in between Finn's cases; she stays for one week with Quinn, and then the next with them. She loves spending time with Annie, just as much as she loves spending time with Finn – and when he's away on cases and it's just the two of them, they always find something fun to do. Needless to say, she loves that little girl like she's her own.
When she returns from her thoughts, Blaine's giving her this look. "What?" she asks.
"When are you and Finn thinking of adding to your little family?"
She's slightly taken aback by the question, but she still smiles. "Well, I was thinking about, um, seven months?"
Blaine being Blaine, he realizes in an instant, drawing in a small gasp. "You're pregnant?!"
"Shhh," she says, "I haven't told Finn yet. I'm going to surprise him tonig -" Before she can finish, she's in Blaine's strong gasp.
"I'm so happy for you. Both of you."
"Thank you," she smiles against his shoulder, laughing when some of the flowers on his head fall down onto her. Matilda grins at that, just adding more to replace the missing flowers.
"Ow Daddy, you stepped on my toe." She turns her head at the sound of Annie's voice, watching the sheepish expression that melts into Finn's face. Looks like it's time to intervene. Saying bye to Blaine, and making him promise to keep their little secret to himself, she heads over to the pair.
She gently places her hands on Annie's shoulders, "mind if I cut in?"
Annie nods, glad to have her poor feet still intact, and goes off to find some other kids to dance with. With a smile, Rachel gently moves closer to Finn. "Sorry, I've never been good at dancing."
"I know," she grins, "just sway with me."
"But this isn't a swaying song."
"It doesn't matter," Rachel insists, her arms sliding around his neck. "Just as long as you're with me, I'll be happy." Her hand gently brushes across his neck, to then play with his tie. Eyes rising, she adds, "I love you."
His face lights up, "I love you too." His hands sneakily slide down her back to rest over her butt, Finn grinning devilishly.
She sends him a warning glare, "Annie is right over there." She swats his hands away, "besides, let's save that for the honeymoon." Her eyes suddenly become darker, fingers tracing patterns through his thin shirt, and Finn smirks. This honeymoon is going to be awesome.
"Did you pack the handcuffs?" he gives a sultry whisper in her ear.
"Finn!" Rachel quickly looks around, making sure that no one heard that. Then she leans in closer, "I put them in your bag." Just as they're pulling apart, Annie returns, demanding that Finn picks her up.
He fakes a groan, saying, "you're getting too old for this, baby girl." She only shakes her head, leaning her head against his chest, while he pulls Rachel against his other side. He's never been happier, with both his girls on either side. His perfect family.
I hope you've enjoyed this fic! :) I know I've loved writing it.
Please review :)