Okay, yeah, so Rachel isn't making great choices. But she's 17, and she's married, and this story is based off of One Tree Hill, where they made lots of not so great choices. So that's where some of this inspiration comes from. So I completely understand your frustrations with Rachel, but I promise it will get resolved. You guys know me; I write happy endings.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything. This chapter title comes from the song "Life and Death" by Snow Patrol.

Finn saw Jesse coming out of the theater the same time he was leaving the gym. He checked his phone and saw that Rachel still had another fifteen minutes before she was officially released from one of her last dress rehearsals. They would be heading to the café for lunch, and then they'd be going to a movie with Puck and Quinn later.

He didn't know why, but Finn wasn't particularly in the mood to say hello. He had no reason to dislike Jesse, but he didn't have a reason to like him, either. Finn just viewed Jesse as his wife's mentor—nothing more, nothing less. So just as Finn decided to turn towards his car and pretend like he hadn't seen Jesse, of course the theater major in question saw him first.

"Finn! Hey, Finn!"

Finn sighed quietly and then pasted a smile on his face as he turned around. "Jesse, what's up?"

Jesse jogged over to Finn and ran a hand through his gelled, perfect hair. "Listen, I don't want to get in between your whole husband and wife thing, but I have a favor to ask you."

"Ah, Jesse, if this is a theater thing, I'd rather stay out of it," Finn told him honestly. "I find that it's better not to get involved in that whole… thing."

Jesse waved his hand dismissively. "I get that, I do. But I've been waiting for weeks now for an answer from Rachel, and the producers are getting impatient. I have to know if she wants this part, Finn. And I needed to know, like, yesterday."

"Part?" Finn's brow furrowed. "What part? I thought she already had the lead in the spring musical." He could see that Jesse was getting wide-eyed with shock and realization. "What are you talking about?"

"Oh god," Jesse groaned, and he really did seem sorry. "I fucked up. I fucked up so bad."


"It's been like over two weeks now. Almost three weeks, actually. And they have a few more people that they'd like to contact for callbacks if Rachel doesn't want the part."


"Shelby only has so much pull, too. She's been able to hold them off for this long, but we can only manage another three days, max. Then they're going to give the part away, and Rachel's going to lose this incredible opportunity."

"Jesse!" Finn's sharp tone of voice knocked Jesse out of whatever weird, babble trance he was in. "Explain what the hell you're talking about. Right now."

Rachel was only ten minutes late, but they still had to go pick up Puck and Quinn. So she ran to the car as she knotted her hair up on the top of her head, unsurprised to find Finn already waiting in the driver's seat. They were going to see the new Avenger's movie, and Rachel knew that both Finn and Puck had a very specific movie-viewing ritual for anything related to Marvel. There was a schedule to adhere to—complete with allotted times for popcorn purchases and bathroom breaks—and Rachel was just barely making it on time.

"Hey, I'm sorry rehearsal ran late!" Rachel exclaimed as she slid into the front passenger seat. She leaned over and pressed a quick kiss to Finn's cheek and then dug around in her bag for her phone so that she could text Quinn. "There was a sophomore that has a small part and she just could not get her blocking right, so we went over the scene a few times. We got it right on the last run, but at least we have one more dress rehearsal tomorrow morning to get it completely perfect."

It was only in the middle of Rachel's explanation that she realized Finn was staring straight ahead out the windshield, with his hands gripping the steering wheel. Her brow furrowed as she waved her hand in front of his face, wondering what had him so caught up in his thoughts.

"Finn? Finn, hello? Anyone in there?"

Finn jerked and finally looked over at her. He smiled, but there was a flash of something in his eyes that made Rachel blink at him. It was there and then it was gone in the next second, so she couldn't even put a name to it, but there was a twist in her stomach that told her that she should be worried.

Rachel immediately pushed that thought away. It had to be a lingering feeling over the fact that she still hadn't told Finn about the part she had been offered in New York yet. There was nothing else to be worried about. As far as Finn was concerned, everything was perfect. He was training for the upcoming football season, and she was going to have the opening night of her show in two days. Everything was great.

"Sorry, Rach," Finn finally said. His smile widened and he leaned over, pressing a soft, lingering kiss to her lips. "I was just thinking about some plays that Coach wanted us to look over. You ready to go? How did the rest of your rehearsal go?"

Rachel eyed her husband, wondering if she should push the issue. She saw the tired look in his eyes that he was trying so hard to hide, and she bit her bottom lip before she decided to let it go. They could have this—one more day with their friends, where they didn't have to worry about making decisions about the future, or think about the hearts that might break if Rachel decided to follow her dream. They would have a perfect day, and then she would tell him.

Rachel didn't know that Finn had essentially come to the same conclusion. He'd only gotten half the story form Jesse, and he had no idea what Rachel was thinking. That was part of the problem, he supposed, but that was something that they could deal with that latter.

Now, they could have this day with their friends. The rest would come later.

They picked up Puck and Quinn, still with plenty of time to get snacks and make the movie. They settled into the backseat, looking awfully cozy for two people who supposedly weren't in a relationship. The two of them were quite giggly in the backseat, tilting their heads together as they whispered back and forth.

Finn and Rachel took turns glancing at the pair in the rearview mirror, though neither knew that the other was doing it. They each wondered what it would be like to be back in that blissfully unaware stage, enraptured in one another to the point that no one else seemed to exist. Despite their earlier conversation, the tension between Finn and Rachel was nearly palpable. They were nearly at the movie theater before Puck finally noticed it.

"What the hell is going on with you two?" he demanded. "Did you guys get in a fight, or something?"

"Puck!" Quinn hissed under her breath.

Puck ignored the blonde next to him and arched his eyebrow as first Finn and then Rachel met his eyes in the rearview mirror. Rachel's eyes were wide, her lips pressed together as she thought about how Puck knew about her offer New York. Her own tension alone was probably beyond obvious, and it was no wonder that Finn was finally picking up on it.

"Of course we didn't," Finn finally said.

Puck eyed his brother, not really believing him. "Not that I want to know, or anything, but this doesn't have anything to do with sex, does it?"

"Puck!" Quinn yelled this time, poking him in the shoulder with a pointy finger. He winced and swatted her hand away, but he didn't apologize for asking the question.

Finn's cheeks flushed slightly, and he briefly wondered when things had changed for him. Back before he met Rachel, he had no problem talking about sex or the girls he slept with. There was something about Rachel, thought, something that made him want to protect what they had. It was just between them.

Rachel, on the other hand, was sick of Puck's prodding. He knew exactly what he was doing, and as much as she loved her best friend, she didn't want him meddling. "If you must know, Noah, the sex is very satisfying between Finn and me."

Her statement had the desired effect. Puck groaned and covered his face with his hands, cursing and muttering about how he didn't want to know those things about the girl he considered to be a sister. Quinn rolled her eyes, completely unsympathetic to his plight. He was the one who had gotten himself in this situation, after all.

They got to the movie theater and ordered their usual snacks for the Avenger's movies: an extra large popcorn with raisinettes mixed in, along with Mountain Dews for all of them. Rachel got a side of gummy worms, because Puck and Finn usually ended up stealing from her, while Quinn got a pack of those chocolate-covered cookie dough bites.

They were half way through the movie when Finn slid his hand over Rachel's knee. Her breath caught in her throat and she tried her best to ignore the way Finn's calloused fingers against the bare skin of her knee. In the back of her mind, however, she was glad that she had chosen to wear a dress.

Finn and Rachel had been on plenty of dates, but they had never done the whole groping-each-other-in-the-movie-theater thing. As excited as the thought made her, there was no way that Rachel was going to engage in that kind of activity with her best friend and his maybe girlfriend next to her. Puck would never let her hear the end of it, anyway.

Rachel shot Finn a look, but his eyes were directed towards the screen. His hand stayed still for a full minutes, just resting against Rachel's knee. Rachel kept glancing down at his large, pale palm against her tan skin, and it stayed exactly where it was for a full minute. Rachel finally relaxed and dipped her hand into the bucket of popcorn as she returned her attention to the movie.

Maybe five minutes later, Finn's hand shifted. At first, Rachel thought the move was innocent, but then his fingers brushed against the inside of her thigh. She was unable to help the little gasp that escaped her, but she resisted the urge to press her thighs together. There was no way that she was going to let Finn know that he was getting to her.

Finn's fingers began to stroke. His hand was still between her legs, but resting rather low on the inside of her thighs—not high enough to really touch her, but enough to turn her on a ridiculous amount.

Finn let her get pulled into the movie once again before his fingers moved a faction of an inch higher. This time, Rachel bit down hard on her bottom lip and shoved some more popcorn into her mouth. Her other hand shot out and she wrapped her fingers around Finn's wrist, stilling his hand entirely.

She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye, and she saw that half-smirk on his face. That only served to turn her on further, and she exhaled slowly through her nose. She felt like her arousal was pulsing through her, and Finn knew exactly what he was doing to her.

The spent the rest of the movie like that, with Finn's hands moving slowly up her thigh. By the time they got to the after-credits scene, the tips of Finn's fingers were just brushing her underwear at the juncture of her thighs. Finn could feel how turned on she was, but Rachel had manage to push his hand away just before the lights came out.

Rachel had no idea how it was possible, but Puck and Quinn were completely oblivious to what had been going on right next to them. Rachel was hardly paying attention as Finn calmly discussed the movie with Puck, nor did she much care about the fact that Quinn got out of the car with Puck once they dropped him off. Instead, Rachel lasted until Puck and Quinn were inside his house before she finally pounced, slipping her hand behind Finn's neck and hauling her lips towards his.

The kiss was hot, deep, and passionate, and it made Rachel forget about every single worry that she had. She pressed herself against Finn as much as she could with the gearshift between them, and she was gratified when Finn ran a hand down her side and cupped her breast. His thumb rubbed over the hard nipple that was puckering against her dress as Rachel tangled her fingers in his hair and moaned into his mouth.

"I'm not having sex with you in a car," Rachel whispered against his lips once they came up for air.

Finn grinned before he pressed a kiss under her ear. "You aren't?" he asked as if he knew something she didn't.

Rachel considered that for a moment. "Not in front of Puck and Anne's house, I'm not," she conceded. That's when Finn knew he had her, because she used Puck's nickname instead of his given name. Rachel was so caught up in her desire, she hadn't even realized it, and Finn filed that fact away for later.

Finn kissed her again, hard, before he pulled back and put the car in drive. He broke several traffic laws getting back to the guest house behind his childhood home, but he was feeling fairly confident once they were in the driveway. They were in a secluded area now, in a place where no one could possibly see them. Suddenly, there was nothing that Finn wanted more than car sex with his wife, and she was more than willing to give it to him.

He climbed into the backseat, not at all graceful as he tried to fold his long frame between the two front seats. Rachel followed him, maneuvering much more easily. Finn had barely settled himself in the backseat before Rachel was suddenly astride his lap, grinding into him as she kiss him.

The skirt of Rachel's dress was already hiked up from the way she was straddling him, so Finn wasted no time in tugging down the straps of her dress. Her breasts spilled into his large hands, and Finn took a quick moment to thank whatever god was up there that his wife decided not to wear a bra that day.

Rachel could feel the hard ridge of his erection through his athletic shorts, and she bucked against him as he brought his mouth to her breast and sucked hard on her nipple. The backseat of the car was hardly conducive to foreplay, but Finn was going to make it work anyway.

Of course, Rachel was so worked up from the teasing that Finn had done at the movie theater that she really didn't need much more to get her there. Reaching between them, Rachel shoved Finn's athletic shorts down just enough to free his erection before she pulled her panties to the side and sank down on him.

Finn groaned and his head fell back as Rachel gripped his shoulders and rose up and sank down once again. Finn's hands fell to her hips, gripping the fabric of the dress that was bunched around her waist as she moved over him.

Due to Finn's teasing touches in the movie theater, it didn't take that long for Rachel to get back to the edge once again. She moved harder against Finn, rotating her hips in tight circles as her head fell back and she moaned Finn's name. She was almost there, and she just needed a little bit more…

"Finn," Rachel gasped, as her hands tightened on his shoulders. "Finn, please."

Finn's lips nipped at the edge of her jaw. "Please what, baby?" he murmured.

"Touch me," Rachel ordered. She lifted up and Finn's hips bucked against her before she sank down again. "Touch me, please."

Lifting his hands from her waist, Finn cupped her breasts once again and pinched her nipples between his fingers. He kissed her, and that's when Rachel flew over the edge. Her walls clutched around Finn, and he only lasted for a thrust more before he spilled into Rachel.

With her legs spread on either side of Finn, Rachel pressed her face against Finn's neck and closed her eyes. She breathed in deeply and let out a little moan of appreciation when Finn's hands spread over her back. He stroked her bare skin soothingly, and Rachel was sure that here, in the backseat of their, she had never loved Finn more than she did in that moment.

Puck tried his very best to meet his mother at the diner a few mornings a week for breakfast. It was harder during the football season, but he still managed to make it work. Anne did work long hours at the café, after all, and Puck made it a point to spend a good portion of his free time there.

It was one particular morning when Puck was desperately sucking down a cup of coffee that Anne finally decided to broach the subject of what had been bothering her son. She had noticed that he had been struggling with something for over a week now, and she had been waiting for him to come to her.

He was drinking coffee, though. Puck had never been big on morning caffeine, so that was the cue that Anne needed. After pushing a plate of French toast and eggs towards her son, Anne leaned against the counter and smiled warmly.

"So, are you finally going to tell me what's on your mind, or am I going to have to give you all the French toast in the world to get it out of you?"

Puck managed a wan smile for his mother before he speared a whole piece of toast with his fork and lifted it to his mouth. Anne made a noise of disapproval in the back of her throat, but Puck ignored his mother and bit into the toast.

"It's Rachel," Puck finally said.

Anne immediately looked alarm, and she reached for her own cup of coffee. She was going to need the caffeine if she was going to get through this conversation. "What about Rachel? Is something wrong? Is everything okay with Finn?" She paused and pinned her son with that motherly stare. "She isn't pregnant, is she?"

"No," Puck immediately assured his mother. No matter what was happening, Puck knew that Rachel would come to him in that situation. No, there wasn't a baby, but Puck was aware that her marriage with Finn was at stake in this scenario.

Anne's relief was short-lived, since there was a still a problem with the young woman she considered to be a daughter to figure out. "Then what's going on?"

"You know that guy that Rachel has been studying with? The nephew of her theater teacher?" When Anne nodded her head, Puck continued. "He offered her a part in a musical off-Broadway. In New York. For the whole summer."

"Oh." Anne blinked. Out of all of the things that Puck could have said, she wasn't sure that that was what she had expected. "And… uh… has she told Finn about this yet?"

"No. And therein lies the problem."

"Ah. I see." Anne gave her son a sympathetic smile. "So you know about this, and Finn doesn't, and it's getting to you."

"It's getting to me," Puck confirmed. "She just… she needs to tell him. He deserves to know. Rachel is my best friend, and I'd do anything for her, but…" He shook his head and dragged his hand through his hair. "Finn is my brother. And I'd do anything for him, too."

It had been nearly a year since he had finally started getting along with his half-brother, but Puck realized that it was finally true. He really would do anything for Finn, and it was a little unnerving to have that realization.

"Oh, sweetheart." Despite the seriousness of the situation, Anne was unable to hold back her chuckle. "I love you, but you've got to stop shouldering everyone else's problems. All you can do is be there for Rachel and Finn. You can't figure this out for them."

Puck released a long sigh and then took another chunk out of the French toast still on his fork. "I know," he finally admitted.

"What about the problems you can solve?" Anne finally suggested.

"Yeah?" Puck snorted. "And what problems would that be?"

"Whether or not you want to be with Santana or Quinn."

"Mom!" Puck immediately protested. "We were talking about Berry-Hudson's problems, not mine!"

Anne leaned over the counter and narrowed her eyes in a look that she had perfected as soon as Puck learned how to crawl. "Noah Eli Puckerman."

Puck grew very quiet after that. He kept eating his breakfast, but he was nearly desperate for the cup of coffee. He drained his first cup and didn't object when Anne poured him another half cup. He took a sip of it before he finally began to speak. Anne was going to get it out of him eventually, so it was better to give in now and talk then wait for her to whip out the big guns.

"I'm with Santana," he admitted, well aware that he was talking to his mother. Still, he knew that Anne had plenty of experience with this, what with the whole Chris Hudson debacle and being a pregnant teen and all.

"But…?" Anne prompted.

"But I think I love Quinn." Puck spoke to his plate instead of his mother, and a long beat of silence passed. Unable to take it anymore, Puck finally glanced up at Anne and was surprised to find her giving him a look that basically meant, "Well, duh."

"What?" Puck finally mumbled. "Why are you looking at me like that?"

Anne laughed, because this was such a mother-son moment. She reached over the counter and squeezed her son's hand. "Oh, sweetie. I've known that you've loved Quinn since the moment you met her. And that was over ten years ago, in case you've forgotten."

Puck glared at Anne, not at all amused with the reminder of just how long he had been pining for Quinn Fabray. It didn't help that he was spending so much time with her, still. Every night that he knew Santana had a date with someone else, Puck inevitably found himself with Quinn.

Quinn knew what was going on, but she still didn't feel like a second choice. They never talked about it—hell, they barely ever physically touched. Still, the time they shared together was special, but their situation was made all the more precarious by the fact that Santana knew nothing about the extra time they spent together.

"You're young, Noah," Anne finally said. "And you have all the time in the world to figure this out. It may be confusing now, but you'll figure out what to do." She smiled and patted Puck's cheek, even though she knew her son typically hated such shows of affection from his mother. "You're a smart boy, whether or not you believe it."

Puck considered those words for a long moment before he finally said, "I wish things could be easier. Finn and Rachel… they knew. They knew that they loved each other, they knew that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, and they made it happen."

"They were lucky," Anne said. "It doesn't work like that for everyone." God only knew that it didn't—and she happened to be an expert on the topic. "You'll find it, Puck. You may not find it today, or tomorrow. Hell, it might not even be with Santana or Quinn. But you'll get there."

Finally, Puck smiled. Not everyone had a great relationship with their parents, let alone a good one between a son and a mother. Puck was beyond lucky and grateful that he had a mother who understood him and supported him as much as Anne did.

"I love you, Mom," Puck muttered.

Anne smiled brightly. "I love you too, Noah."

Finn drew his arm back and launched the football across the field at the River Park. Puck caught the ball easily and sent it back towards Finn quickly. Finn didn't even think as he raised his hands and caught the ball. It landed in his hands easily, and it was almost as if Finn Hudson had been born to catch a football.

"What's on your mind, Hudson?" Puck asked. He had been watching Finn through their pre-season training, and he knew that his brother had been distracted the past two days especially. When Finn had asked him to toss a ball down at the River Park, Puck hadn't questioned it.

Finn sighed and spun the ball in his hands. Staring down at the lacing on the brown leather, Finn finally said, "You know about the offer that Rachel got in New York, don't you?"

Puck froze and stared at his brother. Finn threw the football again, sending it rocketing towards Puck, but he ignored it and let it sail over his head. Out of everything that Finn could have said to him in that moment, Puck had never expected Finn to admit that he knew about the dilemma that Rachel was facing.

"How the hell…?" Puck began, but he trailed off, because he didn't know how to finish that sentence.

Placing his hands on his hips, Finn exhaled slowly. "St. James let it slip," he admitted. "Apparently some big wigs in the city are waiting to hear back from Rachel for this part, and it's an opportunity of a lifetime, or something."

"Finn…" Puck began again, but he was unsure of how to continue. Rachel was his best friend, and had been for years. But Finn was his brother, and it was a relationship that he wanted to honor, even though it was fairly new. Puck was stuck between a rock and a hard place, and he hated it.

The situation was only made more complicated with Finn's next statement: "I was offered a place in First Down."

Puck blinked rapidly. First Down was prestigious football summer camp, one that was located in Pennsylvania. It was close to New York, but it would essentially separate Finn and Rachel for the summer. Puck knew just how important the football camp would be towards getting Finn a scholarship for college, just as he knew how important this part on off-Broadway would be for Rachel.

"Are you going to take it?" Puck finally asked.

"I don't know," Finn said honestly. "Beiste thinks I should."

"Of course she does." At that, Puck chuckled. "She'd kill you if you turned them down."

"She would."

Puck was silent for a few moments, and he turned to retrieve the football. He stared down at it, turning it over in his hands. "That spot at First Down… it would be an instant in with college scouts, you know. You're already on their radar, but you'll definitely get recruited if you get trained there."

He tossed the football back towards Finn, and it spun in a perfect arc towards his brother. Once again, it seemed as though Finn put barely any effort into catching it. Even back when Puck had hated Finn, he had always been able to—grudgingly—admit that Finn was a fantastic football player.

Finn sighed. "I know," he said. "And I want it, but… but Rachel deserves a chance to follow her dreams too, you know? She's been working her whole life for a career on Broadway, and this is the first chance she has for it. It would be insane for her to turn it down." Finn took a few steps back and tossed the ball again, sending it off towards a corner of the field in a way that should have made it impossible for Puck to catch.

It wasn't, though. With quick feet, Puck moved and expertly arced his body, catching the football and cradling it against his chest as he went down and rolled to the ground to protect his body. Maybe it was because they were brothers, or maybe it was because they finally understood each other—either way, the two Hudson-Puckerman brothers were unstoppable when they played together.

It made Puck think about just how much Finn had changed over the last year. A year ago, Finn would never had considered someone else's dream besides his own. He never would have been willing to toss a football around at the River Park with his brother. Hell, he wouldn't have even called Puck his brother. This was the person that Finn Hudson had always been meant to be, and it was nice to see that it was happening.

"Why does it have to be one or the other?" Puck asked once he came to his feet again. This time, he kept the football instead of throwing it back to his brother. "You both deserve the chance to follow your dreams. Why does this have to be such a big deal?"

"Why hasn't Rachel told me about the offer for the show?" Finn countered. There was no malice to his voice; Finn really wanted to know. He was honestly confused as to why his wife decided to keep such an amazing offer to herself.

Now it was Puck's turn to sigh. "I think she's scared."

"Yeah, well…" Finn dragged his hands through his hair and looked up at the star-filled sky. "Me, too."

Finn enjoyed walking home from the River Park. It was a little over two miles from the park to his house, but Finn liked the solitude of the walk. It allowed him time to think, gave him a chance to ruminate over what was going on in his life.

The night before he had proposed to Rachel, he had walked this very trail and had really, truly thought about what he was considering doing. He would never admit it to Rachel, but he had even mentally compiled a pros and con list about the whole thing. In the end, there was only thing that mattered above all else—that he loved Rachel, and he would love her forever.

So there Finn was, walking the two miles back to his house—back to Rachel—contemplating whether or not he should confront her about the offer on the off-Broadway show she had for the summer, when his father pulled up next to him in a convertible.

"Finn," Chris Hudson greeted cordially.

Finn shot a fake smile in his father's direction. "Chris," he returned.

Chris was still smiling pleasantly at the son he had claimed almost eighteen years ago. "Why haven't you sent your acceptance to First Down yet?"

Frowning, Finn stopped in the middle of the road. He was less than a mile from his house now, and if he started running, he was confident that he could make it in less than three minutes. Still, there was something in him that wanted to confront his father—something that wanted to confront the abuse he had faced for years, along with the harassment that Puck had faced.

"How do you even know about that?" Finn demanded.

Chris grinned as he stopped the convertible next to his son. "The head of the camp spoke with me. He expected you to accept the position in the camp on the spot. Why didn't you?"

Finn shrugged his shoulders and tucked his hands into his pockets. "I have some things that I need to consider."

"You mean your little wife."

One second, Finn was standing on the side of the road. The next, his hands were gripping the sides of the car, leaning over his father as he seriously contemplated whether or not he should hit him. "Don't talk about her like that," Finn growled.

Chris wasn't even phased by the sudden anger his son was displaying. "What is it with her, anyway? Does she really want to make you give up everything that you've worked for since you could hold a football?"

Finn laughed, but there was no humor in the sound. "You wouldn't understand," he told his father. "So makes me want to better. A better player, a better person. And I want to be that person for her, because that's what she deserves."

"What about the part that she was offered in Funny Girl?"

Finn froze, but his fingers clenched even harder against the sides of his father's convertible. His knuckles were white, his grip was so tight. "How do you know about that?"

"I have my sources." The smirk was one that Finn used to see on his own face, and it made him want to be sick to know that he used to be like that. "You could have your summer at First Down. She could have it as the lead in an off-Broadway show that could give her everything she ever wanted. Why shouldn't you both have that?"

Finn said nothing. Instead, he just stared down at his hands, wondering what it was that Chris was playing at. He really shouldn't have been that surprised that Chris knew about the invitation to First Down. He wondered what Chris would have said if Finn had told him that Puck had been offered a spot as well.

Finn hadn't told Puck, because the head of First Down had wanted to extend the invitation himself. Finn was going to have a spot that the summer camp regardless, but having Puck there would have made it all the better. The way the brothers played off of one another was amazing, and the head of First Down knew that. He wanted the Hudson-Puckerman brothers together, and it was obvious that Chris wasn't aware of that fact.

"Do you really want to hold Rachel back from that?" Chris asked. "I mean, it's an amazing opportunity, especially for someone as young as her."

Finn shoved back from the convertible and dragged his hands through his hair. "I know that," he murmured. "No one deserves this more than Rachel does."

"So give it to her," Chris said. "She's going to be a star. Do you want to keep her from that?" The convertible was in park, and Chris let go of the steering wheel and leaned forward. "You're not good enough for her, Finn. She's going to be a star. You're meant for the football field. Don't get in the way of that—for her, or for you."

Finn's jaw gritted, and he hit the side of his father's convertible with a closed fist before he turned around and stalked away.

Rachel was still stirring the pot of mac and cheese on the stove when Finn entered the house. She gave him a smile of her shoulder, but turned around before she could actually make eye contact with him. Puck had called her hours ago, informing her that he would be tossing the ball around with Finn. She had expected him to be late, but she hadn't expected to see that look of devastated longing on his face.

Taking a deep breath, Rachel turned around again and looked her husband fully in the face. She might not have known what to do about Finn and the offer for Funny Girl, but she did know that she wanted to be there for him, no matter what. For better or for worse—those were her marriage vows. That was what she chose, and she loved Finn and wanted to uphold those vows.

"What happened?" Rachel murmured. She turned the heat down on the pot of mac and cheese and stepped forward, until she was chest to chest with her husband. She slid her hands up his chest, until they were resting on his shoulders, and tilted her face towards his. Rachel didn't want to be afraid of Finn anymore—afraid of how he might react to this offer to be in New York City for the summer, afraid of how he might be if he knew that she wanted to go.

Finn shrugged his shoulders and looked over her shoulder instead of making eye contact with her. "I ran into my dad on the way home from the River Court. That's all." It was the truth, after all. Rachel didn't need to know the details of his discussion with Chris.

Rachel didn't press any further, since she knew how Chris was. "I'm sorry," she murmured as she stepped closer. Now her body was intimately pressed against Finn's, and she ran her hands from his shoulders up his neck, until she was cupping his cheeks.

Finn closed his eyes and shook his head. "Why are you sorry?"

"Because whatever he said, it isn't true." Rachel's voice was earnest, her eyes completely sincere once Finn opened his own and looked into them. "You're better than him, and you know that. You don't have to be like Chris Hudson, Finn. Don't let him get to you."

Finn inhaled slowly. He wrapped his arms around his wife and pulled her against him, then ducked down and pressed his lips to hers. His kiss was tender, his touch gentle as he ran his hands over her body. "I love you," he murmured.

Finn's large hand cupped her breast, and Rachel gasped. "I love you, too," she said on a moan as her head dropped back.

There were so many unaddressed problems between them, and Finn knew it. Still, that didn't stop how hard he was or how much he wanted his wife, or how much he loved her and needed her. No matter what Chris said—no matter how Finn thought how right his father was—Finn loved Rachel. He might not be good enough for her, but he loved her with everything, and he would love her forever. Faithfully, that's what it was. Finn could give her that, but he couldn't give her the dreams that she had.

So he would have this with her, and give her this pleasure. The plan that he had could wait another night. For now, he could give his wife everything that she wanted in that moment; he heart warmed at the fact that he could do that for her. Especially when she arched into his hands and kissed him hard, sweeping her tongue into his mouth.

Rachel managed to get his shirt off, but Finn stopped her from divesting him of the rest of his clothes. He was achingly slow, gentle as he stripped his wife of her sundress, than her underwear. He kept the lacey bra she was wearing on her, stoking her hard nipples through the barely-there material. She moaned and thrust her breasts into his hands, begging for more, a harder touch.

Finn gave her a predatory smirk, and something in him warmed at the fact that she wanted that much from him. No matter what, he could give her this—give her pleasure that she had never experienced before. He knew that that was never going to change, even if everything else did.

He might not have known what to do about their future together, but in that exact moment, Finn knew what he could do for his wife. Pressing his hands to her waist, Finn lifted Rachel onto the kitchen counter. Given that she was naked except for her bra, he pressed on her knees and spread her legs apart until she was opened and exposed in front of him. Finn groaned at the glistening wetness before him, and he knew that it was all for him. In that moment, he was convinced that nothing could be better than this.

So he dropped to his knees and pressed tender, sweet kisses to Rachel's thighs. She knew where he was headed with his mouth, and the excitement coursing through her only made her wetter. She moaned, her hips undulating under Finn's hands, even on top of their kitchen counter.

"Finn," she moaned as she pressed her hands into the granite beneath her and tilted her head back. "Please."

"Please, what?" Finn murmured against the inside of her thigh. He was so close to the center of her, the most sensitive, wettest part of her that craved his touch. Finn wanted nothing more than to use his mouth, his fingers there, because he knew how much Rachel loved it. There was something about this power though, something about what he had over Rachel in that moment, something in the way that she responded to him.

Because it was the same with him. With Rachel sitting on their kitchen counter, her legs spread in front of him, Finn wanted her, needed her in a way that he had never needed someone before. It didn't even have to be like this; she could just be walking by him, and Finn needed her. The control, all of it, was in her hands, and Finn wondered if she even knew it. She probably didn't, but Finn wanted her to know anyway.

"I need you," Rachel gasped as her hips arched underneath his hands. She wanted his tongue, or she wanted him inside of her. Whatever he chose to give, she wanted it. She needed Finn, needed him like she needed air, because his love made her feel something she had never felt before. Rachel Berry-Hudson wanted to be more because of Finn Hudson, and she wondered if he knew just how much of an effect he had on her.

"Need me?" Finn questioned. His lips ghosted over her slit, but without touching the part of her that she needed him the most. His hand caressed up her side, barely brushing her breast, and all Rachel could think about is how much she wanted those talented fingers on her nipple, that tongue inside of her.

"I need you," Rachel gasped as his hands massaged her breast without touching her nipple. His tongue was wet against the inside of her thighs, and he touched her everywhere except the place where she most needed him. Her hips rolled, arched up underneath his touch, and Finn groaned when he glimpsed just how wet she was.

"You're so wet," he murmured.

"Yes," Rachel gasped as her hip arched towards him. "For you."

"For me?"


"Say it."

Rachel moaned and licked her lips. Finn saw it, of course, and was unable to help himself. He kissed her, hard, his tongue thrusting into her mouth with his hands gripping her hips so tightly, it was sure to leave bruises. He was still wearing his athletic shorts, but he was shirtless, and Rachel ran her hands over every bit of skin she could reach. Her eyes were on the hardness between his legs, and she lasted for nearly thirty seconds before she shoved his shorts and boxer shorts down, causing them to pool on the floor at his feet.

"I'm wet for you," Rachel gasped. "For you." She grabbed his hand and pressed it between her legs, letting him feel just what it was that she was talking about. "Please, Finn."

"Please, what?" Finn moved his mouth down her neck and sucked hard on the gender skin at her pulse point. Rachel panted his name and licked her lips, undulating her hips underneath his large hands.

While it was true that Finn was the only man she had ever been with, she had never been afraid to tell him what she wanted. In that moment, she was equally confident, and she knew what she wanted from Finn—she wanted to come, and she knew just how she wanted that to happen.

"Use your tongue on me," Rachel panted. She spread her thighs farther apart. "Now. I need you."

Without a word, Finn dropped to his knees and his mouth was on her in an instant. His lips and his tongue teased, lapping at her wetness, and Rachel twined her fingers in his hair. Finally, he pressed his tongue into her, and she cried out, tugging at his hair as her hips pressed harder to his mouth.

Finn kept it up, lapping at the most sensitive part of her to keep her on the edge before he pressed his tongue into her, fucking her with it and causing her hips to ride his mouth. Finn groaned against her, and the vibrations that ran through Rachel's body almost made her fall over the edge; she managed to hold on, though, because the feelings were just too much, too good, and she didn't want to end.

Finn didn't want it to end either, because he was pretty sure that he could spend hours between Rachel's thighs, eating her out. The first time he had done this was about returning the favor after the incredible blow job she had given him. Now, it was because he wanted her, wanted her taste, and nothing was better. This was a new part of her that he had discovered, and he wanted it. It turned him on just how much she wanted him because of what he could do with his mouth.

He kept her on the edge for a while, with his tongue inside of her and then lapping at her center. Finally, when it was too much for Rachel to take anymore, Finn wrapped his lips around her clit and sucked. She came hard against his mouth, her hips jerking against Finn's lips as she rode the waves of pleasure.

Finn kissed his way up Rachel's body, and he groaned against her mouth when she shoved his shorts and his boxer shorts down. He held her legs apart, pressing them against the kitchen counter before he surged into her, causing them both to cry out.

Rachel was still in the middle of her first orgasm when Finn pressed into her, but he kept his thrusts slow and measured until she got worked up again. As he thrust into her, Finn stroked his calloused thumb against her sensitive clit, and Rachel shouted his name and kissed him harder as one of her hands snaked around his neck. The other gripped his arm, her hips rising to meet his, and he could feel her walls clenching around his as she reached her peak once again. He came right after her, and Finn held her sweaty, panting body against his as they both came down from their highs.

Finn's lips skated down the side of Rachel's face before he pressed his lips briefly to hers. "I love you," he told her, because he needed to say it.

Rachel smiled up at him, her face full of love and happiness. "I love you, too, Finn Hudson."

Finn loved Rachel. He wouldn't have asked her to marry him if he hadn't.

After they had made love on their kitchen counter, Finn had spent the entire night awake wondering about just how he was going to handle this situation. In the middle of the night, Rachel had taken him in her mouth, stroking him with her tongue until he was hard again. She used her mouth on him until he was hard, and then kept at it until Finn couldn't take it anymore and drew her over him, encouraging her to ride him until neither of them could take it until they both came so hard neither of them could see straight.

The morning after, Finn made love to Rachel once again. This time it was slow, careful, and so full of love that tears came to Rachel's eyes when she came. When she was lethargic from her orgasm and half asleep once again, Finn pressed a tender kiss to her lips and then climbed out of bed.

Shelby Corcoran was still in Tree Hill, still waiting to hear just what Rachel was going to say about the part she had been offered in the off-Broadway show for Funny Girl. It was time for Finn to talk to her, and he knew that she was never going to go to him first. No, Finn had to go to her, no matter how much it scraped at his pride. What mattered in the end was what he could do for Rachel by doing this.

So at eight o'clock in the morning on a Saturday in May, Finn knocked on Shelby's hotel room door. She opened it, stared at him for a long moment before she finally said, "I guess you know about the part that Rachel has been offered in Funny Girl, then."

"I do," Finn confirmed. "So what do I have to do to make sure that she gets it?"

For the first time since Shelby had met Finn, she smiled. She clasped his shoulder, squeezing in support. "Step in to my office," she said as she gestured to the subpar hotel room. "I have some ideas."

There was three weeks of their junior year left. After that, they had the whole summer ahead of them. There weeks was exactly how long it would take to prepare Rachel for the part in Funny Girl. Jesse St. James was already on the train that would take Rachel into the city. It was just Finn's job to get her there.

"Finn, where are we?" Rachel looked around, taking in the train station. Objectively, she knew where she was, but in truth, she didn't know why she was there. Her brow was furrowed in true confusion, and the look was so adorable that Finn couldn't help but lean forward and press a kiss to Rachel's forehead.

"We're at the train station," Finn explained lowly. His hands were at her waist, squeezing lightly. "Because you're going to go to New York. And you're going to take the part that they offered you for Funny Girl."

A sharp gasp escaped Rachel's lips, then, and she stared at him with wide eyes. Finn's hands were still at her waist, and she wrapped her own fingers around his wrists. "What the hell are you talking about?" she demanded. "What do you mean, I'm going to New York?"

Finn smiled at her, but it didn't reach his eyes. It was a smile full of sadness and heartbreak, and Rachel was certain that her heart shattered in her chest at that moment. "I know about that part off-Broadway," Finn explained. "And you… Rachel, you deserve this. You can't be stuck here while you're meant to go off and do amazing things. Rachel…" Finn grasped her hands and held on to them tightly. "This is amazing. This is only the beginning of the amazing things that you're going to do."

"Finn…" Rachel's stomach swooped at the opportunity that Finn was giving her, but her heart was breaking all at the same time. "What are you saying? What are you talking about?"

"I think you know exactly what I'm talking about." Finn kissed her cheek and stooped down, grabbing a bag. He pressed the handles of the bag into Rachel's tiny hand. "This part… it could mean the start of your career on Broadway, Rachel. And I can't hold you back from that."

"But what…" The tears formed in Rachel's eyes anyway, and they spilled down her cheeks. "I meant to tell you, Finn. And I'm so sorry that I didn't. I… I don't know what happened, and I…"

That sad smile came to Finn's lips again. "This is your dream, Rachel. You don't have to explain it to me. You're going to do this."

Rachel's fingers curled into Finn's shirt then, and she held on tightly. Finn was telling her that she was going to get on the train, but she wasn't prepared to let go just yet. "Why?" she begged. "Why am I going to do this? I need you, Finn. I need you with me, so I can do this."

Finn shook his head and covered her tiny hands with his own. "You might believe that right now, but you really don't need me for this. You belong on Broadway, Rachel Berry-Hudson. You were born for this. And I… I can't be the person who keeps you from this. You need this, Rachel. You need to do this." Finally, Finn cupped Rachel's face in his hands and pressed his forehead to hers. "We're meant to be together, Rachel. Whether it's in a shoebox apartment in New York or on the other side of the world."

"We're meant to be together," Rachel repeated as her hands covered his. Her voice caught on a sob, and her small hands squeezed his. "I love you."

"I love you, too." The tears spilled from Finn's eyes, even as he tried to hold them back. "Please, Rachel. Please, do this. Go after your dream. You're going to go to New York, and you're going to be a star. Without me. That's how much I love you."

Rachel's heart hurt. She felt like everything was breaking inside of her with every word that Finn spoke, but she didn't know how to tell him just how much she needed him. "What about you?" she whispered."

Finn couldn't keep the truth from her. "I'm going to First Down," he admitted. "But Rachel… do you want to go to New York and take this part in Funny Girl, or do you want to come to Pennsylvania with me? Because I think I know the answer to that question."

He was right, of course. Rachel didn't want to stay in Lima for the summer, nor did she want to go to Pennsylvania while Finn was at football camp. She wanted to go to New York and take the part in Funny Girl so badly that she could almost taste it, and there Finn was, telling her that she could take the part. He had a bag packed for her, a train ready for her, and he was telling her to go. How could she say no?

Rachel took his face in her hands. "I love you," she told him, even as the tears streamed down her cheeks. "I love you so much."

Finn ducked his head down and kissed her. "I love you, too." He kept his forehead pressed to hers, and his hands stroked over her body, traveling the familiar path one more time. "I love you so much." He kissed her again, and then he stepped back.

Finn let Rachel get onto the train. And after a long moment, where she just stared at him, her bag clenched in her hand, she got on that train.

HA! It was less than a year since I updated! Thanks for reading! :)