Title: Nine Times Finn Hudson Says Something Profound
Word Count: 2282
Summary: Nine times Finn says something insanely profound without meaning to. A story spanning twenty one years.
Disclaimer: I do not own Glee, or Puck, or Finn, or Rachel, or Quinn... I don't own much of anything actually.
Rating: PG
Characters: Finn, Finn's Kindergarten Teacher, Finn's mom, Some girl he meets at a party, Quinn, Artie, Puck, Mercedes, Tina, Rachel, Puck. (I think that's it)

Author's Note: I wrote this because I haven't been feeling a lot of love for Finn of late. But for someone he/I have labeled as "dumb" he sure says some profound things on the show. Thus, this fic was born. As always, the mistakes are mine, and there may be some typos because it came partly out of my writing book.

Feedback is love people. Feedback is LOVE!

i.

He's five years old.

He has just started going to kindergarten every morning. His teacher is great. She lets him play with blocks, and cars, and all sorts of toys and never yells at him.

All he has to do is sit on the carpet and listen to stories and clean up his toys when he's done. It's maybe the best place in the entire world.

One day as school ends and his teacher is trying to help him put on his shoes he leans in to whisper into her ear, "You're doing a good job, teacher."

And her smile grows and brightens. He wraps his small arms around her in a sloppy half hug, which she returns.

ii.

He is nine.

His mother has just come home from work, and has moved straight to the fridge to find the closest glass bottle, which happens to be Gin. She adds soda and drinks it down quickly.

He moves around her, pulling vegetables out of the fridge and setting them on the counter. Pulling pasta noodles from the cupboard, setting a pot filled with water on the stove, all while his mother pours herself another drink.

She's has days like this before. He finds the only thing he can do to make it better is put together their dinner, but he's not very good at anything but cooking pasta.

Still, she never complains.

He chops the vegetables, humming some 80's rock ballad, maybe by REO Speedwagon, maybe by someone else. Come to think of it maybe it was 90's. He's not really old enough to know either.

Midway through quartering cucumber slices, his mother looks up at him with watery eyes. He puts the sharp knife down on the counter, rinses the vegetable juice off his fingers and slips his arms around her waist, holding her tightly. She smells of alcohol and the cigarettes she's been trying to quit for months.

"No matter what, mom, I love you." He speaks into her shoulder, his head resting there until the wetness from her tears dries on his t-shirt.

iii.

He is thirteen. At a birthday party. Noah Puckerman's birthday party.

They're to the point of co-ed birthdays, girls and boys mixing together. Finn doesn't really think that's such a great idea, but Puck had been so excited about the prospect of having "older women," meaning older high school girls at his "shindig."

A girl walks up to him. Her light brown hair bouncing at the ends where she's taken the time to curl it. Her eyes are bright blue and scared, or nervous. He still can't tell the difference between the two emotions.

Everyone else is in the other room, playing "spin the bottle."

"You didn't want to play," he asks her quietly. She shakes her head in response. "Me either," he continues. "What's the point in wasting your first kiss? It's supposed to be mean something special."

The girl looks back at him, her eyes shining now. They sit together and munch on crackers and cheese and talk about video games and books and movies.

iv.

He is fifteen years old. Going on a date with Quinn Fabray. Not a first date, but a fifth one, not that he's counting. She's a cheerleader and all she ever wears is that super short WMHS uniform. She worships that cloth. He doesn't really understand why.

Sure, it's tight. And make her legs look mile long. And the red compliments her skin, but she never wears anything else!

So when he shows up at her door and she's dressed in a pretty green sundress, he is pleasantly shocked.

He's never noticed that her eyes are green, and damn, they're beautiful. She's not wearing any makeup either, not that she normally cakes it on like most of the girls at school.

They walk out to his mom's sedan, he opens her door and waits until she has both legs tucked inside before closing it for her.

On the drive to the movie theater they talk about football, about the "Cheerios" and finally the dreaded "Celibacy Club."

She explains her reasons for joining. Her parents are super religious and they want to make sure that she's confident and comfortable, married and forty when she finally makes the decision to sleep with someone.

The car is silent after that for a moment. Almost awkward.

Okay, a lot awkward, but he breaks it.

"I just want you to know," he says quietly over the soft pop song playing on the car radio, "I think you wanting to wait is pretty cool." He keeps his eyes on the road but he can feel her smile lighten the air around them.

v.

He's sixteen years and four weeks old. And for the first time he cares about something at school besides football.

He really likes Glee. He really likes singing.

And even though that Rachel chick is kind of batty (in a crazy-stalker way), she has a point. He can't keep living for everyone else. He can't keep worrying about what they think.

So when Puck puts that wheelchair kid, Artie, in the port-a-potty he makes a choice.

He takes Artie to rehearsal.

Confesses to them all that he doesn't want to be some stereotype (a word that Miss Pillsbury used when she came to talk to his English class about self-esteem). He doesn't want to be a bully, he just wants to be a part of their group.

"I used to think that this was the lamest thing ever, and maybe it is, but we're all here for the same reason: We want to be good at something." He figures this is something everyone can relate to.

He watches for the small signs that he's made his point. A slight tilt of Rachel's head. Mercedes dropping her arms down to her sides. Artie smiles. Tina's eyes become slightly less cautious. Kurt just looks at him the way Kurt always does, with distrust, but keeps his mouth shut.

And he knows he's made the right decision.

vi.

He's sixteen years and two months old. Walking towards the door of the choir rehearsal room. Getting ready to leave.

"Finn, I need to ask you something."

Here it is. The moment he's been waiting for since he joined Glee. He always knew that this was going to be a problem. He likes Kurt. But he doesn't LIKE Kurt.

"Thanks, but I already have a date to the prom. But I'm flattered. I know how important school dances are to teen gays." He's planned out the speech and it's executed perfectly. Just the right amount of everything. Nothing offensive, but still a very big "thanks, but no thanks."

"I'm not gay." Kurt's high pitched voice replies.

"Oh," is all he can think to say. Secretly he thinks it's sad that Kurt can't be himself, but at the same time, he understands. He knows what it's like to be a teenage boy. Definitely knows what it's like to want something (someone) you can't have.

"I just… I needed a favour."

Finn is really good at favours.

Sometimes he wonders to himself how he can be so good with reading people and so not good with using words.

vii.

He's sixteen years and ten months old.

His former girlfriend is in labour, and he's standing the waiting room with his former best friend.

Puck is pacing madly, up and down the rows of chairs. Finn hasn't seen him sit since they arrived at the hospital four hours earlier.

Quinn's mom is in the room with her. There were some problems. The baby, Puck and Quinn's baby, is turned around. They don't know if they'll need to do emergency surgery or not.

It's a waiting game.

He still has all the stress and all the worry of this baby, even though it's not his.

And all because he cares.

He might not be with Quinn anymore. He might have stopped talking to Puck after the truth came out (well, after he punched him a few times). But they've both been a very important part of his life. He can't just forget about that.

He leaves Puck to his pacing, walks outside the hospital and pulls out his cell phone. It's seven o'clock at night, but there's someone else who needs to be here.

He dials her number from memory, it would have been easier to use speed dial, but something about hitting the buttons one at a time helps calm him down.

"Hello," says the high pitched voice on the other end.

"Rach?"

"Finn, what's up? We're just getting ready to eat dinner, can I call you back later?"

"Rachel, you need to come to the hospital." He seriously cannot believe he's doing this. "Quinn's in labour."

He hears breathing, soft voices, and plates clacking together in the background.

"I'll be right there."

He waits for her outside. Breathing in the warm early summer air. Minutes tick by and the warmth of the sun slips below the horizon bringing a slight crispness. Still, he waits.

A few months ago, this scene would have been completely different. He would have been the one inside freaking out. Rachel would have been with him (also freaking out). But it's a whole new world.

She walks up, short plaid skirt, argyle sweater and flat pink shoes, looking completely Rachel. Her arms come up around him, and he feels… well.

He's so tempted to just lean in and lose himself in the strawberry scent that surrounds her. But he pulls out of her arms and leads her inside. When they're standing outside the waiting room he finally speaks.

"He needs you, Rach." She looks deeply into his eyes, and he thinks he hears his heart break in his chest.

When she's safely in Puck's arms, and they whisper quietly to each other, words he doesn't want to overhear, words he never wanted to overhear, he leaves to take a walk around the building.

viii.

He is eighteen years old. About to graduate from High School.

No one was more surprised than he was, when the student body voted him to speak at the ceremony.

He's not the smartest guy in their class, or the most popular anymore, so it came as quite a shock. Very unexpected.

He asked Rachel to help him, she did, sitting with him after Glee practice working on picking themes and quotations and stuff. Sometimes Puck would join them, sitting down beside Rachel, their arms brushing slightly (not that he really took notice).

They've said his name, and he walks up to the microphone, cue cards in hand.

He speaks about growth, self-esteem, endings and beginnings. Then he speaks from the heart.

"What comes after high school will be different for each person here. Some of us step right into the working world, some will go to college, some will travel, every one of us has a path to walk along. If there is one thing I've learned here at William McKinley High School it's that there is nothing more important or scary than being yourself. But when you open yourself up to the possibilities, look outside your safe zone, you'll be amazed at what you find out about yourself."

For a moment, everyone is silent in the room, like they're taking in what he's just said.

But as the claps and cheers begin he really hopes they understand.

He searches for his mom in the audience. Finds her five rows back and slightly to the left. She has tears in her eyes. He smiles back at her.

His eyes meet Rachel's, she's sitting in the front row, clapping loudly, a proud smile on her face. A smile meant only for him.

ix.

He's twenty-six years old.

"I know that I don't always do the right thing. I know sometimes I need to look words up in the dictionary. Maybe I don't always react the way that I should. Maybe I need to take more time to think before I speak." He's practiced this speech a thousand times in the mirror. Practiced the exact smile he's going to use, but it all seems useless now.

"I know that I'm not the smartest person. But you'll never find anyone who loves you the way that I do."

He's dreamed about this day since the moment she found him at a college party. He remembers taking her up to one of the rooms and kissing her on the soft duvet, his body leaning on hers.

"When I imagine my future, I imagine you. I imagine our life together – one of ups and downs – and all I can see is perfection. I imagine our house becoming a home, filled with our children, who we'll love and raise together."

He really does see all these things. Brown-haired, brown eyed children, sometimes boys, sometimes girls, sometimes a mix, but always beautiful and theirs. A house, with a yard where he can teach his son or daughter how to play catch, or to ride a bicycle, or tie shoelaces.

"I have no future without you. So what I really want to know is, will you spend your life with me? Will you share your dreams and hopes with me? Will you marry me?"

Her answer is a swirl of brown hair, laughing brown eyes and a huge smile on lips that are even now opening on his. Her taste fills him.

After minutes (or hours) of holding her, she pulls her lips from his.

"Yes!" The room is suddenly brighter, and he takes a ring out of his pocket and slips it onto her finger.