A/N: Once again, this goes out to Kailee: the best beta and friend a girl could ever ask for.
Disclaimer: I always forget these. Just in case you were wondering, I don't own Glee nor am I connected to the show in any way. I am, however, obsessed with the pictures of Cory and Lea from the Push It number on the tour. xD
Finn's house is exactly how she'd imagined it.
The rooms aren't huge, but somehow the lack of space seems cozy and snug and fits his personality well. His mother obviously decorated it herself, and Rachel thinks she did fairly well for living with only a boy to assist her. It's not nearly as prim and pristine as her own home, but she suspects that's rare for anyone in Lima without two gay dads gifted in the art of interior design. Plus, they're both obsessive cleaners. But it has been obvious to Rachel since she was young that any home containing straight men of any sort was impossible to keep quite that clean, so the clutter doesn't surprise her. Most of it is probably Finn's doing anyway.
Rachel glances at the walls where various framed portraits of Finn hang, each expressing a defining point in his life. She sees a picture of a tiny blue bundle in a hospital bassinette, a young toddler in a diaper grinning, and plenty of sports photographs. There are also a few of Finn and his mother, and a picture of a man proudly donning a US Army uniform, obviously his late father.
She's pulled from her trance when Finn turns back from the archway to the kitchen to look at where she's stopped.
"Rachel," her head snaps over to him. "You coming?" His face goes red when he notices her staring at the frames.
"I was kind of an ugly kid," he says awkwardly. He still wasn't completely comfortable with his appearance. He had always thought he was too tall and gangly and weird.
Rachel's eyes go wide at his statement. "Finn, you were adorable!" She points to the photo frame showcasing each individual year's school picture starting at preschool and ending with the current, a few open spaces obviously for the years to come. "That's my favorite. I love how it shows your subtle growth over time." A small smile comes across her face as she adds, "And for the record, you're still pretty adorable."
His face goes even redder, if that's even possible, and gestures to the other room. "Ready?"
"Yes, of course." She hurries over to the other side of the room and feels him take her hand as they enter the kitchen. Mrs. Hudson is standing behind the counter pushing a pie into the oven, and Rachel can't help but feel her senses heighten at the overwhelming smell of pot roast.
"Mom, this is Rachel." Finn announces once his mother has closed the over door and turned back around. "Rachel, this is my mom."
"It's very nice to meet you Mrs. Hudson." She says formally, making sure to use her very best manners. She's unable to hide her surprise when Finn's mother ignores her outstretched hand and instead pulls Rachel into a warm hug.
"Call me Carole." The woman insists before pulling back. "Finn has told me so much about you; I can't explain how happy I am to finally meet you in person."
If Rachel had the ability to control the blush creeping onto her face right now she would banish it in an instant, but instead all she does is smile somewhat embarrassedly and replies, "Thank you."
"You're not a vegetarian are you? Because I wasn't quite sure what to fix for dinner, so I just made Finn's favorite." She adds, "I hope roast is alright."
Rachel nods, wondering if there's any food out there that isn't Finn's favorite. "I love roast."
Carole smiles. "Good, it just came out of the oven so if you're hungry we can sit down."
Soon they're sitting around the small table with plates filled to the brim with pot roast, green beans, mashed potatoes, and hot buttered rolls.
When Rachel fails to say anything after a moment Finn grows slightly worried.
"Is it okay Rach?"
Setting down her fork the young girl turns to face his mother, a serious look in her eyes.
"This is quite possibly one of the best meals I have ever had the pleasure of eating." She says firmly. "I would love it if I could have the recipe so I could try and make it for both my fathers sometime. I'm positive that they would waste no time in reiterating my feelings."
The look of bewilderment on Carole's face vanishes as quickly as possible. Finn had told her before about Rachel's large vocabulary, but she's still a bit shocked at the maturity of her language, not to mention the extent of the compliment that by the look of sincerity on Rachel's face is obviously not an exaggeration of any sort.
"Of course you can have the recipe honey. I'll make sure you have it before you leave tonight."
Rachel smiles. "Thank you." And with that she goes back to savoring her meal. The conversation flows well from that point on as they cover the basic topics of school and Glee club, to which Rachel tells her about the extreme talent of her son and how he saved the entire club at Sectionals, not to mention his vast improvement in the area of choreography. She also talks briefly about her dreams of being on Broadway and her fathers, and it is soon decided that the two families will most definitely have to get together soon, possibly over another roast.
By the time peach pie is served (with vanilla ice cream on the side, obviously, Finn adds, as if there's any other way) the tension in the atmosphere is long gone and it's pretty clear that Rachel fits in perfectly with the Hudson family. There is plenty of laughter and stories shared among the trio, and before long it's nearing nine thirty. The dishes have been placed in the dishwasher to run during the night and the kitchen has been wiped clean before Carole pulls Rachel into another hug.
"You come back any time you want, okay? Maybe when Finn's at practice some time you and me can go shopping or bake cookies, how does that sound?"
Rachel tries not to let the tears appearing in her eyes spill over as she replies earnestly, "I would like that very much."
Mrs. Hudson smiles. "Alright, it's set then." She pulls away and moves to kiss her son's cheek briefly before heading off to her bedroom, reminding him that Rachel needs to head home by ten thirty and that she loves him.
"Love you too ma." He replies as she disappears down the hallway. Glancing over at Rachel he shrugs. "My room?"
And so, a few minutes later they're both curled up in his bed, the covers coming to their waists as they lay together with various limbs tangled together and the radio turned to a rock station he likes playing softly in the background.
"Your mother is amazing." She says after a few minutes of contented silence.
Finn nods. "Yeah, she's pretty cool." He agrees.
Her next comment comes quietly, as if she's simply voicing her thoughts and doesn't require a response. "I'm just relieved that she liked me."
This grabs his attention, and when he looks down at her face she notices how surprised he looks. "Why wouldn't she like you? You're perfect." He says it so simply, as if it's the most obvious thing in the world, and from the tone of his voice it's clear that he genuinely doesn't comprehend how she could worry about such things.
She shifts her weight a little so that she's pressed closer to his body, staring at his chest as she answers his question. "A lot of people tend to have problems with the way I act, and they find me annoying." She admits. He probably already knows this, seeing as how he used to be friends with many of the people accused of such actions, but she decides not to add that bit in.
Finn sighs. "Baby, you have got to stop worrying about crap like that. Those people at school are jerks, and they don't matter. The people that really care about you will love you for who you are."
Rachel is silent for a minute, thinking over his words and realizing that this very well may be the most poetic and versatile thing he's ever said, and finally responds, "You called me baby."
He shrugs. "Yeah, well, everyone else has nicknames. Like, Puck always calls Quinn mama, but that would be weird if I called you that. And Mercedes calls Kurt homeboy, but she told me I'm not supposed to try to talk like her. And, I dunno, I kinda wanted to call you something that no one else does." He stops his rambling, knowing that if he doesn't cut himself off now he probably won't ever shut up. Man, she's starting to rub off on him more than he thought.
Rachel smiles. "I'm more than okay with using pet names Finn, it just kind of threw me off at first, that's all. But it was very sweet and I like it."
"Oh," he smiles back at her, relieved. "Okay. Anyway, do you feel better now?"
She nods, leaning up to press her lips against his in a gentle kiss. "Yes, you made me feel much better. Thank you sweetie."
Finn laughs at her use of pet name and smirks. "Anytime honey bun."
"Good to know cupcake." She fires back.
"Okay then lamb chop."
Drawing a blank, Finn quickly says the first thing that pops in his head. "Banana monkey!"
Rachel's giggles begin to increase before she bursts into full on laughter. "Banana monkey?"
He shrugs, laughter of his own bubbling over. "I don't know, it just kind of fell out."
Her giggles begin to subside as she leans up to steal another kiss. "It's okay Finn, I'm more than willing to be your Banana Monkey."
The grin on his face couldn't be removed for anything in the world right now, and Finn as looks down at his girlfriend with joy on his face, he can't help but feel an intense craving for Rachel's banana bread.
A/N: Reviews are always appreciated.