DISCLAIMER: I neither own Glee nor the characters. They are the property of Ryan Murphy and FOX. This is purely for fun. Enjoy! :)
Part Six: The Finale
Throwing herself down on the floor of the silver-barred cage that kept her captive, Rachel had to blink away the tears that blurred her vision as she tried to get as close to Finn's body as possible. The sorrow that seeped into her very core was overwhelming her, and the ensuing chaos that surrounded her in the auditorium faded into nothing as she focused on Finn's face, barely inches in front of her.
He looked so peaceful, like he was sleeping or resting after a long and arduous day. All she wanted to do was reach out and touch him, to prove that this was real and not some trick of her mind. When she tried to slip her hands through the bars, though, her skin brushed against the silver and scalded her already battered flesh. Right now she didn't care, she could throw her whole body against the silver and it wouldn't even matter anymore.
Finn was dead. Jesse had killed him.
Now more than ever, she regretted never having the chance to tell him how much she cared about him. Reaching through the bars, she winced as the silver burned away at the skin on her arm, but she braved the pain and rested her hand over his. It was the hand that was still holding the key to her cage. She could try to reach for it and save herself, but she was too weak to make her escape unnoticed. She took a second to look up and the stage was now deserted; Jesse had run off into the screaming crowd once he had snapped Finn's neck, so he was nowhere to be seen. As long as she was being ignored in the fray that raged on around her, she took the opportunity to finally say what had been in her heart since the very beginning.
"Finn." She cooed to the body in front of her. For a moment, she waited for an answer and then realized her mistake, soldiering on. "Finn, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry I dragged you into this mess. You deserved so much better than this." She blinked away the tears that blurred Finn's face from her view. "I'm even more sorry that I never got to tell you how much I care about you. You were right all along." She sighed. "The bond meant nothing compared to how much I love you," her voice broke from the grief as her skin sizzled and burned from the contact with the silver. "I wish that I could have told you that before now." That was the moment when she lost control of the emotions that raged through her and finally succumbed to the tears. The silver that scalded against her arms and dug deep into her neck had weakened her immensely, but she still had the energy to cry.
Her fingers brushed over the hand that she was holding, and she paused her movement when she made contact with something hard and smooth. Looking up, she wiped the tears away with her other hand so she could figure out what the foreign object was.
It looked like a ring. . .
All of a sudden, the hand she was holding moved the slightest bit, enough for her to be startled by the action and pull her hand away. It was barely a twitch of the fingers, but he'd still moved, she was absolutely positive.
Looking up with wide eyes, she watched as the body in front of her started to move. The neck that had been snapped only minutes ago started to lift off of the floor, and she watched, incredulous, as Finn sat up on his knees and cracked it back into place with a loud pop. The noise was lost in the chaos that ensued around them and Rachel was frozen from shock as the impossible was happening right in front of her eyes.
Finn was alive.
Shaking his head back and forth, then rolling it around from shoulder to shoulder, Rachel cringed at the sound of the cracks and snaps as Finn's neck reset into place. The ring she'd felt on his hand must have really been Shelby's, and had granted him immortality. How had he managed to kill her? Why was she even asking questions right now? The love of her existence was no longer dead!
"Finn?" She whispered, as she made her presence known. His head shot up and she stared into his eyes as his trademark half-smile pulled up his left cheek into a lopsided grin.
"Hey Rach," he said, as if he hadn't just been dead in front of her and there wasn't a vampire-human war brewing around them. He put his finger to his lips as he crouched back down into his original position on the floor. He was whispering, and she had to strain to hear him over the sounds that filled the auditorium. "Stay as quiet as possible, I don't think anyone else has noticed I'm alive." He took the key in his hands and reached up to unlock the cage.
"Finn, you need to save yourself and get out of here. I'm too weak to escape unseen."
"Just do as I say, Rachel. I have a plan." He unlocked the cage but did not open the door. Instead, he stuck his arm into Rachel's cage, pulling at the chain around her neck until it started to slip off of her burning skin. She had to choke back a scream at the pain that blazed against her sensitive flesh, but after a minute of the torturous sensation, the silver was finally free from her neck. While the searing pain was gone, however, she was still too weak to really even move. The only thing that would cure her was blood, and a lot of it.
After he freed her from her silver prison, he turned his wrist towards her and pushed it close to her face. "Drink, and take as much as you need. Don't hesitate for a second; you can't hurt me anymore." His words were all the encouragement she needed as she sunk her fangs greedily into his skin. The knowledge that she could drink until she was satisfied fueled her vigor until she felt the strength return to her body in waves.
She broke apart from Finn's wrist and licked the blood that dripped down her face, greedily sucking on her fingers and trying to take in every drop of blood in sight. When she looked up at Finn he was beaming at her, watching her feed with a bright glint in his eyes. In his hands he held the silver chain that had kept her captive, and he squeezed it in his fists while the wound from her fangs closed right in front of her face.
"Now this is what were gonna do. . ."
. . . . . . . . . . .
Finn never thought he would know what it was like to be dead. He was sure that he'd actually died for a few minutes; while waiting for the ring to do it's magic and restore his life, he'd felt disconnected from the work around him, floating in a kind of limbo until he regained consciousness. But when he did come back to the mortal world, the first thing he felt was Rachel's cool hands on his skin, and the first thing he heard was the sound of her crying.
He knew it had been a good idea to slip on the ring he'd found in the shack. He thought it would never fit; seeing as Shelby was a slim woman, any ring on her finger would never fit Finn's thick digits. But as he slipped the finger onto his right middle finger to check it out, the band began to stretch to accommodate the size.
Now that the ring had done it's job and his life was restored, he was filled with a sense of purpose he'd never felt before in his short life. He now had the power of the ancient ring that had kept Shelby immortal for over four hundred years; nothing would be able to hold him back from stopping Jesse, and ending this battle once and for all.
Once Rachel had stopped feeding from him, he took the silver chains into his hands with the intentions of using it against the vampires that filled the auditorium. When he looked up at Rachel, he couldn't help but smile at how much healthier she looked. His blood had instantly restored her strength, and the deep burns in her skin were healing, leaving her skin looking flawless as usual.
"Now this is what we're gonna do. . .," he whispered his plan to his vampire companion and noticed her lips turn up in a wicked smile. Plotting with Rachel was fun. Before he could scurry away into hiding though, Rachel grabbed his face in her hands and kissed him deeply, with more passion than he'd ever felt before.
"In case I never get the chance to do this again, I love you." Her voice was serene and calm, despite the melee that surrounded them. He wished he could reciprocate more, but there wasn't any time. She nodded to him in understanding while he began to crawl off-stage, as to not draw attention to himself in the crowd of vampires and humans below. Once Rachel had walked towards the front of the stage to begin the plan, he stole a glance at the mayhem that had engulfed the auditorium into a full-blown war-zone. He spotted Coach Beiste and Sam, who were actually quite skilled and holding off the bulk of the vampires alone. Some football and hockey players, along with some older townspeople, had joined the battle as well, but he could tell that a lot of blood had already been spilled.
This had to end. Now.
He got into position and waited for his cue.
"Oh Jesse." Rachel called from center-stage in a melodic, sing-song voice. Finn watched from the shadows of backstage as the vampire turned around, holding a struggling girl in his hands. When he noticed that Rachel was on stage and beckoning him, he dropped the girl to the floor and started to walk forward, his arms open wide.
"My little songbird! You're looking quite healthy! How did you escape your silver cage?" Rachel hopped off of the stage and into Jesse's arms below.
"I reached through the bars to grab the key off the body of my human. You remember, right? The one whose neck you just snapped. At least he was able to do me one last favor and donate his blood to a willing recipient." Rachel had Jesse laughing and Finn wanted nothing more to reveal himself at that moment, but it would be counter-productive to the plan.
"I knew you still had it in you." Jesse said with a smirk. "No vampire can deny the pull of the blood. The need is too strong." Pulling Rachel's wispy bangs away from her face in a tender motion, Finn almost blew his cover by screaming out a loud profanity. "I can't wait to spend eternity teasing you about that boy you were so infatuated with! Did his blood taste like chocolate or something? I heard that the dietary habits of this generation are less than stellar." Rachel just smiled and started to walk around him, turning his body around until his back was against the stage.
"His blood tasted like the finest wine." He saw her eyes go black for a moment. "I'll miss the taste."
"Rachel, you have no idea how much I've missed seeing you like this."
"Oh Jesse, I think it's time I remind you how ruthless I can really be." With a flirty pout and a sultry tone, Rachel had Jesse in the palms of her hands. He immediately ran from his hiding spot to where Jesse was standing at center-stage, dropping to his knees and sliding to the edge with the silver chain held taut in his hands. Before Jesse could sense the movement behind him, Finn had wrapped the chain around Jesse's neck like Rachel had been subdued, and Finn could smell the scent of burning flesh as he pulled the chains even tighter.
"You didn't think I was gonna leave Shelby's ring for you to pick up, now did you?" He spat harshly into Jesse's ear as he pulled the chains tight around his neck. This was oddly satisfying in a way.
"Rachel?" The panic was evident in Jesse's tone. "What's going on, songbird?"
Rachel started to laugh; a hollow sound that echoed in the auditorium and drew people's attentions to the front of the stage. Both humans and vampires began to watch with interest as the ringleader was now the one who was being held captive.
"Your songbird. That's all you've ever called me in over a hundred years. Why did you turn me so long ago, Jesse? Why couldn't I have been just a free meal to you? At least I could have died in peace." Her laughter continued and Finn tightened the chains when he thought about what had happened to Rachel so long ago. "But no, you wanted someone to stay with you forever and sing your praises, right? I was nothing more than a pretty voice the entire time. You ruined my life for nothing." She turned to the crowd around her and hate began to darken her eyes. "I won't let you hurt anyone else, Jesse. It's over." She waked up to the stage, where Finn had previously discarded the shovel that had killed Shelby. She took it in her hands and snapped it over her knee, breaking it in half and tossing away the end with the spade, leaving just a splintered wooden stick with a jagged edge. Finn could feel Jesse begin to tremble under the chains. He pulled them even tighter. "Oh, and by the way. I've always hated the name Songbird! Goodbye, Jesse."
Before Jesse could respond, Rachel had taken the broken handle of the shovel and rammed it into Jesse's chest, impaling him through the heart with the makeshift stake. Finn felt the body in his arms go limp until Jesse slumped onto the floor, dead. When they both looked up, the crowd looked as if someone had pressed the pause button on a remote. Both people and vampires were just staring at them blatantly, and it was Rachel who made the first move.
"If you were here under Jesse's orders, you can either leave and spare your lives, or stay and face me. It's your choice." Immediately, over half of the remaining vampires ran from the auditorium, clearly influenced by Jesse and intimidated by the vampire who killed vampires. The ones who stayed would have to face Finn and Rachel. They were now a vampire slaying team.
Rachel held the stake in her hands and Finn had the chains as they entered the war-zone and started to attack the remaining vampires. Finn would get them around the neck with the chains while Rachel delivered the killing blow with the stake. Slowly, the vampires began to dissipate, until the auditorium was filled with exhausted, bloody humans and a single, vengeful vampire. For a moment, Finn was afraid that Sam and Beiste would try and attack Rachel once this was all over, but when they approached them it wasn't with an air of hostility. Beiste stuck her hands out and shook Rachel's, grateful that they'd had her help in defeating the immortal enemy.
"We won't be bothering you anymore, Ms. Rachel. You'll be left alone." It was a promise they were sure to keep, now that they knew how powerful Rachel really could be when she wanted to. He knew better though; underneath that tough, vampiric exterior she was as harmless as a kitten.
A kitten with really, really sharp claws.
They waited until everyone was cleared out of the school to finally go home. Finn wanted to make sure the citizens had all received whatever medical attention was needed, and he sat with Rachel close to him as the paramedics brought some people out in stretchers.
"Do you think the vampires are gonna bother us anymore?" He asked her to fill the silence around them.
"Not really. Most of the vampires here were made by Jesse. Now that he's gone, they're free to do what they want. I figure that some will stay in town, but the ones that do won't really bother people anymore. They now know that I'm around, and I'm older than all of them. The town is pretty much safe."
"Yeah, no one is ever gonna believe this stuff really happened, this town is too good at denying the obvious. I'm sure the witnesses are trying to pretend it never happened. Beiste and Sam said they planned on sticking around to make sure the threat is gone, so at least we won't have to worry about them anymore. They understand you now, you're like the town's own vampire hero."
She slapped her forehead with her hand but he could hear the playful affection in her tone. "Just what I always wanted."
He stood up then, towering over Rachel but fully knowing that she was the strongest creature he would ever know. Reaching out a hand, she took it without question. "Come on, Rachel. Let's go home. There's something we need to do."
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
She followed him without needing to ask what he was planning. Right now she would follow Finn off of a cliff if he'd asked her; it's not like they could get hurt. They made their way to Finn's house, where Finn's mother greeted them as if she'd had no idea about the vampire attacks at all. Would she ever tell Carole about her true nature? Shrugging away the idea, she knew she had an eternity to figure out the logistics of her relationship with Finn, right now she had to focus on the present.
He led her into his room, where the smell of him wrapped around her and sent her into a peaceful state of mind. Finn was here, he was alive, and he was never going to leave her.
He sat cross-legged at the foot of his bed while she faced him from the other side. For a moment, neither of them made a move; they were more than content just sitting there and appreciating the fact that the other person was alive and safe. She reached for his hand and he offered it, while her fingers brushed up lazily against the smooth, ornate surface of the ring.
"I'm never going to take it off." He said, his voice barely above a whisper. "I literally had to cut it off of Shelby's hand. When the ring was detached from her body, she started to age right in front of my face. She dissolved into dust." Taking a deep breath, he nodded his head. "If I decide to keep the ring, I can never take it off, ever. I'll be a human forever. Nothing can change that." Rachel nodded in understanding. Even if she'd wanted to turn Finn into a vampire in the far future, he would have to take off his ring to die, and without the power of the ring, he would age away into nothing and she would be powerless to stop it. If he was going to keep the ring, he had to commit to a life of humanity, forever.
"I don't mind that."
"Yeah, it's kind of perfect actually. Your blood really does taste delicious." She admitted. "And I never have to worry about you getting hurt or growing old and dying on me."
"You'll never be alone anymore, Rachel. I'm not going anywhere." The words that escaped his lips held so much meaning to her she thought she might cry. How many nights had she spent lost in the sorrow of her own solitude? How long had she wished for someone to share her eternity with? Finn was never going to leave her, he was committing himself to an immortal life with her.
It was more than she could have ever hoped for.
"I love you." She said it with all the conviction she had. "I never said it before, and I hid behind the power of the bond, but it's the truth. I love you, Finn."
"I love you too, Rachel. So much. Now stick out your hand and draw blood."
"We have to redo the bond! Just in case you ever get kidnapped again I can find you. Plus, I'm sure that there are other benefits that we'll have an eternity to exploit. I'm looking forward to it." His beaming smile was all the encouragement she needed as she bit into the skin of her own hand, drawing blood. She watched as he licked the blood from her wound, and she took his hand and started to drink a bit from him as well.
She could feel the connection returning, and the familiarity of it almost reduced her to tears. Her direct link with Finn was back, and she reveled in it as she realized how much stronger the bond felt now, after they confessed their true affections. Her connection with Finn was bonded with not only blood, but with the deepest and purest love.
As she reached over to kiss Finn, she felt the bond solidify until the connection was complete. They would never be alone after this. Their forever started tonight.
As she leaned over to press her body up against her lover and find the solace she needed in his arms, she rubbed the ring on his finger one more time. Her fears were all eased away as he pulled her clothes from her body and made her forget her problems with his hands on her skin. She lost herself in his love, and knew that an eternity of sex with Finn would never get old, now matter how many centuries they lived. Yes, there were definitely things they needed to figure out for their eternal future, but right now it could wait as they healed their wounds together in the bliss of love.
Rachel's world had always been surrounded by the dark. An eternal night. The only light she ever saw was the moon and the stars in the sky. The sun had become both a burden and an unattainable dream to her. As much as she feared its power, she wished she could bask in it's warmth and feel it's glow on her skin.
The life of a vampire was a life of darkness and cold. They weren't supposed to have warmth and light, those luxuries were reserved for the living. There had never been an exception to that rule, until now.
Now that she had Finn forever, her nights would always be as bright as the sun and as warm as summer.
As long as she had Finn, forever didn't seem so long anymore.
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Merci Mille Fois