Title: my gift is my song (and this one's for you)
Summary: She still has dreams - nothing can take those from her (she's Rachel Hudson, after all). But now she has patience as well, an inner calm she was missing in high school when the passion stirring inside of her seemed to be screaming now now now! Besides, she has time.
Character/Pairing: Rachel Berry; Finn Hudson; Finn/Rachel
Disclaimer: They don't belong to me, although I wish Cory did.
Note: A look into Rachel's psyche as she and Finn prepare to expand their family. (For the purposes of this story, we are to assume Rachel has experienced some success in off(-off)-Broadway productions but has not made it as far as I'm sure she would have liked – real life sometimes dictates the pace at which we achieve our dreams. That's not to say she won't but that she simply hasn't, yet.) Comments are always appreciated, please no flames.
I hope you don't mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is now you're in the world
They'd spent weeks talking about it - long conversations over dinner or in bed, cold feet tangling beneath the covers. In the end, she knew Finn was right; the timing would never be perfect. It would always be a leap of faith. "Like fate," he'd say, his lips quirking upward.
"You never think about it?" he asks late one night, his voice bouncing off the silence of their bedroom. She doesn't need to see his face to know the expression he wears, years of knowing each other has made her somewhat of an expert.
"Of course I do," she whispers, and it's true. She imagines his large hands cradling a tiny bundle, little pieces of she and Finn wrapped up like a perfect package. She imagines dark eyes and brown hair and a little girl who would sing before she could walk. Of course she's thought about it.
But, inevitably, all of the things they'd never done would swirl in the air around her. Like traveling through Europe (you hate airplanes, Rach!) or owning a sports car (our car is fine, stop being silly). Like Broadway (…).
"It's not that I don't think about it because I do. I do," she says, grabbing his hand and threading their fingers together. "It's just … what if."
He sighs softly then and she knows he's disappointed but she needs to say it, needs him to hear it. More than anything, she needs his reassurance.
"There might always be a 'what if,' Rach. I know you like to have a plan but I can't give you that this time, not really. I can't give you a guarantee," he says, squeezing her hand softly.
"But we can work out anything if we try. I mean, haven't we always? We can do anything," he whispers, kissing her and effectively ending their conversation before turning slightly and drifting off.
She lies there beside him, his words floating around in her head for hours before she, too, falls asleep. Anything, she thinks, her eyelids heavy.
She dreams of sitting beside Finn in a red convertible, the wind whipping her hair around. When she looks down she realizes she's holding a tiny pair of pink socks. She's smiling.
In the end, it comes down to a piece of cheap plastic.
She'd taken the compact out of her purse, placing it on the sink's ledge as she ran the tap. Finn wordlessly handed her a glass from the drying rack, looking at her curiously when she made no move to fill it. "You gonna take it?" he says, smirking as he pushes the glass into her hands before turning back to his toast.
"You know," she says slowly, "I don't think I will."
"What?" he chokes out around a mouthful of bread and jam.
"You know I hate when you use the same knife in both jars, Finn," she says over her shoulder, concentrating as she tries to separate the bits of strawberry jam that have made their way into the peanut butter jar.
"I didn't – wait, what? What?" he spits out and this time she giggles outright. "I said –" she begins, playing coy.
"I don't care about the peanut butter, I'll buy you more. I'll buy you a thousand," he says, wrapping his arms around her waist.
"I don't think a baby can live on peanut butter alone, Finn," she says softly, smiling when his face breaks out into a goofy grin.
"Really?" he whispers, his eyes going soft.
"Really," she says, nodding, and then, "I thought it was time I gave you a family," she whispers, running her hands through the strands at the base of his neck.
His eyes water a bit then, something she's not used to seeing, and the sight nearly steals her breath. He pulls her to him, kissing her soundly, before resting his head in the crook of her shoulder.
"You already have," he whispers softly in her ear.
Nearly a month later and she's looking to another piece of cheap plastic for answers.
Finn sits on the bed, his head resting against the headboard as she paces the room again and again. And again.
"How can you be so calm?" she nearly shouts as he flips through a magazine.
"Don't know, just am," he says, looking up and smiling at her. "Come here," he says, reaching out a hand and sitting her in his lap. She curls up beneath his chin and listens to his heartbeat, strong and steady, beneath her ear.
"What I'm not?" she whispers, suddenly near tears for reasons she can't explain. She feels almost silly, but if anyone can understand missing something – someone – that was never truly there, it's Finn.
"If you're not, you're not," he says simply. "We'll just have to keep trying," he whispers, tickling her sides and making her squirm.
"And if I am?" she looks up into his face then, smoothes a hand down his cheek.
"If you am," he says, chuckling as he closes his eyes, giving into her touch. "Then –"
A sharp ding! pierces the air and his eyes snap open. "You set a timer?"
"I wanted to be prepared!" she says, flouncing into the bathroom. When she returns a moment later, her face is unreadable, her hold on the plastic stick tight.
"So?" he whispers, palms sweating.
"So," she says smiling and apparently it's all he needs because suddenly she's in his arms. He's scooped her up, effectively wrapping himself around her, a perfect fit.
And baby makes three, she thinks before kissing Finn soundly, laughing against his lips.
"Here she goes!" she says, clapping her hands excitedly and Finn mutes the television, turning toward her. "Whoa, there," he says, placing a hand on her round belly and rubbing the tender spot where a tiny foot met taut skin.
She's seven months along but feels about eleven and ready to burst. She tells Finn this one morning as she stands before the mirror in their bedroom, trying – and failing – to find something suitable to wear. "Don't be silly," he says, laughing as he tries to make a proper knot in his tie.
"Try again," she says, sending him a withering look and he stops fussing with it long enough to wrap his arms around her from behind.
"You're beautiful," he whispers, smiling at their reflection from over her shoulder. She smiles back, turning in his arms and grabbing the loose ends of the striped fabric hanging from his neck. It takes her all of a moment before she has it cinched perfectly.
"Magic," he says, kissing her softly before making his way into the kitchen. "And beautiful!" she calls after him and even from here can she hear his laughter.
"Wow, look at her go!" Finn says now and Rachel giggles at his child-like excitement. "Looks like she's dancing in there," he says, winking. "Just like her mother, I see."
"Yes, and badly too so it seems she's inherited some of her father's traits as well," she says, laughing at Finn's shocked expression. "Hey! I wasn't that bad," he grumbles, ducking his head.
"Of course not," she smiles down at him innocently, running a hand through his hair and returning her attention to the show before her, marveling.
The baby was suddenly very real. Conjured one morning, just the two of them, and now, this. Turning cartwheels. Dancing.
She's eight months along when Finn begins planning. She catches him on the computer one morning, poring over some webpage. She sees only "New York" and "audition" before he catches sight of her in the monitor's reflection and hurriedly minimizes the page. "Hi!" he says brightly, swiveling his chair to face her. He's aiming for innocent but the blush on his cheeks gives him away. He never was a convincing actor.
"What were you doing?" she says, reaching over his shoulder to pull the page back up. He's quick to run interference but she's not easily dissuaded, he should know. When the browser window pops up, she finds audition listings for upcoming New York-based shows. He's highlighted dates and times, even going so far as to make notations in the margins and suddenly it feels as if there is no air in the room, no air in the world.
"I know it's not Broadway. Yet," he's quick to amend, "I just … I thought it could be … a start," he finishes, looking up at her.
There's nothing left then but to kiss him so she does, making her way onto his lap. "So? What do you think?"
"I think you were right," she whispers. "We can do anything."
His eyes take on that soft look again and he smoothes a lock of hair from her face before settling his arms around her. "Okay, Hudson. Show me what you got," she says and he laughs, spinning them toward the computer's monitor. She settles back against Finn's chest and smiles.
She still has dreams - nothing can take those from her (she's Rachel Hudson, after all). But now she has patience as well, an inner calm she was missing in high school when the passion stirring inside of her seemed to be screaming now now now! Besides, she has time.
Broadway wasn't going anywhere after the baby was born. Neither was she.