Voila, the conclusion. Warning; it is clichéd and fluffy in so many ways, but still, I hope you like it; viva la Finchel! Reviews, as always, are immensely appreciated.
"And one year we had this absolutely awesome tree that wouldn't fit in the living room, so I had to cut the top off, and I kept it in my bedroom with a little star and everything."
Finn didn't care if Kurt had spaced out, 'cause this was one thing he could get excited about, and he wasn't going to let his step brother's lack of enthusiasm ruin it for him. Yeah, okay, so the whole Christmas tree farm reminded him of Rachel, but he was gonna be strong, 'cause it was only a bit of heartbreak, right? People got over it, wrote love songs, dated other people, and he was going to (try and) do that.
"I'm so excited about this," he smiled as he jumped out of his truck, rubbing his hands together to warm himself up. It was coming in cold, though it still didn't seem cold enough, if that made sense. Finn really wanted a white Christmas so he could bury himself under a pile of snow and freeze to death, but then he realised that was a bit too dramatic (and more Rachel's area of expertise), and decided instead that he wanted a bit of white stuff so he could pelt Kurt with snowballs.
Rachel didn't truly understand the magic associated with Christmas trees, since she was Jewish and all, and wasn't privy to the tradition of decorating dying trees with stockings and baubles. Still, she had to admit that it was nice to stroll through the rows upon rows of green, happy-looking trees, knowing that most of them would be welcomed into the homes of families, cherished for simply existing.
She shook her head to clear her thoughts, because as much as she liked the concept, she was choosing a tree with Kurt, and the last time she'd been here, she'd been helping Finn, singing with Finn, attempting to kiss Finn... She really wanted to play on some violent video game, killing everyone and everything to rid herself of her frustration, but then she realised that was a bit too dramatic (and more Finn's area of expertise), and decided instead that she just wanted a quiet break from school, away from those who had been judging her.
Finn looked at Rachel, his brow creasing and his mouth setting in an unbelieving grimace. Rachel looked at Finn, her eyes diverting to the floor and her jaw clenched in silent betrayal; Kurt had set them both up.
"Rachel?" Finn said her name, just to make sure that she was real and stuff, because Kurt hadn't mentioned anything about her coming along. "Kurt, what the hell is this?"
"Oh give it a rest Finn," said Kurt impatiently, waving his concern away with his hand. "Rachel's my friend and I wanted her to be here, okay? Don't be so egotistical to think that it was some clever ploy to lure the two of you together."
And then Kurt flounced off, and Finn was alone with Rachel, and Rachel was alone with Finn, and you know something? It was so strange, because Finn felt like he'd been there before. Obviously he'd been at the farm before, but... he couldn't explain it.
Neither could Rachel. She felt inclined to make a snide comment about the situation, but she bit back her words, because it was as if she knew that the outcome would be one that she regretted.
Finn wanted to insult Kurt, he could feel it in his throat, but for some reason, he couldn't bring himself to say the words out loud. It was déjà vu, right? You know, that thing where it felt like you'd already done something? Because he was almost certain that it was déjà vu that was stopping him from making some kind of mistake (not that he had any idea what that mistake was).
The two of them stood together silently for exactly one minute, not saying anything, and not looking at each other. Rachel's gaze was directed at a rock beside her foot, and Finn was preoccupied with a bird that was balancing on one of the trees.
He felt his legs ache like he needed to walk away, and he started to, as did Rachel, who felt her legs move of their own accord.
But Finn's heart wasn't into it, and as he saw Rachel head away from him, he couldn't stop himself from yelling. It wasn't just a small shout, but a proper scream, and he had no idea in hell what possessed him to do that; "Don't leave!"
He wasn't the only person shouting. As Rachel watched Finn take a step away, she thought she was going to be sick, which wasn't something she was accustomed to, and she opened her mouth, only for her to scream, "Stay!"
A few people looked in their direction, and both Finn and Rachel blushed simultaneously, because seriously, what the hell had just happened?
"I uh-" he started.
"Yeah, I don't-" she continued.
It was all kinds of awkward, but there were smiles on their lips, which had to be a good thing, and the weird 'I've been here before' feeling had melted away with their words in the air.
"I'm sorry," they whispered together, and as if the shock of this admission woke them both up, they looked at each other properly, looked each other right in the eyes, and they both let out a tiny sigh.
"I've always loved your eyes Rach," admitted Finn. "God, I don't even... Look, I don't know why I'm saying that now, 'cause, well..." He gave an embarrassed shrug. "It just, I dunno, feels like I've always wanted to tell you that, you know? No, of course you don't know, I don't even know."
"No, I do know," Rachel whispered, a tear rolling down her face and catching her off guard. She wiped it away with her mitten, and looked back at Finn, whose eyes seemed concerned and confused. "I love your eyes too Finn, and I'm not just saying that because you said it first." She managed a smile, and it was her turn for a bashful shrug of her shoulders. "I can't explain it, but when... when I looked into them, it was as if I had to tell you before something terrible happened. What does that mean?"
Finn laughed loudly (God, he missed laughing with Rachel) and gave her an extra crooked grin, 'cause yeah, it sounded all kinds of insane, but he somehow understood without really understanding.
So. Fucked. Up.
"Oh for God's sake, I do not need to be dealing with this right now!" The voice was that of Kurt's, which temporarily broke Finn and Rachel from their strange trance. He stormed over, an angry snarl on his mouth, and brandished his iPhone in their faces. "It just fell out of my hand!"
Rachel gasped a little, since his phone had a large crack across the screen, and shook her head. "It just fell out of your hand? You dropped it, you mean."
Kurt rolled his eyes with a huff. "I didn't drop it, it fell. I was holding onto it tightly and it just, I don't know, fell! I'm going to go sit in the truck and sulk while you two get some lousy tree."
Finn pulled his 'I have no idea what's going on' face, which made Rachel giggle because she missed that face so much. "Is there a difference between dropping his phone, and it falling? Whatever, I don't even care. Wanna help sort the tree out?"
Rachel nodded with a smile. "I'd love to Finn." And before she knew it, he was holding her mittened hand in his gloved one, and even though it was all happening so fast, it felt like it made sense, like there were bigger things than the two of them falling out.
Finn banged his fist against his truck's window to get Kurt's attention. "Come on man, are you gonna help me lift the tree onto the top of this thing or what?"
Kurt rolled his eyes and shook his head, mouthing through the glass; "Rachel can do it."
Finn looked apologetically over at Rachel, who gave him her best Berry smile. "I can handle it. I may be small, but I'm strong."
"Good to know," he said with a tiny smile. "Okay, can you get this end?" He patted the top of the tree, and she nodded once, a new twinkle in her eyes that made Finn's stomach do a weird growly thing. As he lifted the trunk, Rachel clung to the other end, and the two of them managed to lift it onto the top of the truck.
"Have you got some string?" she asked. She looked at Finn as she waited for an answer, and was greeted by a coy smile. "What is it?" She blushed from head to toe since he was looking at her, and not just in a fleeting kind of way; he was looking at her like he actually cared about what he was seeing.
"Come here," he said, a hint of a laugh in his voice. Rachel looked alarmed, which made it all the funnier. "Please Rach, just come here for a second."
How could she resist him when he called her that? In all fairness, Rach wasn't an elaborate or original nickname, being a shortened version of her actual name and all, yet only Finn called her that, and it gave her goose bumps every time. "S-sure." She took a few cautious steps towards him, and before she knew what was happening, his fingers were in her hair, softly stroking her. "I-"
He pulled his hand away, and with a guilty grin, he held a couple of pine needles in the air. "You had some in your hair. Sorry, I shouldn't have-"
"No, it's fine, thank you Finn." She smiled, and he smiled, and the two of them seemed to gravitate towards each other, because she was suddenly hugging him tightly, and he was pulling her closer, and it was good to know that they still fit; his arms were Rachel Berry shaped, they were both sure of it.
She didn't think he'd forgiven her, but really, she was okay with that, for now at least. He needed time to heal, and if that meant being patient, she was willing to wait as long as she needed to. It was because of this, this chemistry, this attraction, that she felt hope, because if he did need her to keep her distance, she knew that Finn still felt something for her, and that was enough to keep her hopeful.
"Do you want to come back with me and Kurt? We were just gonna watch a movie, but you can come, like, if you want to." Finn's arms were still wrapped around her because he was worried that if he let go, she'd vanish, and he'd remember how angry he was with her.
Man was he angry. But like, it didn't matter, and he didn't have an idea in hell why. All he knew was that he was lucky to be beside her, and okay, so he was still hurting and stuff, but he figured that the best way to not hurt was to be with her, right? Yeah, he was probably way off mark, but he wasn't taking any chances.
"Yes please," Rachel breathed, inhaling Finn's warm, familiar smell that she'd missed so much since their split.
They tied the tree onto the truck securely, got inside with matching smiles on their faces, and drove to the Hummel house in silence. It wasn't 'awkward, oh my God!' silence, but it was a 'Kurt's just broken one of his most treasured possessions in the world' silence, and both of them knew better than to pester him.
However, as the silence really dawned on Finn, he knew what the situation needed; spontaneous singing. He didn't have any music, the acoustics were probably really terrible inside the truck, and he was risking embarrassing himself, but again, he couldn't explain it; he just had to do it.
"We watch the season pull up its own stakes, and catch the last weekend of the last week." He glanced across at Rachel, who had traded places with Kurt so she was sitting in the passenger seat. Finn waited for her to roll her eyes, but instead, she smiled that beautiful smile, and she opened her mouth to join in.
"Before the gold and glimmer have been replaced, another sun soaked season fades away."
Finn forgot about Kurt, and Rachel forgot about Kurt, and it was like it was just them, them against the odds, them against everything that had ever opposed them, and it was fucking amazing.
"You have stolen my heart."
"You have stolen my heart."
Kurt, who was wallowing in self pity in the back seat, had never felt so conflicted before. On the one hand, he wanted to cry with joy because the two idiots had finally seen sense, and on the other hand, he wanted Finn to pull over so he didn't puke on the seats (seriously, it was like they were having hot, steamy eye sex right in front of him, and the singing didn't really help).
"Yes!" Finn and Rachel both jumped in their seats at Kurt's outburst. "Yes yes YES! It's still working!" He cradled his iPhone in his arms, smiling down fondly like he'd just given birth to it. "Oh baby, you are the most talented thing in the world after me and Coco Chanel. It's a Christmas miracle!"
So, there they were, Kurt, Finn and Rachel, spread across the couch as some terrible movie flashed across the TV screen. The three of them had been unable to agree on a movie they'd all enjoy, so Kurt had flicked through the channels until he'd found some black and white Spanish thing that none of them were able to understand (though Finn couldn't stop laughing when a guy fell off his horse).
As Kurt tried his best to follow the language, Finn found that he was more interested in the feel of Rachel's hand in his. Her skin was soft and smooth and perfect, and he'd forgotten how much he just liked to stroke it (without sounding like a total creep). He wasn't sure where they were, like, at all, but he liked that uncertainty, because it was finally a good kind of uncertainty, you know?
Really, all he knew was that he loved her, he'd always loved her, and thanks to his weird déjà vu moment, he realised that he was able to forgive her in the long run. If that meant he had to rein in the spontaneous kisses and blatant attempts to touch Rachel's butt... well, he could deal with that.
Rachel was just thankful that Finn was such an amazing person. She'd never doubted that before, and knew she never would in the future, but after the mess she'd made trying to hurt him, she hadn't expected his forgiveness, never mind so soon. Sure, she could feel the slight hesitance in his actions, but that was to be expected, and it was more than she'd ever hoped for.
The movie disappeared (not that anyone complained), and a news bulletin appeared, which made the three of them sit a little straighter in their seats.
"I'm here on Washington Street in Lima, Ohio, where a young man fired several gun shots into the air before killing himself."
They didn't hear the rest, because somehow, it was as if they'd all known that this was going to happen (and that was insane, right?).
"Ouch," muttered Finn, whose chest began to ache at the same time as Rachel's, who placed a hand to her body, wincing. He rubbed at his skin through his sweater, then kissed Rachel's shoulder. "You too?"
She nodded. "Yes. I can't explain it, but it feels like I've just-"
"Been shot?" Finn offered. "I feel it too. Must be some kind of sympathy thing, I dunno."
Rachel bit her lip, but didn't disagree with him. "Must be."
Once the report was over, they didn't catch the rest of the movie, because the three of them fell asleep, leaning on each other as they dreamt. It felt like a really long day, even if they hadn't done much of anything at all.
A jolt suddenly woke Finn and Rachel, and their eyes opened, searching for each other.
"I forgot to tell you something," she breathed, reaching a hand out to his face.
"Me too," he admitted, smiling into her touch.
"I love you," they whispered simultaneously.
A/N: You know what? I don't even care that this is a pretty lame ending because my other fic, Self Esteem, has actually just ridded me of my angsty muse! That means that when I return in February from my hiatus, there'll be lots of Finchel fluff in store thank GOODNESS. I swear, Glee has screwed me up so badly.
Anyway, thanks for the awesome feedback. I hope this makes sense? I know that a lot of people were confused before, so yeah, this is what actually happened. I would go into more depth but it's late and I have to get going. Again, thank you so much, and see you guys when I see you!