A/N: So I never ever thought I would write a Finchel reconcilliation fic, but alas, here it is. I was afraid it wasn't enough Finchel, but I think it came out ok if I do say so myself :) And just a heads up about the the song, I hope the decifering of the song lyrics doesn't get too confusing. I just really wanted them to sing it a certain way. Anyhoo, thanks for reading and I hope I did it justice.
If you would have told Rachel a couple of years ago that she'd be plopped on a bed, lying in between Artie and Noah, she would have thought you were crazy. But here she is, in Artie's house, with her two fellow glee club members, in complete silence besides the radio playing softly in the background. They had been in this position all afternoon, wracking their brains on what song to perform for their glee assignment. With Regionals around the corner, Mr. Schuester decided that he needed to challenge every member to be at their best. This is why everyone was divided into groups of three. They weren't small enough for a duet, but weren't big enough for a huge group number. Usually Rachel would have jumped at the challenge, but ever since her break up with Finn, things just haven't been the same. Sure the first couple of weeks were spent with awkward moments and avoiding each other, but they were at least cordial with each other now. But that doesn't necessarily mean that it was easier. It still hurt like hell and everyone knew it.
Artie was sympathetic towards Rachel. He sort of knew what she was going through. His break up with Tina during this past summer was hard. But it was nowhere near as hard as his break up with Brittany. How the girl got it into her head that Artie was cheating on her, was beyond him. He tried asking for an explanation, but she wouldn't give him the time of day. She was avoiding him like he was the plague. He had to find a way to get through to her. There was no way he was going to lose her again.
Puck is always going to associate Regionals with loss. They could win every competition from here on out until graduation, but nothing will ever make up or take the place of his Beth. So when Mr. Schue gets all gun-ho about Regionals and starts going all "Regionals this, and Regionals that" it literally makes him sick to his stomach. And he knows Quinn feels it too. They're not close and they don't talk unless prompted too, but after you have a kid together, you have a certain connection that doesn't just go away. When Regionals is mentioned, he can see Quinn start twirling strands of her ponytail through her fingers. To everyone else, she either looks bored with the topic, or maybe even nervous about competition, but those people weren't there during her last few months of pregnancy. They weren't there when the two of them were discussing their daughter's future, where every single time she would twirl her hair in her fingers. So least to say, he wasn't exactly excited about this assignment.
Puck was pulled out of his thoughts by his brunette assignment partner. "Noah?"
"Have you come up with anything yet?"
"Nope", Puck casually answers, popping the 'p'.
"Artie?" Rachel asks her other partner.
"Nothing yet Rachel", Artie sadly answers.
"I fuckin' hate this shit!"
"What Rachel? It's the truth"
"That doesn't mean you have to be so vulgar about it"
No matter how much he hangs around these polar opposites, Artie can't help but laugh at their antics. They could turn the simplest question into a full blown argument. His all time favorite argument was when the two of them came over to watch Inception. He had simply asked what they wanted to drink. That ended up in a 2 hour 'discussion' that started with why "Dr. Pepper totally kicks Sprite's ass!" and somehow ended up with Rachel arguing the pros of veganism, "they're living breathing animals with babies Noah. Babies!"
"Well how 'bout you Berry? Any genius ideas yet?"
"Unfortunately no.", Rachel replies sadly. "I haven't come up with anything that doesn't involve heartbreak or loss of love. I'm even starting to depress myself."
Artie places a compassionate hand on top of hers to let her know she's not alone. Rachel smiles thankfully at Artie's gesture. It really is nice to have someone there who understands. "That's ok Rachel. We're both in the same boat. I've been so distracted with Brittany it's hard to focus on anything else."
"Well we're just a bunch of fuckin' rays of sunshine, aren't we?" Puck asks as he nudges Rachel with his elbow, in which Rachel responds by rolling her eyes with a chuckling Artie next to her. "We're all just a bunch of broken Glee-tards". Just then Seether's 'Broken' starts playing on the radio. Puck couldn't help but think "Talk about a fuckin' coincidence"
"I guess you're right dude. Even the radio can't help remind us of how broken we are", Artie says as he shakes his head at the coincidence.
Rachel was never really into the rock genre. The only time she came close to it, was when Finn would listen to it in the car when he would drive her home. But during those few minutes in the car, she grew to appreciate it a little more. It's kind of hard not to appreciate it when he would get so into the music. He took adorable to a whole new level. It hurt her heart to conjure up the image, but it only cemented the ideas that were starting to flow.
"You know Artie, you may have a valid point."
"What? That we're broken?" Artie couldn't help ask, just a little confused. Finn had told him that happened a lot when he was around Rachel, and since he started hanging around her more, Artie started to feel that way more often.
"That is exactly what I was referring to. So, as you may know, I've always connected my emotions to the songs I sing.", Rachel said matter-of-fact-ly.
"Tell us something we don't know Princess." Puck couldn't help but be a smart ass.
"I don't have a gag reflex" Rachel said nonchalantly.
With that unexpected revelation, Artie choked on his own saliva and Puck looked like a cartoon character whose jaw hit the floor. Soliciting the exact response she was looking for, Rachel continued with her idea without anymore interruptions.
"As I was saying, all three of us are, figuratively speaking, broken. We've all experience a form of loss and we should translate that into our assignment. And I really think with a bit of rearrangement we could not only get this particular song to fit our voices perfectly, but at the same time let out some of our pent up emotions, which should only enhance our performance."
"Surprisingly, that actually sounds like a really good idea Rachel"
"Thanks Artie. I don't think we really need a lot of choreography. Actually we don't need choreography at all. I think it'll speak volumes if we just go purely off emotions. I don't have a doubt in my mind that if you were to sing your heart out to our beloved Brittany there's no way she could resist." The excitement in her voice fades and is replaced with a sort of sadness. "I know you love her Artie. And I will give it my all if it means another chance for you. Everyone deserves a second chance." Artie gives her a small smile in return.
During Artie and Rachel's moment, Puck just sat there staring at the picture of a baby Artie in the arms of his mom with his dad standing behind her looking down at his son with a huge smile on his face. He could easily see Artie got his eyes and hair from his mom, but his smile was definitely from his dad. Which in turn made him wonder if Beth had his smile or her mother's, his laugh or Quinn's. So many questions that he'll never get the answers to. "Well Noah, are you okay with performing this song? I was thinking you could play the guitar accompaniment if you'd like?"
"Yeah Berry, that's fine. But do you think I could focus more on the guitar than the lyrics? When I start focusing on her, it makes it really hard to sing."
Rachel didn't need him to say her name to know exactly who he was talking about. After the break up, she spent a lot of time with Noah. Not everyone was pleased with either one of their actions so people weren't exactly breaking down their doors to go and hang out. And during the winter break from school, they grew quite close at temple starting some sort of weird friendship. One night at temple during their ever growing friendship a young mom came in pushing a stroller with her baby girl. The little girl was dressed in a frilly pink dress with matching booties and bonnet. Sitting next to him she could see him tense dramatically. She knew seeing this little girl was difficult for him. Then the mother took off her daughter's bonnet to reveal curly blonde hair. Before she could blink Noah was out the door. She quickly excused herself from her fathers and ran out the doors after him. She spent the rest of the night holding a sobbing Noah Puckerman. Afterwards he immediately made her promise never to speak a word of what had just happened. She squeezed his hand with a smile. "I wouldn't dream of it"
"I wouldn't dream of it", repeating her promise from that night months ago.
Knowing exactly what she was referring to, with a smirk, Puck gratefully responded, "Thanks Rachel".
"That was great guys!" Mr. Schuester announced to his glee club. Mercedes, Santana, and Lauren had just finished their rendition of the Pussycat Dolls' 'When I Grow Up". "It was a little risqué, but still really good. Just maybe next time, Santana, you could do with a little less groping of your group members?"
This question was received with chuckles and giggles from the New Direction members, except for Santana who responded with a shrug of her shoulders and a "Whatever".
"Ok guys, that just leaves Puck, Artie, and Rachel. Let's see if you guys can top our other performances."
Artie was starting to feel really nervous as her rolled his wheelchair to the front of the choir room. He knew their performance was going to be awesome, but everyone else's songs were more upbeat than theirs. Quinn, Brittany, and Finn performed Pink's 'Raise Your Glass' and even Sam, Mike, and Tina's rendition of Katy Perry's 'Thinking of You" was a little fun. But he knew Rachel was right. This is how his group was feeling and was a great source of therapy. He just hoped Brittany would get the message he was trying to get across.
Artie, Puck, and Rachel gradually made their way to the front of the room. All three were dressed according to the feel of their song. What goes better with a sad rock song, than black? Nothing really. So there was Artie, sitting to the right of Rachel, in black slacks, a grey polo shirt, white tie, and one of his signature black vests. Puck was sitting on the other side of Rachel with his guitar, in dark blue jeans, a button up shirt that was different shades of black with the sleeves rolled up, and a grey tie hanging loosely from his neck. Rachel decided to take this opportunity to wear the black halter cocktail dress she had originally bought for her New Year's Eve with Finn. Since that didn't happen, now was as good a time as any. When she first bought the dress, it made her feel pretty and so grown up. She figured wearing it would give her just that much more confidence. Since this was the first time she was going to sing about her feelings over the break up in front of everyone, Rachel thought she should grab every bit of confidence that she could. She didn't want to overdo it though. So she went with loose curls for her hair and her simple gold star necklace for jewelry.
Artie could see Rachel's hands trembling and decided to try and make her relax a little. "What? Just cause I'm the only one here not Jewish, I don't get a wooden stool? I never knew Mr. Schue was so prejudice." Artie whispered to Rachel with a smirk.
When Rachel responded with a smile, Artie just winked in return.
Of course that would be the exact moment Finn decided to look in Rachel's direction. He didn't look mad or upset, just confused. Finn knew he had forgiven Rachel, he really did. But you know that saying "forgive and forget"? It's the forgetting part he had trouble with for awhile. For so long, all he could picture was Puck on Rachel's bed, with his hand up her skirt, rolling on top of her while she was calling out his name. And the fact that they were becoming so close and hanging out all the time definitely didn't help matters. But now he was ready to try again with her; he just didn't know how to approach her about it. He was going to have to figure out a way soon because when you're a part of something that special, you can't just let it go. He just hoped it wasn't too late.
"Thanks Mr. Schue. So it took us awhile to figure out what the hell we were gonna sing." All of the girls simultaneously rolled their eyes to Puck's very descriptive language. "But we manned up for the challenge. While some of us had something to say to someone in particular" Artie locked eyes with Brittany while Puck continued, "some of us are just coming to grips with finally letting go of what we've lost."
"Finally letting go? What the hell is he talking about? Is he talking about Rachel? God I hope it's not too late." To say Finn was starting to freak out was a bit of an understatement. He tried looking into Rachel's eyes but she was busy wringing her hands in her lap.
"While last year, all of us lost the competition and some stupid trophy, a couple of us lost something more important than some piece of metal that we'll never get back." Puck didn't have to look at Quinn to know she was starting to twirl her hair. He could feel the waves of guilt and remorse coming off of her from where he was sitting at.
With that being said, Puck cleared his throat and started strumming the intro with his guitar.
(R=italics, R & P=underlined, A=bold, A & R=underlined italics, P=underlined bold)
Locking eyes with Brittany, Artie sang his first set of lines,
I wanted you to know I love the way you laugh
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain away
I keep your photograph, I know it serves me well
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain
There was no way Rachel was going to look at Finn. If she did, she would never look away. Her composition depended on remaining focused and looking at Finn would destroy any chance she would have at remaining somewhat calm. There was a difference between an emotional performance and an unstable one. And damn it, she's Rachel Berry. She does not have bad performances. So she was going to go with the closed eyes approach.
'Cause I'm broken when I'm lonesome
And I don't feel right when you're gone away
Taking a page from Rachel's book, Puck also went without looking at anyone, especially Quinn. He was way too emotional to look at her. All he was going to see was his daughter and he was not gonna fuckin' cry. He was still a badass and badasses don't. fuckin'. cry.
You've gone where, you don't feel me here, anymore
The worst is over now and we can breathe again
I wanna hold you high, you steal my pain *away*
Thank goodness they had decided to go with no choreography because Rachel didn't think she would have been able to sing and focus and breathing with dancing on top of that.
There's so much left to learn, *and no one left to fight*
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain
All Finn wanted to do was go and hold Rachel close and kiss her until air was a necessity. He could see how she unconsciously grabbed at her heart every time she would sing the word 'pain'. And seeing her bare her soul like that was the trigger he needed to make up his mind. He pushed everything out of his mind; the lies, sex, anger, Puck, Santana, all of it. The only thing that was left was his love and adoration for his Rachel.
'Cause I'm broken when I'm open
And I don't feel like I am strong enough
'Cause I'm broken when I'm lonesome
And I don't feel right when you're gone away
The whole room was in awe of their performance. Everyone could see the pain in their eyes. You could see Puck paying extra attention to the chords he was playing on his guitar. That was a sure giveaway that he was trying to avoid looking emotional because Puck never had to focus on playing his guitar. The dude was a natural. But if you did manage to look him in the eyes, a year's worth of questions, concerns, and regret flowed through. Artie's eyes were sad and pleading for a second chance. He tried making Brittany see she was everything to him; tried making her see there was no possible way he would ever think about leaving her for someone else. But there was absolutely no way you were going to see Rachel's eyes. She was 100% committed to this song. Every ounce of hurt, anger, and love was poured into this song. She had to. This was going to be her last song to him. She was finally ready to say goodbye.
'Cause I'm broken when I'm open
And I don't feel like I am strong enough
Artie knew this was the pinnacle of their song. This is where all three of them would have to stop multiple times because the emotions would just overtake them. Artie's voice would crack, and Puck would just leave the room. Rachel took it the hardest. She would just sob into Artie's lap. So without thinking he grabbed Rachel's shaking hand and she squeezed back like it was her lifeline.
'Cause I'm broken when I'm lonesome
And I don't feel right when you're gone away
Finn knew this must have been hard for Rachel. She always prided herself in her performances. She was after all a future Broadway star. So when he looked at her grabbing onto Artie's hand like her life depended on it, he could see her 'breaking character'. He hadn't seen her like this since she sang 'The Only Exception' and this was 10 times more emotional. He had a feeling she was letting go of more than her emotions and his heart was breaking all over again.
Then Artie reluctantly removed himself from Rachel's grasp and wheeled his way to a tearful Brittany in the front row so he could sing the last few of his lines to her. This was it. This was his last chance.
'Cause I'm broken when I'm lonesome
And I don't feel right when you're gone away
You've gone where, you don't feel me here, anymore
With the ending of strums on Puck's guitar, their performance was over. No one in the room said anything for at least a minute. Everyone was completely blown away. They were literally left speechless. Mercedes and Tina had tears in their eyes, Mike had the hugest knot in his throat, Santana was never one to feel sympathy for anyone, but even she couldn't deny the power of this performance. Sam, Lauren, and Mr. Schuester were in complete awe and Quinn had stopped playing with her hair right before the river of tears started. She knew exactly what Puck was singing about. She never talked about her daughter to anyone. Sam had tried bringing up the topic a couple of times, but every time Quinn ignored the question like it had never been asked to begin with. That didn't mean she didn't wonder what she looked like. Did she have Puck's laugh, was she healthy, had she taken her first steps yet? She needed to be consoled and there was only one person on this green Earth who knew exactly what she was going through.
Quinn got up from her seat and headed directly for her daughter's father. Puck barely set his guitar down before Quinn wrapped herself in Puck's arms for what felt like the tightest hug possible. There were so many things that they needed to say to each other, but all of that could wait. For the time being this was exactly what both of them needed.
Artie wasn't sure how this assignment was going to turn out. He was overly emotional and this song had no choreography whatsoever. But when he felt Brittany in his arms while she sat on his lap, there wasn't a single doubt in his mind that this was the performance of a lifetime. He hadn't wished he had the use of his legs more than he did now. Because if he did, he would have scooped up his girlfriend in his arms, and ran as fast as he carry them to the sanctuary of his bedroom where he could show her how much he loved her.
Before Rachel opened her eyes, she finally let out the breath she didn't realize she was holding. She put her emotions out for everyone to see. She hated to be left so vulnerable, but Noah and Artie needed this just as much as she did. So when she finally opened her eyes, she couldn't have felt more proud. Puck and Quinn were silently embracing but saying everything that needed to be said without saying a single word. But most importantly Artie was given his second chance. Rachel knew she was never going to have one, but if she could aid Artie in having his, it was all worth it.
"That was…I don't even have words guys." Seems even their glee club director was at a loss for words. After a few seconds to compose himself he tried once again. "Well I think it's safe to say you guys surpassed any expectations that came from this assignment. That was truly spectacular and I am so proud of you guys."
"Thanks Mr. Schue." Artie couldn't help but smile at his director while he wheeled himself and his girl back with the rest of his glee club.
"No problem Mr. S." Puck put an arm around Quinn as he led her back to her seat next to Sam. He thought Sam was gonna pull a Finn and completely rip him a new one, but Sam just intertwined his hand with hers and even let Puck keep his arm around her shoulder. All either one of them cared about was Quinn and that she felt safe.
Rachel cleared her throat along with the last of her emotions. "That was really nice of you to say Mr. Schuester. Most of the effort that was put into it came from my two fellow glee clubbers. I just went with the flow so to speak."
Artie and Puck had no idea what the hell Rachel was talking about. She was the one who came up with the song idea, and did most of the song arrangement. She even called Kurt to help her come up with the clothes they were going to wear. Mr. Schuester and the group knew how much she threw herself into her glee club assignments, so they were all a bit taken back by her revelation. But no one had a chance to question it before she spoke up again.
"Mr. Schue I know practice isn't scheduled to be over for another half an hour or so, but my dance instructor has inconveniently rescheduled our Tuesday class an hour early. I usually assist him with class set up, so it really is imperative that I get there early enough to help Mr. Woodson get everything ready. Do you think it'll be alright if I leave class early being as I've already performed my assignment today?"
No one physically spoke up and questioned her, but there was one thought that ran through the minds of three guys in that room, "What the fuck?" As long as Puck and Artie knew Rachel, she never put anything else before glee, much less left practice early. And Mike knew for a fact that Rachel didn't have dance class on Tuesdays because their dance studio that they both attend is closed that day.
"Uh, sure Rachel. It doesn't look like that'll be a problem. Just try and give me more of a heads up next time, ok?" Mr. Schuester warily asked his student. He had a feeling she wasn't being completely honest, but after the performance she just gave, it might be in her best interest to get away from some of her problems that may or may not involve a certain 6'3" quarterback.
"Thanks Mr. Schuester. I appreciate it. I'll make sure Mr. Woodson knows to give a proper 3 day notice next time." Rachel knew Mr. Schuester didn't believe her, but was grateful he let her get away with it anyway. After Rachel scooped up the last of her things, she noticed Artie wheeling his way over to her sans one blonde cheerleader. As he opened up his arms to gesture for a hug, Rachel couldn't help the smile overtake her face. When she leaned down for her much needed hug, Artie whispered in her ear, "You did it Rachel. You helped me get my second chance."
"It was all you Artie" Rachel said with a wink and sad smile.
Rachel was half way to the door before she heard her name being called. At this rate she was never escaping this room. "Did you need something Noah?"
There were so many things Puck wanted to tell her. She was his best friend. He couldn't have made it through these past few weeks without her. Finn was an idiot for not seeing how much she loved him. There were so many things, but as he learned with Quinn just a few moments ago, actions speak louder than words. So when he decided to hug her, Rachel just stood there in his embrace. But after the first initial shock wore off, she gratefully reciprocated the hug.
"I know you're full of shit. You totally did most of the work along with our song choice, and I know for fuckin' sure you don't have dance class today."
Rachel couldn't help but stiffen at his words. She was hoping she could get out the door before being caught, but relaxed when Puck followed up.
"But thanks for trying and letting me be the good guy for once." Puck ruffled her hair like she was a little kid before he went back to his seat next to Quinn.
Rachel huffed in annoyance and attempted to fix her hair before finally walking out of the choir room doors. After stopping off at her locker she made her way out the glass doors of McKinley. As soon as she stepped outside Rachel felt like she could breathe again. When she got to her car she pulled out her keys and began to unlock her car door. She let her hand linger on the key and just took a moment to breathe again. It had been so long since she didn't feel like she had all this weight on her chest.
"Holy Mother of God! Finn, you scared the crap out of me! I swear to God, I could've had a heart attack!"
"Sorry Rachel. D-do you want me to go get the nurse or something?"
Rachel couldn't help but giggle at this teenage boy in front of her who seriously thought she was having a heart attack. "No Finn. I'll be ok. Just give me a minute for my heart rate to slow down, 'kay?
"Oh, yeah, sure." Finn started counting down the seconds in his head. There was no way he was going to be responsible for giving Rachel a heart attack. No. Way. Finn couldn't even get to 9-Mississippi before Rachel's laughter interrupted his thoughts.
"Hey what's so funny?"
"Finn, I can see you counting in your head. I didn't mean literally give me a minute"
"Well I'm not gonna be responsible for giving my girlfr-…"
Aaaaaand insert awkward silence.
"Sorry Rachel. I didn't mean-"
"It's ok Finn. Really it is. It's just- what exactly are doing out here? Practice isn't over for another 30 minutes?"
"I, uh, to be honest? I just wanted to make sure you were ok."
"As chivalrous as that is Finn, I'm perfectly fine, other than my almost-heart attack. Why wouldn't I be?"
"Well I know that song must have been really hard for you to sing." Finn said while shoving his hands into his pockets. "I'd like to think I know you well enough to notice when you're not ok."
"Well then you should know that I'm a performer Finn. I give 100% in all my performances-"
"-unless we're letting the new guy win" Finn stated, referring to their covert operation during the last duet competition.
"Yes, unless we're letting the new guy win. Whatever you saw in that room Finn was just me performing, that's all." Rachel hoped he believed her. He really did know her better than most people. So if she could make him believe her, this whole 'saying goodbye' thing will go much smoother.
While taking a step into her personal space Finn said, "So then your shaking hands were part of your performance?"
"And I've never known you to close your eyes throughout an entire performance"
"I saw you grab onto Artie's hand like you were afraid the world would crumble around you if you let go. I saw your shoulders sink like right when you're about to break down crying. I saw the stray tears that built up on your eyelashes. I know I may be slow or wrong at a lot of things Rachel, but my eyesight has never failed me. I spent like half a year studying the subject of Rachel. Hell, it was probably longer than that. I remember wishing you were an actual subject, 'cause I would have totally aced that class."
Rachel didn't really know what to say. So she just let him continue.
"So when you tell me that you're ok, all the 'notes' I took in my Rachel class tell me you're full of it."
"You know I really don't know why everyone keeps telling me that today."
"Maybe cause sometimes you need to hear it Rachel. Besides I knew you were full of it when Mike said your dance studio is closed on Tuesdays."
"That damn squealer" Rachel muttered under her breath.
"Nothing. Look Finn, maybe you're right. Maybe the performance was a little too much for me to handle. But it needed to be done. It had to be done."
"What do you mean it had to be done?"
"Well Noah was on the verge of a break down." Finn physically flinched at hearing Rachel talk about Puck so freely, but he really needed to hear her out.
Rachel saw Finn's reaction to hearing her talk about Noah. They hadn't really talked like this in months so she decided to clear some things up. "After everything that happened with us, I didn't have a lot of people to confide in. When we broke up, I lost my best friend too."
"Wait, I thought you got really close with Kurt"
"Yeah, we talk all the time. But I couldn't have possibly put him in the middle of our situation. He wasn't only getting adjusted to a new school because of HeWhoMustNotBeNamed," Finn couldn't help but smile. Kurt had told him one of his friends helped him come up with a new name for Karofsky, and he guessed he knew who that friend was. "And he was still getting used to having two new family members, in which one of those was part of the equation. I couldn't do that to you either." Rachel gave Finn a minute to let everything soak in before she continued.
"Like I was saying, when I needed someone to talk to Noah was there. But as it turns out he really needed someone to confide in to as well. The hardest thing for him to talk about was BDP."
"What the hell is BDP?"
Rachel smiled. "You mean who is BDP?"
Finn had lost out on so much of Rachel's life these past couple of months. He had a feeling there was a lot he needed to catch up on.
"BDP is Beth Drizzle Puckerman"
"Are you serious?" Finn didn't know what to do with this new information. Did Quinn and Puck seriously name her Beth Drizzle?
"It was Puck's idea actually. Quinn had mentioned to him that you wanted to name her Drizzle. Puck thought it was a quote on quote "badass" name, but Quinn had no intentions on naming her daughter that. But Puck's always referred to her as Beth Drizzle Puckerman. And to make it even more "badass" he nicknamed her BDP just like how people refer to Neil Patrick Harris as NPH."
"Wow…" Finn didn't really know what else to say.
Rachel put a friendly hand on Finn's shoulder. "He always felt this enormous amount of guilt over baby-gate. He never knew how to say he was sorry. So in his own way, he kind of hoped it would help a little, you know?"
All Finn could do was nod his head. He really had no words.
"And there was Artie and Brittany. He was really distraught over the whole thing. I tried to be there for him as much as I could, but there's only so much someone can say or do to comfort you when you're upset."
"Tell me about it" Finn knew exactly what she was talking about. For like a week straight after the breakup, everyone kept asking him if he was ok; his mom, Burt, Kurt, Sam, Quinn, everyone. After awhile, you just want some peace and quiet. Now that he thought about it, he never saw anyone ask Rachel if she was ok.
"…so when we decided to sing 'Broken' I told him I would give it everything I had in hopes for another chance with Brittany. I figured if we sang with enough emotion, she would know how much he loved her."
"Yeah, kinda like everyone deserves a second chance."
"Well most people anyway" Rachel said, finishing Finn's previous statement.
"So you've covered Artie and Puck, but what about you? Why did you need to sing it?"
Rachel was hoping he wouldn't go there, but then again when did anything ever go the way she planned. She began to explain but never removed her eyes from the suddenly very interesting gravel in the parking lot. "For Artie it was about trying to gain back what he lost. For Puck it was about coping with his loss."
"For me it was about finally saying goodbye to what I lost. I've spent so much time crying, hoping, praying, yelling, and reevaluating everything from our relationship." Rachel finally chances a glance in his direction. And she isn't surprised to find that he's also found the same piece of suddenly interesting parking lot gravel too. "And do you know what conclusion I came to?"
"Nothing. Absolutely nothing. All the crying I did was futile. All the hoping and praying for your forgiveness wasn't going to change anything. All the yelling and screaming I did wasn't going to fix anything. No matter how many times I reevaluated our past actions in our relationship, absolutely nothing was going to change. And even if it did change, it would've changed us. If you hadn't broken up with me the first time and gone out with Santana, I never would have met Jesse. Without Jesse there wouldn't have been a 'Jesse's Girl', not to mention the broken heart he gave me. But without that broken heart, you wouldn't have been there to put it back together. So while our actions have accumulated to this, it also made us the "epicness that was Finchel."
At hearing their old couple name, Finn couldn't help but smile, but then he started to shake his head in disagreement. "You were on the right track, but in the end you're wrong Rachel. I mean, 'epicness that was Finchel'? Don't you see what wrong with that?"
Rachel was beyond crushed. She honestly thought they were having a nice conversation. She even tried being funny while mentioning when he once told her that "Finchel was epic". I guess she should have just rushed out of school when she had the chance. "Look Finn. I don't want to argue with you. My main reasoning behind singing 'Broken' was to say goodbye. I know we're never going to get back what we had. I screwed up and I've regretted it every day since it happened. So I just need a little while longer and I'm sure I can fully get over any kind of reunion of reconciliation between the two of us. And if you want I'll even stop speaking or communicating with Kurt. He's probably going to be upset at first, but I'm sure he'll eventually find another fashion guinea pig to try his God awful experiments on, even if-"
Rachel never had a chance to finish her rant before she had Finn's lips on her own. Every stray thought she had in the past hour seemed to completely leave her mind. After what seemed like ages, Finn finally pulled away from her.
"Finn? B-but I-I thought…?"
"I know what you thought. Remember, aced the subject of Rachel? When I said you were wrong about the 'epicness that was Finchel' I meant you were wrong because you said 'was'. As my girlfriend has reminded me on numerous occasions, that is past tense, as in once was and is no longer. But for me Finchel is epicness. It always has been and always will be. Rachel, you're endgame for me. Sure I was pissed, sure I was hurt and upset, but that never meant that I stopped loving you, not for one damn second. I've actually wanted to talk to you about this for awhile, but never knew how to approach you about it."
"Are you serious? Do you really mean it Finn? We can start being us again?"
"Baby, I've never been more serious in my life."
With the loudest squeal of joy he's ever heard come from Rachel, she lunged at Finn, nearly knocking him over in one of the biggest hugs he's ever had. Nothing couldn't have ruined that moment for him. Then out of nowhere, Rachel pushed herself off of Finn like he had some kind of contagious disease. Least to say, he was confused beyond belief.
"Rachel? I thought you were happy. Did you change your mind?"
"What? God no Finn! But I need you to do something for me. It's of dire importance."
"Ok, what is it?"
Rachel finally managed to open her car door, and was rummaging through her center console like a mad woman. This only helped Finn remember why he missed his crazy and adorable girlfriend so damn much. Rachel finally came out of her car with her right hand behind her back.
"Well I know we've only been back together for like 5 minutes, but do you think I could start wearing this again?" Rachel pulled out her hand to reveal a gold chain wrapped around her hand. At further examination of the necklace, Finn saw his favorite gold charm in the palm of her hand. Finn always loved seeing Rachel's Finn necklace hanging on her neck. She was always so proud wearing it that it made him feel special even on his lousiest days.
With his lopsided grin that she loved so much, he replied, "Come here."
Finn gently took the necklace from her hand. As he unclipped the clasp of the necklace, Rachel gathered her hair away from her neck to give him easier access. Finn weaved his arm through Rachel's arm that was holding her hair and grabbed the other end of the necklace from his other hand. He instantly felt the spark between them when their skin touched while he was placing the necklace around her neck. He was pretty sure she felt it too because he could see goose bumps in the wake of his touch. As Finn was clasping the necklace closed, he realized Rachel didn't have her gold star necklace on from earlier. He took a glance inside Rachel's car and saw the reflective shine of the gold star thrown on her seat. She obviously couldn't wait for him to put her Finn necklace back on, and he couldn't wait to see it on her.
"Ok, all done babe"
Rachel spun around and the bottom of her cocktail dress slightly flared. "So, how does it look?"
"Like it's back in its rightful place."
Rachel flashed Finn the biggest and brightest smile she could and leaped into Finn's arms once more. Thankfully Finn was fully ready this time.
"Well Mr. Hudson. What should we do now?"
Finn's lopsided grin was replaced with the sexiest smirk Rachel had ever seen. "I think we've got a lot of time to make up for"
Rachel was never one for extreme PDA. But being without Finn Hudson for weeks on end was enough to throw all sorts of self control out the window. But she never thought she'd be making out with her boyfriend on top of the hood of her car, in the middle of McKinley's parking lot, for the whole world to see. And for once in her life, Rachel could care less.
Finn was on cloud 9. Weeks without being with Rachel was torture. He didn't know how he ended up hovering over his girlfriend, with her legs around his waist, on the hood of her car, but he was definitely not going to question it. All Finn knew was he was with his awesome girlfriend and he was not going to leave her unless absolutely necessary. But all good things don't last forever.
Rachel and Finn immediately broke apart at the sound. While both were blushing the deepest shades of red that ever graced their faces, they turned to see an embarrassed Quinn with an extremely proud and smug Puck standing next to her.
"Um, hey guys. I, uh, was just, um, helping Rachel with her car. Yeah, I just came out from under the hood."
"Ye-ah. I can see that Hudson. So Berry, dance class, huh?"
"If you must know Noah, my engine stalled out and Finn was kind enough to offer his services"
Puck was about to unleash the most innuendos that have ever spewed out of his mouth. Suddenly a tiny hand was clamped over his mouth.
"Ok guys, my mind may not permanently reside in the gutter like his, but seriously? Think about what you just said. You just gave him so much ammunition."
"Quinn, what on Earth are you…" Rachel thought back to her and Finn's previous statements. With a face palm, Rachel knew what Quinn was referring to. "Oh, God"
"Yup. I'm sure you'll hear it later, so I would enjoy the silence for the next minute or so"
"Babe, what the hell is she talking about?"
"Don't worry about it Finn. I'll tell you later."
Puck and Quinn looked at each other in shock. Quinn immediately dropped her hand from Puck's mouth.
"Hold the fuck up. Babe? When the fuck did that happen? You just randomly decide to get it on in the parking lot and bam, you're just back together? I need details dammit!"
"Puck will you shut up. I told you to leave them alone, but as always you never listen do you?"
Finn and Rachel just looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders.
"Um, as lovely as it is to have the two of you around, but is there a reason why you decided to come over and intrude on our very intimate reconciliation, along with very inappropriate questions?" asked a curious Rachel.
"As a matter of fact, yes Berry, there is. We decided to grab some ice cream and just kind talk about BDP or something. We both knew how much she affected you too, so we were looking for you two for awhile. We thought maybe you left, but I can see you never even made it into the car" Puck said with a cock of his eyebrow.
And just as the blush was leaving Finn and Rachel's faces, those simple words just made it return in full force.
"That's very thoughtful of you Noah and Quinn, but I'm sure Finn needs to go help Carole with some things at home." Rachel knew Finn would feel uncomfortable if thrown into this situation. She had decided to save Finn from the awkwardness of it all, while still letting down Noah and Quinn without making them feel bad about their past indiscretions.
"That's ok Rach. I could actually go for some ice cream. I'm feeling Rocky Road today."
The looks of shock Finn was receiving from the three of them were enough to make him take a step back.
"What? Is Rocky Road a bad choice?"
"N-no Finn. It' just, well, I actually never thought you'd say yes. With everything that happened last year, I just didn't know if you would want to."
"It's ok Quinn. Really. I think it'll be good for all of us." Finn squeezed Rachel's hand. Once Puck mentioned BDP, that pretty much sealed his attendance. There's been too much animosity between him and Puck for way too long. And if the things Rachel says is true, it's time to bury the hatchet.
Rachel had never been prouder of Finn in that very moment. "Well if Finn's up to it, how about we meet you guys there?"
"I don't know Berry. Do you think you can actually make it inside your car or are you gonna let Hudson take a look under the hood again?" Puck said with the wiggle of his eyebrows.
"Ow. What the hell was that for?" Quinn and Rachel simultaneously took swings at Puck's arms.
"That Noah was for being what you refer to as an ass!"
"Alright alright. Calm the fuck down Berry. I was just foolin around"
"That's fine Rachel. Puck and I will head out and you and Finn can meet us there in about 30 minutes?"
Quinn grabbed Puck's arm and dragged him away. Even at 20 yards away, Rachel and Finn could still hear them bickering. They couldn't make out specifics, but they could make out something along the lines of 'Rachel's car's getting serviced'.
"Well that was interesting, huh?"
"Finn, interesting doesn't even begin to cover it." Rachel and Finn immediately burst out into hysterics.
"Well madam" Finn bows his head and offers his hand to his girl, "what do you say we get out here?"
Rachel made her way back to the hood of her car and primly sat down. "Actually I think Quinn said 30 minutes babe"
Finn walked over to Rachel and leaned in. While inches away from her face, "Now I thought you told Puck you were actually going to make it into your car this time?"
"Tsk tsk Finn. I think you just brought down your Rachel grade from an A+ to a B."
With a quirk of his eyebrow, Finn silently asked for an explanation.
"You see my dearest Finn, Noah only suggested I make it inside my car, I never said anything about actually doing it"
"Rachel Barbara Berry, have I told you lately how much I love you."
"You know, I can't say that you have. But I have no objections to you saying it as much as you'd like."
"Well in that case, I love you baby. Always have, always will"
"I love you too Finn. More than you know"
As Rachel and Finn poured weeks of missed make out sessions into 20 minutes worth of the steamiest make out session they've ever had (as steamy as can get in the middle of their high school parking lot) Rachel couldn't help but lose herself in the epicness that is Finchel.
Ending A/N: So there it is. I hope you enjoyed it, and if not, I apologize. Feel free to review and let me know what you think :)