Rachel stood outside the LA County Superior Court flanked by Kurt and Mercedes on one side, with Puck and Bieste on the other. Today was Jacob's sentencing, and she was going to have to make a victim's statement to the judge. This had been a year and a half in the making, and she was ready for it. Looking down at her left ring finger she subconsciously rubbed it, missing the simple ring that had been adorning it.
As the deputies opened the doors, she felt Mercedes give her hand a squeeze and heard Kurt stage whisper, "You tell 'em what for Rachel. Let them know the hell that man put you through."
And almost as quickly she felt Puck whisper against her ear, "Just don't tell them the good that came from you going through that hell either, okay?" She glanced at Puck and Bieste and saw both of them give her thumbs up and small smiles before putting on their work faces and clearing the way for her to enter to courtroom. Rachel sat beside down beside her lawyer as they were sitting behind the prosecution. Rachel only half listened to all the lawyers talk as she kept scanning the room looking for him.
Finally she saw the doors open again and he came in, wearing a three piece suit and holding his motorcycle helmet to his side. Wanting to grin desperately and wave, she withheld those urges and remained composed and aloof, even though she could see Kurt doing all the things she wanted for her.
Then he entered the courtroom wearing jail orange and shackled at the ankles and wrists, he hair no longer an afro, but now a flat top. Rachel wondered how much he liked being bound. Shaking her head, she saw the judge enter from his chamber and the bailiff ask everyone to rise. Standing up, Rachel realized this man was going to put away the man that had tormented her, hopefully for a very long time.
Rachel zoned out a little, trying to stay calm as she felt his brown beady eyes staring at her, while she took comfort knowing that warm whiskey eyes were watching her from the back. Finally, Rachel felt her lawyer lean over and told her it was her time to speak. Standing up and straightening herself out, she confidently went to the witness stand and sat before Jacob Ben-Israel, but her eyes kept wondering back to Finn, who stayed where he was out.
The assistant DA came up and explained what Rachel was doing, "Miss Berry, you are giving a victim's impact statement. You are going to tell the judge what impact the crime against you has had on you and your life. When we are at trial we deal strictly with facts, but since Mr. Ben-Israel has been found guilty, in a victim's impact statement we can deal with feelings. What you say can be taken into consideration by the judge when he makes his decision on sentencing, but this is your time to let it be known how you feel."
Rachel sat there for a minute thinking about everything that had happened starting almost two years ago. Looking again at Finn, she saw his silent, steely resolve giving her the support she needed to relive those memories, so she took a deep breath and started doing what she did best, talking. "Almost two years ago I started getting scary fan mail letters and private pictures of me. At first, it was just letters saying how much he loved me and how I was his favorite actress. Over time, they became more and more obsessive. He started talking about us being together and how he would do anything for me. Pictures starting accompanying the letters too, intimate pictures of me going about my daily life. They scared me so much that I called LAPD, but they didn't really have anything to go on, so Kurt Hummel, my assistant, called 24 Elite, a private security agency. I was so terrified that this person would come into my house that I felt the need to be protected twenty-four hours a day, and because of that, things for me changed. I couldn't go anywhere on a whim, it had to be planned out. I'm known for my personal interaction with fans; I always willingly pose for pictures and will never refuse to sign autographs. Once I had around the clock security, I couldn't interact with my fans like I do, because one of them was out to get me. The letters were bad enough, but then I received a package that had a pen I used to use in New York. It's a very distinctive pen that had sentimental value to me and I hadn't it seen since New York. It was delivered in the same pink package as all the others. That's when I realized how long he had been stalking me, and it scared the crap out of me. I kept replaying all the times I'd interacted with fans in New York, trying to figure out if I could pick out my stalker, but I couldn't. It got to the point where every man I saw, I wondered if he was the stalker. I became so terrified that if it wasn't Kurt or one of my bodyguards, I would almost hide from men. I felt like a prisoner, not being able to do what I wanted to do. I couldn't even have a pool party or go to an event without major security and it alienated me from everyone." She paused, trying to get the strength she needed to go on. She could see Finn out of the corner of her eye, his presence being the rock she needed to lean on.
"One of the worst things was when I received a package that contained a nightgown I wore when I was in Spring Awakening. He had cum all over it and sent it to me, claiming he wanted me to see how I made him feel. I passed out; just the disgusting thought of where that nightgown had been and what he wanted to do to me while I was wearing it was enough to make me sick. I don't even know how he got it, wardrobe used to be kept in each actor's dressing room, so he must have been backstage at some point and in my dressing room without my knowing. He was able to get into my house using his magazine connections to set up cameras in various rooms. My house was supposed to be my sanctuary, my safe haven from all this and he watched me going about my daily life for weeks, even watching personal moments between my boyfriend and I. He injured by bodyguard by putting thumbtacks all over his bed and stole a crystal star from my mantle. Once he started threatening my bodyguard it called for a whole new set of security measures, which restricted my lifestyle even more, separating me from the ones I loved."
Rachel finally stopped talking and moving her hands around frantically as she took a long sip of water, calming herself down. Looking back at Finn, she saw him quietly nod his encouragement. Taking a deep breath she continued, "When he took me from my benefit, I was terrified. My benefit has always been such a happy event, one that I've had nothing but fond memories of. Now, it's tainted with the memory of him kidnapping me. I woke up unconscious and bound, with everything hurting. I remember thinking that I was never going to see my fathers again, or my friends and the thought that my final hours might be spent with someone I hated repulsed me. I knew I had to be strong; he had also hurt my bodyguard. The sight of him lying in a pool of blood made me angrier than I'd ever been in my life and it gave me the strength to fight back. I knew I would rather have had him kill me, then be his wife and let him hurt my family and friends anymore than he already has. To this day, I still have bodyguards. I don't feel comfortable without them around. I'm not the same Rachel Berry I was before all of this occurred. I'm more cautious at fan lines and am not as available to them, which kills me, but flashbacks to that basement still haunt me. I've had to move from a house that I loved simply because he'd been there and never again will I live in a house with a basement. Jacob Ben-Israel's obsession has cost me a lot of physical pain and emotional trauma that I still carry with me. I will forever carry the memory of what he has done with me."
After finishing, Rachel sat for moment to collect herself, when Jacob jumped up screaming, "You slut! You were sleeping with your bodyguard! Hudson was just using you! You and I belong together, not him! You're still mine Rachel!" Rachel cowered as three deputies ran and restrained Jacob, pulling him out of the courtroom while he still yelled at her. Trembling now, Rachel looked at the judge with fear once again in her eyes. She saw the judges compassion for what Rachel had just gone through, again, and quietly said, "If it is okay with both the prosecution and the defense lawyers, I'm going to allow Miss Berry to leave the courthouse if she wants." Seeing both sets of lawyers agree with the judge, Rachel almost ran out of the courtroom, wanting to get as far away from it as possible with Mercedes , Kurt, Puck and Bieste following. Once she was outside and sitting on the steps, her façade of strength and confidence cracked and she sat there and just sobbed, not caring if paps or anyone took pictures. She felt eight arms surround her, and despite everything she smiled a little knowing she had the best people the truly cared for her around her.
"Hey Diva, do you want to go home now?" Rachel heard Mercedes ask softly, feeling her wipe tears away with Kurt's starched handkerchief. Nodding her head, she linked arms with Kurt and Mercedes while Puck went to get the car and the Bieste stayed back.
Forty-five minutes later, they arrived at her home in Pasadena. As they all entered through the garage, Rachel looked at all of them and gave them a small smile. "I want all of you to go home. Rest, relax, have fun, but don't stay here worrying about me. My nightmare is now officially over."
"But Rachel…" Kurt started but didn't finish when Rachel just shook her head.
"24 Elite has the place as secure as Fort Knox. I'm fine here by myself, so go, all of you." She said, looking pointedly at Puck and Bieste. Knowing it was no use to argue with the petite diva, all four left the house, with promises that if anything happened or she got scared she would call them.
Changing into yoga pants and a Reds t-shirt, Rachel went to the kitchen and made herself frozen strawberry lemonade and grabbed a trashy novel and headed to the back patio. Sitting down on the chaise, she allowed the calm, natural backyard to soothe her soul.
He walked in and knew the house was too quiet. He should have heard her singing or humming, but it was dead silent. Concern took over, and he pulled his gun, calling her name out, but not getting any response. Walking through the house he saw the patio doors slightly ajar and caught a glimpse or her red toes tapping a rhythm. Smiling, he slowly reholstered his gun and opened the door and just silently took her in; hair pulled up into a messy bun, reading glasses perched on her nose, his Reds shirt tied in a knot at her stomach and yoga pants encasing her legs. She looked like a sexy college librarian. Finn smiled to himself as she was still seemingly unaware of his presence and the fact that he was watching her.
He saw her suddenly look up from the book she was reading and looked at him over the top of her glasses. He felt parts stir, when she gave him that sultry, come hither look while wearing glasses. Her voice, low and a little raspy didn't help matters either, "Why hello Mr. Hudson. What brings you to my patio, disturbing my reading?" Rachel said as she sat her book down and brought herself up into a sitting position.
Shedding his jacket, vest, tie and gun as he walked over to her, Finn sat down at the bottom of her chaise and pulled her into his lap. Rubbing his thumb over her hand, when it landed on her ring, he started to slowly twist it around. "I have good news for you Ms. Berry; very good news." Finn said, sounding authoritative all the while playing with her ring, causing her to smile.
"And what good news is that Mr. Hudson?" Finn saw that Rachel was enjoying this little game as her eyes and voice both sparkled.
Knowing that what he was about to say was important, he grabbed both of her hands encompassing them in his and looked her square in the eye, "Jacob Ben-Israel has been sentenced to two life terms. He has to continue seeing a psychologist for the entire time he is incarcerated. He also must serve a minimum of twenty years before he can even attempt to seek parole. So now this part of your life is over, and you can start fresh with not having to worry about who is out there."
Finn smiled as Rachel went from being a flirt to a little girl giddy with freedom, her eyes welled up with happy tears as she hugged him with all the strength she had, and pulling back she looked him in the eye, "Oh Finn! Are you serious? I'm safe from him? Oh my….I don't know what to do, yes I do." And with that Rachel twisted in Finn's lap and kissed him fiercely. He felt her soft lips nudge his open, and obliged, letting her tongue enter his mouth as he savored her taste, which was of lemons and strawberries.
After several minutes of intense making out and Finn feeling himself grow more and more, she pulled back and smiled at him as she came to another realization, "Wait! That means no more hiding! That means I can announce to the world my best news ever!" Finn laughed as she jumped up and started spinning around with her arms out, reminding him of a little girl. Finally stopping she looked at Finn and pulled him up to be with her as she whispered into his chest, "For six months I've been keeping this a secret, and it's killed me. I've had to remember to take my ring off, and I couldn't just tell everyone how happy I was, but now I can, NO MORE SECRETS!" Rachel yelled as she pulled Finn into a silly dance.
Pulling back, Finn walked over to his jacket and grabbed and envelope out of it and held it just out of Rachel's reach. As she tried grabbing it, he would just hold it higher, loving the sound of her exasperation each time she jumped. Sitting down and huffing her bangs out of her face, she looked at him with her most intimidating look, which only made him laugh seeing how adorable she really was. Sitting down he laid the envelope on her lap as he explained it, "Well, in celebration of you keeping this secret for six months, I have a surprise for you, Mrs. Hudson. So open in up and see." Finn said, nudging the envelope in her lap.
He watched as she actually shook the envelope and then tore it open, pouring the contents out onto her lap. As she picked up the paper and two tickets she let out a squeal that was perfect to Finn's ears, and started kissing him all over in thanks.
"I take it a three week delayed honeymoon in Bora Bora at the Pearl Resort is to your liking Mrs. Hudson?"
"Liking?" Rachel asked incredulously, "How about loving, you, Finn Hudson, in nothing but a bathing suit for three weeks with no phones, no running around, no hiding from the public, or families and friends. I'm on cloud nine Finn. This is the best gift ever! When do we leave?"
"In two days Rach. I figured that would be plenty of time for you and Kurt to get all of your things together for the trip."
Finn watched as Rachel's face turned from pure bliss to pure fear, "Rach, what's wrong?" Rachel wasn't answering and Finn was getting concerned. Shaking her lightly, he saw her attention snap back to him, but the look of fear was still on her face.
Looking at him and in a small whisper said, "We are so dead."
Finn was confused. Dead? Jewfro was behind bars for good, he and Rachel were happily married and they didn't have to hide it anymore, so why were they dead? Voicing his confusion, Finn understood immediately with her answer, "Kurt. Kurt is going to kill both of us for denying him the opportunity to design my wedding dress and plan our wedding. He's going to kill us with his hairspray, pick and my five inch stilettos, and then give us both fashionable funerals since he couldn't do our wedding!" By the end of her tiny rant, Finn could tell Rachel was getting just a little hysterical.
Taking hold of both of her hands in one of his, he placed a peck on her nose, bringing her out of her self induced nightmare. "Well, as your husband and your bodyguard, I'm going to tell you what we are going to do to prevent our lives from being shortened by one mad as hell diva; we are leaving for Bora Bora in two days, when we get there, we phone Kurt, tell him we got hitched in Lima six months ago, and then turn off our phones and keep them off until we land at LAX three weeks later."
He watched as Rachel slowly nodded in agreement, a grin spreading over her beautiful face, "And then?" She asked Finn eagerly.
"And then Rachel Hudson, I spend the next three weeks making your life very, very happy, just like you made mine," as he leaned down and captured her mouth in a passionate kiss.