This fic should probably be more like NC-17, but I don't think it's... intense enough for an M rating, hahha. Thank you so much to all of you who read my writing (:

For Esai, who wanted something along these lines (I think).

Title is from the song "I'll Run" by The Cab (:


Chase Away These Fears

i.

She comes home later than usual, throwing the door open and walking briskly inside.

He barely has time to say, "Hey, babe," before she cuts him off with, "I'm late."

"I know," he says, "but that's okay." He gestures to the cartons that are sitting on the table. "I already ordered us Chinese food, and I got you that lo mein that you liked—"

"No, Finn," she cuts him off. "I'm late."

"Oh," he says quietly. "Oh. Are… are you sure you're…?"

"No," she admits quietly, shaking her head. She holds up a plastic bag. "But I guess we'll find out."

He nods, and he feels like she's walking in slow motion as she brushes past him, heading to the bathroom. They're only twenty-five and they've been married for a year and she's struggling enough with auditions, so how are they going to handle a baby?

He shakes his head. She's not even sure she's pregnant yet, so he shouldn't start worrying.


ii.

She paces back and forth, glancing at the timer every five seconds or so. It's making him a little dizzy.

"Rach, can you stop?" he asks. "I mean, just… I'm nervous, too."

She bites her lip, crossing the room to sit on the bed beside him. "What happens if it's positive?" she asks quietly.

"Then we're going to have a baby," he tells her. He can see it suddenly, Rachel holding a little them, and he realizes just how much he wants it.

"What if I can't do it?" she asks quietly. "What if I'm not cut out for this, Finn? I mean, I – I have no idea how to raise a child, and I still haven't made it yet and what if I never will and—"

"Hey," he says, pulling her to him and smoothing her hair. "You'll be great, Rach, okay? You're Rachel Hudson – you can do anything."

She smiles a little. "That's very sweet, Finn."

He tilts her chin upwards and captures her lips in a light kiss right before the timer goes off. She looks up at him fearfully.

"Just breathe," he reminds her gently.

She takes in a shaky breath, hauling herself up off the bed. She quickly sits back down again. "I can't do it, Finn," she whimpers. "I can't look at it. Can… can you…?"

He nods, and as he gets up, his heart is pounding really fast. He squeezes her hand, then crosses the room. He takes a deep breath, then picks up the stick, squinting at it. "Babe?" he asks.

"Yeah?"

"What do two lines mean?"

She lets out a noise that sounds halfway between a sob and a laugh. "It means you're going to be a daddy."

"Oh," he says, and he feels a little light-headed all of a sudden. There's a little fetus in Rachel's stomach right now and soon it'll be like an actual baby and it's half him and half her. "Cool."

Then everything goes black.


iii.

They head back to Lima for the Annual Hummel Labor Day picnic the next week. They stay with Rachel's dads at her old house, and they sleep in Rachel's old bedroom. Finn thinks it's kind of ironic that he and his pregnant wife are staying in the room where he "deflowered her" (her term, not his) for the first time.

"Should we tell them?" Rachel asks worriedly.

Finn shrugs. "They'll have to find out eventually."

She nods. "We'll tell them tomorrow, then, I suppose."

And, sure enough, the next morning at breakfast, Rachel tells her dad and daddy that she has an announcement, gripping Finn's hand tightly as she says that she is pregnant. Her daddy squeals, standing up to hug Rachel and then Finn, ranting on and on about how it's so wonderful that he's getting a grandchild.

Finn looks over at her dad. His lips are closed, but he's smiling. He offers Finn his hand, which Finn shakes.

"Congratulations, son," he says warmly. "I really couldn't've picked a better guy for my daughter to procreate with."

Finn thinks it's a compliment, so he says, "Er, thanks, Hiram" (because he told Finn to stop calling him Mr. Berry years ago) and rubs the back of his neck.

Hiram just smiles widely, then goes to hug his daughter.

Afterwards, when they're finally alone in Rachel's old room, half undressed on her bed, hands roaming, she mutters, "That went well."

He presses a kiss to her neck. "So well."

"I can't wait to tell your mom," Rachel sighs. "She's going to be so excited."

"Me neither," he mutters. "But for now can I just focus on making you excited?"

She laughs, but she doesn't protest when he slips his hand under her tank top. And she only giggles when he leans down to press a kiss to her still-flat stomach.


iv.

Carole screams when they tell her the news, sweeping Rachel up and hugging her tightly. "My first grandbaby!" she squeals happily. Burt just smiles and shakes Finn's hand, clapping him on the back. Finally, she lets Rachel go and wraps her arms around Finn instead.

"I'm so proud of you, Finny," she whispers in his ear, and he blushes. Even though he's not in high school any more, it feels good, making his mom proud.

After releasing her son and making sure they're both settled comfortably on the couch, she sits across from them, watching them.

"How far along are you?" she asks Rachel.

"About a month," Rachel tells her, smiling. Finn squeezes her hand.

"So you'll have a spring baby, oh that's lovely!"

"And I'll have the summer off, so I can spend time with Rach and the baby," Finn adds.

"Not teaching summer school this year?"

Finn shakes his head. "We could probably use the money, but…" He glances over at Rachel, who nods in support. "We both decided that it would be better if I'm home to help with the baby."

Carole nods. "I really am proud of you," she says again. She glances affectionately at Rachel. "Both of you," she adds.

Rachel tears up a little then, and, even though she'll later blame it on the pregnancy hormones, he knows how much it means to her.

He brings her hand to his lips and kisses it.


v.

"Please tell me you didn't actually pass out when Rachel told you," Kurt remarks drily when he, Finn, and Rachel have their weekly Skype call.

"He did," Rachel says matter-of-factly before Finn can say anything. "It took me about five minutes to bring him round, too."

Finn sighs. "It was just… I mean, it's a big thing."

"I know, baby," she says soothingly, patting his shoulder.

Kurt laughs.

"Just, promise you won't tell anyone?" Finn asks. "Especially Puckerman."

Kurt sucks in air through his teeth. "Well. That might not be possible…"

"You already told him?" Finn yells.

Kurt shrugs. "I ran into him and Quinn at the supermarket when I was visiting Dad and Carole last week. And you know how bad I am at keeping secrets."

"Do I ever," Finn mutters.

"Did you tell anyone else that we're pregnant, Kurt?" Rachel asks, raising an eyebrow. Finn finds it adorable that she says "we're" instead of "I'm," because it really means that it's him and Rachel, in this together, having this baby. Sure, she's the sacred vessel or whatever, but he's gonna be there every step of the way.

"Well, I told Nana Hummel," Kurt says, ticking her name off on his finger, "because I figured Finn would forget," Finn ducks his head sheepishly, "I told Blaine, of course, because I really can't keep anything from him at all, and… Oh! I told Mr. Schue."

Rachel takes in a deep breath, and Finn puts his hand on her knee, rubbing circles slowly, knowing she's about to explode. "You told Mr. Schue?" she asks with forced calmness.

Kurt has the good sense to look scared. "What's that Blaine?" he calls behind him, leaning out of the shot. "Oh, really, tickets to Gypsy tonight? And it starts in an hour?" He turns back to the screen, sighing exasperatedly. "Well, you heard that, Rachel, I'm sure you understand—"

"Kurt Hummel," Rachel says slowly, her tone laced with danger. "The off-Broadway production of Gypsy closed two weeks ago, and if you end this call I swear to God I will storm over to your SoHo apartment and release all of my pregnancy hormones on you."

Kurt gulps.

Finn gets up, leaning over to kiss Rachel on the cheek. "I'll be right back. Grilled cheese sandwich?"

She nods, her eyes never leaving the screen. "Pray for your brother's soul after you make it, okay?"

He laughs, making it into the kitchen right before she starts yelling.


vi.

"This'll be cold," Dr. Smith warns, spreading the gel across Rachel's stomach. She grins, gripping Finn's hand tightly as the doctor moves her sonogram instrument over Rachel's stomach.

"First time parents?" Dr. Smith asks.

Finn nods, smiling slightly. "Yeah."

"Excited to see your baby?"

"Most definitely," Rachel affirms.

"Well, there it is." The doctor gestures to the screen, and Finn inhales sharply. It's a little murky and little grey and just little in general, but he can see the outline of a baby – their baby. His breath hitches and he feels tears well up in his eyes. He glances over at Rachel and notices that she's teary eyed, too.

"It's all so real," Rachel whispers.

Finn leans over and presses his forehead against hers. "I love you."

She half laughs, half sobs. "I love you, too."

He kisses her softly, squeezing her hand, and he laughs a little as he pulls away because it's all so surreal. He feels like it's hitting him for the first time that he and Rachel are bringing a real, live person into this world.

Rachel shakes her head and wipes at her eyes. "This is really happening," she murmurs in disbelief.

Honestly? He can't believe it either.


vii.

Rachel doesn't really get morning sickness until she's almost two months along, and it turns out to be more like all-day sickness. Without warning, she'll become nauseous, sprinting for the nearest bathroom. She has to skip out on tech week at the community theater for the play she's apart of because the smell of paint makes her so queasy she can barely even stand.

"This baby will be the death of me," she moans from the couch when he gets home from school. Funny Girl's playing on the screen for what feels like the sixteenth time this week; he's pretty sure she just put it on loop.

"Hey," he says quietly, lifting up her legs so he can sit down. He places them back on his lap and rubs her thigh soothingly. "I know it sucks right now, but just think of all the rewards we'll have when we're parents. When we see that little us and know that it was all worth it, even the throwing up and the back pains and the sore feet."

She groans. "Easy for you to say. You don't have the morning sickness and the back pains and the sore feet. I mean, it's only been two months; how am I going to survive seven more?"

His lips twitch as he tries to hold back a smile. "C'mere, babe," he says, grabbing her hand and helping her sit up. She readjusts herself so she's laying her head on his shoulder, and he smoothes down her hair. "I love you," he tells her. "And I love our baby. I know this isn't easy for you, but I'll be here through everything, okay?"

She nods weakly against his shoulder. "I'd kiss you right now but no matter how many times I brush my teeth, I can't get rid of the puke taste."

He laughs softly, dropping a kiss on the top of her head. "It's okay, babe. Would a foot rub make you feel better?"

She shrugs, but he sees her smile a bit. "Maybe," she concedes.

"Lean back then," he tells her, "and let Finny D work his magic."

She snorts, but she obliges.


viii.

Quinn and Puck come to New York to stay with them for a few days in the middle of November. Finn has to admit that it's nice to have someone to play Call of Duty with, and Quinn and Rachel talk about baby things and go shopping for these adorable little outfits. Puck makes fun of him for smiling when Rachel shows them all to him, but it's all worth it to see her beam as she holds up a little yellow onesie with a caterpillar on it.

"Isn't it adorable?" she coos.

"Yeah, but if it's a boy, people are immediately going to question his sexuality," Puck deadpans.

Quinn and Rachel glare at him. "Yellow is a neutral color," Rachel says hotly.

"It's really not," Puck insists.

Rachel opens her mouth, presumably to retort, but then she quickly covers it and darts of to the bathroom.

"Poor thing," Quinn sighs, sitting down between Finn and Puck.

"It's kind of badass, actually," Puck notes. "That little fetus is totally calling all the shots."

Quinn punches him in the arm, causing him to shoot Finn on the screen.

"What the hell, dude?" Finn moans. "We're on the same team."

"Don't blame me!" Puck shrieks. "Blame Q, she's the one who slugged me!"

"You're both idiots," Quinn notes, but she's smiling.

"You love it," Puck retorts.

Quinn shrugs.

Rachel emerges from the bathroom, wiping her mouth with a washcloth. She sits down on the other side of Finn, and their couch isn't really made for four people, so it's a cozy fit. She's actually halfway in his lap. Sure, it distracts him from the game a bit, but he doesn't mind.

"You okay, babe?" he asks, pausing the game.

"The hell?" Puck yells. "I was going in for the kill, too, Hudson, goddammit it!"

"I just can't wait for this trimester to be over," she sighs, wrapping her arms around his neck. "And Noah, please don't use crass language. The baby can hear you, you know."

Puck rolls his eyes, but even he knows not to mess with a pregnant Rachel, so he settles for throwing down the controller instead.

"Just another few weeks, babe," Finn says, rubbing her back.

"And then another six months," she mutters. "Can't I just have the thing now?"

Quinn suppresses a laugh. "It's roughly the size of a piece of fruit, Rachel," she reminds her. "You might wanna wait until it's finished developing."

Rachel sighs. "I guess you're right." She giggles then, playing with the hairs on the nape of Finn's neck. "We're gonna have the cutest baby ever, Finn. You realize that, right?"

Finn kisses her. "'Course we are, babe."

Puck snorts. "Not possible. Already happened." He nudges Quinn. "Beth was pretty adorable, was she not?"

Quinn smiles slightly. "Yeah," she says softly. "She's beautiful."

"Most beautiful girl in the world, 'sides you," Puck says sweetly, kissing Quinn on the cheek.

Quinn rolls her eyes. "Are you guys coming back to Lima for Thanksgiving?" she asks instead.

"Yep," Finn says. "Wouldn't miss my mom's cooking for the world. And this year, Rach can even eat the turkey."

Rachel groans. Seeing Quinn and Puck's confused expression, she explains, "My physician recommended that I incorporate meat back into my diet, so the baby will be as healthy as possible." She sighs dramatically. "I've been a vegan for ten years, and now I'm back at square one."

"Are you going to the get-together at Mr. Schue's?" Puck asks.

"Wouldn't miss it," Finn grins.


ix.

He and Rachel are the first ones over at the Schuester residence, a whole two hours ahead of schedule, the day before Thanksgiving. Rachel immediately goes to assist Emma in the kitchen – and yeah it's totally weird calling Ms. Pillsbury (well, Mrs. Schuester) Emma now and Mr. Schue Will. He doubts he'll ever get used to it.

"People are here!" A blur darts past Finn, and Mr. Schue – Will – scoops it up.

"Hey, bud, do you remember Finn?"

The boy buries his head in Will's shoulder and shakes his head.

"Sure you do!" Will says. "You've been talking about him all week, haven't you? Finn Hudson, the football star?"

Finn feels himself blush. "Not since high school, Mr. Schue."

"Is it true you threw touchdown passes all the time?" the boy asks, eyes wide. "Even in the state championship game?"

Finn rubs the back of his neck. "Well, I mean, I guess but… I wasn't really that great."

"Don't be modest, Finn," Will says, punching him lightly on the shoulder. "You were great."

"Are you in the NFL?" the boy asks.

Finn laughs. "No, I'm not. I teach high school."

"Like my dad?"

Finn smiles, glancing at Mr. Schue. "Exactly like your dad."

Will beams, and Finn swears he gets a little teary eyed, but Rachel comes bustling out of the kitchen then.

"Please tell me that's not Alex," she says, coming to stand next to Finn. "God, he's gotten so big!"

Alex ducks his head as Finn wraps his arm around his wife, drawing her close to him.

"How old are you now?" Rachel asks the boy.

"Five," Alex beams, holding up his hand to show her. "And Aubrey's two. She's still a baby."

Finn grins, glancing down at Rachel's stomach. She's convinced she's starting to show, but he can only make out a slight bump – like maybe she ate too much.

"Where is Aubrey?" Rachel asks Will.

"Napping," he says. "She should be up by the time everyone else gets here, though."

Rachel smiles, moving her hand to her stomach.

"Are you guys excited for your little one on the way?" Ms. Pillsbury – Mrs. Schuester – Emma asks, coming out of the kitchen, removing her rubber gloves.

"Definitely," Finn says, smiling widely. "I'm so excited to meet him or her."

"Any preference on the gender?"

He shakes his head. "'S long as it's healthy, really."

"Ah," Will says, "the standard answer." He winks. "I'm sure Finn secretly wants a little hellion like this one he can play football with," he says, readjusting his grip on Alex.

Rachel laughs, but Finn clears his throat. "Yeah, that'd be pretty cool, I guess, but I… I mean, it'd be nice to have a little girl. You know, a little Rachel, singing and dancing and… playing dress up and stuff."

Rachel looks up at him, wide eyed, and he really hopes he didn't say anything wrong. He really doesn't care if they have a boy or a girl, but it's just a thought, really. "Do you really think so?" she asks quietly.

"'Course," he says, trying to shrug it off, but Rachel places both her hands on either side of his face and brings his mouth down to meet hers.

"Eww!" Alex squeals, and Finn really doesn't want to pull away, but he's aware they're in the presence of other people, so he does.

"Sorry," Rachel says. She turns to Emma. "Pregnancy hormones."

Finn doesn't think that she's telling the entire truth, but he doesn't mind, because with the look she's giving him right now, he's totally getting laid tonight.

Rachel being pregnant is totally awesome.


x.

He shouldn't be entirely surprised that all Puck wants to talk about is whether or not pregnancy has improved their sex life, but Rachel made it clear years ago that the topic was off limits, so he mostly tries to include other people in their conversation. It doesn't work.

"But like, is she kinkier now, bro? Because I always figured that Berry would be kinky in bed, and I'm sure you would've said something if she were, right?"

Mike is staring at the ceiling, looking like he'd literally rather be anywhere else.

"How's the wedding planning coming?" Finn asks, pointedly ignoring Puck.

Mike shrugs. "Tina's doing most of it, really. Her and my mom." He laughs darkly. "Now that's proving to be an issue." He starts talking about how Tina and his mother spent three hours arguing over which flowers to use in the arrangements, and Finn lets his eyes wander across the Schuesters' living room, spotting Rachel laughing with Mercedes. She catches his gaze and smiles a bit wider.

Apparently Mike's done talking about flowers, because he claps Finn on the back and says, "Oh, congrats by the way. Baby already, huh?"

Finn smiles and nods. "Yep."

"Kurt excited?" Mike asks.

Finn rolls his eyes. "You have no idea. He's already bought the kid so much crap, entire outfits, even. For his sake, we better have a girl, otherwise he has several exchanges to make."

Mike laughs. "I always knew you and Rachel would be the first ones to start a family," he says.

Puck scoffs. "Well, they've been going at it like rabbits since senior year, so it's just the odds, isn't it?"

Finn sighs. It's kind of nice to know that even though they're adults now, some things never change.


xi.

He's running late, and he still has to drop Rachel off at the theater, so he's feeling a little rushed on the first day of December. The sidewalk's slick as he walks out to the car, his feet sliding a bit. He's halfway down when he hears the door to their apartment building open, and he turns around to warn Rachel that it's slippery when he hears a sickening thump.

He turns around to see her sprawled out on the ground, a shocked look on her face. "Shit," he mutters, heading back up the sidewalk.

"Rach, are you okay?" he asks, skidding to a stop next to her.

"I – I don't know," she whispers.

He feels his stomach drop. "Is something wrong? Is it the baby?"

"I don't know," she repeats, her eyes wide with fear.

He scoops her up, carrying her to the car. His heart pounds as he places her in the passenger seat, and he nearly slips hurrying around to the driver's side.

He pulls out onto the street.

"Where are you going?" Rachel asks. "The theater's the other way. You're going to be late for school, Finn."

"I'm taking you to the hospital," he says, never taking his eyes off the road. "I'm sure they can get someone to cover my classes, and I'm not taking any chances with you or this baby, Rach."

She doesn't say anything, and he knows she's just as scared as he is.


xii.

Finn squeezes Rachel's hand. They've been at the hospital for an hour and a half now, and Rachel's had a bunch of tests done, but they've had no word on the status of the baby.

"What if I lost it?" she whispers. The light catches the dried tear tracks on her cheeks. "What if I lost the baby?"

"Hey," he says, his voice low. He reaches out to push her bangs out of her face. "Don't say that, Rach, everything's going to be fine—"

"But what if it's not?" she asks.

He really doesn't want to think about that because he already loves this baby so much, and he feels empty just imagining it suddenly not being there.

He swallows. "If that happens, Rachel, you have to know that it's not your fault." She averts his gaze, so he tilts her chin so that she's looking at him. "You didn't fall on purpose. And you have to know that, baby or no baby, I will still love you. There's nothing you can do to make me stop loving you."

She sniffs. "Do you promise?" she whispers.

He leans over and kisses her on the forehead. "I promised it a long, long time ago."

The doctor comes in then, and Rachel looks at him fearfully.

Finn squares his jaw and asks, "What's wrong? Is Rachel okay? Is the baby okay?"

The doctor smiles, although it doesn't reach his eyes. "Mr. Hudson, both your wife and the baby are fine."

He could cry, he's so relieved. He peppers Rachel's face with kisses, and Rachel really does start to cry.

"It was very smart to bring her here, though," the doctor informs them. "You can never be too safe. Thankfully, the extent of Mrs. Hudson's injuries are just a bruised coccyx, more commonly referred to as the 'tail bone.'"

Rachel nods, and Finn resists the urge to kiss her senseless. He doubts the doctor would be amused.

"We'll try to make sure you're out of here within the hour," the doctor finishes, then he leaves the room, chart in hand.

Finn grins over at Rachel. She's started crying again, but this time, they're happy tears.

He hugs her, and she murmurs in his ear, "We're okay." He feels tears well up in his own eyes, and he thanks the lord for giving him his wife and child. "We're okay," she repeats.

They're okay.


xiii.

They get home from the hospital at around noon, and she attacks him almost as soon as they get in the door, attaching her lips hungrily to his, wrapping her legs around him.

"I need you, Finn," she mutters in his ear, and he can't help but scoop her up and carry her right to their bedroom. She winces a little as his hands brush over her rear, and he sets her down gently on the bed.

"Are you sure you're okay enough for this?" he asks her.

She reaches up to kiss him in response, placing her hand on the back of his neck and pulling him down on top of her. "More than okay," she pants as he moves his ministrations to her neck, his hands roaming, sliding under her blouse and tickling her ribcage.

He presses feather-light kisses along her jaw line as she tugs on his hair impatiently. Slowly, he slides her shirt up, lifting it up over her arms, and leaning down to press a kiss against her slightly swollen stomach. "I love you, baby," he murmurs.

"Finn, I need you," she repeats breathlessly.

He grins as she slides his own t-shirt off, expertly undoing the clasp on her bra as she fumbles slightly with his belt buckle.

A sudden thought hits him, and he grabs her hand, pulling it away from his jeans. "This won't hurt the baby, will it?" he asks, looking her straight in the eye.

"Of course not," she breathes, her eyes darker than usual, lust and love shining through them. "We've done it while I was pregnant already," she points out.

He smiles, cupping her face as he kisses her while she slides his jeans down his legs. He focuses on getting rid of her skirt and her underwear.

He kisses her, positioning himself at her entrance. "I love you," he murmurs, as he has every time since the first time, back when they were in high school.

She moans as he slides into her, and he knows he'll never get tired of this – of being one with Rachel.

She and this baby – they're his forever.


xiv.

They spend Christmas in New York, just the two of them. His mom is a little putout that they aren't coming home for the holidays, but she seems to understand. She worried for weeks after she found out about Rachel's accident, and she tells them to be careful.

They exchange the big presents on Christmas (a new karaoke machine and a diamond pendant for her and a new flatscreen for him), and eight smaller gifts on the days of Hanukkah. She bakes him chocolate chip banana bread and homemade cinnamon rolls, gets him a songbook of classic 80's hits for his classroom, a new watch, a Jets jersey, the latest Paul Rudd movie, and two things for the baby: A onesie that says "My Daddy's the Best" and a picture of their latest sonogram in a frame that says "Our Baby."

"For your desk, at school," she adds in explanation. He kisses her because he figures that can express his feelings more than words.

He gets her a few books and a Barbra Streisand Greatest Hits CD, a t-shirt that says "I Have the Golden Ticket" with an arrow pointing at her stomach, and a baby book.

She gasps when she opens it, running her fingers over the scrapbook-like pages. "You did all this?" she whispers, flipping through the pictures of them and reading what he wrote beneath them.

"Well, Kurt helped," he admits, "and it's not done yet, because, you know, obviously the baby's not here yet, but I figured we could do the rest together."

She beams at him, wrapping her arms around his neck and hugging him tightly.

"I love it," she whispers. "It's perfect, Finn, thank you."

Yeah, it's pretty much the best Christmas/Hanukkah ever.


xv.

Rachel really starts showing by her fifth month of pregnancy. Finn figures it's because she's so tiny. It's just a slight baby bump, but she starts wearing oversized t-shirts, mainly his old ones from high school or college.

When he asks her why one day while she's making breakfast, she replies, "Because I'm not round enough that people can tell I'm pregnant yet, and I just… I don't want to draw any attention to it."

"You're not fat, Rach," he tells her.

She rolls her eyes. "You're my husband. You're supposed to say that."

"Hey," he says, grabbing her arm and spinning her around, away from the bacon she's frying (because she totally loves the stuff now that she's being forced to eat meat). "You're pregnant, Rach, and getting bigger is just the natural part of that, okay? You're still beautiful, possibly even more so."

She ducks her head. "Do you really think so?" she asks quietly.

"Yes," he says exasperatedly.

She grins, and he leans down to kiss her, his lips pressing sweetly against hers.

A series of pops go off.

"Shit!" Rachel shrieks, backing away from the stove as the bacon sends grease flying.

Finn raises an eyebrow. "Can't the baby hear you?" he teases.

Her eyes widen. "Oh no, it can, and now it's going to come out cursing like a sailor—"

"Rachel," he says, grabbing the sides of her face and staring into her eyes. "Calm down. I was joking. The baby will not come out cursing like a sailor, I promise you."

She takes in a deep breath, covering his hands with her own. "Thanks, Finny," she murmurs. "I guess I was overreacting."

He laughs. "Just a little." He kisses her again, chastely, then he wraps his arms around her shoulders and hugs her to him.

She sighs.

The bacon pops again, causing her to jump. He chuckles.

"Do you want breakfast or not, mister?" she asks, narrowing her eyes.

He sighs, letting her go. She turns back to the bacon, saying over her shoulder, "Oh, and don't forget, we have another ultrasound today. And today's the day we find out the gender of our baby."

He grins, stepping forward and wrapping his arms around her waist. He kisses her on the cheek.

"Finn!" she squeals.

"Forget breakfast," he mutters.

She giggles, removing his hands from her waist. "Sorry, Finny."

He sighs. It was worth a try.

It's not that big of a deal though because Rachel's bacon is awesome. And they're finding out the sex of their baby today. Yeah, today is totally the best day ever.


xvi.

"Are you excited?" Dr. Smith asks, moving the ultrasound instrument over Rachel's stomach.

"I think that's an understatement," Rachel says, smiling and squeezing Finn's hand.

"And you wish to know the sex, correct?"

Finn swallows, glancing at Rachel. She beams at him. "That's correct."

"There she is," Dr. Smith says, gesturing to the gray shape of their child on the screen. "There's your baby."

Finn's breath catches in her throat. "Sh-she?" he asks.

Dr. Smith nods. "Congratulations, you're having a little girl."

"Oh my God," Rachel whispers, staring at the screen, her eyes cloudy with tears. "We… we have a baby girl."

Finn hugs her then, squeezing her as tears stream down her cheeks. "I love you," he murmurs into her hair. He doesn't notice when Dr. Smith gets up and leaves the room. "I love you and our baby girl."

She just clings to him, blubbering what he thinks is an "I love you" back, and he kisses the top of her head sweetly.

"We'll have to ask Dr. Smith for a copy of that sonogram," he notes. He definitely won't ever forget this day, this moment. This is the day that officially changes his life.


xvii.

"Finn," she says quietly, shaking him.

"Five more minutes," he mutters.

"Finn, get up," she insists.

He groans.

"Finn!"

He shoots up, opening his eyes groggily. "What is it, Rach? Is the baby coming?"

She shakes her head. "No, no, I'm only five and a half months, Finn."

"Oh," he says. "Right." He furrows his brow in confusion. "Then what is it, Rach?"

She bites her lip. "It's silly, really, but…"

He stares at her in anticipation. "What, babe?"

"Can you go to the store and get me some peanut butter ice cream?" She spews it all out in one breath, looking at him expectantly.

He glances at the clock. "It's… it's one a.m."

She pouts. "Please, Finny? For the baby?"

He sighs. She knows he's caving; he can tell by the way her lips curl up in a smile. "Anything else?"

She squeals, peppering his face with kisses. "Thank you, baby, thank you thank you thank you." She claps her hands together. "If it's not too much to ask, I'd also like those jumbo marshmallows. And some bananas." She pats her stomach. "Baby likes bananas."

He laughs. "I'll be back in a bit, okay?"

She grins. "Love you."

"Love you, too." He leans over to kiss her on the forehead, then he leaves. He really would do anything for his wife – and for their little girl, too.


xviii.

He comes back forty-five minutes later, her sack of food in hand.

"Rach?" he calls softly as he comes in the door. There's no answer.

He puts the ice cream in the freezer, then heads back to the bedroom. She's sprawled out across the pillows, her chest rising and falling as she sleeps.

He grins, shaking his head. He takes off his shoes and jeans, climbing into bed next to her. She groans, shifting so she's leaning into him. Her eyes flutter open. "Hey," she murmurs.

He brushes her hair out of her face. "Go back to sleep, baby."

"The ice cream and bananas," she mutters.

"I got them," he assures her. "You can eat them in the morning, okay?"

She nods sleepily, cuddling into his side. "Okay. Love you, Finny."

He wraps his arm around her, kissing her forehead. "Love you, too, Rach."

She's asleep within minutes.


xix.

"Finn, we need to discuss names."

He looks up from the stack of papers he's grading to see her staring at him intently, hand resting on her stomach. She's been doing that a lot lately, keeping her hand on her stomach. He thinks it's adorable.

"Okay," he concedes, putting the papers aside. "What are your ideas, Rach?"

"Well," she says, pulling a piece of paper out of the pocket of her sweatpants, "I think we should go with a classic sounding name, like Fanny or Maria—"

"Rach, I'm sorry, I love you, but we're not naming our daughter after the main character in Funny Girl or West Side Story."

She pouts. "Elphaba?" she tries.

He stares at her. "Babe. This is our daughter."

Rachel huffs. "And Elphaba is a perfectly acceptable name."

"For a dog, maybe, but not for a baby girl."

"Really, Finn?" she snaps. "This coming from the boy who thought Drizzle was the perfect name?"

"Hey, I was sixteen," he says defensively.

She sighs. "I know, I know. I just… I feel like we're not prepared at all, Finn."

"We still have three months until she'll be here," he points out.

She nods. "I know. I just want everything… to be as perfect as possible. I want the nursery to be done and her name to be picked out and… and I want smooth sailing, you know?"

He nods slowly. "We'll make it as close as possible, Rach," he promises. "And… we can even start on the nursery next week, alright?"

She brightens, a grin spreading across her face. "Really?" she asks.

"Really," he confirms.

She tackles him, hugging him tightly. "Oh, Finn, this'll be so wonderful. I have so many ideas, you'll see."

He laughs.


xx.

He's a pro at online shopping now. He's bought about fifty onesies, including one that says "Daddy's Little Princess" on it, despite the fact that Rachel keeps saying that they'll be broke if he doesn't stop. If he could do everything online, he totally would, but Rachel actually makes him go out to the furniture store with her to buy a crib and stuff for the nursery.

"We definitely could've ordered this online," he grumbles as she drags him through the kitchen section, turning her head to peer down the aisles.

She snorts. "Then it wouldn't be here for another week and you promised me we'd set up the nursery this week, Finn Hudson."

He sighs, glancing up at the signs that hang from ceiling. "Baby furniture is the other way, babe," he says.

She looks up at the sign, too. "Oh."

He laughs, squeezing her hand, and this time he's the one who drags her through the store.

Rachel spends about ten minutes analyzing each and every crib, every contour and every ridge, making sure it's perfect for their baby. He doesn't blame her, really, because he doesn't want their little girl going to bed in a deathtrap, but the saleslady who made the mistake of trying to come over to assist them looks like she's about to rip all of her hair out.

"Ma'am, I promise you, all of our cribs have been safety certified," she's saying for the fifth time.

"I am not putting my daughter in this thing," Rachel snaps, crossing her arms. "This is one of the most dangerous mechanisms I have ever seen in my life."

The saleslady sighs and Finn tries desperately not to laugh. "What about this one, babe?" he asks, gesturing to a white crib next to him.

She stops glaring at the saleslady and her face softens, her lips curling into a smile. She steps over to it, running her hand along the top bar. She shakes it a little, peers inside of it, then grins at him.

"This is the one," she murmurs.

The saleslady sighs in relief.

Rachel hugs him then, squealing, "We've got a crib for our baby, Finny. This is all really happening."

He squeezes her, reaching over to look at the price tag. He nearly chokes.

He glances over at the saleslady in dismay. She shrugs. "Didn't you say you wanted only the best for your daughter?"

He kind of hates that lady.


xxi.

It happens for the first time when they're painting the nursery. Rachel's on one side of the room, and he's on the other, desperately trying not to get any pink on his clothes, because no matter how old this t-shirt is, it's just not cool.

"Oh!" she squeaks.

He spins around to see her standing, paintbrush on the newspaper-covered floor, with both hands on her stomach, looking at him with wide eyes.

"What is it?" he asks, dropping his own paintbrush.

Her eyes fill with tears. "She kicked, Finn," she whispers, smiling.

"Oh my God." He crosses the room in about three strides, placing his hands on her stomach. "C'mon, baby," he mutters, glancing at Rachel. Her eyes are still shining. "Kick for daddy."

Rachel laughs, and then he feels this jolt from under his fingertips. He looks at her in shock. "Was that…?"

She nods. "Baby says 'hi.'"

He kisses her, cupping her cheek with one hand and keeping the other on her stomach, because he doesn't know how his life could really be this perfect. He feels another jolt.

Rachel giggles at his shocked expression. "She loves you already, you know."

He ducks his head. "I already love her so much, too."

"You're adorable," she says sweetly, leaning down to pick up her discarded paintbrush.

He grins, studying her as she dips the paintbrush in the can, spreading the paint daintily across the wall. She glances over at him. "What?" she asks.

"I hope our little girl turns out exactly like you."

She ducks her head, biting her lip. "Well, I certainly hope not."

He opens his mouth to protest, but she cuts him off, adding, "I hope she's more like you."

He smiles. He already has the best girl in the world, and he can't wait to meet the little angel they've created.


xxii.

Rachel's kind of huge now, honestly. She's eight months along, none of her old clothes fit, and she can't even see her feet.

"I just want this baby out," she moans, curling up into as much of a ball as she can with her protruding stomach. He sits down next to her on the couch. "I'm just bloated all the time and I can never get comfortable." She sighs, snuggling into his side.

He wraps his arm around her, resting his cheek on the top of her head. "Well, I think you're beautiful."

"Thanks, babe," she murmurs.

"I… I was looking at baby names today," he says, playing with her hair.

"Find any good ones?" They've been looking for a while now, discussing them every now and then, but usually not for very long, because Rachel seems pretty hell-bent on naming their daughter Evita, and he's just not cool with that.

"Well, there's one I like," he says slowly. She looks up at him expectantly. "Ava. It means 'like a bird,' and um, she'll be all about reaching her dreams, like you, and soaring to new heights and stuff, you know?" He shrugs. "Just a thought, I guess."

She's silent for a few seconds. "It's perfect," she whispers, looking up at him. She's smiling slightly.

"Really?"

"Yeah, really," she laughs, grabbing the back of his neck and bringing his face down so she can press her lips against his.

"Her middle name can be Evita if you want," he whispers, nuzzling his forehead against hers. "Or Maria, or Elphaba, or Fanny. Whatever you want babe."

She giggles. "Actually, I was thinking her middle name should be Carole."

He freezes, staring at her.

"Is that okay?" she asks, worry seeping into her tone.

He kisses her on the nose. "More than okay. My mom's going to be even more excited." He laughs, putting a hand on her ever-expanding belly. "Hey, baby girl, you've got a name now. Ava Carole Hudson."

Rachel laughs, and he feels the vibration of it. "I think she's sleeping right now," she whispers, lacing her fingers through his. "So it's the perfect time for us to be doing other things."

"Like what?" he asks, smirking, sliding his hand under her shirt.

"I think you know," she mutters as he plants kisses on her neck.

He sure hopes she knows that once she gets this baby out, there's no way he's not going to want another.


xxiii.

He gets the phone call during third period, during his geography class. He tells the kids to behave while he takes this call, and he steps out into the hallway, pressing the 'accept' button.

"Finn, you need to come down to the hospital," Kurt says frantically on the other end of the phone. "Rachel just went into labor."

He nearly drops the phone. "But… she's not due for another two weeks."

"Well, tell that to your baby, because she's sure as hell coming!"

He hears Rachel screech in the background, "Tell him he's never touching me again!"

"She not on the drugs yet?" Finn asks, trying to ignore the racing of his heart. Oh God this is happening it's happening it's happening.

"No, we just pulled into the parking lot!" Kurt says frantically. Rachel shrieks in the background again. "You need to hurry, Finn!"

"I'm on my way," he says curtly, and he hangs up. He doesn't even go back inside the classroom, walking down the hallway instead. He heads into the front office to request a sub.

He has a baby to meet.

And he is scared shitless.


xxiv.

He finally gets back to the room where Rachel is after stopping to talk to Kurt and Blaine in the waiting room, bracing himself for whatever Rachel might throw at him.

She beams when she sees him. "Hey, Finny. She's still not here yet. I'm not fully dilated."

He lets out a sigh of relief, smoothing back her hair and leaning down to kiss her on the forehead. "How you feeling, babe?"

"Ready," she answers. She smiles. "I just got my epidural before you got here."

The doctor comes in then. "You must be her husband," he remarks.

Finn nods.

"Ready to meet your baby?"

"Yeah," he says, grinning down at Rachel. "I think I am."

"Okay, Rachel, let's check your progress." Finn feels a little uncomfortable that another man is looking at his wife's… lady parts, but he forces himself to remember that he's a doctor, not some perv.

"Okay," the doctor says. "Are you ready to start pushing?"

Rachel's eyes widen in fear. Finn gets the feeling she's not as ready as she said she was.

"I can't do this," she says, breathing shallowly.

"Hey," Finn says, taking the sides of her face in his hands. "Look at me, Rachel. You are going to be a great mother. We're having our little girl today, okay? And she's going to be the most beautiful, amazing, awesome thing. And I promise that, no matter what, I'll be there, because you and me, together we can do anything, including this."

She stares at him for a second, but then she nods. "I love you so much right now," she admits.

He pecks her on the lips. "I love you, too. Now, are we going to have this baby?"

She smiles. "Let's do it." She looks over his shoulder. "Doctor, I think I'm ready to push now."


xxv.

"She's so tiny," Rachel whispers, stretching out her finger. Ava latches onto it with her impossibly tiny little hand.

"She looks like you," Finn whispers.

They're both squeezed onto Rachel's hospital bed, Ava in her little bed beside them.

"She doesn't have my nose, though, thank God," Rachel laughs.

"I love your nose," Finn murmurs.

Rachel takes his hand. "Well, thanks, babe."

"Anytime," he whispers.

"We're actually parents now," she says, disbelief coloring her tone. "This is all so surreal."

Ava coos, and Finn smiles. "She's perfect, isn't she?"

"She really is," Rachel agrees. "How did we get so lucky?"

He's wondering the exact same thing.


xxvi.

The cries come in through the static of the baby monitor. Rachel groans, sitting up.

"I'll get her," Finn says.

"You sure?" Rachel mutters, but Finn notices her eyes are already fluttering closed.

He kisses her on the forehead. "Go back to sleep, Rach."

He makes his way into the nursery, Ava's cries getting louder and louder. "Hey, hey," he says quietly as he reaches her crib. "What's wrong, baby girl?" He picks her up, cradling her head, and sits down in the rocking chair Rachel's Grandma Berry got them at her baby shower.

Her cries soften as he rocks back and forth. "Did you just want daddy?" he asks quietly, smiling down at his little girl. He still can't believe that he helped create a little person, half him and half Rachel. He's certain she's the most adorable, perfect baby that ever was.

"I love you, Ava Bear," he says quietly. "I know that you don't understand any of this now, but I'm here to help you learn. You're my little girl, and no matter what, I'm gonna be here for you, protecting you from whatever might try and hurt you, okay – whether that's mean girls on the playground or the dog up the street or boys – which you are never to date under any circumstances. Ever."

He hears a soft giggle and looks up to see Rachel watching him, leaning against the doorframe. He smiles.

"And that, over there, would be your beautiful mommy," Finn says, glancing back down at his daughter. "One day I'll tell you our story, full of ups and downs and everything in between. I met your mommy when I was fifteen years old, and nothing's been the same since." He looks up at Rachel. Her eyes are a little misty. "She changed my life, for the better. She's the reason I have you."

Rachel crosses the room, puts both hands on his shoulders, and kisses him full on the mouth.

"What was that for?" he asks after she breaks away.

"For being so good with her. And for being so good with me."

He grins.

"Look, she's asleep," Rachel breathes.

He looks down, and, sure enough, their daughter is sleeping peacefully in his arms.

"Have I told you lately that I love you?" he asks, smiling at his wife.

She smiles back. "You can always tell me one more time."

So he does.


Thank you so much for reading! I hope that wasn't too much of a cheese overload.
Reviews are greatly appreciated (: