Finn is a priest. Rachel is a nun. Their love is forbidden.

I've never written anything like this before. I originally started it as a bit of a joke, but I'm actually kind of proud of it as a whole. It's not meant to offend anyone, so if you are a devout Catholic or Christian in general you might not want to read this story.

Special thanks to Nadya, who forced me to write this, Jess, who encouraged me throughout the entire process, and Julia, who makes sure I never give up, even when I feel like I never want to write again. I love you all :)

Warning: This story is rated M for a reason.

forgive me, father, for i have sinned

She kneels down at the front of the church, making the sign of the cross across her torso. She's alone, the candlelight flickering from the display in front of her. She takes a deep breath, then whispers, "Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned."

She reaches for the rosary hanging from her neck, fingering the beads, and she clasps her hands together, looking down at the ground. She's about to start praying when she feels eyes on her.

She turns, and he's standing in the aisle, gazing at her. He nods. "Sister Rachel."

"Father Hudson," she acknowledges quietly.

She feels him kneel down beside her, and she tries to focus on the beads of her rosary and the prayers she needs to be praying, not the erratic beating of her heart at being so close to him.

She's a nun. She shouldn't be feeling this way at all, especially not about him. She's made a pledge to the lord, and she can't break it.

She glances at him from the corner of her eye, and she sees his lips moving, mouthing the words to a prayer. She's transfixed by the shape of them, the way the candlelight dances across them, and she clutches her beads more tightly.

Her vow has never been hard to keep until now. There's just something about him, something that entices her.

She's never been so tempted to live in sin.

"Good evening, Sister Rachel, Father Hudson."

Rachel jumps, looking up into the stern face of Sister Quinn. Quinn's been here, at this abbey, for even longer than Rachel has. Granted, Rachel hasn't taken her official vows yet, but she'll have been here for a year next month, and that's when she'll pledge to give her life to God, officially becoming a nun of the abbey.

Quinn eyes her, and Rachel wonders if she can sense her unholy thoughts about Father Hudson. "Evening, Sister Quinn," she says, her throat tight.

"Evening," Father Hudson repeats.

Quinn kneels beside Rachel, taking out her own rosary. Rachel says a quick prayer, asking for strength, before standing up, brushing off the skirt of her tunic.

She swears Father Hudson catches her eye for a moment, but when she glances back, he's staring at the flame of the flickering candles.

She swiftly strides down the aisle, convinced that if she can escape his presence, she can escape these unholy feelings.

She's called into a meeting with Sister Emma the next day. She's hesitant going in, because she's never been in a one on one meeting with the head nun before, and she doesn't know what this means.

"You've done very well here, Rachel," Emma tells her.

"Thank you, Sister," Rachel replies.

"Before you take your vows, we require our nuns to participate in a community outreach program," Emma explains, straightening some papers on her already orderly desk.

"Of course," Rachel says.

"So you will be working closely with Father Hudson over the course of the next month in order to complete this program."

Rachel feels her mouth go dry as she gapes at Sister Emma. She'll have to work with Father Hudson? How is she supposed to keep a clear head when she's in such close proximity to him for days at a time?

"Rachel?" Emma asks. Rachel starts. "Is everything alright?"

Rachel nods, although her heart is pounding loudly. "Of course, Sister."

But everything isn't alright. She's only unsure that this is the path for her when she's around him.

She walks to his office alone. Sister Quinn offered to accompany her, but she declined. She thinks Quinn suspects her doubts, and she doesn't want to possibly give her more reason to.

So she walks down the corridor in silence, nothing but the sound of her feet against the stone floor and the blood pounding in her ears. She hesitates outside his office door, then slowly lifts up her tiny fist and knocks.

"Come in."

She takes a deep breath, then pushes open the door.

He looks up from his desk, and he smiles. She feels her breath hitch. His smile is breathtaking, really. It just makes him even more attractive. He's probably her age, twenty-four, maybe twenty-five. He's rather young to be a priest, but, then again, she supposes she's rather young to be a nun.

"Hello, Rachel," he says warmly. He gestures to the chair in front of his desk. "Please, sit."

She obliges. "Good day, Father Hudson."

"Please," he says, and his gaze is so intent she's tempted to look away, "call me Finn, Sister."

She nods, biting her lip. "Alright, Finn. But then just call me Rachel, if you'd please. No 'Sister.'"

He stares at her for a second, then his lips twitch up in another smile. "Alright, Rachel." He looks down at the papers on his desk, then back up at her. "So, what are your ideas for some community outreach?"

He sits so casually, treats her like an equal, and she can't help but relax. "I have several."

He raises an eyebrow, and she launches into her plans.

She spends almost every moment of the next week with Father Hudson – well, Finn, she supposes. He helps her set up a plan to get a new soup kitchen opened in the downtown area.

She knows she shouldn't, but she finds herself being more and more attracted to him: the way he smiles, the way he laughs, the way he's just as passionate about helping others as she is.

She knows it's wrong: He's taken a vow and she's about to take one. But, somehow, being with him just feels right.

She finds herself telling him things she hasn't told anyone here: About growing up with a single dad after her mother died, about how her love of singing has gotten her through everything, about how Sister Emma had recruited her after hearing her sing in her church choir.

And Finn listens, really listens. He asks questions. He's interested in her story; he's interested in her.

For the first time since coming here, she feels like she belongs, like she's wanted.

And he tells her about himself, too: About how he grew up in a small town called Lima in Ohio, how he wanted to be a teacher before entering the priesthood, about how his mother had raised him alone.

She's pretty sure she falls harder for him with every word he says.

His hand accidentally brushes hers as she leans over a blueprint of the building they're planning on renovating. She blushes, and she doesn't dare look at him.

His fingers touch the back of her hand again. She frowns as they linger there, sitting atop her skin. She looks at him then, and he's looking back at her with a strange expression on his face.

She opens her mouth, but the words die in her throat as he leans toward her, his fingertips moving to her cheek. "I just want to try something," he whispers.

She stares, frozen, unable to move. As if in slow motion, he leans forward, pressing his lips against hers. She feels a jolt shoot down her spine, a fire start under her skin, a slow burn spreading throughout her body. Her eyes close of their own accord and somehow her hands end up in his hair, keeping him close.

Suddenly, she remembers who she is and who he is and where they are and she pulls away, letting go of him quickly.

"I'm sorry," he says quickly. "I shouldn't have—"

"I have to go," she says bluntly. She doesn't know what just happened, but she does know that it was wrong – so, so wrong.

"Rachel," he says quietly, and he reaches for her wrist.

She pulls away. "It's Sister."

She leaves then, trying not to focus on the hurt look displayed on Finn's – Father Hudson's – face. She tries to breathe normally again as she heads back to her dormitory.

She doesn't know what just happened, but she knows it can't happen ever again.

She doesn't want to go back the next day, doesn't want to face him, but she's knows it's her duty, and as a nun she'll have to put her duty before herself and any strange emotions she may have for Father Hudson. So she heads to his office as per usual.

"Good day, Father Hudson," she greets upon entering the room.

He stares at her for a second. "Rachel, listen, I am so sorry about what happened yesterday—"

"Nothing happened, Father Hudson," Rachel says quickly. She deliberately walks over to his desk and picks up a blueprint. "Now if we could just get back to planning this program—"

"You're really going to pretend like there's nothing going on between us?" he asks.

She doesn't take her eyes off of the blueprint in front of her, but her heart pounds in her chest. "There is nothing going on between us."

She hears him sigh, and she glances up at him. His face is sad, and he's staring at her so intently, she wonders what he's thinking. Finally, he says, "Do you really believe that?"

She hesitates.

He takes a step toward her.

"We – we can't, Finn," she says, her voice a whisper. "It's – it's wrong. We're people of God, Finn, and it's a sin—"

"Do you really believe that there's nothing going on between us?" He's so close now; she wants to reach up and touch his cheek, but she refrains.

"No," she whispers. The word just slips out of her mouth, but the minute it's out there, she knows it's true.

His lips are on hers then, moving much frantically than the day before, and his hands grip the side of her face. She gasps when he slides his tongue into her mouth, and her brain keeps telling her that this is wrong, so wrong.

Then she just lets her emotions take over.

She hesitantly slides her tongue against his, looping her hands behind his neck. He moves one of his hands to sweep her scapular off her head, and it falls to the ground.

She breaks away, breathing hard. He stares right back at her, one hand still cupping her cheek.

"If we do this, we can't turn back," she says quietly.

He nods. "I know."

She bites her lip as he sweeps back her hair, pressing his lips against her neck. Forgive me, she thinks as his lips trail up her neck, but that's the last coherent thought she has. Somehow her hands find the buckle of his jeans, and, even though she has no idea what she's doing, she somehow knows what to do. She pulls the denim down, her hands trembling, and she gasps a little when he lifts her up and sets her on his desk. His hands push up the fabric of her tunic, his fingers rubbing the inside of her thighs as he plunges his tongue into her mouth once more.

A moan escapes her throat and she knots her fingers in his hair. She feels his fingers creep further up her thighs, and she lifts herself up so he can remove her underwear. He breaks away for a second, looking into her eyes. His hair is ruffled, and he's breathing heavily. She's never seen anything so beautiful.

This time, she's the one who mashes her lips against his.

He groans as he pulls away, and he asks, "Are you sure about this?"

"No," she admits quietly. She runs her fingers over his cheeks. "And I know I shouldn't, but I – I want this. I want…" She takes in a deep breath, and she knows that she will never be forgiven this sin. "I want you."

He smiles a little bit and kisses her again. She gently tugs on his boxers and she feels him push the tunic farther up her thighs, positioning himself at her entrance.

He kisses her again as he slides into her. Suddenly she feels whole, in a way she's never felt before, and her head rolls back. She sees stars, she sees fireworks, and for a fleeting second, she thinks she sees the face of God.

Finn comes undone then, and she follows shortly after.

He collapses onto the desk next to her, and she tries to catch her breath. "We're going to hell," she whispers.

She glances over at Finn, and he has a strange look on his face. "I think I love you," he says.

She gapes at him. "Did you hear me, Finn? I said, we're going to hell."

"Did you hear me?" he fires back. He leans over and smoothes the skin of her cheek with his thumb. "I said I love you."

She smiles despite herself, because she's never had a man – let alone a man as wonderful as Finn – tell her that before, so she lets him kiss her.

They'll have time to reflect on the sin they've committed. Right now, she just wants to focus on this moment, and how happy she feels. Right now, this is the only moment that matters.

She should feel more guilty, but the butterflies in her stomach prevent her from worrying about it as much as she should. The next day at mass, she has to bite her lip to keep from grinning when he catches her eye.

He gives her a small wink. She swallows her giggle. She sees Quinn glare at her from her other side, and she desperately tries to look solemn as she stares ahead.

Finn stops her after mass. "Sister Rachel, Sister Quinn," he greets.

"Father Hudson," Quinn says with a nod.

"I'm just going to have a word with Sister Rachel, if you don't mind," Finn says. "About our community outreach program."

Quinn nods. "Of course." She shoots them another look before she walks around Finn, her tunic billowing out behind her.

"So, what is this about the community outreach program you need to talk to me about?" Rachel asks.

He smiles. "Let's go talk about it in my office."

"Okay," she whispers, and she follows him out of the sanctuary and down the hallway.

He shuts the door behind her, turning the little lock. "I missed you," he whispers, pressing his forehead against hers.

She grins, but she pushes against his chest lightly. "Finn, we shouldn't…"

"I don't care," he whispers, and his lips find her neck. He sucks gently on her skin, and her eyes flutter closed.


She feels him smile against her skin.

A knock sounds on the door. "Father Hudson?"

Finn abruptly lets go of Rachel, stepping away. She looks at him, the panic on her face matching the panic on his.

The doorknob rattles and Rachel moves the veil of her scapular to cover the fresh hickey on her neck as Finn goes across the room to unlock it.

"Ah, Father Hudson, at last," Sister Emma says, entering the room. She looks between him and Rachel, who is now staring intently at the woodwork of the desk. "Working hard on the community outreach project?"

Sisters Quinn and Santana file in behind her, hands clasped at their stomachs. Quinn gives Rachel the evil eye, but Santana manages a small smile. Santana rooms with Rachel, so they get along alright.

"Sister Rachel and I have been working diligently to make sure this soup kitchen is done on time," Finn assures Sister Emma.

She nods tersely. "Good, good."

Rachel nervously glances at Quinn and Santana. Quinn's lips are set in a thin line; Santana stares straight ahead.

Finn looks over at her, his eyes still a little wide. Her heart pounds in her chest. "Will you be needing anything else, Sister?" Rachel finds herself asking.

Emma looks at her. "No, I think we'll leave you two to your planning now." She nods at each of them once more, then leaves the office, Quinn and Santana following after her.

Finn shuts the door behind them, and Rachel lets out the breath she didn't realize she had been holding.

"That was close," she breathes. "Too close." She looks up at Finn. "We can't… Finn, what if we get caught? This is – this is wrong. We could be – we could be thrown out from the church, shunned, and what about God – we're going to hell, Finn—"

He steps forward and grabs her wrist lightly, tilting her chin up so she's looking at him. "Rachel, I thought I had everything figured out until you came here, until I started spending time with you and realized that maybe this isn't my calling after all. Maybe you're my calling. Maybe… maybe we're both meant for something bigger, and it's with each other."

She bites her lip. "Finn, this is the big calling, isn't it?"

He sighs. "I used to think so, until I met you." He takes a deep breath, then says, "I really do love you, Rachel. More than… more than I've ever loved anyone."

She feels tears well up in her eyes, and, despite herself, she smiles. "You know," she whispers, "you can kiss me if you want to."

He smiles, cupping her cheek, leaning down until his mouth is millimeters from her own. "I want to," he breathes.

His lips are on hers then, and she thinks she knows what he's talking about, because when she's kissing Finn she feels like this is her greater purpose in life – to be with him.

He breaks away, but he keeps his forehead pressed to hers.

"I love you," she murmurs.

His eyes widen, but then he smiles, kissing her again. She can't help but smile against his lips.

Santana's already changed out of her habit when Rachel enters their room.

"Good evening, Santana," Rachel says, going behind her changing partition.

Santana doesn't reply. Rachel frowns as she changes out of her tunic and into a t-shirt and a pair of basketball shorts. Once she's done, she reemerges from the partition.

"Santana? Is… everything okay?"

Santana looks at her. "How long have you been with him?"

Rachel's heart pounds in her chest. "B-Been with whom?"

Santana rolls her eyes. "Father Hudson." Noticing Rachel's shocked expression, she adds, "Oh, please, it was obvious the second we walked into the room today."

Rachel's cheeks burn. "We're working together on this project, that's all."

"It's not," Santana says shortly. "Is it?"

Rachel just stares, frozen. She can't speak. She can barely even breathe. Her throat is dry.

"Look, I won't tell anyone," Santana says.

"Y-you won't?"

Santana shakes her head.

"But… why? I'm… I'm committing a sin, Santana." She takes in a breath, her eyes filling with tears. "I'm supposed to… to be better than this."

"You're supposed to not feel? To not fall in love?" Santana sighs. "Look, I'm not going to tell anyone about your secret love affair because… I know what it's like to have a secret."

Rachel furrows her brow. "What do you mean?"

Santana takes in a deep breath. "I didn't come here by choice, you know. My mother sent me here, to… to fix me, I guess. To cure me." She sighs, then says, "I'm attracted to girls."

Rachel opens her mouth, then closes it. She doesn't know what to say.

"My mother was humiliated when I told her," Santana goes on. "There was one girl – Brittany – and I… I was in love with her." Santana wipes at her eyes and scoffs. "My mother didn't like that. Said it was… it was unnatural." She takes in a breath. "So… she sent me here. And I've been here ever since."

She looks over at Rachel with bloodshot eyes. "I know what it's like to give up the one you love, Rachel, and just being in the same room as you and Father Hudson today, I could tell. I could feel it in the air. You – you love him, don't you?"

Slowly, Rachel nods. "Yeah. I do."

Santana gives her a small smile. "Then who am I to ruin that for you?"

"Santana, I'm really sorry about your mother," Rachel says quietly, patting Santana's hand.

Santana sniffs. "Me, too." She sighs, then she makes eye contact with Rachel once more. "Don't let this institution tell you you can't fall in love," she says seriously. "If you love Father Hudson, truly love him, then don't let it go, Rachel."

Rachel swallows thickly. "I – I should be able to, though. I mean… I – I have a duty, to God, and—"

"And who says that you'll be smited by the hand of God, Rachel? These people? Sister Emma? My mother?"

Rachel bites her lip, hanging her head.

"Don't let their views tell you what you and can and can't be. Trust me. I did, and… and I hate myself for it. I believe that, no matter who we love, we can still be people of God."

Rachel looks over at her again, just in time to see a tear slip down Santana's cheek. She quickly wipes it away.

"One of these days, I'm going to get enough courage to leave this place, to go back home and face my mother, to – to find Brittany again. To tell her how sorry I am, and that I love her, still." She shakes her head. "One day, I'll be brave."

Rachel touches her arm lightly. "I know you will be, Santana."

Santana gives her a small smile. "Promise me you won't give up the way I did. Fight for what you love, Rachel."

Rachel nods. "I promise."

"Good," Santana says with a sniff. "Now we should probably get to bed. Six o'clock mass tomorrow morning."

"Good night, Santana," Rachel says quietly, before heading over to her own cot to say her evening prayers.

That night, she doesn't pray for her own soul. She prays for Santana's instead. She prays that she'll get to be with the girl she loves, that she'll finally be happy.

She thinks that, of all people, Santana deserves it.

"We should run away together."

They're lying in his bed, in the little room he has just off of his office. His hand runs lazily down her bare arm, and she can't be sure she heard him correctly.

Rachel turns over, repositioning herself on his chest, looking at him. "Wh-what?"

He plays with a piece of her hair idly. "You and me, just… run away."

She laughs. "We can't do that, Finn, you know that."

"Why not?" he asks. "We've already broken every single rule, Rach. Why can't we just… run away?"

Rachel's smile fades. She sits up, pulling up the sheet to cover her naked torso. "It's not that simple, Finn."

"That's the thing, Rach – once I started developing these feelings for you, things stopped being simple. And all I know is that I want to be with you, above anything else. And I know that you think we're going to hell," he adds when she opens her mouth, "but I think, that as long as you're with me, it can't be that bad."

She smiles a little despite herself. "We were put here to help others, Finn, through the service of this church. We can't… we can't just abandon that."

"Maybe that's not why we were put here," he says quietly. "Maybe we were put here to find each other, Rachel."

"I don't know, Finn," she whispers quietly. "All my life, I thought this was what I wanted, and now…"

His eyes widen, and he cups her cheek. "Now what?"

"Now… all I want is you."

He kisses her, his hand gripping the back of her head, and she feels the familiar electrical tingle spread throughout her entire body. She breaks away and whispers, "Okay."

"Okay?" he asks. He's grinning now, and she's pretty sure it's what the grin of angel would look like.

"Okay," she whispers again. "I'll run away with you, Finn."

She squeals as he attacks her neck with his lips, slowly dragging them downward.

"I love you," she murmurs, and he mutters "I love you" back, his lips still against her skin.

She thinks that this is what the rest of their life will look like: They'll run away, maybe get a nice quaint home in the countryside, get married, have children.

They never get the chance.

They plan to leave the next day, so she heads back to her quarters and climbs into her cot, dreaming of the life she and Finn will have together.

She wakes up the next morning at five, packing up the few belongings she has and heading to Finn's small dormitory. She knocks on the door.

Nothing happens.

"Finn," she hisses. "Finn, open up, it's me."

"Sister Rachel."

She freezes. Her blood runs cold. Slowly, she turns around.

"Hello, Sister Emma."

"Looking for someone?" she asks, her tone good-natured, but her eyes cold.

"J-Just Father Hudson. We were going to go over some last minute soup kitchen plans today."

Emma sighs. "Sister, you need to come with me."

Rachel's heart pounds in her chest as she follows Sister Emma out the door. Everything seems louder: The clack of her shoes on the stone floor, the swish of her tunic as she moves her legs. Even her breathing seems louder than normal, as well as the beating of her heart.

She has a feeling this can't be good.

"Where is Fi – Father Hudson?" she asks as soon as she's in Sister Emma's office.

"He has been dismissed," Emma says coolly.


"He broke his sacred vows," Emma says evenly. "But you would know all about that, wouldn't you?"

Rachel starts to deny it, her relations with Finn, but then Santana's words echo in her mind. She promised her she wouldn't let them tell her it wasn't okay for her to fall in love.

"We did nothing wrong," she says instead.

Emma raises an eyebrow. "You both broke vows, Rachel. Granted, you had not officially taken yours yet, but as a Sister of this church, you should always put God before yourself. To let these silly, whimsical fantasies distract you from your greater calling–"

"They weren't silly," she says quietly, her voice growing louder. "And they weren't fantasies. I love him, Sister, and for the first time in my life, I felt like I truly belonged when I was with him." Her voice catches, and tears fill her eyes. "Where is he, Sister?"

"Rachel, if you plan on taking these vows and serving the Lord, you need to forget about him and—"

"Where is he?"

Emma's mouth hardens into a straight line. "I don't know."

A tear runs down Rachel's cheek.

"If I were you, I'd go back to your quarters and consider your options, Rachel Berry," Emma says slowly. "Think: Do you want to leave here and divulge in a life of sin? Or do you want to stay, and serve God?"

Rachel doesn't answer.

"You are dismissed, Sister."

She leaves the room in silence.

She's sobbing by the time she gets back to the small room she and Santana share.

"What happened?" Santana asks. "I woke up this morning and all of your stuff was gone… Why are you crying?"

"Who did you tell?" she manages to get out. "Who?"

"What are you talking about?" Santana asks slowly.

"You were the only one who knew, Santana! Who did you tell?"

"No one!" she says, and the way her voice cracks and her eyes widen make Rachel believe her.

"Then who did?" she asks in a broken whisper.

Santana looks at her for a second. "I… I don't know for sure, but, if it was anyone, I think I knew who it would be…"

"Quinn! Open up!"

Rachel and Santana both bang on Quinn's door, though Rachel pounds excruciatingly harder.

"I know you're in there!" Santana calls, her tone laced with annoyance.

The door swings open to reveal Quinn, already in her habit. "Can I help you?" she replies coolly.

Rachel glares at her. "How could you do this?" she demands.

Quinn raises an eyebrow, her eyes wide and innocent. "Do what?"

"Don't pretend like you don't know," Rachel spits. "You found out about me and Finn. I don't know how, but you did. And you – you sent him away." She feels the tears well up in her eyes again.

Quinn smiles softly. "You committed a sin, Rachel, and a big one at that. I was saving you from yourself."

"I didn't need saving!"

Quinn's smile fades. "The minute I was in the same room as the both of you I could practically feel the sexual tension between the two of you, and the way you kept looking at each other – it was a sin, Rachel. You were defying the Lord. You had to be stopped, before you did something stupid."

Rachel clenches her jaw. "If loving Finn was wrong, then I don't want to be right."

Quinn glares at her. "You were on the pathway to hell," she growls.

Suddenly, it hits Rachel. "You don't get it," she says quietly.

"Get what?" Quinn asks.

"Get what it truly means to love someone else." Rachel takes in a deep breath. "When I'm with Finn, nothing else matters – not even the consequences. There's just him and me, and I don't care about anything else, because as long as he's there, everything's okay."

Quinn hesitates, then asks, "So what now? Now that you've had this great love, what are you going to do?"

"I'm leaving," Rachel announces.

Both Santana and Quinn wear identical expressions of shock.

"And go where?" Quinn asks dubiously.

"To find Finn."

Quinn laughs. "You don't know where he is."

"But I have a good idea," she says. She rips off her scapular and throws in on the ground, quickly grabbing the hem of her tunic and pulling it over her head, revealing her jeans and t-shirt she had worn underneath in preparation for travel.

"Here, take back your stupid uniform," she says, shoving the clothes at Quinn.

"It's not a uniform, it's a habit," Quinn snaps.

Rachel rolls her eyes. "Tell Sister Emma I won't be coming back."

She turns to Santana. "Thank you."

"For what?"

Rachel smiles. "For… for everything, really. You kept my secret, you told me to not give up… Just, thank you."

Santana grins, pulling Rachel in for a hug. "Go get your happy ending," she whispers, and Rachel squeezes her one last time.

"I will."

She steps foot in Lima for the first time two days later. She smoothes down her skirt as she gets off the bus, carrying her little carpet bag and surveying the town. Finn hadn't lied when he told her it was small, but she still has no idea where to begin looking in order to find him.

"You lost? You don't seem like you're from here."

She turns around to come face to face with a man probably around her own age. His hair is just one long stripe down his head, and he smirks at her.

"I'm not from here," she answers. "I'm actually here to find someone."

"Well, maybe I could help you with that," he grins. "The great thing about Lima being a small town is that you literally know everyone. I'm Puck, by the way."

"Puck?" she asks.

"'S a nickname," he admits.

"And what is your given name, Puck?"

He stops smiling. "Well, Noah. Noah Puckerman. But everyone calls me Puck."

"Well, Noah, my name is Rachel Berry, and if you could help me, that'd be great."

He sighs, then asks, "Who ya lookin' for?"

She beams at him. "Do you know anyone by the name of Finn Hudson?"

He smiles.

Her heart pounds as she rings the doorbell. Rachel might kill Noah if this isn't Finn's house at all, and she wouldn't put it past him to steer her in the wrong direction. He just seems like that kind of person.

A woman in her late forties answers the door, her face tired and her brown hair about shoulder length.

"Oh, excuse me, ma'am, but… does a Finn Hudson live here?" Rachel's heart beats even faster, blood pounding in her ears.

The woman gapes at her for a moment. Then she calls behind her, "Finn! There's a young lady here to see you! Pretty, too!"

Rachel blushes. Fears and insecurities rush over her: What if he decided she wasn't worth it after all? What if she made up what they had – if it wasn't even real?

She hears footsteps and she has half a mind to run back down the sidewalk, but suddenly the woman is stepping aside and Finn's in the doorway.

He stares at her for a second, and she stares at him. He's wearing a grey sweater and a pair of jeans, his eyes have circles under them like he hasn't been sleeping, and his hair is sticking up in the back. He's never looked more beautiful, in her opinion.

"Hi," she breathes.

"Hi," he says slowly.

Her heart still pounds frantically in her chest.

"How did you… why… I don't understand." He's still staring at her like she isn't real.

"I left the abbey," she says quickly. "I – I know you were asked to leave, and it was because of me, and… and I came to say I'm sorry."

"You are?" he asks, and there's something in his voice that makes her stop.

"I…" She swallows. "Well, no. I guess I'm not."

He smiles then, and suddenly he's picking her up and twirling her around, hugging her tightly to him. She laughs as he presses kisses to her hair, her cheek, her nose, her chin – wherever he can find a bit of skin.

Finally, he sets her down, cupping her cheek and looking into her eyes. "I wouldn't change any of it," he says. "You know that, right? It all led to this, right here."

She smiles, turning her head to kiss his palm. "I wouldn't change it, either. Not a bit of it."

He kisses her then, and she feels the fire start underneath her skin once more. She thought at first it was because being with Finn was a sin, but now she knows that being with Finn is actually the first place she's truly belonged.

He pulls away and rests his forehead against hers. "Want to come inside?"

She nods, taking his hand. She feels like she's starting the rest of her life today.

She decides it's the best feeling in the world.

Also special thanks to Nadya for the Quinn line about it not being a uniform, and special thanks to Ciel, who was always there to give suggestions if I was stuck :) And to everyone who encouraged me to finish this fic on tumblr! I definitely would have never written it if it weren't for you, and I hope it didn't disappoint!

Thank you so much for reading, and it would mean the world to me if you would review. :)