Title: Tear Tracks
Type: One-shot/Five times
Summary: Five time Finchel prompt for finchel-prompts on tumblr. Five times Rachel cried in front of Finn and one time he cried in front of her.
Rating: I want to say this is borderline hard R (for swearing)/maybe a bit NC-17 for tiny parts in one section?
Authors Note: thank you so much for reading :) enjoy! Small little side one-shot from my Finchel Fic I Told You Once I'd Be There For You—which will be updated soon! ;)


Finn never really knew how he was supposed to act at these things. He always felt out of place—too tall and awkward, trying to avoid bumping into anyone or tripping over the carpet. His suit felt too tight, his hands were sweaty, and he felt like people kept looking at him like he didn't belong there. Well, okay, he sort of didn't—but he was there for Rachel and that was all that mattered.

He moved when he felt the bathroom door push open and bump into his back. He watched his tiny girlfriend walk out in her small black dress, adjusting the black cardigan on her shoulders and moving some of her curled hair behind her ear. Her black headband shined against the lights above them, like stars winking in a pitch black sky.

He breathed out, gently taking her hand and giving it a soft kiss on her knuckles. "Ready?" He asked softly, looking past her to the main room. He started walking with her slowly, passing her aunts and uncles.

She shook her head and played nervously with the end of her sweater. "No, Finn. I can't do this."

Rachel stopped, gently tugging his hand. He stopped with her, looking around at her relatives, smiling softly at a few who looked at her sympathetically.

He looked down at her and took her other hand, squeezing them both gently until she looked up into his eyes. "You can do this. You're Rachel Berry…you can do anything you put your mind to. That's a fact." He winked, making her smile.

Her smile faded, unfortunately, just as quickly as it had appeared. "I just…I can't say goodbye yet." She bit her lower lip. "She was my favorite grandmother. You know, she was the one who got me into stars?"

Finn ran his thumb over her knuckles. "Yeah?"

She smiled despite how sad she sounded. "Yeah, my dads would drop me off at her house in the summer on Saturdays. She taught me how to make cupcakes and-and she'd give me these little gold star stickers for my jumpers and…Finn, I can't do this alone."

She shook her head and took a step back from him, swallowing thickly, staring at the main room where her grandmother was like it had a tank full of hungry, man eating snakes.

"You're not gonna be alone, I'll be there with you the whole time. I promise." He gave her the most comforting smile that he could manage. "I won't leave your side."

She breathed out and squeezed his hands—she had a lot of strength for being so little. She nodded and bit her lower lip, heading towards the center of the main room. He let his one hand drift down to her lower back, gently guiding her as they walked through the crowd of mourners.

Rachel stopped when they reached the casket, looking up at Finn with wide eyes. He looked down at her and kissed her nose.

"Take as long as you need."

"Will you kneel with me?"She asked softly, motioning towards the small, velvet colored stool in front of her grandmother's casket.

"Yeah, of course." He nodded softly and kneeled down next to her, the wood creaking as it took in his and Rachel's weight. He just hoped he didn't break the damn thing.

Was swearing, like, allowed in funeral homes? He tried to focus on saying a prayer for Rachel's grandmother instead of wondering if he had broken any holy vows. He hadn't had the opportunity to meet her but according to Rachel she had been a wonderful woman (which he didn't doubt for a second).

The funeral flowers surrounding them and the casket burned the inside of his nose; he cleared his throat and shifted a bit on the kneeler. He glanced at Rachel as he heard small sniffling noises—soft whimpers escaping her mouth.

Finn gently rested a hand on her back and moved closer to her, rubbing his hands in small circles.

"I'm not ready to say goodbye." Rachel choked out; finally letting the tears that had been building up for days fall down her cheeks, tear streaking her eyeliner.

The pain in her voice clenched his heart. "I know, baby." He said softly. "I know."

She stood from the kneeler and straightened out some of the wrinkles in her black dress. As Finn stood he took her into his arms and let her hide her face in his suit jacket. He wrapped his arms around her and held her close to his body, feeling her tears leak into his white shirt.

Her grandmother had been her best friend, almost like her mother figure. He knew how hard it was to let someone like that go, especially since Rachel had grown up with her always being there.

He felt honored that Rachel had asked him to come with her to the funeral and the wake (little did she know that he was going to come regardless if she asked him)—he wasn't going to let her go through this alone.


The first thing Finn saw when he pried his eyes open was bright, fluorescent pipe lights. He winced as the lights burned the inside of his eyes and set off firecrackers against his temples. Jesus—his head killed. He was pretty sure getting his head run over by a MAC truck would feel better then the pounding headache he had right now.

"You're awake." He heard Rachel whisper to his right.

He managed to turn his head to look at his girlfriend's petite form. It was then he realized he was in the hospital—bright light bulbs, dull peach wallpaper and the heady scent of lemon cleaner and hand sanitizer. It all made his headache even worse.

"I'm so glad you're okay." Rachel choked out, taking his hand in his.

Finn swallowed, looking her over. Her hair was a mess, the large curls around her face looking worn and frizzy, her face was tired—brown eyes filled with worry. Her lower lip was red from biting it and there was a thick black line right under her eyelids, Finn guessed it was from crying.

"What happened?" He croaked, his voice sore from lack of use. Rachel heard his scratchy throat and moved to get him a glass of water from the pink, plastic container on his bedside table.

She moved with the glass of water and helped him sip from the cup as she ran her fingers through his soft brown hair near his forehead.

"You were playing a football game at school; number thirty-two on the other team body slammed you quite hard…"

He sighed, aggravated. "Tackled, Rach. I got tackled."

She made a face. "The way he hit you didn't seem legal."

He smiled softly at how annoyed she sounded and took her hand into his, squeezing it. "It is hun. It's legal." He shifted in bed, the movement sending what felt like pounding drums searing through his head.

Finn tried not to get annoyed with himself—it was just so, ugh, disappointing. He had been practicing for weeks, making sure he was up to speed on all the plays and throws and working his arms out in the weight room every day after school (even after glee) to prepare himself for this game. The Ravens were a better team than they were (most of the schools they played were better than them) but they had been on a winning streak, so when Finn started the game off with a three point lead he had felt pretty good about everything.

He didn't remember being tackled or what the score even was. He didn't want to ask but he just had to know…

"Did we lose?"

She bit her lip and looked away. He knew the answer before she even said anything.

"Yes…" She managed in a soft voice. The way she hesitated told him that she was afraid that he was going to get upset over the loss of the game.

Lucky for her he was too tired to even fake anger. He watched her lift his hand so she could sit down on the bed next to him.

"I watched as that thirty-two," She said the kid's number with such distain—like he had tried to shoot Finn instead of just tackle him, "hit you into the ground." She shook her head and made a disgusted noise, looking at his hand in hers. "Football is such a barbaric sport."

He sighed softly. "I know you don't like it Rachel but…getting hurt is just part of the game. Besides, more times than not I'm fine when the game is over. And…and I'm good at football."

She shook her head and refused to look at him. He heard tears in her voice. "You're good at being with me. Which, by the way, you can't do if you're in a coma!"

He stared at her. She was the only girl he ever knew who went from a simple bump on the head to a life-coma sentence. And here he thought he was the one who watched too many medical drama shows. The drama wheel that went around in her head sometimes—he shook his head and resisted rolling his eyes. He loved her and everything, so much, but sometimes she was just ridiculous.

"A coma, Rachel? Really? This isn't Days of Our Lives."

She glared at him. "The doctor said it was a simple concussion but…but you weren't waking up!" Finn swallowed and looked up at her as she stood up. "You weren't waking up and—and I kept thinking about you playing football and getting an injury worse than this one and don't tell me it can't happen because it can—"

He could see how upset she was getting. Her voice was catching in her throat and tears were flooding her eyes and Grilled Cheesus, he was so fucking stupid for not thinking before he opened his goddamn big mouth.


"Don't Rachel me, Finn Hudson. Don't…" She shook her head, tears leaking past her eyes. She tried to pull away from him but he wouldn't let go of her hand. He instead pulled her closer to him until she sat down on the bed. "Don't you ever scare me like that again."

"I'm sorry." He said softly even though it wasn't really his fault but he said it anyways to try and calm her.

He pulled on her hand until she rested against his side. He watched her bury her face in his shoulder, her tears seeping through the thin material of his hospital gown. Finn was lucky she was so tiny because he had basically taken up this whole freaking bed with his giant frame.

Finn felt her nose run over his shoulder as she sniffled. He leaned down and placed his lips in her hair, peppering kisses.

"I'm sorry I scared you." He said, tilting her chin so he could look at her face.

Her hair was a mess, her makeup blotched and streaked across her cheeks, her nose sniffly and lower lip red—and yet she had never looked so beautiful. He placed a kiss on her nose and forehead before kissing her lips.

"I'm sorry I was over dramatic about your concussion."

He chuckled softly and shook his head. "It's okay. One of the many reasons that I love you."

He got her to smile at that and he smiled too before placing his lips back on hers. She may have been over dramatic—but he was touched that she cared so much about him.


He couldn't believe they were doing this again. Okay, yeah, it had sucked when the glee club realized that they had lost nationals but…having a drunken party at Puck's house didn't strike him as a way to make everything better.

It wasn't at Rachel's house this time but it was still the same drunken extravaganza—Lauren and Quinn were dancing and yelling at Puck, Blaine and Kurt were kinda making out in the corner of the room, Mike and Artie were playing quarters and Santana and Brittany had disappeared upstairs…

He watched Rachel played truth or dare with Mercedes and Tina as he stirred the cup of flat pop in his hands. He was glad to be the designated driver and everything but…he kind of wished he hadn't told Puck that he'd show up to this party. He would have rather gone on a date with Rachel or spend some time curled up on the couch with her then watch his fellow glee club members get drunk off their asses.

Sam plopped down next to Rachel and handed her a red cup, which she took a large sip out of. Finn shook his head—he thought Rachel was past getting drunk at parties since she threw up all over Brittany during that school performance but…he knew peer pressure affected Rachel a little bit more than she liked to admit.

Mike approached him and told him he was smashed and that his mom wanted him home so Finn stood and went to get his jacket out of Puck's room. When he came back downstairs he checked for his car keys in his pants pocket. Music blared from the basement and he heard Puck yell something about spin the bottle.

He rolled his eyes and went to the front door…where Rachel was waiting for him.

"You're leaving?"

Her voice was a little airy, like she had bought her ticket for the drunk train and was halfway there. "I have to take Mike home. Will you be okay until I get back?"

She pouted. "Puck's giving me a hard time. He says I'm a prude and powder keg…I don't understand what powder is doing on a keg Finn."

He smiled despite the anger he felt burning in his chest. Puck kinda became more of an asshole while drunk and if he called his girlfriend a prude one more time he was probably going to end up punching him (which was unfair because Puck was also highly uncoordinated while drunk—so a sober Finn punching a drunken Puck wasn't fair but he didn't really care all that much). Puck wouldn't remember anyways and he could probably blame the bruise on his face by saying he tripped over his own feet trying to get to another bottle of vodka.

"He calls you anything else you tell me okay?"

She shrugged and threw her arms around his neck and squeezed him in a hug. He placed a kiss on her shoulder before pulling back.

"Can we go home soon when you get back?"

Music to his goddamn ears. "Yeah, Rach. Definitely. Puck will just have to have multiple people sleeping over because my taxi is officially closed when I come back."

"Cept for me?"

He chuckled at her buzzed expression and kissed her upper lip. "Cept for you."

She beamed at him and reached up on her toes to ruffle his hair as he left the Puckerman residence.


He couldn't find Rachel when he came back to Puck's house. He passed Kurt, Blaine and Mercedes in the living room watching one of the Scream movies as he shrugged his jacket off and adjusted his light blue t-shirt. He walked down the uneven steps to the basement. Music was still blasting pretty loud as Puck argued with television over his video game score, Quinn and Sam were curled up on the couch fast asleep and Brittany and Santana were making out over empty beer bottles and crushed chips. He didn't see Tina or Artie anywhere—he guessed Tina had taken Artie home.

He wasn't really worried about Tina and Artie though—where was his little, loud, passionate girlfriend? She wasn't upstairs with Mercedes, Kurt and Blaine and he didn't see her downstairs.

"Hey, have you seen Rachel?" He asked Quinn as she stirred on the couch. She blew her hair out of her face and smiled dreamily at him, reaching up to pull on his shirt.

"Hi Finn!"

He sighed softly. He didn't know how she could go from being an angry drunk to a cuddly one just from taking a three minute nap.

"Hi Quinn." He said. He looked around the room. "Do you know where Rachel is?"

"Uh…" She looked down at Sam, who was turning over in his sleep. She giggled loudly as he turned over and landed on the floor with a loud thump. "Pucccccck was saying some purty nasty thingsss to her." She shrugged and let go of his shirt. "Not that I don't agree and everything."

Finn was certain she couldn't tell him what Puck said even if someone gave her a clue—she was definitely wasted. Besides, he knew Quinn—anyone who was making fun of Rachel she'd go right along with it, no matter what was being said.

She sat up and adjusted her shirt, trying to button up her button down flannel shirt but confused a few holes. The shirt was entirely uneven on her now.

"She ran ussstairs." She broke off into giggle and collapsed back against the couch and Finn took off upstairs, looking for Rachel. He swore to God he was going to beat Puck's ass.

He checked the living room one more time and then went down the hall to the bathroom. He pushed open the door and saw Rachel sitting on the sink countertop, swishing her legs back and forth. He bit his lip as he watched her look at a container of soap for the bathroom.


She gasped and looked up. "Finny bear!" She dropped the package of soap on her lap and lifted her arms, beckoning him to come closer to her.

He smiled softly and walked towards her, closing the door behind him. He wrapped his arms around her skinny waist, pulling her closer to him. He kissed her cheek.

"Are you okay?" He asked pulling back. "I heard Puck was—"

"Finn! Did you see the bar soap?"

He raised his eyebrows and smiled lopsidedly. "What about the bar soap, hun?"

"Itttt has shaaaapes." She slurred cutely, picking up the bag from her lap and opening it.

She pulled out a few pieces of bar soap—he'd seen those at Target before. They were more for decoration than washing hands. They came in all shapes and sizes, the ones in Puck's bathroom were in the shapes of sea life. Rachel held up a piece of soap that looked like a starfish.

"You think Puck's mom would mind if I tooook this home with me?"

Finn smirked. "Yeah, I kinda think she would. You don't want to get the reputation of being a soap burglar do you?" He tickled her sides playfully and smiled as she let loose some giggles. He loved her laugh so much.

She pouted and set down the soap on the sink. "Fiiine."

He picked her up around her waist and set her on the ground, seeing one of the red cups near the tub. He tried to adjust Rachel's shirt, it was a bit twisted from when he picked her up. She was wearing a black v-neck with pink cats on it.

"Fix your shirt, the v is crooked." Rachel looked down at her chest as Finn reached down to pick up the red cup.

As quick as the giggling had started over the hand soap she suddenly started crying, like—full body sobs. Finn turned around and moved over to her, not really sure what to do but he was freaking out because she was crying so hard and he had no idea what it could have been. Rachel was a very emotional person, she could go from angry to cuddling in a matter of minutes—and it was even worse when she was drunk. So he was pretty sure she could be crying over anything, but that didn't mean he was any less worried about her.

"Baby, hey, hey," He tried to pick her up off the floor but she decided to weigh her body to ground like a freaking anvil. He grunted and sat next to her on the bright pink carpet.

"Hey, shh, what's wrong?" He cupped her face, running his thumbs over her cheeks.

"What's wrong? Have you seen my boobs?" She blubbered, pulling at her shirt.

She was crying over her boobs? But…why? Where the hell had that come from? Yeah, her boobs were small but he kinda liked them like that—they fit perfectly in his hands when Rachel let him touch them. How many times did he have to tell her she was beautiful before it sunk in and stayed there?

"Well…I've seen them, you know, fully clothed and you've let me touch them and stuff so—I know for a fact that they're pretty amazing."

Her lip wobbled and she shook her head. "Noooo," She wailed. Finn winced. "Puck—Puck said that they're like a hardwood table."

Finn shook his head and sighed. "Rach, who gives a fuck what—"

She smacked his chest. "Finn Hudson, language!" He stared at her a moment. Of course…Rachel Berry was the only girl in the entire world would still worry about somebody swearing while drunk.

"Who cares what Puck thinks? I'm the only one who should have any opinion about your boobs Miss Berry. And I think they're awesome. So…" He stroked her cheekbones, removing some of the tear tracks. "Shh, okay? Stop crying." He said softly.

She sniffled. "They're not…Quinn's." She sounded so heartbroken.

"Yeah, you're right. They're not Quinn's. They're better than hers. You know why?"

Rachel shook her head and brought her hand up; he smirked as she took her index finger and ran it over his lower lip.

"Because they're yours." He kissed her softly. "That makes them ten times better than Quinn's. No matter the size, okay?"

She leaned forward and pressed her lips against his—he guessed that was her agreeing with him.

"Now give me a smile." Finn smiled against her lips, running his thumb under her chin. She giggled and smiled widely as she pulled back.

He grinned and tapped her nose. "Thank you."

"I love you." She said sloppily, reaching down to tug her shirt over her head.

"I love you too." He watched her smile as she pulled her shirt off, her hair splaying out over her shoulders like a halo.

She totally let him fondle her awesome boobs.


Prom was kind of boring. But don't get him wrong—it was so much better than last years. There was zero drama. He had asked her on Wednesday last week if she would go to prom with him—he found it silly that he needed to ask because…she was, like, his girlfriend and he was in love with her but he figured she still wanted to be asked. He had left a note for her in his letterman jacket because she wore it to school as often as she could—he could tell she got the little invitation in the right pocket when she had basically ran down the hall and tackle hugged him.

This year it wasn't all about prom ballots and pens with his face on it—it was about dancing and Rachel and laughing and trying to kiss her while they slow danced.

But he had something else planned after the prom—something special that Rachel didn't know about and he wanted to show her before his mom and Burt got home…because it was kind of in his backyard and he didn't feel like his mom creeping on him and Rachel while he tried to show his girlfriend how much he loved her.

"You ready to go?" He smiled and sat down next to Rachel, who was rubbing her aching feet.

She pouted. "Yeah, my feet kill."

He smirked softly and kneeled down to help her strap her shoes back up. He gently squeezed her ankle and kissed her knee as he strapped the buckle on her gold high heeled shoe.

"Like Cinderella." He heard her whisper.

He smiled and stood up, taking her hand and pulling her to him. He spun her in a slow circle, her bright gold dress fluffing out like a fairy tale.

"Yeah, cept you're not leaving me at this ball by myself when the clock strikes twelve!"

She giggled as he wrapped his arm around her and pulled her into him, placing a soft kiss in her hair as they walked out of the gym and down the hall to the parking lot. When they got outside Finn led Rachel to his car, shrugging his suit jacket off to place around her shoulders.

He helped her into the truck and closed the door, getting into his own side. He started the car and smiled at her.

"Did you have a good time?"

She smiled softly. "It was perfect."

Finn leaned over and kissed her cheek. "You tired?"

She shrugged and looked at the dashboard for the time. "It's only midnight. My dads said I can be out till one thirty."

"So I'll take that as a no then?"

She smiled. "No, I'm not tired. Why?"

Finn bit his lip and smiled, excited. "Because I have something planned for us."

He pulled out of the school parking lot and started the drive to his house.

"Oh! Is it a kitten?"

He smirked. "I think your dad would try to strangle me if I bought you a cat. I remembered he pulled me aside on your birthday and said that I could buy you the moon and the entire strip mall but never a pet."

Rachel giggled. "Oh, then it must be that an autographed Barbra Streisand CD for my collection."

He snorted as he pulled into his driveway, parking his truck at the end of the hill. "Sorry to disappoint but it's not that. Take your heels off and close your eyes."

He smiled as he got out of the truck and rounded to her door. He waited until he saw her eyes close and then helped her out of the truck.

"Where are we going?" She asked as he led her into his backyard.

"It's a surprise. Just walk."

He gently held onto her shoulders as she took slow steps off the concrete driveway and into the grass. He felt her hesitate and squeezed her softly.

"Almost there." He murmured into her ear, making her shiver. He stopped in the middle of his yard and bit his lip. "Okay, hold tight for one second." He left her side to go to the back door of his house and breathed out, his nerves swishing in his stomach. "Okay… open!"

He flipped the switch right inside his basement door as Rachel opened her eyes. His entire backyard lit up like a Christmas tree—there were carnival lights looped around tree trunks, traveling up towards the tree branches. The strands rested against the trees, looking like stars speckled in the night sky. He smiled softly as he walked to her, red rose petals scattered around the grass squishing a little against his feet.

Rachel's eyes were wide as she took in his backyard. "What…Finn."

He smiled and took one of her hands in his. "Feel like you're in a fairytale yet?"

She smiled widely and bit her lip. "What did you do all this for?"

"For you." He swallowed, shifting nervously on his feet. "I uh, last year's prom kinda…really sucked. I got kicked out for nearly punching your date and it was stupid because, I don't regret almost punching out Jesse St. Jackass but I…I should have been your date."

Rachel bit her lip and smiled softly, running her thumb over his knuckles.

"I just wanted to get it right this time around, make prom perfect for you."

She smiled softly and shook her head, leaning up to press a kiss on his cheek. "Thank you. This is…this is beautiful."

Finn smiled and reached inside his pants pocket. "Well it's not over quite yet. I know we're stressing about college and stuff—"

He knew she didn't like to talk about it. Senior year was almost over and then they had one more summer together—one more summer to try and get into the same college in the same state. Rachel wanted to follow her dreams and that meant New York—and Finn, Finn just wanted to follow her. Wherever she was going to go he wanted to go with her. Because being with her was bigger than anything he had ever wanted. Being with her was his dream.

She shook her head, looking uncomfortable—sad. "Finn…"

"And we might not get into the same college, Rach. I'm not very smart and—"

"Stop it. You are smart. You can do anything you put your mind to."

He smiled softly at the amount of confidence she had in him. It just made him love her even more. He kissed her forehead.

"I just want you to know that if we don't get into the same college or even colleges in the same state and you go to New York and I'm still…here, in Lima," He pulled out a necklace that had a little gold Statue of Liberty charm and a small half of a golden heart on the same chain. Rachel gasped softly as she saw it, putting her hand over her mouth.

"You will always have a piece of me…" He gently unclasped the chain and smiled as he saw tears well up in her eyes. He slipped the chain around her neck and closed the clasp, letting the charms fall on her tanned skin.

He pulled out another chain with the same Statue of Liberty charm…and the other half of the golden heart—he watched as she put two and two together. They both had a half of a heart—two halves of a whole.

"Tethered hearts and all." Finn smiled softly as Rachel shook her head, tears falling down her cheeks. She put her hand over the charms resting on her chest.

"When you love someone, they're a part of you. It's like you're attached by this invisible tether and no matter how far away you are you can always feel them."

He smiled nervously at her as those words ran through his head. He took in her tears and frowned softly, coming up close to her to cup her face.

"What, you don't like it?" He asked softly.

She laughed, her tears choking her a bit. "No, no I love it, Finn. And I love you."

She leaned up and kissed him softly, his hand still cupping her face. His one arm wrapped around her waist, pulling her as close as he could.

When Finn pulled back he whispered that he loved her just as much, maybe even more. He smiled softly as she choked out another laugh, tears clouding her vision and ruining the makeup that she had applied for prom.

"I was wrong," She said, walking towards his house to go inside. She wrapped an arm around his waist as his arm rested across her shoulders. "Now it's perfect."


It wasn't really…planned. They had talked about it, a lot (when and where, should it be before or after graduation, or should they wait till they were in college…or the summer before college—was there even a right time?) but never really decided on when it should happen.

Rachel kept saying that if they were going to do it before marriage that it should be spontaneous (was that, like—rough and playful? He should look it up) but that he should always carry a condom in his wallet for the occasion (he was not having another pregnancy scare—even though this time he would be certain that he was the father).

So there they were at Burt's backyard barbeque—his mom flipped burgers while Rachel's dads handled the salad and corn, Kurt and Blaine were lounging on the hammock and Finn was trying to open containers of condiments when Rachel goddamn Berry got out of the pool in her light blue bikini. His mouth fell open as he watched water cascade off her body and his eyes traveled her curves—goosebumps gathered over the tops of her breasts as she reached for a towel and the perfect swell of her ass made his trunks grow tighter.

He cleared his throat and tried not to get mustard all over himself as Rachel came up to him and smiled, leaning into his side as she wrapped the towel tightly around her.

"You gonna come in?"

Finn shrugged. "It's almost time to eat." He looked at her and placed a kiss in her wet hair. "Why don't we find you something dry to wear and then after we eat we can go night swimming."

She smiled in agreement and followed him into the house. She walked up to his room with him and into his bathroom, looking for her dry clothes. She shivered as the air conditioning blew cold air into the bathroom, her jaw chattering a bit.


She chuckled. "What gave me away? Have you seen my underwear?" She set her shorts, shirt and bra on the sink.

Finn glanced to the corner of the bathroom where her underwear had fallen—he assumed she had gotten into her bathing suit so fast that they had been accidently knocked off her pile of clothes.

"Nope, haven't seen them."

She looked at him and gave him a playful glare. "Oh, so you just want me to walk around in shorts with a wet bikini underneath?"

"Who said anything about your suit? I want you to walk around in shorts with no underwear on." He winked and leaned against the doorframe of the bathroom.

"Finn!" He smirked as she threw her towel at him.

He caught it effortlessly and hung it up on the back of the bathroom door. He walked closer to his trembling girlfriend in the middle of the bathroom. Her lower lip was turning just a bit blue, he ran his thumb over it.

"So cold." She closed her eyes and he leaned down, wrapping his arms around her. She curled into the warmth of his chest and he shivered as he felt her ice cold nose dip into the space between his arm and side.

"Any better?" He asked softly, pulling back to look at her face.

She smiled slowly. "Maybe I need you and a few blankets." She bit her lip.

Finn smiled and tugged the strings of her bikini. "Yeah, but you need to be out of these wet clothes first."

"I was hoping you could help me with that…" She looked up at him and Finn raised his eyebrows, searching her face for some sort of permission.

She nodded softly and he grinned, picking her up. He took her into his bedroom and made sure his door was closed before setting her down on his bed. Everyone outside was preoccupied with the barbeque—so they had some time to themselves. Finn kept his ears perked, however, just in case he heard someone walk up the stairs.

Finn saw Rachel's hands shake as he looped his arms around her neck, gently untying the top of her bikini. He couldn't tell whether she was scared or cold so he stopped.


She looked up at him and gave him a weak smile. "I'm nervous."

"We don't have to do this now. I don't want to force you into anything and…besides; it might be kind of quick because I don't know how much time we have to ourselves up here."

She gently played with his shirt. "We have a while—you've never seen my dads make salad before. It's like an art."

He chuckled as she smiled and leaned down to kiss her. She tugged his shirt over his head and ran her hands up and down his chest, pulling on his shoulders to bring him closer to her. He didn't want to crush her so he kept his hands beside her shoulders and slowly leaned himself down until her chest touched his.

Finn slowly moved his one hand and tugged on her bathing suit top, pulling it down to expose her breasts. He waited a moment, letting her decide if she wanted to stop or not but she kept kissing him so he guessed she was okay. He pulled his mouth from hers and kissed her neck, peppering her skin with soft kisses—going lower and lower until his nose ran over her right nipple. The skin puckered, causing Rachel to moan softly.

Finn grinded down on her just a little, his hard member sliding against her thigh. It was ridiculous how hard she made him just by a blue bikini and a soft moan. He felt her hand slide down between them, trying to undo his swim trunks with shaking fingers. He lifted himself up a little, unfortunately taking his lips off her nipple for his eyes to meet hers. He moved his hand lower to meet hers near the top of his shorts.

He took her hand and squeezed it softly. "I got it." He whispered.

She swallowed and took her hand back, wrapping her fingers around the arm that was holding him up over her. He undid his trunks and quickly returned his hand to the other side of her shoulder so that he could balance himself.

He watched as Rachel moved her hand down between them again, very slowly sliding down his shorts. He closed his eyes and tried to count back from a hundred—he definitely could not cum yet. Rachel knew he had trouble, like, arriving early but he wasn't really worried about embarrassment. He wanted to last with her, wanted to cum with her. He wasn't even out of his goddamn trunks yet.

Finn wrapped his arms around her and lifted her up a little just as she slid his trunks to the floor. He felt exposed in the cool air of his room but he had never felt more comfortable than being with her. He untied the bikini around her chest and threw it on the floor to his left. He kissed her shoulders as she slowly slid her bottoms off.

Naked. They were completely and utterly naked in front of each other. She was beautiful with clothes on but even more breathtaking with them off. She had freckles on different patches of skin that Finn just wanted to kiss and run his thumbs over.

His eyes connected with hers as he ran his hand down her stomach, hovering just above her mound. He slowly ran his fingers over her closed lips; sliding a finger in against her clit—wait.

"Rach?" He asked softly as he saw tears gather in her eyes. She shook her head and sat up, pushing him off of her. "Whoa, hey."

She gathered one of the blankets and wrapped herself up, sitting against the headboard. Her face was dark with crimson blush and she couldn't meet his eyes again.

He picked up another sheet and wrapped himself in it, sitting next to her. He tried touching her shoulder but her lip wobbled.

"Baby, what's wrong? Did I hurt you?" The question rushed from his mouth—he was worried and it was a stupid question because, honestly, he hadn't even really touched her yet but she was starting to cry and it was making his chest light up in concern.

"I can't do this—" She choked out, a sob emptying from her throat.

"Oh, Rachel." He shook his head and wrapped his arms around her shoulders, trying to pull her to rest against him. "Shh, hey, it's okay. Don't cry sweetheart. I'm sorry—I moved too fast."

She shook her head and turned into him, hot tears running down his shoulder. "No, you were perfect. I'm—just. I'm not—"

He frowned. "Not what?" He whispered.

"Not Santana."

He raised his eyebrows and looked down at her. "…What?"

He winced at how shrill his voice sounded because she pulled away and sniffled, running the back of her wrist over her cheek.

"I'm not Santana! You-you had sex with someone who was experienced and-and I'm—just."

Sex with Santana had been awful to say the least. Yeah, he was inexperienced and she was a friggin jungle cat but that wasn't the only reason. After the deed was done (it had gone fast, bing, bang, boom and he was sitting against the headboard, cock limp and throat choked up while Santana whined about a cheeseburger) all he had been able to think about was Rachel and how it should have been her and how empty he felt inside because he had wasted his first time on peer pressure.

"You're just Rachel." He said flatly, making her cry even harder.

"I'm nobody, Finn; I don't even have a nice body like hers." He shook his head, too stunned to even say anything because this was ridiculous. "I can't…I can't do this with you. I don't want to be your regret. I don't want to disappoint you."

"Rachel." He could never regret her. Ever.

"I can't bear it." She whispered, big fat tears rolling down her cheeks and hitting the sheet wrapped around her.

"Do you know how I felt after I had sex with Santana?" He asked softly.

She sniffled and shook her head, pushing her hair out of her face. Her nose was stuffed—she needed a tissue. Finn reached across her and pulled two tissues from the Kleenex box and handed them to her, his arm resting behind her on the headboard.

She blew her nose and threw the wet tissues into the trash can next to his bed. She still couldn't look at him—he could feel her body shake against the sheets. He now knew for a fact that it was from nerves and not because she was cold.

He took her hand in his, running his thumb over her knuckles. He waited for her to look at him—when she finally did he smiled softly at her, trying to comfort her just a little.

"I didn't feel anything." He stressed, watching her eyes tear up again for a different reason. "Because it didn't mean anything. But it will mean something with you—no matter how inexperienced we both are. It will mean something because you're special. Because I love you." He shook her hand softly.

Finn cupped her cheek and ran his thumb over the tear track. "Please stop crying." He asked her, planting a kiss on her forehead.

As he pulled back he saw her smile, bringing her hand up to touch the hand on her cheek. "I love you too." She whispered softly, confidently.

Rachel slowly pulled off the sheet that was covering him and straddled his waist. He didn't hesitate as he removed her sheet as well, pulling her closer to him. He kissed her deeply as she reached down to stroke his cock and he gently fondled her breasts.

He took hold of her waist with his hands as he picked her up, lying her down on the bed. He rested his body over hers, waiting for her to make the next move.

She wasn't shaking anymore.

And vi

This wasn't happening. The front door to his house slammed closed, making the bookshelves to the right shutter like an earthquake was going on. His face stung like needles prickling all over his cheek—a red handprint slowly shaping itself onto the skin.

Why hadn't he learned after all this time to just keep his mouth shut, or at least consider what he was thinking before he said anything? He angrily swiped the papers off the couch along with his college binder. The binder flew through the air and smacked against the wall, ejecting papers all across the floor. He sat down and put his face in his hands.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

He hadn't gotten into SUNY Empire State College, or NYU, or even Hudson Valley Community College (and he thought that one had been good luck because it was, like, his last name and shit). Every college he had applied to in New York was turning him down—turning him down on his future with Rachel.

It was discouraging to say the least. He knew he wasn't the smartest crayon in the box or whatever but…but he thought he had had at least a shot at getting in to one friggin college. He had studied so hard for his SAT's, his mom and Rachel helped him work through his application essay, he sent as many applications as he could—but they all came back saying the same thing.

That they were sorry but Finn Hudson just wasn't what they were looking for. He gritted his teeth. They weren't sorry; however, he knew that for a fact. They were messing up his future with Rachel. At one point he had thought that it would work—being in two different places (her in big dreams New York and him in small town Lima) but that was before every fucking college in the state told him he wasn't bright enough, that he didn't follow their standards, that they didn't need him—that small town Finn Hudson just didn't fit into New York colleges.

Unfortunately the same anger that had made him tear up every un-acceptance letter had been unleashed on his girlfriend when she came over to watch movies with him. Of all the people to get mad at she wasn't supposed to be one of them. It wasn't her fault that these colleges didn't want him, that he was too stupid to make it anywhere but Lima, that she was beautiful and talented and going somewhere.

He was such an asshole.

Finn closed his eyes as he laid back on the couch—trying to keep the events from flashing in his head.

Unfortunately that's all he could think about.

Rachel came over around nine at night to watch movies with him—she had let him choose from the thin selection of DVDs he had in the basement. Basically it was between Jaws and the first Scream movie (neither of them Rachel's favorite) but she was going to watch one of them anyways because she had made him sit through Pinocchio the musical and wanted to make it up to him.

She could tell the moment she arrived that something was wrong with him. "Are you okay?"

He put popcorn in the microwave and did his best to give her a small smile. "I'm fine."

He was so annoyed and he didn't want to talk about it with her. Not right now. Not until he cooled off. But she didn't stop.

She walked up to him and gently touched his arm. "You know you can tell me anything."

No, he couldn't. It was too fucking embarrassing and if she gave him a look of sympathy or pity he was going to kick a chair over.

"I know, Rachel. But I'm okay." He was short with her and the way he sounded didn't really back up his words. He took the popcorn out and glanced at her as he opened the bag, putting the popped kernels into a bowl.

She had retracted her hand and looked at the floor, biting her lower lip softly. "Did I do something wrong?"

He sighed and slammed the bowl onto the countertop, making her jump. "Is there a reason why this has to be about you?"

Rachel's mouth opened and closed and Finn felt guilt smack him in the face. Fuck. He shook his head and closed his eyes.

"God, Rach, I'm sorry."

She shook her head and tried to smile like it didn't bother her—and for some reason that made him mad. "It's okay." She whispered.

But it wasn't okay. He bit his tongue and handed her the popcorn, walking past her to the living room. She quietly followed him and set the popcorn on the table next to some papers—and goddamnit he thought he had ripped up all of them and thrown them away.

"Are these college acceptance letters?" She sounded excited. Finn wanted to throw something.

She grinned and picked them up. "Rachel—"

The pity on her face when she read the letters was disgusting. He didn't want her to pity him (as he thought back on her expression he realized that she hadn't really pitied him—because Rachel believed in him and never once thought he was stupid. Her face was actually sad, which he had confused with pity. She was sad that it looked more and more likely that she'd be in one place and he'd be in another).

"Its okay, Finn." She said, setting the papers down. "We still have a few more options—"

"Yeah, you going to New York and me staying here while you meet a smart guy at Julliard who likes to dance and shit with tights on and ask you to marry him one day is perfectly okay." He blurted out, angry and annoyed. He crossed his arms over his chest.

Rachel opened her mouth. "I—don't you think you're jumping to conclusions? Even if we have to do the long distance thing…"

"I don't want to do that." Finn whispered.

She stared at him. "What?"

Finn shook his head—breathing out through his teeth. "I'm not doing long distance with you. I'm not—chatting over Skype for months while you're in New York City having a great time and I'm stuck here doing a job for minimum wage while trying to go through Lima community college."

She went up to him. "Why can't you get this through your head?" She spat, suddenly upset. "I'm not going to be having a great time unless I'm with you." She stepped back, trying to control tears that were gathering in her eyes. "If…if I have to go to Lima Comm—"

"Don't you even fucking say that, Rachel!" He cut her off. "Don't you dare dumb yourself down to be with me."

She looked up at him, her expression shocked. "You are not stupid!" She pushed his chest; he didn't budge from where he was standing. "Stop saying that! I just want to be with you, I can't—I can't go to New York by myself."

"Well, you just might have to!" Finn shouted, making the glass quiver in the chandelier above their head. "I refuse to be the only thing holding you back Rachel Berry."

She shook her head, her breath hiccupping in her throat. "That's not what I m-meant."

"I'm breaking up with you." He whispered, tears gathering in his eyes. He tried willing them away but that just made more gather up on his eyelids.

He didn't think he'd ever saw Rachel's face more heartbroken. "N-no."

He nodded, sniffling softly, letting tears freely fall down his cheeks. "Yes." He said firmly.

"But..." She clutched at the charms around her neck. Finn felt his own charms (the stupid goddamn Statue of Liberty and half of her heart) on his own chain burn against his skin under his t-shirt.

"You said—tethered hearts." Rachel choked out accusingly.

"I know what I said," He tried, sobs threatening to spill out of his mouth. "I…I can't bear losing you to someone else while I'm hundred miles away and can't do a thing about it."

She crossed her arms over her chest, hugging herself. "You don't trust me." She whispered.

Finn wiped tears off his face and pinched the bridge of his nose. He couldn't do this—he needed her gone. He just needed to be alone.

He looked at her, not believing a word that came out of his mouth. "You cheated on me with Puck. How do I know that you won't find someone who's better and more deserving of you and do the same thing in New York?"

Rachel may have been short but she rose up on her feet and smacked him hard across his face; so hard that his head turned in the direction of her slap.

"I wouldn't have ever done that to you again." Rachel said angrily, hurt. "The only thing that's stopping us from being together is you, Finn Hudson. Not New York, or the distance, or an imaginary boy that you think I'm going to marry and have babies with but you. And only you."

She turned on her heel and went out the front door, slamming it behind her.

Finn opened his eyes—the scene that played out twenty minutes earlier still burned into his brain. He still felt choked up at Rachel's heartbroken face, tears wanting to roll down his cheeks; he still heard the way he yelled at her echo in his ears, her trembling voice as she tried to reason with him.

He shook his head and sat up, rubbing his face.

What the fuck was wrong with him? Why did he always have to screw up? It was obvious that he thought he wasn't good enough for her but…what he never seemed to realize was that she thought, no, knew he was good enough for her. He stood up and licked his lips. And wasn't that all that mattered? What she thought? How could she leave him if she thought he was good enough for her?

He had let his fears get the better of him—if he just would have talked about how scared he was with Rachel before none of this would have happened. He still would have had an amazing girlfriend, regardless if they were going to live in different states or not.

He had made a lot of mistakes in his life so he knew what one looked like when he made one. And breaking up with Rachel had been a mistake. A giant one.

God damnit, he didn't care what she said, he was fucking stupid sometimes.

He hurriedly moved from the couch and slid his shoes on, looking around for his jacket. He had said some pretty awful things and he knew there was a chance that she wouldn't forgive him…but he had to try.

Finn saw his letterman jacket on the small table by the door and went to grab it, groaning when he knocked envelopes down as he slid on the jacket. He picked them up and froze as he saw that one of them was addressed to him…from Onondaga Community College.

He swallowed thickly. Why hadn't this been in his mail pile? His mom usually sorted through the mail and set aside what was addressed to him and this…this hadn't been in the pile with all his other college letters.

He squeezed the envelope, grabbed his car keys and headed to Rachel's.


He rang the doorbell twenty four times. Yeah, he counted. Her dads weren't home, thank God, because he was pretty sure twenty four doorbell rings would have gotten him escorted out of her yard or sent to jail for harassment. Mr. Hiram might have respected the act of 'chivalry' but Mr. Leroy just kind of glared at him every time he came over so…whatever, it was a good thing the driveway only had Rachel's car in it.

She finally opened the door around twenty seven.

"What do you want?" Rachel asked him, trying to be mad at him but she just looked upset more than anything.

"I'm sorry." He blurted out.

She shook her head. "Sorry doesn't cut it, Finn."

She tried to close the door on him but he put his hand out, stopping the door in its tracks. "Rachel, please. Just…can I come in?"

"Absolutely not!" She huffed.

"Rach, please." He tried again, swallowing softly. "Please."

She looked at him a long moment before sighing and opening the door so he could come inside. He breathed out in relief—he wasn't out of the woods yet but coming into her house couldn't have been a bad sign.

"I was stupid." He said, not surprised at all when she didn't come to his defense. Usually when he called himself that she jumped at the chance to tell him or prove to him that he wasn't. She didn't this time. "Really stupid." He swallowed. "I said stuff to you that I didn't mean."

She looked at her feet and moved her right foot over a hole in the carpet. "You mean breaking up with me or other stuff?"

"Both." He nodded. "I never actually thought you'd cheat on me again with someone else, I was just…I was upset and I wanted you to leave so I just—"

"Said stuff to hurt my feelings."

Finn swallowed and shook his head, taking a step towards her. He reached down to take her hand in his—she let him but it was limp in his fingers.

"All of those letters had basically come at once and…I was upset and I was mad but…I should have never taken it out on you."

She shrugged her one shoulder. "I understand."

Finn shrugged his jacket off and set it on her couch, putting his hands on her shoulders. "Breaking up with you is so stupid. Why the hell do I keep doing it?"

That made her smile, but just a little. She bit her lower lip and sniffled softly. She raised her head to look at him in the eyes. "Do you…do you still trust me then?"

He smiled softly. "Of course I do. I…I trust you more than anyone."

"Oh so even more than your mom?" She asked with a small smile.

He smirked softly at her joking tone. "Yeah, but don't tell her that." He winked at her, pulling her into a hug.

She leaned into his chest, biting her lip as she snuggled into him, her arms wrapping around his waist. He looped his arms around her shoulders, his one hand coming up to hold her head against his chest. Finn ran his thumb through her hair, the pad gently grazing the tip of her right ear.

When she pulled back she stood up on her toes to sweetly kiss his lips. She was too good for him—he didn't think he'd ever be able to think otherwise.

"I was scared." He said softly, sighing he squeezed her arms and went to sit on her couch.

She slowly came over and sat right next to him. She ran her hand over his forearm. "Scared of what?"

He swallowed. "Of you…realizing that I'm not good enough. Because I already think that and that's my problem. I know you say I am but…it's always in the back of my head. And now with these stupid colleges basically telling me I'm not good enough for New York…"

She frowned and bit her lower lip. "I would never think that."

Finn shook his head and looked down, tears burning the back of his eyes. He so didn't want to cry in front of her. He breathed out as steadily as he could.

"I just…I f-felt," He swallowed. "That if you went to New York alone that you'd meet someone eventually. That the stress on our relationship would be too much. That'd you'd break up with me for someone else." He shook his head and felt Rachel run her hand over his arm as a tear escaped his one eye, trailing down his cheek. "I didn't want to even think about it. So I was stupid and broke up with you."

Rachel hooked her finger under his chin and turned his head so he was looking at her. She smiled softly, tenderly, leaning forward to kiss his lips as she cupped his face—removing the lone tear track from his cheek.

"You're not stupid." She said against his lips, bumping her nose against his. "Okay?"

He smiled softly and nodded. "Kay."

Rachel pulled back and smiled. "How bout some hot chocolate? We can put in a movie?"

He nodded. "Yeah, that sounds good. But…there's one more thing." He swallowed and pulled out the envelope from Onondaga College.

"I found this under my jacket near the front door…my mom must have put it in the wrong pile. I dunno what it says yet." He swallowed. "But I want to do this together. No matter what it says—we're going to make things work. I meant what I said…tethered hearts."

Rachel bit her lip and smiled warmly at him. "I already know what it says. This is the one, Finn."

He was glad she was so confident. He breathed out and opened the envelope with shaking fingers, slowly pulling out the letter. He opened it up and read over the first line.

"Well…?" He could tell Rachel was trying to read his facial expression. He started tearing up again—God fucking damnit where were his balls today? "Oh, Finn. Its—its okay. Don't cry baby."

He turned it around so the letter was facing her. "I got in."

She gasped and her smile grew so big he thought it was going to split her face in half.

"Finn!" She squealed and jumped on him, knocking him back into the couch. He grinned as she hugged him so tight.

He picked her up and settled her on his lap, wrapping his arms around her waist. "Oh, I'm so happy for you! We'll have to frame this, of course." She took the letter from his hands and set it on the table. "And we can shop for supplies together and plan your classes and…and we can share an apartment with Kurt and Blaine!"

She gasped and Finn smirked at her eagerness and sheer excitement.

"I need to make a list!"

She hurriedly got up and went to go to her room. "Rach, what about the movie and hot chocolate? We have the rest of the summer babe…the list can wait!"

He chuckled as she continued to run upstairs—determined to grab that sparkly pink notebook with the gold stars all over it. He leaned back into the couch and touched the charms that rested under his shirt. He heard her pad down the stairs and rush back into the living room, sitting down on his lap with a grin plastered permanently on her face.

This was a totally new chapter in their lives. It was scary, exciting and heartwarming all at once. She opened the notebook and started making lots of notes about school and an idea for their new apartment. She said something about calling Kurt and having him come over—even though it was late and his step-brother was probably sleeping.

He nodded softly at her wild and excited comments but didn't say much—he knew how Rachel worked and it was best to just let her talk. It was useless to interrupt her. Besides, he found that all he could really focus on was her smile.

It was bright—like she had a light bulb in her mouth or something. No to mention it was beautiful—so happy, like she'd never be sad again.

He hoped she would have the same smile when he asked her to marry him…in New York, together—right in front of the Statue of Liberty.


Thank you for reading :)