During his life in Lima, Finn hadn't really imagined being a elementary school teacher. He'd always thought he'd do something with sports, if anything. He had had a brief thought about joining the army before the thought of what his mom would say - never mind what Rachel would have said - made him change his mind.
When he'd agreed to help Coach Beiste train kids aged seven to ten during his summer between his junior and senior year of high school, he'd come to an epiphany. He'd only agreed to do it originally for the money, but then over the course of the summer he'd come to the realisation that he really, really liked working with kids. The look of joy on their faces when the discovered something new, or the feeling of achievement when you watch them do something you taught them how to do.
So he looked into teaching. Not teaching like Mr. Schue, but grade-school teaching. He knew he'd be in New York with Rachel, so that narrowed it down. He got a place in a community college to study for a degree in Elementary Education. It was perfect - the wage was decent, the hours were ideal, and he got the whole of summer off every year. Perfect.
That had been six years ago. Now, he was the ripe old age of twenty-four, and he went by Mr. Hudson, grade three teacher at Orange Park Elementary School, New York City, thank you very much.
He loved his class, his little rag-tag bunch of eight-year-olds. There were only twenty of them, since the school he taught at wasn't a big school. Each of them had their own little personality, and Finn liked to make sure he got to know each one of them.
"Right, guys," he said, as the kids put away their math books, "I've got a bit of homework for you all." His sentence was met with groans. "C'mon, it's not math homework! It's English! For tomorrow, I want all of you to finish what we started today - your two-minute talk on your heroes. I want all of you to be able to read out what you got tomorrow, 'kay?" His speech was met by nods as the end-of-day bell rang. "C'mon, grab your bags, and get outta here!" he laughed, and the kids laughed with him and he led them outside, before finding his own car and heading home to the apartment he shared with Rachel.
They had found this apartment soon after finishing college. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a decent price both of them could afford. Even though Rachel was now actually on Broadway every night - and well on her way to becoming huge, she was well-known amongst the Broadway crowd and most in NYC knew of her, they couldn't go out without someone asking for an autograph - but they still lived in this apartment. Rachel claimed that nowhere else - for the time being - could feel like home.
"In here!" she called, and he dumped his bag and shoes in the hallway and joined his fiancée of two years (and girlfriend of six and a half) in the living room, where she sat glued to E!. Finn rolled his eyes as he watched the Kardashian sisters have yet another fight about nail polish or some other trivial thing.
"I honestly don't know why you watch that crap," he said, popping the cap off a beer as he sat down beside her, giving her a kiss before taking a swig.
"It's addictive," Rachel replied, smiling as he sat down. "Scott might have to go into rehab again."
Finn rolled his eyes. "Hasn't he already been in, like, three times?"
"Something like that," Rachel said, and turned to him, swinging her legs over his. "How was your day?"
"Good. We're doing heroes. Told them a little about my Dad being my hero," he said, running his hand up and down her calf. "A couple of them are in the same situation."
Rachel smiled. "I bet you made them feel better, knowing that their favourite teacher had gone through what they went through."
Finn chuckled slightly, and swallowed a swig of beer as he doodled on her knee with a fingertip. "I hope so. You got a rehearsal tonight?"
Rachel shook her head. "Nope. The final dress and tech is tomorrow, though. Then it's opening night for family and friends the day after, and then it's public opening night Monday." She looked slightly nervous.
"You'll be breathtaking. As always."
Rachel smiled. "Thank you," she said, kissing him soundly before standing up. "I'm going to the bathroom. Don't even think about changing the channel," she said over her shoulder, teasingly, as she left. The Kardashian's finished, but Finn didn't change the channel to sports like he wanted to. Rachel was mad about these sisters, and it was the only thing she really watched religiously on the television. Quinn, Tina, Mercedes and herself had all started watching them together during their senior year of high school, and it had continued from there, with Quinn and Rachel usually having marathon sessions of the show - something Santana had deemed 'trivial and below even Berry' (even though the girls were friends now, Santana's bitchy side hadn't calmed down, Rachel just knew how to handle her now).
"And now it's time for your E! Entertainment news. Last night was a big night for the opening of new Broadway play, West Side Story - "
Finn's eyes snapped to the television, and sure enough, a picture of the cast of West Side Story was on, and Finn's eyes were on one person in particular. Finn beamed as he stood up. "RACH! GET YOUR ASS OUT HERE, YOU'RE ON TV!" He hollered in the direction of the bathroom, and he was nearly knocked down as Rachel came running out the bathroom and threw herself in front of the television, landing half on the sofa and half on his lap, her eyes glued to the screen.
" - and all the cast were out in force for the launch. Leading lady Rachel Berry, who plays Maria, outshone everyone in her custom-made gown, made for her by the man behind the costumes for the show and her date for the night, Kurt Hummel - "
"Oh, my God, I'm on TV!" Rachel squealed, laughing as Finn's arms wrapped around her, a proud look on his face. "I'm on TV. Oh, my dear God. I'm on E! I don't believe it," she said, her eyes wide as she took in the story about herself, the cameras on screen flashing as they took picture after picture of Kurt and her.
Finn had not attended the party, and however much Finn wanted to be proudly by her side through it all, they had decided it would be better for Finn, his job and even his kids if he stayed out of it for a while. Everyone wanted a picture of Rachel and everyone that was associated with her, and if they had found out who exactly her 'mystery fiancé' (as he had been dubbed by one magazine) was, then he'd have been hounded by the press, and it wouldn't do to have paparazzi at the school. And after all, Finn knew Rachel was in the safest hands possible with Kurt. The launch party for the play had been last night, and then the first performance for friends, family and 'esteemed guests' was tomorrow night, before the first public performance the day after.
Finn knew that her whole life, this is all Rachel had wanted. This was her whole goal in life, and she had achieved it - not that he had ever doubted she would. He smiled. "I'm so damn proud of you, Rach," he said, nuzzling his nose into her cheek as she stared at herself on screen. Rachel turned away from the TV and to him, and kissed him softly, as the phone rang. She pulled away, and giggled softly at Finn's groan.
"Hello? Oh, my God, Kurt, we're on TV! I can see us! Your dress was fantastic, again - oh it was beautiful! - Oh look, it's us meeting Patrick Dempsey! I remember - he was nice, wasn't he! - No, I won't tell Blaine! - You better not! I'd kick your butt!"
Rachel's face was beaming as she chatted on and on with Kurt about the play's launch party. Finn smiled and softly kissed her, whispered a, "Say congrats to Kurt for me," and went for a shower.
The next day, Finn sat on his desk as his kids read out their speeches on their heroes. A few of them were good heroes, like Barack Obama or, like Finn, a parent that had died in war, but most were some kind of sporting star or singer.
"And that's why Selena Gomez will always be my hero," little Fiona Smarts concluded, to claps from her classmates and teacher.
"Well done, Fiona," Finn said, although he was slightly bored of the repetitiveness - that was the fourth girl who'd said Selena Gomez was their hero. Finn didn't know if he should be shocked it was the same Disney kids or glad that it wasn't Lindsay Lohan or some other drug-addled star. "Okay, who's up next? Let's see - Victoria! Come on up here!"
Victoria White made her way to the front, hands trembling slightly. Victoria was a small and kind girl, but she was quiet and not very popular. Finn had taken an immediate liking to the girl. She smiled at him as she passed, her hands making her notes shake as she started to talk.
"Hi. My name is Victoria and my hero is Rachel Berry."
Finn's eyes widen momentarily and he felt his jaw begin to open in shock, before he caught himself and arranged a casually interested look on his face as Victoria continued.
"Not many people know who Rachel Berry is, but I can tell you she is my hero. Born in Lima, Ohio, she is an actress and singer on Broadway, currently about to star as Maria in 'West Side Story'. I first saw Rachel Berry sing when I was five years old when my Mum and I went to see her in 'The Sound of Music'. She is an amazing singer and actress and I hope to be like her when I grow up. When she was a student at William McKinley High School in Lima, she wasn't popular with her classmates and many of them didn't like her and teased her, and she nearly got a nose job aged seventeen but didn't because she is Jewish like me. But she managed to get over all the things in her way and managed to become a star. She made me think that all dreams can come true if you try. And that's why my hero is Rachel Berry."
Finn made himself clap and smile at Victoria, a million things running through his head, as she made her way back to her seat, and then frowned as Victoria tripped and landed on her face. The whole class burst out laughing, but Finn rushed towards her.
"Are you okay? What happened?" he said, as he helped Victoria back to her feet.
"Nothing. I tripped," she said, but Finn could see the wicked smile on the face of Amanda Monroe, the blonde cheerleader who sat opposite her. He'd seen her foot whip back under her desk, but Finn couldn't do anything unless Victoria admitted it, and Finn knew she would never. Amanda was smiling innocently, her smile like butter wouldn't melt. It reminded Finn of someone else's smile, someone else who was blonde, was a cheerleader. History does tend to repeat itself, Finn thought.
"Something wrong, Mr Hudson?" Amanda asked, smiling all the while, as her sidekicks, twins Jessica and Josh Hannigan chuckled beside her. Finn narrowed his eyes at her.
"Nothing, Amanda. You're up next," he said, turning back to his desk, watching as Victoria tucked a strand of brown hair behind her ear and rubbed her ankle. He'd be keeping an eye on Amanda from now on.
"Hi. My name is Amanda and my hero is Selena Gomez."
Finn almost hit his head off his desk.
"In here, Finn!"
Finn dumped his bag and his shoes and followed the sound of his fiancée's voice to their bedroom. She was dressed in loose clothes with her hair down, sitting on their bed reading a magazine, and he thought she looked beautiful. He gave her a soft kiss and pulled some street clothes out of the dresser.
Victoria's speech had been on his mind all day, and he wanted to share it with Rachel.
"Rach? You know how my class were giving speeches about their heroes today?"
Rachel nodded as she stopped flicking through the magazine and turned to him. "Yes, you told me yesterday. How was it? Were they all generic and all of them the usual famous singer/actress? Unlike me when I was a child - my hero was always Barbra Streisand, from the tender age of two."
Finn smiled and cut to the chase. "Baby, you were someone's hero."
Rachel stared. "I was what?"
Finn nodded, grinning. "A little girl in my class, Victoria. She reminds me of you, actually. Small, Jewish, brown hair. Quiet. Stood up in front of the whole class and told them 'My hero is Rachel Berry because she's a famous singer and actress on Broadway'. Even talked about you not being exactly what you would call popular and your little brain slip in junior year when you decided it would be a good idea to get Quinn's nose."
Rachel was speechless. Finn almost ran away to grab his camera, because Rachel speechless was only something that happened once in a blue moon. "I - I was - me? Really?" She pointed to herself, as if there was some other Rachel Berry in the room.
"Yeah, you, really," Finn grinned, kneeling on the bed beside her. "Just think - you, Rachel Berry, from Lima, Ohio, is someone's Barbra Streisand."
Rachel's mouth was open in shock. "I can't believe it," she said quietly, and smiled. "I'm extremely honoured. And a little bit humbled."
Finn laughed, and kissed her temple. "You'd like her, if you met her. But it's a shame, she doesn't get on well with the other kids. She's too quiet. And a blonde cheerleader has taken a dislike to her. Tripped her up today. Bloody like butter wouldn't melt, it's like early-high-school Quinn all over again," Finn said, frowning.
"She's an outcast?" Rachel said, also frowning, but she was also biting her lip in a way that made Finn just want to kiss her senseless.
Rachel broke into a smile. "I have an idea," she said, and ran to the dresser. "You know how I got these tickets for my Dads for friends and family opening night tomorrow? But they can't come?"
"Because they've got a business conference in Tampa, yes," Finn said, nodding.
"Then why don't you give these to Victoria? I'd love to meet her. And I know that it could also be very beneficial for her, too. If I had met Barbra, or even Patti LuPone at the mere age of eight then I would have been extremely grateful and it probably would have boosted my low self-esteem. Even meeting Patti at the age of seventeen was amazing - especially since she told me never to give up and that you were cute. That reminds me - I have lunch with her on Thursday."
"Wait - Patti LuPone said I was cute?"
Rachel raised her eyebrows, and waved the tickets in Finn's face. "Are you going to give them to Victoria or what? Because I can always ask if my cousin Paula wants them, I know you just love my cousin Paula … "
Finn snorted, then grinned and snatched the tickets off Rachel, and threw her back down on the bed.
"Right guys! So - finish up to page eighteen in your workbooks for tomorrow, please!"
Another day, finished. Finn watched as his kids packed up for the day. He spotted the girl he wanted to talk to, and smiled. "Victoria! Can I see you for a second?"
"Oooh, Vicky's in trouble," taunted Amanda, and Finn's eyes narrowed.
"She's not in any kind of trouble, Amanda. You'll be the one in trouble if you continue that behaviour," he said, and watched, satisfied, as she frowned and scuttled out of class.
Victoria gathered her things, looking as the rest of the class filed out of the room slowly, eager to eavesdrop on why Victoria had done to have been asked to stay behind.
Finn waited until the last few people were dawdling out the door before he spoke. "So, Victoria - I liked your speech on your hero yesterday."
Victoria blushed. "Thank you, Mr. Hudson. My Mum said that maybe I shouldn't do her because some people might not know who she is, but she is who I want to be like most. I read every article in every magazine there is about her."
Finn laughed. So that was how she knew about the junior year nose-job fiasco. "Well, I know exactly who she is, so you did well to pick someone that wasn't a Disney cast member."
Victoria giggled quietly.
"But I didn't ask you to stay behind just because I wanted to say well done. I actually have something for you."
Victoria's little eyebrows crinkled together. "What, Mr. Hudson?"
Finn grinned. "I managed to have a little chat with Rachel Berry - "
"Oh, my God! You actually talked to her?" Victoria's face was lit up like a Christmas tree. Finn grinned wider. Oh, he's done a lot more than talked to Rachel Berry.
"Yep. And you know she is performing as Maria in West Side Story soon?"
Victoria nodded, her eyes wide.
"Well, the first showing for family and friends is tomorrow night. And because you got top marks on both your Math and English Speaking tests, you win two tickets to go see it! It's a private showing, meaning that the public won't get to see it until the day after tomorrow! How's about it?"
Victoria's face was a picture. Her eyes were wide, her jaw was open, and she looked simply spellbound.
"Really, Mr. Hudson?" she said, eyeing the two tickets in his hand.
"Really, Victoria," he said, handing the tickets to her. "And, what's more, she's agreed to do a meet and greet with you after the show! You can get your picture taken with and have a chat with her."
Victoria let out a little squeal, before she composted herself. "Oh, thank you, Mr Hudson!" she said, before she wrapped her arms around his waist, before jumping back, a little blush on her cheeks and her eyes on her tickets.
"Just one thing, okay? Don't tell the rest of your classmates that I gave you them. You can tell them you went, by all means, but don't tell them I got them. Just say you won them in a competition, okay? I can't be seen as having favourites!"
Victoria grinned, and put the tickets safely away in her bag as she skipped out the door. She turned around with one hand on the door, her eyebrows knitted together.
"Will you be there tomorrow?"
Finn laughed. "Yes, I will be."
Victoria smiled. "How do you know Rachel Berry?"
Finn picked up his bag, and followed Victoria to the door, flicking the lights of the classroom on the way out. "You'll see tomorrow. Now go on - someone will be wondering where you've got to," he said, gesturing to Victoria, who smiled and ran out the school.
The play had gone off without a hitch, and Rachel had performed beautifully - as had the rest of the cast. Finn was milling around in the foyer, looking for Rachel when a blonde came up on his blind side and tackled him.
"Finn! Where is she?" demanded Quinn Fabray, as she looked around wildly for Rachel.
Finn laughed as he hugged Quinn back, and spotted Puck over his shoulder. "Hi to you too," he laughed, as he let go of Quinn and bumped fists with her boyfriend. "Puck! I don't know where Rach is. She said she'd meet us in this foyer thing. I wasn't sure if you were gonna show," he continued, directing it mainly at Puck.
Puck snorted. "Like Berry would let us miss her big night on Broadway. If I hadn't have come I would have got it in the neck for the rest of my life. Not only from Berry but from her as well." 'Her' was accompanied by a thumb gesture in Quinn's general direction.
Quinn just rolled her eyes as Finn chuckled. "I don't know what you're gonna do when Rachel and I get married and she becomes Hudson."
Puck shook his head and shrugged one shoulder. "I'll just keep calling her Berry."
"I think not. You'll be calling me Hudson or else," a voice said behind them, and they all turned to see Rachel, smiling sweetly yet with a touch of venom in her eyes.
"Rach!" Finn exclaimed, giving her a hug that lifted her a foot off the floor. "Well done, baby, you were amazing. As always," he said, giving her a quick kiss before Puck yanked her away.
"Berry! Lovin', here, now," he said, giving her a hug. Rachel laughed as Puck squeezed her tight. Quinn squealed.
"Oh, my gosh, Rachel, I think the Tony Awards will be knocking on your door any second!" she said, and the two girls embraced and started chatting just as Finn caught a glimpse of another girl he'd been looking out for tonight.
"Victoria!" he said, as the little girl waved frantically, her hand tightly encased in an older woman's hand, whom Finn vaguely recognised from Parent-Teacher nights as her mother. "And you must be Mrs. White, yes?" he said as he made his way through the crowd, and the woman nodded.
"I can't say how pleased I am that Victoria won these tickets!" Mrs. White said, smiling. "Rachel Berry was fantastic."
Finn smiled. "She was."
Victoria was nearly jumping up and down. "Is she here? Do I really honestly get to meet her?"
Finn chuckled. "Yeah, she's here. Let me just drag her away from our friends and I'll be back."
Finn weaved his way through the crowd, and saw that Quinn and Puck had been joined by Mercedes, Sam and Tina, Mike and Artie, and of course Kurt, Blaine and Santana now as well. "Guys!" he said, as they all embraced him warmly.
"It's like a McKinley fucking reunion over here!" Puck said, causing the entire group to laugh.
"I need to steal Rach away for one second, okay?" Finn said, taking Rachel by the hand as the group raised their eyebrows but nevertheless continued talking to one another, getting updates about various lives that had went in various directions since McKinley.
"What is it?" Rachel said, looking up at Finn.
"Remember that little girl, Victoria?"
"Oh, yes! Is she here?" Rachel said, looking around. Finn smiled and led her by the hand over to where Victoria was - whose eyes nearly bugged out her head when she saw Rachel standing there.
"Oh, my God, Mr. Hudson, you really do know Rachel Berry!" Victoria said, causing Rachel to laugh.
"He sure does. You must be Victoria, yes? I've heard a lot about you," Rachel said, and Victoria's eyes widened even more, if that were possible.
"Really?" Victoria looked to Finn, who smiled.
Rachel nodded. "Yep. That you're Jewish, like me. And that you saw me in 'the Sound of Music' a couple of years back."
Victoria nodded. "Yeah, I'm Jewish, and yes, I did. You're the best singer in the world."
Rachel giggled. "Thank you," she said, and Victoria stuck out her ticket for Rachel to sign, and Rachel signed it gladly. Victoria's eyes looked at her ring.
"That's a really pretty ring," Victoria said, smiling. "You're getting married, aren't you? I read every article about you," she added, her look a little bit proud.
Rachel giggled. "Thank you. And yes, I am." She glanced at Finn, who was biting the inside of his cheek.
Mrs. White caught on quickly. "Oh, wow! Congratulations."
Finn smiled warmly in thanks, as Rachel voiced hers aloud. Victoria looked, wide-eyed, between the three of them as the links connected in her brain.
"Wait - Mr. Hudson, are you getting married to Rachel Berry?"
Finn laughed. "Afraid so."
Victoria looked almost as if she was about to faint. "My teacher is getting married to a celebrity? That's so cool!" she said, turning to her mother and grinning before turning back to Finn and Rachel.
"I'm glad you think so," Rachel said, smiling. "But, Finn did tell me one more thing - that you wanted to be a singer when you grow up?"
Victoria nodded enthusiastically. "I want to be like you when I grow up."
Rachel smiled, her eyes misting over slightly as she bent down to Victoria's height, taking both her hands in hers. "I want you to promise me one thing, then, Victoria. Can you do that for me?"
Victoria nodded so hard Finn was frightened she'd hurt her neck.
"Never give up. No matter what, okay? No matter who says what or who does what, you keep your dream close and never, ever give up. Can you promise that for me?"
Victoria nodded. "I promise, Miss Berry."
Rachel smiled. "Good girl. I've loved talking to you, Victoria, but I have to go. A few of my friends have flown all the way in from Ohio for tonight, and I must go talk to them," she said, as Quinn pounced on her from behind, talking about after-party drinks, while Santana was cat-calling for Petrucci's, their local bar, and Mercedes was loudly saying that since she and Tina were in town from Ohio for a whole week, they all simply must do lunch everyday.
Mrs White looked at Finn. "I need to nip to the bathroom - would you mind watching Vicky for me? There are a lot of people here and I don't want her to get lost."
Finn smiled. "Of course." Mrs White meandered off in the direction of the bathroom as Victoria turned to her teacher.
"Thank you, Mr. Hudson. You're the best teacher ever!" Victoria laughed, clutching her signed ticket like it was a lifeline. "And you have the best girlfriend ever!"
"That I do," Finn agreed, laughing. He looked down at Victoria. "I have something to ask you, and I want you to answer it honestly, okay? Tell me the truth."
"The other day, in class, after your talk - was it Amanda that tripped you?"
Victoria's head immediately went down, but Finn still heard the tiny 'yes' that came from her.
"Does she do it a lot?"
Another barely inaudible yes.
"Victoria? Can I let you in on a little secret?" Finn asked, as he copied Rachel and bent down to Victoria's height.
"Okay," she whispered, tilting her head up to look at her teacher.
Finn pointed to where Rachel and Quinn were alternating between hugging and gossiping. "You see that blonde girl over there? The one talking to Rachel?"
Victoria nodded. "Is that her best friend?"
Finn laughed. "She is now. But we were all in high school together, and Quinn - the blonde girl - was a cheerleader and didn't like Rachel at all. Used to trip her up, call her names. Does it remind you of anyone you know?"
"Amanda," Victoria said, not taking her eyes off Rachel and Quinn.
"Exactly," Finn nodded. "All it took was a couple of things in common - singing and glee - and the two girls were friends. Okay, so it took more than that but I'm not gonna get into it, but maybe - just maybe, that might happen with you and Amanda. I've heard her singing. She likes singing, too. Maybe you could try and talk to her about it?"
Victoria looked doubtful. "She'll just push me into a locker."
"She'd listen," Finn said. "And if she didn't - you've made the connection. Rachel and Quinn built bridges in sophomore year of high school but didn't become good friends until we were near enough graduating. They had to get over their 'creative differences'," he continued, using his hands to make air quotes.
"Creative differences?" Victoria said, looking confused and almost a little amused.
Finn smiled, and bounced his head from side to side, weighing up his words. "Rach has always been ever-so-slightly dramatic."
This made Victoria laugh, just as Mrs White came back from the bathroom. "Vicky, darling, it's getting awfully late, and you do have school in the morning."
Victoria's eyes widened in shock. "I forgot to do the extra page in my workbook! I've only done up to page seventeen!" she said, sounding both scared and angry with herself.
Finn shook his head. "Don't worry about it. I'm sure you had much better things to do tonight with your time other than Math," he laughed, gesturing to all around him. "But this once only, okay? I want all your other homework done on time!"
Victoria giggled and nodded as she grabbed her mother's hand. "Yes, Mr Hudson! Thank you for everything! See you tomorrow!" she said, as she got lost in the crowd of people as they tried to find an exit.
Finn smiled as she walked away, then dove back into the crowd, searching for Rachel and their friends. It didn't take long to find them - they were near the bar, which they never seemed to be far away from when Puck or Santana were around.
"Hud-son!" Puck said, clapping Finn on the back and handing him a shot of some kind of bright, acid-green liquid, that Finn shook his head at.
"I've got to teach in the morning!" he said, trying to hand the shot back, but Puck was having none of it; he took the shot glass and, with Santana holding Finn's mouth open, poured it down the open hatch. Kurt sat cheering while Blaine was seemingly already well on his way to being quite wonderfully tipsy, and therefore was also cheering loudly.
"First of many!" Puck said, cheering as he slammed Finn's shot glass down as Finn coughed and spluttered behind him. The shot tasted putrid. "To Petrucci's!" The five of them - Finn, Rachel, Kurt, Blaine and Santana - had all come to New York for college after graduation, and had found this bar below Kurt and Blaine's apartment. It had been their local ever since, and barely a day went by when one of them didn't give Marco (the bartender) a visit. When Quinn and Puck had moved to the city one year ago, they also joined the usual crowd at Petrucci's.
Santana cheered as Rachel shook her head. "Noah, it is imperative I have an early night! I have a first public show to do tomorrow!"
Puck turned to her. "Morning or night?"
"Night," Rachel said reluctantly, knowing what was to come, and Puck smirked.
"Then you have all day to recover! C'mon, you too, Hudson. I don't care about the little kiddies! Just stick a DVD on and snooze all day, they'll love you for it," Puck said, as he led the way to their bar as Rachel took Finn's hand and sighed. She wasn't getting away with it - she rarely did when Puck decided it was time for drinks. She decides on her usual plan in these situations - just stick to water and tell him it is vodka - and he sometimes falls for it, if he's drunk enough, that is.
Kurt sidled up to her and squeezed her spare hand. "Don't worry. I'll have a quick word with make-up tomorrow. They love me in there," he said, and Rachel grinned in thanks.
"I hope they don't love you too much," Blaine said, his words just a touch slurred, one arm around Kurt's shoulders.
"Not too much. Not like Patrick Dempsey. Now, he did like me," Kurt said, and Rachel burst out laughing with him as Blaine looked on, confused.
"What - what's that about Patrick Dempsey?" he asked, and frowned as Kurt jogged away from him to come up and link arms with Santana, blowing a kiss over his shoulder. "Kurt! What's that about Patrick Dempsey?" Blaine asked again as he also ran (a little bit more shakily than Kurt) to catch up, leaving Finn and Rachel on their own for the first time.
"You were amazing tonight, you know that?" Finn said, pressing a kiss to the top of her head as they left the theatre and began the walk to Petrucci's.
Rachel beamed. "Thank you. So were you."
A confused frown appeared on Finn's face. "But I didn't do anything tonight."
Rachel smiled. "Yes, you did. If you hadn't done for that for that little girl, she would have grown up like me. Without friends and with only her dream. At least now she has some from of hope."
Finn smiled softly down at her, before Santana stopped, turned around and hollered, "Move your fucking asses would you? I need to get drunk now!"
Rachel scowled playfully. "We're coming!"
"So's Christmas!" Santana shot back, smirking. Finn and Rachel exchanged a glance, smiling as they caught up with their friends, thinking about the impact they had both made on a young life, and how maybe, just maybe, she'd turn out the same way as Rachel.