A/N: Here it is! It was originally the segment of Pezberry in the restaurant through 'till the end, but I remembered how many of you wanted more of Finn. So I broke the Austenian rule and unveiled the romantic hero's mystique to give you a better look at our hero. Oh, and, there's also a baby!
By the third time Finn and I got together after that evening, we virtually picked up exactly where we left off. Yes, I mean in that way.
Puck and Quinn moved to a suburb of New York, by Quinn's demand. Finn and I tried to stay in touch with them. I lasted a year, Finn a little longer. I am not quite certain what they're doing or if they're still around. All I know is that Quinn doesn't appear to have any intention of returning to the stage.
I, on the other hand, am having a thriving career which launched after the show that brought Finn and I together came to its premature termination. The critics did not like the show. They felt it was "jumbled," as the man from the New York Times said. Unfortunate. But it did allow me to overshadow the production. I got noticed and received accolades in reviews. I even got an offer for a part.
Which I took, and that was the role I played—quite happily—for two years until the show landed on Broadway. It was a musical adaptation of "Once," and I was the Russian pianist. By the time we were on Broadway, I could actually play the piano—thanks to Kurt's tenacious instruction.
I'll never forget the night the show opened on Broadway because it was the first night, since we'd reunited, I had seen Finn cry out of happiness.
My career, from then on, flourished. And so did Finn's. Shortly after we started dating, he began to frequent Washington, D.C, working with a lobbyist firm which fought for more funding for causes that helped war veterans. As a huge bill became closer and closer to becoming a reality, Finn was asked to head a temporary branch near LaFayette Square, a short walk from the White House, and he accepted.
I missed him terribly because we were hardly ever able to visit. Our schedules clashed all the time. The best time for me to visit was during the work week when I didn't have shows, but the best time for him was when I had shows to perform. When he came back home for good, after almost six months, I clamped my legs around him, and my body didn't detach itself from his for the rest of the night.
Then, when Finn and I were newly-weds, I got an offer to work on the West End in a revival of Les Miserables. It was a dream, come true.
At around the same time I was working out my future plans in London, I had a pregnancy scare. Finn found me pacing in the bathroom with the unopened box of pregnancy tests, and he began beaming.
"I haven't tested yet. It's just—my period's late. With luck, this'll just be a scare."
"With luck? You don't …. You don't want a baby?" Finn's smile faltered.
"It's the West End, Finn. This is important!"
His face fell at my last statement, and I was too lost in my angst to really notice that I had told him my career was more important than a baby we might conceive.
"Right," he said, and then he was terse the rest of the evening through my joyously announcing I wasn't pregnant, through dinner, and throughout the long, cold night in bed.
My mind was reeling. I was still so young. Show business requires I cling to my youth. Why didn't he understand?
Finn got over it, though. Until I went to London, things continued as normal. And normal wasn't really normal. We were both so busy that, if we didn't take initiative, we'd hardly see one another.
When I came back from London, I felt like he was distant. I actually woke him up when I found myself blubbering in bed right next to him, needing his gentle gaze. He responded readily and quickly. He always woke up very alert. When he saw my glazed-over eyes, his own softened, he put his hand to my face, and we talked.
He told me that he wanted us to be more of a family. No more of these months-long separations. He wanted to know he had a home. That we could always come home to one another. We decided to start by spending more time together, making time for one another.
We made a promise to meet three times each week to share lunch. In the evenings, I had rehearsal, and he had to wake up early, so we often didn't see one another at night—except, sometimes, I would wake him up for love-making. He would always comply, murmuring how much he loved me and how I saved him from a dark dream he was having.
He had a lot of bad dreams. And there was never anything I could do about it, no matter what I tried. No matter how much he would laud me as his savior, I still felt guilty that he was not all there—not always. That he never would be always all there.
And what's worse is that he gets so angry at me, sometimes, when I won't relent in my desperate need to mend him. Somehow. "I'm just broken, Rachel. That's how I am. Y can't do everything," he'd say, his face pale and his eyes dark.
We moved into a bigger apartment together not long after I returned from London to start acting like a real married woman. Before we moved in, I had a room insulated. In that room, I snuck in a new, full drum set which wouldn't have fit in our old apartment. When we moved in, he was thrilled. His eyes lit up. He instantly went to work at the drum set. We even sang together as he thrashed and banged.
Like old times.
It was as if I only became more and more in love with him as time passed. His bad dreams became less frequent, and I saw less of the pale face and dark eyes, begging me not to try and fix what couldn't be fixed, hurting over it as much as I was.
I realized it might have been because life was more routine than it used to be. I never worked farther than Broadway (honestly, who would mind that? West End was great, but New York and Broadway are the places to be), and he was waking up and going to bed at the same time I was.
I like to think the drum set helped, as well. For his birthday that year, I also bought him a guitar. Sometimes, when I couldn't help him, I knew music could. A concept he was incredibly, inspirationally passionate about in his work with veterans.
I rather like the routine we have set in. I never thought I would, but I like being "settled down"—as much as a stage actress can be, that is.
However, lately, it seems that change might be in the air again. Kurt and his husband adopted a toddler and a baby within eighteen months. Finn loves those two to death. He plays so well with them. I could watch him with children for hours.
We recently rounded our five year wedding anniversary, and Finn has been giving me hints.
When we have our lunches together, he has fallen into the habit of leaning in very closely to smile and point as he says, "Look at that little boy" or "You see that little girl over there?"
And he chuckles. He pulls his face so close to mine that I can feel his breath skate my nose. And when I look at the child, I can feel his eyes, reading my reaction. When I turn back to him, he has this look in his eyes that makes me want to melt. He's even kissed me a few times when this has happened!
Who watches a strange child then kisses his wife?
A man who wants a baby! That's who!
"I think Finn wants to have a baby," I say, breaking the silence Santana and I are enjoying as we partake in our shared lunch of some large appetizer with a lot of cheese and pesto. "But, if I do, I may not be able to do that movie. If it happens soon."
Santana is still chewing, but I hear a muffled snort-laugh as she strives to finish chewing faster. No doubt. She has a clever retort ready.
"So get him a puppy. It's all good fun to think about having a cute, big-eyed, shit factory until you've actually had to take care of it."
"A baby is different, and you know it."
"Yeah, it's a lot harder and more time-consuming. Just last month, you said you were looking at a lot of great opportunities soon that you wouldn't pass up. So make him wait. You want the ultimate stardom package, right? You might have this movie deal, and you don't wanna miss that—"
"But, San, that movie deal isn't a sure role for me."
"Sweetie," she says, and I eye her petulantly. She knows I hate it when she uses terms of endearment to patronize. "—You made that role. Hell, you made the success of that play! If it weren't for you, I don't think Lately would have been near as successful and gotten all those Tony nominations. And what was one of those Tony noms for?"
Santana pauses. I blink. Then I realize she's really waiting for an answer.
"Best Actress. Me for Best Actress," I recite.
"And you lost to Bernadette Fucking Peters. I'd say that's something to gloat about. And this movie deal? Could be in the bag if you don't get knocked up."
"We don't even know, if I took the role, that the movie would begin filming soon. Lots of Broadway musicals have movie deals, but then they aren't filmed till years after the production is announced. So I might not technically be giving up anything."
"So you're saying you'll have time to pop out a baby and find the eye of newt and snot of a witch to make the magical anti-stretch mark cream in time for the movie?"
"Maybe even two!"
Santana lets out a silent, warm laugh while rolling her eyes. She loves the idea of being a godmother, and we both know it.
"Not two babies! Two eyes of newt, I was talking about. For the stretch mark cream."
"Yeah, that wouldn't be hard 'cause newts have two eyes."
"Dammit, Santana. I was trying to be clever, and that's what came out. I wish I'd invited Brittany with us. You're always nicer when your wife's around."
"Oh, I'm sorry, should've thought before you spoke," Santana says in a mock-sweet tone, clicking her tongue and crossing her arms as she sinks into her seat with a smile.
"I just. I'm not giving up on my dream, if that's what you're worried about. I'm already living the dream right now. Having a baby isn't settling. It's actually scarier than anything I'm looking at in my career right now. I mean, molding a human being! That's huge. I'm scared just talking about it!"
As I say this, I feel a wave of excitement rise in my belly. Going up against Bernadette Peters is nothing compared to having a little us to raise and influence all its life. It's like creating a role for years and years—except infinitesimally more complicated.
A little us.
"If it's what you want. Just don't you fucking dare give up and become a housewife," Santana say passionately.
"Santana, I'm actually offended you would infer that! I lost focus once before when I almost lost Finn forever, and I never stopped regretting it. I can't do that again. When, in college, I said I wanted everything too much, I meant I wanted everything. Fame, power, love, and … and now a baby. Granted, I promised myself no children before my first Tony, but I also promised myself no marriage before the first Tony, and look how that went! My life is more than one dimension…. I mean, right?"
"But," I continue, "I have had one hell of a start, if my stardom is still on the rise. I've been in three major productions—three of which have had at least a fraction televised, and this last one got me a Best Actress Tony nomination. I've enjoyed a lot of exposure."
"You know, though, Rach," Santana said, her voice soft, "that, if you take a break now, it could risk you hitting the big time—I mean the big-big time. Shitloads of money."
"I know. Maybe I'll never make it to the movies, but I love where I am now, and I know stopping to have a baby won't change that. I'll get back to plays and the Tonys. But now... I really want a baby, too."
"Well, kitten, don't know why we're shooting the shit when it's clear you've made up your mind. Bill's on me. Go and make that baby."
"Technically, it may not work yet until I take the NuvaRing out, so—"
"Get out!" Santana shouts playfully, shooing me with her dirty cloth napkin.
Taking the hint, I giggle and hop out of my seat. I yell a thanks to her as I rush out of the restaurant and make a bee-line for Finn's and my apartment. Once I get into a taxi, I look at my phone, reading the last text he sent me: "Might take a nap. Wake me up when you get back from lunch. Don't wanna sleep too long and freak out the cleaners again. Or do they come on Sundays?"
I feel a sudden rush of excitement unlike I had ever felt before. We're going to have a baby! I had decided! And I got a free lunch out of the deal! The taxi couldn't arrive soon enough.
But it does arrive, and I rush inside and out of the elevator like a little girl. I jolt-stop at the door, decided I am going to surprise him. I gingerly open the door. I kick my shoes off just to the left of our bedroom doorway, and I gaze.
As suspected, my husband is sprawled across our bed, his long limbs reaching out to almost every edge of our king-sized bed. His mouth is slack, his nose pink. He's snoring a little, and his left eye twitches as sunlight beams onto a patch of his face through the slightly-ajar curtain.
I climb onto the bed and massage his bare back lightly. Then I kiss it, and I hear him mumble and groan awake.
"I might be gross. It's so damn hot out there," he warns, rolling over and tugging me on top of him.
"You're not gross. You're sweaty," I correct him as he attacks my neck with succulent kisses. "I am, too, and it's … only gonna get worse" I say, my eyes fluttering shut, already losing my senses at his touch.
I'm already panting. I was thinking about this the whole taxi ride, and now I'm already shaky and ready—and my mind is exploding, as if I were a teenager again.
"Finn, I wanna have a baby with you as soon as possible," I let the words come pouring out before I am too far gone.
He stops what he's doing. Sits back. Stares. Bright eyes. Yearning lips. His adorable pink nose still getting pinker.
I see his eyes glisten. Then he says simply, "I do, too."
Finn makes arrangements to work at the New York office of his non-profit half the week instead of driving out to Washington, D.C. several times each week.
Those are nine hours of driving that could be spent tending to my cravings and then watching the baby take his or her first steps, he explains to me.
I also make arrangements. I bow out of the show I am in when I'm almost three months along and take a maternity leave. Finn is good to me. So very, very good. And I am so grateful he is working in New York now so that he actually is in bed when I wake up in the middle of the night to make love with him. Or for him to notice me shifting in bed and offer to massage my swollen feet.
So very good.
The baby is beautiful, and I think I see traces of Finn's freckles on her even though I know it's impossible for her to have freckles as a newborn. Finn says she has my eyes. Santana then contributes, saying that she knew the baby girl had my lungs when she came out of the womb with her deafening cries.
The apartment is a mess, most of the time—and we haven't been out and about the city for anything but errands in weeks. But we're very happy with our little Rose. She's our world. I haven't thought about my own needs since I saw her face.
I happily gave her my spotlight the moment she was born.