As it always has, time marched on. Days, months, years…they say time flies when you're having fun, and that's exactly what they were doing. Kurt's business continued growing. Maria found Blaine the perfect part on Broadway. Santana moved to New York, and Puck moved back to Lima to be with Quinn, Beth and Shelby. Rachel was still Maureen and Finn finally got to see her show. He also passed all of the tests required to be a member of the New York Fire Department and moved into a station house close to his and Rachel's new apartment. He loved it, and eventually Rachel was able to sleep when he was on duty.
They sat on a blanket in Central Park, watching the people around them. "New York is so different from Lima," Rachel said, leaning back against his chest.
Finn wrapped his arms around her, his back against a tree. "It is," he agreed.
"But then we come to the park…and it seems so similar."
He smiled. "It does."
Rachel sighed. "You know, I dreamed about this. What it would be like for me and you to be married and living in New York. Us having picnics in Central Park."
"Is this exactly how you dreamed it?"
Rachel shook her head. "No…this is better."
"Rachel Berry: living the dream," he said, grinning.
"Finn Hudson: being the dream," she replied, tilting her head to look up at him. "I like that smile," she told him.
He leaned down to kiss her, winking when he pulled away. "I like that everything."
Rachel laughed. "You know what I like the most?"
"I think I do," he said, wagging his eyebrows. "It's my big-"
"Heart!" she said loudly, cutting him off and looking around to see if anyone was listening.
Still grinning, he looked down at her. "What do you like the most, Rach?"
"That you turned into someone even greater than I'd ever imagined. And trust me; what I'd imagined was pretty great."
"I'm just the guy who got lucky," Finn told her.
Rachel shook her head in disagreement. "It's not luck," she said. "It's you being the man that does whatever it takes to make the world a better place. In high school, in the Air Force, and now here as a fire fighter." She smiled. "You do so much good for others, and it's because you can't stand by and watch anyone suffer. It's amazing to be a part of your life."
Finn rubbed her arm. "The only reason my life is amazing is you. If there wasn't a Rachel, there wouldn't be a Finn. Not this Finn, anyway." He sighed. "When I think about the world, I want it to be safe and good…because you live in it. And I spend my time making it as safe and good as I can…for you."
Rachel closed her eyes, her head resting against his chest. "You always say the perfect thing," she said.
Finn hugged her. "We're doing good, huh?"
"Well," Rachel said.
"Well what?" he asked, trying to stifle a chuckle and failing.
"You drive me crazy with that and you know it!" she accused, smiling.
Finn lowered his head and kissed her, his tongue lightly teasing her lips. "You drive me crazy with your everything," he told her huskily.
A wave of lust rolled through her and Rachel looked at him seriously. "Do we have time to go back to the apartment?"
Finn grinned ruefully. "Nope, Santana will be here any minute."
Rachel turned until she was facing him, cupping his face in her hands. "It's been a good day."
He nodded. "A perfect day. I miss days like this."
"Our lives are so busy now; it's good that we can stop for a while and take time to just appreciate one another."
Finn kissed her again. "And do you feel appreciated, Mrs. Hudson?"
"I'd feel more appreciated if we had time to go back to the apartment," she said, laughing.
"This is the life you wanted, darlin'," he said.
Rachel smiled and leaned against him. "And I wouldn't trade it for anything."
"When I joined the Air Force, I didn't think a day like this would ever happen," he told her. "I thought that your life and my life were going different places."
"They did for a while," Rachel said. "But our lives can go different places while we're still together. We'll always come back to each other in the end."
"Because you have my heart," he said.
"And you have mine."
They sat in silence for a while, just enjoying the day and the park. "There they are," Finn said, looking up to see Santana walking towards them.
"Mommy! Daddy!" the little boy with her cried, running clumsily towards them.
As it always did, Rachel's heart filled with love when she saw her little man. His curly brown hair reminded her of her husbands, and his half smile melted her heart. "Hey baby!" Rachel said, holding her arms out for the boy. When he reached her, he jumped into them. Finn wrapped his long arms around both of them, squeezing them tightly. Rachel and Teddy squealed and giggled.
"I think he saved the terrible two's for later," Santana told them, sitting down on their blanket. "He was an angel."
"Were you good for your Aunt Santana?" Rachel asked him, ruffling his hair.
Teddy nodded. "Aunt Sanna is happy to me," he told them. "She gave me ice cream."
Santana looked at Rachel, surprised. "Oh," she said. "I, uh…Teddy!" she laughed, looking at the little boy. "You weren't supposed to tell them!"
Teddy looked at her. "Sorry Aunt Sanna," he said sincerely.
"It's okay," Rachel said, kissing him on the forehead. "A little ice cream won't hurt."
"That's what daddy says when he gets me some!" Teddy said brightly.
Finn groaned as Rachel turned around to glare at him. "Just a little, I promise."
"It's impossible to deny the dimples," Santana told her. "They're not fair."
"Mama, can I play with the new truck Aunt Sanna got me?" Teddy asked.
"Sure," Rachel said. Santana pulled the truck out of Teddy's bag and the little boy drove it around the blanket, making noises. "Thanks for keeping him today, Santana. We had a good time."
"Sometimes you need a chance to be alone," Santana said. "I love Teddy, and anytime you need someone to watch him, just call me."
"How are things going at work?" Finn asked her.
"Everything is great," she told him. She looked down, then back up at her friends. "Brittany is in town."
Rachel nodded. "She came over a few nights ago. Have you talked to her?"
Santana sighed. "I did. She's moving here, to New York. She said that she wants to try to make it work."
"What did you say?" Finn asked.
"I told her that we could try." Santana shrugged. "I've missed her, and I still love her. I'm already hurting by being away from her, so this couldn't hurt me worse, you know?"
Rachel smiled. "I think that's great," she said. "I hope you two are able to work things out."
"Thanks," Santana said, watching Teddy. "Being with you guys, seeing how great Teddy is…it makes me think that I'm ready for a family too." She took a deep breath. "I want to be a mom."
"You'll be a great one," Finn told her.
"And we'll always be here to help you if you need it," Rachel told her.
Santana nodded, smiling. "Come give Aunt Sanna a kiss, Teddy," she said to the little boy as she stood up. "I have to go to the office."
Teddy stood and ran to the woman, kissing her on the cheek when she leaned down. "Bye Aunt Sanna," he told her. "Thanks for the truck and the ice cream and the candy!"
Santana winked at the boy, then waved to Rachel and Finn before leaving hurriedly so Rachel didn't have a chance to say anything about the candy. "She's a good friend," Finn said.
"The best," Rachel said, agreeing. "I hope she and Brittany can be happy."
"Me too," Finn said. He was quiet for a moment, then asked, "Hey, Rach?"
"If she and Brittany get together, does their 72 years start from when they were in high school or now?"
Rachel laughed. "Ours started in high school, but we've been together since."
Finn nodded. "Yeah, but if they can't count the time they've been together, there's no way they'll get to 72." He looked at her. "Everyone should have at least 72 years with the person they love."
Rachel shook her head, thinking about the couple in the news story she'd told Finn about so long ago. They'd had 72 years together, then died hours apart. "I wonder if their years were all as great as ours have been."
Finn wrapped his arms back around her. "The older couple?" Finn asked. Rachel nodded. "Everyone struggles sometimes," he told her. "But when you're in a love like this, even the bad times don't seem so bad. Sharing my years with you and Teddy makes everything better."
Rachel looked at him. "How would you feel about sharing your life with one more person?"
"Who?" he asked her, confused.
Rachel shrugged, smiling. "I'm not sure yet," she said, "so we can call her baby girl Hudson for now."
Finn watched Rachel's face for a moment. "You're pregnant?" he said, finally understanding what she was saying.
Rachel nodded, grinning. "I am."
Finn pulled her to him again, his lips crashing down on hers. When he pulled away, he grinned at her. "Baby girl Hudson?"
Rachel shrugged. "Just a feeling I have."
"Hey, Teddy, did you hear that?" Finn asked the little boy. "You're going to have a little brother or sister!"
"Okay," Teddy said, driving his truck.
Rachel laughed. "Well he's definitely excited."
Finn took her hand, bringing it to his lips. "Thank you," he told her.
Rachel nodded, kissing him. "Like I said," she told him, looking at Teddy and then around the park, "this is everything I dreamed of." She squeezed his hand. "And it's all because of you."
"Remind me to call Mr. Schue and thank him again," Finn told her later as they were walking to the car. Teddy had fallen asleep and Finn was carrying the little boy. Rachel held his hand, carrying the rest of their things in the other.
"Why?" she asked, unlocking the doors.
"For introducing me to the Chronic Lady and saving my life," Finn told her, putting Teddy in his car seat and buckling him.
Rachel laughed as she shut the trunk, getting into the car. "I'll remind you."
Finn started the car, then looked over at her. "Let's go home," he said, leaning over to kiss her.
"That sounds wonderful," she told him, smiling softly.
Pulling onto the road, Finn turned the radio on. He grinned when he heard the opening chords to "Faithfully." It was a really, really good life.