this is short, but hopefully sweet :) merry christmas, jess!
His hands, rough and calloused, gingerly grasp her waist as he leans forward to peck her on the cheek. "Hi, you," he murmurs, breath warm against her skin.
Flushing, she pulls away from him, legs a little unsteady as they wiggle to the other side of the kitchen. "What are you doing here?"
"Could ask you the same thing, darling," he responds, smirking slightly at the aggravation on her face. It's their first annual Christmas party – and they aren't even together. She stomps away from him and into the kitchen, and he downs a glass of Cabernet before joining her, second glass brimming with plum liquid.
He eases himself onto the love seat beside her, his free hand balancing himself on her kneecap. He can't really stop himself from kissing her temple gently, ignoring the splash of wine on his dark grey trousers. She ignores him – she's good at that – and laughs at some lewd joke Puck cracks, and Finn takes a quick moment to gaze at all the people in the room, nearly all couples, Sam and Quinn, curled together on a recliner, as well as Tina and Mike, Brittany and Santana, even. Puck leans against Rachel's legs, and her hand pets his hair gently. (Finn wonders, idly if they – but no. Rachel is his.) Mercedes, too, is balanced atop the arm of the love seat he sits on with Rachel.
She must be a little tipsy, too, as she leans against his arm and shares a glass of wine with him, like they're married – that thought, of course, sends him spiraling into a momentary tidal wave of sadness. Almost, he thinks, almost.
It surprises him when she excuses herself for fresh air, and dutifully, he follows her, ignoring Puck's drunken catcalls. The house is so warm, compared to outside, where the December cold bites at his cheeks. Rachel leans against the porch railing, cheeks red, shoulders bare, and he hooks his arm around her elbow. "Cuddle weather," he explains, smiling.
She gives him a long, sad look, and asks, very slowly, "How are you?"
"You want honesty?" She nods – hasn't she always – so he responds, "I miss you. Miserable 'round the apartment without you. Leo and I want you to come home."
Smiling shyly, she tucks a hair behind her ear. The errant strand doesn't stay. She doesn't notice when she says, "I miss him, too – and you. Sometimes."
"Sometimes, eh? You don't miss the sex?"
"Is that all you miss?" She's always had a soft spot for tipsy, drunk Finn, with his soft eyes and affectionate hands. These days she prefers him to angry Finn, whose eyes are cold and hands don't touch her – at least, they haven't, for a very long time. Until tonight, when the magic and grandeur of the Christmas season seem to have seeped into his veins.
Sometimes, he really is the sweetest boy. "Nah, I miss everything 'bout you, 'bout us. C'mere." She's right here, she tells him patiently, but he jerks her closer, his hands closing around her waist. Her head rests on his chest, breaking every rule she set up – every rule they set up – but she doesn't quite care.
His lips are gentle on her forehead, and she giggles as they slide down the center of her face, pressing softly to her nose and he breathes, "baby girl," so close to her moth it nearly is a kiss in and of itself.
Embarrassed, she pushes him away. "You're drunk," she chants, "you don't want me."
"I beg to differ. I do want you." He caresses her face, thumb running over the apple of her cheek.
She shakes her head. "No, no. You said you didn't."
"I lied. Please, baby." She stomps her foot, garnering a laugh from Finn. "That's the girl I love. Where'd she go, Rachel? You used to be so passionate."
"I am passionate! You just fell out of love with me."
"Impossible," he brushes off. She shakes her head and storms away.
Kurt ruined everything, you know. Everything was fine, burgeoning on perfect, maybe, not at all really, until he had to stick his big nose in her business. Or rather, her trash. And then he made his assumptions and freaked out.
And then everything went to shit.
They were having problems, her and Finn. She was too into work, he…wasn't. She wanted to snuggle on the couch, he wanted to go out. Little arguments, resentments that eventually built up, exploding when Rachel missed her period, took a pregnancy test (negative) and didn't tell Finn.
Kurt, of course, did. Which sort of ended everything.
He pounds on her door the next day, promptly at one in the afternoon. Snow has already begun to spiral, spiral, spiral, and he doesn't know why Kurt wanted him to hand deliver her wedding invite. Nonetheless, here he is.
Her little Prius is parked in the driveway, so he assumes she's in the shower, which is – but those thoughts fade away as the door swings open to reveal a very frazzled Rachel Berry.
Smiling, he lets himself in, gazing down at her. He studies her face, big brown eyes squinting up at him, a crease on her face – he's woken her up. "Rachel Berry, sleeping past noon? Is it the apocalypse?"
Her eyes narrow and she glares, turning and hopping onto the sectional sofa in the family room. She curls up in a ball in one corner, head resting on the cushions and he watches as she actually falls asleep. "Baby," he laughs, unable to stop the pet name from slipping out, "silly girl, wake up."
Apologizing, her eyes slide open, and he just – he just wants to hug her and kiss her, but he can't and that's why it hurts so goddamn much. "Um, why are you here?"
"Invitation," he responds, placing the envelop in her hands. "So, who is going to be your plus one?"
Ignoring him, she rises from the couch and hey – he recognizes that sweatshirt, St. John's basketball stamped across the front, his last name across the back. It's big, the sweatshirt, and it hangs off of her thin frame and – has she lost weight?
She pours herself a cup of tea, drinking in the warm fluid gratefully, eyes scanning over the invitation. He misses domesticity with her, his girl, misses waking up on Saturday mornings and making breakfast, misses loving her, really, and God, he wants her.
He makes the mistake of telling her.
She tries kicking him out, but the snow is so heavy and thick and still falling from the sky. It does no good to have him get pneumonia, she says, so just stay down here while I shower and – you know.
He doesn't stay down there, in fact, he follows her discretely up the stairs and joins her in the shower. It's not as surprising to him as it is to her when he kisses her, lips wet and hot from the shower's warm spray. It's sloppy, for a reunion kiss after a year, but it suffices, as he presses her against the shower wall and sighs into her mouth, teeth clanging.
It doesn't surprise him when he carries her out of the shower, one towel wrapped around both of their bodies, and he places her on the bed in her bedroom. He presses her into the mattress, entire everything fading to black around them. Her fingers lace with his, and he kisses her again and again, on her face and her breasts, her hands warm as she tugs his body closer to hers.
It's inevitable, really, after a year of being without each other that they find their way back.
Still, it isn't easy, the next morning when they wake up tangled together. After spending a day ignoring everything, the task of hopping back into reality is daunting, plus, Rachel deems last night a one-night stand.
So he leaves, shoveling her driveway first, and goes back home. He winds up back at her house that night, though, wanting her (always, really) and he tells her he loves her as he pulls her hips on top of his.
She ignores that, as she ignores most things with feelings for him these days. He can't stay away, now, though, not when he's had her for this brief glimpse – he has to have her, needs her, really. But for now, he's going to take a page out of her book and ignore the thrumming in his heart, and the way he feels that tether snake out of his chest and connect to her heart.
Kurt invites her to stay at their place until it's time to go home – her dads are going on a surprise cruise starting on Christmas Eve – and reluctantly, she agrees. And Finn, naturally, doesn't find out 'till late on Christmas Eve, stumbling in from a party he went to with his mom (he's a momma's boy) and yeah, he might be a little tipsy when he finds Rachel curled beneath the covers on his bed.
She doesn't wake up when he bangs his knee into the dresser, doesn't even stir when he buries himself beneath the covers beside her warm little body, wrapping both their bodies in familiar downy plaid. Her eyes flutter, squint open long enough for her to smile and brush her nose against his. He wants to cry, a little, and buries his face in her neck, breathing in deep and letting the tides of sleep wash over him.
He hears her singing in the shower the next morning, voice clear and strong and sweet as ever, "Oh, I hate you some, I hate you some, I love you some, oh, I love you when you forget about me."
When they were together – really together – she liked to sing in the shower with him sometimes, her voice lifting higher than his, ricocheting off the tiled walls, so pure he'd stop singing and let her put on a show. She's the only person he'll sing for, these days. She, on the other hand, sings for hundreds as they come in droves to see her take the stage.
He bangs on the door, "Merry Christmas, baby girl," pulls the door open and lets the steam envelop him like an old friend. "Let's get to openin' presents, huh?"
"I'm Jewish," she responds over the pounding water.
"C'mon, Rach," he pleads, "just – tradition." With a loud, overdramatic, Rachel Berry sigh, he hears the water turn off, towel hanging over the shower disappearing and she emerges, wet skin and hair, eyes straining in the thick steam. He grins and gives her a quick kiss on the lips.
"Be right down," she murmurs absently, and he cheers to himself – he has her.
Although, he doesn't really. They used to spend Christmas curled up on their couch, her legs over his lap, kissing and exchanging presents, but this year, she sits on the empty armchair, knees drawn to her chest.
He wants to tell her, wants to squeeze in the spaces of the armchair and whisper in her ear, "Honey, you can be mine again."
But he doesn't, only smiles tightly as he opens gift after gift, sweater after sweater, cufflinks, a book he'll probably forget about – he just – he just wants her.
She helps prepare lunch. He takes a nap on the couch. She sits on the chair beside the couch. He wakes up. She tilts her head and takes his hand and they sit on his bed and kiss for a long, long time, her fingers grasping his Christmas sweater as his hands edge her shirt upwards, roaming 'round the skin on her stomach.
"We should talk," he says between hot kisses to her throat. "Like, actually talk about this, us, like – "
"Okay. You shattered me." He doesn't expect that, nor the defiant arch of her brow. "Like, you thought I would've kept a baby from you?"
He sighs, raking a hand through his hair, "I d'no. You were so distant."
"We were making our dreams come true," she affirms, hands sliding over his shoulders familiarly. He leans his forehead against her temple, her arms still wrapped tight around him.
"Think you can forgive me?" She kisses him, soft and slow, and god, he swears, he feels everything like the entire universe pours into him, energy surging in his veins, and he hasn't been this happy in a year and a half.
Smiling, he rolls them over, lying on top of her on the bed, her dark hair splayed across the plaid bed sheets. He doesn't tell her he loves her. She tugs his mouth to hers.
Finn and Rachel have disappeared, and Kurt is worried that they have killed each other. He figures the best place to find their discarded bodies is, naturally, Finn's bedroom. As he approaches, books clicking satisfyingly against the hardwood hallway floor, he hears muffled sounds from the room, rustling, and he pushes open the door only to reveal –
"Kurt!" Finn yells loudly, rolling expertly into the blanket, shielding both their bodies with it. It's a surprisingly graceful move for such a lumbering man, actually, and Kurt wonders if – "Did you want something?"
Rachel is grinning against his shoulder, smile blinding, and Kurt feels a sense of peace flutter over him because his plan succeeded. Kurt backs out slowly, babbling, "Uh, congrats and Merry Christmas, lunch is ready."
"Be out a minute," Finn mutters, teeth gritted, and Kurt flees. Ew. He needs to bleach his brain, or get, like, really drunk.
"Are you happy?" He murmurs seconds after Kurt's departure, tugging his sweater and trousers back on. "In New York, I mean."
"Yes," she answers, "when I was with you, I was very happy – without you, not so much. It's, um," she hesitates, "hard to perform every night knowing someone I love isn't out there watching."
He stares at her, murmurs, "Yeah," lowly.
"I'm – umm," she hums low, biting back tears, "I'm not used to – y'know, needing people – but I…I guess I need you."
He feels that energy burrow in his chest, and he grins so wide and kisses her hard, I love you, I love you, I love you, between his kisses, whispered against her skin so quietly she can't hear him, which, he surmises, is good – for now. Instead, he tells her, "I need you, too. Come home."
She deliberates, pearly white teeth grasping her rose pink lip, "It is getting tiring at San and Brittany's."
"I did leave most of my stuff there."
"Please. The cat misses you."
Hugging him 'round the neck, she concedes, "Yes, baby, 'course I'll come home to you."
review? have a merry christmas and happy holiday season!