Just a random one-shot to try and beat the beast known as writer's block (the last chapter of Stolen will come as soon as I can find it in me to wrap everything up properly). This is dedicated to Emma, because she's my muse and my other half.
Reviews would be wonderful if you have the time!
Disclaimer: Glee isn't mine etc etc etc.
i. The first time they meet is when he's eleven years old. He's at that awkward stage when he can't decide if he's still a kid, or if he should embrace the whole teenager thing, and while he's staring into the wardrobe at his countless Spiderman t-shirts, Kurt barges into his room, a tiny girl in tow.
"Can I come in?" he squeaks, and Finn just rolls his eyes because he's sure his brother is never going to understand this.
"You're supposed to ask that before you-" He notices the girl, whose eyes are staring at the floor like it's the best thing ever, and his face heats up, even though he has no idea why. He's not allowed to have girls over, even though he really wants to show Quinn the new game he got for his birthday, but he's pretty sure Kurt's the favourite anyway, so it doesn't surprise him that much.
"This is Rachel Berry, and she's my new best friend." Rachel smiles, but not at him, and Finn looks down at the floor to see if he's left something down there.
"Hi," he says stupidly, but she doesn't respond.
"Finn's eleven," Kurt tells her, and then she finally looks up, and her huge, brown eyes stare at him in wonder.
"You're two years older."
Finn furrows his brow and counts it himself, and yeah, Kurt's nine, so she's right. "Uh, yeah."
"That's amazing," she breathes, and Kurt starts talking about some musical he wants them all to watch, but Finn can tell that Rachel isn't listening by the way she's really staring at him. No one's ever looked at him like that before. Quinn sometimes bats her eyelashes and giggles at things that aren't funny, but Puck says not to worry about it.
"So, Rachel, do you want to?"
They both look at Kurt like he's just grown another head, and Finn can see the way Rachel blushes, because she didn't hear him either. "Sorry, what did you say?"
"I said did you want to watch Annie now?"
She turns her head to look at him again, and woah, her eyes are like, really shiny and huge. "Are you going to watch it, Finn?"
"Sure, why not?"
She beams at that, and she takes Kurt's hand as they leave his room together. When she grabs Finn's too, he gulps and squeezes her fingers, and he doesn't even mind that much when she doesn't let go.
ii. The second time they meet is when he's thirteen years old, and he calls out for Kurt to help him with his math homework, only to see Rachel standing shyly at his bedroom door.
"Kurt's busy, so he asked me to see if I could help you instead."
It might seem weird that he gets his eleven year old brother to teach him things, but math has never been his strongpoint, and Kurt's pretty much a genius. He figures that Rachel must be too, so he nods and pats the bed beside him as he hands over his homework.
"Ah, this is easy enough, even if it looks intimidating. Do you have a pencil I could borrow?"
She spends the entire afternoon explaining every little detail to him, and when Kurt's finally finished styling his hair, Finn's already finished his work, thanks to Rachel. He doesn't know how to thank her though, 'cause usually he offers to buy Kurt a gift, so when she's about to leave, he puckers up and plants an awkward kiss on her cheek.
"Thanks," he smiles, and when she blushes from head to toe, he takes that as a 'you're welcome' when she bolts out of his room.
iii. The third time they meet is when he's seventeen years old. He doesn't spend a lot of time in his room, since Quinn's always forcing him to go to party after party to keep his rep up, and so it takes him by surprise to find her sitting on her bed like she's been there all her life.
"Um..." He checks the name on his bedroom door to make sure he hasn't walked into the wrong house, and when she sees him, her eyes go really wide as she blushes.
"I'm so sorry! Kurt wanted to surprise me with his new outfit, and he told me to wait in here since you wouldn't be around and oh my God, I'm really sorry Finn." She leaps off and waits for him to move out of the way, but he doesn't, since it takes him a minute to remember her.
She nods meekly and takes her bottom lip between her teeth, and he can't help but smile because she looks so guilty. "I didn't think you'd remember me."
"It's been a while," he says with a grin, and she smiles back. She doesn't look any different, and yet at the same time, it's hard to associate her with that tiny little girl who sang along with Annie and helped him with his homework.
"Four years, actually."
He lets out a low whistle as he sticks his hands in his pockets. Wow, time really does fly when you're... Well, when you're in school apparently. "Yeah, four years. How come I haven't seen you around before? Do you go to McKinley?"
She shakes her head, and her hair bounces along, which looks super awesome (he really wants to touch it, but he knows Quinn would go crazy if he did). "I did, for a brief period, but the bullies proved too much so I transferred to Carmel. As for Kurt..." She bites her lip again, and he doesn't know why he's mesmerised by such a tiny action. "We had a disagreement that caused us to lose contact with one another, but we're best friends again, so I'm going to put that behind me."
"Rachel, I'm ready!"
She smiles apologetically. "It was nice seeing you again."
"Yeah, you too." As she passes him, she takes his hand and squeezes it for a brief moment, and he's not sure why his stomach dips when the contact disappears.
iv. The fourth time they meet is at his graduation, and as he walks across the stage to pick up the diploma he never honestly thought he'd get, he looks out to his family, to Burt, his mom, his brother, and he sees her waving excitedly beside them. He stares for a little too long and ends up tripping over his gown, but at least he doesn't fall down completely, not like Puck.
They do the whole caps in the air thing, and once the ceremony is over, he shakes his step dad's hand and hugs his mom and fist bumps his brother. When it comes to Rachel, they both just look at each other before she leans in and presses a kiss right on his lips. He feels dizzy, so dizzy, and when she pulls back with a satisfied, almost goofy look on her face, he bursts into laughter and everyone joins in before they go to Breadstix to celebrate.
Rachel sits next to him (Quinn's celebrating with her parents) and doesn't stop smiling the entire time, even when her vegan meatballs turn out to be beef. She literally lights up the room with everything she says, and whenever she laughs, Finn finds himself laughing too, just because her voice is infectious. He doesn't miss the way Kurt's eyebrows wiggle suggestively at him all the time, though, because he's allowed to be friends with a girl, okay? Besides, he doesn't need to know that they've had their legs pressed up against each other the entire time.
When his mom tells him that he's allowed to go to the party Santana Lopez is throwing, he looks at Rachel in the same way that she looked at him all those years ago.
"Are you going to go, Rach?"
She bites her lip (that's gotta be her trademark thing) and looks to Kurt for guidance before she sighs. "I'm sorry, I can't, but I'm sure you'll have fun."
He doesn't have any fun at all.
v. The fifth time they meet is in New York when he's twenty three years old. Finn bangs his fist against the door of Kurt's apartment, and when it opens, he expects to see his brother.
It's not him though, and he tries to come up with an explanation as to why he's standing at her door, soaking wet, with hundreds of bags piled up beside him. "I need somewhere to stay," he begs, and she doesn't say a thing as she pulls his luggage inside.
"Kurt's at a late class, but I'm sure he won't mind you being here." She helps him tug off his sodden jacket, which he appreciates, though he freezes when she practically rips his shirt from his body. Okay, it's wet too, but he's not used to girls undressing him. "Is everything okay?" She winces and smacks herself on the forehead. "Sorry, that was a ridiculously insensitive question. It's obvious that you're not."
She completely ignores the fact that he's standing in her apartment, shirtless, and he doesn't know what to say that can explain all the shit that he's gone through in the past twenty four hours. Instead, he just cries, and she pulls him into a hug as he sobs his heart out. He doesn't want to say the words out loud, because that'll make them real, and he desperately wants it to be a dream.
"Let me run you a bath," she whispers, and she kisses his cheek before she tugs him towards the bathroom. She doesn't bat an eyelid as he shucks away his jeans, and even though he sees the way her eyes linger on his boxers, she doesn't say anything, so he doesn't either.
She adds all kinds of magical things to the water, including a bath bomb that melts and fizzes under the faucet, and he can't help but laugh when she throws in a rubber duck for good measure. Sure, the noise sounds weird since his throat hurts and he's all choked up, but it makes her laugh too, and he knows that there's no better cure for anything in the world than Rachel Berry's laugh.
"Stay with me?"
Her eyes light up, and true to form, she nibbles on her bottom lip as she nods. "Of course." She turns around when he's completely naked, and once he's submerged in bubbles and hot water, she looks back at him with an almost maternal expression on her face. "You don't have to tell me what happened, but I just want you to know that you can open up to me, if you'd like." She twiddles her thumbs and unconsciously picks at a fingernail. "Kurt says I'm a good listener, and I just want to help."
"Remember Qu- my girlfriend in highschool?"
Rachel's eyes shimmer in anticipation of what he's gonna say, as if she already knows. "Yes."
"She had a baby this morning." He doesn't say anything for a while, mainly because he's all choked up again. He likes that she stays quiet though, and she doesn't say anything when tears stream down his cheeks. "I wanted to call her Gemma. She liked that name too, and then I-" He shakes his head and sucks in a breath. "I was there for the birth, and so was my best friend. I thought he was there to support me, support us."
He pauses again, and this time it's a lot longer before he can pluck up the courage to get everything off his chest. She offers him some coffee, but he looks down at the fading bubbles and politely declines.
"I went to sleep for about twenty minutes." Rachel's eyes soften, and he reaches out to her at the same time that she sticks her hand up to meet his. Their fingers intertwine, and he gulps. "I woke up, and he was holding Gemma, except-" His voice cracks, and Rachel squeezes his fingers.
"You can do this, baby."
No one's ever called him that before. "They'd decided to call her Beth. Q-Quinn cheated on me, and when Puck saw the baby, he decided that he wanted to be her dad after all, and so she gave me my ring back."
He squeezes his eyes shut to try and block out the memory of that hospital room, of his ex-fiance holding his ex-best friend's baby, but all he sees is her face, her tiny little face, the one that undeniably looks like Puck.
He opens them when there's a lot of splashing around him, and he just gawps at Rachel, who, fully clothed, gets into the bath and cuddles up to him, even though he's completely naked (and the bubbles aren't doing much of a job of covering him up).
It helps though, because he doesn't feel so alone, and when she presses a slow, sweet kiss to his lips, he almost falls asleep with how comfortable he feels in her presence.
vi. Kurt keeps asking him what he's going to do, but the short answer is that he has no clue whatsoever. He's been there just over a week, and though he knows he can't stay forever, he also knows he can't go back to Ohio. That's his home, sure, but Quinn's there, with the baby he thought was his, and it hurts too much to even think about returning.
His mom keeps threatening to fly up to New York to see him, but that's the last thing he needs. Burt tells him over the phone that she's devastated about the baby, and he apologises, even if he's got nothing to apologise for. He knows how excited his mom was about her first grandchild, and he doesn't need to see how cut up she is. If she's hurting, he's hurting ten times more than that.
He wonders if he should leave though, 'cause he's noticed how tense things are between Rachel and Kurt. The two of them can barely hold a conversation, like they're both walking on eggshells, and he has a feeling it's his fault.
He tells Rachel that when she's reading. He doesn't like to be on his own, not if he can help it, so whenever she's back from class, she snuggles up beside him on the couch. Sometimes she'll read a book while he stares off into space. Sometimes they'll watch TV together. Sometimes they'll just talk about nothing at all.
"It's not you, baby," she whispers, and she kisses his chest before she turns the page of her book.
"But something is going on?"
She doesn't reply, so he doesn't push her. She kisses his chest again, and when she returns to her book, he plays with her hair. He grins when she makes a quiet purring sound, and he knows he's never going to get tired of that.
Quinn didn't like it when he touched her hair.
vii. "You're going to have to go back," Kurt announces over dinner, and Rachel drops her fork, almost knocking over a glass of water. "For God's sake, watch what you're doing!"
"Don't shout at her." Finn narrows his eyes and stares his brother down while Rachel looks helplessly between them. "What if I don't want to go back?"
"It's been two weeks," snaps Kurt, "and you haven't left the apartment once. Mom is worried about you, and frankly, so am I. I understand that Quinn hurt you, but you need to get over it."
Rachel gasps and drops her fork again, and the clattering noise almost covers the growl that escapes Finn's lips. "Do you know what this feels like?"
"Finn, it's okay, he didn't mean it."
Her pleas fall on deaf ears because Finn's sick of the way his brother has been treating him. "Do you know what it feels like, to have your whole future planned out in front of you, and to then have it ripped away like that?" He clicks his fingers, which is probably anti-climatic, but Kurt's eyes are wide and fearful all the same. "I thought I was gonna work at Burt's shop forever. I thought I was gonna go home after a long day and kiss my wife on the cheek. I thought I was gonna say hi to my daughter and listen to her stories about school."
He stands up and knocks over Kurt's glass, and water spills all over the table. Rachel doesn't say anything, but keeps her eyes locked on his, and Kurt doesn't say anything, but looks like he's going to pass out.
"God, I'm sorry, okay? I'm sorry that I came to my brother for help because I don't have anyone else to turn to. I'm sorry for being such an inconvenience to everyone." He shakes his head and runs a hand through his hair. "I'm going home. I'll pack up my things and catch a flight tomorrow."
viii. He doesn't know what time it is, but the door to Rachel's bedroom opens pretty late into the night (or morning, whatever it might be). He can hear her trying to be quiet as she tip toes along the floor, and just as he suspected, the couch dips near his feet as she lowers herself down.
"You'd make a crappy spy," he whispers, and she giggles in a way that makes his toes curl.
"You're not really leaving, are you?" He doesn't answer, and he feels her crawl closer. "Finn, you can't go."
"It's for the best," he spits out, but he tries to hide his hostility because Rachel isn't the cause of his problems. "I'm sorry Rach, but Kurt's right, I should probably go home."
"Probably," she breathes, and then she's curled up against his arm, so he tugs her into an awkward embrace (the couch is so frickin' small) while she rubs her cheek against his chest. "But that doesn't mean you have to."
He feels his heart skip a beat when she runs her hand up and down his arm, and when it disappears under his shirt to trace patterns across his stomach, his whole body quivers. "I don't want to," he admits, and that's the truth. He doesn't want to go home to all of those bad memories, at least not yet. "I don't have a reason to stay, though."
He waits for her to say it, and even though it's dark, he can see the sincerity in her face when she looks up at him and bites her lip (he's addicted to that sight). "Stay for me."
She invites him to sleep in her bed that night, which seems even smaller than the couch, but they manage, with his body curled around hers. Kurt doesn't say anything when they emerge together in the morning, but he realises that his brother doesn't say anything to Rachel all day, and he still doesn't know what's wrong.
ix. He's been in New York for a month when he decides to start looking for work. Somehow, it's been decided that he'll stay there for a while, until he can pick himself up again. Even though Kurt hasn't asked for rent, he figures that he should contribute in some way, and so he starts his search. Okay, so he doesn't have a lot of experience at anything other than fixing cars, and he soon finds out that nobody is hiring, but he's not discouraged, 'cause New York is the city of dreams, right? He just has to persevere, he just has to work a little bit harder, and he can't wait until the day when he tells Rachel that he's staying for real.
He arrives at the apartment with a handful of job applications, and since he knows he's going to be alone, he plans to fill them all in, ready to send off the next day.
His key turns in the lock, and as soon as he opens the door, he's hit with chaos. There's a lot of shouting and cursing and anger, and he rushes into the living room, only to see Kurt and Rachel throwing insults at each other.
Quinn's sitting in the middle of their argument, Beth held tightly in her arms.
"What the hell?"
"Finn," they all say at the same time, and he scans the room for Puck, but there's no sign of him.
"What the hell?" He stares at the blonde, and at the baby that already has a tiny tuft of matching hair, and he feels a hand close around his own.
"I'm sorry, Finn," she cries, and he manages to pull his gaze away from his ex to see tearstains on Rachel's cheeks. "I'm sorry."
"Are you okay?" She shakes her head and looks pointedly at Kurt, and Finn just continues to shake his head, because he can't believe his brother let that bitch inside. "What's going on, Kurt?"
"Quinn wanted to talk to you, and I knew you would never go and see her."
"I want you back, Finn."
He laughs at first, expecting everyone to join in, and when they don't, he locks himself in Rachel's room and refuses to come out until Quinn leaves.
She doesn't go, though, and just says what she needs to through the door. "I panicked. I love you, and if I'd wanted Puck to raise Beth, I would never have made you stay with me while I was pregnant."
He hears Rachel scoff. "You mean he's left you, and now you're trying to scrape together some dignity so you don't have to do it on your own."
Finn feels a tear slip down his face at the same time that he smiles, because Rachel always knows what he's thinking.
"Then where is he?"
He baby starts to cry as everyone starts yelling again, and he opens the door in time to see Quinn slap Rachel across the cheek.
"Get out," he says through gritted teeth, and when she opens her mouth to protest, he punches the wall in frustration. "Get out!" He practically screams it, and the baby stops crying long enough for Quinn to make her getaway while Kurt watches on in horror. Finn says nothing, but takes a few steps forward and crushes his lips to Rachel's.
She submits for a second before she pulls away. "I have a headache so I'm going to sleep it off."
Finn ignores Kurt for the rest of the afternoon.
x. "There's something I need to tell you."
Finn looks up from the job section of the newspaper he's reading to see Kurt fidgeting on the spot. "Shoot."
"You're not going to like it." He perches on the end of the couch, and Finn sighs as he folds up the paper.
"The last time you said that, you'd thrown away all of my comics 'by accident'." His use of finger quotes make Kurt smile, but it doesn't last long.
"Rachel and I fell out when we were younger." Finn nods, because he remembers that. "It was because of something she saw at school, and I- I behaved badly."
Kurt sucks in a shuddery breath. "When you were dating Quinn, she saw Puck making out with her. She told me straight away, and I didn't believe her."
Finn sees all kinds of colours dance before his eyes as his stomach twists and turns in a constant loop. "What?"
"She had a silly little crush on you," he splutters, and he edges away from Finn as he tries to stay calm. "I thought she was trying to sabotage your relationship so she could have you for herself."
"Then she confronted the two of them, and Puck threatened her with something, and she wouldn't tell me what she was, but she transferred schools and we stopped talking and-"
"I'm sorry Finn." Before anymore can be said, Kurt shoots off the couch and locks himself in his room, and Finn just sits there, trying to keep his lunch down. She'd cheated on him before, and Rachel had been forced to move as a consequence.
An hour later, when the small brunette walks into the apartment, Finn scoops her up and hugs her tightly, and when he tells her that he knows, she cries and whimpers out apologies that he doesn't expect her to give.
"You're my best friend," she whispers, "I'm supposed to look out for you."
He curls up in her bed again that night, and he definitely doesn't mind it when she breathes his name in her sleep.
xi. On his three month New York anniversary, he's thrilled to hear that Kurt and Rachel are once again on speaking terms, and everything feels good. He has a job working at a deli, and though it's not exactly big bucks, it's something, and he gets free coffee whenever he wants it (even if he doesn't like the stuff).
His mom calls a lot to give him updates about Quinn and the baby. It turns out that Puck's trying again, and though he hates both of them, he's still glad that she doesn't have to raise Beth on her own.
Rachel visits him during his shift, and while she's looking at the menu on the wall, he watches her bite her lip in thought, and he realises that he loves her. She catches him staring and sticks out her tongue, and that only confirms his suspicions; he's crazy about the girl, and he has a good feeling that she likes him too.
They kiss a lot. They don't make out, or do anything else for that matter, but sometimes they'll be watching a movie when she'll lean over and brush her lips over his for a second, and that'll be it. Sometimes he'll be staring at her while she makes a sandwich, and she'll peck him on the mouth before she grabs the lettuce from the fridge. Sometimes he'll wake up to her smiling face, and she'll kiss him before taking a shower.
Yeah, they sleep in the same bed now. She told him it was because the couch was too small for him, but he likes to think otherwise.
He decides he's going to ask her to be his girlfriend once his shift is over, and he even writes a little message on her coffee order, followed by his attempt at a heart. He sees the way her eyes light up, and he knows, he just knows, that she feels that too.
"See you later, baby," she smiles, and she blows him a kiss as she leaves. His boss tells him he should totally hit that, and he plans to, he does.
xii. He buys her flowers. That's not a new thing, since he sometimes picks them up for her when he's feeling super awesome, and so he knows which she likes the most. She likes all flowers, apparently, but she looks happiest when he gets her tulips, so he buys her the biggest bunch he can afford and almost skips down the street in excitement.
This is it, this is the moment, and he slides his key into the door to find her sitting on the couch, painting her toenails. She blows them briefly as she gives him a wave, and she barely acknowledges the flowers that are held nervously in his grasp.
"Did you have a nice day at work?"
He can feel himself shaking like a leaf, so he tries to keep his voice steady. "Yeah. Can I talk to you about something?"
"Sure." She doesn't look up as she adds a second coat, and he resists the urge to throw the polish out of the window to gain her attention.
"I uh, I got you flowers."
"Thanks, baby." She still doesn't look up, and he feels a tightness around his heart. "You're so lovely. Kurt never gets me flowers."
He thinks that's an odd thing to say, but he tries to ignore it as he puts them in water (he hopes they last for a while, since he definitely paid for that luxury). "Can you stand up, or like, look at me?"
He hears her giggle under her breath, and she quickly blows on her toenails once more before she jumps up and takes his hands. "What is it? Is it Quinn?"
"What? No, I haven't heard from her since the day she came here." At that, he runs a thumb over her cheek; he thinks he'll never get the sound of the slap out of his head. "No, it's- I need to tell you something."
"Okay." She smiles brightly, and he knows it; one day he's gonna get lost in her eyes.
"I love you."
He waits for her reaction. He expects her to swoon or cheer or scream or something, but she doesn't look like she's affected by it. In fact, she barely bats an eyelid as she squeezes his hands. "I love you too. What did you want to tell me?"
He feels like the wind has been knocked from his stomach, but no, she said she loves him too, so that's good, that's awesome! "Y-you do?"
Rachel raises an eyebrow as she grins at him. "Of course I do! You're my big brother, Finn, of course I love you."
This time, the punch to the stomach hits his heart on the way there, and he drops her hands in an instant. "I'm you're what?"
"You're my big brother, and I'm your little sister, just like Kurt is your little brother, and-"
"No." He shakes his head and grits his teeth, because there is no way in hell that she can believe that. "You've got to be kidding me."
"I don't think of you as my sister," he hisses, and it makes him feel sick just saying it. "God, I- Are you serious?"
She stares at him and opens her mouth to speak, but for a moment, nothing comes out. "Y-yes," she whispers. "Yes, you're my brother, I..."
"So you kiss Kurt, then?"
"On the lips?"
She falters again. "No, but-"
"And do you sleep in his bed and kiss his neck when you think he's asleep?"
Her eyes widen as colour rises in her cheeks. "N-no."
"Do you play with his hair when he's sad, or rub his shoulders when he's stressed? Do you stare at his lips while biting your own?"
"Finn, stop it."
"No," he snaps. "No, because you're supposed to be my friend, my best friend, and you're not supposed to lie to me."
"I'm not l-lying."
"Stop it!" He throws his hands in the air in frustration, and when Rachel takes a step backwards, he grabs her and presses his lips to hers. He feels her stiffen, and so he tries to tease her mouth open, and when she relaxes and grants him access, he slips his tongue inside and brushes it over her own.
He's never kissed her like this before, and she wraps her arms around his neck as she reciprocates. She pulls him closer and yanks on his hair, and he runs his hands over her ass and grinds his hips against hers.
"I love you," she whimpers against his lips, and he pauses to look into her eyes.
"I love you, I have since we very first met, and I didn't want to ruin this, ruin our friendship, if you didn't feel the same." She bites her lip and Finn groans before he's the one biting it for a change, and she lets out a heady moan that goes straight to his crotch.
"So you're done with this little sister nonsense?" he whispers, and when she grabs him through his jeans, he takes that as a yes.
"Make love to me, baby."
He does just that, and he takes his time (he has all the time in the world) to show her how beautiful she is. He covers her bare breasts in open mouthed kisses, and revels in the way she pants out his name. He runs his tongue down her stomach and dips it into her belly button, and he can't help but chuckle when she curses for teasing her. He holds her close and tells her, over and over, that he loves her, and he kisses away the tears because it's her very first time, and he doesn't mean to hurt her. He calls her his honey, his sweetheart, and the pained whimpers become moans of pleasure, and he manages to bring her over the edge as he tells her that she's the most beautiful girl he's ever known.
When they share a bed that night, they're both naked, and he falls asleep to Rachel humming him a lullaby before she whispers that she'll never, ever hurt him.
xiii. "We have something to tell you," Rachel says over breakfast, and Kurt looks up from his cereal to give her an accusatory glare.
"No!" she squeaks, and she looks at Finn in confusion, since it didn't sound like a joke. "Finn and I re an item, and I hope this doesn't come between us because I know that he's your-"
"Is this a windup?"
Finn shakes his head. "What are you talking about?"
Kurt scoops up a spoonful of bran and swallows it quickly. "You honestly believe that I haven't known for months that the two of you are dating? You're about as unsubtle as a..." He licks his lips and shrugs. "It's still early, I can't think of a comment that's suitably hurtful."
"But we only admitted last night that we love each other," says Finn with a frown, and Kurt hangs his head in his hands.
"You two are unbelievable. I thought it was obvious! I mean you, Rachel Berry, could barely keep your hands off him, and what was with all the kissing?"
Rachel blushes as she shoots Finn a smile. "I was just being friendly."
"Quite." He finishes the rest of his cereal before he kisses the top of Rachel's head. "I'm happy for you both, and so long as it doesn't end in tears, I'm fine with being your maid of honour," he looks to Finn, "and your best man. Now I need to get ready for class, so if you could excuse me."
And with that, Kurt leaves them alone as he hums to himself, and they both burst into laughter before one thing leads to another, and Rachel ends up sitting in his lap as she adds another three hickeys to the collection on his neck.
xiv. On the sixth month anniversary of his arrival in New York, Finn manages to get the day off to do some shopping, and with a small sum of money in his pocket, he walks into the first jewellery store he sees.
By the end of the day, he's been in seven different ones, and he's no closer to finding the perfect engagement ring. He decides to try again some other time, and when he returns to any empty apartment, it hits him like a tonne of bricks. He looks through all of his possessions, and when he finds his grandma's old ring tucked inside one of his socks, he almost tears up (almost, but not quite).
He never gave it to Quinn. She'd demanded a brand new one when he'd offered her the heirloom, and who was he to deny the love of his life that?
Except she hadn't been, not by a long shot, because Rachel Berry has occupied his heart forever, and his life with Quinn seems like a distant memory.
He runs a finger over the tiny jewels set into the band of the ring, and as he stuffs it in his pocket, Rachel bursts into the room. Her eyes are red and puffy, and he doesn't say anything as he pulls her onto the bed to hold her close.
"Finn," she sobs, "Finn, I, we-"
"Sssssh." He runs a hand up and down her back. "I'm here, honey, it's okay."
"I got offered a role on Broadway."
xv. He bumps into her on the way to the theatre. At first, he almost doesn't recognise her with such short hair, and Beth has grown a lot, but she stops him to say hi, and he manages some semblance of a smile.
"I can't believe it's you," she says in awe, and he just nods. "You look good."
"Thanks." He doesn't offer her the same compliment, and she slumps a little at that. "Sorry, I'm gonna be late for something. Bye."
He doesn't wait to hear her reply, and thankfully, he doesn't feel anything. There are no lingering feelings, no regrets or what ifs, because he's about to see his girl perform for the very first time in Wicked, and his heart is already overflowing for his love for Rachel; there's no room for anyone else in there.
She blows him away, but she kind of blows everyone away. Kurt cries practically the whole way through, and when the show comes to an end, Finn is the first to jump from his seat and cheer for his girl, his girl. The two of them are invited back stage, and while Rachel sucks the air from Finn's lungs with one of the most epic kisses of all time, Kurt gets introduced to some boy named Sam, and the two of them hit it off while Finn tries to convince her to try dressing room sex.
She has a party to go to, though, to celebrate how amazing she was. "Are you going to go, Finn?" she asks with a twinkle in her eye, and she squeezes his hand as he grins.
"Sure, why not?"
xvi. Finn's been living in New York for a whole year when Kurt announces that he's moving out. Things are getting serious with his boyfriend, and after giving a huge speech about how he can't bear to be around two manic sex fiends for any longer, he gathers up his things, and Sam helps him load them into a cab.
"I love you both so much," he says before he leaves, and Finn hugs him tightly until the cab driver complains about the delay, and Rachel kisses her friend's cheek. They wave him off before returning to their apartment, and then it's Rachel's turn to cry when she realises that they actually have the place to themselves.
"I'm never going to get over this," she whines, and she wipes her eyes roughly on a tissue. "I'm going to miss him forever."
Finn forces her up against the stove until she cries out his name in ecstasy, and she soon forgets about Kurt when he dedicates the night to making her happy.
xvii. He's been preparing for this night for so long, and even now, as he tries to choose which shirt to wear, he can feel his whole body shaking with nerves. It's only a little proposal; it's no big deal, right?
He checks for the hundredth time that the ring is still in his pocket, and as he tends to the precious nut roast he's been caring for in the oven, he almost hits his head on the kitchen counter when Rachel dashes into the kitchen.
"Honey, what's wrong?" He looks her up and down because she promised him she was in rehearsals all day, and now she's gone and ruined the whole surprise.
"I had to come and see you," she pants, and he presses a hand to her forehead.
"Are you sick? I thought you said it was nothing this morning?"
"It wasn't, or at least, it's nothing to worry about." She takes a deep breath and places her hands on his arms, and damn, if she proposes first he's gonna be pissed. "Finn, baby..."
"What is it?"
The nut roast begins to burn, but he barely flinches when the smoke detector goes off because he refuses to let go of Rachel as he tells her, over and over, that he loves her.
xviii. "I look ridiculous," she moans, and as she tries to bend over to pick up her slippers, she suddenly bursts into tears, and Finn is by her side in a second.
"Sweetheart, Rach, are you okay? Is the baby alright?"
"Yes," she promises, but the tears don't stop. "I'm so ugly, Finn." She looks away from him, and all Finn can do is open and close his mouth.
She has to be kidding. She's the most beautiful little thing he's ever seen, and nothing has changed now that she's seven months pregnant. Sure, her boobs are bigger and her stomach is pretty huge, but she's also glowing, and whenever he thinks about the baby inside her, he gets really emotional (okay, he's only cried a few times).
He knows she won't listen to him though. He loves her, but Rachel is stubborn, and he knows there's only one way he can prove it.
Sticking his hand in his pocket, he pulls his grandma's ring out and holds it out to her in one of the least romantic scenarios ever (but it's okay, that's not the point of it anyway). "Marry me." He doesn't ask her to because it's an order, and there's no way he's going to let her say no.
Her eyes shine over with tears again, and she looks at his face to see if he's being serious, and when he nods, a lopsided grin on his face, she bites her lip (he still loves that) and cups his face in her hands before kissing him hungrily. "Sure, why not?"
He spends the rest of the night proving to her that she's anything but ugly, and as his tiny, pregnant girlfriend falls asleep in his arms, he thanks God for bringing him his soulmate.
xix. The labour is long, and sometimes Finn worries that Rachel's gonna be in more pain that most women, 'cause he doesn't understand how someone so small can produce a full grown baby.
He stays by her side the whole time to wipe away her tears and remind her that she's loved, and as she gives her final push, their baby cries for the very first time, and the doctor tells them it's a girl.
Finn feels like a girl when he cries in front of all the nurses and hospital staff, but Rachel cries too, and they simply hold each other while their little thing is cleaned up.
That's what it is, a tiny little thing, and when the doctor offers her to Rachel, she shakes her head and nudges Finn. "You take her."
He watches in amazement as he's handed their baby girl, with her perfect fingers and toes and ears and nose, and he just stares at her, unable to understand how he was involved in making such a perfect person. He's nothing special, not really, but when he sees the way Rachel is looking at him, he thinks that maybe he is after all.
"What should we call her?" he whispers, 'cause he doesn't want to wake her up.
"Annie," says Rachel, her eyes sparkling. "We should call her Annie."
"Annie." He coos her name as he runs a finger down his daughter's face. "Our little Annie Hudson."
xx. He doesn't realise that he'd fallen asleep until he jumps awake at one in the morning. He's vaguely aware of the hospital surroundings, and like a flash, it hits him that he's a dad, and he glances around in panic for his baby.
For a moment, he expects to see her being held by Puck, or some other faceless man, and he expects to be told that he's not the father, but all he sees is Rachel watching Annie in her arms. She's whispering something to her, and holding his breath, Finn perches on the edge of the bed.
"You'll really love him, Annie. He's a bit of a dork and he's a little too tall, but you'll love your daddy." Rachel smiles at him, absolutely exhausted, and Finn presses a kiss to her cheek. "I fell in love with him when I was nine years old," she continues, and she rocks the baby softly, "and every day I wake up and love him a little bit more, just like I'm going to love you more with every moment we spend together."
She presses a kiss to Annie's head, and Finn helps her place the baby in the crib beside her. He knows he's gonna become addicted to her, and though he wants to hold her forever, Rachel's eyes begin to close, and he figures he should take care of his other girl first. She shuffles up so he can slip under the blankets, and as he holds her, he kisses her hair.
"For what?" she asks with a yawn.
"For giving me everything I ever wanted, especially sex on the kitchen stove."
She playfully slaps his chest with a giggle, and when she buries her face against his chest and breathes out how much she loves him, he knows he's found his home in Rachel Berry; he can't wait until she's a Hudson too.