Sorry for the extremely long wait between chapters. I hope to get the next ones up much faster. Enjoy!
She doesn't leap off her chair and into his arms. She doesn't begin crying hysterically saying 'yes, yes, yes' over and over, kissing his face. She doesn't even say 'go to hell, no way'. Rachel says nothing as she stares back and forth between the ring in his hand and his face. She wears a mask of surprise, worry, confusion and, if he's being honest with himself, terror.
"Are you going to say anything?" he asks quietly after what feels like a painstakingly long eternity of silence.
"Why?" Rachel breathes out, voice barely audible though she's only a foot away.
Finn's taken aback by the question. What does she mean why? Because he loves her and wants to spend the rest of his life with her, that's why. "I love you and want to be with you forever. Why does there need to be another reason?"
"Because we're young and still in high school and this all just seems very sudden. This is a big thing, Finn…a big, life changing decision."
Finn takes a deep breath as he tries to compose his thoughts. "Rachel, you're the best thing that has ever happened to me. You accept me for everything I am and help me to be a better man. I love you and I want to be your husband and for you to be my wife because what proves our love more than getting married?"
Rachel looks like she's about to cry and Finn gets off his knee to hug her until she pushes him away and shakes her head. This is it, the moment Rachel turns him down and makes him realize what a fool he is, but he can't let her say no. He needs to at least try one more time.
He closes the ring box and tucks it back in his pocket before grabbing Rachel's hands and holding them, trying not to shake too much. "Before you say anything, I meant every single word I said about you and us. I know we're only in high school still and that it might be hard but…I love you. I just need you to know that."
Rachel tearfully smiles up at him. "I do know that, Finn. I-I just…I need…I need some time, Finn. Can I just have some time to think about all this?"
Finn nods his head solemnly. At least it wasn't a no…yet. "Yeah, of course." He drops one of her hands and rubs the back of his neck before asking the question on his mind. "How much time exactly?" He doesn't want to push her but it'll drive him crazy to wait without knowing something!
"Give me…give me three days," Rachel says surely. She shakes her head slightly, like she's agreeing with herself that three days is a sufficient amount of time. "Finn, I love you and I really don't want you to take my answer the wrong way-"
"No, Rachel, I get it. It is a big decision that will change our lives. I can wait. I'll wait forever for you if I have to." He gives her a small smile which she reciprocates before leaning up to give him a kiss on the cheek.
"I love you."
"I love you, too."
Rachel's hand slips out of his and she begins to walk away, glancing back at him over her shoulder as she goes. When she's gone he stares out at the empty auditorium and begins to replay everything again in his mind.
The three days tick by slowly. He's not usually one for wearing a watch but he needs to keep a countdown on him at all times. It doesn't make the wait any easier but at least he can keep track of how much longer he has to go.
Since it's the weekend, there isn't much to fill his time and preoccupy him. Normally he hates homework and tries to avoid it at all costs but honestly, he wouldn't mind the distraction now except he has none to do. Kurt isn't any help since he's spending the day with Blaine and Mercedes, his mom wouldn't let him go grocery shopping with her because he tends to want to buy everything he sees, Sam is busy working on something for Mercedes and can't hang out, video games offer no comfort, even sleep doesn't work because he only dreams of Rachel either turning him down and dumping his sorry ass or he gets a hard on and has to rub one out from the raciness in his mind. Then he tries the garage.
He had asked for the weekend off in anticipation that he'd be spending it with Rachel celebrating their engagement but he supposes that idea had been a bit premature. With nothing better to do and time to kill, Finn doesn't mind stopping by. Burt is surprised to see him but allows him to stay nonetheless and he's able to get his mind off Rachel and the fate of his proposal looming over him for a few hours. But that was just Saturday.
Sunday is brutal since the shop closes early and Burt insists he doesn't need him. His mom is making Sunday dinner since everyone will be home but shoos him out of the kitchen since he can only seem to mope and pick at the food she's making, driving her up a wall. He decides to see if Kurt or Sam is busy. Kurt is and apologizes as he closes his door again to work on homework he put off the day before but Sam is sorta free. He says he's going for a run and tells Finn he can join him if he'd like. It's better than nothing so he goes but all he can think about is Rachel. It does nothing to distract his mind.
He's quiet at dinner that night and doesn't speak at all until his mother comments on his sullen mood.
"I'm just tired," he replies, not making eye contact with anyone.
"Finn, you aren't getting sick are you? You've been mopey since Friday," she says back, trying to lean over to feel his forehead. He swats her hand away.
"I'm fine. I'm just tired from my run earlier." He doesn't say anything more and nobody asks him more questions.
When he makes his way upstairs, Kurt stops him just before he enters his room. "What's going on between you and Rachel?"
Finn stiffens and turns to him, trying not to appear guilty. He doesn't know why he should feel guilty. There is nothing to be guilty about. "Nothing. We're great."
"Then why haven't you two spoken since Friday? You haven't even texted."
"How do you know that?"
Kurt looks at him like he is dumb. "She was at Mercedes yesterday when Blaine and I stopped by to discuss Regionals ideas. I was surprised that she wasn't with you and even more surprised when she asked how you were like she didn't know. So spill. What's going on?"
"Nothing, Kurt. We just haven't talked in few days. Is that a crime?" He's getting annoyed by the accusation in Kurt's voice like he has done something wrong. Finn hasn't done anything wrong. "I'm going to bed. I'm really tired. Goodnight." Without another word, Finn slams his door shut and locks it behind him. He doesn't need Kurt on his back now.
For hours that night, Finn thinks about what Rachel's answer will be. He really wants a yes, he wants it so bad that's why he asked. You don't ask someone to marry you if you want the answer to be no, but he has to be prepared for a no. What will it mean if she says no? He will never break up with her but what if it makes her want to break up with him? What if she sees it as a desperate attempt to hold on to her because he knows she can do better? Is it a desperate attempt? No, he loves her, that's why he asked her to marry him. He knows she could do better than a Lima Loser but for some reason, she loves him and doesn't see him as what he knows he is.
When school comes the next morning he's eager about seeing Rachel again. Will she tell him her decision before the three full days are officially up? Will she speak to him at all? He gets his answer when he gets to school and doesn't see Rachel at her locker where they usually met when they arrive.
She keeps quiet whenever they end up near each other throughout the day but when the three days are officially up, Finn finally confronts her. When he asks again she still doesn't have an answer for him which really bums him out. Though she hasn't said the words, it feels like a giant no and it stings.
As she explains why she hasn't committed either way, he realizes that she still doesn't understand why even though he has tried to explain so he says what he feels. They've talked about New York a lot, especially since the football recruitment fell through. He still doesn't know what he wants to do with his life but he knows he wants to do it with Rachel at his side. Rachel is going to New York and he's going with her, but that doesn't mean everything will be honky dory, it's going to be tough which is why he wants to marry her. It will be the reminder they need to help them get through the tough times, the reminder that they love each other and that what they feel now will never change. She thinks it's romantic but still a little crazy. She looks up at him and is about to give an answer when he realizes that he doesn't want an answer for now, he wants one for good.
He tells her to take a few more days because he wants her to be sure of her decision, whatever it is, before kissing her on the cheek and heading down the hallway.
The week takes a drastic turn when Blaine is blinded in one eye. The proposal is still on Finn's mind but now there is another important matter pressing on it and the minds of his friends. They're worried about Blaine and how they'll beat Sebastian and the Warblers in a fair fight and they're working on potential Michael Jackson songs they can perform at Regionals.
Quinn sings a song and gives a speech after explaining how she got into Yale. He's happy for her. Her life has been pretty crazy and it's great to see her getting everything together and making something of herself. He may not be in love with her, but she'll always be his first love. But there's something about how she's talking and looking at Rachel so pointedly. Rachel's head is down and she looks guilty. Had they been talking about the engagement? No, he must be imagining things because the next time he looks at her, she's smiling and bright, just like her usual self.
A few days later Finn is at home alone when the doorbell rings. He jogs downstairs to find Rachel at his door, her eyes and nose a little red and puffy.
"Hi," she squeaks out.
"Hey, Rachel, what's a matter?" He opens the door wider and allows Rachel to come in. She tugs off her coat and hangs it up before rubbing her arms and looking up at him. Rachel steps closer to him for a hug and he wraps his arms around her tiny body. Her tears soak into his shirt and now he's really worried and confused. "Rachel, you're freaking me out. What's going on?"
"Can we sit down?" Finn nods and let's her lead them to the couch. They sit down and Rachel stares at the floor until she gets her wits about her finally. "Kurt got his letter today. He's a finalist for NYADA." She wipes her nose with a tissue from the side table then looks at him.
He understands what this means to her. "I'm sure your letter is coming, Rachel. You're amaz-"
"I'm not getting one. It's over. I gave them the best I had but it wasn't enough."
Finn takes her hand and kisses the back of it before putting his arm around her shoulder and tugging her close. "Rachel, you are the co-captain of glee club, the star of the school musical, a straight A student, you volunteer, you're involved in a million other things and you're the most talented actress and the best singer I've ever seen or heard. If NYADA doesn't agree that you would be a great addition to their school then who needs 'em? You're going to make it; you're too talented and driven not to."
Rachel just shakes her head and buries her face into Finn's side. "No. I'm not getting in."
"But you're still going to New York." He tilts her chin up and looks down at her. "Remember what Patti said? Never give up. You don't need to worry, Rach. You're going to get into that school." She smiles weakly at him but something in her eyes tells him she still doesn't fully believe him. He kisses her lightly but soon Rachel deepens it, climbing into his lap.
Rachel runs her fingers through his hair and he holds her sides firmly to lay her out on the couch. He smoothes his hand around to her stomach, then to her thigh to push her dress up, but the slam of the front door breaks them apart before anything further can happen.
"Carole? Kurt? Finn? Sam?" Burt's voice calls from the door.
Finn shoots up on the couch and stands quickly as Rachel rights herself as well and smoothes her dress down to better cover her legs. "Uh, just Finn," he calls. Seconds later Burt walks into the living room. "Kurt's at Blaine's, Sam is hanging out with Rory, and my mom isn't home from work yet."
"Oh, okay." He notices Rachel wiping her eyes. "Everything okay here?"
Finn looks down at Rachel. "Yeah, it'll be fine. It's just an emotional day." He smiles at Burt to reassure him.
"Yeah." He looks back at Rachel and an idea pops into his head. "I think we're just going to visit Blaine for a bit. Get out of the house for a while."
"Okay. Tell Kurt he needs to be home by dinner for me, will ya?" Burt claps him on the shoulder. "Afternoon Rachel."
"Hello, Mr. Hummel," Rachel replies, modestly waving and smiling at him. He walks toward the kitchen and Finn puts his hand out for Rachel to take.
"Are we really going to Blaine's?"
"Yeah. I was gonna stop by and see how he's doing. Plus I need to tell Kurt about dinner. You're welcome to come with me. I wish you would. We haven't spent much time together lately."
Rachel bites her lip and nods her head. "Well, if we're going to visit Blaine, I need to stop at home first. I made some homemade chicken noodle soup that I wanted to bring him."
Finn smiles and tugs Rachel into his arms. "I love you," he mumbles against her lips before molding his mouth to hers.
As they leave Blaine's house to take Rachel home, Finn realizes what he should do. Rachel still hasn't given him an answer. They haven't even discussed the proposal again since the initial three days were up. However, when Rachel calls Kurt to tell him they're on their way over, she suggests singing some Michael to Blaine to cheer him up. Her idea sets the wheels in Finn's head in motion and once they start he can't stop them. Rachel always identifies best with music, it is her passion, and they have always had a connection through it. Why didn't he think of it before?
Rachel hums along with the radio on the drive back until they arrive at her house. She turns to Finn with a small smile on her face. "Thank you."
"For being there for me, for loving me…for everything."
Finn gives Rachel a half smile before leaning over to pull her close for a kiss. "I love you, Rachel."
"I love you, too." Rachel unbuckles herself and opens the door. "I'll see you tomorrow, Finn. Goodnight." She climbs out of the car and looks back at Finn, smiling, before closing the door and walking into her house.
When Finn arrives home, the first thing he does is look through Michael Jackson's entire music catalogue online. The man has so many great hits but he finds a song that's perfect for what he wants to do, even if it is a duet, and practices it for two days with the musicians before he deems himself ready enough to try it for real.
After Santana's rousing story of her quest for evidence against Sebastian, Finn calls out to borrow Rachel as everyone files out of the room. She seems to act aloof, asking if they're just going to rehearse, until the glee club is gone. Then her tone and topic goes more serious. She knows he's looking for an answer but he needs to say his piece first.
The music starts and he isn't entirely surprised when Rachel joins in. Like always she knows the song perfectly without any rehearsal at all and throughout it he can't help but feel that she's answering him. When they've finished, he's about to tell her that it felt like a yes when she cuts him off. His heart is pounding in his chest so loud he isn't even sure he hears Rachel properly as she speaks so he must ask the question.
"Is that a-?"
"Yes, I will marry you."
Finn frantically digs the ring out of his pocket, trying not to drop it and ruin the moment, and succeeds in placing it firmly on Rachel's left hand. He's so happy he's crying as he hugs Rachel, his fiancée, tightly in his arms.
As his arms slacken, Rachel leans up to kiss him. He can feel everything in that kiss and he gives everything back. When their lips break, he breathes "I love you" against her mouth before kissing her again, her lips breaking into a smile as she throws her arm around his shoulders to hold him closer.
They make out for several minutes until a throat clearing brings them out of their lustful and happy intoxication. They both look toward the source and find Brad standing in the doorway pointing at the clock to remind them that they're needed in the auditorium.
Finn nods in response and Brad leaves them alone, the other musicians already gone. "So now what? D-do we tell everyone today or…?"
"I think for now, we should keep this between us until we can sort everything out. There's still so much to discuss but I know that I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
Finn nods in agreement. As much as he wants to scream it from the rooftops that Rachel said yes, he knows that it's probably best to wait until they can figure everything out. Everyone will have an opinion and try to tell them what they should and shouldn't do and he isn't ready to hear that yet. He just wants to bask in Rachel's love and focus on his fiancée and no one else right now. But he can't. They're needed in the auditorium for whatever Kurt has up his sleeve.
He tries to pull Rachel toward the door but she stops him and undoes her necklace. "What're you doing?"
"If we're going keep this just between us right now, I can't wear my ring. People would notice the beautiful engagement ring that my fiancé picked out sitting perfectly on my ring finger." Finn smiles as Rachel's words lift his spirit even higher. "I'm going to wear it on my necklace until we figure out the appropriate time to begin telling everyone. I'll always have it with me. I promise."
"I love you," Finn says again, giddy as Rachel turns around and pulls her hair away from her neck for Finn to put her necklace back on her. Before she tucks it under the collar of her dress, Rachel holds the ring in her hand tightly to her chest.
"We should go. Everyone is probably wondering where we are." Rachel puts her hand out for Finn to take and he does so gladly. They know they need to get to the auditorium but they take their time getting there. "So, my dads have date night tonight and will be out until at least eleven. You should come over so we can celebrate," she emphasizes the word with a lustful tone.
Finn's mouth cracks into a pleased smirk as he thinks about celebrating with Rachel. There is no way he'd pass up on engagement sex.
"I'll bring the sparkling cider if you bring those lacy black panties I like." He quirks his eyebrow at her and she giggles playfully.
"You've got yourself a deal, Mr. Hudson."
"I like the sound of that, Future Mrs. Hudson." He pulls her in for another kiss.
Yeah, Rachel is going to be the best wife ever.