AN: I present to you the final installment of this story.
Santana slaps him when he returns to New York. He doesn't blame her.
He's life's a mess again. It's like nothing has changed, as if his time with Rachel was just a dream, and now he's awake in the real world-back to life, back to reality.
He sleeps on Santana's couch while he's looking for a new place to stay. He accepted the fact that he'll probably never have "home" again and just live alone for the rest of his life.
He's tempted to ask Santana about Rachel, given that she and Brittany always talk. But she'll probably just slap him again. Maybe it's better like this, not knowing, because that allows him to think of a world where Rachel miraculously starts talking and they live happily ever after. It gives him some sort of hope.
He misses Hope too, and wonders how the little kitty is doing without a father. He hates the thought of abandoning both her and Rachel, even though he did it for the best.
He never spends a day without thinking about her.
One day he gets a letter in the mail at his new apartment. The moment he saw the loopy handwriting he knew it was from her.
He opens the letter delicately, treasuring the fact that his Rachel sent him something. To his surprise it's more than one letter, each are short and written consecutively after the other.
I am so sorry for leaving you without an explanation, but I just couldn't bear it. Telling you would make the separation more real, and with one look at your face I know I'll falter. Even more so, I am sorry for failing you. You put all your faith in me and supported me from the beginning. You've always called me a star, and I let you down. Our entire future, our dreams, all depended on tonight, and I ruined it for us. It wasn't the faces of the audience that hurt me the most tonight, it was yours. You still looked at me with so much love, and I wondered why? I don't deserve you. My voice is broken and needs to be repaired. I guess I'm more afraid of the aftermath. If only faith would be so kind, then I'll go back to you in a heartbeat.
PS. I know the chances of me sending this is slim, but I want you to know that I'll never stop loving you.
He's confused for a moment, not quite comprehending what it is she wrote him. Then he realizes that this was written on that night. How could she think that she was the one that let him down? All this time, he's been blaming himself, when there she was doing the same. He thought they were stronger than this, that nothing could tear them apart. But that life, a life with her on stage, was all they knew. So when they both thought it was the end of that, they both took it to heart. But just the fact that they were able to connect again, without those dreams, makes him believe that maybe, just maybe they were even stronger than he'd once believed. If only for a second.
The rest of the collection tells about her life in Lima and ends right before her surgery. A couple days later, he gets another batch of letters, this time ranging from the day her voice cracked to the day she moved to LA. He wonders for a moment, why is she sending him this? But after a few more days of getting more batches of short letters during their time apart that he realizes that these letters, are her way of answering the questions that have been on his mind since that night. Slowly, with each letter, the pieces are coming together. He learns more about her side of the story, what she went through, how she changed.
One day he gets a batch that seem all too familiar yet another lifetime ago.
My nightmares finally came true today. You found me, and never in a million years did I want you to see me this way. Right now, I feel more of a loser than I had ever felt in high school, because at least I had my voice back then. Something in you irks me, it's almost like you changed as well. It's your eyes; they seem as though they are lost in the endless world of emptiness. I guess that makes two of us. Do yourself a favor Finn, let me go. Maybe if you do, you wouldn't be so lost.
You moved in today. You've always been so determined to get what you want, it's one of the things we had in common. You always know what buttons to press too. For some reason, I can't keep my guard up from you. I know it's wrong for me to still have that longing for you, especially when I know that you can't love me back.
She keeps this attitude up for a couple more batches, and his heart breaks once more for her. However, slowly, the letters become more hopeful. She writes about Hope, his dad's cake, and more about their developing relationship. With each ongoing letter, he catches a glimpse of his Rachel.
You told me you loved me after we made love on our date. Everything was perfect, but it wasn't the beach that made it perfect, nor the airplane cups. It wasn't even the beautiful sound of "Faithfully" that made this night the most perfect night of my life. It was the fact that I shared it with you, the fact that we connected in the most intimate way possible. For so long, I never thought that this was possible again. I had thought that, the moment I lost my voice, you wouldn't love me again. I couldn't have been more wrong. It was stupid of me, because these past months alone prove that we can make it. Actions have always spoken louder than words, because it is through our actions that we become the person we are. Sometimes, words don't mean a thing. I wanted to tell you that I loved you back so badly. The words were on the tip of my tongue, so close to coming out, but I just couldn't do it. Everything was so perfect Finn, too perfect to be true.
To his surprise, the next letter has literally only one of her letters in it. However, it is divided into two parts, the first one being crossed off with an x, but still legible.
I guess the secret is out, I am a selective mute. There are a lot of things I don't know. I don't know why Barbra isn't worshiped as much as she should be. I don't know why New York uses horses as means of transportation. One of the things I do know is fear, and I let that consume me. I tasted failure before, and I was so afraid of failing again, that I stopped trying. The thing is, when I'm with you, I'm don't see a reason to be afraid anymore.
It dawns on him that this must be what Rachel must have been writing, that day when he left. She's obviously never had the intention of showing him this, all of these letters, until now. Despite the fact that the second part of the letter isn't cross out, it's even harder to read due to the fact that it's covered in tears.
Heartbreaks never get easier the fourth time around do they? Brit called and told me why you left. Let me tell you something, the doctor doesn't know shit. Who the hell is she to tell me what's good for me and what isn't. She doesn't know me Finn, she doesn't know us, and no damn degree can explain how I feel about you. You always hated thinking that you would be holding me back, but did it ever occur to you that maybe you were pushing me forward? You wanted a reason to stay, so I'll give you one. Until you came again, I had lost hope, but you, you made me believe again, and now you're gone.
He hates thinking that leaving only made things worse but honestly he can't help but question it. He knows he did the right thing though, because if he never left, she would have never sent these to him and come in terms with what happened. In a way, these letters where her therapeutic medication. And sending them to him means that she wants to share these things with him, she's getting back on her feet again.
He comes home on day to a messy apartment. All his drawers were opened and rummaged through, all his clothes were on the ground, yet oddly enough, nothing important seemed to have been stolen.
Suddenly someone comes out of nowhere and blindfolds him. He'd know that grip anywhere. It was Santana.
"What the fuck are you doing?"
"Look fetus-face I'm not kidnapping you, if I were, then you'd be unconscious by now. Now get in the van."
His first instinct is that he's going to die. Obviously getting in van blindfolded against your will isn't exactly reassuring. He figures that if he's going to die, he at least wants to see Rachel one last time. However, as soon as he gets into the van, he smells it. It smells good, like baked goods.
"Where are we going?" he asks.
He lets Santana lead him out of the van and along the cemented pavement. He asks Santana about the loud crowd that's surrounding him but she just ignores him.
When they finally stop walking, he rips off his blindfold. The first thing that catches his eye is the large banner:
Grand Opening in NYC
His heart stops, and the whole thing is just overwhelming. As soon as the realization hits him, he looks for her in the crowd. She's not there. He spots Brittany inside the bakery, he runs inside, ignoring the line and the people who yell at him.
Brittany smiles and greets him when she sees him and all he can say is "Where's Rachel?"
Her smile fades. "She couldn't make it. She said she couldn't handle being in New York again."
"Oh." He says, trying to hide the sound of his lost hope as his heart shatters into million pieces. He didn't even consider the fact that maybe Rachel didn't want him to come running back to her. Maybe this time, truly was the last. "So uh, why New York? Why'd did you open up another bakery here?"
"It's obvious isn't it?" Santana answers out of now where, taking Brittany's hand and lacing it with her own.
"Oh, right. I'm really happy for you." He tells them, despite the how jealous he is by the fact that they will probably get their 'happily ever after' and he won't.
"Come, sit down and have a pastry. It's on us." Brittany tells him, and leads him to a chair.
"Thanks." He mutters as she places a Finchel Pastry in front of him. He almost doesn't want to eat, because that would only remind him even more of what he had, and more importantly, what he lost. Suddenly, the whole bakery is staring at him. Not wanting to be rude, he slowly takes a bite.
It doesn't taste like the Finchel pastry that the bakery usually makes. It tastes different. It tastes exactly like the one he and Rachel made on the night of its creation. It has that emotion, that passion, that love in it. Rachel made this pastry. He takes another bite, to get that feeling again. His third bite is different. As he takes a bite, his teeth grab something hard. He carefully takes the solid out of his mouth and cleans the cream of it with his napkin. It's a ring. He heart thumps as he focuses in more on it. It has a heart-shaped diamond in channel setting with six smaller round diamonds. He knows that description by heart, and would know that ring anywhere. It's Rachel's engagement ring.
He draws his attention away from the ring when he starts sneezing. Feeling something rub against his leg, he looks down and sees Hope. He immediately picks her up and gives her a kiss on the nose, even though he makes him sneeze again. Hope's collar draws his attention right away. She's wearing a yellow ribbon again. She hasn't worn one since he and Rachel bought her a proper one way too long ago. There's something written on the collar, something too long to be Hope's name. He turns his head a little to better read what is inscribed on it.
Will you marry me?
He suddenly feels her presence. It's a feeling that goes with being tethered to someone, you always can feel them. He looks up and sees her standing across the table. He gently places Hope down, and slowly walks over to Rachel.
"Hi." He says when he's only a couple steps away from her. She smiles, and bites her lips. "So I, umm… god Rach, there's so much I want to say…"
She cuts him off right there with her lips on his. He gladly kisses her back, pulling her in closer. All the things that he needed to tell her are being said right then and there, with his lips on hers.
He would have kissed her all day if Santana hadn't shouted "horrifying" once their kisses started getting more 'out there'. He momentarily pulled away to glance over at Santana, who was smiling at them. "What are you waiting for? Put a ring on it! I didn't go through all that effort of stealing the ring from Finn's sock dresser for it to just sit on the table while you too make out."
Taking the off the table, after wiping it a few more times of course, he took her hands and rubbed his thumbs against them. He met her eyes, her two dark brown soulful eyes, the eyes so different from the first time he saw them again after the incident. Ever so gently, he took her left hand, and placed the ring back into its rightful place. He then picked up her and spun her around before crashing his lips on hers.
"I'd hate to break up this whole romantic scene, but if we don't hurry up, we're going to be late." Santana said again.
"Late for what?" He said between kisses, still not getting enough of his fiancée.
It wasn't exactly a wedding, but they did get married inside the courthouse, right after they bought their wedding rings at Zales.
He wore a simple tux while she wore a simple white dress. The whole thing was short and sweet.
He had to admit he was worried, the fact that they were marrying less than an hour after they got engaged was exactly logical. Plus, they're families would kill them if they knew they had eloped with only Santana and Brittany as their witnesses. But truthfully, he didn't think he could wait another day not being married to Rachel.
He doesn't remember the exact words the Justice of the Peace was saying, because all he could focus on was Rachel. Before he knows it, he's sliding another ring on her finger and says "I do."
When it came to Rachel's turn, she too slid a ring on his left hand. Just when he was about to say 'she does' for her (she would have nodded and signed the thing anyways), the most beautiful voice spoke instead. "I do."
While Brittany squealed and Santana gasped, he did what he was then told to do. He kissed her. He kissed her like he never kissed her before, because along with tenderness, love, and power, there was the promise of forever in that kiss.
"I love you." She said as they broke apart.
"I love you too Rach. Now and forever."
Not only did they consummate their marriage that night, but they christened every single surface of their home.
They talked too. They said what needed to be said, and what should have been said. Despite of what happened, they promised to make communication an important part of their relationship again. Even though there are some things that are given, it's always reassuring to say the obvious. Like how beautiful she is, or how proud she is of him.
She tells him how she's still afraid to sing. He lets her know that it's okay if she never does sing again. He remembers that time during their sophomore year again, when he showed her that everything would be okay if something were to happen to her voice. He isn't like Jesse St Jackass, who was only with her for her voice (and other drama). He'll admit, he does love her singing voice. It was one of the things that first drawn him to her. But it's there's more the love than just her voice. He loves her, not just one part of her, but everything that comes with it. He just wants her to know that.
Instead, she asks him to sing for her. It's been a while since he's sung too, but he'll sing for her anytime.
Saying "I love you" / Is not the words I want to hear from you / It's not that I want you/ Not to say, but if you only knew / how easy / It would be to show me how you feel
It's a bit ironic, his song choice. It wasn't too long ago that he was pushing her to talk, now here he is, singing to her how she should do something more than just tell him how much she loves him. His pretty sure hearing those words from her are is one of the best things in life.
More than words / Is all you have to do to make it real / Then you wouldn't have to say that you love me / 'Cause I'd already know
What would you do if my heart was torn in two / More than words to show you feel / That your love for me is real
What would you say if I took those words away / Then you couldn't make things new / Just by saying "I love you"
He just wants her to know that he knows how much she loves him. He's always known, and he's a fool to ever doubt that. Words or no words, voice or no voice, he knows.
On their four-month-anniversary, he takes her out to Sardis.
Things in New York are finally getting into shape. Rachel and Brittany officially moved out of LA, leaving the Star Bakery there in the hands of a trusted employee while still checking in from time to time.
It's a bit hard, taking her to the birthplace of the Tony awards. He wonders if he made a mistake by taking her there, but she was the one who suggested in the first place.
She's made some progress too. She decided that just because her career didn't turn out the way she had planned, doesn't mean that she should stop loving Broadway. In fact, last month, he took her to Rock of Ages. Still, she hasn't made any attempts to sing, but he understands that. All he wants, is to be the supportive husband she needs.
He loves referring to her as his wife. He loves having Rachel be called 'Mrs. Hudson.' He just loves being married.
He's caressing her rings (something he does often) when he notices Rachel's a little down.
"Hey," he starts, placing his hand on her cheek. "What's wrong?"
She sighs as she leans her face into the comfort of his hand. "It's nothing Finn."
"You and I both know that isn't the truth. Come on, tell me."
"It's just that, do you remember the first time we came here?"
"Of course I do. I don't think I could ever forget."
"Do you remember what you said to me?"
"Yeah." He chuckled. "I told you how pretty you looked."
"No, after that. Finn, you told me how you liked how I dreamed so big, and how you didn't know how to."
"I still don't, but that's what I got you for. You are my dream, you let me be me. A life without you Rach, is not a life worth living."
"That's really sweet Finn, but do you remember what happened next? Patti, the Ms. Lupone, came up and talked to us. She specifically told me to 'never give up'. I don't know… I just… I just feel like I did."
"Hey, baby don't cry." He said as his hand began wiping the tears that were emerging. "It'll be okay. You've come a long since that night. It's just like a race you know? When you fall, you have to get back up. But you can't just expect to be sprint right away; you gotta ease up into it. Then, when you're ready, then you can sprint past the finish line."
"Do you think, that I can still shine? Even after what happened?"
"That's the thing about stars. Sometimes it gets too cloudy, that you can't see how bright they are. But they never stop shining. All you need, is to clear the clouds to see them shine again."
Kurt flips when he finds out a week later.
He and Blaine both decide to randomly visit one day to surprise him souvenirs from their world travel. Apparently, they were in for a surprise themselves. As far as they've known, Finn was still living a miserable life in New York alone.
"So you mean to tell me that you two eloped?"
"And you," Kurt continues, pointing to Rachel, "can talk now?"
"Well it appears so. I must admit that the whole 'not talking' phase was a bit overdramatic, but that's Rachel Hudson for you. She never lets a day pass without earning her rightful title of being the Queen of Drama."
"Tell me about it." Finn adds as he wraps an arm around her. "The other night, she yelled at me for feeding Hope some tuna, then lectured me on the importance of a 'natural diet' when the cat was the one who jumped on the counter and ate my tuna sandwich while I was in the bathroom."
"Finn, now that Hope's growing we have to adapt to her needs! I will not have my little girl turn into a carnivore like her father!"
"Here we go again."
"Look," Blaine interrupts, "I'm just happy you two finally have things figured out. I'm really happy for you guys."
"I personally have never been happier in my entire life. I'm not going to lie, being married is hard. I mean with all that stress from work, you still have the fighting over the littlest of things, and of course, our past makes things, complicated. Nevertheless, I absolutely love being married. I don't think I could ever go back. The fact of the matter is, just to be able to come home to him, to sleep next to him at night, and just to know that we'll grow old together. It's funny, because this is something I've always known, but now, its reality." Rachel says.
"How could you do this to your own brother?" Kurt states shaking his head, still evidently in disbelief.
"What do you mean Kurt?"
"First, you guys get engaged in high school. Then, you stay engaged for eight years. And when you finally get your act together, you go off and elope and didn't tell me about?"
"No! You promised me you would let me plan your wedding dammit!"
"Is that what is? Is it because I didn't approve of your engagement over ten years ago? Ugh you guys never do anything right! Whether you like it or not, I am giving you a proper wedding! One with a proper ceremony, with bridesmaids, and oh- we can get your dress at Kleinfeld! I would love to make you a custom made dress, but with such a tight schedule, I'm not sure I would have time to finish. Plus, I would love to give Randy a piece of my mind…"
"Okay! I get it! Rachel Hudson…" Finn said, getting down on one knee yet again to the love of his life, "Will you marry me, again?"
"Yes Finn Hudson," she replied giggling, "I would love to marry you, again."
They get married again in Lima, with all their family and friends present.
Even though Kurt goes all out for their wedding, it's still tied with their first ceremony. What can he say he's a really sentimental guy? It's still perfect though. But it isn't the flowers, or the rabbi, or even their family and friends that make it perfect. It's Rachel.
"Alright everybody!" she announces on stage during the reception. "It's Rachel Hudson here, and even though this may not be our first marriage ceremony, it still means a lot having everyone here. As you all know, Finn and I have been through so much, both together and apart. However, no matter what life put us through, we were always destined to be together. Growing up, I've always been a talker. In fact, many of you have often told me that I talk too much. But as many of you know, I stopped talking for a while, because of what happened nearly three years. I was a mess, I was sure I had lost my way. I had given up. That is until Finn came back into my life. I had the honor of falling in love with him again in an entirely different way. Finn Hudson, words can never describe how much you mean to me, but I'll try to show you, the only way I know how."
It's amazing how you can speak right to my heart
His own heart starts beating faster and faster, something it only does in response to that sound. Is this real life? Is Rachel, his Rachel, singing?
Without saying a word, you can light up the dark
She sounds perfect, as if nothing has happened. It still has that emotion to it; it's almost as if it's alive again. If anything, it's gotten better, considering this isn't really her typical style of singing.
Try as I may, I could never explain
What I hear when you don't say a thing
She's smiling at him with every musical note and he smiles back, absorbing every word she sings to him. Music is what brought them together, and it is through music that he understands. Music helped build and strengthen the tether that will forever tie them together. This tether, it connects them, such in a way words can never define. He's never really been good with words. He had severe cases of word vomit more time than he can admit, but she knows how she means to him, and he knows she feels the same. Love, it isn't something logical, something you can decipher with a formula or textbook. Love is much deeper than that. It only takes a few seconds to say 'I love you', but it can take a lifetime to prove it.
The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes, saying you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me, whenever I fall
You say it best,
When you say nothing at all
"Where is she? Oh dear lord that child wasn't due for another two weeks!" Kurt screamed.
"Hold up, there is no way I am going to let you see my goddaughter before me."
"Santana, there is no god damn way you are holding her before me. I am the child's uncle for heaven's sake."
"Please, that child wouldn't even be here if it weren't for me!"
"Umm hello? I do recall Paris being a one-year wedding anniversary present from moi."
"Hey, you and I both know that Finn and Rachel bang any chance they get. There's no guarantee that she was conceived in Paris."
"Guys!" Blaine intercepted, playing peacemaker yet again. "Look, why can't we all just be supportive for Finn and Rachel's sake. Look here Finn comes now."
"Hey guys! How'd you guys like to see the newest edition of the Hudson family?"
"Goodness Rachel, she's beautiful." Kurt whispered as he let his niece instinctively curl her fingers against his finger while she was sleeping in the arms of her mother. "What's her name?"
"Melody Briana Hudson." Rachel said proudly. "Melody of course for its musical meaning, and Briana after her godmothers."
"See, what did I tell you?" Santana smirked, right before being elbowed by Brittany.
"Look who I just found." Finn called from the door, with Puck and Quinn following behind hand-in-hand.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, when did this happen, again?" Kurt asked.
"Well if you must know," Quinn started, rolling her eyes, "Puck and I got reacquainted with one another at Finn and Rachel's wedding over a year ago."
"Yeah, sure, reacquainted... that's just about right." Puck added. "Look, I was sick of touring around the country and all that rock star shit, so I decided to, you know, settle down… in San Francisco… with Quinn."
"Well I am very happy, for the both of you. I must say, it means a lot to us that you flew all the way here early for our little girl." Rachel stated.
"Oh Rachel, she's perfect, and she's so healthy!" Quinn exclaimed. "May I hold her?"
"Of course, Doctor Fabray." Rachel replied, handing her baby in the arms of Quinn.
"Well I guess you were both wrong." Blaine said to a pouty Kurt and Santana.
"Aunt Tana is next! I called it!"
"She looks just like you Berry." Puck said next to Quinn, gently stroking Melody's head, ignoring Rachel's 'Hudson' reply. "I'd say she's the second cutest baby in the world."
"I just got off the phone with our parents and they just got off the airport. A bunch of other people called and said they were coming too, I guess they couldn't wait to see our Finchel baby." Finn said.
"Great." She replied as he pecked her on the lips.
"You did such a great job Rach. Melody's our most precious gift. And don't worry, I'm sure Hope will love her just as much." He beamed.
"So Rachel…" Brittany interrupted just as the two were about to go in for another kiss. "In these past few years alone, you: lost your voice, opened both New York's and LA's most popular bakery, got engaged-again, got married less than an hour later, got married-again, finally achieved your dream of being on Broadway, won a tony, got pregnant, and gave birth to your daughter. I guess what the big question is, what you going to do next?"
"I'll tell you what I am going to do. I'm going to take a nap, because I am exhausted. Then, as soon as everyone is gone, and it's nice and quiet, I'm going to rock my daughter to bed."
And she did just that.
Seeing his wife and his daughter together is priceless. He manages to snap a quick picture of the two of them on his phone before Rachel wakes up. Upon seeing him she summons him forward, and has him sit down on the rocking chair while she and Melody sat on his lap. Together they swayed back and forth in silence, listening only to the squeak of the rocking chair as they rock.
Neither of them needed to tell the other how perfect their lives were at the moment. They already knew.
Just a little note, I just had to include a Quick scene, especially with what happened in the last episode. Songs are "More Than Words" by Extreme and "When You Say Nothing At All" version by Alison Krauss (There's like three versions so I stuck with hers since Rachel is a girl).
Anyways, I just want to thank you all for taking the time to read this!