And this story is slowly (and finally) coming to an end, there is either one or two more chapters left. Thank you all so much for your words of encouragement and sticking with it :)
"Finn that's amazing!" Rachel says in awe, her mind still trying to process the ramifications of Finn's news as she tugs him by the hand, pulling him in for a brief congratulatory kiss. "I'm so happy for you!"
So many questions are swimming around in her head, many questions she's afraid to even voice. She looks at Finn, who is looking back at her with narrowed eyes, no doubt trying to figure out what she's thinking. No doubt wanting to know her view on this.
After all, they have only just established their relationship. Things have finally settled down and this will upset the balance they've had for the past few weeks. Just the thought of opening that can of worms and shifting the bliss they have been so happily enjoying makes Rachel start to panic.
"It's unbelievable," Finn says breathlessly. It seems like it's hitting him all at once as well. He runs his fingers through his tousled hair and then looks at Rachel sheepishly, "I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner. I just wanted to make sure there was something to tell, you know?"
Rachel bites her lip; she should be upset that he kept this from her. But at the same time, she's grateful he did. Who knows how long this has been in the works and she's just getting comfortable with the way things are. She's pretty sure if Finn had told her about this plan to tour a few weeks ago she would be freaking out even more than she is right now. Or at least she would have ran without thinking it through.
Now she's here, sitting on Finn's bed naked. She's not ready to bolt, but she's not ready to deal with her emotions just yet either, "It's okay. The less people know, the less chance of jinxing it, right?"
They both know she's using that as an excuse, but neither of them admit to it. Finn crawls over to the other side of the bed. As he leans back against the headboard, he pulls Rachel to him, his arms going around her waist.
"I guess it worked," Finn says, his voice still filled with awe. As his arms tighten around her waist, he nuzzles her neck, the small bit of scruff he has tickling Rachel's skin.
"Well I'm very happy and proud of you boys." Rachel says softly, despite her own mixed feelings about how this will impact them. She truly is very proud of Finn and his band; she knows how hard they've worked for this big break.
Finn kisses her cheek in thanks, then presses them against the hollow of her neck, his tongue sliding across her bare skin, making Rachel's entire body go slack in his arms. She sighs contently, tilting her head to the side to give Finn better access. As Rachel begins to intertwine her fingers with his, Finn's next words make her body go rigid.
"So what do you think about this?" Finn asks softly, still peppering kisses on her neck. Rachel knows he's only doing that to get her to open up more to him by distracting her so she can't over-think or over-analyze anything.
"I told you. I'm happy for you. This is an amazing opportunity, Finn," Rachel says truthfully, avoiding what Finn is actually asking her. She slips out of his arms and throws a leg over his leg so that she's now facing him, straddling his legs.
"Rachel." Finn says warningly, but it comes out more like a groan because Rachel chooses that moment to let the sheet pool around her waist. She inches closer to him, grinding her body slowly against his.
Rachel places her hand on his shoulders, arching her back as she presses against his growing erection, gasping as she speaks, "You know what I think?"
By now all thoughts of discussing anything to do with Finn's band has left his mind, as his hands automatically go to Rachel's waist and he shakes his head in a daze. Rachel loves that after all this time, she can have such an effect on him. Granted, she is rubbing her naked body against Finn's half naked form.
"I think we should celebrate." Rachel whispers against Finn's ears. She gasps when Finn's hands move up her waist and cups her breasts, squeezing them softly, "Oh Finn."
"You like that baby?" Finn's breath is hot against her ear. As he starts rolling his thumb over Rachel's nipples, he then tugs them, making Rachel scream.
Rachel loves that he knows her body so well. Her nails dig into his collarbone as Finn starts peppering kisses along the hollow of her neck, moving down her chest until he covers one of her breasts with his lips. His teeth graze her sensitive skin, teasing her. His tongue is rolling around her nipple, applying just a bit of pressure, just enough to drive Rachel crazy with need.
"Finn. Please." Rachel begs, not knowing how he turned the tables on her so quickly.
She widens her legs, pressing her hot core against his sweatpants and covered crotch, groaning at the feeling of the coarse material against her soft skin. Rachel's fingers go between their bodies, her hand snaking under the waistband of Finn's sweatpants as she gasps out loud when Finn's bites her nipple lightly, running his tongue over it in a soothing manner.
"Finn." Rachel grunts, squirming over him, gasping as Finn begins to suck her breasts, making Rachel forget what she was originally going to do him. "We're...supposed...uh...celebrate...oh god...you."
Finn pulls back and grins up at Rachel, and in one swift movement he rolls them over so that he's hovering over her naked body, peppering kisses all over her overheated skin, "This is how I like to celebrate."
With those words, he scoots down her body and widens her legs. When his tongue presses against Rachel's heated core, all she can do is throw back her head in ecstasy and allow Finn to celebrate how he wants to.
She is avoiding.
She refuses to acknowledge the fact that things are going to change, and soon. Instead, she's doing what she does best, avoiding it and throwing all her focus into something else. The only difference this time is instead of focusing on exams, she's throwing herself into the musical, spending all her free time with Finn and not talking about the big elephant in the room.
At first, Finn tries to get her to discuss it but thankfully he's been so busy with meetings, band practice, and rehearsals for the musical. They just haven't had the time to sit and talk about it. She doesn't make the mistake this time to ignore Finn, though. Most of their conversations these days are either over a brief lunch, via text messages, or at rehearsals. Even though it is frustrating and she would like to actually spend some quality time with Finn uninterrupted, she's grateful for the distractions. She's just not ready to face what happens when Finn leaves in the beginning of summer for the North American tour.
Finn is going to be gone for four months and by the time he comes back Rachel will be back in Lima working with her Dad. Or at least that has always been her plan for after she graduates. But it's already mid-March and Rachel has a stack of unfilled medical school applications, sitting in her drawer, almost taunting her. The deadline for the winter semester the following year is slowly approaching and Rachel has yet to even consider which schools she wants to apply to.
In fact, she can't even remember the last time the thought crossed her mind. Usually by now she would be having a panic attack at not filling out those forms, but she doesn't seem to have the energy to even look at them. Between Finn, rehearsals, and her regular class schedule, medical school applications just seem to have taken the back burner. Surprisingly enough, Rachel is okay with that.
Rachel rubs her eyes, looking down at her diagram of the vascular structure of part of the human head. When veins and arteries begin to look one in the same, she realizes it's probably time to take a break. She closes the book without a second thought and grabs her folder filled with sheet music, completely ignoring her microbiology lab manual that is currently in her growing pile of things "to do."
She grabs her iPod, about to turn to Finn's instrumental recording of one of the songs when her bedroom door slams open.
"Hey, I thought you had your MCAT thing today?" Santana asks as she plops onto Rachel's bed, unwrapping Rachel's purple scarf from around her neck and tossing it onto Rachel's bed.
Rachel drops the iPod onto the desk with a clang, "I forgot about the review sessions! That was four hours ago. Crap."
Santana chuckles, "Wow, that's like the fifth time I've heard you say that this week."
Rachel turns to look at her slightly perplexed, "Just because I refrain from profanity..."
"Relax, small fry. I was talking about you forgetting something with school. Have you even begun to study for your MCAT? I thought the whole point of you applying for the winter semester was so that you would have more time to do the MCAT. Isn't it supposed to be next month?"
Rachel sighs as she glances at her large wall calendar. Sure enough the 15th of April is circled, well more like there is a large gold star around the date. Other than that, her entire calendar is filled with personal appointments; 'lunch with Finn,' 'outfit fitting for the play,' 'doctor's appointment,' etc. She glances over her four-month calendar for the semester and frowns. What was once just filled with various classes, assignments, and exams is now only filled with personal matters. Rachel can't even remember the last time she even made a study timetable.
"I don't think I'm going to do it," Rachel says softly as she moves from the chair to lie back on the bed next to Santana.
Santana's eyebrows rise at Rachel's admission, but other than that the girl does not react as strongly Rachel expected her to. "You mean you're going to put it off a month later? Isn't that cutting it close to the deadline to send in the results?"
"I mean I don't think going to do it at all," Rachel confirms. The idea of postponing her exam had crossed her mind a few times in the last few weeks, but Rachel was more concerned with the fact that she doesn't think she even wants to do the exam in the first place. The thought alone scares her.
What surprises her, though, is her best friend's lack of surprise at Rachel's confession, especially the girl's next words. "Did you tell your Dads? Then again, Curly and Mo would support you even if you decided to become an acrobat in the little people circus."
Rachel rolls her eyes at Santana's jab at her height and the ridiculous nicknames that her fathers actually encourage. She can't help but sigh at the truth of her friend's words. Her fathers really would not care what she decided to do. It was never their dream for her to become a doctor; they were just proud of Rachel and whatever she decided to do with her life.
"No, I prefer to know what I want to do before I tell them anything. Why aren't you more shocked?" Rachel asks, her curiosity getting the best of her. If anything she expected her best friend to tell her she was being crazy and set her back on the right track, to keep her sane and make sense of that the thoughts going through Rachel's mind.
"You want my honest opinion?" Santana asks seriously, as she sits up to look Rachel in the eye, causing Rachel to sit up as well.
"I thought your motto was "I may be a bitch, but at least I'm a straight up, honest bitch?" Rachel jokes lightly.
Santana smirks, "Yes, but you're my best friend. If you need me to lie to you and tell you that you're throwing away your life-long dreams and to get your head out of your ass because it's what you want then I'll do it. But you and I both know that this is not what you want."
Rachel sighs as she lays on her stomach and looks across at Santana, "Tell me what you think."
"I just think I've never seen you excited about something like you are with this musical. Sure, you were driven about your medical career and all that jazz. But that's been a part of you since you were 15 years old, hell probably longer than that. It's all you know and all you ever focused on. But this? This musical? You're annoyingly over-exuberant about it, like another little pet project of yours. It's like that time in second year after you came back from your trip to London and you decided you were going to take a year off between undergrad and medical school to travel around the world. You went off for months talking about Europe and all the different cities you would be visiting. I learned more about the history of Europe from you than I did in my actual history class I was taking that year."
"So are you just saying this is a phase and it will just pass?" Rachel asks confused, she knows how she can get attached to things, obsess over it for a few months, and then move on to something else. She hopes that is not the case. At least she doesn't think it is.
"No, this is more than that. Rachel these people you're working with…Kurt, Tina, and Matt. This isn't some extracurricular activity for them. This is their passion; it's what they are going to continue to do for the rest of their lives. This isn't something they are using to get away from school. This is school for them. What I'm saying is, this could be yours too."
"Santana, I'm in my final year of my pre-health degree. I'm not going to switch majors and start all over again just because I enjoy singing."
"Who said anything about that? Rachel, you have two months left. But just because you will have a Bsc. in Anatomical Science doesn't mean that's all you can do. No one says you have to decide right this minute what you want to do with the rest of your life. Hell, take the year off and travel the world like you always wanted. Or join one of those Jewish community centers and teach tone deaf ankle biters how to sing."
"Santana!" Rachel says with horror, "those kids are 4."
"Hence the tone deaf comment. C'mon Rach, keep up. Just because you're no longer going to be a doctor you're suddenly stupid?"
"Finn's band is going on a summer tour, opening for Coldplay." Rachel suddenly blurts out.
Santana's eyes widen in shock, "If I wasn't already going with Britt to LA for summer, I would so tag along. I heard the lead guitarist is single, jump him!"
"Santana! I'm with Finn." Rachel says with a roll of her eyes knowing her friend is just joking. "Besides, its not like I'll be going."
"He didn't ask you? Tell him if he doesn't want his ass kicked, he will get me free backstage passes for Britt and I to the closest place to LA." At Rachel's glare, Santana sobers up, "I can't believe he didn't ask you."
"We haven't really talked about it yet." Rachel says sheepishly.
At her words, Santana groans, "Rachel, please tell me you haven't been using the boy for sex in order to avoid talking about this."
"I am not!" Rachel protests, "We've just both been busy and..."
"Bullshit. This is big! He's going away all summer. I'm one hundred percent sure you haven't even discussed your plans for after graduation, so I'm not even surprised you're avoiding yet again." Santana shakes her head in disbelief, "I thought you two were giving this whole relationship a shot?"
"Everything has been perfect these past few weeks. I don't want it to change." Rachel says with a sigh. "We're finally together and on the same wavelength. I was probably not even going to go back to Boston anyway, especially if med school is not really in the cards anymore and..."
"Rachel you're making up excuses. You only acknowledged today that medical school was out of the picture. Finn probably still thinks it is in the picture. Even if you weren't going back to Lima, which I was assuming anyway, you still have to discuss these things with the boy. Look I know you're trying this 'live in the moment' kind of thing, and I get your hesitation to make any kind of long term plans with Finn. But at this point, it's unavoidable. In two short months you are going to have to decide where this thing with Finn is going, and when he does ask you to go on tour with him please at least consider it."
"Everything is just moving so quickly!" Rachel complains, "Finn wasn't supposed to be going off anywhere this summer. We were going to enjoy the summer together and then..."
"Then what? I'm pretty sure in order to figure out the 'then what' of that equation, you need to talk to him about what he wants."
"I don't even know what I want," Rachel says with a sigh.
"I'm sorry Rachel. I love you, but you need to stop doing this to Finn. You can't only be in a relationship with him when it's convenient for you. This is a huge break for Finn, and if you give him the option to choose, I hope he chooses his career."
With that said Santana rolls off of Rachel's bed and walks out of the room, leaving Rachel alone with her thoughts.
Rachel stands at the entrance to the door to Finn's band's makeshift studio, her fingers tightly wrapped around the strap of her handbag. She takes a deep breath, almost as if it will give her the courage she needs to face Finn. She then knocks on the door, listening to the sound of shuffling behind it before the door opens. Finn greets her at the door. Upon seeing her, his face lights up in delight.
"Hey, I wasn't expecting to hear from you until tomorrow. I thought you had an exam today?" Finn asks, quickly ushering her in and helping her out of her coat.
"I did, it was fine. But I wanted to see you." Rachel says truthfully. Although she is very hesitant to bring up the topic of the tour, she has missed Finn these past few weeks. With her midterms and his final plans and rehearsals for the bands, they have only been able to keep in contact via phone calls or text messages.
"I missed you too." Finn says with a grin as he tugs her by the sleeve of her sweater, into his arms and lowers his mouth onto hers. After a few minutes he pulls back and grins down at her, his arms now wrapped around her waist, "That's better."
Rachel smiles, going on her tiptoes again to indulge in a few more kisses before she has to broach the subject of why she's really here. She pulls back and steps out of his grasp, looking around at the room, which looks even more chaotic than it usually is. Instruments lay propped up on one side, and there are two more makeshift tables, littered with sheet music, laptops, and a whole host of musical stuff Rachel doesn't even know the names for.
"Sorry about the mess." Finn says sheepishly, as he runs his fingers through his hair. He moves his guitar off the armchair, offering Rachel a seat. "We've been trying to come up with four new songs to add to our set list for the tour. It hasn't been easy. That, and I've been doing research on all the cities we're going to. I'm trying to find things for us to do when I'm free."
Rachel bites her lips at his words, bracing herself for his reaction to her next words. "Finn, I can't come with you."
"Oh I know you won't be able to come for the full tour, that's kind of crazy. But I was looking at all the cities and picking the best ones. Or maybe you can come for the last leg of the tour and just travel back home with us? This city is our last stop. But you know, whatever works for you. I know you said you always wanted to go to New York. We're supposed to be playing there sometime in mid-July so you can always fly up and meet us. Or maybe..."
"Finn." Rachel calls out to gain his attention, her chest tightening at his eager expression. He's made so many plans for the next four months and she can't even see beyond her final exams.
"What's wrong?" Finn asks, immediately picking up on her tone. He closes the laptop he had taken out to show her some of the information he found.
Rachel sighs, fiddling with the clasps of her watch nervously, not sure where to begin. She starts off simply enough, "I decided I'm not going to medical school."
Finn's eyes widen in surprise, but then he pulls one of the seats over taking her hand, making small soothing circles with the ball of his thumb over her skin, "Oh babe, what happened? I know your last bit of assignments and stuff have been kicking your ass, and you're worried for finals, but you're going to fine."
"No, it's not that. I just have been thinking about it a lot lately, and I realized this isn't what I want." Rachel says, "I can't see myself doing that for the rest of my life. More school, then residency for so long. I thought of it as something my fathers wanted and it wasn't what I wanted. I wasn't happy and I didn't even realize it."
"If you're not happy doing something, babe, then you shouldn't be doing it. To hell with anyone else." Finn says earnestly. "We can figure out something together; you can come sing for my band."
He smiles his last comment in jest but Rachel doesn't smile back. She bites her lip, "That's why I can't come with you Finn."
"I don't understand." Finn says, his eyebrows knitting together in confusion. His thumb stills, but he continues to hold onto Rachel's hand, "You haven't mentioned any plans for the summer, but I assumed with you graduating and planning on starting medical school in January that you would be free for the summer, and you'd be able to at least come on tour with me for a while."
"Finn, I don't know what I want to do with my life." Rachel says in frustration, trying to get him to understand her.
"I know that, Rachel. But you don't have to figure it out right this minute." Finn says reassuringly, "I'll help you try and figure out what you want to do."
"That's not your job Finn, you have this amazing opportunity and..."
"Rachel, just because I'm going off on tour for a few months doesn't mean I'll just forget about you and only have time for that. I want to help you any way that I can. Who knows? Maybe if you come with us, you might find a new calling. You're an amazing singer, you know."
"I can't do that." Rachel says softly, "You know me, Finn. I need to have some kind of plan. I can't graduate from college with no direction of where I want to go or what I want to do with my life. I will have a Bachelor's in Anatomical Science, and I don't even know if something in science is what I want to do. I like learning about science and I'm good at it, but I don't know if it makes me happy. I just don't know anything anymore."
"I know it's scary, but I can tell you one thing you do have." Finn says as he grasps her hands tighter between his, "You still have me. You can be one of those people that dress up in the Moose suit outside 'Muddy Moose Pub!"
Rachel giggles, "That's a mental image I could have done without."
"You'd look hot." Finn says winking at her, but then he sobers up and looks at her right in the eye, "Look, I know this is scary for you, but you're not going to do it alone. You have me, Rach. And we'll go through every single option on the list. I'll help you figure out a plan to find your dream. We'll figure it out together."
Rachel bites her lip and her eyes beginning to fill with tears. She's overcome by the intensity and utter conviction he has. She doesn't understand how he can believe in her, in them so much when she can't even comprehend why he'd even want to do this for her, "Why would you want to do that?"
Finn looks at her incredulously, "Rachel, I care about you... I lo….of course I want to do this with you, why do you even think its a burden? I'm your boyfriend, that's what boyfriend's do."
"But you have so many things to look forward to." Rachel says quietly, "Your band has this amazing opportunity and opening for such a huge band is a big deal. Things are only going to get better from there and you don't need the added stress of trying to help me figure out my dreams. I can't ask you do that."
"You're not asking me." Finn says purposely, "I'm offering to help you. Just because I have my own dreams doesn't mean yours are any less important to me."
"Finn, I don't even have a dream to begin with! I just have a degree for jobs I probably don't even want." Rachel says dejectedly, "Maybe I should just move back to Lima and work in my dad's practice running the lab or something."
"Hey...wow!" Finn says holding up both his hands in front of her, in a halting movement, "There will be no talk about cross-continental jobs, or anything crazy like that. Look, Rachel. I get that Sam was the only guy you ever trusted, and you both made all these plans together. Everything you did, everything you planned was surrounded around him and his plans. But that's not what I'm doing here. Sure, I suggested the singing thing but that's only if you want to. I told you I don't care what you want to do, just as long as it makes you happy. Come on tour with me and see what it's like. This is going to be new to us as well. Hell, we don't know if we're cut out for the rock star lifestyle. My point is that I'm not forcing you to do anything. I just want to help you. Let me help you Rachel,"
Rachel bites her lip in thought. This wasn't how she was expecting this conversation to go. Usually Finn accepts her decisions on things, but he's so convinced he can help her and she doesn't feel smothered or forced into something she doesn't want to do. She needs to accept that Finn isn't Sam and he's not looking out for himself. Even more than that, he's putting her as a priority, "And the boys would be okay, if you brought along your boring girlfriend, for what is essentially a guys experience?"
"You'll come?" Finn says eagerly, already grabbing her by the waist and hoisting her onto his lap, his fingers digging into her side.
"Everything in my head is telling me I should focus on me and figure out what I want, before I drag you into my mess." Rachel says softly, her arms looping around his neck to keep her balance, "It's not fair to you, if you're stuck with someone, who has no direction or idea of what they want to do with their life."
"But, I think its time I learn to allow other people to help me. More importantly, I should let you help me. When I found out about what Sam did...I told myself I'd never let anyone ever dictate what I do with my life or how I run it. I'd never make plans around a guy again."
"Rachel, you know that's not..."
Rachel places a finger on Finn's lips, silencing him. "Let me finish. I said my dreams were more important. I was going to graduate at the top of my class, get into the best medical school, and prove to Sam that I didn't need him to become a doctor. I don't need to benefit from his past mistakes and insight from him to achieve anything. He always made me feel like the only reason I was doing well in school was because he had done it already, and that his past knowledge about things is what got me by and how I would get through medical school as well. But now I realized that even though he was no longer apart of my life, he was still dictating what I was doing. I shouldn't become a doctor just because I want to prove to my ex-boyfriend that I can do it without him. I should be doing it because I want to help people, because I love science, because it's what I want. For the first time in my life, I'm doing something I enjoy and it's not something someone forced on me. I know just because I enjoy singing in this musical doesn't mean I can just magically make something from it but..."
"My brother is currently in his third year studying theater. One of his friends Mike is studying dance. And Matt? He's doing screen writing and Tina is a singer. Hell, I'm going to be opening up for fucking Coldplay. We're all doing these things because we love it. Rachel, if you love to sing, you can do anything you want with that. Don't sell yourself short just because you think it's unreasonable or unattainable." Finn says as he squeezes her hips, "If you want we can make a list of all the things you can do with that, and set out a plan on how you're going to try all those things on that list. Hell, we can even make a list on what we plan to do to make the first list."
"I feel like you're making fun of me and my attention to detail. It helps to be organized, you know." Rachel says, but her eyes are twinkling and she's grinning down at Finn. She presses her forehead against his and closes her eyes, "Thank you, Finn."
"For what babe?" Finn asks softly, his thumbs rubbing soft circles against her hip.
"Just...thank you." Rachel says quietly, leaning forward to place her lips against his. She doesn't think she can form the words to tell him how grateful she is, how much his believing in her and what she can accomplish means to her. So she just tries to show him the best that she can.
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