A/N: This chapter is actually a Secret Santa project, and is dedicated to hopeharcourt (Nicole) on Tumblr. Merry Christmas! And I hope you like your present. =)
When Rachel announced that she was pregnant, the timing was pretty inopportune, to put it lightly. It wasn't so much an announcement to be honest, it was more like he went up to their room to change his shirt after Rory spilled an entire cheesecake base on the one he was wearing, and he entered the bathroom to find her sitting rigid on the toilet. The first words that came out of her mouth were "I think you knocked me up," when he asked her if she was alright, and that was how he found out.
It wasn't that they didn't want a baby it was just that it was really bad timing. Rachel was still in the middle of her run on Broadway as June in Gypsy, and it was her first Broadway role, and he knew from one look on her face that she was terrified of it being her last. As for Finn, well he just used up almost all of his savings for the restaurant he was opening up, opening being the key word. All he had at the time was a depleted bank account, a rough blueprint, no name and one hurt stepfather who was convinced that he'd leave Hudmels the moment the restaurant comes to life (He wouldn't, of course. That diner was his home).
It had always been something he'd dream about, opening up his own eatery, and if it wasn't for Rachel, it probably would have stayed a dream for the rest of his life. She convinced him to take that plunge despite all of his reservations (She has a knack of making him believe that anything's possible. It's the effect she has on him just by being her).
"It's gonna take a lot of money," he told her, but she had just smiled and told him that maybe it was time that she became the breadwinner of the family (metaphorically, of course. He loves the woman, but never let Rachel Berry near a kitchen unless you want to set something on fire). She ditched rehearsals to accompany him to the bank the very next day. That was two months before they're both standing bewildered in their small bathroom, Rachel holding a pregnancy kit in her hand.
Her eyes were starting to water, and he was trying his best to snap out of the anxiety freeze her news had put him in, but before he could say a word, she was already crying, sobbing out incoherent words at him. He moved then, rushing to kneel next to the toilet to pull her into a reassuring hug.
"It's going to be okay Rach," he said, although his heart still felt like it was about to explode at any moment.
"But we're not even married!" she cried, before her rambling returned back incoherent blather about her Broadway career and his project.
"So we'll get married," he told her calmly, his fingers running soothingly through her hair. She stopped her crying at his words, pulling back. Her eyes were red and puffy as she frowned at him.
"Do you feel obligated to marry me now?" she asked, her voice muffled with tears. Despite the nerves that were hammering his brain, it still pulled a smile out of him.
"Baby, you know I love you. But you say the dumbest things sometimes."
"We've been together for like, three years. You should have known that this was coming. I mean yeah, okay, the timing isn't the best. I was hoping that things would a be a little less chaotic before I popped the question, at least have a blueprint ready, so you won't be saddled with a dude with absolutely nothing to show for when he proposed-"
"Don't be ridiculous-"
"But we're already having a baby, so what are we waiting for?"
He realized that in the history of proposals, his was probably the worst, what with no ring, Rachel crying her eyes out, him with cheesecake all over him (and her, by then) and them being in a toilet of all places, but it felt right. She was quiet for a few seconds, and that made him nervous (because what if all this time, she never wanted to marry him?), but at least she was no longer crying, so that was a plus. He raised himself on his knees and looked up at her expectantly when she cupped a hand under his jaw and leaned closer.
"We're really having this baby?" she asked him quietly, and his heart almost dropped to the bottom of the floor when she asked him that. A million different thoughts had raced through his mind the moment he found out, including one terrible image a baby cot in the middle of the diner kitchen if his restaurant project failed miserably, but not having their baby was one thing that didn't even cross his mind.
"It's our baby Rachel," he whispered, his hand curving around her wrist to pull her closer and leaned their foreheads together. "Of course I want it."
She was quiet for the longest time, and that had scared him, until she leaned in to kiss him softly.
He didn't have a ring for her. To his defense, he didn't think he'd need one until months down the line at least, but the baby was just going to accelerate everything, and with all his money spent on his restaurant and whatever he had left going to their newly minted 'baby budget', he didn't have the means to actually get her one, and it made him feel really crummy even though she told him that it was fine. But it wasn't though, because Rachel deserved so much better than that.
The doctor told them that Rachel was already three months along, which meant that baby Hudson-Berry was probably going to be born some time around Christmas, which meant that there was only six months left, maybe two before Rachel would start two show, and that meant that they had only a little more than sixty days to plan their wedding because she refused to look like a pregnant bride, even though she was. Rachel almost had another breakdown when they realized this, and it took him three Pavlovas, two cream cheese cupcakes and half a tray of Hudmel brownies to calm her down (Damn, he never knew pregnant women could eat that much).
They broke the news to their parents (the wedding before the baby), and to their credit, all three of them took it really well. Hiram, Rachel's daddy, only cried once during the whole phone conversation. Things between him and Burt had been strained ever since the restaurant, but Burt seemed to have put their spat aside in the excitement, because the first thing he did was to force Finn to dig out Kurt's old baby cot from the attic.
"Why do you even still have this?" he huffed, panting as the last piece was dragged out for Rachel's review.
"I'm a sentimental man," Burt said defensively while Rachel gave him a hug.
"Well thankfully you did," she gushed, her eyes watering. "This is perfect Burt, thank you."
Rachel had been crying a lot since they found out that she was pregnant, and Finn hid a smirk when Burt found himself awkwardly patting a sniffling Rachel on the back.
Hiram and Leroy, Rachel's dad, told them that they would be coming to stay until the wedding, and considering that it was going to happen in another two months, Finn freaked out a little, because where was he going to put them? They barely have enough room for the both of them as it was on the top floor of Hudmels, and Rory was already occupying the back room near the kitchen. They told Rachel that they'll find a hotel, but he wasn't about to let his soon to be in-laws blow their money on two months worth of hotel rooms, so he convinced Burt to take them in, which made Rachel very grateful, if you know what he meant (he wasn't sure how much of it was because of her gratitude, and how much of it was because of her horny pregnancy hormones, but he wasn't about to complain).
Things were slowly starting to come together and when Kurt, who was still in London doing his last leg at the West End, announced that he was taking a two-month break to be their self-appointed wedding planner, they finally found some room to breathe.
He was giving Rachel his mother's ring for the wedding, but he was still adamant that she should have one for their engagement (albeit a brief one) too. So one day, he got Puck, the contractor for his restaurant and his best friend, to mold one from the large silver sheet they were going to use as the surface of his kitchen table. The dude used to spend his time in high school hot wiring cars, so he was good at that kind of stuff, and he had a stint working in a tattoo parlour when they were in their twenties, so Finn had him engrave "I've got you covered. XOXO Finn" on it. Puck bitched about the intricacy of it for hours while ribbing Finn about how soft he'd gotten, but who cares when he got his ring?
They had about three weeks before the wedding, and Rachel had been in a shitty mood all week, both because of the stress of having Kurt as their wedding planner, and because it was her last week on Gypsy. He knew she was still worried about her career, and no amount of him telling her that Broadway won't be crazy enough to let her go for good would help, so he let her deal with that in her own way. On her last night as June, he had met her at her dressing room with a fresh bouquet of daisies and lilies, and she had cried the moment she saw him, first because she was touched and then because she was convinced her Broadway life was over. He just let her cry against his chest, until someone knocked on the door and her whole cast stood outside with a Congratulations/Good Luck cake, which set her off into another fresh set of tears.
They didn't get home until it was almost midnight, and he stopped her at the entrance of the diner, telling her to close her eyes while tied his tie over them. She grumbled about that, but was otherwise obedient when he led her upstairs carefully. He had to admit, Kurt did a pretty kick-as job with their room. There were flower petals everywhere, with lanterns in all shapes and sizes scattered on the floor (he initially wanted to go with candles, but his brother reminded him of the fire hazard and they live on top of a diner with a big kitchen, so yeah, not the best idea). Incense was burning and when Rachel curiously sniffed the air, he untied her bind.
"You can open your eyes now." he said softly. She gasped out loud when she did, and turned to him with her large eyes filled with tears, but by now he's become accustomed to that sight, so he grinned. "Surprise."
"Finn," she whispered, still rooted to the spot. "What is this?"
"Well I- I gave you a really lame proposal," he began, holding a finger up to her lips when she started to protest. "Just listen to me, okay? You got a really sucky proposal, and I'm really sorry for that. I didn't even get you a ring, you know? And we've been going about this all mixed up with the baby coming first, and the wedding happening in less than a month. But Rachel, you know that it's inevitable right? Us getting married, and the baby and everything? I want all of this with you. I just never thought it'll all happen at the same time. So this is going to be another thing that's happening out of whack."
He started to kneel and she started to cry again when he reached into the pocket of his pants. He couldn't find a box to put her ring in, but she didn't seem to mind and just burst into tears when she saw it.
"Just say yes again," he said, smiling when she holds out her hand.
"Yes," she answered with a beam when he slipped the ring around her finger. He wrapped his arms around the back of her thighs to pull her closer, and pressed a kiss to the small bulge on her stomach. At four and a half months, Rachel still wasn't showing much, but their doctor said that it was normal, so he wasn't worried about it.
They spent the rest of the night on the floor with Rachel sitting on his lap, inspecting her ring thoroughly.
"Look at the inside," he told her. She smiled at him, pulling it off to look.
"I got you covered," she read.
"You know, with the whole umbrella thing when we met. It's like a metaphor, right? I know it's really lame and-"
"Finn," Rachel said, pressing a finger to his lips to stop him this time. She leaned forward to press her lips against the side of his, grinning. "It's perfect."
They got married at the diner. He had to close it down for two whole days while Kurt redecorated it to his and Rachel's liking. It was bad for business, but the regulars were ecstatic, even Mr. Moriarty even though he had grumbled about Finn being stuck with Rachel for the rest of his life. None of them really minded this fact. Rachel threw herself into the wedding the day after she left the musical, and it kept her too busy to worry, so he let her be. He himself was up to his neck in restaurant business, when the architect made a mistake and added an extra pantry in the kitchen, which was going to set him back a few thousand. Puck, for all of his bullshit, was actually a great contractor and Finn was grateful that he was around, because the delay would have done him in if his friend wasn't around to keep things moving. He still hadn't found a name for his shop, but considering that the building still needs about another year, he figured there would be time to worry about that later.
Rachel's fathers were gung-ho about the wedding too, and between them and Kurt and Rachel, it turned out pretty awesome. Kurt was shameless and Rachel was adorable ( and shameless), and they managed to get Mrs Watson's granddaughter to give them a pretty hefty discount on the fresh flowers. Puck helped some with the makeshift stage and awnings ("Consider it my parting gift before you're balled and chained Hudson"), and Rosa and Rory worked their asses off on the menu. Finn had been too busy to really do anything other than show up, so on the day itself (after spending a night apart because both Kurt and her parents insisted on tradition. Erm hello, he knocked her up. It was safe to say that tradition went out the window when that happened.), he had no idea what the diner was going to look like.
Rachel got a few of her musician friends from the theatre to be their wedding band for free (again, she's adorable and shameless), and the moment he stepped into the venue, he was blown away by the decorations. Kurt worked really hard, and he could barely tell that the wedding was working under the budget it did with the flowers and the awnings he'd installed. The booths had all been pushed to the side, the football-field themed floor covered with white panel wood, and he had to smile when he saw the altar, and the large, multicolored umbrella hanging over the minister's head. That was Rachel's touch for sure.
She was the most beautiful bride that he had ever seen. He knew that everyone says that, but he really meant it. They made eye contact from the moment she stepped in, and their gazes never wavered until she reached him, her face glowing with the beam stretched over her face. At five months, Rachel was starting to show a little bit, but by that point she really didn't care. Kurt got her dress for a 'steal', and it was beautiful, but he barely noticed it.
Three years, six months and five days to the day they first met, when he brought an umbrella for a cute girl crying in the middle of a thunderstorm, Finn and Rachel got married.
It was nothing like they had imagined, but it was perfect for both of them.
They found out that their baby was a girl a week after they were married, and while Rachel started crying out of happiness (it was happening on a daily basis by that point), he started to freeze in fear. Being a dad was one thing, but being a dad to a little girl was another, completely foreign idea. To be honest, he had been pushing down his anxiety about the baby ever since he found out that they were going to have one. With Rachel freaking out and the restaurant to oversee, he'd managed to keep it at bay. But one look at the sonogram, and he felt his panic attack come to surface.
What did he know about becoming a father? His own died when he still needed one. What did he know about becoming a parent, for that matter? When his mom died just a few years after that, spending most of her time bedridden while he ran off to act like the little punk that he was? How can he raise his kid right when he was such a little screw up himself? He spent almost the whole week a little listlessly, and it didn't take long for Rachel to notice, although it took a little longer before he caved.
"I don't know the first thing about raising a kid," he confessed one night as he stared up into the darkness. It had been almost ten minutes after he turned out the lights, but he knew her well enough to know that she wasn't sleeping. She was silent for a few moments, but her hand reached down for his before she placed it on her swollen belly. Rachel was six months along by then. She was already requiring maternity clothes, and it never ceased to amuse him to see his tiny wife waddling (she was the cutest thing, but he never dared laugh in her face, because he still remembered the bruise she left on his arm from the last time he did that). His palm spread out to press against her stomach, his thumb caressing the sliver of skin between her shirt and pajama pants.
"Remember what you told me?" she whispered quietly. "You told me that you wanted her. You want our baby, don't you Finn?"
She shifted closer on their bed, until their bodies touched and he turned on his side to face her, his other hand closing around her wrist.
"A family with you?" he murmured. He leaned forward and pressed a kiss on her cheek in the dark, nuzzling his nose against her skin. "I want that more than anything."
He felt her smiling, her hand squeezing his when she pulled it up and rested it close to her heart.
"Then that's all that matters," she said softly. "We're going to make it work Finn. Wanna know how I know that? 'Cause nobody is ever going to love her more than we do. So what if we're not perfect? We'll just be the best that we can."
Her tone was filled with conviction, the way it always does when she's trying to cheer him up, and it dawned on him that everything will be alright as long as she'll be there.
"Is Rachel Berry telling me that she's settling for less than flawless?" he teased, the worry that had been weighing him down lifted.
"Rachel Hudson is telling you that she's settling for the best," she whispered, grinning against his lips.
Seven months into the pregnancy and six months into the construction of his restaurant, he still couldn't decide on a name for it. But he put that on hold when Rachel demanded that they find their baby a name before she comes out a Jane Doe.
It took a while, but they finally settled on a pretty perfect one, in his opinion anyway.
She was born on 23 December, narrowly missing Christmas Eve by just a few minutes, and Finn was convinced the moment she arrived, that Rosemary June Hudson was the loudest baby alive. They named her after his favorite herb, and because Rose was his late mother's middle name, Rachel chose June as an homage to the character she played when she got pregnant. He was glad that he didn't pass out (although he almost did when he saw his daughter's head coming out of his wife), because then he would have missed the moment where she blinked up at him when the doctor placed her in his arms, and it would have taken him longer to notice that she has his eyes.
She has her mother's set of lungs and her father's set of dimples, and even though they spent Christmas in the hospital that year, he didn't mind.
It was the best Christmas of his life.
He calls her his Honey-rose, because she's sweet like honey, little Rosie. They spend hours, both him and Rachel, just watching her. From the tops of her unruly hair to her tiny booty-covered feet, she's theirs, and she's perfect.
When the time finally came for his restaurant to unveil, he realizes that he's had the name all along. The Honeyrose opened to great reviews, and although a lot of people gave credit to the fact that he appeared in the Food Network once or twice and was already semi-famous, Finn knows the truth.
And the truth is that Rachel and Rosie? Well they're his good luck charms.
A/N: Hope you guys had a great Christmas/ holiday!