written for the 'new girl' prompt at finchel prompts, where rachel gets a summer job at hummel tire and lube and catches the eye of older, college boy finn :)

thanks to mary gael, for reading all the snippets i sent her and also for being awesome, to jane, for helping me out when i was stuck, and to ally, for this awesome prompt. i might have gotten a little carried away but i hope i did it justice!

title is from 'stolen' by dashboard confessional.

we all look like we feel


She's a little taken aback when Kurt Hummel, glee club lead and graduating senior, corners her after the last glee meeting of the year, a certain glint in his eye.

"Rachel, would you be interested in a job this summer?"

"Uh…" She looks at him with wide eyes for a moment, but thankfully, he presses on.

"Look, I'm going to New York early to do some summer workshops before my first semester of college starts, and I need someone to take over the secretarial duties at my dad's auto repair shop. Can you help me out? It makes good money!" He's smiling at her now, looking at her hopefully.

"Uh, sure!" she squeaks. "I mean, it'll help me pass the time, when I'm not doing my summer assignments for all the classes I'm taking next year."

"Excellent!" Kurt squeals, giving her a one-armed hugged. She doesn't think he's ever hugged her before. They're friends – sort of – but only because they're on the same show choir team. "Why don't you come on over after school tomorrow and I'll show you the ropes?"

She nods. "Sounds great."

He smiles at her before he leaves the room, and she doesn't know it yet, but she's in for quite the interesting summer.


"So basically, you'll answer the phone and schedule any appointments that need to be made," Kurt finishes, leaning against the desk slightly. "Any questions?"

"No, it seems pretty straightforward," she answers with a nod. "I think this will be a pretty decent summer endeavor, besides the lead role I'll surely obtain in the summer production of 'The King and I.'"

Kurt just raises his eyebrows, shaking his head before pressing onward. "Anyway," he says pointedly. "I don't think you'll find the job too difficult."

"Plus it'll look good on my NYADA application, having a summer job," Rachel adds.

Kurt nods. "It certainly helped with mine. Now, come on, I'll introduce you to my dad, and you can get started tomorrow."


She's been working at the shop for a week, and she's already bored. She likes Burt well enough, but it's just the two of them, and he's usually in the back working with the cars. Occasionally she gets to deal with a customer or take a few phone calls, but other than that, she sits idly at the desk and tries not to watch the clock. She's played a few rounds of Angry Birds on her phone, but she feels guilty about doing recreational activities at work, so she doesn't play for very long.

She's sighing when a guy walks in the door a little after two, and she immediately sits up a little straighter. He's about six foot three and absolutely gorgeous.

Her heart about drops into her stomach when she realizes who he is though. Finn Hudson. He was a senior when she was a freshman, and she hasn't seen him in a few years. He looks the same yet not at the same time; he's filled out a little more, and he looks more like a man than a boy. She supposes he is a man, though, at least now.

Her cheeks burn as he looks around for a moment, and she wonders if he ever knew about the massive crush she had on him. She gulps, and she does the first irrational thing that comes to mind: She ducks under the desk.

She hears his footsteps on the cement floor, and then she sees his shadow hover over her as he peers over the desk. Hesitantly, she peeks up at him.

"Er, hi," she squeaks out.

"Hi," he says, the corner of his mouth quirking up in amusement.

She swallows. "I was, er, I was… looking for a paperclip I dropped earlier, but it seems it really is lost!" She raises herself up so she's sitting in the chair behind the desk once more, and she feels like an absolute idiot. Her cheeks are practically on fire.

"I see," he says, his smile spreading across his face.

She really wants to crawl back under the desk, but she refrains. She tries to remain professional, but it's Finn Hudson, former quarterback and her first crush, and she'd be lying if she said she isn't a little flustered. "Can I help you with something?" she asks, trying to keep her tone business-like.

He seems to find this amusing as well, and he's still smiling, his eyes bright. She feels like he's making fun of her a bit when he says, "Yeah, is Burt around?"

She nods. "He's in the back. I can go get him if you'd like…"

"Nah, it's cool, I'll just go talk to him," he says, and then before she can open her mouth to reply, he steps around her and into the back.

He turns around before he completely disappears, however, and he says, "Thanks for the help…"

She stares at him for a few seconds before she realizes he's waiting for her name. "Rachel," she chokes out. "Rachel Berry."

He smiles again. "Thanks, Rachel." Then he's gone.

She doesn't know if she should go after him or not. He seems to know Burt, so she hopes it's okay.

She really doesn't want to get fired on her first week on the job. Kurt will be so disappointed, and she'll never get into NYADA.


She doesn't get fired, because apparently Finn is Burt's stepson, which makes Kurt his stepbrother. He's also working in the shop for the summer, just like her.

Great. Even more chances to embarrass herself.

When the shop's not busy two days after he starts his summer job, he comes out to talk to her, leaning against her desk. He has a bit of grease on the side of his nose, and she finds it strangely adorable.

"So I realize I didn't exactly introduce myself when I came in the other day," he says, drumming his fingers on the wood. "I'm Finn, Finn Hudson."

"I know," she finds herself saying.

He raises his eyebrows, and she mentally cringes. Why does she always sound so stupid around him?

"You were a senior when I was a freshman," she elaborates. "It's hard to forget the quarterback of the football team."

He ducks his head, but she notices he's grinning a bit.

"So… where do you go to school?" she tries.

"NYU," he replies.

"Really?" she asks, and she can't help but get excited. "New York City?"

He raises his eyebrows, amusement on his face, and he nods. "Yeah, you know, I just… I didn't really wanna stay in Ohio. But I come back here every summer to work for Burt, because I feel like I owe it to him, you know? It's not exactly easy to pay for one – well, two now – kids goin' to college in New York."

She nods seriously. "My dads have been saving since I was one for my inevitable New York education."

He laughs a bit at that, and she can see the dimples in his cheeks. Her heart pounds loudly in her chest.

"Yeah, well, I just kind of… decided, I guess. New York sounded as good a place as any to go, and I really like it there. So I'm glad that it all worked out."

"You've been there for two years?" Rachel asks.

He nods. "Yep. Studying education, funnily enough."

"You want to be a teacher?" she asks, surprised.

He chuckles. "Crazy, isn't it?"

She studies him for a second, lips pursed. "No," she decides. "That's not crazy at all."

He looks at her for a second, looks at her like he's seeing her for the first time, and her heart skips a beat.

"Finn!" They both jump a bit as Burt pokes his head around the corner, and he nods at Rachel before turning to Finn. "There's a carburetor back here that needs fixin'. Are you gonna get to work or am I gonna have to fire you for flirtin' with the receptionist all day?"

Finn laughs, saying he'll get back to work, but Rachel feels her cheeks burn as she blushes, the color surely becoming permanent, etched into her skin.

"See you around, Rach," he says lightly.

"See you," she squeaks out.

Once he and Burt are gone, she puts her head down on her desk. She still feels like an awkward freshman around him. Why does he have this affect on her?


He starts taking his lunch break at the same time she takes hers, and he's usually already sitting at the little table in what is basically a kitchen, although it's really just a room with a microwave, a refrigerator and a single, solitary table. He always smiles at her when she walks in, and she sits down and opens her bright pink lunchbox, feeling incredibly self conscious about herself. He probably thinks of her as a child, playing pretend at being a working girl.

They talk about New York a lot, but they also talk about Kurt and Burt and Finn's family life. She learns that his mom married Kurt's dad his junior year, Kurt's freshman year, and they've been brothers ever since. She doesn't know how she didn't know that back in high school, but he seems to really love Kurt like a real brother.

"So what about you?" he asks one day. "Any siblings?"

She shakes her head. "Just me and my dads," she tells him, taking a bite of vegan noodles.

"I see," he says slowly, and then he goes back to his peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She feels like she should say something else, something to break the awkward silence that seems to have fallen over them, but she doesn't know what. She seems to always be helpless when it comes to conversations with Finn.

Luckily, he breaks the silence instead.

"So… what if I said I'd like to get to know you outside of the workplace?"

Rachel chokes on her food, a noodle nearly shooting down the wrong pipe, and she coughs violently for a few minutes. Finn looks incredibly concerned, hands up and seemingly ready to help. She manages to cease the coughing fit, swallowing the noodle with a loud gulp.

"I'm sorry?" she asks.

"I, uh…" Finn pauses. "Are you sure you're okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine," she says nervously, wiping at her mouth with her napkin.

The silence falls again, nothing but the clinking of silverware as they both eat their food in silence. Rachel's just finishing up her lunch, about to throw away her trash, when she feels Finn's fingers on her wrist.

Her heart pounds in her chest as she glances up at him, eyes wide, and he clears his throat before asking, "Would you like to go out sometime? With me? Like, outside of work?"

She stares at him in shock. "I – I…"

"Rach?" he tries.

She thinks she might pass out. "I – I can't." Her words come out louder than she intended, and he retracts his fingers from her wrist like she's burned him.

"Oh," he says. "Um, yeah, right, of course…"

"I just… work and pleasure… you know…" She's babbling incoherently she knows, but he just nods, looking at anywhere but her face.

"Sure," he says, "totally. I totally get that. I'm, uh, I'm gonna get back to work, but I – I'll see you, okay?"

"Okay," she whispers, but she doubts he hears her. He's already out the door.

She groans, and she wants to bang her head on the table. She just shot down an actual real chance with the guy she's practically been in love with since she was fourteen years old, and now he probably won't even want to be friends. She knows this job is more important than some summer fling, but she still feels stupid, still feels incredibly awful for turning him down.

She shakes her head, clearing her brain of dangerous thoughts. Her future is more important than any feelings she may have once held (or may still hold) for Finn Hudson.


Finn stops taking his lunch break at the same time as her, and she wonders if she really offended him. She misses him already, and she knows that it's dumb, but she can't help it. She misses the way he smiled at her, the way he'd laugh, even if it was sometimes at her expense.

She wants to talk to him, but she's still too scared. He was probably just asking her out as a friend anyway; he probably didn't mean anything by it, and now she's ruined everything.

She just doesn't know how to make things right.

Finally, after three days of avoiding her, they end up in the kitchen at the same time. He noticeably pales when he sees her, and he quickly mutters "Sorry" before heading for the door.

"Finn, wait," she says quickly.

He pauses, turning back. "Yeah, Rach?"

Her heart flips over in her chest. "I… Won't you eat lunch with me?"

She watches his Adam's apple bob as he swallows.

"Please, Finn?" she asks, and she's aware that she's whining a little. "We're friends, right? I just want to eat lunch with a friend instead of by myself."

He sighs, but he pulls out a chair and sits down. She beams before sitting next to him, taking her tofu out of her lunchbox.

He still doesn't say anything, just starts eating his sandwich, and Rachel frowns. She was hoping she wouldn't have to start the conversation, but it looks like she will.


He looks over at her in between bites.

"Are you mad at me?"

He swallows, then answers, "No, no."

"I feel like you are," she tells him quietly.

He sighs. "It's just awkward, Rach," he admits, putting down his food. "I – I mean, I asked you out, and you shot me down, so how am I supposed to act around you?"

Her eyes grow wide. "I – you were asking me out?" She had kind of figured he was, obviously, but to hear him voice it suddenly makes her realize just how stupid she's being about the whole situation. He's a nice, attractive guy who apparently – for some bizarre reason – is actually interested in her.

He stares at her blankly. "I wasn't exactly subtle about it," he points out.

She shakes her head in disbelief. "I – people like you don't ask out people like me. You're about to be a junior at NYU. You live in New York City. You were the quarterback of the football team, and I've had this huge crush on you since I was fourteen. I'm just this – this stupid glee club loser, this high school girl with big dreams and hopes to get out of Ohio. Boys like you don't – don't ask out girls like me."

She glances over at him to see him smiling, and to her chagrin, he begins to laugh.

"What?" she asks.

"You're adorable," he grins, and she thinks she might pass out because this isn't happening. "You've really had a crush on me since you were fourteen?" he asks, tilting his head in curiosity.

Feeling the blush tinge her cheeks, she nods.

He leans forward a little bit, and she feels his fingers brush the back of her hand. "Then why won't you go on a date with me?"

She gives an involuntary shudder, and she licks her chapped lips. "We – we work together. It would be unprofessional…"

He shakes his head. "That doesn't matter," he whispers, and she desperately wants him to kiss her, right there in the break room, but he doesn't; he just leans in a little bit farther and whispers that he'll pick her up at eight. "Burt won't care, and I really like you, Rachel. Please let me take you out on a date."

Mutely, she nods. "Okay."

He beams. "Great."

He gets up then, and she sits in shock for a moment before she squeaks out, "You don't know where I live."

He smirks. "I guess you'll just have to give me your number so you can text me your address, then."

She feels her cheeks burn, but she finds a business card on the counter and flips it over, hastily scrawling the seven digits on the back of it.

He winks at her as he accepts the slip of paper, and then he smirks, looking back at her as he leaves the room.

"I'll text you, and then I'll see you at eight," he reminds her.

She nods. As if she could forget.


She gets a text five minutes after she sits back down at her desk, and her heart pounds as she opens it.

Hey, Rach, it's Finn. Just reminding you that we have a date tonight ;) Don't forget to send me your address!

A slow smile spreads across her face. She types out her address, tacking on a smiley face at the end along with a 'see you at eight! ;)'

She feels rather bold; this isn't something she normally does. She's only had one serious boyfriend – Jesse – and he didn't exactly woo her. She wonders if this will be different. She wonders if a relationship with Finn could be different.

She scolds herself for thinking such thoughts. It's just one date. Who knows what will come of it?

Her heart flops over in her chest at the thought of it becoming something more, something great. She's never felt this way – so excited and nervous all in one – over a boy.

She knows she shouldn't think these thoughts, but she has a feeling there's just something different about Finn Hudson, a good something different.


True to his word, he picks her up promptly at eight. She notices his breath hitches a little bit when she opens the door, his eyes raking over her yellow sundress and her black flats, eyes traveling back upward to the knot at the nape of her neck, and he gives her a lopsided grin.

"You look fantastic," he tells her.

She blushes. "Thanks. So do you." And he does, in his blue button-down shirt and khaki shorts.

It's his turn to blush, the color settling nicely on his cheeks, but he offers her his arm. "Shall we, Miss Berry?"

She bites her lip, shyly accepting the arm he holds out for her. He leads her to his truck, helping her in the passenger side like a true gentleman before rushing around to get in himself. The conversation flows quite easily as they make the short trip to Breadstix – the most (well, only) notable restaurant in Lima.

He doesn't let her out of the car until he runs around to open the door for her, and he takes her tiny hand in his larger one, not letting go as they walk inside. Her heart pounds in her chest.

Dinner goes by pretty smoothly (her ordering the vegan meatballs, and him ordering the spaghetti), and she finds herself opening up to him more than she has, telling him about her involvement in glee club, how she knows Kurt, and even a little bit about her previous relationship with Jesse.

"Jesse St. James?" Finn asks, nearly spewing his Coke everywhere.

"Yes," Rachel says, raising an eyebrow in amusement.

"Wasn't he a year behind me in school?"

She nods.

"That guy was a dick."

She giggles, ducking her head. "Yes, well, I just found out a little bit later…"

"I'm sorry, Rach," Finn says, reaching across to take her hand. "A guy like that certainly didn't deserve a girl like you."

He sounds so sincere, and his gaze is so intent, she has to look away, looking at his hand resting on top of hers instead. Her hand is comically small compared to his, but somehow, when they're next to each other, they look like they belong. They look sort of perfect.

"It's okay," she finds herself saying. "I mean, yes, he was kind of an asshole – after all, he broke up with me two days after he took my virginity – but it was a learning experience, you know? Now I know exactly what kind of guys not to date."

"Still," he murmurs, his fingers brushing over the back of her hand, "I'm so sorry. Not all us guys are like that, I promise."

She gives him a small smile. "I know."

He smiles back.

"Rachel Berry?"

Her head snaps up, and she sees Santana Lopez, head Cheerio and queen bee, standing at their table, looking between Rachel and Finn with an amused expression on her face. She smirks, folding her arms.

"Well, well, well," she drawls. "What have we here? Are you harassing this poor man?"

Rachel feels her cheeks redden, and she just looks down at the napkin in her lap.

"Finn Hudson!" Santana continues, turning to Rachel's date. "As I live and breathe!"

"Do I know you?" Finn's voice is cold, and it makes Rachel look up. He's staring at Santana, his eyes narrowed, and he clearly doesn't know her. His hand grips Rachel's firmly.

"No, I suppose you don't," Santana allows, a little thrown. "But you could, Mr. Quarterback. I'm Santana Lopez, main bitch and hottest piece of ass in this sorry cow town. What do you say you drop Man Hands here and grab a bite to eat with me instead?" She flutters her eyelashes, her entire persona exuding charm.

Rachel swallows. This is it. This is the moment when her fantasy world comes crashing down around her, when she wakes up from this dream she's been living in.

"No, thank you," Finn says instead, his voice still cool. He tightens his fingers around Rachel's hand. "I actually think I'm fine – better than fine – right here."

Santana's gaze hardens as she looks from Finn to Rachel, her mouth set in a thin line. "I see," she says. "Well. I hope you two will enjoy your evening."

"We will," Finn assures her.

With one final glare, Santana leaves.

"I'm so sorry," Rachel groans, covering her face with her hands. "She's been intent on making my life a living hell since middle school, practically."

"Hey," Finn says gently, prying her hands away from her face. His thumb grazes her cheek. "It's not your fault – don't apologize."

"She's right though," Rachel says, her voice quiet. "You should be out with girls like her, not girls like me."

"I once had a girl like her," he tells her. He swallows. "Quinn Fabray."

Rachel watches him, the way his Adam's apple bobs, the way his eyelashes flutter. She remembers Quinn. She was the head cheerleader, and she was his high school girlfriend.

"She cheated on me with my best friend the summer before college. I caught them together."

"Oh, Finn," she whispers, and she's the one who takes his hand this time.

"She cheated on me, and she got pregnant, and last I heard, she actually married him – Puck – and they're raising their baby together." He shakes his head, but he gives her a small smile. "I mean, I don't care so much anymore. The experience taught me a lot, actually. It taught me that I'm not necessarily supposed to be with girls like that – girls that always have to have all the power, who need to be in control of the relationship. I need to be an equal, you know?"

Rachel nods.

"You're cool, Rachel," he says, squeezing her hand. "Really cool."

She blushes.

"Ready to go?" he asks, raising his hand for the check.

She nods.


"I had a great time tonight, Finn," she tells him as he walks her to her door, her arm looped through his.

"Me, too," he says quietly, beaming down at her.

They reach her porch, and her heart pounds in her chest. She doesn't know why, but she feels like something big is going to happen. "Well, good night," she says.

He looks at her for a moment, then he steps closer, cupping her chin as he gently presses his lips against hers. Rachel feels a fire start underneath her skin as soon as his lips touch hers, starting in her fingers and toes and spreading to every part of her body. She melts into him, wrapping her arms around his neck, drawing him impossibly closer to her.

They finally break apart, and he presses his forehead against hers, the smile still on his face.

"Wow," she whispers. "I've never – I've never felt like that before."

"Me neither," he whispers throatily, leaning down to press a quick kiss to her lips once more.

She giggles, shoving his chest lightly as she unhooks her arms from around his neck. "I really do have to say good night."

"I know," he sighs. "But I'll see you tomorrow?"

She smiles. "Yes, tomorrow."

"And I can see you again?"

"You'll see me tomorrow, Finn," she teases.

He pouts, lower lip jutting out. "You know what I mean."

She pauses, biting her lip to keep from grinning. "Yes, you can see me again."

"Cool," he grins. "Good night, Rachel."

"Good night, Finn," she murmurs as he walks to his truck. She watches him pull out of the driveway, then she goes inside, leaning against the door once she shuts it.

Tonight was fantastic. She can't imagine anything more perfect.


He texts her just a few minutes after she finally makes her way up to her room, just to say he had a good time (again). She smiles, telling him that she did as well.

I'm actually looking forward to work tomorrow, funnily enough, he replies.

Why? she asks.

Because I'll get to see you.

She falls asleep with a smile on her face that night, her phone pressed tightly to her chest.


He gives her a chaste kiss on the cheek the next morning when he strolls into the shop, right in front of Burt and everything. She blushes, but Burt just raises an eyebrow and doesn't say anything.

Finn seems to spend a lot more time in the reception area with her than back with the cars he's supposed to be servicing, sneaking kisses whenever he can. Finally, she has to push him away, giggling, telling him to get back to work.

He pouts. "But I wanna spend time with you."

"Later," she promises. "But you have to work now, otherwise Burt might fire me, and you don't want that on your conscience, do you?"

He sighs, but his eyes are still bright. "No, I guess I don't." He kisses her cheek, adding, "See you at lunch!" before he heads to the back.

She sighs a bit, touching the spot on her cheek where his lips had been seconds earlier. The bell over the door clangs then, and she turns to help the potential customer. She tries her best to pay attention, but her thoughts keep drifting to Finn.

If someone had told her when she was fourteen that she would eventually be dating Finn Hudson, she would have laughed in their face. Now, however, she can hardly believe that it's actually her reality.


Dating Finn is actually really perfect. He's a perfect gentleman, and, being older and in college, he seems more mature than the high school boys she's used to being around. He's courteous towards her, and he makes her feel special.

They go bowling for their second date, and he's shocked when she confesses she's never bowled before.

"Never?" he asks incredulously.

She shakes her head. "Nope. Never."

"Well, I'll teach you," he says, and he helps her pick out her ball. She decides on a six-pound, pink, sparkly thing, and Finn raises an eyebrow when she brandishes it in his direction, but he doesn't say anything.

He helps her throw it down the lane the first time, her back pressed into his chest a bit, and she's so distracted that she throws it straight into the gutter. She glares at him as he laughs, but she reluctantly begins to giggle as well.

"That wasn't bad," he teases, and she shoves him lightly, preparing to throw her second ball. She manages to knock three pins down the second time, and she kisses Finn in a moment of celebration. He's a little thrown at first, but he responds eagerly enough, his arms encircling her waist, pressing her tightly against him. He lifts her up slightly, sliding his tongue into her mouth briefly before she pulls away, giggling.

"Your turn," she whispers, extracting herself from him. He watches her, momentarily dazed, before he picks up his own twelve-pound ball, ready to take his turn.

Finn ends up beating her by a lot, but the date's still perfect anyway. He walks her to her door at the end of the night again, and she invites him inside to meet her fathers.

He pales considerably, but he takes her up on the offer. She knows he's nervous, but she squeezes his hand in her own, shooting him a reassuring smile.

Her dads love him, and everything goes well, better than well actually. He stays for a bit, chatting with both of them, Rachel's hand still clasped firmly within his own, and she can't help but smile as he watches him interact with them. It's all so comfortable, and she feels relief. Her dads weren't so sure about her dating an older man at first, but she knows he's just put their fears to rest.

He doesn't kiss her good night because of her dads, but he does hug her goodbye, whispering in her hair that he'll see her at work.

She grins before walking him to the door.


Burt decides to give them a sufficiently awkward talk about not fornicating at work, and she doesn't know whose face is redder between her and Finn.

"We only been dating for two weeks," Finn mutters, but Burt just raises a hand, saying that he knows how times are changing, and how they're two hormonal kids.

"Oh God," Rachel murmurs, putting her face in her hands.

"I'm just sayin'!" Burt continues. "Date if you must, but no sex in the office. Understood?"

They both nod mutely, silenced by embarrassment.

"Well, good. That's that then." Burt gives them both a nod before leaving, grabbing a rag off the counter as he heads to the back.

"Well, that was mortifying," Rachel groans.

"Tell me about it," Finn mutters. "I mean, we've only been seeing each other for two weeks, it's not like we're… you know…"

"Yeah, exactly!" she squeaks out, her voice about three pitches higher than usual. "I mean, like we would… do that… at work anyways, how unprofessional would that be?"

"So unprofessional," he agrees.

Rachel nods swiftly, licking her lips. "Yes, well… I should probably go… make some phone calls."

"Right, yeah, I should, um… go work on some cars," Finn says hastily, rubbing the back of his neck. "So, um, I'll see you at lunch?"

She nods. "Yeah, see you then."

He nods one final time before heading to the back, and she sighs as she sinks into her chair. Today just became sufficiently awkward.


She's still feeling embarrassed when she meets him in the break room for lunch, her face heating up as soon as she sits beside him, pulling her pink lunchbox out as per usual.

"So…" he says, trailing off. Silence follows. "This is awkward," he points out.

"Extremely so," Rachel agrees.

"How do we fix it?" he asks, a teasing edge to his voice.

"Have sex probably." It's supposed to be a joke, but somehow, when it leaves her mouth, it's not. It just hangs in the air, and she looks at him with wide eyes, hoping he miraculously will overlook her stupidity.

To her dismay, he doesn't. "I… Are you serious?"

She swallows, and she thinks about it for a minute. She does really really like Finn already – possibly even love, but surely it's too soon to think about that. He is ridiculously attractive (of course), and it's not like she's a virgin. (She might as well be, but she's not, and that's what counts). She highly doubts he's one either, and it's perfectly natural for her to want to have sex with her hot, perfect boyfriend.

Slowly, she nods. "I – I mean, if you want…"

"Yes," he blurts out. "I mean, if you're sure, I would love to, uh… I mean, you're beautiful and hot and awesome and um… I just…" He sighs, and she nearly giggles at his clear frustration. "There's no way I can say this without sounding like a douche."

She does laugh then, and then he laughs as well, and the tension begins to dissolve. "So, my place or yours?" she asks, half joking but half serious.

"Leave it to me," he says with a little smirk that makes her heart pound. "It'll be perfect, Rach, as perfect as possible. You deserve that much."

She bites her lip before she leans over to kiss him, pressing her lips sweetly against his. His hand finds its way to the back of her neck, his fingers tangling in her hair, and her hand cups his cheek. She keeps her hand against his skin as she pulls away, smiling at him sweetly, glancing down at his slightly swollen lips.

"It'll be perfect as long as I'm with you," she promises.

A slow smile spreads across his face. In response, he kisses her again.


His lips trail down her neck as he presses her against the blanket, one hand holding both of her wrists above her head. She moans a bit as his lips travel further south, grazing over her chest. His tongue darts out to circle around one taut nipple, and she arches up so he's enveloping more of her with his mouth.

She was skeptical at first when he invited her over to the Hummel-Hudson house for the evening, but once he explained that Burt and Carole were out and showed her the picnic he had set up by the fireplace, she instantly fell just a little bit more in love with him.

As his mouth finds her once more she thinks the word again. Love. She knows she loves him. If she didn't, surely it wouldn't feel as good as this.

"I'm ready," she whispers against his cheek, and he pulls away to look at her.

"Are you sure?" he asks.

She nods. "I'm sure. I've never been more sure of anything in my entire life."

He grins, kissing her again, and she can't help but giggle as he pulls away to look for his discarded jeans. Finally, he finds them, and he triumphantly pulls out a condom out of one of the front pockets. He eagerly opens it, rolling it onto himself and positioning himself at her entrance.

"I love you," he murmurs, and her eyes widen a bit in the dim light of the fire, but before she can process his words or say anything in response, he's pushing into her, and she gasps in surprise.

He's certainly bigger than Jesse was, and she needs a minute to adjust. Finn asks her if she's okay, and after a second, she nods, raising a hand to cup his cheek. "I'm perfect."

He kisses her as he begins to move inside her, and she's never felt so whole, not just physically, but emotionally as well. Finn is everything she never knew she was missing, and before she gives in to simply feeling, she silently thanks Kurt for offering her this summer job, because without it, she wouldn't be where she is right now. And this is possibly the happiest she's ever been.

He groans, and she knows he's getting close. She can feel her own release building up as well. He shifts slightly, and suddenly its building even more inside her, building building building until she can't hold on any longer. She lets out a high pitched moan, gripping his shoulders as she comes undone around him, and she feels him shake as he comes as well. She kisses his nose, his cheek, his collar bone as he catches his breath, pulling out of her and rolling over.

"That was…"

"Yeah," she agrees. She pauses, looking up at his face, and then she asks, "Did you mean it? What you said?"

"Which part?" he asks carefully, but she can tell by his expression that he knows exactly what she's talking about.

He's just going to make her say it.

"The part when you said you loved me," she whispers.

"Oh, well… Yeah. I mean, I do. Love you, that is."

She smiles, pressing her palm flat against his chest as she kisses him, but he pulls away after a second, studying her intently. She knows what he's waiting for.

"I love you, too," she tells him, looking into his wide hazel-brown eyes. "It's hard not to," she confesses.

His smile is so blinding she almost has to look away, and she squeals as he presses sloppy, open mouthed kisses against her neck. "I love you," he murmurs. "I love you, I love you."

She whispers back that she loves him, too, and she thinks about it when he gets up to dispose of the condom. She's never felt this way before, and part of her wonders how things can possibly get better.


Kurt comes back to Ohio for a week at the beginning of July, and he shrieks when he walks into the shop to see Finn and Rachel firmly attached at the mouth.

"Oh my God!"

"Er, hey, Kurt," Finn says, rubbing the back of his neck and looking at Rachel from out of the corner of his eye after they extract themselves from each other.

She feels the blush settling in her cheeks.

"I leave for a month and this happens? You seduce my replacement?"

"I didn't seduce her," Finn says defensively. "I fell in love with her."

She beams up at him as he wraps an arm around her waist. She doesn't think she'll ever get tired of him saying the words.

"Oh dear God," Kurt mutters. "You're fucking her, aren't you?"

"Kurt!" Rachel gasps, and Finn's hold on her tightens. "Not that it's any of your business, but yes, Finn and I recently became… intimate. It's not a defining factor in this relationship, however. It's simply a natural progression, because when two people share feelings and are attracted to one another, things tend to generally get—"

"Oh, dear God, please stop talking!" Kurt groans, covering his ears. "I get it, okay, you found love in the workplace like Jim and Pam from 'The Office' or something, but please, can we stop talking about it?"

"Alright," Finn laughs, dropping a kiss on the top of Rachel's head. "I have to get back to work, but I'll see you both later."

She tilts her face up towards his so he can peck her lips, and she hears Kurt make a gagging noise. She glares at him as Finn pulls away.

"Really?" she asks as Finn leaves, and Kurt just shrugs.

"Excuse me for not wanting to see you and my brother suck face. I don't remember that being in the job description."

"I don't remember you mentioning him at all, actually," Rachel points out, folding her arms over her chest.

Kurt sighs. "Yes, well… Would it have changed anything?"

Rachel thinks about it for a moment. "No," she answers finally. "I suppose not. I fully believe Finn and I would have found a way to each other anyway."

Kurt raises a single, amused eyebrow. "I leave you for one month and you guys meet and fall in love? Doesn't that seem a little… implausible?"

"Maybe," Rachel allows, "to someone on the outside looking in. But for me, and for Finn, it was just… natural, I guess. Like it was supposed to happen."

Kurt's gaze softens a little bit.

"It sounds stupid, but it's the truth," Rachel says.

"It's not…" Kurt pauses, clearing his throat. "It's not stupid."

Rachel gives him a small smile.

"Frankly," Kurt continues, "Finn needs someone like you in his life. After the Quinn thing… Well, let's just say he hasn't exactly been eager to get back in the swing of things, so I'm glad that clearly, something you did made him change his mind."

"I didn't really do anything," Rachel confesses, drumming her fingers on the wood of the desk.

"Oh, you did," Kurt assures her. "You just didn't realize it. And I can only thank you for that."

He smiles at her, and she ducks her head, but she grins nonetheless.

"Mind if I stick around for a bit, at least until my dad can get off for lunch?" Kurt hovers by the chair in front of her desk.

"By all means," she replies. She pauses, then she adds, "I would certainly love the company."

She and Kurt become better friends that day, getting to know each other, and she thanks him again for getting her this job. It led her to friendship and, most importantly, it led her to Finn.


She meets his mother that night at a homecoming dinner being held in Kurt's honor. Finn asks her if she'd like to accompany him as his girlfriend, whom his mother is dying to meet, he's sure to add. Her heart pounds in her chest at his phrasing, but she agrees, and that's how she finds herself sitting next to him, hand firmly within his own, as Kurt and Burt argue over Burt's apparent lack of healthy eating habits.

"Dad, you are eating fried chicken," Kurt points out.

"So?" Burt asks around a mouthful of said chicken, a bit of grease dripping down his chin.

"It's not good for your heart!" Kurt practically shrieks. "Your arteries are probably closing as we speak!"

"Oh, quit being such a drama queen," Burt manages to get out around his food, swallowing.

Rachel covers a giggle that nearly escapes with the palm of her hand. Finn gives her a side glance and a secret smile, his lips gently tugging upwards.

"I'm so glad you're here with us tonight, Rachel," Carole says pointedly. "I've heard so many good things from first Kurt, then Burt, and now Finn, of course, so it's incredibly lovely to meet you."

"It's lovely to meet you as well," Rachel says. "And your cooking is splendid, really. Especially this vegan casserole."

"Thank you!" Carole beams, and Rachel smiles timidly back at her. Finn squeezes her hand. She knows he's happy that she and his mother get along. Adore each other is more like it. It makes her happy, too.

She really likes making him happy, because it makes her happy in return, seeing him smile so wide that his dimples show and his eyes grow bright.

It might just be her favorite sight in the world.


Burt leaves early on the Fourth of July to prepare for the cookout he and Carole are hosting later in the evening, and Finn and Rachel are the only ones left to man the shop. Naturally, they decide to close early, because who's going to get their car serviced on the Fourth of July?

Rachel's gathering her things when she feels Finn come up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist and pressing his lips against her neck. He's already changed out of his jumpsuit, and he's patiently waiting for her to finish up. Or, at least, he was.

"Finn," she murmurs, her voice almost a whine. She knows what kisses like this mean, and this certainly can't happen here or now. "We can't."

"Why not?" he mutters against her skin. "No one else is here." He kisses the spot right below her ear. She sighs, reluctantly leaning her head farther back to give him better access. "No one will ever know."

She lets out a low moan, and that seems to be all the permission he needs, spinning her around so he's kissing her hard on the mouth. Her hands fly up to knot in his hair, and she's breathing heavily as he lifts her up, setting her ass on the desk, his mouth once more moving down her neck, nipping and sucking as he goes.

"Finn," she moans, and he growls; she feels the vibration against her skin.

"I love it when you say my name," he whispers, his fingers slipping under her shirt. "Especially when you're like this." His hands trace the outline of the bra covering her breasts. He nips at her skin, his tongue darting out to soothe the bite. "All hot and bothered."

She gulps, bringing his face up to hers so she can kiss him fiercely, her tongue sliding into his mouth and her own hands slipping under his t-shirt, tracing the muscles on his back. A bit of grease on his nose left over from earlier in the day rubs onto her cheek, but she doesn't mind.

He pulls away so she can yank his shirt over his head, and she tosses it over onto the floor before attacking his mouth with hers once more, her hands gripping his shoulders, his muscles smooth and firm underneath her fingers.

Before she knows it, her shirt joins his on the floor and he's reaching around to unsnap her bra, his hands immediately taking the place of the material after he slides it down her shoulders. She groans into his mouth as he gently squeezes, thumb gliding over her nipple. She focuses on breathing in through her nose as he lowers his mouth to one breast, his tongue circling the bud, but she arches into his warm, wet mouth anyway, wanting him to somehow be everywhere at once.

"Finn," she breathes, her fingers tangling in his hair as he hooks his fingers into the waistband of her skirt. He pulls away to smile up at her, kissing his way down the flat plane of her stomach. He pulls her skirt down, his fingers brushing her through her underwear, and she can't help but groan.

He grins wickedly at her, pressing a kiss to the inside of her thigh. She gives an unintentional shiver as he slowly, tantalizingly slides down her panties, gasping as one of his long, talented fingers swiftly slides inside her.

She bites her lip to keep from moaning as she rocks against his hand, but he just smiles, and before she knows what's happening, his tongue is replacing his finger.

"Oh, Finn," she gasps out, her hands gripping the edge of the desk as his tongue begins curling inside her. She feels the fire growing inside her as he grips her hips to keep her from squirming, nipping and sucking at her clit. She knows she's close; she can feel it building inside her, and then his tongue is hitting it just right, and oh.

Her cries echo around the empty shop as she comes, her hands gripping the back of Finn's head tightly against her. He kisses her stomach as she pants, trying to catch her breath.

"I love you," she manages to get out, bringing his face to hers so she can kiss him, tasting herself on his tongue.

"I love you," he murmurs, pressing his lips against her collar bone.

She grins, dipping her hand into his pants, her fingers grazing his hardness through his boxers. He groans against her neck, and she continues moving her hand up and down over the fabric.

"Rach," he moans, his voice a throaty whisper. "Please."

She grins against his shoulder as she pulls his pants down his legs. His hands join hers as she attempts to get rid of his boxers next, but somehow they manage to get rid of them, and then Finn is opening a condom package and rolling it onto his length.

He settles between her legs, brushing a strand of hair behind her ear as he looks into her eyes. "I love you," he reminds her.

She brings his hand to her lips, kissing his palm. "I know."

He smiles, kissing her as he pushes into her. He swallows her cry that escapes as he begins to move, intertwining their hands together. She squeezes his fingers as the pace quickens, and it's never been quite like this before: laced with desperation and urgency, the feeling that they could be caught at any moment.

She moans a bit, and she feels herself getting close to the edge once more. His thrusts are becoming more erratic, and she knows he's close as well. His hand untangles from hers and moves down to press against her sensitive bundle of nerves.

"Rachel," he murmurs huskily. "I – I 'm gonna—"

He spills into the condom then, and he applies just enough pressure to her clit that she's right behind him, her walls fluttering around him and her muscles contracting as she meets her sweet release.

He kisses her cheeks, her eyelids, her nose as she slowly regains control of her body.

"Hi," he whispers, and his smile is so wide, she can't help but smile back.

"Hi," she replies. She blinks, looking around, and then she immediately sits up, pushing him off of her a bit. "Oh my God, I can't believe we did that!"

Finn laughs, hugging her to him. "That was hot," he tells her, kissing her hair.

"But unprofessional!" she squeaks.

"No one else was here, and no one will know," he promises.

She sighs, allowing herself to sink into him a bit. "Okay," she whispers. She glances up at the clock. It's a little after six.

"We should get going if we want to make the barbeque and the fireworks show," she points out.

He sighs, glancing at the time as well. "I guess you're right."

They go about the task of gathering up their clothes and putting them back on, and Rachel can't help but smirk as she looks back at the desk as she waits for Finn to finish getting dressed.

She feels so wrong but so right at the same time.


The next day is really busy at the shop; seemingly half the cars in Lima have experienced auto trouble after the hectic Fourth of July holiday. Rachel is busy answering the phone and helping customers nearly all day, and she's taking a call when the bell above the door signifies that someone is walking in. She hears the clacking of heels against the cement floor. A shadow falls across the desk, and a throat clears.

She holds up a finger while she listens intently to the person on the other end.

"Yes, Mr. Anderson, I'll let Mr. Hummel know. Yes. Yes, alright."

She hears nails clacking against the edge of her desk as she hangs up the phone, and she sighs, "Can I help you?"

"Actually, yes."

Rachel looks up to see the smirking face of Santana Lopez, red nails clicking against the wood of her desk. "Hello, Man Hands."

Rachel does her best to smile, but it comes off as more of a grimace. "Santana," she says through gritted teeth. "How may I assist you?"

"I'm here to pick up my dad's Porsche," she says, sitting on the edge of the desk.

"It'll be just a minute," Rachel tells her. "We're busy today, as you can see—"

"Oh, I've got time," Santana says breezily. "I can just have a nice girl chat with you instead."

Rachel swallows. She really hopes Finn will come back out here soon.

"So, still a lonely old cat lady?" Santana asks. "Doomed to roam the earth alone until God takes pity on you and finally puts you out of your misery?"

Rachel smiles acidly at her. "Actually, I'm seeing someone, but thank you for your concern."

Santana scoffs. "What, Hudson? Please, he's just taking pity on you!"

Rachel feels anger bubbling in the pit of her stomach, but she thinks she knows why Santana's lashing out. She's jealous.

"Maybe so," Rachel says, reaching down for some paper work. She takes a deep breath before adding, "But it didn't seem like that last night when he fucked me on the desk you're sitting on."

Santana's eyes grow wide as saucers, but she doesn't move. "You're lying," she says, her tone accusatory.

Rachel smiles at her sweetly. "Am I?"

Santana hastily jumps off the desk, wiping off her butt hastily with her hands. "You're disgusting," she seethes.

Rachel shrugs. "And you're jealous, so shall we call it even?"

"Hey, Rach."

Rachel grins, turning to look at Finn. Just in time. "Yeah, babe?"

He raises an eyebrow at her use of the pet name. "I was just wondering when you were going on lunch break."

"I just have to help my friend Santana here, then I'll be right in, okay?"

"Okay," Finn smiles, and then he disappears back inside.

Santana gapes for a second before she finds her composure. "I – I'll pick up the car tomorrow." She makes for the door, then she turns back to add, "I hope you and Frankenteen get thrown in jail for crimes against humanity." She pushes the door open then, and she's gone.

Rachel starts to laugh, and soon she's laughing so hard her stomach aches and tears are streaming down her cheeks. Finn pokes his head around the corner once more. "Rach, are you okay?"

She nods, but she's doubled over, gasping for air, so she's not sure he sees. "I'm fine," she finally gasps out. "I – I'm coming for lunch."

She stands up, wiping her eyes, and she ignores his bemused expression as she takes his outstretched hand. She'll fill him in on the rest later.


The rest of the summer goes by smoothly, but Rachel dreads the end of it, because she knows that Finn will be leaving for New York, and she'll see him rarely over the course of her senior year. Her heart aches just thinking about it. So she does the only logical thing she can think of.

She decides she has to break up with him.

She tries telling him that they're going in two different directions, that they won't be able to handle being apart, that it was all just a summer fling.

He calls her out on her lies. "Rachel," he says, taking her face between his hands. "You're scared. I get it. We've seen each other every day this summer, and suddenly we won't, and that scares you. Honestly, it scares me, too. But I love you, okay? I love you, and we'll make it through this."

She sniffs, and he wipes away a stray tear that streaks down her cheek. "You won't fall in love with some gorgeous New York college girl?"

He laughs, kissing her forehead. "I haven't so far, and I think it's because I was waiting for you to come along. How can I fall in love with someone else when my heart belongs to another?"

She gives him a watery smile, and she kisses him back when he presses his lips against hers.

"I'll visit every weekend if I have to," he whispers.

"Or I can visit you," she says around the tears convoluting in her throat.

"Yes," he adds, his thumbing gently gliding over her cheek. "You can visit me."

"I'm s-sorry I tried to break up with you," she wails, wrapping her arms around his neck, but he just shushes her, rubbing her hair.

"Shh, baby, it's okay," he soothes, letting her sob into his shirt, her tears dampening the fabric. "It might be hard at first, but we'll be okay."

She focuses on the feel of his arms around her and the smell that's part laundry detergent and part distinctly Finn as she takes in a deep breath. He's right. They'll be okay.

This isn't just some summer fling. This is real.

"I'll never break up with you," she whispers into the collar of his shirt. "Not for real, anyway."

She feels his lips press against her forehead. "Me neither. And even if you try a stunt like this"

Despite herself, she smiles.


He comes back from New York to take her to her senior prom, which she finds incredibly sweet.

"You don't have to," she had told him, but he'd simply shut her up with a kiss and insisted that he wanted to.

So now she beams up at him as she, Finn, Kurt, and his boyfriend, Blaine (who's her age), all pose for pictures in her front yard.

"You look beautiful," he murmurs into her hair as he lightly squeezes her waist, her dads shouting for them to get closer together.

"You clean up well yourself," she teases, tweaking his tie. He leans down to kiss her cheek.

"Perfect!" her daddy shrieks, the camera clicking madly. "Absolutely adorable!"

Rachel giggles, leaning further into his side. "I love you," she murmurs. "Tonight is going to be perfect, all thanks to you."

He drops another kiss on her hair. "It'll be sure to be better than my senior prom, that's for sure." When she looks up at him questioningly, he adds, "Puck spiked the punch, and I spent the night tending to a very drunk, very pissed off Quinn. She didn't win prom queen."

"Oh," Rachel says knowingly. "You won't have to worry about that with me."

"Yeah?" he asks, his eyes sparkling.

She nods.


She beams up at him until her dads say they want just one more picture, and as she's scooting impossibly closer to him, she feels her heart swell with thoughts of the future – their future. This summer, she'll be moving into an apartment with him that's equidistant from NYADA and NYU, and she'll be living in New York City with the guy of her dreams, attending the school she's been trying to get into for as long as she can remember.

She's pretty sure tonight will be the beginning of the life she's always wanted, and she can't wait to start living it, with Finn by her side.


Five years later, she and Finn make the trip back to Lima for Thanksgiving. They arrive in Ohio at around one, and they get a rental car to drive to his parents' house, where they'll be staying for the long weekend. Since it's actually the day before Thanksgiving, they decide to go visit Burt and the shop.

"It'll be just like old times," Rachel smirks as they walk in the door. "I always thought you were pretty hot in that greasy jumpsuit of yours."

"Baby, I think I know," he winks. "I'm pretty sure you proved it to me on that desk right there, actually."

"Excuse me?"

They both freeze, looking over to see Burt standing in the corner, a crease visible between his eyes as he frowns at them. "You fornicated in the shop when that was the one thing I specifically told you not to do?"

"Six years ago!" Finn points out desperately. "I – I mean, it's all water in the bridge now, isn't? I mean, Rachel and I are engaged and stuff now, so…"

"Water under the bridge," Rachel mutters hurriedly, but Burt interrupts.

"Oh, good, I feel a lot better knowing that you're at least marryin' the girl you sexed up in my shop."

Rachel feels her cheeks turning crimson. "Burt we're really—"

"Yeah, yeah, save it," Burt says gruffly. "Nothin' I can do about what you did as teenagers. Just… you know, don't do it again."

"Wouldn't dream of it," Rachel says quickly.

"Totally," Finn agrees.

"Well, I need to finish up here, then I'll see you two back at the house, alright?"

"See you then," Finn says quickly, grabbing Rachel by the elbow and ushering her quickly out of the shop.

"Oh my God, that was mortifying," Rachel says once they're outside. "Burt knows that we – we – you know – in the shop!"

"Six years ago!" Finn reminds her.

"Still, it's so embarrassing," she moans, covering her face with her hands.

"Hey, you don't regret it though, do you?" he asks, his voice gentle, slowly prying her hands away from her face.

"No," she admits quietly. "I don't."

"Then don't worry about it, okay? Burt's not even really mad."

"Okay," she whispers, her lips curling upward into a small smile.

Finn takes her chin in his hand, pecking her lightly on the lips. Her eyes flutter closed, and she keeps them closed as he pulls away, focusing on the warm, fuzzy feeling in the pit of her stomach.

"So you're game for sneaking back into the shop tonight for a sequel?"

Her eyes flow open to see him smirking at her, and she whacks his arm. "Finn!"

He laughs. "Is that a 'no'?"

She ducks her head so he won't see her smiling as she turns to walk back to the car. "That's a maybe."

She hears him mutter "God I love you" before he hurries to catch up with her, intertwining his fingers with hers as they head for the car.

thank you so so much for reading, and it would really mean a lot to me if you left a review :)