A/N: Started as a take on the missing Finchel make-up scene in "Heart", and grew from there.
Disclaimer: of course I own nothing (except some opinions that I have transferred to the characters).
Now rated T.
"I can guarantee one thing you won't have to worry about adding to your nighttime crazytown ritual, that's getting into bed with me." Finn stormed off, headed for the downstairs washroom.
He sat on the toilet for a while, the pressure in his gut easing as his intestines unclenched. He took a look at the magazine he'd grabbed from Rachel's room and tossed it onto the floor – some beauty magazine, not interested, and his mind was still reeling from his fight with Rachel. He couldn't believe she was that down on him, not thinking that he had a future of his own or something he was going to do in New York rather than just be her accessory. He thought she'd always believed in him more than that. She was the one who'd always told him he was better than the rest, special even, and that she supported his dreams.
His gut finally let loose, which was a relief. He sniffed the air. Okay, probably just as well he wasn't doing this right next to her, he thought. He'd've been worried it would turn her off, even with sex already off the table for tonight since her dads were around. Still, that's part of living together, right, dealing with messy stuff like that?
Were they just too different? Rachel was used to doing everything her way, and she was so particular about things. But she didn't fuss over how he dressed and acted, or how messy they got when they made love – he'd never felt that her pickiness extended to him. He thought back to the first weeks of sharing a bathroom with Kurt. Yeah, it took time to adjust. He'd adjusted to Kurt, and he'd thought Rachel couldn't be worse, but Kurt had also adjusted to him, at least until they'd moved into the larger house and didn't have to share any more. And it's different when it's the one you love – Rachel had said something about 'the mystery' in part of their fight, and certainly that wasn't something that would apply to his relationship with his stepbrother, which was more on a need-to-know basis.
His stepbrother who was probably the most negative about their marriage plans and who had talked to him about his future and concerns that he was giving his life up for Rachel. His stepbrother who had heard about their engagement in confidence and then decided that it was somehow the same as getting married right away and that everyone should stop them. What had Rachel really said anyway, just stumbled a bit about what he might be doing in New York. Hell, he didn't know that himself. So why had he assumed she meant it so badly when she'd always supported him before? Because he was already worried about it himself, probably, so he'd heard what he'd feared rather than what she'd said.
The whole evening had been a big in-your-face to him about how different Rachel's life was to his. Sure they had had fun at dinner, and in a nice goofy way that he could go for. He'd even been wondering if Kurt might be interested in trying that kind of singalong thing at home, with Rachel and Blaine over. But it didn't feel comfortable, and he hadn't been able to relax at all. And then he hadn't been able to relax in Rachel's room, there just didn't seem to be space for him there, and her evening whatever ritual was crazy-long. Guess she'd never had to share a bathroom. Plus his gut had been aching.
Finn finished on the toilet and washed up. He picked the magazine up slowly. One big problem with storming off is having to figure out how to go back, he thought. He loved Rachel so much that the idea of being without her felt like it would rip him apart, and he'd still walked away over a petty squabble. Real mature. Especially when he'd been the one to push her into getting so serious, getting engaged, even pulling out all the stops at convincing her that they belonged together by singing, since he knew that was how they connected best. But now they were engaged, so walking away was temporary, it had to be. Marriage would do that too, they'd have to deal with things then. And maybe she'd still look adoringly into his eyes even after she heard and smelled the worst of his bodily functions.
He went back to the door of Rachel's room and looked in. She was sitting slumped on the bed, probably crying.
"Hey," he said quietly.
She jumped up and ran to him. "I'm so sorry, Finn," she pleaded. "I didn't mean it like that, you have to know that right?" she stood in front of him, looking into his face with the wide eyes that he found so hard to refuse. "I just haven't really visualized the details of it yet, us living together in New York. Of course you'd be doing something with your life, you know I believe in you."
He opened his arms to her and she jumped into them. "I love you so much," she said. "Here in my room – it's too easy for me just to do things my way. I'm sorry that I didn't think of you and how you'd feel, you must hate me."
"I love you," Finn replied, looking down into her face. "And I shouldn't have said what I did, I was mad and I'm sorry. But yeah, it just doesn't feel like there's space for me here, I don't belong." He took a deep breath and exhaled. "It's like when Mom and I first moved in with Burt and Kurt, it just wasn't my home and I felt like I was just being shoved into a place that was already someone else's. I didn't really feel at home until we changed things around so it was different for everybody."
Finn breathed again. "If we're going to make this work, we need a place that's ours," he said. "Not your place with me in it, not my place with you in it. Ours. And we'll have to work out some sort of arrangements, because having opposite schedules with you sounds like my least favorite thing. Do you think you could try to do that?"
"I could for you."
He kissed her, slowly caressing her mouth with his tongue, feeling her body relax against his. "We'll work something out," he mumbled against her lips. "We always do."
"Please come to bed," she said, leading him into the room. "I always feel so much better when I'm in your arms."
"Okay," Finn smiled. He cleared his throat. "Something's strange, though."
"What is it?" She got into bed and he snuggled in behind her, spooning her body with his.
"Well when I snuck downstairs, I saw your Dads, in the living room, and they looked kind of... smug."
"Maybe they didn't hear us."
"We were loud, Rach." Finn stroked her hair, enjoying the feel and smell of it. Okay, her evening ritual had some benefits. Maybe they could moderate things more, like they usually did; Rachel tended to start out crazy with things but would listen to him.
"Oh. Yes, we were." She looked over her shoulder at him. "They planned this," she said, hurt evident in her voice. "All of them."
Finn frowned. But she was right – they'd clearly been bullied into him sleeping over without them being prepared for it, and all four of their parents had been in on it and deliberately tried to make them as uncomfortable as possible. While they were learning from the experience, the fight had still hurt them both, and it could have been a complete disaster for them. He exhaled. "Yeah. So much for people being supportive, if they're actually trying to get us to fight." He tightened his arm around her. "Even my mom," he said sadly.
"I'm not so sure she's fully on board with sabotaging us."
"What makes you say that?"
"Well, she did pack your clothes for the night, and you always look great in black." Rachel smiled. "You even looked hot when you were mad."
"Oh yeah?" Finn gave her a light kiss.
"Mmm-hmm." Rachel settled back into his arms. "Not that I wouldn't rather avoid you being mad. I'm so glad we kissed and made up."
Finn agreed, but he hoped they wouldn't go through it all again in the morning when they woke up and had to share the bathroom again. Not that they hadn't woken up together before, they'd done quite a bit of sneaking around when her dads were away, but obviously her dads were intent on ratcheting up the pressure. And most of those other times they'd been making love, which made him a lot more accommodating and Rachel a lot more mellow. But at least now he and Rachel knew what their parents were up to, and hopefully that would help them deal with it.
Then Finn noticed the time – even with dinner, Rachel's bedtime routine, and their fight, it was still really early. The other times when they'd gone to bed this early it had still been a long time before they went to sleep, but that wasn't an option with her dads in the house. Though it would serve her dads right to overhear that after the fight that they'd manipulated. Still, Sugar's party was going on at Breadstix, and to his relief Rachel suggested they go.
They talked a little more as they dressed quickly.
"So I think it's best if we don't let on to my dads that we know what they're up to," Rachel said. "Who knows what they might try next."
"Yeah." Finn frowned. "I really wish we could get them to stop this manipulative crap though."
"We could unsettle them," Rachel said, thinking.
"What, like make it look that them pushing us to go faster is really making us go faster, so they'd stop?"
"Reverse reverse psychology," Rachel said excitedly. "Yes!"
"So we pick a wedding date. Something soon."
"Like May, after Nationals." She smiled at him. "It's plausible, since it would work well, especially if we win, we'd get married and have a party, celebrate everything at once."
"Then graduate and move to New York together."
"Yes. And we'd want to do that anyway... if we've learned anything from tonight it's that we're going to need to adjust to living together, so the sooner we start the sooner we'll get that figured out."
Finn grinned. "Actually this plan sounds pretty good."
"It does, doesn't it?" They exchanged speculative looks. "I bet my dads won't think so." Rachel smoothed her dress down. "Let's go tell them and then head to the party. Are you ready?"
"Yeah, all packed," Finn said. "I think I'll go back to my place afterwards, all my school stuff is at home anyway." He looked over at Rachel. "Not that I don't love sleeping with you, of course."
"I know," she said, smiling back at him. "But it's different when they're organizing it for us and they're around. We'll just have to do it again sometime soon, when we can manage it ourselves. And we'll have more fun at the party if we don't have to worry about dealing with this again tonight or controlling ourselves in the morning."
They descended to the living room and explained their new plan to Rachel's dads. Finn plastered on a happy grin and pretended to ignore their suppressed shock at the planned May wedding. But behind it all he couldn't help but think that, while the original purpose of this plan was to fight back against their parents' scheming, it was starting to be quite appealing. If we're going to move to New York together, and we want to spend the rest of our lives together, why not get married?
He escorted Rachel outside and helped her into his truck. "Next stop, Breadstix," Finn said, starting the engine.
"Unless you want to drop by your house now," Rachel suggested.
"Why would we do that? Nobody's home, Mom and Burt are going to a movie and Kurt and Sam will be at Breadstix."
"Oh." Finn blushed a little and flashed Rachel a grin. "We could stop over. The party should last for a while and it's still really early."
When they arrived at the Hudson-Hummel residence, though, Finn drove straight past; the light was on and he could see the flicker of the TV and the shapes of two people on the couch. "Guess they lied, or changed their minds," Finn fumed. "Oh well, Breadstix it is. Let's get our party on."