This story came from a novel I read online. I've always loved a little bit of action/adventure/romance story and when I read the novel I can't help but imagine Finchel in it. It's going to be divided in two chapters and the next one will be uploaded in a few days. Hope you like it!

Completely AU. Rachel and Puck are cousins. Finn was engaged to Quinn. And they all work for the government.

If you have questions or comments please feel free to leave a review :)

Thanks to for this. Enjoy!


Chapter One

Captain Finn Hudson lay sprawled on the cot. Dried blood covered his fists. A purple bruise adorned his right cheekbone above three days' worth of bristling beard stubble. Grime streaked the wild colors of the Hawaiian print shirt he'd donned for the mission. He'd posed as a tourist, but the Juarez Cartel hadn't bought the act. They'd had the local police pick him up. Judging by his appearance, they'd had the cops do more than that.

"Señor Magnum!" The guard rapped his nightstick against the cell bars. "You have a visitor."

The man on the cot didn't move.

For the first time since she'd heard the news from Intelligence yesterday morning, Rachel Berry experienced a surge of pure fear. There hadn't been time before. She'd shoved her emotions aside, finessed her way through a morass of red tape and called in every favor she'd been owed just to get here. Until two minutes ago, she hadn't been sure that the tip they'd received had been legitimate.

But the man in the basement jail of this Central American police station was definitely Finn Hudson. Rachel would know him anywhere, regardless of his appearance. Her heart recognized his presence.

That's because she had been in love with him from the moment they had met.

Dear God, had she gotten here too late?

No! He couldn't be dead. Otherwise, she would have sensed it. She'd known he'd been alive ten years ago, even after everyone else had given up and believed the official story.…

"It was a training mission. A damn dress rehearsal. They must be wrong."

"I'm sorry, Rachel. There's no mistake."

"Finn can't be dead. I won't believe it."

Noah slid his arm around her shoulders. "He knew the risks. We all do."

She leaned into her cousin's embrace. Noah Puckerman was a member of Eagle Squadron. One of the elite commando units of Special Operations Delta, so Rachel was well aware of the dangers soldiers like Finn faced. "Does Quinn know yet?"

"I was hoping you'd help us tell her. She's going to need a friend."

Yes, Quinn Fabray would need their support. Losing Finn would devastate her. She was, after all, his fiancée.

And Rachel was Quinn's best friend. So no one, especially Finn, had known of her love for him. She'd been prepared to accept his marriage, because she loved him enough to want him to be happy. Yet she had never been able to accept his death.…

Finn hadn't died on that training mission. Instead, he'd spent the next six years in a Middle East prison. Thoughts of Quinn, the woman he'd planned to marry, had kept him alive. Then he'd returned home to find she had already married another man.

It was the only time Rachel had seen Finn cry. She'd tried to be there for him, because he'd needed a friend.

Afterward, a friend was all he'd wanted her to be.

As she'd discovered, no prison made of steel or concrete could match the walls that Finn Hudson had built around his heart.


Rachel dug her nails into her palms and focused on Finn's chest. In spite of his wounds, he appeared to be breathing. She permitted herself a moment of fierce joy. Confirming he was alive had been the hardest part, but the rest wasn't going to be any cakewalk. "These conditions are deplorable. This man needs medical attention."

As she spoke, the rhythm of Finn's breathing seemed to change. Though the cot was in the dimmest corner of the cell, Rachel got the impression his muscles had tensed.

Or was that merely wishful thinking on her part?

"You! Magnum." The guard rapped the bars again. "Get up!"

That was the second time he'd called Finn Magnum. Either that was the alias he was using, or it was a reference to the garish shirt. Rachel suspected it was the shirt. "He's unconscious," she said, switching to Spanish. "He could be in a coma. I insist you bring in a doctor."

The guard grunted a curse, retrieved a mug from his desk and flung the contents through the bars. Liquid that looked and smelled suspiciously like beer spattered on the floor and the side of the cot. Several drops hit Finn's face, but he didn't flinch.

Had she been wrong? Was he worse off than he looked? Rachel withdrew her phone from her suit jacket, forcing herself to concentrate on her role in order to keep the panic at bay. "This is outrageous. I'm calling the American consulate. If you won't provide a doctor, they will."

The guard turned his back on his prisoner to glare at her. "Do not make trouble or you will join your friend. This is not your country. Your government has no power—"

That was all he had time to say. In a blur of motion, Finn leapt from the cot, thrust his arm between the cell bars and hooked his elbow around the guard's throat.

"Finn!" Rachel cried.

He used his other hand to tighten the vise of his elbow, holding the guard suspended against the bars. The man kicked and clawed to no effect before finally going limp. Finn let him drop to the floor and turned his attention to Rachel.

His brown hair stuck up in wild tufts all over his head. Dried blood darkened a split in his lower lip. His hands continued to flex, as if preparing for another fight. He'd never looked more deadly, yet his eyes shone with gentleness. No blood or grime or passing years could dim his appeal for her. It was in the alert spark in his gaze, the stubborn lift of his chin, the strength in his broad shoulders…

"What—" His voice was raw. He tried again. "What the hell are you doing here, Berry?"

No hello. No thank you. Not that she'd expected either. I'm here because I love you, you idiot. "Isn't it obvious, Captain Hudson? I came to rescue you."

Finn studied Rachel through the cell bars. "You shouldn't have come. I was doing fine."

"Sure you were. I know how you enjoy confined spaces."

"Dammit, Berry, this was too much of a risk. What were you thinking? To smuggle me out in an ambulance?"

"That was the plan until you decided to take out that guard." She slipped her phone back into her jacket and smoothed her skirt, then grabbed a ring of keys from the desk and tossed them to Finn. "Now we'll need to improvise."

He shoved the fallen guard aside as he opened the cell door. "I didn't have a choice. He threatened to lock you up."

Had he? She hadn't even noticed.

Finn picked up the guard's nightstick, although Rachel didn't think the piece of wood was to be much help against the armed police who stood between them and the way out. He unlocked the door that led to the stairwell and motioned her forward. "How did you get the cops to let you in, anyway?" he asked. "Most of them are on the cartel's payroll."

"Yes they are, so they were already accustomed to the direct approach."

"What's that mean?"

"I bribed my way in."

"Intelligence must want me back bad."

"Don't get a swelled head. I had to take up a collection around your office for the bribe."

"And no doubt you itemized every cent. How much of the cash have you got left?"

"Not enough to outbid the cartel. They've got dibs on your butt."

"It's your butt I'm worried about. What the hell possessed you to—"

She held up her palm. "Do we need to get into that again? I'm just doing my job, Finn."

"No, you're not." He caught her hand. "Your job is behind a nice, safe desk at State. Puck's going to kill me when he finds out what you're up to."

Puck was her cousin's nickname. "Noah already knows. He and the guys were supposed to meet us at the border."

"Couldn't Eagle Squadron get someone else to do their dirty work?"

It was difficult to concentrate on his question when her pulse was racing the way it was now. He was right. She seldom left the comfort zone of her desk at the State Department. Her work was done behind the scenes. She wasn't adventurous like her cousin, or tough like Finn. Whatever injuries he'd sustained from the police beating didn't appear to be affecting him. He stood straight and tall, and his grip on her fingers was strong.

That was another reason for her elevated heartbeat. Regardless of the circumstances, the simple touch of his skin against hers echoed through every nerve in her body. How could he look so good to her when he was such a mess? It wasn't fair. He likely didn't even realize he was still holding her hand.

Or so she thought, until she felt the warmth of his lips on her knuckles.

Good Lord. Was that a kiss?

Rachel had learned the hard way not to get her hopes up. Too many years of running into those walls around Finn's heart had made her develop some impressive defenses of her own, so her mind scrambled to find alternate explanations for what she'd just felt. The scab on Finn's lip could have been itchy and he'd rubbed it against her knuckles to scratch it. Or he might have been scratching his beard stubble. Or stress could have made her imagine the whole thing.

After all, why would Finn kiss her hand? That wasn't something he would do to a friend, a pal, a buddy like her. It wasn't something he would do, period. It was too…courtly. Tender. And totally inappropriate considering the fact they were unarmed, outnumbered and hiding in the stairwell of a police station.

Finn was practical. The success of his missions was his priority. It was why he was such a valuable asset to Army Intelligence. She'd been kidding about needing to take up a collection to help him. Of course, he would have known she'd been kidding, because that was the way they always talked to each other. Like buddies.

"On second thought, maybe I'll kill Puck when we get out of here," Finn said.

"What?"

"If he knew you were coming, he should have stopped you."

Finn was regarding her over the top of their joined hands. It was hard to see his expression because his hair had fallen forward again. She licked her free hand and smoothed down his hair. "He couldn't. Apparently, Special Ops was all out of people who could speak Spanish so I had to volunteer. I'm pretty good at it."

Finn snorted. "Right."

"Besides, they promised to pay me overtime."

"Now that explains it." He released her hand. "Hope you held out for double time and a half."

Rachel felt the loss of contact like a cold draft. It helped clear her head. What on earth was she doing? Mooning around like a love–struck teenager because he'd been holding her hand? Not only was that pathetic, it was selfish. There was no time to think about herself.

It wasn't only her fears about Finn's physical condition that had made her pull out all the stops to mount a rescue. Being locked in any jail for even an hour would have to be torture for him. She hadn't wanted him to be haunted by his previous imprisonment. She didn't want him to think he'd been forgotten this time. Enduring those six years of being dead to the world had left plenty of scars, although Finn would be the last person to admit it.

"While I'd love to prolong our stay here so I can put more time on the clock—" she said "—I need to get home to feed my cat. The night shift should be coming on duty any minute now. It could present our best chance to—"

As if on cue, a door squeaked open above them.

Finn jerked his head toward the first floor landing just as a set of leather boots came into view on the stairs. He gestured for Rachel to stay behind him. She got no more than a glimpse of a man in a light brown police uniform before Finn pushed the nightstick through the staircase railing and jabbed it between the man's ankles.

The policeman crashed to the basement floor. The fall only stunned him. Before he could push himself up, Finn tapped him on the side of the head with the nightstick to finish the job. He withdrew the pistol from the holster at the man's waist, then popped out the magazine, checked the ammunition and clicked it back into place. "Okay, let's go," he said as he started up the stairs.

Rachel breathed deeply a few times, hitched up her skirt so that she could step over the downed man and sought to be as matter–of–fact as Finn. "How many bullets are in that gun?"

"Enough."

"I counted more than a dozen men on my way in. If you're hoping to shoot your way out…"

"Not if I can avoid it. I don't want you in the middle of a firefight." He knelt on the third step from the top of the staircase so he could peer beneath the door. He remained as he was for what seemed like an hour, but what could only have been half a minute. Rising to his feet, he crooked his finger at her. "As soon as I open this door, I need you to make a lot of noise."

She paused on the step beside him, a new worry stealing into her mind. Had these few days in captivity already affected his mental state?

As if he'd guessed the direction of her thoughts, a dimple appeared below the bruise on his cheek. It wasn't much of a smile, but on Finn it was as good as a grin. "No, I'm not crazy. Don't you trust me, Berry?"

With my life, Finn. My heart, too, if only you would take it. "Why do you want me to make noise?"

He turned her to face away from him, looped his arm in front of her waist and lifted her back against his body. His breath puffed across her ear. "Because I'm abducting you."

Rachel was swamped by sensations. Sometimes, she forgot how large Finn was. She felt almost delicate. He held her suspended effortlessly. From shoulder to thigh they fit together perfectly, as if they'd been made for each other.…

Don't think about it! she ordered herself. She anchored her fingers around his arm and struggled to make sense of what he'd said. "Uh, abducting?"

"Just act scared."

"I won't be acting."

He gave her a squeeze and flung open the door.


"Nobody move!" Finn shouted in Spanish, waving the gun around the room. He tightened his other arm on Rachel's waist. "Stay where you are or I'll kill her!"

In spite of his threat, several policemen reached for their guns.

Finn fired past their heads, shattering the front window of the police station. The men nearest to it ducked reflexively as glass showered the floor.

Rachel's brain finally lurched into gear. Of course! How else were they going to get past all these weapons? She screamed and fluttered her hands, hoping to ruin the men's aim or at the very least, distract them. She realized Finn's plan wouldn't work for long. Someone was bound to notice that he was doing his best to hold her away from the men's guns instead of using her as a shield. The element of surprise would only buy them a few seconds at most.

It was enough. With her dangling from his grasp like an oversized rag doll, Finn sprinted across the floor. The police belatedly opened fire, but he had already reached the corridor that led to the station's rear exit.

"Put me down!" Rachel gasped. "We'll be able to move faster."

Instead of setting her on her feet, he swung her forward as he released her, giving her a flying start toward the door. "Run!" He turned and fired down the corridor to discourage their pursuers. "I'll catch up to you."

She had no intention of leaving him, but she didn't waste time arguing. A policeman emerged from an alcove beside the door and brought his gun to bear on Finn's back.

Rachel wasn't trained in combat. Not like her cousin or Finn. Or Quinn, the woman Finn had wanted to marry. Most of the battles she fought were against bureaucracy. Words were her weapons. The closest she'd come to martial arts had been a few slow–motion lessons in Tai Chi. So it was nothing but instinct that guided her motions as she lifted her skirt and kicked out.

Her shoe flew off and whirled through the air, but her foot connected solidly with the man's wrist. It knocked off his aim. The bullet burrowed into the wall beside Finn's head.

Finn spun and fired, dropping the man before he could get off another shot. "I told you to get out of here, Berry!"

She shook her head. "Not without you."

He leapt to her side and shoved open the door just as splinters exploded from the doorframe.

Finn squeezed off a few more rounds behind him, then grabbed Rachel's hand and hauled her outside.

The night air was thick with humidity, the buzzing hum of insects and the sound of shouted commands from within the building. A floodlight on the wall beside the door revealed a row of police vehicles surrounded by a chain–link fence topped by coils of razor wire. A gate topped by more razor wire appeared to be the only way out.

Unfortunately, it was chained shut.

Angie couldn't see any way out of the compound, but Finn didn't slow down. She kicked off her remaining shoe to keep up with him as he led her to a van at the end of the row of parked vehicles. He smashed in the driver's window, reached inside and unlocked the door.

She brushed through the crumbs of glass that covered the seat and clambered over the stick shift to the passenger side. She didn't see what he did to the ignition switch, yet she wasn't surprised when she heard the engine turn over. Finn was trained to do whatever it took to accomplish a mission.

The engine roared as the van shot backward.

She risked a peek between the seats. They were accelerating. Through the windows in the rear door she could see the gate coming up fast. Policemen were running toward it, their weapons trained on the van. "Finn, look out!"

He reached over to push her head down. Bullets tore through the back of her seat and punched spiderweb holes in the windshield. Finn spun the wheel, swinging the van in a tight circle as he shifted into a forward gear. The police scattered.

"Hang on, Berry!" he yelled.

The front bumper rammed the gate dead center. Metal screeched and buckled. The chain that held the gate together didn't give, but the vehicle's momentum was enough to tear one side from its hinges. Sparks flew from the undercarriage as they scraped past the fence. An instant later they were clear.

The van hurtled forward. Above the squeal of the tires and the noise of the engine, sirens whined to life. Finn wound through the streets, turning at random, taking full advantage of their head start to put distance between them and their pursuers.

Rachel lost track of time. All she knew was that when he finally slowed to pull into a darkened gas station, she could no longer hear any sirens.

She could hear her pulse, though. It was banging in her ears like thunder.

Finn shut off the engine and twisted to look at her. They had reached the outskirts of town. There weren't any streetlights among the buildings. The only illumination was from the moon, making his battered face seem even grimmer than it had in the jail cell. "Are you okay?" he asked.

Of course, she wasn't okay. They could have been killed. She was so scared, her teeth were chattering. "Just p–p–peachy."

He stroked her hair, then smoothed his palms over her shoulders and down her arms. "Were you hit?"

She wiped her eyes. His touch steadied her. "No. You?"

"I'm fine."

"That was some driving."

"That was some screaming."

She tried to laugh, but it came out as a sob. "Why did you stop?"

He cupped her chin. "We're out of gas."

She felt a tremor in his hand. He'd said he was fine, but…

"Berry." His voice roughened. He leaned closer.

That's when she saw the fresh blood on his shirt.

Rachel jerked her chin from Finn's grasp to focus on his shirt. Blood glistened in the moonlight that came through the bullet–riddled windshield. "You're hurt!"

He looked at her mouth. "Mmm?"

"Why didn't you tell me?" She tore open his buttons. Had she thought she'd known fear before? That was nothing compared to the terror that froze her heart now. She spread his shirt apart, dreading what she might find but determined to do something. Anything. They couldn't have gotten this far only for her to lose him now.

"It's no big deal."

Thank God, she could see nothing wrong with his chest. In fact, it was perfect. Beautiful. Broad and muscular, as if sculpted by a master. Although the skin above his ribs on the left side was smeared with blood, there was no hole. "Sure. You're such a tough guy, bullets don't bother you."

"Nope, I get paid extra for them."

His attempt at humor made her vision blur. She blinked to clear her eyes. "Well, that explains your brilliant plan to abduct me. If you'd run any slower, you could have collected enough bullets to retire."

"You're just ticked because you didn't get to drive."

She stretched past the steering wheel to ease the shirt off his shoulder. "We would have been halfway to the border if I had."

"I've seen the way you handle a car. My grandmother gets more speed out of her walker."

Blood beaded along a line that angled across the top of his biceps. His sleeve was ripped. She carefully peeled it farther down his arm, braced one knee on the gearshift console and leaned across him for a better look.

He grasped her hips. She assumed it was to steady her. "Stop fussing," he said. "It's just a scratch. A piece of razor wire came through the window when we rammed the gate."

The line deepened to a ragged gash above his elbow, where a rivulet of blood ran down his arm and soaked into his bunched–up shirt.

Her stomach rolled at the sight. She felt a stinging ache in her own arm. She swallowed hard. "You call that a scratch? Don't be a wuss." She stripped his shirt off completely, tore a wide piece from the side that was dry and wrapped it firmly around his wound. "My cat draws more blood than that."

"Hey, I liked that shirt."

"It was a fashion crime. No wonder the cartel had you thrown in jail."

"Speaking of the cartel, if you're finished playing doctor, I need to get some gas."

"I'll help."

"Stay put. After three days in that basement cell, I could use the air."

She touched her fingertips to his chest. "I understand."

"Yeah, I know you do." He was silent for a while. He pressed his hand over hers, warming her palm against his skin. "Berry?"

"What?"

"Thanks for coming to get me."

"That's what friends are for."

He tightened his jaw, his nostrils flaring as if he were in pain.

Rachel had wrapped the gash on Finn's arm, but how could she have forgotten about his other injuries? Once again, she pulled away from his grasp. "Is it your ribs? The police beat you up pretty badly, didn't they?"

Instead of replying, he shoved his door open and stepped out of the van. He rubbed his face hard, then rounded the hood, walked past the gas pump and disappeared into the shadows of the gas station. She heard the tinkle of breaking glass.

Concerned, she opened her door and followed him. She'd gone only a few feet before she was reminded she'd lost her shoes. She continued across the dirt yard more gingerly. "Finn?"

He emerged from the shadows with a crowbar in his hand. "I thought I told you to stay put."

"I thought you might need help."

"Right, because you're my friend," he muttered. "My buddy."

"Why are you so cranky?"

"You got involved in this situation because of me. It's up to me to get you out. That's what I'm trying to do."

"It was my choice to come. Don't feel guilty."

He returned to the pump. It was an old–fashioned mechanical model. He used the crowbar to pop open the lock and turned it on. "Then don't feel sorry for me."

"Sorry for you?" She moved beside the van on her tiptoes, trying to avoid the rocks in the dirt. "What gave you that idea?"

"I'm no genius like Quinn's husband, but I can recognize a pattern."

Surprise left her momentarily speechless. This was the first time she'd heard him mention the man his former fiancée had married. He'd spoken easily, as if Quinn's desertion no longer hurt, yet how couldn't it? Regardless of how brief this latest imprisonment had been, it must have stirred painful memories of the other one. "Pattern?" she asked.

He started filling the tank. "I realize I was a mess when I came back from the Middle East. I appreciate the way you stood by me. It couldn't have been easy for you, trying to be a friend to both Quinn and me."

No, it hadn't been easy. She'd loved them both, so she'd understood both sides. "I only wanted to help."

"You did. You kept me sane."

It was a perfect straight line, but she didn't even consider making the obvious quip. "It was your own strength that helped you recover, Finn."

"And yet you're still trying to take care of me."

"I'm not."

"You must have pulled strings to organize my rescue."

"Not alone. The guys from Eagle Squadron wanted in on it, too."

"Sure, but you took point. You bandaged my arm and now you worry about my bruises. You've been doing that for four years. I'm a big boy. I don't need your pity, anymore."

I never acted out of pity, Finn. I acted out of love.

The words she'd held inside rose from her heart to her lips.

But there was so much to say, where should she start?

Rachel pressed closer to the van, watching the play of moonlight on Finn's bare shoulders. Even when he did something as mundane as pumping gas, she still couldn't get enough of him. Her fingers tingled with the urge to touch him. Her throat was thick with the words she longed to say.

I love you, Finn. I have from the moment we met.

Only, the first time they'd met had been at her best friend's engagement party. Rachel had made herself smile and shake Finn's hand and hoped that no one had noticed how breathless his touch had left her. What choice had she had? The only way she could keep both people in her life was to hide her feelings, which was excuse number one. And they'd seemed happy, providing excuse number two.

I love you, Finn. No matter what they said when you went missing ten years ago, I knew you hadn't died because I felt you in my soul.

When everyone else had been struggling to handle their grief, confessing her feelings would only have caused more pain. A third excuse. She'd been glad when Quinn had gone on with her life and found another man to love, and not just for Quinn's sake. She'd been delighted because it had meant Finn would be free when he returned.

I love you, Finn. If you'd chosen me, I would have waited forever.

But he hadn't chosen her, and he hadn't been free, either. The broken engagement that had delighted her had shattered his faith in love. How could she have revealed that her sympathy for him and the friendship she offered were totally self–serving? She would have lost his trust. Being his friend was the only way she could stay close to him, so she'd accepted the role and had protected her heart with excuses.

Rachel had acquired a vast supply of those. Each one was like a piece of armor—they were heavy to carry, they hampered her freedom, yet they had grown vital to her survival. In its own way, love was as perilous as war.

Finn returned the nozzle to the pump and tightened the gas cap. "Did the team give you coordinates for the rendezvous?"

His tone was all business, as if he were speaking to a fellow soldier. Now, wasn't it a good thing she had that armor on? She withdrew her phone from her suit jacket, punched up the map Eagle Squadron had loaded and held the display toward him.

He grasped her wrist to study the screen.

As always, the sensation of Finn's skin on hers warmed her to her bones. Oh, Finn. Don't you feel that? Do I really need to tell you? She lifted her free hand to smooth his hair. "Finn, I've never pitied you. I…"

Her words trailed off. The tiny red dot from a laser sight was moving across his forehead.

Without another thought, Rachel shoved him backward.

Gunfire erupted from the darkness.


Do you guys like it? Let me know what you think and expect an update soon! :)

xoxo