DISCLAIMER: I neither own Glee nor the characters. They are the property of Ryan Murphy and FOX. This is purely for fun. Enjoy!
A/N: Welcome to the final installment of My Fair Lady! Thanks for all your love and support.
Chapter Nineteen: Their Legacy
Prince Finn had been asleep for five whole days, and not once did Princess Rachel leave his side. She stood vigil over him relentlessly, forgoing sleep and food just to stay with him throughout every moment. She held his hand, wiped the sweat from his brow, and tried in vain to feed him some warm broth in his slumber. The injury to his side had been massive; ribs had been crushed, muscle had been torn, and there was a grave risk of infection. The healers had done everything in their power to repair his battered side and now he slept, his face as peaceful as if he were lost in a dream.
She wished desperately that he would find his way back to her.
Rubbing her abdomen subconsciously, the glow of the candlelight was the only light in the room as darkness fell upon the land once more, signaling another night spent without her beloved. Whimpering lightly, she squeezed the hand she was holding and prayed to the Gods not to let him die.
"Your Highness?" A knock on the door alerted her to the presence of Santana, who came into the room with a tray of food. When she saw the stil uneaten platter from earlier that afternoon she frowned, and placed the tray next to her bed before throwing away the cold, stale meal. "You still haven't eaten?"
She shook her head, never taking her eyes off of Finn for a moment. Santana placed her hands on her hips in frustration. "My Lady, you have to eat. Whether or not you care about your own health is moot, what matters now is the health of your child. Finn's child. He would want you to take care of yourself." Rachel tore her eyes away from Finn's face for a moment to stare at Santana with wide eyes, a jolt of fear penetrating her when she realized the handmaiden was right. She had been so worried about Finn that she completely forgot about her own health, and a painful stomach cramp alerted her of her own hunger. She stood from Finn's bedside and went over to the table, puling the tray of food closer to her before eating.
"Good girl," Santana said sweetly, pulling her matted hair back and trying to brush out the knots that had accumulated there over the past few days. Rachel closed her eyes in bliss as the savory meal filled her belly and enjoyed the attention that Santana was giving her. The ache in her heart was still prominent, though, and would not subside until her Finn had returned to her.
"Why hasn't he woken up yet?" She asked quitely, sipping her water. "It's been almost a week, Santana, yet he still sleeps. What if Lord Jesse truly took him from me? What if his last punishment was to rip my love from my life forever?" Santana began to braid her hair loosely, pulling it off of her neck gently as she spoke in soft tones.
"Your Lord Husband is one of the bravest men I have ever met, Your Grace," Rachel could hear no sarcasm in her tone and it shocked her. Santana was never Finn's biggest fan, but lately she had been Princess Rachel's most staunch supporter in regards to her beloved. "He has fought valiantly for you and the Kingdom, and saved thousands of lives from Lord Jesse's wrath. He's done everything in his power to protect you, and loves you more than life itself. He will come back, My Lady, better and stronger than ever before."
Santana's words filled her with courage and strength as she continued eating her meal in silence. Her handmaiden was not known for fake words of encouragement, so she felt empowered by Santana's steadfast faith in Finn. She turned to her friend with a shaky smile and squeezed her hand.
"Thank you, my sister," Rachel was an only child, but Santana had been considered family for a long time. "I can only hope that the Gods heard your lovely words that touched my heart."
"Do you mean to stay here, My Lady? Your father has been very worried about you and much has happened in the capitol since the duel."
"I can't leave him, Santana. I must be here when he wakes." The Princess frowned. "But what has been going on in my absence?"
"Lord Blaine and Lord Kurt plan on returning to the domain of House Anderson," Santana said. "They are going to start rebuilding the Eastern Lands, so Lord Finn can restore the glory of House Hudson when he is healthy again."
"What about House Schuester?" They had been ruling the lands of the Eastern Coast for decades since the fall of the once mighty family, but were chased away after the attacks of House St. James.
"Lord William has married Lady Emma of House Pillsbury, uniting their houses in the Grasslands where he plans on staying with his family. Prince Finn is now the High Lord of the Eastern Coast, and his castle will be rebuilt as soon as the manpower can be amassed." Losing herself in her thoughts, she wondered how he was going to react to the news. He had always loved his home, and his beloved farm, and now he was going to be receiving a castle and all the resources in the Kingdom to restore his family's legacy to it's previous glory.
If he ever woke up from his slumber.
"Thank you for bringing me good news, Santana, and tell my father that I am well, but I do not plan on moving from this room until Finn is better." Santana shook her head but complied, taking the now empty tray of food away.
"As you wish, Your Grace, just please take care of yourself and the baby. It's going to rule the Kingdom one day and it must be as healthy and strong as it's father." Her kind words encouraged her even more, and when she left Rachel crawled next to Finn on his spacious bed, picking up his arm to drape it around her as she curled into his side. With his arms around her once again she found peace and finally closed her eyes. She had gone so long without sleep that she passed out almost instantly, his steady heartbeat reminding her that he was still with her.
She woke up again at some point in the night; it was still pitch black outside and her meager candle had died out, leaving her blinking in the moonlight that trickled into the room. Finn was still laying next to her completely still, and she shivered at the chill in her room as she tried to sit up and grab an extra blanket.
Finn's arm kept her firmly in place.
She tried to move the arm from her body, but she could feel the muscles tighten under the skin as he held her at his side. She gasped as the arm squeezed her softly and tried to adjust her eyes to the darkness to prove that this moment was real.
"Finn?" she whispered in the dark and her response was a deep groan, vibrating against her skin as she tried to sit up and look down at his face. "Finn, can you hear me?"
"R-Rachel?" His voice was raspy from disuse as his eyes blinked open slowly. He looked up at her as if he didn't believe she was real. "Am I in heaven, My Angel?"
Stifling a scream, she began to pepper his face in kisses as he held onto her. She called out for a servant and one entered immediately, lighting a fire quickly as she commanded him to report the news to her father that Finn had awoken. "Ugh, I feel terrible," he moaned quietly as the room filed with a warm, rosy glow. She could finally see his face now, and the fatigue that still rested in his eyes. "What happened?"
"You've been asleep for days, Finn. I was so worried about you." She wiped the sweat from his brow, pushing his hair back and stroking his face. "The wounds to your side were severe, Finn. There was a risk of infection, and you stayed asleep for so long I thought I had lost you forever." She looked away, afraid to tell him the rest. "The healers said your side may never reset properly. You will likely suffer from pain there for the rest of your life." He nodded silently to himself.
"I understand. I can manage pain, though. It's a small price to pay for peace in the Kingdom." She gazed down at him lovingly, in awe of his neverending strength.
"You saved our family, Finn. We can be together now, and have our child in peace," she fought through the emotions that rasped her voice. "Lord Blaine is taking Lord Kurt back to his homeland, and they're going to start rebuilding the Eastern Coast." His eyes widened in shock. "We can finally go home, Finn. We can raise our child there, away from the capitol and it's politics, and live peacefully. My father still has many years of his reign ahead of him, and until it is our time to rule we can nurture our baby and strengthen our bond."
It looked like there were tears in his eyes as he cupped her cheek with his large, rough palms, pulling her face towards him so he could kiss her deeply. She could taste the salt on his lips as he whispered against her mouth. "Nothing in the world would make me happier, My Lady." He kissed her again, the passion building with every moan and sigh that escaped them as they savored the feelings they thought they would never feel again. Finn was alive, they were safe, and they were ready to start their lives together. With her hand on her belly she smiled, cherishing the beautiful future she never thought she would have as she laid in her beloved's arms.
It was another two months before Finn was healthy enough to travel the distance back to the Eastern Coast. Princess Rachel had him moved to her tower so he could heal in privacy, and she tended to his needs until he was able to walk again. He still had great pains in his side and was unable to do any of the back-breaking labor that had once been his livelihood from that point on. As the Prince and future King he would never be forced to work again, but the Princess knew that Finn valued his physical strength. He was determined to stay strong however, and started studying swordplay. She even talked him into learning how to read.
To be honest, he much prefered swordplay.
The entire Kingdom now knew of the tale of Prince Finn, and how he had been born a peasant and rose through the ranks of the nobility to become a royal. It was a tale that delighted children and inspired even the most hard-hearted of adults. Tales of their travels through the Kingdom reached every corner of the continent, and the name Finn the Braveheart was now uttered in their prayers right next to Princess Rachel. The couple was beloved throughout the kingdom, despite the scandal that brought them together. The idea of a royal and a peasant being together was still taboo, but the story of their love was so adored throughout the land that the masses overlooked that little detail and supported them wholeheartedly.
Santana was their constant companion as the weeks passed into months. She helped train Finn in the ways of the sword and provided council and care for her mistress. Rachel was showing the first signs of her condition, which ony a few people knew about in order to keep it from becoming a scandal. She wore loose gowns to hide the tiny bump in her abdomen and mostly stayed out of the public eye. Lord Blaine and Lord Kurt had returned to the domain of House Anderson, and already started rebuilding the coast with the help of the King's funding. Lord Burt and Lady Carole were already well situated there, and planned on moving in as soon as the castle was completely furbished. They even wrote of Nana, and the contented life she was living now that her career as a work horse was over.
Besides Santana's company, the couple was quite lonely in the Capitol. They missed their friends and Finn's family, and wished to be away from the prying eyes of the people and politicians that surrounded them. They craved their peace, and when the healers finally reported that Finn was now strong enough to travel, they started planning their journey immediately, heading to the Eastern Coast to view the progress themselves.
The trip north was slower and more relaxing than the journey that brought Finn to the capitol. There were no obstacles in their path and they were able to stop at villages and meet their subjects with ease. Finn much preferred country folk to the citizens of the capitol and always offered to help thatch a roof or carry pails of water for those in need. Tales of his bravery and kind-heartedness were viewed first-hand, reinforcing the people's love for him. The Princess couldn't have been more proud of her husband, and encouraged him in his generosity, even volunteering to help herself. It might have taken triple the time to reach the Eastern Shore, but it was worth it, and it left Lord Kurt with ample time to redecorate and finish the castle.
They arrived at the Eastern Shore with all the pomp and circumstance that was expected of royalty. Lord Kurt was planning a festival in their honor for when they were settled in, and Finn was thrilled to see his mother once again, twirling her around the great hall and admiring her new noble style.
Prince Finn and Princess Rachel stood in their new, refurnished quarters, making sure that they had unpacked everything that they were going to need for their room. Santana was with them as they went over the details, and Finn glanced conspiratorially at his wife, who looked fit to burst as she approached her trusted handmaiden.
They had quite the surprise for her.
"I can't wait until we get settled in, Santana," she said, the enthusiasm almost infectious as the assassin smiled. "I'm sure you'll find the Eastern Shore as peaceful as I once did."
"Yes, My Lady, I am already liking the atmosphere here. The Capitol has always felt a bit too stifling for my taste and I'm glad to be free of all the politics."
"Yes, so am I, and I'm glad to be closer to my old friends. I plan on calling House Jones as our guests for the festival so we can see Sam and his family again. Lord Blaine and his crew have done wonders for the villages here, and Lord Kurt has decorated the castle beautifully."
"Yes, it's stunning, Your Grace," she said, a bit distracted from the idle chatter as a servant entered the room, addressing Finn.
"Your Grace, your special guest has arrived. Should I send her in?" Santana looked confused as she faced her mistress.
"My Lady, what special guest? We've been in the Eastern Coast for barely a quarter-hour!" Rachel winked at Finn, who was waiting with bated breath to reveal the surprise. Rachel walked up to Santana and took both of her hands in hers, squeezing softly.
"Santana, you are the best friend I've ever had, a loyal subject, and a fierce warrior. You saved Finn's life, and my own life countless times, and if anyone deserves happiness in this Kingdom, it's you." Rachel nodded at the servant and he left the room quickly as the Princess spoke once more. "We came to the coast to find peace, Santana, and I want you to find peace as well." The door opened once more, revealing a girl that Finn had never seen before as Santana's face became a mask of shock. Tears filled her dark brown eyes as she stared at the tall, blonde Lady in the door-frame, a billowing soft blue gown draped over her slim frame. Her almond- shaped blue eyes were twinkling with innocence as she stepped into the room, and Santana placed a hand over her heart as she stared at the girl in disbelief.
"Lady Brittany?" She whispered, too shocked to believe what was in front of her eyes in that moment. Finn caught Rachel's gaze and he could see that she herself was crying as she watched the reunion in silence.
"Hello, my dearest Santana," she said softly, bowing to the Prince and Princess before turning to her beloved.
"But how is this possible?" Santana asked. "Your family sent you away."
"But the Princess called me back, under a royal order. I might have been sent away from the capitol, but that doesn't mean I couldn't follow you all to the Eastern Coast." Santana turned to Rachel, too stunned to admit this was all real.
"Is it true, My Lady?" Rachel nodded with enthusiasm. "Can Lady Brittany stay with us?"
"Yes, Santana. She is going to be a part of my entourage from now on." The handmaiden could hardly contain her joy as she pulled the blonde into her arms in a tight embrace, stroking her hair and kissing her deeply, forgoing all modesty in front of the royal couple. The smile on Santana's face was radiant as she twirled her beloved around in her arms, the giggles filling up the room as Rachel took Finn's hand.
"We'll meet you two for lunch in a little while," she said knowingly as she led her husband out of the room. They walked through their new tower for the first time as they made their way dowstairs, admiring the stunning views that the coast had to offer. He watched her closely, trying to find some hint of proof that she was sad to be away from her home, but he only saw contentment on her face. She caught him staring at her and squeezed his hand with a smile.
"What is it, My Love?" He shrugged his shoulders and shook his head, losing himself in old memories.
"I can't believe we're finally home," he said simply. "Well, I mean, it was my home, but now it's ours."
"It was my home too, for a time," she said. "The best moments of my life were spent here, and I plan on experiencing many more cherished moments with you at my side."
"Are you sure you're not going to miss the Capitol?" She shook her head.
"I'm going to miss my father, that is certain, but not the city. It never felt like a home to me, to be honest, and we will have to go back one day to eventually rule the Kingdom. Until then however," she looked to the shore, where the sea had brought her to him so many months ago. "I am going to cherish our new home, and build many happy memories here with you and our child."
He smiled to himself, overcome with emotion as he pulled her into his arms and kissed her softly, making her purr underneath his lips as she gripped onto his velvet tunic. When she pulled away he gazed into her eyes, feeling nothing but the deepest love for her. "Thank you," he blurted before he even realized what he was saying.
He shrugged his shoulders with a smile. "For everything. You've given me what I've never even dared to dream of. You've given me wealth beyond any measure, and I don't mean my title or castle. You've given me a love that's stronger than any steel, more powerful than any army. You've given me a child to cherish, and a family to protect. You gave me your love." He cupped her gorgeous face in his palm and kissed her softly. "You're mine forever now."
Her smile was more radiant than the sunlight that flooded the hall they were standing in. "And you're mine, My Prince. I never thought I would be able to find a love like yours, and from this moment on we will never be apart again."
"Never, My Lady," he said sweetly, taking her by the hand. "Now let's go tour the grounds of our new castle. I hear the coast is brilliant during this time of the year." With a wink and a smile they headed off, ready to explore their territory and settle into their new life together.
SIX MONTHS LATER
Prince Finn rode through his old hometown on his oldest friend Nana, the horse who was now the Prince's official Royal Steed. His mother and stepfather had brought her home to the Eastern Coast and Finn was thrilled to be reunited with his favorite horse as he trotted alongside his Royal Squire, young Rory of House Flanagan. He was living at House Hudson to complete his training as a knight and Finn trusted the energetic young lad. He looked up to the Prince like he was a hero and was his constant companion during official business. On that day he followed Finn into town to complete his daily duties, a task that he normally did with the Princess.
However, the Princess' condition had become so delicate that the healers had forced her to stay in bed all day, and his squire joined him on his daily sojourn into town instead of his beloved. They trotted into the square and were greeted warmly by the people, who gathered around him with their praises and problems.
"Prince Finn, My Lord, how is our beloved Princess feeling?"
"My Lord, we need eggs and bread, the prices are too high!"
"Would the Master care for some homemade sweet cakes? I hear the Princess loves them!"
"Farmer Louis cheated me out of a barrel of grain!"
"My friends, my friends!" He called to them, climbing down from his horse. "I will be able to help you, but please, one at a time!" He said with a hearty laugh as he went through the town and tried to help his subjects. He knew that it wasn't common practice for nobles to solve the problems of the poor, but Finn couldn't resist using his power to benefit the people. He had lived his entire life praying for change, and now that he was the Prince he could actually wield his power for good.
He stopped by the baker and picked up sacks filled with freshly baked bread, handing them out to the homeless on the street and the mothers carrying their crying babies. He accepted their gifts and gave them to Rory to load onto the horses. Acting as a judge, he helped settle differences between neighbors and sent the drunkards to stand in the stocks for the day. When a teenage boy told him he needed money or his baby sister would starve, he gave him a job in the stables at the castle, securing his family money for the weeks to come.
A merchant asked Finn to help him fix a hole in his roof, and despite the ache he sometimes felt in his side while performing manual labor, he climbed onto the roof and tried to do as much as he could. With the hot afternoon sun beating down on his neck, he could hear Rory calling his name frantically from the square below, and he squinted at the young squire as he waved to get his attention.
"Prince Finn! Prince Finn! I just got an urgent message from the castle! Princess Rachel calls for you!" His face was still beat red from the exertion. "I think it might be the baby!" Finn startled violently, holding on to the roof while he tried to regain his balance and climb steadily down the ladder. He wouldn't be any help to his wife if he fell off a house and became crippled.
"Make like the wind, Prince Finn!" The man who had asked for his help called to him from above. "And may the Gods bless you and the Princess!"
Once he was on solid ground he ran immediately for his horse, ignoring Rory and jumping onto Nana at a record pace. Nana was one of the fastest horses he had ever known, and he urged her to run like fire was at their heels as they took off and headed towards the castle. He could feel his heart pounding as the trees flew by him in a blur, the castle coming into view as his horse pushed herself to the max.
That was when he heard the screams.
"Fiiiiinnnnnn!" The wailing cry came right from the upper towers of the castle, and he could recognize his wife's voice echoing throughout the lands. He scolded himself for leaving her side as anxiety crashed over him in waves. She was screaming so loud he was surprised that he couldn't hear it from town as he rode the horse straight through the front gate, forgoing the stables altogether.
"Good girl, Nana," he said, patting her side fondly as he dismounted and handed her reigns over to a servant. Immediately, he ran for their private tower and the screaming became louder with every step he took.
"Finn!" She cried when he was outside of their door. "Where is my Lord Husband?"
"I'm here, my love," he said, bursting into the room completely out of breath. He felt slightly dizzy from the exertion of energy, but when he realized what he had walked in on, he almost fainted on the spot.
Rachel was in their bed with her legs spread open, revealing a sight that was going to be burned into Finn's brain forever as she prepared to give birth to their child. At the foot of the bed was his mother and the Royal Healer, and standing to Rachel's side was Santana, holding her hand tightly while his beloved screamed in agony. Sweat slicked back her hair, dripping down her bright red face as she tried to remain strong. He ran over to her instantly, grabbing a cool, wet towel and wiping her brow before kissing her lips deeply.
"You're here!" His mother cried. "Thank the Gods!"
"Your wife is breaking my hand, Your Grace!" Santana spit through gritted teeth. He took Rachel's hand and kissed it while she held it like a vice, crushing his fingers while he swallowed the pain.
It was nothing compared to what she was going through.
"Your Grace, it is time. You must push when I count to three." Rachel nodded weakly, her eyes looking up at Finn while Santana pulled her sweaty hair back and cooled off her brow with the wet towel.
"You can do this, my love," he encouraged her. "You're the strongest woman I've ever known, and I've never loved you more." She nodded as the tears fell from her eyes, readying herself for the task at hand.
"One. . ." Rachel grit her teeth and closed her eyes.
"Two. . ." Her breathing became more shallow and it felt like the bones in his hand were being crushed.
"Three!" The healer screamed and so did Rachel. "Push!"
"You can do it, Rachel!" He encouraged his princess as her entire body tensed. A scream ripped through the air as Finn held his breath, and as soon as Rachel stopped another cry could be heard in the chambers. It echoed throughout the room as her grip on his hand went slack and he looked down at Rachel in awe as the healer held up their child for them to see. He finally released the air in his lungs. as he stared at his newborn child.
"Prince Finn, Princess Rachel, it's a boy. May the Gods bless the future King." The healer quickly cleaned him off and wrapped a clean sheet around the baby, passing him to Rachel, who held the child with a glowing smile on her face. He stared down at the baby, his son, feeling nothing but the strongest pride radiate throughout his body. He was a father now, the father of a future King. It seemed too surreal to be happening.
"A boy," she whispered tearfully while Santana wiped more sweat from her brow. Finn looked down at the child as a powerful emotion clogged his throat and brought tears to his own eyes.
"The Future King," he echoed fondly and leaned over to kiss his head gently. They had discussed names at length and decided not to name the child after any past family members on either side. They wanted their child to have a fresh start and not be burdened by any ghosts of their pasts. "Prince Andrew, of House Hudson. The first of his name."
"You're going to be a wonderful King," Rachel cooed to the baby as it nestled into it's mother's arms. Santana, the healer and Lady Carole left the chambers quietly, so they wouldn't disturb the new parents.
"You're going to have everything I never had," he added, thinking about his past as a peasant and the life he could now provide for his son.
"But you won't be spoiled!" Rachel scolded gently. "Not like those other Lords that you're going to meet in this Kingdom. No son of mine is going to be cruel or unjust. You're going to be strong and fair, just like your father."
"And you're going to be intelligent and generous, just like your mother." Her eyes were twinkling with happiness when she turned to him, and he kissed her deeply as the baby rested safely in-between them.
"What now?" She said softly, looking down at the product of their love with nothing but adoration in her gaze.
"I think this is the part where we live happily ever after," he replied, knowing in his heart that no matter what happened, he would find peace with the girl who had washed up on his shore and changed his life forever.
"I like this part," she agreed with a smile, and the two royals gazed at their child with love in their hearts and hope for the future.
Another story has come and gone. . . .
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