When you wake up you'll be lying next to me
Prompt "Love Me for Me", by finchel-prompts: I'm not gonna tell what it is about this time or it'll ruin the surprise. I saw a few people on tumblr begging for someone to write it and I loved the prompt so much, so I figured it'd be fun. I hope you'll all enjoy it.
Disclaimer: Do not own. English is not my first language. Title – a lyric - is from the song 'No Worries', by McFLY. The song is very cute and it fits the story so if you'd like to listen to it on YouTube, I recommend it.
Warning: Rated M because I wanted to write sweet Finchel love making and I'm paranoid.
She hasn't talked to her dad or to her mom in ten days. Exactly ten days, when her life had fell apart, when she was awoken from her endless princess-y dream, her perfectly princess-y life, her comfortable life, the one she loved so much. Alright, she had to admit she just turned nineteen and ever since she finished college two years before she had spent her days playing golf with her mom and shopping. Sometimes she felt bad, but sometimes she didn't, since she had perfect grades and behavior all of her life during school so she figured she could give herself a little break. It's not like her parents can't afford it either. Another aspect of their life that's always been more than comfortable was their monetary funds, since her daddy was a very successful businessman and her mom, well; her mom was Shelby Berry, the Shelby Berry, winner of three Oscars and had been on the cover of several magazines and starred in several movies, not to mention having recorded dozens of albums before she was born, her only daughter, the perfect Hollywood daughter Rachel Barbra Berry, as beautiful and talented as her mother and certainly with the same ego – though kind and loving personality – as well.
Rachel loves her daddy, and her mom too, but she can't even look at them, and she doesn't know when she'll be able to. Basically, they were responsible for building a perfect life for her, making sure she'd never suffer through instability in her life, and now they were the responsible for having crashed everything down as well. And she doesn't understand why, or what she did wrong, to be exact. She had been accepted to college since she finally decided it was time to apply and she was supposed to be attending to Princeton in a few months, to learn music and finally be able to play cello for a living, her passion, her cello, and, for crying out loud, Princeton! One day when she comes home from her cello practice, she finds her father and her mother sitting by the dining room table with a serious expression in both of their faces, her daddy reading the newspaper as her mom stared at her own nails. By then, she knew something was wrong. Her daddy was always smiling or singing random Michael Bublé tunes, and her mom always laughing or baking. Yes, definitely, something was wrong. She remembers as if it was yesterday – although it hadn't been so long, so of course she was being dramatic.
"Sit down, sweetie." Hiram said with a small smile, putting down the newspaper and patting the seat in front of him. "Your mother and I need to talk to you." He spoke in a serious tone, making her body shiver.
Rachel swallows with a grin, putting down her cello by the side of the stairs and sitting down where her father told her to. She giggles then, obviously not taking any of that serious. "What's wrong daddy? You're getting a divorce?" She had said playfully, hiding her face between her hands. This time, her father didn't joke around as well, he simply shook his head, and her mom looked up at her with an almost sad smile.
"What's wrong?" Rachel then frowned, knowing yes, this time something was wrong.
"Rachel, um –" Hiram hesitated, taking a deep breath and reaching out for her hand, squeezing it as his other held Shelby's hand. "First of all, we'd like to start this conversation by saying me and your mom… We have complete and utter faith in you, and we know how an amazing and smart, capable girl you are. And we're only doing this because we want you to be happy."
Taken aback, Rachel immediately pulls her hand away, rubbing it against her other one with her breath caught on her throat. Usually, her parents were predictable, but this time, she honestly couldn't make up one reason why they were saying all of those things, so she simply nodded. "Yes, go on." She spoke, glancing at her mother from the corner of her eye.
"We arranged you a marriage." Hiram spoke the words quickly, but they didn't fail on making her skip a heartbeat. "Of course it wasn't randomly from day to night, baby girl. His father was a very successful businessman as well and the boy, he's your age honey, and he's taking over the business. I swear he's a nice guy, daddy would never have you married with some jerk –
"What?" Rachel finally snaps, her hands resting on her chest to hold her golden necklace, something she always did when she was nervous or sad, or lonely. "What were you both thinking?" She asks, startled that her parents, so open minded parents would do something like that to her. "I don't want to get married. I'm nineteen!"
Shelby finally decides to speak, something she does simply when Hiram seems to be losing his guard towards Rachel. "Rachel, dear, this is 1952. Things are still hard after the Great War, and me and your father… We don't want you to be alone, or stuck with someone who can't provide to you. The world's still recovering." She swallows. "And this man, this young boy who just lost his father, who's nineteen as well, he'll make all of your dreams come true."
Rachel gasps, tears already threatening to fall from the corner of her eyes. She can't believe the nerve or her parents, and the nerve of that damn boy to accept such a proposal. "I can make my dreams come true myself." She snapped, getting up from her chair. "How could you have so little faith in me? I thought –" She swallows more tears. "You've always supported me, ever since I was little and found out I was meant to play cello for the rest of my life, and you supported me, you still pay for my classes, then why? Why if you're throwing it all away in some… Some… Boy…"
"Let's be honest, then, Rachel. If you want me to be harsh, I will." Shelby spoke firmly, leaning her hands against the table. "You'll be a female cello player, alone, in New York. What makes you think you'll make it on your own?"
With that, Rachel thinks she got enough. Her mom had always supported her choice of future career, and now… She was just finding out that maybe it was all an act so she wouldn't get hurt. Of course. Shelby was an actress after all. A very good one. "What kind of fool do you think I –?
"Rachel, that's enough." Hiram says firmly, getting up from his chair as well, and she shivers, holding onto her cello, sure that she never saw her dad so mad or serious her entire life. "You're getting married in exactly five months, and in two weeks from now you're moving to Auburn, where you'll be living with your husband after you're married as well."
Finally, the tears fall. She looks down at her feet, knowing that, in five months, she won't be the same Rachel Berry she has been for the last nineteen years, she'll be living in a small city near New York, and she probably won't go to college. When she looks up at her father, she feels ashamed, but she manages to nod. She doesn't want to know who the boy is, it doesn't matter, even if she knows he'll be the one to take her virginity, he'll be the one she'll be kissing and pretending to love for a long time. She doesn't even ask for pictures, or his last name – that'll be hers. She just climbs the stairs slowly, carrying the instrument she loves more than her on life in one hand and her heart heavy in the other.
Shelby takes her lingerie shopping a week before she has to move to Auburn.
She hates it.
All of the corsages and bras look all too provocative to her, and she feels like crying each time she thinks she'll be wearing one of those to please a man she didn't even know, but Shelby tells her and insists that's what a good wife does to her husband. Sometimes she still manages to tell herself he's just a boy, like she's just a girl. They're both the same age, but for some weird reason, she can't help but think of him as the guilty one, even though it's not his fault. After all, he just lost his father, but she believed she was missing something way greater than that: her passion.
By the end of a boring and monotonous afternoon, Rachel agrees on buying a light pink nightgown and a black lacy pair of underwear to please Shelby. She just wants to go home, truly, a home that wouldn't be hers to keep.
Rachel's taken aback when a fancy car stops by the sidewalk in her parent's house to pick her up. She looks up at her mother in confusion, and her daddy shakes his head. She doesn't understand why she can't simply take a cab.
An elderly man comes out of the car, obviously too old for the job of carrying her huge suitcases, so therefore she asks her daddy to help him. He offers her a kind smile. "My name's Gerry, Ms. Berry."
"You can call me Rachel." She says with a small giggle as Gerry grabs her hand and kisses it, winking up at her.
"Well, I'll be your driver, Ms. Berry, I believe, until the day I pass away." He says with a hint of humor in his voice but Rachel frowns, figuring it's not funny at all a man his age had to work until the end of his life just because he needed the money. "Mr. Hudson asked me to keep an eye on you."
Mr. Hudson, Rachel wonders. Truly, that's a beautiful last name. Rachel Hudson. That didn't sound so bad. (In her head, it sounded gorgeous, but she'd never admit it). Just by the mention of the man's last name, she grows curious, but soon her ego calms her down. "Well Gerry, I believe you'll be my best friend for a while then." She smiles, since she didn't know anyone back in Auburn and ditto Mr. Hudson would only move in to his, their new house after the wedding in a few months, since he had informed her parents himself that he thought it was better for Rachel to get used to the town and the idea of the marriage alone for a little while.
Reluctantly, when her bags are all inside the fancy car Gerry's driving, she turns around and hugs Shelby tightly, trying too hard not to cry on her shoulder, since she was tired of spilling tears. Afterwards, she does the same to her daddy, and he hugs her so tight she thinks he wants her to get married with this Mr. Hudson as much as she does.
When the car turns around the corner in her new neighborhood in Auburn and stops by her new house, she's sure she has never seen a place so beautiful her entire life.
Her eyes shine as Gerry opens the car's door for her, and she steps outside slowly. It's a big, red bricked house and there are big trees and a huge front garden with the most gorgeous flowers outside. It's like the place was made for her, although she doesn't even know the first name of the man she's going to marry, or how he looks like.
"Here's your key, Ms. Berry." Gerry says, handing her a big, rusty key that fits the house perfectly. "I have a copy with me, so if you hear a noise around the house in the morning, don't worry, it'll be me, or the other housemaids."
"H-Housemaids?" Rachel stammers, since she had no idea people were actually doing her bed for her, cleaning her house, washing and drying her clothes, all of that for her. Right then, she's sure she won't have anything to do in that house besides playing the cello and reading a little.
She has never felt more useless her entire life.
The house's even more gorgeous on the inside. It has a classic design and all the rooms are painted in soft colors, not to mention the big yard on the back. She blushes when she realizes there's a tree house on top of a big oak tree, and she likes to wonder it's because Mr. Hudson wants children. He seems like a sweet guy, although she hasn't heard much from him – again, she doesn't even know his first name, or how he looks like. Her bedroom is huge, the bedroom she'll be sharing with her husband, and there's a hot tub inside the bathroom and yes, she hates to admit it, but she loves the house already, and she thinks if Mr. Hudson is such a busy businessman, she'll have a wonderful time in their house.
When Gerry leaves and promises her he'll be there the next morning, she explores the parts of the house she hadn't seen yet. On the second floor, by the side of their suite, there are three empty rooms, also painted in soft colors, which leads her to believe once more Mr. Hudson would want children in the future, and she'd be the one to give them those. The thought scares her a little, but she always wanted to be a mother, and although she wasn't expecting to get married so soon, the thought of maybe having children soothed her, as if she'd have some company she'd really love more than anything, even if she didn't love their father. Shaking her head, she figures it's too early to think about that, so she moves to the first floor, curious when she finds a small room on the back, with a huge window to stare at the beautiful backyard.
When she realizes what the room is for, she feels tears threatening to fall.
There's a cello resting by a wall, right next to a violin and a piano. On the walls, black and white pictures of famous musicians, some of them that Rachel worshiped; by the huge window, a book with at least a thousand music sheets. She feels so overwhelmed she pinches herself to be sure she's not dreaming. She doesn't know if she should think her parents mentioned her love for cello and music to Mr. Hudson and he did this for her, or if he's a music man himself.
Either way, she thinks she likes him a lot more now, and finds herself eager to know more about him.
There are no pictures or traces of him in the rest of the house, and, no matter how hard she tries, she won't surrender and ask for a picture or a name. She won't.
It's been a month she's living in her new house in Auburn when she decides to go to a small dance, just for fun. She's one hundred per cent sure she'll meet some nice girls to befriend once she gets there, so she's optimistic Gerry and the housemaids won't be her only friends forever. Wanting to look nice, she puts on a white summer dress, curling her hair and putting it up in a ponytail, besides dressing her tiny feet into white pumps to match the dress. That done, she leaves, and Gerry drives her to the dance.
When they get there, she gulps almost nervously, giving Gerry a kiss on the cheek after he opens the door for her, a habit they've acquired over the following days. He tells her he's picking her up in two hours, and she agrees. That seems reasonable. With that, she hesitates a bit, clutching her hands in her dress, then enters the dancing hall. It's gorgeous, ornate with big flower arrangements over its edges and Chinese lamps on the ceiling. She sighs as she watches the couples on the dance floor, wishing she had someone to share the slow melody with, even if that someone had to be Mr. Hudson. After all, he does seem genuine, and she thinks it's better than being lonely. For what seems like forever, she simply stands and watches the couples spinning around. She seems to be the only one that's alone; that is, at least, until she feels a big hand on her back, making her jump a little.
"I'm sorry, miss, are you unattended?"
She feels shivers running down her body at the sound of the soft, yet husky voice. When she looks up to see where it's coming from, her legs shake a little at the view. Standing just behind her, there's a tall – very tall – handsome, light skinned, freckled and dimpled man. He's certainly the most handsome man she has ever seen, and she wonders what he wants, although she can't tell why he's being bold enough to talk to her when two days after her parents dropped the wedding bomb, Shelby gave her Mr. Hudson's ring, and tells her he'd like for her to wear it. She does, just because men didn't talk to engaged or married woman, and all she doesn't need is to fall in love with someone when she's engaged. Although she hates to admit it, Mr. Hudson's ring is simple, but it's golden with a small, pink crystal on top of it. She loves it more than any else she has ever seen. "Yes", she answers a little too hopefully, giving him a small smile.
He smiles in response, and she thinks she might die from how adorable, sexy – she has never found anyone sexy before – and gorgeous he looks shining her that smile. "Great, 'cause I think a beautiful girl shouldn't be alone on a beautiful night." He tells her, and she feels her skin burning in fire as he offers her his arm. It's the first time a boy called her beautiful. "Can I bother you for a dance?"
"Of course." Rachel answers a little too quickly, and she feels her walls crashing down so quickly she wonders who this man is, to make her accept a dance from someone she doesn't even know. "But I don't know your name." She adds with a smart smirk.
"Smart and beautiful?" He raised one eyebrow at her, and she blushed even more furiously, and when he grabbed her hand, bringing to his lips and kissing it, she felt like there were fireworks bursting inside of her. "My name's Finn. It's a pleasure to meet you." As soon as he spoke Rachel's smile only got wider. Finn. The name fit him. She doesn't bother to ask for his last name.
"Rachel. Rachel Berry." She said shyly, taking her hand back and rubbing the spot where he had kissed it as he led their way to the dance floor.
The band was playing another slow song that finally Rachel could enjoy. At the first seconds of the music she can't barely stare at Finn's gorgeous hazel eyes without blushing, but she gets used to it, the way his pale skin shines against the soft light of the lamps, the way he smiles down at her like he has known her for forever and the way his big hand has a grasp against her waist that makes her never want to let go a man she met minutes before. She notices her heart beats faster as she takes a hesitant step closer and leans her head against his chest; it looks so broad and strong, she can't really help herself. Maybe it's the fact that she's short and tiny and that he's tall and strong, but she feels safe. Or maybe it's because she finds herself slowly opening up to this complete stranger.
"Thank you for the dance, Ms. Berry." Finn says, kissing her hand again, and it all ends too soon. She's almost disappointed when Gerry pulls over, and she has to go.
When she looks over her shoulder, he's smiling right back at her.
Rachel knows there's a woman who lives next door, in a white, medium sized house, so she bakes cinnamon brownies and decides to head over one day. She really does need a friend, and if she wants to survive through her marriage, she knew she'd need someone to talk to.
The woman who lives next door is Tina, an Asian twenty one year old woman who had just married Michael Chang, the town's most famous doctor. After she brought up the brownies, they're always visiting each other or helping with the other's garden since their houses are just across the street; they do become friends very quickly and the main reason for that is because one of the first things Tina tells her is that her marriage with Michael was arranged too, for the same reasons: her parents worried she would be alone and with no support, and that's because she went through with it. After that, Rachel's there for Tina when she finds out she's pregnant and they both celebrate, and have tea together in that afternoon. When Rachel asks how it feels like to know she'll give her husband the best of gifts, Tina shakes her head and tells her she'll know when it's her turn.
Right then, Rachel spits out everything about Mr. Hudson, and how she doesn't even know his name, by how fast her parents arranged their wedding and how she and her fiancée don't even know how the other look like. Tina says she doesn't know him by mention because she has just moved to Auburn with Mike as well, therefore, the name doesn't ring a bell. At the end of the day, Tina assures her she'll find happiness and love in Mr. Hudson since, she jokes, he bought her such a gorgeous house, and a woman who lived in a sanctuary like that could be sure her husband loved her.
Rachel doesn't say anything about Finn, though, or how he never leaves her mind.
She sees Finn again when she's out, working in her red roses by the front garden along with Billy, the gardener, when she hears someone calling her name from the sidewalk. She turns around and her heart speeds at the sight of the tall, handsome man. Rachel's quick on removing her gloves and walking towards him, hoping she isn't sweaty or that her hair's too messy. For the second time, she wishes she didn't have to wear Mr. Hudson's pretty ring, just so she gains the right to speak to this Finn who makes her chest feel funny.
"Hello, Ms. Berry." He greeted her with a half-smile that made her heart flutter and grabbed her hand as usual, placing a tiny kiss against it.
"I told you to call me Rachel." She said shyly with a small giggle, wondering if he'd keep kissing her hand every time they met. "S' good to see you. How did you find me?" She asked curiously, biting down on her lower lip.
"Beautiful and smart as ever. I'm not disappointed." Finn spoke with a devilish grin, making Rachel blush even harder. What was this man doing to her? "Well, Auburn's a small town, I suppose, and I have my ways of knowing when I want to find someone I can't forget about." He said not so subtly, Rachel a bit startled. He just shrugged it off with a chuckle. "Don't worry, I'm not being serious. I'm actually visiting a friend o' mine who lives in the neighborhood, I saw you, and I just thought I'd say hello."
With that, Rachel relaxes a little and releases a small laugh; her inner self was glad that Finn was in the neighborhood, and if he was coming by that once, maybe he could do it more times, too. Truth was, despite Tina being her best friend, she was still lonely most of the time, since she still had three months before the wedding. Maybe she could get used to the way her heart beat funny when she was near Finn and he could be a great company for her. "Well would you like to come inside? I'm having tea in a few minutes actually, I'd love some company."
Finn's quiet for a moment, like he's having an inner debate on what he should do. Eventually he nods, and flashes her another smile. "I'd love to."
After that day, Finn often comes by at Rachel's house and usually, she either teaches him how to bake something – since, like he says, it's not very got at cooking anything – or she plays the cello for him. Rachel would never admit it, but she loved the look on his face as she played the music of his choice, like playing cello was the hardest and the most beautiful thing in the world, at least to him, and for the first time in a while, she feels special. It's not her fault if he's constantly telling her how beautiful she is, and how much of an amazing cook and awesome musician she is. She likes to believe him; sometimes, Finn even buys her flowers, and she wishes that every time he compliments her she can actually take it, because when those compliments come, Mr. Hudson's ring becomes ten times heavier in her finger.
One day, she starts to ask questions about him, since she knows so little about him and he already knows simply everything about her – even about her engagement with Mr. Hudson. Finn tells her he recently lost his father as well, just like Mr. Hudson, and she says she's sorry. He must've been a wonderful man, to raise such a kind and genuine one like Finn. He also tells her he enjoys music very much, that his favorite color is blue, that his favorite animals are birds and that despite him hating studying his whole life, his current job had a lot to do with numbers. At that, she can't help but laugh.
During summer, they grow closer and closer. Once, she even cries a little in front of him, saying that she's afraid of marrying a man she didn't know, or that she hasn't even seen. Suddenly, Finn looks so ashamed, and she can't really understand why, but she takes it as a way to comfort her. Maybe he understands Mr. Hudson, or certainly he understands men way better than she does. Halfway through her favorite season, a month away from the wedding, she's sure she has fallen in love with him; she knows it's bad, terrible, even, but Finn's the most handsome and genuine man she has ever met, and for the thousandth time in four months, she wishes she wasn't committed to another man, but brushes it off. She thinks it's better enjoying Finn while she can, since she knows it'd be disrespectful to bring him in back in her house when she's already married to Mr. Hudson, even though apparently he's busy and works a lot. If she was going to be a wife, she'd be a good one.
"I just…" Rachel sighs softly as they have another one of their famous talks while sitting at the front porch of her house. "I just want to be good in what I have to do. And, right now, what I have to do is be a good wife to Mr. Hudson. I don't know how to do that, especially because I don't know him. I don't know what he likes, what he expects me to look like – it's rather frustrating."
Finn chews on a small piece of mint he has stolen from her backyard and releases a small sigh. Again, Rachel can tell he feels ashamed, or at least, even hurt by her words. Maybe he feels bad for her. "I don't know how anyone could notlike you." He shrugged and she notices the skin above his freckles turns a little red. "You're amazing, Rach. It's hard to explain 'cause I know you won't believe me, but… This Mr. Hudson, he's a lucky guy. And I can assure you, even if you don't go along well at the beginning, he'll fall for you as soon as you bake him some of your vanilla cupcakes.
At that, Rachel's heart melts a little, and she releases a loud giggle, boldly resting her head against Finn's shoulder, tightening a little her grip on his arm, both of them facing the sunset by the horizon. "Thank you, Finn."
At a random afternoon, she's teaching him how to bake vanilla cupcakes when he nudges her with his elbow playfully, telling her that he can't do it. "Yes you can." She insists with a laugh. "Let me try it." She says, reaching for the dough and tasting it with her index finger. "It tastes wonderful! You cheater."
"I ain't no cheater." He pouts and pretends to be hurt, looking away from her.
"Finn." She sighs, rubbing his strong biceps with her tiny hand, although she's fighting a laugh, knowing he's just being a joker. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to –
When he turns away to face her, she's standing at her tiptoes to try and look at his face so they lips smash; she relaxes as his arms go wrap around her waist, and she moans a little inside his mouth; his soft lips, the lips that she wished she could kiss for so long have an effect on her that it makes her melt on the inside and out. When he feels her sighing happily against her, her fingers tangle in his hair, pulling him closer; she had boyfriends before, but no other boy or man could ever kiss the way he did. Right then, she knows it'll be so much more complicated to get married now, or to stay away from him. But the ring is heavy on her finger away, so she pulls away.
Startled, she touches her own lips. "Finn…" She tells him, shaking her head. "I… I –
"I know." He spoke, shaking his head, his perfect, full lips swollen from their kiss. "I shouldn't –
"I can't do this." Rachel spoke quickly. "I'm sorry, Finn, you… I'm… I'm getting married in a month." She sighed, feeling so terribly ashamed of herself for kissing Finn when she had a commitment with Mr. Hudson, the man who was already doing his best to give her everything. "You… You should probably go." She swallows hard at her next words.
"I'm sorry." Finn murmured. "I… Rachel…" He gulped.
Rachel shakes her head immediately to interrupt him dead on his tracks. She can't hear anything else Finn has to say, especially since she's sure it has something to do with the fact that he's attracted to her like she is to him. "No, Finn, I can't." She speaks, trying too hard not to cry in the front of the man she's in love with. "You have to go."
"There's something I need to tell you before I go, it's important –
"I said no, F-Finn." Rachel's voice shakes and she feels her heart aching inside her chest. She knows what she has to say, but it doesn't hurt any less when she spills the words out. "I don't want to ever see you again."
With that, he leaves immediately.
From the minute he walks away, Rachel cries herself until she's out of breath before doing the same thing again, cursing her parents for arranging her marriage once more, cursing the world and what her life had turned into. She hates her parents, she hates herself, she hates Mr. Hudson – even though it's not his fault to blame – and she hates Finn, for making her open herself up to him so quickly, and basically, for the fact that she watches the man whom she loves leaving, and all that thanks to herself.
A week before the wedding, Shelby drives from New York and brings her wedding dress along, also to help with the wedding preparations along with Mr. Hudson's mom, Carole, whom Rachel still hadn't met. Rachel's supposed to be thrilled when she sees the dress, and truly, she believes it's perfect, a little strapless white dress, perfect, just like her house, just like her house employees, the tree house by the oak, the nice town, everything, but the only thing in her mind, screaming for attention is Finn. Finn, who makes her heart flutter and melt, Finn who stole her from her own protective walls, who was always complimenting her and helping her see another side of herself that she's never been able to.
"Your eyes are swollen." Shelby says with a small frown, approaching Rachel and gently rubbing her eyelids. Rachel holds back tears, just because her mother lost the right to see her cry a long, long time ago.
"Allergy." Rachel replies softly and moves away from her, pouring them some more coffee and asking Maura, the old maid, to excuse them so they'll have their afternoon tea by the backyard.
"Those damn allergies again?" Shelby says with a shake of her head. "I'll be sure to give you some pills before the wedding, just to make sure everything goes fine." She says, caressing Rachel's cheek with her thumb lovingly before turning down to sip her herbal tea.
Rachel gulps as she chews on a small biscuit. There are so many things she'd like to tell her mom, like for an example, how she has fallen deeply in love with her kind Finn, or how she's scared to death Mr. Hudson won't like her, or how much she has improved on playing cello ever since she has gotten to Auburn, how much she wants to play at the town's local orchestra that's always doing little concerts down the river, but she can't. Again, Shelby lost that position a long time ago, when she chose Hollywood over her daddy and her.
When she looks at the mirror, she forces herself to enjoy her reflection.
Truly, her wedding dress embraces her tiny body perfectly, and her hair is curled and up in a messy ponytail where her veil is nestled. The light make up applied graces her features and she's a little bit taller from her tight shoes, and she does feel like a princess, but still, she hasn't slept the night before, just because she wants desperately to know who's the faceless, nameless man waiting for her by the end of the aisle – despite the fact that she's trying too hard not to think about Finn. No. He won't ruin her wedding day, even if she's desperate for someone to do so.
Tina gives her a long hug, and Rachel swears she feels a tear on her shoulder. When they pull away, Tina roll her eyes and shakes her head. "It's the hormones!" She protests and points at her small baby bump, making Rachel laugh.
Through the morning, Rachel gets more visits from some of her friends from New York, and she stays by the side of Shelby and the housekeepers as she waits. Waiting and thinking and fighting tears, she thinks bitterly, since it seems like it's all she has been doing for the past months.
When her daddy comes inside the hotel room, she knows it's time. He approaches her slowly and she immediately opens her arms for him, hugging him back tightly; at that day, her daddy and Tina seem to be the only things genuine. "I love you pumpkin." She hears him whisper, and he's tearing up a little. She pulls away, and wipes the tears away from his eyes, taking a deep breath before replying the only thing she can think of, feeling a little childish, even, and it remembers her too much from the old days, when she spent the whole day with Hiram, hearing him teach her ballads, and soothe her when she cried over Shelby's absence. He's still all the same, only tired eyes and a bit older, but she knows in his heart that his part at her wedding really had something to do with the fact that Hiram only wants the best for her. It's always been that way.
"I love you too, daddy."
As she makes her way through the aisle, her heart beating hard against her chest, she simply stares down at her feet, since she can't bring herself to look up and face a) her friends and family from New York and especially, b) Mr. Hudson's family, and most of all, Mr. Hudson himself. She refuses to even take a peek from him before she reaches the altar. She won't. She prays mentally that Finn's there – it seems like the whole city is – because truly, seeing him might make her heart suffer, but at least she'll have a friendly, kind face, and those beautiful eyes staring like her like she's an angel.
She feels her daddy's lips against her cheek, and right then, she knows it's time. Letting go of him, her feet shaky, she climbs to the altar and immediately feels to big, familiar hands, grabbing both of hers and squeezing them softly. Her throat dry and her heart loud against her ears, she looks up.
Her knees tremble when she finds the man she loves right there, staring at her, just the way she wishes he would moments later. She blinks away the embarrassment and the tears, trying to focus on the preacher's speech, just because she has come too damn far to ruin the wedding she has been preparing to since five months ago, but she can't. Finn's face is soft, like it always has been, and he looks at her, keeps looking at her, and it's too much. It takes every fiber of her being not to faint as she desperately tries to put the pieces back together. All the way through summer, Finn never told her his full name, or where he lived. He never told her the name of his mother, or the name of his father, or what exactly did he work on. It all made sense. He worked on numbers, he said. Mr. Hudson was a successful businessman. Every single piece of the jigsaw fit, and if she wasn't so damn blinded by the love she felt for Finn and by the respect and worry she had over Mr. Hudson, she would've realized it way sooner. Rachel can hear the thumps in her head, telling her stupid, stupid, stupid, and she feels divided: half of her wants to punch Finn right in the stomach, and half of her thanks God she's not marrying a complete stranger anymore; she is marrying the man she's in love with, after all, something she wanted from the beginning.
She's pulled away from her thoughts when she feels Finn's shaky hand gently putting the ring on her finger, and finally, a single tear rolls down her cheek as she does the same.
When they kiss, the way their lips smash much too familiar, she cries a bit more, just because she inherited her acting skills from Shelby, and because she has the goddamn right to do so.
As soon as Gerry drops them by their house again, and they step inside, she breaks down, wrapping both of his arms around Finn's strong body and crying softly against his stomach, since he has always been much taller than her. She cries so, so hard, finally releasing everything she has been feeling all the way, ever since she saw his face to everything she has been putting up with from the last two hours, soon she's choking in her own tears and he's rubbing her small back, to soothe her. He kisses her head, and repeats I'm sorry, over and over, although she can't seem to take them. Only when she notices she shouldn't be hugging him, she pulls away, wiping the last of her tears and walking over to sit by the living room's couch.
"I'm sorry." She murmurs, looking down at her dress. "I got your tux all wet."
"Rachel..." Finn says, a big frown on his face, and Rachel's never seen him so upset or hurt before. He sits by her side, and when he takes her hand and squeezes it softly, she can't protest, just because she knows it makes her feel better.
"Why?" She spoke with a tiny voice, sniffling and looking down again. "Why did you do this to me? Was it my mother's idea? Or my father's? Or –
Finn shakes his head, giving her hand another soft squeeze. As she finally meets his eyes, she sighs with relief, knowing that even though he hasn't spoken the truth yet, he will, because he's there, her Finn, and he'd never lie to her. "I did this because…" He sighs. "Exactly two years ago, my mom and I found out dad had cancer. It was terminal, as it always seems to be, and – Well, a year after his death, and through my mom's recovery, all I could hear talk about was Hiram and Shelby Berry's daughter, Rachel, and how she was sure this Rachel girl would be ideal to be by my side since I had just taken over the business."
"I'm so sorry." Rachel speaks as he talks about his father, and she can't help but gently bring her free hand to caress his neck and jawline as he speaks, and the act seems to make him smile a little.
"Either way, my mom and, your parents, they decided they'd wait a year to tell you about me, and about our arranged marriage, and I agreed. I suggested you'd move in into the house first to get used to it, and for that, your mom helped me decorate it with the things you liked. I thought… It'd make you feel… Home." He swallows. "But when I heard you were already in Auburn, I couldn't work, I couldn't sleep, knowing the girl I'd marry was miserable and scared, and most of all alone in this goddamn city and I just – I thought you'd need a friend."
Rachel's face falls and now it's her turn to feel incredibly guilty; by then she knows he's indeed the most caring, loving, kind and truly, the better man she has ever known her entire life. She keeps caressing Finn's hair and jaw as he speaks, and when he's done, she licks her lips, since her throat's dry, and another tear scape her eye, and she hopes he doesn't notice it. "That was really chivalrous of you." She tells him, smiling at his confused face. "But – How will we make this work, Finn? We barely know each other, that fact never changed, and I…"
"Rachel. Baby, baby." Finn interrupts her with a small smirk, taking both of her hands and blushing softly before he speaks, something he always does when he's about to compliment her. "I'm in love with you. That's how I know it'll work."
"In love?" Rachel raises her eyebrows at him but the smile that graces her features is unmistakable and huge; she knows that now, no matter how difficult and messed up things seemed, she'd always have that to hold onto, the words of her sweet, kind and true Finn. "Oh Finn, I – I love you, too." She tells him almost desperately, since she always thought she'd never be able to say it.
Thanks to him, her husband, she can.
She kisses him softly, and his response is immediate; she can feel his smirk against her lips, which makes her only deepen the kiss, using her hands again to pull them closer. She only breaks apart to whisper, "Finn?"
"Yes?" He answers, and his smile and eyes tell her that he's giving her the world.
"Take me upstairs." Rachel smiles, a deep blush on her cheeks. "I want you to – I want you to make love to me."
Rachel swears the look on his face, childish, surprised, happy and as always genuine is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen, and this time, instead of feeling bad for herself and her unexpected wedding, she thanks God things turned out this way.
"Are you scared?" Finn asks her with a hit of concern in his voice as he gently positions himself in the middle of her legs and takes a deep breath. She shakes her head, both of their eyes filled with love and passion.
"No." She tells him truly, hands on his neck. "Just… Be gentle, okay, love? I'm tiny, and well… you're… Not." Rachel giggles lightly, eyeing his member before she licks his lips, feeling him more dangerously close to her entrance. When he slides inside and she feels the barrier of her virginity being broken, she does feel the pain they often talk about. Releasing a small whimper, she holds onto his shoulders.
"Are you okay? We can stop, if you want to." He asks her, concerned again, and she opens her eyes, kissing him tenderly before shaking her head.
"No, I want to." Rachel tells him honestly, since she knows they both need it to feel closer and finally make their wedding official. After all, she's with the man that she loves. "Keep going." She assures him.
When he gets a slow, steady pace, the pain eventually vanishes within Rachel as he keeps thrusting himself, and what amuses her most is the look of pleasure evident on his face every time he buries himself inside of her. "Rachel –" He moans inside her ear, and goosebumps rise over her skin when finally, the pleasure takes over.
"Finn!" She gasps and eventually moves her hips to meet his, only increasing the delicious friction that now both of them can enjoy. All of her life, Rachel had listened to adults saying how sex feels good when you're with someone you love, and she knows that she understands it now.
Feeling a sudden fire and urge to release building up inside of her, and knowing by the messy thrusts and even more pleasant looks on Finn's face that they both won't last too long, she quickly slips a hand between their moving bodies to rub her clit rapidly, and as soon as she does, her walls spasm around Finn in a soft orgasm that makes her body shake. Moments later, she feels himself spilling his pleasure inside of her, and as he hides his face on the crook of her neck, she knows that she's his for life, now.
"I love you." He breathes a little inside her ear, and she can already feel her eyelids closing, but her heart speeds and she knows she'll never get tired of hearing those precious, so wanted words leaving his mouth.
"Love you." She manages to reply. She always will.
Things do work out, as Finn said they would.
Sometimes, they still argue a little over the fact that he works a lot – he is indeed a successful businessman – and maybe over silly things as when he leaves his wet towel on top of the bed or when it's late at night, she isn't tired and she comes down to her music room, as she calls it, to practice cello or piano, and he's trying to get a nice night of sleep. Nonetheless, they're still very much in love, and they're the most kissy, touchy couple in the world, always doing little things to please one another. Tina says it gives her morning sickness, and that's not good for her baby.
Four months after the wedding, Rachel finally gets the courage to grab her cello and ask for Gerry to take her downtown, where the local orchestra practices by the lake in the park where she always wanted to play. The conductor lets her play for half a minute before he stops her and tells her she doesn't even need to audition, and she's in. She's not a famous cello player, but she's the happiest she has ever been, and she makes more friends at the orchestra, that play violin. At her first real concert, Finn's there watching her with the biggest smile on his face.
When they go to Paris to celebrate their one year anniversary, and they're lying in the hotel bed late at night, watching the stars and feeling their bare bodies against each other, they start to talk about the possibility of having a child, and they both agree maybe it's time to give the world a little piece of them. As soon as they get back to Auburn, Rachel's eager to practice and Finn, of course, obliges every single time, especially when his favorite girl visits him at work and locks the door of his office just to make sure they have another chance of getting her pregnant.
It takes them awhile, but finally, on the autumn of 1954, Finn receives the best news of his life: his tiny wife's carrying his baby, and they both even cry a little, even though he wouldn't admit it for the world; Rachel knows the look on his face once tells her this is it, and she could've never been happier any other way. On the spring of 1954, finally, Rachel delivers a gorgeous baby girl, with her eyes, and as Rachel insists, even some of Finn's freckles over her cheeks and his dark hair over her little head. Finn says they should name her Destiny since they were both meant to find each other but Rachel just laughs, telling him she actually chose a name that means dearly loved months ago, and just wanted to surprise him. And then they have their sweet girl named, their little Aimee Hudson.
Late at night a few months after Aimee was born, Rachel's sitting by her front porch, carrying the four month baby in her arms, and feeling as blessed as she could ever be. Surprisingly, she sees Finn's car pulling over by the garage, since he's almost always home late and her smile is wide when her husband makes his way to sit by her side and gently kiss Aimee's soft forehead, whispering that he loves her, making the baby make a happy noise and smile up at her dad, squirming lightly in Rachel's arms.
Finn whispers that he loves them against her hair moments later, and when Rachel echoes his words, her heart light in her chest as she wraps little Aimee tighter into her pink blanket, she's one more time sure that life's everything she has ever wanted, and more.
a/n: Oh wow this took me long to write! I hope you all enjoyed it. Review!