A/N: I had a nightmare. And everyone starred in it. I don't mean to make you cry (again, really I never do) but it just turned out this way.. Future!fic Finn and Rachel with too many tears, so much love and friends just being there.
Disclaimer: Glee is not mine.
late nights and early mornings we wait
"Finn, if I have to tell you one more time to get off that game and go get ready, I will set your mother on you."
He smirks and bends his head back to look at her, she's icing cupcakes, her tongue stuck out at the side of her mouth and he knows he has about three more minutes before she comes over to him and literally yanks the game from his fingers. He's playing with fire, true, but it's fun.
He keeps playing.
Sure enough, his tiny wife flits over and grabs his controller from him, powering off the TV as she turns to glare at him. He smiles and pulls her onto his lap.
"Finn!" She squeaks.
He kisses her cheek, licks the icing she has on her chin and buries his nose in her neck.
"Finn. Let me go. Go shower and go pick up your parents from the airport."
"I will, I just want to spend a little time with this beautiful woman who loves me."
She laughs, pressing her fingers against his forehead. "None of that. You know very well if we start something it will take forever to finish. I will not have your mother waiting in the cold December weather because her son felt a bit frisky." She smiles and kisses his pout.
He looks over at his wife, runs his thumb over her knuckles and sighs. He'd give anything to go back to that day; it seems so long ago now. Her scolding him, singing while she baked, batting his hands away from the pastry when he tried to steal one. It's the little things that made his days better. And now that he doesn't have them anymore, he really misses them.
He'd give anything.
There's a tap at the door and he looks up, his smile tired and weary as his parents walk into the room. He stands and lets his mother fuss over him, press her fingers against his scruffy jaw and scold him for not eating enough.
"Finn, you need to comb your hair. When was the last time you ate something sensible? Your clothes are practically hanging off of you," Carole chastises.
He nods obediently and hangs his head, relieved when she lets him go and walks over to the bed. Burt steps to him and envelops him in a hug. He's been taller than his stepfather ever since they first met, but he's never felt more like a little boy than he does right now, in this very moment.
Burt understands though, and the man holds him longer than normal, not saying anything. Finally, he steps back and claps Finn once on the back, nods, following his wife's footsteps as she sits on the other side of the small bed.
"I have coffee." His brother walks in, a tray with four coffees balanced in one hand, another with a container of food. Kurt glares pointedly at Finn and puts down the tray beside the bed. He bends and kisses Rachel's forehead and tsks silently.
"Oh lord. I need to give you a haircut, your bangs have a mind of their own." He brushes her hair away and fingers the ends like they'll bite him, then pats her cheek lovingly and shoves the food into Finn's hands.
Puck comes by with a deck of cards and a case of beer under his jacket. He kisses Rachel's cheek and sits down opposite Finn. They don't say anything and Puck just drops the cards onto the table between them. Finn shuffles and deals.
They play in silence until a nurse comes in and walks over to the bed. She has to step around Finn and she just rolls her eyes at his glare, does her checks and walks back out. They're used to him here, attitude and all.
Puck wins the sixth hand because of the nurse's distraction, and Finn wins the next hand because Puck is busy peeking out the door at the nurse standing nearby. They drink beer and play cards until visiting hours are over. Puck kisses Rachel's cheek when he gets up then drops his forehead against Finn's before he leaves.
They don't have to use words. They've been friends long enough that epistles can be spoken in the silences and in their looks and Puck's presence everyday simply says we're not giving up.
Tina and Mike come by together. Tina still can't walk on her own, but her fiancé is beside her every step of the way and Finn knows he's not going anywhere. Mike's one of the strong, silent types and in the years since high school, outside of Kurt and Puck, he's the closest person Finn has as a friend.
They joined the NYFD together after Finn graduated from OSU and Mike graduated from Columbia. Mike's parents wanted him to be a doctor or some position of importance. And even graduating cum laude, with a minor in dance, he still chose the simple route and became a paramedic/fire-fighter.
Tina limps over to him and hugs him tight, sniffing into his shirt. He helps her onto the bed, and she stretches her small body beside Rachel's, her hand against her friend's still barely there stomach. She starts murmuring quietly into Rachel's ear, but too quietly for him to hear her words.
Finn doesn't want to move far away, but then he feels like he's intruding, so he joins Mike on the small couch in the room, giving his wife and her best friend some semblance of privacy.
"How's she holding up?" He asks.
Mike shrugs. "She's sleeping better. She still gets up in the early morning screaming, but it's not as bad as before."
Finn nods and they're quiet again.
"She still doesn't want to sing."
He tries not to wince.
"And she stutters when she speaks sometimes. It's like, in high school, like she's trying to hide."
Mike's voice is quiet and maybe he should be jealous, or even a little bit upset seeing the circumstances, but Tina and Rachel are too much alike, and even though he and Mike were technically in the same situation, he can't be. It wouldn't be fair.
He and Mike hold small talk, about work, football, the weather, their friends and watch as Tina whispers to Rachel. They announce visiting hours again and Mike has to physically lift Tina from the bed, and away from Rachel. She curls her fingers into Finn's shirt and murmurs into her hand pressed against her lips.
He kisses her forehead and pats Mike's shoulders as he makes his way outside and back towards Tina's room. He's just taken his seat beside Rachel again when Kurt waltzes in, a bag over his shoulder and another in his hand.
"Visiting hours are over, you know?"
Kurt doesn't bother to answer him.
Kurt picks up the book he was reading to Rachel and hands him the bag, pointing towards the bathroom. "I have spaghetti and meatballs once you're showered. Go."
He should argue with his brother, but he doesn't have the energy, so he does as he's told, his tears mixing with the hot water from his shower and when he comes back out, Kurt closes the door to Rachel's room and hands him a container with food and a soda. He's on the phone talking to someone, the phone in one hand and the other curled around Rachel's palm.
Her parents are basically living at their apartment and his parents are living at Kurt's and Blaine's. Every day there's a steady traffic of people coming to visit her and Tina. Reporters, fans, coworkers, friends and by the third month, the hospital has to have security posted outside both their rooms.
He's stopped reading the newspapers, there's nothing there he doesn't already know and the stupid speculations in the tabloids just make him angry.
He's glad he remained friends with the people from glee club, because they've been his rock throughout all this, besides their parents. Mr. and Mrs Shuester call almost every day and Emma Shuester was livid when she called him one evening about some reporters who were trolling the halls of McKinley High trying to score interviews with teachers and people from Lima about Rachel Hudson and Tina Chang. Lima may be small, but they're family and no one spoke to the press.
Jacob Ben Israel surprised him the most, however. Out of all the people who may have cashed in on the fame of Rachel Berry, it would have been him. But when the LA Times lead editor refused to 'discuss his friendships with people from his past and would wholly appreciate that the press not spread propaganda or falsehoods regarding two of Broadway's most remarkable women', he was impressed. He told him as much in the phone call he placed one evening.
"Finn, you have nothing to worry about. No one will print any fallacies about Tina or Rachel. I'll see to that. I'm just praying everything gets better, and soon."
"You don't have to thank me, man," he chuckles, "Your wife is one scary woman. I want to still be able to walk in the future."
Santana was a godsend. And he's really glad she and Rachel became friends back in high school.
She was a lawyer now, and did pro bono work with her firm. But when… everything happened, she slipped right into the legal role for both her friends and nobody wanted to piss her off. She and Mr. Leroy Berry held press conferences with Tina's mother.
If anyone had any questions, for him or Mike, he directed them to that team of lawyers. He wasn't interested in any lawsuits or anything like that, and as far as he knew, neither was Mike.
They just wanted their wives to be alright.
Mercedes tries to visit every weekend. She was living in LA, working for a film studio, but every Friday she flew in and she sat with either him or Kurt or with Matt and Mike. She'd be there on Saturday doing the same thing, and on Sunday she'd bring sweet potato pie for him and Mike, going between rooms to make sure they both ate.
"Mike, don't make me force that pie down your throat. It's the same thing every Sunday. You pick, pick away at it and the second I turn away you shove it in the bin. Waste my pie one more time and I'll put you in the hospital beside Tina."
He doesn't mean to laugh, really, but he believes her. He's gotten a similar threat.
"Don't you dare laugh, Finn Hudson. Don't think you get a free pass because you can't cook for yourself. I know your brother and mother bring food for you and I hope to God you aren't eating that slop they call hospital food. I don't want to see a crumb on that plate or I'm telling Rachel everything that happened at your bachelor party. Uh-huh, Sam told me everything. Eat."
So he eats, because aside from his mother, his brother and his wife and Santana, Mercedes Evans scares him the hell out of him.
If he's happy for anything, it's that Sam and Mike both went to medical school, except Mike didn't end up pursuing medicine. Mercedes' husband flies in with her and since he used to work at the hospital where at Tina and Rachel are, he talks with the doctors on their cases. He doesn't lie to his friends, the truth may be dirty and hard to explain, but he's not afraid to try.
When Mercedes or Kurt aren't forcing food down their throats, Finn pries himself away from Rachel, standing by the cooler with Sam and Mike. Today, Sam has good news, but not for Finn.
"Tina will be fine," Sam says, his hand on Mike's shoulder. The other man just nods, his eyes wet as he stares straight ahead. "The surgery fixed the herniated disc and she just needs to be on bed-rest for a few more weeks, but she's out of harm's way."
Mike nods, relieved, his eyes flickering guiltily towards Finn. He reaches out and squeezes his friend's shoulder, trying to put on a brave face.
"The stuttering is purely psychological, she's nervous, and afraid, and we think as long as Rachel is unconscious, she'll keep doing it. Once Rachel wakes up though, and she will," Sam turns his stern gaze onto Finn, "she'll work through it."
He sighs in relief, because, Mike needs that to hold on to.
"Finn, the baby is fine, Rachel is fine, there's no sign of distress and Rachel's getting enough fluids that they'll both be alright. They're going to start coming in more often, they need to turn her, you know, to prevent bed sores and the like, and don't be surprised if they massage her belly. We just have to wait, man. Time. She needs to wake up on her own."
He puts his hand on Finn's shoulder now.
"I know you're trying to act like the rock for everyone, but it's OK to let go. I can't understand what it is you're going through, but as a friend and a doctor, please don't keep it bottled up inside. We're all here, and we're all praying and I will do everything in my power to make sure Rachel and your baby pulls through this. I promise."
When he was younger his mother told him to never make promises he couldn't keep. He wants to tell that to Sam now but the look Mike has in his eyes, an inkling of hope is enough to hold his fears back.
He wants to believe that his family will be alright, and he's been holding on to that sliver of faith for so long, Mike needs him to, and so does Tina. And Kurt, and Puck and his parents and Rachel's parents.
And Rachel. She'd never forgive him if he just wallowed in his despair. So he forces his smile, grips Mike's shoulder and pats the hand Sam has on his shoulder and repeats what he's been repeating every day for the past two months.
"Everything will be alright."
Mike repeats it too.
Brittany doesn't handle sadness well, or hospitals for that matter.
Santana holds her hand as she stares at Rachel lying in the bed, her hand clasped tightly between Finn's.
"Is she going to wake up soon, San?"
He doesn't want to lie to her and he promised Santana he'd never sugar-coat the facts. But he doesn't know what to say to sweet, innocent Brittany. She's not stupid, she just prefers to ignore the horrors that exist in this world. And he doesn't want to take that away from her. Because this, in some way, will be horrible for Brittany.
"One day, Brit. One day she'll wake up."
"The baby's alright though? I mean, what happens when the baby's ready to come and Rachel still hasn't woken up?"
Santana meets his eyes and he nods. He asked the doctor's that same question when he first found out. They're still hoping she's awake by then, but you never know.
"If it comes to it, they'll perform a C-section," Santana says.
Brittany's eyes widen. "They'll cut it out of her? Santana," she breathes. "Why won't Rachel wake up?"
She steps beside the bed and holds Rachel's other hand. And she's talking to Finn now, looking at him to answer this impossible question that not even the doctors can explain.
"She hurt her head, Brit. And it was really bad, so while she sleeps, her brain, which was hurt pretty bad, has to heal itself. It has to fix itself and once it has, she'll wake up."
Brittany nods, Rachel's hands between hers and she bends to press her lips to it. It's still warm, Finn knows. Rachel looks like she's just sleeping, like she'll wake up at any time, stretching her hands over her head as she yawns, a small smile on her face as she looks at him.
Brittany starts singing, he can't make out the words, but Santana brushes tears from her eyes, her lips moving as she sings along silently. They sit like that for a long while and Mike and Tina stop by again, he has to give up his space beside Rachel as Tina stretches her body on the bed again, and joins in with Brittany's song.
He hovers by Rachel's head, needing to be close by and they stay like that, no sound beside Brittany's and Tina's quiet murmurs and the beeps of the hospital machines.
He starts reading to her when the days get longer. He's taken an indefinite leave from work and he starts to wonder if a three month leave is normal. Will he have a job to go back to? Will Mike?
He starts with the Twilight saga first, ignoring his mother's smirk when she comes in one evening and hears him reading to Rachel. It's a book, and its supposedly about forbidden love, no matter if it's between a dead guy who sparkles and drinks animal blood and a girl who's really clumsy and seems to like all the things that go bump in the night, but it's kinda funny and its basic premise is that the guy really loves the girl, and she really loves him, even when she shouldn't.
It reminds him of high school that seemed like ages ago, with all the drama between him, Rachel, Quinn and Puck. Theirs isn't as epic of a love story, but still, they navigated through so much to get to where they were today. These Volturi people would've fit nicely into the social hierarchy at McKinley, a different kind of blood-suckers.
("Geez, Rach. Is this girl for real? She wants to become a vampire just so she can live happily ever after with this guy?")
He gets to the end of the last book and kinda sees where the girl was going with this. Bella loved Edward despite his drawbacks (can we even call vampirism a drawback?) and he really loved her even though he wasn't supposed to, and he never believed he deserved her. They made it work, however, and loved each other in spite of everything and despite the fact that she technically died, they still supported each other, and fuck, his head just hurts trying to think all this through.
One thing sticks out to him though: he loves her enough to never want to live if she doesn't. He looks back to his sleeping wife, and he gets it. He really does.
His brother forces him out of the hospital room sometime during the fourth month.
"Finn, honestly, you look like the walking dead. We need to give you a haircut, you need to shave and you need some sunlight."
"Please, baby. Even if it's just for five minutes. I'll stay with her," his mother says, her face wet as she rubs Rachel's hands. He looks from his mother to his wife and wonders for the millionth time what did he do to deserve this.
He doesn't want to leave his wife and he can't understand why people keep trying making him to. He looks over at Burt and the older man nods. He looks between his mother and brother and for the first time he sees the dark circles around their eyes. He feels a little guilty, he's been ignoring one side of his family for this long, it's a wonder they don't hate him.
He nods and accepts the bag Kurt hands him. His lips linger against Rachel's cheek for a long time before he escapes to the bathroom again and showers quickly, shaving off the weeks of scruff that had taken residence on his face. Rachel likes him with a beard, but not so much hair on his face. So he shaves it enough to leave some behind, that he knows she'll like. He calls Kurt in to cut his hair; there was no way he was going in town to a barber.
His temples are grey, and he's not even 30. It makes him look older, more mature, world weary, Rachel would have called it. His eyes aren't as bright and shiny as they used to be, he doesn't have much to be happy about lately. He looks the same as he did four months ago, although his body is thinner, he and Rachel used to run in the mornings when they woke up together. And he and Mike did physical training together, hitting the gym three times a week to keep in shape for work. He doesn't even think he can run thirty feet without falling over.
Besides, his heart wasn't up for it. It's lying in a hospital room ten feet away.
"Eat your heart out George Clooney. My brother is bringing sexy back." Kurt grins at him in the mirror.
He shakes his head at his brother, his first true smile in so long stretching across his face.
Artie wasn't able to come visit when everything first happened. He was working in London on some major hush-hush project, but he called Mike every day and he kept in touch with Brittany and Tina. So when he woke up late in the evening, long after visiting hours were over to hear quiet arguing between someone and the security guard posted outside Rachel's room, Finn was surprised.
He cast his eyes over to Rachel and steps to the door. Artie was glaring at the man who was tapping a clipboard angrily.
"Listen, dude, your name isn't on this list. I have strict orders that no one not on this list can go in to see Mrs. Hudson, so unless-"
"Jeff, he's good," Finn interrupts and both men turn to look at him.
"Sure thing, Mr. Hudson." The formidable black man turns his eyes back to Artie and nods his head in the direction of the door.
Artie scowls, "You're lucky I don't run you over with my chair."
Finn snickers, shaking his friend's hands and pushing him back into Rachel's room. Like everyone's done, Artie goes over and presses his lips against Rachel's cheek. He takes his place beside her bed, her hand in his and Artie rolls to sit opposite him.
Artie asks for an update, his eyes on Finn's as he listens. He nods in approval and asks questions, Finn answers them as best as he can. They don't mention the very real fact that Rachel could be where Artie is now, if she ever wakes up.
"So, how's London? I'm pretty sure Sugar is living the high life?" He asks, needing to change the topic.
Artie barks in laughter. "Sugar is, intense. And finally done with her Asperger's bull. She's actually working – no, volunteering she calls it – at a fashion house."
"Good for her. Just please make sure she doesn't start any more fires Artie, the woman is all sorts of crazy."
Artie laughs. "No more than Rachel Berry is." He turns soft eyes on his friend, a small smile on his face.
Finn is really grateful he said 'is.'
"We're expecting too, you know. Sugar's just three months."
Finn doesn't want to look at Artie, see the regret in his eyes as his friend tries to not be happy in this moment. "That's great man, congratulations."
He reaches over and shakes Artie's hand, a small smile forced on his face. Artie nods, but his smile falls a little when he glances down at Rachel's stomach and Finn sees the guilty look flit briefly over his features.
"No, Artie. It's fine, really."
Artie shakes his head slowly. "Finn."
"Really, dude." Finn forces another smile. "So, what do you want? Boy or girl?"
It pains him to ask, truly, but he doesn't want this to overshadow everyone else's happiness. He knows they're trying to keep all the giddiness away from him, and he hates it. He wants them to stop. Artie should be ecstatic about this, not look like he's afraid of sharing in his joy.
His friend's smile is small but genuine, as he answers.
Quinn surprises him one Saturday afternoon. He's catching up on some sleep, his mother in the next chair over and Santana and Kurt curled up on the couch with paperwork for Rachel. They haven't really spoken since Rachel's graduation and she'd basically disappeared. They weren't not friends, really, and the only person she really spoke to from Glee were Mercedes, Santana and Rachel. Last he heard she was in France.
Kurt tosses a pencil at him and points to the doorway where Quinn stands, her eyes red and hands crossed beside the security guard. He looks over at his mother who's still sleeping and Kurt stands when he does, taking his seat beside Rachel and curling his legs underneath him again.
"Quinn, hi." He steps to the doorway to greet her.
It's the first time she's ever come to visit since Rachel and Tina's accident.
She steps into his arms and wraps her arms around him. "I'm sorry, I didn't know." She buries her face into his chest and he's transported to a similar scene back in high school when she cried in his arms, right after lying to him. He doesn't hate her for that; he's forgiven her a long time ago. He just hates that she's not around anymore, and Rachel kinda misses her.
He pats her back awkwardly and waits until her crying stops.
"I, I came as soon as I heard. I'm sorry, I was working on a new project and basically had no contact with Lima or anyone. Can you believe it was through a news story that I had to learn about the accident?"
She shakes her head and wipes her fingers under her eyes, pulling her composure back into Quinn Fabray, shoulders up, back straight, head high.
She's quiet for a while, just stands and stares at him. "How's she doing?"
He looks back towards the hospital room where Kurt had one of Rachel's earbuds in his ear, the other in Rachel's and was scrolling through her iPod. His mother was still asleep. His wife hadn't moved in five months.
Santana shows him a legal brief. It's full of medical and legal jargon and he really doesn't understand shit until she scoffs and pats his hand.
"The theatre house is taking full responsibility for everything. They've released a follow-up press statement, neither Rachel nor Tina were at fault, how people brought alcohol into this when there's a pregnant woman involved, I'll never know. The driver's been fired, and of course the car is totalled," she huffs.
Finn just stares.
"They'll cover both medical expenses, they've issued a formal apology and they're actually putting the show on hiatus until this all clears up."
He nods, because he really doesn't care about any of that. Putting a Broadway show on hiatus because two of their original stars were incapacitated was kind, really. Didn't change anything. Rachel and Tina weren't alright.
Rachel's fathers came in one evening looking worse than he felt. He decides to give them some time alone, and hugs both men, kisses her forehead and walks out. He goes to Tina's room only to find her fast asleep, curled into herself on the bed, one hand hanging over, tightly clasped in Mike's.
He imagines he paints a similar picture when he sits beside Rachel, except Tina moves, Tina speaks, Tina wakes up.
Mike is fast asleep too, and it's early in the morning, about two am. They're both tired, so he'll leave them alone. He closes the door when he leaves.
He's standing by one of the windows staring into the darkness outside when Hiram Berry comes up to him. Rachel's father looks like he's aged a lifetime in the few months that his daughter has been unconscious, his eyes dull and listless behind his glasses.
He sighs and Finn gets an uncomfortable feeling in his stomach.
"I can't live without her." His voice is quiet, but he knows the other man hears him.
"If it comes down to it. If she has to give birth in, in a coma… I don't know what I'm going to do."
"Finn." Hiram puts his hand on his son-in-law's shoulder. "Rachel has always been happy with you. I can't imagine living my life without my daughter. But it's not just you and Rachel anymore. You have to think about your daughter, that little baby will need one of her parents around."
"Rachel will wake up." It's Burt who says this, his voice quiet as he stands down the hallway, watching them. Finn turns around and stares at his stepfather.
"You don't know that," he whispers.
"This is Rachel Berry we're talking about son," he scoffs. Hiram laughs quietly from beside him. "That girl, that woman, your wife, my daughter, the mother of your unborn daughter is too stubborn to let something take her away from us so soon. She's not going anywhere."
Hiram grunts in agreement and Finn sees him nod at Burt. He turns his head back towards the window, staring outside at the darkness, Burt on one side and Hiram on the other.
"I don't know how to live without her," he whispers into the silence.
He's midway through The Hunger Games: Mockingjay one night when he has to stop, his throat is clogging up with unshed tears and he thinks he's just about ready to do anything as long as Rachel will open her eyes.
He's ready to pray to whatever god will listen; he's willing to bargain anything at this point, just so she will wake up. He misses her eyes, when they twinkle as she laughs with or at him. Even when she's angry at him, the fire in her eyes. He misses that too. The way her nose scrunches up when she's happy, he just misses her.
He misses his wife. He hasn't had her long enough that he can learn to live without her and he doesn't want to think like that because he can't. He can't think like that, not now, not ever.
He can't bear to think of his baby safe and asleep, still inside her mother, and know that one day, she'll be here and her mother won't be awake. Won't be able to hold her, kiss her. She'll miss out on her life, even though she's here but not.
She will wake up. Rachel has to wake up.
He rubs his hands over his face, scratching the scruff at his jaw. He needs to shave. He should probably get something to eat today as well, before Kurt comes in and lectures him.
He smirks. "Rach, I think we're in for another one of Kurt's rants today. I think I'm supposed to get something to eat, but honestly, out of everything they have here, you'd be appalled, you'd never let me eat any of it."
He picks up the book again, his eyes automatically searching the machines beside her bed. It's a habit; every day he prays for a change. Finding none, he uses his index finger to find his place where he left off. He's just two words in, the next word frozen on his lips as his eyes move to the fingers barely moving on the bed in front of him.
It's her voice. It's quiet and barely there and she hasn't used it for six months, but it's hers.
He doesn't bother brushing the tears from his face when she says it again.
A/N: Yea, so… ah. *runs away*
*peeks out* Reviews?