A/N: This is AU and based off the Live- In Child Care prompt over at finchel-prompts. (I know. I can't stop. I'm sorry!) I changed the prompt around just a bit. . . hope that's okay! And even though like, the genesis of the prompt is a bit depressing, overall I'd say this just a fluffy, happy story, so I hope you enjoy!
Title is from the wonderful song Bloom, by The Paper Kites. I don't own that, or Glee! Also, I rated this T, but there is a light smut scene, so, consider yourself warned :) Finally, thank you x 10000 to Profitina for reading this over for me and helping me out!
Adam says that he's never been on an airplane before without his daddy. His eyes get all big and wide when Finn pulls up to the airport.
"I want Daddy," Adam says almost immediately, as Finn's unbuckling him from his booster seat. He says it quietly, as if he's not trying to hurt his uncle's feelings. Finn just smiles at him uncomfortably and Adam repeats himself.
"I know," Finn says in response, but he doesn't say anything else because honestly, what else is there to say? He and his mom tried explaining to Adam the best they could, that Daddy's gone and that Adam's going to have to live with Uncle Finn from now on; but the kid's three years old. He doesn't really understand how people get into the television set, let alone the fact that his dad –
That his dad is dead.
Adam holds onto Finn's hand tightly as they make their way through security. He starts to sniffle and cry a little when they're in line to go through the metal detector, and he lets out a whimpering sigh when Finn bends down to help him take off his Velcro Ben Ten sneakers.
Adam's wearing mismatching socks because for the life of him, Finn couldn't find a matching pair when they woke up. And at six in the morning, when he's trying to catch a flight back to New York, trying to find his nephew a pair of matching socks isn't really at the top of the list.
But Adam scrunches his toes up, looks sadly at his socks; almost like he's super upset that they don't look perfect, and he looks so much like Kurt in that moment that Finn almost feels like he's going to pass out.
"One's blue," Adam says, pointing at his foot. He then points to the other foot. "That one's green."
Finn nods, because yes, he can see that without Adam pointing it out. "Yep, you got it." He pulls up Adam's socks a little, because they're scrunching around the ankles. And he also pulls at Adam's khakis, because they're kind of wrinkled (more like super wrinkled and probably a little dirty) and he probably should've thrown them in the dryer or something last night, to try to get them looking nice, because Kurt never would've allowed Adam out in public the way he's looking right now.
"I need matching socks," Adam says, sounding as insistent as a three year old can. "Matching. Daddy matches my socks."
Finn doesn't know what to say, doesn't want to upset Adam any more than he already is. So he just says, "Next time, I'll make sure they match."
Adam seems satisfied with this answer, and Finn tries to give him an encouraging smile. Adam doesn't smile back, but at least he didn't get like, hysterical about the socks, which Finn thinks is progress.
(Last night, Finn didn't sing the right song at bed time, and to Adam, that apparently meant the entire world was ending. He didn't stop crying until Finn sang the right song like, twenty times in a row.)
"You okay?" Finn asks distractedly, as he reaches up to put Adam's shoes on the conveyer belt, along with his carryon suitcase, briefcase, and their jackets. He claps a hand on Adam's shoulder. Adam shakes his head, bites onto his bottom lip tightly. Finn's not sure exactly what his nephew's upset about this time, but he tries to comfort him. "I know; airports can be crazy, right? Too many people. But at least the line wasn't that bad."
Finn stands up straight and holds out his hand for Adam to grab onto. Adam wraps his hands around just Finn's thumb, and he looks down at the ground, silent except for a small hiccup of a sob that escapes from him every couple of seconds. Finn sighs and helps him take his backpack off so that it can go on the conveyer belt, and then prods him to go through the metal detector first.
The security guard who's waiting on the other side of the metal detector sees Adam crying, gives Finn this look of understanding – like, 'hey, been there, done that'. He probably thinks that Finn is Adam's dad or something, and that thought makes Finn want to just run from the airport screaming.
(When Kurt asked him to be Adam's guardian all those years ago, when Kurt was first going through the whole surrogacy process of having Adam, Finn said yes without even thinking. Because he figured that, you know, he never really would have to be the guardian; that Kurt would always be around.
And now he's taking his nephew back to New York to live with him. It's fucking surreal, and he feels like he's living in a dream state.)
"Do you want something to eat?" Finn asks, as he sits Adam down at a bench outside of security. He helps Adam puts his sneakers back on, arranges his baseball cap on his head, and then helps him make sure his backpack straps are all nice and situated on his shoulders.
Adam thinks for a second and swings his legs back and forth. Finn tries not to look at his watch, but their flight in is like forty minutes, and if there's one thing that Finn's really learned about Adam in the past few days, it's that the kid likes to take his time when he eats. There's legit no rushing him, because if someone attempts to, he ends up getting sick all over the place.
"A bagel," Adam says suddenly. Finn grins.
"Yeah?" He helps Adam down from the bench, and Adam automatically grabs a hold of Finn's hand again. They start walking down the terminal, and it's weird, but Finn never really realized just how small Adam is before. He's been around his nephew a few times, but with Kurt living out in California and Finn based in New York, he never got to see Adam as much as he should've.
And now that he's been around him for a week now, he's realizing how much shit actually has to change once people have kids, shit that people probably never even thought of. Like, right now, Finn and Adam are meandering down the hallway at about the pace of a snail, because one of Finn's strides equals about five of Adam's.
They come to a stop at one of those little restaurants that serves pretty much everything. It works out kind of perfectly because it's located right outside their gate. So, Finn drops their stuff off at a table, and Adam climbs up onto a chair.
"What kind of bagel?" Finn asks, rifling through his wallet to find a twenty. "Plain?"
Adam nods, and says, "Butter, please." Then neatly folds his hands in his lap, and adds, "And juice- apple!"
Finn smiles at him and then turns to get in line to place their order. He pauses though, and turns back around so that he can look at Adam, who is staring up at him.
"I can't – I mean," Finn stumbles on his words slightly, because he's trying to appear confident to Adam; like he knows exactly what he's doing, that he's in total control of the situation, that Adam has no reason to be upset or worried. But still –
"Can you. I mean, are you allowed to sit by yourself?" Finn asks, and holy shit, he feels so stupid asking that question because hello, Adam is three fucking years old. Of course he's not okay to sit by himself in the middle of a busy airport restaurant, and besides that obvious fact, Adam's too young to even realize that sitting by himself in the middle of any busy place anywhere is in the realm of possibility.
As if to confirm Finn's thinking, Adam just continues staring up at him, confused. Finn sighs and helps Adam off from the chair, so that they can both get in line for the bagels.
It turns out that Adam hates New York about as much as any three year old can possibly hate anything. Which, in case anyone was wondering, is a lot.
The minute the plane touched down at JFK, Adam wrinkled his nose and looked out the window. His jaw dropped when he saw that there was snow on the ground, and he immediately started shivering and saying that he wanted to go home, where it was warm and sunny and not snowy.
And Finn tried to talk quietly to him, to keep him calm and stuff, and started talking about all the fun things they could do in the snow, with a lot of the emphasis being on hot chocolate – because Adam's a kid and aren't all kids supposed to love hot chocolate?
But Adam just shook his head resolutely, and when they actually had to walk outside the airport to get into the taxi, he screamed bloody murder until Finn finally picked him up so that he didn't have to touch his sneakers to the snowy pavement.
Finn can't be positive, but he thinks that maybe this actually is Adam's first time seeing snow. Because Kurt never came home for Christmas; the whole family always went out to visit him and Adam in LA. And it's not like it snows in LA all the time… or really, ever.
So he dropped off their suitcases at his apartment (which Adam also hates, because it's too dirty, apparently), and then he took them over to this one kids' clothing store that's a couple of blocks away from his apartment, to get Adam a new coat and winter boots and everything. Finn figured that since Adam is half Kurt, he has to love clothes shopping – even if he is only three.
Besides, this is an early in the season snow storm. And after this, it probably won't snow again for a month or so, so even if Adam totally hates his jacket… he'll have time to grow into liking it or whatever.
Yeah. Finn has this Uncle-Parenting thing down.
Finn picks out a coat for Adam that looks pretty decent. It's blue and puffy and it has these cool mitten things that are attached and everything. He holds it up for Adam's approval.
"How about this?" Finn asks, and he hands the coat to Adam to try on. "It looks – you know. Comfortable and stuff."
Adam tries to pull on the coat himself, but his arms get stuck in the sleeves and after a moment he looks up at Finn, his brown eyes wide. Finn kneels down to the ground, tries to help Adam pull his arms through the sleeves, and honestly? This should come with an instruction manual or something because Adam's arms are so tiny and wiry that Finn feels like he's going to snap them in half when he pushes them through the sleeves. Adam doesn't say anything as Finn shimmies the coat on him, just stands there swaying slightly from the movements.
"I'm not too good at this yet," Finn says uncomfortably, as he pulls Adam's little wrists through the sleeves. Adam stares at Finn's hands, says quietly,
The coat has these big black buttons but they're still a little too hard for Adam to button by himself, so Finn quickly helps out with that too, and then he takes a step back to get a good luck at how the coat looks on him.
He's not a hundred percent sure as to what exactly he should be looking for in a kid's coat, though. Like, the coat looks comfortable; it seems to fit; and it's not too tight on him. But he remembers shopping for coats when he was younger and it always seemed like a five thousand hour affair, with his mom making him try on jacket after jacket, always nitpicking little things that just didn't seem right.
So Finn kneels down again next to Adam and sort of tugs at the coat a bit, making sure that it covers his wrists completely, and looks inside the pockets to make sure that there aren't any holes or loose threads or whatever.
"Can you move your arms and stuff?" Finn asks finally, because that seems like it's probably the only question that really needs to be answered. Adam starts flapping his arms like a penguin and then moos like a cow, which is seriously random and just weird, but whatever, it's making Adam laugh so Finn figures that maybe that'll be one of his new secret Ninja-Uncle-Parenting skills; whenever Adam's in a bad mood, just tell him to like, flap his arms or whatever.
Adam stops moving his arms abruptly and wiggles out of the coat with astonishing speed. He drops it next to Finn.
"I like it," he says, and Finn smiles because that's the first time in the two hours since they've been in New York that Adam's said he likes something.
He looks at the price tag and he has to laugh for a second because it just makes sense that Kurt's three year old son would have a jacket that costs more than Finn's entire outfit.
Adam is afraid of his bedroom. Finn's not really sure why, because he had the majority of Adam's stuff from – from Kurt's old place shipped to his apartment. So even though the room's not a dead replica for Adam's previous bedroom, it's pretty damn close.
"Don't you even want to try sleeping here?" Finn asks, trying to coax him. Adam sits on the bed, his stuffed elephant clutched between his hands, these big tears sliding down his face. He resolutely shakes his head, and Finn sighs, sitting on the bed next to him.
"I mean, I know it's different and stuff. But like – remember those sleepovers that you have at Nana and Papa's sometimes? This is just like that."
Adam wearily looks around the room, drags one of his hands underneath his nose. He takes a deep, shuddery breath, and his bottom lip starts to tremble wildly. Finn gently lays an arm across his shoulders, pulls the little guy closer into him.
The nightlight in the corner is one of those ones that projects images on the wall; safari animals and stuff, so there's like, giraffes and hippos and lions hazily splayed across the walls. Finn tries to point them out and talk about them, and he tries to make like, an elephant noise or whatever because he thinks maybe that'll be funny and cheer Adam up. But it doesn't, not really.
Adam presses his face into Finn's shirt, and Finn rubs his hand across the back of Adam's neck, scratching lightly. Adam holds his elephant even closer to his chest, and Finn sighs, looking around the room.
It's the room that Kurt and Adam always stayed in whenever they visited (which wasn't all that often), and Finn thought that staying in here might comfort Adam. Now, seeing all the pictures of Kurt that are placed around the shelves makes Finn think that maybe letting Adam stay in here is akin to letting him stay in a mausoleum of sorts. He should've Googled this or something, looked up about whether it's healthy and shit for three year olds to have pictures of their dead dad all around them.
Maybe that's what's bothering Adam?
Finn shifts a little, pulls away from Adam so that he can look into his face.
"Adam – what's up, man?" he asks softly, brushing a hand across Adam's forehead. Adam sniffles in response, his big brown eyes welling up again with tears.
He looks down at his elephant, which is aptly named Elephant.
"I'm sad," Adam says, petting Elephant. Finn nods slowly.
"Yeah, I can see that."
"I'm very sad," Adam insists, clutching Elephant closer to his chest once again.
"Is there like, a reason why?" Finn asks, and Adam looks down at Elephant before looking up at his uncle. His brown eyes are rimmed red and there's all this snot running down his nose. It's pretty gross and Finn doesn't have any tissues in the room or anything, so it's not like he can complain when Adam chooses to rub his nose against his shirt sleeve.
Adam thinks for a moment, brushes the top of Elephant's head as he's deep in thought. Finn just holds his nephew tight to his side because he talked to his mom about this and apparently like, physical contact is good for kids who have been through traumatic situations. The closeness makes them feel loved and stuff? And even though Finn doesn't exactly know what to do with Adam yet – he wants him to feel loved and safe.
After a moment of silence, Adam says, "Elephant wants to go home." He pushes the animal onto Finn's lap, and then looks up at Finn expectantly. Finn glances down at the elephant and then back over at Adam. He's still staring at his uncle as if the stuffed elephant is expecting some sort of legitimate conversation or something.
Finn clears his throat awkwardly, looks at the elephant that's in his lap. He picks it up and stares it straight in the eye, and says hesitantly, "What's up, Elephant?"
Adam doesn't say anything, just stares at his lap and brushes his fingertips across the little star pattern that covers his pajama bottoms, as if he's almost embarrassed for Finn or something. Clearly, Finn's ability to talk to stuffed animals could use some serious work, and he tries again, a little more confidently, "Look… Elephant. I know it's scary moving homes and – and sleeping in new beds, but, it'd be really cool if you could just give this room a chance."
Finn stands up, holding onto Elephant, and walks around the room with the stuffed animal, pointing some things out loudly and making sure that Adam is still listening. "Like, look here – there's this awesome toy chest that Papa just bought for Adam, and I'm sure you, Adam, and me will have an awesome time playing with all the stuff inside. And – and look out the window!"
He quickly walks over to the window, pulls open the curtains. He can see Adam staring at him curiously, tears still falling every so often from his eyes. It's breaking Finn's heart, but he says happily, his voice only wavering slightly, "Look at all those lights! All those buildings! We're gonna explore all of New York City, and we're gonna have the best time, but you have to just give it a chance. And you can't be sad and bringing Adam down."
Finn walks back over to the bed, sits back down next to Adam, and hands him Elephant. Adam places the toy in his lap, looks at him curiously, then leans down so that his head is right next to Elephant's.
"Is, uh. Is Elephant feeling any better?" Finn asks quietly, placing a hand on Adam's knee. "Because we can always talk some more if you – I mean, you know, if Elephant isn't feeling okay."
Adam listens to Elephant, then reports to Finn, "Elephant wants to sleep with you tonight." He doesn't look at Finn as he says this, his eyes trained on Elephant.
Finn nods slowly, then says, "What if I sleep in here with you guys? Would Elephant be okay with that?"
Adam stares at Elephant for a second, before looking back at Finn, a small smile on his face. He nods and says, "Yeah."
So Finn pulls his air mattress into Adam and Elephant's room. He reads the pair of them a story (something about giving a moose a muffin, and it's kind of weird but Adam smiles and laughs the entire time, so Finn figures it's an okay book after all) and then tucks them in, wishing them a good night. About half way through the night, when he wakes up to go to the bathroom, he sees that Adam and Elephant have made their way onto the air mattress with him.
He just sort of stares at Adam for a second, brushes his hand across his nephew's forehead, getting the hair out of his face. He puts his hand on Adam's chest, watches as his hand rises and falls with each breath that Adam takes, watches as Adam's eyelids flutter, watches as Adam's arm tightens on Elephant.
Adam is his. This kid, this little boy, this three year old who is currently snoring and sucking on his thumb like his life depends on it – he is Finn's responsibility, for the rest of his life. There's no like, stop button, no pause; it's him and Adam now.
It's sort of exciting and sort of terrifying, all at the same time.
Finn works at this advertising firm in Midtown. It pays pretty well and he gets along really well with his coworkers and stuff. But the hours are usually long, like sixty hours a week. A lot of the time he's not home until seven or eight o'clock at night. And that wasn't necessarily a bad thing, back when it just him – most of his friends work late nights, too, so it's not like he was ever missing out on much. Now that he has Adam, though, something has to change. Because obviously, giving Adam his bath at nine o'clock isn't really an option, considering that his nephew's usually passed out by seven thirty.
His boss is being super chill about the whole situation. Apparently the company has this bereavement leave thing, so Finn gets three weeks off to get things under control with Kurt's affairs, and get Adam settled. Burt, his step-dad, is trying to help out as much as possible; but the loss of Kurt… it just. It was unexpected and Burt's handling it about as well is to be expected, when a father loses his only son.
So, Finn has to deal with all of Kurt's assets and stuff, and also try to get things under control with Adam. Dealing with Kurt's stuff is easy enough, all things considered. Finn gets this one realtor to put Kurt's condo in LA on the market, and his best friend, Santana, is a lawyer, so she helps out a ton with all of the issues concerning Kurt's bank accounts and investments or whatever.
It's a little trickier handling what to do with Adam. First off, Finn signs him up for this one preschool that's supposed to be really kickass. He asked all the ladies at work about it, and they all said it was one of the best ones in the city. It's ridiculously expensive, but whatever, Finn's not going to send his nephew to some shitty preschool where he's just going to sit in front of a television all day. Kurt would not have wanted that, so Finn's not going to allow that.
But Finn figures out pretty quickly that like, he can't take care of Adam on his own. It's just not possible. There's too much that a three year old requires, in terms of time and energy and stuff, and even though Finn has some awesome friends that are willing to help out – it's not enough. And even though Finn dumps a lot of shit on his friends, he can't dump the raising of his nephew on them. And he doesn't want to, either.
He talks to his mom about it for a while, but not too much, because it stresses her out a lot and she's taken Kurt's death super hard. She can barely mention Adam's name without bursting into hysterical tears and just – Finn doesn't want to bother her about this. She suggests maybe hiring a nanny, though, and Finn thinks about it for a couple days before he decides that's pretty much the best suggestion. (Santana said he should hire a mail order bride. Not exactly the advice he was looking for.)
So he puts this ad in the newspaper and online, because he's really not too sure as to where, exactly, one goes about hiring a nanny. He gets a couple responses, but mostly they're just creepy people who Finn would never let around Adam in a thousand, million years, and he gets kind of discouraged. But then Santana helps out and asks some of her friends for advice on how to hire a nanny, and right away, Finn gets like ten texts from mothers who all throw out the names of nannies who have worked for them in years past and stuff.
When she's actually being serious and helpful, Santana's sort of like the best person on the planet.
A couple of the moms both suggest this one girl, Rachel Berry. Apparently she baby sat for these families for a couple years, but the moms told Finn that she was looking for a more permanent sort of gig; like, a live in type situation. And since Finn has a third bedroom or whatever, he figures that maybe having an actual live in nanny won't be so bad. It'll definitely help out in the mornings, and it'll mean he won't have to get off work early so often.
So, a week after Adam's move to New York, Finn takes him and Elephant to go meet Rachel Berry at a café down the road from their apartment.
Adam's nervous. "I don't like her," he says, clutching onto Finn's lapel. He likes to be carried sometimes and like, Finn's sort of beginning to realize that he can't really say no to him. Well, he could. He just doesn't like to.
So, he's carrying Adam and Elephant as he walks down the block. Adam has this super sour puss look on his face, pouting every chance he gets. And yeah, Finn gets that this is a lot for him to take in and stuff, but still, Adam doesn't have to act so grumpy.
Finn doesn't like waking up earlier on Saturdays either, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
"You don't know her," Finn says. Adam slips from his grasp a little and Finn tightens his arm around his legs. "You gotta hold on, bud," he reminds him and Adam sighs, placing his cheek against Finn's shoulder.
Adam's silent for the rest of the way to the café. Finn pushes the door on his way inside, and then gently tells Adam, "Ready to get down?"
Adam shakes his head and so Finn keeps holding him. He glances around the café; he's not totally sure what Rachel looks like, but he figures that she'll be able to figure out who he is.
Confused guy holding a little boy and stuffed elephant. Not difficult to spot in a small café, really.
His theory proves correct, because almost immediately, he hears a bright and cheery voice calling out, "Mr. Hudson!"
Finn glances over to his left. There's a girl sitting at a table in the corner, waving enthusiastically at him. He's shocked, kind of, because he just sort of expected that Rachel would be old and shit, because all of the nannies in the movies are usually really old. But this woman looks relatively young – like, a couple years younger than him, maybe.
And she's kind of hot, too, but that's beside the point. Finn makes his way over to her, almost tripping over chairs a couple of times because Adam's doing some weird monkey shit and practically trying to crawl on his back so that he doesn't have to look at Rachel.
By the time Finn finally gets to the table, his face is flushed bright red and Adam is hanging upside down, firemen style, over Finn's shoulder. Rachel's eyes are wide and her mouth is forming a perfect little 'o'.
"This must be Adam," she says, standing up from the table and brushing her hands down her skirt, smoothing it out. She holds her hand out momentarily before realizing that any sort of handshake would be fruitless at this point, because it's basically taking all of Finn's energy just to make sure that Adam doesn't try catapulting off from his shoulder or something.
Finn gives her a wry smile because honestly, what else is he supposed to do? And he sits down at the table, shifts Adam so that the kid's sitting somewhat upright in his lap.
Adam doesn't look at Rachel. He grabs a spoon off from the table and starts feeding Elephant.
"This is Adam," Finn says, stating the complete obvious. He's sort of learned that little kids are pretty much fucking oblivious to everything, so he continues, "He's kind of a handful sometimes, but super chill other times. It comes in like, waves."
Adam starts talking quietly to Elephant about pancakes and stuff. Rachel stares at him for a second, before looking over at Finn, giving him this soft smile as she tucks a strand of hair behind her ear.
"Well, he's gone through a very traumatic situation," Rachel says quietly, as she stirs her spoon in her cup of tea. "That's completely understandable."
Finn nods slowly. "Did – I mean, you heard? About that?"
Rachel looks embarrassed for a moment, drops her spoon to the table. "I'm so sorry, Mr. Hudson – I wasn't meaning to talk about something so personal. It's just, Mrs. Glade, one of the women who I used to work for? She informed me of the circumstances for why you'd be needing a nanny. I didn't mean to impose," she says hurriedly, her eyes wide and apologetic. Her gaze flickers to Adam for a quick second before looking back at Finn.
Finn shrugs, rubs his hand against Adam's back. "It's fine. I mean, I would've had to tell you anyway," he says, cracking a brief smile. Rachel nods, her face still slightly pink, and she picks her spoon back up from the table, places it back in her tea.
She licks her lips for a moment and Finn tries to remember all the questions that he was supposed to ask of her; Santana printed off this huge list of requirements and stuff, but he forgot it at home and he honestly can't even think of the first thing to ask of this girl besides whether she has a criminal record or not.
Which okay, yeah, most likely she doesn't but still. Finn thinks that's one thing that he should probably make totally sure of, before letting her move into his apartment. It seems like the responsible, parent-y thing to do.
Rachel smiles at him briefly, expectantly. Finn says, trying to sound somewhat in control, "So, you've, uh. You've baby sat… a lot?"
Rachel looks confused for a moment, before nodding, and saying, "Yes. Yes, I've baby sat – gosh, my entire life, practically. But I moved out to New York when I was eighteen, and I've baby sat regularly for Mrs. Glade and Mrs. Harnish since that time. I've never had to cancel a baby-sitting appointment, ever. I know the subway and bus systems like the back of my hands. I'm also trained in CPR, I know specific directions to each of the nearest hospitals, and I'm vegan, so I'll make sure that Adam is served a healthy and nutritious diet."
Finn glances down at Adam, who's still pretending to feed Elephant pancakes or waffles or something. He looks up at Rachel, who's smiling at him widely. She looks super peppy and kind of psychotic, but she's energetic, and Finn thinks that's like, requirement number one for dealing with a kid like Adam.
But, "Adam likes chicken nuggets." Finn thinks that maybe he'll withhold the information that chicken nuggets are one of Adam's main food groups, along with J-ello and pretzel rods.
Rachel smiles at him knowingly. "Trust me. I make fantastic vegan chicken nuggets. He won't even know the difference."
Finn begs to differ, because Adam can totally tell the difference between Tyson and Swanson chicken nuggets, and the kid knows what he likes, but whatever. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad for Rachel to cook Adam some healthy food and stuff, get him to eat nuts and fruit. Kurt would probably really like that.
"And you'd be able to move in? What days would you need off?" Finn asks, because he's pretty sure he remembers seeing that on Santana's list.
"Well, I would prefer to have Mondays off, just because that's usually the day I schedule my auditions," Rachel says, and she seems to sit up a little bit straighter at the word 'audition' like she's expecting an argument or something.
"Auditions for what?" Finn asks curiously, as Adam moves on to serving Elephant dessert.
"Broadway," Rachel says. She closes her eyes for a brief moment, amending, "Well, or off-Broadway. I'm an actress." She sounds a bit defensive, but Finn doesn't really care about her being an actresss. That's kind of cool, actually, that she's following her dream and everything. As long as her auditioning doesn't interfere with Adam and stuff, he doesn't really care what she does with her days off.
"That'll probably be fine," Finn says, "but Adam has preschool on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. So you'd just have to make sure that you can pick him up, or take him with you or something."
Rachel nods, looking almost surprised. "Of – of course, that would be absolutely no problem at all, Mr. Hudson."
Finn nods, and he says, "Adam's preschool goes from nine to eleven forty-five. And he's – he's real sensitive about um, being left alone. So you need to make sure that you're there early, to pick him up. He gets anxious sometimes, when he thinks that no one's there to be with him." He swallows tightly, looking down at his nephew. He's swinging his legs back and forth, and his little feet are knocking into Finn's legs every so often.
When Finn glances back up at Rachel, he sees that she's smiling softly at Adam. She looks all concerned and motherly already, so Finn figures that has to be a pretty good sign.
He honestly can't think of what else the fuck he's supposed to ask. He feels like an idiot. But she seems nice and stuff, so what else is there to know, really? And his brain feels all cloudy because he was on the phone with Santana all last night, talking about what to do with some of Kurt's random bank accounts, because Kurt's will wasn't totally up to date… he's just tired. He's really tired.
Finn sighs. "I'm sorry. What else am I supposed to ask?"
Rachel looks up at him, and she looks just – so sure of herself, so capable. It's kind of reassuring. She tells Finn, "I'm twenty-three years old. I don't smoke, I rarely drink, and my friends have never been convicted of felonies of any kind. I don't swear, I think it's unhealthy for children under the age of five to watch more than a half hour of television a day, and I think an hour of physical activity is necessary every single day." She pauses, squints, looks up at the ceiling as if she's trying to think of whether she's forgotten anything. Finn just holds Adam in his lap; he can tell that Adam's getting kind of antsy, and he thinks that he should probably buy him a muffin or something soon, just to distract him.
Rachel continues after a moment's pause, "I – I wonder if you'd be able to tell me the sort of rules you have for Adam's? Or guidelines that I should abide by?"
"I mean. I haven't even really, like, set up rules for him yet," he says, and he feels stupid because obviously he should have some sort of rules set up or whatever. But he doesn't. Like, bed time's at seven thirty and Adam can't eat chocolate for breakfast, but that's… that's pretty much it.
Rachel nods slowly, a pensive look crossing her face. "Well. I must tell you, Mr. Hudson, that I will teach Adam to say please and thank you, and I will want to be able to scold him lightly if necessary. For instance, if he tries to run into the road, or attempts to kick a complete stranger, or pulls on people's hair at preschool." Rachel says this all calmly, so Finn's under the impression that like, this shit has actually gone on in the homes she's baby sat for in the past. That's basically totally terrifying because he definitely doesn't want Adam to do any of those things – especially the running into the street part which just sounds completely psychotic.
He just shrugs, says, "Yeah. I mean, yeah, obviously I don't want Adam to be a crazy kid or anything." Finn thinks for a moment, and he says, "So, when could you move in?" Because he doesn't mean to be rushing this along, but he only has a couple weeks left of the bereavement time, and Rachel seems pretty normal, so…
Rachel smiles and then she looks at Adam, before looking back at Finn hesitantly. "Is it – is it okay if I talk to him?"
Finn says, "Yeah, but he's not that good with strangers, so like. Don't get your hopes up."
Rachel smiles, but a determined look comes over her face. She stands up and moves to Finn's side of the table. She bends down so that she's at eyelevel with Adam, who's holding onto Elephant as if his entire life depends on it.
Surely, Rachel places a hand on Adam's arm. "Hey, Adam. My name's Rachel."
Adam doesn't respond, just pulls at a loose thread on Elephant's trunk.
"I'm going to be living with you and Uncle Finn now. And I know it might be a little weird at first, but I promise. We're going to be best friends." She smiles gently at Adam, brushes her thumb back and forth against his arm. "And I totally understand if you don't want to talk to me at first, because grown-ups can be scary and strange. But – if you want, I can talk to…" she looks up at Finn, who tiredly mouths, Elephant, " – Elephant."
Adam looks at her finally. He still doesn't say anything, just gives Rachel this almost imperceptible nod. But for now, Finn thinks that's good enough.
Rachel moves in the following Monday. She doesn't have a lot, just a small U-Haul trailer filled with a couple of trunks and a small recliner. Finn already has a bed in the guest room and stuff, and he gave the rest of the shitty furniture that was in there to a Goodwill because Rachel made it pretty clear that like, no way in hell was she going to ever use any of it.
Finn enlisted his friend Puck to help Rachel move all of her stuff in, and Santana comes over to keep an eye on Adam. She bought him this train set, and they basically just spend the whole afternoon in the living room, setting it up and making choo-choo noises.
(Santana Lopez being good with kids. Who would've thought, right?)
"Is she your girlfriend?" Rachel asks randomly, as Finn starts to put together this little desk Rachel had bought from an Ikea store online. Finn glances up at her; she's sitting on the edge of her bed, folding her clothes. He shakes his head, but she's not looking at him, so he just says,
"No. Just a friend."
Rachel doesn't say anything back, just continues folding her clothes, placing them into nice, neat little piles. Puck's out in the living room, taking a break and playing with San and Adam, which is probably a good thing; if he saw how neurotic Rachel's acting about her laundry, he'd probably start teasing her. And Finn doesn't really think Rachel knows Puck well enough yet to know the difference between when he's just joking and when he's being an asshole.
Finn screws in one of the legs of the desk silently, as Rachel hums a song to herself as she places some of her sundresses on hangers.
"Do you have a boyfriend?" he asks after a minute, because he doesn't necessarily care but – well. She asked him first.
Rachel glances over at him before busying herself again with her hangers. "No – no, definitely not," she says, giggling as if that proposition is the funniest thing she's ever heard in her entire life. "Most men find me a bit too high strung for their tastes." She shrugs carelessly; clearly, this is not something keeping her up at night. "I guess not everyone appreciates a strong woman."
Finn laughs because that sounds exactly like something Santana would say. Rachel smiles at him because he's pretty sure she realizes that he's laughing with her and not at her. He continues putting her desk together, and she starts depositing her clothes in some of the drawers of her dresser.
"So, will Adam be starting preschool on Wednesday?" Rachel asks. Finn nods. He stands up and shakes the desk a little, makes sure that it's sturdy enough and that it's not about to collapse or anything. It looks pretty solid, so he figures that he's done a good enough job. Turning to look over at Rachel, he notices that her bed's like, entirely filled with clothes. He raises an eyebrow.
"I buy most of it online, which is much cheaper than buying in store," Rachel says, defending herself lightly. "And besides; I like to look nice for my auditions." She sounds very serious about this auditioning business. Finn moves one of the little piles over so that he can sit on the bed without completely messing up her system. Sighing, he wipes a hand across his forehead. Even though it's cold outside, it's warm as hell inside the apartment, and after moving all of Rachel's stuff in – he's kind of sweating his balls off.
Rachel wrinkles her nose when she leans in next to him, in order to grab another pile of clothes.
"You're a bit smelly," she says, and then her mouth drops open slightly. She puts the clothes in a drawer quickly, turning back to Finn as she claps a hand over her mouth. "I'm – I'm so sorry, that was so rude of me. I'm so sorry," she says again.
Finn glances at her, wipes his hand across his forehead again. "It's the truth," he says, smiling at her. Rachel's kind of like a nervous bird or something – it's of obvious that she wants to do good at this job and stuff, or that she's anxious about him like, firing her or something.
Finn doesn't think she realizes that he needs her, and Adam needs her, so badly that she'd seriously have to insult his mother or Burt before he even remotely considered letting her go.
Rachel graces him with a small smile. "What I meant was that you look like you could use a shower." She looks around her room. "All of my furniture's essentially where I want it. You can take a shower, if you want, and I can order something in for us to eat?"
Finn frowns. "I thought you liked vegan food."
"Vegan food can be delivered too," she giggles, swatting him lightly on the arm with a sweatshirt. "It'll be good to see Adam get a nice meal in him, versus those taco things he had for lunch. Not that those looked horrible," she quickly says, and it's funny, because Finn's not entirely sure that she's the go to person for who should be teaching Adam about manners and stuff.
But she apologizes right away, and he knows that she means well; he figures that Kurt would still be all for her being around Adam.
Finn stands up and nods, stretching his arms out above his head for a brief moment. "Yeah. My credit card's on the kitchen table, if you just want to order up a bunch of stuff. San and Puck will probably stay for dinner, so order like, two times what you think you should be ordering." He thinks for a second, then adds, "Maybe three."
Puck and Santana probably eat more than anyone Finn has ever seen in his entire life. It's seriously insane.
Rachel smiles. "Does Adam get along with them?"
Finn shrugs. "He tolerates them. Adam doesn't really like anyone, besides me." He's not trying to sound like a douche, but it's just the truth. Adam's super picky about people and he doesn't like people all over him and in his space and stuff. And that's not just because of Kurt's death or whatever – he's always been a temperamental kid, even when he was a baby.
Rachel nods resolutely. "I'll change that."
And honestly, for as strong willed as Adam is, Finn thinks that maybe his nephew's met his match in Rachel Berry.
So, Adam randomly develops this fear of the bathtub the night that Rachel moves in. It's kind of developed into a thing because he gets these anxiety attacks every once in a while, and he used to only get them when he was eating – Kurt never mentioned anything about Adam getting upset when he took baths or whatever. But Rachel's trying to give him a bath Monday night, and like, all hell breaks loose.
Finn stays in the bathroom with them because, yeah, Rachel seems cool but he's not sure how comfortable he feels with this girl cleaning Adam all by herself on the first day she's ever really hung out with him. So he puts the toilet seat down and sits there while Rachel fills the bathtub and puts a ton of bubbles and stuff in. Adam seems to like that part okay; he leans over the tub and pops a bunch of the bubbles, and he giggles when Rachel takes off his shirt and places a bunch of the bubbles on his shoulders, like a little cape or whatever.
He's even fine when Rachel tugs down his pants and everything; he doesn't say anything, but he doesn't cry or whatever, either. But when Rachel picks him up to place him inside the tub, all the color drains out of his face and he seriously look like he just bit into a mushy apple or something; completely disgusted and completely terrified.
"No," he says, as Rachel tries to place him inside the tub. "No, no, no!" He starts kicking his little legs out and he actually manages to get Rachel pretty good in her stomach. She winces but honestly, Finn gives her some credit because she doesn't even loosen her grip on Adam one iota.
Finn stands up, walks over to them. "Adam – Adam, man, what's wrong?" he asks. He places his hand inside the tub; the water's not boiling hot or whatever, so it's not that. But Adam's still totally trying to kick his way out of Rachel's arms, and yet he doesn't try to go over to Finn either.
"Buddy," Rachel says softly. She sits down on the floor, holds Adam on her lap. She rocks him back and forth a bit, pressing her one hand firmly into his lower back, trying to calm him down or something. Finn looks at them nervously because he's starting to think that maybe this was a horrible fucking idea, and maybe he should've tried to get a male nanny or something? Because Adam's never really been around women before, or at least women around Rachel's age, and God, Finn's fucking this up so badly.
But Adam calms down a little after a moment, curls his legs up so that Rachel's just rocking him like a baby or whatever. She's got a bunch of water splashed all over her, and there are stray bubbles on her shirt from when Adam attacked, but she doesn't look upset or anything. Totally in control, cool as a cucumber.
Finn's blood pressure starts to lower, just a bit.
Rachel says quietly, "Can we try again, please?"
Adam shakes his head. Rachel says, "Why not?"
She continues rocking Adam back and forth, and she places a little kiss on the top of his head. Adam pulls away from her and for a second Finn's afraid that he's going to start having a tantrum or something. But instead, Adam sighs a little and he says softly, "The drain. I don't wanna get sucked in."
Rachel immediately looks up at Finn, her eyes wide and questioning. "Why – why would you think you'd get sucked down the drain, Adam?"
Adam shifts in her lap, rests his head against her arm. "Puck said you get sucked down the drain," he says in a quiet voice, and Rachel slowly looks up at Finn, this look of intense fiery hatred in her eyes.
"Puck lied," she says flatly, her eyes never leaving Finn's. He holds his hands up innocently because obviously Puck didn't mean to scare the shit out of Adam to the point where the kid's afraid to take a bath.
Still, though. Finn will make a mental note to tell his friends not to joke around about shit like that until Adam's at least, like, six.
Rachel sighs. "Adam, I don't mean to be mean, but you need to take a bath. I promise you will not get sucked down the drain, because that's absolutely impossible, and I would also never let that happen."
Adam doesn't say anything, and he doesn't make any attempt to move out of Rachel's arms. But Finn sort of takes that as a good sign, because at least he isn't totally ignoring Rachel, like he was earlier in the day.
After a moment, Adam looks over Rachel's arm so that he's staring at Finn. He doesn't say anything or whatever, but he's doing that sort of blank eyed look that Finn's starting to realize means that Adam has no idea what he's supposed to do next.
(Kids are kind of like… like baby ducks or something. Need to show them everything, you know? At least, that's how Finn's starting to see it.)
So Finn gets up off from the toilet and he walks over to the bathtub. He makes this big show of pushing his shirt sleeves up on his arms, and then he starts splashing his hands around the water, making the bubbles all fluff up and stuff. And then he grabs the washcloth that's lying on the floor next to Rachel's knees, and he tosses that in the tub. He looks over at Adam.
"Think if I let the water out, the washcloth will go down the drain?" he asks, raising an eyebrow. Adam looks at the tub cautiously, then, fleetingly, up at Rachel. She sort of nudges at his bottom so that he stands up and walks over to the tub, peering over the edge at the washcloth that's just floating in the water.
"Yes," Adam finally says, in this quiet voice. Finn shrugs, and pulls the plug on the tub. It takes a while, but the water finally all lets out, and all that's left in the tub is a few bubbles and the now soaked washcloth.
Finn glances over at Rachel, who's smiling at him as if he's just hung the moon or something.
(Maybe Finn isn't as totally shitty at this parenting thing as he thought.)
Adam picks up the soppy washcloth, holds it in his hand for a minute, then looks back at the tub. Then, without any warning or any sort of notice, he climbs inside. Adam just sits there for a minute and then looks up at Finn, his hands on his lap and his brown eyes wide.
"Okay," he says. "Okay."
Rachel quickly kisses Adam on the top of his head again, and then fills the tub back up.
Rachel and Finn take Adam to his first day of preschool on Wednesday. They decide to go together because even though Rachel's going to be the one who takes Adam most frequently, they figured that the teacher should know who Finn is or whatever, and have a face to a name. Besides, Adam's still a little antsy around Rachel, so Finn thinks that it's just for the best to try to be there as often as he can.
Adam holds his hand tightly as they walk into the school. His backpack straps are pulled tight on his shoulder, and he's wearing one of those hats that have flaps that come down over the ears and ties that go around the chin. It's not really Finn's style, but Adam said that Daddy bought it for him; so, the hat stays.
When they walk into the classroom, Finn feels confident that he's made a pretty good choice here. There's no television to be seen, and all the kids are working on arts and crafts and stuff. And the blocks that the kids are playing with are all wooden, no plastic stuff – Finn knows that Kurt was always freakish about Adam playing with too many plastic, battery operated toys.
The teacher's name is Miss Amy, and she seems nice enough. Adam doesn't really say anything to her though, not even when Miss Amy comments on his Ben Ten sneakers.
"How's Adam adjusting to living in the city?" Miss Amy asks quietly. Adam's still holding Finn's hand tightly, with no sign of letting go. Finn glances down at Adam then back at the teacher, tries to look like he knows exactly what he's talking about and stuff – like a. Like a real Uncle-Parent would.
"He's doing okay. Doesn't like snow," Finn says, and Miss Amy nods, smiles.
"That is quite an exciting thing! And how is he – is he handling his d-a-d's passing?" she asks, clearly uncomfortable but also clearly needing to know the answer to the question. Which is totally fine and stuff. Finn doesn't really want to talk about it, but he understands, because what if Adam was having psycho tantrums and freak outs and stuff? Obviously the teacher would need to be warned.
"He's doing okay," Finn says. "He just – you know, he doesn't like to be rushed or whatever. So he might take longer at snack time, and if he's looking at a book or whatever, he likes to just… not be rushed." He glances over at Rachel, who nods quickly in agreement. Miss Amy looks over at Rachel.
"And you are?" Miss Amy asks pleasantly.
"Rachel Berry – Adam's nanny," Rachel says, shaking her hand. "I'll be the one dropping off and picking up Adam regularly."
Miss Amy smiles, "It's wonderful to meet you." She bends down at that moment, so that she can talk to Adam. "Adam, I'm Miss Amy. I'm going to be your new teacher! We're going to have a great day today," she says warmly. Adam pushes himself closer to Finn's leg, holding onto his knee with both hands.
"Do you want Uncle Finn to stay with you today?" Miss Amy continues brightly. "Or Rachel?" She glances up at Finn, says softly, "Usually a parent or guardian stays with the child the first day; just to make sure the child's adjusting okay."
Finn glances down at Adam, who's staring up at him as if he's just gotten shot in the face or something. Finn looks over at Rachel, who's nodding encouragingly 'yes'. He was sort of planning on meeting Santana for lunch and going over some more of Kurt's things, but whatever. If staying here for the day means that Adam's going to feel better and stuff, then it's definitely worth it.
So he nods and says yeah, and then they go on a tour of the school, see where all the different play centers are and things. It's actually kind of bad ass – way cooler than Finn's preschool was growing up. After a while, Rachel, Finn, and Adam sit down near the hand puppet area. There're like, five different types of hand puppets and this little staging area where the kids can put on a play.
"Adam, look," Rachel says excitedly, looking through the basket of hand puppets. "An elephant! Just like Elephant!" She holds it up so that Adam can see. Adam's eyes light up momentarily as Rachel tosses the puppet into his lap.
Adam looks at it for a moment before slipping it over his hand. Rachel grabs a couple more hand puppets out of the basket, and gives one to Finn, who didn't realize that he was going to be a part of this impromptu performance or whatever.
He glances down at the animal that Rachel chose for him.
A flamingo? Honestly? There wasn't anything manlier than that? He glances up at Rachel, and she's clearly biting back a giggle as she places the rhinoceros over her hand. She makes a little roaring sound at him, opening the rhinoceros' mouth up wide. Finn can't help but smile, and he makes the flamingo dance around a little because whatever, it's making Adam laugh and there's pretty much nothing better than hearing Adam laugh.
And it doesn't hurt that Rachel's laughing, too.
Adam's usually in bed, lights out, by seven forty five. He still likes to have Finn sleep in the room with him, but he doesn't mind if his uncle slips in a little later – as long as Finn's in there and asleep when Adam has to go to the bathroom around one or two in the morning, no harm, no foul.
Gradually, Rachel and Finn make the transition to where Rachel's the one putting Adam to bed at night. It's a little awkward and Finn gets nervous at first that they're pushing Adam too fast to get used to this new adjustment and everything. But by the weekend before Finn has to go back to work, Adam's pretty much used to the new schedule, and he doesn't cry anymore when he realizes that Rachel's going to be reading his bedtime story and not Finn.
Finn's drinking a beer out in the living room and just channel surfing when Rachel walks in around eight o'clock. She plops down next to him on the couch, tucking her feet up underneath her. Pulling the blanket off from the back of the couch, she covers herself with it, letting out a little yawn.
"Your nephew tired me out today," she says, laying her head against the couch's pillow. Finn glances at her before looking back at the television. There's a basketball game on, Knicks versus the Cavaliers, and even though he's been a New Yorker for like, ten years now, he's still not sure who to root for when this situation arises.
"Why? Did he not go to sleep right away?" Finn asks, taking another sip of his beer.
"He wanted to sing me to sing him about five lullabies," Rachel says, yawning again. She leans up a little so that she can push her hair into a messy ponytail. It's funny, because when she moved in a week and a half ago, she always made sure that she always looked so prim and proper around Finn. And she still does make sure that she looks all put together and pretty during the day, but she's more relaxed at night now – she actually walks around in a pair of sweatpants, which she made Finn promise to never, ever speak about.
It's weird, kind of, how easily she adapted to this situation. Weird. But nice.
"Well, you're a good singer," Finn says, putting his bottle down on the coffee table. He looks over at Rachel, gives her a wry smile. "He says you're the prettiest singer he's ever heard."
Rachel blushes, but looks rather pleased. She likes hearing compliments like that. Finn knows, because the other day Santana heard her singing in the shower, and his best friend told her that she had a kick ass voice. Rachel was on cloud nine for the rest of the day.
(He's not sure, but he thinks that maybe she doesn't get complimented like that all the time. She doesn't seem to have too many friends in the city, and she mentioned something about not getting too many callbacks recently for auditions, which he thinks is totally strange. Because she really is a good singer, seriously.)
"I think that Adam perhaps has low expectations," she says, a smile playing at her lips. She stretches out a little, her feet brushing against Finn's thighs before she pulls them away.
"Nah," Finn says. He clears his throat, reaches for his beer bottle again. "Kurt was a great singer." He takes a drink of his beer quickly and he makes his eyes focus on the television, focus on what the stupid reality show is talking about.
Sometimes when he mentions Kurt's name – it just. It does something to him, hurts him, causes this pain right in the middle of his chest.
He misses his brother. Every day. Every minute. Every second.
Rachel doesn't say anything for a moment, then says softly, "I'm sure he was wonderful. I would've loved to hear him."
Finn nods, pulls at the label on his beer bottle. "Yeah. I, um." He pauses because fuck. Fuck.
Glancing over at Rachel, he's not surprised to see that she's looking at him – but not with an inquisitive look or anything, or like she's chomping at the bit or whatever to hear what he has to say. She just looks nice. And caring.
Finn sighs. "Sorry. I'm not ready to talk about him."
And he's not. He can't. He can barely hold it together when he sees Adam make a particularly Kurt-like face, or whenever Adam says something in a totally Kurt way, or when Adam makes this little pose where he puts his hand on his hip, in the exact same way that Kurt did. It's like Adam's this little mini-Kurt and that's awesome and wonderful, but it's also shitty and horrible and like, stabs at Finn's heart or something.
Rachel nods and looks over at the television. She doesn't look at Finn, but she asks, "Soon?"
Finn doesn't say anything for a moment, just pulls at the label a bit more. But then he nods, and he says, "Soon."
"So, Rachel's totally bangable. Like, if she played for my team I probably would've fucked her four times by now."
Leave it to Santana to open up a conversation with that winning line. Finn laughs as he throws a French fry into his mouth. Santana's boss has season tickets to the Knicks, and every once in a while when he can't go to the game, he'll offer them up to Santana. They're not quite courtside, but they're close enough. Finn was kind of hesitant about going – it'd be the first time he'd be gone at night without Adam right by his side, but Rachel told him like twenty thousand times that she had things under control. And besides, after his first week back at work, he kind of needed a night to just let off some steam.
So here he is at the game with Santana, eating a shitload of French fries and drinking way too much beer, and Santana's telling him that his live in nanny, the woman who's he essentially entrusting his nephew's life with, is hot as hell.
As if he didn't already know that.
"Does she have a boyfriend?" Santana presses, stealing one of Finn's fries. "She gives off a single vibe. Or a cat lady vibe. It's difficult to tell sometimes with girls like her." She wrinkles her nose a little. "You always put too much ketchup on the fries. It makes them soggy, Finn." Santana sounds almost offended, and she searches through the box for a fry that hasn't been contaminated with mass amounts of ketchup.
"I like ketchup," Finn says, tossing a couple more fries into his mouth. "And, no. No boyfriend. And she definitely does like cats; she watches all these weird youtube videos of like, kittens and stuff. They're kind of creepy."
Santana lets out a snort of laughter. "Okay, maybe she's gone down a couple of levels in terms of fuckability. I'm not sure how I feel about the cat videos."
Finn shrugs, drinks some of his beer. "I don't know. They're sort of funny, I guess. Adam likes them. She lets him watch one or two right before bed."
He can practically feel Santana watching him out of the corner of his eye. He eats another French fry, says with his mouth full, "What?"
"You like her?" Santana asks. She reaches over, grabs his beer and takes a sip. "And don't fucking lie to me, because I can always tell when you lie. Your eyes do that little shifty thing." She points at him warningly.
Finn shrugs, puts the now empty box on the ground and takes his beer back from her because fuck, beer's kind of expensive and Santana's a lawyer – she can afford her own Bud Light, okay?
"I don't know. She's cool and stuff, but. You know, she's Adam's nanny. It wouldn't be like just hooking up with someone randomly." Finn scratches at the back of his neck. "And what if shit got weird or whatever? Adam actually likes her. I wouldn't want her to leave just because we have sex and things get awkward."
Santana nods slowly, and she has this pensive look on her face that she always gets whenever she's trying to work something out in her head. She's like this master debater person, but Finn doesn't even know what she could possibly be wanting to debate about here because everything Finn just said was the truth.
Yeah, Rachel seems cool and really nice, but no, he's not going to mess up Adam's life or schedule. It's not fair to him.
"What if you get to know her better and want to have a relationship with her?" Santana asks, dragging out the word relationship as if it's being said in some foreign language. "What happens then?"
"I think you're making this into like, a ten thousand times bigger deal than it is," Finn says. "I don't have to fuck every girl I'm attracted to."
"Well, obviously, otherwise you would've slept with me years ago," Santana says in a lazy, pretentious sort of tone, as she looks over her manicure. Finn rolls his eyes. Santana shrugs and she nudges Finn with her shoulder.
"I see the way she looks at you," Santana says, "and I think that this little attraction isn't totally one sided."
Finn doesn't say anything. Just watches the game and ignores the thoughts that are filtering through his mind because he can't. He can't mess up Adam's life, Adam's schedule, just for a relationship that might not even work out, with a girl he hardly knows.
He's gotta be more mature than that. He's an Uncle-Parent guy now, and he's pretty sure that hooking up with his nephew's nanny goes against all of the guidelines that go along with that title.
When Finn gets home that night from the Knicks game, he changes into his pajamas super quickly and then rushes quietly into Adam's room. He didn't go out for a beer or anything after the game, even though he usually does. It's weird but he felt odd not being around Adam.
And it wasn't just because he was nervous that Adam would be scared or anxious that he wasn't home. He actually missed him – genuinely missed him.
When he pushes the door to Adam's room open, he sees that the nightlight's on and the familiar animals are swathing the room in a hazy golden light. Finn smiles to himself, and he's about to crawl onto the air mattress when he notices that –
Well. His spot's kind of taken, because Rachel's curled up on there with Adam underneath her arm, and Elephant curled up underneath Adam's.
Finn just stares at the picture for a second. He's not really sure how he feels about this, to be honest. Because on one hand, he's glad that Adam's not sobbing hysterically, and he's glad that, you know, his nephew's asleep and safe and stuff. But on the other hand…
That's his spot. And he feels a little weird, a little jealous, that Adam's totally cool with Rachel sleeping on the air mattress, instead of Finn.
He's not sure what to do or where to go, because he's not just going to crawl on the air mattress with them, when suddenly Rachel squints and yawns. Her eyelids flutter open, and she rolls over, notices Finn just standing there, looking like a complete dumbass and creeper.
"Oh," she says softly, surprised. "Finn. I thought – I thought you wouldn't be back until later." She slowly pulls her arm out from around Adam, sits up quietly so that she doesn't disturb him. Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she stands up, yawns again.
Finn doesn't say anything, just stands there, stares at her. Rachel's dressed in these matching pajamas that have a heart pattern all over them, and her hair's all messy and wavy, and – God. Yeah, maybe Finn's a little annoyed that she took his spot on the air mattress and everything (and in his mind, he's stupidly and selfishly thinking that she's taken his spot with Adam), but she's fucking beautiful.
Just. He hasn't really had the time to notice how beautiful she is, what with making sure Adam's okay, and getting back to work. He's definitely noticed other things, like how good she is with Adam, and how frequently (and loudly) she sings at the ass crack of dawn when she's waking Adam up in the morning. But he hasn't really noticed how pretty she is.
He hasn't allowed himself to, besides talking it over with Santana tonight.
Rachel smiles at him, hesitantly. "Are you okay?" she asks, concerned. Finn nods, blinking, looking down at Adam quickly.
"Yeah – yeah I'm fine. Just tired."
Rachel smiles, places a hand on his forearm. When she gets this close to him, he always notices the scent of her perfume – lavender and something else, maybe vanilla. It's nice, whatever it is.
"Get some sleep," she says, in this soft tone of voice. "Ad wants to go to the park tomorrow. He wants to build a snowman with us. Even though it's only frost on the ground, he thinks that's sufficient to build a snowman as tall as you."
Finn forces a smile, nods. Rachel pats him on the arm once more before walking out of the room, closing the door behind her. Finn turns, stares at the door for a second, before climbing onto the air mattress. He can't fall asleep, though.
He stares at the animals on the walls and he thinks about Rachel, and he thinks about Kurt, and he thinks about Adam.
(For the first time in a very long time, when he finally falls asleep, his dreams don't revolve around Kurt. He dreams about Rachel. He never sees her face but he knows it's her, because she smells like lavender and her hair is long, brown, and soft as he touches it with his fingertips.)
Adam doesn't ask about Kurt a lot. It's not that Finn discourages it, and he doesn't actively avoid saying Kurt's name or anything. There are a bunch of pictures of Kurt up around the apartment and every so often, Adam will point to one and say, "That's Daddy." He usually doesn't say anything after that, though, just says the statement. And Rachel or Finn will just say something about how yes, yes, that's Daddy, and Daddy's in Heaven now.
Adam usually just lets it go after that, but this one random Saturday in the middle of December, he and Rachel are on the floor and putting this puzzle together, and he randomly asks what Heaven is, completely out of the blue.
Finn's on the couch, watching the Knicks box score on his iPad (because Rachel is actually seriously intense about not letting Adam watch more than a half hour of television a day, which means that Finn can't really watch more than a half hour of television a day, either) and when Adam asks that, Finn almost drops the damn thing on the ground.
Rachel lets out this 'oh' noise of surprise, and she quickly looks up at Finn before looking back at Adam. He's staring at her all innocently and stuff and Rachel just looks back at Finn questioningly. Because they've never talked about what Rachel should say if Adam asks this question.
Finn guesses that maybe he was just hoping against hope that like. Adam never would ask this question. Which he knows is stupid and stuff, but still.
"What'd you ask?" Finn says, as he moves off from the couch and onto the floor, so that he's sitting beside Adam.
Adam tries to push two of the puzzle pieces together, frustrated when they won't snap together easily. He says distractedly, "What's Heaven?"
Rachel takes the puzzle pieces from him. "Look, honey," she says, and she guides his little hands, helps him put the pieces together properly. Adam looks up at her with a big smile, before turning to Finn, the question still clearly on his mind.
Finn takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. He looks up at the wall; there's a framed picture hanging above the television. It's of Kurt and Finn and their parents, at the hospital the day that Adam was born. Kurt's holding onto Adam and he has the biggest smile on his face; Burt and Finn's mom are like, crying, and Finn just has this stupid look on his face, his eyebrows raised and everything.
Finn smiles briefly. That was the happiest day of Kurt's life. He glances down at Adam, who's still staring at him curiously.
"Your daddy's in Heaven," Finn says. "You know that, right?"
Adam nods. "Yeah. Daddy's in Heaven," he repeats, like a parrot. "But what's Heaven?"
Rachel doesn't say anything, but she brushes her hand across Adam's forehead, brushing his hair gently out of his eyes. It looks like she has tears in her eyes, but she's doing a pretty good job of holding it together, which Finn's basically beyond grateful for. If he saw Rachel crying, he'd probably lose it all together.
"Heaven's…" Finn trails off, looks up at the picture of Kurt and their family again. He looks back at Adam. "You know, Heaven's just – it's awesome. Everyone there's super happy and stuff, and it's up in the sky, so, you know, all the people who are there can like, look down on the people who are… here."
He's not sure if that's too confusing for a three year old to understand. He looked it up online and all these online forums said to be as simple as possible and to answer the questions that are asked directly and stuff – not to elaborate unless the child wants things to be elaborated on.
Adam thinks about this answer for a second, fiddling with some more puzzle pieces. "Daddy's happy," he says, and it's not a question, more of a statement.
"Super happy," Finn confirms, and he can feel this lump growing in his throat, and he starts blinking rapidly because he can't start crying here. He can't.
Adam nods, still not looking at Finn. "Okay," Adam says. He seems pretty satisfied with that answer, and he goes on with his puzzle.
Finn finally looks at Rachel; there's a single tear just trailing down her face, and Finn can't take it, he really can't. He calmly stands up and walks to the bathroom, closes the door behind him, and then he just – he loses it.
Silently, because he doesn't want to scare Adam or whatever. But he just leans against the counter, and he cries, the first time he's really cried since Kurt died.
Because he can't cry, you know? He can't cry in front of Adam, because he doesn't want to confuse him. And he can't cry on the phone with his mom, or with Burt, because they're still so upset, so lost, so devastated.
He pulls himself together after a few minutes. Looks at himself in the mirror and he takes a couple deep breaths, lets them out slowly. There's a knock at the door after a while – he doesn't know how long he's been in the bathroom for, actually. He wipes at his face, takes another deep breath, and then opens up the door.
Rachel's standing there, a glass of water in her hand. She hands it to Finn, who takes it wordlessly.
"Adam?" Finn asks, his voice low and gravelly.
"Taking a nap," Rachel says. She doesn't ask, but she slides into the bathroom, taking a seat on the edge of the tub. Finn takes a drink of the cold water, places the glass on the counter.
"Are you doing okay?" Rachel asks softly. "We don't – we don't have to talk about this if you don't want to." She stares at him nervously, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. Finn smiles at her helplessly.
"I can't – I don't want to just dump this on you. You're a nanny, not a therapist or some shit." He wipes at his eyes again, lets out a shuddering breath.
"I mean, I could also be considered a friend," Rachel says delicately. She looks at Finn, smiles gently. "If you want."
Finn sighs, leans against the counter, but smiles at her. She's just trying to be nice – not even trying, really, because he's pretty sure it comes naturally to her – but she doesn't have to be. Finn's paying her to be a nanny, not to be a go-to listener person.
Rachel says again, "Finn. I think we're friends. You can talk to me about this." She looks down at her lap. "I don't have much experience being a friend. My competitive nature and need for perfection doesn't always endear me to people." She smiles self-deprecatingly. "But, I think that we're close enough now where we can – we can consider each other to be friends."
Finn nods, slowly. And he says, "I miss Kurt." It's an obvious statement, but it feels like it needs to be said.
Rachel doesn't smile or nod, she just says, "Have you been missing him more lately?"
Finn looks down at his feet, scuffs his one shoe against the tiled floor. "It bothers me, you know, that Adam won't remember him. Because Kurt was so awesome, and he loved Adam so much." He shakes his head, brushes a hand against his face again. "It just sucks. It really sucks and it's like, I can't bring Kurt back, I can't make Adam remember him. And I hate that."
Rachel says, "I'm sorry. I know – Santana told me that your father passed away? And that Kurt's mother passed away?" She shakes her head, and she said, "And I'm so sorry because I can't even imagine the emotions that this is bringing up in you. It's such a horrible situation."
Finn swallows tightly, and he takes another drink of the water. "Yeah. I don't know. I just – I try to be strong for Adam, and I try to be strong for my mom, and for Kurt's dad, and I'm going to work, and I feel like I'm going through all the right motions but I'm not – I'm not feeling the right way." He pauses, looks at Rachel. "Does that make sense?"
"You miss your brother," Rachel says softly. She stands up and she walks over to him, places her hand on his arm, like she always does whenever she's trying to comfort him, or talk to him about something serious (like when Adam kicked at a little girl in preschool and needed to be reprimanded, even though Finn thought it was sort of funny. Like, who kicks a girl just because she says that she likes Tom and Jerry more than Ben Ten, you know?).
"Yeah," Finn says.
"And that's okay, Finn," Rachel says, smiling at him reassuringly. "That's normal and it's expected. You can't just be super uncle, or super son, all the time. You're going through a grieving time, too."
She's smiling at him. And Finn's staring at her and all he can think about is the fact that she's just – she's so steady. She's so steady, and she's so on point all the time. She never forgets to take Adam to his appointments, she makes dinner almost every night, she's just. Awesome. And she does all this, she keeps Adam going, fuck, she keeps Finn going, and she still goes to all of her auditions, still keeps her own life together, too.
And Finn doesn't know what exactly prompts him, what straw finally broke the camel's head or back or whatever, but he leans down and he kisses her. And Rachel kisses him back.
So, Finn and Rachel don't really tell anyone that they kiss sometimes. And that they more than kiss sometimes. It doesn't happen all that often, but when it does, it's always super random. Like, they'll be watching American Idol or some stupid reality show after Adam's gone to bed, and they'll just kiss a little when they sit on the couch. Or like, sometimes when Adam's at preschool, Rachel will stop by Finn's office and drop him off brunch, and she'll kiss him on the cheek before she leaves.
(Or one night, a week after they kissed for the first time, Finn snuck into her room late at night – like, super late, - and he kissed her and then she asked him to touch her and it was kind of the best night that Finn's had in a really, really long time. For more than one reason.)
They don't really talk about the whole kissing thing. They don't really talk about their relationship, at all, actually. It just sort of is what it is. And what it is… Finn doesn't know exactly. It's just kind of there. And that works for right now.
Rachel's birthday is on December 18th, a Friday, and Finn and Adam plan this little birthday party thing for her. Nothing major, but they invite over Puck and Santana and then a couple of Rachel's friends. (The girl insists she doesn't have any, but every Monday she goes out to dinner with these people she went to high school with, Mike, Tina, and Mercedes. Finn knows that those guys would do just about anything for Rachel.)
Adam and Elephant decide that they want Rachel's party theme to be elephants – shocking – so Finn and him go out Thursday night after Finn's out of work, and buy a bunch of random safari stuff from his party store. And they even buy this big bag of balloons, and after Rachel goes to sleep that night, Finn blows up twenty four of them and tosses them all into her room.
(Early the next morning, he feels a pair of lips brush against his cheek gently, and then hears a quiet, "Thank you, honey", before he hears her scurrying out of the room quickly before Adam wakes up and notices her presence.
Finn just smiles to himself, pulls Adam closer to his chest.)
And later that night, when all of their friends come over, and Mercedes brings out this gigantic vegan cake that she and Tina made – life feels kind of… it feels kind of awesome. Adam is dancing around the room with Mike, wearing this ridiculous giraffe hat, and Rachel is smiling and happy and gorgeous and it's just… everything feels okay.
But then, when Adam asks Finn for a glass of milk, he says.
Well. He says, "Thanks, Daddy," afterwards.
And Finn just stops for a moment because Adam doesn't say anything besides that; just takes the glass of milk and hurries back off into the living room to work on a new puzzle (only Rachel gets other people presents on her birthday) with Puck.
He feels like he's going to faint. He really might fucking faint right now, because the room's starting to spin and he's starting to feel dizzy and faint and he is not a daddy, he is not Adam's daddy, Kurt is Adam's daddy, and then Rachel's hand is on his back and Santana is grabbing his arm and they're holding him upright.
"I'm fine," Finn says, but his throat feels fuzzy. "I'm fine."
It's been a little over two months since Kurt's died and moments like this make it seem as if it hasn't even been a day.
Rachel rubs her hand against his back for just a second before pulling her hand away. They haven't really told anyone about what they're… doing, but Santana has this look on her face and like, that girl has radar or something to alert her when Finn's been having sex, so.
But to Santana's credit, she doesn't say anything about that right now. She just says, "He probably got confused."
Finn nods gratefully, because that's pretty much exactly what he needs to hear right now. And Rachel chimes in with,
"Yeah, a lot of dads have been picking their kids up at preschool lately, so I'm sure it's just some sort of projection." She nods confidently. "I'm actually positive it's that. I'll have to have another talk with Miss Amy about not just referring to mommy's and daddy's, but also uncles and… nannies." She giggles a little and Finn smiles at her because fuck, he seriously doesn't know how he'd be handling this whole situation if she wasn't here.
Mercedes walks over to them then, holding a piece of the vegan cake. "Finn, your nephew is adorable," she says. "Seriously, I don't think I've ever seen a cuter kid in my entire life."
Finn smiles and Rachel stands up a little straighter, like a proud mama or something.
Finn and Adam and Elephant fly back to Lima for Christmas. It's nice seeing his mom and Burt and everyone, but it's strange because Kurt's not there. His mom tries to fight back the tears the whole time, and Burt's really nice to Adam and everything, but it's still… it's just a whole mixture of emotions, the entire time. Because like, on one hand, everyone's so happy that Adam's here and they're so happy that he's adjusting okay to living with Finn and being in New York. But on the other hand, everyone knows that Adam should be with Kurt, and Adam should be in LA. And it's hard to just ignore, to forget that entire aspect of things.
Burt gives Adam some of Kurt's old toys, like a tricycle and stuff like that. Adam stares at the tricycle for a second, and he says, "This was Daddy's?" And Burt nods, and Adam just smiles and says, "Thank you," and holds onto Elephant a little tighter.
But he doesn't get upset or cry or anything. He doesn't really cry about Kurt anymore. Like, he misses him, but Finn's pretty sure that Adam still thinks that Heaven is like some sort of extended vacation or whatever; that Kurt's still around somewhere, just not here.
Finn's fine with Adam thinking that. He sort of helplessly wishes that Adam will think that for his whole life.
He texts Rachel whenever he can. She's Jewish and so she doesn't celebrate Christmas or anything, but she texts him all day, and she tells him that she's watching A Christmas Story on TBS and that the one kid with the long hat sort of reminds her of Adam. And Finn laughs out loud when he gets the text because he totally doesn't see that at all.
She calls him, too, on Christmas night, after Adam's all tucked up in bed.
"I miss you guys," she says. "Terribly. I thought that I would like a week or so off, but I'm going crazy at my dads' house. I keep trying to get them to play puzzles with me, or talk about elephants, and they're not complying at all."
Finn laughs, scratches at the back of his neck. He's down at the kitchen table, eating some of the leftover blueberry pie straight out of the tin. "It sounds like you miss Adam," Finn says, and yeah, okay, maybe he's fishing for compliments but whatever, he's allowed to at this point.
"I do," Rachel says a little sadly. "I can't help it! I've baby sat for a lot of wonderful children, but Adam's – he's just special. And so sweet."
Finn scrapes up some more of the pie. "Yeah. I mean, he is super sweet and loveable and stuff. I've heard that's, uh, genetic."
Rachel's silent for a moment, and then giggles. "Finn, you're not blood related to Adam, you know."
He thinks for a minute and then he laughs out loud, because he actually forgets sometimes that he's not truly related to Adam. He covers up though, says, "We're so close that it feels like we're blood related." And he tries to say it in this suave voice and stuff, but Rachel still laughs loudly, but Finn doesn't even care because Rachel's laugh is seriously one of his favorite sounds.
Once she quiets down, she says, "I miss you, too, obviously."
"Yes," Rachel says. "My fathers don't appreciate my cooking abilities quite like you do. I made them a green smoothie the other day and they said it tasted like spinach. They didn't even notice the carrots!"
To be totally honest, Finn pretty much thinks those things taste like spinach too, but Rachel gets so excited about them that he can't bring himself to ever tell her.
And he says, "That's crazy. Those things are – they're really good." He stresses the good part, and he can practically see Rachel in his mind's eye, preening over his compliment.
"I just can't wait to get back to the apartment and get back to work," Rachel says, continuing on. "I'm nervous that Adam's going to come back to New York with ten horrible new fears – like of the blender, or the washing machine or something."
"Puck's not here," Finn says, laughing, "so I think there's a good chance of Adam coming home with no new phobias."
On the last night they're in Lima, Adam says sleepily, "I miss Rachie." It's the first time he's ever said those words and Finn texts Rachel almost immediately. She calls and demands to talk to Adam, and they talk for about ten minutes – very important information concerning what Adam got for Christmas, what he wants to eat when he gets back to New York, and whether Uncle Finn is being nice or grumpy.
When they get back to New York a couple days after the New Year, Rachel has this huge meal spread out for them on the kitchen table; pasta, vegetables, animal crackers for Adam. It's super nice and way beyond the call of duty or whatever. And Finn notices that there's a big pitcher of green smoothies sitting in the middle of the table.
Adam immediately claps his hands together a couple of times and flaps his arms up and down. He doesn't moo like a cow anymore – he does this thing now where he whinnies like a horse, which, you know, just as weird but whatever, at least he's trying new things.
When Adam's distracted by drinking his green smoothie as quickly as possible (he's learned that if he eats all of the good food, Rachel will allow him to have a small piece of dark chocolate for dessert) Finn presses a kiss against her cheek. "You definitely didn't have to do this," he says quietly, and Rachel just looks up at him and smiles.
"I wanted to," she says. "I wanted to."
Rachel gets discouraged sometimes. She's auditioning practically every week for musicals, plays, anything, and she gets callbacks sometimes but she never actually gets the part. She tries to act like it's no big deal, and that something will come along eventually, but Finn can tell that it's bothering her. He knows that it would bother him – he loves his job and stuff, and if he was constantly passed over for promotions and stuff, he'd probably be super pissed off, too.
One Monday, though, she comes home from her audition and instead of getting ready for her weekly dinner out, she just walks straight into her room, locks the door, and doesn't come out. It's a little weird, and Finn knocks a couple of times just to make sure that she's still alive or whatever; she answers with a muffled, "please leave me alone", every single time and after a while, Finn just gives up and plays dominoes with Adam for the rest of the night.
Once he puts Adam to bed, though, he knocks on Rachel's door again. "It's just me," he says quickly, before Rachel can say anything. "Ad's asleep."
He hears some shuffling around and for a moment he thinks that maybe she's just covering her head with a thousand pillows or something, to block out his knocking, but the door opens after a minute.
Rachel's eyes are all bloodshot and her hair looks kind of crazy, and Finn's almost positive that she's just been crying for about four hours straight. She's not totally crying when she first opens the door, but the minute she makes eye contact with him, her bottom lip starts trembling and these big, fat tears start rolling down her cheeks.
Fucking heartbreaking, and Finn immediately pulls her to him, wraps his arms around her waist. Rachel just shudders, cries quietly into his chest before slowly snaking her arms around his torso. She's crying as softly as she can, but her mouth is open and Finn can feel her hot breath against him and it's just – fuck. He hates that these stupid directors won't take a chance on her, he hates that clearly no one gets how talented she is besides like, him and Adam.
It just sucks.
Rachel pulls away from him after a moment, tilts her head up so that she can look him in the eyes. Finn bends down and he kisses her gently, because he can't not. And Rachel lets out this sound of appreciation and she tightens her grasp on him and like, Finn thinks that maybe the hallway isn't the best place for what's about to happen, so he picks Rachel up and carries her over to the bed.
Rachel sniffles as he tucks a pillow underneath her head. "So chivalrous."
"I try," Finn says quietly, climbing onto the bed next to her. He just lies next to her for a moment, brushes her hair away from her face. Rachel rolls over to face him, and there're still tears streaking down her face, and Finn brushes them away with his fingertips.
Rachel lets out a shuddering breath. "I'm sorry," she says. "I just." She shakes her head, licks her lips, as if she's in disbelief. "Sometimes, I don't even know why I try." Her face crumples again and she squeezes her eyes shut as more tears fall down her face. "I love Adam and I love my job, but. But I want to do more than this. I'm not supposed to spend my life being a nanny." She lets out a little wail and covers her face with her hands.
Finn pulls her hands away from her face, holds them gently in his. He knows how Rachel feels about the whole Broadway thing and he knows that he can't expect her to be a nanny for forever – especially now that the whole line between professional life and personal life has totally been demolished between them.
"I want to be on Broadway. That's where I belong. But – but no one else thinks that I belong there except me."
Rachel lets out a quiet whimper her, one of those sounds that's so involuntary, that just comes straight from the heart. Finn moves closer to her.
He places his hand on her thigh, makes her hitch her leg so that it slides over his hip. She doesn't say anything, just swipes underneath her eyes with her fingers.
"I probably look horrible right now," she says, and Finn shakes his head, makes her stop wiping at her face.
"You look fine," he says, and he leans forward, captures her lips in a kiss. "You look beautiful."
Rachel rolls her eyes in disbelief, sniffs loudly. "The director today said that I could stand to lose five pounds, and three from my nose." She touches her nose gingerly, frowning. "He said he was joking, but I think that was just so I wouldn't sue him for such derogatory and hateful language."
Finn nudges her hand away from her face, brushes his nose against hers. "I like your nose," he says quietly. "And I like your eyes. And your ears. And your face."
"You have to say that," Rachel says, as Finn presses kisses against her jawline.
"Why?" Finn asks quietly, dragging his hand up and down her side, slipping his fingers underneath her shirt. Rachel's breath catches slightly as his fingertips brush against her breast, as he kisses her bottom lip sweetly.
"Because you're my – my Finn," she says, as he gently rolls her onto her back, settles himself in between her legs. He chastely pecks at her lips, just little kisses, as she scratches her fingernails lightly on his back.
He pushes her shirt up a little, kisses the swell of her breasts, lightly sucks at the skin there.
"Honey," Rachel whispers, as he pulls her shirt up over her head, tosses it onto the ground. He drags his thumbs across her nipples, kisses her soundly. She wraps her legs loosely around his waist, holding him in place, and he kisses her again.
"I'm your Finn?" he asks, as she snakes a hand down in between their bodies, tentatively touching him through his jeans. He lets out a broken sigh as she unbuttons his jeans, pulls at the zipper, touches him lightly, just brushing her fingertips against him for a moment.
"Yes," Rachel says, and she continues, "Is that okay?"
Finn nods. He whispers, "I don't want you to feel sad. You're going to make it on Broadway. You're going to. I know it. You're too talented not to, and those directors – they'll feel so stupid one day, for not realizing how amazing you are."
Rachel closes her eyes, a small smile on her lips as Finn pulls her sweatpants off from her slowly.
A few minutes later when Finn's inside her, he says something about how he's glad he hired her, and Rachel bursts out laughing and Finn realizes immediately that he definitely said that in the totally wrong context or whatever. But he's no good at explaining himself normally, let alone when he's like, having sex with his girl, so he just laughs, too. And Rachel scratches at his back, she lets out this low moan when she comes, and even though he doesn't say it out loud because that would just make her laugh again (and that's not really the vibe he's going for here) he really is glad that he hired her.
Around March, Finn and Rachel have this super intense discussion. It's kind of weird, because like, they've only been seeing each other for four or five months or whatever, but they kind of have to start taking what's happening between them seriously. Because Adam saw them kissing the other day, which isn't a huge deal, but he told his whole preschool class about it and stuff… so they have to sit Adam down and say that Uncle Finn and Rachie are special friends.
Most awkward conversation ever, in the history of all time, because Adam's three and he just doesn't get that kind of stuff. And since Rachel's been living with Finn for practically as long as Adam has – it's just, it's not really a big deal. It doesn't affect Adam like Finn thought it would, which is kind of a relief.
(What is awkward, though, is that Finn still has to sneak out of Rachel's room every night around one o'clock, so that he can get back into Adam's room. He's finally got his nephew sleeping on his own bed, but Ad still freaks the fuck out if Finn's not on the air mattress. Baby steps, you know?)
So March turns out to be okay, but April's kind of just a weird fucking month all around. It starts off with Kurt's birthday, which falls on the third. Finn wasn't totally sure how to celebrate or mark the occasion. He knew he wanted to do something, because Kurt would never forgive Finn if Adam forgot his daddy's birthday. So he has Adam dictate a letter to him ("Hi, Daddy, I miss you, I ate Cheez-Its today and they were good") and then he and Adam go to a store and buy a balloon. They have the person who fills the balloon with helium put the letter in first, and then when they get outside the store, Finn tells Adam that when he lets the balloon go, the letter's going to go straight to Daddy.
"It's going to go to Heaven?" Adam asks curiously. Finn nods.
And Adam lets go of the balloon, and it's a windy day, so the balloon's picked up into the air almost immediately. Adam waves at it as it floats off into the sky, and he shouts a couple times, "Daddy, bye Daddy! Happy birthday, Daddy!"
It's totally adorable and totally heartbreaking, all at the same time.
Later on towards the end of April, Rachel says that it's weird that Finn keeps paying her for her services, when really all she's doing is acting like a girlfriend who doesn't have a job.
"You pay for everything," Rachel says quietly, as they watch March Madness and share a bowl of vegan vanilla ice cream. "And that's wonderful of you but – I'm not really a nanny anymore. Am I?" she asks, and she looks up at Finn nervously, hesitantly.
Finn just stares at the television for a second because, no, he guesses that Rachel really isn't a nanny anymore. She's basically just his girlfriend that he doesn't call his girlfriend, because he's a wimp and he's never liked messing with status quo things before.
"I guess not," Finn says slowly, taking another bite of the ice cream. "But … I mean. If you're not the nanny anymore, what are you doing to do?"
Rachel takes a deep breath, and she takes another bite of the ice cream before saying, "I want to audition more. I want to audition at least a few times a week, and on the side, I can get some sort of waitressing job. I know that it won't bring in nearly enough money to help pay for rent, but I've saved up the majority of my paychecks from the last few months, so I can certainly help with that."
Finn rolls his eyes. "No. No. I can pay for rent on my own," he says, and Rachel frowns.
"Finn, I can't just expect you to let me live here rent free. That's not right."
Finn shrugs, carelessly, licks his spoon. "I mean, you'll still be helping with Adam and stuff. And like, you're my – you're my girlfriend," he says, swallowing tightly. "I want you here. I don't think I can do all this stuff with Adam without you."
Rachel doesn't say anything, just smiles this small, cute little smile, and scoops up another bite of ice cream.
They have Adam's fourth birthday party at Santana's loft. It's really nice and it's super close to this one toy store that Adam always likes to go to, so it's basically the perfect situation. Rachel picks Adam up from preschool on Friday early, and then takes him to the toy store so that he can pick out four toys, since he's four years old. (Yeah, corny, but little kids eat stuff like that up, Finn's found.) And so Adam buys another stuffed elephant (aptly named Elephant Jr.), a couple board games, and a plastic recorder that Finn wants to break in half by the second night of Adam owning it, but whatever; at least Adam's showing interesting in music, which Kurt would've loved.
When they get to Santana's loft, the entire place is decorated in balloons and all of Rachel and Finn's friends bought fun, animal themed things for Adam. Puck bought him all the Madagascar movies, which Rachel flipped out about because obviously you can't watch a movie in half hour increments – that's just not fair to the kid. So she relents and she lets Adam watch the entire movie before dinner's served.
Adam sits on Finn's lap during the whole movie and he makes all these weird animal noises and Finn joins in after a while, and when Finn looks up he sees that Santana is filming the entire thing and that his best friend, the woman who only cries during Titanic and when she's beyond drunk, has a few tears sliding down her face.
She wipes them away quickly when she catches Finn watching her. Finn glances down at Adam, who's sitting on his lap and puffing his cheeks out like he's a blowfish, and yeah, he guesses that it is kind of emotional; Adam's first birthday without his daddy. Finn hugs his nephew a little closer to him.
"Happy?" Finn asks Adam later that night, as Rachel's serving the birthday cake and Tina and Mercedes are singing karaoke to a Kidz Bop playlist.
Adam looks up from him and takes a break from shoveling the chocolate cake in his mouth to say, "Yeah!"
"What'd you wish for?" Finn asks, motioning with his head towards the birthday candles that are lying discarded on the table. Adam looks at them for a second before eating some more of his cake. He takes a big gulp of his milk, wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, and smiles at Finn.
"I wished for a pool," Adam says and Finn laughs.
"Might have to wait a couple more years for that one, Ad."
Adam shrugs carelessly, going back to his cake. "That's okay." He seems entirely unconcerned, and Rachel comes over after a moment, kisses Adam on the top of his head.
"How's it going, Birthday Boy?" she asks, sitting in the seat next to him. Adam clambers off from his chair and crawls onto Rachel's lap. He pulls his plate of cake over to him, and proceeds to start eating again. He swallows before he starts to talk though, and jeez, Rachel really did manage to teach him some pretty good manners over the past few months.
"Good!" Adam says. He drinks up the last of his milk, leans back into Rachel's arms. He lets out a loud yawn, and Rachel wrinkles her nose.
"Milk breath," she says, and Adam giggles, pats her on the cheeks. Finn smiles at them, leans over and ruffles Adam's hair, then stands up so that he can go see what Santana's up to.
She's in the corner of the living room, watching the stuff she'd filmed earlier on her iPhone. She looks up at Finn and smiles, her eyes still looking a little watery.
"I'm sorry – I don't know why I'm acting like such a girl," Santana says, looking back at the screen. "It's just so surreal to think of how far you've come with Adam, how great you're doing." She frowns at Finn, lets out a laugh. "Don't tell anyone I told you that. I can't have people thinking that I'm just handing out compliments now left and right."
Finn laughs, leans over her shoulder so that he can look at the screen too. She managed to get some really good video of Adam opening up his presents from everyone; the smile on his face and the stupid dance he does when he realizes that Mercedes and Tina bought him a new set of Legos.
"It's just that six months ago, this kid barely talked to me. I would try to play with him and he would look scared or annoyed or just pissed off. But now he's – he's happy and." Santana breaks off, shaking her head. "You're doing a good job." She turns so that she can look Finn straight in the face, and she says sincerely, "I really mean that."
Finn knows not to take Santana's compliments lightly. She really doesn't say them that often and she hates building up peoples egos. So he smiles and he says, "Thanks. But I think Rachel probably deserves some of the credit, too."
"Who would've thought, huh?" Santana asks, laughing. "Hire a nanny, get a girlfriend."
Finn shrugs. "I don't know. I guess it did kind of… work out in its own way." He looks back over at the kitchen, where Adam and Rachel are currently both flapping their arms and doing little hops around the table. He glances over at Santana, whose eyes are wide.
Finn laughs. "Yeah. That's kind of putting it a little mildly."
Santana looks like she's about to head over to talk to Puck, before she stops, turns back towards Finn. "Hey," she says, questioningly, "Did Rachel ever hear about that job she had the callback for last week? The understudy part?"
Rachel, who has like, supersonic hearing, immediately starts belting out the opening lines to Tonight, picks Adam up, and starts waltzing around the kitchen with him in her arms. Finn looks at Santana, laughs and says,
"I think you can guess the answer to that."
(It still hurts, you know, not having Kurt here. Adam still cries at night some times, and Finn and Elephant still have to comfort him, just like they always do. But the hurt is morphing into acceptance now, and Finn thinks that's okay.)
A/N2: I hope you enjoyed! :) And, as always, reviews are so appreciated - I like to make sure that you guys like where I'm taking these one shots hahah!