A/N: Oh my, I can't believe this fic is over! I loved writing it so much- it really opened me back up to writing and connected me with amazing people. I wish I could write more, and I might add to it in the future, but there are so many other ideas I have and can't wait to start! Check back with my Tumblr (faithfullyshippingfinchel) to see snippets and updates about my next fic- I think you all are gonna like it!
As always, shout-outs are in order to my lovelies- Brooke, Nenne, Gabi, and Adrianne. You girls were so amazing to me and I will never forget it. I love you more than words can say!
Also, a big thank you to those of you who kept reading and reviewing this story. You're all truly amazing, and I am so humbled. Thank you!
She was going to kill him. Rachel Hudson was actually going to kill that pathetic excuse for a human being. Groaning, she contemplated how she would do it- that is, if she didn't end up dying first.
Rachel sat on the cold linoleum floor, her head resting against the closed lid of a toilet seat. At that moment she didn't care that she was sitting on a germ-infested floor, or that she was in a public restroom, which she never really liked to use because, let's face it, those things are disgusting.
She was dying- and it was all his fault.
She'd just been minding her own business during rehearsal, sipping her coffee and bracing herself for a love scene between her and her new co-star.
Her stomach turned again just thinking about his weasely face.
The man was completely inept. He never learned his lines in time for rehearsal, he showed up late more often than not, and he was sleeping with half the cast and most likely the director too, (which was the only reason in Rachel's mind that such a fool could land the lead in a Broadway musical). He considered himself quite the charmer, too, and had even tried hitting on her a few times, (something she put to bed quickly with a flash of her wedding ring and the assurance that her husband was a NYC firefighter and was perfectly capable of making him feel pain if he ever even looked at her off-stage). But Rachel Hudson was nothing if not a professional, and she was absolutely capable of acting alongside such a Neanderthal if she had to.
If only said co-star hadn't eaten something that smelled a lot like rotten eggs and fish sticks for lunch that day.
The moment his face dipped close to her's before the scene to ask whether or not she had her sheet music on hand, her stomach clenched and turned over. Clutching her hands over her mouth, Rachel rushed off the stage, letting her sheet music and coffee fall to the floor behind her.
Opening her eyes, Rachel slowly sat up, unfolding her body from its previous position on the floor. Taking a deep breath, she waited for the feeling of nausea to take over again; thankfully, she felt nothing. Rachel leaned her head against the stall, sighing as she shut her eyes again.
Something was wrong with her. It was a very rare occurrence when Rachel got sick, but this was the third time that week that she had found herself curled around the toilet. It was probably the stomach flu, she knew, bracing herself as she stood up, her legs shaky from being on the floor for so long. Reaching down for her phone, Rachel saw that she'd been holed up in that stall for 45 minutes.
Mentally kicking herself, Rachel quickly gathered her things and stepped out. A quick glance in the mirror confirmed her fears about that mess that her hair had become. She felt herself groan again as she threw her mass of tangles into a hasty ponytail and splashed water in her face, letting the chill wake her up. She couldn't believe she was so tired- it wasn't even noon yet.
Returning to the stage, Rachel instantly felt better. There was nothing like stepping onto a real Broadway stage to make everything else disappear and the world to right itself. She'd discovered this at the age of seventeen, and the feeling had yet to grow old or fade for her.
Rachel noticed that her music had been stacked neatly on her chair off-stage, and sighed with relief when she noticed the cast was still on lunch break. Sinking into her chair, Rachel smiled gratefully at the producer who walked up to her and handed her a bottle of water.
"Thanks, Cheri. I don't know what's wrong with me this week."
Smiling back, the older woman patted Rachel on the shoulder, telling her to go home. Before she could protest, Cheri gently put her foot down.
"Rachel sweetie, this is no the first time you've been sick this week." Rachel deflated slightly, nodding at her words. "You need to go home and figure out what's happening. I don't know if it's the flu or if you're pregnant or what, but you need to rest. Opening night is in two weeks."
Rachel numbly watched as the producer walked away, her body frozen to the chair. Staring off into the empty auditorium, she tried to remember the last time she'd had her period. Five weeks? Six? Grabbing her purse, Rachel saw she still had a full pack of undisturbed tampons lying inside. She hadn't reached for them at all in the last month.
Rachel barely felt herself leave the theatre, her body moving without permission. Her mind was too busy racing to make basic decisions like whether or not get her coat from her dressing room or to remember to tell the director she was leaving.
All she could focus on was the tiny bottle of pills sitting in her bathroom cabinet at that moment. They were usually on the bedside table, perched next to the alarm clock and an array of pictures of her and Finn that she liked seeing when she first woke up in the morning. She took them first thing, before she brushed her teeth or even got out of bed. Why were they in the bathroom? How could they be stowed away, easily forgotten in the chaos of the mornings?
Rachel knew that moving her birth control pills hadn't been a conscious decision- she'd probably forgotten they were in her hand and placed them on the counter one day. And then Finn might have then put them in the cabinet, knowing how she preferred to keep things tidy. Rachel couldn't bring herself to laugh at how careful her husband was to make her happy.
She was supposed to be careful, too.
An hour later, Rachel found herself sitting cross-legged on her bed, a pregnancy test resting in her hands. How'd they get here? They had only been married for a little over a year. Finn was working long hours at the station; she was at rehearsals day and night for her first Broadway production. They were in no way ready for kids- there was barely enough room for the two of them in their shoe-box in the city.
Rachel couldn't bring herself to open the test. She wasn't ready. She couldn't do this by herself. Looking at the clock, she knew Finn would be going on lunch soon. Rachel felt bad tearing him away from work for something like this, especially since she might just be over-reacting like usual, but she knew without a doubt that she couldn't find out about this on her own. She needed her husband. She needed him now.
She dialed his cell number and held her breath, praying he wasn't somewhere fighting a fire. No one else could need him right now as much as she did. Shaking her head, she instantly felt bad for thinking such a thought, but she was starting to panic, so she forgave herself.
"Hey baby, what's up? I've missed you today."
Silently relieved, Rachel let out the breath she was holding. "Hi. I miss you, too."
"Are you on break, too? Want to get lunch? We could go to that place on thirt-"
"Finn." Cutting him off, Rachel felt herself start to shake. "I need you to come home. Now."
"Rachel, what's wrong?"
Rachel shut her eyes, feeling the concern in her husband's voice. He knew her better than anyone else in the world. Of course he's going to know when she was upset.
"I don't know yet. I just- I need you to come to the apartment."
"Finn, please. I need you."
Silence filled the phone line. Rachel prayed that he didn't demand an explanation on the phone- she didn't think she could say it out loud yet.
"Ok babe, I'm coming. I'll be there as fast as I can. Ok?"
Ending the call, Rachel leaned back on the bed, letting the unopened pregnancy test fall to the side. Rachel stared up at the ceiling, and without realizing it guided her hands down to her stomach.
What if there was a baby in there?
The thought intruded, despite her best efforts to push it away. Breathing heavily, Rachel sat up, her head falling into her hands. Could she actually do this? Could they?
Though the panic was still there, Rachel suddenly felt herself relax slightly, her mind wandering.
She could she herself getting bigger, painting a nursery in pretty pastels, Finn kissing her belly and singing classic rock to the bump.
She saw a wrinkly little thing, wrapped in a soft blanket, with big brown eyes and dimples, just like his father.
Rachel didn't notice the smile that had started to grow on her face at the thought of a little boy that looked just like her Finn. A clear picture was forming in her mind, and now that it was there, the picture didn't scare her as much as she thought it would.
Rachel touched her stomach again, this time caressing the area softly.
"Anybody in there?" She whispered, feeling a little silly. Pushing her hair back, Rachel gazed down, thinking about a life that she hadn't let herself dream about just yet.
What if we did this?
The sound of the front door opening snapped Rachel out of her trance, causing her to drop her shirt and stand up. Finn stood in the doorway of their room, looking Rachel up and down with worried eyes.
"Rachel, will you please tell me what's wrong now?"
Nodding, Rachel reached behind her and snatched the test off the bed, reaching over and handing it to him tentatively.
She didn't realize she'd been holding her breath until Finn looked at her, his eyes big with wonder. He didn't look scared or panicked- he looked excited.
"Babe. Are you saying- Are you….?"
"I don't know yet." Rachel walked up to him, twisting her hands together. "I was waiting for you to get home to take it."
Rachel let a laugh escape at the sight of Finn wildly ripping open the box and thrusting the stick at her.
"Let's find out, then! Here." Finn grabbed the instructions, flipping them around to find the correct language. "Ok, go into the bathroom and you have to pee on the stick for 30 seconds. Then we wait for 3 minutes."
Rachel glanced down at the stick in her hand, the knot returning to her stomach. She looked up as she felt her husband's arms wrap around her.
"I'm here for you, for us, no matter what, ok?" Finn kissed her firmly on the lips, and then placed two more on her nose and forehead. "We're in this together."
Squeezing him one last time, Rachel walked into the bathroom and did what the instructions said.
The waiting wasn't as bad as she thought it would be.
"If it's a girl we should name her Isabella. Or Sophia."
Rachel giggled. "Sophia? And what makes you think it'll be a girl?"
Finn wrapped his free arms around his wife, a goofy grin attached to his face. "What? I like that name. And of course it'll be a girl! I want an adorable little brown-haired princess, with a voice just like her mom's."
"No! I want a boy with your dimples!" Smiling against his neck, Rachel let herself feel hopeful for the first time all day. She wasn't worried anymore. This was her and Finn- they could do anything together.
Hearing the alarm on the microwave go off, Finn and Rachel looked at each other and nodded. It was now or never.
Finn picked up the stick first, his free hand grasping her's tightly. For a split second, the world stopped, and Rachel knew in her heart what she wanted it to say.
And just like that, Finn's smile fell from his face. The world started up again with the words "not pregnant" appearing in front of them.
Rachel reached over and hugged her husband, his disappointment vibrating off his body.
"I know baby, I know. But it'll be ok."
Pulling back, Finn reached up and wiped away a tear on her cheek; Rachel didn't even realize she had started to cry.
"It's ok to be sad, baby. I know you were hoping for it, too."
Rachel curled up into his arms again, letting more tears fall down her face.
"I really wanted to be pregnant." She whispered. "I didn't think I did, but I know now I did."
They stayed on the couch for the rest of the afternoon, just holding each other. They talked, cuddled, and mourned the loss of something that wasn't theirs to begin with.
After a while, the couple stood up and headed for the bedroom. Reaching for her hand, Finn smiled down at her, his thumb tracing patterns against her hand.
"So, we sure about this? Is this something we want to do?"
Rachel looked up at him, feeling the love she had for him and for the life they shared warm her heart and make it whole. Nodding, she swiftly got up on her toes to plant a gentle kiss on his cheek. Wrapping her free arm around his neck, she murmured into his ear.
"Let's go make baby."
And that's just what they did.