Author's Note: Wow. We've finally reached the end. I never imagined that I was going to get such an amazing response to this story. I'm super attached to this and I honestly think it's one of the best things I've ever written. Thank you so much for all of your kind words and support. I truly appreciate it. This chapter title comes from "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz.
The song used in this chapter is "Somewhere over the Rainbow," sung by Judy Garland.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
Rachel's brow furrowed as she felt the mattress shifting next to her. She was still half-asleep, so she wasn't exactly sure of what was going on. She furrowed further into the bed, wondering if it was part of a dream. When the movements didn't cease, she cracked open an eye.
Next to her on the bed, Finn was thrashing around. His brow was furrowed and he had a pained expression on his face. His skin was covered in a light sheen of sweat, and he suddenly cried out in pain.
Rachel's heart clenched in shared pain for her husband. It had been a while since he had had a nightmare like this, but it made sense. It had been about two years since the attack in Afghanistan. And it was a little over seven years since he had put her on the train to New York. With two of the worst events of his life being so close together, Finn was bound to have nightmares during the anniversary. This was always the worst time of year for him. It was the one day when things were bad.
Careful not to startle him, Rachel reached out and pressed her fingers to Finn's bare chest. "Finn," she called in a loud enough voice to wake him, but not to surprise him.
It was enough. Finn jerked awake and shot straight up in bed, his chest heaving. His scars, though they had faded over the past two years, were thrown into sharp relief in the moonlight streaming into the windows.
"Finn," Rachel repeated.
He swallowed hard before he turned to look at her. He stared into her eyes for several long moments, taking comfort in her steady gaze. Finally, he whispered, "I'm sorry." He looked back down at his hands, which were clenching in his lap.
Rachel sat up fully and crawled towards him. She found his t-shirt deposited on the side of the bed and pulled it over her naked body before she put her hands on his arm. When he didn't look at her, Rachel lifted one hand and placed it on his cheek, turning his face towards hers.
"Don't be sorry," she told him firmly.
His hands clenched again. "I didn't mean to wake you."
"I don't mind," Rachel assured him. "Talk to me, Finn."
Finn shrugged his shoulders and glanced at her. "It was the usual," he mumbled. "Nothing new. Just… flashbacks."
Finn still wouldn't go into too much detail about what happened on that day. The nightmares had become less and less frequent after they had moved to New York together. It wasn't long before they had become so infrequent that neither Finn nor Rachel worried about them anymore. But this was the one time of year when they returned.
"Are you okay?" Rachel finally asked. She put her other hand on his other cheek, smoothing her thumbs under his eyes. Finn stared at her for another long moment before his entire body finally relaxed.
"Yeah," he said. "Yeah, I'm okay."
"Finn," Rachel said carefully.
Finn knew that tone of voice. "Rach, I promised you a long time ago that I wasn't going to hide anything from you. I'm telling you the truth when I say that I'm okay. Do you want to know why?"
Rachel nodded her head, and Finn turned his lips into her palm and pressed a kiss to it. Rachel's lips lifted into a small smile and she closed her eyes at the familiar, wonderful sensations coursing through her. Finn never failed to set off those kinds of reactions with just a simple touch.
"Because I'm here. With you. There was a time when I thought that that might not happen. But we found each other again, Rachel. And because of that, I will always be okay. I will always be happy."
Rachel pressed her forehead to Finn's. "I love you." Sometimes she worried that she didn't tell him enough, and she thought about all the times when she didn't get to say it. So she made sure to say it every day.
Finn pulled Rachel into his lap. He slid his hands into her hair and tilted her head back, peppering her neck with kisses. He smiled when he heard her gasp. "I love you, too."
Rachel bounced excitedly around the kitchen as she waited for her husband to get home. She looked at the pregnancy test in her hands and was unable to keep the beaming grin from forming on her face. She looked at her phone and realized that it was getting very close to the time that Finn would be arriving back home.
Right on cue, the front door opened and she heard Finn greet Brady as he barked excitedly. Rachel's impatience grew further and further as she waited for Finn to come back into the kitchen.
"Rach? Babe?" Finn called out.
"In here!" Rachel responded. She tucked the pregnancy test into the pocket of her jeans just as Finn came into the room. She greeted him with a bright smile as he crossed the kitchen and wrapped his arms around her. Finn bent to press a kiss to her lips.
"How was your day?" Rachel asked when he pulled back.
"It was good," Finn said. "The kids were pretty excited since it's winter break. And so was I." He kissed Rachel again. "I get a whole two weeks with you."
"Don't forget the rest of our family," Rachel said. "You brother, and Blaine, and your mom and Burt, and my dads, and Puck and Quinn are all coming up."
Finn groaned. "Don't remind me. I just want to enjoy my time off. I already have a plan for tomorrow."
"Oh really? And what's that?"
Finn nuzzled his nose against Rachel's neck before gently nipping at her pulse point. "We're going to spend all day in bed tomorrow."
Rachel bit her lip in an attempt to hide her smile. "Do we have something to celebrate?"
Finn had picked up on her especially happy mood when he had first walked in, and he didn't miss the hint she was dropping now. "You tell me. Do we have something to celebrate?" he repeated.
Rachel reached into her pocket and tucked the pregnancy test into his hand. Giving her a curious look, Finn turned it over until he saw the little plus sign on the front. He stared at it for a long moment before he looked up at Rachel with wide eyes.
"Baby," he finally said. "Rachel… Are you pregnant?"
"We're pregnant," Rachel said.
Finn grinned at her and wrapped his arms around her waist and lifted her up onto the counter. He kissed her deeply, cupping her face in his hands. "Change of plans, babe," he mumbled against her lips. "We're celebrating right here, right now. I love you so much, Rachel."
Rachel wrapped her legs around his waist and pulled him closer. "I love you, too."
"Finn!" Rachel couldn't keep the hysteria out of her voice as tears started streaming down her face. "FINN!"
"What? Shit, what?" Finn tripped and came stumbling into the bedroom, where Rachel was standing completely naked in front of the mirror. Intense fear and worry coursed through him as he caught himself against the dresser to avoid running into the wall. "Is it the baby? Are you okay?"
"Finn…" Rachel bit back a sob and turned towards him, her hands resting on her protruding stomach. "Finn, I… I…"
"Rachel, what is it?" Finn cupped her cheeks in his hands, tilting her face up so he could look into her eyes. "Tell me what's wrong."
Rachel looked up at him with tears still streaming down her face. "I can't see my feet!" she wailed.
Finn blinked at her. It took a moment for her words to completely register. His heart rate slowed and his fear ebbed away. Finally, he managed a confused, "…What?"
"I can't see my feet!" Rachel repeated. "I'm fat, Finn! Fat!"
Finn smoothed his thumbs under her eyes, brushing away her tears. "Oh, baby." Pulling her close, he placed a gentle kiss on her lips. "Rachel, you're not fat. You're seven months pregnant with our child."
"That's easy for you to say," Rachel grumbled. "You're not the one who's pregnant." She sat on the edge of the bed and wrapped her arms around herself. "I'm fat, okay? Fat and huge, because I'm pregnant with your mutant baby."
Finn chuckled and sat down next to her, wrapping his arms around her. "I'm sorry for my mutant genes," he said. "But do you know what I see when I look at you?"
Rachel sniffled and snuggled closer to him. "What?"
"I see a beautiful, glowing woman who is carrying the most precious thing in the world. I see the woman I love carrying our first child. And that is the most beautiful thing in the world, Rachel."
Rachel ran her hands over her stomach again. "Quinn is going to be so angry that they have to let out my bridesmaid dress again."
"She won't be mad," Finn assured her. He made a mental note to call Quinn and Puck later. The last thing either Quinn or Puck needed was for Rachel to have an emotional breakdown at their wedding. "She knows. And the wedding is this weekend. You're going to fit in that dress, and you're going to be so beautiful. I wouldn't be surprised if you outshone Quinn at her own wedding."
Rachel suddenly smiled and placed her palm against his chest, pushing him back against the bed. "You're the best husband ever," she whispered seductively.
Sometimes (most of the time), Finn didn't understand Rachel's mood swings. He did his best to go with the flow. He massaged her feet (and her breasts. Hey, he would do whatever he could to help), and he woke up at all hours of the night to satisfy her ridiculous cravings. But it was all worth it, because every time he felt their baby kick, he felt a happiness he couldn't describe.
"I do what I can," Finn mumbled as he slid his hands up her sides and cupped her breasts. Rachel arched her back and moaned, pressing further into his hands. "Would you like me to show you just how beautiful I think you are?"
"Please," Rachel panted, rocking her hips against Finn's.
Finn grinned and leaned up to kiss her. "My pleasure."
Finn lifted his head and checked to make sure that Rachel was sleeping before he pulled the covers back and slid down the bed. He smoothed his hand over Rachel's round stomach and smiled when he felt the baby kicking against his hand.
"Hey, baby," he murmured. He pressed his lips to the little imprint of a foot that appeared in response to his words. Kurt had spent the past eight months teasing Rachel, trying to prod her into finding out the gender of the baby. Rachel had taken that bet and refused to find out if the baby was a boy or a girl just to prove Kurt wrong. Finn, for his part, just stayed out of it. He would have been happy with either a little boy or a little girl. It didn't matter, as long as their baby was healthy and happy.
"It's Daddy," Finn continued at a whisper. "Mommy is sleeping right now. You sure do keep her up with all that kicking." He rubbed his hand over the little fist he felt pushing against him. "Give me a second and let me pick out a song."
Finn thought for a moment before he pressed his lips to Rachel's stomach and began to softly sing a familiar song. "Somewhere over the rainbow way up high, there's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby."
Finn didn't realize that Rachel had woken up. She lay with her head resting on the pillow above him, a smile on her lips as she listened to him sing to their baby. He traced his fingers gently over her stomach as he continued with the song.
"Someday I'll wish upon a star, and wake up where the clouds are far behind me. Where troubles melt like lemon drops, away above the chimney tops. That's where you'll find me."
Rachel let her eyes drift close again as Finn finished his song. He kissed her stomach again. "I love you baby," he murmured. Then he pushed himself up and pressed his lips to Rachel's. "And I love you too."
Rachel smiled. "How did you know that I was awake?"
"I can just tell," Finn said with a grin. He kissed her again. "You should probably get some sleep."
"Now that you've sang the baby to sleep, I might be able to do that," Rachel said. "He's quite the little mover."
"Oh, so you think it's going to be a boy?" Finn said with a smirk.
"No! I was just using 'he' as a generic term." Rachel pushed playfully against his chest and then curled into his side. "Do you want to sing me to sleep, too?"
"Sure," Finn said. He kissed her forehead and pulled her closer. "Any requests?"
"Our song," Rachel told him. She closed her eyes as Finn's sweet voice sang the opening lines of "Faithfully."
Finn groaned and pulled the blankets up over his head. He made several unintelligible noises and pulled Rachel closer to him. She rolled her eyes and poked his chest repeatedly.
"Finn, wake up," she said in a slightly louder voice.
Finn slowly opened his eyes and smiled when he saw Rachel. "Hey, baby," he said around a yawn. "What's up?"
"I'm having your baby right now."
Finn yawned again and stretched. He looked down at Rachel, his eyes still fuzzy with sleep. She waited a few moments for her words to register with her husband. When they did, his eyes went almost comically wide and he shot straight up in bed.
"What?" He scrambled out of the bed and tried to pull his shirt on as he attempted to tug his pants on at the same time. "Okay. Okay. It's early, but we can do this. We can do this. Everything is going to be okay. I'm going to find the bag, and we're going to go." In his haste to get to their pre-packed bag, Finn tripped over his shoes. "Bag. Bag then hospital."
Rachel watched from the center of their bed with an amused look on her face. "Sometimes, I wonder how you managed to make a career for yourself in the army."
Finn ignored that comment and rushed back towards the bed. He took Rachel's hands in his and squeezed. "How are you? Are you in pain? How many contractions have you had? How far apart are they?"
"Finn, relax," Rachel said soothingly. "The contractions have just started."
"Okay. Okay." Finn helped Rachel out of bed and then slid a sweater over her shoulders. She tugged on his hand and pressed a kiss to his lips. He pulled back and smiled, putting his hands over her stomach.
"We're going to have our baby soon," he said.
Rachel nodded her head and pressed her hand to her back. She winced and gritted her teeth as another contraction hit, and Finn offered her his hand. She grasped it tightly and breathed in and out as evenly as she possibly could. Finn hid his wince. Damn, her grip was strong.
"Do you think we could get to the hospital now?" Rachel breathed out. "I think that would be really nice."
"Of course. Come on, let's go."
"Okay." Santana slapped a twenty dollar bill down on table in the hospital waiting room. "Let's start placing bets. We're going to bet on the gender of the baby, what time the baby is born, and whether or not the baby will have Gigantor's humungous genes."
Puck stood up and added forty to the pile. "I'm betting on a girl, born in ten hours, and she'll have Finn's giant genes."
"You're cruel," Artie told him. "I'm putting thirty in for a girl born in nine hours, and she'll be tiny like Rachel."
"No way. Any child of Rachel's will be too stubborn," Kurt said as he added a twenty to the pile. "I'm betting on a girl that will take twenty hours to get here. She might have decided to come early, but she's going to make us wait."
Brittany put a five on top of the pile. "I'm betting on a boy," she declared. "And he'll be here in seven hours. And he'll look just like Finn."
"No way. I'm thinking that it's going to be a little girl," Mike said. "Mercedes and Sam had a boy, too. It has to even out somehow." Mercedes and Sam were at home with their six-month old son, Thomas. They were also watching Mike and Tina's son Ethan.
They heard a yell coming from behind the double doors, and they knew it was Rachel. Everyone exchanged amused looks. They had only been there for two hours, so they still had a bit of time to go.
"You did it, baby! You did it." Finn leaned over and pressed a kiss to Rachel's sweaty forehead as she fell back against the bed. Tears gathered in both of their eyes as their squirming, crying newborn was placed on Rachel's stomach.
"Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Hudson," the nurse said. "You have a healthy baby boy!"
Rachel reached up and pulled Finn down for a kiss. "A boy!" she exclaimed. "A little baby boy."
The baby was taken away to be cleaned and administered the usual tests. It wasn't long before the baby was brought back to Rachel and Finn, this time wrapped up in a white blanket with a little blue hat on his head. The nurse handed the baby to Rachel and then left the room.
Rachel scooted over on the bed until there was enough room for Finn. He climbed on and wrapped his arms around her as they both looked down at the little face of their newborn son.
"What should we name him?" Finn asked as he adjusted the hat on his head. They had talked about several names over the past nine months, but nothing had really seemed to stick.
Rachel bit her lip and looked at the baby before she looked up at Finn. "Christopher," she finally suggested.
Finn's chest tightened a little. He had made peace with his father a long time ago. Back when he had first started thinking about having his own family—before he ever knew the truth about what happened to his father—he had always imagined naming his first son Christopher. And even after everything that had happened, it still felt… right. That was why no other name had ever felt good enough.
"Do you really want to?" he asked.
Rachel nodded her head. It felt right to her, too. "Do you?"
"I do," Finn said. He traced his fingers gently across the baby's cheek. "Christopher William." It made perfect sense, to name their baby after his father and his father-figure.
Rachel beamed and lifted the baby up so she could press a kiss to his forehead. "Christopher William Hudson. Perfect."
"I love you," Finn told Rachel. He adjusted the baby's hat with careful fingers. "Both of you."
Rachel kissed him again. "And we love you."
Finn stared down in awe at his newborn son. After all these months, it still amazed him that Chris was here now. He was a real, little person, made of the best parts of himself and Rachel.
Rachel was lying in bed, exhausted after making sure that Chris was put to sleep. For all her effort, however, the baby was now just laying quietly in his bassinette, looking up at Finn with brown eyes identical to his mother's. Finn smiled and reached a hand down to trace his little cheek with one finger.
"Hi, Chris," Finn whispered. Chris's little head turned towards his finger, and Finn's smile widened. "I'm your daddy. I'm glad that I finally get to meet you."
Chris cooed softly and reached up with his little hand, his tiny fingers wrapping around Finn's index finger. Tears came to his eyes and he blinked them away as he looked down at his son. He was still so amazed, and he felt so lucky and blessed.
"I don't really know how to do this," Finn admitted. "For a long time, I was afraid that I was going to be a bad dad. I didn't have one growing up, you know? But I'm going to try. I'm going to try to be the best father I can be, Chris. I love you, little man."
Finn stroked Chris's cheek again before he heard a sniffle come from behind him. Turning around, Finn found his wife wrapped up in a robe and leaning against the door. Several tears were rolling down her cheeks, but she had bright, beaming grin on her face.
Finn wasn't embarrassed at being caught. "Hey, Rach," he said softly.
Rachel walked into the nursery and wrapped her arms around Finn's waist, burying her face in his chest. She loved him and their son so much. Sometimes, she thought that her heart might explode with all the love she felt for them. But it grew a little bit more every day, because she loved them more and more every day.
"You're an amazing father, Finn," Rachel said once she pulled away. "Amazing."
Finn smiled and smoothed his hand over her hair. "Thanks, Rach. I just… I worry, sometimes."
Rachel shook her head. "Don't. I know you, Finn. You have absolutely nothing to be concerned over."
Finn pressed a kiss to Rachel's forehead and tightened his arms around her. "You don't either, you know. You're the most amazing mother, Rach. I've seen how you are with Chris. He adores you already, you know."
Rachel beamed at him and stood on her tiptoes to kiss him. She had tried to hide her own concerns, but, as usual, Finn knew exactly what she was thinking. "Thank you, Finn."
"Of course, Rachel. Always."
"Rachel! Rachel, get in here!"
"What?" Rachel ran into the living room. The last she had checked, Finn had been playing with Chris and Brady. She had been busy going over the script of West Side Story, the new show she had been asked to star in. She still had another six months until rehearsals started, but she wanted to look over the script anyway. "What's going on?"
"Look!" Finn was sitting a little ways away from Chris, holding out a ball to him. Chris was holding on to the edge of the coffee table, and he was cautiously reaching out with one foot.
Rachel gasped and immediately scrambled for her phone. She turned the camera on and got behind Finn, who shook the ball he was holding.
"Come on, Chris," he encouraged. "Do you want the ball?"
"Dada, ball!" Chris exclaimed. He let go of the table and took a shaky step. Rachel gasped again and grasped Finn's shoulder as he nodded his head.
"Yeah, buddy! Ball! Come on, come get the ball!"
Finn was only about four steps away from Chris. It took him a few tries, but he got to Finn. His little fingers closed around the ball and he beamed up at his father. Finn scooped him up into his arms and kissed his forehead before he swept Rachel into his embrace as well.
"Momma, ball!" Chris told her as he held it out.
Rachel laughed and patted his cheeks. "Yes, my little man. You've got the ball!"
"Play?" Chris asked. "Ball?"
"I have to send this video to everyone!" Rachel exclaimed as she began to tap frantically on her phone. "Our baby is absolutely brilliant. Ethan didn't start walking until he was eleven months old, and Tommy didn't do it until he was ten. Chris is only nine months old!"
Finn laughed as he set Chris down on the floor again. He gently tossed the ball to him and watched as Chris clumsily toddled over to get it. "I wouldn't expect anything less from our baby."
Puck groaned and scooped Chris up as he toddled towards him. "Little dude, how many times do I have to tell you to call me Uncle Puck?"
Chris's little brow puckered. "Momma says," he said.
Puck rolled his eyes. "Well, Uncle Puck says to call me Uncle Puck. And that's what Daddy says too, right?"
Finn held his hands up as his son turned towards him with wide eyes. "Don't get me involved in this. There's no way I want to make Rachel angry. You want him to call you Uncle Puck, that's all up to you."
"Say it with me, little dude," Puck encouraged. "Uncle Puck."
The front door to Finn and Rachel's apartment opened, and Mike and Ethan came in, followed by Sam and Tommy. They had heard what Puck had been saying before, and they were laughing as they joined them in the living room.
"I don't think Chris will be calling you Uncle Puck until he's at least five," Mike told him.
Chris patted Puck's cheeks. "Unca' Noah."
Puck scowled and handed Chris to Finn. Finn chuckled and patted little Chris on the head. "Good job, buddy," he muttered to him. He kissed the top of Chris's head before he set him down and nudged him towards Ethan and Tommy.
"I hate all of your wives," Puck grumbled. "They all encourage your kids to call me Uncle Noah."
"Quit your whining. And you know that your wife encourages it, too," Sam said. He flopped down on the couch and held his hand out. "Hand over the remote, Hudson. Let's put this game on!"
Finn retrieved a few beers from the fridge and then put the football game on. They checked to make sure that the boys were playing safely before returning their attention back to the game. Before they knew it, an hour had passed when, suddenly, Mike sat up straight.
"It's quiet," he said.
Puck snorted. "No it isn't. Evans won't stop yelling at the TV."
"Excuse me, Puckerman," Sam scoffed. "I'm pretty sure it was you that let out that girly screech when the ball was intercepted."
"Yeah, well I—"
"Guys!" Mike stood up. "Where are the boys?"
All four men looked around and then quickly realized that the three toddlers were nowhere to be found. Letting out a loud curse, Finn shot up from the couch and ran down the hall. Sam, Puck, and Mike split up to the check the rest of the rooms as Finn went into the kitchen. When he walked in, all he could do was start laughing.
Eventually, everyone else realized where Finn was. They had the same reaction that Finn had; they all started to laugh.
Ethan, Tommy, and Chris sat in the middle of the kitchen floor with kitchen rags tied around their necks like capes. All around them was a mess of flour, sugar, and other ingredients used for baking. Handprints of flour littered the walls, cabinets, and fridge. Little footprints were tracked all over the floor, and the kids were covered in it.
"Hi, Daddy!" Ethan said brightly.
Chris waved his hands at his father. "Daddy, look!"
Finn tried to stifle his laughter. "I see, buddy! What did you do?"
"We beat the bad guys!" Ethan told them.
"Yeah!" Tommy exclaimed. He grabbed a handful of flour and threw it up in the air. The three toddlers dissolved into giggles, and their fathers just laughed with them.
"You do know that our wives are going to kill us, right?" Sam said. "When they walk into this kitchen… we're dead."
"Rachel will especially want to maim us," Mike pointed out. "This is her kitchen, after all."
Finn sobered immediately and bit back a curse. "Okay. Puck, Sam, go take the boys up to the bathroom and get them cleaned up. Mike, help me clean up this kitchen. The girls will be back any moment—"
Before Finn could finish speaking, the front door opened and they heard Rachel, Mercedes, Tina, and Quinn. They had about ten seconds until they came into the kitchen, and there was no way that they could hide what the kids had been doing.
"Finn?" Rachel called. "We're back!"
Finn picked Chris up and held him, despite the fact he was covered in flour. He knew that Rachel could hardly resist Chris's big brown eyes. He knew that Sam and Mike were doing the same thing behind him.
Rachel was wearing a bright smile when she walked into the kitchen. "There are my boys!" she said as she reached up to press a kiss to Finn's lips. "How was your—" She stopped abruptly when she realized that her son was covered in flour. Then she saw the state of her entire kitchen, and her eyes went wide.
Chris gave his mother an adorable, charming smile and Finn matched it as he held his hands out. "Surprise?"
"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Chris! Happy birthday to you!"
Chris beamed as the cake was set it front of him. There were two candles in the middle of it and he stood up in his chair in order to blow them out. The audience around him clapped and he gave the half smile he had inherited from his father. Chris did love being the center of attention.
Rachel leaned against Finn as Carole moved forward to begin cutting the cake. She reached down and squeezed Finn's hand and he looked down at her, dropping a kiss to the top of her head.
"What's up, Rach?" he asked.
"I can't believe that he's two years old already," Rachel said. "It seems like only yesterday he was just a little baby."
Finn chuckled. Rachel was going into protective mother mode. "Babe, he's only two years old. He still has a little while to go."
Rachel tilted her head to look up at Finn. She watched him for a long moment before she said, "I want another one."
It took a moment for Rachel's words to register. He stared down at her with wide eyes before he wrapped his arms completely around her and pulled her against him. "Really?" he whispered. He and Rachel had always talked about having more than one child, but they hadn't talked about when.
Rachel nodded her head and wrapped her arms around his neck. "Really," she affirmed.
Finn beamed and lifted Rachel up, hugging her tightly before he kissed her deeply. "Well, I'd say that we could get to work on that tonight. Does that sound like a plan?"
Rachel kissed him again. "That sounds like a fantastic plan."
After Rachel and Finn had been sufficiently exhausted and sated, she laid wrapped up in his arms. Rachel traced little patterns over his chest with her fingers before she pressed a kiss right over his heart.
"Do you want a boy or a girl?" she asked.
Finn smoothed his hands up and down her naked back. "I'd be happy with either one," he told her. "But I think a little girl that looked just like you would be pretty amazing."
"Just like me?" Rachel repeated. "Really?"
"Really," Finn affirmed. He tugged her up so that he could kiss her gently, his fingers stroking through her hair. "I love you so much, Rach," he mumbled against her lips.
"I love you too, Finn," Rachel murmured sleepily.
"Momma, play with me!"
Rachel laughed and caught the ball that Chris tossed to her. He ran across the room and held his hands out, looking at her expectantly. Rachel gently tossed the ball back to him and watched as he caught it.
"Good job!" While Chris was only a little over two years old, he was still pretty apt at playing all different sorts of sports. Rachel knew that, without a doubt, Chris was going to be very gifted in that aspect.
"Again, Momma!" He threw the ball and Rachel caught it again. Brady came skidding into the room then and looked eagerly at the ball that Rachel and Chris were tossing back and forth. "Brady!" Chris called to him once Rachel tossed the ball back. "Fetch!"
The door opened and Finn came in. He smiled when he saw his son and his dog playing while his wife watched with a warm smile on her face. He dropped his briefcase next to the door and hung his jacket up before he went over to Rachel and wrapped his arms around her.
"Hey, baby," he greeted. He kissed her and pulled back. "How was rehearsal?"
Rachel's fingers curled around his tie and she pulled him back down for another kiss. "It was fine," she said. "I'm going to start dinner."
Rachel knew that Finn would follow her into the kitchen. Sure enough, after Finn had greeted Chris with a hug and Brady with a pat on the head, he went into the kitchen and wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her back against his chest.
"Normally, you tell me much more about your rehearsals," Finn said. "Are you sure everything is okay?"
Without turning to look at him, Rachel nodded her head. "Of course everything is okay. Nothing too exciting happened with it today, so I didn't think that there was a lot worth mentioning."
Finn knew Rachel. There was definitely something that she wasn't telling him. "If you're sure, babe."
Rachel ran her spatula through the stir fry she was cooking. "I did talk to the director today, though. And my understudy, as well."
Finn gave her an alarmed look and took the spatula from her, putting it down. Then he spun her around and put his hands on her shoulders. "Why? Is everything alright? They don't want to take your part away from you, do they?" She had been playing Maria in West Side Story for a little over a year and a half now. She had already won another Tony award for her part in it, as well.
Rachel shook her head. "No, it's nothing like that." Her face split into a wide, beaming grin. "It's more like in about five months, I'm going to have to step down and let the understudy have her fun for a while."
Finn's brow furrowed. "Five months? Why in five months…" He trailed off and his eyes widened as he understood what Rachel was getting at. His hand slid over her still flat stomach. "Really?"
Rachel nodded her head and brought her hands up to cup Finn's face. "Congratulations, Daddy."
Finn grinned and grabbed one of her hands, pressing his lips to her palm. Then he let out a joyous laugh and picked Rachel up, spinning her around. Rachel giggled and held on to him, and they heard little feet run into the room.
"Momma! Daddy!" Chris exclaimed. He crossed his little arms over his chest and pouted at his parents. "Why you having fun without me?"
"Aw, little man." Finn picked Chris up and tucked the toddler between him and Rachel. She kissed his forehead and grabbed Finn's free hand. "Momma and Daddy are just very happy."
"I'm happy, too!" Chris declared. "I love you, Momma and Daddy."
Rachel beamed and Finn grinned again.
Chris sat eagerly next to his mother as the doctor moved the monitor over her rounded stomach. He wrinkled his nose and pointed to her stomach.
"Momma, what's all that icky stuff on your tummy?"
"It helps the doctor see the baby, Chris," Rachel explained. She pointed to the monitor next to the bed and said, "We can see the baby on there."
"The baby is on there?" Chris asked with wide eyes. "Whoa."
"It's pretty amazing, isn't it buddy?" Finn said.
Chris nodded his head eagerly. "I'm gonna be a big brother?"
Rachel nodded her head and reached out to smooth a hand over her son's unruly hair. With the exception of his eyes, he really was a mini-Finn. "Yes, sweetie. You're going to be a big brother." The thought made her heart swell, because Chris was so eager to meet his little brother or sister.
"Am I gonna have a brother or a sister?" Chris asked.
"I don't know, little man," Finn told him. "We're going to keep it a surprise."
Chris tilted his little head as he looked at the screen. "If it's a baby sister, her name should be Ava," he suddenly declared.
Finn and Rachel looked at each other. Of course, they had been discussing names over the past seven months. Once again, nothing had really stuck. They had several possibilities lined up, and they knew that they wanted the baby's middle name to be Carole if it was a girl. But they had yet to come up with a definite first name.
"Why did you pick the name Ava, Chris?" Finn finally asked.
Chris smiled brightly at his mother and father before he looked at the screen. "Because it's a pretty name," he said. "And the baby is going to be pretty. Just like Momma."
Rachel looked like she was about to burst into tears. She pulled Chris close and kissed his forehead as Finn grinned and wrapped his arms around the two of them. Even though he was so young, their son already had a big, wonderful heart and wanted nothing more than to share his happiness with the rest of the world.
"That's the perfect name, Chris," Rachel whispered.
Rachel sighed and shifted on the bed as she tried to get comfortable. She was laying on her side, facing Finn, and she was completely envious of the way he was sleeping peacefully. She felt huge and uncomfortable, but she couldn't even be mad at Finn. Even in his sleep, his hands cradled her stomach—and their unborn child.
She closed her eyes and attempted to fall asleep once again. It wasn't exactly working. She supposed that it was just one of those nights. Eventually, she started drifting on the edge of consciousness. As she did, she slowly became aware of Finn moving next to her. He slid down on the bed until his head was situated right next to her stomach.
"Hi, baby," Finn muttered quietly. "It's daddy. Again. I'm sorry if I woke you up." Finn smiled when he felt a gentle nudge against his hand. "I can't wait to finally meet you. I kind of knew that Chris was going to be a boy, but I have a feeling that you're going to be a little girl."
Rachel smiled and didn't open her eyes as she continued speaking. "You're going to have the best mommy in the world. She's amazing and beautiful and wonderful. And you'll have the greatest big brother, too. Chris loves you already. And, you know. I'd like to think that I'm a pretty good dad."
Rachel felt herself sink further into sleep as Finn began to sing "Somewhere over the Rainbow." She let his quiet, wonderful voice wash over her. She felt Finn press his lips to her rounded stomach before one of his hands closed over Rachel's and squeezed gently. Rachel smiled as she finally fell asleep.
Finn still had tears in his eyes as he looked at his beautiful wife and their perfect newborn daughter. He was holding their perfect son, as well. Everyone was out in the waiting room, all of them hoping to see the new baby soon, but Finn and Rachel just wanted this quiet moment with their family.
"She's perfect, Rach," Finn whispered. Chris was sleeping against his shoulder. Rachel had gone into labor yesterday and threw a fit whenever someone tried to take him home, so they ended up just keeping him at the hospital.
"She has your eyes, Finn," Rachel told him.
"Yeah, but look at how tiny she is," Finn pointed out. "Chris wasn't that small when he was born."
Rachel laughed. "No, Chris was huge. He's probably going to be as tall as you."
Moving carefully so as not to wake Chris, Finn leaned over so he could press a kiss to his new daughter's tiny forehead. Then he lifted his head and kissed Rachel, his lips lingering against hers.
"I love you," she said when he pulled away.
Finn grinned at her. "I love you too, Rach." He took another moment to appreciate how peaceful the room was before he said, "I guess we should bring the cavalry in now."
Rachel laughed again. She was tired, but she did want to see her family. "Probably. I'm surprised I haven't heard Kurt causing problems out there."
"It's probably because he has his own baby to take care of," Finn said. He kissed Rachel again. "I'll be right back."
Still carrying Chris, Finn made his way out into the waiting room. His mother and Burt were there, along with Kurt and Blaine. They had their year old daughter, Chloe, with them (Kurt refused to leave her with anyone else). Sam and Mercedes were there as well. Their son, Tommy, was with Tina and Mike. They were watching Tommy along with their two sons, Ethan and Alex. Quinn and Puck would be arriving later in the day with their seven-month old son, Caleb.
"So?" Burt said as soon as he saw Finn. "What do we have?"
Finn grinned. "It's a girl!" he exclaimed. He chuckled when Chris shifted against his shoulder and grumbled in his sleep. Their family and friends all cheered and hugged one another tightly. Kurt pushed Carole and Burt forward.
"You two go first," he said to his parents. "We'll wait out here."
Carole and Burt followed Finn into Rachel's room. Finn laid Chris down on the little couch and covered him with the blanket they brought with them before he went back over to the bed and sat on the edge of it, wrapping his arm around Rachel and pulling her close.
"Oh," Carole breathed. "Look at that little face! She's so precious. Rachel, I don't think that she's going to be much bigger than you."
"She sure is a tiny one," Burt agreed.
Rachel laughed. Compared to normal-sized babies, their new daughter was definitely tiny. And she was almost humorously tiny compared to Chris when he was born. "But she has Finn's eyes," Rachel told them.
"So, tell us!" Carole finally said. "What's her name?"
Finn and Rachel smiled at each other. Finn pressed his lips to Rachel's forehead and she lifted the baby up so that Carole and Burt could get a better look at her. Rachel nodded her head, signaling for Finn to tell them the newborn's name.
"Her name is Ava," Finn said. "Ava Carole."
Tears immediately came to Carole's eyes. She pressed a hand to her mouth and Burt hugged her tightly. Finn got off the bed and hugged his mother tightly. She embraced him in return and kissed his cheek.
"Finn, Rachel," Carole finally said. "I'm speechless."
Rachel smiled. "We couldn't think of anyone better to name her after. Now would you like to hold your new granddaughter?"
Carole took the baby into her arms just as Chris woke up. He climbed up onto his mother's bed and curled against her. Finn smoothed a hand over his unruly hair and pulled his family close.
Rachel yawned as she climbed out of bed. She had heard Ava fussing about a little over the baby monitor, and she wanted to check on her.
Rachel couldn't keep the smile off her lips as she looked at her sleeping husband. Now that she was no longer wrapped his arms, Finn had rolled onto his stomach and ended up spread eagle on the bed. She quickly pressed a kiss to his cheek before she pulled her pajamas back on and wrapped a robe around herself.
Rachel made her way across the hall but stopped short when she realized that the room to the nursery was open. It didn't take long for her to find her three year old son standing on a chair that he had pulled up next to the crib. He was leaning over it, peering down at his new baby sister.
Rachel leaned against the door frame and watched as Chris began to talk to Ava. He was talking quietly, his hand propping up his head against the crib. Rachel felt her heart swell as she watched her sweet son with his little sister.
"Hi, Ava," Chris said softly. "It's me, your big brother, Chris. How are you?" Ava cooed quietly back at him, and Chris smiled. "I'm going to try to be the best big brother ever, okay? I've been around Ethan and Alex, so I know that they fight sometimes. And we're probably going to fight, too. But that's okay. Because I'm always going to protect you. And I'm always going to stand up for you. That's what big brothers do for their little sisters. I promise. I love you, Ava."
Rachel sniffled and wiped away the tear that rolled down her cheek. Chris really was a little copy of Finn. He had a heart that was so big, and he wanted to protect and help everyone. A few more tears rolled down her cheeks as she watched Chris set one of his own teddy bears in the corner of Ava's crib.
A pair of strong arms wrapped around Rachel's waist and pulled her back against a broad chest. Rachel smiled and sniffled again as she snuggled into Finn.
"Our son is quite the charmer, isn't he?" Finn said with a quiet chuckle.
"He's going to be a heart breaker," Rachel agreed. "But I'm pretty sure that that was the sweetest thing I've ever seen."
Finn kissed her cheek. "I think he gets it from you."
"Are you kidding me?" Rachel turned in Finn's arms and pulled him down, pressing her lips to his. "He gets it from you."
"Daddy, how old are you?" Chris asked.
Before Finn could answer, Puck came over and said, "Old. Your daddy is old, little dude."
Finn rolled his eyes and glared at Puck. "You turned thirty before I did, you… jerk." He had to refrain from cursing in front of both of their young sons. Quinn and Rachel would kill them if their sons started running around, spouting off curse words.
"I'm just looking forward to punching you thirty times," Puck said. "I had bruises for two weeks after you punched me, douchebag." Apparently, Puck had no qualms with cursing in front of the kids.
Finn chuckled and turned towards Rachel, who was carrying Ava in her arms. The little girl's eyes brightened immediately when she saw her father, and she held her arms out.
"Dada!" little Ava exclaimed. She was almost a year old, and she was quite the little troublemaker. But she could talk herself out of trouble just as easily, even with her limited vocabulary. All she had to do was turn on the smile and make her eyes go wide. Both Chris and Ava were very good at it.
"There's my little Ava-Bear!" Finn scooped his daughter into his arms and blew a raspberry on her little tummy. She giggled and squealed.
"Dada, stop!" Finn relented and hugged her tightly, and Ava patted his cheeks with her little hands. "I love you, Dada."
"Love you too, Ava-Bear. Hey, baby," Finn added as he turned to his wife. He wrapped his free arm around Rachel's waist and pulled her close, pressing a kiss to her lips. She hummed against his mouth and tightened her fists in his shirt.
"Happy birthday, Finn," Rachel whispered when he pulled away.
"Mmm." Finn pulled her close and kissed her again. "So my parents have the kids for the night?"
Rachel smirked and patted his chest. "That's part one of your birthday present."
"Part one?" Finn's eyes brightened at the prospect, but Ava's exclamations distracted him.
"Dada! Me!" she demanded.
Finn laughed and flipped her upside down, causing her to start giggling and squealing again. She held her hands above her head and waved at her mother, who watched with amusement shining in her eyes. "Look, Momma! Upside down!"
"I see that," Rachel said with a laugh. She gave Finn a mildly stern look. "Be careful."
"Oh, Rach. I always am." Just to mess with her, Finn pretended to drop Ava. She was completely safe, and he kept a firm grip on her waist, but Rachel gasped anyway.
"Finn!" she exclaimed.
"Again, Dada!" Ava said as she clapped her hands. "Again!"
Finn flipped Ava right side up and tickled her lightly, smiling as she giggled. He hugged her tightly and kissed her cheek. He went back to his chair and set his daughter in his lap as Rachel stood behind the chair and put her hands on his shoulders.
"Dada, birthday?" Ava asked.
"Yup, baby girl. It's my birthday," he said.
Ava smiled brightly. "Old?"
Finn groaned. "Okay, I know that thirty isn't old, but my kids are making me feel that it is."
Rachel rubbed his shoulders before she patted his cheek. "It's okay, old man. I still love you," she said cheekily.
Finn scowled at her. "You're turning thirty this December. You're one to talk."
Rachel just kissed his cheek and hugged him from behind as Chris came up and climbed onto Finn's lap as well. Carole brought the cake out, lit with two candles shaped in a three and a zero. Everyone sang to him, but he was mainly focused on his wife's beautiful voice in his ear and his children's melodious voices.
The cake was cut and shared with their friends and family. Everyone hung around the party for another two hours before the guests began departing. Finn kept himself occupied by playing with his children and thinking about the second part of Rachel's gift that night.
"Okay," Finn said as he entered the bedroom and shut the door behind him. "The kids are gone. So when do I get part two…" He trailed off when he saw what his wife was wearing. Or, more accurately, not wearing.
"Rach," he choked out as his pants immediately tightened.
Rachel gave him a sultry smile. "Hello, Finn."
Rachel was waiting for him on their bed, wearing nothing but some strappy, lacy thing. Her face was clean of any makeup, but she was still glowing. Her hair hung down around her shoulders, and Finn wanted to reach forward and run his fingers through it.
"Happy birthday, baby," she said, beckoning him towards her.
Finn gaped at her for a long moment before he immediately began to shed his clothes. Once he was completely free of them, he climbed onto the bed and pulled Rachel into his arms, immediately covering her mouth with his. He ran his hands up and down her body, skimming them over the lace. She moaned loudly and arched into his hands.
Finn kissed down her neck, nipping and sucking at the soft skin as he slid his fingers under the straps of the top. With one swift movement, he tore it from her body as she gasped. His hand smoothed her stomach and then rubbed over her fabric-covered core. He could feel how wet she was already, and he groaned.
With another tug, Finn ripped away her panties. He groaned into her neck as she lifted her hips, grinding against his hard length. He smoothed his hands back up her stomach and cupped her breasts, his thumbs flicking over her pert nipples. Rachel moaned again, pressing into his hands.
"Finn," she gasped. Even after all these years, it was still the best thing. And she knew that it was just as good for him as it was for her. It never got old. And it never would.
Finn kissed Rachel again, before he kissed back down her neck. He peppered kisses across her chest before he took a nipple into his mouth, his tongue swirling around it. His hand gently fondled her other breast, and Rachel ran her toes up down Finn's leg.
"Please, Finn," Rachel moaned as her fingers locked in his hair. Since this was his birthday present, Rachel was going to let him do pretty much whatever he wanted. But that didn't mean she would tease him a little bit.
Rachel suddenly pushed on his chest and flipped them over, straddling him. She leaned over, pressing her naked chest against his as she kissed him. Finn smoothed his hands up her sides and cupped her breasts again. Even after two children Rachel was still the hottest, sexiest, and most beautiful woman Finn had ever seen.
"Are you playing around with me, baby?" Finn asked with a chuckle.
"Maybe," Rachel answered as she allowed her hair to curtain around his face. She ran her hands down his chest and marveled over the excellent shape he was still in. He worked out every morning and ate healthier. He just got more and more attractive as he aged. He stroked her hair back before he brought his large hands down to her behind.
Finn lifted Rachel up and positioned her over him. Then he guided her down onto him, and both of them groaned at how amazing it felt. Rachel rolled her hips slowly on top of his, pressing her hands against his chest to steady herself. Finn's hands gripped her hips tightly, trying to encourage her to go faster. Rachel smirked, but it was quickly wiped from her face as Finn flipped them over once again.
"God, Rachel," Finn groaned into her neck as he pulled out and thrust back into her again. He linked his fingers with hers and held them above her head, pressing them into the mattress. Rachel cried out and locked her legs around his waist, matching him trust for thrust. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down to her, kissing him as she shattered around him. Finn followed her over the edge, tearing his lips from hers to let out a hoarse groan.
"I love you, Finn," Rachel breathed as she curled into his side.
Finn stroked his fingers through her hair again. "I love you too, Rach. Thanks for making this the best birthday."
Rachel and Finn shared a quick kiss before they entered the guest bedroom their children were sleeping in. They were currently back in Ohio, spending the holidays with the Hummels and Rachel's fathers. It was early Christmas morning, and both Finn and Rachel were very surprised at the fact that their rambunctious four year old son hadn't woken them up yet.
Finn and Rachel crept up to the bed. Before they could speak, however, Chris threw the blankets back from the bed and both he and Ava shrieked in excitement. They jumped up, bouncing up and down on the bed.
"Merry Christmas!" Chris exclaimed. He threw himself at his mother and she laughed as she caught him. Ava bounced over to their father and climbed up into his arms. She blinked up at Finn with amber eyes identical to his and smiled brightly.
"Presents, Daddy?" she asked sweetly.
Finn chuckled and hugged her. "In a minute, Ava-roo," he said. Looking at Rachel, he added, "She's definitely your daughter."
Rachel nudged him playfully. Before she could respond, however, Chris pulled on her sleeve until she looked at him. "Momma, is it time for breakfast yet?"
Rachel laughed outright at that. "If Ava takes after me, than Chris definitely takes after you. Yes, Chris. It's time for breakfast."
"And presents!" Ava exclaimed.
Finn set Ava down. "Ava-bear, why don't you go wake Uncle Kurt and Uncle Blaine up? Make sure that Chloe is up, too."
Ava nodded her head eagerly. "Okay!" She ran out of the room as Rachel put Chris down. He went towards the stairs to see what his grandparents were cooking in the kitchen. Rachel laughed and again and leaned into Finn's side as he wrapped an arm around her waist.
"You know that Kurt is going to kill you, right?" Rachel said.
"Eh." Finn shrugged his shoulders and didn't look particularly concerned as they went towards the stairs. "Payback for years of having him wake me up to drag me out on early morning shopping trips."
It was another fifteen minutes before Kurt and Blaine came down the stairs and joined everyone else in the kitchen. Kurt was carrying Chloe, and Blaine was holding Ava. When she saw her father, Ava exclaimed, "Daddy, I did it!"
"You're horrible," Kurt grumbled. "Absolutely horrible."
"Oh, suck it up," Finn said. "It's about time the rest of you joined us for breakfast."
"I was awake, Daddy," Chloe added.
Kurt chuckled and kissed her cheek before he patted it playfully. "You're not helping matters right now, Chloe."
Blaine passed Ava to Rachel, who perched her daughter on her hip. "Momma, can I help?" Ava asked.
"Of course you can!" Rachel was busy making chocolate chip pancakes. She had already made the batter, but had yet to add the chocolate chips. So she handed a measuring cup filled with the sweet treat to Ava. "Here, sweetie. Poor the chocolate into this bowl."
Ava did as she was told. Rachel put a chocolate chip into her daughter's hand and allowed her to eat it. Then she handed the little girl a wooden spoon. "Go ahead and mix it. Then we're going to let Daddy cook it, okay?"
Ava nodded her head eagerly and turned to see Leroy taking a baking sheet full of cinnamon rolls out of the oven. "Pop-Pop, I cooked!"
"Good job, little star!" Leroy said
Just as Finn was about to pour the batter onto the pan, he caught Chris trying to sneak into the living room, where all of the presents were. "Christopher! Stay out of the living room!"
Chris pouted as he slunk his way back into the kitchen. "Awww, Dad! I just wanted to take a peek!"
Finn chuckled and patted his head as he came to stand next to his father. "You know the rules, little man. No looking until everyone finishes breakfast and all the presents are sorted."
Chris groaned and scowled in a way that made him look exactly like Finn. Rachel had to stifle a laugh and Finn looked over his shoulder, tossing her a wink and giving her that wonderful half smile. Rachel bumped his hip with her own and couldn't resist patting his butt as she went to take a seat at the table. She let out a gasp of surprise when Finn squeezed her behind as she passed.
Ava let out a happy squeal as she unwrapped yet another toy. Her grandparents certainly loved spoiling her and had no problems doing it. As she did with each present she unwrapped, she toddled over to Hiram and climbed up onto the couch in order to press a kiss to his cheek.
"Thank you, Poppy," she said sweetly.
"Of course, pumpkin," Hiram said. He handed her another wrapped present. "Here, open this one!"
On the other side of the living room, Finn handed Chris a square box. "Here you go, buddy," he said.
Chris eagerly opened the present and tore the lid of the box. He found a custom made football jersey inside. Lifting it up, he unfolded it to see the number five emblazoned on the front and back. The word 'Hudson' was also printed on the back.
"Dad, this is so cool!" Chris said.
Finn smiled. "I was figuring I can really show you how to start playing football." He pulled out a brand new football and tossed it to Chris. "What do you say?"
"I'm going to go put on the jersey right now! Thanks, Dad!" Chris threw his arms around his father and hugged him tightly before he ran off to change.
Rachel tucked herself into Finn's side and rested her head on his chest. "You're an amazing father, Finn," she murmured. "Chris looks up to you."
Finn felt his heart swell at Rachel's words, and he loved her just a little bit more. "You're an amazing mother, too, Rach," he said. He pulled out a velvet box and handed it to Rachel. "Merry Christmas, baby."
Rachel looked up at Finn with curious eyes before she opened the box. Inside was a silver charm bracelet. Hanging from it were three diamonds, all in the shapes of stars. Rachel knew that they stood for Finn, Chris, and Ava respectively. Rachel kissed him gently.
"You're still the star watching over me, Finn," she whispered.
Finn pulled her close and kissed her again. "Always, Rachel. Always."
Finn and Rachel held hands as they walked down a familiar path. Ava and Chris ran around in front of them, playing tag with each other. The parents watched with smiles on their faces.
"Are you sure you want us to do this?" Finn asked. "We don't have to. I understand."
Rachel squeezed his hand and smiled at him. "I saw the look on your face when Chris asked about your dad, Finn. It's okay. It's important for them to know about this."
Finn returned her smile before he lifted their entwined hands and pressed a kiss to her fingers. Finn got Chris and Ava's attention, and they ran back to join their parents.
"What are we doing, Daddy?" Ava asked.
"We're here to meet someone," Finn said.
Chris's brow furrowed. He knew where they were. Both he and Ava had some sort of understanding of it. "Dad, I don't understand."
Rachel smoothed her free hand over Chris's hair. "You will in a minute, buddy."
They weaved their way in and out of the headstones before they stopped in front of a worn, weathered one. It was one that Finn had visited at least once a year since he had returned from Afghanistan. Finn crouched down in front of the headstone.
"Chris, Ava, I want you to meet my father," Finn said. "Your grandfather."
Ava turned towards her father with wide eyes. She grabbed his hand with her little one, wrapping her tiny fingers around two of his. "Daddy," she whispered.
Finn hugged her and put a hand on Chris's shoulder. "My dad passed away when I was really little. I was younger than you, Ava."
Both of their kids were extremely attuned to emotions, just as Finn was. Chris took his dad's other hand. "I'm sorry, Daddy," he said.
"Kids, it's okay," Finn said. "I don't want you two to worry, okay?"
Chris nodded his head, and Ava stepped forward. She was so young, but she and Chris had the innocence that only a child possessed.
Ava put her little hand on the headstone as her big brother came to stand next to her. "Hi, Grandpa," Ava said.
"My name is Chris," Chris added. "Just like yours. And this is my little sister Ava."
Rachel came up behind Finn and wrapped her arms around him, hugging him from behind. Finn grabbed one of her hands and kissed her palm. Chris and Ava joined their parents, hugging them tightly as well. Finn and Rachel were amazed by the resilience of their children, but else was to be expected?
Rachel looked as if she was about to run after Chris as he took off down the hallway. Finn put his hand out, gently catching it in his.
"Don't even think about it, Rach," Finn said.
Rachel rolled her eyes. "I'm pregnant, Finn. And I'm not even that pregnant!"
Finn paused and smoothed his hand over Rachel's baby bump. It was just visible under the dress that she was wearing. "Chris is excited. Just let him go have his fun."
Rachel pouted. "Chris is my first baby, Finn. Now he's off to kindergarten." Given how emotional and hormonal she was now that she was pregnant once again, tears immediately gathered in her eyes. "He's growing up so quickly!"
Finn bit back a chuckle. "It'll be okay, baby. Chris is excited for school. And you still have Ava at home. Not to mention this little one on the way. And, you know. We can always practice for more."
Rachel laughed a little and stood on her tiptoes to kiss Finn. "Alright, alright." She took a deep, calming breath before she took Finn's hand and started to tow him down the hallway. "Let's go find Chris's class."
It wasn't long before they found Chris. He was wearing the football jersey that Finn and Rachel had gotten him for Christmas the year before. His backpack was almost as big as he was, but he looked so adorable with it. Rachel had already taken several pictures with Chris to commemorate his very first day of school.
Rachel crouched down and Finn put his hand between her shoulders in a show of support. "Alright, Chris. Are you ready?"
Chris nodded his head eagerly. "Yup, Momma. I'm ready!"
Rachel adjusted the straps of his backpack and tried to smooth his unruly hair. "Are you sure? Do you want us to stay with you for a little bit? We can, you know."
Chris shook his head. "I'll be okay, Momma. I promise."
Finn squeezed Rachel's shoulder and then helped her stand up. "So let's go meet your teacher, then."
Holding hands, Finn and Rachel followed Chris into the classroom. A kind looking elderly woman was greeting the kids and their parents as they came into the room. She smiled when she saw Chris, Finn, and Rachel.
"Hello," she greeted cheerfully. "I'm Mrs. Hutchins."
Chris gave her the charming Hudson half-smile. "Hi! My name is Christopher Hudson, and one day I'll be in the NFL."
Finn chuckled while Rachel grinned. Just like his mother, Chris knew exactly what he wanted and what he was going to do to get it. As if to emphasis his point, Chris pointed to the jersey he was wearing.
Mrs. Hutchins smiled and nodded her head. "It sounds like you have got quite the plan, Christopher." She checked the clipboard in front of her. "You're at the green table. Say goodbye to your parents and then you can go on over."
Chris turned to his parents. "Okay! I love you, Momma! I love you, Daddy!"
"We love you too, buddy," Finn said.
Chris hugged both of his parents quickly before he took off to sit at his assigned table. There were already kids there, and Chris began to easily talk to them. Rachel and Finn watched him for a moment before Finn took Rachel's hand and they left the classroom.
When they got to their car, Finn gently pressed Rachel against it. He leaned forward and kissed her softly, one hand coming up to cup her face while the other rested on her protruding bump.
"Are you ready to go home, baby?" Finn asked when they broke apart. When he saw the look on Rachel's face, he added, "Chris will be okay."
Rachel nodded her head. "I know." She smiled up at him and rested her hands over his. "Let's go home, Finn."
As they got into the car, Finn and Rachel thought about Chris, Ava, and the child that they were soon to have. They thought about how lucky they were and how wonderful life was. It was far from perfect, but it was everything that they had ever wanted or needed. Finn and Rachel's tether was just as strong as it had been before. And it always would be.
Author's Note: There it is. The end. I know that many people have asked me for a sequel, and I have thought about doing a long one-shot to follow up on this. However, I have another Finchel multi-chapter story that I've been working on which should be up soon, so please be on the lookout for that! Once again, thank you for the amazing report you've all given to this story. I really appreciate it so much. So tell me what your favorite part was, or what you liked best. :) Thanks for reading, and I hope that you all enjoyed the final chapter!