So this is my new fic that i've been talking about! it's very different from my other story, Hometown Glory, which is light hearted and humor based. Fair warning, this one is darker and deals with domestic abuse. I'm sorry if it offends anyone. It won't be terribly graphic but there will be a couple parts in the story with some physical altercation).
Hope you guys like it!
Finn glances at the clock and lets out a sigh of relief. After a long day of being cooped up in his office he is finally able to go home and unwind. He gets up from his chair and stretches out his long limbs, then grabs his messenger bag, stuffing papers inside and pocketing his cellphone ready to lock up for the day. All he wants to do now is go home, heat up some left overs, and relax while watching whatever game was on ESPN; the perfect Friday night in his eyes. After a long week of filling out endless amounts of paper work and updating computer files Finn just wanted to forget about work for the next few days.
He loves his job, he really does. Being a social worker may not sound like the best career for a lot of people, but for him it's the most rewarding and satisfying job he can imagine having. He specializes in domestic abuse cases, which means he actually helps people and helps change lives in a way which is what he's always wanted to do. However, he hates the weeks where he doesn't have a case because he ends up being everyone's paper work bitch and this week is one of those times.
He runs down the staircase of the old brick office building and as he steps foot into the lobby of the first floor, a boom of thunder shakes the place and a bright flash of lightning illuminates the dark empty floor. Finn curses when he looks out the window and sees that sheets of rain are coming down outside, he remembers that he didn't bring an umbrella because for some reason he decided to believe the forecast that morning.
"Damn weathermen." He mutters.
He glances outside again, figuring he could make it to the subway station if he ran as fast as he could but he'd be soaked through, and spending a fifteen minute subway ride in a car of crowded people was pretty much one of the worst things ever. So he decides to wait out the storm and just hang out in one of the chairs in the waiting area. Everyone in the building had gone home for the day but since he had stayed late to finish inputting some records into the system he had the entire place to himself.
Finn takes out his phone and starts fiddling around with it to pass the time, switching between playing Temple Run and Plants vs. Zombies, when a pounding on the front door makes him jump in his seat. Alarmed, he walks slowly to the window to take a peek at whoever was at the door knocking so late. He wasn't a native New Yorker but he's lived here long enough to know that when someone pounds on a door of a building that is clearly closed for the day, something's not right. He glances around looking for a bat or something, just in case, when the knocks quickly subside. Looking through the window by the door he can't see anyone outside when someone starts to frantically pound on the door followed by yelling.
"Please! Let someone be in here! God, please. Someone open!" He hears broken sobs. "Please, help me."
Finn's eyes widen. It was the voice of a girl and she sounded freaked the fuck out. He rushes over to the door and opens it, only to be met by not just one girl but another. A much tinier one.
"Oh thank god! Thank you, so, so much. I know the offices are closed but I don't know where else to go right now."
He doesn't say anything for a moment and takes in the sight of the young woman. She's super short and has long brown hair and what looks like could be decent clothes but due to the storm she looked a bit like a drowned rat. Her big brown eyes are red and puffy with smudged mascara surrounding the edges and tear tracks stained her cheeks. He couldn't really peg exactly how old she was, but she looked young, definitely at least a few years younger than he is. Finn then turns to look at her miniature friend, a little girl in a bright pink raincoat and matching rain boots. He couldn't really see her face though because her large hood was covering it.
Finally finding his voice along with his manners he spoke. "Oh, yeah. The offices are closed but come in! It's pouring out there."
The girls enter the building and he turns on a couple lamps in the lobby.
"Sorry," he says, as he offers them chairs to sit on. "You kind of spooked me there. I was on my way home but the storm came in so I decided to wait it out. I wasn't expecting someone to almost knock down the door." He chuckles but then mentally kicks himself for trying to make a joke when clearly this young woman is going through some serious shit.
The small brunette sits in the chair, looking at the floor, silently crying.
"I'm so sorry. I just-I just had to go somewhere for help and-" She pauses, wiping her eyes with the sleeve of her sweater. "And I had the address to the offices for a while but never had the courage."
She looks up at him, the curtain of long, dark hair falling away from her face. He was finally able to get a good look at her. She has very feminine features: big brown eyes with mile long eyelashes, full plump lips, nicely shaped eyebrows, and a prominent, yet fitting nose. But the thing that made Finn's eyes widen and ignite the anger inside of him was a large dark purple bruise that spread around her left temple and cheek bone and an angry red handprint on her right cheek.
She notices his lingering looks and the tears she has tried to keep at bay flow freely down her face. This was easily the least favorite part of his job, seeing the physical evidence of domestic violence, especially when they're fresh, just like hers.
"Hey, it's ok," He says softly, kneeling in front of her, "It's ok, it's a good thing it started pouring, right? It kept me here so I can help. That's my job."
She sniffs and nods her head.
"Let me go get an icepack for you, I'll be right back."
Moments later he returns with a cold compress and hands it to her. She whispers a thank you and presses it against the side of her face.
"Can you please tell me your name?" He continues, "That way I can start helping you right away. Can you do that for me?"
She clears her throat before speaking. "My name is Rachel. Rachel Berry."
He gives her a warm smile and squeezes her knee lightly.
"Hi Rachel, I'm Finn Hudson and I'm a social worker here. I'm going to do everything I can to help you; you're safe with me, alright? I promise."
A couple stray tears leak out of her eyes as she gives the teensiest of smiles. Finn notices her hand gripping that of the child sitting next to her who has remained silent all along.
"And who's this pretty little girl?" Finn asks.
"She's my daughter, Lily." The young woman smiles for the first time, reaching out to take off the little girl's hood, tucking her hair gently behind her ears.
"She's ok, though." She says, answering the question he hadn't asked but both knew he was definitely thinking, "She wasn't there when it happened. Say hi to the nice man, Lily."
The little girl looks up at Finn from under her long eyelashes and responds with a quick "Hi" before hiding her face in her mothers' arm.
"She's usually a lot more talkative. It's been an eventful day though, she's probably just tired."
"Aw, that's fine. Don't worry about it, I understand." Finn glances out the window and notices that the storm isn't letting up anytime soon and that it's gotten considerably darker outside.
"Hey, it's getting pretty late and the building should be closed already. No one's really supposed to be here this late in the day, but I'm starving. What do you say we go to my favorite diner a few blocks away and then we'll figure out what we're gonna do there?"
She looks at him for a few seconds, almost like she's figuring out whether to trust him or not, then she looks at her daughter who brightened up a bit at the mention of food.
"Are you hungry, Lily?"
The little girl nods her head and stretches up to whisper in her ear, which makes Finn grin a little cause the kid is the worst whisperer in the world, he can hear her question very clearly.
"Can I get waffles?"
For some reason this pulls at his heartstrings a little. He sees Rachel smile again then she looks back at him and nods.
"I don't see why not."
He's pretty sure she was answering both of their questions with that answer.
Finn then directs his attention to Lily.
"I love waffles too, and guess what? That diner makes the best in the city. What's your favorite kind?"
Food must be the way to Lily's heart because the seemingly shy child is quickly replaced with a bright and lively girl.
"With strawberries and lotsa whip cream on top!"
He raises his eyebrows in mock surprise.
"No way! Me too! Aw man, I'm even hungrier now. How about we go get ourselves some waffles with strawberries now, my tummy's already growling."
She hops up out of her chair and hops up and down a couple times.
"Yeah! Come on, Momma. Let's go get waffles with the nice man!"
This makes him laugh out loud as he stands back up to get his jacket, but when he looks at Rachel his heart breaks again. Despite whatever happened to her today and whatever led her to be here she puts on a fake smile and zips up Lily's jacket.
"Ok, let's go."
He barely knows Rachel and her daughter but he knows that he will keep the promise he made to her. He's going to make sure they're ok and keep them safe, no matter what.
Forgot to mention that, yes, the story is named after the Coldplay song. It's one of my absolute favorites.
Don't forget to let me know what you think!
Reviews are love! :)