Author's Note: I seriously can't get enough of writing these kinds of stories. I have another two planned, in addition to another Finchel multi-chapter. So much creative inspiration, it's not even funny. I've had this idea for a while now. This is not a Finchel-prompt, but I've been working at it furiously for days. This story title is from "For Blue Skies" by Strays Don't Sleep. The songs used are "Fix You" by Coldplay, "My Man" by Barbra Streisand, and "Faithfully" by Journey.
Disclaimer: Don't own anything.
When Finn Hudson woke up, he was standing next to his body.
There was a nurse checking his vitals, and he said the first thing that came to mind. "What the fuck?"
But the nurse didn't turn towards him. It didn't even look like she had heard a sound. Finn waved a hand in front of her face, and the nurse didn't react. He cursed again, loudly. What the hell was going on?
Finn turned back towards his body and frowned. Well damn. It looked like he was in really bad shape… or his body was, anyway. He had a cast on his right leg, all the way up to his knee. He could see a gash running diagonally over his forehead, and it was covered by thick white bandages. He was covered in all sorts of scrapes and bruises, and just… jeez. It really looked like he had been through hell.
The door to his room opened, and his mother came in. She was looking pretty worse for wear; her eyes were puffy and red, and it looked like she hadn't slept in days. Finn automatically went to take a step towards her, his hand reaching out. He cursed again when it passed right through her shoulder.
He wasn't dead, was he? He couldn't be. The steady beep from the monitor next to his bed told him that his heart was still beating. Finn could only hope that it would stay that way while he tried to figure out what was going on.
The door opened once again, and Finn saw his stepfather walk in. Burt immediately took Carole into his arms as she began to cry quietly. Finn felt his heartbreak at the look of devastation on his mother's face. He wanted nothing more than to hug her, but apparently he couldn't do that.
"Shh," Burt said as he rubbed her back. "It's going to be okay."
"What if he doesn't wake up, Burt?" Carole said tearfully. "W-what if he… What if…"
"Don't say that. Finn is going to okay. The doctors brought him this far, haven't they? It's just going to take some time."
Finn looked down at his body. How long would it take?
When Finn thought about going to McKinley High School, he appeared there.
"Well," Finn muttered as he looked around the crowded hallway. "That's convenient."
There had to somebody who knew what was going on. There had to be someone who could see him, too. He couldn't imagine what he would do if he was stuck like this forever. This wasn't exactly how he planned on spending his senior year.
He spotted his stepbrother by his locker and immediately went over to him. Poor Kurt looked like absolute crap. Whatever happened, it must have been bad. Kurt definitely looked as if he had spent the night crying. He was even sniffling now as he put his books into his bag. Just like he had with his mother, Finn reached out to put a hand on his shoulder.
But Kurt didn't hear him. And his hand passed right through his brother's shoulder.
He looked around the hallway again and spotted his own locker. It was decorated in all red and white, with a large number five in the middle. There were many pictures of him and his friends and family, and get well cards littered the area. He sighed and touched one of the pictures before he turned to look back at his brother.
Two girls were standing next to his locker. Both were vaguely familiar, but the one that really caught his eye was a petite, pretty brunette. She was hugging Kurt, rubbing his back as he tried not to cry. Kurt and the other walked away, leaving the brunette by the lockers. She looked up then and caught Finn's eye. Her own eyes widened to the size of saucers, and she kind of looked like she was about to faint.
"Your name is Rachel, right?"
Rachel Berry nodded her head slowly. She was still having trouble wrapping her mind around the fact that she could see Finn Hudson. She knew that she wasn't dreaming. She had checked.
"Yes," Rachel finally said.
"And you can see me," Finn said.
Finn nodded his head once and looked thoughtful. "Can you touch me?" he suddenly asked.
Rachel's eyebrows rose at the unusual request, but she stepped forward and reached a hand out. She looked up at Finn before she pressed her fingers to his chest. Just as Finn had suspected, she actually made contact with him.
Rachel snatched her hand back and jumped away from him. "I don't understand what's going on," she muttered, a note of hysteria in her voice.
Finn snorted. "You're telling me. I woke up next to my body."
"No, you don't understand." Rachel shook her head. "You're in a coma. I'm not supposed to see you right now."
Finn pressed his lips together at the mention of his condition. Finally, he said, "You wouldn't happen to know how I got that way, would you?"
Rachel ran her fingers through her long hair. "You don't remember?" she asked quietly.
Finn shook his head. "No."
Rachel sighed before she walked over to him and sat next to him. "It was after the football game on Friday," she said. "I guess you were driving home… some truck hit on your side. I don't really know the details. I just know that it was a really bad car accident."
Rachel put her hand on Finn's knee and squeezed comfortingly. "I think that you're going to be okay, though," she said. "You just need time to heal."
"Right." Finn let out a dry, humorless laugh. "In the meantime, what am I supposed to do?"
Rachel stared at her reflection in the mirror. This was not happening. She wasn't seeing the ghost—or whatever it was—of Finn Hudson. There was no way. She didn't even really know the guy. Why would she be the only one to see him?
"This is not happening," Rachel told her reflection firmly. "You're just tired. You have auditions and college applications to worry about, and you're just stressed out."
That wasn't necessarily true. She was Rachel Berry, and Rachel Berry didn't get stressed out like normal people. But she was willing to tell herself anything just so she could believe it. It was more plausible than seeing the apparition of Finn Hudson, anyway.
"You know, you can tell yourself that all you want. But it's not true."
Rachel jumped in surprise and whipped around to find Finn standing in her room. He was smirking slightly, leaning against one of the posts of her bed. (Rachel tried not to notice how attractive he was. She wasn't doing a very good job of it.)
"Finn! God, what are you doing here?"
Finn shrugged his shoulders. "I thought about you, and I just came here. So this is your bedroom?"
"Stop trying to change the subject." Rachel put her hairbrush down and crossed her arms over her chest. She was very aware of the fact that she was wearing a pair of tiny pink shorts and an even tinier pink tank top—and they were both covered in gold stars.
"I got bored. Thought I'd come visit you."
Rachel sighed. "Why don't you go visit your girlfriend, or something?" He was dating head cheerleader Quinn Fabray. She didn't know why Finn insisted on hanging around her. "Finn, you don't even know me."
He looked slightly offended. "I know you!"
"You knew my name. That's about it. I've been best friends with your stepbrother since middle school. We've been in all the same schools since elementary school, and we've never really talked to each other."
Finn looked down at his shoes, obviously ashamed. Rachel felt a little guilty, then. She shouldn't have just laid all that on him. Finn was a good guy, and it wasn't like it was really his fault. She had never went out of her way to talk to him, either.
"Look, Finn, I'm sorry—"
"No." Finn held his hands up. "You're right. I don't know you."
Now Rachel felt really guilty. He was going through so much right now. The last thing he needed was some stuck up little diva trying to rip him a new one. "Finn—"
But he was already gone.
Finn looked up at the Fabray house. He honestly hadn't really thought about trying to see Quinn. He knew that he should feel guilty, but he really didn't. He and Quinn hadn't been close for a long time, anyway. Still, he should probably see how she was doing.
With one thought, he was zapped up into Quinn's room. He wasn't sure what he was going to find up there, but he definitely hadn't expected this.
Quinn was laying on her bed with Finn's best friend, Noah Puckerman. In fact, Finn was pretty sure that they were both naked. They had the blankets pulled up around them, and they were wrapped up in each other's arms.
Huh. Well, Finn couldn't say that he was very surprised.
"I just… I feel really bad," Quinn said. "We should go visit Finn."
"We will," Puck said soothingly. "We'll go see him tomorrow after school."
Quinn snuggled closer to Puck. "I hate lying to him like this. Finn is a good guy. He doesn't deserve this."
"You think I don't know that?"
"Puck, we've been sneaking around behind his back since the end of junior year!"
"And you didn't seem to have a problem with it. Until he ended up in a coma, that is."
"Puck." Quinn leaned forward and pressed her lips to Puck's. "I'm not saying that I want to end this. I love you. I'm just saying that we should tell Finn."
Puck snorted. "Because that'll be a great thing to wake up to. 'Hey, Finn. We're so glad that you woke up from a coma. By the way, your best friend and your girlfriend have been sleeping with each other behind your back for months now.'" Seeing the look on Quinn's face, Puck sighed. "Fine. We'll tell him."
Finn disappeared from the room then. He had seen enough. And surprisingly… he wasn't angry.
Rachel closed her locker and looked around. She was really hoping to see Finn, and she was quickly starting to get worried. She hadn't seen him since the night before, in her bedroom, and she still felt horrible about what she had said.
The bell rang. Thankfully, Rachel had a free period, so she didn't have anywhere to be. Instead, she made her way over to Finn's locker and stopped in front of it. She looked at all of the pictures and the cards. Reaching out, she ran her fingers over Finn's school picture. He didn't deserve any of this, and he certainly hadn't deserved the way she had spoken to him.
"That's not my best picture. I like my one for junior year a lot more."
This time, Rachel didn't jump. She had been hoping that Finn would appear, so she had been expecting it. She turned and put her hand on Finn's arm. "Finn, I'm sorry."
He shrugged his shoulders. "It's alright. You were right, anyway. I don't know you." Then he gave her a sweet half smile. "I was kind of hoping that I could get to know you, though."
Rachel found herself returning his smile. He really did know how to work that charm. "I'd like that. Come on. Let's go the auditorium. It's normally empty during this period." She took his hand and they walked down the hall and then onto the empty stage together.
"So where did you go last night?" Rachel asked as she walked across the stage
Finn sighed before he cracked a humorless smile. "I went to visit Quinn."
Rachel winced at hi tone. She could tell that this wasn't going to end well. "What happened?" she asked gently.
"She was with Puck." At Rachel's furrowed brow, Finn waved his hands meaningfully and repeated, "She was with Puck."
"Oh." Rachel's eyes widened in realization. "Isn't he your best friend?"
"He's supposed to be."
"Oh Finn." Now she felt even worse, since it was because of her that Finn found that out. She took one of his hands between both of hers and squeezed. "I'm so sorry. This is my fault."
This time, Finn did chuckle. "Rach." The nickname fell easily from his lips, as if he had been saying it his entire life. Rachel found that she liked the way it sounded coming from him. "This isn't your fault. In fact, I'm glad that I found out. It beats being lied to, you know? I mean, technically, I'm still being lied to. But at least I know now."
"I don't really want to talk about them," Finn said suddenly. "What are you doing after school?"
"Nothing," Rachel said.
Finn smiled at her. "Wanna hang out?"
"Poor Carole. She's a complete mess. And my dad feels like he could have stopped Finn from driving home, so he feels guilty."
Rachel hugged Kurt tightly. "It was just an accident," she reminded him. "I'm sure that your brother is going to be okay." She wished that she could tell Kurt that Finn was as fine as he could be, but she didn't want to sound insane. She already felt crazy enough as it was.
"You know, I prayed last night," Kurt said quietly. "I sat next to Finn's bed and prayed. I haven't prayed in years, Rachel. I just… I feel like Finn needs a miracle."
"It's okay, you know," Rachel said as she rubbed Kurt's back. Her heart was breaking, seeing her best friend like this. "It's okay to have faith and believe."
Kurt sniffled. "I just want Finn to be okay. He's supposed to come to New York with me, you know. He didn't know what he wanted to do after high school, so he decided that he was going to come to New York with me."
When Rachel looked up, she saw Finn standing behind Kurt. His eyes were shining as he watched Rachel comforting his brother. He reached out, and she saw his hand pass through Kurt's back. His eyes connected with Rachel's, and her heart broke even further at the look of sadness on his face. He was the one lying in a hospital in a coma, yet here he was, showing more concern for his brother.
"And he will," Rachel said. "He's going to wake up, and then he'll be in New York with us."
"I planned on telling you, Rachel. I swear. I just couldn't let Finn stay in Ohio. Not when he didn't want to."
"I know," Rachel said soothingly. "I'd be happy to have Finn come to New York with us. In fact, I'm looking forward to it."
"I wish there was some way to let him know that I was okay. And my mom and Burt, too."
Finn was pacing back and forth in Rachel's room. She wished that she knew what to say or do, but she was at a complete loss. Finn was so worried—especially about his mother. He had told her what she had been like the day he had woken up outside of his body.
"My dad died, you know," Finn said. "He died when I was just a baby. He was in the army. My mom doesn't deserve this. She's already lost so much, you know? I would be fine if it was just me. But I have to wake up for my mom, Rach. I can't put her through this."
"It's okay, Finn," Rachel finally said. She wished that there was something else she could say to all of them, but there wasn't. There was really nothing else she could do but try to reassure them. "You're going to be okay, and you're going to wake up."
"But you don't know that!" Finn dragged his hands through his hair and dropped onto Rachel's bed. "I don't understand why any of this is happening." He buried his face in his hands and let out a shuddering breath.
Rachel cautiously sat next to the distressed man and put a gentle hand on his back. "I wish I could tell you why this is happening. I wish I had all of the answers, Finn. And I wish that I could tell you for sure that everything was going to be okay. But I can't. I really wish I could, though."
Finn turned to look at Rachel. A tear trickled down his cheek, and Rachel reached out to wipe it away. Finn pulled Rachel close and buried his face in her neck, wrapping his strong arms around her. Rachel was momentarily taken off guard, but she quickly recovered. She started combing her fingers through his hair and began to quietly sing.
"Lights will guide you home and ignite your bones. And I will try to fix you."
Finn stared out across the football field. He sighed as he watched his teammates practice for the upcoming game on Friday. He couldn't help but notice how his coach, Shannon Beiste, was a lot tougher on the guys than she normally was. In fact, the whole team's morale was kind of down.
With another thought, he was down on the field standing next to his coach. She shook her head as the team messed up another play. "Puckerman, pick up the pace! You're playing like crap!" Beiste looked down at her clipboard. It still held the plays that she had been working on with Finn. He could see his jersey number in the diagrams. Beiste sniffled and quickly wiped under her eyes.
Even though he couldn't hear her, Finn spoke anyway. "You shouldn't be so hard on them," he said quietly. "They're trying."
Beiste shook her head again and took a deep breath before she looked up. She glanced to the side, where Finn was standing, but she quickly looked back. Just to be sure, Finn waved his hand in front of her face. Beiste didn't react, so he could only assume that she hadn't actually seen him. But she had definitely felt his presence.
Finally, Beiste put her clipboard down. "Puckerman!" she yelled. "Get over here!"
Puck jogged over and yanked his helmet off. He sighed before he said, "What's up, coach?"
"How are you holding up?" she asked.
Puck shrugged his shoulders. "I'm okay, I guess," he said.
"Puck." Beiste gave him a small smile. "You're playing like shit. You're not okay."
Puck dragged a hand through his Mohawk. "It's just hard," he finally admitted. "Finn is my best friend, and he's lying in the hospital when he should be here, and… it's just hard."
Beiste nodded her head in understanding. "I know that you're worried right now. You're a good friend, Puck."
Puck let out a bitter laugh. "No, I'm not," he said. "I'm a terrible best friend. I've done a lot of things to him that I'm not proud of. That he doesn't deserve, because he's such a good guy. And what's even worse is that I don't regret it. I would still do it, but if I could do it differently… I would."
Beiste nodded her head again. She looked over to wear the Cheerios were practicing, and she saw Quinn watching them. It didn't surprise Finn that Beiste knew what Puck was talking about. It didn't seem to surprise Puck, either. He just nodded his head in return and dragged his hand through his hair again.
"You're right. Finn is a good guy. And I think that he might understand, if you give him the chance."
Puck finally cracked a small smile at their coach. "Thanks, Coach."
Beiste clapped Puck on the back. "No problem, Puckerman. Now get back out there. Hudson wouldn't like it if you played like crap."
"Lady Hummel. Berry."
Rachel and Kurt looked up as Santana Lopez sat across from them at their lunch table. She gave them a brief smile and turned to wave at her girlfriend, Brittany Pierce. She came over to join them at the table as well.
"Santana," Rachel said. "How are you?"
"I'm good," Santana said. "I actually came over here to ask Kurt how he was holding up."
Kurt shrugged his shoulders. "I'm as well as could be expected, I guess."
"I know that we're not best friends, or anything," Santana said. "But Finn and I had a thing a long time ago. And he helped me realize that I shouldn't be afraid of loving Brittany. Finn is a pretty decent guy, and I just wanted to let you know that you can talk to me if you need to."
Rachel smiled. She and Kurt hadn't really interacted with Santana and Brittany very much. After all, they were theater geeks and she was a Cheerio. But she had always been cordial to them when they had seen each other in the hallways, and it was nice to see her offering support to Kurt now.
"Thank you, Santana," Kurt said with a real smile. He was touched by the Latina's offer. "I really appreciate it."
Santana reached over and squeezed Kurt's hand. Then she stood up and smoothed her skirt out, linking pinkies with Brittany. "Just don't go spreading it around, Lady Hummel. I don't want people coming to me with their problems, or any fuzzy shit like that."
Having gotten bored sitting around all day and watching television, Finn eventually met up with Rachel at school. He was leaning against the lockers as she was digging through hers. Kurt joined her, so Finn stopped talking and just watched his brother.
"Hey, Kurt," Rachel said pleasantly. "How are you?"
"I'm just glad that this day is almost over," he said. "I'm tired. And I'm going to visit Finn after school. I'm trying to convince the nurses to let me change him out of that hideous hospital gown, , but they say that he needs to say in it. It's ridiculous."
Finn just groaned and rolled his eyes, and Rachel had to stifle a giggle. "I'm sure Finn looks just fine in his hospital gown," she said in amusement.
"You would say that. You have a sweater with an owl on it. And I'll have you know that Blaine thinks that the hospital gowns are hideous as well."
This time, Rachel laughed. "I'll bet he does. I'm telling you, he has a crush on you." Every summer, Kurt and Rachel would volunteer at the local community theater. This summer, they worked with another senior who was attending Dalton Academy. Kurt was immediately smitten, and Rachel knew that Blaine had a crush on him, as well.
"Don't you dare get my hopes up, Rachel Berry," Kurt said. "I—"
He was cut off abruptly as Rick "The Stick" Nelson shoved him into the lockers. Rachel gasped as Kurt's books fell to the ground. He hit the lockers hard and slid to the ground. Rachel was on her knees in seconds, helping him to stand back up. Rick laughed as he walked away with his hockey teammates.
"Oh my God, Kurt!" she exclaimed. "Are you okay?"
Kurt lifted his chin and straightened out his shirt. "I'm fine," he said firmly. When he had first started high school, Kurt had gotten bullied pretty badly—especially by the football players. But Finn had stepped up and put an end to it. Since Finn was in a coma, Rick apparently thought that it was okay to go back to his malicious ways.
"I'll see you later, Rachel," Kurt said. He kissed her cheek and walked away. Rachel watched him go before she turned towards Finn. She let out a little gasp at the look of complete fury on his face. His fists were clenched, and he immediately started walking in the direction that Rick had disappeared to.
"Finn!" Rachel was glad that the hallway was empty, so no one could see her talk to him or reach out and grab his shirt. "Don't."
"Rachel, let go," Finn said darkly. "I need to go kick his ass."
Rachel tightened her grip on Finn's shirt. "I hate to break it to you, but you can't hit him. You literally can't hit him. I'm sorry."
An angry noise escaped Finn's throat before he suddenly disappeared.
Rachel looked up from her homework at the sound of Finn's quiet, deep voice. She dropped her pencil and stood up, walking over to where he was leaning against her bed.
"Finn." Rachel tried to think of something to say, but nothing really came to mind. Instead, she settled for laying her hand on his arm.
He looked down at where her hand was before he said, "I'm sorry I snapped at you earlier."
"It's fine," Rachel said immediately. "I understand."
"Yeah, well I don't." Finn sat down heavily on Rachel's bed and dragged his fingers through his hair. "It's been over two years since Kurt has been bullied like that. I don't understand why Rick thinks that it's okay to do it now."
Rachel sat down next to Finn. Their thighs pressed together, and she slid her hand over his knee. "Rick is just a bad guy, Finn," Rachel said softly. "You're not there, so he thinks that it's okay to be a jerk. It's not, but people like Rick don't understand that."
Finn's fists clenched tightly, and Rachel could see a vein pop in his jaw. "When I wake up, I'm going to bash his fucking face in."
"Finn." Rachel covered his tightly closed fists with her own hands. Her thumbs rubbed over the backs of his hands soothingly. It was no use to try and tell Finn not to beat the crap out of Rick Nelson, because Rachel was pretty sure that he was going to do it no matter what. But she could just try to be there for him. "It's going to be okay."
Finn closed his eyes and leaned forward, pressing his forehead against Rachel's. She closed her eyes too and prayed for Finn.
Rachel walked into the Hudmel kitchen and found Carole at the sink, washing the dishes from dinner. She was currently over for a sleepover with Kurt. They were just getting together with Mercedes and Tina Cohen-Chang to get Kurt's mind off of everything that had happened. They were having a mini-spa night and planned on watching plenty of musicals.
It looked like the Carole hadn't gotten a lot of sleep lately, and Rachel didn't blame her. Kurt had said that she had been spending many of her nights in the hospital.
"Hey, Mrs. Hummel," Rachel said. "Do you need any help?"
Carole shook her head and looked up at Rachel with puffy eyes. Despite how sad she obviously was, she smiled. "Oh, that's okay Rachel. You don't have to—"
"I don't mind." Rachel grabbed a dish rag and picked up the bowl Carole had just washed. "How are you?"
"I'm okay," Carole said quietly. "Not great, but… I'm okay."
Rachel's heart broke for the woman in front of her. She couldn't imagine watching her own child in the hospital. "I'm really sorry about what happened, Mrs. Hummel. "
"I didn't—I mean, I don't know Finn very well. But I've seen how he was with you. And I know that he's a good guy. I bet that Finn is fighting so hard to get back to you right now. He loves you, Mrs. Hummel."
Carole dropped the dish she was holding and engulfed Rachel into a tight hug. Rachel was surprised for only a moment before she hugged the older woman back. Looking over Carole's shoulder, Rachel could see Finn standing in the entranceway of the kitchen, watching them. A few tears trickled down his cheeks. When he made eye contact with Rachel, Finn gave her a small, soft smile.
"I can't believe you've never seen Funny Girl. This is a problem, and we need to fix it right away."
For the first time in days, Finn cracked a real smile. "Rach, it's not exactly the kind of movie that I typically go out of my way to watch. I'm more of a Braveheart and Die Hard kind of guy."
Rachel tilted her head. "What's Die Hard?"
Finn's mouth dropped open in shock. "Is that even a question?" he demanded. "Die Hard happens to be one of the greatest movies ever. Of all time. You know… 'Yippee-ki-yay, mother fucker!'"
"I don't appreciate your use of crass language. And am I supposed to know what that means?"
Finn threw his hands up into the air. "That's it. If you're going to make me watch Funny Girl with you, then we have to watch Die Hard. It's only fair, Rach."
There was a twinkle in Finn's eyes that Rachel hadn't seen in a very long time. It seemed as if he was actually having a really good time with her, and her heart swelled at the thought. It was nice to see Finn let go and relax for once. It was the whole reason she had proposed a movie night with him in the first place. He grumbled over the fact that he couldn't eat popcorn, but other than that, there hadn't been a dark spot on their night.
"If you insist," Rachel said dramatically. But really, she didn't mind it.
Naturally, Rachel couldn't keep from singing along. She always did when she watched musicals. Since Funny Girl was her absolute favorite, she could barely contain herself.
"Oh, my man I love him so.
He'll never know.
All my life is just despair,
But I don't care.
When he takes me in his arms,
The world is bright, alright."
Rachel finally came back to reality when she felt Finn's gaze on her. She turned to face him and saw his jaw dropped, his amber eyes wide with appreciation. When she stopped singing, he let out a low whistle.
"Damn, Rach," he said. "You're amazing."
Of course, Rachel knew that. Still… She trucked a lock of hair behind her ear. "You think?"
"Of course, Rachel," Finn said sincerely. He reached forward and grabbed her hands. It was so easy to pretend that he wasn't in a coma, lying in a hospital fifteen minutes away from her house. He was there with her, and he was holding her hand. "You're going to be a star one day. I just know it."
Rachel beamed at him.
Rachel couldn't keep the large grin off her face as she walked out of her last class. It was Friday, she was done with school for the day, and she already had all of her homework completed. This week had gone pretty well.
And then it wasn't.
Rachel gasped as she felt the cold ice of the slushy hit her in the face. She could only stand there in complete shock as someone (Rick, she knew) laughed loudly. His idiotic friends joined in, and then she heard their laughter fade as they walked away. Still, Rachel couldn't believe that she had just gotten a slushy facial. She hadn't had one since the beginning of her sophomore year (That was another thing that Finn had changed. He wouldn't stand to let anyone on the football team slushy anyone else. Eventually, the rest of the school followed suit).
Rachel felt a gentle hand on her back. It was Finn, she knew. She would know the feel of that hand anywhere. He guided her into the bathroom and grabbed several paper towels. He began to wipe at her neck as he tried to squeeze the excess grape slushy from her hair with her other hand.
"Jesus, Rachel," he muttered. "I'm so sorry."
Finally, Rachel came out of her slushy-induced shock. "It's okay," she said dully. She cleared her throat and spoke with a little more conviction. "It's not like it's your fault."
"Still." Finn brought his hand up and cupped her cheek, rubbing some of the slushy away with his thumb. "You don't deserve to be slushied. No one does."
Rachel shrugged her shoulders. "It's been a while, but I was used to it at one point. It was the norm for a very long time, Finn."
Finn winced. "I'm sorry," he said again.
Rachel reached for his fingers and squeezed quickly before letting go. "That wasn't your fault, either." And it was true. Finn had no control over the football team back when they had just been freshman. He tried his hardest to do the right thing, but he had been able to really make a difference once had had been made captain.
"I have a very specific slushy-cleansing regimen," Rachel said after a moment. "I stopped bringing it to school when I stopped getting slushied, so everything is at home. I'll meet you there?"
Finn shook his head and tucked his hands into his pockets. "I'll ride with you."
The ride back to Rachel's house was silent. Her fathers weren't home as she let herself in. She made her way to the bathroom, stripping off her blouse as she went. It left her in just a purple tank top, and she could feel Finn's gaze on her as she moved around the room.
She was further surprised when she felt Finn's large hands on her back again. He helped lower her towards the tub, and sat her on the stool she had placed in front of it. Taking the shower head off of its hook, Finn brought it down and began to wash Rachel's hair. She made a little noise of appreciation as his fingers combed through her hair gently. He found her shampoo (strawberries) and massaged it into her hair. He rinsed that out, too, and then turned the water off.
Rachel sat up and squeezed the excess water out of her hair. Finn's eyes, now dark, were trained on her. Finally, Rachel said, "You didn't have to do that, Finn."
Finn reached out and brushed her wet hair back from her shoulders. His fingers brushed down her neck and skated over her shoulder. She shivered at the touch; sometimes, she really couldn't believe that she was the only one who could touch Finn.
He gave her that gorgeous half smile. "I wanted to."
"Rachel, are you going out with someone?"
Rachel's head snapped towards Kurt in surprise. He and Blaine were watching her expectantly, waiting for her answer. She quickly recovered from her shock and tilted her head innocently at her friends.
"No, I'm not seeing anyone. Why do you ask?"
Kurt and Blaine exchanged a look before Blaine said, "You're always wearing this secret little smiles. It's like this guy leaves you a bunch of love notes, or something."
No, it's more like the guy likes to pop up randomly and say cute things to make her laugh (she stopped trying to convince herself that she wasn't falling for Finn Hudson a long time ago). "I hate to break it to you boys, but there are no love notes and there is no guy." Not technically, anyway.
"You lock yourself in your room all of the time," Kurt pointed out. "And it always seems like you're looking for someone."
"I'm not," Rachel insisted. Still, she crossed her fingers under the table. She felt a little guilty for lying to her two closest friends, but what was she supposed to do? It's not like she could tell them that, for some completely unknown reason, she could see and touch Finn Hudson even though he was in a coma. There was no way that they would believe her, and she didn't want to put Kurt through that, anyway.
She took both of their hands and squeezed. "I promise, if I were dating someone, you two would be the first to know," she assured.
Blaine and Kurt continued to look a little skeptical, but they nodded their hands and eventually changed the subject. Rachel let out a relieved breath. Crisis averted.
Rachel stepped out the shower and squeezed the excess water from her hair. The room was thick with the steam of her warm shower, but she had definitely needed it after the grueling dance practice she had just come home from. Now it was time to just sit back and relax.
She wiped the water from her eyes as she turned, looking for her towel. She let out an annoyed sigh when she realized that she had forgotten to bring one in the bathroom with her. Thankfully, her bathroom was en suite to her bedroom, so she didn't have to go very far for one. She opened the bathroom door…
…and promptly walked into Finn's chest.
Rachel was so surprised, she could only stare at Finn for a long moment. And he stared right back at her. Suddenly, Rachel realized exactly what her state of dress was… or undress, as the case was.
"FINN!" she shrieked. She hit his chest and attempted to cover her body with her hands. She was tiny, but her hands were tinier and they weren't exactly doing a great job of covering everything.
"R-Rachel," Finn stuttered, finally coming out of his stupor. He slapped his hands over his eyes and turned away. "I'm so sorry!"
Rachel let out another intelligible noise and ran towards her bed. She yanked the comforter off and cocooned herself in it, pulling it all the way up to her ears. She remained silent, and it felt like her whole body was on fire, she was blushing so profusely.
Finn finally thought it was safe to look. He peeked between his fingers and found Rachel completely wrapped in her blanket. He attempted to stifle a laugh, but he didn't really succeed. Rachel glared at him over the top of her comforter.
"It's not funny, Finn!" she exclaimed.
Finn only began to laugh harder, his body shaking so hard that he had to sink to the floor. Despite herself, Rachel started to laugh as well. Still, she threw a pillow at him. "Finn!"
He didn't look up from the football game he was watching. Rachel smiled and sat down next to him. Sometimes it scared her a little bit, but it was easy to imagine Finn sitting in a house of their own, watching a football game as she called for his attention. It scared her, but it made her feel good at the same time. It hadn't taken very much for her to fall for Finn Hudson. But he had too much on his plate right now to be burdened with her feelings. So she kept them to herself.
"Where do you sleep at night?"
It was a question that had been on her mind for days. Earlier in the week, Finn had disappeared right before she went to bed. She had spent the rest of the night wondering where he went to sleep; or, if he even slept at all.
Finn was staring at her. He obviously hadn't expected that question to come out of her mouth. Rachel stared right back at him, waiting for his answer.
"I go back to my house," he finally said. "I sleep in my bed, and I wake up when the rest of my family does."
Rachel could see the pain flash in Finn's eyes. He wanted to wake up—actually wake up—with his family, too. She shifted closer to him and took his hand in between both of hers. "Oh, Finn," she said softly.
Finn shrugged his shoulders and looked down at the clasped hands. "It's not a big deal," he said.
But she could tell that it bothered him. Before Rachel could even think about what she was saying, the words blurted from her mouth. "You know, you could sleep here, if you wanted to." Her cheeks immediately flamed bright red.
Finn looked at her with wide eyes, but Rachel didn't take her offer back. After a moment, his face relaxed into a smile. "I want to."
Later that night, Rachel crawled into her bed. Finn stripped off his jeans and sweater, leaving him in his t-shirt and boxers. He was wearing the same clothes he had worn the night of the accident; that never changed. He stood at the foot of her bed, watching her nervously.
Rachel patted the spot next to her. She pulled the covers back and Finn climbed into the bed. Rachel curled on her side, facing him.
Right before she drifted off to sleep, she could have sworn that she felt gentle lips press against her cheek.
Rachel arched her back and stretched as she slowly woke up. It had been two days since Finn had started sleeping in the same bed as her, and she had been getting some of the best sleep ever. It was nice to have him there, next to her. She just felt safe.
Rolling over onto her side, she saw that Finn was already wide awake. He was watching her with an unreadable expression in his amber eyes. Rachel opened her mouth to speak, but she was cut off as Finn's mouth suddenly pressed against hers.
Her reaction was instantaneous. Rachel melted into Finn's kiss, locking her fingers into his shirt as she tugged him towards her. Finn pressed one hand into the mattress, supporting his weight while his other hand cupped her cheek. His tongue swiped across her bottom lip, and Rachel's lips opened under his.
This felt good, right. She had had dreams about this, about the way his lips would feel on hers. And it was everything she had wanted… and more, probably. A warm feeling bloomed in her chest and spread all the way to her fingertips and toes.
She didn't know how much time had passed, but Finn finally pulled away. He pressed a kiss to the tip of her nose before he rested his forehead against hers. His calloused thumb rubbed across her cheek, and she kept her fists tight in his shirt.
"Rachel," Finn breathed. "I've been wanting to do that for so long." His lips ghosted up the bridge of her nose, across her forehead, and down her cheeks. "So long."
Rachel beamed at him and slid her arms around his neck, pulling him down again for another kiss. She could feel Finn smiling against her lips, and she dissolved into giggles as his fingers danced across her stomach.
"I can tell that you've wanted it, too," he muttered.
Rachel couldn't deny that. But still, she had to yank his chain a little bit. "You're awfully cocky, aren't you, Mr. Hudson?"
"Maybe." Finn pressed her into the mattress again, and his lips brushed across hers as he spoke. "But I'm totally right."
It was nice, having an invisible boyfriend. He could come into her room whenever she wanted him to, and they could spend as much time together as they wanted without her fathers knowing. That certainly came in handy when they fooled around (Which was often. Rachel couldn't keep her hands off of him. Apparently, Finn couldn't keep his hands off of her, either).
But there were times when Finn tried to use his invisibility to his advantage. Like now, when he pulled her into this empty classroom and covered her mouth with his. And Rachel was so addicted to Finn's kisses, so had trouble saying no.
"Finn, we shouldn't," she gasped as he pulled his lips from hers. But he only started kissing down her neck, completely undeterred by her half-hearted protests. His hands are at her hips, squeezing tenderly.
"Don't care," Finn mumbled. His teeth nipped at her pulse point and then his tongue soothed over the bite. Rachel vaguely wondered if he could leave a hickey, but she didn't really care. She tilted her head back and let out a quiet moan. It just felt so good.
Rachel dragged Finn's lips back up to hers. She kissed him hard, biting gently on his bottom lip before she pulled back. "It's going to look very odd if someone walks by and sees me making out with no one."
Finn smirked. "It'll look like you're having a very good time, though."
"Finn!" Rachel pushed gently at his chest, but he leaned forward and kissed her again. This kiss was gentle and tender. Rachel loved these sorts of kisses almost as much as she loved the deep, passionate ones. She felt as if Finn was really trying to convey his feelings through those kisses.
"I should probably go," Rachel said after a few more kisses. "I have class."
"School," Finn mumbled. "Who needs it?" He often worried that he wouldn't be able to graduate on time, whenever he did finally wake up. It had been almost a month since the accident. But Rachel promised him that she would help him. He was supposed to go to New York with her and Kurt, and she was going to make sure that he would end up there.
"Unfortunately, we all do." Rachel patted his cheek. "Come on. Come sit in class with me."
She opened the door and walked straight into Kurt.
Kurt raised an eyebrow. "What were you doing in there?" he asked.
"Nothing," Rachel said. She made her eyes go wide with innocence, calling on her superb acting skills. "My fathers called to check in, since they're away this weekend. I wanted to call them back." Even she was surprised by how good she was sometimes. She heard Finn let out an impressed noise behind her, and she suppressed a smile.
Kurt still looked suspicious. He peeked around her, trying to see if there was anyone else in the classroom. Of course, Finn wasn't visible to Kurt, so all he could see was an empty classroom. He relented and turned to walk to class with her, but he suddenly swept her hair back from her neck.
"Rachel Barbra Berry, is that a hickey?"
Rachel sighed. She was going to kill Finn.
"I'm going to head out," Rachel said. She was meeting Santana and Brittany for a shopping trip. Ever since that one day in the cafeteria, she had been hanging out with the Latina and her girlfriend more.
She bent and pressed her lips to Finn's cheek. He was watching a movie on the television in her room. He divided up his time with Rachel, attempting to keep up with his school work, and checking up on his friends and family. Every now and then, he would go check on his body. More often than not, his mother was in the hospital room. Finn said that it was too hard to see her like that, so he didn't spend very much time there.
Finn caught her wrist and pulled her back in for another kiss. Rachel smiled against his lips, and he squeezed her waist before he let her go.
"Bye baby," he said with that adorable half smile. "Love you."
Rachel was already out the door when she finally realized what he said.
After her shopping trip with Santana and Brittany, Rachel decided to go the hospital.
All of this time had passed with Finn, but she had never actually gone to visit him in the hospital. It had never really occurred to her, because she had Finn, talking to her and touching her. Why would she want to visit his comatose body?
Finn's parting words were still echoing in her mind. She should have gone back. She should have told him that she loved him, too. Because she really did. And she just… she wanted to see him. She could touch him, but she hadn't really touched him. She hadn't really kissed him.
By some stroke of luck, Finn's room was empty when she walked in. She brought some wild flowers from the gift store and fit them on his side table. Finally, she turned towards his body.
His bruises had faded, but the gash across his forehead was sure to leave a scar. His leg was still wrapped in the cast, but Rachel watched his chest rise and fall steadily. She took a deep breath before she reached out and brushed her fingers down the straight line of his nose.
Feeling tears burn in her eyes, Rachel continued down to his lips. With her index finger, she traced the outline of his lips. She bit back a sob that tried to rip from her throat and she leaned down, pressing her lips to his. His lips didn't move under hers, and it only made Rachel want to cry more. God, she loved him, and it just killed her to see him like this.
Rachel squeezed Finn's still hand and kissed him again before she stepped back. She was going to go back home, where Finn was sure to be, and she was going to curl up in his arms and tell him that she loved him.
She passed Quinn and Puck as she was leaving. They both gave her a strange look, but she didn't stop to talk to them. She had to see Finn.
Rachel ran into her room and was greeted with Finn's smiling face. He stood up. "Hey, Rach," he said. "I—"
But he never got the chance to finish. Rachel threw herself into his arms, gripping his shirt tightly. "I love you, Finn," she said as the tears began to spill over. "I love you so much."
He smiled, but his eyes were full of concern at her distress. Finn wrapped his arms around her and led her over to her bed. They sat down, and he tilted her head back so that she could look at him. His lips brushed over her forehead. "I love you, too, Rachel," he said. "But baby, what's wrong? Why are you crying?"
Rachel pressed her face into Finn's chest. She gripped his shirt even more tightly, reveling in the feel of his response to her touch. She loved the way he moved, the way his muscles rippled under her fingertips.
"I went to visit you," Rachel whispered.
Finn's brow furrowed. "Rach, I'm right here—"
"In the hospital," she clarified.
"Oh." Finn's lips pressed together. "I see."
"I just wanted to see you," Rachel explained. "But I hadn't known that it was going to be so hard to see you like that. I'm used to seeing you like this." She gestured between them, to the way her body was pressed up against his as he cradled her. Finn pressed a kiss to her temple, his fingers playing with the ends of her hair.
She didn't want to tell him that she was so afraid that he wasn't going to wake up. She didn't want to tell him about the fear of him dying, because it could still be a possibility. She had spent all of this time reassuring Finn, telling him that everything was going to be okay. She had to believe that now. She had to believe that Finn was going to wake up, because the alternative was just not an option.
"Rachel," Finn muttered. He bent his head and kissed her softly, lovingly. He took a deep breath before he said, "Everything is going to be okay."
Rachel let out a noise that was halfway between a laugh and a sob, and she kissed him again. Her lips moved frantically on his, her hands tugging his sweater and undershirt off. Finn's hands moved over her body, stroking and soothing. His lips followed, closing around her nipple, circling her belly button, sliding up the inside of her thigh.
Soon, all of their clothes were discarded. Finn's strong hands traced up her thighs, his fingers creating swirling patterns. Stroking his fingers between her legs, he asked her if she was sure. She nodded her head and told him that she loved him. He breathed back the words in return before he pressed into her.
Finn peppered kisses all over Rachel's face and neck as they moved together. Breathy moans and loud cries filled the room and then Rachel was falling over the edge, taking Finn with her. They lay wrapped in each other's arms, sweaty bodies pressed together.
Finn nuzzled his nose against Rachel's temple. "I think you're my soul mate, Rachel," he muttered.
Rachel hummed in appreciation as her eyes drifted shut. She really did love him so, so much.
Kurt smiled when Rachel approached the lunch table. "Hello, my darling diva. What can I do for you today?"
"Well… I was thinking," Rachel began. "Your brother likes music, right?"
Kurt nodded his head slowly. "He likes classic rock more than anything else, and he constantly plays the drums. Why do you ask?"
Rachel covered Kurt's hand with her own and squeezed. "I know that this has been hard for you. Music often makes you and I feel better, and I thought that it might work for Finn. They say that patients in a coma can hear you, sometimes."
Kurt grinned at Rachel and hugged her tightly. He was so excited by her suggestion that he didn't even question her about it. "That sounds like a fantastic idea, Rachel!" he exclaimed. "I'll call Dad, Carole, and Blaine, and we'll go right after school is over."
Kurt and Blaine had already sung their song. It was a touching duet, and it left Carole crying quietly while Burt wrapped his arms around her. It was Rachel's turn then, and she stepped up to the bed. She took Finn's hand in both of hers, holding it tightly.
"Right down the line it's been you and me.
And loving a music man
Ain't always what it's supposed to be.
You stand by me.
I'm forever yours,
As Rachel's clear, beautiful voice filled the room, Finn's fingers started moving. Rachel didn't even realize it was happening until his hand tightened around hers. She stopped singing abruptly and looked down at him with wide eyes.
For the first time in a little over a month, Finn's brow furrowed. Then, his eyes fluttered open.
Finn's eyes immediately connected with Rachel's. That wonderful half smile spread across his lips, and he managed to croak out, "Rachel."
Tears were streaming down her face, and she didn't even know it. Rachel clutched his hand tightly. He remembered. Everything that had happened between them… somehow, it had been real.
"Oh my God, Finny!"
Rachel squeezed Finn's hand before she stepped away and let his family rush up and surrounded his bed. They all fussed over him, and Rachel caught Finn's eye and smiled before she slipped out of the room.
Finn opened his eyes when he heard the door to his room open. Quinn and Puck entered the room, both of them looking decidedly guilty. Despite everything he knew, Finn smiled at them. He loved Rachel, and he was so, so happy with her. He was glad that Quinn and Puck could find that same happiness.
"Hi, Finn," Quinn said timidly. "We're so glad to see that you're okay."
Puck nodded his head. "Can't wait until you're back at it with us, Hudson. It's gonna be great."
Finn nodded his head and waited for them to say something. It was obvious that things had changed, but apparently neither Quinn nor Puck knew how to bring it up. Finn picked at his blanket and took a sip of his water.
Finally, Puck threw his hands in the air. "Hudson, we have something to tell you," he said.
"Right." Quinn nodded her head firmly and reached for Puck's hand. "We're… well, we're together."
Puck cleared his throat. "We have been for a while now. A long time, actually."
Finn stared at them for a long moment. He could definitely yank their chain a little bit. His face relaxed into a smile. "It's okay, guys," he said. "Don't worry about it."
Quinn and Puck stared at him before they finally relaxed. They both seemed to understand where Finn was coming from. It wasn't right, what they had done, but they had come to an understanding.
"It's been a while. I was beginning to think you had forgotten about me."
Rachel laughed at the pout on Finn's face as she entered his hospital room. She shut the door behind her and locked it. "I could never forget about you, Finn," she said. "You know that."
Finn gave her a wounded look to go with the pout. "You might have to remind me, actually."
Rachel made her way over to the bed and bent, pressing a light kiss to his lips. Finn groaned and weaved his fingers in her hair, bringing her mouth back to his. He kissed her deeply, his tongue plunging into her mouth as he pulled her onto the bed with him.
"I was scared that you might not remember," Rachel admitted as she snuggled into his side.
Finn combed his fingers through her soft hair. It still felt the same as when she had been the only one who could see him. But it felt different, too. They were really there, actually touching each other. "I could never forget you, Rach," Finn said. "I love you."
"I love you, too." Rachel pulled herself up and slung her leg over Finn's hips, straddling him. "I think I should show you how much."
Finn groaned as she pulled her shirt over her head. His hands slid up her sides before he unhooked her bra. His hands cupped her breast, thumbs rubbing over her nipples. Rachel moaned and ground her hips down into his.
Rachel leaned over to kiss Finn, and his hands slid down to rest on her behind. His thumbs slipped under the elastic of her underwear, and she lifted up so that he could pull them off. Her skirt came off after, and Rachel pushed his hospital gown up and over his head. Her fingers stroked down his hard length, and Finn groaned as his hands dropped to her hips.
"Rachel…" he breathed.
Rachel lifted up and sank down onto him. She pressed her hands to his abdomen and moaned. "Finn."
She started to roll her hips slowly. She leaned forward, pressing her lips against Finn's. It felt amazing to be like this, together for the first time for real. His hips thrust up into hers, his hand snaking between them to press again her sensitive bundle of nerves.
Rachel cried out and fell apart. A few thrusts later, Finn came hard, his hands gripping her hips. Rachel curled into his side, pressing her lips to his neck before she got up to get dressed. She helped Finn back into his hospital gown and unlocked the door before she climbed back into the bed with him.
"You're amazing, Finn," Rachel whispered.
Finn pressed his lips to Rachel's forehead. "I'm so lucky to have found you, Rach."
"So… uh… when did this happen?"
Rachel pulled back from kiss Finn. They were standing by his locker, and he was balancing on his crutches. It was his first day back at school, and people had already noted Finn and Rachel's new relationship. They had seen Quinn and Puck earlier, and the pair had simply smiled at them and nodded their heads.
Kurt was watching them with a raised eyebrow. He had his arms crossed and he was tapping his expensive shoe as he waited for them to answer. Rachel and Finn shared a look before they both turned to face Kurt.
"Well, Kurt…" Rachel tried to find the right words to explain their rather unique situation. There wasn't anything she could really think of to say that didn't sound absolutely crazy, however.
Finn just wrapped an arm around her waist and pressed a kiss to her temple. "Rachel and I are dating," he stated simply.
Kurt continued to stare at them. Finally, he shrugged his shoulders. There was an amused twinkle in his eyes. "Well, I can't say that I'm surprised."
Finn and Rachel stared at him in surprise. He just grinned at them. Kurt kissed Rachel on the cheek and patted Finn on the shoulder before he left.
Finn did end up graduating on time.
Their hats were thrown in the air, and Rachel was wrapped up in Finn's arms as he twirled her around. She squealed, and twined her arms around his neck. She kissed him, and both of them couldn't stop the grins that came onto their faces.
"We did it!" Kurt exclaimed as he ran over with Blaine. "We're finished with high school!"
"Finally," Finn said.
Carole, Burt, and Rachel's fathers came over with a camera then. "Everyone gather for a picture!" Carole said.
The four high school graduates gathered close, arms wrapped around each other. Finn kissed Rachel's cheek as the camera went off. He hugged her tightly, whispering in her ear, "We're going to New York by storm."
"Hello, Mrs. Hudson."
Rachel loved the sound of her new last name. She rolled over, pulling the sheets up to cover her chest as she faced Finn. "Hello, Mr. Hudson."
Finn pressed a kiss to the curve of her throat. "This is our first official day as a real married couple," he muttered against her skin. He kissed her again, and Rachel grinned.
"Six years ago, did you think that you would end up here?" she asked. "Back when I was the only one who could see you?"
"I was just thinking about that, actually," Finn said. His amber eyes bored into hers. "I think I figured out the reason for that."
"Oh really?" Rachel pushed Finn onto his back and straddled him, resting her hands on his stomach. "And what's that?"
Finn grinned at her as his hands came up to rest on her hips. "It was fate," he said simply. "We were meant to be together. You see me like no one else does, Rachel Hudson."
Rachel beamed at him and leaned down to kiss him. Fate had brought them together under the most unique of circumstances. But Rachel thought that even if the accident hadn't happened, fate would have brought them together, anyway. She and Finn were soul mates, after all.
Author's Note: I keep forgoing school work to write these, but I think it's totally worth it. Thanks for reading, and let me know what you thought!