A/N: Wow, so it's been a while since I've posted something on here and I've been working on this for quite some time and I figured I should post it before new episodes start. Anyway, I hope you enjoy! Thanks again to Michelle (thatsmyrealboyfriend on tumblr) for editing.
He spends the first night feeling sorry for himself, curled up under his blankets in his room, staring at the wall. And you know, he's allowed to feel sorry for himself for a few hours. He's got the TV going, but he's not really paying attention to it. There's a knock on the door and his mom peeks her head in.
"Hey, kiddo, I've got your laundry. Do you want me to just leave it on your bed for you to put away?" she asks.
"Um, sure, that's fine. I'll just put it away later, Mom," he mumbles back, trying his hardest to cover up the fact that he's upset.
He should of known that it wouldn't work, though. He swears that sometimes, his mom is physic because she just like, knows when something's wrong. But in a way, he's grateful for that.
"Okay… what's wrong?" she asks, giving him that knowing look. "Something's been… off since you got home the other day. And now you're in bed and it's not even five o'clock yet. Finn, is everything okay?"
"No, not really," well, there's no point in lying to her when she's making her Mom face. She's always been able to see right through him. Her eyes soften and she sighs as she walks over to the bed, setting down his laundry basket beside her.
"Do you want to talk about it?" she pats his leg and squeezes his ankle gently, that motherly tone in her voice, the soothing one she uses when she tries to comfort him, "I'm all ears."
"Not really. It was a really crappy day – actually it's been a crappy few months."
"Would this maybe have anything to do with the Army?" she asks softly and he looks away because he absolutely does not want to talk about this right now… or ever.
The next part is hesitant, "Or does it have to do with Rachel?"
"It's everything, Mom," he swallows, knowing that at any moment, he may start crying like a girl. "I just – I don't know what to do or where to go from here. Everything just- it sucks."
Carole sighs sadly and holds out her arms, "Come here."
"Mom –" he begins, wanting to just throw his blanket over his head and ignore her. He's practically a grown man now; shouldn't he be able to deal with his own problems already instead of having to rely on his mom?
"Don't 'Mom' me, Finn Hudson. Come here." She motions for him to scoot over to her, and he sighs, moving towards her before she wraps her arms around him, embracing him in a hug that he really needs. He buries his face in her neck and fights the urge to start crying. She's always had the ability to make him cry like a little girl. "You know, I'm really happy that you're home and that you're safe."
"Really?" he mumbles.
"Of course. I can't even begin to tell you how worried I've been for the last few months, Finn. I know you're going through a lot right now, but you're home with me and with Burt, and we both love you so much. And you need us."
"I know," He sighs, a tinge of guilt in his voice, "I've missed you guys," she breaks the hug and rests her hand on his forearm.
"I know you're sad, and that you miss Rachel but you guys can make the distance work. Your dad and I did it, and Burt and I have been doing it, and we're still happy. It may not be easy, but it's worth it."
"Rachel broke up with me, Mom," he almost whispers, looking down at his lap. "We can't make it work. We're not-we're not together anymore."
She looks shocked, her face carrying the same look that he's sure everyone else's will after they all find out. "What? When did this happen?" her eyes are full of worry and sympathy.
"Today. I um, I went to visit her and Kurt in New York a few days ago and sort of left without saying goodbye," she looks surprised at his confession. "And she flew here to find me and then she ended it."
"Oh, baby, I'm so sorry," he looks down again, nodding, feeling his eyes welling up with tears – all he's done lately is cry and it's frustrating him. "But, you know, maybe it's for the best. Maybe you guys do need to be apart for a while."
"I just don't want to be without her. But, I messed this whole thing up by being a coward," a tear slips down his face, and he quickly wipes it away. Where the hell have his balls gone? His mother opens her mouth to reply, but shuts it because she knows she should let him wallow. "And she found someone else when I was gone. I ruined it for us, Mom."
His mom puts her hands on his cheeks forcing him to look at her, "I'm sure that's not true, honey. If I know anything about your relationship with Rachel, it's that you guys will get through this. I think you two just need to focus on yourselves for a while. And when the time is right, you'll be together again. I know it."
Everyone keeps asking him how he's doing, and it's starting to get annoying. Yes, he and Rachel broke up, but talking about it until he's blue in the face isn't going to make him feel any better. More importantly, it isn't going to make her change her mind about it.
He misses her a lot, but she wanted this for them, and he isn't going to fight her on it. Maybe they do need to be apart for a while. He needs to get his sad, depressing mess of a life together, and she needs to be in New York, right where she belongs. He can't stay there and hold her back from her dreams, something he'd always been afraid of happening.
And who knows, you know? Maybe going back to Lima is exactly what he needs right now – he just doesn't want to be stuck here.
He's been working for Burt again – he said the job will always be there for him to fall back on – and he's been helping out with the school play at McKinley and also running the glee club for Mr. Schuester while he's on sabbatical. So, he barely has any free time anymore, but that's okay. He needed a job, and really anything to keep his mind off of Rachel. At least for a little while.
Mike and Mercedes came into town for a little while to help him do auditions for the play to help take a little bit of the weight off that was on his shoulders, but Mike had to go back to school and Mercedes went back to Los Angeles about two weeks ago. So now, it's just him running it all.
He can do it – well, he hopes.
He walks into the choir room, after working a four hour shift at the tire shop, just in time for glee practice. Tina and Marley are looking over sheet music for Grease and everyone else is talking amongst themselves.
"Alright guys, so I was thinking today I would give you some free time to memorize your lines, and work on your songs for Grease before we do our actual dress rehearsal tomorrow. You need all the time you can use to prepare for this," he announces as he sets down his binder on the piano. "So, let's move to the auditorium and get to work."
"Mr. Hudson?" Marley asks, raising her hand as everybody moves to leave the choir room. He's told her before to call him Finn because he's not exactly a teacher – but she said it's more respectful for her to call him Mr. Hudson. It just feels weird, okay? It makes him feel old, and he's not even nineteen yet.
"Would it be okay if Jake and I went out to the football field to practice 'You're the One that I Want?'" H
e knows they're dating, well that's what Tina and Sam told him when they were at Breadstix the other night, and he also knows that Jake is a Puckerman. But why would she be practicing with Jake if Ryder is playing Danny?
"I don't really think that's a good-," her face kind of falls like Rachel's does when you tell her 'no', but he tries his hardest to ignore it. Can everything and everyone stop reminding him of her?
"Guys, absolutely no field trips, alright? You can either stay in here and practice with the jazz band. Or you can go to the auditorium and practice with Brad. But do not, do not leave the building, okay? I don't want to get attacked by your teachers when you don't show up to their class."
Everyone groans and stalks off to the auditorium, "Trust me, I know how you feel, guys. I felt the same way a year ago, but those are the rules."
"Yes, Finn, we know exactly how many times you tried to skip class to fool around with Rachel. Please, please, don't remind us," Artie says, trying to make a joke and Finn glares at him. He really doesn't want to think about her. But, being in the place where they met and fell in love every single day doesn't help either.
"Artie," Tina scolds in a hushed tone – he just pretends he can't hear her. "Will you try to be a bit more sensitive to the guy? You know he doesn't want to talk about her, so stop bringing her up."
"I was joking!" he basically stage whispers back, and Finn rolls his eyes. "We're friends, I didn't mean to hurt his feelings." Finn opens his binder and pretends to go through the sheet music, while they bicker at each other.
He's just waiting for Tina because she's stage manager, and she's making the costumes as well, and she's also in the play, so they have to go over a few things. She's been a great help with everything, meaning the play, and she's also been a pretty good friend.
"Well, just try not to bring her up, alright? They just broke up, and you need to let him move on instead of joking about his relationship." Artie rolls out of the choir room and Tina turns to him. "I'm sorry about what Artie said. He was joking, but I'm sure it still stung." He whips his head around to look at her.
"Oh that? No, s'not really a big deal. I mean, it was a joke, and it's not like he said anything that was actually rude. And it was true – we used to try and skip class all the time. So like, you don't have to apologize for him. Not when there's nothing to apologize for."
"Finn, look, I know we weren't exactly best friends when you were in high school but, I like to think we're friends now and I know how much you love Rachel – you two almost got married for crying out loud. Those feelings don't just go away over night. And it doesn't help when your friends make jokes about it."
"I really just don't want to talk about this, okay? We should probably go to the auditorium before they all try to make a run for it."
"Have you at least tried to talk to her?" she asks and it earns her a sharp glare. "Take that as a no."
"She broke up with me, Tina. I'm not going to text her or call her and make happy conversation with her," Tina purses her lips and nods. "I just think it's better that she and I don't talk for now. But, seriously, I really appreciate everything you're trying to do,. You've been an awesome friend."
"Well like I told you, if you need me, I'm here – just as friend though," she says, and they both chuckle. She looks around to see that everyone left the room in the midst of their conversation. "So yeah, um we should probably go to the auditorium. I'm sure half of them are gone by now."
They both walk out of the choir room, spending their walk complaining about the weather change and how it's been so cold and the school still won't turn up the heat.
He kind of regrets not being close friends with her before he graduated, but better late than never. She's a really nice girl and a great friend – almost like a sister.
He finds out that Rachel is dating that Brody guy in the worst way possible. She doesn't tell him, not that she would since they haven't been speaking. But, the one day he actually decides to log on to Facebook when he has free time while he's still at McKinley, he sees she's changed her relationship status to "In a Relationship with Dumb Fuck." It takes all of his energy to not throw his phone across the auditorium or to leave a snarky comment on her status. Instead he writes, "I'm happy for you," just to let her know he saw it.
He tosses his phone aside and lets out a defeated sigh. He knew this is what this whole thing was about. She wanted to be with Brody, and he was in her way from the moment he showed up on her doorstep in New York. He should have known better.
His phone buzzes and it's a notification from Facebook.
"I'm sorry, Finn," is all it says and sadly, he knows she is. But, a huge part of him still wants to be with her even if she doesn't feel the same anymore. And an even bigger part of him wants to find Brody and punch him right in his humongous teeth.
Opening night is in two days, and honestly, he feels like he's going to shit his pants. This is a huge deal for him, and he's just waiting for something to go wrong. Dress rehearsal went off without a hitch, everyone knew their lines, all the words to the songs and everything went well. But, that doesn't mean that opening night is going to be so simple.
He's sitting at the table in the auditorium, tapping his pen against the table, staring off into space when his phone buzzes. It's from Kurt.
Please, please do not freak out or get mad at me, please. But, I'm in town to see Grease… and I brought Rachel with me.
And there's what's going to make everything go wrong, right there. He sighs heavily, dragging a hand through his hair. He doesn't want to see her, at least not yet. He's just- he's not ready.
Ok, he sends back to Kurt.
You're mad aren't you, Finn? I'm sorry. She just wanted to come with me, Kurt replies. He can't really be mad at Kurt. Or even her for that matter. He's just upset.
No, I'm not mad. Just – please don't bring her by the house when I'm there so you can play matchmaker. That's all I ask. And besides she has a boyfriend now.
I wasn't planning on it. She is going to the play though, I couldn't stop her.
He doesn't reply to Kurt because he's so upset and doesn't want to get in an argument with him for no reason. He runs his hands over his face and groans loudly.
"Hey, you okay?" someone asks and he turns around to see Tina standing there, holding her binder. "I could have been mistaken, but that sounded pretty close to a howl of murderous rage. And you look a little green."
"Yeah, I'm fine," Tina looks at him pointedly, and she obviously knows he's lying. "Okay, screw it, no, I'm not fine. Kurt's in town for Grease and, he brought Rachel with him." She walks over to the chair beside him and flops down in it, sighing.
"Oh, wow," she says.
"What? No words of wisdom?"
"I've got nothing," they share a laugh. "I'd say to avoid her like the plague, but that would mean I'd want you to run away from your problems. But, since this is going to be opening night of the musical, just act like you're busy and can't talk to her."
"What if she's at my house with Kurt?" he asks. "I don't want to be rude and ignore her."
"I'm sure nobody would blame you if you did ignore her. You're entitled to a little anger, Finn. You don't have to put on a brave face and make nice with her just because you feel like you have to. You're upset with her and you're allowed to be. Stop acting like you have to be strong all the time. Nobody's going to think less of you if you don't."
"I don't know, Tina," he sighs, rubbing his forehead. He hates being the bad guy.
"You're making this more difficult than it has to be. If she says hello, be polite and great her back. But, don't force a conversation with her if you don't want to," he nods, giving her a half hearted thumbs up. "Well, I just came by to drop off this binder before I leave for the night."
"Oh thanks," he says, taking the binder from her. "I'll let you know how it goes when I see you tomorrow."
"Okay, I'll see you later," she walks out of the auditorium and turns around to wave to him.
He finally gets home around five-thirty that night. He had to get in a few hours at the tire shop before he finally called it a night. He hears laughter in the dining room, and he thinks that maybe his mother invited people over for dinner. Tossing his keys down on the table, he walks down the hall to the dining room and there she is, in his house. And she brought Brody with her.
"Oh hey, Finn," Kurt greets him. "I didn't know when you were going to be home, so I saved you a plate. You can join us if you want."
"Yeah, no thanks," he answers, but he's too busy looking at Rachel, who's holding hands with Brody at his dinner table. He turns his attention to Kurt, "Um, I'll eat later. I'm going to be in my room. Let me know when they leave."
He quickly leaves the room and marches right up to his room. He flops down on his bed and tries not to scream into the mattress. The sight of that asshat and his Rachel- he can't help it; calling her that is a habit that he's still having a hard time to break, okay?- holding hands in his house, at his dinner table almost made him sick. There's a knock on the door and Kurt pops his head in.
"Finn," he says, sadly. "I need to talk to you."
"Sure, whatever, come in," he mumbles against his sheets, finally sitting up.
"You know, you really hurt her feelings," Kurt sits down on his desk chair. "She really wanted to see you."
"I don't care, Kurt. I can't believe you'd invite her and her new boyfriend over here for dinner knowing I'd be home," Tina was right; he's entitled to a little anger and he's really sick of Kurt putting Rachel before him.
"Actually, I didn't know you'd be home. Carole said you're at work a lot," Finn glares pointedly. "And she's my best friend, Finn."
"And I'm your brother," he practically shouts and Kurt's face falls. "But I guess you've suddenly forgotten that. And I'm really good friends with Blaine, but do you think I'd invite him and his new boyfriend over to our house while you were in town? Do you think I'd do that to you?"
"Finn that's not–" he starts, exasperatedly.
"No. God damn it Kurt, there are plenty of places for you guys to go eat in this town. Why didn't you just take them to Breadstix?"
"Because that's our place," Kurt says softly and Finn almost feels bad for a second. Almost.
"So you thought you'd bring them here? Where I live? I don't want to see her right now, I don't even wanna talk to her. She's moved on. We're done! We're not getting back together any time soon! So, just fucking leave it and quit butting in!" he knows he's yelling, and that she can probably hear him all the way downstairs but he doesn't care. He's done with trying to hide everything he's feeling.
"Fine," he sighs, realizing that he actually messed up. "I'm sorry for disregarding your feelings. But Brody suggested we eat here, and I was just being polite. I'm sorry."
"Of course he did," Finn laughs bitterly, looking down at his hands, feeling a lump in his throat. "I mean, why wouldn't he? He gets to throw his relationship with Rachel in my face. He got the girl and I didn't." Kurt steps forward, and Finn holds up his hand. "Can you please just- please get out, Kurt. I know you feel bad, but I really just want to be alone."
"Okay," he purses his lips, lets out a sigh, and turns toward the door. Finn flops down on his back, throwing a pillow over his face as Kurt shuts the door.
He's been pacing and chewing on his thumbnail for the last ten minutes. He's really nervous about tonight, but if he wasn't he'd be concerned for himself.
He turns around and Rachel is standing in front of him, with a gentle smile on her face, "Hi," she greets in a sweet tone.
He's trying to ignore the fact that she basically looks like a supermodel. She's wearing a tight black dress, with her hair curled (which he's always loved), and a pair of black high heels. She looks hot as always.
"Hey," he mumbles back, trying not to make eye contact with her.
"Are you nervous?" she asks, crossing her arms over her chest. "This is your big night."
"Kind of," he crosses his arms and turns his head away. Is it normal for things to be so awkward between them? "More terrified than anything."
"Well you're going to do great, and this show is going to be amazing. I know it," she's making it really difficult for him to be angry at her. She's always had a way of making his insides turn to mush.
"Thanks, Rachel," he smiles politely. "Hey, listen, I've got to go do something really quick before it starts, but it was nice seeing you."
"Oh," she raises her eyebrows, trying to hide her disappointment. "That's fine, I just- I wanted to see you before the curtain goes up. And to say break a leg." He literally feels his heart sink at her last words. Did she have to say that right now? After everything? He really needs to get out of here, now. It's too much.
"Thanks," he nods, biting his bottom lip. "I'll see you."
"Yeah, I'll see you," she mumbles back as he walks away.
The show goes off without a hitch. Marley and Ryder kicked so much ass – they truly were perfect for the roles of Danny and Sandy. It was perfect. Although, he couldn't help but let his mind drift to Rachel during 'You're the One That I Want.' It's theirsong.
He's sitting back stage when Tina comes racing towards him still clad in her pink ladies costume. "How awesome was it?" she laughs. "Tell me it wasn't amazing."
"It was great, you guys killed it!" he gives her a high five and grins. "I'm really proud of you guys."
"So, I have some news for you because I felt I should warn you," Finn motions his hands for her to tell him. "There's this guy talking with Figgins right now and he's saying that this was the best show McKinley has put on since West Side Story."
"You're joking." He's shocked.
"Not even a little bit, Finn. The guy was basically praising you for your work," Finn sighs. He really didn't think this would happen for him. "How are you not freaking out right now? This is huge!"
"I just – I am freaking out, really, but –" he spots Rachel in the crowd next to Brody, laughing at Sam, who seems to be doing an impression of someone. He looks away as he sees Brody wrap his arm around her shoulders.
"It doesn't feel right to be celebrating without her, does it?" she gives him a knowing look.
"Am I that obvious?" he asks with a laugh. Tina sits down in the chair beside him. "I just- this is something she'd be going crazy about. Yeah, when we were together a lot of our celebrating was over her achievements, but now something huge is happening for me – or at least it could be – and all I want to do is run across that auditorium to tell her. But, I can't. And it sucks, because she'd always be the first person I'd tell anything to – she was my best friend. And now she isn't."
"Maybe you should tell her anyway. She's here and she's not going to be for long," she encourages. "I think you should talk to her. She'll love to hear your news. I know Rachel, even if you're not together, she'll still be happy for you," someone yells for Tina to hurry up. "Oh crap, that's my mom. She and my dad are taking me out for a late dinner tonight. Remember what I said, Finn. Talk to Rachel."
"Okay, Tina," he laughs as she gives him a quick hug and kiss on the cheek. "See you tomorrow."
"Bye, Finn!" she almost shouts as she walks over to her mother. He grabs his keys and decides to go home and sleep. He had such as long day, and all he can think about is how tired he is. He walks off stage and out the backdoor to go to the parking lot, not even noticing Rachel looking at him in the crowd watching his conversation with Tina.
He slowly makes his way to his car, checking his phone to see a congratulations text from his mom and Burt, one from Kurt (who was at the show), and another one from his mom telling him that dinner is in the refrigerator. He finally gets to his car and unlocks the door.
"Hi," a voice says, and he practically jumps out of his skin. He turns to see Rachel leaning up against his car.
"Jesus, Rachel, you scared the shit out of me," his voice moves up an octave higher as he rests his hand on his chest. "You should know by now that you shouldn't sneak up on me. After what Burt did last Halloween…" he cringes at the memory of his stepfather standing by the truck in the dark, wearing a Michael Myers mask while he was taking out the garbage.
"Sorry," she mumbles, letting out a small giggle at the memory. Finn freakedout and didn't speak to Burt for almost a whole a day.
"How long have you been out here?" he asks.
"A few minutes. I um, I just wanted to tell you that the musical was amazing," she all but whispers to him. "I'm really proud of you, you know?"
"Thanks, Rachel. Means a lot. I feel pretty good right now. It was a good night, you know?" she nods in agreement, crossing her arms.
"You look happier. I mean, happier than you did a month ago," he sends her a half smile and notices that she's playing with the end of the jacket that she's wearing now. The awkward silence between them is getting ready to swallow him whole. "So, I know it's not really any of my business, but I just have to ask."
"What's on your mind, Rach?" he asks dropping his keys on the roof of the car before turning his full attention to her.
"It's stupid…" she murmurs, tucking her hair behind her ear. "And I know that you'll get mad."
"I bet it's not. Try me."
"Okay-I just… are you, you know seeing anyone? Because, I saw you with Tina a few minutes ago and I don't know, is something going on between you two? I just didn't think you'd move on so quickly…" She's starting to ramble, and he can actually feel himself getting angrier the more she speaks. She's mad because there's a possibility that he'd move on, when she started dating Brody not even three weeks after they broke up?
"Are you fucking serious right now, Rachel?" he blurts out and her eyes widen, because she knows she's upset him, and he never, evercurses at her. "Cause this has to be a joke. You're worried that I'm moving on too quickly, when you have a boyfriend and basically threw that relationship in my face when you were eating dinner at my house two nights ago. So, you know what, you don't really have any room to be nervous about me moving on when you obviously already have."
"This is why I didn't want to say anything," she mutters to herself as he stands there, looking down at her, expecting an answer. She doesn't think he's ever been this angry with her… okay that's a lie, but still. He's never really raised his voice at her.
"So, what, it's okay for you to be with whoever you want to be with and enjoy your life, but I can't? What am I supposed to do, Rachel? Tell me, what? Just wait around for you and feel all sorry for myself and cry because we're not together anymore? In case, you didn't notice, Rach, you're the one who ended it, not me. You can't just break up with me and then get upset that I may or may not have found someone."
"No, that's not what I'm doing, Finn," she looks like she's about to cry, but right now he's suddenly too angry with her and not even her tears can do him in. "You know me, I just-I'm worried about you. I don't want you to jump into anything too soon."
"What? Like you did?" She steps back in shock, her eyes wide. "And you don't need to worry about me, Rachel. In case you've forgotten, we're not together anymore. I'm not yours to worry about. And, for the record, there's nothing going on with me and Tina. Not that it's any of your concern, anyway."
"Who are you right now?" she's shocked and he kind of gets it, but frankly, he's too pissed to give a shit. He shrugs before moving to his car, avoiding her question, and unlocking the door and climbing in.
"Tell Brody I said hi," he slams the door and starts up the car, leaving her standing in the middle of the parking lot of their hold high school.
She's tried to text him and call him since their fight, but he's ignoring her. Kurt even called to tell him how ridiculous he's acting, but really, he's allowed to be mad. And he should have known Kurt would say that his behavior is ridiculous because he's upset. But, of course, when it comes to Kurt choosing between him and Rachel, he'll always have her back before his. So now, he's not talking to either of them. But seriously, isn't there some rule about how family comes first?
His phone buzzes again and it's Rachel… again. Finn, please just talk to me. I'm sorry about the other night. I shouldn't have gotten jealous. I can't handle you being so angry with me.
She almost does him in, and he's so close to replying and telling her it's okay. And it sucks, you know? Cause she's always had that affect on him. And a part of him does feel like he's mad over nothing, but a bigger part is so pissed because she got jealous about him possibly moving on (even though he's still so hung up on her) when she has a boyfriend. He tosses his phone aside and turns back to his sheet music.
He's sitting in his room at his desk, going through songs they could possibly do for sectionals, because now that the musical is over with, it's time to get down to business.
He hears a knock and muffled, "Finn, I'm coming in so you better be decent," from his mother. She has her hands behind her back and a smile on her face like she knows something he doesn't.
"I have something for you," she teases. "It's a letter."
His eyebrows raise because the only mail he's been getting are the stupid ads reminding him to vote and his car insurance. "From who?" he asks.
"NYU…," she replies, trying to hide the grin on her face.
"Are you serious? But, why would they send me something? I've never even applied there. Or thought about it," he sits up quickly and takes the letter from her hands as she hands it to him. It's already open, so he knows she read it. He skims over it reading the first few lines. "Holy shi-Mom. This guy saw the musical, and he loved it. He wants me to apply."
"Finn, this is amazing! I'm so proud of you," she watches his face fall and she sighs. "You know, you don't seem very happy about this Finn. This is such a huge opportunity for you, honey."
"I'm not sure if I should apply. I mean, why bother?" Carole sighs heavily and flops down on his bed. "I know I won't get in."
"Finn, you can't just be afraid to apply to one school because you didn't get into Pace. I know that that was really hard for you, but this guy spoke with Figgins and he wants you there. Sweetheart, when someone is personally asking for you to go to their school, Finn, I'd say you have a pretty good chance of getting in."
"But, my grades weren't even that good, Mom. I mean, yeah, last year they were pretty decent, but isn't that a big part of getting into school? That could make or break me. Why apply when I just- I knowI won't get in? It's NYU. It's not like I'm applying to Kent State."
"Please don't sell yourself short, honey. You are so talented, and you don't give yourself enough credit. That school would be lucky to have you," she always knows what to say – but that's what she's supposed to do. She's his mom, you know?
"I don't want you to be stuck here, running that glee club and working at Burt's, because that's all you felt like you could accomplish. If you pass this up now, in five years, you're going to regret it. Finn, you can't live the rest of your life thinking that you can only live up to the bare minimum. You're better than that, honey."
He nods pursing his lips as she stands up and approaches him. She puts her hands on his cheeks and makes her look at him, "I don't want you to have any regrets when you're older. I want you to do everything in your power to get to where you want to be. Let's face it, you're not happy here. You haven't been and, you can put on a smile and act like you are but you're not, baby. And that's okay. You want to be in New York with Rachel. And this guy is giving you that chance to be the man that you need to be for her. For the both of you. Just like you always wanted. How could you possibly say no?"
"Okay," he nods, smiling as she grins. "Okay, you're right. I'll apply. It'll be good for me."
She hugs him tightly while laughing- like she always does when she's this excited- because she's so happy and then kisses him on the forehead.
"Mom, can you do me one favor though?" he ask in quiet voice.
"Of course, honey. What is it?"
"Can you, you know, nottell Kurt until I know for sure? I kind of don't want Rachel to know that there's a chance that I'll be living there soon, and Kurt's kind of known for being a blabber mouth."
"Oh right, of course. This is your news, I'll keep it myself, I promise," she pretends to zip up her mouth, lock it and toss away the key. He hums out a laugh because his mother is actually a child sometimes. "My lips are sealed."
"Thanks, Mom," she nods and walks out of the room. He glances at the application in his hands and sighs heavily.
He can do this. He knows he can.
For Rachel. Suddenly, he's not so mad at her anymore.
"So wait, you're going to be leaving? When? And, just like that? Finn, we don't have another glee instructor, you can't just leave! We needyou." Tina is about ten seconds from having a nervous breakdown as she sits across from him. He just told her that he filled out the application for NYU, and she didn't take it quite well. It surprises him, actually.
"Tina, Tina! Would you calm down for a second, and let me finish what I was saying?" she nods her head and crosses her arms. "Yes, I applied to NYU, but I'll still be directing glee club until Mr. Shue gets back. I wouldn't be leaving until next fall, but I don't even know if I've gotten in yet. Don't get ahead of yourself, okay?"
"Okay," she nods, the wheels in her head clearly turning. "I sorry for freaking out, Finn. I mean, my first thought was glee club. And that must make you think that I'm not happy for you. But, I am. This is amazing!"
"I know," he agrees, smiling at her. "But, I don't want to like… jinx it or anything. I haven't really told anyone. Well, besides my mom – she actually read it before I did and then talked me in to applying."
"This is so great," she jumps up from the chair and reaches across the desk and hugs him. "I'm really happy for you, Finn."
"Thanks, Tina," he replies as she pulls away.
"So, when are you going to tell Rachel?" she asks, and he feels his face fall.
Sectionals is an easy victory, but it doesn't make it any less thrilling for him. The musical was such an awesome victory for him as well, but leading New Directions to a sectionals victory topped it all. He feels like he can do anything – like he's on top of the world.
But, he still hasn't spoken to Rachel – she probably thinks he's still pissed. He isn't, though. Yeah, he was mad at her for jumping to conclusions and acting like a jealous girlfriend, but getting that upset wasn't worth it. And he still misses her. He's always going to miss her, no matter how pissed off he is at her.
Thanksgiving and Christmas pass very quickly and before he knows it, Mr. Shue is back at McKinley, ready to lead the glee club to Regionals. He's kind of sad it's over and that it was so short-lived, but he knew it wasn't going to be a permanent job, and he was happy to help Mr. Shue out for the short amount of time that he was there to fill in.
He finally feels whole and happy, well for the most part, but he still doesn't have everything he wants.
The day an envelope from NYU comes, he's scared shitless. This is really it, you know? The moment that he's been waiting for, and he feels like he's going to throw up.
Suddenly, it's like he's back in the choir room in May opening that letter from Pace and finding out his dreams had been burned before he could even begin. He just- he can't open it. He's so scared that it's going to be a no, and he can't handle another rejection.
He doesn't even realize he picked up his cell phone to call Rachel until he hears her quiet, hesitant voice, "Finn? Is everything okay?" she asks, concern evident in her voice.
"Rach, hey," he breathes out. "I'm really sorry to bother you but, I'm kind of freaking out right now and I really need yo – someone to talk to."
"Okay. What's going on? I'm all ears," he knew he could count on her.
"Alright, I haven't really told anyone because I didn't want to jinx it, but I applied to NYU," she lets out a small, surprised gasp as he continues. "And, I just got a letter, and I'm about to find out if I got in or not. Rach, I really- I can't open it. I feel like I'm going to throw up, it's like I'm back to where I was a few months ago and I can't –"
"Okay, okay, okay, Finn, just breathe. You don't know what it says yet because you haven't opened it, so please calm down before you have a panic attack," he lets out a heavy sigh, and his stomach is in knots. "I'll stay on the phone with you while you open it. You know, for moral support and such."
"Okay," he takes a deep breath and flips the envelope over tearing it open with shaky hands. He closes his eyes for a moment as he unfolds the paper between his finger tips.
"Well, what does it say?" she sounds nervous and excited for him. He opens his eyes and begins to read the first sentence out loud.
"Finn Hudson, congratulations, we are pleased to inform you that you – I got in," he whispers in disbelief, feeling a tear slip down his face. "I got in! Rachel, I got in! I can't believe it."
"Finn!" she laughs out of complete happiness, and he really wishes she was with him at this very second. "That's so amazing. I'm so proud of you!"
"Thanks, Rach," he can't stop smiling. "I can't believe it. I mean, I didn't think this would actually happen."
"You deserve it, Finn. You deserve it more than anyone else I know. I am so happy for you," it's silent for a few moments, and he lets out a happy sigh. "And don't even bother looking for a place when you move here, there is plenty of room at the apartment with Kurt and I."
"Really?" he asks, surprised. "But, what about Brody? Won't he have a problem with your ex living with you? I mean, that's not exactly comforting for the guy."
"Brody and I broke up, Finn," she doesn't even sound sad when she says it.
"Shit, I'm sorry, Rachel. What happened?" he's not sure if it's his place to ask, especially after how their last conversation ended. But, he loves her and he knows she'll talk to him about it.
"It just didn't work out," she mumbles. "He's so obsessed with his appearance, and he's more boring than a potato. I think the reason I was so interested in the first place was because he was older and good looking, but that's all he has going for him. And not to mention, there's some sort of creepy… tension between him and Cassandra."
"I never liked that guy. Still don't," he laughs.
"Trust me, Finn, I know why you didn't like him," she chuckles too and he grins. He hears his brother in the background saying something about dinner. "Finn, I'm really sorry, but I have to go to dinner with Kurt. Thank you for calling me, though. It was so great to hear from you."
"Okay, that's fine, have fun ba – Rachel," that was a close one, they've only been talking for not even ten minutes and a 'baby' was seconds from slipping out. "I'll call you later in the week to talk if you want."
"That's perfect. Okay, he's snapping his fingers at me. Bye, Finn!" she hangs up quickly.
Everything has finally fallen into place.
He moves to New York in May, after saving up a little bit more and planning everything out accordingly. Kurt and Rachel were unbelievably happy that he took Rachel up on her offer and decided to move in with them. It'll just be different, to say the least. He doesn't know where their relationship stands, especially now that Brody is out of the picture and now that he is living with her.
He finally gets settled in when Kurt decides that they need to go out and celebrate because Finn, the missing part of the trio, is finally here. Finn suggests that they go to Callbacks again, and Rachel's hesitant at first, because of how it ended last time.
"I promise I'll sing with you this time, Rach," he says to her and she caves and Kurt rolls his eyes because they're not even together and they're still grossing him out.
Rachel's been acting different all night, she's been really flirty and happy and smiley, and it's nice seeing her so happy. She asked him if he'd sing a Taylor Swift song with him – and he fought her on it for a solid twenty minutes because he's a guy and he doesn't understand her – but she made him listen to the song and he agreed.
The entire club applauds and cheers for them when they finish their song. It feels great to finally be singing with her again. He's missed it terribly. She suddenly announces that she's going to the bathroom and that she'll be back, so he goes to the bar to get drinks for the two of them.
He stands by the bar, patiently waiting for Rachel to get back, when Brody of all people walks up to him, holding a beer bottle in his hand. The guy looks like he's tanked. Finn desperately tries to avoid eye contact with him because he absolutely does notwant to have to throw punches.
"I do have to say, what a great performance," he slurs at Finn. "I mean, who knew you were such a great performer? I didn't. Certainly surprised me."
"Look, Brody," he really doesn't want to fight with the guy, especially not when Rachel could come out of the bathroom any minute. "I don't have a problem with you. Seriously, no hard feelings."
"Too bad there are hard feelings," he spats, venomously. "Singing a song with my ex girlfriend in front of me is a really insensitive thing to do to someone."
"It's not a great feeling, is it?" Finn snorts, because is he really that stupid? "Knowing that you basically lost someone you really care about to a grade A douchebag?"
The bartender is watching them closely and so is this huge guy behind Brody (isn't this a place for theater kids? He doesn't even look like one), knowing that Brody's probably going to end up getting them both kicked out.
"I hope Rachel knows what she's doing by getting into this with you again," he's getting too close, and Finn can smell the alcohol on his breath, and tries his hardest not to gag. "You're a loser and you're always going to be one. If she doesn't know by now that all you are is an anchor from her past, then the chick's fuckin' crazy."
Finn closes his eyes, exhales and tries to remain calm.
"Look, asshole" and then next thing he knows, Brody's throwing a punch. He's head snaps back at the impact of the kid's fist hitting his jaw and now he's just pissed off. Finn retaliates quickly, punching him in the stomach a few times. The bartender is racing towards them, having jumped over the counter and the guy that was just behind Brody is running toward them as well.
But, it's too late by the time they get there. Brody reaches for his beer bottle and smashes it over Finn's face before he even realize's what the guy's doing. The rest of it's kind of a blur after that. He's lying on the ground, clutching his cheek, and he's pretty sure he's bleeding. Did the asshat really have to do that? The music has stopped, and the entire club is freaking out. The bartender and the guy grab a hold of Brody, and he hears someone say the cops are on their way. But, all he hears is Rachel as she sprints across the bar to him.
"Finn! Finn!" she says in a frantic voice as she kneels down beside him, resting her hand on his shoulder as he lies there on his side. "Oh, god! You're bleeding." He can't really make out what she's saying because he suddenly feels really dizzy and he can't keep his eyes open and now, he just wants to sleep.
Rachel wakes up around one the next afternoon, they didn't get back until almost four in the morning and they both went right to bed. Kurt's sitting on the couch, feet propped up on the coffee table. He notices her and smiles sadly.
"Morning sunshine," he whispers as she makes her way to the couch and rests her head on his shoulder. "How is he?"
"He's okay, thank god. He had to get a few stitches but thankfully that was it," she sighs heavily against Kurt's shoulder. "I can't even believe Brody. To go and start a fight with Finn, drunk out of his mind, I mean. The bartender said Finn was really calm and even tried to make peace with him but it didn't work. At least, he got thrown out of the bar. And I know they still have him in custody."
"Well, at least Finn's okay," Kurt says in a reassuring voice. "Although, it's not exactly an ideal 'Welcome to New York' weekend."
"You're telling me," she snorts – she feels sobad for Finn. Kurt's phone buzzes and he checks it, groaning as he finishes reading it.
"Okay, I've got to go. Isabelle needs me right now, and it will probably be a late night," he stands up and grabs his bag. "Just please text me or call me if you need me, okay?"
"Of course," Kurt waves as he walks out the door.
She smiles to herself because all she can hear in this silent apartment is Finn's breathing. This was certainly not the way she was hoping to reunite with him – not even close.
She slips back into her bedroom and grins at Finn, who's sprawled across the bed, sound asleep. She climbs in beside him, pulling back the comforter and lies beside his very, very warm body. His cheek looks pretty bad, but it might be the stitches that make it appear so. Although, it's still kind of swollen, but not as bad as it was in the emergency room the night before.
He shifts closer to her, draping his arm across her middle, mumbling something unintelligible, and she lets out a giggle. Her fingers drift through his hair, and she has to stop herself from pressing a kiss to his cut up cheek.
They're not together; she can't act all coupley with him when they're not a couple. She rolls over on to her back, when he stirs quietly beside her. She hears him groan into the pillow and then a quiet "ow" following right after.
"Morning," he mumbles out against the pillow as she turns to face him again.
"Actually, it's more like good afternoon," she giggles. "It's almost two."
"I guess that's what happens when you have to spend an entire night in the emergency room after a bar fight," he says, bitterly. "I'm sorry for ruining our night."
"No, no," she holds up a finger. "You didn't ruin last night. That drunk… moronruined it. And almost made you go blind. Seriously, what is up with people throwing stuff at our eyes? First Blaine, now you. We all should start wearing eye patches or sunglasses for protection."
Finn chuckles beside her, reaching over and brushing away the hair that just fell in front of her face. She swallows, nervously. It's so easy to just fall back into the same patterns with him. It's almost like they haven't spent a day apart.
"I'm going to go make some lunch, do you want anything?" she squeaks out, needing to get out of the room before she caves in and has her way with him.
Quickly leaving the room, she walks out to the kitchen and starts going through the cupboards to find something to make.
"Is everything okay with you, Rach?" Finn asks as he follows her. She turns to look at him and sighs. "You're acting strange."
"Yeah, I'm fine," she mutters. "I'm just looking for food." He walks up behind her and rests his hand on her shoulder.
"Why are you avoiding eye contact with me?" he asks, confused. "Is my cheek really that bad? I mean, I know it's kind of swollen and purple, but –" She turns around to face him and crosses her arms.
"I just – we're not together, Finn," she blurts out, and his face falls. "We broke up and yet, ever since you've gotten here we've been acting like a couple. We've been sleeping in the same bed, we've been singing together, and we almost kissed five minutes ago. It's just- it's so easy to fall back into the same old patterns with you because we were together for so long, but we…I – I just don't –"
"Is it a bad thing that this is happening?" he asks her. "I don't – I can't tell if you're upset or what here."
"And you know, last night, while I was in the bathroom, before Brody went completely crazy, I was convincing myself to make a move. To just go for it and put myself out there because it's you. And I miss you somuch. But, I don't know Finn, we did break up for a reason. And it would be stupid to go back on everything I said to you in that auditorium."
"Rachel," he breathes out. "I really, really miss you. I have since you walked out of the auditorium after you broke up with me. But, I respected the fact that you had a boyfriend, and I gave you your space, but I'm here now. And your boyfriend's gone. And we're living under the same roof. If you don't want to be with me, we can just be friends – who live together and share a bed."
She nods, looking down at her feet.
"We could be friends," she says to him, and his face falls because she knows he wants more. "But, we don't have to be. Finn, I wantto be with you. I'll always want to be with you. And if we stay friends it's just going to be torture for the both of us, especially if we're roommates."
"So, what does this mean?" he mumbles as she stands on her tip toes, wrapping her arms around his neck.
"Finn Hudson, do you want to go steady with me?" she asks him, laughing as she presses a kiss to his nose.
"Rachel Berry, you've been watching too many old movies," he replies, tickling her sides. "But, I'd love to. You didn't even really need to ask me."
"Be quiet, and kiss me already."
"Okay," her voice is barely audible as she brings his mouth to hers, finally kissing him. And now everything is finallyperfect.
He's at NYU and he's already been doing a lot of stage work with the plays and musicals. And she's been working her butt off at NYADA preparing for her very first musical. Everything's sort of fallen into place for them, and they couldn't be happier.
Finn proposes again that Christmas. This time around, she says yes before he can even finish asking. Joy practically radiates off of her, and she can't believe that it all finally worked out. Sure, it took a while, but she's in New York with her best friend and the love of her life.
Just like it should have been all along.