A/n: Okay, so this was a prompt for Finchel month, but I got behind on the slack and I do apologize. If you are interested in seeing any of the pictures of the wedding hall/dress/anything, just message me and I will give you my tumblr so you can see! Enjoy the prompt. The song is A Thousand Years, part 2, from Breaking Dawn!
He had been so tired lately. Planning a wedding, working full-time, and even trying to finish the last of his schooling was taking a huge toll on him. He couldn't believe this was the day. He had never thought he would have come this far. New York City was always a distant dream of his, the fact that he lived there now, it was overwhelming yet exciting at the same time. It was still exciting after five years and if you asked Finn Hudson were he would have been five years ago, he might have said Lima or worst. He really didn't like thinking about the past, but it was the building block of the future. Everything happened for a reason, right? Kurt and Rachel both lived by that motto and to be frankly honest, he hated it at first. Finn was left back in Lima with his thoughts and his heart broken.
He knew what Rachel did was only right for him. He was lost and confused having no sense in direction. He had shot himself in the leg in the army, being discharged. It was an accident. He knew that most people back home thought it was his cowardly way to get out of the army, but in full truth it was an accident. Finn came to New York with every intention of being with Rachel, but when he actually saw her in her element, he knew he didn't belong. That's when life took a huge turn and not for the better. Rachel broke it off so they could both find themselves, but to him that felt far worst then being lost in the world. His entire world revolved around her and she was gone. That's where Mr. Schue came in. He gave him a job with the Glee Club and the school to direct the musical and even help them with Sectionals. It was then he felt like some things were falling into place. The musical opened up so many possibilities for his dreams. His dreams had been scattered all across the map when he first started school.
His first dream was football. He always thought he would be the big shot playing Quarterback at Ohio State University leading the school to a national championship, but apparently he wasn't as good as he thought he was. He was really lost after that dream. Rachel said they would make new ones and at that point he wanted all his dreams to be shared with her. That's a reason he proposed to her. Because he loved her, he would always love her. Then there was PACE and New York City. He thought he wanted to be an actor. He loved playing Brad in Rocky Horror and after watching Saturday Night Fever, he thought his calling was acting. He applied to PACE to get himself to New York City with Rachel. After being declined, it broke his heart. He really thought his calling was acting but he knew it wasn't. So he knew where is heart was, the army. He never wanted to tell Rachel because he knew she would talk him out of it. He didn't want her to be stuck in Lima like he would be. She needed to go to NYADA. That's where she belonged.
Finn spent weeks upon weeks after the break up trying to find himself. He threw his mind and body into the musical at McKinley so he could keep his mind off of Rachel but Grease was making it hard. Finn eventually found his passion. Well, two passions if you thought about it. He enjoyed directing, but he also enjoyed teaching. He really didn't know what to do. First he didn't have any dreams, now he had two. He actually tried turning to Kurt for advice. Kurt was like his own personal Buddha. Kurt suggested a load of things. LA, they had great directing schools and he could minor in teaching. Finn had to thoroughly think it through. As much as he loved teaching people, directing was his real passion. The things he felt when he watched a musical he directed come to life, it gave him chills. Part of him knew that Kurt was keeping him from New York for a reason; he didn't want to mess up Rachel's life. Though he knew it was ultimately his decision, he had to think with her best interest at heart. He didn't want to waltz in and ruin the life they were living in now. He surprisingly sought comfort in someone he never thought he would.
While subbing for Mr. Schue, he had to take New Directions into sectionals, where he saw Jesse St. James. He was still the coach of Vocal Adrenaline. He didn't get the boot like Rachel said he thought he might get, but he was still on edge. He came to New Directions sectionals to scope out the competition. Many people thought that Finn still hated Jesse, but the squashed that rivalry a long time ago. Jesse had actually been more civil then he had ever been before. Complemented him on the nationals win that they had gotten the year before and how Finn's voice had gotten better since he last saw him. He even mentioned how he doesn't dance like a zombie who has to poop anymore. They grabbed coffee, even though Finn wasn't a big coffee fan, and the rest became history. Jesse and Finn were friends. No Rachel coming between them. Just friends. It felt good to him to have someone in the area to talk too. Kurt was in New York City, Puck was in LA, and who knew what Santana was up to anymore. Jesse was his source of friendship. So, when Finn brought up reapplying for school, Jesse helped him weigh out the opinions.
LA was usually known as the city of dreams for a lot of people. Actors galore walked the streets and musicians strived for a life but they had one of the country's best directing schools, Los Angeles Film Academy. Well, that was according to Jesse. Some of his friends traveled there after graduating who attended the school. Finn knew he had to apply, so he was going to do it. The only other school's he was interested in was NYU and New York Film Academy, both schools in the city that he was trying to avoid. Jesse tried to convince him to do it for himself and not for Rachel. So what Rachel was in New York City, he deserved to have dreams too. Finn deserved to be in whatever city he wanted. So with those words of encouragement, Finn applied to all three schools with the hope that someone would accept him.
And now he was here, in New York City, five years later.
Rachel Berry's heart had always been in Lima with Finn. Even though she loved New York City, it didn't seem the same without him. Kurt said that as we get older, we have to move on. It was really hard for her to do that. It had been a little over five years since high school ended, since she and Finn went through the biggest test in their relationship, and since she decided she wasn't a little girl anymore. Her life now was completely different then it had ever been. She was working full-time on Broadway and planning her wedding as well. Though her dreams were coming true now, it was much different five years ago. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, so people say, but for her it just broke her heart.
When she let go of Finn, she felt what he felt when he put her on that train to let her go; heartbreak, suffering, and loneliness. NYADA was somewhat everything she every thought it would be. The dorms suck, the classes were really hard, and the people were nothing like they were in Ohio. She knew that the pace of New York was mostly the reason for the change, but she didn't realize how heartbroken and homesick she would be until she felt it. She thought she sought a friend in Brody Weston, though that turned out to be nothing but one big ruse. Kurt and Isabelle tried to change her style; she slipped and made a mistake by kissing Brody, and ended up break Finn's heart all in the process. After leaving Lima to Finn, she came back to New York City with the hope that she could find herself and learn to love life again. She worried about Finn each day. She wanted to text him, tweet him, even call or Facebook him to make sure he was okay, but life became so much harder when Kurt stopped her. She focused on school and even went back to Lima for Grease to see what Finn had been doing. She was so proud of him. He was finally falling into place. She could have never imagined him wanting to be a director but he did such an amazing job at it.
Kurt told her that Finn was looking into schools. He had three he was settling on, two of which were in New York. Rachel's heart leaped in happiness for a brief second. The thought of Finn moving to New York and studying what he loved, it made her smile. Maybe it was about time for everything to fall into place, but then Kurt told her that LA was high on his list of schools as well. It hurt her to know that he was considering going to a school that was the furthest you could get from New York. The holidays flew into a blur and she became settled into her life, settled into a life without Finn. Rachel Berry was living out her dream in New York City and that was all that mattered. Yet, now she was standing in front of a mirror in her dress, about to marry Finn Hudson.
He had only been in New York for twelve hours and his life was a disaster. Though he had secured housing at the dorm-style apartment building named 1760, he didn't know how well this was going to work. His tuition covered it and luckily he got enough financial aid to cover for his school and dorm living. The building itself had actually been really great. It had 24-hour security so he was always safe and the rooms were fully furnished which made moving ten times easier. The dorm had free internet and free phone service for when he got home sick and wanted to call his Mom. It had everything from full size kitchens to a gym. He really thought it was heaven. His decision to pick New York Film Academy was starting to be one of the best decisions he had ever made. He was sharing a large triple room with two other guys who were also on the directing path as he was. David Jackson was a producing director major from New Orleans who lived on Cajun food and Saints football. The other roommate was Michael Dobson who was born and raised in LA but was very quiet and down to earth. He thought he could fit in really well with them. Carole and Burt drove with him to bring what he could in the SUV and they helped him move his stuff in before going to visit Kurt on the opposite side of town. He was left to get settled into his new life.
Finn honestly didn't know what life was going to be like in New York City. Sure Kurt and Rachel lived here and sure they were all on talking terms, but it had been a little bit under a year since all of them parted. Rachel was a sophomore at NYADA and Kurt applied to Parsons School of design with the help of his boss from Vogue, not to mention Blaine was now a freshman at NYADA, though he was dating Sebastian. They were all going in separate ways in life. The way he thought it would be. Rachel and Finn had been on talking terms since the Christmas after they broke up. They really needed to sort out their lives but they became friends again in the process. He was single and she was single, but he didn't even have a thought to interrupt their friendship with asking her out. They had too many things going on. So for now, he would stay where he was and focus on school, but twelve hours into his first day in New York and he already finding himself almost homeless. David and Michael decided that it would be funny to throw a small party for the new freshman students on the floor. Finn was fine with inviting maybe two or three people, but somehow they ended up getting the entire floor involved and things happened. Alcohol and drugs were involved and David and Michael were the ones supplying it so they got kicked out of the dorm. He admitted that he was somewhat happy that he wasn't going to have to deal with the two of them anymore, even if he only had to deal with them for twelve hours, until Finn was told that the triple loft needed to be used and they were moving him to a different dorm. Okay, he was fine with it, until they told him that it was going to cost him more because it was a single dorm. Finn was forced with his first real life adult dilemma.
"Kurt, I really don't know what to do." Finn mumbled into his phone as he sat on the moving box in his dorm room. "They are asking for like three hundred more a month and I really don't want to ask Mom and Burt it. They just left like two hours ago."
"Well, you could get a job. That's what Rachel and I do." Finn grunted into the phone before knowing Kurt was right.
"Yeah, I guess, but I hate dorm life." Finn bit his lip before standing up looking out the window seeing 5th avenue from his window.
"Finn you haven't been there more than thirteen hours and you want to leave." Kurt said into the phone before Finn could hear Rachel in the background.
"Tell him to buck up. I was like this when I moved her."
"Tell Rachel that I thank her for her thoughts but I will be fine." Finn said rolling his eyes. "Well I hope."
"When do they need the additional money?" Kurt said as Finn heard him slamming pots on his end. It was dinner time.
"Tomorrow." He ran his fingers through his hair nervously.
"Better call Carole and Dad." Was all Kurt had to offer.
"I don't want to feel like a failure…can't I just stay with you until I can get things straight?" Finn didn't want to bother them but there was really no other way.
"Rachel, can Finn bunk with us until he figures this out?" Kurt yelled making Finn's body cringe pulling the phone away from his ear.
"Sure. I don't care." Rachel seemed calm about it. This was what was supposed to happen when they left high school. Sure, they weren't dating, but they would be living together.
"Alright, I will grab my stuff and take the train out there." Finn said before hanging up the phone nervously. He found himself on their couch two hours later. He was relaxing as he emailed his teaching about classes on Monday before seeing Rachel coming in after her shift at the music shop she had recently gotten a job at.
"Hey." Finn said quietly setting his computer on the coffee table Kurt said to be careful of.
"Hey! Did you get settled okay?" Rachel said setting her keys and purse down on the table.
"As okay as it can be." Finn shrugged looking down at his hands. "I'm not in New York for a day and I screw up already."
"You didn't screw up Finn." Rachel pouted before she slid onto the couch next to him getting comfortable. "Can I tell you a story?" Finn looked up at her smiling with his half grin before nodding.
"Sure." He said humoring her.
"When I first came here, I wasn't really in a great place. You know why…" She said looking at him before looking down. "But I had dance class with Cassandra July, the crazy lady I told you about over Christmas. Well, she said I was the worst dancer in the class. She called me all sorts of names and said I had no sex appeal…"
"Well that's bull crap; you are so beautiful and sexy. She is clearly blind." Finn interrupted before nodding for her to proceed.
"You know me; I have to prove everyone wrong." Rachel added biting her lip as Finn chuckled slightly. "So, I decided to do a really sexy Britney Spears number, but she ended kicking me out of class when I mouthed off."
"You mouthed off to a teacher." Finn said in somewhat shock.
"Yeah, I had to go back and grovel for forgiveness." Rachel looked down at her hands. "She made me the towel girl until I worked off what I did. So, don't think you are the only one who hasn't messed up. I have messed up royally more than once." Finn looked at her before half grinning.
"But now look at you." Finn added tucking her hair behind her ear. "You are a second year at NYADA, on your way to greatness."
"Finn…" A voice pulled all his thoughts away as he looked around the room seeing Jesse and Puck standing there.
"Dude, don't scare me like that." Finn said punching Puck in the arm.
"You looked like you were dreaming about hot live nudes." Puck grinned before he stepped in front of the mirror Finn was standing checking his tux.
"I don't have the mind of a Puckerman." He said before he pushed Puck out of the way of the mirror.
"Come on Finnster, you have to have some sort of sense of humor. It is your wedding day for fuck's sake." Puck said tugging at his bowtie. "And remind me to kill Blaine for helping you pick out the suits."
"You okay Finn?" Jesse asked with concern. It was surprising, Finn's friendship with Jesse. He seriously thought that once he left Lima he wouldn't want to be friends anymore. Then when moved in with Rachel and Kurt, he really thought that he wouldn't want to be best friends anymore. Rachel was always a source of drama between the two of them, but somehow they co-existed.
"Yeah, nervous as hell, but I am okay." Finn laughed before messing with his cuff links. "Third times a charm right?" He looked at Puck who threw his hands in the air.
"Last time I checked, Quinn is here already and you are not going anywhere near a train station, so I think you are good." Puck blurted out before grabbing some beer that he stashed in the groom's room of the venue. "Oh, and Rachel's phone is locked away somewhere so she isn't texting anyone who might be driving at the moment."
"You weren't kidding when you said Puck would have things taken care of, were you?" Jesse asked leaning against the armchair in the corner. "He did deliver your guitar to the reception hall safe and sound." He added.
"I'm not surprised. He values instruments more than he values human life." Finn added sitting down nervously next to Puck taking a drink of beer.
"That is not true man! I married Q didn't I?" Puck punched him in the arm upset before grabbing his beer back and sipping it.
"Do you have to be so barbaric?" Jesse asked annoyed.
"Seriously Finn, how could you ever be best friend's with the dude that egged your wife's head?" Puck added annoyed with Jesse already. Jesse rolled his eyes before running his fingers through his curly locks.
"Because unlike you, people learn to forgive and forget." Jesse said to Puck before sitting down looking at Finn.
"Not to agree with Puck, but I can't believe five years later we still are friends." Finn said with a somewhat of a chuckle.
"Oh, I know Hudson. I mean, I honestly didn't think I could be friends with a dancing zombie who looks like he has to poop while stealing my ex-girlfriend away." Jesse said with grin as he fixed his own cuff links.
"And I can't believe that you gave up that easily on her." Finn knew that he didn't regret saying it but at the same time he was happy that they had cleared the air so long ago.
"I didn't give up; I just realized it wasn't love. We smashed heads too much. Besides, if it weren't for Rachel, I would have never fallen in love with Kurt." Jesse said smiling. "Plus, I value our friendship more than you think." Finn really took this to heart. He was happy that the two of them could put their differences aside about Rachel to be friends. He valued his friendship with Jesse a lot more than he valued his other relationships with other people.
"I hate to break up this love fest but I think you both need to take shots to calm your nerves." Puck interrupted handing both of them shots of whiskey. Finn laughed before grabbing the shot and downing it as fast as he could. He felt the heat spread throughout his body. Jesse looked at Puck before shaking his head and downing his own shot.
"Were you this nervous when you married Quinn, Puck?" Finn wasn't extremely nervous. He was more worried that the ceremony wouldn't go off with a hitch. This was his third time trying to marry Rachel Berry and he was going to make sure he went through with it.
"What do you think? I am afraid of commitment." Puck spit out as he saw Finn run his fingers through his normal Finn hairstyle.
"Don't worry Finn, she loves you, she wants to marry you. If she didn't love you, she wouldn't have struggled with you for almost eight years." Jesse said making an excellent point.
"Eight years of break ups, make ups, proposals, and just so many things I can't even count." Finn said slightly grinning at the thought of them fighting to be with each other for so many years.
"Not to mention some friendly competition from St. James and me." Puck added nudging Jesse who rolled his eyes. Finn's mind floated away back to his own thoughts.
"Really though, I am surprised we could separate the apartment into three bedrooms and a living room. It's like a miracle." Rachel said putting the paint brush down which was covered in light pink paint which she had used for her bedroom.
"It's all about reorganizing. Do you honestly think we could have fit half of Finn's junk in this place without a little reorganizing?" Kurt said as Finn threw a dry paintbrush of Kurt.
"Rude." Finn said wiping off some paint on his cheek.
"It's true. God only knows where we are going to put your drum set when Dad and Carole bring it up." Kurt said sitting down on the couch taking a break.
"Yeah, we might not have room for your drums Finn." Rachel added before going to the kitchen.
"It's okay. I will wait on that." Finn said flipping on the TV sitting next Kurt who seemed slightly annoyed.
"Do we really have to watch football?" Kurt said bickering with Finn.
"It's OSU's first big game, come on man." Finn said as Rachel rolled her eyes from the kitchen. Having Finn move in was not only exhausting, but exhilarating at the same time. It felt like old times, like high school never ended and their break up never existed. As much as she wished the break up never existed, it did. Finn had been living with them officially for almost 2 months now and they hadn't talked about really anything romantically just the friendship that they had started in the beginning. Not that she wasn't happy with it, she just missed him. He was finally coming into his own and he was finally the man she saw him to be and now he knew it. She wondered if he would ever give her a chance. She wanted a chance. Her thoughts were pulled from the clouds when she heard a knock on the door. Rachel put the water bottle she just pulled out of the refrigerator and headed towards the door sliding it open seeing Jesse St. James standing in front of her.
"Oh dear god, no, please tell me this is a dream?" Rachel said with somewhat distain in her voice.
"So great to see you too Rachel…" Jesse said leaning against the door frame.
"What are you doing here?" She asked crossing her arms before seeing Finn stand up with a smile.
"Jesse! I thought you weren't going to be in town until after Thanksgiving?" Finn said patting him on the shoulder. Jesse still wasn't use to that, but it was okay.
"I wasn't but my friend Kylie called me out open auditions so I decided to come up a little early. Why the hell do you live all the way out here?" Jesse asked making his way into apartment while Rachel had an appalled look on her face.
"You invited him?" Rachel knew that Jesse and Finn had squashed their rivalry a while ago, but she seriously didn't know that they were still friends.
"Yeah, is that okay? I was going to show him around the campus." Finn added seeing Rachel eye Kurt nervously.
"What?" Jesse said feeling the awkward tension fill the room.
"It's just weird." Rachel echoed.
"What is?" Finn added leaning against the counter.
"You guys being friends is weird." Rachel added nervously.
"Because we both dated you right?" Jesse asked sarcastically acting like he cared.
"Well considering you both hated each other." Rachel said rolling her eyes in annoyance.
"We aren't in high school anymore Rachel." Finn chimed in looking at her. Rachel somewhat grinned at Finn. He really was changing for the better, not that he wasn't already amazing. He was growing up. Finn was lost a year ago, and now he was found, with a new friend. Even if the new friend was her ex-boyfriend Jesse, it showed he could grow up and move on from stupid fights. Rachel looked at Kurt before heading back to her room with a silly little grin on her face leaving Finn and Jesse to hang out. Kurt followed her to her bedroom curiously wondering what she was thinking.
"You okay Rach?" Kurt asked worried sitting next to her on her bed. Rachel looked at him nodding as she curled up slightly on her bed.
"Is it weird that my ex-boyfriends are in my living room chatting it up like old friends?" She was truly confused out to take this.
"No, I mean, if Blaine was in the living room chatting it up with Dave or even Chase I would probably feel the same way." Kurt said biting his lip. "Besides, isn't this a good thing? Finn is different without being different."
"He is different. He is still the man I fell in love with, but he knows what he wants now. Not to mention he doesn't seem to hold grudges anymore." She said looking out her door seeing Finn laughing with Jesse.
"I told you he changed." Kurt said peeking out the door slightly. "Not to mention St. James is looking cute in those leather pants he is sporting."
"Kurt!" She slapped him slightly before looking down at her hand. "I just want us to go back to the way we were. Romance and all and if he still wants it, I want it." Rachel said standing up.
"He is still hopelessly in love with you. How do you not see that?" Kurt followed suit by standing before leaning against the door.
"Why hasn't he asked me out yet then?" She said in a worried tone.
"Just give him time Rachel. He is probably trying to get use to the city." Kurt smiled slightly. "Now let's go hang out with the two guys we never thought could ever co-exist in the same room together."
She was nervous. This was the third time she had stood in a wedding dress. The first two times were a disaster and she would rather not remember it. She made sure that her cell phone was locked in the furthest closet she could find and made sure that Finn didn't plan any trips to a train station. She wasn't risking this wedding being cancelled for a third time. Her entire family was in New York City. Her Dad and Daddy had been making their rounds with the guest and all the girls were getting ready. Even though Rachel's parents knew that it was their obligation to pay for wedding, Finn wouldn't let them. He said that after the two disaster weddings they endured, he felt like he owed it to them to pay for everything. That came with a hefty price. Finn was just coming off his Associates Degree and had landed a big job directing a new version of Rent on Broadway. It was a big deal and he was getting a decent amount of money, but he was still also in school for his Bachelor's Degree. Rachel had graduated a year earlier than him and she struggled finding a job for about five months before landing a few roles. They both had steady work, but Rachel always worried.
Finn was persistent though. Hiram and Leroy as well as Burt and Carole said they wanted to help, but Finn ended up putting down a deposit on the wedding venue they had been looking at for months, finally deciding to get married upstate in New York, a place was close to their hearts now. It was a small city, Riverhead. It was in upstate New York near the Hampton's but about a half an hour from the actual Hampton Shore. She looked out the window smiling holding the skirt of her wedding dress. It was a ball gown dress with dipped neckline and corset closure. It was a causal summer wedding dress for a beach type wedding. It had an ankle-length silhouette combined with tulle for a billowy shape through the skirt. Embellished lace with delicate handmade petals gave dimension to the bust line and side hip gave her the most princess beach look she could ever have. It took her almost an hour to lace up the back of the dress alone. She could feel her strappy heels click against the floor as she looked down at them smiling. Her shoes were strappy but made her a little taller than usual. They were Martinez Valero heels, something Santana said she had to wear. They were opened toed and had a bow on the top of the heel which was embellished in rhinestones. It made her feel special. This was her day. The day she tried to have high school with the man she loved. In all truth she loved her dress; it looked like her dress from high school with a twist, the twist that she was older and had years of experience now.
"Rachel?" She was pulled from her own thoughts by Kurt who was leaning against the door of the Bridal room of the venue. "You okay?"
"Yeah, just having lots of thoughts." Rachel said turning around seeing him in his tuxedo.
"You look amazing Rachel." Kurt said sitting down looking at the total package in front of him.
"I thank you and Santana for all the help with the wedding dress and all the attire to be perfectly honest with you." Rachel said not wanting to sit for fear she would wrinkle her dress. "
"You know it Chica. I mean, it's not every day one of your best friend's get married. Oh wait; this is your third attempt at getting married." Santana waltzed into the room wearing a royal blue long bodied dress.
"Rude Santana." Kurt said lightly slapping her arm.
"She is just stating the obvious. Finn and I have had our struggles. Though I am not surprised we are finally walking down the aisle today, I am more shocked of all the hurdles we had to jump to get here." Rachel whispered as the sun soaked through the room.
"Yeah, but that makes a relationship Berry." Santana added. "You and dough boy are meant to be."
"As much as I love you Santana, and you know you are one of my best friends, please refrain from calling Finn names. He isn't a dough boy anymore." Rachel said with a small smile creeping across her lips.
"Ew, Rachel I do not want to know what you and Finn do or how 'tone' he is." Kurt said with a disgusted voice. Rachel giggled slightly as she watched the boats come into the marina carrying some of her guests.
"I think the one thing that surprises me the most is that you and Jesse got us back together, bigger surprise that Jesse did." Rachel added smiling down at the window looking at the water. "I am really happy guys. I just hope this goes okay, without a hitch."
"Well you are nowhere near a phone and Quinn is here already so, I think we are safe." Santana added as she saw Tina enter the room. "It's about time Chang. Did you and Mike toe tap all the way here?"
"Sorry, there was a huge five car pileup on the 24 and we had to wait until the wreck was cleared to get through. Half of your guests were behind us." Tina said sitting next to Kurt on the couch. Rachel turned again quickly and nervously.
"It wasn't anyone we knew right?" She blurted out.
"Huh?" Tina asked with a confused look.
"In the crash, it wasn't anyone we knew right?" Rachel started fumbling over her words thinking about the impact she caused if it was her.
"Oh no, it was two cops and a semi as well as a horse truck." Tina said knowing she probably just scared the hell out of Rachel. Rachel took a deep breath before nodding at her.
"Good job Chang, scare the bride half to death." Santana said pulling out a small bag of mini bottles of alcohol. "So, I learned this from Q's wedding. Before you get married, you are supposed to take a shot of Tequila or Whiskey or whatever to calm you nerves. Quinn had two shots; the second one was suggested by me because I told her she would be freaking out as soon as she saw Puckerman at the altar." Santana rambled pulling out shot glasses.
"Santana I don't think that will be necessary I am not nervous." Rachel said fumbling with her veil.
"Yes you are. You just about had heartache when you found out about an accident on the interstate." Santana poured out a shot of Tequila handing it to her. "Just do it." Rachel stared at her hand which held the shot. She rolled her eyes before gripping the shot and downing it as quick as possible.
"I am going to need one of those as well. Jesse and Blaine in the same room won't be very pleasant." Kurt said just drinking it straight from the bottle. Tina declined the shot as Santana shrugged and down two.
"Ah! The taste of tequila burns my throat." Rachel said giving a foul look as she shook her head.
"Don't be a wimp Berry!" Santana said slapping her shoulder before looking down smiling. "That's the last time I will get to call you Berry." Rachel looked at Santana before tears welled up in her eyes and she reach over to hug her tightly. Santana could feel the tears well up in her own as she pulled away smiling.
"Santana is crying for little old Rachel Berry..." Rachel whispered trying to figure out if this was real or just a dream.
"Don't flatter yourself Rachel, you aren't that important." She said through a grin before wiping her tears. "How on earth did you pick this horrible place anyways?" Santana looked around knowing she was just trying to stir away from her emotions.
"Why don't you ask Kurt and Jesse? They were the ones who set us up." Rachel said down finally knowing she needed to rest. She was going to be on her feet all day.
Jesse and Kurt thought they were funny, truly funny to be exact. Jesse somehow had tickets to this aquarium in Riverhead which was the complete opposite side of New York City, towards the Hampton's. Rachel had never been there before and Finn was still exploring New York City to actually leave the city, but here they were. Sitting on train heading from Penn Station up into the Hampton's area to Riverhead which was going to be their weekend getaway. Jesse and Kurt knew that they were doing, they were scheming. Jesse stated that he had a big audition on Saturday morning but he had these non-refundable tickets to the Long Island Aquarium for a Penguin exhibit that he was dying to see. He said he was excited to go but the audition was for a revival of Cats. He shoved the tickets towards Finn stating he had to go and Rachel just so happened to have that weekend off and Kurt just so happened to suggest Rachel to go with Finn.
Finn was nervous. He had been trying to take things slow, but he wondered how slow he could go. He had been in New York City for almost a year now and he still didn't have the guts to ask her out. She went out on a few dates, but nothing was ever to serious, even if he got jealous every time. Finn even tried a few dates with a girl from his direct management classes, but nothing sparked. Nothing would ever spark like his relationship with Rachel. When Jesse told him to go upstate for a weekend to get away from the hustle and bustle of New York, he thought it might be a good idea. Get a hotel room for the night, go to this so called aquarium that Jesse raved about, and maybe even take a trip to the beach to see the ocean, even if it was mid-winter. Then Kurt mentioned Rachel having the weekend off from work and NYADA and that he should take Rachel with the second ticket. He had to admit, his heart fluttered when he thought of he and Rachel alone in a hotel room. They flirted non-stop and he didn't stop it. She was always walking around in her cute little outfits and singing suggestive songs to him. He just thought she was trying to be cute but maybe she was hinting for more. He felt the train stop and he looked over at Rachel who had a slight grin on her face.
To say Rachel was happy was an understatement. She had been waiting quite some time for him to ask her out, but he never really did. It took the force of Jesse and Kurt to bring them together. Rachel had thrown out all the signs; dressing in outfits he found cute, singing songs that she knew he liked, and even making his favorite banana bread. Finn never budged though and Rachel was worried that it would never be ever again. She missed the good old days but Finn and Rachel were older and much different than they ever were. So she tried moving on by dating other guys, but none of them were like Finn. Finn laughed with her after she came home on her dates at the guys she choose, but to her, no one was never like Finn Hudson. She got jealous when she saw him go on a few dates with the girl from his class, but when she only came around once or twice, she realized maybe Finn didn't like her as much as she lead Rachel on to believe. She got really nervous sitting next to him now. She didn't know if this was date or just two friends going to have fun on a mini vacation, but all she knew was she was all grins.
They took a cab from the train station in silence. Both of them didn't really know how to deal with the situation they were in. Two ex-lovers sharing a taxi to a romantic getaway location, this wasn't ideal unless people were trying to get them together. Kurt and Jesse thought they were sly but they weren't. Both Rachel and Finn knew what they were doing and it wasn't funny. Okay, maybe Finn found it a little funny. He was telling Kurt a few days ago that he was trying to get the courage to ask Rachel out again, but now he was in the most opportune place to do it. He rushed to the side of her cab opening the door quickly smiling as he pulled the small bag from her hands carrying it for her. He didn't want to be rude. She was the lady and he was the gentleman and if he learned anything from dating Rachel, she loved when he was a gentleman. She got out of the cab before smiling at Finn slightly making her way over to entrance of the hotel that they had booked. They needed to at least put their bags in the room before going over the aquarium. After getting situated, Finn and Rachel decided to head to their afternoon plans. The aquarium was beautiful for being in a small town like Riverhead. It was fairly well known around the Upper East Side and Jesse said that it was worth the trip, Rachel wondered if it was just a way for Kurt and Jesse to play matchmaker.
Once they got to the aquarium, Finn grabbed Rachel's hand smiling as he took her inside towards the floor to ceiling aquarium that held hundreds of fish. Rachel was astounded by the colors of the fish that swam in front of her. Finn smiled at her excitement. The two of them haven't been able to share a moment like this for years, and here they were, standing in a quiet room with only a few people around them. He touched the glass slightly drawing the attention of a small orange clown fish that was following his finger. Rachel grinned and giggled a little bit touching the glass seeing another fish coming up to her finger following it. Finn tried to memorize this moment. She truly looked beautiful, not that she didn't before. Rachel Berry was always beautiful and mesmerizing but there was something in this moment that he couldn't forget.
"I am really glad we came up here. This place is amazing and beautiful too." Rachel said pulling her fingers away from the glass biting her lip.
"You are beautiful." Finn whispered before turning his head looking at her. Rachel was slightly caught off guard by his words, so much so that her cheeks blushed the brightest shade of red. He looked at her trying to control his emotions.
"Thank you Finn." She quietly moved along the wall of the aquarium looking at the beautiful lights as the fish swam around.
"Rachel, who are we kidding?" She heard Finn's voice and quickly towards him.
"What are you talking about Finn?" Rachel truly wanted to hear the words come out of his mouth.
"It's been at least a year and a half since our break up and no matter what I do I can't stop thinking about you." Finn whispered moving closer to her. "I am scared. I won't lie about that. I wanted to be the man you wanted to love and now that I have my plans for the future, there is one thing missing…"
"What's missing?" Rachel asked cutting in quickly her heart racing fast.
"You. Us. All of what we had. New York City is nothing without Finn and Rachel taking it over." Finn said stepping closer to her. Rachel's heart leaped in happiness knowing this was the moment she had waited for forever. He moved his hand to hers and used his other hand to cup her cheek before pulling her tender lips to his kissing her lightly before pulling away. "Rachel, be mine again."
"I love you." Rachel slipped out not regretting it. Finn's grin grew as he pulled her into a hug taking in her scent trying to remember this moment forever.
"I love you too." He said into her ear before pulling away kissing her again.
He stood at the end of the dock. They really couldn't ask for a better day. It wasn't too cloudy and not to sunny. There was a light breeze that sweeps over them gently as he saw the guests seated in the white padded chairs Rachel had decided on. The aquarium's dock seated all of them comfortably as the chatter quieted down when the music started up. A single violin played a light melody as he saw the wedding began. On the groom's side he saw his mother crying into a handkerchief as Burt wrapped his arms around her smiling. He saw a few people from college and even some old friends from Lima. Down the aisle, he saw the first couple walk down which was Mike and Tina. The two had been on and off together for years before tying the knot in Vegas one weekend. They looked extremely happy and he was happy for them. They parted as they got to the end of the aisle and next up was Puck and Santana. Finn could see Quinn fuming from jealously from her seat but he wasn't going to deal with that at this moment. This was his and Rachel's big day and that was all that was important. Puck and Santana parted ways and the unlikely duo walked after them. Jesse was Finn's best man, after days of fighting with Puck about it and Kurt was the maid of honor even though he was a male. Leave it to Rachel Barbra Berry to be unconventional.
"You nervous?" Jesse asked Finn taking his place next to him. Finn shook his head watching the two little ones make their way down the aisle. He saw Will and Emma Schuester sitting next to Burt and Carole holding a patch of camera's waiting for the ring bearer and the flower girl who were theirs, Jace and Amber Schuester. He watched them rush over to their parents as the wedding march came on.
"No. I am not. I have waited years for this." Finn whispered back as he smiled as the wedding march came on. There she was in all of her glory. Rachel Berry, soon to be Hudson, standing with both of her father's at her side. She was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen. They had waited years for this moment and had lived through so much heartache that it seemed like a dream. It was the perfect day and they couldn't ask for more. Rachel's dress was perfect and the sun had peeked through the clouds as she finally made her way down the dock to him. The pastor stood there quietly as Rachel stopped looking at her Dads' before hearing the pastor speak of kind words before directing his message towards them.
"Who gives this girl to be wed to this man?" The pastor asked loud enough for everyone to hear. Rachel smiled before turning to each of her Dad's as Leroy spoke up for the both of them.
"Her father and I do." He said in a cracking voice as he pulled her veil from over her face kissing her cheek. Hiram did the same thing before Finn reached in shaking their hands before they took their seats. Rachel proceeded up to the alter holding onto her bouquet of flowers as the crowd around them got close and listened to the ceremony.
"It isn't too often we come across a couple who has had more heartache and obstacles like Finn and Rachel have had. They have known each other for years and they even tried to get married twice before, but here we are. Here they are in all their happiness after the darkness passed. It takes a lot for a couple to overcome what they have and still have the love that they share. In a world where love doesn't last long, the fact that these two people are here today, shows that maybe that it can truly exist for others." The Preacher had gone on for a little longer about love and marriage, Finn and Rachel seemed lost in each other's eyes. They had both wondered if this day would ever come and the fact that it was finally here made them both happy. They weren't doing a full Jewish or Catholic ceremony because it wasn't about religion at this point in time. It was more about the moment that two people care about each other.
"Now, I could go on for days about how important it is to make this commitment in life, but these two want to get hitched so they can dance the night away under the stars. So we shall begin with the vows. Finn and Rachel decided to write their own vows which are amazing because most people just want to just get this over with, so we shall start with Rachel." The preacher looked at Rachel whose hands were shaking with nervous excitement. She smiled slightly before pulling out a small piece of paper taking a deep breath.
"A lot of people think we are crazy. They have always thought we were crazy. We met in high school when you were dating Quinn Fabray and going through so many changes in your life. I was that crazy wide eyed girl who had more ambition than anyone else in Lima and I was starving for fame, but then we happened. You changed my life. You gave me a reason to sing and dance and even love. Some people call us high school sweethearts but there is another word for us, soul mates. Finn Hudson is my soul mate. We have had our fair share of ups and downs but we always found our way back to each other. I followed my star home to you. You are the star that will guide me to happiness and I want to spend the rest of my life guiding our ship home. I love you Finn Hudson and I am going to spend every day of the rest of my life making you happy." Rachel dried her tears with a small tissue Kurt handed her before stuffing the paper back into Kurt's hands. Finn could barely hold back his tears because all those words made him have the high school feeling again. He knew Rachel wasn't going to say much because she had been crying at the thought of vows, but he found it completely adorable on how sweet it was that she was nervous. The Preacher looked at Finn and he didn't need to pull out the small speech her wrote. He knew he was going to speak from the heart.
"The first time I saw you, we were walking down the hallway back at McKinley in Lima. I was walking with a few of the senior football guys and you were wearing that green skirt that you still have to this day. You didn't have the same hairstyle that you do now, but we all change and grow. I know you saw me because you had a smile out of the corner of your lips but what you don't know is that I turned around. I was dazed and confused that this small little brunette girl had such power over me. Every corner I turned there you were. Every little thing that came my way pointed me back to you, to Glee Club. When we were in high school, I found this feeling. It was like someone was tugging on this invisible tether. Even when we are thousands of miles apart, I can feel you tugging on it. I will always have this tether and it will be forever tied to yours, faithfully." Finn smiled before continuing. "I promise to you that I will be the man you have always wanted. I promise you that I will never make you upset or sad or even scared. You are my star. You are the life, my home and I love you." Finn said before grabbing her hands kissing them before the preacher took over.
"That was extremely moving." The preacher smiled before looking down at his book. "Before we moved to the rings, I want to ask if anyone where objects to this marriage? Does anyone give any reason these to shall not be married?" Finn and Rachel took a deep breath before looking around acting like they would kill who would interrupt their wedding. After a few moments of silence and the two of them taking fast deep breaths, the preacher moved on to the rings. The exchanged glances as they both took a small amount of time sliding the rings on each other's fingers. Their friends and families were itching for the reception so the preacher spoke up as Finn and Rachel got lost in each other's eyes. He asked them for 'I Do's' which they replied with yes and for a moment it was beyond real. "I would like to announce by the great state of New York and the happiness and power invested in the eyes of God. I know pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride."
"Thank god." Finn said before pulling Rachel into his arms dipping her into a kiss. Rachel giggled against his lips before he pulled away smiling. She grabbed her flowers and turned towards the crowd as the preacher spoke again.
"I would like everyone to welcome Mr. and Mrs. Finn and Rachel Hudson."
The reception hall was two steps away from the dock that they had just been married on. They were lucky enough to get the owners of the aquarium to agree to a big reception in the hall that they usually held meetings in. Finn and Rachel had spent almost an hour and a half taking photos with the wedding party, parents, and even just candid shots that they could remember for forever. They had entered the reception as Mr. and Mrs. Hudson and made their rounds before finding their spot for dinner. The evening was filled with firsts. They shared their first dance to Jesse singing "Faithfully" to them, which was a surprise because Jesse said he hated the song. Finn knew why and it made him laugh. They cut their cake together and even had a few games to keep the audience entertained. Rachel begged to get on the microphone and have a little karaoke jam session, but got swept away by the girls for a little touch up. Finn took the moment of her being gone to set up for what he had been preparing for for at least 5 months.
"Here's your guitar and remember to follow me and Puck on the key changes." Jesse said setting a stool in the middle of the dance floor seeing Finn strap the guitar around his body.
"What if I mess it up? I don't want to embarrass her and I have a feeling that if I mess up to chords she is going to laugh." Finn said blushing in nervousness knowing that he could mess up their wedding completely.
"She won't laugh. She is going to cry with tears of joy realizing that you went out of your way for her." Puck smiled slightly as he gripped his guitar. Finn saw Rachel come back into the hall from the corner of his eye and he took a deep breath before grabbing the microphone. It took him a slight moment to get everyone's attention.
"Excuse me? If I could have everyone look towards the dance floor please." Finn said seeing Rachel walk towards him. She smiled nervously.
"What's going on Finn?" She asked fixing her dress. He pulled the microphone closer so everyone could hear his small speech.
"So we all know that Rachel loves musically inclined men and I took it upon myself to learn how to play the guitar for her." He saw Rachel grin before he pulled a chair out for her placing it a few feet away from the stool Jesse had set down. "With the wedding and honeymoon being a little costly, I wanted to get you something that didn't have any value but just to us." He pointed for Rachel to sit down which she did.
"Finn…" She whispered slightly before he sat on the stool.
"I know you had a thing for Twilight and that one song that you kept singing to me." Finn laughed thinking of the moment. "So with Jesse and Puck's help, I am going to sing you my present." Rachel could feel tears as she watched Finn sit down as the room quieted down and he started strumming on the guitar she remembered seeing in the apartment.
"I love you…" She whispered as Finn started to sing the words softly.
"The day we met, frozen I held my breath. Right from the start I knew that I'd found a home for my heart...beats fast." Finn sung as he strummed before looking into her eyes no longer worried about the chords or anything around them. "Colors and promises, how to be brave? How can I love when I'm afraid to fall but watching you stand alone? All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow. One step closer."
The song was an ode to the relationship they always had the lyrics were them. The years they spent apart made all the other feelings grow stronger. As the song moved on the lyrics both Finn and Rachel were crying.
I have died every day waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more
Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What's standing in front of me
Every hour has come to this
One step closer
I have died every day waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more
And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more
Rachel had never felt more love in her entire life then what she felt from him. When he ended the song, Finn was nervous because he knew for a fact that he messed up the words and even possibly the lyrics. The crowd around them filled with applause but Rachel was lost in his eyes. He took off the guitar and rushed over to him with tears filling her eyes.
"I love you so much Finn Hudson." She whispered into his ear kissing him.
"I love you Rachel Hudson."
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