Epilogue: I Love You 'Til the End

Rachel smiled as she put the finishing touches on her makeup. It was funny, ten years ago Nationals had been the most important thing, and now all she could think of was how wonderful it had felt to be in Puck's arms at the end of them. They hadn't won, but they'd placed third and that wasn't bad for a nationwide competition.

They'd returned to McKinley, not quite conquering heroes but definitely better off than they'd left it. Principal Figgins had held an assembly and asked that they perform their winning numbers as well as some others, favorites and things that showed off Sugar, Mike, Brittney and Blaine's dance skills. People had heard back from the colleges of their choice and the flurry of preparations had begun.

And she and Puck had worked on a piece for the club, one last duet to try and tell these people just how much they'd meant to the two of them. It was the same song playing now, something Puck had recorded for her privately, and as she listened, the memory came back so clearly.

"So this is our last meeting, and we're all going on to other things," Rachel spoke from her seat in the first row of the choir room and smiled hopefully. "We haven't talked about it much, but I hoped if you're a senior that we could all share what college we'll be attending or other plans for next year."

"I'll be attending NYADA," Kurt said proudly. "I got my acceptance letter last month." There were murmurs of congratulations for the boy and some concerned looks at Blaine who wouldn't be going to New York until he graduated in another year.

"David? Where are you going to school?" Coach Beiste encouraged the football player to speak.

"I got accepted on a partial football scholarship to Ohio State," Dave grinned and nudged Azimio who sheepishly admitted that he would also be attending the state school. The guys got a lot of backslapping praise and congratulations.

"Well I'll be matriculating from UCLA," Mercedes said with a toss of her head.

"Hollywood look out, the Chocolate Thunder is coming for you," Puck quipped with a grin.

"I'll be attending Columbia," Santana smiled, "So it's New York for me."

"And I got into Hudson University," Lauren added with a grin. "So we'll both be in New York."

"Well I got into Julliard for dance," Mike admitted with a smile. "So I'll see you guys in New York too."

Rachel grinned happily and looked at Quinn, "Quinn, someone told me you'd applied to a bunch of different schools. Where did you choose to go?"

"I'll be going to Yale," Quinn told them all. "So Massachusetts here I come."

"What about you Rachel?" Kurt asked coolly, "Or is there a reason you're asking all of us and you and Puck haven't said where you'll be attending."

"Well I got a full basketball scholarship to NYU, so I'll be taking classes there and some at Tisch," Puck had drawled lazily. That had drawn a shocked look from Quinn and Kurt. Rachel had been hard pressed from shouting 'I told you so' at the male diva, but she'd managed to restrain herself. Everyone else was congratulating Puck and wishing him luck, Mike and Sam were already making him promise to get them game tickets and jerseys.

"And I've been offered a scholarship to Julliard," Rachel added with a smile. Santana had screamed in delight and thrown her arms around her while the rest of their friends were loud with excitement. Kurt and Mercedes had looked like they'd been sucking sour lemons which she could only feel served them right. When all the hoopla died down and Santana had let go of her Rachel looked at Coach Sue and Coach Beiste, Shelby standing by with them. "Are you going to be co-directors again next year with Mr. Schuester?"

"Where is Schuester anyway?" Puck looked around, "Dude never misses a chance to boss us around."

"He's in a meeting with Principal Figgins," Sue explained. "Figgins didn't want to disrupt the club any more than it already was so he waited until the end of the year before he took action."

"What action?" Artie asked curiously.

"It's been decided by the school board and the principal that Mr. Schuester will continue to teach Spanish, but he won't be the Glee Club director anymore. Shelby has been offered that position with Sharon and I as co-directors," Sue told them with a little smirk on her lips. "Principal Figgins feels that William plays favorites a bit too often to be allowed control of extracurricular activities, especially activities that are supposed to award merit and skill."

"So next year Shelby'll be our director?" Artie looked at Blaine, Sugar, Sam, Tina and Brittney and then at the three women a bit apprehensively. "We don't want to turn into Vocal Adrenaline."

"That's why you'll have us," Sharon Beiste spoke up. "Shelby has the musical background, Sue and I will provide the same type of support we provided Will Schuester."

"Including keeping me from becoming too obsessed with competition," Shelby added dryly. "I'd really like this chance kids. But without you, there is no Glee Club."

The kids who'd be in the club the next year nodded, "Yeah, let's go for it. Who knows, maybe we can make Nationals three years in a row." Tina grinned at the thought.

Rachel stood in front of the group and smiled, "As a good bye, Noah and I have prepared a song for all of you. I hope you'll take it in the spirit that it's meant."

Puck stood up from his chair and grabbed his guitar off the wall before slinging it over his neck and smiling at her, "Let's do it beautiful."

Rachel couldn't help smiling, "It's up to you to start us off." She reminded him and watched, almost hypnotized as his fingers began to pluck out the notes. His hands played the guitar as skillfully as they played her body, and the sound was just as perfect. His voice started out quietly, sweet as he looked at her and grew stronger,

"I just want to see you
When you're all alone
I just want to catch you if i can

I just want to be there when the morning light explodes
On your face it radiates
I can't escape
I love you 'til the end..."

Rachel nearly sighed at the sound of his voice, waited until he'd played the guitar's interlude and began her verse, Puck joining her on the last four lines,

"I just want to tell you
Nothing you don't want to hear
All I want is for you to say,
"Oh, why don't you just take me where I've never been before?
I know you want to hear me catch my breath"
I love you 'til the end...
I love you 'til the end...

I love you 'til the end...
I love you 'til the end...

They'd practiced the next verse over and over, trying to find the best way to sing it, and ultimately decided that she'd take the first line and they'd alternate until they came to the chorus again,

"I just want to be there
When you're caught in the rain
I just want to see you laugh not cry
I just want to feel you when the night puts on its cloak
I'm lost for words
Don't tell me
'Cause all I can say
I love you 'til the end...
I love you 'til the end...

Puck's voice and hers overlapped, trying to convey everything they felt for their friends, everything they felt for each other,

"I love you 'til the end...
I love you 'til the end...
I love you 'til the end...
(All I can say) I love you 'til the end...
I love you 'til the end...
I love you 'til the end...
(It's all I can say) I love you 'til the end...
I love you 'til the end...
I love you 'til the end.

It had been well received, Rachel remembered. Coach Beiste had hugged she and Puck, Sue had made them promise to send her tickets to Rachel's first play no matter how off Broadway it was, and sure enough she'd shown up to an awful version of Grease in which Rachel had played Rizzo.

She'd come a long way from Julliard, and Puck a long way from NYU. And now...this was the best day of her life, and just happened to coincide with the anniversary of Nationals, ten years ago.

Puck couldn't stop fidgeting, the most important day of his life and he couldn't keep his hands still. Artie was rolling his eyes but gamely trying to distract him. "So if I understand this right, you actually started this thing years ago when you gave Rachel your class ring?"

Puck's mother chuckled from her seat in the first row, "Not quite, though traditionalists might see it that way."

Puck shrugged, "It was a promise to her. Couldn't really be kiddushin, not by our religion. You can't promise yourself if you're not a whole person. You gotta be grown up, gotta know yourself fully, before you can promise to give yourself to someone else."

Artie nodded his understanding, "That's why you two were so irritated with Kurt back in high school. Because even if you'd wanted to propose you couldn't have?"

"Pretty much yeah," Puck nodded. Kurt was still an irritant, he'd broken up with Blaine, which everyone had kind of expected, gotten involved with a guy named Brody who turned out to be no good. Right now he was working for a fashion magazine as an assistant editor. He was also a gossip fiend who'd tried to worm information out of Santana or Lauren about Puck and Rachel more than once.

Puck shook his head, Kurt was not invited today. A lot of their other friends from Glee, especially the ones who'd come to New York, were on their way or in their seats already. Mike was dancing in the same play Rachel was staring in, his voice had gotten strong with training and he was studying choreography more, he'd had a huge part in the dance numbers of her latest musical.

Lauren came towards him with a huge grin on her face, she and Santana weren't dating anymore but they'd stayed good friends. Santana was concentrating on her career and casually seeing an actress Rachel had introduced her to. Lauren had met a woman her senior year at Hudson and they'd gotten married two years later. Lauren was pregnant with their second child now.

It was weird to think, Artie had come to New York a year after them, studying film and directing at Tisch. He and Sugar weren't together anymore but he and Brittney had reconnected when she'd transferred from her community college to Tisch for dance. Sugar had gotten interested in photography and was currently on a shoot in Arizona but she'd taken a flight in and was on her way. But Mike and Tina were going strong. Tina hadn't come to New York, but she'd gone to Harvard and somehow she and Mike had kept their relationship going. Tina was now Doctor Cohen-Chang. She'd just finished her internship and was sitting with her fiancé in the chairs behind Puck's mom. Blaine and Sam had both chosen to go to Ohio State, though Blaine had transferred to UCLA after a year and had been working in movies. Sam was playing football professionally, and doing a lot of charitable work, especially for kids with dyslexia. He still considered Rachel his sister though and whenever his team played in New York Rachel and Puck could count on a visit.

Puck had heard through Mike, who'd heard from Tina, that Finn was going to the community college and working at his step dad's garage in Lima. That was fine, Finn hadn't ever really wanted anything more than that and Puck didn't have to feel guilty about Finn's choices anymore. Dave and AZ had gone back to Lima after school for a summer and then Dave had moved to Chicago and gone to the University there. He'd gotten a masters in entertainment law of all things and was talking about moving to New York. He'd actually gotten some offers from law firms and Puck was hoping he'd come east so they could see him more. Santana was deep into her career but she'd love to hang out with another lawyer especially one she knew wouldn't hit on her. And it would be good to see Dave again besides today.

Artie grinned up at him, "Thinking about how far away from Lima this is superstar?"

Puck grimaced at the name but nodded. The basketball scholarship had taken him through NYU and into the NBA for five years after he'd graduated. He'd taken a bad fall though, and his knee hadn't been the same. But he'd been serious when he talked about his education and he'd kept up his music. He'd been a good enough ball player that he had money saved, a pretty big chunk that would keep him fed and housed for a good long time even in New York. He hadn't been a huge name but he'd been a solid reliable player and that was something teams were willing to pay for. He'd been able to take care of his family and that was the most important to him.

And through everything Rachel had been with him, she'd been there when he'd been drafted, when he'd been traded and when he'd gone through knee surgery and was told that he'd never be the same. He'd been to every play of hers he could manage, even to the point of irritating his coaches with the need for the time off. He'd been waiting when she'd come home crying from cattle calls and auditions that went no where. And when she started to get reviews that were more praise than not he'd been there to celebrate with her.

It had taken time; he'd wanted to be walking straight and true when he asked her the question this time. He'd gotten a real ring. Gotten down on one knee, painful though that was, and proposed. Her reaction had been to scold him for hurting himself and she'd dragged him up before she said yes.

Now they were talking about his musical career, something that wasn't as crazy as it sounded with all the contacts he'd made as a ball player. He'd made sure he wasn't a pushover but if music biz folks had wanted tickets he'd made sure they got to his games. He'd invited them to parties he and Rachel had thrown. He'd done his share of what Artie called networking. And he'd never stopped writing music, something about being with Rachel just seemed to feed what she called the muse.

So his future was wide open and Rachel's career was beginning to explode. And this was the best day of his life made all the more perfect by the woman in white, walking towards him on the arms of her fathers.

Puck waited under the wedding canopy and reminded himself to breathe. While he'd been reminiscing just about everyone had arrived, Sugar was taking pictures and he'd have to remind her that she should have fun too. But knowing her she was having a blast so he wasn't going to rain on her parade.

And then Rachel was on his arm and they were facing the rabbi and the most important part of their lives was beginning.

And they lived happily ever after...

The End

Author's Note: So this is it. I'd love to hear what you thought of the ending and if it was everything you wanted. Thanks to everyone who faved and followed this story and reviewed. I really appreciate all the support. I thought Finn just fading into obscurity back in Lima was a fitting end to him. And Schuester really wasn't even worth mentioning. This was more about the end of Glee and the beginning of everything else.

And for any Kurt fans out there, sorry I just couldn't see him succeeding on Broadway and assistant editor of a fashion magazine was the kindest thing I could come up with for him. That's just how this version of Kurt turned out. He's much nicer in some of my other stories so I didn't feel too bad about having him end up a bit of a jerk in this one.

I wanted to be a bit non specific about how things were going on with everyone because to me this was about beginnings, the rest of Puck and Rachel's lives together. I hope you guys liked it.

I've got several other stories in the works including something for the Magic Puck 'verse so I'm going to be concentrating on those for a while. Thanks so much for reading and for all the great reviews.

P.S. Of the WIP I have listed on my profile which would you guys like to see posted next? I'm curious because obviously none of them are done but I'd love to hear what you folks would like to see. PM me or put in a review with your opinion. No promises but I'd love to hear from you all.