Author's Note: I absolutely adore bodyguard!Finn. And I love reading fics where he's Rachel's bodyguard. This is based off of a photo set that I saw floating around on Twitter. Even though this story has been done plenty of times, I really wanted to try my hand at it. The story title comes from "Walk on the Ocean" by Toad the Wet Sprocket.

Many thanks to madolin28, firecracker1990, and the twitter user mslaurenmfitz17 for listening to me whine about who to pick for the stalker. :) Thanks for all of your help!

Disclaimer: I don't own anything.


i.

She doesn't think that the first letter is anything to worry about.

She's Rachel Berry for Barbra's sake. She doesn't get scared easily. The bullying in high school did nothing to deter her, so why should some creepy letter from a fan be any different? Of course she has spent years preparing for this. She has always known that her immense talent would lead to some sort of stalker.

Still, Rachel feels uneasy as she looks down at the letter. Her manager, Kurt Hummel, lets out a noise of disapproval. He thinks that he should call in some sort of protection, but Rachel tells him not to. She doesn't think anything will come of it.

She looks down at the letter one last time—it has the clichéd cut-out letters from a magazine—before she pushes it away from her. Standing up, she turns to Kurt and says, "Whoever this is, he was incredibly unoriginal. If I'm going to be stalked by someone, I expect them to have at least some creativity."

Kurt gives her an incredulous look. "Really, Rachel. I would think that you would be a little more concerned about this."

Rachel shrugs her shoulders before she turns to check her reflection in the mirror one last time. She's getting ready to go onstage and she needs to make sure that her appearance is satisfactory. After all, no one wants to see a Sophie that doesn't look less than perfect.

Kurt purses his lips as he watches his long-time friend and client. "Rachel, perhaps you shouldn't do the show tonight," he says carefully.

Rachel whips around to face him, and Kurt prepares himself for the outburst that is sure to follow. Rachel doesn't disappoint. Her face actually turns red as she starts to list all of the reasons as to why she shouldn't miss the performance.

Finally, she ends with, "Kurt, I haven't missed a single showing of Mamma Mia! since I debuted in the role of Sophie. Why do you think I would miss one now?"

Kurt sighs heavily as Rachel stalks off to get in her spot on stage. He looks back at the crude words of the note Rachel left on her vanity counter. With a frown, Kurt pulls his phone from his pocket and scrolls through the numbers until he finds the one he's looking for.

Whether Rachel wants it or not, Kurt is going to make sure that she gets the protection she needs. And he knows exactly who to call.


ii.

Rachel exits the stage, once again flying high from yet another fantastic performance. She loves being on stage, so why should she let someone ruin that for her? She has been dreaming of this her whole life. She's young, only twenty-four years old. Mamma Mia! has already won a Tony for the best revival, and Rachel knows (she just has a feeling) that she'll get a Tony for whatever her next starring role will be.

She makes her way into her dressing room and lets out a relieved sigh when no one is back there. There isn't even a surprise note from her mysterious creepy fan, and for that Rachel is thankful. She makes quick work of her makeup and costume and changes into a red skirt and black sweater.

Rachel slides her jacket on as she makes her way back into the empty theater. One of her favorite things to do after a performance is stand on the stage and simply let herself be. Despite her attitude from earlier, Rachel knows that she is extremely lucky to have done so well on Broadway so early in life. She's very thankful for it, and she likes to just let being in the amazing theater wash over her.

As Rachel makes her way down the aisle to the stage, she's surprised to find that someone is already sitting there. It looks like he was dressed for the viewing of the musical—he's wearing dress pants and a navy blue sweater. As Rachel gets closer, she sees the thick mop of hair on his head and the freckles dusting his cheeks. Amber eyes peer at her as he flips through a few papers in his hands.

Rachel will not be thrown by the attractiveness of this man. This is her place, and this is her stage—whoever this is, he's going to have to go.

(Rachel tries not to think that Kurt might have been right and this creepy fan was more of a danger than she wants to believe.)

Lifting her chin, Rachel demands, "Who the hell are you and what are you doing on my stage?"

The man looks up at her with an easy smile. His shoulders are broad, his legs long and Rachel just knows that he would tower over her if he were stand. "I'm Finn Hudson, you're new bodyguard. You asked me to meet you here." Seeing the look of confusion on Rachel's face, he amends, "Actually, Kurt asked me to meet you here. I had been assuming that he would be here, too."

Rachel sights dramatically as she digs through her purse for her phone. Pulling it out, she immediately dials Kurt's number. As soon as she hears him pick up on the other end, she screeches, "Kurt Hummel, why in the world do I have a man sitting on my stage claiming that he's my bodyguard?"

Kurt's voice was heavy with amusement as he spoke. "Rachel, dear, as your manager, I felt that it was necessary to take a few precautions. I've decided to hire one of the best bodyguards that I know for your protection."

Rachel eyes Finn warily, and he just smiles at her in return. "How do I know that he's qualified for this job?" she asks eventually.

"Shannon Beiste owns the firm that he's hired from. And besides, Finn is my brother. Stepbrother, actually. I think that I can vouch for him."

Rachel knows that this is probably going to be a losing battle. She figures that she might as well give in now just to get Kurt off her back. She'll live with this bodyguard for a few weeks. When it becomes apparent that this weird fan isn't actually a threat (as she's sure that's what will happen), she can send Finn Hudson on her merry way.

"We're going to talk about this later," Rachel says briskly. She snaps her phone shut and drops it back into her purse before she turns back towards Finn. As a disclaimer, she states, "I think I can take care of myself. And besides, you don't look like a bodyguard."

"What did you expect?" Finn asks, and Rachel finds herself extremely taken by the rough quality of his voice. She shakes her head slightly to rid herself of the notion. Kurt has taken it upon himself to assign Finn Hudson as her bodyguard—the last thing she needs is to feel some undeniable attraction to him.

"I don't know," Rachel says as she puts her hands on her hips. "Maybe a tough guy?" She doesn't mention that he actually does look extremely tough. She doesn't think that very many people could go up against him in a fight and actually win.

Finn smirks at her, his amber eyes twinkling. "This is my disguise," he says simply.

Rachel tries to tell herself that she isn't about to melt into a puddle at the way he speaks those words.


iii.

Rachel knows that she sounds like a four year old that's throwing a temper tantrum, but she honestly doesn't care.

"Absolutely not, Kurt! There is no way that I'm letting him live with me."

Kurt rolls his eyes. "Rachel, it would be much easier this way. Finn would be able to protect you at all times."

Rachel throws her hands up into the air. "All I've received from this person are a few slightly alarming notes. It's not like we haven't seen something like this before."

Kurt shakes his head and looks over at Finn, who is simply watching the exchange between manager and performer. His face is blank and he says nothing. Kurt sighs since his stepbrother is proving to be a complete lack of help before he turns back to his friend.

"Yes, Rachel, but you know that this note has more of a… sincere quality to it—and not in a good way. This guy seems serious about what he's saying. You know that, and you just don't want to admit it. For my sanity, will you please just accept the protection that I'm trying to set up for you?"

Rachel looks over at Finn only to find that he's now watching her. There's something about those amber eyes—something that she can't quite put her finger on. But before she can fully comprehend what she's doing, Rachel feels her head move in a nodding motion. Kurt grins in triumph and opens his mouth, but Rachel gathers her wits enough to cut him off.

"He's still not living with me," she says firmly. "This is my space, and I will not have it be disturbed by anyone. I'll set Mr. Hudson up in the hotel down the street, and he can come with me wherever I go from there."

Kurt rolls his eyes again. Rachel is being stubborn right now, but Kurt knows that she'll eventually see that this is what's best for her. "Fine, I suppose that will do."

"Kurt, I don't want this to change anything about my life," Rachel says. She looks at Finn and once again pushes away the thought that he is extremely attractive. "I want to be able to go where I want and see the people that I want to see."

Finn gets up from his chair then and walks over until he's standing almost chest to chest with Rachel. She has to tilt her head back slightly to look at him. This time, there is no playful smile on his lips, and his amber eyes are serious and hard as he looks down at her.

"You'll do what I tell you to in order to remain safe." The tone of Finn's voice leaves no room for argument. Rachel opens her mouth to protest, but he holds his hand up. "Your safety is my top priority, Miss Berry. If I tell you that it's not safe to do something, I expect you to listen to me."

Finn steps back from Rachel then. He nods at Kurt before gathering his jacket and leaving Rachel's penthouse apartment. With her mouth hanging wide open in shock, Rachel drops onto her couch. Kurt can only chuckle.

"This is going to be interesting," he muses to himself.


iv.

Rachel is extremely aware of the way that Finn is following her around the store. She tries to pretend that her presence doesn't affect her as she searches through the racks of dresses in front of her. Perhaps it would have been easier if she hadn't found herself so insanely attracted to him already.

Finn's voice suddenly cuts through her musings, causing her to jump. "So it appears that you've been receiving some unsettling fan mail."

Rachel looks up sharply at him. He's watching her with his calm amber eyes, and she finds a steady strength in there that relaxes her. "Did Kurt tell you that?" she asks instead.

Finn tilts his head. "So those notes don't bother you." It's more of a statement than a question, but Rachel can't read what Finn thinks about her. Does he think that she's silly for dismissing the fan mail? She can't tell.

The truth slips from her lips anyway. "They don't exactly inspire feelings of confidence in me, no," she admits quietly. "So I guess you could say that. But some freak won't stop me from getting on that stage."

Finn's lips lift into an adorable half smile then. "That's pretty inspiring, you know."

Rachel stops searching for a dress and turns to face Finn. "You don't think that I'm being stupid?"

He shrugs his shoulders. "I think that if you take the proper precautions, you can continue to live your life as you had before. I know that's important to you."

Rachel winces as she remembers the harsh words she had spoken a few days ago. She knows that she had sounded like quite the diva when she made her demands. Finn was only doing his job and had told her in no uncertain terms that when it came to her safety, she was to do as he said.

"I'm sorry," Rachel murmurs after a beat of silence. "I hadn't meant to come off that way. You're just doing your job."

Finn's easy half smile forms on his face once again, and he waves his hand. "Miss Berry, I understand. I've been doing this for a few years now. Having a bodyguard can be difficult to adjust to."

Rachel nods her head in agreement but doesn't say anything more than that. True, having a bodyguard is certainly an adjustment, but having a bodyguard as attractive and in tune to her feelings as Finn was proving to be something else entirely. But she knows that Finn will only be protecting her for a few weeks at the most, and she shouldn't get too attached.

"So what happens now?" Rachel asks.

Finn scrolls through his phone, where he has Rachel's schedule stored. "Now we go to your dress rehearsal. You have a benefit concert tonight, correct?"

Rachel is impressed with how on top of things Finn is, but she doesn't let on how much she thinks so. Instead, she just smiles and nods her head. Abandoning her search for the dress that she doesn't really need anyway, she leaves with store.

Somehow, she feels better knowing that Finn is there to watch over her.


v.

The dress rehearsal goes smoothly, and Rachel soon finds herself being zipped into a beautiful floor length white dress. She's being led on to the stage so that she can perform her song. As she stands in the single spotlight in the center of the stage, she feels that peacefulness settle over her.

The beginning notes of the song start up, but Rachel finds herself scanning the crowd. She sees her fathers in the audience, as well as her close friends Mercedes Jones and Tina Cohen-Chang. Kurt is sitting next to them as well, and they wave at her.

But the person that catches her eye is actually Finn. He's sitting off to the side, but his eyes are trained on Rachel as she begins to sing. He watches her the entire time, and Rachel has a feeling that it's not just because he's her bodyguard.

She keeps her eyes connected with his as the song pours from her mouth, quite possibly from her very soul. Something has shifted in the air around them; this is the best performance that Rachel has ever given. It's touching the heart of every person in the room—and what Rachel doesn't know that it's affecting Finn Hudson especially.

The applause is thunderous as the last note of Rachel's song rings out. The crowd is giving her a standing ovation, and she beams as she accepts their praise. This is one of her favorite feelings in the entire world.

There's the thought in the back of her mind that someone is trying to take this away from her—scare her into giving this up. She doesn't know if that's the creepy fan's goal, but it doesn't matter. She doesn't want to give this up, and Rachel suddenly understands why Finn's presence in her life is so important.

People are still clapping when Rachel forces her attention back to what she's doing. She manages another smile as she bows before she leaves the stage. Whether she likes it or not, she has a lot to think about.


vi.

Rachel changes into a pair of yoga pants and a comfortable sweater. The knowledge that someone could be watching her and writing yet another creepy note was really getting to her, and she wants nothing more than to curl up in her bed.

She opens the door to her dressing room and sees Finn standing there. She smiles and feels slightly better knowing that he was standing there. Reaching out, she puts her hand on his arm.

"Mr. Hudson? I just wanted to thank you for looking out for me tonight at my concert." Rachel quickly adds, "I just wanted to say that before I went home."

Finn's lips tilt up in that wonderful half-smile once again. "That's just the job. And you can call me Finn, by the way."

Rachel smiles at him, and her heart thumps a little harder in her chest. She squeezes his arm and goes to move past him, but Finn's voice stops her once again.

"Miss Berry—"

"You can call me Rachel," she interrupts.

Finn smiles briefly before the look on his face grows more serious. "Be careful on your way home, okay?"

Rachel feels her heart warm at the sincere concern on Finn's face and in his voice. She smiles at him and nods her head.

She secretly finds herself wanting to tell Finn that he can stay with her. He makes her feel safe, and she really likes that. But she stops herself from saying anything, and she leaves the theater with one last smile at Finn.


vii.

Rachel lets out a relieved sigh when she unlocks her apartment and steps in. She loves performing, but the stress of everything that's been going on has suddenly gotten to her. She just wants to pop a movie in, curl up in bed, and go to sleep.

As she shuts the door behind her, she feels a chill run up her spine. Rachel strips off her jacket and slowly sets it to the side as she looks around the front of her apartment. She's unsure of whether or not she should go further in or listen to her gut feeling.

She makes a decision before she can think too much about it, and she digs through her purse for her phone. She scrolls through her recently added numbers until she finds the one she's looking for. The sight of his name instantly makes her feel better.

Rachel dials the number and steps outside her apartment once again. When he picks up, she lets out a quiet sigh of relief.

"Finn? Can you please come to my apartment? I need you."


viii.

Finn arrives at her apartment only a few minutes after she hangs up with him. His amber eyes are full of concern as he approaches her. He reaches out with one strong hand and squeezes her shoulder.

"Are you okay?" he asks as he looks into her eyes. His hand is warm on her shoulder, his thumb lightly brushing against the part of her collar bone that's exposed. It's distracting Rachel, and it takes her a few moments to answer.

Rachel finally shrugs her shoulders and glances nervously at her door. "I don't even know if anything happened. I just didn't feel right when I walked into my apartment."

"It's good to follow your gut instinct," Finn says as he nods his head. "And I'm glad you called me. You know that you always can, right?"

Rachel bites her lip before she says softly, "I know. Thank you."

Finn squeezes her shoulder gently before he moves into her apartment. Rachel waits nervously in the doorway, tugging on a loose strand of hair in an attempt to distract herself. She doesn't hear any sounds of struggle, so she hopes that she can assume that no one is actually in her apartment. Her fears are eased slightly when Finn comes in from the back of the apartment a few moments later.

"There was no one in there?" Rachel asks as soon as she sees him. "Thank God. I was so scared—"

Finn holds up his hand. Clenched in his fingers is a sheet of paper. Rachel can see clippings from magazines spelling out words. Her breath catches in her throat, and she swallows hard. She reaches out to take it from Finn and see what it says, but he holds it away from her.

"Finn, let me see it." Rachel hates how her voice shakes as she speaks, but she can't help it. She's terrified, now. Someone actually had been in her apartment, looking at her things, touching them… Her apartment is her private space and she hates that someone had invaded it.

"You don't need to see it, Rachel," he says gruffly. His face is hard in anger, his free hand clenching into a hard fist. Rachel can practically feel the anger rolling off him in waves.

Rachel puts her hands on her hips and lifts her chin. "Finn, this is about me. I deserve to know what it says."

Finn stares at her for a long moment before he hands over the note. Rachel takes a deep breath and unfolds the note. As she reads it, her eyes grow wide. It's the typical stalker letter (if there ever was one). It simply says things like "you're so beautiful and I love to watch you" and "I dream about you all the time." The ones that scares her the most are the graphic sexual descriptions of what he'd like to do to her.

Rachel goes pale as she crumples up the note and pushes it back towards Finn. He takes it and slips it out of sight so that she doesn't have to look at it anymore. She presses a hand to her mouth and closes her eyes.

"Rachel," Finn says softly. "It's going to be okay."

Rachel opens her eyes again and finds Finn's amber orbs looking directly into hers. His gaze is sincere, his face soft and caring. Somehow, Rachel feels infinitely safer when he's with her.

"Alright." Her voice is shaky, but she clears her throat and says it again because she truly believes him. "Alright."


ix.

Finn is staying at her apartment now.

Rachel doesn't even argue when Kurt says that Finn is going to move in for the time being. In fact, she feels infinitely better knowing that he'll be there. Finn's presence is so calming and steadying.

She stands in the doorway of the guest room, her fingers toying with the hem of her nightshirt. "Do you need anything?" she asks. She watches Finn put some clothes in one of the dresser drawers. He's wearing a grey t-shirt and a pair of plaid pajama pants, and Rachel's eyes lingered on his body for a moment before she forces herself to look away.

He looks over his shoulder and gives her an easy smile. "I'm good, Rachel. Thank you."

Rachel chews on her bottom lip for several long moments as she tries to wrap her mind around what has happened over the last few hours. Finally, she says, "Thank you for coming, Finn."

Finn shuts the drawer and turns to face Rachel. "Of course," he says. "That's my job, after all."

"Right. As my bodyguard." Rachel doesn't mean for her voice to sound so flat, but she can't help it. Her life has been thrown into a tailspin, and Finn is the only solid thing at the moment. But she can't do anything about it, since he's her bodyguard.

Finn gives her an unreadable look before he turns to finish putting his belongings away. Rachel sighs before she says, "Just let me know if you need anything, alright?"

"I will," Finn says with a smile.

Rachel takes another moment to look at him before she leaves the room, shutting the door behind her. She doesn't know what will happen over the next few weeks, but she does know that something big is happening.


x.

Finn sleeps without a shirt on.

Rachel finds that out when she wakes up to make her usual cup of coffee. Finn shuffles in a few moments after her, still looking as if he was half asleep. His hair is sticking up in a million directions, and he has a light shadow of stubble on his face. Those plaid pajama pants he had been wearing the night before were slung low on his hips, and Rachel licks her lips as she looks at his define arms and torso.

Finn runs a hand through his messy hair as he yawns. "Morning."

Rachel simply stares at him for a few moments before her verbal centers start working. "Good morning, Finn. Would you like some coffee?"

Finn stretches, the muscles in his back and arms flexing with the movement. "Coffee sounds good." His words were kind of slurred together. It's obvious that Finn hasn't really woken up yet, and he takes a seat at the kitchen table.

Rachel finds it incredibly adorable. With an amused smile playing on her lips, she pours Finn a cup of coffee and slides it towards him. He lifts his head from its place on his folded arms and takes a long sip of the drink. It takes some time, but eventually the coffee does its job and Finn's eyes brighten.

He glances over towards Rachel and immediately stiffens. He seems to have remembered that he's not actually wearing a shirt. His cheeks turn red and he takes another huge gulp of coffee before he stands up and disappears into the guest room.

Finn returns a few moments later with a t-shirt on. His cheeks are still red, and he takes a seat at the kitchen table again.

"Sorry about that," Finn mumbles.

Rachel shakes her head. "Don't be. I didn't mind." The words slip from her mouth before she can really think about it. Now it's Rachel's cheeks that are flushing a bright pink, and she bites her bottom lip when Finn looks up sharply at her.

Something passes in the air between them, and they stare at each other for several long moments before Rachel finally looks away. She turns back towards the cabinet and busies herself by filling another mug with coffee.

A loud ringing comes from the guest room. Finn gets up again and returns a few moments later with his phone. An amused look resides on his face as he presses the phone against his year. He lets out a chuckle.

"San, San. I get it. Puck is annoying you. But you're the one that married him, so…" He winces and holds the phone away from his ear. Even from where she's standing across the kitchen, Rachel hears the angry yelling of a woman. "Okay, I'm sorry! Yeah, I know." There's another long pause before Finn suddenly gets an alarmed look on his face. "What? You're coming here? Why?"

Rachel turns to watch Finn in curiosity. Obviously, these are some of Finn's friends. From the sound of it, it appears that they might be coming to join Finn for at least a little while. Finn rolls his eyes as he listens to whoever is on the other end.

"Santana, you can't just decide to come and join in on my case. And I don't care if it was Puck's idea, either. I… But… You can't…" Finally, Finn sighs. "Fine. I guess I'll see you guys soon." Finn hangs up his phone and tosses it on the table. He looks up at Rachel and says, "We might be having a few more people joining us. They won't be staying here, but they'll be around during the events."

Rachel can't keep the smile off of her face. This is just another chance to get to know more about Finn. "Oh. Well, I can't wait to meet them."

"They both work for the firm that I'm a part of. They just finished their last case and want something else to do. They make it their mission in life to annoy me as much as they possibly can."

Rachel moves to the fridge and takes out a carton of eggs and a pack of bacon. Moving over to the stove, she finds a pan and takes that out as well. She feels Finn's eyes on her as she busies herself with making breakfast.

"I thought you were a vegetarian," Finn says after he watches her.

Rachel turns to face Finn in surprise. "I am. But just because I'm a vegetarian doesn't mean that you can't have some bacon and eggs. I have some muffins that I can have for breakfast."

"You don't have to cook for me," Finn says softly. "I can—"

Rachel looks over her shoulder. "I don't mind, Finn. You're staying here when you don't have to. The least I can do is cook breakfast for you."

Finn tilts his head. "So now it's a good thing that I'm staying here? If I remember correctly, you were pretty against it."

Rachel wants to roll her eyes and give him an exasperated look, but she can't bring herself to do it. This was serious now. So she just looks Finn in the eye and says, "Things have changed."


xi.

"No. There is no way that I'm letting you cook dinner again."

"But… Finn!" Rachel tries to make a swipe for the skillet she had been cooking on. Finn, being much taller than she is, holds it over his head and only smiles as Rachel tries to jump for it. "Finn, I know I can do it if you just let me—"

"No," Finn repeats again. He brings the skillet down to his face and looks at the contents. "I don't even know what this is, Rachel."

Rachel pouts. "Stop being so mean to me. I can cook. And I can bake, too!"

"I know you can bake. I had some of your banana bread earlier. And you can cook breakfast foods. My eggs were great this morning, thank you." Finn gives her a playful smile, and Rachel finds that she can't be angry with him at all. He's just too cute. "But I think I'll take care of cooking dinner from now you."

Rachel stops trying to reach for the pan and arches a brow. "You can cook?"

"Why do you say it like that? You sound surprised. I can cook, you know."

"Then by all means." Rachel steps back from Finn and points to the stove. "Go ahead and cook dinner. I expect something delicious."

An hour later, Rachel finds herself no longer doubtful of Finn's cooking abilities. She practically devours the plate of vegan baked ziti that he has cooked. Rachel even goes so far as to let a moan out as she takes another bite.

Finn has a victorious smirk on his face. "I take it you like it, then?"

Rachel points her fork at him. "Stop it. I'm admitting defeat by eating this dish and enjoying it. Don't make me say it, Finn."

Finn sits back in his chair and watches Rachel with an amused look on his face. Rachel makes a face at him and then takes another bite of her pasta.


xii.

The past few have gone well. Rachel has yet to receive another note from the mystery stalker. Things were growing better with Finn. Her feelings for him grow more and more, but Rachel never does anything to act on them. The situation is too touchy, too volatile. Despite the fact that nothing has happened over the last few days, anything could, at any moment.

Finn knocks on Rachel's bedroom door. "Are you ready to go, Rach?" He has taken to calling her that, and Rachel likes the nickname. She smiles when she hears it and stands to gather her purse and jacket.

Tonight, Rachel has a performance that she's doing as a favor for one of her old college professors. The students are coming to see a really Broadway performer. Rachel loves doing things like this, because three years ago, she was a senior in college sitting in those students' place.

"Are you sure that you want to go?" Finn asks for what seems like the millionth time. He doesn't think that going to this performance is a good idea. He wants her to stay in if she doesn't have something that she absolutely has to go to. The less exposure, the better.

Rachel smiles reassuringly at him. "It'll be fine. I haven't gotten a letter in several days, remember?"

Finn sighs. "I guess not. Are you ready to go?" he asks again.

Rachel nods her head and runs her hands down the front of navy blue dress. Finn offers her his arm and she smiles as she slips her hand into the crook of his strong arm. They walk out of the apartment together and Finn helps her into the car.

The performance goes better than Rachel could have expected. The students asked her excellent questions and Rachel has a blast answering all of them. This is what she loves to do. She's passionate about her craft and career and she enjoys sharing it with other people.

Rachel notices Finn standing off to the side of the stage, watching her with his hands in his pockets. There's a smile playing on his lips, and his eyes are twinkling with a look that Rachel doesn't know how to describe. She smiles back at him and she's pleased when his grin widens.

She steps off the stage and Finn is behind her as she heads back to her dressing room. He's following close behind her and, as always, his presence calms her. She feels relaxed and happy as she puts her palm on the door to push it open.

Rachel hears something crash in the dressing room before she can open the door all the way. She freezes and Finn's hands wrap around her waist as he pulls her away and pushes her behind him. He produces a gun from some hidden holster. Security is called and they block Rachel as Finn bursts into the dressing room.

She hears Finn curse and he appears a few moments later, immediately going over to the head of security. He demands that Rachel's dressing room be moved to a more secure room without windows and then he turns and takes Rachel's hand.

She doesn't speak as he tows her from the theater and helps her into the car once again. She doesn't know what to say or even what to think. She just clutches Finn's hand tightly in her own as they go back to her apartment.


xiii.

Rachel doesn't even knock as she enters Finn's room. She doesn't care that it's just past three o'clock in the morning. She's freaking out and she doesn't know what to do about it. Talking to Finn seems like the right thing to do.

Finn wakes up the second that she enters the room. He sits up in bed and immediately ask, "Rachel, what's wrong?" Even though his voice is heavy with sleep, he's watching her with alert eyes.

"I want to move," Rachel says without any preamble.

Finn blinks and rubs a hand over his messy hair. "What?"

"I want to move," Rachel repeats. "That guy has been here. I would want to switch theaters if I could, but moving to another dressing room will have to be enough. But I will not stay here knowing that that… freak has been here."

"Okay." Finn sits up straighter. "Okay. We'll start looking for a new apartment for you tomorrow, okay?"

Rachel lets out a shaky breath and nods her head. To her embarrassment, she feels tears burning in her eyes, and she does her best not to let them fall. Finn, as he always does, somehow knows what she's thinking and feeling. He pats the spot on the bed next to him.

"Come here," he says. When Rachel gives him a confused look, he pats the bed again. "You need to calm down. So come over here and sit down."

Rachel slowly walks over to the bed and takes a seat on top of the covers next to Finn. He's not wearing a shirt again, and she's pretty sure that he's only in his boxers, but she doesn't care. The thought of what's happening in her life is suddenly becoming too much. She has someone encroaching on everything personal—on her space, and her job, on everything that she loves. It's too much.

"I just… I don't understand," Rachel whispers. "What did I do? What did I do to make him think it's okay for him to just come into my apartment, my dressing room… my life and do this to me?"

Finn lifts a hand and hesitates before he reaches out and takes Rachel's hand. He gently tugs her closer to him. Rachel is amazed, because Finn somehow knew that she needed this. He wraps a strong arm around her shoulders and rubs his hand comfortingly over her arm.

"It's not your fault," he says as he presses his lips to her hair. "None of this is your fault. You didn't do anything. Don't ever think that, okay?"

The words are out of Rachel's mouth before she can stop herself. "Would you hold me until I fall asleep?"

Finn stares at her for a long moment before he pulls the blankets back. Rachel slips underneath them and Finn pulls her into his arms. She settles against him, closing her eyes and relishing in the warmth and safety she feels coming from being in his arms.

This makes her feel better. Finn makes her feel better.


xiv.

"Well, well. What do we have here?"

Rachel wakes up to find two unfamiliar people standing over her bed. She goes to sit up in alarm, but Finn's arms are wrapped around her. She's unable to move, but she feels him shift against her.

He groans and cracks open his eyes. "Puck? Santana? What the hell are you two doing here?"

The woman—Santana, Rachel assumes—smirks. "We told you that we were coming to visit. We just didn't expect to find you in bed with the little Broadway diva."

Rachel's cheeks immediately go bright red. She pulls the comforter over her head. These are Finn's coworkers, and they found her in bed with him. It wasn't like they did anything, either—it just felt so right to go to him. It still feels right, being in bed next to him, being held in his arms.

"Go away, Santana," Finn orders.

Puck chuckles. "I gotta say, I never thought you would do something like this."

Rachel makes a noise of embarrassment in the back of her throat, and Finn reaches down and squeezes her hand. "Seriously, guys!" Finn exclaims. "Get out!"

Both Santana and Puck laugh as they leave the guest room. Finn peeks under the covers and finds Rachel with her face hidden in her hands. He chuckles and gently tugs Rachel's hands away from her face.

"I'm sorry about that," Finn says. "They can be pretty annoying."

Rachel sits up and pushes the covers away from her head. "How did they even get in here, anyway? We had the locks changed after the time we found the note in here."

Finn shakes his head. "You don't want to know. They have ways of doing highly illegal things without anyone knowing. But they're pretty harmless… most of the time."

"I don't know if I can go out there," Rachel mumbles. "Can you imagine what they're going to say?"

"Seriously, don't worry about it too much. They make fun of everyone that they know. That's probably why they're perfect for each other." Finn rolls out of the bed and stretches a little. Despite how embarrassed Rachel still is, she can't stop herself from admiring his body. He pulls on a pair of pajama pants and a t-shirt and then turns towards Rachel, looking at her expectantly.

Rachel climbs out of the bed as well. It suddenly occurs to her that she's only wearing a tiny pair of shorts and a tank top. When she had gone to see Finn the night before, what she had been wearing hadn't occurred to her. She stands and tugs on the bottom of her tank top, her cheeks turning pink once again.

Finn smiles and hands her one of his sweaters. Rachel pulls it over head and immediately becomes swamped with Finn's comforting scent. The sleeves of the sweater go well past her hands, and the end hangs past her shorts.

"Thank you," she says softly.

Finn nods his head and holds the door open. He doesn't say anything, but he does put his hand on the small of Rachel's back as she walks past him. Rachel smiles and fists the sweater in her hands.


xv.

Finn doesn't acknowledge Puck when he walks into the room. He simply goes about packing his clothes back into his suitcase for the move. It's been two days since Rachel has decided that she wanted to move apartments, and they manage to find one that she likes. Now, they're just packing everything up.

Puck takes care of Finn's lack of attention by hitting him on the back of the head. Finn stops packing and glares at his best friend. "What the hell, man?"

"What the hell are you doing?" Puck demands.

"What are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about this thing with Berry. What the hell are you doing?"

Finn looks away from Puck. "What thing with Rachel?"

"That… thing… you have with her." Puck waves his hand. "It's a thing, alright? I don't even know what it is, but you have a thing for Berry."

Finn sighs. "Puck…"

"I just want to make sure that you know what you're doing, dude," Puck interrupts. The look on his face becomes very serious. "You've never done something like this before. You've never gotten this close to someone while on a case."

Finn looks at his best friend. "I've never felt like this about anyone before," he says simply.

And that's all Puck needs, really. He believes his best friend. "Alright, man," he says as he claps Finn on the shoulder. "Just be careful, okay?"

Finn nods his head. He knows. He knows what the situation is. But he also knows that he cares about Rachel way more than he probably should… and that doesn't bother him at all.


xvi.

Rachel is just finishing up another rehearsal. She can hear Finn arguing with Puck and Santana off to the side of the stage. Kurt approaches her, papers in hand, and she sighs.

"No, Kurt. I just want to sleep tonight," Rachel pleads.

Kurt brow arches. "This normally isn't like you, Rachel. You like to go to these sorts of things."

Rachel shrugs her shoulders and looks away from her friend. "I'm just tired. With everything that's happened…" It has been a week since Puck and Santana have arrived (unannounced). Since then, Rachel has received three more notes. Each one has gotten worse than the last, and they make Rachel feel uneasy and on edge.

Kurt gives her a sympathetic look and reaches out to hug her. "I know, sweetie. I know that this has been hard. I'm sorry." Then Kurt holds the papers the contain Rachel's schedule out to her. "But look what I have! You have an award ceremony tonight!"

"Hold on." Finn suddenly appears at Rachel's side as he gives his stepbrother a dark look. "Award ceremony? What award ceremony?"

"It's for the benefit album that Rachel recorded a few songs for last year," Kurt explains. "She was nominated for best song, and she has to go tonight."

Finn actually looks kind of angry. "You're supposed to tell me about these things, Kurt. I was supposed to know about Rachel's entire schedule. You said nothing about this award ceremony."

Kurt shrugs his shoulders. He's actually pretty used to how Finn acts sometimes. "This invitation came very last minute. And she really shouldn't turn it down, because it will give her more attention and show the record companies that she's ready for her own album." Finn looks as if he's about to protest, but Kurt exclaims, "And I already have the perfect dress for her!"

Finn's jaw clenches, but he finally relents. "Fine. Let me know the second that you're ready to leave."


xvii.

"He seemed angry."

"Rachel, don't worry about it."

"But he seemed really angry."

Kurt lets out a dramatic sigh. He's currently waiting for Rachel to finish getting dressed for the award ceremony. She's been talking about how frustrated Finn was, but Kurt has had enough. He just wants to tell Rachel to get over it and jump Finn already, but he doesn't think that she would be very amused by that.

"Well, he's angry at me. Not at you. So I don't think you have anything to be concerned about. Now are you finished getting dressed yet?"

Rachel finally emerges from her bedroom and shows Kurt the purple evening gown he had selected for the award ceremony. Kurt claps his hands—her makeup is perfect, her hair is perfect, and her dress is gorgeous. Finn's anger doesn't matter—Rachel looks fabulous and the whole world will see it.

"I've forced Finn into a tuxedo for the night," Kurt reveals. "So at least when he walks the red carpet next to you, he'll look proper. Who knows what he would have worn had he been left unsupervised."

Rachel shakes her head and gathers her wrap and her clutch. "You really shouldn't pick on Finn so much."

Kurt rolls his eyes. "You're only saying that because you have a crush on him," he grumbles.

Rachel ignores him and goes out to the front room, where Finn is waiting in his tuxedo. Kurt arrives just in time to see Finn and Rachel get their first look at one another. Rachel's eyes widen almost comically, and Finn's darken. They simply stare at each other, and Kurt waits to see if either one will say anything.

Surprisingly, it's Finn who speaks first. "Rachel… you look… God, you look so amazing."

A bright smile lights up Rachel's face. "Thank you. You look quite dashing yourself."

Finn holds his arm out and Rachel slips her hand into the crook of it. Kurt can't help himself; he snaps a picture when the two of them aren't paying attention. He'll save this one for when Finn finally tells his mother about this budding romance with Rachel Berry.

And if Finn does something to piss him off, Kurt will send the picture to Carole before Finn can tell her.


xviii.

Rachel keeps the award clutched tightly in her hand as she and Finn walk down the street. Her smile was bright, and there was an excited bounce to her step. It may have been a small award that she had won, but she was still so proud of it.

"We should celebrate," Rachel says impulsively. It's still early enough that they can go out and do something. And she wants to go out, she wants to celebrate this—with Finn.

"Yeah?" Finn has his hand pressed to her back again. Rachel really likes it there. "What do you want to do?"

"Let's go dancing! I love dancing—wait. What is that look for? Why are you looking at me like that?"

Finn has a mildly horrified look on his face. "I don't dance, Rach."

"Oh, come on. Everyone dances."

"I don't. I'm a shitty dancer."

"Language, Finn!" When Finn doesn't budge at all, Rachel moves closer to him. It's easy since he still has his hand pressed to her back. She moves so close that his whole arm practically ends up wrapped around her waist. She makes her eyes go as wide as they possibly can. "Please, can we go dancing? I highly doubt that you're that horrible."

"Oh, but I am. I broke someone's nose in high school once. You can ask Kurt. I'm sure that he'll tell you all about it."

Rachel giggles. "Please, Finn? It'll be so much fun!"

Finn looks down at her. "Fine. Come on, I'm sure we can find someplace that you can dance along here. But you know that we can't stay there long, right?"

Rachel rolls her eyes playfully. "Fine, fun sucker."

Finn just makes a face at her as they walk down the street. He's about to say something when several men come tumbling out of a nearby bar. They cross the path that Rachel and Finn are walking, and they end up in the middle of the fray. Before Rachel can even process what's going on, she sees the flash of a knife. The guy takes a swipe at one of the other guys with the knife, but Rachel is caught in the middle.

Finn jumps in front of her and pushes her back. She hears his hiss of pain as the knife comes in contact with his skin, and Rachel lets out a cry of shock. Finn quickly apprehends the man with the knife and the police soon arrive.

Rachel catches sight of the blood on Finn's dress shirt, and she grabs his hand. "Finn, we need to take you to see a doctor—"

"No." Finn winces and presses the gauze he had gotten from the police to the wound on his chest. "It's not deep. I just need to bandage it up. Let's head back to the apartment."

Finn waits for Rachel to leave before following her. She sighs but she heads towards the car. Finn trails behind her, leaving Rachel with her thoughts on what had just happened.


xix.

Rachel approaches Finn with medical tape and bandages. They had stopped at a drug store on the way home and gotten the medical supplies that they needed. Finn hasn't said a word since they had entered the apartment.

Rachel presses the bandages to the wound on Finn's chest and starts to tape it down. He's watching her, but Rachel keeps her eyes focused on what she's doing. She finishes with the bandages but doesn't step back from him.

"Finn…What you did today…" she whispers.

Finn looks into her eyes but doesn't say anything. As it always happens whenever their together, something passes in the air between them. They can both feel it, and it's been happening since the very first time that they met.

Rachel thinks about how Finn jumped in front of her as soon as that knife had appeared. He had pushed her out of the way and taken the injury for her. Rachel doesn't think that she had ever been so afraid in her entire life. That injury could have been a lot worse than it actually was.

Rachel presses her hand to his bare chest. "Are you… Are you really ready to die for me?"

Finn's lips twitch up into that half smile. "It's in the job description, isn't it?"

Rachel shakes her head. She can't laugh at Finn's joke, because she could tell that he really would give his life for her. So she takes her hands and she presses them on either side of Finn's face. She stares into his amber eyes before she takes a deep breath and presses her lips to his.

Finn's hands fall to her hips and he pulls her closer. The kiss is tender and gentle, and it practically sets Rachel on fire. She pulls back and finds Finn smiling at her—really, truly smiling at her—before he kisses her again.

This kiss is deeper and more passionate. One of Finn's hands tangles in Rachel's hair and she wraps her arms around his neck. They kiss until they can't anymore, until the need for air becomes too great.

They don't say anything when they break apart again. Rachel just keeps her forehead pressed against Finn's, and he keeps his hands wrapped around her waist. He continues to hold her close, and Rachel relishes in the feeling of being in Finn's arms.


xx.

"What did I say about you cooking?" Finn takes the spatula from Rachel's hand. He chuckles when she lets out a noise of protest, Finn bends to kiss the side of her neck.

"It was just stir fry!" Rachel exclaims. "How could I possibly go wrong with that?"

Finn points to the pan. "You've burnt the chicken."

Rachel scowls and snatches the spatula back from Finn and sifts through the chicken stir fry she had been attempting to make for Finn. She was pretty good at making tofu stir fry, so why should the chicken be any different? But Finn is right—the bottom of the chicken is black and hard.

Rachel pouts and Finn leans forward to kiss her lips. Rachel smiles and drops the spatula to pull him closer. Finn's hands tangle in her hair as he tilts her head back to deepen the kiss. She turns with surprising strength and presses Finn against the counter.

It's been three weeks their first kiss. Since Finn is currently living with her, it's easy for them to spend time together and get to know one another better. Rachel doesn't know what they are, exactly, but she likes what they're doing.

As usual, Finn knows exactly what she's thinking. He breaks the kiss and runs his hands over her back, his fingers slipping under the hem of her shirt. "Let me take you out to dinner."

Rachel pulls back from Finn in surprise. "We've had dinner before," she says.

"Yeah, but we've had it here," Finn points out. He takes her hands and squeezes. "Let me take you out to dinner. Tonight."

Rachel gives him a suspicious look. "You've already made the reservations, haven't you?"

Finn wraps his arms around Rachel's waist again and kisses her softly. "I thought I could save the chicken before I could tell you…"

"Haha, very funny." Rachel looks up and nods her head, a smile lighting up her face. "And I would love to go to dinner with you."

Finn grins, and Rachel kisses him again before she goes off to get ready. She and Finn meet by the front door fifteen minutes later. Finn's wearing a suit and Rachel's wearing a cream-colored dress with thing straps. Finn pulls Rachel into his arms again. He can't stop himself from giving her a deep kiss, and Rachel moans as she strains on her tiptoes (even in her heels) to reach him.

"Would you call this the first date?" Finn asks. "I mean, I guess it is the first official date…"

Rachel shakes her head and smiles coyly. "I would say that it's our third date. Maybe even our fourth. The first was when we had that dinner and move night. And then you made dinner when I came back from that benefit gala and I was still in my dress." Rachel smiles at the memory of that. Finn had dressed up in a suit and had cooked a wonderful dinner for them. "I would even go so far as to say that our third date was when we went bowling with Santana and Noah."

Finn snorted. "I wouldn't really call that a date since Santana and Puck were being downright annoying—" At the look on Rachel's face, Finn stopped talking abruptly. "Or, you know. That could be our third date."

Rachel kisses Finn again. "Perfect."


xxi.

Rachel's breath catches in her throat as Finn lays her back on the bed. His fingers find the zipper on the side of her dress, and he slowly pulls it down. The anticipation is nearly killing her, but every movement of Finn's is slow and deliberate. He's taking his time, showing Rachel how much he cares about her.

Finn's lips press to her collarbone as he pulls the strap of her dress down. He slides the dress off of her body, his lips drifting towards her chest. Rachel clutches at his shoulders as his lips move around her breast, biting gently and sucking. Rachel moans and locks her fingers in her hair, arching into his mouth and hands.

Finn's tongue traces along the underside of her breast before his mouth closes around her nipple. At the same time, Finn's fingers slip past her panties and between her soaked folds. Rachel pulls his head back up towards hers to kiss him again, and she reaches down to push his boxer briefs off.

Rachel's fingers wrap around his hard length, and Finn drops his head into her neck. He bites and sucks at the sensitive spot on her skin, causing Rachel to cry out. His name falls from her lips as his hands trace up and down her body.

"Finn, please," Rachel breathes.

Finn kisses her shoulder. "Please what?" he mumbles against her skin.

"Please… I need you." Rachel guides him to her entrance and Finn groans. He slowly pushes into her, and Rachel has never felt so complete in her entire life. He pauses and hovers over her, gazing into her eyes. Rachel digs her nails into his shoulders and gasps when Finn kisses her again and starts to move.

Rachel lifts her hips in in time with Finn's thrusts. She wraps her legs around the backs of his thighs, drawing him closer. She cries Finn's name again as they both start to move faster.

"God, Rachel," Finn groans. He kisses her again, biting down on her bottom lip.

"Oh!" Rachel gasps. She feels so close. Having Finn inside of her, over her makes her feel as if everything had fallen into place. She feels special and loved and cherished. Every move Finn makes, she responds to in perfect time. It's like they're made for each other. She kisses Finn again, and that's all she needs before she falls over the edge. A few thrusts later, Finn comes as well, groaning her name into his neck.

Finn rolls to the side but pulls Rachel with him. She settles against his chest and Finn kisses her shoulder. His fingers trace up and down her back, and Rachel lets out a soft sigh of happiness.

"You're amazing," Rachel murmurs.

Finn kisses her hair again. "You know that I'll never let anything happen to you, right?"

"I know." Rachel presses a kiss to his chest and closes her eyes. "Thank you."


xxii.

Finn leans against the doorframe to the entranceway of the living room and smiles as he watches Rachel with her friends and Kurt. They're having a game and movie night and it's nice to see Rachel just relax and not worry about anything for a while.

She's received more notes from the stalker. They have a more violent tone to them, and he's started sending pictures as well. The pictures scare Rachel more than the violent notes, because the stalker has the ability to take those pictures. She hates knowing that her privacy is being invaded.

Finn has actually put Santana and Puck on the case now. The stalker is getting closer, and Finn doesn't like that at all. There are no clues as to who this guy is, and he's always gone before they can catch him at all. This guy has a way of getting in and out of places without anyone knowing.

It puts Finn on edge. He hates that Rachel is in danger, and he wants to do everything that he can to protect her. It scares him, and he doesn't want to admit that because that could put Rachel in danger as well. Finn loves her, and he's pretty sure that Rachel loves him in return. He never imagined that he would end up in a situation like this with one of his clients, but here he is. Rachel is the one for him.

"You're in really deep," Santana says as she appears next to him.

Finn watches as Rachel laughs at something her friend Brittany says. A smile touches his lips and he doesn't look away from Rachel. "I love her."

"This is dangerous," Santana says immediately. "You realize that, right? I'm pretty sure that her stalker already knows that you're somehow involved with her. He probably would have assumed that anyway, since you live with her. He'll get angrier when he realizes that Rachel isn't available. And then he'll probably want to get rid of you."

Finn finally looks at Santana. "I don't care what happens to me," he says sharply. "I care about protecting Rachel and keeping her safe. I love her. And I will do anything to keep her safe. That's what I'm supposed to do. As her bodyguard and as the man that loves her."

"I just want to make sure that you know what you're doing," Santana says.

"Puck has already had this talk with me, you know."

Santana finally smiles. "I figured that he would."

"Will you trust me, then?" Finn looks over at Rachel again. She looks up and catches his eye, smiling at him. Finn smiles in return.

"You really do love her, don't you?" Santana says after watching the interaction between them. When Finn nods his head, Santana continues, "We do trust you. And believe it or not, Puck and I both want to see Berry safe, as well. She's actually our friend too, you know."

Finn chuckles as Santana joins Rachel and her friends Tina, Mercedes, and Brittany in the living room. Kurt protests loudly because they were already half way through their game, but Santana simply hits Kurt over the head with a throw pillow.

Rachel laughs and looks up at Finn again. She blows him a kiss, and Finn grins at her.


xxiii.

The latest note really has Rachel on edge. It was violent and too descriptive and it actually gave her a nightmare. Finn just held her for hours the night before since she had been too afraid to go back to sleep.

Whoever this stalker was, he's angry. The tone of the notes have changed—he still talks about how much he loves Rachel, but he says that he's been betrayed. That she's giving herself to other people when she shouldn't be. Rachel hates reading those notes, because she doesn't know who this guy is, and she doesn't want anything to do with him.

She loves Finn. She discovered that a few nights ago, when she found Finn doing the dishes in the kitchen. Rachel simply washed him and then realized that she loves Finn. She's probably loved him from the moment she saw him. And seeing him do the dishes the night before… Rachel knows that she wants to have that for the rest of her life.

Rachel approaches the front door of her apartment. Finn is close behind her, as he had stopped to get the mail on the way up. But Rachel gets to the door before Finn does. She sees a plain white envelope tapped there with her name on it. Tilting her head thoughtfully, Rachel pulls the envelope from the door and opens it.

A sharp gasp escapes her lips when she sees the contents. It's pictures of her and Finn—during some of their dates, when they're walking together, at some events. There are even some pictures of them kissing and holding hands.

The note is even worse. It talks about how if Finn goes near Rachel again, he'll hurt him. He'll do everything he can to make sure that Finn doesn't even go near Rachel any longer. Tears burn in her eyes as she reads the description in the note.

"Hey, Rach," Finn says as he comes up behind her. He kisses her cheek and spots the note in her hand. "What's that…?" He trails off when he notices the familiar layout of the note. Rachel is frozen in fear, and Finn reaches out and gently takes the note from her.

He scans it quickly and looks at Rachel, noticing that she still hasn't moved at all. He quickly opens the door and gently guides her inside. Rachel takes comfort in the strong, warm hand on her back, but she's incredibly shaken by what she just read. If she thinks the note she had read a few days ago was bad, than she's been extremely mistaken. This is much worse.

It takes Rachel several long moments, but she finally manages to find her words. "Finn…" she whispers. "That note…"

Finn sets the note and his phone aside. He's already sent a quick text off to Puck, Santana, and their boss, so they already know about the situation. Finn pulls Rachel into his arms and presses a kiss to her temple.

"Shhh, baby," he murmurs against her hair. "It's going to be okay."

"Okay?" Rachel pulls back to give Finn an incredulous look. "How is this going to be okay? How is that note going to be okay?" She points to it to emphasize what she's saying. "That is completely unacceptable. How are you so calm right now?"

"I'm not," Finn reveals honestly. "I'm not okay with any of this. But probably not for the reasons that you're thinking." He puts his hands on Rachel's shoulder and ducks to look her in the eye. "I'm concerned because of how this is affecting you."

"Affecting me? It's affecting me because it's affecting you!" Rachel takes one of Finn's hands and presses it to her cheek. "Finn, the fact that this guy is after you now scares me so much. I don't want anything to happen to you."

Finn puts his hand on Rachel's hip and pulls her closer. "I'm supposed to be protecting you."

Finally, Rachel cracks a small smile. "And you are. You're doing your job, and you're excellent at it. But now you're in danger, as well. And I can't bare it if anything happens to you because of me." She looks up at Finn with wide, shining eyes. "I love you."

Finn watches Rachel watch him before he lifts her free hand and presses his lips to her palm. "That's exactly why I can't leave you, Rachel. Because I love you, too."

Rachel stares at him before she surges up on her tiptoes and kisses him deeply. Finn lifts her in his arms and presses her against the wall. She sucks on his bottom lip and his tongue slips into her mouth. Her hands are in his hair and his hands are gripping her hips as the room fills with their moans and breathy sighs.

It's fast from there. Even while Finn holds Rachel against the wall, they still manage to remove their clothes. Their lips and hands are everywhere, going wherever they can reach. And then Finn slides into Rachel. He buries his face in her neck, biting, sucking, and kissing at the soft skin.

"God, I love you," he groans.

"Oh!" Rachel's fingers dig into his arms and she throws her head back against the wall. "Oh, Finn, I love you too."

Their movements are fast and frantic, but Rachel still hasn't felt more loved in her entire life. Finn quickly brings her to completion and it's not long before he follows her over the edge. Finn presses several kisses to her shoulder as they try to catch their breath.

Rachel is glad that Finn is still supporting her against the wall. She doesn't think that she'll be able to stand, since her whole body feels like jelly. She does manage to kiss the side of Finn's face, however.

"I love you," she says again, just because she can.

Finn smiles. "I love you, too." And then he lifts her again, carrying her into the bedroom where he spends the night holding her.


xxiv.

Kurt jumps in surprise when he feels Rachel hug him. Even though he wasn't expecting the hug, he returns it anyway.

"What was that for?" he asks after Rachel pulls away.

She beams at him. "You're the reason that Finn is in my life. I just wanted to thank you for that."

Kurt smiles. "I had a feeling that the two of you would end up together. Even if you pretended not to like him in the beginning."

Rachel waves her hand dismissively. "While I do believe that Finn and I would have found each other eventually, you're the reason that it happened when it did. So thank you."

"Are you still scared?" Kurt asks. As Rachel's manager, he knows about everything that happened with the notes and how they've gotten recently.

"I'm terrified," Rachel admits. "I don't think I've ever been so scared in my entire life. And I'm not scared for myself; I'm scared for Finn. I don't want anything to happen because of me. He keeps telling me that it's not my fault, but I can't help but feel that it is."

Kurt hugs Rachel again. "It's not your fault. Finn has been in this job for a very long time. He knows the risks. And he's also going to do everything he can to protect you, not only because it's his job, but because he loves you."

Rachel nods her head and hugs Kurt tighter. She just wants everything to be okay. She doesn't want to worry and be afraid of some stalker anymore. She just wants to be with her friends and Finn. She knows that once that happens, her life will be everything that she wants it to be.


xxv.

"I'll head upstairs and get all of this put away," Rachel says as she takes the bag of groceries from Finn. "You need to take this phone call." Finn has just received an important phone call from his boss that he needs to take, and he can't wait to go up to the apartment.

Finn holds the phone to his chest. "Are you sure?" he asks.

Rachel waves her hand and smiles reassuringly at him. "I'll be fine. I'll see you in a few minutes."

Finn kisses her before Rachel heads to the elevator and up to her apartment. When she reaches the door, she digs through her purse with one hand to find her keys. It takes her longer than she expects, and she lets out an exasperated sigh.

Suddenly, Rachel is pressed flat against the door by an unfamiliar person. She drops the bag of groceries and her purse. She lets out a shriek of surprise, but whoever it is presses a hand to her mouth, cutting the scream off. Tears burn in her eyes but she refuses to let them fall when she feels hot, gross breath against her ear.

"Hello, Rachel Berry. It's nice to finally meet you." He bends down and rummages through her purse until he finds her keys. Once he does, he unlocks her apartment and pushes her in.

Rachel finally gets a look at the man who is her stalker. She supposes that other people might find him attractive, but she doesn't in the least. It almost looks as if he could be made of plastic, and he actually kind of resembles a… donkey. The comparison almost makes Rachel laugh, but the situation is too serious. She hates him. And once again, he's managed to find her and invade her personal space and life.

"My name is Brody Weston," he says.

"I don't really care," Rachel snaps. "What are you even doing here?"

"What do you think? I'm here because we belong together," Brody says.

Rachel scoffs. She doesn't know where this confidence is coming from, but she supposes it's because she's so angry at what this man has done to her life. "We're not meant to be together. There is no 'we' at all."

Brody's face suddenly grows dark. "And I suppose you think that you belong with that bodyguard of yours?"

Rachel's chin lifts. "As a matter of fact, yes. Finn and I are meant for each other. And there is nothing that you or anyone else can do to keep us apart."

"I can think of a few things that will," Brody says, his voice heavy with anger.

"If you hurt Finn—"

"Oh, I can guarantee you that I'll hurt Finn." Brody steps closer to her and Rachel takes a step back in return. "Now, let's get to the main event."

The front door suddenly bursts open. Finn comes in, his face dark with fury. Rachel feels a strange combination of fear and relief flood her at the same time.

"Finn!" she gasps.

"Get the hell away from her," Finn snaps.

Brody responds by taking another step towards Rachel.

Finn launches himself at Brody and tackles him to the ground. Finn easily apprehends the other man and lands several punches to his face. Even though Rachel doesn't condone violence, she lets him for a few moments.

Finn punches Brody for the last time when Puck and Santana enter the apartment. Finn lets his friends deal with the stalker as he stands up and approaches Rachel. She throws herself into his arms and holds onto him tightly. He strokes her hair back and kisses her temple. Rachel feels that there's no place better for her in the world.


xxvi.

"I was so scared."

Finn kisses Rachel softly. "I know. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have let you go up there by yourself—"

Rachel presses her fingers to his lips. "Stop. It's not your fault. And I wasn't scared because he had me in there. I was scared because he was talking about hurting you."

Finn stares at her in amazement. He can't believe that it was her safety being threatened, yet she spent her time being more worried about him. So he kisses her, because that's all he can do.

"I love you so much," he murmurs against her lips. "And I think that you're crazy for being worried about me, but it just shows how amazing you are." He kisses her again.

Rachel pushes herself up and stares at Finn. The events of the day suddenly hit her all at once, and tears come to her eyes. A sob escapes her lips, and Finn looks at her in alarm. His arms tighten around her as he pulls her closer.

"Hey, hey. What's wrong?"

Rachel sniffles, and Finn reaches up to wipe the tears from her eyes even as more fall. "You could have died today. He captured me and he could have killed you and what if—"

Finn kisses her forehead. "You can't think like that, okay?" He tightens his hold on her as Rachel buries her face in his chest and continues to cry. "It's okay. It's all over now. I've got you."


xxvii.

Two Years Later

"And the winner is… Rachel Berry!"

The crowd is already standing and applauding when the words reached her. Her eyes go wide in surprise. She has always dreamed of winning a Tony Award, but now it's actually happening. She's finally won for her role of Elphaba in Wicked.

Finn, who's sitting next to her, tugs her up from her chair. Rachel lets out a little exclamation of exhilaration and grabs Finn's face, dragging him down so that she can kiss him. He laughs and hugs her before she goes up to the stage.

"Wow!" Rachel says as she accepts the award. "Wow. This is truly a dream come true. Of course, I want to thank everyone in the cast and crew of Wicked. Without them, an award like this couldn't be possible. And I want to thank my friends and my papa and daddy for helping me follow my dreams."

Rachel beams as she looks out to the crowd. Her eyes find Finn's easily. After everything that's happened, having Finn and the rest of her friends and family by her side make her life everything she ever dreamed that it would be.

"And I would like to thank my husband, Finn Hudson. He's an amazing man and I love him so much."

Rachel takes a deep breath and clutches her Tony award a little tighter in her hands. "I'd also like to make an announcement. In another two months, I'll be taking a break from my Broadway career." A gasp goes through the audience, but Rachel simply continues smiling. Finn smiles from the crowd, as well. "I'm three months pregnant."

The crowd gasps again, but this time for a different reason. Rachel holds her hand out, and Finn knows that it means she wants her to join him. So he does. He joins his wife on stage and pulls her into his arms. Finn presses a kiss to Rachel's cheek as he slides his hand across the slight bump under her dress.

When Finn gets up on the stage, the entire crowd stands once again and begins to applaud. Rachel beams and reaches up to kiss Finn. "I love you," she murmurs against his lips.

"I love you, too," Finn says. His thumb rubs over her stomach. "And I love our baby, too."

Rachel beams and kisses Finn again. Because of Finn, this is her life now. He saved her and protected her, and she remembers the night that Finn told her that she saved him, as well. And now they're starting a family together. As Finn holds her and keeps his hand protectively over their unborn child, Rachel knows that there is nowhere else she'd rather be. As Finn kisses her, she knows that he feels the exact same way.


Author's Note: So this was my first time writing in the present tense. Don't judge me too hard for it, haha! I probably won't be writing in this tense again, but it was nice to try it out. Anyway, I hope that you all enjoyed this story. Thanks for reading! :)