Carole rushes through the emergency room to find Finn. She was at work earlier when she got a call from Cleveland clinic saying that Finn was in their care after being flown to Ohio from Fort Benning. Apparently, he dislocated his knee during training and that's all they told her on the phone. She runs to the desk and asks the secretary to please tell her where her son is. The woman gives her all the information she needs to know and Carole swears she's never ran faster in her life. Not even when Burt had his heart attack.
His doctor finds her before she goes to his room and fills her in on what's happening. He tore his ACL and there's a lot of swelling and as a result they have to wait until it goes down to see if they can
She gets to his room and her baby boy is still asleep. His leg is completely immobilized and raised from the bed, and he seems to be out cold. She tries not to cry but she's just so relieved that he's okay – that this injury is not something worse than just a knee dislocation. It doesn't mean Finn's not going to take it badly, especially if it means he can't return to the Army.
She sits beside him, grasping his hand and squeezing it tightly. He stirs quietly, as if he knows she's there. He smiles at her sleepily, "Hi, baby," she greets him softly.
"Hi, Mom," he replies in a croaky voice, closing his eyes. The morphine they gave him must be making him drowsy. She leans over and presses a kiss to his forehead.
"Go back to sleep, honey. I'll be here when you wake up." He nods and she hears his breathing even out almost immediately. She finds the remote for the television and turns on the news, not letting go of Finn's hand as he sleeps soundly beside her.
That may have possibly been the longest lecture she has ever had to sit through. Music theory is only so interesting for about an hour. The only thing that can make her feel better after wasting three and a half hours that she can never get back is the cookie recipe she printed out last night and movie night with Kurt and Santana. She opens the door to their tiny little apartment and throws her bag down on the sofa as she slips off her shoes.
"Kurt!" she shouts. "I'm home now we can start the marathon. I was thinking we'd start with a romantic com –" she stops when she hears him in the kitchen, on the phone. "Oh. Sorry." He waves her off and continues his conversation as she flops down on the sofa and groans.
"Carole, do you need me to come down there?" Kurt's voice is worrisome and now she's worried; what is it's his dad? "Okay, well, how's he doing? Is he still sedated?"
She really hopes that it isn't Burt. Kurt was a def con five when his father was in the hospital in high school. "Have you heard from Dad yet?" he asks. At least it's not Burt. Kurt doesn't need that headache. But, if it isn't Burt then who could it – oh NO.
It's Finn. She covers her mouth as her eyes fill up with tears and her heart beats wildly. This is exactly why she didn't want him to join the army. She knew that this would end up happening. "Okay, well, I'm coming to see him this weekend and that's final. He's going to need as much moral support as he can get… Okay… Okay… I love you too. Bye."
Kurt walks into the living room and she's practically hunched over, sobbing into her hands, "Alright, let's get this mara – what's – oh my god you figured it out, didn't you?" She nods and whimpers. "Carole said he's okay. He's at Cleveland Clinic and they're taking really good care of him, Rachel. Don't worry. He dislocated his knee and they had to sedate him but, Rachel he's fine."
She nods sadly, "I'm going this weekend to visit him in the hospital – you could come with me. I'm sure he wants to see you."
"I don't know if I can do that, Kurt."
"You can – I know you're still – well you're not as upset anymore," she sniffles and wipes under her eyes. "I just think you should go. Plus, I'll need someone to help me from losing my mind when I have to see Blaine."
"Okay," she nods her head and wipes away the last of her tears. "I'll go with you."
Finn's head feels foggy as he wakes from his nap. He glances over at his mom, who is sitting beside him, watching the news. She's been here since he woke up the first time and has refused to leave his side. "Mom," he calls out to her snapping her out of her thoughts; she turns to face him with a gentle smile.
"Hey," she stands up and moves toward him. "How are you feeling?"
"Drugged," he blinks and his eyes suddenly feel heavier than they did a minute ago. "Whatever they've got me on is good stuff."
"You're not in any pain?" she asks, worry evident in her voice; she's been like this the entire time she's been here. She was practically hysterical the first night and now she's slightly calmer – only slightly.
"Nope," he lets his eyes fall closed – he's so tired. "Can't feel a thing." His mom runs her hand over his short, buzzed hair and he can practically feel the sad look etched on her face. He opens his eyes and she's looking down at him with a sad smile; he knew it. "So how bad is it?"
"It's pretty bad, honey. They're going to wait until the swelling goes down before they can see if they have to operate on your knee. But, Dr. Jennings said because you dislocated your ACL, there's more than likely a few breaks and it's looking like you'll definitely need surgery. You're going to need to go to physical therapy for a while. And it's going to be a long way back. But, you're okay – that's what matters. And everything's going to be okay."
"So… what does this mean? Am I – am I done?" he asks, swallowing painfully, looking at his knee. They have it in a split, immobilized and raised from the bed in traction.
"I don't know, sweetie. Probably," he turns his head away from his mom and grits his teeth. He feels her hand rest on his shoulder. "But, you're going to have me beside you every step of the way. Whatever you need baby, I'm right here."
"Okay," he purses his lips and she can see he's holding back tears. She knew he would take this hard and she can't blame him.
"It's going to be okay, Finn. We're going to get through this. You'll be fine." She moves to sit on the bed beside him when he makes room for her. He rests his head on her shoulder and she wraps her arm around him, rubbing his arm up and down, trying her best to sooth him.
"Are you nervous?" Kurt asks her as they walk down the hallway to Finn's room. "Because you're looking really green right now and if you throw up—" they turn down another corner and Rachel turns to glare at him.
"Can you blame me for being nervous, Kurt," she almost shouts at him but refrains from it because there's a nurse wheeling an older gentleman down the hall. "I haven't spoken to him in almost six months."
"Well, Carole said he's kind of been in a sour mood for the last few days, so this could cheer him up."
"Or," Rachel cuts him off. "He'll get mad at you for bringing me."
"That's also an option," they slowly approach his room. "But, I can deal with him being mad at me. You know he can be a big baby sometimes."
Kurt knocks on the door and peeks his head in, "Hi, hello, I'm here." She can hear Carole tell him it's okay to come in and she hears his voice and her heart starts beating wildly. She's not ready for this. Kurt opens the door and she stands in the doorway as Carole stands up to hug Kurt.
"Honey, you brought Rachel too," she practically squeals and breaks the hug and she walks towards Rachel, hugging her tightly. She loves Carole so much. She rests her chin on her shoulder and Finn looks so surprised to see her. She thought he'd be upset but he just looks bewildered. "I've missed you, Rachel."
"I've missed you too," Rachel gives her a genuine smile. She steals a glance at Finn and he still looks nervous upset as Kurt talks to him quietly.
"Don't worry about Finn, okay," Carole whispers to her. "He's had a rough week and he's just upset in general. And I'm sure he wasn't expecting you to show up."
"Oh, okay. How bad is his knee? I mean –" Rachel whispers as she catches Finn looking at her.
"Rachel, honey, why don't you come get some coffee with me. Let these two knuckleheads catch up."
Carole follows Rachel out of the room and shuts the door behind her, "Sorry, I just didn't want to talk about this in front of him. He's already in a pretty lousy mood and talking about it will just upset him even more."
"Okay. That's understandable," Rachel agrees. "I know how he is. So is it really bad?"
"Well, it's still really swollen, but his doctor told him this morning that he's more than likely going to end up having surgery because they think there's a few breaks because he tore his ACL," Rachel winces at that. Poor Finn. The worst things always happen to him. "And then he's going to have to do some intense physical therapy for a few weeks. And the doctor also told him that this means he's done with the Army." Rachel covers her mouth, trying to hide her gasp. She knows exactly what this news is doing to him – what's going through his head right now.
"How did he take it?" she asks anyway.
"Not well," Carole says, sadly. "He was already worried that this could happen, but he got the news this morning and took it really hard. He's been pretty quiet all day."
"I can imagine. You know just as well as I do how bad news sits with him."
"It doesn't," Rachel smiles sadly. She just needs a moment to talk to him. She's always been his own personal cheerleader; she knows what to say to him. Hopefully, she'll get a moment alone with him before they go back on Sunday night.
Kurt and Carole go out to dinner with Burt on Saturday and Rachel offers to stay with Finn while they're gone. Of course, he was kind of bummed about missing a family dinner because he's stuck in the hospital but, he made them go anyway. So now, Finn's fast asleep and she's flipping through a magazine, trying to avoid looking at him because he's adorable when he's sleeping. His head is facing her, his mouth is open, and he's snoring just like he always does.
She looks at his knee, still raised from the bed, and sighs sadly. He must be in so much pain – she can see that it's swollen and red with lots of blue and purple bruising. She eventually gives up on the magazine and turns on the television, desperate to find something to watch.
She's snapped out of her thoughts when she hears the bed beside her creak and a faint groan. "Hey, Rach…?" Finn mumbles, looking up at her with sleepy eyes.
"Hey," she smiles at him. "Did you sleep okay? It certainly sounded like you did."
He gives her a half smile and nods, "I was snoring, wasn't I?" he asks. At her nod, he chuckles. "Sorry."
"No, don't apologize. It was very…cute." They lapse into an awkward silence. It shouldn't be like this. But, she just doesn't know what to say to him. She isn't mad; she hasn't even been that upset for a while – she just misses him. "So are you going back tomorrow?" he asks, shifting a little on the bed, hiding a wince.
"Yeah, I leave tomorrow afternoon. I have class first thing Monday and I plan on spending all day tomorrow doing laundry and the rest of my homework."
"Oh," he replies quietly. "So… do you like it there? I mean, do you like New York?"
"Yes," she nods – why is this so awkward? It's like they're grasping at straws. "I love it at NYADA, Finn. It's everything I thought it was going to be."
"Good. I'm really happy for you, you know. I'm glad you stayed and toughed it out," at her confused look, he continues. "Kurt may have mentioned a professor that was giving you a hard time. But, I'm so happy for you, Rachel."
"Oh," she laughs; Finn must have asked Kurt about her. She decides now is the time to say everything she needs to because she knows she's not going to have another opportunity. And he needs to hear this. "You know, for the first few months, I was really, really, really angry with you. For so many reasons – I hadn't heard from you, well no one had heard from you, and I didn't know what to think, and I didn't know where we stood and I was so, so upset with you. All I wanted was to have you there with me to enjoy the experience because it felt wrong not having you there with Kurt and I. It still feels wrong, to be honest." He makes a face and she wishes she knew what he was thinking right now. "But, it wasn't until I got my final grades for the semester and I was going home for the holidays that it had really hit me. I'm where I've wanted to be since I was a little girl because of you, Finn."
"Rachel—" he moves to sit up, trying to cut her off.
"And I could have easily spent this time being mad at you, but for what? Why should I be mad at someone who sacrificed everything for me to achieve what I've always wanted?" He looks shocked, to say the least. She stands up and moves to sit beside him, grasping his hand. "The point is, Finn, is that nobody, not anybody, has believed in me quite like you do and I just wanted to thank you for everything."
"You don't have to thank me, Rachel. New York was inevitable for you," he gives her a sad smile. She leans over and presses her lips to his cheek.
"Well, thank you anyway." She turns back to the television just as Carole, Burt, and Kurt come back from dinner. She doesn't miss the smile Finn gives her as his mom starts fussing over him. She's just happy she got through to him.
This time the goodbye wasn't as painful as it was the first time; they hugged and she told him she'd see him during Spring Break and that he better keep in contact with her now that he's home. She and Kurt get home around five on Sunday and she sighs sadly. She already misses Finn.
"You know, it's going to be different this time around, Rachel," Kurt says, breaking the silence as he begins an intense search for food in the refrigerator. "I can already tell. He was so happy to see you and I know he'll call."
"Oh no, Kurt, I know. I just miss him so much already," she pouts, resting her head on a throw pillow. "I haven't seen him in six months and I only got to see him for two days. I just miss him."
"Well, I have no doubt that he misses you too." He finds a carton of grapes, stuffing a few in his mouth. "When he hugged you, he looked really upset that you had to go."
"And I hate the fact that I'm not going to be there when he has his surgery on Friday. He's going to need me there and I'm all the way in New York, helpless."
"Call him after. He'll be happy to hear from you," Kurt stuffs another handful of grapes in his mouth. "Mmm, you know what would great with this? Whipped cream!"
She chuckles, reaching for the remote to turn on the television.
Friday rolls around very slowly and once she finishes her last class, she practically races home to call Finn. Kurt texted her during class and he got out of surgery about an hour ago. She shakily unlocks the door and can barely contain her excitement as she throws her bag down and picks up the phone, dialing the number to the hospital that Kurt gave her.
On the third ring, Carole answers, "Hello?"
"Hi, Carole, it's Rachel. I was wondering if I could talk to Finn," she can feel the butterflies in her stomach going wild.
"Rachel, yes you can talk to Finn. He's still kind of groggy, but he's looking kind of eager to talk to you right now."
"Oh good," she's met with silence for a few seconds and then she hears Carole say she's getting coffee and that she'll back in a few. And then she's met with his sweet, sweet voice.
"Hey, Rach," he greets her and he sounds like he just woke up.
"Hi. So, how did your surgery go?" she asks, twirling some hair around her finger.
"Okay. I guess." he murmurs. "I start physical therapy soon – like in a few days." She can hear how sad he sounds and she knows he needs to vent to her. He won't be able to relax until he gets this out.
"Do you want to talk about it? I know you. So I know you're bottling up how you feel about this. I could tell when I was visiting you that it was bothering you."
"Not really, I just want to talk to you, Rach. Not about my stupid knee."
"Well, I know that if you don't tell me what's going through your head right now, you're going to drive yourself crazy. And you once told me that I'm the best therapist you've ever had – even if I was the only one." He chuckles softly and sighs heavily.
"I guess I just – I just wish it didn't have to be over for me, you know? I was actually at the point where I was enjoying the thought of being in the Army and doing somethingwith my life. And now, here I am in the hospital without a plan and it just sucks, Rachel."
"Finn," she sighs sadly. "You know that's not true, right? Your life and your dreams are not over just because of a bum knee. But, you're right it sucks, babe, it really does. And you're not wrong to be upset about this. Can I tell you a secret?"
"I'm actually really happy that you're done with the Army, Finn," she hears his soft gasp and continues. "I'm not happy about how it happened. But I am happy that nothing life threatening happened to you, that it was just your knee."
"This could have been so much worse, Finn. You could have gotten shipped out and gotten shot. Or there could have been a roadside bomb. And I know it's selfish of me to be happy that something you were so passionate about – especially something you were doing for your father – is over, but I —"
"I love you, you know that?" she stops speaking and stares at the phone because did he – ? "You don't have to say it back but I – I just really wanted you to know."
"No, I um – I love you too, Finn," she smiles as a few happy tears slide down her face. She finally feels whole again. "I don't think I ever actually stopped."
"I really wish you were here right now. I miss you so much."
"I miss you too. You have no idea how badly I want to be there with you right now. It's actually causing me physical pain."
"We'll see each other soon, right? You are coming home for Spring Break, right?"
"Yes I am, my dads really want to see me so yes I'll be home."
"In the meantime, I guess, we'll just call and text as much as we can."
She can't even describe the feeling that spreads through her when he says that to her. She's so happy that they're trying to make this work.
"Sounds like a plan," she grins. Everything is finally falling back into place and she could not be any happier than she is right now.
Physical therapy is actually the worst thing ever. It doesn't help that his therapist, Terrance is basically a tyrant. He pushes him so hard and he's not exactly the nicest guy. Finn will get back to his room after his session, completely spent and just about ready to die. His mom has been so supportive and beside him every step of the way. And so has Rachel – even though she isn't physically there with him.
He's just been released from the hospital and his mother stays right beside him as he hobbles into the house on his crutches. He cannot even explain how happy he is to be home. After a month in the hospital, he was starting to go stir crazy.
His mom helps him get settled in the recliner and fusses over him until he makes her go relax. She's been nothing but amazing and she deserves a break. So, they spend the afternoon watching a marathon of American Pickers. He starts to fall asleep when there's a knock on the door. His mom gets up to get it and tells him not to even think about moving.
"Finn," she says. "Someone's here to see you." He looks over and his mouth falls open in shock because Rachel is standing in his living room.
"Rachel? What are you doing here?" he asks, shocked that she's in front of him. His mom quickly leaves the room, saying she'll give them some space.
"I um – I really wanted to see you. I was just waiting for the right. And what better day than the day you're released from the hospital." She approaches the recliner and gives him a hug, sneaking a quick kiss on his cheek before she pulls away.
"I'm really happy you're here. Although, I can't say I'll be good company, I can't really move around right now."
"I don't care, Finn," she gives his hand a squeeze, smiling at him. "I just want to be here with you. We don't have to go anywhere."
"Okay," he grins. She moves to sit on the couch but he tugs her hand, making her sit on his lap. Mindful of knee, she snuggles beside him, resting her head on his shoulder. He lets her climb under the blanket with him and they steal a few more kisses before his mom comes back in, saying that she just got off the phone with Burt and she's going to go to DC for the night. It's almost as if she knew Finn and Rachel would want to be alone for a bit.
Neither of them complain about it.
They spend the rest of the night in the recliner, watching television together. It feels like it did a year ago – it feels right, the way it should have been all along. "You know I was thinking," Rachel begins, peering up at him. "When you're back on your feet maybe you should come to New York with Kurt and I."
She hears his breath catch in his throat and she feels like she made a mistake suggesting this. "Um… you – you want me to come to New York with you?" he sounds surprised; like maybe she scared him.
"Yes, Finn, I really really want you there with me. None of it feels real with you there," she runs her fingers along his chest as he sighs.
"I just – are you sure? I mean, we're just now starting over and I really don't want to rush into this this time around. Don't get me wrong, all I've thought about since your last visit was moving to New York with you. I really want to be there with you."
"Finn, we don't have to rush into anything just because you could be living with me. All I know is I want you there – Kurt wants you there and it just doesn't feel like it's supposed to with you all the way in Lima. I love all of the calling and texting we've been doing, but I miss seeing your face like you won't believe." He's silent for a few minutes and she can tell he's thinking about it.
"You really want me there?" he asks, quietly.
"Of course I do, Finn. I'll always want you," she press a kiss to his shoulder and beams at him.
"Then I'll go," he kisses her forehead, threading his fingers through her hair. "I'll go."
"I was hoping you'd say that," she hugs him tightly, grinning as he peppers kisses on the top of her head.
She goes back to New York the next day and it was so hard to say goodbye to him this time around. He said he should be ready to move by Spring Break. He won't be on crutches anymore by then – but his knee will still be healing. All that matters is they'll be together and she could not be happier.
She gets through one painful month of class without him – just barely when it's time for Spring Break. Kurt's going to Florida with Santana for the week; she opted out because she and Finn are going to move him into their apartment.
When he finally gets to their apartment at noon, she races outside and jumps into his arms – so unbelievably happy that he's home. She peppers kisses across his face as he hugs her tighter. He sets her down and she reaches for his hand as they walk into the apartment together.
This is it; this is their happy ending.