Disclaimer: Glee is not mine.
Sometimes you panic and find yourself emitting remarks so profoundly inane that you would be embarrassed to say them to your dog. Your dog would look at you and think to itself, "I may lick myself in public, but I'd never say anything as stupid as that."
She's been studying nonstop.
Anxious to prove herself worthy of a ticket, she'd set her mind to learning everything she could about the Yankees and their history, as well as the actual rules of baseball. Shannon had proven useful, spending their lunch period grilling her on Yankees trivia while explaining some of the more complicated rules and plays to her. The game seems fairly straight forward but she'd started taking copious notes as she'd watched each game, bringing them to lunch the next day to discuss with Shannon.
Even Daddy had been subjected to her new Yankees obsession, forced to listen to her recite the history of Yankee Stadium as she told him all about her upcoming trip in one of their daily phone calls. Daddy, used to hearing about Pongo's progress in pre-school and debating the merits of canned dog food versus dry, had been surprised by the switch but went with it, pleased that she seemed happy.
Finn had texted her several times about various players and she'd made sure to send back a reply complete with stats in order to show him that she was a legit fan. She'd even sent him a carefully posed casual picture of herself and Pongo in their newly acquired Yankees apparel, something Kurt had been horrified by. Pongo's new navy blue collar with the white Yankees logo carefully spaced out on it made Kurt shudder and claim it washed out his spots but she'd thought he'd looked sweet. Kurt had been just as horrified by the Yankees shirt she'd started wearing (and worn for the picture), demanding to know where she'd gotten it from (Modell's), what would possibly possess her to buy it (his brother. Duh) and what would possibly possess her to go in a sporting goods store in the first place (see previous).
She'd even gone so far as to buy an official Yankees jersey, resisting the urge to buy the pink one in favor of what Shannon assured her was the authentic one (what makes it authentic, she has no clue). This had been done under the strictest secrecy on a return trip to Modell's, lest Kurt should discover she wasn't exactly a fan and blab to Finn. She'd agonized over numbers, finally choosing the one Shannon recommended. Shannon's advice had proven sound since Kurt had spotted the jersey hanging in her closet and commented that Finn had the same jersey, something that pleased her to no end.
Armed with her new jersey and matching Yankees tank top underneath, she drives over to Kurt's, Pongo's suitcase on the seat next to her. Pongo himself is strapped into his seat belt on the backseat, his ears flapping happily in the breeze as she drives. Her heart speeds up a little at the sight of Finn's truck parked behind Kurt's and she parks hurriedly, grabbing Pongo and his suitcase in her haste to get inside.
To her dismay, only Alan, Burt and an older man she's never seen before are sitting around the kitchen table, beers in hand. Alan immediately jumps off his chair at the sight of Pongo, the two puppies excitedly running off to play.
"Whoa! You two outside!" Carole commands, coming down the kitchen stairs just in time to see them run into the dining room. Her mother behind her, Carole walks over to the door, holding it open as Alan and Pongo excitedly wrestle on their way out the door. "Hello, Rachel."
"Hi. Thank you for watching Pongo. I've brought all his stuff," she replies, holding up his suitcase. She places the suitcase down and digs through the zippered compartment in front for a moment, emerging with a piece of paper decorated liberally with Dalmatian stickers. "I forgot his special water bowl that monitors his water intake, so you'll have to log it on his water chart."
"You monitor his water?" Burt asks in amazement.
Rachel nods seriously. "I read that drinking large amounts of water can be a sign of sickness in dogs so I've been monitoring, that way I can compare if I suspect illness. Dr. Rostenkowski assures me it's highly unlikely but I like to be prepared."
"I'll let them play for a little bit then feed them," Carole decides with a glance out the window, watching the puppies run laps around the yard. "Hopefully they tire each other out."
"He's currently on a French cheese kick so I've packed his favorite French cheese," Rachel announces. "Pongo also brought his favorite dog ice cream to share for dessert with Alan and Charlotte, if she's here."
That last comment had been deliberate since Alan and Pongo were clearly without their poodle friend and her human counterpart. Charlotte may or may not be here but Finn definitely is since his car is here and her ears go into overdrive, listening for any sign of him.
"Charlotte's upstairs staring at the bathroom door, waiting for Finn to come out," Carole replies, shutting the door. "Oh Rachel, I'd like you to meet Carl, my mother's boyfriend. He'll be going with you."
"How do you do?" Rachel answers politely, her eyes wandering to the stairs since she hears footsteps overhead.
"Rachel? Is that you? Come on up!" Kurt calls from upstairs.
"Excuse me." She doesn't need to be told twice, sprinting up the stairs. As previously reported, Charlotte's sitting in front of the closed bathroom door just past Kurt's room, her little tail wagging hopefully. The sight makes Rachel giggle and she stops to pet Charlotte, who barely responds as she waits for the door to open.
"Rachel! What are you doing? Forget Charlotte, I've got a crisis!" Kurt cries from his doorway.
"What's the problem?" she asks, giving Charlotte a final pat before she follows Kurt into his room. It's kind of obvious once she sees the disaster that's Kurt's normally immaculate room, clothes littering every available surface and Kurt himself standing in a sea of clothes near the closet.
"I have nothing to wear!" Kurt wails, fisting some scarves in each hand. "Nothing."
"Wear a jersey," Rachel suggests, pushing some clothes to the side to sit on the bed. "I am."
"Don't get me started on the ridiculousness of that," Kurt decrees, dropping the scarves to empty out a drawer. "Dad bought me a jersey years ago. Like I'd ever be so uniform."
"Just wear it. It's fun. We'll match," Rachel entices, still listening for the bathroom door. "Your dad and your grandma's boyfriend are wearing Yankee t-shirts. How about that?"
Kurt says nothing, giving her a look implying she's crazy as he dumps out yet another drawer. Not finding anything, he stares in contemplation, tapping his chin thoughtfully. "I think I may have a navy blue fedora somewhere. It's last season but may possibly work as an homage to baseball past."
"Are you even going to be able to find it?" she asks doubtfully, scanning the clothes all over.
"Of course I can. I have a clothing GPS in my brain," Kurt boasts, already walking over to a pile of clothes by the window. He dives into the pile, triumphantly pulling out the navy blue fedora and placing it on his head. "See?"
Rachel giggles, watching him reposition the hat on his head at a jaunty angle. "Amazing."
"You know, on second thought, this might be a little too avant garde for a baseball game," Kurt muses, turning the hat to another angle. "Clearly I'll need to reconfigure a whole new outfit."
"I think your dad wants to leave. You'd better just get dressed, Kurt," Rachel advises, still keeping an ear out.
"Doubt it. Finn's only been in the bathroom 15 minutes which I've still got at least 20 minutes," Kurt predicts, holding up a navy blue blazer. "Too sailor?"
"A little." She's more distracted by the fact that Charlotte's appeared in the door for a second, staring at them before she disappears back to her post. "You'd better pick something."
"Listen to her, Kurt. I want your ass in the car in 10 minutes," Burt announces, sticking his head in the door. "10 minutes."
"No way. I'll need at least 20," Kurt counters, inspecting a shirt critically. "Besides, Finn's still in the bathroom."
"I'm on that." Burt disappears and almost immediately pounding is heard on the bathroom door. "Finn! Stop reading your comic books in there! Rachel's here and we're leaving in 10 minutes!"
She giggles at that, trying to make out what the muffled voice coming from the bathroom is saying but Kurt's moved onto another outfit and his discussion of pairing a white shirt with chinos drowns out whatever Finn's yelled from the bathroom.
"I'm serious, Kurt. Ten minutes," Burt warns as he passes. "Nobody cares what you wear."
"You'd better hurry, Kurt," Rachel worries, checking her watch.
Kurt waves her off. "I'm not worried. Dad should be more concerned with getting Finn out of the bathroom."
"Actually, Dad shouldn't be, since I'm out."
Startled at the new voice, Rachel and Kurt both turn to see Finn standing in the doorway, Charlotte happily sitting in front of him. Rachel immediately sits up straighter, taking in how handsome he looks in his jersey and jeans and she just knows she's gonna be in for a good night sitting next to that.
Kurt stares for a second. "Why'd you get out so quick? I thought we had a deal?"
"My ass fell asleep." He shrugs, throwing Rachel a grin as she giggles. "Hey Rachel."
"Hi." She giggles again, her eyes falling on his chest and almost immediately trying to determine a chest outline under his shirt.
"How's the lights?" he asks, picking up Charlotte. "Everything working ok?"
She nods. "I think so."
"Oh. Because if they weren't, I could come back to fix them," he replies, looking down at Charlotte as he pets her head. "You know, if they were broken again."
"I…I think there might be one broken," Rachel decides, watching his head snap back up at her words. "You-"
"Finn! Kurt! Rachel! Get down here now or I'm leaving without you!"
Not wanting to mess with Burt, Rachel jumps up, staring at the two brothers, neither of whom had moved. "I think we should go."
"It's fine." Kurt waves a hand dismissively. "Dad's all talk."
"Still." Anxious not to make her potential future father-in-law mad, she moves towards the door, closer to Finn. "I'm going to go downstairs. I need to say goodbye to Pongo."
"Yeah. Yeah, I'll head downstairs too so Dad feels like he made progress," Finn decides, moving to let Rachel pass. Kurt barely notices, too busy contemplating his closet as they head towards the kitchen staircase.
"Are you ready for tonight?" Rachel asks excitedly. As part of her lunchroom training, Shannon had schooled her in the huge Boston-Yankees rivalry and she racks her brain, mentally sorting through relevant facts to impress him. "The Yankees are ahead in the all times series 1140 to Boston's 955, you know. That's not including the 14 times they've tied of course."
"Yeah?" He's staring at her with an amused look on his face as they reach the stairs. "You really like stats, huh?"
She flushes, wondering if she made a mistake as she follows him down the stairs. "Well, they're um, important to the game."
"Finally," Burt booms, already standing by the garage door with Carl. "Wait. There's only two of you. Where's your brother?"
"Still upstairs getting dressed," Finn replies, placing Charlotte on the ground. The poodle immediately wanders over to her pink food bowl, her nose already having picked up on the food inside it.
"Unbelievable. You guys get in the car, I'll get him," Burt commands, already moving towards the stairs. "You're still driving, right Finn?"
"Yeah, I guess." He frowns, having forgotten he'd agreed the other day. Carl's already going out the door and he reluctantly follows, noticing that Rachel's slipped outside to say goodbye to Pongo.
"You leaving, baby?" Carole asks, appearing in the kitchen.
"Yeah, once Dad gets Kurt," he confirms, holding up his key keys. "I'm just gonna wait in the car and possibly leave without them."
She eyes the keys thoughtfully. "You're driving?"
"Yeah, my car can fit everyone." He shrugs. "Kurt's could too but you know how he feels about driving in the Bronx."
"Why aren't you taking the train?" she asks in surprise. "Isn't that what you normally do?"
"Yeah but Dad didn't want to deal with the crowds. So we'll just deal with crappy parking garages instead." He grins. "Plus, Dad said he'd buy all my food if I drove."
"Lemme come say goodbye." She moves towards the garage door, clearly expecting him to follow. He does, settling into the driver's seat as his mom talks to Carl, who's made himself comfortable behind Finn.
Her good bye cuddles to Pongo complete, Rachel walks over to the car and immediately frowns at the seating situation, since Finn can't really look at her while he's driving if she sits behind the passenger's seat. Fortunately, Carole's unconsciously (or consciously, she's not sure) come to the same realization.
"Carl, you're much too big to sit there," Carole frets. "There's no room for anyone behind Finn since he puts his seat so far back."
"I'm fine, Carole," he replies, resting his arm on the door. "It's not a long car ride."
"You'll get cramped," Carole insists. "It's those legs of Finn's. They're too long so no one tall can sit behind him. Rachel should sit behind him, she's so tiny."
"I can switch," Rachel offers immediately. "I don't mind."
"There. It's all settled," Carole announces happily as Rachel scoots over once Carl's climbed out of the car and moved around to the other side. "Here comes your dad and brother, so perfect timing."
Rachel, who'd been checking out how good a view he'd get of her in the rear view mirror, glances at the house just in time to see Burt walking their way with a scowling Kurt behind him, dressed in jeans and a Yankees jersey.
"Nice look Kurt," Finn snickers immediately once Kurt's settled in the middle between Carl and Rachel, his dad next to him up front. "How dare you be so…so…"
"Uniform?" Rachel offers with a giggle and a wave to Carole as Finn begins to pull out of the driveway. "I mean really, Kurt."
"Shut up both of you. I had no choice. Dad threatened to burn my new Kenneth Cole jacket," he glowered, throwing at scowl at the back of Burt's head.
"I told you. I don't want to miss batting practice like last year when you couldn't find an umbrella to match your jacket," Burt retorts. "And it ended up not even raining."
"I barely had time to accessorize this jersey," Kurt whines, pointing to the spider brooch he'd manage to pin on the jersey. "And don't get me started on the jeans."
"I think it looks lovely," Rachel soothes, noticing that Finn's eyes have flickered to watch her in the rear view mirror. She's not entirely sure that's the safest thing for a driver to do but since it means he's looking at her, she'll take it.
Kurt whines about his outfit pretty much the entire car ride, something she can drown out each time she catches Finn looking at her. She's quiet in the car, spouting out statistics when she recognizes a name, but other than that she spends her time trying to ensure she can sit next to Finn at the game. She's pretty sure she has a good shot, likening it to when Daddy and Uncle Herbert used to take her and her cousin Lorna to see Stars on Ice. Daddy and Uncle Herbert would sit together sipping their drinks while she sat next to Lorna spouting off facts about the skaters.
"Pretty cool right?" Finn asks once they're out of the car and he's casually walking next to her and Kurt into the stadium.
She's in awe, hardly knowing where to look first and clutching the travel cup she'd been given at the door. Already planning to make it her official water cup for when she exercises, she hands it to Kurt as she snaps picture after picture to show her father. "It's amazing."
"Can we go find our seats?" Kurt demands. "Dad's already gone to get beer so the quicker I sit, the quicker I can start drinking."
"And the sooner you can stop whining," Finn replies with a grin as he starts walking towards their seats.
Rachel giggles, struggling to match Finn's long strides as she walks next to him. Finn evidently knows where he's going, not even needing to look at the ticket. Sure enough, he stops at a certain section only to be greeted by various men of different ages.
She takes careful note of the introductions, pleased to meet not only Burt's father, some of his brothers and their sons but also Finn's paternal grandfather and uncle, plus a few Hudson cousins, one of who is female. Kurt had told her that this was a large annual event but she hadn't realized that the relatives of Finn's deceased biological father would also be in attendance, something she thinks is really great.
So many people means they've got quite a few rows and Kurt's already sat down during the introductions, grabbing an end seat with his grandmother's boyfriend next to him and an empty seat on the other side of Carl for Burt. Already deep in conversation with his Uncle George about the meanness of his father, he barely notices that Rachel has yet to sit.
Finn's grandfather Frank stands to greet her, a twinkle in his eye as he glances at his grandson and gestures to the seat he'd just stood from. "Why don't you two sit here?"
"You and Uncle John are already sitting there, Grandpa," Finn replies with a frown, not picking up on the subtlety.
Rachel, who did pick up on the implications, holds her breath as she waits for Frank's answer. She's already scoped out the seating and she's realized that thanks to Kurt's wardrobe crisis everyone's already gotten their seats which means she wouldn't be able to pick the optimal seats for her and Finn.
"Nonsense. You and your girlfriend can sit here," Frank replies, making Finn go red.
"She's not his girlfriend," Kurt butts in before Finn can reply. "Rachel, sit behind me so we can talk about the cute players."
"See? All settled," Frank decides, pulling his son John up from the seat next to him. "We'll just move over."
"I guess we're sitting here," Finn offers lamely, gesturing to her to move in the aisle. "I hope you don't mind but uh, I kind of need the aisle."
She giggles, happily sitting in the second seat behind Kurt and between Finn and his grandpa. Once more, she snaps a few pictures, secretly taking a picture of the difference in size between her right leg and Finn's left leg next to each other. Kurt even inadvertently helps her out from his position in front of them, snapping a selfie of the three of them with his cell phone. She seethes for a moment, furious he'd used his own phone and she's contemplating how to get that picture without arousing Kurt's suspicions when Burt comes back, a beer in each hand.
"What the hell?" Kurt demands when he hands a beer to Carl and keeps the other for himself. "Where's mine?"
"You're only allowed two and seniority rules," Burt replies easily. "Go get it yourself."
"Fine," Kurt huffs as he stands. "Come on, Rachel."
"Do you want anything, Finn?" she asks immediately, not thrilled to be leaving.
"I was uh just gonna go get food," he replies. "I'm starving."
"Good. Go get me two beers. Or a Margarita if you can find the stand," Kurt decides, sitting back down. "For Rachel too."
"I'll go too," she blurts out, only to backtrack. "I…I mean I'm hungry too."
"Really?" Kurt wrinkles his nose. "It's all processed foods, Rachel."
She blanches at that but she's determined, already moving out into the aisle behind Finn. "I'm sure I'll find something."
They move a little too fast up the steps towards the concession areas, not noticing the stares of various family members behind them.
"So you know what you want?" he asks, casually walking close to her.
She stares up at him. "I'm not sure. I should probably look around. Plus, we need to find Kurt's Margarita stand."
Having gone to that Margarita stand many times for Kurt over the years, Finn knows perfectly well where it is but simply grins instead. "Wanna have a beer first?"
"Sure." She's conscious of the fact that he's walking close to her and follows him over to the beer line. Pleased that the line is long, she stands with him, purposely standing close. "Your grandpa is nice. It's wonderful that your biological father's family is here."
"Yeah, it's pretty cool. My mom and dad were always insistent about including them at family holidays and stuff," he explains as the line moves forward. "It pissed Kurt off when we were younger since he couldn't figure out why I had an extra grandma and grandpa and he didn't."
She giggles. "I could see him like that."
"I mean, he calls them Grandma and Grandpa like I do and they always give him presents too but I got more." He chuckles at the memory as the line moves forward.
"Poor Kurt." She giggles again. "He did say you screwed him."
"Oh don't fall for that. He got to come with me to visit them in Florida every winter and we always went with them to this awful restaurant near their house because Kurt loved it. Not me. Kurt." He rolls his eyes as he steps forward and they're next. "You know what you want?"
She stares at the order board in contemplation. "Um…Heineken."
"Cool." He turns to the cashier, ordering her Heineken and a Blue Moon for himself.
"ID?" the cashier asks.
To Rachel's disappointment, Finn hands his license over quickly, barely allowing her a glimpse of his picture. The cashier looks at it quickly and hands it back, looking expectantly at them. "I need your girlfriend's too."
"Seriously?" he asks in surprise. "I'm buying the beer."
"It's the rules." The cashier holds out his hand. "If your girlfriend doesn't show her license, no beer."
"Oh. Show him your license, Rach," Finn directs, looking down at her.
She barely has time to process the fact that he didn't bother to correct the cashier before she moves onto the fact that he's buying her beer. The cashier's asking for her license again and she pulls it out of her bag, carefully covering her less than stellar picture. To her annoyance, the cashier doesn't do the same, handing it back to her with her picture exposed and judging by the smirk on Finn's face, he definitely sees.
"Don't be checking out my license," she huffs, putting it away quickly and accepting the beer he's holding out. "Despite my suggestions, the DMV staff here was less cooperative when taking my picture for my New York license. My Ohio one is spectacular."
"Uh huh." He leads her over to a high top table and places his beer on it, realizing too late that while it's at his waist, the table is at Rachel's chest and therefore way too high for her to stand comfortably. He spies a chair nearby and pulls it over, offering it to Rachel. "Here."
Grateful, she climbs up on the seat, pleased to see their table has a good view of the field and the batting practice that's going on. "Thank you. And thank you for the beer."
"No problem." He leans easily on the counter, downing his beer.
"Are you almost done?" She stares in surprise at his half empty cup, her own still quite full.
"Just about." He downs the beer in two more gulps. "Now I'm done. I'm gonna get another."
"Ok." She turns her attention to the field, watching the players and sending off a quick text to Shannon about the game so far while she waits. She's busy sipping her beer when a young man occupies the spot at the table Finn had, placing two hot dogs down and she glances over with a smile before going back to her phone. Under normal circumstances, she'd take notice of the man's good looks and assess her chances but everything's different now.
"Gotta put extra condiments on," the guy offers as an opening, busy pouring a packet of mustard on, followed by ketchup. "They never do it right."
"Oh." She smiles again and goes back to her phone.
"It's crappy yellow mustard. You'd think with all money the team has they'd offer the good stuff," he continues, pouring more on.
"Oh, true," she repeats, not sure what else to say. Fortunately, Finn appears out of nowhere on her left, practically standing against her side as he places his beer on the little section of table the placement of her chair allows despite there being plenty of room between her and the guy. Happily, she turns to him, shifting over to give him more room. "Got your beer?"
"Yup. Got Pale Ale this time," he offers, glancing over her head at the guy on her other side.
"Sounds good. I should have told you to get me one." She turns back to the guy only to find that he's already gone.
"So who was-" he begins, only to be interrupted by a stadium employee.
"Your girlfriend can't use that chair. It belongs somewhere else."
"Oh sorry." He helps Rachel down from the chair, who once again notices that he doesn't bother to correct. "Let's go get food."
She nods, matching her strides to his as they walk, although she has a feeling he's walking slower on purpose. They stroll along the food stands, rejecting and considering different foods as they talk. Rachel, having already decided that she's going to pick the food stand that has the longest line, joins Finn in line for his sandwich before making him wait with her in line for her food. They chat easily about everything and nothing and she's pleased to see a few scowls sent her way from jealous girls since it means that it's clear he's with her and they look like a couple. Which she likes.
Two more beers for Finn and two margaritas for herself and Kurt later, they head back to their seats, having missed the beginning of the game. She's just handing Kurt his drink when a loud crack is heard and she looks up nervously to see the ball sailing off the bat and into left field. Not liking that sound, she sits down next to Finn and turns to him. "Um, is there a chance a ball could come this way?"
"It's possible." He grins, drinking more beer. "Actually, it's very possible."
"Um…just so you know, that's all you," she decides, picturing herself getting hit with the ball.
He laughs. "Nervous?"
She nods and takes a bite of her sandwich. "If a ball comes this way, I expect you to catch it while I hide behind you."
"Don't worry, I'll protect you." He pops a French fry in his mouth. "I'm on it."
"Good." Relived, she takes a sip of her Margarita. It's surprisingly good and she doesn't object to another one when Kurt gets up and offers, nor does she object to a third later.
The downside of that is that she's slightly tipsy by the third inning and completely tipsy by the fifth. She's not tipsy enough however to notice that Finn's arm has been stretched across the back of her seat for a while.
"Oh!" she squeals, looking at the screen as she leans back into her seat just enough to feel his arm and not make it look obvious. "What's a Kiss Cam?"
"Whoever they put the camera on has to kiss," he replies. "It's lame but sometimes they put it on the other team which is funny."
"Interesting." Annoyed Shannon didn't tell her about this, she watches the couples on screen kiss, gasping and grabbing Finn's thigh when she sees herself and Finn on screen, positioned in the middle of a heart. "Oh my God! It's us!"
"Woohoo!" Finn's cousin Kyle calls out. "You two gotta kiss."
She blushes and bites her lip, still maintaining her grip on Finn's thigh. The camera is still trained on them and their whole section is cheering, waiting for one of them to make a move. Even Kurt's turned around, his phone facing them while beside him Burt's doing the same. "Kyle's right. You have to kiss."
Finn doesn't seem to be doing anything, so Rachel takes charge, leaning into Finn and kissing him to the cheers of their section. She'd meant it to be a quick kiss on the lips but in her tipsy state it was a little longer than she'd intended. Finn's surprised but doesn't seem to mind, kissing her back in a way that she finds she really enjoys, soft yet somehow firm at the same time. She takes full advantage of the opportunity and opens her mouth more, loving the feeling of him on her lips. Reluctantly, she pulls back just in time to see them disappear from the screen, Finn looking slightly dazed next to her. Disappointed at having had to stop, she sits back in her chair, blushing at the stares and smirks of Finn's family.
"Now that's what I call a kiss," Finn's grandpa teases from Rachel's other side, making her blush even more.
"Geez, you really went for it with the open mouth, Rachel," Kurt comments. "Finn hasn't moved."
She knows her face is scarlet and she avoids looking at Finn, suddenly finding her margarita fascinating. She hadn't planned on making it an open mouthed kiss but Finn's lips were so soft and he'd turned out to be such a good kisser that her mouth started moving on its own.
"Seriously, all that was missing was tongue." He shudders. "And I certainly don't need to see that."
"You might not have, Kurt but I think Finn would've liked it," Burt teases as Kurt hands Rachel his phone.
"No way I want to see Finn getting tongue." He nods firmly, making Rachel look up from the video of them kissing Kurt had filmed. "Especially from one of my friends."
"Like he hasn't seen you kissing at those parties I know you two threw whenever your mom and I went to Mexico?" Burt comments.
She barely hears Kurt's retort since Finn's leaning close to watch the video, a fact she's well aware of since his cologne is invading her senses. Thanks to Kurt's video, she sees just how amazing they look kissing which just makes her want to do it more. She loves the way he'd leaned into her, one arm moving from across the back of her chair to up her face while the other held her upper thigh and she's just started analyzing his facial features when Kurt gasps. "Oh My God! You two won!"
"Huh?" She reluctantly looks up from her picture to discover that she and Finn are on the screen again, the announcer announcing that they've won Kissing Couple of the Game. She squeals, not even having to take charge this time since Finn's turning her head towards him for a celebratory kiss. Not sure if that was because they were still on camera but loving it, she pulls away and stands. "Come on! We have to claim our prize at Gate 14!"
She practically sprints up the stairs, not even caring that she doesn't know where Gate 14 is. Finn seems to though, and like before he walks closely next to her but unlike before, he slips his hand into hers, something that takes her by surprise.
"Well, we did win Kissing Couple of the Game," he justifies with a grin, noticing her looking at their entwined hands. "They might have a rule that you need to be a real couple."
"Good thinking." She holds onto his hand tightly, her mind already conjuring up a backstory in case they ask. "My theater degree will come in handy."
"I'm sure it will." He smiles down at her.
"I can't believe we won!" she chirps, hoping the Kiss Cam is a repeat thing throughout the game.
"I guess we have a killer kiss style," Finn decides with a grin. "Those old people they showed kissing sucked."
"Ours was much better," she agrees happily, smiling back up at him as he pauses in front a table. Her smile transfers to the employee behind the table, presuming this is where they pick up their prize.
"Can I help you?" The employee stares from one to the other, waiting for one to speak.
"We're the Kissing Couple of the Game," Rachel announces proudly.
"Oh." Either not impressed or just not caring, the employee looks down at his papers.
"We've been dating for 3 years, you know," Rachel blurts out, afraid he doesn't buy their act. "We've even got a dog. His name is Pongo."
"He's a poodle," Finn adds, anxious to have Charlotte represented in their fake backstory.
"Isn't that a name for a Dalmatian?" the employee questions, looking up briefly.
"He's part poodle part Dalmatian," Rachel clarifies quickly.
"A Dalmoodle," Finn offers, pleased at his mashup, especially since Rachel giggles at it.
"Good for you." The employee shoves something into Rachel's hands. "Here's your prize. Go show it to your dog."
Their prize turns out to be larger, better copies of the picture on Kurt's phone, complete with the heart around it, plus two tickets to a future game. Already planning time to shop for the perfect frame, she slips her hand back into Finn's, her free hand holding their photos.
In no rush to get back to their seats, they wander around the stadium, still hand in hand. She's surprised by this, assuming he'd want to watch the game but she's not about to object to his offer of a celebratory drink. Only after they've had a celebratory beer and then a celebratory Margarita do they head back to their seats, Rachel now even more tipsy.
Kurt's evidently been drinking in her absence, a litter of empty cups at his feet and yet another Margarita in his hand. He greets them drunkenly, barely noticing how close they're sitting or that Finn once again has his arm across Rachel's seat.
Rachel definitely notices, taking advantage of his arm placement as she leans in to talk to Finn, her voice a giggly whisper. "I think Kurt's drunk."
He throws her that grin she really loves. "Yeah, that's what usually happens. I'm surprised it took this long."
She giggles again, settling back against his arm. Finn's watching the action on the field so she turns her attention to the game, finding it more exciting than she thought.
"Rachel! Come talk," Kurt bosses through his drunken stupor. "You've barely been in your seat and if you are here you're kissing my brother."
She leans forward, sipping her drink. "What do you want to talk about?"
"The hot players, duh." He nods towards first base. "That's who you should be kissing."
She giggles, checking him out. "He's cute, I guess."
"You guess?" Kurt cries, scandalized and spilling some margarita on his legs as he waves his drink. "Do you know what's most likely under that uniform? Rock hard chiseled abs!"
"True but rock hard abs don't lend themselves to cuddling," Rachel points out, her mind picturing shirtless Finn in his bathing suit. "I like to cuddle."
"Cuddle a bear, Rachel," Kurt bosses. "Rock hard abs are never to be passed up."
"But I...uh oh." Alarmed at the sound of the ball being hit, Rachel glances up just in time to see the ball hurling through the air in their direction. Nervous, she sits back up, her hand reaching for Finn's arm. To her relief, the ball loses momentum, landing lazily in the glove of a player and relaxed, she sits back in her seat, Finn chuckling next to her.
"You were getting ready, weren't you?" he teases, his arm coming to rest on the back of her chair.
"I was," she admits freely, settling back against his arm.
"Rachel! Pay attention and check out the guy a few rows down!" Kurt hisses. "Hello muscles."
"Kurt will you shut up and let Rachel watch the game?" Finn snaps, tapping the top of Kurt's head.
Kurt huffs, his retort cut off by his cousin asking about Alan and Rachel shifts in her seat trying to snuggle without actually snuggling. If Finn notices, he doesn't say anything and she shifts a little closer to him by leaning on the arm rest between them, pleased when his fingers rest lightly against her shoulder. It's not quite snuggling, but it'll have to do.
She'd kissed him.
He'd been going to do it, he really was but while he'd been contemplating what kind of kiss she'd be expecting (and wouldn't get him in trouble), she'd totally gone and kissed the hell out of him.
And it was awesome.
He had a feeling she'd be a good kisser, but when it actually happened the feeling of her lips on his pretty much rendered him speechless. He'd managed to recover enough to make a move on her, kissing her when they were announced as the Kissing Couple of the game. That kiss had allowed him to showcase his skills (lame as they were) and although he couldn't tell if Rachel was excited from his kiss or just from winning, he kind of figures (more like hopes) it had to be from the kiss.
Hanging with her had been just as awesome since everyone clearly thought they were a couple. He'd gotten a secret thrill each time someone said your girlfriend, not bothering to correct anyone. Rachel, he'd noticed, hadn't bother to correct anyone either and he'd spent quite a bit of time tonight trying to figure out what that meant. She hadn't seemed to mind holding hands or acting like a couple, something he definitely didn't mind either but her comment about her theater degree coming in handy had thrown him and he'd used the time not spent thinking about girlfriend comment to think about what her theater degree comment meant. Unlike Kurt, she'd been totally into the game, cheering on the Yankees and grabbing his arm for balance as she jumped up and down next to him to celebrate a home run, which he'd been totally cool with (plus he could totally see down her tank top so bonus).
He'd kept Kurt well supplied in beer, since he'd annoyingly kept trying to get Rachel's opinion on various players and random men around them. He certainly hadn't needed to hear Rachel's opinion of any of the muscle guys Kurt was ogling, particularly after being relieved she doesn't seem to be a fan of rock hard abs. Even in his heyday of playing sports he'd never been able to achieve those abs, something his mom attributes to a combination of genes and his cuteness factor, much to his embarrassment. She hadn't even seemed that interested in that guy with the hot dogs he'd scared away from her, much to his satisfaction. He'd been none to please to look over at her while he was paying for his beer and see that hot dog douche moving in. Fortunately, strategic placement next to Rachel combined with a warning glance over her head had sent Hot Dog Douche running with Rachel none the wiser.
His plan to distract Kurt with alcohol, although admittedly brilliant, had one tiny flaw in that drunk Kurt is a chatty Kurt. Chatty Kurt liked to talk to Rachel, leaving Finn unable to make any sort of move, other than putting his arm across her chair. That, combined with the fact that Rachel was proving popular as a conversationalist among both his Hudson family and Hummel family had pretty much ensured that he stayed firmly in the friend zone for the remainder of the game and the drive home.
Like the drive there, he manages to sneak glances at Rachel in the back seat although unlike the drive to the stadium, Rachel's fallen asleep on Kurt's shoulder, her arm lightly woven through his. This has the advantage of allowing him to look at her more but manages to make him supremely jealous of Kurt at the same time. She looks adorable, sound asleep on Kurt's shoulder and more than once the car drifts dangerously into another lane as he watches.
"Jesus, Finn! Pay attention!" Burt cries yet again as the horn of an angry driver next to him snaps him out of his staring. "That's like the third time! How much did you have to drink?"
"Sorry." He blushes, concentrating on the road again. "I'm fine."
"Then concentrate." Burt glances over his shoulder before speaking again. "On the road that is, not the back seat."
He blushes again, hoping Rachel didn't hear that. "We're just friends."
Burt snorts. "I doubt that. Not with a kiss like that."
His heart soars. "You think?"
"You heard Kurt. Lucky she went for it since you were just sitting there looking goofy," he teases. "Were you even planning to kiss her?"
"I was thinking of where to kiss her!" Finn defends, changing lanes on purpose. He sneaks another glance at Rachel, checking to make sure she's still asleep before he asks a question. "You uh, think she liked it?"
Burt snorts again. "You seriously need to ask?"
"So she did then?" He'd thought she had but given his shitty track record understanding girls, he couldn't totally be sure. "I mean, we only kissed that time."
"I knew it!" Burt cries delightedly, turning around in his seat. "You owe me twenty bucks, Carl."
"You bet on me!?" Finn hisses, gripping the wheel in surprise. "Dad! What the hell?"
"No, Carl bet on you. I bet against you," Burt corrects, pocketing the twenty Carl is begrudgingly handing over. "He thought you two were disappearing to make out but I knew you weren't that smooth."
"I thought it was a sure bet, you two disappeared for so long," Carl muses. "Wasted opportunity Finn. You two could have found some empty stairwell, that's what I would have done."
Ew. He scrunches his nose, trying to forget the fact that he's getting make out advice from his grandma's boyfriend. The thought occurs to him that apparently Carl's got more game than he does and he grips the wheel again in frustration. "Aren't you forgetting about Kurt?"
"Kurt? What about him?" Burt asks. "He's certainly not interested in Rachel."
"You heard him." Their exit is approaching and he switches lanes, purposely not looking at his dad. "He was all grossed out and possessive."
"He was also drunk," Burt points out. "I don't think he'd care."
"Still." He maneuvers onto the exit ramp, pulling off the highway and onto regular streets. "He's my brother."
"So? It's not like you're competing for her romantically," Burt reminds him as the car rolls through their town. "Don't forget you're dropping Carl off."
"Right." He turns down a side street and pulls into Carl's driveway. His grandma's car is there and he banishes any thoughts as to why, choosing to believe she was there simply to watch those old lady cooking shows she loves so much with Carl.
"Bye guys." Carl climbs out, closing the door behind him but not before winking at Finn. "Good luck, Finn."
Kurt stirs at the noise of the door slamming, his voice still slurring. "Home?"
"Not yet, dude. Go to back to sleep," Finn directs, backing out of the driveway. "Unless you're going to puke. In that case, stick your head out the window like Alan."
Kurt frowns, sliding over and making Rachel fall over at the loss of his shoulder. She wakes up at the action, glancing out the window in confusion. "Where are we?"
"Not home," Kurt slurs, slumping over against the cool window.
"You're staying over, right Rachel?" Burt questions, turning to look at her.
Finn, who hadn't known this, looks at her in the mirror as he waits for her answer. Her staying over could potentially alter his plans and he waits for her response anxiously.
"Of course she is," Kurt answer for her, Rachel nodding next to him. "She brought her stuff over last night."
"And what about you Finn?" Burt asks, a sly look on his face. "I'm assuming you're staying over?"
"I uh, probably should," he answers casually as he turns onto his parent's street. "Charlotte's asleep. I don't want to wake her."
"Oh of course not." He rolls his eyes at the lame excuse. "You couldn't possibly wake the dog."
"Exactly. Charlotte needs her sleep. If she doesn't get like 12 hours, she's miserable to be around," Finn elaborates, pulling into the driveway.
"Sounds like you," Burt teases, turning around to tap Kurt's leg. "Kurt! Get up!"
Kurt cracks open an eye for verification before committing to a full wake up. Satisfied that they were indeed home, he sits up and opens his door, the window frame imprinted on his face as he stumbles out of the car. "Come on Rachel. Let's go watch TV."
Finn, already out of the car, opens Rachel's door, holding out a hand to help her out. The alcohol still in her system, she accepts with a giggle, slightly unsteady on her feet. "Thank you Finn. That's very chivalrous of you."
"Yeah, well that's me." He grins, hoping chivalrous is a good thing.
Burt snorts. "Yeah, chivalrous is your middle name Finn."
"No it's not. It's David," Kurt corrects, taking Rachel's free hand and pulling her forward. They stumble towards the house, disappearing inside while Finn and Burt follow.
Alan, Pongo and Charlotte herald their arrival with a series of yips and barks as they come down the stairs, a yawning Carole just behind the puppies. She yawns again, tying her robe. "Oh you're home! How was the game?"
"Stadium stench. Gotta get rid of it," Kurt mumbles over his shoulder as he begins to climb the stairs, seemingly having forgotten about watching TV. Rachel stays put, greeting Pongo enthusiastically.
Carole rolls her eyes as he passes. "I'd be more concerned with getting the beer stench off if I was him. How much did he have?"
"Enough to not care that he spilled half of it on his jeans," Burt replies, heading towards the kitchen with Alan and Pongo at his feet. "We got any coffee?"
"In the cabinet." She turns to Rachel and Finn with a smile. "You two want?"
"Sure." He doesn't really, but Rachel's nodding enthusiastically so he's suddenly in the mood for coffee.
"Did you enjoy the game, Rachel?" Carole asks, already walking towards the kitchen with Rachel. Not to be left out, Finn grabs Charlotte and hurries behind them.
"I really enjoyed it." Rachel nods enthusiastically. "I'm just going to run to the bathroom."
"What about you baby?" Carole questions affectionately as Rachel leaves the room, opening the door for Alan and Pongo. The puppies immediately run outside, yipping in delight.
"Yeah. It was good." Charlotte struggles in Finn's arms until he puts her down and he smiles, watching her run out after her Uncle Alan and Pongo.
Burt snorts, taking a seat at the table. "Ask Finn what he won."
"You won something? What?" Carole looks from a blushing Finn to a snickering Burt.
"Finn was named one half of the Kissing Couple of the Game," Burt announces. "Don't we have cake?"
Carole's eyes light up as she goes to get the cake. "Baby! You and Rachel won?"
"Yeah, yeah we did." He blushes more, embarrassed at his mom automatically assuming it was Rachel he was kissing.
She smiles knowingly as she cuts Burt a piece of cake but thankfully doesn't say anything more about it since Rachel's just reappeared. "You want some cake before you go home?"
"Finn's not going home. He doesn't want to wake Charlotte up," Burt answers for him, nodding out the window to the chaos outside where Pongo's pinned Alan to the ground while Charlotte bites both Pongo and Alan's legs.
"Oh. You'll have to sleep in the guest room. Rachel and Pongo are all set up in your room," Carole replies, the smile still on her face.
"We can move," Rachel offers quickly, glancing at Finn. "Pongo probably wants to have a sleepover with Alan anyway."
"Don't be silly, Rachel. Finn doesn't mind," Carole responds. "Right baby?"
"It's totally fine." He smiles at her, watching her give a small yawn.
"You don't mind my taking your room?" she questions, rubbing an eye.
"It's not like I live here anymore," he replies easily, watching her rub her other eye. "You're pretty tired, huh?"
"Probably all that kissing," Burt offers slyly, making both Rachel and Finn blush.
"Um, I'm going to go upstairs. Want me to show you my room?" Finn asks, realizing too late how that sounds. "I…I mean…"
"Rachel sleeps in there all the time, Finny. You know Kurt uses it as his TV room," Carole interrupts, saving him.
"Oh. Oh right," he stammers, turning red yet again. "I uh, guess I'll go upstairs then. To the guest room."
"Night baby," Carole answers, accepting the kiss Finn was offering. "You going up too, Rachel? I think Kurt is still in the shower."
"In a minute. I need to make sure Pongo did his nightly pee-pee," Rachel replies with a frown. "Did you monitor his water intake and log it?"
"Of course." She points to the fridge where Pongo's chart is hanging. "He's all good."
Finn, not about to go upstairs if Rachel isn't just yet, moves to the French doors and opens it, whistling for Charlotte. "I think Pongo's taking a crap. I see a spotted ass squatting in Mom's flower bed on the other side of the pool."
"Pongo! That's not where you do that!" Rachel screeches, rushing over to the door. Embarrassed, she turns back to Carole. "I'm so sorry, he's ruining your flowers."
"It's ok, Alan's constantly digging those flowers up," Carole assures her as Alan comes bouncing in and parks himself in front of the counter he knows perfectly well holds his biscuit jar. Charlotte comes in just behind him and settles next to Alan, her tail swishing expectantly.
"Still," Rachel frets as Carole starts handing out biscuits. Pongo's evidently finished since he comes bounding in and immediately joins the biscuit line, taking the biscuit Carole offers once he sits and runs off to eat it on the door mat since Alan's claimed the dining room rug. Charlotte opts to save hers for later, clamping it in her mouth as she moves to sit at Finn's feet. "He's a guest here. He knows better."
Carole laughs, watching Pongo finish his biscuit and head up the stairs. "I'd say he's made himself at home here."
"I guess I should go upstairs then. I didn't set up his pillow and blanket on his bed before I left," Rachel decides, moving towards the stairs. "Night everyone."
Carole watches her go with a smile, turning to Finn once Rachel's disappeared. "Sounds like you had fun tonight."
"Yeah, we did." Anxious to get upstairs, he leans down and gives his mother another good night kiss. "Night."
"Night baby." She bends down and picks up Charlotte, the biscuit once again in her mouth, handing her over to Finn.
He practically sprints up the stairs, disappointed to see his bedroom door already closed. Resigned, he makes his way into the guest room and place Charlotte on the bed to eat her biscuit, wondering what was going on behind that door (whatever it is, he definitely wants to be a part of it).
His mind racing at the possibilities, he pulls off his shirt and pants, prepared to sleep in his boxers. Fortunately he keeps clothes in his old bedroom so he won't look totally gross wearing the same thing in front of Rachel tomorrow. He flips on the TV, half listening to Kurt giving a drunken version of the game to his mother in the hall. His full attention is diverted away from the TV and onto Kurt when he hears him complaining about their kiss.
"It was awful. Finn really needs to work on his technique."
"I'm sure it was fine, Kurt. They seemed like they had fun."
"It's bad enough I had to go to the game but then I had to see my brother making out with my new best friend?"
He stops listening after that, concerned about Kurt's comments. Not sure if Kurt's comments were simply because he was drunk or because he legitimately didn't want Finn pursuing his friend, he flops down on the bed deep in thought. Hopefully, Kurt's comments were simply of the drunk variety but if not there was a problem.
A big one.
She blew it.
Had she known that Finn was also going to be sleeping over, she'd have packed that sexy silk pajama set, the one she'd bought secretly bought back in Ohio in the hopes of showing it to a potential boyfriend and which still sadly has the tags on it. Instead, she's been forced to scan the hall and dart into the bathroom, lest Finn see her shorts with the dogs dressed up and having tea on them or even worse, her tank top with a large picture of a dog's face asking what up, dawg?
She's just put her toothbrush into her mouth when the door opens and Finn's suddenly in the doorway, staring at her in surprise. Horrified at him seeing her pajamas, she stares at him in the mirror, her toothbrush stilled in her mouth.
"Sorry! I uh, just need to brush my teeth. I see you do that too," Finn rambles, rubbing his neck.
She nods, too mortified by her pajamas to say anything. Add in the fact that he's wearing nothing but a plaid pair of boxers and she probably won't be able to speak until next week.
He moves next to her at the sink, plucking a blue toothbrush out of the holder and her eyes follow his movements, admiring his chest at the same time. They brush in silence for a moment and she's struck by the domesticity of it, her eyes focused on his. She figures this must be what it's like to be in a relationship and she lets her mind run wild as she spits out her toothpaste. Feeling the need to say something, she finally manages to blurt out the first thing she can think of. "I like your boxers. Did your mom buy those too?"
He blushes, stopping his brushing for a second. "Um, no. Or at least I don't think so. Actually she might have."
"Oh." She giggles, more relaxed now as she reaches for her mouthwash. "Daddy doesn't buy me underwear but he does like to buy Pongo clothes. Don't tell Kurt."
"Your secret's safe with me." He grins, stilling the toothbrush in his mouth again. "Nice pajamas. You wear those in the hood?"
"Very funny!" She smacks his arm, making him laugh. Her face red, she pours some mouthwash into her mouth, swishing it around indignantly.
"Thanks, I thought so," he replies cheekily, leaning forward to spit out his toothpaste.
Unfortunately for him, Rachel, her head tipped back as she swishes the mouthwash, has chosen the same moment to spit out the mouthwash, the result being that Finn gets a mouthful of mouthwash to the back of the head. Surprised, he doesn't move for a second, speaking into the sink. "Uh, did you just spit on me?"
"I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!" Rachel cries, her face red and beyond mortified as she reaches for a towel. She blots his neck and shoulders, her free hand holding his shoulder (which she's pleased to discover is very broad and firm). "I didn't realize you were spitting too!"
"It's ok." He takes the towel from her and straightens, wiping the back of his neck off. "At least it's only mouthwash and not like puke."
"True. I think I heard Kurt puking in here before," she admits. "You might want to stay away from him, although I think he's already passed out in bed."
"Probably. He always does that when he's drunk. You should've seen him when we took him out for his 21st birthday. Puked all over a bouncer, a bartender and then my dad," Finn adds cheerfully. "He also puked in my dad's baseball cap."
Despite her embarrassment, she giggles. "I'm sure Burt must've been furious."
"Yeah, he wasn't too happy." He chuckles at the memory, leaning against the counter.
She's basically done with the bathroom but stalls, not willing to leave Finn even if she's basically humiliated herself. Finn doesn't seem to be in a rush either, still leaning against the counter and she bits her lip, trying to figure out what to do next. "Um so I was thinking. Pongo happens to be an exemplary student."
"Yeah?" He's staring at her in confusion.
She nods. "Maybe you could come over tomorrow night and practice with Charlotte. Pongo and I could demonstrate so she'd get out of remedial."
"That'd be awesome. We can totally practice." He grins, his face excited and she hopes by practice he means the kissing kind and not the dog command kind.
She smiles from ear to ear. "Ok then. It's a date."
He blinks once. "Right. A date. It's a date."
She practically skips out of the bathroom, barely noticing Finn's strange response. It's a date in her mind and that's all that counts. Now all she has to do is hope she doesn't say anything stupid.
And maybe, just maybe, she'll get to take the tags off her sexy pajamas.
A/N: Almost a full recap, peyton4life ;)