I got the idea for this last night when I ended up stranded in town at 1am with no trains or buses lol.
Thank you for beta'ing, Kristie. You are wonderful.
Finn Hudson slows his run as he steps onto the platform when he realizes that it's useless; the train is leaving regardless of whether he's on it or not. With a curse under his breath, he resigns himself to one of the cold, metal seats. In the moonlight, the rain speckles really show up, not that he cares.
Just as he's watching the damn train head off down the tracks, a flustered brunette scurries onto the platform, mumbling things to herself that he doesn't quite hear. "Wait!" she calls in a fruitless attempt, waving her arm (the other is currently pulling along a hot pink suitcase) in the air crazily. "Come back." It doesn't. Go figure. But a few seconds later she's dragging herself over to the paint chipped seats, dropping down with slumped shoulders.
"I can't believe I missed it," she laments aloud, Finn unsure of whether he should respond.
Then she turns her head toward him, the man suddenly warming at the sight of her chocolate brown eyes. "When is the next train?" she whines a little pitifully; he can easily imagine a puppy in her place.
"Tomorrow morning," he mumbles with a shrug, "six am."
"What? You've gotta be kidding me." She gapes toward him, then whips out her phone and begins typing furiously to whoever. He watches her face tense with concentration, giving the smallest of smiles.
But still, it's late, past midnight to be exact, and the next train isn't for hours. "You should go home. Get some sleep before you come back," he offers kindly.
"I don't have anywhere to go."
"You don't?" He doesn't know why he's so surprised; it's the same reason that he's considering waiting here all the night the first train come morning. Well, he's not even considering it anymore - if he wanted to go and get some sleep, maybe in a crappy motel somewhere, he would've gone by now. Staring deeply into her warm eyes, he doesn't want to leave at all.
She gives a forlorn sigh. "No."
Her curt response makes lean away, only slightly. She picks up her case, lying it down on the seat between the two of them, all at the same time her teeth worrying her lower lip. Then she looks at him again, unsurely.
"What about you?"
He tilts his head, "what about me?"
"Don't you have a place to go back to?"
"Well, sort of, but I'm not going back. I can't go back." Her face moulds with sympathy, and she looks as though she wants to speak again, but holds herself back. The woman's head bows, before she reaches into her pocket and pulls out a pink IPod, the same pink as her bag. He smiles again.
"Do you mind...?" she starts, slightly nervously, but he shrugs.
"Go ahead; we've got a long wait ahead of us."
Again, his eyes drift over this girl, from her thick brown locks, to her plump full lips that begin to mouth along the words of whatever she's listening to. She's wrapped in a tight red coat to keep the cold out, but that's sort of countered by the fact that she's wearing a short skirt with a thin pair of tights. For a moment, she must sense his eyes on her, peering upwards with an inquisitive spark to her gaze, and he turns away with a blush that he can pass off as the cold. It's going to be a long wait indeed.
At around one am, he's done (or at least tried and failed) every puzzle on the back of the newspaper he'd found lying on the bench arm. Finn wipes a hand over his tired, weary face and stands, trying to stretch the knots out of his muscles. He begins to walk the platform a little, up and down, in hopes of keeping himself awake more. A yawn soon follows, loud and slow, and surely enough a few seconds later he sees the girl yawning, too.
Beside the side of the building, he sees a drinks dispenser, slowly making his way over to it. The light behind the dented screen flickers on and off, Finn straining his eyes to see what drinks aren't out of order. Eventually he gets himself a coffee. It's not exactly his favorite thing in the world, but beggars can't be choosers. The plastic cup allows the heat to burn his otherwise numb fingers, which he's grateful for. Just as he's about to move back to the seats, a thought pops into his head and he throws a look over at the girl on the bench, huddled into her coat and scarf.
Without even thinking about it, he slips some more money into the machine and gets a second cup.
"Here," he says as he sits down back down, holding out the steaming cup to her.
She pulls out one of her purple headphones and smiles toward him. "You didn't have to," she says softly.
"Can't have you going asleep on me," he jokes.
"No." Her eyes shine with something he can't quite decipher, "we can't."
They each bring the coffees to their lips, taking a sip in unison. Their faces pull the exact same expression not moments later, both scrunched up.
Finn chuckles, "I'm guessing you're not much of a coffee lover, either."
"Not really," she gives a tentative smile, "but thank you though. I am grateful." Her small fingers wrap around the entire cup as silence engulfs them once more. Finn finds himself wanting to talk to her more, but searches for the right thing to say.
Eventually, he clears his throat. "I'm Finn, by the way." He peers into his coffee, because one look at her and he suddenly feels nervous. "Just thought you should know... since we're gonna be here all night."
She gives this huge smile now, one that makes him feel suddenly more awake. "Rachel," she quietly says, before adding, "you're very sweet, Finn. If I have to be stuck here for a whole night, I'm glad it's with you." His face brightens at that, and he stares right back at her as he sips another drink of his coffee, not even cringing this time. She does the same.
"So where are you going then, Rachel?" he asks curiously. Finn eyes the suitcase once more.
"Back to New York," she responds casually. "I was only in town for a couple of days, and I was supposed to head back tonight because I've got to help my roommate in the morning, but I suppose he'll have to do with me. The show must go on, right?"
He blinks. Her roommate is a he. Why does that bother him?
"You live in New York," he instead says, "must be nice."
"New York is amazing," she crows with that same big smile. "I've lived there ever since I was eighteen. Four years in the City and I don't think I could ever grow bored of it."
"You think it's a good place for someone to start out? To have a second chance?" he looks honestly toward her, the woman's eyes holding him softly in their gaze.
Rachel slowly nods, curiosity melting into her expression at his own anxious one. "Yeah, I think it is."
While she disposes of their coffee cups, he slowly leans down in the seat, throwing his head back with his eyes closed.
"You tired?" Her voice barely causes him to stir.
"I'm exhausted," he breathes.
"Get some sleep then."
Finn shakes his head, "I'm not leaving you to sit here by yourself. Anything could happen. And I wanna make sure that you're safe and stuff."
"While I appreciate the concern," she chuckles, "I'm not some damsel in distress in need of constant watch. I carry mace and a rape whistle – I also took a class in self-defence. So sleep, Finn."
His eyes remain closed, but he doesn't sleep. Not as she pops in one headphone and quietly sings to herself.
All he can think about is how beautiful her voice is.
When he opens his eyes again, he finds Rachel watching him silently. Her cheeks burn red as she realizes. "Hi," she says shyly.
"You stopped singing," he mumbles.
"You were singing – it was good, really good." Finn pauses, "why'd you stop?"
Surprise register in her eyes, but her smiles gives her away. He smiles, too. "I – the cold isn't good for my voice."
"So you're a singer?"
"That's right," Rachel announces confidently. "One day you will see my name in bright lights on Broadway. My dads started preparing me for my future practically from the moment I left the womb."
He raises his brow, bemused. "They already knew you were going to be good at singing?"
"They hired a surrogate who was extremely talented to ensure that I would be just as amazing. If not more. I've had voice lessons since I was two years old." She nods along with her words.
"Wow, so you've just... always known what you wanted to do?"
She nods simply, smile faltering when she notices how his head bows in thought. Her phone buzzes briefly with a new text message, which she simply scoffs at and puts her phone back in her pocket. He then feels her gaze on him again, "Finn?"
Heaving in a sigh, he shrugs, "I'm fine. Just thinking."
"About?" There's no hesitation to her voice and when he dares a glance upwards, he finds those big, caring eyes zoned in on him intensely.
But he shakes his head. This girl has her whole life figured out, she has since the moment she even had the capacity to think about things like that, but for the past few years all he's done is let others do the planning for him. He doesn't want to try because trying means failing most of the time. And he doesn't want to fail. He hates to fail.
He clutches the shoulder bag he has, which he'd stuffed as many posessions in as he could before leaving, and he suddenly starts to panic because this is the first time in years that he's trying. He's not going to be the Finn Hudson that's stuck in Lima anymore. He's going to find something bigger, something better.
"About my second chance," he tells her.
Rachel gives a small smile, though he can see the curiosity in her expression. She soon delivers, "so you're just going to New York and hoping that everything comes together?"
"Yeah," he scoffs, "stupid, right?"
"Sort of," she suddenly grins, "but that's what I did. Isn't it exciting?"
He suddenly pales, "I'm terrified. And I feel like I'm going to throw up."
"But just think, by this time tomorrow you'll be in the city of dreams, where anything can happen. There's so much opportunity for anyone and everyone, especially someone like you, Finn." Her eyes drift up and down, not once leaving the man. He shifts under her gaze.
Then she adds with a soft smile, "and you'll have something that I didn't have when I first moved there."
"What's that?" he tilts his head.
Finn watches the way she observes his reaction nervously, judging to see what he'll do, like he's going to reject her or something. Instead, he feels his heart burn with warmth and his smile grows impossibly large. "I guess I do." Despite himself, he holds out his hand over her pink suitcase, looking expectantly toward Rachel, who places her slender fingers into his. "Here's to our new friendship."
"To friendship," she smiles, lifting up her new coffee in toast.
It might be his sleepy brain, but he's sure that Rachel keeps giving him these sly glances and then smiling to herself. Each time, he feels his entire chest clench with nerves. Why is she looking? Is he doing something stupid without realizing? Or does he like, have something on his face? No, she'd tell him if he did, he's sure.
So when she does it again he finally turns her way and stares back. His eyes stares at her pink nose and ears, then drag down to her lips. She licks her lips then. He's noted that she does that quite a lot. He can't help thinking how pretty she is when she does it. Hell, she's pretty in general – no, beautiful.
"This isn't how I planned spending the night," she mutters with a soft smile. "Freezing my butt off in the middle of Lima."
"Me either. I was just gonna sleep the entire way on the train and then be wide awake for New York." He laughs, "I guess things don't always go to plan."
"You can say that again."
She giving him yet another sly look, not even bothering to hide it from him. For a moment, Finn's kind of happy about missing the train, because otherwise he wouldn't be here right now, with the one person that's made him feel like the future isn't this big scary thing; the same person that he's barely known for a few hours.
"God, I'm so hungry," he cries out dramatically. All Rachel does is give this soft giggle that sets his heart beating crazily, but then she's reaching into her suitcase. He does a little happy dance, because she's got food. This girl is turning out to be pretty perfect.
But then his face falls as she pulls out a packet of raisins and offers them out to him. Raisins?!
"Wansome?" she says hurriedly as she neatly places a couple between her plump, pink lips.
"I thought you had some real food in there for a minute," he tells her.
"Excuse me, Finn, these are good for you, unlike most of the processed junk that people eat these days."
"Yeah," he begins, "people eat it 'cause it tastes good. Unlike your rabbit food."
Rachel feigns offence – she's probably heard all this before -and begins pulling the bag away, "well, if you don't want any..." His stomach growls, demanding food, whether it be her rabbit food or the good stuff.
He takes a handful of the small raisins, eating them a few at a time as Rachel watches on smugly. "You suck," he mumbles jokingly, earning a nudge in the side from her. Their voices blend as the two set off in chuckles, neither quite sure why. All he knows is that it feels really good to make her laugh.
"Got you another," he says as he hands over the drink to Rachel.
"You're too good to me," she starts.
Finn laughs nervously, "I know. Not every guy would buy you crappy coffee in the middle of the night. What can I say? My mom brought me up right." He also drops a few packs of chips and chocolates onto the seat in the middle of them, "I also found a vending machine, if you're not too full off your rabbit food."
Rachel gives him a look, "seriously though Finn." Her voice softens, "thank you."
"You're welcome," he replies just as softly, eyes finding hers.
"Hit me," she says as she stares down at her cards, the pair watching as he turns over a two. "Hit me," she repeats, throwing another m&m into the pile in the middle.
As he does so, a king stares back at them. "Bust," she mumbles, throwing the cards down onto the suitcase that they're using as a playing table. Finn grins to himself as he drags in his haul of m&s's, adding them to his own pile, which is growing steadily. He then sneaks a couple into his mouth, to which Rachel only laughs.
"You don't play this game a lot."
"Is it that obvious?" she smiles.
With a light sigh, she stacks up the cards again, but makes no effort to deal or pass them to Finn. Her phone buzzes again. With a glance to the screen, she rolls her eyes and pushes it further away. When Finn notices this, he raises an eyebrow in question and, surprisingly, she explains with little hesitation.
"It's my ex-boyfriend," Rachel says with distaste.
She bites her lower lip, "he's actually, um – it's the reason why I'm here right now." Finn suddenly perks up. "I came here to break up with him."
"So that's why you have nowhere to stay tonight," he realizes, "oh Rach, I'm sorry."
"Don't be," she waves off his concern, but he doesn't miss the way her eyes seem shinier with tears, "we hadn't been working for months and I just... I had to do it. I couldn't keep pretending that everything was okay. He was upset though."
"Yeah, we had this huge fight and, hmmm," she suddenly says, "you know, I've only just met you. I shouldn't really be boring you with my relationship problems." Rachel pulls away slightly, her expression sombre at the conversation topic.
"It's not boring," he hurries, "I mean, it's good to talk to people sometimes."
"People always say that I talk too much." Finn hates the sad turn her voice takes.
"I don't think that."
Her expression instantly brightens with a smile. "You don't?"
"Not at all." As her smile grows, he reaches for the cards again, "now come on, let me teach you how to play poker." The girl happily complies.
"Almost halfway," she mumbles sleepily when they hit three am, reaching for her third cup of coffee.
"Yup," he smiles and turns down toward her. She's in the seat right beside him, though he's not exactly sure exactly when she'd sat there. Both are in a hazy state, staring up at the dark sky. He suddenly sighs, "Everyone thinks I'm in New York by now. They'd all laugh if they could see me now. Well, my mom would make me go home and sleep, but then she'd convince me not to go, so..."
She hesitates, "why doesn't she want you to go?"
"She's protective, I guess. For a while, we were all each other had and, you know, New York is so far away. Not to mention that she's scared I'm going to end up in the really bad parts and she's going to see my death on the news or something." He lowers his gaze, "and it's going to suck being apart from her, but she's married now. She has someone with her. I guess that I need to find that for me now."
Rachel peers toward him thoughtfully, "I think you need to find yourself first."
"You need to figure out who you are, what you want from life. And then you can decide who want you want to spend it with." Her eyes move back to the night sky, "I think New York's just the place for you to come into yourself, Finn."
Though he doesn't reply, he feels his face brighten with a smile.
He keeps shifting in his seat, trying to use the movement to generate some heat because the cold has now spread to his... special area, and Rachel notes how he's become restless. Suddenly she's on her feet, holding out her hand for him.
Finn takes it, but unsurely. "What're you doing?" he asks when one suggestive tug of her arm brings him into a standing position. For the first time both are stood next to each other and he finds himself grinning down at her. She's got to be about a foot smaller than he is.
She has to crane her neck for their eyes to meet. "Well, I'm cold and judging by how much you keep moving, I'm guessing you are too. So we're going to do something about it."
Rachel purses her lips together, though silently slides his hand down to her waist, entwining the other with her delicate fingers. As she wraps her other hand around his shoulder and grins up toward him, eyes glistening. "You taught me how to play poker; it's only fair that I should return the favor with something else." She suddenly grins, "I want you to dance with me."
He gapes at her, "we're going to dance?"
"From all the experience with dance rehearsals, I know it's a good way to warm up. And it's fun," she beams.
"Rachel, it's four in the morning. We're stranded in a train station in Lima, and you want us to dance?"
"Shhh," she says, tightening her already firm grip. "Now come on, one two three, one two three."
He takes small steps in counter to hers. "There's no music," he resists again, but Rachel is insistent.
"Then imagine it," she says, and wanting to offer him the most help possible, begins to hum under her breath. He doesn't know the song, but soon enough her hums turn into gently sang words. And he's moving without even thinking about it, not feeling in the slightest bit silly about how he looks or messing anything up. Barely unable to lift his gaze from her intense one, he doesn't notice the drizzle floating down from the sky. It's lit by the floodlights brightening the tracks, but the pair are completely oblivious to any of that.
Her fingers are warm and soft against his, and he really doesn't want to let go.
They move across the platform in time with her slow song, Rachel's expression happier than he's ever seen her before. On an impulse, he spins her gently out and then back in again, where she falls against his chest with a small fit of giggles, before making herself comfortable so close to him. Finn hitches in a breath as she leans her head against his chest.
Despite the giggles, she still sings through her song, ever the professional. And they move to swaying together as the drizzle lands on their hair and faces.
He doesn't even care that he's cold, not one bit.
When her song comes to an end, his arm slides around her further in support as he finishes with a bow. She wants the big finish, right? Rachel gives him this dreamy smile as she stares up at the man, who then steadies her back on her feet.
"So," he asks, "how'd I do? Would you believe me if I said I avoided dancing like the plague?"
"No," she says sarcastically, then grins. "But that was pretty..." She sucks in a breath, eyes widening happily, "good."
"What time is it?" Rachel asks, hiding a yawn behind her hand. She leans into his slightly, unaware of her own movement.
He checks his phone, "uh, almost five."
With a nod, she smacks her lips together a couple of times, then raises her eyes to peer up at him, "you don't look tired."
"I think I'm past that point," he admits.
"I feel like I'm going to pass out." He wants nothing more than to kiss the small pout on her lips away, really, really badly.
"Get some sleep then."
She shakes her head, "you didn't go to sleep on me, I'm not going to sleep on you."
"You're stubborn," he laughs.
"Why thank you, Finn."
"The offer's always there, though. I've been told my shoulder is pretty comfy to sleep on before, not to brag or anything." Rachel sends this adoring smile that sort of sets his heart on fire, in the totally good way, and she then scoots that little bit closer to him, resting her head against his side.
"Hmmm," she sighs contently, "your source is right. This is comfortable." Her eyes droop slightly.
"Night Rach," he grins.
She huffs, "I'm not going to sleep."
Ten minutes later and she becomes heavier against his side. When he casts a glance her way, he smiles at her peaceful expression and wraps his arm around her side. She stirs slightly at the movement, but then just heads on straight back to sleep.
When she blinks her eyes awake, there are other people on the platform now, and Rachel stares around before her eyes land on him. "Why did you let me sleep? We made a deal."
"You looked like you needed it," he admits, "and I was fine, you know. I managed twenty three years without you. I could survive forty five minutes with you asleep. Besides, I had lots of time to think."
She gently shoves him, but he notes how her head doesn't move from his shoulder. "About New York?" she asks tentatively, watching his expression.
Rachel's hand finds his, "you were considering not going."
He stares at her, wondering how she knew that, but instead nods.
"I don't even have a place to stay, a job. And what if I'm too much of a country boy to really survive out there?"
"Finn," she smiles softly, her voice somehow easing his worries, "don't fret, okay?" Rachel suddenly looks thoughtful, and then scrambles for her phone again. "I need to text Blaine – he was supposed to be interviewing potential roommates this morning, but he doesn't need to anymore."
"Rachel..." he starts, knowing exactly where this is going, and he doesn't know whether he can accept an offer like that, not when he has nothing in return to give.
She shakes her head. "Nonsense, Finn. I'm not about to let you walk into New York jobless, homeless and friendless. I can't offer you all of those things, but two out of three is just as good." She finally looks up from her phone to his surprised and touched expression. Before she can say anything else his large form engulfs hers in the tightest of hugs.
"This is your second chance," she whispers to him, tearful at the sight of him so happy. Without even thinking, he lets his lips graze hers, only for a matter of seconds. He doesn't consider the fact that she's just broke up with her boyfriend, or that they barely know each other; he just let his feelings take over.
They're still hugging when the train pulls into the station soon after, the sleepy pair standing and getting ready to board. He slips his own bag onto his shoulder and feels Rachel's hand wrap around his own, pulling him onto the train after her. "Come on, Finn," she says excitedly, as though she hasn't been deprived of sleep all night, "let's start your New York adventure. You're going to love it."
Just a small little one shot that hopefully you liked!
Please review :)