Author's Note: Just a cute one-shot that I thought of to celebrate the holidays. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. This story title comes from "What Christmas Means to Me" by Stevie Wonder.
Rachel Berry glared at the teenager that knocked into her. The blonde girl didn't even spare Rachel a glance as she chattered on her phone and pushed past Rachel. Huffing under her breath, Rachel shifted her bags on her shoulder and tried to make her way through the crowds without running into anyone else.
She knew that going to the mall three days before Christmas was a bad idea, but she hadn't really intended to let her shopping go this late. Rachel was normally on top of everything, but she had been so caught up in the rehearsals for the musical she was the lead in, she just hadn't had the time lately.
"Berry, there you are!"
Rachel looked up to find her best friend, Santana Lopez, bustling towards her. She let out a sigh of relief and held out some of the bags for Santana to take, but the Latina just ignored her. Rachel rolled her eyes and made a face, but Santana took no notice of that either.
"I've been looking all over the place for you," Santana continued. "Where the hell have you been?"
"I've been trying to navigate through the crowd of pre-pubescent children," Rachel grumbled. "Who thought it was a good idea to let small children wander around the mall by themselves?"
Santana smirked. "I don't know, Rachel. Some of them are probably taller than you."
Rachel glared at her friend and hefted the bags further up her shoulders. "Let's just get out of here. I want to go home." She was so done with dealing with annoying shoppers at the moment.
Santana nodded her head in agreement and the pair began to make their way through the mall. It wasn't far from the exit that they came upon a large crowd. Rachel wanted to keep walking, but Santana tugged on her hand until she came to a stop.
"San, I don't want to—"
"Shut up for a second, Berry. Let's just see what's going on."
Grudgingly, Rachel came to a stop and tried to figure out what was going on. Eventually, enough people moved so that Rachel could see there was a stand with a sprig of mistletoe hanging from it. Currently, there was a red-headed woman and a pimply-faced teenage boy standing underneath it. The boy looked as though he was having the time of his life, and the woman shifted uneasily from foot to foot but still seemed resigned to go through with it. Up on a platform was an MC encouraging them to kiss. Next to the platform, it looked like people were donating money and toys.
The volume of the crowd grew as they cajoled the pair under the mistletoe to kiss. Finally, the woman leaned over and pecked the young man quickly, causing the audience to erupt in cheers.
"We just raised another fifty dollars!" the MC announced. "And who's next? We need our next participants to come forward!"
Rachel rolled her eyes and turned to walk away. Even though it was for a good cause, she didn't believe in embarrassing people purely for public amusement. Before she could even move an inch, however, Santana planted her palm in the center of Rachel's back and shoved her forward.
"Rachel Berry will volunteer!" Santana shouted.
Rachel whipped around to glare at Santana and opened her mouth to protest. But she was already being shuffled up towards the mistletoe, and the audience was chanting her name.
Rachel knew there was absolutely no way she was getting out of this one.
"Come on, Finn. Would you smile at least a little bit? I think you're scaring the children."
Finn Hudson rolled his eyes at his stepbrother and barely contained his annoyed huff. Instead of saying anything, he remained completely silent and shoved his hands in his pockets as they walked through the mall.
Kurt Hummel sighed and shook his head. All he wanted was to get a nice Christmas present for their mother. But Finn had to go and make this trip miserable, as well.
"It's Christmas! Cheer up, big brother," Kurt pleaded. When Finn did nothing but glare down at the ground Kurt let out a dramatic noise and waved his hands in the air. "Finn, it happened four months ago! They used to call themselves your friends and then they screwed you over. Forget about them."
Finn snorted and finally looked up. "It's kind of hard when your best friend was screwing your girlfriend behind your back. And then he got her pregnant."
Kurt stopped walking and waited until Finn noticed and stopped next to him. He crossed his arms and tapped his designer loafer on the tiled mall floor impatiently. "I know what happened, Finn. But the only way you're going to get over it is if you move on. You can't let Puck and Quinn's betrayal completely ruin your favorite holiday."
Finn dragged his hands through his hair and looked around. Kids were running around, the mall employees were all dressed up for Christmas, and the decorations were sparkling all over the place. Christmas really was his favorite holiday, and he did have to do more to cheer up. It was just a little hard when you knew that your closest friends screwed you over and then left you alone for the holidays.
Kurt could see that Finn's mood really wasn't going to change. He glanced around and saw that there was some commotion not far off from where they were standing. Not knowing what it was but deciding that Finn definitely had to get involved, Kurt began to push his brother towards the center of the crowd.
Finn, completely surprised, looked down at his brother. "When did you get so strong?" he demanded.
"It's from fighting all of those rabid shoppers off," Kurt said off-handedly. He continued to push his brother towards the front, where he heard an MC requesting volunteers from the audience.
"Finn Hudson will volunteer!" Kurt shouted. He was sure to use Finn's name so that he couldn't back out of it. Undaunted by the dark glare he was receiving from his brother, Kurt shoved Finn forward.
Rachel was about two seconds away from throwing a complete hissy fit.
She stood with her arms crossed over her chest underneath the mistletoe, thoroughly annoyed with Santana and the crowd that had encouraged her. When she heard that someone had been picked to be her partner, Rachel rolled her eyes and sighed dramatically. This was so not her day.
The MC chuckled into his microphone. "Well now, it seems as if our two volunteers aren't really in the Christmas spirit. Now how are you going to change that?"
"GET THEM TO KISS!" someone from the crowd yelled.
Rachel seriously considered voicing her distaste of that plan. Before she could, however, she caught sight of the person that she was supposedly going to kiss.
He was tall—probably a whole foot taller than her. His dark hair was thick and messy, and he had broad shoulders and fit build that was defined by his plaid button down shirt and jeans. His hands were tucked into his pockets, and when he came closer, Rachel saw that he had a dusting of freckles across his nose. When Rachel raised her eyes, she found herself looking into soothing amber orbs.
Rachel couldn't even begin to explain it, but somehow just his presence caused her to relax a little bit. Their eyes remained connected until he stopped next to the MC, who promptly shoved the microphone in his face. Rachel almost giggled at the dark look her new partner sent his way.
"Son, what's your name?"
He looked out over the crowed and glared at someone. Apparently, he had been forced to do this as well. After a long moment, he finally said, "Finn Hudson."
"Well, Finn Hudson, I'd like you to meet Miss Rachel Berry. And you're going to kiss her under the mistletoe for charity!"
Their audience erupted into cheers once again, and the MC pushed Finn under the mistletoe with Rachel. She looked up at him and he offered her a sweet half smile that caused her heart to skip a beat. She couldn't help but smile at him in return.
"Start donating the money, folks!" The announcer declared. "We'll let these two get to know one another first before they have to kiss."
Rachel always was a nervous talker, so she was the first to speak. "I… I…" But apparently, she didn't know what to say.
Finn rubbed the back of his neck. "So I'm guessing something like this doesn't really happen that often?"
Rachel giggled. "Try never. Would you say that this has happened to you?"
Finn shook his head. "Can't say that it has."
That short exchange was all that they got. The announcer stated that many donations had already come in and it was time for their two volunteers to kiss. Rachel's heart jumped again, and she bit her lip as she looked out over the crowd.
Rachel Berry normally wasn't one for stage freight. She reveled in attention, and she loved being the center of it. But she also believed that something like a kiss was extremely personal. It was different when she was doing it on stage, because there were any feelings there. But she couldn't deny the instant attraction she felt towards the man in front of her—whatever was going to happen between them, she knew that it was going to affect her deeply.
Rachel twisted her hands together and tried to block out the noise their audience was making. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath in order to calm herself, but they shot open again when she felt calloused fingers wrap around hers.
Finn gave her a wonderfully reassuring smile and then bent forward. His lips tenderly touched her cheek, lingering there for just a moment before he pulled away. Rachel turned her head and their lips almost brushed as she returned his smile.
They jumped apart when they heard the MC exclaim, "Now that wasn't a kiss! We want a real kiss, right ladies and gentleman?"
The crowd roared their assent at that declaration, and Rachel bit her lip again. Finn's eyes zeroed in on the movement, and he sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck. Rachel squeezed his hand. She appreciated that he was trying to respect her, but it seemed as if the crowd wasn't going to let up. They wanted one thing and one thing only—and that was to see Finn and Rachel kiss.
The MC began to speak once again. Finn looked at Rachel. Rachel looked at Finn, her cheeks turning bright red. "Come on, it's for charity! You just have to kiss someone under the mistletoe!"
Rachel's fingers tightened around Finn's. "Well, it is for charity," she murmured.
"And we have to help people, right?" Finn replied. He took a step towards her, and Rachel's eyes were level with his chest. He brought his other hand up, cupping her cheek delicately and tilting her face towards his.
Rachel nodded her head and whispered, "Yeah…" in return before Finn's lips came down over hers.
His lips moved gently against hers, but Rachel curled her fingers into Finn's shirt and pulled him closer. His tongue traced her bottom lip and Rachel parted them, allowing their tongues to dance together for a brief moment. And then Finn pulled his lips away from Rachel's, keeping his forehead against hers.
The sound of the crowd broke them out of their own little world once again. Both Finn and Rachel stepped out from underneath the mistletoe and towards their Kurt and Santana, who had found each other near the other end of the crowd.
As they were leaving, they heard the MC yell, "That was the most money we raised yet! Over three hundred dollars!"
Before Rachel could even bend to grab her shopping bags, Finn had scooped them up with his free hand, holding them easily. The smile he sent Rachel's way disarmed her completely, and she couldn't even think about arguing as they began walking.
Just because Kurt and Santana were walking behind Finn and Rachel didn't mean that they were being tactful. They were certainly trying to eavesdrop on the pair's conversation, but Finn and Rachel kept their voice low so they couldn't hear.
"So that was…" Finn began.
"Interesting," Rachel cut in.
"Interesting?" Finn repeated.
Rachel nodded her head. "Interesting."
"Not bad." Rachel quickly squeezed Finn's hand. When they had stepped out from underneath the mistletoe, neither had realized that they hadn't let go of each other's hand. And they were so comfortable that it still had happened yet. The experience they had just shared affected them both in such a way that Finn and Rachel weren't afraid to do something as simple as hold each other's hand.
Smiling up at him, Rachel added, "Good. Interesting good." She didn't know how to explain to Finn that she felt at home when his fingers wrapped around hers. Or how she had felt more things when he had kissed her cheek than she had with anyone else. Or that the look in his amber eyes instantly put her at ease, even though she knew next to nothing about him.
"Good," Finn repeated. "That's good."
Behind them, both Kurt and Santana simultaneously rolled their eyes. "They disgust me," Santana declared.
"It's so cute that I don't even know what to do with it," Kurt agreed.
"Do you think that they'll realize it?" Santana asked.
Kurt smirked and shook his head. "I think you know the answer to that as well as I do. They'll both be so oblivious to it that they'll have to be hit over the head."
"Well, this is us." Rachel found herself unwilling to let go of Finn's hand as they stood next to the stop at the subway she and Santana needed to get on. Finn released her bags first and seemed just as reluctant to let go of her hand as well. They stood there for a moment, gazing into each other's eyes.
The subway came roaring down the tracks, and Finn and Rachel let go at the same time. Rachel smiled at Finn—honestly she was kind of hoping for a second kiss. The kiss on the cheek had been great, and the real kiss they had shared had sent a soft, tingling warmth spreading through her. She knew that a second—and a third, and a fourth, and so on—would feel just the same.
And then Finn stuck his hand out, his cheeks bright red. "Well, it was nice meeting you!"
Rachel's lips parted in surprise. The subway pulled up to the stop then, so Rachel quickly shook Finn's hand before she gathered up her bags and stepped on with Santana. She couldn't really think of anything to say, so she simply waved as the subway doors closed.
As soon as it had sped away, Kurt reached up and Finn on the back of the head—hard.
"Ow!" Finn exclaimed with a scowl. "What the hell was that for?"
"You're an idiot!"
Finn sighed and stared after the train. "I know."
Kurt through his hands in the air. "It's pretty obvious that you liked her, Finn! Why didn't you at least kiss her again? I think she would have been pretty open to it."
Finn scrubbed a hand over his face. "I know, Kurt. Believe me, I know."
"Rachel, get in here! You're on the news!"
Half dressed, Rachel raced into the living room. Santana was sitting with their friends Mercedes Jones and Brittany Pearce. "What? What is it on? Are they talking about my musical? They're talking about how I'm going to be nominated for an award, aren't they?"
Mercedes wiped at her eyes, she was laughing so hard. "Not quite, girl. Come take a look."
Curious, Rachel finished pulling on her shirt and stepped forward so that she was in front of the television. To her complete shock, she saw a recording of herself kissing Finn Hudson underneath the mistletoe. She stared at the television, her mouth hanging open somewhere around her knees. The sound of her friends' uproarious laughter rang in her ears.
But she blocked that out the longer she watched the broadcast. The kept replaying the clip of her and Finn (apparently, their kiss had managed to raise the most money), and she couldn't help but notice how they looked as though they were a real couple. It was even more surprising since Finn and Rachel had only met one another minutes before.
It was in the way Finn held her: intimate, but still tenderly. The hand on the cheek, the way their fingers were intertwined—it was as if there was a long, truthful love there.
Mercedes nudged Santana. "There she goes, off into her fantasy land."
Brittany smiled serenely. "Aw, I think it's cute," she announced.
Their commentary shook Rachel out of her reverie. "Stop it," she ordered, but a smile spread across her lips anyway. "It's not like that." Except it totally was.
"Did you at least get his number?" Mercedes demanded. "Because after he laid on one you like that, you should have at least gotten a phone call out of it."
Before Rachel could answer, Santana took it upon herself to reveal the events of what had happened. "Sasquatch said, 'it was nice to meet you' and shook her hand. Shook her hand! Can you believe that?"
Mercedes and Brittany dissolved into laughter, and Rachel's cheeks turned bright red. She buried her face in her hands and waited for their mirth to pass. Ever impatient, however, Rachel demanded, "Are you done yet?"
"Probably not until you track this guy down and get another kiss from him," Mercedes stipulated. "And then his phone number, and then a date from him."
A slow smile spread across Rachel's lips and she got lost in her own little world thinking about seeing Finn once again. Santana, however, smirked and showed Mercedes and Brittany a text she had sent to Kurt.
While at the mall, the pair had exchanged numbers… and Santana had sent Kurt Rachel's number. It was up to Kurt when he was going to give Finn Rachel's number.
Finn accepted the bag from the cashier and smiled before he turned to leave the store. He almost always left his Christmas shopping until the last minute, but he had really dropped the ball this year. He had been in such a miserable mood that he had to find presents for his family all at the last minute.
Thankfully, he knew of a small bookstore that had interesting cookbooks. So the day before Christmas, Finn had finally finished with present buying. He peered into the bag, going through his mental list of people and presents.
And then he smacked right into someone.
Finn's eyes widened in surprise and he reached out to steady the petite brunette he had almost bowled over. Catching sight of her face, Finn was completely embarrassed and utterly excited at the same time.
"Rachel!" he blurted. "I'm so sorry!"
Rachel giggled and caught herself by holding onto Finn's forearms. "It's perfectly alright. I was just thinking about you, actually. Although I can't say that actually running into you was how I pictured seeing you again."
Finn chuckled and tried not to notice how she was still holding on to him. But it wasn't like he had moved his hands from her hips, either, so he guessed it was okay. They stood there for several long moments, just grinning at each other. The silence between them was easy and comfortable, and they still hadn't let go of one another.
"Did you see the news report?" Rachel asked.
"I didn't know about it until my mom called me and asked me who I was kissing on TV," Finn admitted. "That was a fun phone call."
"But it was for a good cause," Rachel said. "You know, kissing under the mistletoe for charity."
Finn's lips lifted up into that half smile. "That it was," he said. He glanced up, and his smile broadened. "It seems like we're standing underneath some mistletoe again."
Rachel looked up and saw the little sprig of green hanging above their heads. The whole bookstore had been decorated for the holidays, and of course Finn and Rachel had managed to run into each other by some more mistletoe.
Her hands curled into the sleeves of Finn's sweater, pulling him closer. He adjusted his arms by wrapping them around her waist. Rachel crooked her finger at him, beckoning for him to bend down closer to her.
Placing her tiny hands on either side of Finn's face she tilted it so that she could press her lips to the corner of his mouth—it wasn't quite a kiss on the cheek, but it wasn't a real kiss, either. Finn's grip tightened on her waist.
"Now that wasn't a real kiss," he said, imitating the MC from the mall. "This is for charity, Rachel!"
Rachel playfully arched an eyebrow. "And what charity is this for?"
"The Finn Hudson charity," he stated cheekily without missing a beat.
Rachel pretended to think about it for a few moments and then slid her arms around Finn's neck, pulling his mouth down to hers. After spending the past two days thinking about kissing him, she definitely was going to make most of it now.
She kissed Finn deeply and he returned it with just as much passion. It wasn't until she heard someone clear their throat that Rachel realized she was making out with Finn in the middle of a bookstore. She broke the kiss, but Finn leaned down for another quick one before pulling away slightly.
"What are you doing for Christmas?" Finn asked as he tried to get control of his breathing.
Rachel's thumb ran along Finn's bottom lip, wiping off some of her own lip gloss. "My fathers are actually going out of town on a cruise for the holidays, so it was just going to be me, Santana, and her girlfriend Brittany. Why?"
"Come over to our my house for dinner," Finn offered. "And bring Santana and her girlfriend, too. My mom will be more than happy to have all of you." He brought one hand up to her cheek, and Rachel instinctively leaned into it. "Please."
Rachel stared into Finn's amber eyes. It seemed so odd, since they had only met twice, and both those times they had kissed. Still, Rachel felt as if she had known Finn for years—being with Finn felt like coming home. And she loved the feeling of his arms wrapped around her.
"Alright," Rachel agreed.
Santana observed all of the containers that both Brittany and Rachel were carrying. Taking pity on her girlfriend, Santana took two of the containers from her and shook her head. "Jesus, Berry. Do you think you made enough cookies?"
Rachel's cheeks turned pink. "I didn't know what kind Finn's family might like, so I went a little overboard."
Santana snorted. "A little? Rachel, there must be over a hundred cookies here!"
Before Rachel could tell Santana to stuff it, the door opened to reveal a woman with short hair and a kind smile. "You must be Rachel! I'm Carole, Finn's mother," she exclaimed. "Burt come here!" An older man with a baseball hat appeared, and Carole took the containers from Rachel and shoved them towards Burt. As soon as Rachel's hands were free, Carole hugged her tightly.
"Hello!" Rachel greeted with a laugh as she returned the hug. She looked over Carole's shoulder and saw Finn standing behind her. He looked thoroughly embarrassed at his mother's behavior, but Rachel thought it was sweet. She smiled brightly at Finn and he returned it.
"Please, make yourself at home," Carole said once she released Rachel. "I'm sure you want to say hello to Finn, so I'll let you get to it."
Finn rolled his eyes at how mother's poor attempt at subtlety, but held out a hand for Rachel. Smiling shyly, she slipped her tiny hand into his and stepped into his embrace. Finn bent and pressed his lips to the corner of Rachel's mouth. He was well aware of the eyes of his family and her friends on them, and he wasn't about to give them a show.
"Just a warning," Finn murmured in Rachel's ear. "Both my mother and my brother have taken it upon themselves to hide mistletoe all over the house. They think it's funny."
Rachel laughed and gave him a coy smile, already plotting how she would get Finn alone. "Maybe we should go and find it, then."
Rachel arranged the cookies on the platter that Carole provided her with and gave them a critical eye before deciding that they were perfect. She still had several containers full of the cookies left, but she had no doubt that they would get eaten. Finn, Burt, and Blaine had already thanked her profusely for the cookies.
Carole smiled at the young woman next to her before she said, "It has been quite a while since I've seen my son this happy."
Rachel's brow furrowed with immediate concern at the thought of Finn being hurt in any way. "What do you mean?" she asked.
Carole shook her head slightly, unwilling to reveal a story that Finn should rightfully tell. "He has just been through a lot recently, and it's been hard on him. You're good for him, Rachel."
"But…" Rachel's cheeks pinked, and she bit her lip. "I appreciate that, Carole, but you just met me. How do you know for sure…?" There were so many things that Rachel was feeling and she just wanted to believe that it was all real. Feelings like this couldn't be just a fluke. Her connection with Finn was real and true.
A smile that only mothers had formed on Carole's lips. "I'm a mother, Rachel. It's my job to know these things."
Santana was participating in a lively argument with Kurt's boyfriend, Blaine, while Kurt tried to mediate. Brittany was amusing herself with the Hudson-Hummel's puppy, and Carole and Burt were cleaning up from their wonderful dinner. They had refused Finn and Rachel's help and sent them off on their own. Instead of joining their friends in the living room, Finn and Rachel headed into a more quiet part of the house.
"Finn?" Rachel asked as they entered the study?
Finn took Rachel's hand and led her over the window seat. Snow had started to fall about an hour earlier, blanketing the yard in untouched white. It sparkled magically under the light from the moon. "Yeah, Rach?"
She smiled when his calloused fingers began to stroke the back of her hand. "Are you… are you happy?" she tentatively asked.
Finn's brow furrowed as he tried to figure out why Rachel would ask such a question. But then he remembered the meddlesome ways of his family members, and it didn't take him long to put two and two together. He sighed. "What did my mother say to you?"
"Not much," Rachel immediately revealed. She squeezed his hand. "But she did say that you had been having a rough time of it over the past few months."
"It's hasn't been great," Finn revealed.
Rachel reached up with her free hand and touched Finn's cheek. "Do you want to tell me about it?"
Finn looked into Rachel's eyes and smiled at the earnest sincerity and compassion he saw there. "Long story short, I had a girlfriend for several years. We were together because everyone expected us to be, so we weren't exactly happy. But one day, I found out that she had been cheating on me with my best friend for years—and she was pregnant with his baby."
Rachel's heart broke for Finn, because no one should ever have to deal with something like that. She pulled him closer, kissing his forehead gently. Finn closed his eyes and rested his forehead against Rachel's.
"I'll fill you in on the full story with all the sad details later, I promise. You deserve to know," Finn murmured. He could see a future with Rachel. They had something—something that he didn't know how to name just yet, because it was unlike anything he had ever felt before. He brought his hand up to cup Rachel's cheek, his fingers tangling in her soft hair.
"I like you, Finn Hudson," Rachel whispered. Her nose nudged against his, and he chuckled.
"Well that's good, because I like you too, Rachel Berry." He pulled his hand away from her cheek and searched in his pocket until he found a velvet box. Pulling it out, he presented it to Rachel.
"Finn, what's this? You shouldn't have!" Rachel was itching to see what was in the box, however. She loved getting presents, and from the look in Finn's eyes, he knew exactly what she was thinking.
Finn took Rachel's hand and put the box in the center of her palm. "I saw this and thought of you."
Opening the box, Rachel gasped when she saw the small gold star on a delicate chain. She looked back up at Finn, her eyes shining, completely speechless. He chuckled again and reached for the necklace. He slid it around her neck and hooked it in the back. As he pulled away, Rachel caught Finn's lips in a deep kiss.
Finn's hand slipped around Rachel's waist, pulling her towards him until she was practically sitting in his lap. Rachel's fingers tangled in Finn's messy hair, and she smiled against his lips before she pulled away.
"Look up," she whispered and then pecked his lips again.
Distracted by the feel of Rachel's lips against his skin, Finn managed to glance up. Hanging above their heads was another sprig of mistletoe. He chuckled and slipped his hand under the edge of Rachel's shirt, lightly resting his fingers against her skin.
"How long did you know that was there?" Finn murmured. His lips moved down her jaw and to her neck, and Rachel tilted her head back.
"Since we sat down." Rachel let out a squeal when Finn tilted her back, laying her against the window seat and raining kisses all over her face and neck. Rachel wrapped her arms around Finn and brought his lips towards hers for another kiss. She had never been more thankful for mistletoe in her entire life.
Kurt had taken it upon himself to throw an extremely extravagant New Year's Eve ball, and he had demanded that practically everyone he knew attend. So that was where Rachel found herself at 11:50 on January 31st, wearing a beautiful light pink ball gown.
"Did I tell you how gorgeous you are?"
Rachel grinned when she heard Finn's voice in her ear. She accepted the glass of champagne he offered her and turned to kiss his lips tenderly. "You may have mentioned it once or twice, but I don't mind hearing it again. You look handsome tonight, too."
In the six days that had passed since Christmas, if Finn and Rachel hadn't seen each other, they had managed to at least talk on the phone. They were as good as going out at this point, and everyone that Finn and Rachel knew could say that they had never seen the pair more happy.
Kurt hurried by them with several harried looking waiters chasing after them. "It is 11:55, people! I want to make sure that absolutely everyone has a glass of champagne in their hands by the time the clock hits midnight! And everyone needs to get in their places!"
Rachel laughed. "Places?" she repeated.
Finn shook his head in exasperation. Kurt wants everything to be a certain way—even where the people are standing when we ring the new year in."
"Why don't we dance instead?" Rachel offered. She tried to stifle the laughter that surfaced at the look of absolute terror on Finn's face, but it didn't really work. "Come on, Finn! It's just one slow dance."
"I don't dance," Finn said. But he had a feeling that he was going to quickly lose this argument. Rachel was definitely going to get him on that dance floor.
"Come on," Rachel encouraged. "We don't even have to move very much. We can sway in a small circle." She set their champagne glasses aside and took one of Finn's hands in both of hers, tugging him onto the dance floor.
Finn wrapped one arm around Rachel's waist and took her hand while her other slid over his shoulder. "Only if we stay in a small circle," Finn stipulated.
Rachel giggled but kept her promise, swaying in a small circle with Finn as the clock ticked towards the new year. She rested her head on Finn's chest and he slipped his hand along the exposed skin at her back, causing her whole body to tingle.
"You know what they say about the person you kiss at midnight, right?" Finn asked. His voice rumbled through his chest and Rachel felt it against her ear. She tilted her head to look up at him and grinned at his twinkling eyes.
"What do they say?" she asked, even though she knew exactly what he was talking about.
"The person you kiss at midnight is the one that you're going to kiss for the rest of the year." Finn grinned at her as the people around them began to count down from ten. "Are you prepared to handle that?"
"Hmmm…" Rachel pretended to think about and stretched up onto her tiptoes until her lips just brushed against Finn's. "I think I'll be able to live with that."
"THREE… TWO… ONE!"
The crowd of partygoers began to cheer and Finn hauled Rachel up towards him, covering her mouth in a passionate kiss. Rachel moaned in welcome and wrapped her arms around Finn's neck, holding him close.
This was the perfect way to ring in the new year.
"Finn, what are we doing?"
Rachel had been constantly asking that question since they arrived at the mall. It had been closed for several hours at that point, so Rachel had no idea how Finn even managed to get in anyway. Finn had been patiently dodging the question every time she asked it.
He tried for distraction again by pulling Rachel close and wrapping an arm around her shoulders. "I love you, Rachel." He pressed a kiss to her cheek, and Rachel turned to give him a pointed look.
"I love you too, but stop trying to distract me Finn Hudson. How did you even get a key to get in here?"
"I have connections," Finn answered vaguely. He continued to pull Rachel along, knowing full well that it wouldn't be long before she recognized their destination. Just as he predicted, Rachel gasped when she saw the platform they were heading towards.
The same charity from the year before had set up their mistletoe in the mall once again. Rachel laughed and stepped under the little sprig of green.
"Oh wow, it's been almost a year since we met here, hasn't it?" Rachel asked.
Finn nodded his head and joined her underneath the mistletoe. "It's been a year exactly," he revealed.
Rachel looked up at him, her eyes widening as she began to understand why they were there. Finn grinned at her and reached into his pocket, revealing a small velvet box. Rachel pressed her hands to her mouth as Finn got down on one knee.
"Rachel Berry, we met in this spot exactly one year ago and kissed in front of a group of strangers. It was probably the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Will you marry me?"
Unable to speak, Rachel nodded her head and extended her left hand. As soon as Finn slipped the beautiful ring on her finger she squealed and launched herself at him, knocking them both to the floor. Finn laughed as he caught her and she showered his face in kisses, saying "I love you" over and over again.
It was their Christmas miracle.
Author's Note: I just wanted to have a cute little one-shot to celebrate the holidays. :) Thanks for reading! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!