Rating: Mature/R, NC-17 in later chapters
Summary: Almost sixteen years ago, Rachel Berry left Finn Hudson taking something with her that was part his. Now he's given the chance to know the daughter, that he never knew existed.The connections that are made both old and new will teach them things about themeselves, and what it truly means to be a family.
Word Count: 4,143
Character(s)/Pairing(s):Finn Hudson, Rachel Berry, OC, Finchel, OC/OC
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Finn Hudson, Rachel Berry, or any Glee related characters dipicted in this work of fiction. They are owned by Ryan Murphy, and the place where good shows go to die, FOX. I do however own the characters of Audrey Hudson, and Jackson Pierce.
Chapter One: Where my life was
The air was frigid as it wrapped her body, like an unspoken protector. She could feel the tingling in her limbs start to subside, as her body adjusted to the extremes. Strains of brunette rode in waves, sashaying from side to side. The thick tresses spun like a pinwheel, creating a halo above her head. While the simple pricks of hair, which made contact with her olive toned face didn’t faze her in the least. There was always a solid feeling of content that surrounded, when she sat on the boulder that resided just below a path in Central Park. All she ever really needed was her revolving song list of pioneering punk music ala The Ramones, Talking Heads, and the occasional The Clash. Also, in addition when she found watching the passersby to become overly tedious, she would read for hours on end. It was usually Vonnegut, or on the off chance that she was feeling more melodramatic than normal, a trait she picked up from her mother that she was more than happy to disagree on, it would become time for Sylvia Plath.
And this was her place of solace, the one place where she could just be herself stripped down. She didn’t have to be the freak in school that everyone dubbed as a bit off with violent tendencies. Neither, did she have to be the angry young girl, who had never known her father. She could let all of her walls fall, not having to anticipate the next verbal sparring match; she would have with her mother over the many things that they didn’t see eye to eye on. She didn’t feel empty here, like something was always missing from her, as if it had been torn away. Her hands were clasped in her lap, as she stared off into the background, not concentrating on any particular figure. The wires of her headset, whipped against her chicks in a rhythmic motion. Everything, had a beat, and at times she could easily feel it radiating through her entire body.
She would on occasion sing, when she was sure that no one, especially her mother, could hear her. She loved her mother, but there was always something that made her want to disregard anything that would make her similar to her parent. There were times, which she would look into the mirror and see the same cheek bones and skin tone. However, everything else from her mouth to her green eyes was absolutely foreign to her, and that made her feel empty inside. There was another part of her origin that she would never know. More than making her feel the sting of anger, she felt simply lost. On occasion, she would react to something with the same gusto, and fire as her mother, and for a second she felt at peace to be so brazen, but there was also a feeling of hesitation.
Breaking her out of her train of thought was the billowing of the chiming from the Catholic Church a few blocks away. The loud gongs, invaded her space forcing her to realize what time it was. There was only one thing, which three obnoxious echoes could mean this time of after noon. It was three o’ clock, and this would be the time that she would be leaving school, that is if she ever regularly attended. Leave it to church to be a horrendous invasion, on her life. She picked up the book bag, which she had discarded hours ago, slinging it over her shoulder. Wiping off her worn jeans, she jumped off of the rock, running down the path trying not to run into pedestrians.
There were a few moments where toppling into strangers was going to become a reality, but she had practice at evading things as this. Navigating the crowded streets was nothing sort of a miracle, this time of day. However, she knew that her immediate present depended on how quickly she could get to an art gallery twelve blocks away. The cloth sneakers on her feet made squeaking sounds, as she dart in and out between people that she felt had no right to be out in public if they couldn’t their bodies faster than they were at the time. After about twenty minutes of sprinting, knocking over the hot dog cart of a burly man who cursed exploitative to her in a language she could only decipher as not English, she made it to the entrance of a quant art studio with glass walls. She stood outside using the reflective surface to comb through her tangled hair with her fingers, and wipe away the beads of sweat that layer on her brow. She looked at herself intensely, trying to mask any guilt that she may have from her crime. She exhaled forcibly, trying to muster up any courage that she had. With a full swoop she reached for the handle on the door, and hoped to God that she had mastered lying. Even if it was a bit odd to be asking God, for the presence of mind to be dishonest, she thought to herself. She would definitely have to come back to that later.
The heat from the central air hit her drastically, as she entered the art gallery. The tones of music from the speakers filled the building, and bounced off the steely walls that reached up to the twenty foot ceiling. She rolled her eyes, when she automatically recognized the music to be from her mother’s in-depth collection of Barbra Streisand, diffidently from “Funny Girl”. This more often than not, meant that she was in a horrible mood and it was wise to not make any sudden moves around her. It was interesting how she could manage to figure out her mother’s mood, just by the soundtrack that she listened to. “West Side Story”, meant that she was depressed about something, usually a guy, or more likely when the gallery was having an exhibit to be done in a short time with no manpower what so ever at her disposal. However, there was no doubt that when her mother was twisted about something, that “Funny Girl”, was her way with dealing with it. There was something about the sassy lyrics and gusto that made her mom get all hyper vigilant about things. She could see her mother, in the corner with a prospective buyer.
She looked away from her mother, to walk towards one of the counters that circled half of the gallery. Leaning against the edge of one, was one of her mother’s employees. She had light red hair that curled out around her rosy face, which showed fine lines whispering her middle age to others. Her disposition was of a monarch who she was sure, was here for the solid purpose to keep her and her mother in check. She held the vanilla cookie, which she was nibbling on at her side, when she noticed the teenager inching towards her. She waved lightly, and motioned for the child to stand near her, while flicking a hand toward the brunette women trying to sell a painting.
“I’m sure you noticed, that the “Funny Girl” soundtrack is playing,” she pointed out more as a fact than a question.
“Yh, I did Lucy it made me want to make a run for it. Is it as bad as I’m expecting?”
Lucy rose an unmanacured eyebrow, “Now why would you be worried if you did nothing wrong?”
The girl opened her mouth slowly to make a protest, while running her fingers through her thick dark hair. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to open herself up to any trouble, but by the way that Lucy was looking down at her, it was clear that she already knew what was going on.
“I skipped again…ok? I mean really it’s not like its any big news. Now, when I join a cult and name myself Princess Sunshine Mulberry, then we can all see it as a big thing.”
Lucy shook her head trying to hide the growing smile that started to appear. She held up her hands dramatically, keeping her fingers upright.”I’m not trying to get on your case, but with the mood your mom has been in, this was probably not the best day to irk her.”
The young girl started to wring her fingers through, their mates on the opposite hand.”So, really bad?”
The older woman, nodded grimly,”Deffinently.”
The women of their conversation could be heard clear across the quant studio. The young girl, felt genuinely sorry for the twenty something man, that wore a slick leather jacket with a scarf twisted in a posed knot. This guy was with no doubt, a bit of a poser, and she felt sympathy for him, because she was sure that her mother was going to tear him down a few pegs. Especially, if “Funny Girl”, was what she had chosen to listen to for the day?
Rachel rubbed her forearms, as she looked upon the painting with the customer that had stopped in front of it a few moments prior. She resisted the need to readjust the black bra; she had recently bought on sale. It was her way of reminding herself that she was a strong reassured woman. Although, all it had accomplished was have an underwire that was sticking her in her side. Accompanied with lace, that was supposed to make her feel desirable, but all it did was chaff against her skin. She decided to not allow her mind to wander anymore, and concentrate on the man that stood beside her. He tilted his head to one side, trying to size it up. She noticed that the scarf knotted around his neck would shift accordingly with the pulls of his body. She wanted to exhale, loudly to give him the impression that she had far too much on her agenda to wait for him to come up with an assessment. Instead, she tried to push back her annoyance while trying to calm the nagging stress that was making her think far too much.
His eyes darted to her, signifying that he had, at last, came up with an opinion. “I find it extremely trivial, to be honest the paint strokes suggest a sense of frantic intensity that falls short of any real depth.” The young man, held his head up taunt giving off an air of arrogance.
Rachel let out a sigh, which she had been holding in for far too long. She could see her daughter walk into the gallery. She knew that she was guilty about something, and the mood that she was in today, was not the best day for her child to test her patience. And now, if her day hadn’t been bad enough, she was playing “Funny Girl” for Christ’s sake, she had this pompous horses ass trying to tell her about art.
She nodded her head, her dark curls falling further down her back, “That’s so astute sir.”
The man started to smirk, “I’m so happy to hear that.”
“In fact, I felt the exact same way, when I read it in an art journal about seven years ago. Actually, no I thought it was a load of misrepresented, rash ambiguous bullshit.”
The man shifted to one side, shocked by her statement, “Wait, a minute…”
Rachel pointed a finger at him, “No, you wait! I am tired of you snooty art major’s who care more about your twelve dollar latte and the latest commercialized indie music catalogue, which by the way isn’t indie music by its very definition. You regurgitate one sided narcissistic drabble, that in no way can capture the rawness of true emotion. Just so you know, that crap you were spuing was said about “Starry Night”, which is one of the most powerful paintings. So if you had one fraction of a brain, you would understand that the beauty of art is in the interpretation, which we make for ourselves. The love, hate, passion, despair is all there for us to weave through with our own memories, and a two dimensional drone like yourself, wouldn’t know the first thing about really knowing what makes something special.”
The young man’s face went white, clearing of really any color, “That’s colorful if anything, and can I ask what degree you possess?”
Rachel crossed her arms, “I don’t have a degree, but I don’t need one to tell you how much of an ass you are or the fact that I’m sure you paid far too much for your shoes.” She motioned down to his feet, as he started to shift uncomfortably.
The young man huffed, turning on his heel and making his way through her door and out of the well lit gallery. Rachel rolled her eyes, as he walked out of her line of sight. She could hear Lucy commenting to her daughter behind her.
“You should have heard her this morning lecturing some guy, on the torment of the Suffragettes during the turn of the last century. It was pretty funny.”
“How many has she run off today?”
“Including light loafers that just left? Three.”
Rachel could hear her daughter’s voice starting to crack, “Seriously?”
“Yh, and the first instance was the worst. She started crying about how guinea pigs are being smuggled into the country, for some twisted fighting ring. I have no idea where that all came from, but that was before she started with “Funny Girl”.
“It hasn’t been this bad since…”
“Since she had the hots for that drummer, who sold us some paintings and then she was introduced to his husband.”
Rachel threw up her hands, “I can hear you!”
Lucy stuffed another cookie in her mouth, turning her attention to the ceiling. “To come to think about it, I remembered that there was a lot of inventory in the back that needed to be catalogued. I’ll go do that now.”
Lucy quickly made her exit, as the young girl whispered something to the effect of “traitor” to her retreating back. Her vanilla cookie box, griped to her person tightly in tow. Rachel smoothed down her black silk blouse, and made her way over to her daughter, her stiletto boots clicking against the marble flooring. The girl looked like a caged animal; however she was doing quite well keeping her composure in front of the hostile woman.
“Black is very slimming on you mom.”
Rachel crossed her arms, tapping her fingers on her sleeves, “Audrey Nicole Hudson, cut the crap now.”
“All three names? Really mom?”
Rachel pointed to the back of the gallery, “Office now!”
Audrey sighed and bent down to pick up her bag, making her way to her mother’s office in the back. She tried to slow down her pace, but the proximity that her mother had on her was quickening her step…against her will. She fell into the cherry wood stained chair, which was placed in front of the desk that shared the same coloring. Rachel ringed her hands with tension, before she ran her hands over her face. She sat down silently in her chair behind her desk, never loosing eye contact with the brunette in front of her.
“I’m upset, Audrey.”
“I’m sure he wasn’t that gay.”
“I wasn’t referring to that, but so that we’re on that subject. I wasn’t that into him….I just have a thing for drummers.”Rachel got a faraway look, in her eyes and shook her head trying to regain her composure.”What I’m upset about is the fact, that you skipped yet another day of school.”
Audrey shifted in her seat, “I can explain...”
“I went to get your transcripts for the move, and I had a little conversation with the principle on how she can understand about how I felt it was better to have you stay home, because we were relocating soon, but how she would have preferred for me to call the office and give them the notice. We also had a conversation of how, she felt that it was odd that you missed most of the school year with absences, but yet your on the Honors List. She implied that you were a cheater of some sort.”
“That’s total crap! Do you think I cheated?!”
Rachel stood up and made her way to the front of the desk to stand in front of Audrey, “No, I think that you are an extremely intelligent young woman, who only uses one fraction of her intellect, by making shallow, rash decisions”
Audrey rolled her eyes and proceeded to stand up, “This has been an awesome pep talk mom, thanks.”
Rachel pointed towards the chair, “Sit. This is what’s going to happen, you are going to go upstairs and pack up what you don’t want to be put into storage.”
“I don’t see why I can’t just stay here, in the apartment while you’re working on that play. I don’t need to be chaperoned, I can take care of myself.”
“Oh, I know of how responsible you are when you are in someone’s guardian ship. I will be staying uptown, closer to the theater. I can’t take the commute everyday back down here, while still working twenty hour days.”
“So, you get to go on a yellow brick quest for talent, and I get to be shipped to some hick town to a guy who doesn’t even know that I exist?!”
“No, I’m giving you a chance to know your father. I can tell that there’s a part of you that is missing. Maybe, that’s why you’re always so angry. I think we both need to deal with that part of our past.”
Audrey pointed at her mother, “That’s your past, NOT MINE!”
“Even if it is, we’re linked honey.”
“Until, I’m old enough to leave you.”
Rachel nodded trying to fight back her tears, “Fine. But you are still my child, and you will go where I tell you to.”
“I still don’t see why I can’t stay in the apartment.”
“I told you that I’m renting it out. You know this.”
“I can’t believe that you’re pimping out, the place where I grew up.”
It was Rachel’s turn to roll her eyes, “You’re not grown yet. And it will bring in some money that will come in handy with all of the extra expenses. And you know how the annual revenue on the gallery has been lessening through the years.”
Audrey stood up abruptly, “Fine, I’ll go pack my crap, but I’m not ok with any of this.”
Audrey stalked out making her way to the stair case that lead to their apartment. Rachel placed her face in her hands, clearly exhausted. She looked up quickly to yell at Audrey before she was out of earshot.
“I want you to be packed and ready to travel to Lima, in the morning.”
Jackson leaned against the doorway, of the athletic office. He was more than a little apprehensive, about the motives that his coach had for him to come by in the middle of a Saturday afternoon. He wiped his sweaty hands, on his tattered blue jeans. He unzipped his leather jacket, feeling flushed from the heat in the hallway, or at least he hoped it was from the central heat and not because he was nervous. Jackson ran his left hand through, his dark spiked hair, turning it on its ends more than before. He decided to swallow his fear, and proceeded to knock on the door frame alerting the man in the office.
The tall man had his back to the door running through plays on a white dry erase board. Jackson’s announcement of his presence, caused the older man to turn around, a smile appeared on his face. The nerves, that the young man had knotted in his stomach started to subside. He waved the boy to come in and flicked his hand at a rickety wooden chair that was displayed in front of the worn desk.
Jackson started to speak as he sat in the chair, “Coach Hudson, did I do something wrong?”
The man smirked, “Why would you think you did something wrong?”
“There’s only one reason why most guys come in here, it’s usually to get chewed out.”
A deep laugh escaped the coach’s lips, “Am I really that much of a hard ass?”
Jackson shifted in his seat, “I’d really rather not answer that, sir.”
Another laugh filled the room, “I can respect that. Jack, the reason I asked you here was that I felt like after everything that has happened with your family we haven’t had a chance to talk.”
“I’m fine, sir. I don’t really need to talk.”
“All I wanted to say is that I understand how hard it is to lose a father. I’ve talked to some of your other teachers, and they have concerns about how your grades have started to fall.”
“Coach, you really don’t have to worry about me. I have everything handled, honestly.”
“Jackson, I want you to rejoin the football team. I think it could be helpful for you.”
Jackson rubbed his face, “No offense but I don’t see how running three a days will help me with anything. Plus, joining the team was my dad’s idea. He’s the whole reason why I started playing in the first place.”
“Jack, you’re one of the best quarterback’s that this state has seen in a very long time. I want you to stick through with it, at least just for the rest of the season.”
Jack nodded slowly,”Alright, I guess I can do that. Is that all you needed, Coach?”
The coach shook his head slowly, “No, I’m actually taking over glee club, from the choir teacher. It’s been falling behind a bit of its glory since; Mr.Shuester took over being the principle after Mr. Figgins retired a few years ago.”
“Coach with all respect, joining the team is all the willing in slave meant I could take for one year.”
“There always other ways that you could spend your days, Jack. For some reason, vandalism of the gym comes to mind. Its lucky thing that I’m one of the only faculty that really knows, who did it.”
Jackson smirked, “That’s blackmail, sir.”
Coach Hudson mirrored the smirk, “It sure is.”
Jack threw up his hands, “Fine, I’ll commit social suicide. Can I go now?”
The older man leaned back in his chair, “Sure.”
Jackson stood out of the chair, and made his way through the exit of the office. The coach watched him, until he disappeared through the doors, and reached over to the land line that was positioned on his right. He dialed the phone number that he had scribbled on a yellow piece of paper, on his desk. He waited for the other end to pick up, ending the choral of rings.
“Hello,” answered the voice of a woman.
“Mrs. Pierce, this is Coach Finn Hudson from the high school. I wanted to let you know how the talk with Jackson went.”
“Oh, yes thank you for calling me. How did it go?”
“Pretty good, maam. He joined the football team, just as you wanted.”
“And the glee club?”
“Yes and the glee club.”
“I can’t thank you enough for what you’re doing to help out my son. It’s been hard on him since, his father died.”
“Well he’s a good kid, maam. He has a lot of heart, and I see a natural born leader in him.”
“Thank you for saying that. You always seem to do so well with all the boys. Do you have any children, Coach?”
“No, I don’t. Um, I actually have some stuff that I need to tend to, but feel free to get in touch with me whenever you need to.”
“Yes, I will. Thank you so much. Goodbye.”
Finn hung up the phone, shifting in his seat. For some reason, when she had asked him he had any children, it made him feel uneasy. He had always wanted kids, but he wanted to have them with the right woman. And unfortunately, the only woman he had ever really loved had left him around sixteen years before. She had left a hollow feeling inside of him, and he wasn’t sure if it would be filled. He shook himself mentally out of his thought process. He had been a bit confused for the last few days, since he received an email from her, that she needed to see him as soon as possible. She was supposed to be in town the next day, and he couldn’t help the sweat that covered his palms. There was a part of him, which saw this reunion as a chance to start everything over with, Rachel Berry.
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A/N: This chapter wasn't BETAed, so sorry for the errors.