Finn really wanted to play this off perfectly, he felt like one false move and the entire thing would fall apart. Which he couldn’t have, not at all. He grinned at her reaction. “It’s a surprise, baby. A real surprise.” He told her, patting her knee. He knew that if she could see, she’d continue to ask questions and might even figure out where they were going or what they were doing once they got into the neighborhood, so blindfolding her was honestly his best option right now.
"I’ll be aggressive, you act like this is the first time I’ve ever driven in New York." He joked, a smirk on his face even though she couldn’t see. He turned some music on and easily navigated through the city and into the small suburban area right outside of it. He blew out a nervous breath, just hoping she’d like it. If not, he guessed they could put it on the market and try to get an apartment or whatever, but he prayed that wouldn’t be the case. It took around twenty minutes but he finally pulled into their new driveway and grinned. “We’re here, babe. Don’t take the blindfold off, I’ll help you out.” He said quickly, hopping out and rushing over to help her out the car. Giving her hand a gentle squeeze, he beamed. “Don’t freak out, okay?” He said before pulling her blindfold off. “I moved up early.” He breathed out, gauging her reaction. “Do you like it?”
"Well, I’m just kindly reminding you since I can’t see anything!" she said, shaking her head with a laugh. "It’s a good thing I know you’re not crazy, or else I’d think you were kidnapping me," she added jokingly, leaning her head back and folding her arms. She hummed along to the music as he drove, surprised for how long the ride seemed to be and how the honking seemed to cease in existence after awhile. When the car finally stopped, she sat up immediately, unbuckling her seat belt. "Okay," she said hesitantly as he went to help her out of the car. She opened her door and took his hand as she got on her feet, noting how quiet it was.
"I won’t freak out, I promise," she said, anticipating him removing his tie from her face. She blinked once or twice when it was off, adjusting her vision. Her jaw dropped when she saw the house in front of them after he said he moved up early. She was speechless. He was ready to move here, so ready that he bought a house just outside of the city. "Oh my God," she said, a gasp escaping her. "Finn…this is…This is amazing! I can’t believe you did this!" She turned to pull him into a tight embrace. She couldn’t wrap her head around what he’d done, it was too good to be true. She had no idea how he managed to do this — it was completely unbelievable.
Finn gave Rachel’s hand a squeeze as they started walking together. He could feel himself getting more nervous about the whole ordeal and while that sucked, he’d manage. All he had to do was get her to the house. “Yup, just one more stop and then I guess back to Kurt and Blaine’s.” He nodded, though the latter part obviously wasn’t going to be happening. He rolled his eyes at her reasoning, before merely shaking his head. “Oh, babe. I feel like you don’t have a whole lot of trust in me to get us from point A to point B.” He smirked, pulling her into his side and pressing a kiss to the top of her head.
Walking back down towards her theater, he managed to find his car and merely shrugged over towards her. “You’d be surprised, I’m pretty good at navigating through the city, if I do say so myself.” He grinned, climbing in the driver’s seat after helping her get into the passenger’s side. He truly was lucky in the sense that he’d memorized the route to their new house. A part of him was tempted to blindfold her and after a few moments of considering, he pulled his tie off. “Here, it’ll be an even bigger surprise if you can’t see where we’re going.” He grinned, gently tying it around her head. “Can you see, baby?” He asked with a smirk.
Rachel laughed lightly as he pulled her closer to him and pressed a kiss on her head. She kept a smile on her face as she basked in how perfect the moment felt. Being close to him always made her feel most at ease, and it felt so natural to be getting back at this with him. Once they got to the theatre, she was surprised they were driving since she’d been so used to walking and taking the train all summer. She didn’t mind it though — navigating through the city in a car wasn’t as bad as people made it seem. "Okay, I’ll take your word for it,” she said, her tone teasing.
She frowned when he started taking off his tie and then she realized what he was doing. “Finn!” she started to object, not entirely serious since she was laughing. “No, I can’t see! Where are we going Finn?” To say she was confused would be an understatement. She knew even with her asking, he still probably wouldn’t budge so she just had to be patient, which wasn’t exactly her forte. As he started the car, she made sure to remind him of what he probably knew. It was just an instinct since she couldn’t see the road with him. “Make sure you’re aggressive on the road; since all of the drivers here aren’t very considerate, it’s okay to be inconsiderate too.”
"Hey, I can do vegetarian stuff. I may not like it as much as something with some meat in it, but I wouldn’t mind if I got to share it with you." Finn nodded with a smirk. He’d grown accustom to Rachel and her eating habits over the years, especially since half the time she refused to even cook meat for him, not that he really minded since overall she really was an awesome cook. He could cook a little here and there, mainly just simply things like grilled cheese, pasta, soup, but that came in handy whenever Rachel got sick, so he was pretty set with all of that.
His brow furrowed when she started talking about apartments and he worried he’d made the wrong choice in picking another house for them to live in. He knew that talk of a family was still down the line aways, but he wanted a yard for those future kids and of course, Maggie. He hoped when he showed the house to her that she’d love it, he really hoped so because if she didn’t, what was he supposed to do? “Yeah, those sound awesome, baby.” He nodded as the waiter handed over the check, which he eagerly signed and then looked back up at his wife. “You ready to go?”
Rachel was ready to object when he took the check, but it was clear he had it handled. It was their first out night in the city together, he’d come to surprise her on her opening night, and she was showing him her favorite place to have dinner. She wanted to treat him, but even if she were to argue with him, she knew that with Finn being the caring person he was, he’d end up taking care of it anyway. That was just him. She nodded when he asked if she was ready to go, grabbing her takeout and her bag.
As they exited the restaurant, she reached to hold Finn’s hand as they started to walk. Now that they’d passed that step as they were eating, she was happy to get back to holding hands as they walked and it all felt so natural. “So I guess let’s head back to Kurt and Blaine’s? Oh wait, you had that stop you had to make,” she said looking up at him. “Where do you need to go? You have to tell me now, I know the city better than you do, so you’ll need me to come up with the best way to get there,” she said nudging him, attempting to get him to tell her what it was before they got there. It was hard for her to do well with surprises when she knew it was coming but didn’t know what it was.
Finn felt his cheeks flush at her words and obviously, she’d understood the slightly sexual undertone to his previous comment. “I know it has.” He murmured, giving her hand a gentle squeeze. “We don’t need to jump right into that though.” He added just as softly, his thumb moving over her knuckles gently. He could hardly even think back to the last time they’d been intimate with one another, it really had been so long ago.
He knew it was going to be an adjustment, living together again after going months without physically being around one another. He hoped that everything would work out for the best though, he wanted everything with Rachel. Finishing off the last of his dinner, he sat back in his chair with a content sigh. “That was seriously good, we’re going to have to come here more often. You know, once I finally get up here for good.” He smirked, giving her hand a squeeze. “Maybe next time I’ll even let you try some.”
Rachel nodded, leaving the conversation there for now — she knew it wasn’t anything they had to jump into, but now she knew that it was something she’d think about a little more than she already had. That was because she knew that he’d been thinking about it too, to little surprise. It was just that, as much as she hated to admit it, whenever she thought about intimacy, she’d get the smallest flashbacks of being with Brody and it just made her sick to her stomach. She needed to get lost with Finn again, and she knew positively that those bothersome memories wouldn’t get to her anymore. She held back a sigh; it was all so complicated now. She knew they were getting back to normal, but she wouldn’t stop kicking herself for the mistake she’d made.
Rachel felt full once she reached a point in her meal. As Finn spoke, their waiter had come around and taken her plate to the back to put it in a box for her. She smiled at his comment. “Only if you get something vegetarian,” she said almost teasingly. “Which is probably unlikely to happen.” She laughed before bringing her other hand to hold the hand that was already in her grasp. “But honestly, Finn, I can’t wait to get you up here. This is really going to work out and I’m so happy that you want to be up here as much as I want you to be. I’ve already started looking for apartments. There are some nicely priced places in Hell’s Kitchen, and I’ve found a few others with two bedrooms.” She thanked the waiter as he handed her her takeout box in a bag. Two bedrooms reflected the vision she had for whenever things settled and were in a good place, which was probably later on. She could see a second bedroom decorated with pastel colors and pictures of cartoon animals.
Finn loved how eager she was to get him to stay and it was at times like these he wanted to let it slip out - to tell her that he was up in New York for good, but he wanted to wait, this was something he needed to surprise her with and he’d made it through most of the evening so he could make it through until they were finally able to go home. Home. It was still crazy to think this was home now, all of this. He surprised himself with how easy he’d adapted to being here, even if he’d only been in the New York for a day.
"I’ll happily come watch an encore performance." He smirked, squeezing her hand. "A full week is a lot longer than just a few days, babe." He reminded her gently. He was terrible at saying no to her and she knew that, but he was staying so, in a way it wasn’t really like he was saying no. "Let’s just see how tonight goes and maybe you can convince me to stay longer." He didn’t intend for that to come off as well, sexual as it sounded, but at the same time, he didn’t mind. He wasn’t sure they were there yet - sex - but he wanted to spend time with her in anyway he could.
Rachel knew that it’d be hard to convince him, but she hoped she could sway him to stay a little longer. She felt so complete having him there with her. It felt more right than what she could’ve ever expected. It was such a tease for him to only be here for a day or two, but she was willing to accept it if that was what she had to do. She knew they’d be spending the night together, and she was sure that would mean sleeping in the same bed for the first time in a long time, but she didn’t know if that meant sex. What he said seemed to have a slight sexual undertone to it, which she didn’t mind at all, it just meant that they needed to have that conversation.
Her eyebrow raised slightly, offering his hand a small squeeze. “Well, I don’t mind convincing you to stay longer, if that’s what you meant,” she said softly. “It’s been awhile.” The last time they’d had sex seemed so distant that the next time they were to have it would be so significant. She’d been following his lead when it came to repairing their relationship after what she’d done, but for this, they both had to be on the same page. She wasn’t sure why, but she wanted to be careful with taking that particular step. It just had to feel right, but they probably wouldn’t know that until they at least kissed. It was hard to come to a conclusion with that over dinner.
"I guess it can’t." Finn shook his head. "Hard to believe we were missing out on the really good stuff all these years." He noted with a small smirk as he continued eating. This was nice, he felt home, he truly did when he was around Rachel and right now was no different. The last few months had been stressful to an extreme, but now things were falling back into place, so how could he be unhappy about that?
He loved the feel of her small hand in his and after all this time, he’d forgotten just how tiny she was in comparison to him. Running his thumb over her knuckles he grinned at her words. “I missed you too, babe. You have no idea.” He gave her hand another gentle squeeze and hid the smirk on his face with a smile. “C’mon, you know I can’t say no to that pout. I think a day or two is all I’ll be here for this time, baby.”
Rachel felt so at peace sitting here with Finn. It was easy to forget all of the hustle and bustle of the city and every hardship and just be in the moment with him. She felt so focused and connected and valued it so much. Finn looked as at ease as she felt, too, which made her feel great. She’d always been worried that Finn wouldn’t enjoy being in the city as much as she did, but it was clear, as she looked at him now, that he did. They just wanted to be with each other.
Rachel sighed when he said that he could only be here for that long, but she understood. Just because she started a new life here didn’t mean that he didn’t have one in Lima. They both did, Rachel just was more able to let go of that life. “I wish I didn’t have show tomorrow then. I just want to spend time with you. You don’t know if you could stay a little longer? Maybe a full week?” she asked, persuasion all over her face and interlaced in her words.
Finn loved hearing Rachel talk about life in New York. He always had known in the back of his mind she was destined for something more than just a fitness coach in Lima, though at the time he tried to push those thoughts away due to his longing for a family. He wanted her in Lima to be able to do all of that, so when New York came up at first, he’d been selfishly against it. This was where she belonged, though, on stage even if she wasn’t to the true Broadway stage yet, she was progressing there and he had a feeling that in no time someone would see her perform and want her in their next show.
He quietly thanked the waitress as he put down the dish in front of him before looking back over to Rachel. “You can have some if you really want to try it.” He offered her a playful smirk before digging into his meal. “I think this may be better than Breadstix.” He laughed. “Better by a long shot, really.” He nodded, before taking her hand back from across the table. “I’m so happy that I’m here, Rach. Really.”
Rachel playfully rolled her eyes at his response to her comment, laughing likely. “Haha, very funny,” she said with a shake of her head as she started to have her first few bites of her dinner. She’d gotten her usual, so she was just as pleased as she’d been the past few times she’d been there. She laughed with him when he made a comment about Breadstix, nodding. “Much better. But honestly, can Breadstix even compare?”
She squeezed his hand when he reached over for her’s, basking in the contact. It was such a simple gesture, but it meant everything to hold his hand again. “I can’t tell you how happy I am to have you here, Finn. I know I’ve been talking a lot about how much I’ve been doing but the whole time I missed you so, so much. Please tell me you’re staying here for longer than a day or two,” she said, her lips forming a small pout.
Finn hid a sigh of relief when they pretty much dropped the topic of the surprise. He was usually pretty bad about keeping things from her, but it was like critically important this time around to keep the fact he’d moved up here without her knowing a secret. It wouldn’t be that bad if he let it slip now or anything, he just couldn’t wait to see the look on her face when he brought her home, or well, to their new home anyway.
He nodded at her words. “A fresh start.” He repeated with a smile. “I like that.” They truly did need a fresh start, a do over even, he just wanted to get back to the place where they were before the whole Brody thing happened. He knew it wasn’t going to be easy and would take more time than he’d like, but that was his goal. He was hoping a year from now they’d be back to that place, maybe even ready to take another stab at having a family. “Everything is going to work out in our favor this time around, babe. I can feel it.” He grinned, taking her hand across the table and giving it a gentle squeeze. It’d been so long since he’d been able to do that simple gesture with her and as crazy as it seemed, he’d really missed it. He’d really just missed her in general.
The two had a long journey ahead of them, there was no denying that, but the steps they were taking were utterly fulfilling. Every step, even if it might’ve been seen as small, was a major improvement in their relationship. From their first civilized conversation about everything, to every text, phone call and FaceTime conversation, to Finn being here now, to holding each other’s hand…It was all major and every moment, every little thing, Rachel valued. It killed her to think about how much she’d taken Finn and their relationship for granted. She did her best not to think about that so much and just focus on where they were now.
She held his hand, her thumb going over his knuckles, just looking at him with a permanent smile on her face. They had some more talk that was about the show and Rachel’s adventures living in the city with Blaine and Kurt, Rachel speaking so excitedly that she couldn’t keep up with herself. She loved the city and her life here that was built so quickly and could talk about it nonstop, without much consideration of whether or not Finn wanted to hear it. Before she knew it, their food was being set in front of them. “I hope your pasta is as good as it looks,” she said, picking up her fork so she could begin to eat her meal.
Listening to her talk made Finn feel a hundred times better about coming up to surprise her. It hadn’t been the easiest thing in the world considering he needed to like pretty much move all on his own, but he was so glad he’d done it. He wanted to see her as happy as she was all the time. The smile on her face meant so much to her, she just meant the world to him. Even after everything that had happened, his love for her had never wavered, for awhile it’d been covered by a lot of anger and hurt but it was still there all the same.
He was happy for the distraction of the waitress coming over and he ordered his dish before smiling back over at her and finally giving her a response. “You’ll just have to see when we get there. It’s something you’ll like, I promise.” He beamed, hoping that Kurt and Blaine would remember to drop her stuff off at the new house, he’d given them a key and everything so hopefully that wouldn’t be a problem. “I’ve started looking into teaching jobs up here.” He added with a grin. “It’ll be a nice change from Lima, huh?”
Rachel never did very well with surprises — she always liked to be prepared for everything in her way. That wasn’t to say she didn’t appreciated though, she just had a thing with being in control sometimes. However, with whatever Finn had to stop for, she was sure she’d love it and was excited for it. He already surprised her just by being here and supporting her, so she was sure his next thing would be just as great. “Okay,” she said with a raised eyebrow, a smile still on her face as she nodded.
The smile stayed on her face when he said he was looking for teaching jobs. It amazed her how serious both of them were about this move and how it was really happening. It was too good to be true. “That’s great, Finn. It will be a nice change from Lima. And not just because it’s the city, but because… This is so symbolic for new beginnings and a fresh start. No matter what, I think this is what we needed and I know that things will work out for us.” She extended her hand on the table, welcoming him to hold her’s, which was something they hadn’t done in awhile; not even on the walk to the restaurant.