Drabble turned one-shot, written for Week 1 of Finchel Month. It’s late, so I’m just posting it on my blog instead.
“Chris, Evie, Minnie, I want you three in bed early tonight, okay?”
Three pairs of wide, dark brown eyes looked up at Rachel as she addressed her children.
“But don’t we get to celebrate Daddy’s birthday too?” Minnie asked, jutting her lip out and opening her chocolate eyes even wider.
“Of course you do, sweetie pie,” Rachel stroked her youngest daughter’s hair, straightening her headband, “But Daddy and I want some grown-up time afterwards and tonight I’m going to cook a meal especially for the two of us, so I want you all to give us a little bit of time to ourselves too.”
The four-year-old nodded in understanding, leaning forward to press a big, wet kiss against her mother’s face as Rachel bent down to help her put her shoes on.
“Okay, time for school, Hudson family!” Rachel sang, helping Chris’ arm find its way into his coat sleeve and handing Evie her book bag.
“Can we make cards for Daddy?” Evie asked, skipping alongside Rachel as they started off down the road in the direction of Chris’ kindergarten.
“Yes!” Rachel beamed, “In fact, after I’ve dropped you three off, I’m heading to the craft store to get lots of supplies for you to make them with.”
“I wanna make a blue one with lotsa stickers!” Chris piped up, tugging on Rachel’s hand.
“Well mine’s going to be the best because I want multi-coloured card!” Evie joined in, jumping up and down.
“Pink! Pink!” Minnie pulled on Rachel’s other arm, making sure her voice didn’t get lost amongst her brother and sister’s enthusiasm.
Rachel laughed, loving the fact that all three of her children had inherited her penchant for any sort of creative activity.
“Okay, I’ll be sure to find all of those. Any other requests?”
“Glitterrrr!” Evie squealed, prancing along the sidewalk and clapping excitedly.
“I’ll only get glitter if you’re careful,” Rachel warned, “Remember what happened with Uncle Kurt’s Christmas card? How upset Daddy was when we got glitter all over his laundry?”
Rachel couldn’t help but smirk at the memory of Finn striding around their bedroom, butt-naked, complaining that every single piece of underwear he owned was now covered in silver and pink glitter. A rosy blush flooded to her face when she remembered some of the – ahem – more creative ways she’d convinced him that his underwear covering his entire body with glitter wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
That may or may not have been the reason she was currently five months pregnant with their fourth child.
“We promise to be careful, Mama,” Minnie answered, her eyes growing round and serious.
“I know you will be,” Rachel nodded reassuringly as they entered the gate of the kindergarten.
“Okay, Chrissy, I’ll see you later. Have a wonderful day and be good. I love you.”
“Bye Mama,” he grinned, letting go of her hand and rushing towards the door.
“Don’t I get a kiss from my little man?” Rachel called after him, quirking her eyebrow.
Her son stopped in his tracks, turning and running back the other way to kiss her cheek quickly before rushing back off into the building.
Once she’d dropped Evie off at the local elementary school and persuaded Minnie to finally let go of her leg when they arrived at her preschool nursery, Rachel headed back to their apartment via the grocery store.
The rest of her day was spent cleaning until the whole house was sparkling, followed by preparing some of the ingredients for Finn’s birthday meal, followed by her rushing back out of the house to go and collect her children again.
When the usual pandemonium of everyone returning back home had subsided, Rachel set up the three of them at the table, covering it in a cloth and dispensing two carrier bags’ worth of craft supplies which Chris, Minnie and Evie eagerly dived for.
Two hours (and a narrowly avoided temper tantrum when Evie and Chris both wanted the blue glitter glue at the same time) later, the children all tidied up. And then Rachel tidied up again.
Eventually, all three Hudson children were fed, bathed and pyjama-clad, sitting on the couch and watching TV whilst Rachel began to put her and Finn’s food in the oven, waiting for him to come home.
While it was cooking, she nipped into their bedroom to change. They may have been staying at home, but she wanted Finn’s birthday to be special, so she figured it wouldn’t hurt dressing up for the occasion. Besides, she and Kurt had found a gorgeous dress in the maternity section of a new store in the city, which somehow managed to hug her curves in all the right places without causing her baby bump to make her look like a balloon.
Applying a little make-up and finding some simple jewellery, Rachel returned to check on Chris, Evie and Minnie.
“Pretty Mama!” Minnie cooed, clapping her hands.
“You look like a princess,” Chris offered.
“She looks prettier than a princess,” Evie corrected her brother.
Rachel smiled widely, thanking the with a big hug and heading back into the kitchen to continue cooking.
She’d done her best to keep the children calm so they would go to sleep easily, but the second they heard the key turning in the lock, the three of them leapt up and ran towards the front door, greeting Finn with shrieks of delight and yells of “Happy Birthday Daddy!”
Rachel appeared at the door of the kitchen, smiling softly as she admired her family’s display of affection.
When Finn had kissed and hugged all of their children at least twice each and received and admired all of their cards, he managed to extract himself by promising them he’d read them a story, causing them to scurry off to find a book.
He finally looked up, meeting Rachel’s eyes and taking a second to rake his eyes over her body, admiring her new dress.
Striding forward, he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her up towards him so that their faces were almost touching.
“Is this my birthday present?” he asked hopefully, running his hands lower down to cup her behind.
“Part of it,” she murmured back, “We’re having a meal for two. A quiet night in with each other.”
“That sounds great,” Finn muttered, pulling her so close he could feel her breath right against his.
“Mmmm… I’m glad you think so. Happy Birthday, baby,” Rachel whispered, finally closing the gap to brush her lips against her husband’s, smiling into his mouth.
They kissed slowly and passionately, their tongues quickly finding each other’s and their lips interlocking repeatedly as they both lost themselves in the feeling. Eight years of marriage and three and a half children later, they were still as deeply in love as they had been as teenagers when this feeling of warmth and constant love between them was still brand new.
“Ewww, kissy kissy!” Chris screamed, rushing back out into the hallway and effectively ruining the moment.
Rachel giggled, pressing a quick peck against Finn’s mouth and then disentangling herself from his arms.
“I’ll just go and put the finishing touches to the meal and then we’ll put the kids to bed,” she informed him, rubbing his backside lightly and then disappearing off to the kitchen again.
Finn stared after her for a moment, unashamedly checking out the way her butt looked with that fabric pulled tight over it.
“Daddy, daddy, can you read to us?!” Evie asked, waving a book at him and pulling him over to the couch.
“What am I reading?” he asked.
“The Gruffalo!” Evie shouted, bouncing down onto the cushions and growling loudly.
Chris followed them over, and Finn scooped up Minnie, the four of them piling onto the seat and snuggling up together.
“Okay, are you all sitting comfortably?”
Finn opened the book and began to read aloud, shushing interruptions begging him to do the different voices for each of the characters:
“A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood…”
“Go on Daddy, what did the owl say? Why have you stopped reading?” Chris asked, poking Finn’s arm.
Evie looked up from the picture on the page.
“Daddy’s asleep!” she whispered, her brown eyes sparkling.
“Shhh!” Minnie added.
Just then, Rachel entered the room, carrying two wine glasses and a bowl of salad towards the table.
“Mama, Daddy fell asleep!”
Placing the items on the table and turning around, Rachel noticed that her daughter was right – Finn’s head was resting against the back of the sofa, his eyes closed and his chest rising and falling.
A small smile crept onto her face at the sight of him looking so adorable.
“Poor Daddy. He must have had a busy day at work. I’ll let him sleep for a bit while I put you three to bed.”
“Can’t we finish the story first?” Chris begged, gesturing to the book.
Unable to resist her three babies’ pouting faces, Rachel sighed in agreement, settling down onto the couch beside the rest of her family and gently prising the book from Finn’s hands before she continued to read.
After a while, she fell silent, and Minnie looked up at her in confusion, patting her arm.
“What’s that strange noise?”
“Mama’s snoring! Mama fell asleep too!” Chris whispered to his sisters.
“What do we do now?” Evie asked him.
“Maybe we should put them to bed? They must be very tired,” Chris suggested, looking at his parents who were both fast asleep, their bodies slumped against one another and breathing in time.
Quietly, the three children slipped off the sofa and found a big blanket, spreading it over Rachel and Finn to tuck them in.
“I’ll put us to bed now because I’m the oldest,” Evie told them.
“What about the food?” Minnie asked, looking over at the salad on the table.
“It would be a shame to waste it,” Chris decided.
The two girls nodded in agreement and the three of them sneaked into the kitchen to get two meals which were sitting on trays on the counter.
“Mommy and Daddy won’t mind. They wanted a quiet night together anyway,” Evie reasoned as the three Hudson children carried the food back to her room and settled down on her blankets to tuck into their feast.