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Wedding Planning For Beginners

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It’s two weeks before Will’s summer break starts when Finn brings up the wedding. Kurt and Puck have been married for going on five months, which means Finn and Will have been engaged that long too. Which isn’t long at all, but in a way it feels like they’ve been leading up to this for a lot longer than a few months.

And being engaged is cool and all, but the truth is Finn’s been ready to take the next step pretty much since he kissed Will the first time, so he doesn’t see the point in dragging it out. It’s not like things will even change much, because they already live together and they already know they’re going to stay together for the long haul. So there’s no point in waiting around a year and change like Kurt and Puck did to make things official, at least not from where Finn’s standing.

Then there’s the fact that he doesn’t really want to deal with what other people are going to think. Their friends and their family are used to the idea of them by now, but they’ve been engaged for almost five months and his mom still hasn’t even hinted around about dates or venues or guest lists. Which tells him pretty much everything he needs to know, because she'd started planning Kurt’s wedding before he even knew he was engaged.

Most of the time Finn doesn’t really mind. She gets along fine with Will, and she doesn’t spend family dinners looking at Finn like she thinks his life is over anymore. She always seems happy to see them when they show up, and she doesn’t act weird when Will talks about work or New Directions. In a lot of ways it’s like they’re already married, and Finn figures that means there’s no real point in waiting anymore.

He finds Will in the kitchen when he gets home from one of his last days of student teaching, leaning against the counter sorting through the mail. Finn watches Will lift a postcard out of the stack, smiling down at it for a few seconds before he shakes his head and drops it back in the pile.

“Good news?” Finn asks, pushing himself off the door frame when Will looks up at him.

“Hi,” Will says, his smile shifting to the one he saves just for Finn. “How was school?”

Finn shrugs and crosses the room to let Will kiss him hello, then he looks over Will’s shoulder at the postcard on the top of the mail. “It was fine. April’s got a new show?”

“Way, way off Broadway,” Will answers, picking up the postcard again and flipping it over to show Finn the address of the theater. It’s somewhere in New Jersey, and even Finn knows that’s a major step down from what she was doing the last time he heard anything about her. But that was years ago, and Finn didn’t even know they were still in touch.

“She’s not trying to seduce you back to the theater again, is she?” he asks, only half joking, because he knows what Will gave up when he turned her down last time.

“No,” Will answers, a soft laugh escaping him as he drops the mail on the counter behind them. “She just likes to touch base every once in a while. She probably thinks reminding herself of her roots keeps her grounded.”

From what he remembers of April Rhodes, the last thing Finn would call her is ‘grounded’. But he doesn’t say so, because he’s not really interested in talking about some old friend of Will’s who not even really in his life anymore. But he can understand people trying to hang on to Will, even if it’s just a postcard in the mail every once in a blue moon. Finn knows exactly how close he came to being somebody from Will’s past, someone who touched base once in a while and then went back to pretending he was fine living without this in his life.

He watches Will dig around in the drawer where they keep the takeout menus, already focused on their usual Friday night routine of delivery and movies and making out on the couch. After a minute Will looks up at him, menus in hand and mouth open, probably to ask what Finn’s in the mood for, but as soon as he spots Finn he sort of freezes. “Finn? Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” Finn answers. “What do you think about getting married?”

Will blinks at him a couple times, then he drops the menus back in the drawer and turns to face Finn. “I thought we’d already covered that.”

“No,” Finn says, shaking his head and taking a couple steps forward. “I mean what do you think about blowing off the whole big ceremony and the color schemes and all that? You’re done for the summer in just a couple weeks. We could just hop on a train and go to New York like Kurt and Puck did. Or we could drive up, get married in Vermont and maybe stop at a couple scrap yards while we’re up there, see if we can finally track down a new back seat for your car.”

For a few seconds Will just stares at him, but as soon as Finn starts panicking about the fact that he’s not saying anything, Will edges close enough to reach out and rest a hand on Finn’s hip. “How long have you been thinking about this?”

Finn shrugs and reaches out to tug at one of the buttons on Will’s vest. “Like a year and a half?”

It gets him a laugh, soft and maybe just a little nervous around the edges, and Finn looks up to grin at Will. “Seriously, though, we could take the train into the city if you want, spend a few nights. I know there are some shows you probably want to see. Or, I mean, I looked up a few places up in Vermont where we could do it, and if we take my truck we could haul back parts for the Camaro if we find anything decent.”

“Sure, but...” Will pauses, and Finn braces himself for Will to come up with some excuse about it being too fast or whatever. And Will’s the one who proposed, so Finn’s not sure why he’s still waiting for Will to take it back, but he can’t help the way his heart speeds up while he waits for an answer. “I guess I just assumed you’d want your parents there.”

“I mean, we can wait if you want,” Finn says, because it’s not like his plan’s going to work if Will’s not on board. “But you’ve already been through all this, and we saw all the trouble everybody went through for Kurt’s wedding. I don’t really want all that, do you? I kind of like the idea of just you and me.”

Will’s nodding before Finn even finishes talking, and when he moves a little closer and slides his arms around Finn’s waist, Finn swallows a sigh of relief. “I have to admit, I like the sound of that too.”

“So it’s settled?” Finn asks, and he sounds so damn hopeful that he wouldn’t blame Will if he laughed in Finn’s face.

But he doesn’t laugh, and that’s just another thing Finn loves about him. “I’m sure my parents would make up an excuse not to be there anyway. But what about your mom? Don’t you think she’ll be a little disappointed?”

Finn doesn’t point out the fact that his mom hasn’t asked about their wedding plans once since she figured out they were engaged. He doesn’t bring up all the other stuff they’ll be avoiding either, like the mostly well-meaning jokes from their friends about their age difference and how they met, the same jokes they heard all night at Kurt and Puck’s bachelor party. And he knows Will tried not to let it bother him, but he also knows there are still days when Will wonders what the hell Finn’s doing with him, so the jokes have to bother him a little.

“We can still have a party later,” Finn says instead. “But it’s not like we need to register for a bunch of stuff or hire a band and all that.”

“I know how you feel about dancing,” Will says, grinning when Finn laughs. A second later his smile softens a little, and he tilts his face up to let Finn kiss him again. “Okay.”

“Okay?”

“Okay,” Will repeats, his smile turning up a few notches. “Let’s get married.”

~

They spend the rest of the night ironing out the details. Will orders Thai food and they eat on the couch like they do every Friday night, only this time they sit shoulder to shoulder so Will can lean in and look at the laptop balanced on Finn’s thighs as he shows Will some of the places he’s been looking at for their wedding.

He expects Will to want to go to New York, so he’s surprised when Will shakes his head and says they can see a show any time, then asks to see the bed and breakfast Finn found in Vermont that’s run by a couple old guys who’ve been together for years and put on weddings right on their property. It’s a little cheesy, but one of the owners is ordained, so all they have to do is get a license and show up, basically.

“It’s like a twelve hour drive,” Finn says as Will leans a little closer to get a look at the rooms, “but there’s a junkyard in Buffalo that looks pretty promising. I thought we could stop there on the way and get a room for the night.”

His hand lands on Will’s back, sliding along his spine when Will straightens up to look at him. “You really have been thinking about this.”

He’s still smiling, but Finn can tell he’s wondering why, too. Like maybe he’s still trying to figure out why Finn’s not into the idea of a big party with all their family and friends, and whether or not he should feel guilty about it. Only that’s what Finn’s trying to avoid; he doesn’t want either of them feeling weird about this, doesn’t want anybody taking away from what they’ve got, whether they mean to do it or not.

“I told you, I’ve been thinking about marrying you since we first got together,” Finn says, and maybe he should be embarrassed about that, but it’s the truth. “But I didn’t start looking into places we could go until a couple weeks ago.”

Will reaches up to run his fingers through Finn’s hair, sort of petting him and looking like he’s still not sure whether or not he should be worried. And yeah, okay, maybe Finn’s been thinking about it since the day after Will proposed, when they were stuck at his parents’ house all day listening to everyone talk about Kurt and Puck and how weird it was that they ended up together. It made him wonder about what people might say about him and Will, and he decided that day to avoid it if they could, but he didn’t actually start making plans until recently.

“You’re sure Burt will be okay with you taking more time away from the shop?”

“Yeah,” Finn answers, because he’s pretty sure Burt won’t mind, and at least Will’s not trying to talk him out of going. “I mean, we’ve never taken a real vacation together. It’s about time, right?”

When Will smiles this time there’s no trace of worry or guilt, so Finn smiles back at him and sways forward to press their lips together. Will’s fingers are still stroking through his hair, curving around the back of his head to sort of hold him there while Will kisses him back. He takes his time, like maybe he’s trying to prove a point, and Finn’s more than okay with letting him, even if he doesn’t know what the point is, exactly.

He’s considering shoving the laptop onto the floor and dragging Will down onto the couch when Will pulls back to look at him. “We should probably check and see if they even have a room before we get our hearts set on anything. Summer is a pretty busy season for most of the hospitality industry.”

“I kind of made us a reservation when I first found the place,” Finn says, then he does shut the laptop and set it on the floor. “In case you liked the idea.”

“And if I’d said I wanted to go to New York?”

“I’ve got a reservation there too,” Finn answers, letting Will push him back onto the couch cushions and climb over him. “Remind me to cancel it tomorrow.”

Will makes a little humming noise in the back of his throat, but Finn can tell he’s not really listening anymore. He presses a kiss to the corner of Finn’s mouth, then his jaw and down the line of his neck. His hand pushes up under Finn’s shirt and his knee pushes between Finn’s thighs, and Finn has a feeling that’s the end of the conversation for a while. And that’s okay with Finn too, because in two weeks Will’s going to marry him, and he doesn’t really care where it happens.

~

The next two weeks are torture, but it’s the good kind, where they’ve got a secret only the two of them know about. They don’t talk about keeping it a secret, but Finn doesn’t bring it up even when they go to his folks’ house for their usual weekly dinner, and when Will doesn’t mention it either, he figures they both want to keep it to themselves for as long as they can.

They could have left town even earlier if Will didn’t have to stick around for graduation, because Finn’s done with his student teaching and Will’s classes are over for the summer. But New Directions is performing at graduation just like they do every year, and Will can’t just blow it off because he’s got other plans. So Finn spends the week between the end of school and McKinley’s graduation packing and making sure he knows where to go to get a marriage license, and picking up shifts at the garage when Burt needs somebody to fill in for a few hours.

It’s kind of nice to get back into the shop, because student teaching has been a full-time job and he hasn’t had much time for anything else. Money’s been kind of tight since he hasn’t been working much, and he hasn’t liked feeling like he’s not pulling his weight, so he’s anxious to get back to work. He’s more anxious to get married, though, so once things slow down a little at the garage he knocks on the door of Burt’s office and sticks his head in.

“You got a second?” he asks when Burt looks up.

“Sure, son,” Burt says, waving him into the cramped office to cram himself into the chair across from Burt’s desk. His knees touch the front of the desk even with the chair pushed all the way back against the wall, and it’s hard not to feel like the walls are closing in even more when Burt’s staring at him like he’s waiting for Finn to make some big confession. “Everything okay? You getting back into the swing of things all right?”

“Yeah,” Finn answers, then he wipes his palms on his jeans and tries not to blush. “I mean teaching was cool and all, but it’s kind of nice not to have a bunch of kids looking over my shoulder while I change somebody’s oil.”

When Burt laughs Finn grins back at him, then he takes a deep breath to try to calm his nerves.

“Anyway, I know it’s kind of bad timing since I just started back and all, but I was wondering if you mind if I take off next week. It’s just...Will’s going to be done with school for the year, and we thought we’d head out of town for a few days.”

Burt nods, looking thoughtful for a second, like maybe he’s trying to figure out Finn’s angle. And granted, he didn’t mention the whole ‘getting married’ part of their trip, but the rest was the truth.

“Well you’ve got a lot to celebrate. Finishing your student teaching and college at the same time, that’s a pretty big deal.”

“I guess,” Finn says, because the truth is it feels like he finished college a long time ago, even though he technically can’t graduate until his student teaching is done and signed off on. Still, if Burt wants to think they’re going away to celebrate his graduation, it’s not like Finn’s lying to him or anything.

“And after you get back? You still want to go full time around here?”

“Yeah,” Finn answers, because he wouldn’t mind spending the summer hanging out with Will and ignoring the rest of the world, but they’re going to have to pay for this trip somehow, and the sooner Finn goes back to work, the sooner he’ll feel like he’s actually contributing to their relationship. “As much as you can use me, I’ll be here.”

Burt nods and looks back down at the paperwork in front of him, and Finn figures that means the conversation’s over. He stands up and starts to head for the door, but before he gets there a hand lands on his shoulder, and he looks up to find Burt standing next to him. “You’re sure this is what you want to do.”

He can’t tell if Burt’s asking about blowing off teaching to work in the shop full time, or if he’s somehow figured out what the trip’s really about. There’s no reason Burt would know, but he’s looking at Finn the way he did back when Finn first started helping Will with his car, before they were even officially dating. Back when he figured out how Finn felt about Will without having to be told, so maybe it’s not so crazy that he’d figure out this too.

“Yeah,” Finn says. “I’m sure.”

Another nod, then Burt kind of pats his shoulder and lets go. “Okay then. You boys have a good trip.”

He doesn’t look at Finn as he sits down at his desk again. Finn stands there for another second and watches him, but when Burt just picks up his pen and starts in on the monthly purchase orders he heads back to the garage and the last oil change of the day.

Finn doesn’t see Burt again before he heads home. He’s still trying to figure out what Burt knows when he pulls into the parking lot outside their apartment, shutting off his truck and just staring at the building for a few minutes while he plays their conversation over in his head. When he spots the old lady from a couple doors down eyeing him he lets out a sigh and climbs out of his truck, waving at her even though she hasn’t so much as cracked a smile at him since he moved in.

He’s pretty sure he knows why. It’s weird, dealing with that kind of thing after not having to think about it for most of his life. It makes him wonder how Kurt stood it all through high school, being stared at in the halls and laughed at by half the school just for being himself. He wonders how much of that Burt heard about, how much Kurt told him and how much he just knew from watching his own kid put up walls to try to protect himself from a world that didn’t get him. And maybe that’s how Burt always seems to know what’s going on with Finn before even he does, or maybe Finn’s just that predictable.

In a way it’s kind of nice, thinking that Burt knows him well enough to guess what’s going on with him. But thinking about how much Burt knows makes Finn wonder why his mom doesn’t see it, and that’s more depressing than the dirty looks from the neighbor.

Finn lets himself into the apartment and heads for the kitchen, but there’s no sign of Will. The whole apartment is quiet, but he heads for the bedroom anyway, and when he finds it empty he remembers that Will’s at the school for one last rehearsal with New Directions before their big graduation performance.

Normally on a night like this he’d head over to his mom’s place, put in an appearance and maybe raid the fridge, just for old times’ sake. But the only person he wants to see tonight is Will, and he’s not sure how he’s going to make it through the next two days if he’s already this anxious to get Will all to himself. He kicks off his shoes and drags his work shirt over his head, tossing it in the hamper along with his jeans and boxers before he heads for the shower.

He takes his time, letting warm water pour over him while his mind wanders to the trip and the fact that in just a few days he’ll be married. The thought makes him blush for no good reason, and he laughs at himself and turns off the shower. When he climbs out he can hear music playing from the living room, so he dries off and pulls on clean clothes before he heads out of the bathroom in search of Will.

Finn finds him in the kitchen, leaning over to put something in the fridge before he straightens up and crosses back to the grocery bag sitting on the counter. For a few seconds Finn just watches him, the way his hips sway a little to whatever show tune is playing, like he can’t help himself. Finn’s pretty sure he can’t, which just makes it even sexier, as far as he’s concerned. And he doesn’t even mind the times when Will catches him watching and drags Finn close to dance with him, because he still sucks at it, but it doesn’t matter when Will’s the only one around to see.

“You know we’re leaving in a couple days,” Finn says as he watches Will pull a carton of milk out of the bag. “I hope you didn’t buy a bunch of stuff that’s just going to go bad while we’re gone.”

“We still have to eat for the next two days,” Will answers. He shuts the fridge and tosses the grocery bag in the recycle bin before he crosses the kitchen to stop in front of Finn. “Besides, I didn’t buy much. Just more beer and milk for breakfast. I picked up dinner, too.”

“You should have texted me, I could have gone,” Finn says. He slides his arms around Will’s waist to pull him close, leaning in to brush his lips across Will’s before he pulls back to look at him.

“It was on my way home. Besides, I thought you might stop by and see your mother.”

Finn shrugs and lets go of Will, crossing to the fridge to retrieve a couple beers while Will pulls dinner out of a bag. “I forgot about your rehearsal. Anyway, I just wanted to come home.”

He takes the plate Will holds out to him and follows him into the living room, setting beers and his dinner down on the coffee table while Will turns on the DVD player and finds the movie he’s looking for. When the opening strains of the same show tune Finn heard earlier start playing Will sits down next to him, but instead of picking up his dinner again he turns to look at Finn.

“I know the whole point of eloping is to keep it a secret, but if you wanted to tell your mom...”

“I don’t,” Finn says, because it’s the truth. He has a feeling Will thinks his mom would try to talk him out of it if she knew, maybe lay a guilt trip on him about wanting to be there to see her only son get married. But Finn’s pretty sure that’s not what would happen, and even if it did, he’s pretty sure his mom wouldn’t really mean it.

“You’re sure?”

“Yeah.” Finn lets out a little laugh, because seriously, why is everybody asking him that today? “Anyway, I think Burt already figured it out.”

“Really? And he’s okay with it?”

“We’re both grown-ups here, Will.”

He can tell Will kind of wants to argue with him, maybe point out that Will’s parents already got the whole wedding experience out of him, and it’s only fair that Finn’s mom should get the same. But Will’s parents are still making him pay for the fact that his first marriage didn’t work out, even though it wasn’t even close to Will’s fault, and anyway none of this is about their parents. It’s about them, just him and Will, and nobody else gets a say in what they do. Maybe someday Will might even agree with that, but until then Finn’s happy to keep reminding him.

“You’re right,” Will says. “It's no one’s decision but ours.”

“But?” Finn prompts, because he may not be the most perceptive guy on the planet, but if there’s one thing he knows, it’s when Will’s holding back whatever it is he thinks Finn doesn’t want to hear.

“But,” Will says, drawing out the word as he inches a little closer to Finn and reaches out to rest a hand on his thigh, “if this is the last wedding for both of us, I hate to think how disappointed your parents will be to miss it.”

Finn doesn’t bristle at the word ‘if’, because he knows that for all Will claims he believes Finn when he says he’s all in, there’s still a part of him that’s waiting for Finn to leave. Maybe that part of him will never go away completely, even when they’re both old and gray and spending all their time doing whatever it is old married couples do. Instead he reaches down to cover Will’s hand with his own, thumb tracing the ring Will’s been wearing since Finn put it on him five months ago.

“First of all, I don’t want to marry anybody else, okay? I want to marry you, and I don’t want to wait anymore. So if the only thing holding you back is what my mom’s going to think, you can stop worrying. She’s probably going to be relieved.”

“Finn...”

He shakes his head and slides his thumb over Will’s ring again, squeezing the hand under his before he answers. “Look, she’s probably always going to be a little weird about us, you know? I mean, yeah, it sucks, but it’s not that much different from your folks, right? So we’ll deal with it.”

Will sighs, and Finn can tell he wants to argue, but if they wait around until his mom’s ready for them to get on with their lives, they’re going to be treading water forever. That’s no way to live, not for either of them, and after everything they’ve both been through, they deserve to move on together.

“This is my only wedding, and I want it to happen at the Maplecrest Inn, okay? Just you and me and a couple innkeepers we’ve never met, but maybe we’ll go back there for anniversaries and become their favorite guests or whatever.”

Will’s grinning by the time he stops talking, turning his hand over on Finn’s thigh until their fingers slide together. “Well, since it’s your only wedding, I suppose you should be the one to choose where it happens.”

There’s a joke on the tip of Finn’s tongue about how it’s Will’s wedding too, and maybe in his case the third time’s the charm. But he’s pretty sure bringing up the time Miss Pillsbury left Will at the altar will kill the mood, and anyway Finn’s not sure it counts if the wedding didn’t actually happen. He knows in Will’s head it probably counts, because it’s just another failure he can keep kicking himself for. But Finn doesn’t want to think about either of Will’s other tries at happily ever after, mainly because he doesn’t want to spend the rest of the night wondering where they’d both be right now if Miss Pillsbury had actually gone through with it.

He doesn’t want to think about how close he came to missing out on this, not when they’re less than a week away from locking down the rest of their lives. Instead he pulls their hands away from his thigh and lifts them up to his lips, pressing a kiss to Will’s knuckles before Finn looks up at him again.

“You know if it mattered to you that I’d stay in town and do the whole big show like Kurt and Puck did, right?”

“I know,” Will says, then he leans in and presses their lips together, lingering for a second or two before he pulls back. “But you’re right. This should be just for us. I guess I’ve just been letting your mother’s opinion of me cloud my judgment.”

“Yeah, well, my opinion of you is pretty good already, so I don’t think you need to worry about anybody else’s,” Finn says, and when Will laughs, Finn figures he’s gotten his point across.

~

McKinley’s graduation happens on a Friday, same as every other year, which means Finn at least has work to distract him from the torture of waiting around for Will to finally be free. He doesn’t complain when Will wakes him up at the crack of dawn on Friday morning with long, slow kisses, then drags him out of bed for a run instead of following through on the promises his lips and hands were making just a minute before.

It’s not worth the argument, especially when Finn knows that he’ll follow through as soon as they get home and climb into the shower together. It’s part of their routine, and Finn likes their routine, but he’s looking forward to taking a break from it all the same. He’s looking forward to the long drive to Vermont, to Will’s terrible taste in music and the sweetness of his voice as he sings along to every song. He’s looking forward to poking around in scrap yards they’ve never explored before, and even if they don’t find anything worth hauling back to Lima, at least he knows the company will be good.

He's looking forward to all that, but mostly he's looking forward to the moment when it finally dawns on Will that Finn’s not going to change his mind. When they’re standing in front of some stranger promising to love each other forever, maybe, or when the clerk at the county office hands them their license, or maybe it’ll take until they’re signing their names on the document to make it all official. Whenever it happens, Finn will be there to see it, and that’s the moment he’s been looking forward to for the past year and a half.

Will’s sitting on the couch when Finn gets home from work on Friday, laptop balanced on his thighs and dragging music files into the playlist he’s been calling ‘road music’ since he started working on it two weeks ago. The criteria, according to Will, is that every song has to be something they can sing along to, or at least that’s what he’d said when he made the new playlist in his iTunes and started dragging songs into it.

Finn’s pretty sure it’s at least 95% classic rock, but he doesn’t complain. Even if he doesn’t know the words to all the songs, he’ll get to hear Will sing along, and anyway after more than a year of living together, Finn knows the words to a lot of songs he never really expected to.

“You’re going to finish that tonight, right?” Finn says, hands on Will’s shoulders as he leans over the couch to check how many songs are on the playlist now. “We’re not leaving late tomorrow just because you remember a song you forgot to add.”

Will laughs and tilts his head back, but when he opens his mouth to answer Finn drops a kiss on his lips to cut him off. A hand lands on the back of his neck to hold him there, and it’s a weird angle, but it’s officially the first kiss of their vacation, so he’s happy to take his time.

“I promise not to interfere with your carefully planned schedule,” Will murmurs when he lets Finn pull back to blink down at him. “Though the soundtrack is very important.”

“Believe me, I knew what I was getting into with you.” Finn drops another kiss on the side of Will’s head and straightens up. “I’m gonna change.”

He listens to the sound of Will humming some power ballad under his breath as he heads back to the bedroom, tugging his grease-smeared work shirt over his head as he goes. His old gym bag is sitting on the floor by the dresser where he left it this morning, all packed except for the last-minute stuff like his toothbrush and razor. Will’s bag is sitting on the end of the bed, still open but when Finn glances inside he sees that Will’s spent at least part of his afternoon getting his clothes together for their trip.

Finn grins at the sight, the butterflies that settled in his stomach a few days ago kicking up when he thinks about the fact that they’re leaving tomorrow. He’s not nervous, exactly, but it’s the first time he’s ever planned something this big on his own, and he wants everything to go exactly right. Granted, the actual schedule isn’t that big a deal, because if they get started a little later than they planned tomorrow, it’s not going to make them late for anything. The scrap yard in Buffalo is open until 5:00 on Saturdays, so they’ll have plenty of time to check it out even if they take their time in the morning.

Once he ditches his work clothes and pulls on a pair of sweats and a clean t-shirt he wanders back to the living room, settling on the couch to watch Will plug his iPod into the laptop for what he hopes is one final sync. Will looks over to smile at him, soft and happy, and Finn doesn’t bother checking the urge to lean in and kiss him.

“How was graduation?” he asks when he pulls back to press their shoulders together.

“The kids did a great job,” Will answers as he reaches over and closes his hand around Finn’s. “I can’t say sitting through that ceremony every year is the highlight of my career, but unfortunately it comes with the territory.”

Finn grins and threads his fingers through Will’s. “But now you’re free for the whole summer. Any big plans?”

Will’s smile shifts from fond into shy and sort of embarrassed. It's a look Finn hasn't seen much of since they first started dating, and it makes Finn want to push him down into the cushions and kiss him until they're both breathless.

“Actually, I thought I might devote some time to improving my cooking skills. Maybe even take a class or two.”

He looks a little like he's expecting Finn to laugh, but Finn can't figure out why, so he just says, “Yeah?”

It gets him a little shrug, but Will’s smile looks a little happier than it did a few seconds ago, so Finn calls it a victory.

“We can't live on takeout forever, at least not if we want to keep our health. And I'll have the time, so I may as well do something constructive with it.”

Their first summer together Finn was working at the shop, but Will had the theater group’s production of Into The Woods to occupy him, so he didn’t have tons of time to miss Finn during the day. Directing took up a lot of his energy, and when they weren't working on the play they were still working on Will’s car.

But the Camaro’s running fine now, even if it doesn't look picture perfect yet, and someone else is directing this summer’s production. So it makes sense that Will would find himself a project, and Finn has to admit that it's a smart choice. Not that he worries all that much about the long term effects of living mostly on takeout, but if they do ever decide to raise a kid together, it would be nice if at least one of them knew how to feed it.

“I wish I could hang out with you all summer and learn to cook too,” he says, then he grins. “Though I guess the chances of me accidentally setting something on fire are pretty high.”

Will laughs, delighted, like he can't think of anything better than Finn burning down their entire building just trying to boil water. “Well, I'll take the classes, and then on the weekends I'll teach you everything I've learned, how’s that?”

“As long as you get that I’m going to be terrible at it and you’re probably still going to have to do all the cooking,” Finn answers, and when Will laughs again, he doesn’t bother pretending to be offended. Instead he just leans in and kisses Will, slow and kind of lazy, because this is his life for the rest of forever, so he can take as much time as he wants.

When they come up for air Will’s still smiling, and it’s a little stupid that the sight makes Finn’s heart trip over itself even though he’s seen that smile thousands of times over the years, but there it is anyway. He doesn’t bother trying to check his own goofy grin. Instead he squeezes the hand that’s still gripped in his before he lets go and leans forward to pick up his phone from the coffee table.

“Well I guess we’re still stuck with takeout for now. What do you say, Chinese and a movie? We can make out on the couch and then go to bed early.”

“And get an early start on our honeymoon?” Will asks, laughing now, but Finn’s heart trips again at the word ‘honeymoon’.

“Yeah,” he says, “sounds perfect.”

~

Will wakes him up again on Saturday morning, but this time instead of dragging him out of bed for a run, he pushes Finn back into the pillows and keeps kissing him, hands sliding along warm skin and dragging him closer until Finn’s panting under him, flushed and straining to get more. More of...everything, Will’s hands and his mouth and the smiles pressed against his neck, words murmured into his skin and Finn can’t hear what he’s saying, but he knows all the same.

In the end they get on the road an hour later than Finn planned, but he’s not complaining about the reason. Instead he reaches across the truck’s bench seat and catches Will’s hand in his, thumb sliding along the ring he’s been wearing since the night of Kurt and Puck’s wedding. Will grins over at him and lifts their hands to his mouth, pressing a kiss to Finn’s fingertips before he lets go so Finn can ease the truck onto the highway.

Twenty minutes later they’re out of town, barely any traffic on the highway and matching travel mugs in the cup holders between them. Will’s singing along to his playlist already, and when Finn finds himself drumming his fingers against the wheel in time to the music, he grins to himself and glances over at Will.

“What song is this?”

“The new Selena Gomez,” Will admits, without so much as a trace of shame. Not that Finn’s surprised; Will’s the guy who thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to drive around in an ancient muscle car belting the lyrics to Christopher’s Cross’s Greatest Hits, after all. And Finn’s the idiot who can’t wait to marry him anyway, so he doesn’t exactly have room to talk.

“You thinking about putting it in your set list next year?”

Will shrugs, leaning against the door to watch Finn while he drives. “Maybe. But mostly it’s just a good song.”

Finn grins over at him for a second before he turns back to the road. “If you say so.”

“There’s no shame in pop music, Finn,” Will says, like they haven’t had this conversation a dozen times. “It’s popular for a reason.”

“I know. I guess I was just expecting twelve hours of Journey and, like, Air Supply.”

“It’s a fifteen hour playlist. There’s plenty of Journey,” Will answers, but he’s grinning, like he thinks it’s the funniest thing in the world. Or maybe he’s just proud of himself for managing to get a few songs that were written in this century on there; Finn’s not going to ask, because he doesn’t really care why Will’s smiling as long as he keeps doing it.

He’s not even sure why he assumed Will would stick with classic rock for his road trip mix. Maybe because he insisted the whole time he was making it that all the songs had to be the kind they’d want to sing along to, and Will’s always had a fondness for music that was popular before he was even old enough to listen to it. But it’s kind of his job to keep up with what’s current, too, and these days Will knows more about what’s on the radio than Finn does.

The radio at the garage is always tuned to classic rock or country, depending who’s working that day, so Finn doesn’t even hear the Top 40 stuff anymore unless Will’s playing it. He’s not sure what that says about him, but he has a sneaking suspicion that it means he’s getting old and boring already. Still, Will doesn’t seem to mind, so Finn figures there’s no point in worrying about it.

He has a feeling that’s what his mom’s been worrying about all this time, that he’s not out hanging around with his old high school friends, maybe, or going to college parties and hooking up with different people every weekend. There’s a part of Will that thinks Finn should be doing that too, or at least there was when they first got together. Finn’s pretty sure he’s convinced Will that’s not what he wants by now; the fact that Will’s actually going to marry him is a pretty good sign, anyway. And when they get back to Lima and break the news to their family and all their friends, maybe the rest of the people in his life will stop wondering if he’s going to regret this someday.

Then again, his mom might never stop worrying about that. Finn’s doing his best to stop worrying about her worrying, though, and that’s pretty much all he can do.

“You ever been to the ocean?” Finn asks. He’s not even sure what makes him think of it, but when he glances over he thinks maybe Will knows why he’s asking.

“My dad has a cousin in New Jersey,” Will answers, nodding slowly, like he’s trying to remember something he hasn’t thought about in years. “We went to visit when I was in middle school. They took us to the beach. There was a boardwalk with arcade games and a carousel, I think.”

“At the beach?” Finn says, frowning at the thought, because he always figured when people went to the beach it was to swim in the ocean and get sand in inconvenient places. He’s always kind of figured it was just like going to the lake, only bigger, with water that stretched on forever and a lot more salt in the air.

“Not all beaches are like that.” Will’s fingers are keeping time to the music, tapping against the worn upholstery of the bench seat next to his thigh. “I think further up the coast it’s just a regular beach.”

Finn nods, considers whether or not he’d even want to hang out at a beach with all that extra stuff going on. Then again, he’d go pretty much anywhere with Will, so.

“I’ve never been,” Finn says, glancing over at him. “Never been out of Ohio, really, except with you. With New Directions, I mean. My mom took me to D.C. on the train one time, to see the Desert Storm memorial on account of my dad, but that whole trip turned out to be kind of a lie. Still, though, I guess it counts.”

“It counts. I mean, at least as much as a couple nights in a hotel in a new city practicing for Nationals ever counted.”

“Hey, we got to see a decent amount of New York senior year,” Finn says, but something about the expression on Will’s face makes him frown. “Didn’t we?”

“It’s a big city,” is all Will says, but Finn’s known him long enough to tell that Will’s kind of laughing at him. “We’ll go back sometime, just the two of us. Take in some of the sights together.”

“We could be doing that right now,” Finn reminds him. “I had it all planned out.”

Will just smiles at him some more, but it’s softer now, and Finn’s not complaining, even though he doesn’t know why Will’s looking at him like he personally hung the moon. He’s been pretty adamant since the start that he didn’t want to get married in New York, and he’s never said why, exactly, but Finn didn’t argue that hard, because the truth is he’s kind of had his heart set on the Maplecrest Inn since he first found the website.

“Next time,” Will says, hand closing over Finn’s where it’s resting on his thigh, then he starts humming along to his iPod again.

“Yeah, okay. But I meant it about coming back to the Inn to visit. Unless it’s, like, totally creepy and we hate it or whatever. But it’s going to be awesome, and we’re going to come back here for our anniversary every year and be regulars, so, you know, be prepared for that.”

Will smiles at him again, thumb tracing slow circles on the back of his hand and sending warmth pooling in Finn’s gut. “That sounds nice.”

It does sound nice, so Finn’s not going to argue with him. Then again, going to New York with Will sounds nice, too. So does going to the beach, whether it’s a regular one or the fancy New Jersey kind, or pretty much anywhere Will wants to go.

“When’s Burt expecting you back?”

“I told him to leave me off the schedule until next week,” Finn answers with another sidelong glance. “Figured we might want some time just to hang out after we got back. Have crazy amounts of newlywed sex or whatever.”

He feels the tips of his ears heating up, but Will’s grinning at him like it’s the best idea he’s had all day. Besides, it’s not like that’s not exactly what’s going to happen, so there’s no reason not to say it out loud.

“That sounds really nice,” Will says, and Finn laughs along with him, “but if you wanted to, we could take the long way home. Drive along the coast for a while, take an extra day, stick our toes in the ocean.”

Finn grins at the image, finds himself nodding before he even realizes he’s doing it, but it’s technically their honeymoon, so they can go to the beach if they want. “Yeah, okay. Let’s go to the beach.”

~

They switch up the driving after lunch, and it’s just after 3:00 when Will pulls into the scrapyard lot in Buffalo. It doesn’t give them tons of time to look around for anything that might work for the Camaro, but they swing by the office that’s not far from the gate and tell the guy on duty what they’re looking for.

“Not sure we’ve got any ‘86 Camaros out there,” the guy says, glancing between the two of them, and Finn tells himself there’s nothing weird about the way he’s looking at them. He puts a little space between him and Will anyway, then he realizes what he’s doing and has to stop himself from turning around and making Will get right back in the truck. “There are a couple Camaros out there, though. Toward the south corner.”

“Great, we’ll take a look around,” Finn says. “Thanks.”

There’s no reason to for the guy to be looking at them weird; he doesn’t know anything about them, but that doesn’t stop Finn from looking over his shoulder as they head toward the back of the lot.

“What’s wrong?” Will asks, and when Finn glances over at him his hand’s sort of hovering between them, like maybe he’s thinking about touching.

“Nothing,” Finn says, but he moves out of Will’s reach, and instantly feels guilty about it. “That guy just gives me a weird vibe is all.”

It’s not like he’s embarrassed to be with Will. If he was ashamed he wouldn’t be dragging Will up to Vermont to get married, let alone planning to spend the rest of his life with him. But they’ve never been to this place before, and it’s the first time Finn’s ever found himself worrying about whether or not it’s safe just being out in public together.

Lima isn’t exactly filled with open-minded people waiting to welcome them with open arms, but at least there they know where they fit. They have friends and family, familiar places where they know they’re safe and they don’t have to worry much about what any random strangers might think. Even the scrapyards they’ve explored around the state have felt close enough to home that he didn’t feel like they stuck out, but for whatever reason, this feels different.

“Do you want to leave?” Will asks, and when Finn looks over at him he actually looks a little worried.

“No, we’re here already. Might as well take a look around,” Finn says, because there’s no real reason to leave. The guy from the office hasn’t followed them, and as far as he can tell there’s no one else in this part of the yard.

Will nods, but he doesn’t reach over and touch Finn like he usually would, and it makes Finn wonder if Will can feel the weird vibe too. He tells himself it’s just because they’re strangers -- strangers with out-of-state plates -- and not because the guy in the office could tell anything about them just by looking. And even if he could, it’s not like it’s any of his business. Still, it’s kind of weird, having to think about this stuff, when before it’s mostly just been dirty looks from a neighbor or two and his mom’s weird hangups about him falling in love with somebody who used to be his teacher.

He pictures his mom’s expression if she could hear him calling her hangups ‘weird’ and smiles to himself as he follows Will along the rows of stacked cars that mostly aren’t any use to anybody. They spot a Camaro after twenty minutes of wandering, red and covered in more rust spots than the one Will’s been driving around. It’s a mid-90s model, though, which means there’s nothing on it they can use, so they keep walking further into the lot.

Finn relaxes a little more the further they get from the office, and by the time they’ve given up on finding anything useful, he’s mostly shaken off the paranoid feeling that someone’s watching them. He doesn’t relax completely until they’re back in the truck, though, and if he checks the rearview mirror a little more often than usual as they pull back onto the road and head for the hotel he booked for the night, Will doesn’t mention it.

A couple minutes into the drive Will’s fiddling with his playlist again, then he’s belting the lyrics to “Call Me Maybe” like a complete dork, and Finn can’t help laughing. Singing along, too, and all of a sudden he understands why Will insisted they should be able to sing along to all the songs on his playlist.

It helps chase away the rest of the weirdness, anyway, and by the time they check into the hotel and drag their bags up the stairs to their room, he’s right back to relaxed and happy. He drops his bag on the table near the door, waits while Will sets his own on the end of the bed before Finn slides two fingers through his belt loops and drags Will toward him.

“Sorry the junkyard was a wash. There’s another place in Syracuse, but I guess if we’re going to the beach we won’t be going there after all.”

Will shrugs and slides his arms around Finn’s waist, hands working under the hem of his t-shirt to slide along the warm skin of his lower back. “Seems like a fair trade-off.”

“You sure? The whole point of bringing the truck was to see if we could finally track down new seats.”

For a few seconds Will just looks at him, head kind of tilted to the side and his fingers drawing little patterns along Finn’s back. “I’m sure.”

“Okay,” Finn says, then he tugs with the fingers that are still looped through Will’s pants until they’re moving toward the bed.

Will lets Finn pull him in, lets him press their lips together and even tug Will’s t-shirt over his head before he gets around to asking the question Finn’s been waiting for since they left the scrap yard. “Feeling better?”

“Yeah,” Finn answers, a little sigh escaping him that they can both blame on the way Will’s hands are skimming the waistband of his jeans, if they want. “Sorry, I don’t even know what happened.”

Will shakes his head and leans in to press a soft kiss to the corner of Finn’s mouth. It’s sweet and kind of comforting and Finn doesn’t feel stupid about freaking out, exactly, but kissing Will makes him feel better all the same. It reminds Finn why this is all worth it, anyway, that along with the occasional weird looks and the times when he’s not a hundred percent sure of their safety, he gets Will’s hands and Will’s smile and Will’s voice singing the lyrics to some dumb love song under his breath as he dances Finn around the kitchen like it doesn’t bother him at all that Finn will never be able to dance.

“You’re sure?” Will says, pulling back to look at him again, hands back to stroking up and down his spine, sending little shivers through Finn.

“Yeah, it was just...I mean, it was probably nothing. I just got a weird vibe from the guy. He looked at us kind of like that old lady from 205, you know? Every time I see her in the parking lot she gives me this look, like she’s thinking about how I’m going to burn in hell and she’d kind of like to watch me do it.”

It gets him a nod, like maybe Will felt it too, even if he wasn’t as weird about it as Finn. “I suppose it’s something we’ve both had the luxury of ignoring until now.”

“Mostly it just makes me feel like kind of a dick for not being a better brother to Kurt back in school,” Finn admits, even though that’s not what he was thinking about while they were wandering around the scrapyard keeping a careful space between them, just in case. “He had to deal with it every day, and nobody really had his back.”

“You don’t give yourself enough credit,” Will says, because he’s biased, but they both know it’s not true. “You know, we don’t have to stay in the apartment, if you’re not comfortable there.”

Finn shrugs and lets go of Will long enough to pull his shirt over his head and toss it on the floor with Will’s. Because he’s not uncomfortable in their apartment or anything, but he doesn’t hate the idea of picking out a place together, either.

“I mean, I don’t care about the lady in 205, but maybe we should start thinking about a house or something. I’ll be working full time when we get back, and buying a house is the kind of thing married couples talk about, right?”

For a few seconds Will just looks at him like he’s never seen Finn before, like whatever words he just said were in some foreign language, maybe. For a few seconds Finn thinks he might actually start crying or something, but all Will does is nod and murmur something along the lines of ‘yes’ and ‘we could talk about that’ and then kiss him again.

It takes another minute after that for Finn to realize what the problem is. It dawns on him mostly because of the way Will’s kissing him, breathless and almost desperate, hands everywhere at once, like he suddenly can’t figure out how to get close enough. That’s when he realizes that Will’s been married once and almost married another time, but neither of those times ever involved anything as permanent as thirty years of mortgage payments.

He’d planned on forever with Terri, sure, and if she’d ever really been pregnant, that would have been a pretty serious lifetime commitment. But it wasn’t really a commitment to each other so much as it was to the kid, and in the end it had been a lie anyway. Miss Pillsbury hadn’t even made it all the way to the altar, and Finn’s never asked, but he has a feeling they never really got past the fairy tale fantasies about white dresses and happily ever afters.

Meanwhile Finn’s been on fast forward since the moment he realized he was allowed to touch Will. He doesn’t feel bad about it, either, because he figures Will’s been waiting long enough for someone to be sure about what they want from him. What they want with him, and one of the things Finn wants them to have is a place that they both know will always be home.

He busies his hands helping Will get them out of the rest of their clothes, letting go long enough to dig in his bag for the lube he packed while Will pulls the comforter down to the end of the bed. A few seconds later Finn’s crossing the room to let Will pull him close again, easing him backwards until they’re stretched out together on scratchy white sheets.

Finn’s hands slide up Will’s back, tracing his shoulder blades and then back down again to rest on his hips, fingers splayed to cover as much skin as he can. He likes the way his hands fit around Will, like they were made for this, long fingers against hot skin and Will’s mouth pressed against him to murmur ‘I love you’ into his neck.

His heart picks up speed at the sound of the words, and Finn wonders all over again if he’s ever going to get used to hearing them. Maybe around the time Will finally gets used to the fact that Finn isn’t going anywhere. It’s a fair trade, he figures; they both have their hang-ups, but they kind of balance each other out anyway.

He fumbles around on the mattress until his hand connects with the lube he dropped when Will pushed him down and climbed over him, arching up into the mouth still moving on his neck as he pushes the bottle into Will’s hand. Their fingers slide together as Will takes it, then he stretches up far enough to press an open, sloppy kiss against Finn’s mouth. Finn pants into it, legs parting to let Will settle a little further between them, dicks sliding together and making them both groan.

Finn wants to make a joke about Will getting turned on talking about mortgages and long-term investments, but the thing is, it’s not really a joke. Anyway Finn’s just as turned on by the thought, so instead of joking about it he hooks one leg around Will’s thighs and lifts up far enough to watch Will mouth his way down the center of Finn’s chest.

He pauses when he reaches the dip at the top of Finn’s hip bone, sucking at the tender skin until Finn’s breathing heavy and straining up against him. Finn reaches down to run a hand through Will’s curls, tugging just a little when he starts to reach the point where he can’t take much more.

Will hums against his skin and mouths his way along the line of hair running down Finn’s stomach, stopping long enough to suck Finn all the way to hardness before he lets Finn’s dick slide out of his mouth and keeps going. Finn pants above him while Will circles his opening with one dry finger, his mind back on this morning when Will had pushed inside him and fucked him slow. It’s the reason they left late, and at the time Finn hadn’t had any complaints.

He’s not complaining now, either, but he doesn’t really want to wait around for Will to take his time. Finn tightens his grip on Will’s hair again, tugs just enough to get Will’s attention before he shoves at the bottle of lube in Will’s hand. He takes the hint and pulls his hand away from Finn long enough to pop the top one-handed and upend it to let slick drip directly onto Finn’s hole.

The sensation makes him gasp, then Will’s finger is back, pressing inside him and Finn lets out a low moan and arches his back to get him further inside. Will’s mouthing at the inside of his thigh, teeth dragging against his skin and it’s not really like him to leave marks on Finn’s skin, but he can already tell he’s going to have bruises later that are shaped suspiciously like Will’s mouth. The thought of being able to look down later and see the evidence of how much Will wants him makes Finn moan again and buck up into Will’s touch.

“Come on,” he spits out between gritted teeth, and he knows he sounds kind of mad, but Will’s known him long enough to tell when Finn’s just desperate. “Will, please, I can’t wait.”

Will looks up at him then, pupils blown wide and looking almost as wrecked as Finn feels. He’s not even sure what flipped the switch from sweet and reassuring to needy so fast, if it was the weird vibe at the scrap yard or the fact that Finn brought up house hunting. Or maybe it’s the fact that in two days they’ll be married, and it’s still sinking in that they’re really going through with this.

Two fingers slide inside him this time, eased along by the lube running down his thighs, and Finn tries to move his hips in little circles even though he’s mostly pinned down by the weight of Will above him. Will’s mouth is back on his dick, moving in time with his fingers and Will’s already fucked him once today, so he doesn’t really need the prep. Will seems pretty determined to get his way, though, his free hand clamped down hard on Finn’s thigh and ignoring the impatient noises Finn’s making.

"Jesus, Will," he hears himself murmur, one hand in Will's hair to tug at his curls and the other fisted tight in the sheets. "Please, I need..."

Will pulls off him then, fingers still working in and out of Finn as he presses kisses to Finn's stomach and up his chest. He's murmuring into Finn's skin, things like 'sweetheart' and 'relax' and 'I'm here'.

He doesn't use pet names a whole lot. Finn's pretty sure it's just because Will likes being able to say Finn's name, like maybe he's still trying to convince himself this is real life and not some long, vivid dream. Or maybe it's left over from all those years when he'd just been Finn Hudson, leader of New Directions and Mr. Schue's favorite.

The thought still makes him grin, which is probably kind of fucked up, considering, but it's not like anyone knows how much Finn likes the idea of being Will's favorite, so he figures it's not hurting anybody. Any anyway, he kind of likes it when Will calls him sweetheart too, the way his voice goes all soft and he whispers in Finn's ear like it's a secret.

"Love you," Will murmurs against his lips before he kisses Finn, then his fingers are gone and Finn hears the soft click of the lube being opened again before Will finally -- finally -- slides inside him.

Finn digs his fingers into Will's shoulders and holds on, eyes closed and back arched to meet each of Will's slow thrusts. No matter how hard Finn tries to urge him faster, Will keeps moving slow, sliding almost all the way out of him before bottoming out again. Finn hooks his legs around Will's hips and digs his heels into warm skin, dragging him impossibly closer as Will watches him with such an intense look on his face that it makes Finn's stomach flutter.

“We should buy a house with a big shower,” Finn says, his voice coming out a little breathy as Will shifts his hips to change the angle of his thrusts.

Will’s hips do this funny little stuttering thing when he says it, and it takes him a second or two to find his rhythm again. When he does he leans in and presses another kiss to Finn’s jaw this time, hands braced behind Finn’s knees and nearly bending him in half.

“We’ll have to start saving for the down payment. That will take a while,” Will says, whispering like when he says ‘sweetheart’ in Finn’s ear.

Finn doesn’t answer right away. He’s too busy focusing on the way Will’s rocking against him, slow, sure thrusts that nearly lift him off the bed with every stroke. He pictures doing this in their house, christening every room like they did when he first moved into the apartment. He pictures bringing home a kid, pictures celebrating holidays and dancing in the kitchen and making out in their big shower.

His hands are moving on Will’s skin, sliding along his shoulders and wrapping around his biceps to drag him even closer. He kind of wants to laugh, because he shouldn’t be getting this turned on at the thought of moving into a house when they already live together. But moving into a place that’s all theirs seems even more real than moving into the apartment where Will’s been living on his own for years, which maybe explains why Finn’s getting off on the idea of tearing off Will’s clothes in every room of the house.

He surges up to kiss Will hard, hands on his shoulders and pushing until Will takes the hint and pulls away to roll onto his back. Finn follows him, reaching for the lube where it landed on the mattress and slicking Will up again while Finn plants his knees on either side of Will’s thighs.

“I’m working full time now, we can save a lot faster,” he says as he grips Will’s cock and lines himself up.

Will’s hands come up to grip his thighs, fingers flexing against his skin and watching as Finn sinks down until he’s all the way inside. His eyes flutter closed and he takes a deep breath, hands braced on Will’s chest and kind of grinding his hips in a little circle. The sound Will makes is almost desperate, and Finn pulls off and then sinks back down as slow as he can.

After that they stop talking, focusing instead on the slide of skin and the press of hands and the sounds of both of them panting for breath as they get closer and closer to the edge. Finn wraps a hand around his own dick, grip tight and matching his strokes to the thrust of Will’s hips. He opens his eyes to look down at Will, watching the way his chest rises and falls with each breath and the intense look in his eyes as he holds Finn’s gaze.

He can tell Will’s close when the grip on his thighs tightens, fingers digging in hard enough to bruise and his eyelids fluttering like he’s fighting to keep them open. Like he wants to keep looking at Finn as long as he can, even though he’s going to be looking at Finn for pretty much the rest of his life.

“Two car garage,” he murmurs, just to see what happens, and he’s not even surprised when Will lets out a shaky breath and comes.

“God, Finn,” Will says, then he lets out a little laugh that vibrates against Finn’s hand where it’s still braced against his chest. Finn’s other hand is still gripping his dick, and Will reaches up to wrap his own hand around Finn’s, thumb sliding along the head and dragging a moan out of him. A few strokes later and he’s following Will over the edge, wet heat hitting Will’s chest and both their hands. He spares a guilty thought for whoever’s going to have to clean up after them, but before he can feel too bad about it, Will’s dragging him down for another kiss.

They’re pretty gross, and if they stay like this for long they’re going to stick together, but Finn can’t make himself care. Not when Will’s kissing him slow, one hand resting on his hip and the other sort of cradling the back of his head like he’s something worth protecting. The thought makes something in his chest pull tight, and he has to pull away and press his forehead to Will’s shoulder until he remembers how to breathe.

“You hungry?” he asks when he catches his breath, pulling back just far enough to look at Will. “We’re going to have to clean up and go out, this place doesn’t have room service.”

“We’re saving for a house now, we can’t afford room service,” Will says, but he’s grinning as he sits up and pulls Finn off the bed and toward the shower, like he can’t think of anything he’d rather do than go broke in the name of home ownership.

~

They make it to the Maplecrest Inn by mid-afternoon. It was starting to feel like summer when they left Ohio, but summer moves a little slower this far north, so the trees are still the bright, fresh green of spring, and Finn has a feeling there will be a bite in the air come nightfall. The inn sits right off the road, with a driveway that curves around to the back of the house. He pulls the truck around and takes an empty space under one of the maple trees the place must be named for, then he climbs out of the truck and reaches for their bags while Will stretches and looks around.

“It’s even nicer than the pictures,” Will says, smiling when Finn stops next to him to look out over the lake at the back of the property.

For a minute they stand with their shoulders pressed together and just look at the spot where they’re going to stand tomorrow and say their vows. Finn doesn’t ask, but he assumes Will’s picturing it the same way he is, and for the first time he feels a little jolt of nerves. Or maybe it’s just anticipation, because he’s been imagining this day for a long time now, and in less than twenty-four hours it’s actually going to happen.

There’s a room inside where they hold weddings, but it’s kind of flowery and a lot fussier than either of them is really comfortable with, so they agreed on an outdoor ceremony without even really having to discuss it. Now that they’re actually here Finn knows they made the right choice, because the lake looks like a postcard and the little lattice archway where they hold weddings is just the right amount of cheesy.

Finn imagines what Kurt would say and grins, thinks about pulling out his phone and taking a picture to text him, but then changes his mind. He doesn’t want to tell anybody until after it’s done, partly because he doesn’t want anyone trying to talk them into waiting, but mostly because he just doesn’t want to talk to anybody else when he’s technically on his honeymoon. They’ll get pictures of the actual ceremony as part of their wedding package, and Finn figures they can send those to everyone at the same time and break the news that way. Or maybe they’ll just wait until they get home to say anything; after all, that’s kind of the point of this whole trip.

“Hey, are we exchanging rings?” he asks, thumb tracing the ring he’s been wearing since the night of Kurt’s wedding.

For a few seconds Will just blinks at him, then he glances down at Finn’s hand where his thumb’s worrying the edge of the metal. “I hadn’t really thought about it.”

“Well, I mean, we’ve been wearing them this whole time, so it seems kind of pointless, you know? But if you want to, we can take them off for the night.”

Will reaches for his hand and slides their fingers together, his own thumb replacing Finn’s on his ring as he lifts their hands to his mouth and kisses Finn’s knuckles. “We’ve been wearing them this long, no sense in taking them off now.”

“Yeah, okay,” Finn says, then he grips Will’s hand a little tighter and pulls him around to the front of the inn. They climb the steps to the wide front porch, pausing to grin at each other like a pair of idiots before Will opens the door and presses his hand to the small of Finn’s back to guide him inside.

As soon as they step inside a huge German Shepherd unfolds itself from a couch near the door, toenails clicking on the wood floor as it pads its way over to greet them. They saw pictures of the dog on the website along with the lake and the room they’ll be staying in and everything else, so Finn doesn’t hesitate to drop their bags on the floor and lean down to say hello.

“Hey, buddy,” he says, letting the dog sniff his hand before he reaches up to scratch behind its ears.

Once the dog’s done giving Finn the once-over it turns to Will, and when he holds out a hand it goes through the process all over again. Will smiles down at it like he’s never seen a dog before, fingers running through its soft coat until the dog decides it’s had enough and heads back to the couch.

“Did you ever have a dog, growing up?” Finn asks as they head over to the desk he assumes passes for a check-in counter.

“No. My mother’s not really a fan,” Will answers, hand on Finn’s back again. “What about you?”

“I don’t think my mom would have minded, but she didn’t have time to take care of anything else, you know?” Finn says. He glances back at the dog where it’s curled up on the couch, chin resting on its front paws while it watches them. “Maybe we should look for a place with a fenced yard, too. Just in case.”

“Your list is getting long,” Will says, but he’s still smiling, so Finn can tell he doesn’t hate the idea. He doesn’t point out that they’re going to have to talk about how many kids they want before they really start looking. They’re going to have to figure out what they can afford, too, and whether or not they want their kids going to McKinley where the other kids might have something to say about who their dads are and how they met.

Before Finn can panic about any of that he hears a door open somewhere down the hall, and a few seconds later he sees one of the guys from the website walking toward them. “Good afternoon,” he says, his smile setting Finn at ease. Mr. Hudson and Mr. Schuester, I presume?”

“Yeah,” Finn says, taking the guy’s hand when he holds it out. “I’m Finn, and this is Will. Sorry we’re a little late, it took a little longer to get the marriage license than I planned for.”

“Nonsense, you’re right on time. I’m Frank, and you’ll meet my partner Jonathan sometime this evening, I’m sure.” He stops talking long enough to write something in a ledger that’s resting open on the desk, then he reaches behind him for a set of keys. “If you’ll just sign here, I’ll show you to your room.”

Finn signs where Frank points and then picks up his bag, shouldering it before he turns to follow their host up a wide staircase to the second floor. The walls are covered in a busy floral wallpaper that’s kind of giving Finn a headache, and he’s thankful all over again that they decided to get married outside instead of in the parlor he saw in the pictures. He didn’t see it from the foyer, but if the pictures were anything to go by, it’s filled with the same fussy couches and wallpaper as the rest of the place.

The room Frank leads them to isn’t covered in floral wallpaper. Instead the walls are covered in soft blue and white stripes, which is still busier than Finn would go for, but at least it’s not giving him a headache. Most of the room is taken up by a heavy wooden bed frame. The bedspread has flowers on it, but they’re not obnoxious, and anyway it’s not like he really cares that much what the room looks like. They’re only here for two nights, and considering one of them’s going to be his wedding night, he has a feeling he’ll have other things on his mind.

“Please let myself or Jonathan know if there’s anything you can’t find,” Frank says, handing over the key. “The bathroom is at the end of the hall, and breakfast is served between 7:00 and 9:30 am. You’re on your own for dinner, but there are several good restaurants in town. I’ve got directions and recommendations downstairs if you’d like.”

“Thank you,” Will says, still smiling his movie star smile as he pockets the key.

“Did you have any questions about the ceremony tomorrow?” Frank asks, glancing between the two of them.

“I don’t think so,” Finn says, glancing at Will. “We were planning on keeping things pretty simple.”

“Of course,” Frank says, like he hears that all the time. Then again, they already covered most of this when Finn booked the room, so chances are he was expecting that answer. “We’ll touch base tomorrow to go over the details, but if you think of any special requests, don’t be shy. It’s your day, we want it to be just as you imagined.”

“Thanks,” Finn says, suddenly feeling a little like maybe they’re not prepared for this. He wants to marry Will -- he can’t think of anything he’s ever wanted more -- but he hasn’t spent a lot of time thinking about the actual ceremony. He didn’t have much to do with planning Kurt’s wedding, but he knows it took over a year and the help of both his mom and Puck’s mom, so it’s hard not to feel like they’re missing a major piece of the puzzle.

Once Frank welcomes them again and leaves them to get settled into their room, Finn sinks down onto the edge of the bed and looks up at Will. “All of a sudden I kind of feel like we should have planned more for this.”

“For what? Getting married?” Will asks. “It’s our wedding, Finn. All we really have to do is show up.”

“Yeah, but what do we do once we show up? I mean, do we need to come up with a speech or something? We didn’t even decide about the rings until like half an hour ago.”

Will sits next to him and reaches for his hand, but he’s smiling in that way that tells Finn he’s a little worried. “We don’t have to come up with our own vows, if that’s what you mean. We could have, but if you wanted to we probably should have started before now.”

“You know I’m no good at that stuff,” Finn says. Will practically wrote his best man speech for Kurt’s wedding, after all, and if they were going to write their vows Will probably would have ended up having to help him with those too.

“Well you don’t have to worry about it. This place specializes in civil ceremonies, Finn. They’ve got a standard script they use.” He pauses, squeezing Finn’s hand for a second like maybe he’s working himself up to saying whatever’s on his mind. “Are you having second thoughts about this?”

“What? Come on, no,” Finn says, frowning at Will. “We’re getting married, okay? I just want to make sure I don’t screw it up by forgetting something major.”

For a second Will looks like he might want to argue, but then he just nods and flashes another smile. “Okay. But there’s nothing to screw up. The whole point of eloping is that we just show up and someone makes it official. There’s not really much to it, honestly.”

“Then how come it took Kurt a year to plan his wedding?”

“Because he let your mother and Mrs. Puckerman help,” Will answers, grinning when Finn laughs. “Terri was a nightmare when we got married. And she had both our mothers and her sister giving opinions.”

“What about your opinion?”

“None of them cared about my opinion,” Will says, his smile turning a little bitter. “But that was a long time ago, and we were really young. Too young to be getting married, honestly.”

Finn’s not sorry Will’s first marriage didn’t stick, but he doesn’t say so out loud. He doesn’t really want to talk about Terri, not on the night before they get hitched. And if it’s totally different from the production that was WIll’s other wedding, then that’s even better.

“Sorry. For freaking out,” Finn says. “I just...this is the only time I’m going to do this, and I want everything to go right.”

Will doesn’t answer right away; instead he leans in, shoulder pressed against Finn’s bicep and planting a kiss on the corner of his mouth. Then he pulls back and just looks for a long moment. “I’m glad we decided to do this.”

“Me too.” Finn squeezes Will’s hand where it’s still gripped in his own. “I get that you were worried about my mom and all, but I’m glad it’s just us.”

“Just us,” Will repeats, smiling for real this time. “It’s going to be perfect, Finn. You’ll see.”

~

It is kind of perfect in the end. They spend the evening before the ceremony wandering around the tiny, quaint main street of town, then they have dinner in a gastropub Frank recommended. Finn expects the place to be filled with suspicious locals giving them the eye like that guy at the scrap yard, but most of the people they run into don’t seem all that interested in them. The restaurant’s half full when they get there, and a lot of the patrons are around Finn’s age.

“There’s a college in the next town over,” Will says when he sees Finn looking around. “A place like this wouldn’t survive in a small town without the college crowd to keep it alive.”

Once he gets a look at the menu Finn figures he’s right, because a lot of the food is the sort of hipster stuff he doesn’t usually bother with. But there are burgers and fish and chips, and the place brews its own beer, so he can’t find anything to complain about. Their waitress is a college student herself, and she makes enough conversation with them to find out that they’re staying at the Maplecrest.

“Did Frank send you?” she asks with a knowing smile.

“Yeah,” Finn answers, glancing across the table at Will. “We’re...uh...we’re getting married tomorrow.”

“Congratulations,” she says, smile never wavering, then she heads off to put in their order and get their drinks. It feels a little weird, saying it out loud to a stranger, but it’s kind of a relief, too, and when Will reaches across the table to trace his fingers across Finn’s knuckles, he catches Will’s hand and threads their fingers together.

“Maybe we should do the whole ring thing,” he says before he even realizes he’s thinking it. “I mean, I know we’ve been wearing them all this time, but...”

“But it’s tradition,” Will finishes for him, grinning and squeezing Finn’s hand. “We can do that.”

They hold hands like dorks until the waitress delivers their food, and after they’re done eating she delivers a piece of chocolate cake and two forks on the house. “Congrats again,” she says, then she sets down their bill and leaves them alone.

It’s kind of weird, but neither of them complains about it. Instead they dig into the cake, forks clashing every few bites, and grinning at each other over the table like they’re not in public where anyone could see them. So it’s weird, being congratulated by a stranger, but it’s kind of nice, too. Nice that someone’s happy for them without having to hear the full story of how they met and how weird the whole situation really is. It’s pretty much exactly what Finn was hoping for when he suggested they elope, and it’s hard to believe it’s working out this well.

They make it back to the inn in time to say hello to Jonathan, who’s apparently going to be the one to marry them tomorrow. He’s got white hair and he’s wearing a cardigan like he’s somebody’s grandpa, and Finn’s glad they chose this place to tie the rest of their lives together. He’s pretty sure they’ll be coming back someday, too, even if they have to wait until they’re done saving for a down payment before they can take another vacation.

“Hey, remember how much junk Kurt and Puck registered for when they got married?” Finn asks when they’re back in their room, the door locked behind them and Will’s hands on his hips.

“How could I forget?” Will says, grinning against Finn’s neck. “I still haven’t figured out why anyone needs that many pairs of sheets.”

“And I never want to know,” Finn answers, his fingers working open the buttons on WIll’s shirt. “But I was thinking, just because we didn’t invite anybody to the wedding, people should still give us presents, right? We should just ask everybody for cash instead of a bunch of stuff we don’t need.”

“Isn’t that kind of tacky?”

“No tackier than asking people to buy us sheets.” Finn’s hands slide up Will’s arms to grip his shoulders, squeezing a little when Will frowns at him. “We could put it toward the down payment on the house.”

“I’m not sure how that would even work,” Will says, but his hands are sort of moving up and down Finn’s sides absently, like he’s thinking about how they could make it work. “It’s not like we can register for cash.”

“We can probably set up one of those donation things online. You know, just send out an announcement and a picture and a link to the page. Or maybe there’s some other way people usually do it. I’ll look on the internet when we get back.”

“Okay.” Will smiles like Finn’s some kind of genius, then he slides his hands around Finn’s back and starts dragging him toward the bed. “We can figure it out when we get home.”

When they wake up in the morning it takes Finn a few seconds to remember where they are. There’s no chance of sharing a shower, not when they’re sharing a bathroom with all the other guests at the inn. But it’s a special day, so Finn figures a break from their usual routine isn’t such a bad thing. Instead they have breakfast with another couple around his parents’ age, who claim they’ve been coming to the Maplecrest since it belonged to the people who sold it to Frank and Jonathan.

Will charms them without even trying, just like he does with pretty much everyone he meets, and Finn listens to them telling stories about their kids while he eats country ham and apple cinnamon muffins. They listen to Will’s own stories about the kids he teaches, and when they ask Finn what he does, he just tells them he’s a mechanic and doesn’t bring up his student teaching or the fact that he went to the high school where Will teaches.

He’s not ashamed of how they met or anything. If Will hadn’t blackmailed him into joining New Directions, there’s pretty much no way he’d be sitting here right now, eating breakfast in a Victorian inn in Vermont a few hours before he marries Will. Still, it’s nice to be seen as a normal couple, to have people smile when they mention why they’re staying at the Maplecrest instead of getting tense, or worse, making a joke about cradle robbing. He’ll put up with as many jokes as Santana wants to tell if she sends them cash as a wedding gift, but he’s glad they don’t have to deal with any of that today.

“So how did you two meet?” the wife asks, and Finn feels Will go tense next to him. It’s the one question he’s kind of been hoping they wouldn’t ask, but it’s the most obvious one, so he can’t say he’s all that surprised. When Will doesn’t jump in with an answer Finn sets his fork down, then he reaches over to rest his free hand on Will’s thigh.

“We’ve known each other for a long time,” Finn says, “but I think he thought of me as just a dumb kid at first. Then he brought this piece of sh...crap Camaro into the shop, and I offered to help him fix it up so I could try to impress him. I didn’t really expect it to work, but somehow he fell for it.”

Their breakfast companions smile at him like it’s the best story they’ve ever heard, and Will’s hand grips his where it’s still resting on his thigh. “You were very impressive. But I was already interested before you fixed my car.”

If they grin at each other like morons people will probably chalk it up to the fact that it’s their wedding day, so Finn doesn’t bother trying to wipe the dopey smile off his face. It’s not like the story isn’t true; he just left out some of the details, and they’re not important anyway. The important part is how crazy he is about Will, and how crazy Will is about him in return.

When they move on to some story about the couple’s college-age son Finn tunes out again, pushing the remnants of his breakfast around on his plate while he thinks about the fact that in just a few hours, he’ll be married. It’s kind of a weird thought, but his stomach’s sort of jittery and he catches himself grinning down at his plate for no reason.

After breakfast Frank corners them to go over last-minute details, and just like Will promised, he’s got the whole thing under control. “All you have to do is show up,” he says with a big smile, and Finn can’t help laughing. He’s still wearing his ring, and he turns it around on his finger when Frank asks if they want to go ahead with that part of the service.

“Yeah, I mean, we figured we might as well,” he says, glancing at Will, and Frank just smiles and nods like it’s not dumb to take their rings off for half an hour just to put them back on each other again.

He’s still not sure why he insisted they go through with that part of the ceremony. Maybe because he’s worried that it won’t feel real, that if they don’t throw in at least a few of the traditions, he’ll walk away from today not really feeling married. Or worse, Will might walk away not feeling married, and he’s the one who’s got something to compare it to.

Once the details are ironed out there’s not much to do but wait around until it’s time to put on their suits and head down to the lake. They saw most of the little town last night, and there’s nowhere close enough for a side trip if they want to make it back in time for the wedding. So he lets Will pull him back upstairs to their room, and when Will pushes him down onto the edge of the bed Finn doesn’t ask what he has in mind. A few seconds later he thinks maybe he should have, because instead of taking off his clothes or crawling over him, Will turns to his bag and digs something out of it.

“I have something for you,” he says, his smile kind of nervous. “It’s not much, but I wanted to do something.”

“We’re supposed to give each other presents?” Finn asks, eyes on the flat, rectangular gift wrapped in plain blue paper. “I didn’t get you anything.”

“Are you kidding? You planned this entire trip.”

Finn’s pretty sure that doesn’t count as a gift, since he did it as much for him as he did for Will. He takes the present Will hands him anyway, fingers tracing the edges of the paper before he slides the tape off and tears one side open. He takes his time opening it, but finally he pulls the rest of the paper away to reveal a plain silver picture frame with a picture of the two of them inside. They’re wearing suits, Finn’s arm slung around Will’s shoulders and both of them grinning at the camera.

“Is this from Kurt’s wedding?”

“Your mom emailed me the pictures from the reception,” Will says. “It dawned on me that we don’t have any pictures of us in the apartment, so I asked her to send any she might have.”

It’s just a picture, so Finn’s not sure why his heart’s thudding so hard in his chest. Maybe because it’s the first time anybody besides his mom has bothered to do something like this for him, to make sure he feels like part of something and gives him the photographic evidence to remind him of it. Even when he was dating Rachel back in high school, she mostly stuck to singing at him, and when she did give him pictures they were of her, not the two of them.

“It’s great,” he says, glancing up at Will. “Thanks.”

“It’s not much,” Will says again, but his finger’s tracing the edge of the frame like he’s feeling just as overwhelmed as Finn. “But I thought it would be nice to have something to put on the dresser.”

“Frank’s going to take pictures today. So we’ll have to get another frame.”

Will grins and leans in to press a kiss against Finn’s temple. “I think we can probably fit that into our down payment budget.”

“Well, you’ve got your cooking classes this summer, too.” Finn stands up long enough to set the picture safely on top of his overnight bag, then he turns back to the bed and lets Will pull him forward. “But technically that’s an investment just like buying a house, so it’s worth it.”

He lets Will pull him down onto the bed, hands pushing under Finn’s shirt to slide along warm skin. “Do we have time for this?”

“Yeah,” Finn answers. He pulls back far enough to tug his shirt off, then he stretches out next to Will again. “We’ve got plenty of time.”

“Good.” Will grins against his mouth and lets Finn roll them until he’s on his back with Finn half on top of him.

“Thanks for the picture,” Finn says, pulling back just far enough to look at Will.

Will’s still smiling, hands sliding up Finn’s back to pull him even closer. “The first of many,” he says, and then they both stop talking for a while.

It’s just after lunch time when they climb back out of bed to put on suits this time. They’re the same suits from the picture Will gave him, the same suit he wore to stand up for Kurt and the same suit Will peeled off him before he proposed. It seems a little dumb, getting all dressed up just to go down to the lake with nobody around to see them besides Frank and Jonathan. Then again, this is the most important thing he’s ever done, and he figures that deserves better than a t-shirt and jeans.

When they get to the lake he’s glad they dressed up. There’s a wooden archway not far from the water, white and made of lattice with some kind of flowering vine climbing up the sides. It looks a little like something he saw in one of those magazines his mom spent months poring over when she was helping plan Kurt’s wedding, and he wonders for a second if she’d approve of all this. Then he remembers why they decided to leave his mom and the rest of their parents out of it, and he takes a deep breath and focuses on the way Will’s looking at him and not what’s going to happen when their families find out they’re married.

Frank and Jonathan are already waiting for them when they get there, and Finn lets Frank manhandle them into place and then turn them so they’re facing each other. They hand their rings over to him, then Will reaches out to take Finn’s hands, and when he smiles it hits Finn that they’re actually doing this. Frank’s cut the ceremony down to the basics for them, which means that in just a few minutes, they’ll officially be tied together for the rest of their lives.

Finn’s heart does a little tap dance, and he’s pretty sure he’s grinning like an idiot, but Will doesn’t seem to mind. He’s grinning right back, anyway, and his hands are tight around Finn’s, like he’s never planning on letting go. Finn holds on just as tight, and if his palms are a little sweaty, Will doesn’t complain.

Jonathan’s already talking, something about commitment and the joining of two lives, though Finn’s not really listening. It’s hard to focus on the words when Will’s staring at him like Finn’s the best thing he’s ever seen, like there’s nowhere else in the world he’d rather be.

“Repeat after me,” Jonathan says, and Finn glances over to find Jonathan looking at him. “I, Finn, take you, William, to be my husband, my partner in life and my one true love. I will cherish our friendship and love you today, tomorrow, and forever.”

Finn repeats the words as carefully as he can, and if he stutters a little over the word ‘husband’, it’s just because he can’t believe he gets to call Will that for the rest of his life. He gets a husband, and when they get home they can start saving for a house, and maybe someday they’ll even have a family together. It’s hard to believe even after a year and a half that Will actually wants all that with him, that he hasn’t woken up and realized what he’s doing, then bolted as fast as he could.

Will recites the same vows back to him, but when he gets to the word ‘husband’ he just squeezes Finn’s hands a little and smiles some more. It makes Finn’s heart do another backflip, and he swallows against a sudden tightness in his throat and squeezes back. He’s never really understood why people get all teary at weddings, but here he is, blinking against the stinging in his eyes and wondering if it’s possible to die from feeling so much.

“Do you, Finn, take Will to be your lawful wedded husband,” Jonathan says, smiling when Finn glances at him, “to love, honor, and cherish, forsaking all others as long as you both shall live?”

“I do,” Finn says, looking right at Will.

“And do you, Will, take Finn to be your lawful wedded husband, to love, honor, and cherish, forsaking all others as long as you both shall live?”

“I do,” Will answers, and his eyes are shining too.

So they’re going to be that couple that cries at their own wedding. He’s not even that surprised, and there’s barely anyone here to see it anyway, so it doesn’t really matter. Then again, he can hear the click of Frank’s digital camera every few moments, so there will be photographic evidence of both of them crying. They don’t have to show those pictures to anyone, though, so he doesn’t mind that much.

In fact, he kind of likes the idea of having a permanent reminder of the way Will’s looking at him right now. Maybe they’ll even frame it to hang on the wall in their new house, along with the one from Kurt’s wedding. He imagines a wall full of pictures, of them on vacations and during holidays, and maybe someday pictures with a couple kids. His stomach flutters at the thought and he wonders how far he can push Will before he actually does freak out. But he knows Will wants kids, and it’s not like they’ve never talked about it, so maybe he wouldn’t mind.

“Do you have the rings?” Jonathan asks, and they all look over at Frank. He puts his camera down long enough to produce their rings, holding them out in the center of his palm so they can pick each other’s rings up.

“A ring is a symbol of the unbroken circle of love. It is a signal to the world of your union.”

Finn nods and looks at Will, reaching for his hand and sliding his ring back on his finger. “With this ring, I thee wed.”

Will’s grin is even brighter than it was the first time Finn put his ring on him. He looks like he’s having the time of his life, and Finn wants to laugh, but his chest is too tight to get any sound out.

“With this ring, I thee wed,” Will says, then he slides Finn’s ring home. They just stand there smiling at each other, hands clasped between them, until Jonathan says, “By the powers vested in me by the state of Vermont, I now pronounce you married. You may kiss your husband.”

He’s vaguely aware of Frank taking more pictures and Jonathan still smiling at them while Will leans in, a soft smile on his lips as he slides a hand around the back of Finn’s neck and drags him forward to press their lips together. Finn laughs against his mouth, and it’s not much of a kiss because he can’t stop smiling, but Will doesn’t seem to mind. He’s grinning again when he pulls back, anyway, and when they look over at Frank they find him smiling too.

“Congratulations, gentlemen,” he says, smiling like he really is thrilled to be witnessing their marriage, even though he just met them yesterday. “I’ll have your marriage certificate and your photos ready for you at checkout.”

“Great, thanks,” Finn says, taking the hand Frank holds out and shaking it. They shake hands with Jonathan too, then they let Frank pose them for a few more shots in front of the lake before he follows Jonathan back to the house and leaves them on their own.

When Will reaches for his hand again Finn slides their fingers together, thumb tracing the familiar line of Will’s ring. And maybe it was kind of pointless to exchange rings, but it made the ceremony feel more...official, somehow, so he’s glad they went through with it. He’s just as glad to have his ring back, to know Will’s is back in place too and to know exactly what they mean.

“So,” Will says, his free hand landing on Finn’s hip, “do you feel married?”

“Yeah,” Finn answers, because he knows that’s what Will wants to hear, but that doesn’t make it any less true. He worried a little that it wouldn’t feel real without all their friends and family there to witness it, and he has a feeling Will was worried about the same thing. But it doesn’t matter that the service was short or that there were only two other people there. He meant every word he said during their wedding, and that’s enough to make it feel real for Finn. “What about you?”

“Honestly, I keep expecting to wake up from this amazing dream.”

It’s pretty sappy, but Finn knows exactly what he means. He’s had to stop from pinching himself a few times since Will agreed to elope, and until they actually got here and started talking to Frank about the ceremony, he kept expecting it all to fall apart. “No dream. This is the real deal, and now you’re stuck with me forever.”

“Now that definitely sounds too good to be true,” Will says, and he’s still smiling, but Finn knows he kind of means it. He kind of hoped once they tied the knot that Will would finally believe Finn wasn’t going to change his mind, but he’s not really surprised Will’s still expecting him to leave. So he just reaches up with his free hand to grip Will’s tie, then he drags him forward and kisses him hard.

“You heard what the man said. You and me, ‘til death do us part. Now let’s ditch the ties and go celebrate.”

He thinks about just dragging Will back upstairs to celebrate in private, but they’re already dressed up, and Frank made them dinner reservations at the one fancy restaurant in town. Any other day Finn would be thinking of at least half a dozen reasons not to go, but today’s not any other day.

“You sure you want to ditch the ties?” Will asks, glancing down to Finn’s hand where it’s still wrapped around Will’s tie.

Finn shrugs, but he has to admit Will looks pretty good in a tie. He’s glad there are pictures from today, because it might be a while before he gets to see Will dressed up like this again, and he doesn’t ever want to forget it. “You can keep yours, if you want.”

~

Will does wear his tie to dinner, and when they get back to their room at the end of the night, Finn uses it to pull him close again. He’s heard plenty about wedding nights, mostly while his mom was in the middle of planning Kurt’s big day, and most of the stories were about how exhausted the happy couple was after the ceremony and the reception, and how all they really wanted to do was pass out until it was time to leave for the honeymoon.

Their wedding night is nothing like that, but they don’t have the stress of a hundred guests and not enough time to eat dinner at their own reception. They get to eat dinner, then dessert, and Finn drinks wine even though it’s not really his thing. But it seems better for toasting than beer, and it makes Will happy to order for them, so Finn isn’t going to complain.

He doesn’t complain about going back to the inn afterwards and walking up the stairs hand in hand, closing the door to their room and taking their time peeling their clothes off. He doesn’t complain about the way Will’s hands move over his skin, slow and careful like he’s trying to prove they really do have all the time in the world. Or maybe just like he’s trying to memorize every single inch of Finn, like he hasn’t done that a hundred times over by now.

He can do it a hundred times more -- a thousand times -- and Finn won't complain about any of them. He's never going to have any complaints about the way Will kisses him like he's something special, or the way Will says his name like it's an answered prayer. So he lets Will touch him as much as he wants, and Finn touches him back, murmurs his name and then moans it in a broken voice, and when they collapse onto the sheets, flushed and panting and completely spent, Finn doesn't complain about the way Will reaches for his hand and holds on.

When he wakes up for the first time as a married man, Will’s propped up on one elbow and kind of smiling at him, like maybe he’s been watching Finn sleep for a while. “Hey.”

“Morning,” Will says, then he leans over and presses a kiss to Finn’s shoulder.

“What time is it?”

“Just after 9:00. If you want breakfast before we pack, we should get up.”

“Sure you don’t want to just stay here for a couple more days?” Finn asks, but he drags himself into a sitting position, letting the sheet pool around his waist and stretching his arms up over his head. “I’m pretty sure Frank would let us keep the room.”

“Tempting.” Will’s hand slides down his back as he says it, and Finn’s not sure if he means the idea of staying, or the sight of Finn’s bare skin. “But I believe I promised my husband a trip to the ocean.”

There’s a part of him that wants to tell Will to forget it, that they should just stay where they are and enjoy the rest of their honeymoon. But there’s another part of him that kind of likes the idea of driving down the coast with Will, finding motels to stay in along the way where they have a shower to themselves instead of sharing with every other guest in the inn. And anyway, there’s not much else to see in the little town where they’re staying, so unless they want to track down more scrap yards in the area, they might as well move on.

So they eat breakfast and then they get cleaned up, and when they check out Frank thanks them for staying and hands them a CD with the pictures from their wedding on it. Finn wishes they’d brought Will’s laptop so they could look at the pictures when they stop for the night, but they’ll be home in a few days, and he’s got Frank’s email address in case anything goes wrong with the files. They’ve got an invitation to come back any time, too, and Finn’s already thinking about whether or not they’ll want to splurge for an anniversary trip next year, or put the money toward the down payment on their house.

“Want me to drive for a while?” Will asks once their bags are in the truck and they’re ready to go. Finn nods and hands the keys over, then he climbs into the passenger seat and plugs in Will’s iPod so he can pull up their playlist. Some pop song he doesn’t recognize pours out of the speakers as Will turns onto the road, following the directions Frank gave them as he points the truck in the general direction of the coast.

Will’s singing along under his breath already, fingers tapping the rhythm against the steering wheel and a little smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. For a few minutes Finn just watches him, and when Will looks over and spots him he just smiles a little wider and reaches for Finn’s hand. His thumb slides along Finn’s ring like he used to do all the time when he first put it on, then he slides their fingers together and lets them rest on the seat between them.

“So how are we going to break the news to our folks?” Will asks when the song ends.

Finn shrugs as one of Will’s power ballads starts, grinning when he recognizes an Air Supply song. “Too bad we didn’t think to get Frank to take some pictures with one of our phones. Then I could just send a picture to Kurt and let him spread the news before we even get home.”

Will grins at the thought and squeezes Finn’s hand. “It’s not too late. We could always take a selfie at the beach.”

It won’t have the same impact as a picture of the two of them in their suits, but it would probably still get the point across. Knowing Kurt he’ll guess without even needing an explanation, then he’ll freak out and call his dad, and when Burt won’t tell him anything, Kurt will talk to Finn’s mom and the news will be all over town before the end of the day. They’ll still have to send out an announcement, especially if they want people to send them money, but at least the initial shock would be over with before they have to deal with anyone.

“I guess we could just change our Facebook statuses like Kurt and Puck did, that would probably do the trick too,” Finn says, but he’s already imagining the look on Kurt’s face when he gets a selfie of them at an actual beach.

“Whatever you want, Finn,” Will says, his smile shifting to something less amused and more affectionate. “We can do anything we want,” he adds, and Finn knows without a doubt that he means it.