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All Things Go

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Finn tells everybody that it’s the money, but it’s not the money, at least not the way people seem to think; it’s about not letting everybody down. Everybody wants him to enter the draft—Coach Meredith, Coach Clyde, Burt, his mom, his teammates—and nobody really has much to say against him entering it. He can tell Kurt and Puck aren’t thrilled about the idea, but they never tell him not to. They never say anything other than “You have to do what you think is best, Finn” and “You gotta decide for yourself.” Syd asks, “Are you sure about this, Finn?” He isn’t sure, but everyone else seems to be.

Whether or not he’s sure is no longer relevant, though, as he’s sitting in Radio City Music Hall in his pinstriped grey suit that Kurt picked out for him the previous summer. They’re all seated at large round tables stocked with water bottles, everybody dressed in nice clothes, and Audrey keeps climbing out of their mom’s lap to stand next to Finn, Kurt, or Puck and dance.

“Audrey, you need to sit down,” Carole fusses. “We can find you a chair if you don’t want to sit in my lap.”

“I want to dance!” Audrey says. “I have a dancin’ dwess!”

“It’s a beautiful dress, Audrey,” Rachel says from the other side of Carole. “I’m sure everyone notices how pretty it is.”

“You sure do, honey, but it’s too crowded in here to dance,” Burt says to Audrey, ignoring Rachel’s response to her, then turning back towards Finn and Puck. “So I think the Titans oughta go with that wide receiver out of Oregon, what’s his name. Keleigh.”

“Really?” Kurt says, looking skeptical. “I’d think they’d want to snatch up Fannin. They could use a cornerback that actually makes a few interceptions instead of waving his arms in the air like ‘pick me, pick me!’”

Finn puts the back of his hand to his mouth to hide his smile at the look on Burt’s face.

“Son, you been holding out on me?” Burt asks.

Kurt tilts his head. “What do you mean?” he says, a little too innocently. Burt doesn’t have a chance to do more than shake his head at Kurt before the room starts to get quiet because they’re about to announce the first draft pick.

On the video feed, the NFL Commissioner walks across the stage, and he stops at the podium. “With the first pick of the 2016 draft, the Tennessee Titans choose T. J. Keleigh of the University of Oregon.”

“Now they just need a quarterback who can throw something to him,” Puck says as the table where Keleigh is stands up. Kurt sniffs, like he doesn’t approve of the Titans’ selection, but doesn’t say anything.

Rachel frowns, almost comically. “It’s too bad you didn’t go first, Finn.”

“Didn’t want to live in Tennessee anyway. Fannin’ll go next,” Finn says, and sure enough, Fannin does go next, to the Bengals.

“I hope he likes animal prints,” Kurt says, glancing at the video feed of Fannin putting on a Bengals hat.

Finn’s phone rings then, and he hesitates for a second before he puts it to his ear. “This is Finn Hudson.”

“Bill Armory, Bears GM. We think you’ll want to hear this next pick, Hudson,” the man says, sounding jovial. “And let me be the first to welcome you to the Bears family.”

“Thanks,” Finn says. “That’s great, yeah.”

“Finn, who is that?” Carole asks, her face lighting up. Rachel looks like she’s about to say something, but Finn waves one hand at her and Carole to get them to be quiet, because he can hear the NFL Commissioner talking again, and the Bears GM is still talking, and that’s like two too many people talking for Finn to follow along.

“I think it’s probably the Bears,” Kurt says to Carole, gesturing to the video feed screen and then to Finn.

The Bears GM finally wraps up with, “…so we’ll talk at length tomorrow morning, Hudson! Have fun celebrating tonight!” before hanging up.

The NFL Commissioner has the Bears logo behind him now, and he keeps talking. “With the third pick of the first round, the Chicago Bears select Finn Hudson, University of Wisconsin.”

“It was the Bears, Mom,” Finn says, setting his phone down and standing up.

“I figured that out now!” Carole says, also standing up. “Oh my goodness! Congratulations, honey!” She almost elbows Puck out of the way to give Finn a hug. “What do you do now?”

“We pass him around like a trophy,” Puck answers her, “and then he goes and gets a baseball cap.”

“Which isn’t really appropriate to wear with a suit at any other time,” Kurt adds.

“This is the last time, I swear,” Finn tells Kurt, still feeling a little dazed.

“Promise?” Kurt asks, grabbing Finn and hugging him tightly. “I bet they think that kind of thing’s appropriate.”

“I’ll just tell ’em you said I’m not allowed to. They’ll understand,” Finn says, hugging Kurt back, then turning to Puck. “So, I’m a Bear!”

“Yeah, you are,” Puck says, putting his arms around Finn. “Guess you really did listen to me all these years.”

“Yeah, I guess so!” Finn says. There’s flashes from cameras all around him as he lets go of Puck and turns to give Burt a hug.

“I guess I can forgive you for not being a Brown,” Burt says, patting Finn on the back.

“Good thing,” Finn says. “Or Christmas might be uncomfortable.”

“Finn! Finn! Me!” Audrey says, hopping up and down. Finn picks her up, and she gives him a big kiss on the end of his nose. Rachel steps around Carole and gives Finn a hug while he’s still holding Audrey.

“This is so exciting, Finn!” Rachel says, and it probably makes a good photo, judging by the continued flashes.

“Are you supposed to go out on the stage now?” Carole asks, almost nervously.

“Yeah, I think so,” Finn says, handing Audrey off to Burt. “I’ll, uh… be right back, I guess!” Someone directs Finn to the curtain between the room with the tables and the room with the stage, and he accepts the Bears hat pressed into his hand without really looking at it. He puts the hat on his head and walks up the stairs and across the stage, where the Commissioner hugs him and gives him a Bears jersey with a big number eleven on it.

Finn poses for pictures with the Commissioner, then walks back down the stage, where he sorta-kinda answers a few questions from the media and poses for a few more pictures, though at least that’s it for pictures until the Bears press conference and inevitable photo op with Rachel tomorrow. Only about five minutes or so have passed before Finn returns to the room with the tables, but it feels like it’s been an hour. Kurt and Puck are standing along the back wall, next to the table with all the extra water bottles, talking about something. Kurt’s chin is up, his face almost set, and he’s nodding with whatever Puck’s saying.

"…waited three years, blue eyes. …four or five?" Puck's fist hits the wall. There's more words Finn can't make out. "He's still going to be a plane ride away. What do we fucking do now?"

Finn sighs and forces himself to keep the smile on his face. He knew the two of them weren’t happy about the draft, but they never said anything, never talked to him about. It’s true that he’ll still be a plane ride away, but it’s not forever. He can play for a few years, save up the money, and then come to New York and take care of all three of them.

Kurt shakes his head and murmurs something to Puck and then pauses, his lips quirking upward. “Keep marchin’ on?” he says with a little more volume.

Puck straightens and nods. “Yeah. I know. I know.” Puck picks up a water bottle. “Too bad he didn’t go at seven to the Jets. Think they set him free yet?”

Kurt looks up and around the room, then sees Finn and smiles. “There he is,” he says to Puck, and the two of them walk towards Finn.

“Hey, you guys,” Finn says, holding up his jersey. “They put an eleven on it and everything. I think the girls’ll be happy.”

Puck grins at him. “Yeah, there’ll probably be new T-shirts for them in a week.”

“Did you know that the Bears don’t have a cheerleading squad?” Kurt asks. “So you’re practically bringing them one.”

“Highest quality cheerleaders in the NFL,” Finn says. “I don’t think the Bears get to pick out their uniforms, though.”

“A fact that Syd will no doubt appreciate,” Puck says with a laugh. “I don’t think she would want anything like the girls wear in Dallas.”

“Finn!” Carole says from behind him. “Let’s see that jersey!”