Title: Gotta Start Somewhere
Author: Sapphire (sapphiresfic (LJ) / SapphireEJ (FF/DW/AO3) / EJ8302 (Tumblr/Twitter))
Characters/Pairing: Rachel, Puck, Rachel/Puck
Word Count: 4,220
Spoilers: Up to 1x13 ~ Sectionals; just to be safe
Summary: A birthday fic for elbbubniaevili who wanted a Rachel/Puck future-fic where they have an infant... Hope you like :D
Disclaimer: I am just borrowing them for the fun of writing, BUT I do own the plot and ideas.
A/N: Not beta'd; all mistakes are mine. Please mention them if you find any.
A/N2: Feedback is always loved :D
A/N3: This fic is in no way related to my epic series, 'Out of the Blue,' but since I had done a lot of research to pick the names for each character, the names of family members will be the same as in my series... So, maybe you can call this an 'Out of the Blue' AU?
Puck tapped his wedding ring on the steering wheel of his car, "damn it! Fucking Lima has traffic now?" He hissed sitting back in his seat.
"Daddy! Mommy says you're not supposed to say bad words," the child in the backseat reminded him.
He glared into the rear view mirror at his and his wife's seven year old daughter, "how about you don't repeat what I say and mom won't have to know," he suggested. "How did we get here?" Puck thought as he glanced at his ring before thinking back to their past.
Rachel had just graduated from Ohio State University as a music performance major in voice along with a minor in music education, so she could teach choir or vocal lessons, but her dream had been to pursue Broadway, so for her graduation present, Puck, being the always supporting husband, gave her a round trip ticket to New York City.
Puck had been out of school for a year; finishing up his first year as a gym teacher, football and basketball coach at William McKinley High School, but he had a feeling that he'd be handing over the reins as soon as Rachel found her calling in New York.
She left in the middle of June, just a week after she graduated, in hopes she could be cast in a musical quickly so Abigail, their six year old, could join her and start kindergarten in New York, Puck following soon after, but he got a shocking email just before their wedding anniversary; the second half of the plane ticket had been activated, meaning Rachel was coming home. It'd been three days since they had last spoken; if she wasn't seeing a play or auditioning, Kurt was showing her around. The flight information in the email was for the next day, but he chose not to wait to find out and dialed Rachel's number, hoping she would answer. "Hello sweetheart," she said, greeting him.
Puck could tell she was tired, "hey, how's my beautiful wife?" He asked curiously.
"I'm alright, could be better," she admitted.
He rubbed his forehead, "is that why you're coming home?" He asked softly.
"How did you ---"
"I got an email that you'd activated the return part of the ticket," he replied, "I just got worried, that's all."
"Oh," the line was silent for a long moment before she said, "this life isn't for me anymore, Noah."
"What do you mean, Rachel, of course it is!" He said a little louder than necessary, but he was shocked at her words.
"No, it's not. I'm from Lima, Ohio, not New York and there are a thousand other girls here doing the exact same thing I am, except they've got the experience that I don't have. One casting agent told me I wasted money on school and should have come to New York as soon as I graduated from high school," she replied sadly.
He could hear her tears building and his heart ached, "baby, I'm so sorry," he whispered, "this is all my---"
"Don't you dare apologize for being the best thing that ever happened to me! You and Abigail are my life now and I shouldn't have had to come here to figure it out," she sobbed.
His own tears fell from his eyes, "I love you, Rachel."
"I know you do, Noah. I love you, too," she paused, sniffling lightly, "I was going to call tomorrow and ask you to come get me," she said softly, "but I guess I don't need to now."
"Tell me when and we'll be there," he replied quickly, "anything for you."
After twenty-three years of dreams, Rachel gave up on Broadway and returned to her former high school, teaching choir at McKinley that September and joined Will as co-director of the Glee club. Though Puck was happy to have her working with him, since he was teaching gym and coaching football and basketball there, he couldn't help wonder if it was the right thing to let her give it all up.
Puck's answer came the following February, when he and his wife were sitting down to a quiet Valentine's Day dinner for two. She told him all her life she has wanted two things; to be a Broadway star and to have a family. She tried Broadway and it didn't work out, and though she was sad, she admitted that she would not give up her family for anything and handed him a black and white photo; seconds later Puck was staring at a sonogram print out; she was pregnant and due just after the new school year started in September.
"Daddy, are we there yet?" Abby asked from the backseat.
Puck sighed as he shook from the memory and continued on the drive, "almost, sweetheart," he replied finally pulling into the hospital's parking lot and driving around to find a spot, taking one near his mom's car.
"Grandma's here!" Abby smiled, as she unbuckled her seat belt and opened the door.
"Hold on there, kiddo, don't need you taking off on me," Puck reminded her as he slipped out of the car and walked around to meet her on the other side.
"Can I see mommy?" She asked happily.
"Of course you can, she wants to see you," he replied, taking her small hand and guiding them towards the entrance of the hospital and over to the birthing wing, "the last time I was here, you came into my life," he explained, the memories of the day she was born filtering into his mind.
"Really?" She asked squeezing his hand as they walked.
"Yeah," he nodded and leaned down, scooping her up and carrying her the rest of the way.
Reaching the birthing wing, Puck stopped at the desk and checked them in and got badges to wear to prove they were supposed to be there and a nurse unlocked the secure doors and let them go inside, Puck walking down the familiar hallway, stopping short when he saw his mom and one of Rachel's dad's standing in the hallway. "Hey, everything alright?"
His mom laughed, "oh yeah, but Abigail, if your mom says any bad words, I don't suggest you repeat them."
"She's already damned you to the seventh level of hell," Alan commented. "And plans to personally give you a vasectomy," he added, patting his son-in-law on the shoulder.
Deborah rolled her eyes at Alan's words, "and this is just the beginning, we haven't actually gotten to the birth yet."
Puck groaned loudly, "can't she get something for the pain?"
Deborah replied, "she has, so by now it'll have kicked in. It shouldn't be too long either, her contractions are pretty close together."
Nodding, he stepped into the room where Rachel's other dad, David, was sitting on a chair by the bed, talking quietly to her. "Hey, look who's here," Puck said softly.
Rachel turned her head to them and smiled, "hey baby girl," she whispered.
Puck looked at his wife as he stepped closer gently setting Abby on the edge of the bed as he leaned over and kissed Rachel on the forehead, "hey beautiful," he murmured, gently brushing his hand across her cheek. Her eyes were red from crying from the pain, her forehead was covered in sweat, but to him, she was beautiful.
"Mommy, how much longer?" Abby asked curling up next to her.
Rachel wrapped her arm around their daughter and kissed her gently on the forehead, "don't know, honey, soon, I hope," she said softly. Rachel was content to keep Abigail there, but immediately felt another contraction coming, "baby, you're gonna have to get up," she said quickly.
Puck helped Abigail down from the bed and David stood up, holding out his hand to her, "come on Abby, lets go see what your grandpa and grandma are up to," he said calmly, wanting to get her out of the room before Rachel got further into the contraction and screamed something she might regret their daughter hearing.
Sliding onto the bed where Abigail had just been sitting, Puck leaned over her gently, setting one hand next to her and looked at her, "contraction?"
Biting her lip, she looked up at him, "it hurts, Noah, really bad," she replied as tears fell from her eyes.
Puck reached up and brushed them away, "I know it hurts and I wish I could take it all away," he whispered, "I hate seeing you like this," as his words flowed off his tongue, her face cringed and she leaned her head back, trying to breathe through the pain and Puck found himself mirroring her, unsure if he was 'coaching' her or keeping himself clam.
"Okay," she gasped a little, "that... didn't hurt as bad," she admitted, "the medicine must have kicked in."
Deborah walked in and smiled at them, resting a hand on her son's shoulder, "the doctor just got here. A nurse is going to come in and check you out," she said softly.
Rachel nodded and looked at her husband, "did you ever think when you sang 'Sweet Caroline' to me, that we'd be here?"
He took her question in and remained silent for a moment, "no, not at that moment, but when you came to me and apologized for telling Finn the truth and wanted us to get back together, I knew we could be here someday," he whispered, "and I thank God everyday we are."
Rachel choked out a sob and leaned forward, wrapping her arms around him the best she could and hugged him, "I love you, Noah."
"I love you, too, Rachel," he replied, pulling away to gently kiss her lips, but stopped slowly as he heard footsteps, knowing the nurse had come in.
"Sorry to interrupt," the young nurse said stepping around the curtain.
The couple parted, Puck standing up, "it's alright," Rachel said to her.
The nurse nodded and gently checked her out and then smiled at her, "ten centimeters, it's time to have a baby," she commented, disposing of the gloves and stepping out of the room to pass on the news.
While Puck had gone to get Abigail at school, Rachel had 'activated' the original New Direction's phone tree, by texting Mercedes and Quinn. Both promised to let everyone know and Finn, the 'assistant coach' of the football team promised he'd take care of the game that night, so Puck could stay with Rachel at the hospital. With the news that Rachel was ready to deliver, Deborah came in passing on that his sister had gotten there from school and was in the hallway, and Will, Emma, Mercedes, Matt, Quinn, Tina, Artie, Mike, Brittany and Santana were all in the waiting room. Finn missing because of the game and Kurt absent due to living in New York. Of the family and friends there for them, Puck, Deborah and David were the only ones who were going to be in the room during the birth.
With her husband to her left, and her dad on the right, Rachel clamped down on their hands, both men knowing they'd be her support and would help her push while Deborah stood back a little to record the birth for them; the only one not uneasy by the view since she'd experienced it before as a nurse and as a mom herself.
Looking into Rachel's eyes, Puck could see her fear covering up every other emotion and he knew she wouldn't be able to go on without something, so he leaned forward so only she could hear him and sang to her, "where it began, I can't begin to know when, but that I know it's growing strong. Wasn't the Spring, and Spring became the Summer. Who'd believe you'd come along? Hands, touching hands, reaching out, touching me, touching you... Oh, Sweet Caroline, good times never seem so good, I've been inclined, to believe it never would." Pulling back, he pressed a loving kiss to her lips, "you can do this, baby, and I'm right here with you," he promised her.
Blinking back the tears from the pain and the most romantic thing he could do at the moment, she nodded and took a deep breath, glancing at him one more time before following the doctor's directions to push. Fighting through the pain, on her first push, their child's head came out, but she couldn't push right away, whimpering at the pain she was feeling. With another sweet pep-talk from her husband, she got a second wind and pushed again, holding it this time, screaming out as she had to hold it, but all the pain was worth it as a newborn cry echoed through the room; her doctor calling out, "it's a boy!"
Rachel slouched back against the pillows as she sobbed, sharing a long look with her husband before they both watched the nurses carefully clean their son off and asked Puck to come over. Puck reluctantly left his wife's side to cut the cord and he stood by as the nurse weighed him and took his measurements before wrapping him up in a blanket and turning to his father, "Mr. Puckerman, meet your son," she said gently laying him into his father's waiting arms.
Puck looked down at the tiny child who was less fussy now that he was warm from the blanket and blinked back his tears as he held him for the first time, "hey there little guy," he whispered, carefully leaning to press a kiss to his tiny forehead as he walked to the bed where Rachel was and turned to show her their son. Rachel reached up and brushed her hand along his soft cheek, "he's so handsome," she smiled, "just like his father."
Grandma Puckerman had given up on filming and went to take pictures, able to get several of daddy holding his new son and one of the parents together as Rachel held him, before they had to hand off their son to Rachel's dad, so Puck could help Rachel move over to the other bed in the room where she'd be recovering.
The two grandparents in the room cooed over the small child and once Rachel was settled, Deborah laid their son in her arms and Puck sat on the edge of the bed looking down at his son, "I guess I should go let everyone know," he murmured.
Rachel smiled, her eyes never leaving their son's, "hurry back," she replied turning to press a kiss to her husband's lips before he got up.
Puck started to leave the room, glancing back at his wife and son before continuing out to the waiting room to greet their friends and family. As soon as Abigail saw him, she ran over to him and he scooped her up and hugged her tightly, "it's a boy," he called out, a smile on his face. He and Rachel knew the sex, but chose to keep it a secret from everyone else, so as they came over to congratulate him, Mercedes was already on the phone to Kurt with plans for a "post-birth baby shower slash meet the new baby" party.
"Can we see them?" Tina asked.
"Yeah, just check in and you can go back," he replied glancing at the nurse.
While everyone checked in, those who already had badges, his sister, Rachel's dad and Abigail went with Puck; heading back to the room, giving the family a chance to see him first. Once back, they found Rachel sitting up a little more and was still holding her son, looking up at them all with a bright smile, "Abigail, come meet your brother," she said patting the side of the bed next to her.
Puck set their daughter down on the bed and smiled as she leaned over, "he's so small," she said, "what's his name?"
Rachel looked up at her husband and their family before turning back to her, "Abigail Marie meet Aaron James," Rachel smiled, "Aaron is your dad's middle name and James because we thought it went well," she replied.
"Can I hold him?" Abigail asked, "I'll be careful."
Rachel exchanged a glance with Puck and he nodded, "just do what mom says," he replied.
Abigail shifted a little so she was closer to Rachel, holding out her arms, "I held Auntie Quinn's baby when he was born," Abigail reminded them as Puck knelt down to help her if she needed it.
"That's right, you did," Puck agreed, remembering just a few months back when Cory Hudson came into the world, Finn and Quinn's first child.
For the next few hours, friends and family carefully passed Aaron around, holding him for a short time making sure someone got pictures for the baby scrapbook Rachel was starting, like she had done for Abigail, but as it got later into the evening, Rachel was exhausted. One-by-one, their friends left, until it was just the small Puckerman/Berry family, but they soon left, Abigail going home with Puck's mom and sister, so he could stay at the hospital. While Rachel slept, a doctor stopped by to check on Aaron, and passed on to Puck that if Rachel and Aaron continued to progress as they were, they'd both be released the next afternoon, which Puck was happy to hear and made sure to send a message out to all their friends and family, asking them to call or text before they came back in case they'd been checked out already.
After a long nap, Rachel woke to nurse her son and Puck carefully laid him in her arms, sitting on the edge of the bed watching her, "I'm so proud of you, Rachel," he whispered.
She tore her eyes from their son to look up at her husband and smiled, "you did really well yourself, Noah," she replied, "singing 'Sweet Caroline' to me."
"I thought it might help," he agreed, leaning forward to press a kiss to her lips.
"It did, a lot," she admitted. Rachel looked down at their son and smiled, "you, Abigail and Aaron are far better than a life on Broadway," she told him. "I wouldn't trade these feelings for anything," she added looking up at him, "this is where I wanted to be all along, Noah. Right here, with you, having your children and being a wife to the best husband in the world."
Puck's breath caught in his throat as she spoke, feeling the tears in his eyes spill over. He was unable to speak, so he chose to lift his hand and gently brush it along her cheek before carefully leaning in and capturing her lips in a loving kiss, drawing it out as long as he could, only stopping when their son wanted attention.
Already proving to be his father's son, once Aaron James was content, he was put back in his bassinet in Rachel's room, giving the couple a moment together. Puck sat on the edge of the bed again and looked at his wife, "that means the world to me, what you told me."
She smiled, "it's the truth, Noah."
"I know it is. I never wanted to push the issue before, I was afraid to upset you, but if this is what you want, you've got it. I'll do anything in my power to give you what you want," he whispered.
"I know you will, baby," she replied.
He could tell she was tired, so he pulled her blankets up and sat there with her, promising her he'd be there when she woke up and once her eyes drifted closed and her breathing evened out, he carefully moved off the bed and slid into the chair next to her and kicked back, closing his eyes to get some sleep, but knew he would keep waking up to check on his wife and son.
She slept as much as she could and when her doctor stopped by in the morning to check her over, she was given a clean bill of health and was told she could go home, but of course, she refused to even think that until their son had been seen by a pediatrician and was able to leave, too. It was only another few hours before momma and baby were being wheeled out to Puck's waiting car, where the baby carrier was buckled into the backseat by daddy as the nurse helped Rachel get into the passenger seat.
Once Puck was sure Rachel and Aaron were safely buckled up, he nodded his thanks to the nurse and slid into the driver's seat, "are you ready to go home, babe?" He asked, glancing at his wife.
Rachel smiled and turned to look into the backseat, "yeah, I'm ready. Lets go home, daddy," she replied.
It was mid-October and Puck was sitting on the first row of the bleachers, glancing between the clipboard in his hand with the team roster and some plays he wanted to fix, to the football field where Finn was, explaining a new play to some of the team. While Puck was looking down at the plays, he heard footsteps, but didn't think much of them; the Cheerios were practicing and some of the guys were jogging, so anyone could walk up, but then the footsteps stopped near him and he heard the words, "do you miss it?"
His head whipped up to see his wife, dressed in a jean skirt and the same blue and green striped sweater as she had worn many years ago on the very day when she broke up with him and he shook his head, "hell no," he said, his eyes landing on their son in her arms, bundled up in warm clothes and a blanket.
Puck's next set of words were cut off, when she held up a hand, "I hope you didn't choose Glee over football because of me."
He narrowed his eyes at those words, all of them stinging and bringing up memories he'd rather forget. "Why?" He asked quickly, sitting up, now confused about her visit.
The calm look on her face, changed to a smile and slid gently down on his lap, "because we could have made it work out; if we're meant to be, then it would have worked out and I wish I could take that conversation back," she whispered motioning towards the bleachers.
"So you're not breaking up with me?" He asked calmly. As she shook her head 'no,' he sighed in relief, "oh thank God," he muttered, slipping his arm around her back as he looked at their son, "don't scare me like that, babe," he replied.
"I'm sorry I scared you," she admitted, "but I always wanted to make things right. Being up here reminds me of the day I could have lost you forever and I regret saying those words."
"Never have regrets," he told her, gently taking their son from her and looking down into the eyes of the five-week old child, "if we hadn't broken up back then, right here on these very bleachers, what we have now could be a distant memory and our son and daughter might not exist. Just the thought of that hurts more than what you told me back then," he told her, pressing a gentle kiss to his son's forehead.
"But I did hurt you," she said softly, "I broke-up with you," she added, ducking her head to hide her tears.
"Yeah you did," he agreed, placing one hand under her chin, gently lifting her head up to see the tears and quickly wiped them away with his thumb before continuing, "but you told me the truth and that's something no one else had done before. They were always afraid to say the wrong thing because I would have thrown them in a dumpster or slushied them."
Rachel smirked at his explanation and nodded, "doesn't mean I can't be upset about it."
"No, it doesn't, but you shouldn't be," he replied, "what brought all this on, anyway?" He asked gently, handing their son back to her.
She gently cradled their son and loosened the blanket to free one of his arms, his hand immediately grabbing onto her index finger, "I just got thinking about our week fling when you sang 'Sweet Caroline' to me and I kind of had a mini-meltdown when it hit me how stupid I was," she admitted, an embarrassed blush creeping onto her cheeks. "It's almost eight years to the day," she whispered.
Puck thought back to the day, the date foggy, but he did remember it was in October, "yeah it was, but officially we started going out two months later, so we weren't broken up for that long, babe."
Rachel sighed, glancing out onto the field and then back at him, "I know, but it was two months too long, Noah. Thinking back to how I felt that day when I watched you walk away... I thought it was the end," she whispered.
He placed his hands on his wife's cheeks and leaned in, gently pressing a kiss to her lips before pulling back and wiping her tears away, "it was an end... An end to a fling and the beginning of the rest of our lives together. Relationships gotta start somewhere."
Music: Yep, Puck whispered 'Sweet Caroline' to Rachel... Original song by Neil Diamond, but I only listen to Mark Salling's version now. ;)
Conversation: Kindda used a few words from the bleacher scene in Mash-up, 1x08.
A/N4: Wow, I'm proud of myself! Less than 48 hours and I suggested a birthday-fic, got a response, came up with an idea from her response, started writing, edited and posted it... :D Let me know what you all think!
A/N5: Happy Birthday, Ilyssa (elbbubniaevili)! Hope you like it! :D
Tags: fan fiction, glee, gotta start somewhere, puck, puck/rachel, puckleberry, rachel, rachel/puck
Current Mood: giddy