Hello everyone,

I hope you are all well. Happy Sunday and happy last day of August.

Warnings for this chapter: This is the final chapter to Baby Steps

As always - thanks to to NayaFan, UnholyUnderBoob, & Beaner008 for their inspiration and encouragement. Also, many thanks to my followers, reviewers, and the people who send me lovely PM's and reminded me how much they like this story and why I continue to write it. I thank you all for coming on this journey with me. A five month journey, that while rocking at times, I'm glad I did it. All reviews are welcome and I want to thank you all again.

Be well friends

Marley sat at the kitchen table with her legos and was building and unbuilding. Nothing particular was being constructed or deconstructed she was just keeping busy while Santana fixed her a snack. Breakfast had been a long ordeal, not because there were any tantrums or melt downs, but everyone was so tired from all the drama the night before. Quinn and Noah were in the bathroom getting ready, Kurt was at a recording session and Santana and Marley were both dressed and in the kitchen. "What are you building love?" Santana asked her kindly and Marley shrugged. "Fair enough, can Mommy build too? We'll eat our snack together and build a tower, how's that?" she asked and Marley seemed to like that idea.

Santana pulled the cheese sticks out of the oven and the marinara sauce out of the microwave. She put it all on the table and Marley smiled. She liked cheese sticks and Santana always made them just right. Rachel usually burnt the ends and Kurt left the middles frozen. She reached for a cheese stick and carefully broke it apart and before dipping it in the sauce. She was very intent on eating which Santana was grateful for. "So my daring girl, do you know what we're doing today?" she asked.

"Um, you an Auntie Quinn go work an' Noah an' me an' Nanny in a diff'n room," she said softly.

"You are the best listener ever," Santana told her and she gave her a kiss to her cheek.

"Mommy?" she asked. "Why you make me do dis now?" she asked softly as she raised her hand. She wanted to know the answer and Baby Girl Marley knew it was safe to ask all this. Big Girl Marley was hiding away somewhere and trembling violently and the only reason Santana knew that to be fact was because as Marley ate her cheese stick, her hand shook all over the place.

"Well, you know how sometimes people can get very upset and cry a lot?" Santana asked and Marley looked unsure. This did not sound like a good discussion. "It's okay baby, I cry a lot when I get really scared too," Santana said.

"You nev-ah kye Mommy," Marley smiled at her. "You b'ave an' st'ong," she told her.

"Mommy's brave and strong? Well thank you very much, but I assure you that I do cry," Santana told her. "But sometimes when anyone cries they get really really upset and it's hard to calm down and listen to what's going on around them, so when I see you get like that, I ask you to raise your hand, so I know you're calm and you can hear me fully," Santana said. She was dancing around the issue as best she could. She was fairly sure that she shouldn't tell the toddler before her that she sometimes went deaf when she was very upset.

Marley seemed content with this answer and ate her snack slowly and carefully, pretty much all on her own, having Santana feed her the very last bite, before Noah and Quinn finally emerged from the bathroom. "Mommy? When I be big I still do dis?" she asked raising her hand.

"Marley, I will only ever ask you raise your hand, if I think you're too upset to fully hear me. Do you want a different signal maybe?" Santana offered and Marley seemed to think about that for a moment. It was as good a signal as anything else, so she shook her head.

"No, is okay," she said finally and she put together a few more blocks. "Mommy? What we do wif Nanny?" she asked.

"I'm not sure. Maybe you and Noah will watch a movie or play some games, or color, or go on the rocking horse. I don't know if he's seen that, I'm sure he'd love it if you showed it to him," Santana said and Marley's eyes brightened. She loved that rocking horse, more than any other toy in the room.

"Where Papa?" she asked

"Papa is at a recording session today," Santana said.

"Wha' dat?" she asked.

"Well, he goes to a studio and they give him a piece of paper and he has to read what's on it. Once he learns the lines, the producer tells him how to say it. If he should change his voice to be higher or lower, or maybe he has to sound sad, or maybe happy, or maybe romantic, but they give him instructions and then he does it and they keep doing it, until the producer is happy with what they hear," Santana explained.

"What he cording?" Marley asked.

"Papa got a job for a big ad agency, so he's recording a commercial. One day we will hear Papa's voice on television," Santana said.

"Yay Papa!" Marley smiled clapping her hands for him.

"Yes, yay Papa," Santana smiled and she leaned in and kissed Marley on the tip of her nose. "I love you," she said.

"I love you too Mommy," Marley grinned.

Susan opened the door to the nursery and smiled when she saw Marley sitting on the rocking horse, explaining it to Noah. "Come, you sit wif me, an we can play togeth-ah," she grinned and Quinn felt Noah go tense. He seemed to be uneasy in the nursery where as Marley seemed perfectly at ease.

"Well, well, I have two lovely friends joining me today," Susan smiled when she walked into the room.

"Nanny!" Marley cried happily. "Nanny, dis is Noah. Hims my bruh-va," she said proudly and she didn't notice his face fall a little bit. He wanted to be so much more than her brother.

"Well it's nice to meet you Noah, my name is Nanny Susan, but you can just call me Nanny, like Marley does," she told him. "Since you are Marley's brother, does that mean Santana is your Mommy?" she asked and Noah immediately liked this woman. She was kind and caring and didn't show any tones of judgement in her voice. However, he was now somehow embarrassed and decided he didn't want to answer, so Marley spoke for him.

"Nanny, his mouf hurts him. Terri was very mean to him too, but he's getting better. He'll be able to say them soon," she smiled as she rocked on the horse.

"That's very good news, are you showing him how to play on the horse?" she asked.

"Mhmm, I want to ride togevah, can we?" she asked.

"Carefully yes, you can," Susan smiled and Quinn looked at Noah.

"Would you like help bud? You can ride with Marley if you like," she offered. He nodded so she smiled and guided Noah up on to the horse. "Hold on to Marley buddy," Quinn told him and Marley used her own hands to wrap Noah's around her waist and then she snuggled into him. He was warm and smelled good to her. She liked cuddling with him. She sometimes wished she could lay with her entire family all the time. They all made her feel so safe and comfortable, and today would be better, because even though her Mommy was leaving for a little while, she still had Noah with her and Nanny was a very nice woman in general.

Quinn and Santana moved back slowly, watching Nanny Susan interact with the little ones and Quinn wrapped Santana in a tight hug. "He is freaking out and trying to remain calm all at the same time. I don't know that this is a good idea," she whispered.

"He'll be fine. I'm pretty sure Nanny will make sure he doesn't hyperventilate or freak out," Santana said.

"You're not helping," Quinn grimaced.

"Okay, so tell me what you're afraid of," Santana said softly.

"He sees her be a baby at home, so to speak, and to a degree he's my baby, our baby, but he's not into this. This is too much for him. I can see it in his eyes," Quinn said protectively.

"Well do you want to talk to him about it before we leave?" Santana asked her.

"Well what do you recommend I tell him?"

"I don't know," Santana said. "What are you most concerned about?" she pressed, wanting to help her girlfriend out as much as possible, but when she looked over all she saw were two little ones playing on the rocking horse.

"I just don't want him to think I'm forcing him into this world that he doesn't seem to want," she said.

"Then you should pull him aside and tell him that," Santana said seriously but kindly.

Quinn nodded and carefully moved back into their personal space. "Noah buddy, can I talk to you for one quick minute?" she asked him and he slipped off the horse carefully with Nanny's guidance, she didn't touch him, and then he walked over to Quinn rather quickly and Marley looked concerned.

"I come?" Marley asked.

"No lady bug, stay there, we'll just be a quick minute, I promise," Quinn smiled at her and she took Noah's hand and lead him over to the bank of counter tops. "Buddy, are you okay?" she asked him.

"I fine," he said softly.

"Okay, because if you aren't, I want you to tell me," she said gently, petting his hair and lacing her fingers into his with her free hand, knowing that was a comfortable feeling for him. "I just want you to be assured of something before I leave for a little while okay? If you don't want to do something, Nanny Susan will not force you. Marley is comfortable around all the baby like things, but if you aren't, that is totally okay, and we won't force you okay?" she asked him, trying to look him in the eye and be serious with him, show him she cared and wanted nothing but the best for him.

"It okay Kin, I okay. Mar-ree i' happy. I okay," he told her.

"I'm glad that you know Marley is happy, but I want you to be happy too okay? You are just as important and loved as Marley is," she told him. He nodded and squeezed her hand.

"I okay Kin, go an' den come back," he said. She smiled kissed his cheek, and then she and Santana left the room.

"Noah," Marley said kindly. "You come rock wif me?" she asked him.

"Okay," he said and Susan stood back and watched. He carefully put his arms out and she guided him toward the rocking horse and she clapped her hands for him when he got to her. She took his hand and his heart melted. He thought she was the best woman on the planet and when Marley touched him, the feelings he had for her, grew exponentially. He could only hope that she felt the same as he did.

Santana was panting heavily as she laid on the floor, covered in a fine sheen of sweat and Danielle knelt next to her, helping her to sit up and giving her a cup of water to sip from. "How do you feel now Miss Rivers?" she smirked.

"Where's Quinn?" she panted.

Danielle shook her head and sighed. "Only you would ask about someone else when you're asked to answer a question about yourself," she sighed. "Quinn is in the other room, so I don't know anything about what's going on with her. What I need to know, is what's going on with you," Danielle said.

"I need a new house to hold six people. My little girl is much closer to becoming potty trained, so to speak, and Quinn's "little boy" who is potentially not so little is in love with Marley," Santana said and then took a sip of water. "Does that answer all your questions?" she asked.

"Yes, you fresh little brat," Danielle laughed. "Tell me more about the house," she said. It wasn't a question. They weren't in the session any more. Santana had her orgasm and time was officially over, but she was a co-worker who was asking simple general questions, so she decided that it would be okay to share information.

"My room mate may very well have a good job lined up, and if all goes well, we're all going to pool our money and buy a house, somewhere just outside the city. We need more space, the six of us together are stepping on each other and while Quinn wasn't going to move in with us, she is now, because we're, well we rely on each other. She needs guidance for dealing with little ones, if she in fact has a little one, we still aren't sure," Santana said trying to be vague.

"I think it's great that the "kids' are latching on to each other. I think it's a very smart move for you all to stay together," Danielle offered. "And I may be able to help you out a bit with the house thing. My real estate agent is wonderful and if you give her your budget and must have list, I'm sure she'll be able to help you out. Do you want her card?" Danielle offered.

"Yes, that would be great," Santana said honestly and Danielle smiled.

"Stay here, drink more water, I'll go get the information and bring it back to you," she said and stepped out of the room.

Santana leaned back on the exam table and breathed a sigh of relief. The door clicked and Santana turned to see Quinn entering. "I wasn't expecting to see you," she smiled as Quinn came closer and climbed up on the exam table with her, kissing her cheek, the two of them rolling on their sides in order to be in the small space together.

"Did you enjoy your session?" Quinn asked kissing Santana quickly on the lips.

"I did, and don't be too affectionate, Mercy is on her way back with info on her real estate agent and the only ones who know about us, are Berry, Hummel, and the kids," she said softly.

"I'm not going to tell anyone," Quinn promised.

"What kind of house would you like to think about?" Santana asked her.

"We should have the kids draw it up for us. A basic floor plan; bedrooms and bathrooms and such. We can help them and then this way, we all get our say as to what will be best for all of us," Quinn said thoughtfully.

"I like that," Santana smiled. "Now stand back up, Mercy is going to be here any second," she said. Quinn playfully slapped the underside of Santana's thigh and then kissed her fiercely.

"You're fresh," Quinn scolded playfully and then stood up the second Mercy stepped into the room.

"Hi Quinn, I didn't know you'd be finished so soon. I hear you're looking for a house, so here's my agent's card. She is fabulous," Danielle grinned.

"Thanks Dani, we appreciate it. The "kids" appreciate it too, but I don't know that they would be able to verbalize that to you, without freaking out," Quinn said kindly.

"Don't worry, I wouldn't subject them to me. I'm frightening," she giggled.

"You're wonderful," Santana smiled and she sat up on the exam table and kissed Danielle gently on her cheek.

"Made you feel good there, did she?" Quinn smirked and Santana nodded but blushed. She wasn't sure if Quinn was getting jealous or not.

"She did," she said and she smiled at Quinn with her eyes. The two of them were very careful at the club. No one had figured them out, as far as they were aware.

"I'm just doing my job. I will leave you to clean up and discuss things with each other and possibly your kids," she said and with a quick kiss to each of them, she left the room.

Santana grabbed Quinn when she wasn't expecting it and pulled her into the tightest hug she could. "You make me feel better. You do things to me, that no one else could possibly know about," she whispered hotly in Quinn's ear.

"You do similar things," Quinn said. "I think I'd like to spank you though. Telling another woman she's fabulous right in front of me," Quinn scolded.

"But Quinn," Santana said trying to back pedal as fast as she could.

Quinn chuckled and pulled Santana close. "Stop. I'm teasing. I did the same thing, you just weren't in the room. Focus though babe. Tell me about this house thing. When do we call this woman, Molly apparently, and when do we bring this up to the kids. Also when do we go get the kids, I'm worried about Noah," she said honestly.

"I love you," Santana grinned and she pulled Quinn down to the exam table, lying on top of her, and covering her in sweet little kisses.

"Stop," Quinn giggled. "We're gonna get caught, and you don't want anyone to know," she said smiling happily and Santana placed kisses in all very random places on her body.

"I'm wound up and you're just too delicious, I can't just stop," Santana said.

"You're a dork," Quinn said rolling her eyes and she lifted up slightly and gave her a passionate kiss.

The girls walked into the nursery and Marley seemed to be angry, because she and Noah were fighting and Nanny Susan was just sitting back on guard, waiting to stop a physical violence should it occur, but that didn't seem to be happening.

"No! I'm not bad!" Marley yelled.

"I didn't ay you were!" Noah yelled back at her. He really wanted his S's to come back. If he spoke softly they did, but the louder he got, the harder it was to articulate things.

"Yes you did!" she accused him.

"No!" he defended. "I ay I didn't want to. I never ay you couldn't!"

"It's no fun without you!"

"I don't want to. I don't like it!"

"It's not a baby game! Mommy plays it with me!" she yelled.

"I don't want to!" he repeated angrily and Santana raised her hand and smiled at Susan.

"Is everything alright?" she asked her.

"Oh yes, they've been doing this for a while now, but it's nothing I haven't heard my own children do," Susan smiled.

"Mommy!" Marley cried and she crawled over to Santana and then pulled herself up to standing, with minimal effort. "Mommy, make Noah play with me," she demanded.

"Excuse me little one, that is not how you talk to anyone at all, you know much better," Santana scolded her.

"Auntie Quinn, make him," she whined softly.

"Ah, ah, ah, no, look at me now," Santana said sternly. She wasn't messing around with this. "Marley Rose, what is Mommy's number one rule?" she asked her seriously and Marley clammed up. She didn't want to say, because she knew she'd broken it. "I can be very patient when necessary little girl," Santnaa said seriously.

Marley huffed and decided to answer. "Be p'lite," she mumbled.

"And were you just now?" Santana asked.

Marley thought about it for a moment, replaying it in her head. "Auntie, please make him play with me," she tried.

"Nice try, but no. You are trying to force Noah to play a game he doesn't want to play?" Santana asked her.

"He said it was a baby game and it isn't, cause you play it with me and Mama does too," she whined.

"I DID NOT!" Noah shouted.

"Noah, do not shout," Quinn scolded calmly.

"Calm down," Santana said kindly. "What game is it?" Santana asked.

"Dat one," Marley said slipping into her younger state, feeling she was safer there, as she pointed to the see and say that was on the floor.

"Noah doesn't have to play with that, if he doesn't want to. You could always ask Nanny Susan to play with you," Santana said.

"But I wanna pway wif Noah," she whined and Santana glanced at the clock.

"Well right now, you are going to apologize to Nanny Susan for having a screaming match in her room, and then you are going to apologize to Noah for trying to force him to do something he didn't want to do, and then we are going to go home and you are going to have your snack," Santana said and Marley pouted. None of that sounded fun to her.

"But Mommy," she whined.

"No buts young lady, apologize to Nanny Susan," Santana said and she kissed her cheek and carefully backed away. Marley slowly slipped down to the floor and crawled over to Nanny Susan, on the verge of tears.

"I sorries Nanny," she whimpered.

"Come here darling," Susan said kindly and she drew Marley up into her arms and hugged her. "Nanny loves you very much my sweet girl and that was a very nice apology. You listened very well to what Mommy told you," Susan said and she nodded but still whimpered. She didn't want to apologize to Noah though. He'd made her angry and hurt her feelings. He played all these games with her at home. They played with light brights and legos, her wooden letter blocks, her little piano, all of the "baby" toys that she had, but now that they were out, he wouldn't play with her. Big girl Marley figured he was embarrassed to be seen with her and Baby girl Marley simply took it as an insult that he didn't want to play.

"One more Marley, you're doing very well," Santana said, encouraging Marley to move along. She felt better after her session and things seemed a bit clearer. Scolding Marley wasn't as tough as it was hours ago. She made a mental note to give Quinn a proper thank you later that evening.

"But Mommy," Marley whined.

"I don't have all day baby, come on, apology and then home for lunch," Santana said.

"Fine, I sorries," she pouted and Santana went to scold her but Quinn held up her hand. She heard something in Marley's voice, but only because she worked with the little ones all the time.

"Noah, what do you say," Quinn coached.

"Thanks," he said softly and he felt his heart being crushed. He wanted to give Marley ever ounce of support he could, to love her and care for her and ultimately be her boyfriend. Maybe even her husband one day. He truly loved her, but he just couldn't support her baby self when they were out in public and it was killing him. Everyone else seemed to be able to do it, but he just couldn't bring himself to that place. He was seventeen and as far as he was concerned everyone was around him, looking at him, judging him, for things he hadn't even done. He was just there, in a space, and one look from one person, no matter where he was, meant he was being judged, he was sure of it.

When they got home the "kids" went in two different directions, both of them were a bit sore about what had happened and sore physically from all the movement between the club and home. Santana went to go after Marley, but Quinn stopped her. "I think we should switch for the moment," she said kindly. "You go talk to Noah, see what you can drag out of him, and I will talk to Marley," Quinn said.

"She needs to be changed," Santana said.

"I can do it. I signed up to work with the babies, remember?" she teased her. "Just be gentle with him. If you start at the right tone, he'll tell you everything you want to know," she told her. Santana nodded and they went to talk to their other little one, to see if there was something they could help with.

"Marley," Quinn called into the bedroom. "Marley can Auntie come in and help you?" she asked.

"Yes," she whimpered softly. Quinn entered and saw a very sad looking little girl in the middle of the bed, curled up into a tight little ball.

"There's my lady bug," Quinn said and she sat next to her and just rubbed her back gently. "Is there anything I can help you with, or you maybe want to talk about?" Quinn offered.

"No, I mad," she said slipping immediately into her little girl form.

"Well it's not good that you're mad, I hope you stop being mad soon," Quinn said. "Maybe I can help you change though?" Quinn offered.

"Where Mommy?" she asked.

"She went to go talk to Noah, because he looked pretty mad too. Can I tell you a secret?" she asked in a tone that was very appealing to the little girl before her. "Mommy thinks you're mad at her and I think Noah's mad at me," Quinn said.

"I don' know bow him, but I mad at Mommy an' Noah," she pouted.

"You are?" Quinn asked feigning surprise. She knew why she was mad at Santana, she figured it out in the nursery, she wasn't sure why she was mad at Noah. "Well you don't have to tell me if you don't want to, but know that I'll listen. But before we do any of that, I should change you, yeah?" Quinn asked.

"Um, wif Teddy an' a door open," she demanded.

"Ask it nicely," Quinn said kindly, not moving one muscle or showing any sign of disappointment on her face. Marlye was too close to the tipping point and she didn't need a tantrum.

"Pease door open an' Teddy," she said.

"That was very lovely my little Lady Bug, kisses for Marley?" she asked leaning in just a bit. When Marley nodded Quinn leaned all the way down and rolled her gently on to her back, before kissing her cheek noisily making the younger girl giggle. "Stay still I will get everything we need," she told her and she carefully moved around the bedroom, gathering the clean diaper, some baby wipes, Teddy Bear, and then pushed the door open all the way, so Marley could see into the other room. She couldn't see anything other than the fridge, but at least it was life outside there and people could see in if trouble arose.

Quinn went back to the bed and knelt up next o Marley. "On your back please my love," she said handing her Teddy Bear. Marley rolled over and yawned. "My goodness, are you tired my sweet girl?" she asked her.

"No, I mad," Marley said simply.

"Oh yes, I forgot, I'm sorry," Quinn said and Marley waited a minute before speaking.

"He juss so mean. He p'ays wif me here, why not dere?" she asked honestly. She really didn't understand why Noah wouldn't play any games with her at the nursery. He did it all at home, why was work so different.

"I don't know sweetheart, I think you would have to ask him that. I know that Noah only calls me Mommy when he's really freaking out and stressed. Perhaps, he just didn't feel like being so young at the time," Quinn offered.

"I mad at Mommy too," she pouted, because clearly Quinn had the right answer and Marley didn't want to admit that it was a possibility. He was her brother and brothers were supposed to play with sisters, that's how it worked. That's how she heard it worked. She was an only child, so she wasn't entirely sure.

"Why are you mad at Mommy, but lift your hips for me please," Quinn said kindly and Marley did as asked. Quinn exchanged the old diaper for the new one and smiled when Marley let her legs fall open so Quinn could clean her up. The trust Marley was showing was truly amazing for having known Quinn for not that long.

"Her 'bar'iss me," she said sadly.

"She did?" Quinn asked. "What made you embarrassed?" she pressed carefully.

"Noah was 'posed a pway wif me, an' he didn'. He said I baby an he not, but here he p'ays. It's not dif'int," she ranted. "Den Mommy made me say sorry, but I not!" she told Quinn honestly.

"Well I can't do anything about that, but maybe later, we can talk to Noah and see why he wouldn't play with you at the club okay?" she offered and Marley nodded. It sounded reasonable to her. "Shall we go into the other room and have lunch?" Quinn offered. "I'm making my famous grilled cheese and tomato soup," she said. Marley smiled, nodded, and lifted her arms up so Quinn could help her. She also needed a few extra cuddles to take away her bad mood.

In the other room, Santana had found Noah over by the toys, and he was constructing and deconstructing legos, the same as Marley had done earlier in the day. "Can I join you buddy?" Santana asked and he shrugged, so she cautiously took a seat and joined in. She grabbed a few different color blocks and build them up and then tore them down, rearranging the design of them.

"Tana," Noah finally said.

"Yeah bud?"

"Not fair. I didn't want it," he told her.

"What was that Noah?" Santana asked kindly.

"Be baby," he said softly.

"Someone made you be a baby?" she asked him.

"Mar-ree wanted," he said.

"Oh, I see," she said and she continued to focus on the blocks. Of what he could see, he decided to match pace with her. He took the same blocks she had and carefully copied her. When she realized what he was doing, she slowed down a bit. "You know what, I agree with you. It wasn't fair for Marley to make you be a baby today. What did she do?" Santana asked.

"You hit her?" he asked.

"No. I won't hit her at all but I will talk to her. No one should be forced to do something they don't want to do. You and Marley know that better than anyone, because of what Terri did to the both of you," Santana explained and they fell into a comfortable silence, constructing and deconstructing blocks.

"Tana, I don't wanna be her bruh-ver. I wanna be her boy f-end," he pushed out carefully.

"I think that's very nice that you want that Noah, but you have to tell her. I don't think Malrey has figured that out," Santana told him kindly. "Now I know you may not want to just come right out and blurt it in her face or something, but I do think you need to find a time to tell her," Santana explained to him.

"Af-ter my ur-ree," he said and then he bowed his head in frustration. "Tana, when I get aww my etta back," he said.

"I don't know bud. Everyone's body heals differently, so perhaps yours is still getting there," she said kindly. "Maybe, I can talk to Miss Beth for you and see if she can get you a speech therapist to help you out, but that would be your decision," she told him and he nodded.

"I t-eh Mar-ree af-ter my ur-ree," he said.

"What do you want to tell her bud?" Santana asked.

"Dat I be her boy f'end not her bruh-ver," he said.

"I think that's very brave of you Noah, and I think it's a very good idea that you want to talk to Marley about the relationship you have with her. I have a question for you though, okay?" she asked him and he nodded. "What if Marley isn't ready for that type of relationship?" she asked him.

"Den I wait. Her Tana," he said seriously. "I vuv her," he insisted.

"Can I tell you that I love you too?" Santana asked him and he nodded. "I do love you Noah, and I will make sure that I protect you and look out for you and support you, just as much as Quinn does," she told him.

The next day was Noah's surgery and he woke up feeling very nervous and concerned. He didn't want to see the needles coming at him. He didn't want to know what was going on. He just wanted to go to sleep and wake up and be fixed and where the silly goggles that came with eye surgery. He did however try to think about what the upside of surgery would be. He didn't want Terri to win. She'd taken a lot from him, including his hope. Through emails, she made him promise after promise and eventually she took away every thing. Granted she took a lot more from Marley, but at least he got to meet Marley. "Marley," he thought quietly. "I really want to see her, properly," he said to the empty space. He tried to build a game plan in his head. He was going to have this surgery, even though he was terrified, then he was going to see Marley properly, stand her in front of a mirror and show her how beautiful she was.

He was lying and thinking when he caught a quick movement out of the corner of his good eye, so he simply laid there, completely still and listened. "Noah, I hope you hears me," Marley whispered into the quiet apartment. She crawled over to him and spoke very softly. "So, I want you to hear me but still stay sleeping. Mommy said you are scared. I would be scared too, but you have to try and hear me and remember something," she said softly. "Terri was a big, mean, terrible person. She did all these bad things, and maybe she meant them and maybe she didn't, but the second we don't make ourselves better, when we don't fight, no matter how scary it is, she wins. She isn't a nice person anymore. She might have been at some point, but she isn't now. She doesn't deserve to win. So I want you to be scared and ask for help and feel whatever you need to feel, but don't let her win okay?" she asked. "I hope you hear me," she said softly.

She fell quiet again and collected her thoughts. "And, I"m not mad at you for yesterday no more. I mean, maybe a little, because it was just a game and I just wanted to play with you. You're the only person who really gets it. At least I thought you did, but then I had a very long, very boring talk with Mommy and Mama and Papa and Auntie Quinn too and they said that I didn't remember something. They said you said, you never wanted to be someone's baby and I did. Terri was just mean to both of us, but she was so mean to me, that she made me think what I want was a bad thing. Then I got Mommy and Mama and Papa and they showed me it wasn't. I'd like to out of these diapers and I'd like to walk on my own and all of that, but sometimes, I just have to be a baby girl, because it makes me feel safer. Part of me wishes you were awake, so I know you heard me and part of me is glad you are asleep because this is really embarrassing for some reason," she sighed.

She took a very deep breath and decided she had to wake him up, at least for a minute to tell him something important. She wanted him to know this before he had his surgery and she didn't know who all was going to the hospital. "Noah," she hissed. "Noah, wake up for like eight seconds, then you can sleep again," she said.

He moaned a bit and wiggled around and tried to sleepily open his eyes. "Mar-ley?" he asked quietly.

"Hey, you have L's," she smiled.

"Only until I talk louder," he said softly.

"Try?" she asked him.

"Mar-ree," he said in a normal voice.

"We get you teacher and make it stronger. I'm really happy for you. I'm sorry to wake you, but I want you to know this before you go for surgery okay?" she asked and he nodded at her. "I love you and I'm glad you're with us. I can't promise that I'll always be a big girl or anything like that, but I do love you and I wanted you to hear that directly from me, and not anyone else. You have to know it's true," she told him.

"Marley," he said quietly, crooking his finger at her so she could come closer to him. "I love you too," he whispered and then he kissed her.

It was strange at first, but started to feel better the longer it went on, until finally it felt time to stop kissing. "That was heaven, so now you better do amazing in surgery, because I want to do that again," Marley smiled.

"You want to lay here with me until I have to get up?" Noah offered.

Marley nodded and he scooted around on the couch, making space for her, until they were spooning and eventually fell back to sleep.

In the other room Santana was standing in the doorway and her heart broke a little bit. She heard everything Marley had said to Noah and now they were cuddled together. She decided to leave well enough alone and crawled back into her own bed. The Mommies were in the middle and the kids were on the outside, so they had the freedom to leave the bed if they chose. Santana slipped into bed and very carefully let her hand graze Quinn's body, slipping it beneath her pajamas and running it up between her breasts, using her finger tips to tickle Quinn's collar bone.

Quinn grabbed her hand quickly and held it still. "There are kids!" she hissed with her eyes still closed.

"No there are not," Santana told her seriously and Quinn looked around. "They're spooning on the couch and kissing," she said.

"You better not be playing Santana!" Quinn scolded.

"I am not, I saw it with my own eyes, unless she was giving him a blow job," she said and Quinn laughed and used her other hand to smack Santana's hip.

"Dirty," she said.

"Yes, but that is why you love me," Santana said and she rolled her body on top of Quinn's and spoke softly. "I want a house. You and me, and our two little loves, and Berry and Hummel," she said. "I want a house with all six of us. We're a very strange family, but it works, and I want it," she said.

"And you will get your wish as soon as Kurt truly has his payments, and we talk to a realtor. None of what you want will happen without that," Quinn reminded her.

"Then I want to call today. It's time to get this started. We need space," she said.

"You do have a phone," Quinn sassed and then she moved Santana's hand out from under her shirt.

"Hey," she pouted.

"Hey nothing. I have a young man to attend to, and make sure he's calm. There is a lot happening for him today, so no, you can not play right now. If you want to play, you will wait," Quinn said in her Mistress voice and Santana smiled. It was such a turn on to hear her girlfriend talk to her like that.

"God, you're hot," Santana breathed and she leaned down and captured Quinn in a hungry kiss, drawing the air out of Quinn's lungs until there was almost nothing left.

"You're a brat," Quinn told her once it broke. She gave her a quick kiss to her lips and then quickly got out of bed before Santana could make any more advances. She was definitely trying. She almost reminded Quinn of a snake. Eyes locked, senses heightened, prey in sight. Snixx was a very fitting name for her. Quinn moved to the doorway and saw no children at all, so she went over to the couch to investigate. The kids were spooned together on the couch and both appeared to be sleeping peacefully. "Coming?" Quinn asked.

"No, I'm going back to sleep for a little while," Santana smirked.

Quinn rolled her eyes and focused back on the "kids". Marley was closer to the front of the couch, so Quinn started to work on her first. She very gently laid her hand on Marley's cheek and spoke firmly, being sure not to make her voice too sing songy. Marley tended to scream when she heard tones like that.

"Lady Bug, you have to wake up sweetheart. Auntie Quinn needs to get Noah ready for his surgery today," she said and Marley let out a little moan and wiggled for a moment. "Come on Lady Bug, open your eyes, look at Auntie," Quinn said gently and finally Marley's eyes opened.

"Hi Auntie," she smiled softly.

"Hi Lady Bug, I'm glad to see you and Noah are cuddling up close together," she smiled.

"He's my friend," Marley told her and Quinn smiled, petting her cheek. "Auntie, I know he's very scared, but I told him he has to be brave, because if he doesn't be brave, then Terri wins and that's very bad," she said seriously.

"That is a very good to hear my Lady bug. You are a very smart girl, I'm very proud of you for telling Noah that. Do you think we should wake him up now though? We can wake him up and make sure he eats so he's all ready to go in and face his surgery," Quinn said.

"Mmm, Papa said he needs, energy an some-fin ess," she smiled slipping into her younger state. It was much less frightening there and Baby Girl Marley could help her brother, while Big Girl Marley was scared and insecure, but still loved Noah. It was just frightening to know that once he got his vision back completely, there was the potential for him to say he wanted nothing to do with her. That was too scary to deal with right now.

"Yes he does," Quinn said. "He has to have a good breakfast to give him energy so when he goes to lay down and the doctors tell him to be still he can use his own muscles to do so. He's going to do so well today and then when he's ready to come home, he's going to get a very cool pair of glasses and then start his therapy to make sure his eyes stay nice and strong," Quinn explained. "But first we have to wake him. Do you want to wake him, or should I?" Quinn asked.

"Me, buh how I does it?" Marley asked softly.

"It's very simple. You just very gently rub your hand over some part of his body and say his name kindly to help call him out of sleep," Quinn explained. "Do you know where you want to rub him gently?" Quinn asked.

"Um, his cheek," Marley said softly.

"We can do that," Quinn smiled, nodding at her. "Try Lady Bug, you try to wake him first," Quinn offered.

"Noah," she said softly and she very gently ran her hand over his cheek and he stirred slightly.

"That was good baby girl, try again," Quinn smiled.

"Noah, time to get up. Auntie Quinn is taking you to get all fixed," Marley said choosing her words carefully. She wanted to sound positive and upbeat about things, rather than remind him what he was about to do was a terrifying experience.

He let his eyes flutter open and smiled, speaking very softly. "Hi Marley," he whispered.

"Hi," she grinned at him. "I give you kisses, den you get up and we can has beh'fiss togeth-ah," she smiled at him.

"Okay," he agreed and he puckered his lips a bit. She leaned in, gave him a sweet kiss and he thought his body was going to explode. It was such a wonderful feeling.

"What would you like for breakfast my darlings?" Quinn asked.

"Me too?" Marley questioned.

"Of course you too my sweet girl. I have two young loves that I like taking care of," Quinn said. "Unless you don't want me to. The choice is now and always will be yours," she said kindly.

"No, I want p'ease. I hungry," she said and then turned to Noah. "You hungry too?" she asked him and he thought for a moment before nodding.

"Okay then my darlings, tell me what you'd like," she said.

"Pancakes please," Noah said quietly.

"Oooh, chocolate chip ones please Auntie," Marley smiled.

"You two buddy? Or just play?" Quinn offered.

"Me too," he smiled.

"Alright then. Both of you need to get up and come to the kitchen table please. I have a very special project for the two of you, while I cook okay?" she asked.

"Special?" Marley asked.

"Yes, very special and you two are just the ones to help me out," she grinned. It took some doing but eventually the "kids" were at the table and Quinn handed Marley a piece of paper and a pencil with a good eraser on it. "Now, you must work on this together, understand?" Quinn asked.

"What are we working on Mommy?" Noah asked tiredly and Quinn smiled. He was trying to be brave and learn to feel safe in a younger state of mind, but he was also still struggling with it. She talked to Santana. She understood what the problem was. He was still learning where he was most comfortable and she was hoping this project would help them out. "Okay my loves, you two are going to put your very smart, very powerful brains together and imagine us up a house," Quinn said.

"For who?" Marley asked with confusion.

"For everyone. The two of you, me, Santana, Mama Rae, and Papa Kurt," Quinn said.

"Re-ee?" Noah asked loudly and excitedly, his L's gone again since he was loud and excited.

"Yes buddy, really. You two can draw together, or you can help Marley and tell her where to draw the lines, but if you two were going to design a house for all six of us to live in, what would it look like?" Quinn asked.

"Mommy likes red," Marley said.

"Well we can work on interior decorating later, because that is very helpful information. What I want right now is a drawing of what you think the house would look like as a structure," she said.

"Ike a ba-roo pah-rint Mommy?" Noah asked curiously.

"Exactly my love. Exactly like a blue print. Do you two think you can do that together?" she asked and he nodded excitedly.

"I need he'p," Marley announced raising her hand.

"What's up Lady Bug?" Quinn asked kindly.

"I don't know what you said Auntie. What's it?"

"I can teh you how to d-aw it," Noah offered.

"I don't understand," Marley whined.

"Hey, hey, hey, no whining," Quinn said and she set the batter aside and walked over to the table. "I'll show you sweetheart. Noah and I will show you together," she explained.

"Tell me what you're thinking bud," Quinn said kindly.

"When you wah'k in the door," he started and Quinn drew a big square on the paper, before pulling her hand back to the bottom and waiting. "Big hall way in front," he said and he closed his eyes and began to speak softer, but describe everything perfectly. Marley was in awe of his vision and foresight. "In the hall, a small bathroom to the right, just a little toilet and sink. To the left a big staircase maybe. On the other side of the the stair case is the living room, and then it goes down into the kitchen, around the back, and to the other side, which could be, um," he said pausing.

"A game room. Toys for me, an' Noah, an' Mommy," she said.

"What toys does Mommy have?" Quinn asked her kindly.

"I don't know, she won't let me see dem or play wif dem yet she said."

"Santana, you're little girl ratted you out! Hurry up!" Quinn called into the bedroom and then she kissed Marley's forehead. "You did nothing wrong, I promise you. No one is mad, you told the truth, and Mommy got caught in a lie. I'm not even mad at Mommy, okay?' she asked and Marley nodded. "Now, look here and see what I did, and then when you and Noah are ready you can continue."

"What if I make a wrong line?" she asked with concern.

"That is why pencils have erasers," she smiled at her and with one more kiss to each of them, Quinn went back to making breakfast.

Quinn was pacing the hallway. Noah had been in surgery for an hour now and she'd been cuddling with Marley for a bit, but Marley started to freak out because Quinn was so tense about the situation. "You're going to wear a hole in the floor," a voice said behind her and she turned around to see Rachel and wrapped her in the tightest hug she could.

"Why Mama here?" Marley asked softly.

"I don't know. Mama should be at work," Santana said gaining their attention.

"I don't get to come see my boy when he's done with surgery? I can't show him he has my support?" Rachel asked and Marley stood up and hugged her tightly.

"You can. He'll like that. I told him before he went in, that we are all his family and waiting for him when he wakes up," Marley said.

"I thought you had a job," Santana said calmly.

"I did and now I'm done, and as it turns out I can help contribute a little bit more money to our fund as well."

"For our house that we drawed?" Marley asked excitedly.

"Yes," Rachel smiled. "Mama got a job with an audio book company. An author came to one of my shows, liked my voice, tracked me down and now I'll be paid to read his books on tape," she smiled. "The contract went through today and I'll be making a very decent salary," she said happily.

"I'm very proud of you," Santana told her and Rachel beamed.

"She's made you softer and I love it!" Rachel said and she kissed her cheek. The girls were trying to keep Quinn occupied when they saw Kurt running down the hallway.

"Papa!" Marley cheered. "Mommy, Noah be so happy, all us is here," she said slipping into her younger state and Santana simply pet her face and kissed her cheek.

"Did I miss it, is he up yet?" Kurt asked and Quinn wrapped him in a hug and shook her head no.

"Nervous Nelly over there, is waiting for a nurse or doctor to come get us," Santana said pointing to Quinn.

"It's taking too long, I'm afraid something's gone wrong," Quinn said and just as they were about to reassure her a nurse came around the corner and she looked annoyed.

"Are you all family to Noah?" she asked.

"Yes, is he okay?" Quinn asked quickly, practically attacking the nurse.

"See Mommy, you right, Auntie Zilla," Marley said with a sparkle in her eyes.

"Fresh," Santana teased and she gave her a kiss.

"He's fine, he is asking for five people though, and that is not hospital policy. Only family or guardians are allowed back and Quinn quickly produced some paper work.

"We are all his guardians, so we are all allowed in thank you very much," she said.

"What about her," the nurse asked pointing to Marley.

"That is his sister, kindly stop talking to her like she's a potted plant and take me to see my nephew," Quinn demanded. The nurse looked over the paperwork and nodded, although she didn't look too thrilled and lead the small group back to the recovery room.

Noah was sitting up in bed and his face lit up when she saw his family walk in and then tears sprung to his eyes. His family. It felt so nice to say it and even nicer to think it. It must have meant he truly believed it.

They all surrounded him and Marley spoke up first as she carefully crawled up onto the bed and took his hand. "Guess what," she smiled. "Mama is gonna help us with the new house. You and I are gonna help design it, and we're all going to live there and you and me is gonna get better as fast as we can," Marley grinned.

"I see you Marley, and you're beautiful," Noah told her and the others all beamed. He truly loved her and she seemed to love him as well. It was another step on her road to recovery.

"I love you Noah," Marley said and she leaned forward and gave him sweet quick kiss.

"So we're all moving in together, into a new house then? Is that our new plan?" Rachel asked.

"No," Santana laughed softly. "The new plan is as follows. My family is going to go back to our apartment and for a little while we're going to fight and step on each other and be in the way and very cramped. However we are going to be building a new house, one that everyone helps to design so we are all happy. We are going to celebrate Marley's birthday as a family. We are going to celebrate Noah's recovery, as a family, and we are going to celebrate all the little celebrations that we come across between now and forever as a family. Everything will get done in its correct time, but for now, we just take baby steps. Agreed?"

Everyone agreed and they all settled in, waiting for Noah's discharge papers to come through and Marley was beaming. She may have been through hell and was on her way back, but she managed to find the family and acceptance she'd been looking for. Baby steps were fine with her.