Title: "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face (Or Eight Times Someone in Glee was a Friend to Quinn Fabray and One Time Someone Was a Little Bit More)"
Character/Pairing: Quinn, assorted members of Glee
Spoiler: "The Rhodes Not Taken"
Length: Part III of III
Summary: It's the people Quinn least expects that keep her afloat.
Disclaimer: Not mine, just borrowing them for a few paragraphs.
Author's Note: Final installment, folks. Thank you, everyone, for such incredible support for this fic. I never expected such a response to this fic, so the feedback has been wonderful. Apologies for the delay in posting – I've been busy with work and traveling, so access to the computer has been tricky. But it's done, and I really cannot thank you all enough for loving this fic as much as I do. Also, if you haven't received a PM for chapter two reviews, they're coming, as are any responses for chapter three. Thank you again. Enjoy.
Kurt asks you to the Prom and your mind says no but you hear yourself saying yes.
You can't help it. It's been a part of your life for so long that the words slip out before you can think them all the way through.
Your old life feels further and further away and sometimes, after a doctor's appointment or when you're filling out daycare applications and the last of your FAFSA forms, you remember how much you've given up. Until your daughter kicks, strong and sure right beneath your heart, and you're confronted with how much you're gaining.
You remember that conversation with Finn at his locker, the dreams you'd spun and hoped would come true. You're coming to terms with new dreams, the future you're carving out for yourself , but its still hard letting go.
You want take the words back as soon as they leave your mouth but Kurt refuses to let you back out.
"I'm pregnant," you remind him (and Mercedes and Tina and Brittany during a lull in Glee practice).
"So is Darcy Spencer," Mercedes shares but doesn't smirk when four pairs of incredulous eyes meet hers. "She just isn't showing yet."
"Yeah, but I'm due in three weeks. I'll be the size of a house."
"You're still beautiful, Quinn," Tina says, the words perfect and clear as they leave her lips and strike a chord right in your heart.
"I don't have anything to wear – "
"I'll make you a dress," Brittany cuts you off, eyes bright and eager.
"It's in two days," you attempt and even though your excuses are weak and the battle is lost, you can't give up yet. If there's anything you've learned these past months, it's to always keep going.
Brittany laughs and throws a hand over her forehead in a theatrical gesture. "That's what faking a migraine is for. No sniffles or temperature, necessary. It might take me all night and most of tomorrow, but you'll have something to wear." You don't want her missing school but she's determined to do this. "Quinn, it will be such an honor for you to wear one of my designs."
You surrender. There are too many of them and only one of you. Kurt delivers the final blow just to make sure. "We live in Ohio. When else is there going to be so much tragic fashion to mock? You're a senior, Quinn. I'm just a sophomore. This is my only opportunity."
You know you can't say no. They've done too much for you, all of them. You know shattered dreams to well to back out of this now.
"Okay," you say, knowing you'll regret it but pasting a smile on your face anyway (years of Cheerios practice finally coming through). "Let's make it the time of our lives."
The cheesy line works and they all break into smiles to match yours.
Brittany comes through with the most beautiful dress you've ever seen. It's a deep, emerald green to match your eyes, sleeveless and falling to your knee. "I believe in the Reese Witherspoon school of maternity wear," she says during the fitting. "Draw attention to what you do well; it keeps the eyes from focusing on the belly." You've worn formal wear before, worn it tight and worn it loose, but always your choice because you had nothing to hide. The dress skims in gentle folds over your belly and there's no avoiding it but it's not all that's on display either. You feel a bit like yourself, when you were just Quinn Fabray and not "Pregnant Quinn Fabray." You'll be "Mama Quinn Fabray" for the rest of your life but for one night you're excited to have some of the old you back.
You take pictures at Kurt's, his dad beaming so wide you're worried his face might crack, because he might have come to terms with who Kurt is, but there's still a part of him that wants nothing more than his son to attend school dances with a beautiful girl. You know the feeling; you love your daughter already but it's times like tonight when you wish you were a regular teenager doing regular teenage things. It's not the prom you imagined, Finn on your arm and a tiara in your hair, but it's enough. With the current state of affairs you can't demand more.
You arrive on Kurt's arm, ignore the stares and whispers and temper down the urge to scream, "Yes, I'm actually here. The pregnant girl is really showing her face. Now shut up so I can enjoy my night."
Kurt fixes them with his death stare and does the work for you. After the initial shock has worn off, they turn to the spiked punch and mostly leave you alone. You feel the tension ease from your shoulders; you'd rather be invisible now than the star of the show for the wrong reasons.
Finn is there with Rachel and it should be awkward but you mostly find yourself relieved that you weren't suspicious all those months for nothing. He was the first boy you ever loved and you only want him to be happy, even if it's with someone else.
"How are you feeling?" Finn says and keeps his eyes firmly locked on your face, away from the swelling bump under your dress. Rachel's hand is on his back, prodding him along, holding him up the way she always has for you.
"I can't wait for it to be over. I want to see my feet again," you joke, hoping to lighten the mood. Kurt stands at your side, hand on your elbow, letting you know he has your back.
Rachel doesn't ask how you're doing because she because she already knows every detail of the last four months, but she does lend some advice. "I heard that if you stand in front of a speaker the vibrations can induce labor."
You laugh politely but hope for the opposite. You're enough of a cliché as is; you don't need to make matters worse by going into labor at the Prom.
They wander towards the dance floor and you keep your eyes on them, the way her head barely reaches his shoulder but his arm fits around her waist like it's where it was always meant to be. You put your hand on your belly and your daughter kicks, hard and strong, letting you know that she's still there. Maybe this is how it was always supposed to be.
Kurt is still there too, standing behind you, ready to catch you if you f all. "How you doing, Quinn?" he asks.
"I think the worst is over," you say and force yourself to laugh. Nine months ago you thought you'd be battling your demons with Finn at your side. Today you're at your prom ready to give birth at the drop of a hat with a date who used to spend first period crawling out of a dumpster.
He takes a step forward, shoulder to shoulder, and scans the crowd. "You wanna dance?"
You should dance. A year ago you would have been at center stage for every song, a tiara in your hair and Finn on your arm. Tonight your feet ache and your belly itches and you still have to pee every ten minutes. You have a vision of Fantastia and dancing hippos; you have no interest in recreating the scene in the McKinley High gym. "You go ahead, but I'll sit this one out."
He shakes his head and turns to you, one hand outstretched. "C'mon, Mama. Let's kick up our feet." You do little more than stare at his hand. It was one thing to come, to observe, to take in the night; it's another to put yourself on display for the entire school to see. "This isn't a choice," he says and bends to wrap his fingers around yours.
He's a little thing but stronger than you gave him credit for (all those football practices being put to good use) and he manages to pull all one hundred forty pounds of you onto the dance floor; you put your hands on his shoulders, your belly pushing a foot of space between you.
A year ago you would have been curled into Finn's chest, the beat of his heart pattering in your ear, strong arms holding you close. Kurt's fingers are lightly grazing the bare skin of your shoulder and the silk-covered curve of your hip, but you like the way you feel in his arms. He isn't holding you up but he's standing with you; you like that you don't have to do this alone.
"Do you think these people got dressed in the dark?" he asks as you sway together.
You glance around the room, take in the hot pink ball gowns and red sequined halters, and smile but don't respond. You know better to cast stones. "I think they're doing the best they can."
You cringe as the words come out of your mouth because this boy is here for you and the last thing he needs is criticism. He doesn't push you away or call you thankless. He only pulls you closer, so the huge bulge of your belly rests against the thin plane of his. "Touche, Q."
You lean forward, so your head rests on his shoulder, the way you always did with Finn and the fit isn't perfect (he's too short, too skinny, too shiny) but it doesn't matter. In three months, you'll be starting Michigan with your daughter in your arms and student loans following you into adulthood. Instead of pulling away you lean in closer and close your eyes. You're here. You're at your Prom. You're still standing. Just because you lost every dream you ever clung to doesn't mean you lost yourself entirely.
Rachel is only a sophomore but Finn wins prom king and Megan Hathaway is crowned queen. You struggle to your feet, Kurt's hand on your elbow, and clap for them, for Finn especially. After all he's been through, dead dads and paralyzed mailmen and the lie that almost sunk you both, he deserves to win. He deserves to shine. He deserves it all. It hurts a little, because that should be you at his side (a year ago, it would have been you), and a tiny pang of regret shoots through your chest; you push it away. Tonight isn't about the past; tonight is just about tonight.
Finn takes the floor with Megan and soon other dancers join them, Rachel curled in Matt Rutherford's arms (even if she doesn't take her eyes off Finn the entire time).
You sit down and ease off your heels. They're silver and sparkle in the dim light and while they're pretty you know they're for one night only. Tomorrow your life goes back to normal; tomorrow your pregnancy is the only thing anyone will see when they set eyes on you.
Kurt sits beside you and watches the dancers. His face is strangely blank and despite his aspirations to be Tim Gunn 2.0 when he grows up, he hasn't said a word of critique. "You always thought that would be you?" he asks, more a statement than a question. You follow his eyes to the dance floor, Megan Hathaway held lightly in Finn's arms, her blonde hair glittering in the light of the disco ball. You blink, just to make sure you aren't imagining, because she looks so much like you (could be you) that you have to wonder if god isn't playing a cruel joke.
You open your eyes and Finn is dancing with the poor man's version of yourself while you're watching from the sidelines. It hurts, even when it shouldn't. "It was supposed to be me," you confess. "We had plans, you know? Ohio State, an apartment in Columbus, walking our dog in the park on Sunday mornings…" you trail off. The song ends and Rachel slides into Finn's arms with a perfect fit. "Plans change." Tears prick your eyes, threaten to spill, and this time they have nothing to do with the hormones.
He looks at you, his expression filled with understanding. "I've known who I am since I was ten-years-old. There are some things I'm never going to have, but this shouldn't be one of them." He looks at you and there are tears in his own eyes. "Everyone deserves a Prom."
You struggle to smile, because you might be pregnant and alone, but he has the harder road to travel. "I'm a hippopotamus in a tutu."
He shrugs, blinks the tears away. "My pants are so tight it's a good thing I'm never having kids." He takes your hand, presses a gentle kiss to its back. "There's no statute of limitations on rites of passage."
You remember a snippet of conversation between him and Mercedes one day at Glee practice, his gaze focused on Finn the entire time. You lean in, cup his cheeks in your hands, and press a butterfly kiss to his lips. It lasts a few seconds, nothing more, but his eyes are wide and blinking when you pull back with a smile, a real smile, on your face.
"What was that for?" he asks, a little breathless, his eyes still a bit wild.
"Everyone deserves a first kiss that means something. Thank you, Kurt, for bringing me here tonight."
It's his turn to blush, all the way to the hairline that doesn't move. "My dad will die when he realizes I went to Prom with the head cheerleader."
"In twenty years, when my baby asks about my Prom, the only story I'm going to tell is the hero that took pity on a pregnant girl and made it the night of her life."
He leans back in his chair and wraps his arm over your shoulder. You watch Finn pull Rachel close, a shared smile lighting their faces, and it still hurts but your chest doesn't burn. Instead, you rest your head on Kurt's shoulder as the lights twinkle around you and the music pounds through your blood and your feet tap in time to the beat.
Things change but some dreams still come true.
Regionals are three days before your due date and Mr. Schuester wants you to stay home and put up your feet but you refuse. Glee has been the only positive thing in your life for the past nine months; they might have to push you on stage in Artie's spare wheelchair but you won't miss it for the world.
Brittany is in charge of costumes, and when you stay late on a Wednesday afternoon to pick up your uniform, you feel a pain in your back.
You don't think much of it the first time. You've been to the hospital twice with Braxton-Hicks contractions and you're sure this time is no different.
Brittany is running late and you walk around the chorus room rubbing your lower back while Rachel frets. Santana ignores you and Tina can't take her eyes off you and Kurt runs to get you water and Finn and Matt and Mike mostly look embarrassed. Puck strums his guitar and won't meet your eyes.
Another pain hits, and then another, and then you can't ignore the shallowness of your breathing or the tears gathering in the corners of your eyes. "Oh my god," you manage to say. "I think this is it."
Everyone jumps to attention at once, talking over each other in their rush to take charge. It gets loud, so loud your head starts to hurt as much as your back, when Santana's cool, calm voice that breaks through the noise. "I'll drive," she instructs. "If it means all of you will shut up." She crosses her arms over her chest and stares them down and even Rachel folds. "Everyone follow behind me if you want to catch the show." She raises an eyebrow, but no one utters a word of protest.
It's nearly silent in the car as Santana navigates the short route to the hospital, more awkward than that first car ride with Mercedes, and you close your eyes and lean back against the headrest because again it's all your fault. Santana and Puck might have broken up before you found out about the baby, but they were certainly together when it was conceived. You've been friends since kindergarten but she stopped talking to you the day the truth came out. You're not surprised; you can't blame her for hating you.
"Thank you for driving me."
She shrugs casually, but her fingers tighten on the wheel, eighteen years of friendship and one betrayal carving grooves into the fine leather. "I didn't want your water breaking all over my new shoes."
Another pain spikes through your back and you breathe through it while she keeps her eyes trained on the road. You don't press her further and turn to look out the window instead. You love Ohio in springtime, when everything is green and new and full of promise. You press a hand to your aching belly; it's fitting that your daughter would push her way into the world with the flowers and birds and bees.
"Why did you do it?" Santana breaks the silence, her fingers turning white as they grip the wheel. You stare at her blankly because it could mean anything: getting pregnant, lying to Finn, becoming friends with Rachel, kissing a gay boy on Prom night. When you don't respond, she sighs angrily and clarifies. "Why did you sleep with my boyfriend? You could have had any guy you wanted. Why did you have to have mine?"
That night flashes before your eyes, the tears you cried after weigh-in and the way your fingers trembled over the keyboard of your phone and how you drowned your anger in booze because the person you loved most was leaving you (both of you) for someone else. You remember the way he kissed you, with his eyes open, like you might disappear if he looked away. You remember the way his fingers trembled as they fiddled with the zipper of your uniform. You remember the way he breathed your name as he came, body shuddering into yours.
You don't tell Santana any of it. You don't tell her that you were lonely and afraid and he made you feel beautiful and wanted. You don't tell her that he understood that losing Finn meant losing part of yourself. You don't tell her that when you looked into his eyes, dark and warm in the moonlight, you saw yourself staring back.
"I don't know," is what you say through gritted teeth. "He was there and I needed him. I didn't think much beyond that."
"I hated you for a long time."
"San…" you start, the nickname slipping from your lips even though you haven't called her that since the day Jacob Ben Israel ripped your life further apart.
She shakes her head. "I have every right to hate you, but I can't anymore." She keeps her eyes on the road but gestures to your belly, the sweat beading at your temples and the grimace plastered over your face. It hurts, hurts so much you can't think of much else, but you know this is too important to ignore. "This is bigger than both of us now," she says and you know she doesn't just mean the massive bulge of baby. "I saw how the others helped you, even when they didn't have to, even when it made no sense that they did. They didn't know you and they still stood by you. I wasn't there for you before, but I want to be now."
You remember the day Puck shared your secret with the world and she looked shocked and disgusted and a little bit like her world had fallen off its axis; you remember when she found out the truth, the real truth, and she stared at you with such betrayal in her eyes that you couldn't look into her face without wanting to cry; you remember when your belly started to swell and Puck got quiet and she stopped looking at you at all. But you also remember the first day of kindergarten, holding hands with her with matching orange bows in your hair (Buckeyes for life), and your first day of sixth grade with matching red headbands (McKinley High all the way), and your first day as Cheerios while you wobbled at the top of the pyramid and she kept you steady.
You smile through the pain, sins of Eve making you sweat and shake, and force the words out. "The Celibacy Club wasn't just about sex. It was about being a good Christian. It's Christian to forgive. I forgive you, Santana. I hope you can forgive me."
The car skids to a halt before she can say a word and she hurries to your door and helps you out. She screams for a nurse and stays with you while you fill out paperwork, holds your hand through each contraction until you're dilated enough for the epidural.
She still hasn't mentioned your conversation in the car even as you're squeezing her hand hard enough to crack a few fingers. "Why isn't Puck here?" she finally asks and your eyes round. If your baby was the elephant in McKinley High for the duration of your pregnancy, her paternity is definitely the one in your hospital room. "I dated him for a long time. For all his faults, and he has plenty, he'd want to be here with you."
"I wanted to this alone," you say softly and look her straight in the eye, let her in and let her know that this was your choice. "I made the mistake. I needed to fix it on my own."
"I forgive you, you know," she says and smiles, the devious Santana smile you've known all your life. "I should have said it earlier but I'm still kind of mad. I wanted you to stew for a while."
You laugh because she isn't perfect but she's here when you need her. "It gave me something to think about besides feeling like someone is trying to drive spikes though my back at twenty minute intervals."
There's a noise in the hallway and she looks up and smiles; there's nothing devious about it. "I know you think you did this by yourself, but you were never really alone."
You follow her gaze as Rachel bursts through the doorway, your overnight bag clasped in one hand and apologies about traffic pouring from her mouth. Mercedes is right behind her, Brittany too, and Kurt waves from the doorway.
You gasp on another pain, faster and harder than previous ones, and all four girls crowd around you. "Remember when we used to play house in first grade?" Santana says as she brushes sweaty hair off your brow. "This is the real thing, Q. Buck up and get ready."
Though the haze, Rachel tells you that Kurt is calling your parents and even though they haven't showed, you're not sure you care, because Santana and Brittany huddle on one side of your bed with Mercedes and Rachel on the other, and all the important people in your life are right where they need to be.
It's a girl and she's as pretty and perfect as the day you first saw her on the sonogram.
Your labor is long, nearly twenty hours, and she's born early in the morning the day before Regionals. The girls stay with you the entire time, clasping your fingers and urging you on, and when your daughter finally makes her way into the world you feel like you all had a hand in giving her life.
Your mom arrives at the very end and you know from the determination in your eyes that she damned hell and high water to be here for you. She pushes through the crowd outside the room and presses a gentle kiss to your forehead. "I'm so proud of you," she says as you scream through the final push and your daughter's wails fill the room. Your heart swells as they hold her up and you count all ten fingers and all ten toes and your mom sits beside your with tears dripping down her cheeks. There are still amends to be made but you don't have the energy to resent her any longer. She came through when it counted. She's here and she's with you and she's smiling at her granddaughter like she's the most beautiful thing in the world.
She is. She is beautiful, more beautiful than you ever imagined she could be. You're exhausted, your body spent and depleted, but you still have the energy to cradle her right against your heart. She's brand new and bright red, with a crinkled little face and scrunched up nose, but you still search her face for something of yourself.
It isn't there, not yet and maybe not ever, but you don't worry. No matter what she looks like, who she is or what she does, you'll love her all the same.
What feels like a million people are in your room the first day and you sleep very little but have never been happier. You're terrified of what's ahead, nursing and diapers and daycare and exams, but when you stare into her tiny face and the worry slips away. Any future seems easier with something so perfect as part of it.
You don't make it to Regionals.
You can barely walk and have stitches in places you'd rather not think about and milk is starting to leak and the entire thing is embarrassing and uncomfortable and you're happy you have one more day in the hospital before you have to face it in the real world.
The football team sucked and basketball wasn't much better but Glee is good, really good, and the Fox affiliate sends a cable crew and announcer to the show to bring actual talent into the living rooms of local Lima residents. You have a TV in your room, a private room because one of Rachel's dads knows the hospital administrator, and you prepare to watch what might have been without a crowd looking on.
It doesn't hurt as much as you though it would. Glee is important to you, the second most important thing in your life, but you're used to watching from the sidelines. Your new life won't leave much room for hogging the spotlight. You might as well get the practice in now.
You're not alone. Never really were, you learn. Everyone you know and love is busy singing or napping (she's two days old, there's not much else she does) or setting up a nursery (your mother puts her foot down and your father has no choice but to go along or find himself on the street), but ten minutes before show time you find yourself facing the last person on earth you expected to see.
Puck is standing in the doorway, a bouquet of flowers in one hand and an envelope in the other. His hair has grown out and he's wearing a polo shirt and his sneakers are clean. He looks tired, exhausted, dark shadows lurking under warm, brown eyes, and you feel less self-conscious about the hair you haven't washed in two days and the bags under your own eyes.
"Hey," he says, shifts his weight from one foot to the other.
"Hey," you say in return and stare at the planes of his face, searching for your daughter there.
He looks away, a blush creeping up his neck, and clears his throat to push away the awkwardness. "Can I come in?"
"Of course." Your words are clipped, formal. What do you say to the father of your baby when you haven't said more than two words to him in eight months?
He sets the flowers on your bedside table and pulls a chair over, foot tapping in a nervous rhythm against the linoleum. "These are for you," he says, gesturing to the flowers. They're lilies. Your favorite. You can't remember ever discussing them with him but they're here all the same. You feel tears prick your eyes (maybe hormones, maybe not) and you lean over and press your nose to the orange petals.
He smiles, just the corners of his mouth turning up, and presses the envelope into your hand. "This is for her." Your eyes lock at the mention of the elephant in your lives, the baby sleeping down the hall that you made together and have yet to fully acknowledge.
Your fingers stumble over the fold and his move over yours, larger and rougher but warm against your skin. You both freeze at the contact, a memory flitting through your mind, his fingers tangled with yours as he moved inside you and started the journey led to this moment. You don't know what he's thinking but his breath hisses between his lips and his eyes lock with yours, only a few inches of space between you.
You're the one to pull away first and find your footing, managing to get the envelope open. It's money. More money than you've seen in your life, neat piles of hundred dollar bills that seem to go on forever.
"It's three thousand dollars," he explains. "It's not much, but it's all I have. I meant what I said about taking care of you – both of you. I can't promise to be rich but I'll always look after you."
"Puck," you sigh and his entire body stiffens. It's the first time you've said his name in nearly a year. You force yourself to look up, look into those brown eyes, and you can't look away from what you see there. He looks sad and he looks excited but he mostly looks scared. He looks like you. "I'm sorry," you whisper and when the tears start streaking down your cheeks you know it isn't the hormones.
"I hated you for a long time," he says and you cringe because you've heard the words before. But Santana gave you a happy ending; you hope he will too. "I hated you because I joined that freak show for you. I lied to my best friend for you. I put up with Rachel Berry for you. I – " he breaks off, takes a breath. "I would have done anything for you and every time you chose him."
"I didn't choose him," you say softly. "I chose her." The air freezes again, tightening around you, but you press on. Nine months on your own have taught you the value of forgiveness. You hope you can teach him the same lesson. "Every decision I made, I made for her."
He looks at you long and hard, but some of the anger slips from his face. He even smiles a little. "I wouldn't have trusted me either."
"You've changed, and I don't mean the money." You smile a little yourself. "I like your hair."
He shrugs, some of the familiar cockiness easing the rigid set of his shoulders. "I have a kid. I'm not the same guy anymore."
"We have a kid," you say and more tears leak from your eyes. All these months, you've had people at your side, but never like this. It's too much to share it with someone so close.
He senses the change and leans forward to brush the tears from your eyes. "What's her name?"
You haven't told a soul, not even Rachel, because you might have pushed him away but there are some things he should have first. "I named her Willa. Willa Fabray Puckerman."
He looks touched and then he looks confused and then he looks a little outraged. "For Mr. Schue?"
You laugh a little through the tears. "All these people came into my life. They didn't have to but they did. They saved me, saved us. I couldn't give her eight names so I chose the person who brought us all together."
"Willa Puckerman," he says softly and the words roll of his tongue and strike a chord right through your heart. This was supposed to be angry and guilt-ridden and ugly. It's not supposed to be this easy.
There's another knock and when you look up a nurse is standing in the doorway with your daughter cradled in your arms. "It's time for her midday feeding," she explains, eyes darting from you to Puck and back again. "Should I bring her back later?"
You glance over at Puck's awestruck face and shake your head. "Please bring her in."
Puck looks on, a cross between fear and amazement locked over his face. "She's really small," he says as she settles into your arms, watching you both with wide blue eyes.
"She'll grow." He nods, looking terrified, but doesn't look away. You pat the bed beside you. "Do you want to hold her?"
You forget how big he is as he slowly pushes back his chair and kicks off his shoes, settles beside you, warm and strong and different than you remember. Your shoulders are pressed together and it's quiet in the room, so quiet you think you can hear the rapid beat of his heart. "What if I break her?"
You shift your arms, settle your daughter into his. "You won't." He still looks terrified and his hands actually shake as one hand cradles the curve of her skull but she just lies back and watches him with wide eyes. His eyes. It takes your breath away, seeing him reflected in her, and you can't keep from leaning over to press a kiss to her forehead.
In the background, cheering fills the room and you both turn to the television. New Directions is taking the stage, red shirts and jeans and converse sneakers moving to the beat as the opening chords fill the room.
"You're supposed to be there."
His hand creeps over the blanket and finds yours. "I'd rather be here with you."
You scoot a little closer, careful not to jostle your daughter, and rest your head on his shoulder, keep your eyes trained carefully on the tv screen. "There are pools in Michigan," you say shyly. "I bet some of them even need cleaning."
Over your daughter's head, his lips press a gentle kiss to your temple. Your eyes drift closed. "We're going to be fine."
Don't stop believin'. Hold on to the feelin'…
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