For Jess, because my Sundays are her Mondays.

Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.

Charles Dickens

-- -- -- --

He goes to find Rachel the moment he gets home.

Or at least he tries to.

Finn and Puck actually beat everyone else and that's how he ends up sitting on her front porch, talking to her dads about whether he preferred cashmere to angora.

When Puck asks them if they meant the song by Led Zepplin they kindly tell him Rachel won't be back for another hour and leave him alone. But not before he asks them if they mind if he picks her up.

She's going to talk to him whether she wants to or not.

And so he waits for the bus to pull into the school parking lot, leaning against his truck and having an internal debate about what he actually wants to say.

He's still not too sure when the bus shows up and everyone clambers off. Rachel gets off last and he waits for her to see him standing there.

She does. And she doesn't look to pleased.

"What are you doing here?" Straight to the point, with her hands on her hips and her luggage sitting behind her.

"Your dads asked me to pick you up."

"I very much doubt that."

He sighs tiredly because he doesn't want her to argue with him, he just wants her to get in the car so he can try and figure out what the hell is going on between the two of them.

"Please Rachel? Just get in the car."

He said please and it works.

But soon finds out that just because she's sitting in his car doesn't mean she's going to talk to him. So Puck does all the talking for once in his life,

"I'm sorry." he says through gritted teeth as he drives her home, "I don't know what for but I'm sorry." She makes this annoyed sound in the back of her throat and it kind of pisses him off so he snaps,

"Do you even know why you're mad at me? Can you tell me why you're busting my balls over this?"

Rachel just looks down at her hands in her lap and he thinks she's going to start crying again. So he bites his tongue,

"Just forget it." he mutters as he pulls into her driveway, "Let's just pretend this didn't happen. You can go back to drooling over Finn and I can go back to being McKinley's number one stud." he doesn't say it with his usual smirk and condescending tone.

Instead he just sounds lame. And he's not even trying to be pathetic.

He just is.

She hesitates before getting out and he waits for her to tell him that's she's being a complete retard about the whole thing and that she wasn't mad at him for no reason anymore.

Instead she says, "You're an idiot." and barely remembers to grab her stuff as she bolts from his truck.

What really sucks is that the only thing he can think about is that he probably made her cry again.

When did he turn into such a pussy?

It's probably a dumb idea but, he heads over to Tammy or Cammy or whatever her name is house after he drops her off.

He's in need of a good time with no strings attached.

(He mostly does it because he feels the need to redeem himself after letting Berry push him around for the past week. There's a tiny part of him that does it because he hopes it'll make him forget the mess he's made.)

– – – – – –

About two weeks after the whole road trip fiasco, Finn finds out. And it's not exactly how Puck expected him to. He kept waiting for Rachel to open her mouth and blab about it but, instead it was Quinn. Even though she swore she'd go to her grave saying that baby was Finn's. (Even if it did have an awesome mohawk)

So he's totally surprised (and then kind of not) when Finn shoves him against the row of lockers outside of his 5th period history class and asks him if it's true.

Of course, Puck knows what he's talking about but he's gonna play dumb because … well he doesn't really wanna get punched in the face. But Finn chooses then, of all times, to finally smarten up and realize that Puck's lying.

Puck ends up nursing a black eye out on the bleachers for the rest of 5th period and most of lunch. It stings but Finn could have done way worse. He should have done worse.

When Rachel plops down next to him and hands him an ice pack he's actually kinda shocked because she hasn't said two words to him since they got back.

"Thought you'd be all over Finn by now. This is what you've been waiting for, isn't it? For him to break it off with Quinn so you can throw yourself on him?" he grunts but she seems completely unfazed by his words.

She must know he doesn't mean them.

Damn it.

"I'm kinda surprised you didn't tell him first." he admits after it's been quiet for too long. She shrugs her shoulders,

"I remember the rules."

But he doesn't. He has no idea what the hell she's talking about. His confusion must be stamped across his forehead because she gives him a small smile,

"Rule number one, talking is kept to a minimum. Rule number two, don't touch the radio. And finally rule number three, 'if we get to California alive, we will never speak of what happened on our little road trip'" she finishes, quoting him exactly and ticking off on her fingers as she spoke. Puck's words hit him in the face like an anvil.

Why was he always such a dick?

"So … I thought about it ..." she starts and he feels like what she's about to say is going to make his head hurt even worse but he sticks it out for whatever fucking reason, he doesn't know.

"And don't interrupt me!" she snaps just as he's about to open his mouth and spew out some really stupid shit that would probably earn him a swift kick in the balls.

"But I realized that my aversion to our entire situation has little to do with the fact that you're having a child with another girl and more with the fact that that girl is Quinn."

What?

"Huh?"

She sighs, clearly frustrated with his thickheadedness and rests her elbows on her knees, "Why is it always Quinn? It is just predetermined fate that she is always going to have everything I want? She has Finn, well had Finn. People like her," Puck snorts at this and Rachel rolls her eyes, "Or at least they pretend too. And just when I finally thought I was going to get something that she didn't have and that I wanted ..." she trails off and looks out at the field,

"It's just always going to be Quinn."

"So wait … let's rewind for a sec. You're not mad that I got another chick pregnant … you're just mad because that chick is Quinn?"

"Didn't I just say that? Obviously my initial hurt was more about the fact that I trusted you and you kept this big secret from me. Then after that sunk in … it was more that … Quinn is always going to have everything that I want."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa ..." what the fuck was she talking about? "Quinn doesn't have me."

"She's carrying your baby!"

"So?"

Rachel gives him this pitying look and he's not dumb but he has no idea what the hell is going on.

Because seriously? Rachel's train of thought does not follow that of a normal persons and he feels like she had most of their conversation in her head. So what if Quinn's carrying his baby? He doesn't have to fucking marry her.

… Right?

"I cannot, once again, become romantically entangled with a boy who is emotionally attached to Quinn Fabray." she says stiffly and stands.

Fuck being romantically entangled and emotionally attached, Puck thinks, he actually likes this girl. Like to the point where he doesn't just want to hump and dump her.

Even though he'd never admit that out loud.

Maybe that's his problem because he just sits there like a fucking idiot as Rachel walks away.

– – – – – –

As far as coming up with genius plans to win back chicks goes, Puck has never had much experience. What he's good at is coming up with elaborate plans to get into a girls pants.

Obviously, he's never wanted to win back a chick before. Unless you count Quinn but, he never actually had her in the first place.

So as he sits in his truck outside of Rachel's house, he thinks that this may be considered stalking more than winning her back. Because he's just sitting there.

He doesn't even know why. One minute he was driving over to Santana's house for a quickie and the next he's turning down Rachel's street and parking his ass in her driveway. His brain has become really fucking warped if he's picking sitting in his car like some loser over getting a blow job.

Puck nearly jumps out of his skin when Rachel taps on the window, all bundled up in a big sweater. She waits as he rolls down the window before going on her tirade.

"My neighbor called to tell me that a suspicious looking truck was parked in my driveway and that, if I would like her to, she'd gladly call the police."

"Uh ..." he starts, not really sure how he wants to finish. He remembers her stupid neighbor from the time she caught them making out in his truck for that brief week that they dated. She had spouted off some bullshit about remaining pure in the Lord's eyes before Puck told her that they were Jewish.

"What do you want, Noah?"

"I dunno."

He's a dope. A huge fucking dope.

"Then will you please stop loitering on my property?" She starts walking back up to her house. He takes a moment to mentally smack himself for what he's about to do and then stumbles out of his truck.

"Wait!" he forgot to take off his fucking seat belt and the stupid thing has him in a death grip, "Damn it, Berry." he hisses as he snaps the thing off and slams his door shut,

"Look, you can't act like that whole week didn't happen just because you have self-esteem issues."

Wrong fucking thing to say.

Rachel's mouth drops open and hurt flashes across her face closely followed by rage.

He wishes life had a rewind button.

"You … rude … inconsiderate … jerk!" she turns around and stalks up the front steps of her porch with so much vigor he's surprised she doesn't stomp holes through the wood. He scrambles to walk after her,

"Wait! That's not what I-"

"Puck!" she cries and he halts, "Just go home." she pleads, her eyes are all wet like she's gonna burst into tears at any moment.

"Christ Rachel, what the hell do you want me to do?" Other than go home of course because he already got that message loud and clear.

"Try to stop being such an ass!" she grounds out and then disappears into her house, slamming the door so hard that the windows shake.

Puck doesn't even know if that's possible.

– – – – – –

Puck has never been one for grand romantic gestures. So what he does is this.

First he helps out Quinn. Finn won't give her the time of day and he figures it's about time he steps up to the plate and reminds her that he's the man.

He takes her to the doctors and goes on crazy food runs at 4 AM in the morning. She's seems appreciative, even if she chooses staying with Britney over him. Apparently, that's a line she's not willing to cross.

Whatever, at least she's letting him help.

Then there's Rachel.

He debates about serenading her but he's already done that and it's kind of played out. He'd buy her a slushie and not throw it in her face but damn, he's already done that too.

Since his first two ideas were shit, he hopes that when he does his best imitation of Kenickie from Grease and slings his arm over her shoulders as they walk into school one day, she'll act like nothing changed since they were in Arizona.

Sadly, that doesn't work out and she elbows him in the gut before storming off to her first period.

What Puck does next is inspired by being forced to watch Say Anything with his mother one lonely Saturday afternoon. Because with Quinn carrying his baby but refusing to sleep with him and Rachel being embedded in his brain, his cojones have been very lonely.

He's not gonna stand outside her bedroom window with a boom box because her annoying neighbor might call the cops. Instead he slips a mixed CD into her locker that he spent all morning making and he barely made it to school on time because of it.

"You're a pig!" Rachel shrills as she throws it back in his face after school. He had a feeling putting Eazy-E's I'd Rather Fuck You as the first song was a bad idea.

"What! I was trying to be romantic!" he calls after her, "I bet you didn't even listen to the whole thing!"

Rachel throws him a glare over her shoulder, "Why would I want to after that!"

Because he totally slipped Sweet Caroline in there as the last track! Of course, he doesn't get a chance to tell her that, she's already gone.

-- -- -- -- -- --

None of his plans were working.

-- -- -- -- -- --

It was time to resort to drastic measures.

He's surprised because it's Quinn who comes up with the idea.

Quinn's a fucking genius.

"I'd say I love you but I know that'd totally freak you out." he says, patting her on the shoulder as he waits for Rachel to walk into Glee. He's standing outside with Quinn and some random Cheerio she threatened into helping them with their little plan.

"Whatever." she mutters, shoving his hand off her shoulder and walking into the choir room. The Cheerio, some sophomore, looks nervous as hell and Puck's kind of worried that she's gonna blow the whole thing.

"Look, all you have to do is get up on this ..." he motions to himself and the girl bites her lips and nods, "It shouldn't be that hard for you. I'm sexy as hell." he adds with a wink and the girl blushes bright red.

Oh yeah, he's still got it.

When Rachel rounds the corner, he nudges the girl with his elbow and before he knows it she's throwing herself on him. He grabs onto her shoulders, holding her at arms length,

"Whoa there ..." he looks up at Rachel, who is watching the whole thing go down intently, "In case you haven't heard, the Puckerone is officially off the market. I've taken a vow of celibacy so, you'll have to get your rocks off somewhere else." he says loudly and pats her on the head. He's glad that she remembers to run off down the hall, sobbing.

Unfortunately, instead of throwing herself into his arms, Rachel just rolls her eyes and breezes past him into the choir room.

Still, he notices her smiling at him every time she doesn't think he's looking.

– – – – – –

In the end, what it all boils down to is this.

Puck fucked up.

He knows it, the whole world knows it.

And there's not a whole lot he can do about it. Other than repent.

But what's he's been doing lately is edging farther away from repenting and closer towards being really fucking pathetic. He's tried everything and Rachel is still not talking to him. And there's only so much he can do before his balls fall off. Puck is pretty close to giving up. And the whole road trip is like a distant memory or some weird dream he had that's fuzzy around the edges.

"What are you doing?" he looks up from the slushie he's been staring down at for the past five minute to see Rachel standing in front of him. She doesn't look mad but with her you can never be too sure.

"What does it look like I'm doing?" he asks stiffly, not bothering to push himself off the locker he's leaning against.

Rachel sighs, "Noah ..." he looks back down at his slushie because he has a feeling he's not going to like what she's gonna say.

Of course, Rachel has to surprise the shit out of him once again and kiss him.

He doesn't even realize that he drops his slushie.

"What ..." he trails off, thoroughly confused as he stares down at her. Her eyes are still squeezed shut and she's licking her lips.

"I'm sorry." she breaths and he brushes her hair out of her face.

"For what?"

"For ignoring you. I was just working through some … personal issues and I know that you've been trying lately but I was just ..." she finally opens her eyes and she's looking at him in a way she's never looked at Finn. It's like a thousand times better.

Rachel reaches for the chain that she has around her neck and tugs it out of her shirt. And then he grins because on the end of it is the ring he gave her.

"I haven't taken it off since you gave it to me." she explained, pulling the necklace up over her head, "And I don't want to seem presumptuous but ..." she pulls the ring off the chain and slips it onto her middle finger, "I'd really like it if we could be-"

She doesn't get to finish because he's entirely too busy kissing her.

– – – – – –

In the end,

Puck loses his best friend

(But if he can get Rachel to forgive him, Finn should be easy.)

His daughter gets adopted.

And they place second at Regionals.

It takes a crazy road trip and a whole lot of growing up,

But, for once, he gets the girl.

So fuck the rest.


Author's Note: So it's finished! The last chapter, I hope I didn't disappoint!

Special thanks once again to Katy for putting up with me and helping with this. Without her, I probably wouldn't have been able to finish this.

And thanks to Owl City! Because I totally listened to Fireflies on repeat the entire time I was writing this story. (It's weird but I listen to that song whenever I write for Puck.)

And just thank you to everyone who reviewed, you guys are awesome and you seriously make my life. And I think you should all join me over on the Glee fanforum at the Puckleberry thread so we can talk because I'm going to be on hiatus for awhile (I know I always say this and end up posting something a few days later but I'm serious this time!) and I want to be able to talk to you guys about Glee!

So this was my story and I hoped you like it, it's been a blast writing it.

Thanks for reading and maybe reviewing?

And ... that is all!

-Nicole. :)