December

Quinn decides on Wednesday that she's going to keep the baby.

On Friday, she finds herself homeless.

And by Friday afternoon, she's living with Rachel Berry.

---

Rachel invites Quinn to stay with her because she feels partially responsible for her current living situation - she was the one who told Finn, after all, even if she thought it was the right thing to do - and because no one else extends the same offer to her. Quinn begrudgingly accepts (although she briefly considers living in her car).

She shows up to Rachel's house Friday after school with the two suitcases her life now fits neatly into. She's welcomed inside by Rachel's fathers and big, warm hugs. She's not used to hugging, so it takes her a second to respond in kind.

They chatter on about how glad they are she's staying with them while Quinn searches the entryway for Rachel. She finds her standing quietly by the stairs. It's rare not to see her talking a million miles a minute. They share a smile before Rachel's fathers take her on a tour of the house.

The gist of the tour is this: she's welcome anywhere in the house and she's welcome to whatever food she finds in the fridge - which is mostly leftover takeout because no one really cooks.

They end the tour at her new bedroom, which is located at the top of the stairs, next to Rachel's room. It's decorated in shades of blue and comes with its own bathroom. It reminds Quinn of a hotel room with fluffy white towels stacked neatly at the edge of the bed and little squares of chocolates on the pillows.

"We know it's not the Ritz or anything…"

"No!" Quinn quickly snaps. "It's perfect, really."

Both of the men smile kindly at her while Rachel lingers silently in the doorway.

"I think that old crib of Rachel's would fit nicely in here," one of Rachel's fathers - who Quinn has learned is Adam (her other, blacker father is Brian) - muses, looking over the space. "That is, if you'd like to stay with us after the baby's born."

"Well, we'll leave you to get settled. Make yourself comfortable. Our home is your home," Brian tells her.

They hug her again and leave her alone in her new room, shutting the door behind them as they go.

When she hears their footsteps disappear down the stairs, she breaks down into tears. Because no one has been this nice - this genuinely nice - to her before.

And then she eats all four chocolates that were left on her pillows.

---

Quinn doesn't realize she's tired until she hears a knock on her bedroom door that wakes her up. She's pushing herself up into a sitting position just as Rachel's coming through the door with a silver tray in her hands.

"We didn't want to wake you up for dinner," Rachel tells her as she enters. "But, I figured you'd be pretty hungry, so I brought you up a tray. Hope you like Chinese," she says hopefully as she sets the tray down on the bed before taking a step back.

"Thank you," Quinn tells her softly, her mouth already full of food.

Rachel stands silently, watching Quinn as she plays with the hem of her skirt nervously.

"Did you want to sit down?" Quinn asks, nodding to the end of the bed.

Cautiously, Rachel settles herself down on the edge of the bed. Though she is in her own home and she knows perfectly well all of Quinn's imperfections, flaws, and wrongdoings, she still feels intimidated by the girl sitting across from her.

"Your dads are really nice," Quinn says in between bites.

"Thanks. Sorry if they're a little… overbearing. They can get like that sometimes. If it made you uncomfortable or anything, I can talk to them about toning it down a notch."

"No, it's okay. I'm just not used to people - especially adults - treating me like that."

"Like what? Nice?"

Quinn nods.

"I can understand that."

Quinn looks away and she feels every bit as guilty as she knows she should.

"My dads are really great people and they're actually really excited that you're here. It makes them think that I actually have a friend or something." She laughs before jumping from the bed and waving her hand in the air, like if moves fast enough it wont hurt. "They said you could stay as long as you'd like, so you don't have to worry about finding a place to stay. Not even after the baby's born."

"That's really nice of them. I don't want to impose…"

"You're not. Trust me. I'll let you finish your dinner," she tells her as she quickly makes her way to the door.

"Hey Rachel?" Quinn calls. "Thank you."

"For dinner? Don't worry about."

"No. I mean, yes, thank you for dinner. But that's not what I meant. Thank you - for everything."

Rachel smiles before she bounds out of the room.

---

At school, Quinn does everything in her power to avoid Puck.

Puck attempts to avoid Finn (unable to face the betrayal in his best friend's eyes).

Finn ignores everyone, especially Quinn and Puck.

Rachel, well, Rachel tries to ignore how much it kills her that all of this is happening. And that Finn has lumped her in with Quinn and Puck and ignores her, too.

---

Both girls are thankful for winter break.

It gives them a break from being ignored by Finn and trying to ignore Puck.

Although Puck becomes harder to ignore when he shows up on Rachel's doorstep and begs her to talk to Quinn because she doesn't return his phone calls or texts and his mom's on his case about taking responsibility for his child. And about meeting the mother of her grandchild.

Rachel always turns him away, albeit with a bit of sympathy, and reports back to Quinn about what he said this time. And can't help but chime in that maybe she should give him a break. He is trying, after all.

Quinn's response is always the same: She does not need or want Puck. She can do this alone.

---

Rachel's dads invite Quinn to celebrate Hanukkah with them, but she politely declines their offer. She watches from the top of the stairs each night, though.

On Christmas morning, Quinn wakes up and feels the absence of her parents acutely. But when she stumbles downstairs to find something to eat, she is surprised with a Christmas tree and presents from Rachel and her fathers.

It's the best Christmas she can ever remember having.

She's so happy that she forgets her parents and gives Rachel a hug.

---

On New Year's Eve, Quinn finds herself with no plans. Friends stopped calling around the same time she started showing, so her evenings are usually free. But she finds that even on this night, she doesn't mind because Rachel doesn't have plans either and suggests they eat pizza and watch the ball drop.

Rachel even paints Quinn's toes because it's getting hard for her to reach.

"What's your resolution going to be?" Rachel asks when they're huddled up in Rachel's bed and there's only a few more minutes to go before the new year arrives.

Quinn shrugs. "I don't know. I don't really have one."

"What?!" Rachel gasps in horror. "How can you not have a resolution? I have a list of seventy-two."

"Seventy-two?" Quinn laughs in disbelief. "Most people don't even keep their resolutions. It seems pointless."

"I had eighty-eight in 2009 and I kept all but one."

"Which one?"

"I'd rather not say…" She looks away from Quinn and plays with the edge of the thick quilt that's wrapped around them.

"Oh, come on. What was it?"

She lets out a long breath before she finally says, "Get a boyfriend."

"Oh." She clamps her mouth shut before she finally says, "Maybe you're better off without."

"Maybe," she sighs.

They count down to the new year and sing Auld Lang Syne together after Rachel insists. When the ball drops they toast to the new year with sparkling cider in fancy champagne flutes.

As they're starting to drift to sleep, long after the ball has dropped and Rachel insists in just a few years she'll be right there, in the heart of the action, she tells Quinn that maybe, just maybe, she doesn't need a list of seventy-two resolutions. Maybe she'll just resolve to be a better person.

Quinn decides to resolve to do the same thing. But she keeps it to herself and doesn't tell Rachel.

---

January

When Puck shows up at Rachel's house on the first day of the new year, Quinn reminds herself of her (secret) new year's resolution and finally speaks to him.

Rachel and Puck are equally as shocked when they see the blonde descend down the stairs. Although she tells Puck what she always says to Rachel: she can do this on her own.

And Puck tells her what he always says to Rachel: he's not going to be a dead beat dad and he will be there for his kid.

They stand at an impasse when they've both said their piece.

Puck is the first to speak and says, "Just, please. Come over to my house for dinner. My mom's dying to meet you and I'm going to lose my freaking mind if I have to listen to her nag about it any more. I mean, you are the mother of my kid and maybe I'm not a decent guy or the guy you wanna raise a kid with, but hell, my mom's not so bad. Please, Quinn."

"Fine," she sighs, reluctantly.

Puck leaves happily after he extracts a promise from her that she'll come over Sunday at six for dinner.

"You have to come with me," Quinn begs Rachel once he's gone.

"What? No."

"Please, Rachel. She'll like you - you're a nice Jewish girl."

"She'll like you, too. You're… the girl he got pregnant."

"Exactly. She probably already hates me. Please, Rachel?"

"Fine, I'll go."

"I owe you!" Quinn practically squeals before she throws her arms around Rachel.

---

Dinner at the Puckerman's is just as awkward as everyone expects it to be.

Mrs. Puckerman tries to mask her disappointment with questions that come out as forced and icy. Puck's little sister, Hannah, stares at Quinn and her rounded stomach throughout dinner. And Puck just sits silent and sullen at the dinner table.

Rachel just feels out of place as she sits around the dinner table with them.

"And you're in the glee club as well, right dear?" Mrs. Puckerman asks Rachel when she's run out of things to say to Quinn and the room is silent.

"Yes, Mrs. Puckerman."

"And very talented from what Noah says about you."

Rachel glances over at Puck who's head is bowed and she can't help but blush. "Thank you. Maybe you could come see us perform. Noah's very talented as well. You'd be very proud."

"Funny," Mrs. Puckerman says with her lips turned up into a smile for the first time in the evening. "I've never heard any of Noah's friends call him by his first name."

"Well Noah's a good, Hebrew name. Much better than Puck."

"I agree. Just like Rachel's a lovely Hebrew name. Are you Jewish, dear?"

"Yes, I am."

Mrs. Puckerman's smile grows. "Really? How lovely!"

"Mom," Puck growls and he's scowling at her from across the table.

She smiles sharply at her son and then turns her attention back to Quinn, asking, "So, Quinn, do you have any plans to give the baby a Hebrew name?"

And the night is all downhill from there.

When Rachel and Quinn finally leave and Noah is forced to do the dishes, his mother joins him in the kitchen and practically squeals, "Noah, she is just lovely."

"See, I told you you'd like her."

"No, not Quinn. Rachel. Why couldn't you have gotten a nice Jewish girl like her pregnant instead? I bet she'd give the baby a Hebrew name."

"Jesus, mom."

---

When school starts again, Rachel and Quinn drive together and they sit together at lunch.

Everyone assumes they're friends now.

They both deny it.

---

February

Finn begins talking to Rachel again.

They talk and laugh and slowly, they begin to flirt again. He even kisses her backstage after rehearsals one evening.

He asks her out on a proper date for Valentine's Day.

She accepts before the words even leave his mouth.

She thinks it's all she's ever wanted until she's forced to tell Quinn and she sees the blonde's eyes cloud over with sadness. But Quinn still insists that she goes.

---

On Valentine's Day, Quinn helps Rachel get ready for her date.

Quinn is quick to reject every dress that Rachel tries on and eventually decides just to lend her a dress that she no longer fits into. She curls her hair and applies her makeup before declaring her a success.

"Do you think Finn will like it?" Rachel asks nervously as she smoothes the white dress down over her hips.

"Of course he will," Quinn assures her with a sad smile.

Rachel wants to ask if she's sure this is okay, but she's scared she'll say no and when she's so close to Finn finally beings hers, she can't bring herself to form the words and instead chooses to smile.

"I'm going to grab some leftover pizza before he comes so you can have the downstairs to yourselves."

"Thanks, Quinn," Rachel tells her and she hopes she knows it's for more than just the privacy.

---

Rachel hears the doorbell not more than thirty seconds after Quinn has left her room. She takes a deep breath, smoothes down her dress and hair, and spares one last glance in the mirror before she makes her way downstairs.

Her heart is racing in anticipation and it takes everything she has not to run down the stairs. All her dreams are finally coming true and it's hard not to race towards them.

She finds Finn already inside, at the bottom of the steps. He's standing next to Quinn, but they are both silent and their eyes are trained on the floor.

"Finn," she breathes and she feels her smile spreading wide across her face.

"Rachel, hey," he greets her and when he looks up from the floor, he smiles lopsidedly. "You look…" He glances nervously over at Quinn. "I brought you these," he says, holding up a box of heart-shaped chocolates.

"Thank you." She takes the box of chocolates from him and she feels her heart skip when her fingers brush against his. "That was really sweet of you."

"So, are you ready?" he asks, peeking over at Quinn once more.

"Yes, definitely." She hands the chocolates to Quinn haphazardly and waves goodbye to her before she leaves the house, hand-in-hand with Finn.

---

Rachel's never been on a date before but she's certain her date with Finn is perfect.

He opens the doors for her, lets her pick any station she'd like on the radio, and lets her order anything she'd like on the menu of the fancy restaurant he takes her to. After dinner, he helps her into her coat and holds her hand back to the car.

He's the perfect gentleman and Rachel believes the wait was truly worth. Those months of seeing him with Quinn and the months of him ignoring her were all worth it for one perfect night.

When they arrive back at her house, he walks her to the front door.

"I had a wonderful time tonight, Finn," she gushes and hopes he'll kiss her.

And he does. He presses his lips carefully to hers and kisses her sweetly.

"My dads are in Columbus for the night, for Valentine's Day, so you could come in if you wanted to," she suggests.

"I want to," he tells her quickly.

She smiles and takes his hand, pulling him inside.

---

With her fingers wrapped around his, Rachel leads him up the steps, towards her bedroom.

At the top of the stairs, she presses a finger to her lips and motions for him to be quiet as they pass Quinn's bedroom.

But when they do pass her closed bedroom door, Rachel stops abruptly and listens carefully to what she's certain is crying.

"What?" Finn whispers.

"Quinn. I should check on her."

Finn groans and throws his head back in frustration, but Rachel ignores him, tapping softly on Quinn's door before she lets herself in.

She finds Quinn in bed, the TV flickering quietly, and the box of chocolates Finn brought open beside her.

"Are you okay?"

"Stupid movie," Quinn sniffles, nodding her head towards the TV. She glares at the offensive TV before she turns it off. "How was your date with… oh, hi Finn," she says when she spots him in the doorway.

"Um, hey, Quinn," he says, jamming his hands in his pockets as he tries to look anywhere but at Quinn.

"I ate all of your chocolates," Quinn confesses. "Sorry," she adds sheepishly.

"It's okay. Let me go get you a glass of milk. Maybe the two of you could… talk," she suggests, looking between them. "I think you have a lot to discuss," she adds before pushing Finn inside Quinn's room.

---

Rachel takes her time getting Quinn a glass of milk.

There still exists a part of her that is threatened by Quinn's relationship with Finn, but after her date with him, she assures herself (repeatedly) that she has absolutely nothing to worry about.

Her faith in him slips just a little when she brings Quinn her milk and they ask her for just a few more minutes to discuss the things that have been building between them for the last three months.

She knows she has pushed them into this and it really will be in the best interest of the glee club if Finn and Quinn can coexist again. So, she leaves them with a smile and goes back downstairs to wait in the darkness.

---

Rachel is startled by the insistent knock at the front door and she almost hesitates to answer it, but she does so and finds Puck standing on her porch.

"Noah," she breathes in surprise.

"Quinn here?"

"Yes. But she's upstairs… talking to Finn right now." When she sees his face fall and his eyes focus on his shoes, she asks, "Would you like to come in and wait?"

"Sure," he shrugs and steps inside.

Rachel sits down gracefully on the sofa and Puck joins her, plopping down unceremoniously beside her.

"Why are you all dressed up?" he asks, looking her over. In the dark living room, her white dress makes her pop. "Have a hot date or something?" he snorts.

"Yes, actually," she says defensively. "I went out with Finn. It was lovely."

"Yeah, I can tell, since he's upstairs in Quinn's bedroom right now."

Rachel ignores him, but her eyes narrow and she crosses her arms over her chest.

"Is that Quinn's dress?"

Her head snaps up and she looks at him with her eyes wide and her mouth parted slightly. It takes her a few tries but she finally answers meekly, "Yes."

"Oh, Rach," he laughs, "that's twisted. Even for you."

She rolls her eyes and wants to throw a witty comeback at him - make him sorry for thinking the thing she's sure he's thinking right now - but all she can do is sigh heavily and fall back against the couch.

The sit in silence, beside one another, in the darkness for a long beat.

Rachel finally says: "She ate all my chocolates from Finn."

Puck hops up from the sofa and extends his hand to her. "Come on."

"What?"

"Come on," he repeats, curling his hand around hers. "We're not going to just sit here and wait around for them anymore. I'm sick of waiting for her. And whether you'll admit it or not, you're sick of waiting for him.

"Noah," she laughs uneasily, but she does not resist when he pulls her up from the sofa with one easy tug of her hand.

"Where are we going?"

"I don't know."

Rachel only laughs and as is common practice when she is with Puck, she abandons reason and chooses to follow him blindly out of the house and into his truck.

Besides, it's hard to think of anything, even Finn and their perfect date, when Puck's hand is wrapped warmly around hers in the cool night air.

---

"You don't have heat?"

"Jesus," he swears rolling his eyes. "Sorry, princess, no heat."

Rachel rubs her hands down her bare arms, trying to create some friction and chase away the goose bumps there.

"Oh, come on, drama queen," he huffs. He grips her shoulder and pulls her across the bench seat until she's tucked against his side. He keeps one hand on the steering wheel and wraps the other around her shoulders.

"Better?" he asks after a moment.

"Much." She looks up at him, but he has his eyes trained on the road. She whispers a thank you and she swears she sees him smile.

They drive around Lima aimlessly in silence before Puck takes her back home.

---

Rachel's faith in Finn is renewed when they return to her house and Finn's car is still parked out front.

"He must be wondering where I am," Rachel says to Puck, but tries to keep the excitement out of her voice for his sake.

Puck rolls his eyes, but gets out of the truck and follows her inside. Rachel can't help but notice he doesn't open doors for her like Finn does.

The house is just as dim and as quiet as when they left it and it makes Rachel's heart drop.

"Don't say it," she warns Puck.

He opens his mouth to say it, but the fierce look in her eyes makes him reconsider.

He follows her silently as she marches up the steps and he stays close when she opens the door to Quinn's bedroom. He's even there to catch her as she sags against him when she finds Quinn and Finn asleep.

Puck closes the door to Quinn's bedroom and leads Rachel by the hand to her own. He remembers the way easily enough.

"I really thought we had a lovely time," she cries once she's inside the safety of her own bedroom. "I thought he'd finally be mine."

When he sees the tears well up in her eyes, all Puck can do is wrap his arms around her when she launches herself at him.

"I'll just never be her, will I?" she asks, looking up at him with wide, wet eyes. She pushes herself out of his arms. "And this stupid dress. What was I thinking?"

For a second, Puck thinks she's going to take it off right there and he's so alarmed, he thinks he'd even try to stop her if she did.

But instead of reaching for the zipper, she reaches for him and wraps herself around him, her head pressed to his chest. His hands come down around her and he almost thinks she's not so bad when she's quiet and warm like this.

---

When Rachel wakes up in the morning, she finds Puck gone (she doesn't remember him leaving) and her dads home, in the kitchen, with Quinn while Finn cooks them breakfast.

"Oh, hi honey," her dad greets her, smiling at her over a cup of coffee. "Finn was kind enough to make us breakfast. Join us."

She tells them she's sick and rushes back to her room to throw up.

---

"It's not what you think," Quinn tells her as she sets a glass of ginger ale on her nightstand. "Believe what you want about me and I realize I don't have the best evidence backing me up," she gestures to her protruding stomach, "but nothing happened between us. We just feel asleep. We talked, like you begged us to, and then fell asleep."

Rachel sips at her ginger ale, regarding Quinn over the rim of the glass.

"He didn't wait for me. He didn't even know I left," she sighs sadly.

"You left last night?"

"Yes. Noah and I…"

"You went out with Puck?" she gasps in surprise and her voice pitches higher than she intends it to.

"You ate my chocolates."

---

Quinn buys Rachel a new box of chocolates and lets her eat most of them in way of an apology.

"I am sorry, you know," Quinn tells her. "I didn't mean to ruin your night."

"Do you still love him?" Rachel asks her bluntly.

Quinn looks down at the half-eaten box of chocolates that sits between them in her bed. "Yes," she whispers.

"What about Noah?"

"I never loved him. I just… I had a momentary lapse of judgment."

"That led to a lifelong commitment," she reminds her, nodding towards her stomach.

"I can't take back what's already happened. If I could, I never would have had sex with Puck. I probably never would have lied about it to begin with. I never wanted to hurt Finn, it just spiraled out of control so quickly. I was scared and I didn't know what to do. I knew that I didn't want to lose Finn. I knew that he'd be a good dad."

"If you want to be with Finn again…" she takes a deep breath, bracing herself for what she's about to say, "I wont stand in your way."

"Trust me, I've stood in my own way," Quinn tells her. "I'm the one who's lied to him and hurt him. Maybe he can forgive me because he's Finn and he's way too sweet for his own good, but… I've done too much damage."

"Not if he loves you."

"Why are you even saying this? This is your chance - this is what you wanted to begin with - to be with Finn."

"Not if he doesn't want to be with me," she breathes and the words hurt her heart.

"You know, Rachel, I don't know why you don't have any friends. You really are a good one."

Rachel smiles in response, but she still eats the last chocolate as payback.

---

Finn shuffles over to Rachel at school, his hands in his pockets and his head hung.

"I really am sorry about the other night, Rachel," he tells her earnestly. "We just talked, though. Nothing happened, I swear."

"I know," she tells him.

He smiles and lets out a sigh of relief. "Let me make it up to you. We can do anything you want."

"I don't know, Finn," she breathes and she feels that familiar aching in her chest.

"What's the matter?"

"I don't think we're going to work."

He looks genuinely shocked and Rachel almost thinks she's making a mistake. But she's made her decision and she must follow through.

"What do you mean? Rachel, we've waited this long…"

"No, I've waited this long. I waited while you were with Quinn and then I waited after you found out about the baby and ignored us all for three months. I thought that it would be worth it, because I was really who you wanted to be with…"

"You are," he assures her.

"We're both just kidding ourselves. It's never been me. It's always been her."

"Her? Who?" She looks at him meaningfully. "Quinn?" he asks.

"Yes, Quinn. Even after everything, I know there's something between you."

"Rachel, come on…"

She forces a smile before she walks away from him. She is more certain with every step she takes that this is the hardest thing she'll ever have to do.

---

"You're earning yourself the title of heartbreaker," Puck whispers into her ear before practice one day and his warm breath against her neck makes her tense.

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"Oh come on. First, you break up with me. And now you dump Finn? Prince Charming, man of your dreams, Finn Hudson?"

"It just wasn't working out. It was built on a fantasy."

"Just like our relationship?" he asks, his eyebrow arched deviously.

Her eyes narrow and she answers with a resounding "yes" before she moves to walk past him.

He grabs her wrist and prevents her from getting away. "You know," he says, "not all fantasies are bad." He tugs on her wrist and pulls her even further into him, putting his lips against her ear, "They can actually be really, really good."

---