a/n: okay, this is the end! first off, my dedication. this epilogue is dedicated to: Imaris, maggiequeen, Recco101, Wake-up Soon, xoxoMARYxoxo, xxkissesandcuddlesxx, Sweetcaroline1986, missidaaa, sierrafromwa. You guys were amazing in your reviews and your comments really stuck with me while i was writing the whole thing. You have all touched my heart with your words and i can only hope that my words have at least done a little bit of the same. I hope you continue to read and review my works because i've come to live for it. i still can't believe the response that this story has gotten from everyone. it blows my mind every time i look at the number of story alerts/author alerts/reviews etcetc that i've recieved. it's more than i could've ever hope for. i love you all with all my heart and this is for you. i hope you enjoy it. it's been a beautiful journey that you've allowed me to take you on and i can't wait for the next one. thank you from the bottom of my heart. now before i start blubbering and wailing about how awesome you guys are again, (seriously, you are all amazing!!!!) here is the final chapter. i don't own glee, enjoy!
Six years later
It was her fourth starring role since her early graduation from Julliard and full embrace from Broadway. The critics couldn't get enough of her, and it had nothing to do with the odd family situation that luckily the press got tired of commenting on after her first opening night. Puck's music label, Destined Records, was just starting out but already had three successful performers signed and always searching for more talent. Quinn graduated with honors from NYU with a degree in fashion merchandising and a job with the most successful studio in New York. Finn played basketball through all four years of college and graduated with several nods from the NBA. And Rebecca, Rebecca was the happiest little second grader on the planet.
Puck was standing in the wings just off-stage, watching with a smile as Rachel gave her final curtain call of the night. The eight-year old holding his hand was bouncing up and down with excitement. He laughed as Rachel successfully caught a flower in mid-air that was thrown on-stage for her and she had the most surprised look on her face of all time. He fingered the velvet box in his pants pocket and hoped to top that look.
The years hadn't been easy on them, but he wouldn't trade them for anything. They'd only broken up once. It was the longest two hours of his life. They'd fought about everything possible, but they always made up afterward. They kept nothing from each other and it only caused their love for each other to run deeper than they ever thought possible. Some days, the only thing that kept him going was the fact that he had her with him. It scared him sometimes, how strong he felt for her. But one look in her eyes told him that she felt just as strongly for him and his fears vanished in an instant.
He kept his promise. He'd said she was going to have the career she'd always dreamed of with as little interference from him as possible. And at the moment, he was staring at his eight-year, five-time Tony award winning, three-time Grammy award winning, toast of Broadway, girlfriend. A girl that he'd vowed to make his wife since that first weekend so many years before. If he was being honest, Rebecca's constant questioning about backstage at a theatre wasn't his sole reason for bringing her along. He brought her for back-up. Rachel couldn't say no to the little girl to save her life.
The curtain started to close and Rebecca pulled her hand from Puck's and took off across the stage.
"Mama!" Rachel's head whipped around to see the child running full speed at her. She instantly dropped every flower in her arms and caught Rebecca as she leaped off the ground. Puck could see the tears streaming down her face as she hugged her tight. Great, he thought to himself, this shit's already hard enough to do in the first place but now she's gonna be crying too. He never really could handle tears, and he still couldn't. He stepped out from the wings and caught her eye. She walked over to him with Rebecca in her arms and smiled up at him.
"I thought you had to work late tonight," she said as she adjusted the little girl onto her hip. Luckily, Rebecca was a very small eight-year old or Rachel wouldn't have been able to hold her. Puck just scoffed.
"And miss tonight? You're crazy. You've been waiting for 'Maria' your whole life and you think I'm gonna miss a single performance of you in that role. You were amazing Rach, as always." He leaned down and kissed her lips sweetly only to be cut off by Rebecca.
"Eww dad, that's gross." He leaned back and smiled at his daughter, taking her out of Rachel's arms and placing her back on the ground.
"Becca, what did I tell you about those comments?" Rebecca just rolled her eyes and crossed her arms before mumbling,
"If I don't like watching you and mama kiss, don't watch." He grinned and she stomped her tiny foot in true Rachel Berry fashion. "But that's not fair. Between you and mama, and mommy and daddy, I have to walk around with my eyes closed all the time." He couldn't help laughing at her mini-tantrum and knelt down in front of her, cupping her sweet face in his hands and kissing her on the forehead.
"Well, maybe I'll buy you a seeing-eye puppy for Christmakuh. How does that sound?" Her beautiful green eyes brightened and she threw her arms around his neck. When she let go, she stood there staring at him for a second. He smirked and held her hands in his. "Remember what we talked about the other night?" Rebecca nodded her head and drew in a breath.
"About how you wanted mama to marry…" she trailed off at the stern look he gave her and just nodded quickly. Rachel, who'd been just watching the father/daughter duo, gasped at Rebecca's words. Puck turned on his knee to face her and looked up into her eyes.
"Rachel, I love you. I love everything about you. I love your voice when you wake me up in the mornings. I love that you still bake 'I'm Sorry' cookies whenever the neighbors complain about the noises from our apartment. I love how you've known from day one what you wanted out of life and you've made it happen. I love that in the last eight years, you've caused me to use the word 'love' more times than in the seventeen years before them, this little speech included. I'm so in love with you, sometimes it scares the hell out of me. But, like a rollercoaster, the fun kind of scary. God, I suck at this." Puck shook his head and chuckled at his own expense. He took a deep breath and continued. "Look, Rachel Barbra Berry, marry me." He saw Rebecca out of the corner of his eye who was just smiling at him brightly. He refocused on the woman still in front of him, who still hadn't answered and he added, "please." Then he remembered that he hadn't taken the ring out his pocket.
Puck fumbled around in his pocket for a second before he was able to finally pull the ring box out. He opened it and held it out before her. He'd had it designed specifically for her. Five small but flawless marquise cut diamonds arranged to look like a star set in twenty-four karat gold. It was simple and refined, but complex and amazing. Just like her.
Finally, after an eternity of silence from the girl who always seemed to have something to say, he saw Rachel take a very slow breath.
"Noah," she whispered. But she didn't say anything else. It was really starting to scare the shit out of him. He'd expected one of two things to happen. One, for her to jump around and scream and say 'yes'. Two, for her to pace around and rant and say 'no'. Both expectations included Rachel making a lot of noise, which she wasn't doing any of and it had him worried that she might say 'no'. But then, he felt her hands on his face and she smiled down at him. Before he knew it, she was on her knees in front of him. Her voice was barely a whisper against his lips but he heard her all the same. "I can't believe you just said 'please'." He felt her lips against his and he pulled her closer against his body before he actually registered that she still had not technically answered him. He pushed lightly on her shoulders and she backed up from his face.
"Rach, you're driving me crazy here. Will you marry me or not?" She hit his chest and laughed lightly.
"Of course I'll marry you Noah. How could I not?" He jumped up from his knees and pulled her up with him, crushing her body and lips against his with all of his strength. She wrapped her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist. A fire coursed through his veins like never before at the taste of her, more intense than any he'd ever felt with her before.
As he coiled his tongue with hers, he knew that the fire he felt for her would only grow stronger now because she was officially his. Rachel kissed him passionately and he kissed her right back, pouring everything into it. When they pulled back for air, he looked into her eyes and smiled to himself. As she unwrapped her legs from around his waist, she unintentionally (he thinks) ground herself into him. He groaned out loud and looked down at her.
"God Rach, you're killing me here." She flashed him a brilliant smile and held her hand out in front of her. He quickly took the ring from the box and placed it on her delicate finger. She looked back up at him with that fire still in her eyes and he thought to himself, But what a way to go!