Disclaimer: You know the drill

Mistakes, choices, secrets, hurt, sadness and the rare gem of joy. Those words describe simply the essence of life.
For Quinn Fabray life would only be described as mistakes, choices, secrets, hurt and sadness, there hasn't been a single moment of joy. Not since she was nearly seventeen, she had lost her youth then, now even though she was only 21 and a half, she felt as if she 40. The weight of the world would be on her shoulders, she had so many things to care for, she worked every morning with her jobs that is if you consider singing on the street with your guitar, then she had to attend classes in the evening, then she had to go home around 9 PM where she would tuck her daughter to sleep and repeat the same thing over again. She had decided not to give away her baby, it only made her feel more guilty of what she did. But it was a weak choice. She rarely saw her daughter who went to a school she could barely pay for, spent the evening with one of Quinn's friends and slept one hour before Quinn returned to Rachel's apartment.
Life was going to be hard, for the rest of her life.

"Hey girl," Quinn said softly. Her four year old daughter poked her head fro
"Mom," the girl said. She was Puck's child with his brown eyes, she seemed to be like Finn with her unassuming, happy nature and elfin ears, she was Quinn's child with her dirty blonde hair and smile. But Quinn only felt like her daughter only seemed to be her daughter. There was no father figure in her daughter's life but Quinn knew she could survive this.
"Claire," Quinn smiled, "It's Saturday, do you want to go and see your uncle Artie?"
Claire shook her head.
"How about Aunt Mercedes?"
Claire shook her head.
"You wanna see Mr. Shue?"
Another no. Quinn bit her lip. "You just want to stay home and lie around?" Claire smiled.
"No," her daughter said, "Mom, I want to see Daddy."
Quinn's heart sank, she had never let the child see her father, but she knew that even though Puck was the actual father, he wouldn't be the "daddy" Claire talked about. He would never be. And Finn? Quinn mustered a smile to face her daughter as she thought about him and how she had hurt him so much.

"Dude, this is your fifth cup of coffee. You're going to be very high by ten o' clock."
"I always spend my morning like this," Finn said gruffly. He was 22 but honestly he seemed to be at least twenty years older. He hadn't shaved in a long time, a beard grew scruffily on his face and he probably hadn't shaved his legs in well a long time. No one would want to talk to him, he got mood swings often and he had never seen his daughter. Puck had never seen her too and they had never made up about Quinn.
Rachel told him Quinn named her daughter Courtney or something else that started with a C and that the girl had grown up without a father. He knew that Quinn had probably told stories of the girl's "father". He sighed and swallowed the last bit of coffee when he noticed a a young girl walking hand in hand with an older blonde woman. Finn pushed his hair away from his eyes to see the girl more clearly. She had brown eyes, blonde hair but more noticeably a playful grin. He looked at the woman, supposedly her mother and then bit his lip.
It was Quinn. He then looked at himself, an unruly brown beard, mood swings and an extra bulk of fat. Finn turned his eyes back to Quinn, she had grown a little rounder from the pregnancy but she still had long thin legs, beautiful blonde hair and those sparkling green eyes.
"Who is that?" He asked the waitress in the coffee shop pointing the girl, Quinn's daughter.
"Oh that's Claire Fabray," the waitress said smiling, "Very bright girl, she's only four and a half years old but she's one of the brightest kids in her kindergarten class."
Finn's heart pounded, "What about the woman next to her, she looks pretty young, is she the mother?"
The waitress (whose name was Suli) sighed sadly, "That's Quinn. Teen pregnancy, bad stuff. She was promising you know. Now she just plays her guitar and sings for money, she's really good, wonder where she got her training. Lives with that star on Broadway, Rachel something. But everyone likes Quinn, she's been in Lima for her whole life, everyone knows her very well." Suli turned to Finn, "How long have you been here to not know Quinn Fabray?"
"Two months since I've moved back here," Finn admitted. He had dropped out of school in junior year, it was too stressful for him ever since Quinn had left to take care of the baby -Claire- and she couldn't tutor him. They weren't on good terms anyways.
"You must not get out often then," Suli said. She picked up Finn's coffee mug and walked away muttering, "Nice kid, that Claire, cute, smart, awesome kid."
Finn sighed and looked out the window once more but Claire was gone.

"Cause, spring and summer flew by so fast, memories and pictures of the past, ohhhh, you brought me down, but I didn't want your help" Quinn sang while strumming lightly on her guitar, "Cause, I thought I loved you, I guess I was wrong, but when the future comes, I know that I'll be strong." A bypasser pulled something out of his pocket and dropped it in her guitar case as she sang the last note. Quinn sighed and then began strumming lightly on her guitar. It was a nice tune, she hadn't written a song for it yet but it seemed to be the song that always got her through every Monday, or in fact the whole week.
"She smiles at me," Quinn began, "And for once I think there's nothing wrong, but she reminds me of the mistakes I made, all along." Quinn then began strumming hard and strong. The words were now coming easily to her. "She says I'm a perfect mom, she says that I'm the most wonderful woman on this little planet, she makes me feel good for once, but I know that it's all wrong, cause I'm not a perfect woman, even though I try to be, and it breaks my heart every time when I know how much she believes in me." Quinn continued her song surprised at how easily the words flew out. People stopped to listen for more than just a few words and dropped money into her case. She sighed when she finished, it was already one in the afternoon, she would usually continue until it was three but by the amount of money she had just earned in the last three and a half minutes, she decided that she would go back home.

"Hey Rachel," Quinn said as she opened the door to her apartment
"Hey Quinn," Rachel said from the couch. Rachel technically owned the apartment but Quinn co-signed the lease so it was their apartment. Rachel was watching some tapes of the Broadway shows she had been in while in college (Quinn was living with Tina and Artie during that time), now she only did minor singing and acting roles and honestly missed the big screen. "You're home early," Rachel said, on her lap was a tub of ice cream and a spoon.
"Yeah," Quinn sighed and joined Rachel on the couch. "I made sixteen dollars and seventy two cents in the last five minutes.
"That's brilliant Quinn," Rachel said, "I just got signed to Way Off Broadway Records. My first studio album is expected to come out in March, so for the next five months I'll be recording most of the time."
"Awesome," Quinn said. "Then who's going to pick Claire up from school?" Rachel did it most of the time and sometimes Kurt or Tina did it but Quinn had never remembered if she had ever done it.
"Well," Rachel said, "Perform like that every day, well maybe you could do it."
"Yeah," Quinn said reluctantly. "Hey can I have some ice cream?"

Shaving a beard for the first time in well, he couldn't remember., is like having your first kiss. It has some tension and a lot of awkwardness. Finn gulped remembering his first kiss with Quinn after eighth grade. The memory hurt. Even more than trying to shave his beard.
To put it simply. He had no idea how to shave now. Why was he even shaving? Because he wanted to see Claire, Suli had said that she went to the local kindergarten (there was only one kindergarten) and well, they let out at two thirty and he just wanted to see her. Even though she wasn't his daughter. She's just like Quinn.
First time shaving is not an easy job, as Finn figured out.

Quinn yawned. She took a look at the screen before blinking her eyes and going to sleep.

Finn walked towards the local kindergarten. Act casual, don't let her notice you, he thought. He watched as tons of kindergarteners came pouring out of the door where their parents were waiting. He couldn't see Claire yet.
Until the end.
When all the other kids were gone.
And there was only one girl with beautiful yellow hair standing.

AN: So, what do you think? In the next chapter I'll write about Finn's interaction with Claire and him meeting Quinn.