Disclaimer: Nothing, nada, zippo
Author's Notes: So, so, so sorry for the delay. Between work, and school and life, I barely have time to breath. And ya'll can thank the children I work with for my sprained wrist, which added even more delay to this chapter. So, next chapter begins May for our Glee Club, and then only a month and a half for Rachel to have the baby. Yay! Not too much on the relationship fronts, but lots of cute scenes revolving Finn, Puck, and Kurt. Anyway, sorry again and Thank You so much to EVERYONE who has read (whether you reviewed, alerted, or simply glimpse over, I appreciate it!) Happy Readings and R&R!
April 17th, 2010, Saturday
Finn stared down at the baby blanket that was spread out in front of him and Puck. His eyes darted to the couple to his left. He frowned.
"Are you two, absolutely, sure that this is the right class?" Finn maintained his urge to roll his eyes at the some-what young looking teacher who was standing over them. Puck made a noise, but remained in his criss-cross sitting position, arms folded, and lips pouted.
"Yes. Our friend, who is in fact pregnant, signed us up for the class." Finn tried to smile, but ended up sighing and looking back down at the baby doll they were given not even an hour ago.
"She knows how to do all of this." Puck added, gesturing to the mess in front of them.
The teacher scoffed, not believing a word that fell from their lips.
Not that you could blame her.
Upon receiving their temporary daughter, Baby Caroline, the boys had taken out her batteries due to her extensive crying and their lack of being able to comfort her. Not ten minutes after that, Finn accidentally rotated her arm backwards (a way the doll had not been designed to go) while putting on a new outfit for her. Puck definitely had not found his parental instinct as he attempted to do up all the buttons and snaps of this new outfit. Now, once again not even an hour of being in the Parent Class, the boys stared down at their 'daughter' who was wearing her diaper backwards and her clothes half stuffed into the plastic material.
They had come to the conclusion that they were probably not going to be much help to Rachel in the long run.
With one more deep breath and a shake of her head, the teacher moved past the boys, walking to the far end of the room.
Puck shook his head, his eyes going to focus on the ceiling. After a silent prayer he looked to the other side of the room (opposite of where the teacher had walked towards) and studied Rachel and Kurt's baby.
Their baby was dressed, changed, and making gurgling noises.
"This was such a stupid idea." Puck stated, crossing his arms once again. Finn looked over to Puck, and then to Rachel and Kurt, and finally to Mercedes and Tina who were giggling a couple away from them. "What was the purpose of this?"
"I guess so we could, I don't know, look like morons and embarrass ourselves." Finn gently pressed some of Caroline's hair from her doll face.
"That's not cool." The mohawked teen growled and threw his arms in the air. "What is up with all of this shit?"
Before Finn could answer, a man to Puck's right raised his finger weakly.
"Um, sir, we're trying not to bring negativity into our child's world, do you mind not using such harsh words?" The man whimpered as Puck shot him a look.
"We're sorry, sir, we'll try not to curse or anything." Finn gave the couple a reassuring smile, which settled the mother, but did little to nothing for the man. He turned his look to Puck who was rolling his eyes.
"Seriously, what is this? Nesting?"
"Dude, I don't know. All I know is that with the basement construction, her little chit-chat with that doctor lady, Chris doing double time with his soccer practice in her stomach, plus her mental health, I'm in shock she hasn't tried to kill us." Finn raised his hands in defeat.
"We came to this little shin-dig, didn't we?" Puck scoffed, looking down at Caroline's newly diapered butt. He shook his head in disapproval.
Finn shrugged, looking over to Mercedes and Tina who were re-dressing their 'son' and then to Rachel and Kurt, who seemed to be arguing. Judging by the outfits in each other their hands, it was safe to assume that there was a fashion crisis going on.
The teacher walked past them, causing both boys to cast their eyes up to her.
"You know, she hasn't given one dirty look to the other under-agers in here." Puck stated after the teacher walked away from them.
"They knew how to dress and change their baby. And they definitely didn't start shaking the doll and taking the batteries out."
"It's a doll! I swear I will not try and take Chris' batteries out!" Puck shook his head. "She just wouldn't shut up."
"I am just saying that it wasn't too impressive on our parts." Finn mumbled, his eyes lingering over Rachel and Kurt.
Puck looked at his friend, following his gaze. "She mention giving up Chris again?"
"No, she hasn't." Finn shrugged, looking down at baby Caroline. "We're still not talking."
"Yeah, I haven't really been all a twitter talking wise with her myself." Puck leaned back a bit, his eyes sweeping over to Mercedes and Tina. "Dude, what the hell did we get ourselves into?"
Finn smirked, looking at Puck. "Don't you mean, 'what did you get yourself into'?"
"Look, if you're just going to split hairs like that, I'm raising this baby alone." Puck stated, gesturing to their limp doll.
They both froze as the teacher walked past them, again, her eyes staring at them hard. Puck growled.
"That girl, over there," he pointed to Rachel. "She is the one that signed us up, ok? You have a problem, take it up with her."
The young-ish woman looked over to Rachel and Kurt, a smile lighting up her face. "Oh! You're friend's with the Hummels? Aren't they so cute together? He's going to be such a great father!"
There was a beat.
"What?" Finn asked, confusion running wild through his words.
"Kurt's the father!" The teacher was smiling, her hands clasped together. "At first I thought they were so young and unready, but, they're just such a pleasure."
Finn and Puck stared at the teacher, their eyes moving slowly to focus over Rachel and Kurt.
April 18th, 2010, Sunday
Finn looked up from his car, standing up straighter as Kurt, Tina, and Mercedes stepped out from the black SUV parked across the street. The tall teen squinted in the sun for a second before going back to the job at hand of washing his car.
"Hey Tina, Mercedes." The two girls looked at Finn, who was completely back in sync with washing the car, and then over to Kurt who was rolling his eyes.
"It was a joke. Obviously I am not the father of Rachel's child." Blue and brown collided. Finn shook his head, moving along the side of his car.
"Rachel went shopping with my mom."
"We know!" Tina stated happily. Finn did not pick up his head. He had a feeling that this was not going to go well.
"We wanted to talk to you." Mercedes intervened, clearing her throat. "Alone."
"Is this about Rachel and me not talking?" Finn slipped to the front of his car, the rag gliding over the hood, leaving a soapy residue. "Because if it is, it's between me and Rachel."
"It's not about that." Kurt stated, he was looking around the neighborhood. "It's about her baby shower."
"Her what?" Finn paused, his hands leaning on the soapy hood.
"Her baby shower. She's due in two months! We don't want to wait until the last possible moment." Tina stated, crossing her arms. "Your mom's really excited about it."
"What?" Finn's voice was becoming less confused and slightly more authoritative. Kurt took this opportunity to shove Mercedes forward.
"We talked to Brittany on Friday, apparently her mom was sixteen when she had Brittany, which is why her younger siblings are, like, super young comparatively. She told her mom about Rachel, and Mrs. Pierce wants to throw Rachel a baby shower at their house, two weeks from yesterday. It's a surprise. We think it'll be good for Rachel to be surrounded by friends and have someone like Mrs. Pierce to talk too." Mercedes rolled her wrist around a bit. "Other then Brittany's parents getting married after finding out about Brittany. And the fact that Brittany's grandparents were all on board. And if we really want-"
"You're losing the argument, quiet now." Kurt stated, grabbing Mercedes' arm and hoisting her back. "All we're saying is that it would be nice to bring some happiness to the situation. Rachel's been a little more screw-bally then normal, and it would help to have the baby daddy on board."
"You want to throw Rachel a baby shower? Rachel? The girl who cries every single time you buy her something?" He looked at Tina. "The girl who last week threw her 'What to expect' book at you for mentioning god-parents?" His look shifted to Mercedes, moving quickly to Kurt. "And the girl who had to be held back from attacking you for drawing attention to the fact that she was wearing two different shoes?" The three stared back at Finn. "You want to throw her a surprise baby shower?"
Silence surrounded the small trio. Finn shook his head, moving his hands, running the rag over his hood once more.
"Uh-huh. Good luck to you three."
April 20th, 2010, Tuesday
"I just need to you to talk to him." Puck sighed and looked over to Kurt. There was a brilliant smile over the blonde's face. "Please."
"Hummel, you're little, whatever this is, does not work on me. You had a better chance of me agreeing to this had you sent Jones or Chang." Puck shut his locker and turned to walk away.
"Why are you really not talking to Rachel?" Kurt crossed his arms, staring holes into the back of Puck's letterman jacket. "I guess I can understand Finn, not that I think he's right. And he at least stated why he wasn't talking to her. You just told me to mind my own damn business." The blonde watched as Puck's shoulders slumped, his back still turned. "Why? Did she do something? Did something happen between her and Finn? Did you finally get the balls to sleep with Santana again? What happened?"
Puck swung around so fast, it took everything in Kurt not to wince or cringe. Puck shook his head, closed his eyes, took a step back, and took a deep breath.
"Why do you always have to cross a line, Kurt?"
"What line?" Kurt huffed, flipping his bangs. "You're not talking to her. Finn is not talking to her. And she is not talking to us." The blue eyed boy looked up in thought for a mere second. "Technically she is talking to us, but not about anything of importance."
"This isn't some jigsaw puzzle that once you get all the pieces together you can put it back together." Puck growled. He shook his head again, crossing his arms tightly over his jacket and chest.
"I'm not trying to fix anything, Puckerman." Kurt stated, looking at his cuticles, an air of snobbery twisting with his words. "I'm just trying to understand. It makes getting through all this shit, easier."
They locked angry eyes for a second, Puck rolling his.
"They are having a kid together. It has nothing to do with me or you or the Supremes or even freakin' glee. This is about Rachel and Finn. And I didn't think it through, much like I'm sure you didn't think it through, that all of this shit was completely avoidable. Santana and Quinn don't have to deal with doctor appointments. Matt and Mike don't have to care if Rachel slept enough or if Finn is concentrating during practice. They get off without any stress. They come, they see, they're done."
Kurt was staring at Puck. He tilted his head slightly. "And?"
"It's not worth it, man!" Puck threw his arms in the air. "She's going to pick Finn. They're having a baby. They're not just ruining their lives, their ruining all our lives because we were stupid enough to get involved!"
"I'm sorry?" The blond shook his head as Puck silently seethed. "How did all of," Kurt made a circular motion with his hand, "this come about?"
"I was talking to Quinn-"
"Which would be part of the problem," Kurt nodded, "continue."
Puck threw the boy a nasty look. "I was talking to Quinn and I told her to back off from Finn because he's in love with Rachel and they're going to have a baby and live together." He rolled his eyes as Kurt stared at him, egging him to continue. "And I guess I took it as an opportunity to look in the mirror."
Kurt squinted his eyes, taking a deep breath.
"I hate to burst bubbles, but, it doesn't matter who she ends up with." Kurt shrugged his shoulders. He sighed and leaned against the lockers. "She trusted you with Chris before he was even Chris. She has trusted you everyday since that initial moment. She's given you the opportunity to leave and you have given her ultimatums to stay. Whether she likes you, or she likes Finn, or she likes Mr. Schue, it's all relative. She needs you and she wants you in her life. And that should be good enough for you, and Finn, and Mr. Schue."
Puck stared at Kurt for a long moment, before looking up at the ceiling and bringing his fingers to the bridge of his nose.
"Seriously?" Puck asked, staring at the ceiling, as if the good lord was appearing to him.
Kurt simply nodded his head. "I know, right. Artie is really getting good at this rational talking stuff."
Finn pulled out a spare towel from his locker. He turned around, coming face to face with a broken down Puck.
"Dude, what the hell happened to you?" Finn raised an eyebrow. It went further towards his forehead as Puck let his head drop back and a growl/moan filtered from his mouth.
"Immthimmyoummshouldcan'tbelieveI'msayingthistalkmmto-gr-Rachel." The mohawked teen was glaring at the lockers behind Finn, his mouth dangerous and his arms threatening.
Finn was staring at him as if he had grown a second head. "What?"
"I think you should talk to Rachel." The words were clearer, if not still spoken a little low and a little hastily. Puck was refusing eye contact.
Finn's stare was dropped, replaced with an annoyed sort of look. "Puck, seriously?"
"I know!" Puck shook his head. "I swear to god, you think you can ignore them, but they follow you and pester you. They're like the keebler elves!" Puck was besides himself. "It would just be really great if you get on board, so they get off my back!"
"Puck, come on, a baby shower, for Rachel? She freaks out about shit like that." Finn shook his head. "I can't have her freak out again. Those false contractions or whatever, it was the scariest thing I have ever been through."
"We were all scared, Finn." Puck had calmed himself down. "I think a baby shower might actually help, especially if Brittany's mom went through all of this." Finn looked at Puck skeptically. "Whatever man, we're all apart of this little production. Just because you and Berry are the directors, doesn't mean the camera crew and the extras don't get a say."
"Correct me, and I promise you I will take out all my Hummel/Berry/Jones/Chang frustrations out on you."
Finn nodded his head, turning to shut his locker. "I'll think about it, ok?" Puck simply nodded his head. "I don't know why this matters so much, they're just going to do whatever they want anyway."
Puck snorted. "They need someone to blame it on when she freaks out. Duh."
April 23rd, 2010, Friday
Rachel closed her locker. She took a deep breath, her hand moving to her stomach, turning to head to class. Instead, however, she found herself staring into the brown eyes of one Quinn Fabray.
"Oh," the pregnant teen's face fell, "what do you want?"
The blonde girl made a noise with her lips, but simply shook her head. "I just wanted to see how you were doing."
"I'm fine." Rachel answered wearily. "Why are you asking how I am?"
"Because, I," Quinn seemed to be fighting with herself. "I know that this has been very hard for you, and I want to act more like a human being."
"Uh-huh." Rachel nodded her head. "Finn's not talking to me right now. So whatever little devil plans you have, now would probably be the best time to assert them." She went to move around Quinn, pausing as perfectly manicured hands gently pressed against her elbow.
"No, this isn't about Finn, or Puck, or anyone. I know that if I was in your position, you wouldn't have been so cruel. So, I just want to push this under a bridge and start fresh."
"Two months before I have the baby, impressive." Rachel took another deep breath. "Thank you for, this, I need to be getting to class."
Quinn's hand fell to her side. She didn't reply or argue, she watched as Rachel maneuver her and her round belly through the crowd of students.
"That was pretty decent of you," her pony tailed whipped the back of her head as she looked over her shoulder. "What's the catch?"
She sighed, shifting to fully face the giant teen. "Brittany is insisting that Santana and I attend the baby shower. I thought it would be more of a pleasant environment if I cleared the air."
Finn drew his lips inwards, nodding his head slowly. "Puck told Kurt about his little talk with you. I'm not leaving her Quinn. Whether you're nice to her or mean to her or whatever."
A small smiled appeared over the head cheerleaders flawless features. "I know that. I do. I'm not doing this to win you over." She let out a bitter laugh. "I thought that we could still be friends."
He sighed, leaning against Rachel's locker. His hand ran down his face, revealing exhausted features. "Don't do that. Don't make this about you."
Quinn, with her bitter smile and angry eyes, shook her head. "I'm not making this about me."
"Really? Because, to me, it looks like you are."
"I am not." She whispered angrily. "I know this is about Rachel. I know that the entire Glee club is falling to their knees to support her and do whatever they can. I am trying to be a decent person." The blonde was facing Finn, her lips twisted in a nasty sort of way. "I just don't understand what the big deal is."
"The big deal is that Rachel is apart of this group we have going for ourselves. It's the one place where we get to be ourselves, no judgment. While the rest of the school is making fun of her and making her life that much more difficult, she has us. Her dads aren't talking to her and she hasn't slept in her own bed in months. Rachel needs us. And I'm happy you're trying to be nice to her, and I really appreciate everything you've done for me. But I need Rachel."
Finn ran his hand down his face again.
He had woken up to a snoring Rachel. She was curled in a ball, a soft smile over her features. He guessed it was foolish that he wasn't talking to her still, and foolish that he was not into the baby shower. But everything was finally taking it's toll on him. It had also hit him the night before that this was only the very beginning. They were going to have a baby to take care of. A baby. Midnight feedings, diaper changes, bath time, and a whole lot of crying.
Finn had woken up feeling despondent and scared.
"I'm sorry that I haven't been into this Finn. But you can't blame me." She crossed her arms.
"I'm not blaming you. I just need you to understand."
It was at this moment that Finn caught sight of Kurt walking past them. The blonde boy seemed to be in his own world, unaware of what was going on. At least this was the impression given until Kurt stop about a foot away from the pair, and slowly spun around. Finn rolled his eyes, his hand running down his face for a third time. Quinn simply stared back at the blonde.
"Well, hello Ms. Fabray." Kurt stated, taking two, rather large, steps toward them. "How are you this fine day?"
"I'm fine Kurt." Quinn stated. She looked over to Finn, sighed, and then gently pressed her way back into the busy herd of students.
The soprano watched as she left. He turned to look at Finn who was staring at the ceiling, shaking his head.
"I need her to have this baby Kurt. I need this to all get better so we can be happy. I want her to be happy." Finn's voice was strained.
Kurt stared at his friend, sighed, and nodded his head. "Get on board for the baby shower, Finn. All will work itself out." And with a flip of his bangs, he twirled around and walked back into the busy halls.
Finn rolled his eyes, gently banging the back of his head on Rachel's locker.
April 24th, 2010, Saturday
He hadn't seen her this happy since they had all gone to the arcade. And, OK, he had been avoiding her for the most part the past couple of weeks, but that was hardly the point.
"Rach, seriously, pick out clothes." He stated, stressing certain words. She looked over from him, scrunching up her nose and sticking her tongue out. It was quite possibly the cutest thing he had ever seen.
Not that he would ever admit to that.
He rolled his eyes and folded his arms.
Honestly, he wasn't sure how she had roped him into taking her to the mall and hanging out for, oh, three hours so far. It wasn't like he was going to drop her off and let her wander around aimlessly, alone. The girl was a menace to society. All he knew, was that he was going over to hang out with Finn and the next thing he was at the mall, watching as a bunch of pregnant chicks tore up the Peas in a Pod maternity store.
"I said you could leave if you want too." Rachel shrugged, moving towards him, towards another rack. "I'll call Finn or Kurt or something."
"I'm fine Berry. You keep looking for shit." Puck stated, avoiding eye contact to stop the smile from forming on his lips.
Rachel caught on fast, however, and smiled brightly herself. "You boys really need to relax!"
"HA!" Puck threw his head back. "Isn't that the kettle calling the pot black!"
"I'm not saying that I do not need to relax, Noah. I am merely suggesting that you and Finn should take your own orders." The smile dimmed, her eyes moving back over the rack. "Maybe you can tell me why Kurt sent me on some grand shopping trip to find the, I quote, perfect baby glowing ensemble?"
"I see." Rachel nodded. "Fine then, I'll be trying this stuff on then. Come to the back? I need someone to yay or nay my selections." She turned, waddling to the back of the store.
Puck kicked himself from the entrance, following behind her.
"Why didn't you just come with Hummel?"
"He and Mercedes have been busy doing something for school. He said if I waited until during the week he would have more time, but I really don't feel like waiting for him." She paused, took a deep breath, her hand going to her stomach.
"What? What's wrong? What happened?" Panic filled Puck.
"Oh, nothing," Rachel stated, shooting a smile over her shoulder. "Chris is just bouncing around."
"Oh." He relaxed, leaning away from Rachel as she shook her head, smiling from ear to ear. Puck folded his arms, gesturing for her to continue into the fitting room. He shook his head as she slipped in. "Seriously?"
"It's hard." Brown eyes moved fast to see a slightly older man then Mr. Schue, sitting in a chair. "She's late in the pregnancy, right? That's when you worry the most."
"I wouldn't know, I've been worrying since she told me about it." Puck scratched the back of his head, focusing on the man, who was nodding his head.
"I worried for absolutely everything for our first one too. I think it's the lack of knowledge. But we're on number three," the man pointed towards a woman who had a small bump. She was laughing and giggling to another woman, who didn't look pregnant at all. "This is the happiest pregnancy so far."
"They had to drug her." Puck gestured towards the dressing room. "The girl was a mess."
"She looks young."
"Ah, yes, I can see the mess factor at that age. She's strong though." The man smiled. "That counts for a lot."
"She's a fighter alright." The mohawked teen shook his head.
"Well, congratulations to you both."
"Oh, I'm not the father, I'm best friends with the father, and me and her are good friends and stuff." Puck nodded his head slowly.
"You're still apart of this, obviously, my best friend would have never taken my wife shopping, it's a suicide attempt." The older man chuckled. A woman's voice calling out to 'Frank', caused both men to look up. The older man stood up, gently patting Puck's shoulder. "You're a better man then most son. Good luck to you both."
Frank smiled and walked towards his wife, a giant smile on his face.
Puck watched them, a weight soundlessly lifting from his shoulders.
"Noah?" He turned to look at Rachel. His jaw dropped open. "How do I look?"
He wasn't sure if he could speak. There was only one thing wrapping across his brain.
She looked stunning.
Finn walked into the house, his back hurting and his arms completely useless. His little side job was such a pain in the ass sometimes. He definitely did not get paid enough to work in the back room shifting boxes and reorganizing crap.
As he made his way to his bedroom, he could hear, what sounded like, the Wizard of Oz. He knew for a fact that they didn't own the Wizard of OZ, and to his current knowledge Rachel hadn't brought it over or asked her dad to bring it over way back when.
Gingerly, so as not to completely disturb Rachel, he pressed the door open.
The brunette was sitting on the very edge of the bed, mountains of bags piled behind her. Her ankles were crossed, her hands on her round, round stomach, and her eyes glued to the screen. She looked tiny under the large shirt she was wearing with black leggings. Her hair, which was normally up these days, was a waterfall of waves down her back.
"What part are you up too?" He asked, his voice slightly hoarse. A wave of hair flew behind her as her head spun to look at him. She smiled softly, looking back at the television.
"It's the part where they meet the Tin Man. I couldn't get Chris to settle down so I thought I would watch something. He must be your son, he instantly calmed when Judy started singing over the rainbow. Must be sleeping."
"I don't fall asleep during the Wizard of Oz." Finn defended himself. Rachel rolled her eyes.
"Right, what about when we were watching a Muppet Christmas Carol?"
"I was tired!" Finn defended himself, moving closer to his bed. His eyes were sweeping the bags that were laid haphazardly. "What did you and Kurt do? Buy out the mall?"
"I went with Noah. And I just bought some stuff that was on sale, and this really pretty dress for my lunch/dinner date with Kurt next Saturday. He told me to buy something that made me all glowy." Rachel shook her head. "That boy is too much sometimes, but Noah loved the dress I got, so, I guess that's good enough."
"Ah." Finn simply stated, poking and peeking into the bags. Feeling her eyes on him, he look up, throwing her a crooked smile. "What?"
"Are we ok?" Rachel stared at the gangly teen. She thought she was being more then rational when it came to Finn and Noah. They were ignoring her and she allowed them too. There was no guilt parties, no angry outbursts, hell she had kept all of her emotions in check. She had been a real trooper.
And, sure, the sleeping pills helped a lot. And maybe there was some crying in the shower before she went to sleep. And, OK, there might have been that one innocent phone call to a radio station. But no one knew any of that stuff, so, as far as she was concerned, she had acted more then rational.
Now, however, she wanted to know if it was ok to breathe again. Puck had forgiven her, even though she wasn't a hundred percent on what she did. He had even bought the dress for her, you know, after he picked his jaw up from the floor. She needed to know that both boys were talking to her again.
It was as simple as that.
Finn gave her a look, but then closed his eyes and nodded his head.
"Yeah, Rach, we're fine. I guess I'm just trying to work out some things in my mind. That's all." He forced a smile on to his face and moved to grab some clothes for himself. Ruffling her hair, his smile turned more genuine. "I can't wait to see the dress on Saturday, after you get home and stuff."
Rachel smiled. "Thank you."
Finn nodded and slipped out of the room towards the bathroom.
He definitely could wait to see the dress, because the chances of this baby shower idea exploding in their faces, pf, astronomical.