Disclaimer- Puh-lease. If I owned Glee Mark Salling would never, EVER have his shirt on.

Brand New Me

Chapter Thirteen:

Despite the fact that she hadn't had so much as a sip to drink at Santana's the night before rachel woke up feeling hung over. Her mind flashed images from the night before; reminding her of her talk with Brittany the night before where she told the blond girl part of her story as they lay on her bed, staring at the ceiling.

Britt slept peacefully next to her, mumbling something about her cat and her diary that Rachel didn't even want to try and understand because if Brittany could be confusing when she was awake she didn't even want to think about the inner workings of her subconscious, and Rachel let her mind wander. Things here were complicated, but nothing like she'd expected.

If she were being honest with herself she'd easily admit that she had feelings for Puck. Ones which were quickly overwhelming her. She'd never expected the scandals that would occur while she was gone, changing everyone who was involved. Honestly, she would never have guessed that having a child would change Puck so drastically. She figured it made sense in some ways; she knew that his father had abandoned him and his sister when they were just young, his sister not even born yet, so she supposed that somewhere inside of him he had a sense of obligation for those he cared about, especially his daughter.

Rachel was so completely caught up in her own thoughts that it wasn't until her phone was into the second verse of 'My Junk' from Spring Awakening (what it's not like she could change everything about herself) that she broke out of her reverie and was able to take in what was going on in real life. Brittany was curled up on her side, hugging a large stuffed turle that Rachel kept on her bed, the sound of Rachel's phone obviously beginning to wake her up.

Grabbing her phone quickly off the nightstand next to her, Rachel flipped it open, trying to ignore the fact that it was far to early for social calls of any kind, "Hello?"

Puck slammed his head into his fist upon hearing Ray's sleepy voice. He'd obviously woken her up and he felt like an idiot for doing it. What kind of person calls other people this early in the morning. Obvioisly other people, meaning not teenaged, single fathers with screaming six month old babies, would be sleeping right now, "Hello…?"

Finally clearing his throat, Puck shifted Beth in his arms, "Yeah Ray? It's me…I mean…um it's Puck."

He felt like a bumbling idiot, and he felt a strange need to check and make sure that his balls were still completely attached when the thought that she sounded cute, and even borderline sexy while she sounded like she was still half asleep.

Rachel sat up quickly in the bed, the covers falling down her body as she heard his frazzled voice and the crying baby in the background, "Puck? Are you okay? Is something wrong with Beth?"

"I don't know, that's the problem. I think she's got a fever and she just won't stop crying, not even if I do the things that normally calm her down. I think she's sick and my mom's doing a double shift and Sarah is staying with a friend, not that she'd be any help anyways. Ray I need help. She's never been sick before, not since she was born and in the hospital that whole time. What do I do?"

While Puck gave his monologue (which was heartbreaking and completely beautiful to Rachel. Listening to his love and devotion for the little girl made her melt inside) Rachel was up and out of bed, quickly changing into a pair of yoga pants and a tank top, "Okay Puck, you need to calm down and listen to me. Beth can tell when you're stressed so stay calm and just try to keep her from getting any more worked up than she already is. I'll be there as soon as I can, leave the door unlocked so if you get her calm I won't wake her up by ringing the bell."

Flipping her phone closed, Rachel moved over towards her bed, lightly shaking Brittany, who was still happily passed out in her bed, until the blond girl started to stir.

"Wha-…what's going on?" Brittany squinted as her eyes ajusted to the lights that Rachel had unconsiously turned on while she was finding clothes.

"Britt, Puck needs help. Beth is sick and his mom's not there to help him and he's kind of freaking out. I'm gonna go and help him but you can stay here, just lock up if I'm not back by the time you leave."

"Is Beth going to be alright?" Suddenly Brittany was looking like a small child as she lay curled up and disheveled in Rachel's bed, looking up and her with sleep filled eyes, her worry for the little baby completely evident.

"She'll be find hun, it's probably just a cold or something but Puck's never had to deal with this on his own."

"Okay…can I come see her when I get up? I'll tell her some stories about my imaginary friend Belinda and her purple unicorm!"

Rachel couldn't help but smile at Brittany's excitement, "Yeah sweetie, I'm sure she'd love that. Call me when you're coming over."

After getting the blond girl's nod of understanding Rachel made her way towards the door, grabbing a hoodie and hitting the lights and rushing into her car, driving it towards Puck's house.

Sitting in his living room Puck was running out of ideas on how to calm his baby girl down. Everything thiat usually worked for her was doing nothing and his heart was breaking as his listened to his daughter sobbing. He didn't know what to do and he felt like he was failing her.

When Puck heard Ray letting herself through the front door he felt like he could cry in relief (not that he actually would because he might be a daddy but he was still a badass and don't you forget it).


Rachel sat down next to the frazzled young parent, one hand automatically brushing over the top of Beth's head while the other unconsciously reached out to give Noah's had a small squeeze. It seemed that that was all it took to encourage him to open up, "I'm a terrible father…"

"Oh Noah no. You're just a new father. No parent knows what they're doing at first. You're gonna make mistakes and things will be hard but eventually you'll get the hang of it. And then, as she gets older you'll keep learning the right way to do things, you'll just learn how to hid your mistakes better."

Rachel's joke was enough to get Puck to crack a smile, though he was still sitting there, wondering what he could do to make his daughter better.

Finally fully taking over Rachel reached out for the sobbing baby girl, "Okay, we've got a sick little princess who needs to get better."

A/N- Okay, first thing's first, I love my reviews. They fuel my writing and honestly, they make me feel like less of a dork for being a total and complete Gleek (not that that's a bad thing, there just aren't a ton of us who are out and proud that I know). Anyways, I love all of my reviews but one in particular really made me feel great so this chapter is dedicated to .Me-X.

Secondly, I know I promised this chapter about a week ago but between a massive case of writers block (which I'm sure you can see in my writing) and an even worse case of Strep throat mixed with a sinus infection mixed with an ear infection I had some trouble with my updating. I know this chapter isn't great but I hope you enjoy it and I'll do my best to get Coyote Ugly out as soon as I can.