Whoa, an update! Did you ever think that was going to happen? I hope you haven't lost interest in this story after such an long hiatus. I'm back. I've recently fallen back in love with Puck and Quinn, and I have since rekindled my writer's inspiration. Thank you to all of you who have stuck it through with this story. It means the world. Here's a shout-out to the reviewers of last chapter (some have messages):
CAS- Russell will be back!
noi- You'll see that you're review is very close to the direction of the story ;)
Just Call Me El
This chapter picks up about two months after the last chapter. Puck and Quinn are living with Ms. Fabray, but if you'll remember, Puck got them a house. He's been working to fix it up for them, but they have encountered some problems. You'll have to read to find out what those problems are and how they'll get through them. I hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer-I do not own Glee; If I did, Glee would have actually acknowledged Puck and Quinn as a legit couple.
Chapter 21-It All Starts Here
Quinn hated spending evenings alone, but that was her reality as her boyfriend spent his nights in the old home he'd bought, trying his hardest to fix it up and make it move-in ready. He and some of his friends had managed to finish the hardwoods on the main floor, paint the dinning room, master, upstairs bedrooms and family room, and now they were moving on to bigger endeavors: the kitchen. The renovations were coming along slowly, and Puck and Quinn each knew that they wouldn't move in for months, but Puck's determination was inspiring. And he was good at it.
As she thought about the progress he was making, Quinn looked to her side and ran two fingers down Beth's small back. The little girl had fallen asleep next to her mother, and Quinn was too tired to take her to her room. She'd been cramming for an AP History test and tried to fill her brain with information about the The Bay of Pigs and and Kennedy's Administration. Her eyelids were heavy, and she fought to keep them open. As she drifted in and out of sleep, she could have sworn she heard his voice.
"Hey, kiddo." the voice said. It was silent for a moment more and then grew louder. "Quinn? Are you awake?"
Her eyes fluttered open and she smiled. Puck was sitting on the corner of the bed with Beth in his arms. "Hey," he said in a low whisper. "I'll go put her down."
As Quinn groggily set the history book on the bedside table, she caught a glimpse of the clock. It was half past twelve, and she yawned with outstretched arms.
Puck returned and smirked in the doorway. "I'm sorry it's so late."
Quinn shook her head. "I'm glad you're here. I was beginning to forget what you looked like," she joked.
Puck kicked his boots off, tossed his jacket and shirt on a chair, and unbuttoned his pants. He climbed up the bed and fell into the pillows as he reached her side. Quinn ran her hand along his arm and felt his sticky skin rough with dust. She didn't even care that he was dirty or that she had just changed her sheets because Puck was there, and that was all that mattered; he was all she needed.
Quinn leaned into his shoulder, engulfed by the sweet scent of his deodorant and body heat. She reached for his hand and brought it to eye level, examining the new traits and characteristics. She could see the paint under his fingernails, plaster dust on his knuckles, and a few more scratches than he'd had the day before.
Puck pulled her hand to his mouth and kissed it. "It's starting to look really good," Puck said, his voice rolling off the her skin. "I can't wait for you to come see it."
"I know. I want to, but I'm still having a hard time with mom."
Puck pushed his head back into the pillow and sighed. Judy had been an unexpected problem. Puck had though that she would like the idea of Quinn and Beth moving out, give her a bit of privacy, but the idea backfired when Judy found out about the house on accident.
It had been a simple coincidence, really. Judy had driven by the house and noticed Puck's truck in the driveway. She had wanted to tell him that she was going to drop Beth off at his mother's place. So, she ran into the the backyard to tell him; only, when she didn't find him in the back doing yard work like she thought, Judy walked up and into the house. She found him splayed out on his back under the sink in a mangled and gutted kitchen. She joked about his plumbing skills and then she realized that he'd done a lot of work, too much work and most of it well-beyond his repertoire of skills for a simple fix. Her inquiry resulted in his admission that the house was his and that he intended to have Quinn and Beth move in when it was ready. Naturally, Judy overreacted, stormed out, and she and Quinn got into a huge fight about responsibility.
"She doesn't want me over there because I think she thinks it will make me want to leave." Quinn explained. "But, I wish she knew that we're both ready for this."
"I think she knows you're ready for it, and that's what scares her," Puck said as he looked into Quinn's eyes. "And, I don't mind that you haven't seen the work we've done cause it makes the reveal that much better."
"I know, I just wish I could see it so I could tell you how good of a job you're doing."
Puck's dark eyes met hers and they gave her a forgiving look. "I don't mind," Puck said softly. "You tell me everyday that I'm doing a good job." He leaned closer to her in the darkness and kissed her cheek. "Even if you haven't seen it." He appreciated that she did tell him that he was doing a good job.
Quinn moved towards him and crashed her lips on his. She could taste the lemon of his sports drink on his lips and smiled when she pulled away. They didn't exchange anymore words; Quinn simply rested her head on his arm and soon the pair fell asleep. Quinn went to bed dreaming about the way the house looked and Puck to the ways he could convince Judy to let Quinn go.
Quinn, Mercedes, Tina, and Rachel had taken a girls' trip with Beth to the mall for the afternoon, leaving Puck alone and with the perfect opportunity. It had been a little over a week since he'd thought about convincing Judy to let Quinn see the house, and now was the time. Now was the perfect time; the church was just down the street from the house, and he knew he'd find her there.
Judy wrapped her scarf around her neck as she walked through the parking lot, waving to her friends who'd volunteered with her. She had two giant aluminum trays in her hands as she approached her car.
"Can I help you with those?" he asked, walking toward her with his arms outstretched.
Judy hadn't really spoken to Puck for almost two months, at least not like they used to. They'd make small talk when they saw one another, but they certainly weren't chatty. He'd tried, though. Puck didn't want their relationship to fall apart because of the house, and he was determined to fix it.
"Judy, I can get those," Puck said as he put his hands under hers. "You get the doors," he said with a gesture to the keys in her purse.
She looked at him apprehensively, but shrugged. "Oh, alright." She gladly watched him place the leftover casseroles on the backseat and then shut the door. She could tell by the expression on his face that he wanted to talk. "What do you need, Noah?"
She, like Quinn, only called him by is first name when he was in trouble or did something wrong. He smirked but quickly swallowed his grin, wanting her to know he was serious. "I want to show you the house."
Judy dropped her shoulders and sighed, "I've seen the house. I don't need to see it again."
"Will you just let me show you around, tell you the plans I have?" He flashed her his best apologetic eyes, and he saw her hesitation. "You don't have to like it. You don't have to say anything. I just want you to see it. I've worked really hard on this, and I want Quinn to see it. I want her to know how much I love her."
"She doesn't need a house, Noah. No seventeen year old does. And she knows you love her, the whole town does, but you've gone about this all wrong," Judy explained.
"Maybe I have, but I'd like you to at least see what I've done. Could I take a little bit of your time and show you?"
Judy looked at the gold watched on her arm, acting as if she had somewhere to be. "I...I don't..."
"Please?" Puck pleaded.
Ms. Fabray looked at him and shook her head. "I'm sorry, Noah." She clenched her keys in her hand and walked around the hood of her car, putting more space between them. "I'm sure it's lovely, but she's not ready to see it. I don't want her to love it and then, what if it doesn't work out, or something goes wrong... I just want her to wait. When Beth gets older, you'll understand." And with that, Judy hopped in her car and left Puck alone in the parking lot.
Puck shoved his hands into his pockets and sighed heavily, watching his frustration float away in the chilly air. He was so sure that she would say yes that he hadn't thought of the alternative. Not wanting to go back to Quinn's house, he wandered to his truck and drove toward the purple horizon.
Twenty minutes later, he found himself parked at the liquor store halfway between Lima and Spencerville. He wasn't even sure how he had ended up there, but a cold six pack did sound good. Not wanting to ruin the good thing he had going, he'd been sober for a while, Puck watched the bums and regulars stammer in and out of the door.
"Screw it." Puck said under his breath as he pushed his door open. It wasn't like he was a recovering alcohol; he'd just been abstaining from the stuff he used to drink once his responsibility as a father became more important than a buzz.
Puck walked into the small store and headed straight for the back. He grabbed a six-pack of bottled Budweiser and eyed the whiskey on the shelf. As much as he wanted it, he couldn't justify it, so he headed to the check-out counter. He stood in line and waited his turn, and as he set his case on the counter, the employee nodded toward the underage drinking sign.
"I need you're I.D., please," the clerk said.
"Yeah. Just a sec.," Puck agreed.
He suddenly felt his empty pocket and sighed. "I must have left it in the truck." Puck explained with empty hands.
The clerk, someone who had never seen Puck in the story before, raised his brow and questioned his age again.
"Listen, man. I used to come in here all the time. I'll go get my wallet; don't act like I can't get this." Technically, Puck was under age, but his fake I.D. was one of the best in the state. He'd used it most of his high school career. His grown-man good-looks usually did the trick as well, but he wasn't going to play that card with the middle-aged clerk.
Just as Puck turned to the door, he felt a hand on his shoulder. "He's good, man. Don't give the boy a hard time. He's legal."
The hair on Puck's neck stood on end as he stared into a familiar set of eyes. Russell Fabray looked older than he had at Christmas. He'd grown a scruffy beard and looked a little worse for wear, but he was still Quinn's father. Puck looked to the clerk, who knew Russell pretty well, and agreed. The clerk begrudgingly sold Puck his beer.
Puck smiled at Russell and left the store. As he slid into his truck, Russell called out to him. "Hey, Puckerman, what's the rush?"
Puck hadn't really wanted to talk to Quinn's father. For one he might accidentally on purpose hit him in the face for hurting Quinn so badly, and he had choice words for him after the Thanksgiving debacle, but the man had just gotten him out of a bind.
"Mr. Fabray, thanks for that back there." Puck said.
"Nah," Russell said with a wave of his hands. "I know how the Fabray women can be. They'll drive you to drink if you're not careful." He laughed as his eyes fell on the six-pack next to Puck. "Is Quinn wearing out your nerves yet?" Mr. Fabray knew his daughter was high-maintenance, but the silence told him it wasn't her. "So, it's Judy, huh?" He laughed as he lifted the brown bag in his hands. "She used to drive me up the wall. A single malt scotch always did the trick."
"No, it's nothing like that. Not really." Puck shook his head. He knew he didn't need to explain, but it was kind of nice having someone to talk to about it. "It's just, I got a house...for me and Quinn and Beth."
Russell's brow furrowed but his eyes softened. "Good for you. Is it close by?"
Puck didn't want to answer because he knew if Quinn ever found out she'd never forgive him, but he couldn't lie to the man's face. "Yeah. It's real close to your old house. It's definitely a fixer-upper, but I'm hoping we can move in by the end of summer, before senior year."
"And I'm guessing Judy doesn't much care for this grand idea of yours?" Russell said with a smirk, knowing his ex-wife would not want her daughter out of the house and living in sin with the father of her baby.
"Something like that," Puck said.
"Do you want a little advice from me?" Before Puck answered, Russell continued. "Do it, you're only young once. You have my permission whatever that's worth. Quinn deserves to be happy, and I think, I think she's her happiest with you."
Puck raised his brow. "I don't know. Judy has been so good to me, to us. I don't think I can go behind her back like that."
Russell inhaled the crisp, late February air and smiled. He wasn't going to tell the teenager what to do. He knew Puck would make up his mind eventually. "Well, it was good seeing you, Puckerman. Give my sweet grand baby a kiss for me. Tell Quinn I'd love to see her and Beth if she'd allow it."
Puck nodded and waved politely. "Will do."
Puck shut his door and turned the ignition. As he waited for his truck to warm up, Puck thought about Quinn. She would hate to find out that he had just spoken with her father. Quinn detested everything about Mr. Fabray ever since he abandoned his family, and Puck certainly didn't want to start World War III. Quinn would be that upset if she knew Puck had talked to Russ, muchness bought beer with his help.
So, as he drove away and back toward town, he let the conversation he and Russell had disappear like the exhaust in his rearview mirror. Quinn didn't need to know, but she did need to see the house. In deep thought and as he drove down highway 117, Puck planned how he'd surprise Quinn with the work he'd done so far.
It was simple really. A white lie. Just because Glee practice was canceled didn't mean that Puck and Quinn didn't have other things to do. This, Puck knew, was his moment.
Quinn flipped the mirror on the passenger side and watched as she layered Chapstick across her lips. It was still really cold in Lima, even as March approached. Noticing that Puck took a left-hand turn instead of right, Quinn looked to her boyfriend with a smirk, curious where he was taking her.
It only took a moment for her to realize. Her chest filled with heat and her cheeks widened. Puck couldn't contain his smile. He laughed as he nodded ahead of the truck. Quinn's draw dropped into a smirk.
"Are you really? Today?" Her questions were fast and filled with excitement, but she suddenly changed her tone. "Does Mom know?"
Puck sighed as he looked to her. "No. I tried to get her to say yes, but..."
"Puck, I know it's silly, but she's still my mother. I should respect her wishes, especially since we're living with her."
"I think that's fair. But what about our wishes? Don't those count for anything?"
Quinn silently digested his question. "Of course they do, but we'll just have to wait a little bit longer."
As Puck pulled into the driveway of their house, he turned the truck off and looked at her sternly. "I respect your mother and I appreciate everything she has done for us, for you and Beth, but I want you to see what I've done for us.
Quinn looked at the house in front of her and felt her eyes begin to well with confused tears. It was hard for her to go against her mother. For all of Judy Fabray's faults, she had been an extraordinary help ever since Beth was born. But, it wasn't like Quinn was moving. It wasn't like she was doing anything particularly awful. So, as she felt Puck's hand on hers, she squeezed it with a smile.
"Okay. Let's go in." Quinn looked to her lap and closed her eyes, hoping she was making the right decision.
Puck smiled wildly and pushed open his door. He raced over to Quinn's side, grabbed her hand, and they both hurried up the walk and stairs until they reached the door. He fumbled with the keys, but finally got it unlocked before they froze in the afternoon chill.
The last time Quinn had been in the house had been at night, and now, as the afternoon sun illuminated the floors and casted shadows along the walls, she fell in love with it all over again. The first thing she noticed were the floors. They were a deep mahogany color and shinned in the light, reflecting a new layer of polish and Puck's hard work.
Her heart flew into her throat as she tried to form words. "Puck...it's so...so beautiful," she said as she bit her bottom lip.
He smiled kindly and slipped his hand around her back. "There's still a lot to see." He led her down the hall and stopped at the bottom of the staircase. "Her bedroom is painted, if you want to see."
"Really?" Quinn asked, almost not believing him.
Puck pulled Quinn up the stairs, and as she neared the top step, Quinn had to take a breath. She wasn't out of breath or tired; she was simply enchanted. The sing-songing creaks of the stairs made her smile, the brass door knobs were charming, and the window to her left framed the sun perfectly. It was so surreal that this place, this home, was theirs.
"It probably still smells like paint, but it's done."
Quinn chuckled to herself. The whole house smelled like paint, but she wasn't going to ruin his moment. As he turned the knob to their daughter's room, Quinn's jaw fell heavy with emotion. She didn't need to see it to know that it was perfect.
When Puck stepped out of the way, he revealed a quaint room with one dormer window and lots of natural light. Quinn reached for her lips when she looked at the paint on the walls. It was exactly the color she had wanted. Not too girly and not too boyish—perfectly Beth. She'd asked for a gray-green color to match the bedding she had at her mother's house, and Puck had not disappointed.
"I think it's called Winter Meadow," he said, trying to remember exactly.
"It's perfect whatever it is." Quinn said as she turned to him. "I love it." She kissed him but kept her eyes all around the room.
The color was just like it sounded; a mixture of grey and green and brown and yellow melded together for a perfect neutral canvas. Quinn had endless ideas of how she could decorate it, but her attention changed when she noticed the bench beneath the window. She couldn't remember if it had been there the first time, but she moved closer to inspect it.
"This is so cute," Quinn said happily, looking back to Puck with an eager smile.
"I made that last week. She's still so little, you know, so I thought it be nice if she could see out the window when she gets a little taller. She can watch everybody. Learn things."
Quinn thought Puck's sentiment was adorable. Turning on her toe, she skipped to his side and kissed him once more. "Have I told you I love it so far?"
Puck smiled. "More than once."
"I want to see our room," Quinn said as she kinked her brow. "Is it painted?"
Puck smirked as he pulled her back toward the stairs. "Come on."
He ushered her down the stairs and across the family room where the fireplace still held chard pieces of wood from a fire Puck had made as he worked. The house didn't have electricity, water, or heat yet, and Quinn was starting to think a fire would be nice as the sun dipped behind the fading skyline.
As they walked to their bedroom, Quinn stopped to look at the kitchen. The cabinets had been gutted, the applianced were missing except for a wood-burning stove from the turn of the century, but the countertop was in. She couldn't be certain, but it looked like marble or granite.
"So we got the countertop put in last week. It's not too bad for a fake, huh?" Puck nodded. There was no way he could afford the high-end stone, but the faux stone looked just as good.
"I'd never know the difference," Quinn said truthfully.
Puck walked to a box and reached for something. "I wanna get this before we go into our room."
Quinn watched him curiously, but he kept the item hidden in his jacket as they headed to the master bedroom. He stopped just before the door and shot her a 'are you ready grin.' She grabbed for his hand and they both took a deep breath.
If Quinn remembered correctly, their room was spacious and had vaulted ceilings, but she hadn't seen it in the daylight, and although the sun was quickly falling behind the trees, Quinn knew that it was going to be beautiful.
The knob whistled as Puck twisted, and then he pushed the door open. Quinn gasped out loud, taking in the golden hue the sun reflected off the sand-colored walls. The light fixtures had been taken down and polished, and the moulding had been trimmed perfectly in an off-white color. Quinn placed her hand on her chest and looked to Puck, as if to say thank you without muttering a sound.
Puck had been watching her eyes intently, focused on her hazel orbs as they filled with tears. He was so happy that she liked it that he couldn't explain his elation. All he could do was show her what was in his hand.
"This is for you." He held out a thick piece of chalk and placed it in her hand. "It's just an empty room until we have furniture. And we'll get furniture, but until then, this'll have to do."
Quinn looked at the chalk in her hand and furrowed her brow. "But won't it mess up the floors?"
"Nah. It's nothing a damp towel can't get off. Don't worry about that, though." Puck stepped closer to her. "Show me the room we're going to spend forever in."
Quinn smiled and then shook her head; she couldn't possibly make that decision on her own. She held out her hand as she walked toward the corner of the room. "Help me."
Puck had hoped she would say that, and he gladly took her hand in his. They started with the bed, which they centered in between the two far windows. Quinn began to laugh as she traced the outline of a bed, but loved the feeling it gave her.
"Don't forget the pillows," Puck added.
Quinn nodded and drew two small rectangles close to the wall and then tossed the chalk to Puck. "Nightstands are next. Where should they go?"
As Puck connected the lines of the two nightstands next to the bed, he looked up with a playful grin. "What's next?"
Quinn looked around the room and sighed. They had plenty of room for a wardrobe, dresser, and chair, but she wasn't sure where the best place would be to put them all. "Maybe we should lay down and think about it," she said matter-of-factly, almost as if their make-believe bed was real.
Puck didn't think she was serious until he saw her sit down on the floor. He joined her and they both laid back against the cold hardwood, carefully making sure they were situated on their bed just right. Puck crossed his hands behind his head, and Quinn moved close to rest her head on his bicep. She wrapped her right arm around his midsection and sighed contently. Puck inhaled and smiled as he felt her body heat radiate against his chest.
"You know," she said looking up to him, "I could get used to this."
Puck nodded. "Me too."
They both laid there perfectly still and silent, breathing the same dusty air and thinking about the same things. Quinn imagined the sound of children laughing upstairs and Puck the sound of Quinn singing in the kitchen. Both of them were starting to think of this house not simply as a house, but as a home. They each stared at the vaulted ceiling and watched the shadow of a passing bird fly across the light paint. The sun had made it's final decent behind the earth, and the room was slowly changing colors. Now a light blue, the golden warmth was gone.
Quinn shivered as she looked out the window.
Puck let the chalk roll out of his hand as he moved to hover above her. "We can go if you're cold, but there are four more rooms that need furniture... If you're up for it..."
Quinn leaned up on her elbows and planted a passionate kiss on Puck's lips. She looked at the hour hand on her watch and knew that they had just under an hour until they were due home, but that was plenty of time to work on the layout and furniture of the house. Pulling away from his lips, but kissing him quickly again, Quinn smiled. "Let's finish in here."
Puck moved to stand up and held out his hands for her, pulling Quinn to her feet in an easy tug. Together, they decided to put a chair in the corner by the bathroom door, the wardrobe parallel to the bed, and the dresser across from the bed.
For the next half hour, Puck and Quinn drew so many shapes that they about ran out of chalk. Puck had to get the three sticks he'd left in the box so they could finish. Idealistic and maybe a bit unrealistic with the type of furniture they'd be putting in the little starter house, Puck and Quinn both had big dreams for their family.
Quinn forgot about her worries with her mother as she and Puck decided on their future together. She knew Judy would understand, or hoped she would understand. And if she didn't, Quinn would cross that bridge when she came to it, but now she was focused on the man who was trying his hardest to make her happy. Puck had that way about him; he made everything seem so much simpler.
But soon enough, Puck and Quinn would find out that simple didn't always mean easy.
What did y'all think?
What will the Russell/Puck meeting mean for Quinn? Will she find out?
The house is slowly coming along, but Judy isn't into it. She's being a bit overbearing, but they are teenagers...
Beth will play a major role next chapter, and we'll see the Glee gang and discussions of Sectionals.
There will be singing next chapter...song suggestions (season 2 time frame)
Please let me know what you think about the chapter in a review.
Thanks for reading :)