A/N: Welcome to Chapter 1 of 'We Can Do This'. This story is the sequel to 'Just Let Me Try'. I would recommend reading that story first, if you haven't done so already, because even though it follows the same time frame of season one, there are some obvious differences. I chose the name of this story from Puck's line during Hairography when he says to Quinn "This parenting thing? We can do this." This story will follow Puck and Quinn from the summer after Sophomore year, through Junior year and beyond. Chapter 1 picks up near the end of "Journey". Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy! xo- Katie
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee.
Quinn Fabray woke up on the Monday morning after Regionals to the sound of her daughter's cries. She glanced over at the alarm clock which read 6:15am. I can't believe she slept for almost three hours, Quinn thought, gingerly pulling herself up in bed. The previous night had been Beth's first night home and she hadn't slept for more than two hours at a time. Quinn and Puck had taken turns actually getting out of bed to feed or change her, but even when she stayed in bed, Quinn could not sleep until Puck came back and told her that Beth was "all good".
"My turn," she said, climbing out of bed and seeing one of Puck's eyes open. "You still have an hour before you have to get up for school."
Quinn was thankful that she had a few days off from school. Her exams were Thursday and Friday and Mr. Schue was going to try and ask Principal Figgins if Quinn could only come in for the exams she had to take.
"Good morning, sunshine," she said as she picked her daughter up from her bassinet. "Is someone hungry?"
Sitting down in the old rocking chair that she and Kurt had found for a steal at Goodwill, Quinn lifted her shirt and adjusted Beth the way the nurse had shown her. Truth be told, she still wasn't all too comfortable with breast-feeding yet, but she and Puck had decided that it was best for their daughter. It had taken a very frustrated Quinn well over an hour the night before to even figure out how to use the breast pump, or the medieval torture device as Puck called it when she pulled it from the box.
Quinn still couldn't believe that just a few days ago they had competed in Regionals. It seemed like a lifetime ago. Puck had broken the news to her that the club had lost, that they hadn't even placed and now Glee was over for good. It had been a shocking blow in the midst of all of the excitement and joy Quinn felt that weekend. She owed so much to the glee club and to Mr. Schue. They had accepted her and supported her and she knew that her experience with her team, not just her pregnancy, had changed her for the better. For that reason, Quinn had agreed to join the rest of team after school in a tribute to Mr. Schue. As much as she didn't want to leave Beth (and, she had to admit, put on real clothes) Rachel had promised Quinn that she would only be gone for an hour and Quinn was leaving her in the very capable hands of Puck's mother.
When Beth had finished nursing, Quinn burped her, changed her and rocked her until she fell back asleep before returning to bed with Puck.
"What time is it?" he mumbled as he reached for her hand.
"Nearly seven. You can still sleep for fifteen minutes."
"She eat OK?"
"Yeah, and now she's back to sleep," Quinn replied as her own eyelids drooped down.
"You should do that, too," Puck said.
"Don't give me that attitude, missy," he joked but Quinn had already fallen back to sleep. Kissing her cheek, Puck closed his eyes for a few more precious minutes of sleep until his alarm went off.
After third period, Puck snuck into the locker room and pulled out his cell phone. Normally, students were required to keep them in their lockers but he didn't really care. He opened his contacts list and scrolled through until he found what he was looking for and hit the send button.
"Hello?" Quinn answered in a hushed tone which sounded like she had been sleeping.
Fuck, Puck thought. "Hey, uh, I just wanted to know how my girls are doing. Did I wake you up?"
"I was just napping. Beth's asleep and you mom said that the best thing for me to do is to sleep when she sleeps."
"I'm really sorry, babe."
"That's OK. Where are you, it sounds all echoey."
"I'm in the locker room."
"Aren't you supposed to be in class?" Quinn asked after she checked the clock.
"It's a passing period and I have Schue next so he won't care."
"Puck, you shouldn't skip any classes."
"I know, but I just wanted to make sure everything is good," he explained and Quinn couldn't possibly be angry with him.
"That's really sweet," she admitted. "Beth is good. We slept until a little while after you left and then she had breakfast and slept and I just fed her again and put her down about twenty-five minutes ago."
"Great and how are you?"
"Honestly? Still really really sore, like, everywhere."
"Quinn, you just had a baby two days ago. You're allowed to be sore," Puck replied as the bell rang in the background. "Shit, that's the bell. I gotta go. I'll pick you up after school?"
"Yeah, I'll be ready."
"OK, I'll see you then."
"Alright, go to class. Bye."
"I love you."
"I love you, too. Go to class."
"Give Beth a kiss for me."
"I will if you go to class!"
"Alright, there are three bottles in our fridge and everything is in her room. Diapers are in the top drawer and -."
"Quinn, you're only going to be gone for an hour," Puck's mom said with a laugh. "We'll be fine."
"I know, but you'll call if anything comes up?"
"Yes, I promise."
"Quinn, are you ready?" Puck said softly as he walked down the stairs.
"Yeah, I'm ready."
"Hey, baby girl," he said, kissing Beth in Quinn's arms. "I missed you today."
"She missed you, too," Quinn replied. "OK, we can go."
"Are you going to hand her to my mom?" Puck asked.
"Oh, yeah, right." Quinn handed Beth to her grandmother and followed Puck up the stairs and out to his car. "I forgot to tell you mom where the onezies are, do you think we should call her?"
"Babe, I think my mom can figure it out if she needs to. She has two kids, you know."
"Beth eats, sleeps, poops, and looks cute right now. I don't think she's going to get into trouble and we're not going to miss anything."
"I'm going to sob during this song that Rachel picked, just so you know," Quinn said.
Rachel had emailed Quinn the song she had personally selected to sing to Mr. Schue so that she could look it over, along with a YouTube video to "further enhance her learning process".
"Yeah, this is going to be tough. I can't believe we lost."
"I think it's finally sinking in that we're not going to be getting together every Monday and Thursday for practice. It's so weird."
"I know," Puck merely replied.
"If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that I would be sad over the loss of glee club, I would have laughed in your face. I didn't join for the singing, dancing and musical camaraderie. I joined so I could keep tabs on Finn and spy for Coach Sylvester."
"Well, why do you think I joined?"
"Because of Acafellas?" Quinn guessed. "Actually, I'm not sure. Why did you join?"
"So I could be closer to you," Puck admitted. "After you made it obvious that you didn't really want anything to do with me when you found out you were pregnant, I had to find some excuse to be with you. "
"Yeah. I mean, they were lucky to have my mad skills, but I didn't join just for fun."
Puck glanced over at Quinn and gave her a rare sheepish smile that he used whenever he admitted to something that he hadn't shared before.
"Hey girl, looking good," Mercedes said as she pulled Quinn into a hug. "How's the cutie?"
"Wonderful. Do you want to see a picture?"
"Puck showed me pictures all through math class."
"I swear he has taken over one hundred pictures of her already."
"Quinn," Rachel said as she approached the pair. "I wanted to congratulate you on Beth's birth. She is really beautiful. Now, let's run through this really quickly. Have you been practicing?"
"Rachel, I have one line and then I sing the chorus. It's not that hard."
"Alright, let's do this people!"
They ran through the song twice without interruption and they actually sounded good for just learning the tune.
"That was great guys. Our strength with this song is that it hits our emotions, so let's not be afraid to let those shine through," Rachel advised. "Quinn, Puck, do you think the two of you can make it through the real performance without checking your phones ten times a piece?"
"So help me God," Quinn muttered under her breath.
"What was that?"
"She said sure thing!" Puck lied.
"Good! Everyone, wait right here and I'll get Mr. Schuester."
"How are you feeling?" Puck asked as soon as Rachel left.
"OK, still kinda worn out."
"Jeez," he teased. "You know, for as much as you complain, you'd think you just had a baby or something."
"Oh ha ha," Quinn replied dryly.
"I'm just kidding. You look really cute. I'd never guess you had a baby a few days ago if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes."
"That's the wonders of make-up for you. I'm sure your eyes are probably scarred for life now."
"Nah, it wasn't anything I hadn't seen before on those videos you made me watch."
"So, when can we visit?" Mercedes asked.
"Maybe around the end of the week?" Quinn replied. "We're still trying to get used to everything and get Beth settled."
"Good. I can't wait to start spoiling my little God-baby rotten."
Quinn and Puck had discussed the issue at length and decided to have their daughter baptized. Because Jewish belief stated that the faith passed through the mother, Beth was not born Jewish but would be equally exposed to both Judaism and Christianity. They had chosen Mercedes to be her Godmother and Mr. Schue as her Godfather. They had both felt initially awkward asking him, but he was really the closest thing to a father that either of them had right now.
Before long, Rachel returned with Mr. Schue following closely behind her.
"So," she began, taking her spot with the rest of the club on the stage. "We have something we need to say to you."
"In the beginning of this year, I was just another football player," Matt said. He had volunteered to be the first one to go and the rest of the club followed.
"I had a stutter."
"I was the closeted Diva."
"I used to be captain of the cheerios," Quinn added, marveling to herself at how long ago that time seemed now.
"I was afraid to dance outside my room."
"I hated everyone in this club."
"So did I."
"I wasn't honest about who I was," Kurt said, tears filling his eyes.
"I was tossing kids into dumpsters," Puck followed, giving Kurt an apologetic nod.
"I had never kissed a girl before."
"I was getting slushied."
"I didn't- I didn't have a father. Someone I could look up to, model myself after. Someone who could show me what it really meant to be a man."
Quinn and Puck both agreed completely with Finn's heartfelt words. Mr. Schue had gone above and beyond being a teacher or even a coach. He had touched their lives in ways not even a song could express. Quinn would never forget the day when Mr. Schue had given her a ride home from school or the compassion he showed her when he found out she was behind the glist. Puck hadn't known what it was like to trust an older guy besides his grandfather until he met Mr. Schue. In his experience, they left when things got tough. Mr. Schue has stuck by the glee club through thick and thin. Even though he would never admit it to anyone else, the teacher had also helped him through some of his most difficult struggles during the past year.
"We don't care what the judges say," Rachel continued. "We won, because we had you as a teacher."
"Glee club will never end Mr. Schue," Mercedes said. "Because you are Glee club and you're in all of us now."
By the time they had all finished singing To Sir, With Love every single one of the girls was in tears. Quinn didn't even know how she had managed to sing her line "a friend who taught me right from wrong, and weak from strong, that's a lot to learn," without breaking down in the middle of it. The group was so focused on Mr. Schue that none of them noticed Coach Sylvester quietly leave from her spot in the corner of the auditorium.
Unfortunately, Quinn was only afforded a half day of school on the Thursday and Friday of finals week. Principal Figgins had said that since she had Spanish after lunch, Quinn could have the morning off, but would have to report to all of her classes after lunch until the end of the day. Thankfully, students were allowed to leave McKinley during their lunch hour so Puck drove home to pick up Quinn and Beth. Together they dropped their daughter off at Quinn's mother's house. Judy Fabray had gladly offered to watch Beth and Quinn and Puck were happy to take her up on her offer because they didn't want to depend too much on Mrs. Puckerman. Quinn still disliked the idea of leaving her daughter but felt comfort in knowing that they could trust both of their mothers. She was a little tired, but had studied enough for Spanish the night before to feel confident that she would get an "A" on her final exam. Puck had taken care of Beth more than his usually share during the night so that Quinn could rest and she also napped on and off throughout the morning while the baby slept.
Learning her daughter's schedule and needs was still something Quinn was trying to master. Puck was surprisingly good with Beth, not shying away from her when she was wailing or when she needed to be changed. Quinn knew that if she and Puck weren't together, it would have been very difficult, or nearly impossible for her to raise Beth without pulling all of her hair out. Caring for a newborn during finals week had been trying enough, but Puck was a constant support, even if he didn't realize it. Just the fact that he was conscious enough to gather Quinn into his arms after one of Beth's nightly feedings, laying a light kiss on her head, meant the world to her.
"We'll be back after school," Quinn said, handing her mother the diaper bag as Puck carefully set the car carrier onto the kitchen table.
"Actually, we have a glee meeting after school, so it will be around four-thirty."
"What? Why? I thought glee was disbanded by Figgins."
"It was. I dunno, Mr. Schue just told me yesterday that he wants us all to meet one last time, or something."
"Awesome," Quinn said sarcastically. "Another sobfest today. Is that OK, Mom? Can you keep her longer?"
"Of course, Quinnie. If you want, you and Noah can stay for dinner afterwards."
"Sounds great, Mrs. Fabray. We'd better get going. Lunch is over in fifteen minutes."
"Bye, baby," Quinn said kissing Beth's downy hair.
"Be a good girl."
Quinn looked over some of her Spanish notes on the way to school, along with the study guide Puck had picked up for her earlier in the week.
"You could get an 'A' without even studying," he said.
"Why do I have a feeling that you know something I don't know," Quinn replied as they pulled into the circle drive.
"Maybe I do, and maybe I don't."
"Tell me! You know how I hate surprises."
"Lies, you love them."
"Fine, but I don't like knowing that one is coming. Can't I have a hint?"
"Noah Puckerman. I am the mother of your daughter. I'm the one who had to push a baby out of my-."
"OK! FINE! I don't need those mental pictures during my bio exam," Puck said, giving in. "Mr. Schue is going to sing a song for us like we did for him."
"And how do you know this?"
"I'm accompanying him on my guitar. He asked me during my lunch yesterday."
"That I will not tell."
"Fair enough," Quinn decided as the car behind them laid on their horn, triggering a knee-jerk reaction from Puck to flip them off.
"You'd better go, babe," he said. "Kick your exam's ass."
"I will," she replied, stealing a quick kiss. "You, too. Good luck on bio and English. I'll see you after school."
Quinn raced through her exam, double checked her answers and was still the first to turn it in.
"Should I put an 'A' on this now or later?" Mr. Schue asked her with a smile.
When she returned to her seat, Quinn pulled out a magazine to help her pass the time. She hardly noticed her classmates completing their finals and was startled when a small paper football fell onto her desk from in front of her. With a furrowed brow, she quietly unfolded the note below the desk and smiled at Finn's nearly illegible handwriting.
I heard Drizzle spit up on Puck's shoulder yesterday. You're already teaching her well! Good job, mom! –Finn
Ha ha she wrote back in her clear, girly script. It was epic. I think he already knows that it's two against one now.
Carefully folding the paper back up, Quinn made sure Mr. Schue wasn't watching before she leaned forward and slid the note over Finn's shoulder. He chucked to himself and turned around to smile at her. Quinn grinned back and shook her head until Rachel nudged Finn roughly and he turned back around.
Oh please, Quinn though. Does she really think she had anything to worry about?
Sitting through her next two classes with nothing to do bored Quinn to no end. She read her magazine twice and began to write a long note to Puck during her first free class about just how bored she was, along with a list of what she would rather be doing. She knew that he would take special interest in number seven because it involved him. Since she didn't have to stop at her locker to exchange books, Quinn went out of her way to pass it to him in the hallway and wasn't a bit surprised when her phone lit up under her desk during last period.
P: #7? Can u do tht yet?
Quinn sighed and eyed the teacher before she sent a text back.
Q: u wish. Take ur test.
P: done. meet me in the choir room?
Q: we'll get in trouble.
P: we haven't yet. plz, i'm dyin
Quinn stood from her seat and gathered her things before approaching her teacher.
"Mr. Davis, I'm really not feeling well, could I see the nurse?" she asked sweetly.
"What's wrong?" he replied.
"Ummm, well, you know," Quinn said, leaning towards him and lowering her voice. "Baby related problems."
"Oh, uhhhh, well, uhhh in that case…of course. Here, take a pass."
Quinn graciously thanked the flustered teacher and flashed Mercedes and Kurt a reassuring wink as she left the room. Wow, she thought. That's a better excuse than telling a guy teacher that you're on your period. She slipped into the choir room and waited for Puck, who sauntered in a few minutes later.
"How'd you get out of class so fast?" he asked.
"I told Mr. Davis I had a baby related illness. I feel a little bad. He got really flustered and couldn't look at me. How about you?"
"Said I had to leave because Beth was sick," Puck replied, flopping down onto the chair next to Quinn.
"You used our daughter as an excuse? That's kind of low, even for you."
"Umm, didn't you do the exact same thing, babe?"
"No, not exactly. It's sort of different."
"Sure, keep telling yourself that."
"I can leave, you know," Quinn said and started to stand before Puck placed his hand on her arm.
"OK, I'm sorry, just stay."
"Why are we here?"
"Wouldn't you rather chill with me, than sit in class? Besides, we haven't really been alone since Beth was born."
"I hate to break it to you, but you're going to have to get used to that."
"Yeah, I know. I'm just saying, it's nice to be alone. So, what do you want to do?"
"Sleep," Quinn decided immediately.
"Well, we've got forty-five minutes until school is out. You wanna take a nap?"
Puck arranged the chairs against the wall so that he was sitting up in one with his legs spread across two other and motioned for Quinn to climb onto his lap. She sighed as she settled into him. He wrapped one arm behind her back and she pulled the other across her body and held it there before resting her head into the crook of his neck.
"I set the alarm on my phone," she murmured into the soft fabric of his shirt.
"Good," Puck replied, kissing the top of her head. "Mr. Schue would shit a brick if he found us sleeping in here."
Even with the assurance that Quinn's alarm would wake him up, Puck didn't bother with falling asleep. Instead, he just rubbed a soothing trail up and down Quinn's back until her breathing became deep and even and he knew she was asleep. I sure am going to miss this room, he thought, remembering all of the practices they had there, the songs they sang, and the times he had convinced Quinn to sneak out of her free period (since she was excused from gym class) to meet him there.
"You're such a bad influence on me," he recalled her saying as she dug into the strawberry shortcake sundae he had gotten her from Dairy Queen when he had gone off campus for his lunch. They had figured out that the choirs usually only practiced in the morning and that Mr. Schue taught all afternoon and was never in his office then. Usually they would sit and talk or, sometimes, Puck would bring his laptop to school, hack into McKinley's internet, and they would watch funny YouTube videos until they had to go to their actual classes. They always sat in the corner so that they would not be seen by any teachers who might be passing by the room and Puck always locked the door, just in case. On one occasion, Mr. Schue had left some graded papers in his office and went to the choir room to retrieve them. When Puck had heard the jingle of the keys in the door he quickly pulled Quinn into the tiny closet where the microphones and speakers were stored when glee wasn't using them and quietly closed the door behind them just as the door to the classroom opened. Not surprisingly, Quinn refused to meet in the choir room for nearly three weeks after the incident.
Quinn had never skipped out on class before. She hardly ever missed a day of school, but her free period "teacher" was never suspicious about her random trips to the nurse's office or bathroom so she felt the need to take advantage of it.
The phone held tightly in Quinn's hand began to beep loudly and she groaned before lifting her head to shut it off.
"Wake up Sleeping Beauty," Puck said.
"That's not how the prince woke the princess up," Quinn remarked, a smile tugging on her lips.
"Oh, so I'm a prince now?"
"Wake up Sleeping Beauty," he repeated and craned his neck to kiss her softly.
"Mmm that's better."
Quinn stood and stretched before smoothing out her dress and straightening her hair. Soon, the other glee club members began filing into the room and taking their seats. Mr. Schue was the last person to enter the room, carrying a small guitar shaped case, which he set on top of the piano. He pulled two stools to the front of the room and sat on one, carefully surveying the students in front of him.
"We've got another year," he smiled. He had said it so suddenly that everyone was taken aback and doubted that they had heard him correctly. "Come on! We've got another year!"
Realizing that they had, in fact, heard him correctly, the room burst into cheers and applause. A stunned Quinn held Puck tight as he shook his head when she asked if he had known about it.
"OK, you guys, I think this is the perfect opportunity for us to start rehearsing for next year's Sectionals, immediately," Rachel commanded.
"You guys," Mr. Schue interrupted. "You've all worked really hard this year. You deserve a break. Take the summer off, have some fun. Oh, before you go, I have something for you. You all sang for me the other day, so I'd like to return the favor. Puck, if you're ready."
Puck squeezed Quinn's hand before he joined Mr. Schue on the other stool, guitar in hand. Together, they sang Somewhere Over The Rainbow as the rest of the glee club listened, exchanging warm smiles. Quinn reached out for Mercedes' hand and both of theirs were scooped up by Kurt and the trio laughed together for what seemed like the first time since Regionals. Glee club had life again; they had another year to prove to everyone and to themselves that they had what it took to win Regionals. Yes, Quinn smiled as she gazed at Puck and thought of everything that had happened during the past school year. Sometimes the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.
A/N: I wanted to especially thank everyone who read 'Just Let Me Try' and has been patiently waiting for this story. Hopefully, I won't disappoint you!