A/N: Last chapter! Thank you all so much for reading and commenting.

... ... ...

Rachel wakes up and pulls herself out of bed carefully, trying not to wake him as he sleeps completely naked on his stomach. Leaving this bedroom would be much, much easier if he wasn't quite so ridiculously gorgeous. He's sleeping right now, and she definitely does not want to be putting on more clothing. Still, she slips on a pair of panties and a thin tank top, and grabs her robe from the hook on the back of her bathroom door, ties it around her waist. She casts a glance his way before she leaves the room. He hasn't moved an inch. It's scary, how comfortable he is in her bed, in her room. She's comfortable with him there, too, but that's a whole other set of issues.

The truth is, she's probably falling for him. She had all these feelings before yesterday, before last night. Everything was so much simpler when she could pretend nothing was going to happen, when she had the strength to resist him. Even though that was slipping, it was there, at least a bit. Then yesterday happens and she's falling into bed with the one man who's as close to off-limits as a man can be without having a ring on his finger.

She doesn't regret it. She can't. She likes him too much and he's too amazing to regret it. She tugs the door closed gently and heads down the stairs. She needs coffee. And possibly a Tylenol for the ache deep in her muscles.

... ... ...

Puck wakes up and reaches out for someone who isn't there.

Shit. So this is what that feels like.

He pushes himself up a bit, lays on his side and blinks away sleep as he looks around the room. Her side of the bed is cold and empty, and he hates it. He fell asleep with a naked lady and that's how he should have woken up. It's not like he's some random hookup for her and she snuck away so she didn't have to talk to him in the morning. He's her roommate (or something). She shouldn't be giving him the slip. It's not like they're not going to see one another.

Shit, he doesn't know about her, but last night was the most fun he's had in ages. Months. Not even just the sex, which was fucking stellar, but everything else, too. How playful she was and how she made sure he was comfortable and pressed herself up against him when they actually decided to get some sleep. And yeah, he has no idea how he's going to have the energy to take care of Violet when she gets home, but between he and Rachel they should manage alright. They always do.

He figures he should go find the girl. She's probably freaking out about this changing their whole relationship or something. Obviously, it does. He's had her now. That changes everything. He's never really been the 'relationship' guy, so he's a little caught off guard by how much he wants to be in one with Rachel. What can he say? She's just the kind of woman you settle down with. And since he's already practically settled, he might as well explore what he thinks is probably going to be a really good thing.

He walks across the hall to his own room and grabs a pair of basketball shorts, pulls them on quickly. He wonders how long she's been up, but he hears her moving around downstairs, and he can smell coffee. As he makes his way to the kitchen, he realizes he has no fucking clue how to act with her now.

Then he sees her and there's really no question whatsoever. She's, like, crazy hot, standing there, looking out the back window and sipping from her coffee cup. She hasn't noticed him yet, so he stares at her for a few seconds, how she wiggles her toes every so often and flexes the muscle in her calf. How she tucks her loose hair behind her ear. She really is beautiful.

"What's with this?" he asks, and she spins around, looks surprised until she gives him a little smile. "Love 'em and leave 'em type, are you?"

She lets out a quiet laugh and shakes her head, makes her way across the kitchen so she's not too far from him while he pours his coffee. He definitely welcomes the kiss she leans up to give him.

"Good morning," she says quietly.

He smiles. "Woulda been better if I hadn't woken up alone," he says, and he's totally not joking.

"Sorry. I was awake and I didn't want to wake you by tossing and turning."

He takes a sip of his coffee, then raises his brow and smirks at her. "You could have woken me up another way." She blushes. "Oh, tell me you aren't being shy right now," he laughs.

She moves a little closer so she's almost standing directly between him and the counter. "It's been a while since I did the morning after thing," she admits.

"Apparently," he mumbles. "All the best mornings start with sex."

She laughs loudly and sets her mug on the counter when the coffee threatens to spill out. "Is that right?" He nods and she reaches for his hips, pulls him closer then snakes her arms around his neck. His hands are on her waist, and one tugs at the tie of her robe. He slips his hand inside when he gets it undone, looks down to see her in just her panties and a tank top. Nice. "Maybe you should convince me," she says coyly. "Don't you think?"

"Yeah, baby," he says, voice low. "Definitely."

He's surprised when she lets him hoist her up onto the counter. To be honest, he thought she was an 'in bed only' kind of girl. He really, really likes that she's not.

And maybe they're both still exhausted after and their coffee is cold, but he's still convinced it's going to be a good day anyway.

She's looking for her panties, holding her robe closed and looking around frantically because she's completely perplexed by how she could have lost them. She hears Noah laughing and turns around only to see him standing there with the garment hanging off his finger. She's no sooner stepping into them than the doorbell rings. She feels her face flush bright red. She knows how this must look. She's in her pajamas, and he's shirtless, and her hair has to be a mess. It's nearly 11:00 and she's just let him take her on the kitchen counter.

Mrs. Hudson is definitely going to know exactly what went on here. He must sense her concern, because his hand slides down to her ass and he leans down, kisses her cheek and says, "You look fine," into her ear.

Whether or not she should believe him, she does.

Rachel ties her robe and moves away from him (his hand on her behind is a little distracting, to say the very least) so she can go get the door. She looks behind her to see if he's following and if he's bothered to try to find a shirt. He is, and he hasn't. She's very glad she's not the kind of woman who claws at a man's back during sex, or this would be even more embarrassing.

She cards her fingers through her hair one last time before she reaches for the doorknob, and she has to shrug him away as she pulls it open, because he's far too close right now and they need to have a long conversation before they even think of telling anyone, especially any of Violet's grandparents, there's something going on. If they have to say that at all.

He's not thrilled that she's shrugging him off, but he kinda gets it. He's fucking hot, and she's all sexed up and probably craving him already and it must be tough to be around him. Plus they both need to at least appear like they weren't up all night fucking and show that they're, you know, capable of taking care of an infant right now. And he has dibs on shower first.

Actually, he'll probably let her go first. He has his reasons. And not only because he can still smell her on his skin and he doesn't want to wash that away right now. At one point last night, she suggested a shower, but she'd sounded so sexy saying it that he ended up pulling her on top of him and things progressed and...yeah, the shower? Forgotten.

Anyway. He really needs to stop thinking about sex while the woman who's like a second mother to him is standing there with the kid who's like his first born in her arms.

"Hi!" Rachel says, far too cheerily. Violet's face lights up, and Rachel reaches out for her. "How was she?"

"She was wonderful," Carole says. Burt comes up the walkway to the front door and shoots Puck a smile that seems a little too knowing. "We had Kurt and Noel for dinner last night. He just adores her, you know?"

"I didn't know he was in town," Puck says, brow furrowed. Not like he and Kurt were ever best friends or anything, Kurt only comes in from Chicago every so often and he usually calls. In a way he's glad, because he got last night with Rachel instead of two dudes. "He should have called me."

"Oh," Carole says dismissively, pursing her lips and waving her hand, "I told him you wanted the day to yourself, and he definitely wanted to spend time with Violet." Puck nods. He supposes that makes sense, too. "She fussed a little bit around 3:00, but other than that she was fine."

"3:00 in the morning?" Puck asks. It's weird for Violet to wake up much in the night. Carole shrugs one shoulder and Burt walks forward and presses a sloppy raspberry to Violet's cheek. Puck's not sure whose laugh he loves more, Rachel's or Violet's. (Okay, he knows, but the baby wins by only a small margin.) Then it dawns on him that they're still standing practically outside. "Jeez. Come in," he laughs.

"No, no. We need to get going to see Kurt and Noel off," Carole says seriously. "They're driving back in a little bit."

"You should have had them come say hello," Rachel insists. "We would have loved to have had you all for breakfast or something." Puck doesn't know if she's trying to be funny, but he laughs so hard he starts wheezing. "Something funny?" she asks, and her cheeks are so red and fucking adorable he wants to kiss her right here and now.

"No, it's just...She doesn't eat meat, right? So her idea of breakfast doesn't fly for real people," he explains (lies) to Carole and an amused-looking Burt.

Shit. That guy totally knows what's going on. That's the thing about Burt. He's quiet and doesn't say a whole lot, but he fucking knows everything, whether you want him to or not. And he's made a couple comments in the last little while. Just little things, like, 'Rachel's a pretty girl, isn't she?' or, 'Well, seems like you and Rachel spend a lot of time together.' Not like that shit isn't true, but still. So he just gives Burt a look while Rachel and Carole start making plans for 'family dinner' soon. He's pretty sure Burt won't spill anything.

Not that Puck cares either way.

Anyway, Carole and Burt leave, and Rachel has Violet in her arms and waving at her grandparents. Puck thinks that's cute as hell, and when he touches Rachel's back as the car pulls out of the driveway, she pulls away from him a little too quickly. That's weird, since he's seen and touched almost every part of her by now, and in a hell of a lot less. But whatever. He follows her into the living room and checks her out as she sets Violet on her little play mat and pulls out some toys for the girl to occupy herself with.

"Do you mind watching her? I think I need a shower," she explains, and she does not appreciate the look in his eye right now. "Don't do that."

"What?" he laughs. "I didn't do anything."

"Don't make reference to...to that."

They need to talk. They both know it, and she's not running away from it, but this conversation is not one she wants to have with Violet near them. She doesn't know why, she just thinks it'd be inappropriate.

"I didn't say a word."

She lifts one eyebrow and tries not to smile. He really thinks he can get away with acting innocent. It's almost enough to make her laugh. "You have very expressive eyes," she says, stepping a little closer. His knuckle comes out and he drags it across the sliver of stomach showing where her robe has draped open. "I like your eyes."

His hand slips fully into her robe to curl around her waist. She lets him pull her against him. Actually, she doesn't have much choice in the matter, but she wouldn't try to stop him if she could. His hand slides up her body and she's very nearly appalled when he cups her breast, then runs his thumb over her nipple. She's thankful her back is to the child in the room.

"I like your eyes, too," he says, smirking. Damn, that expression gets her every time.

"That's not my eye."

He laughs a little bit and moves his hand, brings it up to tilt her chin upwards. "I like more than one thing about you," he says. Her heart starts beating hard and she looks at him. "Tits come in pairs, baby."

She pushes him away, half-disgusted, half-amused. She looks to Violet, then back at him, and he nods apologetically, like he knows he shouldn't have just said that with Violet around. "You're kind of disgusting," Rachel says, but she's still laughing as she tightens her robe.

"I know," he says proudly.

She rolls her eyes, and when he kisses her on the forehead before she walks from the room to take her shower, she doesn't stop him. She loves that he's the kind of man who'll kiss a woman on the forehead. Actually, maybe she just loves that she never suspected it of him, and she doesn't think anyone else does either. He's not exactly a closed book. She likes that maybe only she knows this page.

... ... ...

Puck can understand why married couples don't fuck.

At least that's what he's heard.

Seriously, by the time Rachel's done with her shower and they trade off so he can have his, it's past lunch time. (And he's blaming that on Rachel's inability to get herself dressed in anything less than a half hour.) They feed Violet and Rachel makes a quick salad for them, and he eats some chips because he's fucking starved and hasn't eaten anything since practically gorging himself on ribs the day before. And it's not like he's just been sitting around, either. He's been hard at work making Rachel fall apart over and over again. Then, when Violet came home, he was taking care of her.

He's fucking exhausted, basically, and he can see why some couples would just stop having sex.

Sort of. He can't really comprehend how anyone could give up sex. Not so much the point right now.

Rachel yawns and he watches the line of her neck, the way her eyes water a little. She's really pretty. Like, really, really pretty. He's just about to tell her when Vi makes a little squeak and starts twirling her hair. It's a dead giveaway that she's about to fall asleep. It makes him smile every time, since it's so cute.

"Come on, sweetie," Rachel says, lifting the baby up out of her high chair. Vi immediately rests her head on Rachel's shoulder, and she totally catches him looking at them with a stupid smile on his face, but he doesn't really care, actually. "I'm going to put her down."

He nods and stands so he can start cleaning up from lunch. He leans over and kisses Vi on the cheek before she's carried away. Rachel gives him this look over her shoulder like she thinks he's the man. Nice of her to start catching on.

He doesn't really know what's happening here, to be honest. She's not freaking out and neither is he, but she's not acting any differently than she normally would, really. So for the first time in his life, he thinks he's going to be the one to initiate the 'what are we?' convo, and the whole problem is that he has no fucking clue how to do it. He's never stuck around for one of these. Chicks would start to talk about it and want to define everything, and he basically shut that down as quick as possible, cut and run and not look back, because he did not need a girlfriend.

He still doesn't need a girlfriend, but for the first time in a longass time, he really wants one. A specific one with silky hair and seductive eyes and plump lips and an ass that won't quit. And a huge heart and a quirky sense of humour and way more patience than just about anyone he's ever met.

He'd say he's fucked for thinking all that about her, but he really doesn't look at it that way. Who knew all that shit his mom used to spew about him settling down for the right girl at the right time was actually, you know, not shit?

He drops the dishes into the dishwasher and heads upstairs, and Rachel is just coming out of the nursery, tugging the door closed most of the way behind her.

"Hey," he says. She smiles and he heads into his room. He fucking loves naps, and he needs one right now. When he turns and sees her standing in his doorway looking nervous, he gives her a look. "You don't need permission to come in."

She laughs softly and looks downward before stepping inside. "I know," she admits.

"We really have to talk," he says before he can stop his stupid self. "I mean, you know."

"I know," she says. She sets the baby monitor on his bedside table, which is kind of dumb, since his room is right next to Vi's, but whatever. Then she lays down on his bed and tucks the pillow under her head. "I'm really tired."

"So am I." She grabs his hand and he knows this conversation is so not happening right now. "Nap with me?"

He grins and lays down behind her, kisses the back of her shoulder just because he can.

The only thing better than a nap, apparently, is a nap with a tiny, little, awesome woman. It's a fact.

... ... ...

When Rachel hears the baby start to stir, she looks over her shoulder to see Noah still fast asleep, lips parted just slightly, lashes playing against his cheeks in a way that makes him look far more delicate than he'll ever be. She can't bring herself to wake him, not when he looked so tired before. Not when she knows exactly how he spent the night before. So she carefully slips out of his hold and stands, smiles as she watches him turn onto his back and try to get comfortable like that. He really is unfairly gorgeous.

The thought of calling him her boyfriend sends a surge of something unfamiliar and not at all unpleasant rushing through her, and she leans over and kisses the side of his mouth gently. She can't help herself. He doesn't wake up anyway, so she doesn't have to feel guilty about it at all.

Violet starts whimpering a bit, and Rachel can tell she needs changed, so she heads into the nursery and tends to the baby, speaking softly in soothing tones she was starting to think she'd never employ, at least until her life changed so drastically in the matter of a couple weeks. But she loves this job, taking care of this child. It comes easily to her. It's ridiculous to think it, but she'd love to eventually (eventually and with no specific man) have a baby of her own. It's silly girlish instinct that has her thinking Noah's eyes would be gorgeous on a little girl, his bone structure perfect for a little boy.

They aren't even a couple and she's thinking about future children they may have. She hates herself for it.

She peeks into his room when she's got Violet toddling in front of her, and he's laying there awake on his bed.

"'S'a mean habit for you to get into," he says sleepily, looking at her.

She smiles and lifts Violet up onto the bed. "She was up. I was coming back." The lazy smile he gives her is probably more honest than he wants it to be. "You're half asleep," she laughs when he lays back against the pillow, pulling Violet with him and curling her up on his chest.

"Someone kept me up all night."

She bites her lip and feels her cheeks flush. "Not all night." It's a weak argument at best. "Are you planning on going back to sleep?"

"Thinkin' about it," he admits. "You think she'll go for it?"

Rachel laughs quietly and looks at the little girl all curled up on top of him, hand fisting his shirt and eyes half closed. "I don't think she'll protest too much," she says.

He grins, blinking slowly as he soothes his hand over Violet's back. He crooks his finger and Rachel bites her lip. "C'mere."

She lays back down on the bed and rests her head on his bicep, where he'd placed it on the pillow for her. "I didn't think we'd be so lazy today."

"'S'fine," he mumbles. She turns on her side and slides her leg over his comfortably, rests her hand on his chest. "Go to sleep."

She does. Easily. It almost scares her how comforting his body heat is, how nice it is to know he's so gentle and caring and quiet sometimes. She really did have things she wanted to do today. Nothing else seems important anymore.

... ... ...

The whole talking thing doesn't really go as planned. Mostly because when they wake up, Vi has a shitload of energy and he ends up in the backyard playing around while Rachel starts on dinner and whatever. He offered to help. He was relieved when she said she didn't need it. What? Playing with an infant is way more fun that chopping vegetables, alright? Anyway, Violet is too crazy to be in the house right now, as evidenced by the fact that she's literally tearing through the yard with a bucket in one hand and her hat in the other. Yeah, she's supposed to be wearing that hat, but you try keeping a stupid hat on a one year old. It doesn't go over so well.

Then after dinner, he cleans up (it's only fair) while Rachel tries to settle Violet down a little bit by playing a little more quietly in the living room. The television is on a low volume, and Puck can hear Rachel laughing and talking with the baby. God, her voice is great. Not even her singing voice, just her speaking voice. And when she talks to the baby, it changes a little bit, gets softer and gentler. It's sexy.

Her dads call, so she shoots him an apologetic look and he just waves her off into the study so she can take the call. She doesn't have to feel bad about that kind of thing at all. Lord knows his mother can talk and Rachel's often left watching the kid.

He starts thinking about shit, though. He's pretty sure that if Rachel was going to, you know, not be on board with them making what happened last night (and this morning) a regular thing, she'd have told him by now. She wouldn't be stringing him along. She wouldn't have napped on his bed with him this afternoon. And she definitely wouldn't have let him kiss her in the kitchen before he started doing the dishes. Or maybe she kissed him. Either way? Not spelling out him getting his ass dumped before the relationship even starts.

She comes out of the study and tells him she talked to Judy after, and that's why she took so long. Not like he cares or anything; she can talk to whoever she wants to talk to. She lays down on her side on the floor with her head in her hand and her elbow supporting her, which is exactly how he's laying just a few feet away in front of her. Violet is between them, focusing hard on fitting all her alphabet blocks into a box that's way too small. He's kind of waiting for her to realize it and start throwing a bit of a tantrum. She's the cutest, most mellow baby ever, until something doesn't work the way she wants it to, then her temper comes out. Kind of like her mother that way.

Rachel goes to help her, but Puck grabs her hand. "Let her," he says. Rachel furrows her brow but listens to him.

Shit, if he'd know all it'd take to get her to listen to him was sleeping with her, he would have tried way harder way sooner. No, he's joking. Mostly.

He yawns and Rachel laughs at him for it. "How on earth are you still tired?"

"How are you not?" he asks. "I gotta try harder next time?"

She lets out a loud laugh and sits up, crosses her legs one over the other. "I don't think that's necessary."

For a second he's confused by what she means, thinks maybe she's telling him there won't be a next time. But then he looks at her and sees the flush on her cheeks and the way she's smiling at him, and he's pretty sure they're gonna go for it again tonight, like, as soon as Vi's in bed.

Fuckin' right.

He's the one who puts Violet to bed when it's time, because she's a little clingy today and she doesn't seem to want him to put her down after he's picked her up. As he's getting her all changed and set up for bed, he hears Rachel come up the stairs and she slips into the room, quickly kisses Violet goodnight, and then tells Puck to go to her room when he's done.

He's not a nervous guy, okay? He doesn't really do nervous. But as he places the baby in her crib and stands there looking down at her, he's kind of freaking out. He knows it's stupid. Things have been cool with Rachel all day, and he knows this conversation they're about to have is going to be fine. He's gonna rock this shit, and he'll be a boyfriend within 20 minutes. With any luck, he'll be a boyfriend getting laid within about 30.

Once he's sure Violet is settled and just about to fall asleep, he flicks on the baby monitor and steps out of the room, smiling as he heads across the hall to Rachel's room. When he walks inside and pushes the door closed, he knows his smile widens when he sees her sitting in her bed, back against the headboard, with her hair in a ponytail. She's wearing some kind of satin thing that looks way better than it probably should, and she's got the sheets neatly turned down over her so they stop just at her hips.

"Hey," he says. He doesn't wait for an invitation before he pulls his shirt over his head.

"Rather presumptuous," she laughs, brow raised. He'd maybe worry more about what she said if she wasn't looking him up and down. When he reaches for his belt, she looks down and bites the inside of her lip. He can see her doing it.

"Want me to go?"

She giggles and shakes her head, and he walks closer to the bed, smirking at the way her eyes go wide when she looks up at him. He unzips his pants when he's standing right next to her, and pushes them off his hips while he leans down to kiss her. Her hands come up to rest on his face while he blindly pushes back the sheets and climbs into bed, then he slips one arm beneath her and moves her with him so she's flat on her back and he's on top of her.

"You smell like Violet," she says as he's pecking her lips gently. But that makes him stop and look at her strangely. He doesn't know what the hell he's supposed to say to that. "No," she laughs. "It's good. It's...kind of sexy."

His fingers toy with the thin satin strap holding up her sorry excuse for a nightgown. "So's this," he tells her.

"This old thing?" she asks coyly, a hint of a fake southern accent coming through. He chuckles low in his throat and kisses her again, shifting a little bit on top of her so they're both more comfortable. "So, it's safe to say our friendship has been effectively ruined."

"Hmm." He's kissing the underside of her jaw. She moves her head so he can reach better, then pushes at his shoulders like she wants him to stop, even though they both know she doesn't.

"Noah." She laughs again, softly, and he pulls back, brushes her hair off her shoulder. "We're already overdue for this conversation."

"Yeah, I know," he agrees. "But it's not like there's much to talk about, right?" Her eyes narrow like she's confused. "I mean, you wanna be together."

"Well, yes, but..."

"Good talk," he interrupts. "Let's get you undressed, 'kay?" She laughs and shakes her head, amused. "What?"

"There's a little more to it than that, don't you think?" she asks. Her hands are running slowly up and down his back and he's always been a sucker for that, so it's a little hard to concentrate. "We have Violet to think about. And the Fabrays and the Carole and Burt."

"Let's not talk about the old people while I'm on top of you, alright?"

She giggles again. "You could move." He shakes his head. She knew this conversation would be interesting. She didn't think they'd have it like this. "If there were to be a breakup, or..."

"We'll cross that bridge when we get there," he says, a little too nonchalantly for her liking.

She meets his eyes and tries not to look too mad. "When?"

"Shit. I mean if. I mean if, baby," he promises, and punctuates it with a kiss.

Oh yes, this relationship is going to be interesting. It's almost impossible to stay genuinely mad at him. But then she thinks about how quickly he amended that statement, and maybe he's the kind of man who'll do anything to keep her happy. She's obviously not surprised by that in the least. After all, when they weren't fighting, he was rather eager to please.

His hips press down on hers and she realizes she's been thinking for a few moments too long.

"I'm just already so overwhelmed with work and Violet and everything else," she says seriously. "I don't need any more stress."

"What's stressful?" he asks, like she's insane to even think it. "We're easy, right? I mean...shit, Rachel, we get along like peas and carrots."

Rachel lets out a loud laugh and can't help but kiss his cheek. "You just quoted Forrest Gump to me."

He laughs, too, his breath hitting her lips before he kisses her. "You love that movie."

"You're ridiculous." She's almost positive he didn't just quote the movie because she likes it, but she's not going to call him on it, because he's just so sexy when he's like this, honest and open with her. "We need to talk about things when they happen. We're good when we talk."

"Talking. Got it."

"And we should probably tell people sooner rather than later," she says. He looks at her questioningly. "To be honest, I don't think it'll be any surprise to them." He laughs and shakes his head. "I just don't want them finding out from someone else."

"Makes sense."

She smiles up at him. She's impressed with his restraint right now, but she can feel him hard between her thighs and she knows this conversation, now that they've already established what they are, is not his number one priority.

"You just want to get this over with so we can have sex," she says.

"Baby, it's the best part," he insists.

Oh, yes. She's definitely going to fall in love with this man.

... ... ...

So, it's kind of messed up that they have four sets of parents to tell. He's laying in Rachel's bed watching her get dressed for the day before they go get Violet out of bed. They've been a couple for a little over a week and despite her telling him she wanted to tell everyone basically as soon as possible, she's been the one stalling. He doesn't give a shit. He'll tell them all right now. She just wants to do it in person, at least for the Fabrays and Mrs. H. and Burt. He gets that, he supposes, but he doesn't really get what the big damn deal is. It's not like them being together is going to change how they take care of Vi. Yeah, it'd suck if they broke up, but they're mature and whatever, and honestly, he's not really worried about it.

His mom nearly lost it when he told her. She came out for the day to watch Vi for a couple hours when he had to go to the dealership, and he ended up telling her over lunch. Considering how much she hated Rachel in the beginning, she's pretty fucking excited about this. Apparently she just knows him and knows that 'this, with Rachel, is real'. And yeah, it is, but damn, she didn't have to squeal and hug him and stuff. But then again, he hasn't 'brought a girl home' (meaning, ever told his mom anything at all) in a longass time, so she's probably pretty aware of how serious things with Rachel are.

Rachel tells her dads over the phone and they laugh and tell her she's kind of a cliché, but Puck thinks they mean that, you know, with love. They've said they'll come for dinner soon, and Puck's actually kind of stoked about it. He likes them. They're awesome dudes and they raised one hell of a daughter, so he could probably learn shit from them, you know?

But the Fabray's and Mrs. H. and Burt are coming for dinner tonight, and even though he's basically cooking everything, Rachel's totally freaking out. There's a dress on the back of her closet door she's had dry cleaned twice, and she's already all high strung and the dinner isn't even for like, another 13 hours.

"Rachel," he says from where he's laying, "can you, like, breathe or something? 'Cause you're freaking me out."

"Well, yes. I'm the one with a mediated session in two hours. You're laying there naked!"

"Hey. I'm wearing a strategically placed sheet," he says, grinning.

"Don't be cute," she snaps. She smiles a little bit, though. "I can't deal with you being cute right now."

He laughs and waves her over. She rolls her eyes. "Just get over here. Damn." She does as he asks, sits down on the bed next to him with her necklace in her hands. He takes it from her and she turns around so he can clasp it. "Calm your shit, alright? Everything's gonna be fine."

"You keep saying that. How can you know that?" she asks, turning to face him.

Her blinds are open and the room is filled with sunshine, and she's in this light grey suit he loves. Her makeup is all light and pretty, and she just sprayed her perfume, so she smells fucking amazing.

"'Cause we're sexy," he says, running his hand up the inside of her thigh beneath her skirt. She scoffs and stands, and then he's legitimately pouting at her and flopping back against the pillows.

She puts her hands on her hips, raises her brow and does this thing where he can tell she doesn't want to smile, she just can't help it. "So no one is going to have any reservations about our romantic relationship, simply because we're attractive?" she asks.

He shrugs his shoulder. "Yeah. Don't you know by now that things always work out for sexy people? It's like, law or something."

She laughs loudly and walks over to the bed, puts one knee on the mattress and leans down to kiss him. She pulls away and slips her feet into her shoes. "You realize you're talking to a lawyer, right?" she asks, still giggling. He shrugs again. Obviously he doesn't care. "Your insane logic, which isn't actually logic at all...I don't even know what to do with you." He ticks up his brow and starts pulling the sheet away. "Don't!" she cries, laughing. "I have to go to work, and you have to get up and tend to Violet."

"Fine." He groans exaggeratedly and gets up out of bed. She seems frozen in place as he walks towards her, totally naked. It's just that his boxers are in the pile of clean laundry on her chair in the room and he has to pass her to get them. If he smacks her ass on the way by, that's just...Well, it is what it is.

"You're a ridiculous man," she says, shaking her head as she watches him pull on his boxers and a pair of sweats. She still comes over and kisses him, though. "I'm leaving the office early, so I'll be home by 5:00. I'll pick up wine on the way home."

"Gotcha," he says as they walk from the room. He pushes open the door to the nursery and Violet is standing up in her crib, waiting for someone to get her. "I'll see you later."

Rachel kisses the baby's forehead and smoothes a hand over her head. "Have a good day."

"You, too." Rachel's hand slides down his arm and he winks as she walks from the room. God, she's gorgeous. He seriously has, like, the most awesome setup ever. He lifts Violet up out of her crib so he can carry her over to her change table. "C'mon, baby girl. We've got a big day. Lots of stuff going on."

If anyone were to make fun of him for talking to Violet so much, he'd tell them to fuck off. It's good for her and stuff, and she's cute as hell when she recognizes his voice and smiles.

... ... ...

Their confession, or explanation, however you'd like to say it, goes over so well it's almost scary. According to Judy, Quinn had been talking for years about setting Rachel and Noah up, and was very disappointed when their date all those months ago didn't pan out. Burt just chews his steak and says he knew it all along, that Puck couldn't live in a house with a girl like that and not get involved, and Carole tells them it's great that they've found each other.

No one voices any concerns, and at first Rachel is afraid that means they're just all processing the information or they don't want to be rude. Then it dawns on her (well, Noah explains to her) that they're very good together and it's easy to see how good a team they are. She supposes that's nothing but the truth. They are amazing together. She's been trying to avoid admitting to herself just how amazing, since she's absolutely terrified of being in love with him before he's in love with her. Wouldn't that just be the worst thing?

Well, probably not. But it's only been a week and a half, and she's not going to let herself get carried away. She's not going to let herself exaggerate this relationship in her head and unknowingly sabotage the whole thing.

"Stop thinking so hard," Noah says from behind her as she lays in bed. She turns and he pulls her close, curls her up against him, and she's glad he's touching her now.

She doesn't exactly know how he can tell she was thinking when it's dark and she wasn't even facing him. She bites her tongue to keep herself from asking, just lets his thumb trace a line back and forth over her shoulder as she finally falls asleep.

... ... ...

Rachel's firm has a picnic towards the end of the summer, and she doesn't think twice about bringing him and Violet along. It's a family thing, and it's at her boss' huge house about a half hour away. There are games and all sorts of stuff, and Puck thinks it's probably going to be pretty lame, but whatever. It's for her work, so he sucks it up and throws on a decent-looking shirt and gets behind the wheel. Rachel has shit directions and she's kind of freaking out, but his keen sense of direction leads them to the right place.

You know, the massive house with all the cars parked in front of it and a big sign saying it's Some Asshole, Some Other Asshole, & Yet Another Asshole's company picnic. Rachel hisses at him for calling it that, but whatever. Her firm always sounds so fucking pretentious. When he finds out she's gone to the picnic since she first started at the firm, he makes fun of her relentlessly for not remembering where this house is.

But then they're on this massive lawn with like, 100 other people, and Violet's acting shy for some reason, so he's got her in his arms and Rachel's immediately dragging him over to introduce him to people he doesn't care about whose names he'll never remember. But he at least makes it look like he's making an effort, because he owes it to her and he's getting a free lunch out of this whole thing.

He's gotten really good at reading her. They're talking to her assistant and she's all light and laughing and casual. Then they're talking to some middle-aged asshat with one of those stupid Lacoste shirts on and a gin and tonic in his hand, and she's tense and businesslike, and he's pretty sure this is what she's like at the office, too. So he tells her Violet needs changed, because it's true, and this way if she wants an out from this conversation she has it. She gives him this look like she's about to kiss him for getting her away from Douchey McLameo, and takes Violet from him.

So he's stuck with Douchey McLameo. Turns out buddy bought his car from the dealership, though, so they actually have something to talk about for a few minutes before Puck sees Rachel waving him over to where she's standing.

"That was fuckin' cold, baby," he says into her ear when he knows no one can hear. She laughs and tries to look innocent, and he kisses her cheek, because she's really cute, actually.

They find a place to sit on the grass when it's time to eat, and Puck's pretty sure they're supposed to be, like, socializing or something, but Rachel seems perfectly happy to just sit there the three of them, with Violet in her lap and Puck feeding the girl those rice crackers she loves. He laughs when a half-chewed blob of cracker falls out of Violet's mouth onto Rachel's arm, and, since they're both pretty immune to shit like half-eaten food these days, Rachel just picks it up and throws it at him, and all three of them are laughing.

Puck doesn't even notice the woman standing nearby until she comes over and kneels down in her khaki pants and crisp white shirt. "I just had to tell you, that is a beautiful baby," she says, reaching out for Violet's hand, shaking it a little bit.

"Thank you," Rachel says, because they get these comments often enough, and they've decided that's the easiest answer. Puck can tell this woman doesn't work at the office and that Rachel obviously has no idea who she is.

"How did you two end up with such a blonde little girl?" the woman asks with a laugh.

Puck chuckles and looks at Rachel, who gives him a smile before turning back to the woman. "It's a very long story," she answers diplomatically.

Apparently it doesn't mean anything to these people that neither he nor Rachel is wearing a wedding ring.

Not that he thinks too much about wedding rings or how Rachel's hand would look wearing one.

... ... ...

She tells him she loves him one night when she's sure he'll say it back. She was kind of unsure until she lost a huge case and was reprimanded by her boss for the mistake she made (an honest one anyone could have made) that gave the other side the victory. She comes home late, and Violet is already in bed. The house is absolutely spotless and there's dinner and a glass of wine waiting for her on the coffee table in the living room. She had no idea when she called him from the road to tell him she'd be home soon that he'd do all this.

She hates that her first reaction is to cry, but that's what happens. She kicks off her shoes and drops her bag while he looks at her, mostly helpless.

"What's wrong?" he asks, walking over to where she's standing in the doorway to the living room. He slides his hands up and down her arms and looks at her worriedly.

"Nothing," she says, even if it's not convincing whatsoever. He's looking at her like he needs more of an answer. "Today was just awful, and I hated it, and then I come home and...You're so wonderful."

He smiles a little and leans forward to brush his lips across her forehead. "I just knew you'd be hungry." Now it's her turn to look at him disbelievingly. "It's nothing. Stop crying."

She wipes her tears and lets him lead her to the couch as she slips her suit jacket off her shoulders and drapes it over a chair. "Thank you," she says, kissing his cheek.

He points to the plate on the table and says, "eat," like she wasn't just crying and he isn't nearly as amazing and thoughtful as he is.

She picks up her plate of food and tucks her legs up next to her on the sofa, leans herself against his side while his arm is draped over the back of the couch. "What do you want to watch?"

And it's completely absurd, but that's when she knows he loves her, too. She shouldn't base her knowledge of that on television, but he's watching a baseball game, and the Indians are down by one in the ninth inning. The bases are loaded and there are two outs. He wants to watch the end of this game, and yet he's telling her she can switch the channel. He's not complaining or telling her, 'when it's over', or anything like that.

She places her fork on her plate and turns to him, looks up to see him looking back at her.

"I love you," she says, and she shouldn't be so amazed at how good it feels to say it.

But the grin he gives her practically makes her heart beat in her ears.

He says the words back, and they're punctuated by the crack of a bat. He doesn't even look at the television, just leans in and kisses her and slips his hand into her hair so his fingertips are gently massaging her scalp like they both know she loves.

The Indians have just pulled off their most amazing win of the season, and her boyfriend's attention is solely on her.

... ... ...

She looks really fucking cute in her baggy painter's jeans (that she actually bought new, because she's a little psycho that way) and one of his old button down shirts with her hair up and in a messy knot thing, a white headband keeping it off her face. The girl's sexy all the time, but this is a good look for her. Really good.

He walks up behind her and curls his hand around her hip. She tenses, startled, and he presses kisses to her neck.

"You know, you shouldn't sneak up on someone holding a hammer. That could have been very painful," she says. She's not really mad, though. He can always tell.

"Why do you even have a hammer?" he asks, laughing, and she turns around.

"I don't know," she admits. Damn, she's cute. "I thought I might need it."

"You don't," he insists, taking it from her and dropping it into the toolbox he's got open.

The decision to move into the master bedroom was mutual. It's been long enough since Finn and Quinn passed that Rachel's not still holding on, and Judy and Mrs. H. came to clean out the closet and the rest of the room, taking what they wanted and donating the rest. Personal things were kept, like jewelry and stuff like that. Quinn's wedding and engagement rings are in a safety deposit box with all of the other valuables that were left for Violet. Judy gave Rachel Quinn's set of pearls, and Mrs. H. gave Puck Finn's Omega watch. It was kind of a weird day, but it was good for all of them, for sure.

They've ordered new furniture, because there's no way he's sleeping on the same bed Finn and Quinn did stuff in. He loves Violet, but he doesn't need to know he's sleeping where she was conceived. That's just plain weird. He was all for just taking the stuff from Rachel's room or his room and moving it in there, but Rachel wanted all new stuff, so they're getting all new stuff.

Violet is currently spending the day with Matt, which is fucking terrifying. Dude's got nieces and nephews, though, so Rachel's convinced it'll work out fine. Puck's got Mike on standby to stop in spontaneously and check shit out. Call him paranoid, but this is his girl he's talking about.

Picking a paint colour for the walls led to like, the biggest fight he and Rachel have had since they got together. Sorry, light purple? No. He's not dealing with that shit. He's a dude. He wanted a kick ass dark grey, but Rachel called it sterile, and he was pissed at her for ever using that word in reference to anything that had to do with him. She didn't talk to him for two days when he told her if she didn't fuck off with her girly colours, he was going to go back to sleeping in 'his' room again.

Lesson learned. Don't make empty threats. She'll make you follow through on them. And you know how shitty it is to sleep in a bed alone after sleeping next to a hot woman for months? It sucks. The make up sex was awesome, though, when he told her he didn't want to sleep without her anymore.

Anyway, they settled on this light grey that she insists looks purple in certain lighting, but it doesn't and she's crazy. He's not pointing that out to her, because he's not crazy. It goes with their furniture and the shit Rachel's picked out as 'accents', so it's cool. Now they're getting down to painting. There are a couple pictures left on the wall that they have to take down. There's one of a creepy looking woman in a stupid dress dancing with some douchebag in tails. And then there's that napkin Rachel's told him all about, and she's standing there looking at it like she doesn't want to take it off the wall.


"Yes?" She spins around quickly to look at him. "I'll take it down. I was just thinking."

"Alright," he says, because he knows by now that if she says she's going to do something, she's going to.

She pulls the frame down off the wall and rests it against her left arm as she takes the back off with her right hand. He has no clue what she's doing, but she looks completely determined, and he steps a little closer. She hands him the back of the frame and pulls the cardboard matting away, passing it to as she starts laughing, her hand covering her mouth.

"It is here," she says quietly after a couple moments. She runs her fingers over the napkin and he looks down. "That night, I made a list, too."

"Oh." (What the hell else is he supposed to say?)

"I was...well, I was a little drunk, so I couldn't remember if it was on a different napkin or if we'd shared."

"Not a shock that you shared," he says, kissing her cheek.

"I can't believe I forgot." She's talking more to herself than to him, so he doesn't say anything. He watches as she picks up the napkin, and he doesn't know what she's doing until she flips it over and makes sure it's centered, then takes back the matting, puts it in place, and secures the back of the frame. "There." He looks at the finished product, the same as it started out, just a little different. "Did you read it?" she asks. He shakes his head and tries to read her obviously drunken scrawl. "It's you."

He gets to the end of the list, and yeah, it's completely messed up, but it's a pretty damn accurate outline of who he is. "That's fucked," he almost whispers. Seriously, the universe is tripping him out with this whole thing.

"I wanted you before I met you," she says, turning around so she's facing him.

"I get that all the time."

She rolls her eyes and shakes her head. "Could you maybe not ruin every moment we try to have?"

"Sorry, baby." He laughs a little and leans in to kiss her, hand slipping up underneath the shirt she's wearing. She pulls away before he can get too far. "C'mon. We got work to do here."

They're both practically passing out by the time Matt brings Violet back home. Puck's half-asleep on the bed in Rachel's (what's been practically 'their') room, so he elects Rachel to go downstairs and get the door and bring the kid up. It's later than they thought it'd be, since painting is a pain in the ass and the job got a little bigger when Rachel decided she wanted to do the bathroom, too, and they had to go back to the store and not only buy paint, but pick a colour. She's lucky he loves her, or he wouldn't put up with that shit.

She walks into the room with a tired-looking baby in her arms, and he smiles lazily. Violet's got her eyes open and she's looking at him, smiling a bit as Rachel sits down on the bed. He pulls Violet away from Rachel and all three of them are laying down, the baby in the middle. He tries to get Violet to talk about her day with Matt, but she's too sleepy (it's really damn cute) to give him more than one or two word answers, then she curls all up against him and closes her eyes.

"She's so exhausted," Rachel says quietly. "So am I."

"Hmm," Puck hums, eyes closed as he lays on his side.

"If we sleep now, we'll be up all night."

"Shh. 'S'fine," he says. He opens his eyes to look at her, and smiles at the little streaks of paint in her hair, the fact that she's gorgeous right now and she's not wearing a stitch of makeup. "Just a little rest."

Rachel turns on her side so she's facing him, and he grabs her hip, tugs a bit and she moves so she's as close as she can be without crushing Violet. He looks across the pillow at his girlfriend and her eyes are closed. He's got his hand on the curve of her waist, and his arm is hovering just above Violet's stomach. Violet's little fist reaches up and grabs a handful of Rachel's shirt. It might be the cutest thing he's ever seen. He just smiles and closes his eyes.

Yeah, he doesn't know what he ever did to deserve these two girls in his life, but he's pretty sure his buddy's somewhere right now with a big ol' smile on his face.