Title: Picking Up the Pieces
Fandom/Pairing: Glee Rachel/Puck
Disclaimer: If I owned it, I wouldn't be writing fan fiction about it
Spoilers: Season 1
Summary: If Shelby couldn't handle a grown child, how could she handle a baby?
Author's note: This is my first Glee fic…For some reason this idea has been stuck in my head for weeks…
Author's note 2: Here are some minor changes I am making to Season 1…Quinn gave up Beth without Puck's permission (she put the adoption through claiming not to know who the father was)…I know very little about adoption laws so I am asking for creative license to move the story along in that aspect rather then actual facts…I am going with Season 1 being everyone's sophomore year…This fic is going to start ½ way through Junior year around Christmas break…I am still deciding if I will bring in Sam & Blaine, though I will say that Matt didn't move away…
The summer between sophomore and junior year
Rachel's phone began to play 'Bad to the Bone' and she smiled as she reached to look at the message. She still chuckled to herself that not only did she let Puck change her ringtone for him, but she promised not to change to anything else. After Beth was born then given away, Puck began spending more time with Rachel. They seemed to form a weird bond based on her mother deserting her while at the same time taking Puck's child away from him. Much to everyone's surprise they seemed to mesh well. He balanced out her crazy and she calmed his anger issues.
Whatcha doing, Berry?
Whatcha isn't a word, Noah
Fine. What are you doing, Berry?
Rachel giggled. She could almost hear the growl she was sure he uttered when typing.
Cleaning out my closet
On a Friday night? You need to get a life!
Says the guy who has obviously nothing better to do then text me
I'm coming over
You work on your closet, I'll organize your underwear drawer
You aren't TOUCHING my underwear drawer!
10 minutes later Rachel heard her front door open and close, then someone striding up the stairs.
"Ever heard of knocking or ringing a door bell?" she asked Puck as he entered her bedroom.
"Ever thought of locking the doors when you are home alone?" Puck shot back while dropping onto her bed.
"Isn't there some party somewhere with beer and inebriated girls you could be taking advantage of?" Rachel sighed, though she had a small smile on her face.
"Not interested," Puck shrugged. Ever since Beth was born he seemed to look at girls differently. They were all someone's daughter and he sure as hell wouldn't want someone like himself anywhere near his daughter. "Although, if you wanted to come with me, Santana is throwing a party tonight…"
"As thoughtful as that offer is, Noah," Rachel began, "I am not yet ready to expose myself to Finn and Quinn in a social setting."
While Finn and Rachel had been on a few dates after he admitted to loving her at Regional's, it quickly became obvious that he wasn't over Quinn and never would be as evidenced by them getting back together just 2 weeks after Rachel broke up with him.
"So then it's just you and me kid," Puck grinned up at her.
December 24th of Junior Year
Rachel was just settling down to watch Meet Me in St Louis with her father's when someone began pounding on their door.
"Is Noah coming over?" Hiram Berry, Rachel's Dad, asked his daughter as he walked towards the door.
"No," Rachel replied, "he is watching Hannah tonight."
As soon as the door was opened a figure whirled into the house. On closer inspection Rachel saw it was her mother, Shelby Corcoran holding her daughter Beth. Shelby looked a little crazed and like she had been crying. Upon seeing Rachel, she shoved Beth into her arms before collapsing in the nearest chair.
"Shelby?" Leroy Berry, Rachel's Daddy, prompted. "Are you okay?"
"You have to take her," Shelby began to babble. "I can't do it. I just can't handle it. I thought I could, but I was wrong. It's too much. How did I think I could do this? You're her sister. You have to take her. Please take her. I just can't do it…"
The Berry's were all looking between themselves, Shelby and Beth not understanding what was going on. Rachel looked down at the bundle in her arms and was glad the baby was asleep. Then she moved her eyes back to her mother.
"What are you talking about, Shelby?" Rachel asked. "You need me to babysit?"
"No!" Shelby stood and looked straight at Rachel. "I thought being a mother is what I wanted, what I needed, but I was so wrong. I can't do it. I thought having someone who depended on me for everything would fill this void inside. It didn't. All I do is work and watch her. It's just too much."
"So you're feeling overwhelmed," Leroy tried to soothe the overwrought woman. "It happens to all new parents. You just need a break. Let us take Beth for the weekend then by Sunday everything will be okay…"
"No!" Shelby interrupted. "You don't understand! I can't do it! I am a horrible, selfish person, but I can't do it! I've talked to my shrink about this for weeks. I just can't handle it!"
With that Shelby started to cry and sank back into the chair. The Berry's once again exchanged looks before Hiram spoke.
"Then why are you here?" he asked quietly.
"I talked to my lawyer," Shelby began, "and he said that I could transfer custody of Beth to a relative." At that she looked up at Rachel. "I don't have any other family."
"But I'm just 17," Rachel sputtered looking between Shelby and Beth.
"I have the papers," Shelby continued, pulling them out of her bag. "Your dads just have to agree to help until you are 18. They just have to be signed and a judge has to sign off on them."
Rachel looked desperately between her fathers, not knowing what to do.
"If you can't," Shelby continued, "I'll have to turn her over to the state and she'll go into foster care. I don't want to do that to her, but if you can't…"
Rachel again looked at the little girl in her arms. She was Noah's daughter. She couldn't let Shelby put Beth into foster care. How would she ever tell him? Shelby had been occasionally emailing her pictures of Beth since she was born and Puck was always so excited to see them. He even carried one around in his wallet. Again Rachel looked at Shelby and her fathers.
"Okay," she said.
"Rachel, honey," Hiram began, "this is a lot to take in. I think we all need time to process this information…"
"I don't think Shelby has anytime," Rachel said resolutely. "I think if we don't do this she might just abandon Beth somewhere. I can't have that on my conscious. This is Noah's daughter, my sister. I can't do that to either of us."
Hiram and Leroy Berry looked at each other, both at a lose as to what to do or say. Looking at Shelby, their daughter's assessment seemed to be accurate. If they didn't take some measures right now Shelby seemed to be in a state where she just might leave the baby at the nearest church or hospital.
"Let me look at the papers," Hiram sighed, taking them from Shelby. "Leroy, call Judge Clark and have him come over. He owes me one."
An hour later all the papers had been signed and Beth's belongings removed from Shelby's car. Shelby had spent most of that time thanking Rachel then as soon as the last of Beth's things were out of her car she was on the road without so much as a goodbye to either of her daughters.
"I need to call Noah," Rachel said as she turned from the door back into the house.