He doesn't do this shit to his friends, but he does it with her.
She comes with his name on her lips and her back arched off her sheets. A painting of Jesus stares him down. He can't find it in him to feel guilty, and all he feels is her body, and he holds her, because she wants him to.
She curls her fingers through his. She doesn't say it but he hears it anyway. He isn't this guy, but she wants him to be.
Quinn Fabray always gets what she wants, and in that moment, she wants him to be a good guy.
So he holds her, and he listens to her breath as it slows into sleep, and he thinks, in that moment, he could be a good guy. If she wanted him to.
He thinks, for a second, that he could be a father. If she wanted him to.
But she doesn't. The first time he asks, she's looking at him like he's going to break her, like she's scared of him. He's cornered her. She can't run, and she's always been so good at running away.
"Do you want to keep it?" It. What if it's a boy? What if it turns out just like him — comes out acting just like him, and then Finn would know…
She's crying, but she isn't. "Not with you."
And so it is, even so, and all the same.
He could be a father. For her. Even if she doesn't want him to.
It's easy, at first. Paying the bills. Money is a material thing, simple, simple, simple. It's harder that she isn't his, but it's all relative. One day, one day.
He isn't feeling too sober. "My dad left me."
She nods. There's a hint of mint on her breath, and he might kiss her, but she looks too fragile. What if he breaks her?
"Are you sure you don't want to keep it?" It. His breath smells like booze.
She's silent this time. She looks too fragile, like she'll break, but Puck breaks things far too easily anyway. He holds her cheek in his hand. Careful, careful; she might cry.
But she doesn't cry, and she holds him this time. He could be a good person. He could be a better guy, maybe. For her, for it. It.
"You aren't letting me have a say in this at all." He tastes venom and fire on his tongue. The air smells like rain, warm and moist and like something's about to happen.
She whips around to look at him. "Because I'm the one that's carrying this baby, and I'm the one that gets to say what we do with it!"
She's selfish, but so is he. How can two such selfish people raise a baby? Maybe she's right.
"Her." Stupid, but he corrects her anyway. "It is a she, remember?"
He doesn't want to look, but of course he does. She's holding her stomach, like it's something precious.
Someone says it, but he doesn't remember who: "I hate you."
Someone says it. He thinks it might've been him. "I love you."
She looks at him like he might be the one. He's been far too certain that it's been her all along. Stupid, but they fit anyway, and it all comes together with the baby wrapped in pink.
He sees Quinn in Beth far too much, but he can't find one little thing that reminds him of himself. Probably for the best. Might as well wipe away everything about him from the baby, because no one wants to remember that Noah Puckerman fathered this baby.
No one will remember that Quinn Fabray mothered her, either, except for them. Always them.
He doesn't ask this time. She looks at him like he might save her. Already, in the part of his heart he wants to ignore, he can feel himself resenting her.
"Sign the papers, Puck."
There's a baby wrapped in pink that isn't his. There's a baby he named that will never see his face again.
Out of habit, he looks at Quinn. No more baby bump, but still, her fingers rest gently on her stomach, as if she feels something missing.
He signs the papers and watches the doctors carry Beth away.
Someone says it. It might've been her. "I'm sorry."
She sobs into his chest and he cries into her hair. They're stupid, selfish people. Probably never could've raised a baby on their own.
But so it is, even so, and all the same.