They don't tell anyone, and barely even mention it to each other, but Puck and Quinn had come to an agreement with Shelby Corcaron before she took their baby forever.
On Beth's first birthday, they would be able to come and see her. Just for an hour — just for a moment in the grand scheme of things — but they hold onto it. They keep it to themselves and quietly wait for that day to come.
Beth Corcaron dies in March on a warm spring afternoon.
They don't have rights to see her, only the humble invitation from Shelby for her funeral. They receive the invitations separately and barely look at each other afterward.
Sometimes, she'll glance at him, making sure he's breathing. He'll never look back — his eyes are fixed somewhere far away, somewhere unreachable and breakable within the moment.
If this was an easy world, they would fix each other.
It rains for a week straight before the funeral.
He pretends like he's man enough to call her and stares at the phone until the screen shuts off, and then he types her phone number in again with a thumb hovering over the green key.
Green eyes. He bets she would've had green eyes, because that's what Quinn's eyes are. Green, green, green. She would have pale skin and brown hair and curls to die for. She would've been sweet like Quinn but honest like Puck and she would've held the entire world in the palm of her hands.
The funeral is a simple affair. She's only a baby, with no real friends or family members who will weep at her passing. Just this. Just Shelby, just Quinn, just Puck.
Black dresses and black ties. They don't look quite at each other.
A priest mumbles a few words. Beth Corcaron. Too young to die, he says. That's what the paper says. Too young to die. Her life hasn't even begun.
Quinn spends most of her time looking at the sky. Puck watches, too, waiting for something to happen. He thinks if he looks long enough, he'll see God himself come down and take Beth with Him. But clouds cover the sun, and the sky is gray, and the air is cold and damp.
Puck repeats the word. Amen, may God watch over Shelby Corcaron's daughter. Amen.
Prom arrives too soon.
He sweeps in by her date and gives her a smile, requesting a dance using nothing but an outstretched arm and a hopeful grin. He doesn't remember the last time she smiled, but she gives him a tiny curve of her lips. He'll take it.
Her head rests just at his shoulder, where she tucks her chin. "You can't dance," she whispers absently.
"I never said I was a dancer." Even still, they glide nearly effortlessly across the floor, in a rhythm that they've only seem to find with each other. Sometimes, there's nothing wrong with it being easy.
She laughs. "I lost prom queen."
Puck glances over at where Kurt and Sam wear their crowns. "Doesn't matter." They move in time to the slow tune, something acoustic by Bruno Mars that has been playing every other song.
"Do you think —" She stops, then starts again. "Do you think she would've looked like me?"
His hands bunch a little tighter. "Yes," he tells her. "I think she would've looked just like you. She would've won prom queen, though, because, look at me."
Quinn buries her face deeper into his shoulder. "Okay."
He's silent for a moment, but then he breathes, "I still love you."
The song comes to an end and so, he thinks, must their dance. All things come to an end, sometimes before they've even begun.
She pulls away and looks at him, putting a palm on his cheek. "No," she says aloud. "She would've looked like you."
He kisses her as the couples around them begin to move, sweeping across the dance floor in time to the music. It tastes like love and forever and sweet like beginnings. They never had a real chance to start.