A.N. - Hey everyone! I'm taking a break from fandom for a bit, but I just couldn't let writing fanfic go. It's the only part that doesn't disappoint me because things always end the way that I want them to. Thanks to everyone who read and reviewed/favorited my last story. If you like what you read, leave me a review! They really do make my day. Not sure how long this one is going to be, but you won't have to wait forever for updates I can promise you that.
Disclaimer: If I did own Glee, I'd make Puck the leading man and rename it Fast Times at Puckleberry High. LOL, enjoy!
Noah Puckerman never envisioned his life would turn out like this. Fourteen years ago he said goodbye to his daughter. It was the hardest thing he'd ever had to do. His own father never bothered to say goodbye to him, and he always swore to himself that when he became a father, he would be nothing like his dad.
His father leaving had such a huge impact on him. His mom seemed so sad and empty after he left, always going on and on about how selfish his dad was and that he left because he didn't want to be tied down by a family anymore. She would rant on and on about how he was probably with a new girl every night living it up and drinking away any money he may have earned instead of supporting the two kids he left behind.
Noah tried his best to fill his father's shoes at home, but he thought that if he became more like him, then maybe his dad would be so proud of him and come home, or better yet, he'd take him on adventures in New York City. Noah wreaked havoc at school and even adopted the nickname Puck because it sounded more badass than Noah. He began chasing after girls because he remembered what his mother said about his dad being with a new girl every night. It wasn't long before Puck got his reputation as a sex shark. He never wanted a girlfriend because girlfriends just tied you down and if he wanted to be like his dad, he had to keep moving.
His life completely changed when he was sixteen and Beth made her entrance into the world. Quinn allowed him to be in the delivery room during her birth and he remembered the nurse handing her to him and looking down into her eyes. She was so precious and so innocent and in that instance his heart truly broke for the first time in his life. He wanted so much to prove to the world and to Beth that he was better than his father by being there for her whenever she needed him, but he also knew that he loved her enough to realize that he was only sixteen years old and that the kind of life that she deserved was one that he could not give her, so he reluctantly agreed to put her up for adoption.
The rest of high school was a blur for him. He made a promise to himself that he would not waste the opportunity he was given. He gave up his daughter to give her a better life and to give himself a shot at having a future outside of Lima. He had to do better for himself and get out of this cow town otherwise he would have given his daughter up for nothing. Shelby had offered to send pictures of Beth to both Quinn and Noah, but Quinn refused. The only way that she could deal with the situation was to move forward and never look back. Noah had taken Shelby up on her offer and every year without fail he would get a letter from Shelby giving him updates about Beth and a picture. He kept all the pictures in an album in his desk, but would keep the most current picture in his wallet so that it was with him at all times.
He buckled down the last two years of high school and with the help of people like Artie and Rachel, he was able to get good enough grades to get into a school outside of Lima. His passion and raw talent for music earned him a scholarship to a really good music school out in Los Angeles. This was his shot to get out and make something of himself so he jumped at the opportunity. His ties to Ohio were through his mom and sister, who he did his best to support both emotionally and financially, and through his letters from Shelby about Beth.
In addition to going to school, he was able make some pretty decent money by being a back-up and studio musician, and he also loved teaching so he gave private lessons. He wanted to set a good example for his sister and show her that life is bigger than Lima and give her something to strive for. He would also send as much money as he could to Shelby for Beth. He knew he didn't have to, but he fought Shelby on this matter because he wanted to do something for Beth, even if she didn't know it.
Five years ago, his life changed forever. Shelby had always been consistent, sending a letter and a picture at the same time every year, but that year it hadn't come. He thought maybe she was just busy, but a month went by and he still hadn't received anything, so he decided to call. Beth answered the phone and for the first time in his life, he heard her voice. He was choked up and struggled to find the strength to speak, but he finally found the courage to ask for her mom. Shelby came on the phone and was shocked that it was him and then told him the news that turned his life completely upside down.
"Puck, I have stage 4 breast cancer. All the treatments I've tried have stopped working and I just want the rest of my days to be the best they can be, not ruined because of the treatment. I only have about 2 months left."
Noah could feel his heart tighten in his chest. "What's going to happen to Beth?"
"That's why I'm so glad you called. You're the only one I would dream of leaving her with. Will you come?"
They talked about a few more details and then he made some phone calls to explain the situation. Luckily, his job was flexible so it was no problem for him to take a few months off. His mind was still reeling from the news. He always figured that Beth would hold a special place in his heart, but that she would always be out of reach for him to be any kind of father to her. Now, he was getting a second chance to do right by her, but it tore his heart out that this opportunity had come to him in this way. Would she accept who he was? Could he really do this? Where would they live? There were so many questions running through his mind and he was getting overwhelmed. He just shut his eyes and took a deep breath, praying for the wisdom and strength to get through this.
His plane landed and he was met at the airport by his mom and his sister. They were the first people he called after he talked to Shelby. They had known how much giving up Beth had impacted him and they were worried about how he was going to handle all of this. He was their rock, the one person who was always there for them. A part of them loved that he was finally getting a chance to prove his worth as a father, but like him they hated how it was happening. There was no winner or loser in this situation and the one person they were most concerned about was Beth. They made sure that he knew that he had their full support as they headed over to Shelby's to drop him off.
The agreement that they had come to was that Noah would move in for the rest of the time that Shelby had left. Beth was aware that she was adopted and knew that her biological parents were just too young to raise a child and that's why she was given up for adoption. She had never known the identities of her biological parents and was unaware of the fact that she also had an older sister.
Noah and Shelby agreed that they would just be upfront with Beth about any questions she had. Beth knew that Shelby was sick, but she had no idea about the gravity of her illness. They decided to break the news of her illness to her first, then tell her who Noah was and what his new role in her life would be after she got over the initial shock.
Noah got to the door and rang the bell, and was taken aback by the fact that Beth had answered the door. He dreamed about this moment many times over the years and he thought that he'd be prepared for it, but his heart took him completely by surprise. She was even more beautiful than her pictures. He knew that she had his eyes, but looking into them now he was still full of awe. There was no question that she was his. His heart knew it the second he held her in the delivery room and he felt exactly the same way at this moment as he did nine years ago, the first and last time that he ever held her. He wanted to drop his bags and take her into his arms and never let go, but he had restrain himself. He introduced himself as a friend of her mother's and told her that he was there for a visit.
Beth let him in and led him to her mother's room, telling him that she was in bed a lot lately because she hasn't been feeling well. He knocked and heard Shelby answer to come in. He went in and saw her sitting on her bed, reading.
Tears filled Shelby's eyes and she didn't have the strength to get up so he came and sat on the bed next her. He pulled her into a hug and told her that everything was going to be all right. After they gathered their composure, they talked for a while and discussed their plans to break the news to Beth when she made an appearance at the door.
"Are you and my dad done talking now? It's dinner time and I'm hungry."
Noah was speechless and Shelby was completely flustered. "Honey, how did you know who he is?"
"Well, it didn't take much to put two and two together. He has the same eyes as me and I could tell by the way he looked at me when I answered the door."
Shelby turned to Noah. "She's always been very astute." She turned to Beth and smiled. "Too smart for her own good is what I always call it."
Noah went up to Beth and crouched down so that he could look into her eyes. "Well, miss smarty pants, we had hoped to tell you ourselves but since you've spoiled our plans, is there anything you want to say or ask me?"
"I have plenty of questions, but I'm pretty sure we'll have more than enough time later. Right now, I'd really like to know what we're ordering for dinner."
Noah was amused at her sense of humor and amazed at her poise in the situation. "Sure kiddo let's go figure out what we're going to eat, but first do you think you could do me a small favor?"
"Sure. What is it?"
It seemed kind of silly and simple, but it was something that he desperately needed at the moment. "Can I have a hug?"
She looked into his eyes and was more than happy to indulge him. She put her arms around his neck and he picked her up holding on very tightly. He was strong and warm and made her feel safe. She could get used to this.