Well this is it. The final chapter. I want to thank all my loyal readers and reviewers. You guys are absolutely amazing and I couldn't have been able to finish this without your support. I've been posting on Tumblr how I felt about finishing this and it's still surreal for me. But I owe it to you all to finish this. THis story has been my baby and I'm looking forward to what its completion will mean to my writing future.
Anyways, enough chit-chat. I hope you enjoy the conclusion of Baby, You're Not Alone.
Sitting amongst her colleagues and competition, Rachel couldn't have been happier. She felt a squeeze beside her and turned to smile at her husband. Puck was the best thing that had ever happened to her. He saved her that day in the locker room, he protected her from any type of harm that came her way, and he loved her like no other had loved her before. After graduation, they set off for New York, Rachel for the American Academy for the Dramatic Arts, Puck for Juilliard. Puck attended for music, taking a few song writing courses and music theory classes, while Rachel conquered the musical theatre department. They got a little apartment near Times Square (with the help from her fathers, of course), making the commute between the two schools less crazy. During college, he met some incredibly talented people and soon formed the band Jericho. They had a few CDs out and were doing rather well for themselves. Rachel managed to land the lead of Maria in the school's production of West Side Story her freshman year and earned a lead in a new show off-Broadway soon after graduation. Spring Awakening became a hit and slowly made its way to Broadway.
Now here she was, at the Tony awards, her husband on one side and her male lead, Jonathan, on the other. At first, Puck was hesitant about her going for the part, considering the content of the show. His worries were quickly distinguished when he found out Jonathan was in fact gay and currently engaged to his partner, Zachary, a film actor who was actually quite famous. Jonathan and Puck became fast friends and Jonathan had grown to be like a brother to both Puck and Rachel. Nearby were her other cast mates, including Tina, who was an understudy on the show. She and Mike were still together and happy as ever. He was an assistant choreographer on the show and the couple had a beautiful two year old baby girl named Lily. Also sitting close by were Kurt and Blaine, the former being one of the costume designers on the show. Blaine had followed Kurt to New York as promised and the pair attended NYU. Blaine became a publicist for a local talent agency, promoting not only Rachel but several other cast members and local artists. They got married the year gay marriage was legalized in New York and within a year had adopted a Filipino boy named Kellen. Kellen was now four years old and a huge Warbler fan. He loved to watch old performances of his dads and Kurt made him a mini Dalton uniform that he always wore. Kurt and Blaine had discussed everything and planned to send Kellen to Dalton when he entered high school.
Rachel still kept rather close touch with her other friends from high school. Quinn and Artie had started dating after graduation, the two of them attending Ohio State. They ran into Finn there, and Artie almost thought she would leave him for the tall boy, but she surprised him by slapping her ex when he proposed they reunite. It took another five years before Artie actually proposed. He had gone through multiple surgeries and therapy but it all paid off to see Quinn's expression when he got down on one knee. Quinn was now a pediatric nurse and Artie was a psychologist specialized in victims of traumatic events. Brittany and Santana were bridesmaids in the wedding with Mercedes as the maid of honor. The two ex-Cheerios were currently living in Washington, D.C., Santana taking the courtrooms with sass and style as Brittany worked as a choreographer and dance teacher. They also got married when it became legalized and Santana recently gave birth to their daughter, Rachel. Mercedes and Sam got married right after graduating from college and started popping out babies like it was nobody's business. They had three children and were living happily in a suburb outside of Boston. The chocolate diva was a renowned vocal instructor while her blonde hubby worked as a voice-over actor.
The four jocks that were late to the New Directions party still kept close touch with their quasi little sister. When Joey and Nelly got married and had their first child, Rachel was the maid of honor and named godmother. Joey was a stand-up comedian and toured the states with his wife by his side. Nelly managed to score a record deal and arranged for concert dates to be correlated with Joey's dates. Their daughter, Ramona, was homeschooled by Nelly and was as talented and hilarious as her parents. Azimio and Evelyn attended Ohio State as well and wound up back in Lima after getting married. Evelyn was a local journalist while Azimio coached the McKinley football team. They were expecting twins any day now. Brian and Kristen had dated for a while, but broke up when he left for the University of Michigan and she headed for the University of Vermont. However, when Kristen landed a job writing for Saturday Night Live, she couldn't hide the smile when she saw Brian across the table from her. They recently got married and Kristen just found out she was pregnant. Dylan and Kasey stayed together though separated during college, him at Ohio State while she was all the way at the University of Hartford. He proposed at her graduation, got married a year later, and they had a beautiful baby boy.
Thinking of her friends, Rachel smiled back over at her husband, who was squinting at the stage pensively. She smiled softly and turned to face forward, seeing shots of the other actors in the category for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical. The presenter than announced that David Hyde Pierce had won. Rachel clapped politely and looked over at Jonathan, smiling sadly.
"You were amazing," she told him, kissing his cheek.
"Thanks, Rachel," he replied, squeezing her hand.
After a few more categories, Usher and Ben Vereen took the stage and started a dialogue before the clips of the actresses in Rachel's category began to play. When Rachel's face popped up on the screen, she smiled, waving at the camera before looking over at her friends nearby. Then, the moment she'd been waiting for her entire life.
"And the Tony Award goes to…" There was a pause, Rachel's breath stopping as she plastered on a smile and held Puck's hand tightly. "Rachel Puckerman, Spring Awakening." Rachel's jaw dropped, her eyes as wide as saucers as the crowd cheered around her. Puck lifted her up and kissed her deeply, cupping her face.
"You did it Rachel!" he said to her, pushing her towards the stage. She kissed Jonathan's cheek as she walked by, and then hugged her four high school friends. Her heart was beating rapidly as she walked down the aisle in a daze until she finally reached the stage. She smiled as she took her award and took her place behind the microphone.
"Wow," she exhaled. "I am so blown away. Thank you so much. I would like to thank the amazing producers for making me look so good." The audience laughed, relieving some of Rachel's nervousness. "I would like to thank my amazing cast. You guys have become a family to me and this show would not be what it is if it weren't for you. I would like to thank my male lead and dear friend, Jonathan. You are so talented and amazing and I couldn't have asked for a better Melchior to my Wendla." She smiled at Jonathan her blew her a kiss. "Finally, I would like to thank my husband, Noah Puckerman." Rachel's eyes latched onto Puck, her eyes welling up slightly. "I've said it so many times before, but you are my savior. You've helped me overcome every obstacle I've faced, and in addition to being my number one support system and best friend, you are the love of my life. Thank you for always being there for me." Puck nodded then kissed two of his fingers and tapped their heart. Rachel smiled brightly and blew him a kiss. "And to my two beautiful children, Caleb Josiah and Caroline Aviva: you are the lights of my life. Now go to bed," she giggled as the audience laughed along. "Thank you." She lifted her award and then made her way off stage.
After receiving numerous congratulations from her colleagues, Rachel made her way back to her seat. She gave Puck a chaste kiss and leaned into him.
"I'm so proud of you," he whispered in her ear.
"I couldn't have done it without you," she replied softly, smiling up at him.
He smiled and kissed her sweetly, his hands tugging at one of her curls. They stayed connected for the rest of the evening, laughing and clapping along with the rest of the audience, until the last award was being presented. Angela Lansbury talked for a bit before clips began to roll for the Best Musical.
"And the Tony Award goes to," she said, opening the envelope in her hands. Rachel squeezing Jonathan and Puck's hands tightly, her breath halting once again. "Spring Awakening." Rachel cheered and smiled, jumping out of her seat and hugging her husband. She then jumped into Jonathan's arms, hugging him tightly as he spun her around. She kissed Tina and Blaine's cheeks as she passed, bringing Mike and Kurt with her as they made their way on stage. They stood with bright smiles all together as the rest of the cast and crew stood around them, the producers giving their acceptance speech. After the award show completed, she made her way back to Puck and took his hand. They said their goodbyes to their friends, politely declining offers to attend any after parties.
They silently drove home, Rachel's award in one hand while her other was woven with Puck's. While driving, Rachel couldn't help but think about how her life had changed. She faintly remembers the period in her life when receiving one slushy facial was considered a good day. Then the event that rocked the very foundation of her life occurred. Although she would never promote being raped as a good thing, Rachel could not deny that her life would not be as much of a joy as it is now. When she was raped, she really got a better perspective on life. Dealing with the aftermath of such a traumatic event certainly takes its toll on you, but if you can overcome it, you can practically do anything.
Besides, she got Puck out of all of that. He was the one that carried her out of that locker room. He stayed with her at the hospital. He held her close at night, making her feel safe and keeping the horrible nightmares away. He loved her when she thought she could never love again. He made sure she was safe when David came back, going so far as to drive her demon away. He coached her through therapy, and then made sure she felt normal even though she was on medication for PTSD. He supported and defended her during her court case, then embraced her as she watched David be taken away in handcuffs. He waited until she was ready and then they shared their first time making love together. He helped her study for finals, make audition tapes, and submit her applications. He smiled up at her while she gave her valedictorian speech. He proposed to her, promising to love her for the rest of his life. He married her and gave her two beautiful children she loved to death. He was her best friend, her confidant, her love.
Before realizing it, Rachel found the car pulling into the driveway of her lovely home in a suburb of New York City. She squeezed Puck's hand when he parked and exited from her side, meeting him at the front of the car. Puck draped his arm over her shoulders and kissed the side of her head as they walked to the front door. They walked into their home and smiled at their nanny, Sugar. The girl reminded Rachel very much of Brittany, but she was smart enough to feed and entertain the crazy Puckerman children, unlike many nannies that had come before her.
"Congratulations Rachel," Sugar praised. "You totally deserve it."
"Thank you Sugar," Rachel replied.
"Were the munchkins behaved?" Puck asked, sliding his shoes off and taking his and Rachel's coats to the nearby closet.
"They were a little fussy when you sent them to bed," Sugar giggled. "That was very clever by the way. Anyways, they only went to bed when I promised you would read them a story and sing them to bed tomorrow."
Rachel and Puck shared a soft smile. They knew their children loved to hear stories from Rachel's fairytale book almost as much as hearing them sing, but they had been so busy that they hadn't been able to do either for a while. Work had been hectic, but they knew that after the award show was over, they had the weekend to relax before having to return to their lives.
"Well, thanks again for taking care of them," Rachel smiled, nudging Puck who fumbled through his jacket pocket until he found his wallet. He pulled out several bills and handed them to Sugar with a smile.
"No problem. I have the weekend off, right?"
"Yeah, you deserve a break," Puck chuckled. "Besides, we need time with the munchkins."
Sugar smiled and nodded. "Well then I guess I will see you Monday." Rachel and Puck both nodded. "Have a good night and weekend." The Puckermans bid their farewell and waited until Sugar was safely in her car and driving away before turning off the porch light.
Puck wrapped his strong arms around Rachel's still petite waist, kissing her revealed shoulders and neck. "I'm so proud of you water bug," he whispered against her skin.
She smiled fondly at the nickname he bestowed on her in their teens. "I can't believe we actually won."
"I'm not surprised," he shrugged, kissing her neck once before pulling away and turning her around in his arms. She looked up at him curiously. "You've always been a star, Rachel. This just solidified that." Rachel smiled up at him adoringly before kissing him deeply.
"I love you Noah," she murmured against his lips.
"I love you too Rach," he replied, smiling through the kiss. He pressed his forehead against hers and kissed her nose, eliciting a soft giggle from his wife. "Let's go to bed. We're going to need the rest with a full weekend with the munchkins ahead of us."
Rachel nodded and wrapped her arm around his waist, his arm taking its place over her shoulders. They ascended the stairs and entered their room. After changing into some comfortable clothes as pajamas, Rachel snuggled into bed, Puck's arms encircling her waist as he spooned her, his head nestled in her shoulder. She took a deep breath and let it out easily.
As she listened to his breathing get slower and evening out, Rachel smiled, thinking about the fairytale book she would have to pull out tomorrow night. She thought of the many witches in disguise and evil monsters lurking nearby. Right as she was drifting to sleep, the memory of a knight in shining silver armor climbing a tower to save a damsel in distress crossed her mind. While she wouldn't necessarily call Puck a knight, she could say without a moment of hesitation that he was and forever shall be her happily ever after.
What did you think? Any final comments? If you have any questions, feel free to message me. Add me on Tumblr and follow me on Twitter (info on my page). Be sure to read Collide if you haven't already, because that will be the project I put most of my attention on now that this is completed.
Thanks again! I love you all!