In my creative writing class, we talked about 6 word stories. This one-shot is based off Hemingway's famous 6 words: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn". This has probably been done before, but I've had this idea in my head for days and I woke up and had to get this out. If you have any more ideas for 6 word prompts, let me know!
They dated in high school. They survived the distance of college. They were married.
But they couldn't get pregnant. More like, they couldn't stay pregnant.
The first time was a surprise. He or she would have been a honeymoon baby. For their honeymoon, Rachel wanted to go out of the country. Puck wanted to go somewhere where he didn't need to learn a language to survive. So, they honeymooned in London for a week. In between the sightseeing and the eating and the theater, they made plenty of time for lovemaking. Unbeknownst to them at the time, one of those lovemaking sessions produced a baby Puckerman.
Rachel knew before he did, naturally. Not only was it her body, but she held onto that claim that she was a little bit psychic. He came home from work and saw her sitting in the living room reading a magazine. He kissed and greeted her, like he always did, and finally noticed what magazine she was reading. Fit Pregnancy. At the same time, he noticed the centerpiece on their coffee table. Five positive pregnancy tests arranged to look like a star. He was stoked about the pregnancy immediately, but it was the star thing that really made his day. His wife was amazing and he knew she'd be an amazing mother.
She was the best pregnant woman he'd ever known. Rachel went to all her appointments happily, she didn't complain, and she was revving up their sexlife. Puck was the happiest man on earth. Rachel was glowing. All it took was five minutes with her fathers before they could tell she was pregnant. They wanted to keep the news to themselves until the second trimester, but figured it didn't even matter. Once Puck told his mom, the news spread like wildfire. Even the Gleeks called up and gave well wishes.
When Rachel was a week from her second trimester, Puck finally convinced her to go out shopping for some baby stuff. She had been feeling a little pukey lately, but she also didn't want to buy anything for the baby and it turned out to be the wrong gender. Puck ignored her superstition and they went out anyway. All of the tiny baby clothes were so adorable that it made Rachel cry. She was so proud to be carrying her own Puckerman—to give Puck his second child, but the first one he could actually take care of for the rest of his life.
The crying fit startled Puck. Plus, other pregnant women in the store were either glaring at him because they thought he did something wrong or looking like they were about to cry too. Either way, the baby store was about to turn into chaos. Puck grabbed a pair of shoes with stars on them and led Rachel to the checkout line. Puckerbaby didn't have much, but at least he'd (she'd?) have a pair of shoes.
Later that night, Rachel started bleeding. She was certain, much to Puck's dismay, that she'd lost the baby. Puck told her to wait until they got to the hospital. They almost got into an argument. It was one time that Rachel hated being right.
Although Puck wanted to try again as soon as it was safe, he didn't want to pressure Rachel. For a few days, both of them took off and just laid around like zombies in their townhouse. Puck catered to Rachel's every need. She'd cried until she thought no more tears could come out. She was just relieved that their parents had taken care of contacting everyone. Rachel didn't know how she would react if someone called her asking for a baby update.
Puck informed their close friends. Everyone wanted to fly to New York and visit, but Rachel wasn't ready for it. He didn't think Rachel was up for anything, but she was soon out and about auditioning again. Puck was worried about his wife and he kept an extra close eye on her.
Rachel noticed. She was functioning but still feeling pretty raw inside. One thing she couldn't do was sit in their home another day.
They went to her obstetrician the next day. The doctor explained that it was a miscarriage, not uncommon for a first time pregnancy. It wasn't Rachel's fault, which was a relief for her to know. Her doctor suggested taking more time to rest and that they could try again in a month or so, just to give Rachel's body sometime to recover.
Exactly one month later, Puck asked Rachel about a baby over dinner. They had gone out to a nice restaurant for a date night. Both of them had announced earlier that they had something to discuss with one another, so Rachel made arrangements at their favorite restaurant. They hadn't had a real date since the miscarriage, but Rachel was feeling a little bit better than she had been. Things may have been looking up.
He had worked up the courage to ask her while he was at work earlier. He wasn't afraid of his wife, but he was afraid that his question would throw her back into a depression. To say Rachel was shocked would be an understatement. She thought he would be discussing a job promotion or an upcoming vacation. A baby didn't work well with her announcement. She'd gotten the lead role in a very notable production. It had Tony award written all over it. Really, it did.
Once she won her first Tony, the offers and performances kept coming. She was a celebrity in her own way. Puck was so proud of his wife. She was back to the bubbly Rachel Puckerman she was before the miscarriage. Their date nights, their sex life—everything was much better than it was. Or so he thought.
Rachel had come back from lunch with her agent and saw Puck sitting on the couch with a bottle of Jack Daniels in arm's reach. Rachel's first thought was to wonder who died. The situation was quite the reverse though. She sat next to her husband and hugged him, without even knowing what was wrong. He was a self-proclaimed badass, but a gentle touch from his wife kinda soothed the pain.
Finn had called him earlier asking when he and Rachel were going to try again for a baby. It'd been almost 2 years since the miscarriage and Finn thought it'd be a good idea to try again because Quinn just found out she was pregnant. Puck made up some excuse about calling him back and went to find the liquor. Puck always figured he'd have his own baby to focus on by the time Quinn got pregnant again so missing Beth wouldn't hurt so much. But now he hurt twice as much.
The explanation made Rachel's heart ache. She capped the bottle and put it back in the cabinet and pulled Puck into their bedroom. Truth was, she wanted to try again. She had really wanted to try again for months but she was afraid. But after hearing Puck's anguish, she wanted nothing more than to give her husband a baby.
Rachel wanted to be pregnant so bad that she cried during their lovemaking. Puck, although he would never admit to anyone, cried too. The whole act was so emotional and raw. A few weeks later, Rachel only bought two pregnancy tests. Both came out positive.
If it was up to Rachel, she would have lived in her OB's office. She lived in fear that anything she did could harm the baby. They made a strict promise to each other to not tell anyone until she was at least in the second trimester. They were glad they did once the ultrasound showed that Rachel was having an ectopic pregnancy.
Both of them were devastated. Rachel let out her emotions, but Puck didn't. In fact, he had become passive aggressive. They started to argue over stupid things. Rachel really just wanted him to say it: that the failed pregnancies were all her fault. Puck never felt that way, but the entire situation could drive a man mad. Puck was well aware that if they weren't careful, the miscarriages could ruin their marriage. So when his boss offered him a chance to attend a conference in Seattle for a week, he jumped at the opportunity. They needed the space.
Puck returned baring gifts. Not that he needed to, but Rachel appreciated them anyway. She missed her husband and was thrilled for him to be back. She wanted to hear all about his trip (even though she got daily updates from him), but she couldn't let him speak until she got out her news.
She was going to play the role she was born to be in. A Broadway revival of West Side Story, with Rachel Puckerman starring as Maria. Funny thing was, on the plane ride back to New York, Puck had a heart to heart moment with his boss. Third time would be the charm, or in this case the baby. But since Rachel was back to work in a big way, Puck didn't even bring it up.
As the show picked up press, both of them had moved pregnancy to the back of their minds. Rachel actually had paparazzi following her, an idea that both amazed her and freaked her out. Puck hated it. He was always worried about his wife's safety when she left the house, even though he could do a Google search at any moment and probably find live footage of her somewhere.
The reason that the show was getting so much press was because there were actually like big celebrities in it. Some pop star, this huge actor, and some theater legend. And then Rachel was the star in the show. Puck didn't really know who the celebrities were, but he did know that it was a big deal. Now the whole world wanted to know who his wife was.
He didn't know how big things had gotten until they went to the airport one day. The show was about to begin, so Quinn arranged her babyshower so that Rachel would be able to attend. Puck honestly hated Quinn Fabray-Hudson's guts. She was still jealous of Rachel and Puck knew this whole babyshower rearrangement was just an attempt to chip at Rachel's self-esteem. He begged her not to go, but she insisted.
While they were at LaGuardia, they almost missed their flight because Rachel was stopping to sign autographs. All the kids kept saying something about seeing her on Paris Hilton dot com. Puck was a little confused about Paris Hilton writing about his wife and he was annoyed because he wanted to get the hell out of the airport. He loved flying but he hated airports.
Rachel could see her husband's agitation and ended her impromptu autograph/photo session. She explained to Puck that it was Perez Hilton and that even though it started off questionable, the celebrity blogger now had nothing but nice things to write about her. She was tapping away at her phone, all while walking and talking to him. When she put her phone away, she looked up at him and smiled. Her agent had secured them seats in first class. Rachel knew her husband needed some space from people, and he looked visibly relieved.
Finn and Quinn lived in Columbus, so they got a hotel room there instead of in Lima. They had a date night Thursday. On Friday, their parents rode up and they all spent the day together. Saturday was the baby shower/Glee reunion. She was thankful that Finn suggested a Glee reunion. Rachel hadn't seen some of them in almost 8 years. And besides, Quinn was even more of a maniacal bitch pregnant. Rachel was thankful to have a lot of other people to talk to instead of kissing Quinn's ass.
Rachel put on her best acting face, but inside she was quickly crumbling. It started on Friday evening when she snuck off to the baby store to pick up a gift for Quinn. She hadn't been to a baby store since the time with Puck years ago. It had been tough, but Rachel knew she couldn't turn up giftless. Quinn would probably call the tabloids herself and trash her for being bitter.
She was bitter though. She looked around at all the kids at the affair. Mr. Schue & Mrs. Schue (formerly Pillsbury) had three kids running around. Tina and Mike were keeping their too active two-year-old close. Then Finn and Quinn had their own friends and neighbors with kids. Rachel couldn't wait to get back to their hotel and fly back to New York the next morning. She almost wanted to change their flight to that night.
If she'd mentioned that to Puck, he would have been on board—literally. The whole babyshower was nauseating to him. First off, he hated Quinn's ass. She was ordering everyone around about stupid shit. Bring her water. She's too hot. She's too fat. Even imagining Rachel naked wasn't making him feel any happier. Then, he was mad at himself. He hated Finn for being so happy. He was jealous. He wanted to experience the joy of childbirth. Time after time it was ripped away from him.
Rachel was good at reading her husband and she knew he was about to blow. She discretely called him inside and they went to the bathroom to talk. He was ready to vent, and it was usually unlike him to have a ranting session like his wife. Rachel locked the door, hiked up her skirt, and removed her panties.
Originally, her plan was to come into the bathroom and calm him down enough to get them through the rest of the damn event. As soon as she closed the bathroom door she could tell how upset he was. It made her feel miserable and she had to feel him right that moment. It was quick and quiet, but very intimate to say that they were in Quinn's second floor bathroom.
When they reemerged, Quinn put Rachel on the spot for a toast. If Quinn wasn't a woman and wasn't pregnant, Puck would have punched her face in. Quinn was so phony when she thanked Rachel for taking time to come out to the shower. Even though Quinn put her on the spot, Rachel was completely prepared with a little speech. And even though it wasn't her song, she sung a little of Tony's "Something's Coming" from West Side Story. Not only was it a fitting song, but she one-upped Quinn because everyone was still totally impressed by her talent. Puck did his part to get at Quinn by telling Finn about his "sex"sion with Rachel in the bathroom. Knowing Finn, he'd find some accidentally insensitive way to complain about the lack of good sex he'd been getting lately (and his entire marriage if Finn was honest).
Rachel realized on their flight back that Quinn's bitchiness was the only reason she stayed sane at the event. If the entire thing was cutesy and sweet, she would have probably broken down. She wanted a baby. If not even for herself, she would want one for her husband.
When the show opened, it did really well. Even Puck was more impressed with his wife than before. The paparazzi was pretty much living outside of their door, which made Puck start thinking about moving to a more secure area. Rachel was just happy to do a great performance with her awesome castmates. There were some issues early on with celebrity diva attitudes, but Rachel knew she'd developed a true friendship with her costar. Puck knew Rachel had a slight crush on him from a movie they saw starring him back in college, but he tolerated the working relationship because the movie star guy had access to high profile parties and shit. Was he pimping out his wife? A little.
The Puckermans were feeling on top of the world. The theater press was buzzing about multiple Tony nominations for Rachel. She couldn't be more thrilled until she realized that she could. She still didn't have a baby.
They were at the big wrap party when Finn called Puck crying. Baby boy Hudson came flailing into the world that night, looking very uncoordinated like his father. Puck knew this for a fact because Finn sent a video and multiple pictures. He was really happy for Finn, honestly he was. But he was sad as hell for himself. He wasn't the trained actor, so when a visibly tipsy Rachel walked over to him she could instantly tell something was wrong. They had to leave right then.
Even though she was an emotional person, usually Rachel had control over her emotions. Being slightly inebriated took the control away. As soon as she got home she bawled. She screamed. She threw things. While trying to calm her down, Puck also had to deal with Finn texting him every two seconds. Finn had just asked if Puck and Rachel would be the godparents. They'd discussed it before and he and Finn were best friends, so of course he'd say yes. But God, Puck really didn't know how he and Rachel would handle that honor for the rest of their lives if they didn't produce a child of their own soon.
Rachel was now in their bedroom, undressing and crying and freaking out. Puck knew she had to get it out her system, so he just watched her to make sure she didn't hurt herself. While in their closet, Puck heard something thump against Rachel's head. He ran in to make sure she was okay. She was worse.
The box that fell on her head didn't hurt her, the contents did. Inside were the baby shoes. Puck sat on the floor next to her, cradling Rachel in his arms. He said an honest prayer in his head, just for one baby. He knew he wasn't the best Jew, but surely God could provide that for them.
Rachel didn't feel like talking about her blow up. She didn't feel like saying anything. But those shoes—those shoes warranted a response. In the calmest way possible, she told Puck that those shoes couldn't be in their house any longer. They had to go. Puck would do anything to make Rachel feel better, even if it hurt him. And it would really hurt to get rid of those baby shoes.
Rachel was thankful for being drained. The show had drained her physically. The wrap party and press drained her socially. Baby boy Hudson drained her emotionally. She got into the bed and fell right asleep. Unfortunately, it wasn't that easy for Puck. As soon as Rachel was asleep, he got out of the bed and sat in the living room. He held those shoes and cried. He cried for him and Rachel. He cried for Beth. He cried for his two unborn babies.
Once he regained composure, Puck logged onto Craigslist and placed an ad. "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."