I didn't have plans to update this, but I couldn't get it out my mind. So here is the final part to Baby Shoes. Let me know what you think!
They were good godparents in their own way. Every month Rachel ordered a gift to be delivered to Finn and Quinn for Baby Christopher. Or Christopher Liam as Quinn sometimes referred to him. She was even more of a pretentious bitch after giving birth.
It had been three months and they still hadn't seen the baby in person. The Puckermans and the Hudsons Skyped one another with Christopher making appearances each time, but Puck and Rachel never made any move to fly to Ohio. Neither of them even suggested it. It was just sort of an unspoken rule.
And besides, the both of them were busy. As the Tony Awards quickly approached, Rachel was doing a little bit of everything to make sure the both of them were prepared. Puck wasn't a big fan of these award show nights. He had to dress up in a ridiculous tux, actually look happy to be around snobby people, and share his wife with a billion different people asking questions and shit.
Puck was just ready for Rachel to win all her awards. There was no doubt in his mind that she would. And after that, he was making sure that Rachel Puckerman was all his. At least for a week. He scheduled his vacation for the following week and had plans to take Rachel to Vegas. Yes, he was serious.
He figured that they worked too hard. It was a little creepy how responsible he had become over the past couple years. They were both still in their 20s (barely) and knew they needed to live it up before they were in their thirties. There were moments when he could remember getting plastered with Rachel when they used to visit each other in college. That was fun. It's not like they had any other responsibilities (read: kids) going on in their life at the moment either.
Surprisingly, Rachel was all for the trip. She could definitely use a vacation and Vegas seemed like the perfect place to let loose. Plus, she knew Puck always wanted to go there. And to make things even better, her famous costar from West Side Story even arranged for them to stay in his penthouse at the Bellagio. She didn't want to accept, but he insisted that it was his thank you for his corresponding Best Actor award to her Best Actress award.
They did everything in Vegas. Rachel was thrilled to attend a Celine Dion show. They saw the Cirque de Soleil performance. They gambled—Puck won $8,000. They got drunk and made faces at people they passed. Thank God, the paparazzi didn't follow them. Rachel was pretty sure that real celebrities knew better than to go to Vegas for an extended period of time anyway. They renewed their vows dressed up like characters from a western movie. Rachel regretted the costumes the next morning, but confirming—once again—that she'd be able to spend a life time with Puck made up for the hideous attire.
They were flying back on Sunday morning, so they kept Saturday evening light. Both of them were still trying to recover from a week full of recklessness anyway, so Puck called down to the chef (yes, the 24-hour personal chef) and made arrangements. He took Rachel out to buy last minute gift for their families in Ohio while their suite was transformed into a romantic night in.
Somewhere in between the first and second course, Puck had the urge to talk. Like really talk. Rachel suggested they play an all truth version of truth or dare to make it a little easier.
Truth: He thought they were avoiding the baby subject. Truth: She couldn't handle losing another baby. Truth: He wanted to try again. It made him jealous to see Finn with his son. Truth: Quinn still made her feel inferior. Truth: Quinn still was a stupid fucking bitch. Truth: She was really scared to disappoint him again. Truth: He loved her no matter if they had no kids or 20, but he wanted to try again.
She agreed and dared them to try right then. That's how the game went, and when they left Vegas that's what the story would be. Rachel was trying again.
They'd gone to their doctors. Rachel's doctor wasn't worried about her ability to carry a baby to term because her reproductive organs were in good condition. The obstetrician started Rachel on prenatal vitamins, and suggested they try again if they could emotionally handle it. Puck even went to his doctor (which was no small feat—he hated being examined) to check on his swimmers. The doctor gave him a clean bill of health.
Since Rachel wasn't currently performing, she had plenty of free time to be the best wife ever. Every evening, she had a meal prepared for Puck after work. She kept the house clean and relaxed with a book every afternoon. It was good for her. Their sex life was still awesome too, although there were no signs of pregnancy yet.
Then Rachel received the phone call that would change everything. There was going to be huge bullying prevention benefit concert Madison Square Garden. Live televised, huge names of performers and speakers. Tickets were starting at $500. The organizers wanted Rachel Puckerman to open the show.
Rachel screamed into the phone. It was such a great opportunity and her agent assured her that the concert would open up a world of opportunities. Sure enough, as soon as Rachel got off stage, the CEO of a major record label gave her his personal contact information. He wanted to talk about signing her. The next week, her agent called with news that Fox wanted Rachel to star in a hit show they had in the works. She was invited to sing the national anthem at a New York City event with the US President in the audience. Rachel Puckerman blew up.
All during this time, Puck was a supportive husband. It was kind of cool to be referred to as Rachel Puckerman's "hot and muscled husband" in the magazines. In a photoshoot she did for People, they got Puck to jump in a couple shots. He had to admit that Puckermans were hot together.
But the bigger Rachel got, the less time they spoke about having a baby. They were still having sex and everything, but Rachel still wasn't pregnant and Puck didn't think she even cared. He didn't want to stop her from achieving her dreams because he had baby fever, but he also didn't want to end up 80 with a really famous wife and no kids. He decided that while things were this big, he'd let Rachel have her shine without bringing up the baby thing again.
Then December rolled in. He became especially determined to have his own Puckerman when the town of Lima declared Rachel's birthday as "Rachel Berry-Puckerman Day" that year. That meant Puck had to step foot in that town and deal with family and Quinn's annoying ass.
But Finn and Chris were a blast to be around. In fact, they were so fun to be around that Puck spent the entire Saturday with them. He and Finn played video games in Finn's old bedroom while Chris just hung out. He was seriously the most relaxed baby ever. Rachel, on the other hand, agreed to ride to back to Columbus with Quinn to go shopping. She gave him a look that seemed like she wanted him to get her out of it, but he pretended not to notice. If Puck was honest, he'd admit that it was his passive aggressive way of getting at Rachel because she hadn't gotten pregnant yet.
As soon as they stepped back into their condo (they moved on up in October), Puck dropped their bags and pulled Rachel on the couch. He reminded her that she was now 27 and she wouldn't have forever to get pregnant. It probably wasn't the best way to word things, so he blamed it on that day he spent with Finn over the weekend.
Rachel went off on him—in English and in the Yiddish she knew. She made him sleep in the guest room and didn't speak to him until the next evening. She would have held a longer grudge, but she realized that some of the issue was from her lack of communication.
Contrary to what Puck thought, Rachel was still actively concerned about conceiving a child. The only reason she hadn't been bringing it up more often was because she was getting frustrated with all their tries being unsuccessful. She knew that some things in life just came as a surprise, and maybe that was the case with a baby. So as she got more "famous," Rachel decided to make the most of her career.
But the fame wasn't always on her side. Rachel was prepping for an interview with Cosmopolitan at her condo while Puck was at work. The reporter and photographer had just arrived when Rachel's agent pulled her into the bedroom. Her face was flushed red, so Rachel knew something bad was happening. Her agent opened up her laptop and maximized her browser screen. There, right in front of Rachel's eyes, was the breaking news alert that her husband was cheating on her.
Rachel could do nothing but blink at the pictures in front of her. Puck hugged this girl tightly and spun her around. They had lunch and everything. Rachel couldn't see her face, but the woman was tall and blonde. It felt like a punch in the stomach and she ran to the bathroom to throw up. Once she finished, her agent suggested that she put on a happy face and get through her interview. Of course, this interview wanted to know all about Puck and how they keep the fire in their marriage.
When Puck got home that evening, all the lights were out in their home. He walked into the bedroom and saw Rachel sleeping peacefully in bed. Rachel was never sleeping at this time unless she was sick, so Puck felt her forehead to see if she was feverish. She did feel a little warm, so Puck shook her gently to see if she had taken any medicine.
When Rachel opened her eyes, she asked him if he was cheating on her. Puck hadn't been expecting that. Rachel explained the tabloid article and the pictures. He turned on the light to get a good look at his wife. He couldn't believe that she was seriously accusing him of cheating based off a tabloid. She should have known better than that.
Rachel squinted at the bright light and held her head. The tabloid article had her in a fit all day. She couldn't keep anything down and her head was pounding. Rachel looked at Puck waiting for an explanation. As she waited, she watched him pack some clothes into a duffle bag. She was waiting to hear the worse from him.
He told her what really a happened. He'd come down from his office to grab some lunch and ran into Brittany Pierce from New Directions. She hadn't been at the Finn/Quinn baby shower and he hadn't seen her since he graduated so he was really surprised and happy to see her. In true Brittany fashion, she was lost, so they had lunch until her friends found her.
Rachel felt so ashamed. And nauseous. As she went to the bathroom to throw up again, she heard Puck's footsteps right behind her. He was pissed, but he just wasn't going to leave his sick wife.
Things were still rocky over the next couple of days. Puck didn't even want to talk to her. He couldn't understand why Rachel didn't immediately call him to see what happened. Instead, she went through an interview and probably a speculation session with her agent. He knew he had a terrible past, like in high school, but he'd grown up. It didn't help matters to see paparazzi start following him around. If there was anytime that he was thankful to fly to Ohio, this was it. The Hudsons were having Christopher's first birthday party that weekend. He and Rachel agreed to fly out on Friday evening and leave Sunday afternoon.
The airport was Rachel's first public appearance since the tabloids had published the cheating article and she was terrified. Rachel didn't even feel like herself with Puck being so standoffish with her. Then she dreaded the paparazzi at and outside the airport. Would they be able to recognize the distance between the couple and publish more stories?
Puck knew his wife well and knew what she'd be worried about as soon as they stepped outside their cab. He grabbed their bags, held her hand, and walked as if nothing was going on between them. She wiped her eye under her glasses and Puck realized she was crying. He decided to stop being a jerk and forgive her for the entire thing. Realistically, Puck knew that if things were the other way around he wouldn't have handled it well either.
Even though Puck seemed to forgive her, Rachel still felt uneasy. Maybe it was the turbulence on their flight. Things didn't get better once they landed. As soon as they pulled out the airport lot in their rental car, an idiot driver slammed into the back of them. Although they were okay physically, Puck was livid. Rachel watched as he ripped into the teenager about reckless driving, sounding like an old man. It made her chuckle and she went over to calm her husband down. Accidents happened and she always made sure they had rental insurance anyway.
When Puck turned to face Rachel and saw the huge knot forming on her forehead, he flipped out even more. He called Finn to take Rachel to the emergency room while he waited for the officers to deal with the accident report. Rachel thought it was unnecessary, but wouldn't go against Puck when he was in his overprotective husband mode. She didn't remember hitting her head anyway, so maybe that was enough reason to go get checked out.
The nurse came in, checked her vitals, and took some blood before Rachel was taken to get her head scanned. The nurse didn't really think anything was wrong, but Rachel wanted to have proof to show her husband she was fine. Rachel laid back down since her head was pounding, but she was alert. So, when the nurse came back in, talking about "the baby" and "ultrasound," Rachel jumped up.
The nurse took in Rachel's surprised expression and looked ashamed. She asked Rachel if she knew she pregnant. Rachel needed her to clarify—was she currently still pregnant or she was pregnant before the accident?
She was 100% pregnant, and still 100% pregnant. Rachel heard her husband asking for her whereabouts and she peeked outside the door half crying, half smiling. Puck was familiar with that look, but he was afraid to be optimistic. When Rachel told him the good news, he couldn't resist picking her up and holding her tight. Then he demanded to see proof on an ultrasound.
When Rachel made it to her 2nd trimester, they finally told their parents. Rachel made Puck's mother swear to keep it a secret until the day she was in the delivery room. Rachel's obstetrician had no concerns about the pregnancy and begged Rachel to stay optimistic. That was easier said than done, but they tried anyway.
Rachel met with her agent for lunch the next week. She was a little nervous about the meeting because that meant she had to go out in public and she was showing. It wasn't a lot, but paparazzi and gossip bloggers could spot a baby bump a mile away. After she called him worrying, Puck told her to get out of the house. He was tired of his wife suffering and living in fear. All of that fear mixed with Rachel's pregnancy hormones would crush her if she didn't start being herself soon—and Puck knew that started out with going out, even if it was just to lunch.
Rachel was surprised that the lunch meeting was nothing more than a chance to catch up. Since Rachel was taking some "professional downtime," she allowed her agent to go on a three-week vacation. Molly was good to her and actually one the best friends Rachel developed on her rise to stardom, so she deserved it. And when Rachel realized she had to have a bacon cheeseburger even though they were at their favorite vegan restaurant, Molly figured out that her boss was pregnant.
Usually, Molly could hold a straight face longer than Rachel, but she squealed. In the restaurant. Rachel kicked her under the table and Molly straightened her face immediately. They decided that Molly would get her food to go and they'd have a burger for Rachel delivered to the condo.
The first thing Molly did when they got back was check to see what pictures were posted. Most of the bloggers were just surprised to see Rachel out and about again, speculating why she'd been cooped up for the past month or so. Molly warned Rachel that someone would discover the small bump and it would be chaos from there, especially if they decided to remain quiet about the pregnancy. Rachel gave her permission to come up with a baby announcement to be released when she and Puck agreed on it.
Puck wasn't surprised when his coworkers came to his office the next day asking if Rachel was really pregnant. The well wishes from friends and fans came pouring in. It made Rachel absolutely nervous, so Molly gave her a project: the Rachel Puckerman Performing Arts Summer Camp. It was the best idea anyone could have ever given her and it gave her so much to do. She had meetings with theaters and former directors to see if they would be interested in participating (they were). She called up some of her fellow Broadway actors and actresses to see if they'd be willing to teach some acting seminars (they were too). She called her lawyers to work out all the application paperwork and waivers. Planning the summer camp was a complete distraction from the whole world knowing that she was pregnant.
Finn had some vacation time saved up, so soon Puck and Rachel were preparing to have their first visitors. Since she was so busy trying to wrap up last minute details for her summer camp, Rachel made Puck responsible for prepping their condo for the Hudsons. They had three bedrooms, so there was more than enough room for Finn, Quinn, and Chris. Puck knew that Finn didn't need anything special and he didn't give a damn if Quinn needed anything, so his job was simple.
Puck and Rachel crashed into bed exhausted the night after they arrived. Rachel called in a favor to one her friends, who happened to be a chef, and got Finn and Quinn reservations for a romantic dinner. She and Puck agreed to keep Chris, knowing that they needed childcare practice. She was over halfway through her pregnancy, so they'd have a baby boy or girl sooner than they expected.
Chris was amazing the last time Puck saw him, but he was the exact opposite then. He was walking everywhere, talking nonstop, grabbing everything, and climbing anywhere. Rachel excused herself to take a phone call and she didn't emerge from their bedroom until over an hour later, when she heard silence in their living room. Puck noticed that she was holding her Kindle. Even though she was adamant about not buying anything baby related, Rachel broke down that evening and bought digital copies of 4 different baby books.
They spent the next couple of days spending time around the city, showing their visitors some of their favorite spots. The paparazzi followed them a couple of places and Rachel and Puck privately joked about how Quinn pretended like she was so unnerved about being followed.
Puck took Finn out on his last night in town while Quinn stayed in with Rachel. They just went down the street to one of Puck's favorite bars and it was there that Finn announced that he and Quinn were definitely getting a divorce. It was one of those moments when Puck wanted to spit out his drink, but he knew better than to waste good alcohol.
Apparently, Quinn was unsatisfied with their marriage. She wanted Finn to work more hours and make more money while she sat at home all day and shopped or whatever the hell she did with her life. The sudden announcement made Puck realize two things: that Quinn Fabray was the biggest bitch he knew and that he was so thankful to have a wife like Rachel. The good thing about the issue was that Finn wasn't that bummed over the marriage ending, but he didn't know what kind of foolishness Quinn would try to pull when it came to spousal support and custody. Puck didn't really know what kind of advice to give his friend, especially after Finn admitted to being jealous of Puck's marriage. It was weird cause just about two years ago, Puck was jealous of Finn being able to have a child with his wife.
When Puck told Rachel in their bedroom that night, Rachel was shocked. Quinn hadn't made any mention of a problem in their marriage. If anything, she made it seem like things were better than before. A few weeks later when the papers were filed, Puck used his vacation time to fly down to Ohio and help his best friend move out and get readjusted to the single life.
Rachel missed her husband, but used that time to select her summer camp attendees. She'd received over a thousand applicants, but the number was cut down to 400 after the other applicants didn't match the criteria. Every morning, Rachel got dressed, ate breakfast, and spent the rest of the day going over applications. Each applicant had to send in a video sample and Rachel became so engrossed in the process that she'd sometimes forget to have lunch. She accidentally mentioned that to Puck one day and he immediately called Molly to stay over with Rachel until he returned. She and Molly picked him up from the airport when he arrived back in New York. Rachel said that it was because she couldn't go another moment without seeing her husband, but Puck knew she was just anxious to dig in the box of baked treats that his mother sent back for her.
After the past couple of years it seemed like it was impossible, but everything was finally going well. Rachel had picked her 20 camp participants and not only was she excited, but she was proud to provide the opportunity to help students. Puck was just happy that his wife was happy and that their Puckerbaby was growing well. By that time, Puck was over his fears about Rachel carrying their baby to term and he was eager to get some stuff for his kid. Even rolling into her 3rd trimester, Rachel was still hesitant to buy anything. If she kept stalling, he'd do it himself.
As Puckerbaby grew bigger, Rachel was getting more media attention, but thankfully it wasn't because of her pregnancy (there was a much bigger story about a huge celebrity breakup in the gossip blogging world). Word had finally gotten out about her summer camp even though Molly had sent out hundreds of press releases a few months ago. Whatever the reason, Rachel was thrilled to talking about her project even if she thought she was fat and swollen.
Molly set the day up so that Rachel would have a mini press tour. She'd start her day off on Good Morning America and do a phone interview on the way to The View. Molly planned it to the minute and Rachel was relieved, because when Molly called her that morning sneezing, Rachel made her stay away. Rachel was comfortable enough to travel with a driver alone, but Puck wouldn't allow her to go out alone. So he called out for the morning and decided to go be his wife's personal assistant/bodyguard. Rachel was glad it worked out that way, because even though he didn't love the press, Rachel knew Puck loved to see her at work. She was already feeling a little apprehensive about interviewing with her huge baby bump (because she knew pregnancy would come up anyway, regardless if the interview was about the summer camp), but seeing her hubby backstage relaxed her.
When the ladies of The View asked about her & Puck's marriage, Puckerbaby kicked up a storm. The pregnancy hormones went into full gear as Rachel gushed about her wonderful husband. It was like she had a flashback of all the times Puck had been there for her—through the big and the small things. So before she got busy with the camp at the end of the month and got too pregnant to do anything, Rachel rented them a beach house for the weekend. Puck had mentioned that all he wanted for his birthday was to see Rachel in a bikini and that's what she planned to give him.
Their babymoon went perfectly. They rarely left the house and Puck made Rachel walk around with her belly showing the entire time. The first half of the pregnancy Rachel was the one with the raging sex drive. The bigger she got, the stronger Puck came onto her. He'd never made her feel so comfortable and attractive and she was thankful for him.
As soon as they got back, both of them were back to work. Rachel's camp was starting next week and she was putting the final touches on the two-week- agenda. In addition to the seminars the directors and actors would be teaching, the students would be attending two shows, visiting a few universities in the area, and sightseeing around the city. Rachel was thankful that Molly had the foresight to hire 5 interns for the camp to chaperone and assist. When it was just an idea, Rachel figured she'd be more than capable of keeping up with high schoolers. She didn't realize that her last weeks of pregnancy would leave her with only enough energy to move from door to the nearest chair.
Rachel thought she planned for every single possibility that could have happened during the camp, but nothing prepared her for the students and participants throwing her a huge baby shower on the last day of camp. It wasn't just a little get together either—it was pretty legit. Rachel and Puck's parents were there and even some of Rachel's former costars and friends flew in. Rachel eyed her husband and her agent, knowing that they were responsible for surprise. No wonder Molly made sure Rachel had a beautiful dress on for the last day of camp.
While eating a slice of cake (her third slice, mind you), Rachel and the rest of the adults watched the final performance that the students had been prepping the entire time at camp. Rachel cried through the entire show and she could only partly blame it on her pregnancy hormones. The entire group was such a vivacious, passionate group of performers. The directors present had even secured some of the students to be their interns for the next summer. She was so impressed and honored to be a minor piece of their future success.
The kids were impressive, Puck was more in awe of his wife. She'd taken an idea and created a life changing opportunity for those students. Even though she was hesitant to fix the nursery (something that Puck had begun to tease her about instead of stress over), Puck knew his wife would be an incredible mother.
Elise Ariella Puckerman came into the world on September 3rd. Those childbirth scenes in movies where the mother is yelling at the father? Not an exaggeration. Except Rachel wasn't yelling about the pain, she was yelling about Puck letting her go an entire 9 months without having one thing for their baby.
But just like the baby shower, Puck had a few tricks up his sleeve. He begged Rachel's summer camp interns to help them out when the time came. Since they were all theater majors and practically worshiped the ground Rachel walked on anyway, they jumped at the opportunity. Puck had all the furniture purchased and stored until Rachel went into labor. So while he was getting yelled at, Molly and the interns were over at the condo doing a quick job of a nursery.
When Baby Elise arrived home, Puck carried her straight into her nursery with Rachel following behind cluelessly. Rachel took in the yellow and white nursery and cried. Puck calmed her down and gave her a grand tour of the room, explaining why he chose each and every item. He opened the mostly empty closet and handed Rachel a familiar box. She gasped and held the tiny starry shoes that she thought were long gone.
Puck glanced at the tiny pinkish feet in the crib and smiled, holding back his own. He was grateful no one ever answered his ad.