a/n: I honestly have no clue where this came from. I've been getting attacked by random plot bunnies lately and this happened to be one of them. I actually wrote the plot bunny down and then immediately did this because it just wouldn't shut up. I believe, because of its length, this would be considered a drabble, right? It's a future fic, not necessarily a/u but with the way things are going on the show, it might as well be! Oh well, hope you enjoy it and please tell me if you do! I don't own Glee…
The deli section always made her a little sick. But, despite the way her husband attempted to support her vegetarianism, he still claimed he needed meat or he would die. And people called her the dramatic one in the relationship? Feh! So, every few weeks, on one of her grocery shopping trips, she'd get him and the children some lunch meats and a few steaks that he liked. It could generally keep them tied over for a little bit.
As she was inspecting the newer flavors of pita chips a few feet away, she saw him. In all actuality, she'd never seen the man in her life. But one look and she knew him, knew who he was and what he'd done, and hated him for it all. What business did he have in New York anyway? And even though Rachel knew that there was no way he could possibly know who she was, she still promptly turned in the other direction to avoid making any eye contact at all. As she stared down into the piercing hazel eyes of her six year old son, the same eyes she recognized in the man not ten feet away, she worked to control her emotions.
"Here you go," the girl behind the counter smiled brightly at her, "I wrapped the steaks twice and the turkey is double-bagged, just like you requested." The little boy in her cart threw up his arms in delight. Steak night was a big deal in their house. The children had their father's taste buds and only put up with her vegetarian cooking because they were bribed with meat once a month.
Rachel gingerly grabbed the packages off of the counter and placed them in her cart, smiling at how excited Nathaniel already was. "Thank you Nina, have a nice day honey." The girl smiled again and waved to the bouncing child.
"You have a nice day too Mrs. Puckerman." Rachel almost cringed when the man looked up at the sound of her name. She straightened her shoulders and began to walk past, hoping that he wouldn't say anything. But of course, no such luck.
"Excuse me, did I hear right? Did that girl just call you Mrs. Puckerman?" Rachel worked to calm her nerves, calm her anger, calm everything within her telling her to ball up her fist and punch the man with all her might.
"Yes, she did. That's my name," she stated almost icily, purposely ignoring her son's curious glances, no doubt wondering why his mother was suddenly using her 'you're in big trouble mister' tone of voice without directing it at him like usual. Before he could respond, she spoke again. "I'm married to Noah, the son you left behind, Thomas." He seemed surprised at that bit of information, or that a practical stranger would know such information.
"Well that's uh, that's good I guess. You know who I am then. I see you have a little one here. How's the rest of my family?" Rachel immediately bristled again, gripping the handle of her cart until her knuckles became white.
"Aviva died three years ago from complications with pneumonia. Sarah is a top consultant with a design firm upstate but if I remember correctly, you were gone before she was ever born. Noah is a record producer here in the city. He and I have been married for eight years and we have two children together. And as far as I'm concerned, you lost every right to refer to any of them as your family when you walked away from them thirty years ago. My husband is a great man, an even better father, and my family is strong because of him. Don't fool yourself into thinking you had a hand in that." She could tell that when he'd approached her, that sort of confrontation had been the last thing on his mind. As his mouth fell open with a stunned stare, Rachel stood her ground until he finally realized that nothing he could say would sway the woman's opinion of him. When he walked away, Rachel took a deep breath, feeling as though a shadow had been lifted.
As she pushed her cart down the aisle towards the checkout, somewhat proud of herself for the restraint she'd shown, Nathaniel looked up at her. "Mama, who was that man?" With a soft sigh, she brushed the boy's dark curly hair out of his face.
"Nobody baby, that man was nobody." Nathaniel seemed to like that answer and went back to pretending to drive the cart through the store.
Upon arriving at the checkout, she was placing her items up on the conveyor belt when her son squealed "Daddy! Bex!" She turned around to see her husband, aviator sunglasses already on his face but his ball cap was being worn by their daughter Rebecca who was already seated high on his shoulders. She'd just turned four and was a complete daddy's girl, except for her taste in music. She was all about her mother's Broadway stage then.
Just as Noah was leaning down to kiss her, and trying to sneak a box of sugary cereal in with their items, Nathanial piped up again. "Daddy, Mama told off this man named Nobody and it was so cool!" She instantly recognized the way his face hardened, the way it always did when he felt that his family was threatened, but he didn't know what had happened so she placed a soothing hand on his arm and smiled.
"I'll tell you when we get home."
"That's about it. He walked away after that." Noah lay beside her in their bed later that night. He'd listened to her story about the meeting in the supermarket intently. When he still hadn't said anything after a moment, Rachel began to worry. "Noah, are you angry with me for what I said to him?"
Suddenly his gentle smile broke through and he rolled over so his torso covered hers, propping himself up with his muscular arms (that still made her melt like a school girl even after all these years).
"You are the most amazing wife a guy could ever hope for baby. What you did today, it was incredible and I am so proud of you. You are a Puckerman without a doubt, and I love you so damn much. Thank you Rachel." She reached up and gently stroked her fingers along his jaw before pulling his face down to hers. When he kissed her, with passion and fire, with his whole being as he always did, she just felt so blessed to be able to share her life with that man. Moments later, his name was the singular thought in her mind as he pushed so perfectly into her body.
Just before she fell asleep in her husband's arms that night, Rachel smiled into the darkness of their bedroom. Her family was full of love and loyalty. They meant everything to her. Nothing, or nobody, else mattered in the slightest.
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