a/n: Hey people! This one-shot is for Julie (and-im-feelin-good) for being the 300th review on To the Twelfth. (even though she cheated and went back to review a previous chapter just so she could be 300 lol!) It all worked out! I instantly fell in love with this prompt after she gave it to me! It's a/u, set in Cincinnati, Ohio where Noah is a single dad and Rachel is a ballet teacher. I had so much fun writing it so I hope you enjoy it too. Thank you! I don't own Glee…
"Avery, come out come out wherever you are," Sarah Puckerman tried to coax her granddaughter out of hiding. "Come on sweetie, Daddy will be here any minute and you still need a bath." Mentally, Sarah scolded herself for letting the child outsmart her. She'd turned her head for just a second and the four year old was gone in a flash. The bath water would get cold if she didn't find the girl soon. She smirked to herself and crossed her arms. "Okay young lady, I was going to send some macaroons home with you and daddy but only good little girls who take their baths get macaroons." Suddenly, she heard a peal of laughter and the patter of tiny feet running down the hallway.
"Cookies," Avery squealed as she ran towards her Bubbe with her arms open wide. "My macaroons!" Sarah laughed at the little girl and caught her in her arms. Those macaroons could dispel a hostage situation, so they could certainly get a four year old to take a bath.
The minute Noah walked into his old childhood home, he heard giggling and splashing that made his heart melt in his chest. That child was his saving grace. He'd of course never intended to get a girl pregnant at twenty-four, and he certainly hadn't planned on said girl running off leaving him to take care of a screaming newborn because she just couldn't handle the pressure. But the first time he'd held Avery in his arms, he fell in love for the first time in his life. The courts awarded him sole custody and Avery became his life. She was a handful of course but he had a good family to fall back on. His mother and sister were eager to help him out and the girl brought them closer together. For that alone, he loved his daughter more than anything.
Noah peaked into the bathroom and saw Avery happily splashing water in his mom's face. The floor creaked beneath his feet and two wet heads whipped around to face him. "Daddy," she screamed at the top of her lungs. When she moved to jump out of the tub, Sarah caught her with a towel before she could get very far.
"Use your inside voice sweetie," Sarah whispered. Avery just reached her arms towards her dad and whispered,
"Daddy." Noah laughed out loud as he took Avery in his arms and kissed her cheek.
"There's my favorite girl in the whole wide world," he exclaimed as she shook her head, her wet strands of hair slapping him in the face and making him laugh again.
"Bubbe says we get macaroons because I'm a good girl. Bubbe's macaroons are the bestest ever!" He shot his mom a stern look when Avery said that.
"Ma, you know I'll never be able to get her to sleep if she eats sweets this late." Sarah rolled her eyes at her son. The way he talked, you'd think she hadn't raised two children on her own.
"I packed some for you take home Noah. I didn't give her any. I've done this a couple of times before, you know." He started to apologize but she waved her hands. "Do good to remember that. Her clothes are on the bed. Meet me in the kitchen when you get her dressed." Noah waited until his mother walked out of the bathroom before standing Avery up on the sink counter.
"Daddy you gotta brush my hair so I don't get tangled," she whined when he started to shake the towel over her head. Laughing, he picked up a comb and started to run it through her hair.
"I know that princess. Come on, we can dry it once we get home. Let's get some clothes on you and go see what Bubbe wants." He watched in the reflection as Avery's eyes lit up.
"Macaroons!" The girl loved macaroons.
Avery put most of her clothes on all by herself. She was pretty independent for a four year old but a total daddy's girl at heart. Once she got to her pink and green hoodie though, getting her head stuck in one of the arms, she yelled for Noah's help. He fixed it and then tied her shoes for her. If he let her do it herself, they'd be up there all night because sometimes that damn bunny just didn't want to go around the tree.
She second she had all of her clothes on, she ran for the door. Her feet got away from her though and she stubbed her toe on the doorjamb and fell over. "Damn it," she exclaimed, quite loudly. Noah tried not to laugh but hearing that come out of his little angel was fucking hilarious. He grabbed her bag off of the bed and scooped her up with his other arm. Putting on a stern face, he met her soft green gaze.
"Hey now, what did I tell you about using that kind of language?" Avery stuck her lip out and pouted for a second.
"Only at home, never at Bubbe's," she muttered under her breath. Noah kissed her forehead and grinned.
"That's my girl."
Noah got downstairs and could hear his mother singing in the kitchen. He put Avery down on the couch and turned the television set to a cartoon she liked, instructing her to stay put. She nodded her head, already entranced by the adventures of Scooby and the gang, and he walked into the kitchen to see Sarah drinking from a coffee cup of chamomile tea.
"How was she today?" Sarah gave him a tired smile.
"Avery's a bit, oh what's the word I'm looking for, rambunctious. She's just like you were at that age, running around everywhere and wanting to know everything." Noah laughed at his mother's sugarcoated way of saying that Avery was a handful. The only time Sarah Puckerman had ever sugarcoated anything in her life was where her granddaughter was concerned.
"Yeah Ma, I know. It's like she's suddenly got all this energy lately. I don't know what to do." To that, Sarah slid the telephone book across the kitchen counter and opened it to a page she had folded down. When he saw that she had an ad for a studio called Dance by Pierce circled, he looked back up at the woman with a raised brow. "You want me to put Avery in dance class?" Sarah nodded her head with a proud smile, like she'd solved all their problems.
"Hear me out Noah. You remember when your sister was her age and she was like some sort of Tasmanian Devil? That all changed when I enrolled her in ballet. Even though she only did it for a few years, it really helped her while she was taking it. She got to work off her pent up energy and learn grace, poise, and discipline all at the same time. I think you should consider it for Avery." The look she was giving him had a sneaky quality to it.
"You already called and made an appointment didn't you?" Sarah averted her eyes and took an innocent sip of her tea. "Meshugeneh!" His mother cast him a warning glance over the lip of her mug and he sighed. "Fine, I'll take her but if I don't like this place, I'm not signing her up for anything." Sarah grinned at him again and he could tell she was physically preventing her arm from patting herself on the back. With a groan, he looked back into the living room where Avery had fallen over asleep on the couch. "What time are we supposed to be there?"
Noah navigated the streets in downtown Cincinnati searching for the dance studio. He didn't really know what to expect but he knew that if he didn't like even the paint on the walls of the place, he was taking Avery and leaving. He stopped the car in front of Dance by Pierce and parallel parked. He turned around and looked at his daughter excitedly tugging at her flimsy little wrap skirt. "You ready baby girl?" She looked up at him with a bright smile on her face and nodded her head.
"I'm gonna dance!" Noah couldn't help the smile that came across his face. He couldn't deny that he wanted the best for her, wanted her to be happy. If dancing made her happy, he'd buy all the ballet slippers and tutus he could afford.
When they walked into the studio, he saw that there was a blonde woman around his age sitting behind a large desk in the lobby.
"Hi," she greeted cheerily. "I'm Brittany Pierce, are you Noah and Avery Puckerman?" Noah balked just slightly, surprised that the owner would be waiting to meet them.
"Yeah, I'm Noah Puckerman and this is my daughter Avery. I guess we're gonna look into signing her up for ballet." Brittany smiled down at Avery and then looked back at Noah.
"Well the class she would be in is actually in right now so if you want, I could take you to meet the teacher and see how you feel about it. Sound good?" Before Noah could answer, Avery shot her hands up in the air.
"I wanna dance!" Brittany laughed softly and bent down so that she was eyelevel with the littlest Puckerman.
"I like you already Avery. Let's go." Avery took Brittany's hand but didn't let go of her dad's, instead pulling him along beside her as Brittany guided them through the door that led to the other studios. There were windows on both walls of the hallway they were walking down that allowed you to see into the dance studios. In the first one they came to, a hip hop class was going on. Noah stopped for a second to watch as the Asian man teaching the class seemed to move as though he didn't have a bone in his body. Brittany smiled beside him as he picked Avery up so she could see into the window too. "That's Mike Chang. He's my hip hop, jazz, and tap teacher. Best in the city, probably the state. The class that this little lady would be taking is right down here. The teacher's name is Rachel Berry. She was a career ballerina in the New York City ballet until an accident forced her to take a, a Sabbath?" Noah looked at the blonde with furrowed brows. That didn't make any sense at all but Brittany looked just as confused as he did. "It's where you have to take a break from working," she clarified.
"A sabbatical," Noah questioned. Brittany snapped her fingers and laughed softly.
"Yeah that. She had to take one of those and moved here. But by the time she healed enough to dance again, the company had already given her spot away and claimed she was too old." Brittany looked sad for just a second and then continued. "She's the most incredible dancer I've ever seen so I hired her on the spot to teach ballet and contemporary. You're both gonna love her."
Noah wasn't prepared for the woman he saw at the front of the classroom gently snapping her fingers to the beat of whatever song was playing. The way Brittany had spoken about her, he'd expected an old lady teaching the class. But Rachel Berry was fucking gorgeous and was quickly serving to remind him that he'd been pretty much celibate for the past four years. The woman was petite, dark brunette hair pulled back into a bun at the nape of her neck and dressed in a black leotard. Long pink leggings covered her from about mid-thigh all the way down to the ballet slippers that she wore on her feet. The woman was a wet dream waiting to happen. All he'd have to do was fall asleep.
Noah followed Brittany into the studio with Avery in his arms. As Brittany called Rachel over, Noah kept thinking that this place was getting better and better.
When Rachel saw the man standing next to her friend and boss with the most adorable little girl in his arms, her breath caught in her throat. He had chiseled features and broad shoulders that made her inexplicably weak in the knees. She couldn't help noticing the absence of a wedding ring on his finger.
"Rachel," Brittany began her introduction, "this is Noah and Avery Puckerman. Noah, Avery, this is Miss Berry. They were thinking about signing Avery up for your class." Rachel held her hand out for Noah to shake, a jolt going through her arm as he did so that made her spine tingle.
"Hello, I'm Miss Berry. Hi Avery, do you like to dance?" Avery stuck her hand out for Rachel to take and giggled.
"That's why we're here," she replied almost sarcastically with a soft voice. Noah and Rachel chuckled, eyes meeting for just a moment before both returned to the child. Brittany left the room so they could speak and Noah let Avery down. Rachel took in the little girl's appearance with a soft smile as Avery started to walk around the large room, unafraid of the other dancers lining the mirrored walls. Rachel turned back to Noah and smiled.
"If you do decide to sign her up, she'll need tights." Noah scrunched his face up and his shoulders slumped.
"I knew I forgot something. Sorry her bun's a little off to the side too. I'm not so good with the hair thing." Rachel laughed and nodded her head.
"I can see that. But for her age group, she could just wear it in a ponytail and it would be okay." Rachel watched Avery for just a second. The child had been intently watching the other girls for a few moments when she took a place on the bar at the end of the row. She got into first position with the rest of the students and began to run through the practice with them. Rachel's eyes widened when she saw that and she looked at Noah again, who was watching his daughter with a proud smile. "Her innate rhythm is spectacular. Has she ever taken a dance class before?"
"Nope, she gets the rhythm from me though." His smile became a cocky smirk that made her body heat up. "I play a few instruments. Avery's been able to keep a beat since she was born. When she was two, I brought her to the guitar shop I own and the guys called her the 'baby metronome'." Rachel looked towards Avery again. For it being her first time up to the bar, she was keeping up with the other girls exceptionally well. The girl would be a magnificent addition to the class.
"She definitely lives up to that. Do you think you'll sign her up?" Noah grinned again and moved a little closer.
"That depends. You'd be teaching the class right?" Rachel bit her lip and nodded her head. "So, if I signed Avery up for ballet, I could see you again. And she clearly likes it already so it's not a bad idea." He took a deep breath and his conscience flared up. It was kinda starting to feel like he was only going to sign his daughter up for the class because he was totally hot for teacher. "Just to be safe, I think I should talk to Avery about it to make sure it's something she really wants to do. But, I think you'll be hearing from me soon." He whistled through his teeth and the little girl came running. Rachel watched him bend over to catch her in his arms and told herself it was wrong to be lusting after a man when she'd met him mere minutes before. "Avery, what do you say to Miss Berry?"
"You're really pretty," she said earnestly. Rachel laughed softly as Noah gently squeezed the girl's side. "Oh yeah, it was nice to meet you Miss Berry."
"It was very nice to meet you as well Avery," Rachel replied. With a furtive glance to Noah's face, she added, "I hope we'll be seeing each other again very soon."
Rachel watched her class with fascination. Avery Puckerman had only been taking the class for about three weeks and she was already her most advanced student. The tiny girl just picked up everything so quickly. At times she would get in an argument with the other girls but the funny thing was Avery was usually in the right. The girl also had her father's good looks so it was almost comical watching the three boys in the class fall over themselves to help her out in the beginning. At just four years old, the drive that Avery had reminded Rachel of her own. The child was wonderful.
"Very good Avery, nice extension with your arms." Avery looked up as her teacher was walking by and grinned.
"Thank you Miss Berry."
Towards the end of class, some of the parents began to filter in to pick their kids up. Rachel immediately felt her body tense slightly. Over the past few weeks that Avery had been in the class, the flirtation between she and Noah had escalated from fun to shameless. The fact that Noah was such a wonderful father only added to his already vast appeal.
Like always, the kids began to get just a bit restless after noticing their parents in the room so Rachel shut the music off and called their attention.
"Alright class, you did wonderfully today. Remember to practice your stretching for next class because we'll be working on your routine. You're excused." The class rang out a 'thank you Miss Berry' and dispersed to gather their things. When she walked over to set the remote to the sound system down, she caught a glimpse of none other than Noah Puckerman being chatted up by that awful Quinn Hudson woman. Mrs. Hudson was a stage mother of the worst sort and what made it worse was that her daughter was a spoiled rotten little brat with an incredible lack of coordination and overblown sense of self. Rachel knew that she wasn't supposed to dislike her students but some just made it so easy.
Rachel had started to reorganize the music she would need for the next day when she smelled Noah's aftershave as he walked up behind her. "Is that Quinn woman always such a bitch," he whispered in her ear. Feeling his breath hot on her neck caused her eyes to fall closed for just a second before she turned around with a stifled smile on her face.
"Yes she is actually, but you didn't hear it from me." Noah grinned and looked over to where Avery was still putting her things back in her ballet bag. "I wanted to talk to you about Avery." His grin fell and was replaced with a worried frown.
"Is she in trouble?" Rachel quickly shook her head and rubbed her palm down his bicep.
"Oh no, quite the opposite actually. She's my star pupil. The class has a recital coming up and Avery has shown the most growth out of the entire class. I'm extremely proud of the progress she's made in such a short time and I think she would be perfect for the lead in the recital. I wanted to let you know." Rachel watched him smile proudly in his daughter's direction again.
"She's got a kickass teacher though so that probably helps." Rachel gave him a soft smile, making a feeble attempt to not look like a giggling schoolgirl at his compliment.
"I wanted to wait until you were here before I told her." Noah smirked down at her and moved so that he was practically boxing her in against the table she was leaned against. His voice low, he asked,
"Are you sure you weren't just waiting for me? Because, that'd be alright too." Rachel couldn't help the way her head tilted up towards his as he got a little closer.
"Daddy are you gonna kiss Miss Berry?" Noah closed his eyes and laughed at the sound of his daughter's voice beside him. When he looked down at her, she had her ballet bag slung over one shoulder and he noticed that her ponytail wasn't as lopsided as it had been when he'd fixed it that morning (he was pretty sure Rachel had something to do with that). Avery just stared up at him expectantly. Noah bent down and took her bag and then pulled her up into his arms, not missing the way Rachel's brown eyes darkened just a little bit at the action.
"Not now baby girl. But Miss Berry has a surprise for you." Avery grinned just like her father and looked excitedly towards Rachel.
"Do I get to learn pointe," she asked anxiously with a light in her eyes. Rachel shook her head.
"Aw sweetie, you've still got just a few years before you earn your pointe shoes. But with your progress, I can guarantee that it won't be too long if you keep working hard." Avery pouted slightly but Rachel just smiled. "Avery, you know we have a recital coming up soon. I've decided that you're going to be the lead ballerina for the recital. How does that sound?" Avery's pout disappeared in an instant as she flung her tiny little arms around Rachel's neck. Noah had to move even closer to keep from dropping his daughter as she hugged her teacher. He could smell Rachel's light perfume.
When Avery finally let Rachel go, she turned in Noah's arms and placed her hands on his cheeks, kissing him right on the tip of his nose. "Can we go tell Bubbe and Aunt Hannah now Daddy? This is awesome!" Rachel laughed at the exchange but definitely took notice of the word Avery used when referring to her grandmother.
"Yeah we'll go get something to eat and then go straight to Bubbe's house. I'm proud of you baby girl." Noah then met Rachel's eyes again. "I guess I'll see you tomorrow then. Well, we'll see you tomorrow."
"Bye Miss Berry," Avery shouted as Noah began to walk away. Rachel tried to keep her eyes from admiring the way his t-shirt clung to his frame as he stepped through the door. Her eyes certainly had other plans though.
Noah stared up at the stage as Avery danced in the middle of a line of girls from her class. He might've been just a little bit biased but his kid was kicking ass. She had this little white tutu on that made her stand out from the others, as if the fact that she was dancing way better than them didn't make her stand out in the first place. Sitting next to him, Sarah Puckerman was blubbering and holding a camera to shakily record every movement that her granddaughter made on stage. Just a glance at his sister Hannah told him that she was proud of her niece beyond words.
When Avery took her little curtsy at the end of the number, Noah was the first to his feet clapping and whistling like crazy. Some of the other kids went off stage and came back a second later pulling Rachel behind them. Her hair was down and wavy, tickling Avery's nose when the woman bent down to take the bouquet of flowers that his daughter offered her. As he watched her hug Avery, Hannah elbowed him gently in the side until he looked her way.
"So that's the teacher you're into? Way to go bro." He glared at his sister but didn't bother denying it. They'd caught him a couple of times being a little more excited than he should be about dropping his daughter off at the dance studio. The whole family had been giving him shit lately because he hadn't even considered dating anyone since Avery had been born and Rachel seemed to be the first woman that might change that.
When their row began to clear out, Sarah grabbed his hand and started to drag him backstage. The woman could lie and say she wanted to congratulate Avery, and she did, but her main motivation was to meet this Miss Berry that her granddaughter (and son) seemed to adore.
Backstage, there were parents and children running around all over the place. It was freaking chaos! Finally, he spotted Avery untying her ballet slippers and smiling up at Rachel who was knelt down helping her. Noah pointed his mother in the right direction and followed her over.
"Hello, I'm Sarah Puckerman, Avery's grandmother. You must be the teacher I keep hearing so much about." Sarah shot a not so subtle look at her son before holding her hand out for Rachel to take. Rachel smiled and shook the woman's hand.
"That would be me. I'm Rachel Berry and it's lovely to meet you ma'am. Avery is a delight to have in class." Rachel leaned a little closer with a smirk on her face and whispered, "and I'm actually telling the truth when I say that about her. Not so much with some of the other kids however," she trailed off and Sarah started laughing.
"Oh Noah I like her already. Honey I insist that you come over for dinner tonight. Any woman that can get my little Avery to dance like that deserves a good home-cooked meal." Rachel started to wave her hands just a little bit.
"Mrs. Puckerman I couldn't impose like that. You should go out and celebrate as a family." Sarah Puckerman put her hands up in the air to stop Rachel and Noah wondered for a moment if he should've warned her about his mother.
"Didn't you hear me insist," Sarah replied quickly. "It's no imposition and lord knows that as much as Avery and Noah go on and on about you we might as well be family already. Now you're coming to dinner tonight and that's that. Don't make me insist again Miss Berry." Rachel blinked owlishly at the woman's stern tone of voice and looked to Noah for help. He just met her imploring eyes with a smirk and shrugged his shoulders.
"Yeah, you don't want her to insist again. It's not pretty." Rachel chuckled lightly at him and felt Avery tug on her hand until she looked down at her.
"If you're good, Bubbe will give you a macaroon." She took a deep breath and looked at Noah again.
"Well, it seems like I'm coming to dinner." Both Sarah and Avery clapped their hands together and grinned at Rachel. Sarah picked Avery up and settled her on her hip.
"Then it's all settled. I'll take Avery home with me and, Noah you can bring Rachel when she's finished here. I hope you like latkes honey because my family lives off of them." Rachel gave Sarah a wide smile and nodded her head.
"I haven't had latkes since I spent Passover with my fathers three years ago. I can't wait." The second Rachel said that, Noah could hear the cogs in his mother's head begin to turn even faster than before. Now that she had verification that Rachel was Jewish, there would be no stopping her. Sarah shot him a look that could only be interpreted as 'I want that girl for my daughter-in-law' and all he could do was laugh nervously.
Rachel turned to Noah once Sarah and Avery were gone and bit her lip. "I'm not going to be interrogated, am I?" Noah just laughed and ran his hand down her arm with another shrug that was far sexier than it should've been.
"I can't make any promises there. Sorry babe. But I'll do my best to make her keep the crazy to a minimum. My sister Hannah's gonna be there too so I hope she'll be a good buffer." Noah watched her smirk up at him and was reminded once again that he'd been taking care of himself for the last four years.
"We haven't even been on a date yet and I'm already meeting the whole family. I'd say I'm doing pretty good so far," she quipped. Noah raised his eyebrow at her but nodded his head. He lowered his voice and leaned down to whisper,
"You're doing really fucking good as far as I'm concerned." She shivered at his words and closeness which made him smirk again. "So, I didn't see that little gas sipper you drive outside. I assume you took a bus or something."
"I walked actually. I had to be here this morning to finish setting up and it was such a lovely day that I didn't feel like driving my gas sipper. My house is just a few blocks away from the studio so it's not too bad. If you give me a few minutes to get my things and say goodbye to the rest of the parents, Mike has already agreed to close up for me tonight. We can leave then." Noah smiled at her and tipped his head.
"No problem. I'll wait for you."
The second she followed Noah into his mother's house, Rachel felt welcomed. His sister Hannah met them at the door and gave her a big hug. Avery had already changed into the cutest little flowery t-shirt and tiny little cargo pants. It just looked like an outfit that Noah would've picked out which made her think it was even more adorable. The walls were full of pictures and one in particular caught her eye. It was a photo of a younger looking Noah, asleep on a couch with a baby Avery sleeping on his chest. It wasn't a subject that really came up in their daily flirtation but from Avery's stories, Rachel knew that Noah had been a single dad from the start.
"Miss Berry," Avery yelled from the couch in the living room. Three adult voices rang out after her,
"Inside voice Avery." In response to that, Avery put a finger up to her mouth as if to hush herself. Rachel laughed at that. When Noah took her hand so she would follow him into the kitchen, she couldn't get over how wonderful it felt to have her hand in his. As soon as Sarah Puckerman saw her, she was greeted with another hug. Thinking back on all of the hugs Avery had given her since starting the class, Rachel reasoned that this was a family that hugged together. It made her smile mostly because her family was like that too.
When they all sat down around the table for dinner, Avery sat in a booster seat between Noah and his mother while Rachel sat on the other side of the table next to Hannah. Rachel watched as Noah fixed Avery's plate before fixing his own.
"So Rachel," Hannah started, "you got a boyfriend?" Noah glared across the table at his sister. She was supposed to be a buffer against their mother's crazy, not bringing her own brand into the mix. But Rachel just smiled.
"I'm single at the moment. My work tends take up most of my time so it doesn't really leave much time for me to date. And generally the only adults I come in contact with on a daily basis are the parents of my students." Hannah grinned like she'd been given the opening she was looking for and Noah was instantly regretting subjecting Rachel to his family like this.
"Noah's single. And you see him on a daily basis because Avery's in your class. That seems like it could work out pretty well for both of you." Noah tapped his fork on the tablecloth with some force and cleared his throat.
"I think you made your point Hannah," he said tightly. The women at the table just snickered in response. "Did you have fun tonight Avery," he changed the subject.
After about an hour at the table, just talking and eating together, Avery started to nod off. Noah caught her head before it landed in her chicken and chuckled softly. Sarah picked her up and whispered that she was going to take her upstairs. Rachel grabbed her plate and followed Noah back into the kitchen. When she walked up beside him though, he looked at her like she'd sprouted an extra head.
"What are you doing?" He took her plate out of her hands and started to wash it but continued to look at her funny.
"I'm helping with the dishes," she replied with a blank expression. Noah shook his head.
"Guests don't do dishes Rachel. Seriously, it's not allowed. If my mom caught you right now, you'd be in so much trouble." He tried to keep a straight face but cracked up a bit at the end. Rachel giggled and bumped his shoulder, defiantly taking the sponge out of his hands.
"Well I never thought doing dishes would make me such a rebel." He tried to take the sponge back from her but she squeezed it at the last moment and the water got all over both of them. They both started laughing as she tried to keep the soap from going in her eyes. Noah reached over and grabbed the dishtowel to dry them off. Rachel looked up at him as he patted her cheek with the towel and her breath caught in her throat all over again. She let her eyes drift from his lips to his eyes, feeling his hand on her hip as he drew her closer.
"Wanna really be a rebel Rachel," he whispered against her lips. She didn't bother to reply, opting instead to thread her fingers through his hair and slant her mouth over his. Noah's kiss made her brain short-circuit almost instantly. His tongue moved with hers, tentative at first but then he pushed her a little more, and made her wonder what else he could push her to do.
"Okay that child is out like a light." At the sound of Sarah Puckerman's voice, Noah and Rachel broke apart like two teenagers getting caught. Sarah eyed them both for a second before a sly smile came across her face. "Noah, I would just hate for you to have to wake Avery up just to go home. She's got clothes here. Why don't you just let her spend the night? You and Rachel can spend more time together this way."
Noah rolled his eyes and stuck his thumbs into the front pockets of his jeans. "Subtle Ma, real subtle." The woman just grinned at him.
"Eh, it never was my strong suit. Now you two go on, get out of here. Rachel, you are just a delight and I can certainly see why my son, I mean my granddaughter, always has such wonderful things to say about you." A soft glare from Noah earned him a nonchalant shrug of her shoulders. "See? Not my strong suit."
As they were driving to Rachel's house, Noah looked over at her in the darkened car. She'd pulled her hair over on one shoulder and she was wearing this shirt that hung off of the shoulder closest to him. He thought back to the kiss they'd shared in his mother's kitchen and almost wondered if he'd screwed up by doing it. The entire time he was walking Rachel up to her front door, he was mentally berating himself. But then, as Rachel was about to stick her key in the lock, she looked up at him.
"Would you like to come inside for some coffee or something Noah?" She had this unreadable smile on her face and his body was screaming yes.
"Yeah, sure." Looking around Rachel's house for the first time, it was clear that she lived and breathed dance. Along with the family pictures of her standing between two men, her fathers he guessed, that were lining the walls, she also had just as many of her in different shows. In a shadowbox hanging next to a picture of her as a small girl, about Avery's age, were an old pair of ballet slippers. He assumed by the looks of them that they were her very first pair.
He leaned against the counter in the kitchen watching as she set to work starting the coffee for them. It was a comfortable silence but Noah kind of wished she'd say something. When she giggled softly under her breath, it caught his attention.
"What," he prodded.
"I was just thinking about your family. They're really all wonderful. Your mother is absolutely hilarious and I can tell that she's quite proud of how you've raised your daughter. Hannah actually reminds me of you, the way she speaks and carries herself. I bet you had to beat up boys for her when she was a teenager." Noah shrugged.
"By the time she started dating, I was away at school so I didn't really do much fighting. But, when I was in high school, me and a couple of my friends taught her how to fight in the backyard when Ma wasn't home. At fourteen, that girl pinned my best friend in like five seconds. Keep in mind that this dude had about two feet and a hundred and fifty pounds on her but she gave him a right hook that would've made Ali proud. The girl's fearless. I see a lot of my sister in Avery." Rachel smiled up at him.
"Well I see a lot of you in Avery. I've never met a four year old who can fluently curse in Yiddish." Noah snickered and replied,
"Who do you think taught her?"
"Luckily, the other kids just thought she was speaking gibberish. She only seems to do it around Lynn Hudson, Quinn's daughter, and quite frankly I don't blame her. Since the girl never knows what Avery is actually calling her, I just pretend that I don't either." After a minute, Rachel's gaze became cautious. "Can I ask you, what happened to her mother?" Noah crossed his arms, something that always just seemed to happen when that particular subject was broached, and moved so that he was leaning against the counter across from her.
"I'm not really sure," he answered honestly. "I was twenty four, getting drunk and sleeping around, partying with my friends. Then I knocked this girl up. We actually didn't really like each other that much but she kept saying that we could raise the baby together, be a weird family unit or something. I helped her pay for doctor's bills, all that shit. But it never really hit me, you know, that there was gonna be kid at the end of this tunnel of waiting rooms and hospital visits. Right around the time she gave birth, she started flipping out about how she had so much of her life left to live and she just couldn't give it all up because some guy got her pregnant. When Avery was born, I'd never been in love before. But holding that screaming little girl in my arms for the first time, I didn't wanna ever let her go. Right after she was released from the hospital, she told me that being a mother just wasn't for her. It kinda blew my mind actually because I couldn't understand how anybody could want to leave like that. My dad did it to my family and then the mother of my kid fucking goes and does the same thing." He paused and took a deep breath, reminding himself to keep his voice below shouting range. "I sued her for custody of Avery, she didn't really fight it though. It's been me and my baby girl ever since. I pretty much quit my old life to raise her on my own, to give her a good home. She's my world. Aside from being celibate for the past four years, I wouldn't change a thing. Oh fuck why did I just tell you that? Just rewind and stop at 'she's my world'. That sounds a lot better."
Rachel's smile made the tear that had gathered at the edge of her lashes slide down her cheek. She stepped forward and reached out to touch his arms still across his chest.
"You're a wonderful father Noah, and you've raised a wonderful daughter. For what it's worth, I think you're pretty incredible for that." She chuckled softly and a blush covered her cheeks that made him curious. When she met his eyes again, she almost looked shy. "I've got you beat on the celibacy thing though by a year." That's when Noah's eyes went as wide as saucers.
"No fucking way," he exclaimed in pure disbelief. "How is that even possible? You're beautiful." Rachel shrugged and returned to her own counter.
"Like I said earlier, I'm always working. Back when I was in New York, I was just so focused on my career that I never really noticed that there wasn't a man in my life. When I moved here though and became a teacher, it got a little more evident. I didn't know anyone aside from Brittany and at that time, we weren't exactly friends like we are now." As she trailed off, Noah stepped closer to her, moving in an almost predatory way.
"So, we're two hot, single adults that are pretty clearly into each other, and have both been taking care of their own needs for way too damn long." He watched her suck her bottom lip into her mouth and he wasn't sure if it was actually supposed to be sexy or just a nervous habit she had but it was making him harder and harder. "Now I say we do something about that." Rachel stared up at him when he placed his hands on the counter behind her. Her eyebrow rose coyly.
"Are you suggesting that we have a one night stand with each other?" Noah instantly shook his head.
"Of course not. There's no way one night would be enough babe. Not for me at least."
That seemed to be all the convincing Rachel needed because the next thing he knew, she'd hopped up on top of the counter and was helping him get his slacks undone. He muttered against her mouth that he didn't have a condom but she just reached up and opened the cabinet behind her head, pulling a box out with ease. She saw his confused expression and laughed a little breathlessly.
"Housewarming gift from Brittany. She hid boxes everywhere as a joke and then forgot where she put them all. It was a safe bet that there'd be some up there." Noah's chuckle quickly became a groan of pleasure as Rachel took his dick in her hand, stroking slowly. He growled and breathed through his nose for a second before he pressed his forehead against hers.
"Four years Rach, four years." Rachel seemed to understand that this would be hard and fast as she ripped the condom box open, scattering foil packages everywhere. She watched as Noah rolled the condom down his thick length. Moisture soaked through her panties at the sight of him and her breathing became shallow. When his hand snaked up her thigh and she felt him press his palm flat against her center, she moaned out loud. She was about to have an orgasm and nothing had even happened yet.
Noah could feel how ready was so he pulled the lace to the side and slipped easily into her folds. She was so fucking tight, it was unreal. They were both out of their minds with lust in just a few thrusts. When Rachel lifted both of her legs up to his shoulders, he almost lost it. She was gripping the edge of the counter and meeting his powerful thrusts with equal force. He held on to her legs to insure she didn't fall and continued to pound her body mercilessly. As he felt his own release getting closer, Noah pulled her legs down from his shoulders and placed her knees in the crook of his elbows, spreading her wide for him. Rachel started to cry out this constant stream of 'yes' that only urged him faster and deeper. Even when her orgasm began to crash over her, he didn't stop or even slow down. Only when Rachel's shaking began to lessen did he allow himself a release of his own.
Rachel leaned back against the cabinets, a sated smile on her face, and looked over at the coffee maker. "Oh look," she giggled, "coffee's ready." Noah laughed softly and pressed a hungry kiss to her mouth so he could pull out.
They'd barely sat down on Rachel's couch before she was on him again. This time though, he took his time. She straddled his lap as he stripped her down, taking a few minutes to focus on her breasts (which were fucking awesome by the way) and the whole time she kept grinding down on him. Noah swiped his tongue over her nipples, loving the way it made her moan out his name and hold his head in place. When he reached up to tug on her hair so he could have better access to her throat, she let out this feral wanton noise that made his half-mast stand at attention all over again. When she was bouncing up and down on his cock, the sounds just got louder and hotter. He fucking loved how vocal she was.
The forgotten coffee was cold by the time she slumped against his shoulder. Noah was running his fingers up and down her bare back, just listening to the soft whimpers she made because her body was still sensitive from everything. After a second, she raised her head with a playful glimmer in her eyes.
"You know, I bet we could find a box of condoms in my bedroom." As if hearing her say that wasn't enough, she bit down on her lip and that was all he needed.
As he shut her bedroom door, Noah muttered to himself, "oh yeah, one night is totally not enough."
Ten Years Later…
Avery rolled her eyes as she heard the tell-tale uncoordinated patter of ballet slippers walk up behind her. When she turned around, sure enough, there was Lynn Hudson staring at her like something she wanted to step on.
"What do you want Lynn," Avery asked, quite sick of the snobby blonde's weird vendetta against her. Lynn just stuck her nose a little higher in the air and narrowed her eyes to slits. Avery wanted to laugh because she kind of looked like an angry rat.
"I was just thinking—" Avery snorted.
"Don't hurt yourself." But the girl continued as though she hadn't heard her.
"—that I finally understand why you get all the leads in our dance recitals." Avery crossed her arms and glared at the taller girl, daring her to keep going. "It's because your mother teaches the class! Why else would the solos go to you when they should clearly be given to me?" At that, Avery burst out laughing, clutching at her sides until it almost hurt. One would think she was having some sort of laughing fit. But then she stopped, as though nothing was funny at all, and stared the other girl down.
"Oh gai tren zich Lynn! I have more talent in my right pinky toe than you have in your entire body. I would ask where your talent comes from but we all saw your dad dance at the last studio open house. It's pretty clear. I get the leads because I work for it and I deserve them. I don't need nepotism to make it and I'm sorry you think otherwise but as far as I'm concerned, you can shove your tutu down your throat!" Avery clinched her fists at her sides, willing her anger to go away because she really didn't want to get in trouble for fighting again. Lynn just stomped her foot and looked as though she was trying to figure out a complicated math problem in her head, a word problem most likely.
"You little bitch," she shouted and that was Avery's breaking point. Avery swung her fist with a left hook her aunt would be proud of, connecting almost instantly with the other girl's cheek. The other girl started to fight back but Avery quickly got the upper hand, and the uppercut.
Noah walked into Rachel's office at the dance studio and smiled when his wife looked up from her papers. That's when they both heard a commotion coming from the studio. It sounded like all the girls were yelling at each other. They both rushed to the studio only to be greeted with the sight of Avery on top of the Hudson girl, landing blow after blow to the girl's face. Lynn was fighting back, just not very well. Even as both Noah and Rachel surged forward to break up the fight that was almost sure to cause a lawsuit, the same thought passed through each of their minds.
That's my girl.
a/n2: Translations: meshugeneh=crazy woman; gai tren zich=go fuck yourself. Hope you liked it! Please review! Hearts everyone!