The baby looked just like Quinn, perfect, curly wisp of honey colored hair, green eyes speckled with bits of brown. Even her cry had a slight rasp to it like Quinn's voice. Finn held the tiny baby silently staring, marveling at his daughter. Quinn lay in the hospital bed pretending to be asleep. She peaked out of the corner of her eye watching the scene unfold. "At least she didn't come out with a Mohawk" she thought.
"Hello my baby girl. Grace. Daddy's little girl." Finn sang out to the infant. She couldn't help but feel a slight sting of remorse as she heard those words. Quickly she gathered her strength. This was the right thing to do. This was her plan. The birth certificate was already signed. Grace Carolyn Hudson was Finn Hudson's daughter. On paper anyways. Quinn opened her eyes.
"Hey." She whispered softly.
"She's amazing." Finn said smiling ear to ear.
"Knock Knock!" Puck called, knocking on the door. Fear instantly spread throughout Quinn's body.
"Came to see the kiddo." Puck said starting a hole right through Quinn. Quinn started to say something when the nurse knocked on the door. "Hello! Can we steal daddy away for just a moment? Just some last minute going home paper work." Finn handed Puck the infant. Once he was in the hallway Puck wasted no time. "Hudson!" He said gesturing to the name card in the plastic bassinet parked next to Quinn's bed. "You gotta tell him. Now. Stop this lie." The tiny baby nestled herself in his arms and yawned. Quinn swallowed hard. She could do this, she had practiced.
"No. Look at her. She deserves so much more than what we could give her. Finn can give her things you can't. He's going somewhere. You're going to be a Lima Loser the rest of your life. Do you know what that would be like to her? Growing up in Lima Heights Adjacent? Her dad a dead beat? Just like yours? She deserves more." Tears lay heavy behind her eyelids. Her heart was breaking inside her chest. Puck softly slipped the now sleeping infant into Quinn's arms.
"Fine. There won't be any 'Lima Loser' in her life. Or in yours." As Puck turned to walk out the door he took his sleeve, wiping away a tear from his eye.
Rachel Berry's smiling face stared up at Finn from the year book. As he glanced at the picture, he remembered the faint smell of her apple shampoo. He shook away the feeling. It had been eight years since he saw her last. There were no words spoken, she had just thrust her tiny body, still clad in her graduation gown into his, giving him a long, tight hug.
"Daddy! Grammas' here!" Grace called from the living room.
"I'll be right there!" Finn called stuffing the yearbook back into the box.
"Finn. Out here. Now." Quinn hissed poking her head into the doorway.
"Look what I found." Finn held up a small four by six photograph.
"Is that. . . . Me?" Quinn laughed. She glanced at the glossy picture. She stood in her Cheerios uniform posing hand on hip, attitude out in full force.
Finn pointed at the picture. "Is that . . . ?" Quinn's ears tuned out the name. She had focused on the figure in the background first. Noah Puckerman.
"It was so weird how he just up and left at the end of sophomore year."
"I heard he ran away to Dayton with his forty something girlfriend." Quinn said.
Finn scratched his head. "I wonder what he's up to now."
Little did he know they were about to find out.