a/n: Hello! This is my new A/U multi-chapter story 'If the Right One Came Along'. The title is from the song "I've Got This Friend" by The Civil Wars and if you haven't heard them yet, you're missing out like crazy! That song really speaks to what I want to accomplish with this story so if you listen to it, you'll be a bit more clued in. This story will feature daddy!Puck (who doesn't love that?), a little Klaine eventually, and of course Puckleberry (DUH!). Anna Puckerman is my own creation and I'm already in love with her. I hope you'll all fall in love with her too. I'm using some less-than-traditional friendship pairings with this story, which you'll see as it goes on. Noah is a single father who works for a publishing company in New York City. His story will unfold as the story goes so if some things don't completely make sense just yet, trust me, it will soon. Rachel's background will be revealed in the next chapter so I'll leave that to be a surprise! This story is different from much of what I've written in the past and that makes me really excited for it. I hope you all love the story as much as I already do. Thank you so much for the support you give me. I could never do this without you guys! Hearts! I don't own Glee…
There was nothing they could've done to save her. She was too far gone by the time the ambulance made it to the hospital. They had to save the baby.
Why in the hell had she been driving that late at night anyway? In the fucking rain! She never saw that truck barreling towards her, sliding and fishtailing on the slick road, unable to stop. She was supposed to call him if she had cravings in the middle of the night so he could at least take care of something in her pregnancy. But no, she just had to do it herself.
Her parents called him, he only caught a few words here and there like wreck, heavy bleeding, the baby, distress. It was enough to have him rushing to the hospital only to find out he was too late.
After finding her parents too stricken with grief to tell him anything, he knew the worst had happened. She was gone.
Then suddenly, the doctor was calling for the father of the baby, he was pulled in a thousand directions at once. Staring at the most perfect baby girl, he had only one regret.
He'd never loved her mother.
Their first apartment in the city, big enough for the two of them but just barely, had been a godsend. She deserved a better life than that town would ever offer her, getting out was the best thing for the both of them. And New York made the best offer he'd received.
He cried the first time she said, "Daddy let's go home" and didn't mean back to the cow-town they'd left. They were finally home.
"Earth to Puckerman! Did you know you have ghosts in your eyes?" Noah snapped out of his jumbled reverie to see Kurt Hummel standing in front of his desk snapping his fingers in front of his face. He blinked the memories away and cleared his throat, rubbing his temples in hopes of scaring away the impending migraine.
"You're funny Hummel. Didn't I tell you to leave my ghosts alone?" His best friend just snorted, not offering an apology for interrupting his thoughts. The look on the other man's face told Noah he knew exactly what thoughts had been going through his mind. Noah just shook his head. "Since we've been going through all of our stuff trying to move into the new place, I've been finding all sorts of crap that just ends up making me think of that night." Kurt gave him a saddened expression. He knew the story of that night pretty well. In the six years he'd known Noah Puckerman, the man rarely talked about the mother of his child, or the accident that took her life. But ever so often, he would pass by his desk and see his friend staring at the space between his computer screen and his giant calendar and knew the thoughts attacking his psyche.
Kurt could tell Noah needed a distraction so he picked the best one of all, the love of his life. "So how's the only girl to ever steal my heart?"
Noah laughed softly at Kurt's identifier for his daughter. "Anna's probably gonna be ready to kill me if we don't get the rest of our stuff moved today. She says we're gonna sleep in the new apartment tonight if she has to get a sleeping bag to do it." Kurt smiled brightly at that.
"Such a willful child," he commented airily, "I can't imagine how she got to be that way." Noah shot the man a half-hearted glare and replied,
"Shut it Hummel." He shuffled his papers around on his desk for a second until he decided that there was no way he'd be able to get any work done. "You're coming to help, right? Anna keeps asking about Uncle Kurt. I'm almost positive she's gonna ask for boy advice or something and dude, I can't handle that. I want Anna to stay in the 'boys are gross' phase for as long as possible." Kurt laughed at his helpless friend. The 'boys are gross' phase hadn't even lasted that long on himself, why would it last any longer with a young girl?
"What time do you need me over? And should I go to the old apartment or the new one?" Noah breathed a sigh of relief, always thankful to have a friend like Kurt.
"There's a few boxes left over at the old place that I can pick up if you'll get Anna from the JCC and take her to the new place. She'll probably wanna move the furniture around a couple more times before she's happy with it so good luck with that. I'll meet you guys up there then." Kurt grinned as he uncrossed his legs and stood up.
"You're going to feed me, right? Because I think it's an absolute tragedy if you don't cook the first night in your new home." Noah rolled his eyes but still nodded his head.
"Yes dude, I'll feed you. Anna text me earlier and said she wanted chicken parm. I'll cook while you two bitch about where the couch should go." Kurt didn't bother to argue because he knew it was true. Anna Puckerman was quite possibly the most headstrong child, pre-teen, adolescent, whatever you were supposed to call them nowadays, he'd ever met in his life.
"Sounds like a plan to me. See you later."
Noah turned his attention back to the manuscript on his desk. It needed to be sent back to the editors downstairs before he recommended it for publishing. Quickly placing it in his 'to give a fuck about later' pile, Noah stretched his arms over his head. He loosened his tie and grumbled slightly when he saw the clock on his computer. Another two hours. Where's the DeLorean when you need it?
Noah heard them yelling at each other the second he stepped off the elevator. Great, the last thing they needed was for the new neighbors to start complaining about them before they'd even spent one night in the new apartment. He shifted the boxes in his arms and growled as he walked down the hall. Their shouts just got louder when he opened the door and he would've been a little more angry if not for the sight he was greeted with as he stepped into the apartment.
Off to one side of the room, his friend and daughter seemed to be engaged in a tug-of-war of sorts with the couch. Anna looked like she was ready to go on a rampage.
"Anna sweetie, you don't understand," Kurt tried to explain, his voice just a little louder and more tense than absolutely necessary, "the couch can't go on that side of the room. It's bad feng shui." Noah opened his mouth to try and quiet them down but Anna's voice was faster. Her groan of frustration was a little more frightening than he expected it to be since it was coming out of a twelve year old.
"We're Jewish, not Asian, so I don't give a crap about feng shui! The couch looks stupid over there Uncle Kurt and you know it." Kurt was no doubt about to retort on how unappreciative Anna was being so Noah saw fit to step in.
"Hey! Both of you calm down!" Both of them suddenly turned to face him, apparently not having noticed him when he walked in in the first place. The looks on their faces, plus past experience dealing with them together, told Noah the next words that would be coming out of their mouths. So, he beat them to the punch. "I don't care who started it. I'm finishing it." Usually, he hated sounding like his own mother using phrases like that but sometimes, those phrases worked the best. "Kurt, Anna's right. The couch does look stupid over there." Seeing the triumphant look on his daughter's face, he just smirked and continued, "Anna, the couch looks stupid over there too. It's going in front of the TV so you two can just chill out." Somehow, Anna seemed to count that as a win for her, if the way she stuck her tongue out at Kurt was any indication.
Noah sat the boxes down on the already cluttered dining table and then felt his daughter's forehead rest in the middle of his back. He grinned as she started whining.
"Dad, Uncle Kurt's being a butthead. He told me that he was going to paint my room pink and put Justin Bieber posters everywhere if I didn't let him put the couch on that side of the room." Noah laughed out loud at that. With Anna, that threat was worse than certain death. He turned towards Anna and gently rubbed his hand through her dark hair before looking up to see Kurt shifting guiltily from one foot to the other.
"You threatened my kid with Bieber, Hummel?" Kurt nodded his head, even though you could tell he wanted to deny it. Noah just shook his head and wrapped his arm around Anna's shoulders. "Dude, you know I'm not responsible if she hauls off and kicks you in the nads for making threats like that." Kurt huffed and crossed his arms, pointing an accusatory, albeit well-manicured, finger at Anna.
"She was being unreasonable! I had no choice but to resort to drastic measures." Anna glanced up at her dad and rolled her eyes.
"I'm twelve. Being unreasonable is my job description. You're an adult, most times, so shouldn't you know how to deal with me without having a fit?" That little comment made Noah snort.
"She's got a point Hummel," he chuckled in Kurt's direction. Before Kurt could come up with anything as a rebuttal, Noah kissed the top of Anna's head and grinned. "I'm gonna go get started on the food. You two please try to keep from ripping each other to shreds, or at least stay quiet if you do decide to kill each other." With another semi-scolding expression at both of them, he added, "Play nice children." Both Kurt and Anna mocked him with their own rendition of 'play nice children' but he didn't care. It was pretty funny. Before he got to the kitchen, he turned to see Anna fiddling with the boxes he'd put on the table. "Baby girl, that box on top needs to go to your room and the bottom one is extra sheets and crap so unload it in the hall closet. Then help Uncle Kurt move the couch to a place that's not stupid and I don't wanna hear anymore arguing out of you two, unless it's later when you're trying to one-up each other while complimenting me on my kickass chicken parmesan."
Later that night, after Kurt had gone home, Noah walked down to his daughter's room. She was standing at her window looking at the active street below so he looked around. The walls were a soft purple color and she already had her Ramones poster sandwiched between two other posters of Mozart and Schubert. The girl's eclectic taste in music had always rivaled his own, which never failed to make him smile. Among her books on the small shelf he'd built for her, the small teddy bear that had once belonged to her mother sat upright, as though it watched over the bedroom.
He cleared his throat but Anna didn't turn around as she started speaking softly. "You know dad, I think we're really gonna like it here." Noah walked over to stand beside her at her window and asked,
"Why's that?" She leaned into his arm until he wrapped it around her and pulled her snug against his side. She hugged his torso and playfully dug her chin into his chest.
"Because it already feels like home."
Standing there, with his little girl in his arms and a busy New York City street bustling below them, he couldn't argue with that.
Have I piqued your interest? I sure hope so! Please tell me your thoughts in a review! Next up: Rachel is introduced!