The tiny cry echoed through the room. Puck nudged Quinn. "Babe. Babe, Ava's crying."
"Go get her." Quinn mumbled, not opening her eyes. Puck mumbled incoherently and rolled over. Quinn waited for him to get up off the pallet but instead he just began to snore. She kicked off the covers and rolled her eyes. "I'll get her." She padded down the hallway to Ava's room. She scooped up the baby and sat in the rocking chair. "Ok Ava what can I do?" She said looking at the screaming infant. She began to sing to her, a soft melodic lullaby. Ava began to quiet down and Quinn held her close to her chest. "Obviously I'm not as great a singer as your mommy. She was so good. Oh Ava one time in college we went to a bar, where they were having Karaoke." Quinn smiled remembering the night. "There were horrible, horrible singers all night. But Rachel got up to sing. Ava she was amazing! Your mommy owned that stage. That is where she belonged. On stage. "She looked down to see the infant fast asleep on her chest. She continued to rock her, softly stroking her hair. She kissed her head softly. "I can't sing like your mommy. I know you want her, and I'm not her. I will never be as good as her in anything. I'll never be your mommy but I do love you. I'm trying Ava, I am."
"And doing a great job at it too." Puck said from the doorway, his voice startling her.
"How long were you there?" she asked.
"Long enough to hear you confessing that you'll never be as good as Rachel."
She looked up at him, her eyes tired and sullen. "She was amazing Puck. How am I supposed to match that?"
He knelt down beside her, rubbing her thigh. "Stop competing with her. Rachel isn't coming back. You can't compete with a ghost. You're here, and I'm here. Finn and Rachel chose us to take care of her. They weren't perfect and neither are we. All we can do is try. Try for her."
Quinn looked down at Ava still sleeping soundly. "For Ava."
"Eggs and French toast? Someone's in a good mood." Puck said laughing as he walked barefoot and shirtless into the kitchen. Ava sat in her high chair, Cheerios scattered all around her. Quinn kissed him lightly. "I got up early. I've been thinking."
Puck scooped some eggs onto his plate. "What about?"
"About moving on. Puck, we can't move on when we're tiptoeing about, making sure to leave everything the way Finn and Rachel left it. We can't live our lives, when we don't even live in our own apartment. "
Puck nodded. "What do you want to do?"
She handed him a post it note. "La Petite Childcare" was written in her loopy script. "For starters we're going here today for a tour. We can't go back to work and watch Ava. Then we're going to our apartment to clean. I'm going to take my workshop and turn it into Ava's room."
Puck smiled. "There's the Q I was looking for. My HBIC."
She swatted him playfully with the spatula. "Watch your language!"
He smiled as he dipped his toast. "Hey, I abbreviated."
Infants milled around on the bright colorful mats. Soft nursery rhymes played in the background. ". . . and this is the class Ava would be in." The director said. She turned to two infants sitting in the floor. "Mace don't pull his hair. He doesn't like that, do you Saffron?" Puck stifled a laugh and Quinn grasped his arm. "And I thought Jackie Daniels was bad."
"We really like the center." Quinn said waving at little Mace.
"We'd like Ava to start on Monday." Puck added.
The director smiled. "Wonderful! We'd love to have Ava!"
Quinn smiled thinking to herself how much Rachel and Finn would love this place.
Puck brushed on the last bit of blue paint, completing the sea of constellations. "That's the last of it Q."
Quinn bumped Ava onto her hip and walked into the room. Her jaw dropped, she was amazed. What had once been her office was now transformed into a beautiful room. The walls were now a serene purple, not the delicate pastel purple of most nurseries, but the color of purple the summer night sky turned after a soft rain. Stars dotted the wall, a swirl of rich greens and royal blues, inky blacks, and dabs of brilliant golds. All painted by Puck. Puck placed his hand on the small of her back. She turned to face him. "Puck it's beautiful!"
He smiled. He tickled Ava's chin, causing the baby to snarl her nose, giggling. "Waddabout you Ava? Huh you like it?"
Ava cooed. Puck smiled. "I think that's a yes."