Puck remembers he's not an only child
I don't own Glee or any of its franchise.
unbetaed, but feel free to point out any mistakes and I'll correct them as soon as possible. Thanks in advance.
A/N So, I managed to get this out before Xmas. Yay me:D I hope its lack of cliffhanger will tide you over until after the holidays. Thank you for your kind reviews and I'm sorry I've been lackluster in replying to your reviews but I'm pretty busy these days and thought you'd rather have a new chapter instead of my rambling notes of gratitude. Now, please enjoy the newest addition!
So it'd been a pretty hectic week to be honest. First there'd been the assembly to prevent the students from drinking or showing up drunk and crap. It had gone more or less just like I'd predicted. More 'cause of the fact that it'd gone straight to Hell with a capitol H and less like I imagined 'cause of some very unwanted bodily functions.
For some reason or another, Rachel and Kurt had shown up at show time with some very poisonous looking shit that we drunk for some lame reason and…Well, let's just say that it's gonna be a long time before any of us are ever gonna even sniff at a bottle of alcohol again, 'cause damn…
Anyway, we got lucky 'cause Figgins proved just what a retard he can be sometimes and actually congratulated us for a job well done, obviously thinking that the spewing on stage had been fake (I wish…) and thus making us experts at preventing teen drinking.
Mr. Shue had gotten all parental and shit and somehow sworn off drinking too, but then again, I wasn't the one who'd gotten his drunk dial publicly played all over school, so I guess I could understand the dude no matter how lame he sounded – I mean he's an old dude and not underage after all.
Things had barely settled down a bit from that whole mess before things took another unexpected turn, 'cause suddenly one day in the middle of Glee, Mr. Shue stood up and announced that we were all sorely lacking in the safe sex department and that he'd found a kickass teacher to help educate us – okay, he didn't use those exact words, but that's what he meant.
In the next moment, in walked Miss Holiday and I couldn't help but break into a spontaneous applause, 'cause that chick was just my kind of gal…I mean, aside from the now glaring brunette at my side of course.
Sure, I sort of lost a little of my affection for the leather clad substitute when she immediately started lecturing us about sex and protection and stuff. I mean, she looked pretty scolding down her nose at not only Rachel and me, but at Finn and Quinn as well when she mentioned birth control and I saw the shameful flinch that it earned from Rach and to a heavier degree from the very Christian Quinn.
I wasn't having any of that shit on my watch.
"Yo," I held up my hand and interrupted her, just as she was starting to talk about the fact no, that you couldn't get AIDS from a cucumber – which okay was nice to know, but not really on my mind right now, "just wanna clarify something here."
Mr. Shue swallowed; obviously recognizing the signs of my protective side showing up, but Miss Holiday simply nodded and smiled at me.
"Yeah it's true that I knocked Rachel up, and it was unexpected but it wasn't a mistake. And I don't give a crap if you all go around and think so, 'cause Rach and I are the only ones who know what happened that day so…" my fire sort of died when I realized I wasn't really selling my point all that much, but then I felt Rachel's small hand on my thigh and felt comforted as she took over from me.
"What Noah is no doubt trying to say in his own unique way is that we are very much aware of protection during sex and although we got pregnant during my first time, I'd just like to point out to all who are ever so interested," here Rachel turned in her seat and glanced at most of the other Gleeks, making me wonder if they'd asked her about why the responsible Rachel Berry had been stupid enough to get knocked up in the first place, before she turned back and looked Miss Holiday straight in the eyes again, "I used birth control even then and the fact that I was impregnated was simply due to the fact that the only one hundred percent safe sex option is abstinence and not because I wasn't being responsible in the heat of the moment. I would like to add that if Noah and I were really as ignorant and silly as you and many others (here Rach's eyes wandered around the room yet again) seem to think so, Miss Holiday, wouldn't I already be pregnant again if that was the reality of the situation? I'm sure Quinn and Finn are of the same mind as Noah and I."
There was a long drawn out silence where I didn't really know if I wanted to laugh or scowl, 'cause I was still a bit miffed at the fact that Rach had been brutally asked about this kind of thing without telling me.
In the end, I just put my arm around her and nodded for the now slightly befuddled teachers to continue with their lecture.
The following week was pretty peaceful for me and Rach; I mean, sure there was the usual drama going on in glee club with Santana somehow ending up singing to Brittany with way too much emotion for any of us present to be comfortable.
There was still a bit of tension between those of us who'd had run ins with Azimio and Sunshine who'd kept true to her crush after the party. I guess our understanding and acceptance had gone out the window the moment the booze left our system; but to be completely honest, I didn't really give a shit 'cause I was just in such a great place with Rachel at the moment and didn't have need to gossip and crap.
And okay, Dave was sort of out in Glee club now, but somehow it wasn't a big deal; I guess people just thought that Kurt had bewitched him with his homo powers or something, 'cause it just never got mentioned.
So, to sum up, I spent the week in Rachel Land. Or we spent the week in Puckleberry land; I guess I should say until I was hit with a dose of reality to bring me back to Earth.
On the day it happened, I was sitting on the floor playing with Caroline, who seemed to think that every little item in her presence was supposed to be either touched, chewed or just destroyed with a cute little giggle that never stopped bringing a proud grin on my own handsome mug. Rachel was eying us while she talked on the phone with Quinn, something about Eve's continued inability to walk all that gracefully.
If you ask me, I just think she'd inherited her dad's less than stellar gracefulness and that Quinn was worrying for nothing 'cause that kid was fucking doomed, but oddly enough, Rach hadn't really been all that happy about me pointing that out...Go figures.
Anyway, we were both occupied when Abraham came in from the kitchen where he'd been talking quietly on the landline for a while now, looking a little weird. I mean, he looked both apprehensive and a little bit hopeful as well, so I knew it wasn't gonna be something easy to deal with.
"Noah," he glanced over at Rachel, who had clearly seen the same as I had, 'cause she was busy wrapping up her conversation with Quinn, "that was your mother on the phone and she was wondering if-"
"Nope," I brusquely interrupted, standing up and bending down to scoop up my daughter, who squealed in delight at the sudden movement.
"What do you mean 'nope'?"
"Just what I said, nope, Abe; no matter what that broad wants, I'm not up for it – not again." I could already feel the headache coming on and I wasn't really sure how I felt. I honestly thought I'd let go of that woman completely, but I guess I'd just been kidding myself when it came down to it.
"It's not what you think," Abraham held up a hand; the phone still in his hand as he looked at me almost pleadingly, "I know how you stand with everything in regards to her, but she wasn't calling for herself; she was calling for Hannah."
Hannah? My body tensed and for one dreadful moment, I could feel fear for her safety seeping into me. "Is she…?"
Rachel abruptly ended her call and came to my side; evidently I was broadcasting Panic pretty damn loud and clear.
"Your sister is perfectly all right, Son," Abraham hurried to sooth me and I exhaled deeply in relief. "Your mother wanted to let us know that Hannah's been asking about you and wanted to know if it'd be okay for her to drop her off here for a visit tomorrow – it would seem that she's regained custody over your sister and is feeling sad that your continued dispute is causing Hannah heartbreak."
"I…" Fuck, I felt shame wash over me; aside from a quick call every now and again and some presents, I hadn't really thought much about my sister for a while. I hadn't even known that Ma- My mother had regained custody. I was a shitty brother, wasn't I?
Abraham seemed to read my thoughts and just smiled at me, silently telling me in his own way to stop worrying over stuff I couldn't really control anyhow.
"It sounds like a plan," I eventually managed to croak out through my rising guilt and Rachel's small hand at my back grounded me even as Caroline's wriggling to be let down brought a smile to my face. "I can't wait."
"I'll go call her back and let her know it's an agreement," Abraham stated and walked back into the kitchen where I spotted a very eager looking Hiram straining to listen into our conversation until he caught me looking and damn near got whiplash turning his head back down to the bubbling sauce in the pot, trying unsuccessfully to seem innocent.
They were my family now and I loved them more than I'd ever thought possible, but I'd never loved them all more then the next morning, when Abraham, Hiram, Rachel and Caroline stood flanking me as my mother drove into their driveway with a bouncing Hannah on the passenger seat next to her.
"Damn, she's grown," I murmured as the door opened and she jumped out of the car with the eagerness that showed her young age.
"PUCK!" Hannah bellowed and within seconds I had a very strong eight year old wrapped around my waist, choking the air out of me in all her happiness.
"Hey Brat," I greeted and twirled her around, only just realizing how much I'd actually missed the munchkin.
As Hannah and I were hugging the life out of each other, I vaguely noticed that Abraham walked over to my mother's car and muttered something to her. She tried catching my eye, but I didn't let her – still smarting internally over the last time we'd been around each other – and she drove out of the driveway and left us alone to reconnect – something I was actually a little thankful for.
Being with Hannah again was both awesome and sort of awkward at the same time to be honest.
In some ways, she was actually my first kid, 'cause I'd basically raised her during the times where our mother had been off the wagon and not really in any position to be around small kids.
And then in other ways, she was the girl that I'd sort of left at our grandma to take care of herself and deal with her mother showing up and getting her back and it was becoming clearer and clearer by each passing hour in her company, that Hannah fully expected that I'd return home with them sometime soon and it damn near broke my heart, 'cause even if I hadn't had Caroline to worry about there'd be no fucking way I'd move back into the Puckerman residence.
We'd had dinner and Hannah had helped Rachel bathe Caroline before showering herself and coming down to the living room to watch a Disney movie before bedtime. The plan was that she was gonna spend the night and then I'd drop her off outside of my old house before school, but when, in the middle of the movie where some retarded monkey was singing a jazz song, Hannah wondered out loud how I'd make room for Caroline in my room, I couldn't avoid the elephant in the room anymore.
With a sigh, I put the movie on pause, looking briefly into Rach's brown eyes for strength before I looked into the happy eyes of my sister and prepared to dash her hopes as delicately as I could.
"Hannah, kiddo…" Fuck it was hard, "Caroline's not gonna be in my old room tomorrow."
My sister frowned and tilted her head innocently. "But, won't you miss her if you're not around her every day?"
"I'm still gonna be…I mean…Aw fuck, Hannah; I ain't coming back with you tomorrow. I live here now." Subtlety thy name was not Noah Puckerman…
Hannah's eyes widened with disbelief, "don't you love me anymore?"
"Of course I do, Sis," I replied, reaching out to pat her affectionately on the head, "but I have my own family now that I just can't up and leave."
The little head under my hand twisted away and she pushed my hand to the side, "We're your family too; I was here first. I hate her! She's just one of your girls and I heard someone say it's not even sure Caroline is yours since Rachel is raised by amoral men."
Okay, so I'm not exactly proud of my next moment; not even a little bit, but I lost my temper. Quick as a snake I reached out and took a firm, but gentle ('cause I don't hurt girls like my old man) hold of her tiny arms and forced her to look into my eyes.
"Hannah Puckerman; where did you hear such bullshit?"
"Noah-" Rachel tried to intervene, but I just sent her a quick look and returned my attention to my now crying sister.
"Answer me, Hannah."
She squirmed and tried to rip her arms out of my grip, but I just kept staring at her like I used to when she'd broken something of mine and didn't want to confess to it. Finally, she broke and bit her lip before answering.
"At Temple. Some of Mom's friends were talking and I listened even though I'm not s'posed to listen into other people's talks. I'm sorry, don't be mad, Noah; Mom got real mad too."
I felt a short flash of gratitude that it wasn't Ma who'd said those heinous things and refocused on Hannah's now sobbing form in my arms.
"Shh, Sweetie," I hushed, wrapping her fully into my arms and got up to walk around with her like I'd done so many times before, "I know you didn't mean it."
"I miss you; please come home…" the words were whispered like a fucking prayer repeatedly in my ear as I tried calming my miserable sister down with all my might. I felt like a swine; I had never felt so conflicted in my life. On one hand, I hated disappointing her and leaving her alone with a parent that may not keep herself together for long and on the other hand there was no way I was leaving Rach or Caroline.
So in the end, all I could do was walk around with Hannah until she fell asleep in my arms; but not before she'd asked for Ma to come get her. And since I'd acted like a downright douche, I didn't even let a frown of disgust enter my face when Ma eventually pulled into the driveway and soon after knocked on the door.
In fact; I knew I looked like the teenager I really was as soon as I locked eyes with my mother, hoping against hope that she'd be able to fix this whole fucking mess; at least a little bit.
"She told me she wasn't gonna ask you to come home," Ma said quietly after I'd put Hannah into the car, bundled up with a few of the Berrys' spare blankets. "I told her your home was here now, but I guess she's not the only stubborn Puckerman around these parts."
I smiled a little ruefully, and quietly closed the door before turning to face my mother like the adult I now had to be.
"Tell her, I'm sorry, okay? I didn't mean to upset her or ignore her; fuck, I didn't even know she'd moved back to you."
Ma smiled softly, her eyes sad but she no longer carried that glint of desperation for forgiveness and I kindda liked that; it meant that Hannah had a chance to get to know the mother I'd known before Daddy Dearest had messed her up too bad.
"None of this is your fault, Noah. I didn't get to apologize to you properly for all I've put you through, focusing mostly on Hannah since I knew you didn't want to be near me anymore; but I truly am sorry for everything that's happened between us –even before your little girl came into the world. And even though it doesn't mean that much to you anymore, I just want you to know that I'm damn proud of you."
There was a telltale feeling of burning in my eyes and I blinked back the tears that threatened to come without warning; 'cause I was not gonna stand out in the driveway balling like a pussy. I wasn't.
"And," Ma added before I got a chance to say or do anything but blink stupidly; "I'm gonna sit down and talk seriously with Hannah and she'll call you tomorrow before bedtime to apologize for her behavior here tonight, mark my words. And then…" there was a lengthy pause before she continued in a rush, "I hope that after that you and she will keep in touch and that you won't let your feelings for me affect your relationship with your sister."
"I won't." I promised solemnly, not really sure if I wanted to confess that I was feeling pretty confused right then on whether or not I really hated my Ma as much as I thought I did, but she didn't give me time to figure it out, 'cause in the next minute, she'd waved goodbye to Rachel and her Dads in the doorway, sent me a quick look of regret and driven away with my still soundly sleeping sister in the backseat.
I don't know how long I stood there; staring in the direction she'd disappeared to before Rachel's beautiful voice brought me back to the present.
"Noah, are you okay?"
And that's when I was suddenly overwhelmed without any real warning and I just turned around to wrap my arms around her and bury my face in the crook of her neck. "No," I croaked, fighting back those same damned tears from earlier, "not even a little bit."
"That's okay, Baby," Rachel crooned, stroking my 'hawk softly, "it will be some day. Everything's going to be just fine; I promise."
I didn't care how weak the whole holding onto her for dear life seemed to anyone passing by right then; I just sighed and held on to her tighter than ever, praying silently that someday she'd be proven right.
A/N Another loose end tied at long last; it has been needed, right? I hope it tickled your fancy and hope to hear some comments from you all; come on, it's Xmas - consider it a present to me and more importantly; a Free present at that :)
Until Next Time and a Very Merry Christmas