When she didn’t immediately react to him talking about her panties—(he was kind of expecting a punch to the arm)—Puck knew something was probably a little amiss with her. His eyebrows furrowed softly, feeling her fingers against his shirt and he felt something hard tug in his stomach at the movement. She pulled him closer and his breath caught, an audible gasp in the otherwise quiet room, and his eyes watched to see if she was okay before being directed to her stomach. The noticeable swell made his heart flutter slightly and he almost tugged his hand away as she let him to touch her, terrified of doing something wrong or upsetting the baby.
In his life he’d never felt real nerves, usually he was the confident, brash asshole that people knew him as. This was different though; pressing his fingers tightly around the curve of her body made his stomach churn and his body shake slightly. Quinn let out a small noise but it went unheard by Puck as he dropped to his knees almost immediately, his weakened state unable to keep him stood upright, and he pressed harder hoping to feel her. Sometimes he forgot that their baby was a living, breathing person and the confirmation that Quinn could feel her was almost overwhelming. For a long moment there was nothing at all, no movement, no tremor and Puck sighed out a disappointed breath before he felt it happen. It wasn’t much, just a gentle movement beneath his sensitive fingertips. Almost like his daughter was rolling over in her sleep, wanting a better position, and he felt the turn.
"Oh fuck," he gasped out, pressing harder though the movement seemed to have calmed down a little. Quinn would have felt it more and Puck wondered what it was like for her, but his fingers were burning with the sensation of his baby brushing over them and he kept his eyes on her stomach. "Hi baby," he whispered, hoping Quinn didn’t hear him speaking to her swollen midsection; that was just fucking weird. But he wanted her to know he was there—even if he wasn’t there forever—he wanted her to know that he felt her, that he gave a shit. A soft laugh left him and he moved forward, resting his forehead against her stomach for a long minute as his eyes closed and he pressed his lips together to push down any negative thoughts he’d have. Because even if she was given up for adoption, even if she didn’t know him, Puck would have this. To others it might not have been much, babies moved all the time, but for Puck it was something he needed to soak up and memorize. Each one of these moments he needed to lock away out of fear they would be taken away too.
"Quinn," he breathed out, finally pulling away—though his hand remained on her belly—and he looked up at her. A quirked smile broke across his face and he tilted his head at her, eyes glancing down to her mouth for a moment, before he let himself push up with his thighs and pressed a hard kiss against her lips. Adrenaline filled him and, if needed, he’d use it as an excuse if she yelled at him for taking advantage but he couldn’t help it. He was full of an emotion he couldn’t place, body trembling in excitement, and she’d finally let him be a part of something he created. It was too much, yet not enough, and he knew he was taking his confusion out in a kiss that he probably shouldn’t have initiated to begin with.
She’d forgive him though.
Quinn didn’t really expect Puck to hesitate when it came to the baby, and he didn’t, really. While the fierce emotions that filled his expression were rare, Quinn had come to learn that, when it came to her and the baby, it wasn’t that shocking. However, she leaned up on her elbows when he sank to the ground, worried he’d fainted or something. He was alright, physically, at least, and the blonde’s vision blurred with her own stupidly hormonal tears as he copied her earlier movements, pressing against the skin of her stomach for some sign that the baby was there, that the baby knew they were there. Quinn made her breathing quiet so the up and down of her diaphragm would be minimal. The moment stretched out so long that Quinn counted the seconds (she was pretty sure there was a literal clock ticking faintly somewhere in the house). Tears filled to capacity in her eyes and spilled down her cheeks silently and then halted, and she started to part her lips to tell him that she was sure the baby would kick again soon, that this was only the first time she’d really felt her, too, but then she felt it again. She didn’t make a noise in response, but Puck sure did and she couldn’t help the smile that stretched across her lips.
The tears threatened to return when he so softly said, “Hi, baby,” but she blinked them back and echoed Puck’s short laugh with a watery chuckle of her own. The slight smile that quirked her mouth, however, disappeared as Puck let his head rest against her stomach, apparently too emotionally drained to deal with the same swirl of feelings that Quinn felt herself. For a moment, Quinn thought that she would’ve gotten away with every lie and pretense she’d put up since him if she could just squash the damn feelings she had for him. But that was it, wasn’t it? Telling the truth only mattered because of how it’d hurt others, him in particular. If she’d never faltered, never let him through her window on a cold night or answered his wounded texts, this moment would’ve never happened… and a part of her knew that. Quinn laid a hand on the back of his head, and it seemed to remind him that she was there, because he said her name and looked up at her.
Her mouth felt dry, probably because she knew what would happen next and she wanted it- oh, she wanted it- even if her brain was telling her this wasn’t a good idea by far. He kissed her not softly, but fiercely, and the emotions she’d tried so hard to contain seemed to burst out of her. It was the feeling of protection and possession she felt for the baby, and the loathing she felt for herself as a mother, the jealousy, the anger, the hatred, the lust, the adoration she felt for him. It was wrong to force all of this into a kiss- which would inevitably become more- but Quinn only hesitated for a second more before dropping her elbows and laying flat on his bed. Her hair bounced around her as her head bounced on the pillow, but she didn’t even bother with it or the drying tears on her face or her smudged makeup. Instead, she reached up and pulled his lips back to hers so he was hovering over her, her legs unfolding from her previous sitting position in obvious invitation to join her on his bed. His kiss was addictive and she sipped from his lips as easily as she could without having to take another breath. She knew just a second before she was telling him no and telling herself why not, but right now all of the right reasons seemed stupid. She was sixteen and scared confused and in love or lust or both or somewhat in between for the first time, living with him. She didn’t have to have everything perfect and figured out to let herself be close to him. The truth was that even if she told herself no again and again, it never made her stop wanting it. Telling him they weren’t together didn’t mean she didn’t think of him as hers and herself as his. “Puck,” She gasped softly, in reply to his own earlier sigh.
Puck glanced down as she said no, but he saw the smirk on her face and noted the light shine on her face. He knew that look, he’d been above girls enough times to memorize it; but he knew that it was also just a surge of emotions and she’d regret it if he pushed her. She already clearly regretted his gentle persuasions last time, and it wasn’t like she wouldn’t be around for a few months anyway. His fingers whispered over her skin, tips dragging lightly over her thigh, before his touch left her completely and he nodded at her request to be left alone. “Oh yeah, I keep wondering why they send me home with questions and shit. I should probably get on that too,” he replied, glancing across at his desk where he knew, somewhere, his homework would be. Turning back to her, he smiled slightly at the image of her and he took a moment to settle his own urges. It would have been so easy to lean across, tilt her chin up and press his lips against hers but instead he swallowed it down. Slow and steady, he reminded himself. Prove yourself.
"I’ll go downstairs," Puck offered softly, standing up from the bed and watching a few things that were laid on there move. Taking the opportunity given, he stepped closer and leaned down enough to press a comforting kiss against her hairline as he used one hand to trace his fingers through her soft hair. The kiss was mostly for himself, to confirm that she was actually close to him; close enough to touch and see the light in her eyes when she smiled brightly. She was here, trusting him, and he’d never felt more important in his life than when he had her in touching distance. She had a strange way of doing that to him, and then making him feel like a full-bloodied Lima loser but he wasn’t sure he would ever change it. He liked what she did to him too much. ”But don’t think too much about things you ain’t got control over, alright? Everything will work out. My mom always says shit happens for a reason.” Moving his own head, he tilted hers so he could look at her better and gave her a soft smile. “Unless you’re thinking ‘bout redecorating in here, in which case you can stop and you can put away your lace ideas unless it’s on your panties.”
Her mouth went a little slack as she felt his fingers moving off her thighs, simultaneously making it hard to breathe and allowing her to breathe better. Conflicting emotions churned in her stomach as he accepted her decision to leave her alone, something she almost wished he’d ignore. He’d always been the one who talked her out of her self-consciousness and fears with things like this, but now wasn’t the time to get carried away or to let fumbles go unresolved. When- If, Quinn corrected in her mind, they ever became intimate with each other again, it couldn’t be because of sporadic hormones and small moments of liberation. They had to mean it and want it in every way, both of them, and Quinn wasn’t quite there yet. Part of her was still yearning for Finn’s forgiveness, and another part of her was still afraid that Puck’s feelings for her had disappeared along with her slight figure and high pony… Or maybe, even worse, it would disappear with the baby.
She was too distracted by her thoughts to pay attention to how her textbook fumbled away from her on the mattress. As he leaned down , her hands raised half-heartedly to keep him at bay, embrace him, something. She was once again grateful and disappointed that his kiss was so chastely placed. His hand moved into her hair, and she could feel the heat radiating from his hand through her hair all the way to her scalp. Suddenly, she felt movement in her abdomen, and her eyes went suddenly wide, the words he was saying incoherent to her in the moment. She’d felt flutterings before, slight stirrings of movement that could very well be painless cramps or gas bubbles. This was nothing in comparison to that. It was such a strong shift that she wanted to let her body move with it, and it was still going and going.
Her mouth moved to say something, but she didn’t know what to say. One of her hands moved from where they’d frozen mid-air to cover the area of her stretched abdomen where the shifts were coming from, and the other reached out to brush against his shirt. His fingers tilted up her chin but her attention was what she was feeling on the inside. He was smiling about something, but it wasn’t what he should’ve been smiling about. “Puck,” She breathed finally, gripping his shirt and pulling him closer, leaning back so her protruding stomach was the obvious main focus and not their lips. “She’s moving, feel.” Her fingers pressed gently against the area, hoping the baby would respond to the touch and kick or punch back. “Feel,” The blonde repeated, wrapping her fingers around his wrist and placing his palm where she’d just nudged her baby. Her eyes stung with tears and she choked back a peal of laughter in case the moment became bittersweet because of the adoption, or a disappointment because she didn’t kick back.
Seeing Quinn’s lips quirk because of him, again, sent another burst of pride through him. They could do this, he told himself, they could be civil and he could make her laugh. That was all he needed, proof he could do it, and with her admitting he didn’t make her uncomfortable and holding his hand he had it. Knowing that she didn’t hate everything about him made it easier to sit across from her, his heart beating loud, and not look a nervous fool. There was something going through her head, even he could see that, and he wondered if she’d ever tell him the thoughts that plagued her when they were together. Sometimes she’d do this thing, look away for a few seconds, and he was always desperate to know if she was thinking about him, maybe about them. She probably wasn’t, but the thought he wasn’t the only one was reassuring.
She didn’t really mention anything about the money but he knew she wouldn’t turn him away again and he let her pull her hand away from his, a longing tug in his stomach proving his own disappointment but he pressed it down. After her rushed words, she blushed and Puck bit his lip at the sight. Fuck, she was completely overwhelming sometimes. His thoughts, he knew, should have been pure and dedicated to looking after and supporting her; but that was almost impossible as she sat in front of him, cheeks warm and voice soft. His tongue move between his closed lips, wetting them slightly and he didn’t bother to hide his smile as he nodded slowly at her.
"It’s just us tonight," Puck told her quietly, making a point of letting his eyes move over her body appreciatively. Sure she may have said she didn’t want him, but that didn’t automatically stop him from wanting her. She was beautiful, intelligent and on his bed; but she was also vulnerable and scared and Puck wouldn’t be that guy, no matter what his urges were screaming at him. “If you wanna just hang out then we can watch a movie or something. I can’t promise I won’t try and kiss you or something, since that’s the rule when you’re watching movies, but at least you know to expect it.” Puck laughed softly to himself, reaching out again to place his hand on her thigh. “Or I can leave you alone for a bit. I don’t really know what the best thing to do here is. Usually when I’m sad I just get myself off or drink something strong but I don’t think that’s gonna work as well for you.”
The second trimester of her pregnancy had brought Quinn a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Poor Finn had had to handle Quinn crying over things as simple as a commercial, yelling at him for things that wasn’t his fault, and giving him the silent treatment when he’d done nothing wrong. Her pregnancy books had warned against all of those things, but there was another mood she thought she’d been immune to: lust. And she had been immune to it, it seemed, at least until now. Her eyes dropped down to his mouth as his teeth caught his lip and then wet them, and an anxious feeling washed over her, making her breath hitch. The obvious fact that his mind was at the same place hers was (or was revisiting the same place one again) and that he confirmed her question definitely didn’t make the feelings any easier.
The blonde watched his eyes skirt over her and used the opportunity to let her eyes slide closed and take a deep breath before they traveled back up to her face. She was so sure the line of conversation was veering into dangerous territory, but instead, he started talking about more PG alternates for how they’d spend the night. She might’ve appreciated it more if her own head wasn’t so caught up in her own hormone-addled thoughts, which only gained fuel as his hands smoothed over the bit of skin that her dress left exposed. “No,” She said softly with a small smirk, her hands leaving the book’s pages and wrapping her hands around her stomach. The book’s barely-broken spine gave way, and pages fluttered closed between them. With another deep breath, she pictured that her hormones were between the pages of her book, shut tight. “I think I should be alone,” She told him, her lips pursed and heat smoldering in her chest. “I have to think about some things and I have some homework to do, you know,” She gave him a nod towards the book in front of her, as if it proved her dedication to her studies.
He knew she wasn’t about to come in and demand they took their Menorah down and replace it with a tree, but Puck felt kind of bad that Quinn wouldn’t get a little something comforting over the winter break. Something she could rely on, at least, something familiar. Decision made, Puck knew he’d do something to make Christmas something that Quinn could enjoy despite the fact she wouldn’t be spending it with her parents. It was, after all, the least he could do. She was already trusting him with more than enough and he wanted to show her, even in a small way, that he could do things to make her smile—(and maybe moan, but he pushed those thoughts away)—and he nodded to himself that he could do this. He could be a good guy.
A small smirk quirked at his lips when she suggested they could both stay in the same bed and he looked up at her, his eyes bright in amusement and he nodded. While half of him was sure it was a bad idea and Quinn would wake up with something foreign pressing against her, he wasn’t going to turn down a night sleeping in the same bed as her and being close to the baby. “Just wanted you to be comfortable, but if you’re cool with us sharing then I’m definitely down for that,” he smiled, raising a singular eyebrow at her. “But you should probably know that the dress code for my room is optional and I definitely like to sleep naked.”
His teasing was simply a tactic to lighten the mood and he took her words easily, knowing he hadn’t shown much to have her trust him but she held enough faith that he’d do this right that he felt a punch of pride in his chest. It was nice to know that the girl you wanted to impress was open to being impressed and he nodded, letting her know that he’d work on it. That he would prove them both right, that he’d do this and she’d see he was more than the image he pretended to be. Reaching across, he took her hand in his own gently and ran his fingers over hers as he glanced down at them. “I know you didn’t want it before, by the way, but all the money I was gonna give you for the baby I still have saved up. Figure Hudson might want some back, but I got enough to keep us going and pay the bills. Only thing we need to worry ‘bout is winning shit for Glee, alright? Everything is gonna be chill.”
Quinn couldn’t help but to let her head tilt amusedly once her words hit him about sharing a bed. His eyes were more alight, and the whole room seemed just a little bit brighter because of the mere fact that Quinn Fabray was okaying close proximity to Noah Puckerman. “Don’t give yourself too much credit,” She told him. “You don’t make me that uncomfortable.” While her parent’s teachings probably should have prevailed more so than ever now that she was broken up with, pregnant, living in a Jewish boy’s house, and scorned as much as Hester Prynne, Quinn felt light-hearted more and more. Here, where her only fears had to be Puck’s mom and being healthy for the baby, she felt like she could act on the impulses she kept buried. At Finn’s house, she had to be careful not to trip up or let her hormones get the best of her lest she attract suspicion from Finn that she wasn’t actually straight-laced and self-centered all of the time. At her own house, she couldn’t let her parents catch wind of anything real in her life. Not her private makeout sessions, or her charged dreams, the drinks the people around her drank at parties, not even the curse words she spit out when she was angry. Here, she could kiss Puck if the right hormone arose and nothing would come crashing down because everything already had. She could make lower grades or skip school. She could… Jump on the bed if she wanted to (which she’d never been allowed to do because apparently it ruined the bedsprings).
If it weren’t for the sudden weightlessness that came over her, his comment about sleeping in the nude might’ve triggered a sharp glare in return, too close to heated memories and regretful outcomes. Instead, she simply shook her head and rested her hands on her hips, which were more rounded now thanks to her pregnancy. While her words weren’t exactly encouraging, the fact that she hadn’t shot him down seem to make Puck even happier and Quinn didn’t hesitate when he reached for her hands and looked up into his eyes. As his calloused fingers ran over hers, goosebumps began to prickle up her arms and she bit the inside of her cheek to focus on not drawing attention to herself by reaching up and rubbing them.
It felt as if a small bubble inside her chest popped as he explained that he saved up money to pay off bills and things needed for the baby. One of the many things that had been floating through her mind ever since Finn slammed his front door behind him was that, obviously, she could no longer count on his contribution to paying off the bills. It seemed easier when Carole and Finn and Puck altogether were going to be paying off the bills for the sonograms and the maternity clothes and the vitamins… But now it was just her and Puck, and she’d already been trying to figure out a least likely place she could work at where no one she knew would show up and point at her. The library seemed like a good option. And while Puck would still need her help, this meant maybe she’d just watch his sister so he could work more hours or she’d only have to work a part-time job instead of full shifts after school. Her lips twitched to the side for a moment as she searched his face for any shadow of a doubt before she shook her head again, this time more astonished than playfully disapproving. A second more and she couldn’t handle it, she reached up and fiercely rubbed her arms and scrambled on a subject change to distract from her physical reactions, her mind quickly snagging on a previous thought about his sister. “So your sister’s not here tonight?” She asked, her cheeks reddening as she realized what she might’ve been implying with such a question.
While her movements were that of someone who was still in the mindset of being a guest, Puck had to admit he liked the image of Quinn Fabray in his bedroom. Sure she wasn’t on his bed, parting her legs and whispering dirty things to him like he’d imagined countless times when he was alone but this was just as good. The way she held herself and looked around told him she was taking it in and he put her suitcase down, using his now free hand to take a little weight from the basket and he laughed softly, shaking his head. “You caught me, I’m Jewish,” he teased, giving her a look through his eyelashes. “We can always do something to make it nice for you too though. I mean, I could probably convince my mom to put up a few decorations while you’re here.”
Part of him was convinced his mom wouldn’t ever let something like that into her traditional household, but Puck figured he’d moved a pregnant girl into his bedroom who was about to give birth to his baby—Maybe she’d ease up a little on some of her rules. His eyes lingered on her a little longer before he smiled softly, finally kicking himself into gear and carrying the basket out of the room to take his sisters clothes back. She was out for the night at her friends and Puck was glad, knowing the empty rooms meant him and Quinn could get used to being around one another again after so long of awkward avoidance tactics and deleted messages on Puck’s end.
Walking back into the room, Puck waved his hand at the bed and glanced around for a short moment. “The bed is yours,” he smiled, moving over to it and sitting down as he looked up at her. “I’ll probably crash on the couch tonight since I didn’t get everything set up and I don’t really wanna do it now, but I figure you’ll be good in here.” His hand smoothed over the bedding before he sucked in a breath, hazel eyes moving up to lock with hers once more as he decided to open up the line of conversation once more. “You do believe I can look after you, right? That I’m gonna make sure you’re okay. Because I will.”
She faced him as he reminded her that he was Jewish. “I knew that,” She reassured him. “But that doesn’t always mean you don’t celebrate Chrismukkah or something.” She lifted her shoulders as she took a deep breath, trying to move past the subject now that she got her answer. The realization that she’d be losing Christmas, too, was something that was stupidly getting to her, and she didn’t want to stew over it. However, he added that maybe they could do something for her and shame for bringing it up rivaled with a childish flicker of hope. “It’s fine.” She told him after a moment, a mild smile spreading over her lips. “I’m not here to oppose your religion.” It would’ve been extremely rude of her to start making demands for holidays of all things right as she walked into his room.
Quinn watched his as he retreated down the hallway, and with a cautioning hand on her belly, bent down to place the suitcase so it stood vertically. With a small amount of a struggle, she shifted her arms so she could navigate them out of her jacket and then draped it over the suitcase. With not much else to do, Quinn unzipped her bookbag and withdrew her textbook to catch up on some required reading, still so unsure with the rules she thought it best to do homework on his bed, but also not to litter it with notebooks or paper. Quinn had only just sat down uneasily on his bed, one leg folded under her and one leg dangling over the edge, when he walked in. He must’ve noticed her discomfort because he told her the bed was hers and that he’d sleep on the couch. She felt that same smidge of disappointment, along with the guilt of taking his bed away from him. His hand moved over the bedding in an almost farewell, and she said, “You know we both can sleep here. There’s enough room for us, and I don’t want to make you stay on the couch. Besides, it’s not really a big deal… considering.” Her fingers hand wandered to the top of her baby bump as she said all of this, and she offered him what she hoped was a smile of politeness. When he made eye contact with her, and asked her if she knew he was going to be able to take care of her. “I think it’s going to take awhile, and that this isn’t an easy situation, so I don’t know. But I think you really want to do it, so maybe you will.” The truth was that she had more courage in him than she was willing to say, simply because it’d hurt so much more if he gave up on or disappointed her.
She huffed out a small sigh and he glanced across at her, wondering if she was okay, before he turned back to the road. For all of the shit he gave her, Quinn was probably one of the bravest girls he knew but all of this must have been too much deep down. She was only a teenager, and they’d fucked up badly enough that she was homeless and they were dealing with things that people twice their age would have wavered under. It was strange though, because while they were in this situation and while things were serious; she made him smile. Her gentle laugh tugged hard in his stomach and he rolled his eyes, waving his hand at her in a way that playfully told her to shut up. “You can sleep on the couch if you’re gonna moan ‘bout my room,” he teased, eyes flashing in amusement as he checked she was okay getting out of the car before he followed suit. Winter was the worst and he shivered at the cold air blowing beneath his shirt, grunting slightly at the temperature, and he busied himself with collecting her suitcase from the back. He took her in as she stood, pregnant stomach and exhausted expression, and found himself more attracted to her than he was before. Maybe because she, at this moment anyway, was a softer version of the Quinn he knew and she was still what he wanted.
"C’mon though, I know you’re just waiting to judge my shit so we’ll get it over with," he huffed out, acting like it was a big deal but sending her a soft smile. Locking up the car, Puck made his way to his house and unlocked the door to let them both inside. Despite putting the heating on, the house wasn’t as warm as what she was probably used to and he kicked himself for bringing a pregnant girl into it. Whatever, it’d be fine…right? He didn’t need to impress her. At the bottom of the stairs was a laundry basket and Puck maneuvered her suitcase into one hand before bending at the knees to hook his arm around the circular basket and lift it up to take it to his sisters room. "My room is upstairs, first on the left. My mom sleeps down here ‘cause of her crazy shifts and shit, so that’s the only room you can’t go in but she keeps the door shut anyway. If you wanna go up then cool and I’ll grab us something to eat, if you want, and then we can figure stuff out." His voice held his nerves but he stood as confident as he could, not wanting her feel lost or out of place. For as scary as this was for him, he couldn’t imagine what was going through Quinn’s mind; especially when she could see how low she’d dropped. "And, I mean, if you need anything then just let me know. I’ll grab whatever you need."
The first thing that Quinn felt about Puck’s house was the vague feeling of alienation, as if there was some barrier separating the house from the rest of the world. She couldn’t quite pinpoint what would illicit such an unfounded feeling from her. She supposed it was because she’d never been to Puck’s house before, nor had she laid eyes on his mother or sister. When he threatened to make her sleep on the couch, she felt the urge to stick her tongue out at him, something she’d never actually done before because it seemed too childish. The blonde returned his playful eye roll with one of her own when he griped about how she was going to judge his living conditions. She truly wasn’t; after all, it was now her living conditions, which was infinitely better than the women’s shelter or group home she’d be taken to otherwise. “I won’t,” She vowed softly with a casual tilt of the head, knowing that while their teasing was all in fun, most of it had a deeper root of meaning. She didn’t want him to feel like he had to prove himself and his home to be good enough. She had a relatively easy upbringing, and she wasn’t blind to that.
Quinn followed him into the house, looking around over his shoulder as they moved more into it. It seemed modest and plain with signs here or there that this place was lived-in. Her house felt far too spacious and foreign in comparison, like the house could’ve belonged to anyone other upper class family in Lima. There was just something about it that said it was the Puckermans’. Quinn listened to his directions half-heartedly, sure she could easily identify what rooms as which if she peeked in, which apparently she was allowed to do. She considered offering to take the basket from him, but a protruding belly paired with a basket on an unfamiliar surface didn’t sound like a good combination, and anyways, he already had it. With no objective to do anything else but familiar with the house and maybe get some homework done, Quinn nodded in agreement to his offer to go ahead into his room. “Okay,” She added aloud, and waited for him to ascend the stairs, and then followed him upwards towards the room. Her eyes skirted along his room, which wasn’t the horror of a mess that they’d joked about, and let her bookbag rest by the foot of the bed, and waited for him to do the same with the suitcase, knowing that there was no reason to worry about unpacking when his mother was going to move them. A guitar rested nearby, reminding her of the brief glimpses she caught of it in glee. Suddenly, she remembered why the house seemed so different from all of the others, and felt stupid. “You and your family don’t celebrate Christmas, do you?” she deduced, finally realizing that what the house was devoid of was lights on strings, and a tree, and a wreath.
Puck wondered how many times he’d have to put himself up for rejection before his mind finally got the message that she didn’t want them to be together. Of course he wasn’t expecting her to declare her undying love for him, but she had to see how much effort he was putting in to them. Instead of replying he just nodded again, knowing the argument would just be a regurgitation of all the other arguments they had in the past and instead he chose to respect her decision. Out of his peripheral vision, Puck knew she was looking at him and he forced himself to keep his expression as neutral and passive as he could. But his lips were pressed tight together and there was a flicker in his eyes that, if one knew him well enough, they could read as his distress. She was right though, getting together wouldn’t change the fact he was about to break his mothers heart and have the entirety of Lima know just how bad he really was. Part of him was glad he projected the image of being a guy with no morality because it would make it easier when the football team ignored him to side with Finn and Glee Club rolled their eyes as he walked in. It’d make it easier when facing Brittany and have her know exactly what he did, how he used her to get over one of her best friends.
"Pretty sure my mom ain’t gonna let us share the same room when this all comes out," he reassured her, laughing softly at the thought of his mom separating them despite the situation they were in. "I’ve text her that you’re coming over tonight but she’s working ‘til about midnight and I don’t wanna throw this on her when she gets home, y’know? She works long hours and the last thing she needs is me bombarding her with this crap. You can stay in my room tonight and I’ll crash on the camp bed, but then in the morning we’ll tell her. I mean, I figure she’s gonna guess when we get up for breakfast and you’re popping out over your clothes but I wanna do it right." Not that Quinn had the chance to do it right with her parents, at least from what he gathered, and he ignored the feeling of guilt in his stomach. It took two to make this mess, but maybe if they’d tried harder earlier on then it wouldn’t have been as bad now. He turned the wheel, navigating the car through the streets to head down his block and he noted that this was one of the first times Quinn had ever really seen his house. "Ignore the mess when we go in," he murmured sheepishly, knowing that with school and his mom working extra he hadn’t had time to do the chores set out for him. "My sister is kind of gross."
Her eyes caught the flicker of movement on his face, the slight tightening of his jaw and the tiny drooping of his expression as her words sunk in. She knew she was awful for hurting him again and again; Honestly, it hurt her to do it. But the idea of being with him never seemed right when it caused so much suffering and when there was so much on the line. They weren’t just kids who could go on a couple of dates to test the waters and then call things off if it didn’t work out and that was that. They had a baby, and they had to navigate high school and rumors and Glee Club and now living together. She looked away and arched a brow when he told her that his mom was working late and that he simply had texted her that she was staying over. She wanted to ask him if that would make her suspicious anyways- his pregnant best friend’s girlfriend staying at his house- but maybe it wasn’t so weird. Maybe his mom turned away when he marched girls in and out of his bedroom, in the bed where she was supposed to be sleeping… The blonde shook her head slightly to try to rid of that line of thought. She really didn’t have any better options, so there was no point in fretting about it. She sighed slightly, both in response to her unhappy thoughts and to the fact that he wasn’t going to share his bed with her. It wasn’t as if she’d purposefully hoping to share a bed with him, it was just that he’d led her to think that and she was kind of looking forward to not sleeping in an empty bed for once. It didn’t matter; She’d probably be more comfortable by herself anyways.
She wanted to ask him if his mom knew who she was. If she knew she was the daughter of a Catholic family and the President of the Celibacy Club, if the woman who was letting her live in her house wouldn’t take her seriously before she even opened her mouth.She didn’t ask, though, because him telling his mom really didn’t have anything to do with her. She at least hoped there wasn’t yelling, that there was no kicking them out of the house. Quinn wasn’t sure if she could live through another one of those without yelling back. The blonde’s head tilted in time to the sway of the car as they rounded his block, which she could tell from the easy and familiar way he navigated the thinning roads. The houses here weren’t near as big as what she grew up in, but she was sure Puck’s place had to be bigger than Finn’s, considering Finn took up half of his entire room by himself. She couldn’t help the smile that twitched on her face as he spoke about the mess and turned to smirk at him. “Oh, and I’m sure your room’s going to be spotless.” With a small laugh, she reached over to unbuckle the seat belt from around her stomach and then haphazardly slid out of the passenger seat, gripping the overhead handle again to make sure she landed on her eet. She felt like a moron when she had to do stuff like that, but at least it was better than falling flat on her face- or rather, her stomach. The December chill quickly nipped at her skin and she grabbed for her bookbag in order to get them into the house further. It wasn’t a big deal to carry it; she carried it every day at school after all. “It’s not a big deal,” She called over to him. “Not everyone has a mom who sits around and polishes hard surfaces everyday, I get it. Besides, I’m kind of homeless, so I don’t have any place to judge.” It was true that she’d probably take notice of any mess nonetheless, as was her habit to do so, but that didn’t mean she was going to act haughty about it.
To say he was surprised when she didn’t immediately jump onto his lap when he stuck up for her in his own way and then kissed her cheek like a gentleman was an understatement, but he swallowed it back down. The thing with liking someone who would never like you back was that you could convince yourself they eventually could fall for you, Puck mused. If he acted the right amount of sexy and charming then she’d want him right? She’d change her mind about the baby, see how good he could be and how hard he’d fight. But, it seemed, she had other ideas and he nodded silently before he turned back and began the familiar drive back to his own place. He’d made the drive to Finns’ countless times and he wondered if he’d miss going around, hanging out with his friend. Sure they were best bros but Puck wasn’t stupid—if you ignored his grades—and he knew he’d probably broken any kind of trust that Finn had in him. And yes, he’d apologise for lying but he’d never apologise for going after something he so desperately wanted. He was only human and that night Quinn gave him the permission he’d been seeking out for so long; of course he was going have taken it.
"I want to be with you," he said, the truck coming to a slow halt as they reached the lights and he tightened his grip of the steering wheel; hazel eyes determined to finish what he wanted to say to her as he looked out over the damp streets. Winter in Lima was gross and it made him want to leave even more, walk away from the depressing sights and finally show everyone how much of a badass he really was. But he had a baby now, he’d be a dad, and even if Quinn was going to follow through and give her up for adoption that would still be there. He had to prove himself now, not when he graduated and left this dump. Taking the pause in the drive to look at her, Puck let his eyes wash over her and moved down to the swell of her stomach before glancing back up at her. Not, of course, without noting her breast size had gone up and he smiled internally to himself at how fucking hot she really was. “I want to be with you and I wanna look after you, the both of you, and you know I can do it which is why you’re scared. I get it. But I’m gonna prove it to you, Q. And you might not wanna be with me, which sucks, but I am gonna show you what I’m capable of and you can’t stop me just ‘cause you’ve only just broken up with Hudson. Not gonna force you to like me, or make you wanna be with me, but he got a fair chance to win you…So should I.”
That was it. He was done. There were only so many words in his head that could explain what he was thinking and he wasn’t sure if she even wanted to hear half of them, but there they were. She could ignore them, absorb them, throw them back in his face but at least they were off of his chest now. He wasn’t hiding behind Brittany or acting like he was over her; they were there, and he knew he probably shouldn’t have thrown it on her when she was in such a vulnerable state but it was done now and the lights had changed. Bringing his attention back to the drive, he continued his way home and clenched his jaw; focused entirely now on what he was going to say to his mom.
She could tell from the gleam in his eye that her unshakable habit of keeping him away wasn’t affecting him anymore. He knew as well as she did by now that her words to him were empty of meaning when it really mattered. Except, of course, when she she remained firm on her stance about putting the baby up for adoption. That was something she believed in very deeply for many different reasons. That wasn’t to say that she couldn’t be swayed by him, but a heated kiss wouldn’t change her mind. She looked at the windshield out of some unfounded instinct that his words wouldn’t mean so much if she wasn’t looking at him when he said it, and inhaled through her lips. Her eyebrows furrowed as he told her he wanted to be with her, and then shifted to look at her again. Her hands folded stubbornly under the curve of her bump and she kept her head rested against the back of the seat. He told her once again that he wanted to be with her, as if saying it twice would get it through her stubborn head. His words reminded her of how deeply he felt over the baby, and she had to admit that it was nice to have the father of her baby acting like the baby’s father. It was nice to know that all of the care he’d had given and would give the baby wasn’t out of guilt or requisition. When he told her that the only reason he was scared to let him take care of both of this was because she knew he could, she glanced sharply over at him, breaking her own rule.
It wasn’t fair that he got to keep knowing her thoughts and feelings when she never volunteered them, and while she still felt like neither of them would be adequate parents, she was afraid that he’d start convince her that that wasn’t important. That if she started to… fall in love with him, the baby would be too hard to think of as a mistake, as someone that was conceived out of unfortunate circumstances. Babies whose parents loved them, who loved each other, didn’t get put up for adoption. And how would Quinn ever get her life back if it changed so permanently? The blonde pursed her lips tightly and peered back down at her lap, the lights changing from red to green. Though she sensed he wanted the topic to stay there with no further arguments from her, she decided to tell him the genuine truth. Her head tilted slightly so she could at least look at him while he looked at the road. “Puck, your mother is about to find out she’s going to be a grandmother, and everyone in Lima is about to find out that we cheated and lied about it, and there’s a million other things that aren’t going so great for us at the moment. I don’t need a boyfriend or whatever you want to be right now, okay? Me and the baby, we just need your support first.” Quinn swallowed, her voice a little hoarse from the unusual quiet tone she was taking on as of late. “Besides,” She added, speaking louder in attempt to lighten the conversation, “I don’t know if your mom would like us being together together when we’re sharing a bed.”
Puck, upon seeing Quinn move as a pregnant woman, suddenly realised he was going to adjust a few things in his room. Things were haphazardly places and he had more pillows than he knew what to do with. He hoped she’d be fine as it was, but he knew that he’d have to make adjustments so that she was comfortable and it was like it slowly dawned on him that she was his responsibility. Sure she could look after herself; but he’d be working to earn money for her medical bills—and to pay Finn back for his share—and to make sure she was okay and warm and…Fuck, the Puckerman household with their shouting and their inability to always pay their bills wasn’t a place for a pregnant woman. He’d pick up another few hours, he decided, cut back on some money. He could do this.
His hands reached for the wheel, to begin the drive to his house, when her soft voice broke through his thoughts again and he turned to look at her. She was talking in a way that she never spoke to him and for a moment he panicked. Should he kiss her? That always made him feel better to make out with someone. “Your parents are shit,” he shrugged, not even feeling slight remorse for saying it. Sure his mom wasn’t great and he barely remembered what his dad looked like, but Quinn’s parents were insanely bad. “You don’t need them, y’know? You’ve got this Quinn. Like, for real, you’re the smartest person I’ve ever met and I know that’s not hard since I’m, like, failing everything but you are. You’re so smart and you’re really fucking hot; so who gives a shit what they say at school? I’ll lock ‘em in the dumpster on trash day and watch ‘em drive away if they say anything to you. We did this shit together, so we’ll figure it out together.”
His hopes were building again, he knew that, and he reached across to place his hand on her thigh. “I know I fucked up before, okay? But I still don’t regret what we did and I figure we’re the two most badass kids in school, so let’s show ‘em what we got. You’re gonna be fine, Fabray. I know it.” Hesitantly he leaned in, grazing his lips against her cheekbone before he pulled back. “Thanks for calling me, that was cool of you.”
She didn’t really expect him to respond to her glum musings, other than maybe throwing in his own about his ruined friendship with Finn or how this would impact his opportunities with the ladies. So when he fiercely said that her parents were shit, her breath caught and her heart skipped almost hopefully. Finn never would’ve had the gall to say something like that, but she had to admit to herself that it was liberating to hear it. She was angry, so angry at her parents, but those emotions always seemed unjust because everything would’ve been fine if she hadn’t slept with Puck. With him telling her she didn’t need them, she almost believed him for a second. She almost believed him when he said that what people said at school didn’t matter either, that he could lock all of the bad opinions away in a dumpster to be carried off to a landfill. A smile played at her lips, but it wavered as she watched him reach across the distance between the two of them and grip the bit of thigh that was left exposed from her dress.
As incredible as acting like nothing mattered except the two of them and their baby was, Quinn knew it was just a brief daydream he’d drummed up to cheer her up for a moment, even if he believed it. Life never worked that way, at least not when Quinn’s conscientousness was involved. Life had been hard enough at McKinley, she didn’t know what would happen when she didn’t have Finn by her side. Would people call her a tramp or a liar, or would they say she was just another stupid girl who fell victim to Noah Puckerman’s charms? The reminder that he still apparently didn’t regret the conception of their daughter made her smile almost completely falter. It wasn’t the worst thing in the world to think, but she was reminded all over again of his feelings for her and his willingness to keep the baby. How was she supposed to press her point when she was relying on him so much? How was she supposed to be focused when he was going to be so permanently close? The kiss he placed on her cheek made her eyelids close and her cheeks pinken, but she kept everything else at bay. “You’re supposed to keep your eyes on the road,” She told him, not unkindly. “It’s not like I was doing you a favor. I don’t have anywhere else to go.” The blonde took a deep breath to shake off the hormones and emotions that kept making her think irrationally, and spoke her mental objections aloud. “Puck, this doesn’t mean that we can just do whatever we want now. I mean, Finn and I just broke up.” As distracting as she was sure more of those kisses and placement of hands could be, she needed a friend and a safe place more than anything, and that was what she needed to focus on.
The door opened and Puck braced himself for Finn to come out, but he breathed out a soft sigh of relief as Quinn stepped out of the warm room and he moved forward to help with her bags, only a step before realising he’d wait for her to be ready before he rushed her too much. She busied herself with finalizing everything and he stood still a little longer, eyes glancing up as she mentioned that Finn had left. In the entirety of feeling sorry for himself, Puck had forgotten about how Finn would feel when this all ended. Finn who, despite not being the father, had psyched himself up into a state where he was ready to earn money for his unborn baby and take care of Quinn before Puck had pulled all of that out from under him. And the worst part? Puck didn’t feel bad. This was his baby, his responsibility; and best friend or not, nobody was taking that away from him. Finn would get over it eventually, he was too dumb to remember shit anyway, but he knew Quinn didn’t think like that and he pressed his lips together at the tone of her voice. She felt genuinely bad, he knew she did, but this was their situation and mulling over ‘could have been’s’ wouldn’t get them anywhere. His eyes glanced up to the house and he knew he wouldn’t be welcomed there anymore and he felt a shot of remorse, knowing that while he may be driving Quinn home he still didn’t get her. Or the baby. Or Finn. Or Brittany.
He still lost.
Shaking his head, Puck sighed out a soft “No,” and moved to pick her suitcase and bookbag up. His muscles tensed under the weight but he smiled anyway, encouraging her to walk with him to his truck and he made his way towards it to load her belongings into it. The night was cold and he glanced back at Quinn, hoping the cab was warm enough for her and he swallowed hard before he got inside. He was trying desperately to be gentle with her but the words 'So, what do we do now?' were almost crawling out from between his lips and he swallowed them down, waiting until she was in the truck with him before he started it up and pulled his seatbelt around himself.
"She’s gonna flip out," he warned her, reaching across to place a hand on her wrist and he looked down at her stomach. Aside from a few glances at school, Puck hadn’t really had the time to see how much his baby had grown and for a long minute he got stuck simply looking. Fuck, that was his baby in there. She was growing and forming and probably having little thoughts about being hungry; especially since she was his. Bringing himself back around, eyes dazed with thoughts of waking up and knowing Quinn was safe with him now, he leveled his eyes back on hers. "She might cry, I don’t know, but she ain’t gonna see you thrown out. You can stay as long as you need to, Fabray. I’m gonna look after you, both of you."
Quinn straightened and sucked in a breath when Puck replied that no, his mother was none the wiser about Puck being a father than anyone else was. She watched as he slung her bags over his shoulder and thought that if not for her pregnancy, she would never have allowed him to take care of her like this. Then again, if she wasn’t pregnant, she wouldn’t be in this position in the first place. She eyed his easy-going smile for a moment, wondering if he was forcing optimism to try to make this less awkward for them both, or if he was genuinely happy about this change of events. Either way, she followed him to his truck and then opened her door while he put her things in the back. The truck was a little high off the ground which wouldn’t have been a problem if she didn’t have to navigate around her balloon of a stomach. She reached up and took a hold of the overhead handle and eased herself into the seat before pulling out the seatbelt so it wouldn’t press into her stomach. She’d learned to make a lot of adjustments for her baby bump, and she supposed the new living arrangement would just be one of many.
Quinn’s mind was clouded with thoughts, but her attention easily switched to Puck once he placed a hand on her wrist. She arched an eyebrow at his claim that his mom was going to freak out. She’d always assumed that his mother was the type to expect something like this out of him. It never occurred to her that he had a parent who expected more from him. She followed his gaze to her stomach and straightened out of habit, as if that would somehow make her bump smaller. She pursed her lips at the thought of him getting emotional over the baby- she wasn’t comfortable with herself getting emotional over the baby, much less him- and also at the idea of dealing with another crying mother. Still, he reassured her that she wasn’t going to be thrown out, which was more than she could say for her own.
"Thanks," She said softly, and then continued, without thinking about it much. "You know, I keep thinking about what my parents will think when they find out that Finn’s not the father, but then I have to remind myself that they’re not really my parents anymore, that they’re not going to show up and ground me or something." With a long sigh, she propped her elbow up on the window and leaned her chin into her hand. "Finn and I broke up, and I got kicked out twice. I guess the only consequence left is what everyone will say at school."