After waiting almost a whole year, I've finally updated this fic! I cannot even begin to apologize enough for making you guys wait so long! To my faithful readers this is dedicated to all of you but especially to Allie, thank you all though for being so, so patient! I hope this chapter was worth the wait.
Puck stands outside Quinn's hospital room trying to prepare himself for this. The truth is he'd honestly rather be anywhere rather than here. "Come on, Rachel, do we really have to do this?" Puck asks her for about the millionth time.
"Noah, yes, they're our friends. Besides, you have to sign the birth certificate, so you don't have a choice. And don't you have to sign some sort of paper that gives the parental rights over to Finn?" Rachel says.
"I know but-" Puck says.
"Noah, it's okay; you're going to be fine," Rachel says interrupting him.
He reluctantly follows Rachel, who carries in a little gift bag with a cute outfit for Libby in it, into Quinn's hospital room. Quinn's sitting in her hospital bed holding Libby while Finn sits in the chair right beside her.
"Hey, guys," Quinn says, not able to keep from smiling as Rachel and Puck walk into the little room; all the anger and bitterness towards Puck while she was in labor appears to be long forgotten.
"How are you guys doing?" Rachel says.
"Overall, I'm doing pretty good, although I'm still really sore, but my doctor told me that's to be expected," Quinn says.
"I hope we're not too early," Puck says, trying not to appear uncomfortable, but is purposefully trying not to look over at Quinn holding Libby but he can't stop himself from glancing over at her for a second. "I tried to get Rachel to wait until later this afternoon, but as you can see I wasn't very successful. "
"Sorry, I just couldn't wait any longer to come see you guys," Rachel says.
"No, you guys are fine," Finn says, attempting to try to make Puck feel more at ease because he can tell that his best friend is extremely uncomfortable and would rather be anymore but here. "My Mom, Burt and Kurt were already here anyway."
By now Rachel has made her way across the room and is standing right beside Quinn. "Oh my gosh, guys; she's beautiful; Quinn she looks just like you," she says as she gets her first full look of Libby. "Although Noah, she definitely has your nose," she says without thinking, words she instantly regrets saying after seeing the look on Puck's face.
"Uh, yeah," Puck says, trying to hide his emotions but it's obvious that Rachel's comment stung.
"Anyway, here these are for you guys," Rachel says trying to get rid of the awkwardness that had developed by reaching over to give Quinn a hug; at least attempting to, since she's holding Libby it's more of an awkward side hug.
"Oh you guys, you didn't need to get me anything," Quinn says. "Hey, babe, can you take Libby for a second?" she asks Finn.
"Sure," Finn says as Quinn hands Libby over to him.
"Well, technically, this gift isn't for you; it's for Libby."
"But still, you guys didn't have to get her anything, but thank you."
"I know we didn't have to, but we wanted to," Rachel says.
"Oh my gosh, guys, this is so adorable," Quinn says, as she opens the gift bag to find a little pink outfit for Libby that has a bright yellow star on the front of it.
"You know how much I love stars, and when I saw this outfit I figured it was perfect for your daughter, who I know will be a future star of New Directions someday," Rachel says; which makes them all laugh.
"Thank you guys, so much," Quinn says, "you guys seriously didn't need to get her anything else."
"Yeah, thanks, guys," Finn says.
For the next twenty minutes Puck and Rachel, or more accurately, Rachel talks with Finn and Quinn and Puck just stands there trying not to look at Libby. She's not my daughter; she's Finn and Quinn's daughter. You did the right thing by agreeing to having Finn be her father; you're not father material," he keeps telling himself over and over again.
"Hey Rachel, would you like to hold her?" Quinn asks, interrupting Puck's thoughts.
"I would love to," Rachel says as she takes a seat in the empty chair beside Quinn's bed.
"Just be careful with her," Finn says as he hands Libby over to Rachel. As he hands Libby to her, it's obvious to Rachel just how much he loves his daughter; he's just so cautious and gentle.
"Don't worry, I'll be careful," Rachel says. As Rachel sits there holding Quinn, Puck can't help but look over at her and smile. She looks good with a baby; she looks real good with a baby. She'll make a great mom someday... don't even go there" he tells himself.
A few minutes later though, as Rachel sits there holding her, Libby starts crying.
"Oh no, did I do something wrong?" Rachel asks, worrying that she somehow might've hurt the baby.
"No, she's fine, she's probably just hungry," Quinn says, not quite sure what to do, she doesn't want to make their friends leave but she definitely isn't comfortable with the idea of breastfeeding in front of Puck and Rachel.
"Do you need us to leave?" Puck asks, hoping that maybe this might cut their visit short; that he can just sign the damn birth certificate and then can get the hell out of there.
"No, let me see if I can get her to stop crying here; hold off Quinn having to feed her right now," Finn says as Rachel hands Libby back to him. "Hey sweetheart, I know you're hungry, but Mommy and Daddy have some friends here so you're going to wait a little bit longer to eat; besides Mommy just fed you like an hour ago. And just like that almost immediately, Libby stops crying.
"Fatherhood seems to come to you naturally," Puck says with a slight edge in his voice.
"Yeah, I mean, I was so, so nervous to hold her the first time, just ask Quinn," he says half-laughing. "She's so little; I was afraid that I might break her or something."
"But I told him he had nothing to worry about, that he'd be fine," Quinn says.
"And she was right of course; she always is" Finn says, smiling. "The second they handed her to me; I- I didn't think it was possible to love someone so much, I mean yeah, I obviously love Quinn but this is a different kind of love if you know what I mean. Anyway, yeah, I was so nervous, but as soon they handed her to me it was like all of a sudden I knew what to do; it was like she knew that I was her dad. This morning I even changed her diaper, which was definitely gross, but not as gross as I thought it'd be," he says, as they all laugh with him.
"Puck, would you like to hold her?" Finn asks.
"Uh, that's okay; she'll probably just start crying again," Puck answers quickly. The truth is though, Puck wants to her more than anything right now, but he's afraid; afraid that if he holds her that he won't be able to just walk away and have nothing to do with her life.
"Are you sure? I got her to calm down, so she should be okay if you want to hold her for a few minutes," Finn says.
"Yeah, I'm sure," Puck says. Don't even think about it; she's not yours. This is what you wanted; it's best for you, what's best for her. You're not ready to be a father, but Finn obviously is. Besides you'd just end up screwing up her life anyway. "Hey, well, we should probably get going, because I'm sure everyone else from Glee Club will be here soon and Quinn probably wants to feed her before everyone comes, so we should probably get going. I need to sign her birth certificate or something, though, first right?"
"Yeah, you do, but you guys don't need to leave yet," Finn says. "I mean, I got Libby to stop crying, so she should be fine for a couple of more hours.
"Yeah, you can stay until everyone else gets here if you want," Quinn says.
"Uh that's okay, Rachel and I both have things to today," Puck says.
"We do?" Rachel asks, she can tell that Noah just wants to get out of there but she wants him to face reality, instead of once again trying to run away from it.
" Yeah, didn't you say you wanted to spend the afternoon working on stuff for Regionals with me. Besides there's no way everyone from Glee club can fit in this room all at the same time," Puck says.
"Oh yeah, that's right," Rachel says, realizing it's not worth trying to force Noah to stay longer.
"Well, I'll go ahead then and go out to the nurse's station and have one of them come back with the papers," Finns says.
A few minutes later, one of the nurse's brings in Libby 's birth certificate for Puck to sign. While Rachel and Quinn keep talking, Finn walks over with Libby still in his arms to Puck where he's standing just staring at the birth certificate on the table. Without even thinking Puck picks up the pen and signs the birth certificate. Underneath the birth certificate though, there's another paper for Puck to sign, which gives all of his legal rights of being Libby's father over to Finn.
"Are you okay?" Finn asks Puck, sensing he's a little hesitant about signing the paper.
"Yeah, I'm fine; she's never been my daughter really; she's always been yours. Besides, we both know that this is the best thing for her," he says as he signs the other paper.
"Well, I hope you know, that you're welcome to see her anytime you want. And if you ever do decide you do want to be apart of her life, both Quinn and I would be more than okay with that. I mean, like I told you before, there's no reason why Libby can't have three parents, a mom and two dads.
"Thanks, but like I've told you before, I'll let you and Quinn do the parenting." Puck says. "Come on, Rachel, let's go," he says as he makes his way over back to the other side of the room.
"Okay," Rachel says, she can tell that Noah is now starting to struggle with his emotions and wants to get out of there now.
"Thanks again for stopping by and for the adorable outfit," Quinn says as Rachel reaches over to give her a hug goodbye.
"You're welcome, I just can't wait to see her in it," Rachel says.
"I'll make sure that it's one of the first ones she wears," Quinn says.
"Yeah, thanks; we should be able to come home tomorrow afternoon, so if you guys are around, feel free to stop by," Finn says.
"Okay, thanks," Rachel says, as she takes Puck hand as they head towards the door.
"See you guys," Puck says, as he and Rachel walk out the door.
As Puck and Rachel leave Quinn's hospital room there's an awkward silence between them; neither of them know what to say. "Are you okay, Noah?" Rachel asks him, finally breaking the silence.
"Yeah, I'm fine."
"Are you sure? Because I saw the way you looked at her; how you wanted to hold her, but you just couldn't let yourself because you were afraid; afraid that if you held her-"
"Rach, I'm fine, please just stop," he says, interrupting her.
"Look, I'm sorry if me saying that she has your nose made you upset."
"I'm fine; she's Finn's daughter not mine; she's always been his daughter, and signing that damn paper that gave Finn the rights as her father made her legally his. Signing those papers was the best thing I could do for her; they asked me if I wanted to be involved, but I said no because I know that's the best thing for her. Besides I always end up screwing everyone's lives up; I mean I screwed Quinn and Finn's lives by getting Quinn pregnant; I'd just end up screwing Libby's life too," as he walks out of the hospital doors and out into the parking lot as Rachel struggles to keep up with him; she can tell he's upset and is once again trying to hide his emotions and is trying to push her and everyone else away.
"Noah, that's not true; you're not a screw up, yeah you've made some mistakes; but everyone does. Mistakes always have consequences, but we all learn from our mistakes. Besides, you're not the same person you were the night you got Quinn drunk in order for her to have sex with you," Rachel says, trying to comfort him.
"Please just drop this okay?" he says, fighting back tears, but Rachel notices a few tears fall from his eyes which he quickly brushes away. Damn it, why can't I keep it together?
"Noah, it's okay to cry; to admit you love her;" Rachel says as she kisses him before he opens the passenger door of his truck for her.
"Berry, I'm fine; now can we please drop it?" he says as he jumps in his truck and pulls out of the parking lot.
Again, thank you all for being such faithful readers and for being so patient. Only one chapter and the epilogue left!