Disclaimer: I don't own Glee or its characters, just love the show immensely!

Sunday morning

Loud banging from the kitchen below woke up Puck the next morning; he rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands and swung his feet off his bed. He ran to his bathroom to splash his face with water and rinse his mouth out. He was so ecstatic to tell them about his time with Beth! He bounded down the stairs to the kitchen; dropping a quick kiss on top of Ariel's head as she sat at the table rolling biscuits. His mother was by the stove, adjusting an eye to get something started for breakfast. He kissed her cheek and grabbed a pan from a cabinet close by.

"How'd it go yesterday? What does she look like?" His mother asked. She was having trouble hiding her excitement. Puck smiled to himself. His mother was still facing the stove, but was listening intently.

"Well, she's got long dark hair. She has the most amazing blue eyes, but the rest of her is definitely Jewish." Puck was still reeling from the fact that his daughter looked more Jewish than he originally anticipated. His mother's shock was evident on her face as she turned from the stove and her eyes widened. Even Ariel smiled brightly at that statement.

"Oh, Noah! I'm so happy! So, what did she think of you? Did she seem distant at all at 'Rachel's friend'?" His mother questioned, she had turned back to the food in the frying pan, and it had started burning. So she didn't see the way he bit his lip. Unfortunately for Puck, Ariel saw his expression.

"What did you do, you big dummy? You look like you did something wrong and are afraid to admit it." Ariel acknowledged. Puck shook his fist at his teenage sister. Ariel had gotten his mother's attention, damn.

"Noah, did something happen that you're not telling us? Well?" Ruby Puckerman had turned away from the stove, had her arms crossed in front of her, and was tapping her foot impatiently. She just had a feeling her fear that Beth would find out who he was had in fact occurred.

"Fuck!" He said as he usually did, his mother gave him that look again. The look that tells him to watch his mouth without those actual words.

"Okay, so Rachel and I argued a bit. Beth had been playing on the slide so I thought she was occupied. Anyway, she came back at the exact moment I say to Rachel, 'she's my daughter and she needs a father more than she needs a sister'. Needless to say, Rachel was pissed, Beth runs off, and then of course to top it all off…Quinn shows up!" He explained in one breath. His mother's face turned red, like some cartoon character with steam floating out of their ears. Ariel's mouth drops open, like she's about to start catching flies.

"What? Are you kidding me? You allowed it to come tumbling out of your mouth, just like that? Noah, how could you do that? I told you not to let Beth find out! And what the hell was Quinn doing there?" Puck was amazed that his mother wasn't nearly as pissed as he expected and floored that she even said 'hell'. He was probably a little proud too, just because his mother rarely said curse words in English. They were usually spoken in Yiddish and he didn't really understand those words.

"Seriously? That saintly bitch showed up?" Ariel finally formed words and her mother shot her a look of disappointment.

Puck continued to tell them the rest of what happened. His mother and sister both looked appropriately upset at the moments he'd felt upset the day before. They also seemed surprised that Rachel, of all people, had cussed out Quinn as well. They assumed she'd picked that up from living in New York all these years.

The Puckerman's ate their breakfast in silence, each lost in their own thoughts. They weren't sure how to feel or what to say. The excitement had disappeared, and then came back once Puck had told them that Beth wanted him to be her father. The pride that had engulfed his heart had also sent rays of sunshine to the other two people in his family.

Berry Residence

Rachel hadn't spoken to either of her dads when she'd gotten home from the hospital the night before. She simply took Beth upstairs and had lain the little girl in her bed, then had lain beside her to sleep. Her head had been swimming with emotions that she was still trying to get a hold on. She wasn't sure how she felt, her mother hadn't responded at all and Dr. Mann hadn't had any good news for them either. Apparently, Shelby was not going to awake anytime in the near future. That got Rachel planning and thinking of what she would have to do. Should she stay in NY and take Beth with her? That would undoubtedly cause issues with Noah and she didn't want to put him through that hellish torture.

But her life was there, not here in Lima. She'd been up most the night thinking of other options. What if…what if she and Noah did get married? That thought crossed her mind more than she cared to admit. She and Noah would raise Beth together, but that might be odd to the five year old. Then again, when she thought of how Beth had told Quinn that exact thing; she was certain her little sister would have no problem with that concept.

Then there was Beth, she had to consider the fact that Beth had been raised in Ohio. Her mother had decided to stay here. When she could have taken Beth anywhere, even New York. Shelby Corcoran had stayed close to Rachel's dads. Sometimes Rachel liked to imagine it was so that Shelby could watch her grow up; sadly, she hadn't seen her mother once during those five years when she could have. Shelby had not bothered Rachel at all, hadn't even come to her graduation from William McKinley High School. All these thoughts were swirling around Rachel's already dysfunctional mind. She couldn't hate her mother, she shouldn't hate her, but in some unorthodox way; she did. She hated the fact that she was now responsible for someone other than herself; and loved it at the same time. She was confused, she was sure she didn't want to be alone. Hell, she didn't even have a steady boyfriend back in New York. She dated, but it was never anything serious and she most definitely did not sleep with anyone.

At around ten in the morning, Beth woke up her sister. She had already gone to the bathroom and was ready for breakfast. She wondered if Rachel's daddies, Brian and Jeffery, would be around today. She was sad her mommy hadn't talked to her the day before and she started feeling as if her mommy would never speak to her again. This was too puzzling for Beth to think about; instead she pushed it away and focused on waking Rachel.

"Come on, Rach. Get up, please? I'm hungry and I want to see daddy and grandma today!" Beth's blue eyes rolled to the ceiling when Rachel shooed her like she was a fly. So she pounced on the bed, and began jumping up and down beside her sister. If that didn't wake her up, Beth didn't know what would.

Finally Rachel processed what was happening; she gingerly grabbed Beth by the ankles, yanked them out from under the small girl, and started tickling her like mad. Beth was howling with giggles by the time Brian and Jeffrey rushed into the room. The scene before them too precious for words.

Suddenly, Jeffrey's anger faded. He couldn't be upset with his daughter any longer. She was trying so hard to deal with the curve ball life had thrown her. He smiled at the two girls; the smaller of the two noticed and cried for them to help her. Then the four of them fell into a heap on Rachel's bedroom floor; laughing as if their lives depended upon it.

"That was fun! Let's do it again tomorrow morning!" Beth exclaimed. The three adults rolled their eyes and shook their heads as a response. Beth chuckled and said she was hungry.

The four of them went downstairs to eat; not realizing that the Puckerman's were doing the exact same thing across town.

At about four in the afternoon, Noah called Rachel's cell. She smiled as she recognized his mother's home number. She was pleased, to say the least. She told Beth who was on the phone and the little girl squealed with delight. She wanted to talk to her father right away.

"Hey, daddy! What are you doing? Me and Rachel have been playing all morning, then she got out the karaoke machine and we sang for hours!" Beth excitedly told Puck.

"That's great, little one. Yeah, your sister has always thought music could make the world seem nicer. So, what did you two sing? And did Rachel steal the show?" Puck asked his daughter. Just hearing her voice made his whole being warm and fuzzy. He listened intensely to everything Beth was saying, almost committing her words to memory for fear of never hearing her voice again. He had been thinking and discussing things with his mom and sister. His mother had asked his opinion on where he wanted Beth to live. Of course, she pointed out the fact that Rachel had a place of her own and he did not. Leave it to his mother to ruin his happiness. He kept telling himself that's what his mother's intention had been; to ruin his happiness. Deep down, though, he knew she was speaking the truth and showing him he needed to think like the adult he was. And especially, not act like the teenager she knew he'd been feeling like.

To his own surprise, he had been feeling a bit nostalgic. He supposed it was because he had been with Rachel all the day before. He felt he was getting to know her again and his feelings had come rushing back in; feelings he hadn't thought he still possessed.

"Yeah, she sang more than me. But I think it's cause she knows more songs then I do. We had fun, though. Are you coming to get us so I can meet grandma and Aunt Ariel?" Beth's voice was thick with enthusiasm. Puck sighed, content that she felt that way.

"Sure, let me talk with Rach and we'll see what we can do, kay?" He asked his daughter, she quickly handed Rachel the phone.

Once Rachel received the phone, they were both talking quickly. So quickly in fact, Beth couldn't keep up so she left the room and went to find something on television.

The plans were set for that evening. A dinner with Ruby and Ariel. Rachel was nervous; she hadn't been around Puck's family since they'd dated in high school.

Hours later…

Rachel pulled up to Puck's house, she was still uneasy about the dinner; but thought this might be a great opportunity to discuss future plans. She was sadly beginning to accept the fact that her mother was probably not going to wake up. She brushed her sadness away to be a more approachable guest in the Puckerman home.

"Rachel! Wow, look at you, still short as ever. I'm only kidding, well partially!" Ariel exclaimed as she opened the door. Rachel looked at the teenager, shocked at the purple hair and piercing. She just hoped the evidence wasn't on her face. Ariel was indeed taller than she. Not by much, but taller all the same.

"Ariel, wow! You have grown up so much in the last five years. What happened to that sweet ten year old that used to beg me to watch 'Life with Derek'?" Rachel gave Ariel a squeeze. Then she noticed Beth staring wide-eyed.

"I'm sorry. Ariel Puckerman, meet your niece, Beth Corcoran. Beth, this is your Aunt Ariel." Rachel introduced the two girls. Ariel held out her hand to Beth; she hesitated at first, then took the outstretched hand.

"Hi. You wanna come in?" Ariel asked Beth, she nodded her response and Rachel closed the door behind them.

Puck came bounding down the stairs of his mother's home, as his eyes fell on the two women standing in front of him. Rachel looked beautiful; he had noticed how different she seemed the day before, but only now was he realizing just how perfect she was. Her dark hair was curled, and then swept up into a clip; her makeup was light and pretty. He looked at his daughter, her hair was exactly the same; she was also wearing a similar outfit to Rachel's. They were the most angelic creatures he'd ever seen. He felt his cheeks grow warm as he saw Rachel was looking at him, appraisingly.

"Noah, you look handsome." She said simply, and then smiled. Beth turned her attention to her father.

"Daddy! I love your pretty green shirt. It doesn't even have wrinkles in it." Beth smiled as Puck pulled her to him for a hug.

"Hey, little one. You look like a beautiful angel in that white dress." He told his daughter.

"Rachel picked it out, she said we could match. See? She's wearing white too. Do you think she looks like an angel too?" Beth smiled innocently, though Puck suspected that she was actually being coy.

"Yes, I do," he answered, looking at Rachel. She blushed and averted her eyes. He continued, "Would you like to meet your grandmother?" Beth's blue eyes lit up and she grabbed his offering hand.

Rachel watched the two with a small amount of amusement. Ariel had been studying the older woman. She'd taken in Rachel's demeanor; the way she had smiled at her brother and the blushing. Ariel thought, oh my god, Rachel and Noah are starting to fall in love. She rubbed her hands together, thinking of ways to get these two alone. She'd have to get her mom in on it too, but a plan was hatching in Ariel Puckerman's sinister mind.

Ruby Puckerman nearly cried when her son introduced her to his daughter. He had been right about the Jewish heritage being prominent in Beth. Ruby was ecstatic and could hardly wait to spend some one on one time with the little beauty in white.

Dinner was very nice and Rachel had relaxed immensely. Ruby always was a great cook and the wine she'd poured for herself, Noah, and Rachel seemed to help a lot.

"So, Rachel, how is New York? I hear stories from your dads from time to time. I even caught one of your performances on public television. I guess it was a few months back. You know how they show plays and musicals sometimes?" Ruby asked her. Rachel dabbed her mouth with her napkin daintily before speaking.

"Yes, so what did you think? I enjoy living there, it's so much to take in sometimes." Rachel explained.

"I actually have to say I enjoyed it, but the nudity, of course; was a put off. I mean, it was censored on the television. But do you feel strange on stage during those scenes?" Ruby hadn't realized what she was saying apparently, or what it seemed to be doing to Noah; because there was a choking sound that offhandedly caught the female attention.

"Are you okay there, bro?" Ariel asked

"Noah, oh my gosh, did you swallow it wrong, you know you should slow down while eating. I don't know how many times I had to tell you that as a teenager." His mother interjected.

"Daddy! Are you okay? Rachel hurry, before he passes out like mommy did and never wakes up!" Beth's frantic voice made Ruby and Ariel tear up; not to mention Noah as well. He hadn't realized the impact Shelby's fainting had made on his daughter's tender mind.

Rachel hurriedly made her way out of her chair and pulled on Puck's arms. For someone her size, she had found uncanny strength to pull him up. She had done a few thrusts on his stomach. He didn't have anything lodged, and grabbed her arms with his hands then pulling her in front of him to tell her he was fine. That's when he saw the tears streaking down her cheeks, his heart broke and he engulfed her in his arms. Beth was crying as well, though he had repeatedly told her 'daddy's fine'. Ruby grabbed her granddaughter up in her lap since the child was sitting in the chair next to her.

"Mom, let's take Beth into the kitchen, I think we might have some ice cream. You want some?" Ariel thought quickly. It was the only way to pull the attention away from her five year old niece's fears.

"Are you really okay, daddy?" Beth asked again. Puck told her he was and that he was just going to calm her sister down, that it was okay for her to go with Mimi (that's what Ruby had told Beth to call her) and Aunt Ariel. Beth nodded, disappearing into the kitchen with the other two women.

Rachel had still been quietly sobbing and Puck still had her in his embrace.

"Rach? Hey, look at me, Rachel." He spoke in soft tones, so he wouldn't scare her. She finally lifted her head from his chest.

"I was so frightened, Noah. I know you're okay and maybe I freaked out because of my mother's situation. I just don't know…what I'm going to do." She trailed off and began sobbing again.

"Hey, I know. Look, I…", he lifted her head so their eyes could meet before he continued, "I was shocked when I heard my mother say there was nudity in your play. And I started thinking about you…with no clothes on and well…" He saw the smile creep slowly onto Rachel's face, her sobs subsiding.

"And?" She prompted. He thought to himself, Oh hell no, she's going to make me say it, isn't she?

"And, well, my mind drifted to the gutter and I swallowed a piece of chicken that I hadn't chewed enough. Are you happy now? I find you attractive as hell and though I've not seen you naked; I've thought about seeing you millions of times."

Rachel's cheeks were crimson as she thought over what he'd said.

"Noah, I…thank you. For being around these last few days and for inviting us over here. And for giving me that very wonderful memory of you choking at the prospect of seeing me nude." She stated, the smile was growing wider on her lips.

"Anytime, Berry." He whispered, afraid that he would once again pop the protective bubble they seemed to be in.

Rachel felt herself gravitating toward him, she didn't want to stop herself; this annoyed her and thrilled her in the same instance.

Puck was leaning toward her too, unable to stop the invisible string pulling the two adults together. Soon, their lips met the other's. At first it was surprisingly sweet, then a passion took over; enveloping the two in a tangle of desire neither seemed prepared for.

"Noah…" Rachel whispered as the two parted; her face a myriad of emotion.

"Yeah?" He asked quietly; his eyes still closed from the contact.

"I want to be with you, but I don't know how or where to start." She admitted to him; surprising him and herself with the confession. She quickly looked up into his face, searching for his feelings on the subject.

"I want to be with you too, Rachel. That scares the shit out of me and captivates me at the same time. But Beth, do you think she would be okay with that?" Puck admitted.

The two gazed at each other, she hastily reminded him of what Beth had said to Quinn the day before; almost afraid he'd turn her down even though it was clear he felt the same. He smiled the most brilliant of smiles she had ever seen on Noah Puckerman's face.

They agreed to talk to Beth to be sure, soon their happy bubble had to burst; Beth walked in with her aunt and grandmother.

Then all four adults began talking about the fact that Puck was okay, and not going to be hospitalized. Thus, easing Beth's fears and making the darkened tensions lighter.