sapphireej: (Out of the Blue)
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Title: Out of the Blue, Part 83a
Author: Sapphire ([livejournal.com profile] sapphiresfic)
Fandom: Glee
Pairing/Characters: Rachel, Puck, Rachel/Puck, the Glee clubbers
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 11, 945 (Part a & b)
Spoilers: Up to 1x22 ~ Journey; just to be safe
Series: 'Out of the Blue' (List of all the parts on my LJ)
Summary1: When Puck admits something to Rachel 'out of the blue;' what happens? Now both will face the ups and downs of his admission and find a little bit about each other along the way.
Summary2: On to Nationals
Disclaimer1: I am just borrowing them for the fun of writing, BUT I do own the plot, ideas and original characters.
A/N: I edited this chapter, so all mistakes are mine.
A/N2: This story is mostly AU after Mash-up (1x08), but with some of the topics discussed in the later episodes and music used, I may sneak in a conversation, cover the same topic, or use the same song, but I will put my own twist on it and may use some of the music.


~*~

A/N3: This chapter contains Nationals, which will feature a song from Glee's episode '1x22 - Journey'. See notes and 'Disclaimer2' at the bottom for the chapter.

~*~

When Abby began walking, she was nine-months, three-weeks old; time was going by too fast for everyone and Puck and Rachel hoped she'd hold off on any more milestones for a while. The couple, along with their friends and family, were happy that she was walking, but it meant she was growing up and it was closer to graduation and Puck leaving for boot camp.

The week after Abby's big milestone, the Glee club was already working on two of their songs for Nationals; their ballad sung by Puck and Rachel and an upbeat song sung by Quinn and Rachel. Puck wanted to keep his idea for the guys a surprise from the girls, for a while, so the teens, Will, Ben and Ethan met during lunch one day at school. Puck told them his idea and they all really liked his idea and nominated Puck and Finn to sing the lead, since it was their last competition.

Puck and Finn agreed, as long as Mike and Matt, their two best dancers, choreographed the dance routine. The two guys had helped them on other numbers in the past, but this was their last chance to do something for the club. Matt and Mike agreed, so with them choreographing and Puck and Finn singing lead, they were all looking forward to what the girls thought when they showed them in a few weeks. Until then they'd work on it during lunch a few days each week.

~*~

The last Saturday of February, Ethan and Puck went up to Detroit for another hockey game and the time away was nice. They knew they had things going on at home they needed to be working on, but a break from everything was okay once and a while. Ethan was also trying it ignore the nerves for Monday; the day he and Deborah would hopefully find out the gender of the baby.

When Monday arrived, which also was the last day of February, Ethan took an extended lunch break and picked Deborah up at McKinley and headed to her doctor's appointment. During her last few sonograms, the baby was in the wrong position, so they hadn't been able to find out. The only thing they knew for sure was he or she had a healthy heartbeat and was growing at a good rate. Ethan and Deborah had settled for that, but hoped they could find out.

The couple was only gone two hours, so Puck made it a point to stop into her office between his fifth and sixth period classes to see if he could get answers. Deborah told him they'd found out, but she refused to tell him, wanting to tell the whole family that night. Puck didn't have long to try to get it out of her, so he gave up and let the others try after school, to get her or Ethan to say something during Glee, but neither let anything slip.

That evening, after the various families and friends had dinner at home, Deborah's brother and his family, the Hudsons and Quinn, the Hummels, the Berrys and the Puckermans gathered at Deborah, Ethan and Arin's house to make the announcement.

"Alright mom, dad, you guys have kept the secret long enough. Is it a girl or boy?" Puck asked, really curious what his new sibling would be.

Deborah and Ethan moved to the front of the living room and looked around for a moment, "yes we did find out," Deborah confirmed, as she rested her hand on her stomach. Ethan's hand joined hers and they both happily said, "we're having a girl!"

The entire room erupted in clapping and words of congratulations as Arin and Puck got up and moved towards their parents to be the first ones to hug them. The siblings started a chain reaction as others went to personally congratulate them and once everyone settled down, Puck smirked, "so are you guys sure it's a girl?"

"Yes," Deborah nodded, "she was laying at the right angle to see for sure," she explained, handing him one of the sonogram photos they'd gotten, "we sort of already knew, after my last appointment, actually."

"What? And you didn't tell us?" Puck wondered, surprised.

"Well, when they did the last sonogram, my doctor thought he could tell it was a girl, but then agreed it could also be just the angle, so he told us not to make any plans yet. We decided not to tell anyone, because we didn't really know and didn't want to get any hopes up. This time there's no doubt it's a girl," Deborah told them.

"That makes sense. And some couples don't even find out until the baby is born," Rachel added.

"Very true. We had thought of that, because we would love them the same either way, but we decided to find out. We're tired of waiting," Ethan commented.

"Someone was getting impatient, actually," Deborah laughed, patting him on the arm.

The room got a laugh out of that as Ethan blushed a little.

"Have you guys thought of names?" Carole wondered.

"Sort of. We have a lot of ideas, but we're still looking. We agreed we're going to continue giving them Puckerman as a last name, so all of our kids are the same," Deborah admitted.

"And we probably will have a few options picked out, but we'll make the final decision when we meet her," Ethan added.

~*~

Having spent several days in February signing papers and having meetings about their new house, the first day of March, David and Alan were officially handed the keys because it was finally theirs. Deborah, Ethan, Arin, Rachel, Puck and Abby were the first to be inside and Ben and his family joined them, since they lived just 2 houses down the street from them.

The Berry men didn't expect to live in the house for several months. Since it was newly built, they didn't have any remodeling to do, but they had several years of belongings in their current house to pack up and decide what to do with. They agreed that for the time being they'd spend their evenings and weekends packing and organizing everything, and would ask for help moving things when they began to get things ready to move into their new place. They also wanted to give their new place some life, instead of keeping all of the plain white walls, so that was added to the list of 'to-dos' before everything their stuff was moved in.

~*~

The first three weeks of March were pretty uneventful and quiet for the families, Glee club students and their parents.

Deborah and Ethan's family members that didn't live in Lima, found out within the first week of March and everyone was excited to add another girl to the family and looked forward to meeting her.

March first, Abby was officially ten months old and Rachel made sure within that first week, she took pictures, much like they'd done a few months prior and she couldn't wait until her studio was complete.

New Directions worked on their songs for Nationals and the guys continued to keep their song choice and choreography from the girls, meeting during part of their lunch break a few times a week to practice. The girls, even though they were curious, honored their wishes and didn't try to figure it out; but they were looking forward to finding out what song it was.

Ethan and Puck had a few hockey games to attend and also began the construction on the garage. Knowing what they were doing and having everything already purchased to do it, they figured it'd be done before Nationals. They spent almost every night and some of their weekends working on it and only took a break one weekend, to join David, Alan, Ben, Burt, Finn and some other guys from the Glee Club, to help paint various rooms in David and Alan's new place.

While the guys spent time working on painting, the girls spent time trying to come up with costumes for Nationals and also working on planning the two events coming up in the next few weeks: a big baby shower for Deborah and Ethan, on the last Saturday of March, and a reception for Carole and Burt one day during Spring Break, after Nationals, because they were going to get married while their kids were out of school for Spring Break.

~*~

With just under two weeks before the Glee Club members would head to Detroit for Nationals, the guys were finally ready to show the girls what they'd been working on for almost a month.

It was a Monday, and the club had been meeting in the auditorium to practice on stage, and after they'd gone through their ballad and Quinn and Rachel's duet, the girls took seats with their directors in the front few rows of the auditorium. As soon as the music began, all of the girls recognized it as a song from one of the High School Musical movies, but the choreography was completely original. Everyone enjoyed their performance and gave them a standing ovation when they finished, and everyone went up on stage to congratulate them and talk about it.

"What made you pick that song?" Rachel asked.

"It was Puck's idea," Finn commented, motioning to him.

Puck shrugged, "I thought it was a neat song in the movie and figured that we should go out with a bang, you know? Matt, Mike, Finn, Ryan and I are done after this, aside from all those school performances like we did last year and it's not something we've done before. Usually all our routines are couples dancing or something traditional for a show choir and there's nothing in the rule book that says we can't do this. Matt and Mike did an awesome job choreographing and hopefully it'll help us stand out from everyone else."

"It definitely does. Matt, Mike, you did amazing on the choreography. I know you've helped us in the past, but this was awesome to see it all done by you," Rachel commented.

"Thanks," Mike smiled and Matt nodded in agreement, "it was fun. It was nice to finish the year with something we did."

"I'm very proud of you all and it's not going to be the same without everyone together next year. We'd love to have you guys come back and visit and I don't know what your plans are, but Matt, Mike, after this, you could help choreograph our other performances," Will offered, "Seniors, what are your plans? I know Puck is joining the Navy, but what about the rest of you?" Will wondered, realizing they'd never talked about it.

"I'm going to OSU here in Lima," Quinn said, "but I'm not sure what I'm going to get for a degree.

"Me too," Ryan commented, nodding at Quinn.

"Same here, so I'll definitely be around to help out," Matt replied.

"I'm not going to college," Finn said, "I actually really like helping Burt out at the garage when I get free time and I think I'm going to do it full-time after I graduate."

"My parents really want me to get a business degree, so I can take over running their various businesses around town, but I'm not sure I want to do that," Mike admitted, glancing at his sister Tina, "but until I figure it out, I'm going to OSU here in Lima, too, so I'll be around."

"We're all going to miss you in the club and at school, but we're glad we'll be able to see you around," Rachel smiled at them, already knowing of Quinn's decision to stay in Lima.

Quinn nodded in agreement, "we'll definitely be around," she assured her, "and besides, someone's gotta keep an eye on you while Puck's gone," she added with a wink.

Rachel blushed, leaning against her boyfriend, "I think... I'll miss him, but I think I'll be okay to handle it," she admitted, looking at Puck.

"I hope so, but I appreciate that our friends are gonna still be around to help you out," Puck said, smiling at everyone.

"That's what friends are for," Finn replied patting Puck on the shoulder.

~*~

As the week continued, the Glee Club members continued to practice, wanting to polish up their routines for Nationals, but towards the end of the week, Rachel, Puck, Kurt, Finn, Quinn, Jessica and some of their parents were helping put the finishing touches on plans for the baby shower on Saturday.

Traditionally a baby shower was for women; female women in the soon-to-be mom's life, but because Ethan and Deborah hadn't had a child in years, and because of Ethan's family missing a lot from the years of no-contact with Deborah, Puck and Arin, they planned to make the shower for family and friends, inviting everyone important in Ethan and Deborah's lives.

They also decided to do the shower at Deborah and Ethan's house, so by Friday evening and Saturday morning, everyone was pitching in to decorate their place in pinks and purples, in honor of their baby girl.

The shower was simple, like they wanted, but gave them an opportunity to celebrate their new child with their friends and family. All of Ethan's family came down from Northern Ohio, Ethan's former team and their families, along with his current team and their families came over. Deborah's siblings and their families all came, plus former and current coworkers. Rachel's dads, Carole and Burt, Will and Emma, and other friends of the couple, Glee Club members and Cheerios came over for a while, dropping off gifts and mingling.

The gifts had been opened and piled in the room they'd chosen as the nursery, but nothing had been put together yet; Puck and Ethan were waiting until the garage remodel was done to do the nursery.

Some of their guests didn't stay too long, but others stayed most of the day and Ethan and Deborah promised that once the baby was born, they'd have another party to introduce her to everyone.

As the evening rolled around and the last of their guests had left, leaving their few close friends and family members who lived locally, Deborah and Ethan deemed the party a success. They had a great time celebrating the new addition with their family and looked forward to meeting her when she arrived, sometime in May.

It had been a big, eventful day and everyone was tired, so they put aside the big clean up until the next day, Ethan and Puck promising to help before they went up to Detroit for one of the last hockey games they had tickets for.

~*~

Getting back to school on Monday, after a big weekend, the Glee Club was down to crunch time. They all were pitching in to help make sure everyone had their costumes together, to make sure their songs were polished and everyone had their permission slips in and enough chaperones for the amount of students going.

On top of the school activities, Ethan and Puck were putting the finishing touches on Rachel's studio. Most of the work they had to do, aside from putting up a few walls, was some simple things. It wasn't a huge space, so with all the time they'd worked on it, two to three hours a night and on some of their weekends, they were happy to say it was complete a few days before Nationals and were ready to show Rachel.

Puck wanted to keep it a surprise and Rachel decided to she wanted that, too, so she had only seen the doorway, in the space that had once been a garage door, filling in the extra space with opaque glass to give the room some natural light.

After dinner, Wednesday evening, Puck guided Rachel out to the garage, with Deborah, Arin, Ethan, David, Alan, carrying Abby, and Kona right behind them.

"Noah, is the blindfold really necessary?" Rachel asked, a little embarrassed that she had one of his bandanas wrapped around her head.

"Not really, but I wanna make sure you don't see anything until you're inside," he admitted, pausing in the doorway. "Now, keep in mind the construction is done, but you'll need to make it your space," he added.

"I know," Rachel nodded, "that was always the plan. You guys would take care of making it useful and I'd bring in the stuff I need."

Puck smiled and reached to turn on the light, "why don't you take a look," he suggested, resting his hands on her shoulders as everyone moved inside behind them.

Rachel took a deep breath and lifted the blindfold, allowing her eyes to adjust to the light. After a moment, she gasped, looking around and already feeling tears in her eyes as she realized just how real everything was, "oh my! This is... I..." She stepped forward and reached out, touching the light gray painted wall near her and then looked down to see the darker gray plush carpeting, "I didn't even think about carpeting. I just figured we'd keep the cement floor... This is all amazing," she looked around a little and then moved back to her boyfriend, wrapping her arms around him, "thank you," she murmured, unable to hold back the tears.

"You're worth it, babe," Puck smiled, returning her hug and pressing a kiss to her cheek, "the color is okay?"

"Yeah, it's perfect," she nodded, pulling back to wipe her eyes and then went to Ethan to thank him with a hug, "it's a neutral color, so it will work with anything I bring in," she admitted, "thank you doing this, dad."

Ethan smiled at her and returned her hug, "you're welcome and if you ever need to change anything, I can help you with it," he promised, "but I think you should be okay for a while."

"I think so, too," Rachel replied, pulling back and wiping her eyes as she looked around and noticed a door on the back wall, "another exit door?" She wondered.

"Nope," Puck smirked, taking her hand and guiding her towards the door, "apparently before I was born, there was a bathroom and the laundry room out here, but they'd taken it out to move the washer and dryer into the house," Puck explained, opening the door and showing her the small bathroom; perfect for someone to touch up make-up before having their photos taken or using the restroom during a long photo shoot.

Rachel's mouth fell open in shock and then smiled brightly, slipping her arm around her boyfriend's waist, "this is perfect," she said again, "you guys did an amazing job and it's exactly what I wanted. I never realized how much I loved photography until you pointed it out to me," she said looking at Puck as they walked back towards their family, "I'm so glad you did, Noah. The more I take pictures and research it as a business, the more excited I get about getting started and really doing this for a living. I can work the hours I want, so it doesn't interfere with our family time, and we wouldn't need a baby sitter, because Abby can be in here with me."

"Exactly," Puck nodded in agreement, "but you've gotta promise me a couple of things," he replied, looking at her and resting his hands on her shoulders.

"What's that?" Rachel asked, looking at him curiously.

"The easy one is that I want you to promise that when you take pictures, of Abby and our friends and family, that you're in some of them, too. Don't always hide behind the camera," he started.

"I promise. I'll make sure I'm in some of them," she replied with a smile.

"Good," Puck smiled and gathered his thoughts, "the other important one is," he paused, taking a deep breath, "if this turns out to be something that you don't want to do anymore, tell me. You're turning your hobby into something more, because you're really talented in it and I know you'll do great things," he smiled at her, then continued, "I know joining the military wasn't planned when we first got together, but now we're a family and you've supported me joining and are willing to stay here with Abby, while I'm in the Navy. I love you so much and Abby and I are so lucky to have you in our lives. I don't think you will, but I don't want you to ever regret your decisions to stay and be part of our family or blame me for holding you back from your dreams. I know the next few years are going to be rough on all of us while I'm gone, so it won't always be good times, but in general, I want you to be happy with your choices and with our family and if you're not, promise me you'll tell me, so we can figure out how to make you happy," he told her seriously.

Tears welled up in Rachel's eyes as he spoke, understanding what he was talking about and knowing from past conversations why this was coming up. Gently taking his hands in hers, she squeezed them gently, "I promise that I'll tell you if that ever happens, but I'm pretty sure it won't. I love you and I love Abby and that's not going to change. Every decision I've made, has made me happier than I was and I wouldn't trade our life together for anything. Being a mom and having an amazing boyfriend, who will one day be my husband, are dreams of mine, too. Those have come true, so you're not holding me back from my dreams; you've helped me achieve ones that I honestly never thought I'd be lucky enough to reach," she paused, feeling tears slip down her cheeks as she continued to hold his hands, "we've talked about this before, but my feelings have remained the same. You and Abby make me happier than I have ever been, you're honest with me, you love me, you make me feel special, you're concerned about me and want me to be happy... I will never regret my decision to stay here with our family, because being here is right where I want to be. Broadway isn't a dream of mine anymore, because my dreams have changed," she let go of his hands and motioned around to her soon-to-be photography studio, "this is one of my new dreams, and I have you to thank for helping me see that I do have more talents," she smiled as he reached up and wiped her eyes and then she took his hands again, "you're right, the next few years are going to be tough, but we'll get through it as a family and I've supported you because I want you to be happy, too, Noah. You deserve just as much happiness as I do and if joining the military will make you happy, which I can tell it does when you've talked about it, then I'm more than willing to support you and I promise that you have nothing to worry about. We'll all miss you like crazy, but we'll be okay. We'll see each other as often as possible and when you're done with the military, I'll be here when you get home, I promise. I love you," she said again, smiling at him through tears.

Puck's shoulders fell in relief and he let go of her hands, wrapping his arms around her waist and lifting her up as he hugged her tightly, "I love you, too," he murmured, "sorry to bring it up again," he added softly.

Rachel wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed a loving kiss to his lips, then gently pulled back, "don't be sorry. You have every right to ask, but my answer is always going to be the same thing. I'm in this," she motioned between them, "forever."

"Me too," he assured her, smiling and kissing her again, before gently setting her back down on the carpeting.

The young couple had had their conversation in front of the family, totally oblivious of their audience, but between the emotions of the moment and hormones, Deborah couldn't help choking out a sob, "this makes me so happy. You're so wonderful together," she admitted, tears falling from her eyes.

Puck turned to look at Deborah as he slipped an arm around Rachel's shoulders, "it makes me really happy, too," he said, glancing at Rachel.

"It does," Rachel agreed, "and I'm glad you all heard that, because I want you all to know how strong our feelings are."

"We never doubted that," David commented, and Alan nodded in agreement.

"It's very obvious you two are in it for the long haul, which we're all happy about," Ethan added, rubbing Deborah's back.

Puck watched Rachel move to get Abby from Alan, then returned to stand next to him, so he wrapped his arms around his girls and smiled, "I feel like the luckiest guy in the world."

Rachel looked at Abby, then to their family, before turning her eyes to him and smiling, "we're all very lucky."

~*~

Even if Puck hadn't said it directly, Rachel knew that one of his biggest fears was that she'd change her mind and leave him and Abby. She was happy to continue to assure him she'd never do that; she loved them too much to walk away, but that night, once everyone had left, Abby was asleep for the night and they were getting into bed themselves, she had something she wanted to ask him.

"Noah, don't get me wrong, I love you and I'll continue to reassure you that I won't leave, but do you think you'll ever be able to fully believe me when I tell you I'm staying?" She asked softly.

Puck blushed, expecting her to bring that up, "yes," he nodded, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her close to him, "I know we've talked about it before and every time we do, I'm less and less worried. Bringing it up tonight, helped get rid of the last bit of fears I had," he explained, "and I'm sorry I kept bringing it up," he added.

"It's okay," she kissed him, "I understand why you're concerned and you have every right to ask," she shifted under the blankets to crawl on top of him, "but I promise I'm not going anywhere."

Unable to help the reaction to her being that close, Puck groaned, "I believe you, babe," he smiled, wrapping his arms around her body.

Rachel shifted slightly and pressed another kiss to his lips, "good, because I have plans for our future."

"Oh yeah?" He raised a curious eyebrow at her, "what kind of plans?"

"Well, in the very near future I plan for us to make love, but if you want to know about years from now... You'll just have to wait and see," she winked deviously, "but I promise, it'll be worth the wait."

Puck grinned and with one arm around her body, he used the other to help them flip over, letting her settle against the pillows as he hovered over her, "I guess we'll just have to make the most out of right now and take the future as it comes," he replied gently.

Rachel smiled and leaned up, pressing a kiss to his lips, "exactly. I love you, Noah."

"I love you, too, Rach."

~*~

The intimate moment between the couple helped them seal their promise, savoring the precious time together. It had been a busy and stressful few weeks and they knew it would only continue through the next few months, as the school year came to a close and things changed within their immediate family with the addition of a new baby. They'd found that some nights, one or both of them was just too tired to do anything, so they settled to just sleep in the same bed, but the times they could be together were even more special to them.

~*~

The next day, Thursday and last day of March, was the last chance for the Glee Club to practice for Nationals. They were leaving the following morning to head back to Detroit for their final competition with the original members, because this year they had Seniors who'd be graduating in a few months; something they didn't have to deal with the year before.

Practicing their numbers a few times during lunch and after school, the club spent some time making sure everything was ready and everyone knew when to be at McKinley the next day to catch the bus.

Since Nationals, the year before, had been in Seattle, Washington, only the students and their chaperones had gone. This year, because it was only a few hours away in Detroit, some of the parents were also going, not just as chaperones, so not everyone would be riding on the bus and Will and the other directors made sure to reserve some extra rooms for the others coming.

This trip, instead of David and Alan staying in Lima and taking care of Abby and maybe Arin, they were all going along. David and Alan wanted to see them perform and Susan would have watched Abby and Arin, but she and Hannah were also going on the trip with Ben and Jessica, so Abby and Arin would be joining their parents on the trip.

Friday morning, though mostly packed and ready the night before, was still quite busy for the Puckerman and Berry families. It was the first overnight trip they'd taken with Abby, so they were all helping make sure everything had gotten finished and they had everything needed for the weekend away.

"You know, I hate to burst your bubble, but people have babies in Michigan, too," Puck commented, seeing Rachel pacing around the kitchen, collecting bottles and other items for Abby, who was already dressed and back to sleep in her car seat, "so I'm sure dad could go to the store, since he does know his way around Detroit, and get whatever we need, if we do forget something," he added, laughing lightly.

"I'm well aware of that," Rachel replied, pausing what she was doing, "but this is the first overnight trip we've taken with Abby and I want to make sure things go smoothly. I don't want anyone to have to make a special trip to the store or anything, unless it's absolutely necessary, because this isn't just a family vacation; it's a school trip and a Glee competition. With all the new members, who I know have said they don't care, I can't help worrying they're going to think we're getting special treatment or something. Last year, we only had the original members, plus two new ones, and they were all supportive of us having our own room, but with the new ones, this year, I still haven't quite figured everyone out and I have to work with them next year, too."

Puck moved over to his girlfriend and wrapped his arms around her, pressing a kiss to her cheek, "it'll be fine. Yeah, I get things are different than they were last year, but we're not the only ones who will have families there, it's just that your dads, Abby, you and I are all getting one room, so we can be with Abby, while my parents help out with being chaperones for the others," he explained, "and it doesn't matter what the other group members think."

Rachel pulled back a little and glared at him, "yes it does," she replied, trying not to snap, "if they don't think it's right, they could tell their parents when they get home and then their parents could report it to Figgins. Hopefully the rest will continue to understand, but what if they don't? And Noah, we've never gone anywhere overnight with Abby before, so this is a big deal. With it being for a competition, another reason I'm a little nervous is because I don't want people to worry that we're distracted and not giving a hundred-percent to our performances."

"Babe, we know every song by heart, we know the dances, we're not going to forget or be that distracted. We've already talked to everyone and the ones who don't have parents joining us are fine with what we're doing, so they're not going to complain and even if they do, Mr. Schue already got permission from Figgins for us to share a room, so relax," he explained softly, "and as for this being our first trip with Abby, yes, it is a big deal, but we have our parents with us to help take care of her, so when we do need to focus on Glee, we can. We have a travel playpen we're taking that doubles as a crib that she can sleep in at night, we've got plenty of clothes packed for her, along with blankets, bottles, you've already packed her food and formula, so I don't understand why you're digging out more. I swear half of her nursery is in our bags, so I know we have plenty of diapers and the stuff to change her with. Things will be fine," he promised.

"But what if she doesn't do well in the car? She's never spent that long in her car seat at one time and... and what if Kona doesn't like being home alone? What if she doesn't like Burt coming over to check on her?" Rachel wondered, concerns surfacing that she hadn't thought of before.

"Abby is going to sleep the whole trip, I'm sure, because it's so early," he assured her, "and as for Kona, she'll also be fine. She's familiar with Burt and he's going to stop in at least three times a day to make sure she's alright, feed her and let her out for a while, so she won't be alone all the time and we're only going to be gone about three days," he explained, rubbing her back gently, "so relax. I get that you're concerned, but everything is going to work out."

Rachel took a deep breath and nodded, trying to relax, but being excited for their performances and the trip, made her even more concerned about wanting things to be perfect, "alright, alright. I'm trying," she sighed, settling against his chest.

Puck nodded, "good. So what's with this stuff?" He motioned to where a bottle was sitting with another jar of food and some more things, some like what she'd already packed.

"I wanted to put a small bag together to have right with us in the car, that way if she does wake up before we get there, we have some things to feed her with, so we don't have to dig through all of our bags for everything we've packed," Rachel explained.

"Feeding her in the car is probably not the best idea. Aside from it being messy, we don't know if she's gonna get car sick, so maybe water and a bottle of formula, but nothing else until we get to the hotel," Puck suggested, kissing her forehead.

"Oh, I didn't think of that," she admitted, blushing.

"It's alright. Two heads are sometimes better than one," he smiled at her, "what time were your dads getting here?"

"They said around six. It should be plenty of time to pack everything up in their SUV and get to school to meet everyone," she replied, biting her lip, "are you sure Kona's gonna be okay while we're gone."

"Yes," Puck nodded, "she will be. We've already got food and water down for her and she's been out. She knows something's going on, but she's used to us being gone for the morning and afternoons. The nights might be a little confusing, but she knows we always come back."

Rachel nodded and took another calming breath, "okay. I'll try to relax."

"Good," he smiled, "because it's gonna be a fun trip."

"I hope so," she agreed, "it's our last one together. I hate thinking about it, but it's true."

Puck rested a hand against her cheek and leaned in, pressing a kiss to her lips, "I know," he nodded, taking a deep breath, "it sucks, but the best part is that we're not over. We'll always have the memories from Glee, even if we're not together and I'll try my best to come see you guys perform," he explained.

Rachel smiled at him, nodding at his suggestion, "that would be wonderful. If you can't make it, I can always get you a video," she added, "and you're right. We won't be over."

"Exactly."

~*~

As planned, David and Alan arrived at Puck and Rachel's house just before six and immediately, the three dads, Puck, David and Alan began helping pack everything into their SUV. Around the same time they were packing their cars, Ethan was doing the same thing and they could see Finn and Burt loading Kurt's SUV down the street.

Burt couldn't get away from the garage that weekend, since he was taking the whole following week off to get married and be with his family, so Carole was going with Quinn, Finn and Kurt. Seeing Puck outside, Burt walked down to him and then went inside, not only to see Kona to remind her who he was, but also to make sure he knew where her food and things were in the house.

He was only there a short time and once he left, the Berrys and Puckermans took care of a few last minute details before they were finally ready to go. After making sure Abby and her car seat was buckled into the SUV correctly, Rachel and her dads stayed in the car, while Puck said 'goodbye' to Kona and locked up the house.

By the time they were on their way to McKinley, Puck's family was right behind them with Carole, Kurt, Quinn and Finn following a few minutes later. When they got to McKinley, Ben and his family were also just arriving, and they all parked near the bus, where Will was standing, checking everyone in and some of the club members and chaperones were already on the bus. Will, the bus driver, Ethan, Alan, Carole, Ben and the other parents who were driving their own cars up to Detroit all gathered together to discuss the trip.

Everyone was glad that Ethan knew his way around and he agreed to take the lead. Just before seven, everyone who was coming along had arrived and it didn't take long before several cars and a school bus pulled out of the McKinley parking lot, all headed for Detroit.

~*~

The drive to Detroit was as uneventful as expected. The teens tried to relax or sleep as much as possible and like Puck had said, Abby did sleep the whole trip, only waking up when the car slowed down in the city limits of Detroit.

"See, I told you she'd sleep the whole way," Puck smirked.

Rachel blushed, "yes, you did. I hadn't thought about her sleeping the whole way up," she admitted, "or I wouldn't have been so concerned."

"Most babies like car rides because it helps calm them," David commented from the front seat.

Puck nodded, "yeah, some nights it was the only way for mom to get Arin to sleep," he explained.

"I forget sometimes that you helped raise your sister," Rachel said softly, letting Abby hold onto her finger.

"It's okay. Sometimes I forget, too. I mean, I don't remember everything from when I was a kid, but some things. Once you learn, you don't forget the big stuff," Puck shrugged.

"Yeah, that is true. And now you and your dad will have something else to bond over," Rachel replied.

"What do you mean?" Puck wondered.

"He helped raise you until you were almost seven, but he missed all of the baby girl stuff with Arin. You're raising a little girl and they're having a girl, so now he is going to get that experience and you two can talk about it. I'm not saying you didn't have things to talk about before, but just something different. I've heard raising boys are different than raising girls, so with your experience with Arin, and now Abby, in a sense, you've got more knowledge than he does," Rachel explained, "but I suppose he was around for his nieces when hey were growing up."

Puck nodded in understanding, "yeah I get it and you're right. He probably was, but it's not the same as raising your own. Now dad is gonna get the first-hand experience that he missed with Arin and we'll be raising daughters within a year of age, so we'll be able to talk about things and compare notes. That will be cool," Puck smiled, rubbing Abby's cheek a little as she looked around curiously. "We also have two other dads to talk to about raising a girl," he glanced to the front of the car where David and Alan were.

"We're definitely happy to help, if you ask, but we also don't want you guys to feel like we're trying to be know-it-alls, or something like that," Alan commented.

"We won't think that," Puck promised, looking back at Abby and then letting her take hold of his finger like she was doing with Rachel's, "the more I know, the more comfortable I feel about being a dad and I'm really glad to have parents to lean on, because if we didn't, I definitely wouldn't be this laid back about things."

Rachel looked at her boyfriend and then her dads, before turning her gaze to Abby, "I agree. We definitely have a lot to be thankful for."

~*~

Just before ten, New Directions and their parents arrived at the same hotel they'd stayed at the last two times they'd been in Detroit, so everyone was familiar with it. Once they were checked in and room cards and assignments were handed out, the teens and adults slowly unpacked the bus and their cars and worked their way upstairs.

Puck, Rachel, Abby, David and Alan were staying in the same room, so Rachel took Abby and a few lighter bags, while the dads gathered their things and soon they were in their room, unpacking and setting up a few things for Abby. She was hungry, so Rachel and Puck both worked on getting her breakfast and taking care of her, "I'm so glad we were all able to come this year," Rachel admitted, as she held up the baby spoon to Abby and she took it into her mouth. "Last year, Seattle was beautiful, but it's so far from home."

"It was," Puck agreed, keeping his mouth shut about exactly what happened a year prior, not wanting Rachel to worry about it, if she hadn't thought of it. "What time do we perform today?" Puck asked her.

"Mr. Schuester said we go on at three. I don't know how we're going to work this with Abby needing a nap today," Rachel admitted, "because we get our practice room at noon, like last time and perform at three." she added.

"We were going to stay here," David commented, "and let her have a nap and then head over around two."

"Oh, I suppose that could work. I just thought everyone would go to the venue together," Rachel replied.

"So when we all go down to get on the bus, we can talk about it then," Puck glanced at his watch, "Mr. Schue wanted us down there at eleven-thirty, so we have time to figure it out," he suggested.

"Alright," Rachel nodded.

~*~

Getting a chance to relax for a short time, soon the teens and some of their directors were climbing onto the bus to the venue. Ethan led them there in his SUV, but then returned to the hotel, so when the rest of the adults and families that had come along were going to the venue, he could show them the way.

Checking in and heading right to their practice room, the teens ran through their numbers, for that day a few times, before starting to get ready. A little after two, the rest of the parents, Arin, Hannah and Abby arrived, wishing the teens good luck and when the club headed down to the stage, most of their parents went off to find seats to watch from the front, while the directors stayed on the side.

"You ready?" Puck asked curiously, glancing at Rachel.

"Yes, are you?" She wondered, squeezing his hand as they stood next to each other, watching the team before them finish up.

Puck nodded, "I am. We're gonna kick some ass," he grinned.

Rachel smiled, "I think we are, too."

~*~

Link to Part 83b
(Had to split the chapter up because it was just a little too long to fit in one LJ post.)

~*~



Notes

Hi! This is EJ... AKA sapphiresfic on LJ, sapphireej on FF.net and EJ8302 on Tumblr and Twitter.

6/8/2012 - ALL LINKS in posts go to LJ. Over time I will correct them so they go to DW, but for now, it's a start.

June 2012

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