Puck looked up from his cellphone at the little girl at the foot of the bed. "What's up, Princess?" He patted the space next to him and the girl crawled over. She lay on her side face to face with Puck.
"Miss mommy." Puck kissed the girl's nose and cradled her in his arms.
"I miss mommy too, but she's gonna be back next week, okay?" The girl nodded. "How'd you get out of your bed?" he inquired.
The toddler grinned, one identical to her mother's grin. "Jay."
"I'll give you a deal," Puck started furtively, "You get Jay here, and I'll call mommy."
The girl seemed to think it over, and after a while her face lit up. "Deal." She gave Puck a quick hug and clambered off the bed, running away.
He picked up his previously dropped cellphone and dialed her all-too-familiar number. She picked up on the third ring, sounding a little breathless.
"Hi," she said and he could already picture the smile on her face.
"Hey babe," he greeted her and leaned back against the headboard of the bed. "How's El-Aaay?"
"How's Los Angeles?" he asked quickly with a chuckle.
She giggled. "It's great! I've missed it, but I still love New York. And I miss you guys."
"We miss you too, Rach." At that point the two kids ran into the room. The boy helped push his sister onto the bed and then got on himself, both crawling over to Puck. "Hey, I have a surprise for you." He put his phone on speakerphone.
"Noah, what is it?" she asked gleefully.
"Hi mommy!" the two kids greeted her.
"Hi guys!" she said back. "How are you?"
"Mommy we miss you," the boy said, with his little sister attaching 'a lot' behind it.
"I miss you guys too."
"When mommy come home?" the little girl asked.
"Soon, baby, soon. Have you been behaving? Not giving daddy too much of a hard time?"
"Nope," the girl said quickly while the boy giggled.
Puck leant back and watched the kids talk to their mother with a small smile on his face. Their kids were perfect. Both were gorgeous, with dark brown, expressive eyes and brown hair. They were both very talkative, and though usually innocent, they had a mischievous streak to them—just like their father. Their daughter was the little drama queen and the boy was more laid-back, but always standing up for his sister and even occasionally being dramatic with her.
He tuned back into the conversation when he heard the parting words.
"I think it's time for bed, you two," Rachel said and even though she was all the way in Los Angeles, the kids still acquiesced, but not without a little pleading.
"Aww mommy, we wanna talk to you," the boy said, frowning a little.
"I'll call you tomorrow, okay?"
"Okay!" the girl said, smiling happily.
"I love you, Olivia."
"I love you mommy!" The girl made kiss-noise to the phone, making Puck's smile wider.
"I love you Jason."
"I love you too, mommy."
Puck retrieved his phone as the kids left the room and removed it from speakerphone.
"Go put them to sleep," Rachel said.
"Are you busy?" Puck asked, before hanging up.
"Nope, call me when you're done," she said and hung up.
Puck grinned as he tossed his phone to the side and left the room.
He tucked the two kids in bed, read a story to his little girl and then went to make sure everything in the house was properly closed.
He changed into sleepwear—which was really just a pair of boxer shorts—and flung himself onto the king-sized bed. He picked up and was about to dial her number when his phone started buzzing. When he looked at the screen he saw she was calling him.
"Hey babe, are you psychic or something?" he answered with a chuckle.
"You didn't know I was a witch? I knew I forgot something!" she teased him back.
"Well damn. That explains a lot..." he said, trailing off and waiting for her reaction; it was his favorite part of jibing her.
"Noah Elijah Puckerman, what are you insinuating?"
"Well, Rachel Savannah Berry—."
"Puckerman," she interrupted quickly.
"Well, Rachel Savannah Berry – Puckerman, I meant that it would explain a lot of your weird traits," he said and couldn't contain his smile.
"What traits?" she practically squeaked.
"Actually, I don't want to know."
"Denial, babe. It's not good for you."
"Fuck what's good for me," she muttered under her breath.
"What was that?" he asked, smirking at her curse. Over the years she had started cursing more and more, blaming it on Puck corrupting her. He knew she liked doing it, and enjoyed giving her a hard time for it. "Did Rachel the Almighty Superstar curse?"
"I beg to differ. You have proof of no such thing." He could picture her with the triumphant look on her face.
"That's not true. You cursed plenty on the tape," he said smugly.
"Noah..." she started but he cut her off.
"Oh yes, Noah, right there, oh fuck! Harder, Noah, fuck me harder," he said in an extremely high-pitched tone.
"Okay, there are several things wrong with what you just said! Firstly, I do not sound like that! At all! Secondly, something said in the heat of the moment doesn't count. Thirdly, how many times have you watched that tape? You know exactly what I said?"
He laughed. "I may have watched it a few times. But that you know what you said, means that you've watched it too."
It was silent over the phone for a while and Puck was afraid he'd said something wrong.
"The tape is very hot, though, isn't it?" she said softly.
He groaned lightly. "Oh yes, very fucking hot. Especially the part where you're riding me and you—."
"Okay, I got it, Noah."
"But what about the part where I'm going—."
"My favorite is when you're just about to—."
"Sorry, did you say something?"
"Get your head out of the gutter," she instructed him.
"You know I can't do that. I'm Puckasaurus."
She laughed. "And what am I?"
"Berry," he said with a cheeky smile. "Berry berry deli-zious," he said with an accent.
This time her laugh was even harder and longer and she found she couldn't stop laughing. "Oh God I miss you so much."
"I miss you too, baby. Did you know Liv strummed her first chord today?" Puck said, getting excited.
"Really? How was she?" Rachel asked, a proud feeling welling up in her chest.
"Well the guitar was too big for her and she couldn't really keep the strings down, but it didn't sound bad. And Jay, in his words finally, mastered that piano piece."
Their kids' musical talents were no secret, but neither of the two parents wanted to pressure their children into it. If they didn't want to do music they didn't have to—regardless of the fact that their father had two Platinum albums and their mother was a Broadway star.
"Are the kids really behaving?"
"They are, Rach. They're little angels."
She groaned. "What have you done?"
"Nothing. Why does it always have to be me?"
"Because I know you. Are you behaving, Noah Puckerman?"
"No, I'm not. I've been a very, very bad boy. I need to be punished!"
"Noah!" she shrieked over the phone.
And even though she wasn't there she could practically picture the smirk on his face. "You might get your punishment earlier than planned," she said casually.
He instantly sat up. "What?"
"I'm coming home sooner, Noah."
"The day after tomorrow. There was a mix-up in the schedule and I don't have to be at the last two interviews, so I get to come home earlier."
"Rach, that's fucking great! When do you arrive?"
"I'm not sure, but I'll let you know. At least we have more time at home before we leave for your Europe tour."
"Oh yes, I know."
"Guess who I went to see today?" Rachel asked, suddenly.
"I don't know, tell me."
"My mom." And for a second they're both silent because he knows how much it meant to her. After high school Rachel and her mother had grown closer and closer, even so that for a short period Rachel lived with Shelby. Coincidentally, that was how they were reunited.
He had gone to see Beth and she was there. Puck was happy for Rachel that she and her mom were close.
"How is she?" he asked and Rachel wasn't sure if he meant Shelby or Beth.
"They're both great. Beth has a boyfriend. Actually—so does mom."
"A boyfriend? She's too young for a boyfriend!" Puck said, still very much protective of his first daughter.
"I'm going to assume you mean Beth and not my mother. And she's plenty of age for a boyfriend."
"Next month she turns thirteen, then she's officially a teenager."
Puck's eyes went wide. "Oh god."
"Babe, relax, she'll be fine. Mom said we need to come down more often. She wants to see her grandkids."
"You know, I never realized how fucked up this is."
"What, that Shelby's grandkids and daughter are all yours? Or that you're married to your daughter's sister?"
"All of it." He shook his head.
"That's what you get for being such a slut!" Rachel said to him and giggled.
"I think you mean stud."
"Nope, I meant slut."
"Well then you're a slut too, because you're the only one I do the dirty with."
"Your ability to insult and compliment me in one sentence still astounds me, Noah," she said in an eerily calm tone.
"I meant it in a good way!" he said, already freaking out that she'd get pissed at him
"I know you did."
"Okay... what are you wearing?" he asked, which in turn produced a giggle form her.
"A smile." He groaned loudly.
"Shit, don't do that to me babe," he said, all his blood rushing south.
"You asked. And it's the truth. I'm in bed."
"Naked?" She had to laugh at how his voice broke.
"Yeah." She dropped volume of her tone and whispered to him, "Are you hard Puck?"
He groaned. "Fuck!"
The next evening, late at night, it was quiet in the house, with all its occupants fast asleep. Puck was clutching a pillow against his bare chest, snoring lightly.
Rachel softly closed the front door behind her and took a deep breath. Home. She ascended the stairs, choosing to leave her luggage in the foyer and deal with it in the morning.
Once upstairs, she walked to the last door on the right and gently pushed it open. She crept into the light purple room and walked over to the bed, leaning over and pressing a kiss to her daughter's forehead.
"Sleep tight, baby girl," she whispered.
She left and went to the door directly across it, entering the pale blue room. She pulled the sheets back up to cover the boy, who had kicked them off the bed in his sleep. Like father, like son. She kissed him on the cheek and turned to leave. He stirred and she stilled completely, willing him not to wake up. When he simply turned, sighed and went back to sleep, she sighed in relief. Not daring to risk waking him again, she just mouthed the words 'nighty night, baby boy' to him and left.
She turned to walk to her own bedroom. Slipping into the room, she took a moment to look at Noah. He was so peaceful when he slept, the lines in his face smoothed down.
She grabbed one of his shirts and stripped down, putting on the shirt.
She tugged at the pillow in Puck's arms, but he wouldn't relent.
"Come on, Noah," she whined softly. All she wanted to do was sleep in his arms. She would not go second to a pillow! He burrowed his face deeper in the pillow and sighed.
She tugged and tugged and tugged. Damn the man and his strength. She usually appreciated his 'guns', except for this moment.
She was ready to give up, but then his body suddenly went slack and she jerked back from the force at which she was pulling the now free pillow. She stumbled a little but grinned victoriously. She saw him already begin to move to her spot, but she quickly slipped into bed and into his embrace. He snaked an arm around her waist, pulling her closer. She turned in his arms and kissed him softly. His sleep-ridden body seemed to process the current events and he realized he was no longer clutching a pillow but his wonderful wife.
He cracked an eye opening, and though it was dark, he could make out her oh-so-familiar silhouette.
"Hi," she said with a smile so big it could split her face in half.
"Rachel..." he said almost breathlessly. She loved his eyes. They were so expressive—he could say anything with his eyes. They could have a whole conversation without a word being said. "Welcome home, baby." He was so tender, the way he pressed a kiss to her forehead and his arms trailed softly down her side and to her back to pull him closer. "God, I've missed you," he breathes in her hair.
"I missed you too." She pulls her head away from his chest. "I love you," she tell him, looking him straight in the eye.
"I love you too."
And then he finally kissed her.