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A Break In The Routine

Title: A Break In The Routine
Character(s)/Pairing: Finn, Puck, Quinn, Mike, Beth, Julie, Finn/Puck, mentioned Mike/Quinn
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1,000
Status: Complete
Notes/Warnings: Written for Day 2 (prompt: family/Beth) of Pinn Week. As for WARNINGS, mention of minor character death.
Summary: They had had a system and it worked. Everything had been mapped out until it wasn't. Then, they just had to pick up the pieces.

The Pinn Week Series:
And Baby Makes Three

They had had a routine. Maybe it wasn’t perfect, but they’d had a routine. Puck got his weekly Skype calls with Beth. Quinn drove from Connecticutto New York to visit on the weekends. Everyone flew to New York for the holidays, assuming that Finn wasn’t deployed somewhere at the time. If he was, Beth always came down for his homecoming, ready to see her sorta-stepdad come home. Summer break was theirs. Puck and Finn got July. Quinn and Mike got August and got her home just in time to start school. Beth loved travelling, always said it made her feel like a grownup when she got to fly all the way down to Georgia alone because she could pretend the flight attendant wasn’t babysitting her.

They’d had a routine and maybe it had been insane, but it worked. Then, she turned fourteen and it all turned to shit.

Beth had been down in Georgia with them at the time, playing with Julie and trying to teach the three-year-old how to play hide-and-seek right. The game may have been childish, but the almost-eleven year age difference between the sisters had been something that Beth didn’t pay attention to. Julie was her little sister and she had to teach her how to play right whenever she got the chance.

Then, the call came. Mike sounded upset and Puck could remember hearing Quinn and Rachel crying in the background as his friend told him Shelby had had a heart attack. The doctors had done everything they could, but they couldn’t save her. Shelby was dead, Beth was without her adoptive mother, and telling her would always be one of the hardest things Puck had ever had to do.

The flight back to New York had been tense and it was the first time Beth made Julie cry. She’d apologized later, but in the heat of the moment, the older girl couldn’t handle the child asking when Shelby was gonna come back from heaven and did that mean Beth got to stay with them longer.

Everything was a mess and it stayed like that for a while. The preparations. The funeral. Custody issues.

They had known they were in Shelby’s will. She’d told them years ago that she wanted Beth with them if anything happened to her, but it was supposed to be a what-if situation that never actually happened. They were never supposed to be confronted with any issue about who was going to get the teenager full-time and rework that entire routine they’d had. Beth didn’t even want to leave New York. She’d screamed and cried until she made herself throw up, but they’d had no other choice.

In the end, they agreed that she’d stay with Quinn and Mike. With Finn still shipping out on deployments, it was the more stable option. Beth didn’t need the added stress Puck went through when Finn was gone. The constant worrying because the house was that much emptier and God fucking forbid that it stayed like that. After losing her mom, she needed calm and she was already struggling enough.

When it came time for Finn to leave ship out again, she completely fell apart as they stood in the airport, ready to see him off. They’d barely been able to get her to let go of him.

“Don’t leave. Please. I don’t wanna lose anyone else.”

Finn flew home that summer, coming back from a thankfully short deployment, and Beth was there to see him home. Jumped right into his arms and stayed there until he had to put her down to say hi to everyone else. She’d plastered herself back to his side after and stayed like that for most of summer vacation.

Finn stopped being Finn to her in July. She called him Papa one day and Finn cried like a baby because of it. The name stuck after that.

“Daddy! Bethy learned Papa’s name!”

Puck was Dad. Finn was Papa. Quinn was Momma. Mike became Pops a couple months after him and Quinn got married and they officially adopted Beth. She became Beth Corcoran-Chang and things were good.

They found that new routine, alternating what state holidays were held in every year. Beth spent a chunk of her school vacations with him and Finn and July and August became their time.

When she was sixteen, Finn looked into a transfer to move them closer to Connecticut, but Beth told them no. Finn’s best chances with his job were where he was and she knew they were happy where they were.

“Julie’s got friends and Papa’s got all his stuff there. Besides, I like Georgia. You guys have better peaches.”

They stayed. They shelved the transfer idea and took held onto the luck they’d had so far that the army hadn’t sent them somewhere else. Over the years, they’d watched people move to and from everywhere and they didn’t want that. Even with the career Finn had chosen, he didn’t want to be moving all the time and he didn’t want to be tearing Julie away from schools and friends a thousand times. After everything that happened, they needed the stability of being able to stay in one place.

Though, sometimes, they moved a little too slowly.

“Jules, come on. We gotta get to the airport,” Puck yelled through the house as he hurried to put on his jacket. They were late. Again. Beth was getting too used to that.

The seven-year-old ran down the stairs, her pig tails uneven because he still fucking sucked at those. “Bethy’s comin’!”

“If we can pick her up before she’s an old lady. Come on. We’ll grab McDonald’s on the way.”

He piled them into the car, more than thankful that Finn was going to be home in two more weeks. Between Julie and Beth, he was going to need some fucking strength this summer. Especially now that Beth was flying down to look at colleges.

Fuck. He was getting old.

The End


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 17th, 2013 10:57 am (UTC)
Alllll the family feels. =)
May. 17th, 2013 02:05 pm (UTC)
I knowwwww. <3
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Dianna Agron

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