Author: Liesel Meminger PM
A challenge from Mr. Schue is supposed to make all of them bond – but no one’s too happy about it. Puckleberry, mostly.Rated: Fiction K - English - Romance/Humor - Puck & Rachel B. - Chapters: 6 - Words: 13,438 - Reviews: 71 - Favs: 28 - Follows: 138 - Updated: 07-27-10 - Published: 04-30-10 - id: 5935766
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Really, it's amazing how they are still NOT mine.
A.N.: Hey! I'm so sorry it took me so long to update this – I promise it won't happen again! Thank you for waiting! And also, thank you to everyone who marked it as favorite, subscribed, and reviewed! You make my world go round!
It seems the world is coming to an end today. As I walked down the halls earlier this morning, carefully trying to avoid coming into physical contact with any of the school inhabitants – most do not deserve to be called students -, I witnessed a scene that is now burned into my mind for the rest of eternity: Santana Lopez discussing what appeared to me to be a very serious matter with the Kid in the Wheelchair, whose name I do not know and do not care enough to find out.
The sour taste of betrayal itches the back of my throat and I am suddenly filled with the urge to make William Schuester weep. Had it not been for him and his obscenely homosexual hair style, my cheerios would have never been tempted to transform themselves into one of those socially awkward and mentally imperfect kids.
But there is yet to come forward the person who has enough potential to outsmart Sue Sylvester. And if this person indeed exists, it is certainly not a Spanish teacher who bursts into song at any given moment, and who has terribly curly hair that indicates his love and appreciation for the lesbian community.
"Noah?" she called.
He didn't turn around.
"Excuse me, Noah. I need to talk to you" she tapped her foot impatiently.
"What, Berry?" he closed his locker door that had been hiding his face from her view.
"It's about our glee club assignment" she said.
"Yeah, I figured" he started walking away and she had to rush to keep up with him.
"I just wanted to let you know that I'll be making some changes to the song you chose. I have been listening to it and I feel it would be more enjoyable as a show choir performance if it's more modern. I mean, look at what we did with 'Don't Stop Believing', and…"
He interrupted her. It was too early in the morning for Rachel-talk. "Alright, alright. Do whatever you wanna do, it's not like I give a damn, anyway"
"So I take it you're giving me a free pass to do what I need in order to improve the quality of this performance?" she smiled.
"Yeah, yeah, whatever that means" he stopped and turned around to face her, to make sure she heard what he said next "Just don't turn it into a chick song"
"What do you mean, Noah?"
He sighed. Patience, patience. "I gave you a bad ass song. If you sing a pop song…" he trailed off, hoping she would catch the meaning.
"Oh. Let me assure you I do not intend to change it drastically, for it would surely lose its meaning to you almost completely. After all, it's your favorite because you like it just the way it is, right?" her eyes twinkled and for a moment he thought she was a normal person.
He stopped paying attention to her when a cheerio – the same one that he had been kissing the day before, Rachel noted – walked by and his eyes followed her ass as her hips swayed. He smirked and went after her, completely ignoring Rachel, who tried to perform one of her famous storm outs. It didn't occur to her until much later that day that her storm out had had not effect whatsoever, since no one had been really looking at her at the time.
Quinn walked into the Spanish classroom to basically the same sight that had greeted her the day before: the room was empty except for Rachel Berry, who again was sitting in the last row, but this time, with a smile on her face.
"Good morning, Quinn. I saved you a seat" she said happily, indicating the chair beside her.
"Ok, Berry, here's the deal" Quinn sat in her usual seat in the middle row and turned around in her chair to face Rachel. "Those pregnancy hormones are messing with my head. Half the time I can't recognize myself. Sometimes I have moments of extreme generosity and I have no idea where they came from. Yesterday was one of those. That doesn't mean we're friends"
Rachel looked down. Quinn Fabray being friends with Rachel Berry was unthinkable; she should've known. But Quinn had been so nice yesterday… it seemed it hadn't lasted for long. But, she thought, even though Quinn tried to blame her change on behavior on the pregnancy, Rachel knew it wasn't the case. Quinn had changed a lot, and maybe she was just afraid to admit it.
"Very well" Rachel put her chin up and looked at Quinn, determined not to let the girl see how hurt she had been at Quinn's words "Do you think we can put out differences aside to help Mr. Schuester?"
Quinn thought about it. She owed it to Mr. Schue to help him in whatever he needed – after all, he had forgiven her for giving his wife a hand in ruining their marriage. "Yeah" she said.
"Great" Rachel got up from the chair and walked to the first row, placing her books on one of the desks. Just as she was sitting down, she changed her mind and picked up her books, this time dropping them on a chair in the second row, right in front of Quinn. Quinn looked at the other girl strangely, but said nothing as the door opened and the room was suddenly filled with people.
"I'm not really sure about this"
"Tina" Artie said patiently "What's the problem? Brittany invited us, and the host is her boyfriend, or at least I think he is"
"But Artie… we're the glee club" she whispered.
"And we'll all go together, so no one can do anything to us" Kurt patted her arm.
"Now that's enough, Tina" said Mercedes "Me, Kurt and Artie are going. Are you in or out?"
Tina hesitated, but then nodded slightly.
"Great" said Kurt "Now, let's tell Rachel"
"Rachel?" shrieked Mercedes "Rachel Berry? Seriously?"
"Yes. Why not?" Kurt smiled at his friends "Oh, darlings, we are going to have fun with this!"
"Quinn! Come on, we're gonna be late!"
She angrily answered from upstairs "Do you know how hard it is to find something that fits and doesn't make me look more pregnant?"
"How can you look more pregnant?" Finn crunched up his face in concentration.
"What are you trying to say?" her face appeared on the top of the stairs.
"Nothing!" answered Finn quickly, forgetting how his pregnant girlfriend could understand every little thing he said as an offense "You look fine" he added as she started descending the stairs "Let's go"
"I look fine? That's all you have to say? I look fine? I'm your girlfriend, I'm pregnant, I just spent two hours trying to find something to wear to a party I don't even wanna go to, and all you can say I that I look fine?" she screamed, tugging on her light blue floral dress as if she wanted to take it off.
He rolled his eyes and wordlessly took her by the hand, leading her to the front porch. Once they were outside, she started her ranting again. He kissed her, opening the door so she could get in the car.
He looked around nervously, making sure everything was exactly where it should be. Candles, table set for two, the stereo with the song selection Quinn and Rachel had helped him with, and the gift he would give her when dinner was over. He tried to relax, but couldn't. What if she didn't show up? What if she decided he wasn't worth the trouble? There was always the chance that she had met someone else, that she had moved on.
He sighed as he looked at the clock; it was already ten past seven, and Emma was never late. He tried to stop thinking about the worst, but failed miserably. Just as he was about to sit down on the couch to drown himself in self-pity, the doorbell rang.
He didn't think as he ran to the door "Good evening, Will" she smiled shyly.
"Good evening, Emma" his smile was a relieved one "Please, come in"
She walked into his living room and the first thing she saw was the round table near the window, covered with a white tablecloth and with two chairs, on opposite sides.
He walked around her to the table, taking out one of the chairs and motioned for her to sit down. She did so nervously, all the time aware of his presence behind her.
"Don't worry" he leaned in to whisper in her ear "Everything's perfectly clean. I double checked it"
She shivered. It was like music to her ears.
He went into the kitchen to get the food and on his way stopped by the stereo near the TV and turned it on. A very low music drifted from the speakers.
I've got a crush on you, my sweetie pie.
All the day and night-time, hear me sigh
I never had the least notion
That I could fall with so much emotion
Her eyes widened as she heard the first words. How did he know it was one of her favorite songs? But as he came back from the kitchen carrying a silver tray, she remembered. He was Will; what didn't he know about her?
Could you coo?
Could you care
For a cunning cottage we could share?
He put a plateful of pasta in front of her before sitting down with his own plate. He knew she didn't drink wine – it gave her allergies; she wouldn't be able to stop sneezing – so he had left a bottle of grape juice in a bowl of ice near the table. He poured it in wine glasses for both of them. She smiled.
The world will pardon my mush
'Cause I have got a crush, my baby, on you
"Come on!" he honked his horn.
"We're gonna be late, Berry!" Mercedes screamed from the passenger seat.
"I'm going, I am going" Rachel shouted from her porch as she closed the door to her house.
Kurt honked again just for the fun of seeing Rachel jump, startled. She got into the back of the car and greeted Tina and Artie – who was safely strapped on beside Tina, with his wheelchair on the truck of Kurt's car – and formally said hello to the pilot and the co-pilot, letting them know she didn't appreciate being rushed.
"What are you waiting for?" Mercedes said to Kurt "Let's go!"
They arrived at the party ten minutes later. The house was already full; the music and loud chatter could be heard from down the street.
The group entered the house – after spending a good fifteen minutes to put Artie back in his wheelchair; Rachel had sworn she was opening the chair in the right way, while Artie's protests were silenced by Kurt, who kept saying they should just see how the whole thing turned out, while smirking at Rachel – and were soon spotted by Brittany, who waved and walked their way, smiling.
"Hey, Brit!" Kurt, who seemed to have developed a close friendship to the girl due to the glee club assignment, greeted.
"Hey, Kurt! Hey, guys!" she raised her paper cup "Got your drinks yet?"
"We just got here" Kurt screamed over the loud music.
"Are you having fun, Brittany?" Mercedes asked.
The blonde thought for a minute before answering "I don't know. I don't really have an opinion when Santana's not around" and left, dazedly.
They laughed. Rachel scanned around the crowd. Yeah, she knew basically everyone. Half of them had once thrown a slushie at her. The other half just ignored her daily. It was going to be a fun, fun night; she couldn't remember why she had agreed to come in the first place. She spotted Noah, leaning against a wall near the stairs, looking bad ass even if he was just chatting with another guy. She wondered if she should talk to him. He surely wouldn't want to talk to her in front of his friends, would he? But she could always use the excuse of their working together. She looked back at her friends; they were already walking away to 'mingle', and she was still in front of the door, looking stupidly at Noah. It wasn't until she almost got knocked over a couple who were coming in, that she decided to move. Just then, another song started.
The moon was shinin' on the lake that night.
The Slayer t-shirt fit the scene just right.
Through smeared mascara, I looked into your eyes and saw a light.
You told me stories about your chickadees
They didn't like BB guns or stupid archery.
The jumbo lifeguard, he let them use the pool all day for free.
She smiled resolutely as she started walking to where he was. She would maybe just pass him by and say 'hi'. She wouldn't even stop to chat. Well, if he wanted her to stay, she would. But there was nothing wrong in talking to him; what was she afraid of? Besides, she truly believed music played a major life role in one's life. She knew that song that had just started playing, and knew what it would say next. So, why not just follow the lyrics, as she did in every other music-filled moment that presented itself in her life?
Then the conversation stopped and I looked down at my feet.
I was next to you and you were right there next to me.
Then I said, Girl, if you're wondering if I want you to, I want you to.
So make the move, cause I ain't got all night.
Her heart started beating faster as she came closer to him; he hadn't noticed her yet, but there were already butterflies in her stomach. She felt light headed, then cursed herself for being so silly. It was just Noah, for Barbra's sake. She had talked to him countless times before, what would be different now?
The rest of the summer was the best we ever had.
We watched Titanic and it didn't make us sad.
I took you to Best Buy, you took me home to meet your mom and dad.
Your mom cooked meatloaf even though I don't eat meat.
I dug you so much I took some for the team.
Your dad was silent. His eyes were fixed to what was on TV.
She suddenly stopped. She realized she didn't want this to be like any other time they had spoken. Maybe she had, unconsciously, hoped that, since they were not in school environment, he would not see her as a loser he used to make fun of constantly, but as a girl. A girl he could… you know, kiss. Not that he hadn't kissed her before; but he surely could do it again. Wasn't it what boys and girls did at parties like this?
"Hey" she was startled out of her daydream by his voice.
"Hello, Noah" she said shyly. He motioned for her to come closer – there were a few people standing in between them – and she did.
"Want some?" he offered her the beer he was drinking.
"No, thank you"
They stayed in silence, pretending it wasn't an awkward one.
Then the conversation stopped and I looked down at the ring.
Your folks were next to you and you were right there next to me.
Then I said, Girl, if you're wondering if I want you to, I want you to.
I swear it's true. Without you, my heart is blue.
Girl, if you're wondering if I want you to, I want you to.
So make a move, cause I ain't got all night.
A guy passed by them and high-fived Noah, then mouthed 'what the hell?', nodding towards Rachel. Noah just rolled his eyes at his friend, indicating he didn't think it was lame to be seen with her, and Rachel couldn't help but allow a tiny smile to creep up on her face.
A.N.: Ok, I know I kinda left you guys hanging in there, but I promise I'll give you both Will and Emma's dinner and the party in detail in the next chapter. Oh, and thank you so much for everyone who talked about Sue's dairy in the last chapter – here it is again, I tried to take in all your advice. Did it work? And about Quinn, once again you all were right, so I tried to make amends on this chapter. Constructive criticism is more than welcome, as always, as well as song suggestions. The ones used here are I've Got a Crush on You (my favorite version is Michael Bublé's) and (If you're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want you To, by Weezer.