|An Ordinary Day
Author: lizzybennettdarcy PM
It was just a regular old Wednesday; the kind of day that nothing important happens. It only makes sense that your whole life would change on a normal day when you least expect it. Thats what happens when someone brings a gun to school.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Rachel B. & Puck - Chapters: 2 - Words: 8,559 - Reviews: 32 - Favs: 126 - Follows: 46 - Updated: 04-21-12 - Published: 04-18-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8035941
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This is an idea that I just couldn't get away from. I'm still working slowly on SC and LL but I just had to get this down. Enjoy!
I own nothing.
It was just a regular old Wednesday; the kind of day that nothing important happens. It only makes sense that your whole life would change on a normal day when you least expect it.
Rachel hurried down the hallway towards her locker. She held her head high even as she heard a Cheerio making snide comments about her outfit. She happened to like what she was wearing, thank you very much. The weather had just begun to warm up and in celebration she had paired a lacy, white sleeveless top with her favourite black skirt. With a smile she recalled that Noah had particularly loved this skirt during the time they dated. Her hair fell in loose curls and her Mary Jane's were just sensible!
Rachel's steps quickened as she reached her locker. Checking the time on her phone with one hand as she opened her locker with the other. She had arrived at her locker precisely seventeen minutes before the first bell rang. Having a schedule really was so important. She placed her bag in the locker and was admiring her reflection in her mirror when she noticed Finn walking towards her. Rachel smiled and allowed him to kiss her cheek before greeting her fiancé.
"Good Morning Finn! I hope that you were able to achieve a full night's sleep." Rachel chirped as she gazed up at him adoringly.
"Uh yeah. I slept good." He answered with a dopey grin.
"Excellent!" Rachel exclaimed as she returned her attention to her locker.
Finn leaned against a locker and watched as she found her books for her first class, History.
"Hey Y'all." Mercedes yelled as she walked by towards her own locker.
"Good morning Mercedes!" Rachel called after her as Santana sauntered towards them.
"Morning midget." Santana drawled affectionately with a kiss to Rachel's temple before acknowledging Finn with a scowl. "Gigantor."
Rachel clucked her tongue in disapproval but said nothing as her friend walked away. The two of them had developed a truly lovely friendship over the last few months. No amount of closeness could take away the hatred between Santana and Finn though. He had shoved her out of the closet after all.
"Man I hate it when she calls me that." Finn complained.
"It could have been worse," Rachel reasoned objectively. "She didn't use a single expletive this time."
Finn stared at her in bewilderment, clearly trying to define the word expletive.
"She didn't curse." Rachel explained with a reluctant roll of her eyes.
Tina walked by with Mike who nodded in greeting. Rachel grinned and mock-saluted him in return. The hallways had filled to capacity as Rachel turned back to face her fiancé.
"Finn, I was wondering if perhaps you would like to perform a duet with me in Glee this week. It's been awhile since we've performed for the club. As the co-captains I believe that we need to be inspiring the others to perform." Rachel announced as Finn scratched his head in thought.
"Excellent!" Rachel exclaimed, ignoring his lack of enthusiasm. "I was thinking that we could sing-"
Rachel stopped speaking abruptly when a girl somewhere in the distance began to scream.
"What was th-" Finn began, only to be cut off by another scream.
Rachel stared up Finn in horror as more yells, shouts and screams filled the air. A freshman football player caught her attention as he came tearing down the hallway muttering about a gun. Several students came running after him from the same direction.
"He's got a gun!" A terrified Cheerio wailed as she ran with the others. There was a moment where the students in the hallway all stared at each other before chaos broke out. Everyone was ducking into classrooms and running away from the screams that seemed to be getting closer. Rachel stared in the direction of the screaming and reached back for Finn's hand, only to clutch at thin air. Whipping her head around, she found herself all alone at her locker. Rachel stared at the spot that her fiancé had occupied just moments before in shock. She felt herself being grabbed from behind and swung around in defense. She gasped when Noah ducked just in time to avoid her fist.
"Berry what the fuck are you doing? We have to go! Now!" He pleaded in a whisper, glancing over his shoulder.
Rachel just stared at him trying to comprehend what was happening. People were screaming and they'd been talking about a gun, but-
She gasped once more as her eyes met Noah's and she saw the fear there.
She had known Noah since diapers and never ever had she seen him afraid. She'd seen just about every other emotion, but she'd never seen him scared. The emotion in his eyes jarred her to her senses and she realised that Noah was trying to pull her away from her locker. She immediately began to move with him as he gripped her hand tightly.
"Shhh- don't talk. Lemme find somewhere safe for us to hide." He cut her off with the quietest of whispers.
She clamped down on the panic she could feel swelling inside of her. The fear in his eyes was also present in his voice.
Rachel pulled him towards the choir room but he shook his head fiercely muttering 'too easy to find' and tugged her in the opposite direction. Rachel realised that the screaming had stopped, understanding Noah's order to stay quiet. They stood in a stairwell for a moment, straining to hear anything. Noah's hand clamped over Rachel's mouth to cut off her scream when a deafening bang broke the silence. Screams filled the air once more and she could barely see Noah calculating the distance of the noise as she panicked. She could feel herself losing consciousness as she hyperventilated against Noah quietly. The last she felt was his arms catching her before she hit the floor.
Rachel began the slow climb back to consciousness to the steady beat of a drum. She could feel strong arms wrapped around her. Opening her eyes she realised that the drum was actually Noah's heart. She glanced up at him and noticed the tension in his jaw and his closed eyes.
"Noah?" She whispered and felt a surge of relief when his eyes popped open and he smiled weakly in relief.
"How are you feeling? You really freaked me the fuck out when you just dropped." He answered easily, although the worry in his eyes belied the casual words.
"I'm sorry." She said, hugging herself to him more tightly before letting go and sitting up beside him.
"How long was I out for?" She asked.
"Maybe twenty minutes? I carried you up to the third floor. This was the only classroom that was unlocked."
"Noah what's going on?" Rachel breathed out, not really wanting to know the answer.
Noah seemed to understand her hesitance and his finger brushed some hair out of her face gently before answering.
"Some asshole brought a gun to school Rach." He replied honestly.
Rachel could feel the panic making its way through her body once more. She looked to Noah and realised that she needed to be strong. She needed to be brave. No more fainting.
The question was rhetorical but he answered her anyways.
"In this school? It was probably only a matter of time," He glared darkly at the wall. "Between the shit that pricks like me do and the staff not giving a shit I'm a little surprised it didn't happen sooner."
Rachel reached over and tangled her fingers with his.
"You are not a prick Noah Puckerman!" She snapped with conviction, ignoring his snort of disbelief. "You may have done some unsavoury things in the past, but you changed. You grew up and you stand up for those people you used to bully. You're a good man Noah!"
He shook his head, but thanked her with a squeeze of the hand. They settled into silence as they strained their ears; listening for any warning.
"Noah! Has anyone called the police?" Rachel questioned anxiously.
"Yeah babe. The cops are outside. I checked the window when I first got in here."
Rachel nodded, wishing that she felt some relief. Sighing nervously, she leaned against Noah.
"It'll be okay Rach." He declared, his voice only wavering slightly.
"I won't let anyone hurt you. I promise." He promised earnestly, she believed him.
"You look real pretty today Rach. You know I love that skirt." He smirked and she laughed lightly, knowing he was trying to distract her.
"Thank you Noah. And I do remember your fondness for this skirt."
She felt him tense up for a moment and looked at him in concern.
"Where's Finn?" He asked sourly.
Rachel felt tears spring to her eyes at his question, her gaze falling to the ground as his eyes widened in surprise.
"He just left me!" She cried quietly. "People were screaming and yelling about guns. I was afraid so I reached back for him but he was gone. He just left me there, didn't even say anything."
Rachel felt herself being pulled back into his arms are she cried over the betrayal. She muffled her cries against his chest, knowing that they needed to be quiet. He pulled her into his lap, one arm circling her hips. The other hand was stroking her hair soothingly, whispering words of comfort. After a few moments Rachel found her tears drying and her breathing calming once more. She made no move to leave his lap and he continued to comfort her.
"I'm scared." She admitted quietly, feeling his arms tighten around her.
"I am too." He replied quietly.
His confession calmed her nerves slightly. She knew that he probably wouldn't have been honest with anyone else and it made her feel less alone. There wasn't anyone she'd rather be with in this situation.
"I hope that all of our friends are okay." Rachel said quietly.
"There have only been a few gunshots. There were two more while you were unconscious."
Rachel nodded as she worried about her friends. She hoped that Kurt and Blaine were together, they had the uncanny ability to calm each other. She had seen Mercedes earlier and she had walked in the opposite direction of the shooter. Mike and Tina had also headed in the safe direction. Santana had walked the other way! Rachel found herself scrambling for her phone, only to realise that she had left it in her locker.
"San, she went in the wrong direction!" Rachel cried when Noah asked her what was wrong.
She watched as Noah pulled out his phone. He silenced the ringer, just in case before browsing his inbox.
"San and Britt got out. San went to meet her in the parking lot and they just missed the shooter. Blaine and Kurt hid in a closet until the shooter was gone. Ha! That's pretty funny." Rachel smacked him lightly but smiled. "Mercedes, Tina and Mike got out too. Rory and Sugar were with Artie by the wheelchair ramp and never made it into the building, they're safe."
"What about Finn? God what about Sam and Quinn? Did they text you?" Rachel asked desperately.
Quinn and Sam had to be okay. The two of them had only just found each other again. He had been there for Quinn after the accident and had helped her as much as he could. He had been there more often than Rachel and she had barely left Quinn at all.
"Oh no. Quinn is still having some trouble walking. Noah! What if they're hurt?" Rachel cried, tightening her grip on his t-shirt.
"Sam would never let anything happen to Q." Noah promised.
Rachel opened her mouth to respond before freezing in terror. Noah's hand covered her mouth once more as they heard footsteps moving down the hallway outside their classroom. Rachel tried to focus on Noah's hand rubbing circles on her back instead of trying to decipher how many people were in the hall. She knew without wanting to that there was only one person and that they were walking much too calmly to be up to any good. The footsteps halted outside the door. Her breathing started to pick up, until Noah wrenched her face to look at him. She tried to gain strength in his gaze, her breathing a little less frenzied. He held her palm to his mouth and kissed it gently, silently pleading for her to calm down.
Rachel knew that anyone looking into the classroom wouldn't be able to see them. Noah had set them up behind a desk. She did her best not to envision the outcome if the gunman walked into the room.
The two of them sat there staring at each other, waiting and praying. The footsteps began to move once more and Rachel let out a sigh of relief. The relief was short-lived as a cell phone began to ring shrilly from the desk.
Damn it! If Rachel lived through this ordeal than she would fight the rule that allowed teachers to confiscate cell phones with the full support of the ACLU. Noah didn't even try to calm Rachel as the footsteps came rushing back towards them. The infernal ringing alerting the intruder to their presence. Noah pulled Rachel from his lap and pushed her behind him as the door swung open. Rachel's body began to shake as she heard the heavy footsteps make their way across the room and towards the desk. Her hand still clutched one of Noah's hands tightly as they found themselves staring down the barrel of a shotgun.
"Jacob?" Rachel gasped in shock, quickly noticing that Noah didn't seem the least bit surprised about who owned the gun that was pointed at them.
"Shut up!" Jacob yelled, waving the gun at them. "Get up and move away from the desk slowly. Don't do anything stupid with your hands or I'll shoot!"
Noah stood slowly, pulling Rachel along with him. His body shielded her completely from Jacob's view.
"Jacob. I don't understand." Rachel said quietly.
"Be quiet! Please just be quiet!' He whined nasally.
Rachel's hand tightened around Noah's fearfully as Jacob began to pace in front of them, the gun still pointed at Noah's chest.
"It took forever to find you. It was never supposed to take this long. You keep a schedule. I knew I could get to you before the hallways were filled. And it's not like anyone would stop me," Jacob continued, ignoring Noah's growl. "I was going to coerce you into the math classroom beside your bank of lockers and shoot you before anyone knew what was happening. It's hard to hide a shotgun though and before I knew it everyone was screaming!"
"Shoot me?" Rachel breathed out in shock. Her knees began to shake as she replayed the words over in her mind. "You wanted to kill me?"
Noah backed up a step and she clutched the back of his shirt, trying to find her bearings as she looked towards Jacob.
"Why? I've never done anything to you," She questioned in confusion. "I didn't know you hated me."
Noah growled threateningly when Jacob gasped in surprise at her words and tried to move towards her. He stepped back, seemingly forgetting the gun in his hands in his haste.
"I don't hate you my love! I love you so so much! But you refuse to return my love! Always gravitating to jocks and musical divas. I decided after your latest bad love decisions that I needed to do something! You can't marry Finn Hudson! You're mine!"
"So you were going to kill her?" Noah asked darkly.
"Well at first I considered killing Finn. But I realised that she'd just fall back into your arms or that Jesse." He reasoned. "I decided that given our shared faith, if she died and I died than we could spend eternity together!"
Rachel heard Noah snort in derision as her head tried to catch up. She genuinely hoped that none of those bullets had found human targets. Rachel was his target and she hoped that no one had been hurt. Noah seemed prepared for this outcome, causing her to wonder if he'd somehow known. He'd seemed to desperate to get her to safety earlier-
"So my sweet, it's time." Jacob announced cutting off her train of thought, wiping his sweaty forehead on his sleeve.
Rachel stared at him in horror, shaking her head slowly.
"Like hell. Back the hell off Psycho." Noah snapped angrily.
"I have a gun!" Jacob declared with a pout on his face.
"Then you'll have to fucking shoot me. Because that's the only way you're getting to Rachel. Over my dead fucking body." Puck yelled furiously.
Jacob stepped back in surprise. He clearly hadn't been prepared to meet resistance on Rachel's behalf. Rachel and Noah watched as he tried to talk himself into it.
"F-Fine." He answered shakily, raising the gun towards Puck once more.
Rachel's eyes were on Jacob, as she felt Noah tense in front of her. She gasped softly when she saw the resolve form in Jacob's eyes. He was actually going to do it.
"No!" Rachel yelled.
Jacob lowered the gun slightly in shock.
"Don't shoot him." Rachel begged.
"No Noah! I will not allow you to die for me." Rachel replied as the tears began to pool in her eyes.
Rachel shook her head fiercely, throwing herself into his arms. He held her tightly as she cried into his shirt.
"Alright, enough of that!" Jacob yelled.
Rachel pulled away from Noah, only to be pushed back behind him.
"I don't give a shit what you say. I'm not watching him hurt you." Noah spat, before cocking his head for a moment. His hand caught hers and squeezed it reassuringly before continuing. "You gonna do this to your Ma, Jacob?"
Jacob flinched at the mention of his Mother. Rachel knew that he was the only child and that he was close with his mom. She was surprised by his change of tactics.
"Leave her out of this Puck!" He yelled furiously.
Rachel noticed Noah cocking his head again, as if he could hear something before answering Jacob.
"You kill yourself and she spends the rest of her life as the Ma of a dead murderer. You really gonna put her through that?" Noah yelled loudly.
Rachel realised that he was doing his best to cover the noise of what sounded like Police dogs on the floor below.
"Jacob, you can stop this now." Rachel chattered to fill the silence too. "You could blame it on the bullying here at McKinley; a jury might go easy on you."
"Or you could kill us and yourself and forever be known as a piece of shit psycho." Noah added in loudly.
Jacob screamed in frustration, clearly considering their words. Rachel heard light footsteps headed down the hallway towards them. Jacob would hear them once he stopped pacing. Noah squeezed her hand and when she opened her mouth a song came out instead. A song would cover the noise of help wouldn't it?
She was unaware of which song she sang as Jacob stopped pacing and simply watched her as she sang. Noah was subtly watching the door as she moved into another song, a little louder in hopes of notifying someone of their location. She had moved from behind Noah as she sang so that Jacob could focus on her. Jacob requested for her to sing one of his favourite songs and she sang loudly, wincing slightly when she heard a radio squawk in the hallway. Noah's shoulders tensed, but Jacob was wrapped up in Rachel's performance.
It happened as Rachel opened her mouth to sing another song. A patch of floor outside the doorway squeaked and Jacob's gaze fell on the door. He saw someone in uniform on the other side, freaked out and swung the gun back towards Rachel and Noah as the door was thrown open. Noah dove in front of Rachel as two gunshots exploded. She watched the life leave Jacob's eyes before either one of the boys hit the floor. She stared at him in horror before her eyes fell to Noah on the ground in front of her. She dropped to her knees and started to scream as she saw the blood pooling on the floor in front of her.
"Noah!" She screamed as the room filled with people. She heard someone calling for a paramedic as she rolled Noah towards her. She saw that the blood was coming from his chest. Her hands covered the hole in his chest as blood escaped around her fingers. His heart was beating so fast and there was so much blood on his shirt. A sob escaped her lips as her eyes met his. He was staring at her, moving his lips quietly. Rachel leaned her face down towards his, ignoring the loudness surrounding them as people piled into the room. One of his hands rose to cup her face gently.
"I love you." He whispered with the most beautiful of smiles gracing his handsome face.
His hand dropped from her cheek and as she opened her lips to reply she realised that his heartbeat had slowed down too fast under her hands. Then his eyes were closed and she was being wrenched away from him. EMTs were suddenly there and working on him and she could see the grim determination on their faces. She was fighting against whoever was holding her. Kicking and screaming. Didn't they know that Noah needed her? She was pulled from the room and down the stairs. Carried by someone much too strong as she kicked and clawed at him; trying to get back to Noah. She couldn't leave him alone.
"Let me go! I need to go back. Please!" She screamed as she was carried, fighting the whole way from the building.
The tears were flowing freely as she fought against the person who was carrying her. The second she was placed on her feet, she was running back towards the building. She could hear her friends screaming after her as she reached the doors. She felt a moment of triumph before those same arms were carrying her towards a waiting ambulance and she was swinging punches in desperation. Her eyes briefly found a group of her friends before she was kicking and swearing at the cop who wouldn't let her be with Noah.
"LET ME GO. I'M GOING TO FUCKING SUE YOU! GET THE HELL OFF OF ME!" She yelled, ignoring the gasps she heard from the crowd behind her. Who cared what any of them thought? Noah might be-
"Let me go! Please. He was bleeding! Please! He needs me, he's all alone. PLEASE!" Rachel switched tactics, begging tearfully and dropping to her knees.
"We're going to have to sedate her. They're working on her boyfriend."
"No! Leave me alone! I need Noah!" She screamed, jumping to her feet and trying to break free once more.
She stilled as she saw a gurney being rushed out of the school and towards one of the ambulances. She saw that they were still working on him furiously and she started to scream. She fell back into the arms of the police officer with tears streaming down her face. She felt a slight prick in her arm and as they loaded Noah into the ambulance the world went black.
"She threw a fit! Punched a cop when he tried to help her!"
Rachel shook her head groggily as Kurt's voice intruded her dream. She and Noah had been dancing on a cloud and-
Rachel's eyes popped open and she was nearly blinding by the white. She realised she was in a hospital and without hesitation she began to get up. Noah would be here somewhere!
"Woah! Where are you going?" Leroy Berry asked as Hiram steadied Rachel as her head spun.
Rachel sat back on the bed. She needed a moment to wake up and then she was going to find Noah. Rachel looked down and realised that she was wearing a patient gown.
"What am I wearing?" She asked her dads.
Her daddy went white before her dad spoke up.
"Well, your shirt was um ruined. It was covered in-"
"Blood," Rachel finished grimly. "Noah's blood."
She hopped to her feet once more and headed for the door.
"Rach, where are you going?" Kurt asked from the corner where he was sitting with Blaine.
"I need to find Noah." She answered before marching out of the room and down the hall.
She really had no idea where she was going.
Rachel's head snapped up just in time for Santana to throw herself at her. Santana was shaking and Rachel realised that her friend was sobbing. She patted her back for a few moments as Santana collected herself.
"I was so scared. Everyone got out. They cleared the school floor by floor," Santana choked back another sob. "You and Puck were still missing and you weren't answering your phones. And J-Jacob had a gun. His mom found a note and it said that he was after you. I was so scared!"
Rachel caught her distressed friend once more as Santana hurled herself into her arms tearfully. She hadn't even considered what it must have been like for her friends on the outside.
"Where is he?"
Santana looked down at the floor.
"He's in surgery."
Santana nodded and reached for her hand. She led her to an elevator. Rachel studied her friend and noticed how concerned she looked as they rode the elevator up to the surgical floor. The elevator dinged and they stepped out into a hallway. Santana pulled Rachel to the side for a moment.
"Everyone is here. They all have a million questions. Just squeeze my hand and I'll tell them to fuck off okay?"
"Thanks San." Rachel was relieved that Santana had calmed considerably and was back to her bossy self.
They walked down the hallway and into the waiting area. Mrs. Puckerman sobbed in relief and threw herself at Rachel. The two women held each other and Rachel wondered if she'd been told about Rachel needing to be sedated.
"I'm so sorry." Rachel told Noah's mother.
"Whatever for Dear?" Ava Puckerman stepped back, still clutching her hands.
"Jacob was looking for me. I was the target and Noah was protecting me," Rachel glared at the ground tearfully as she heard the whispers behind them begin. "I should be in there, not him. I'm so sorry Ava."
Rachel was pulled back into a tight hug.
"My son loves you Rachel. More than anything," Ava wiped the tears on Rachel's face. "I'm so worried about my boy, but I have never been prouder of him. And I could never blame you my Girl."
Rachel nodded and smiled. Ava excused herself to the bathroom and Rachel found herself staring at an entire waiting room full of people. Her eyes met Quinn's just before she left her seat and wrapped Rachel in her arms.
"I was so worried about you." Rachel said as Quinn said "I was scared that you were hurt."
The two girls laughed and hugged each other tighter. Sam walked over and kissed her forehead.
"Puckerman family?" Rachel turned to face a handsome doctor. Her eyes travelled down his bloody scrubs. She glared at the offending clothing, wishing that he'd had the decency to change first.
"That's us!" Ava yelled as she ran back into the room, stopping beside Rachel.
"Your son is out of surgery."
"Oh thank God." Ava breathed out.
"Would you like to go somewhere more private to discuss his condition?" The doctor asked as he eyed the waiting room full of people.
"No, everyone is here for my Noah." Ava answered, shaking her head and threading her fingers through Rachel's.
"The bullet lodged itself deep inside your son's chest. Luckily it missed the heart, but just barely. The surgery took longer than we had expected, but Noah flat lined twice on the way to the hospital so we needed to take extra precaution."
Rachel stepped back as if she'd been punched as she was told that Noah had flat-lined in the ambulance. Ava squeezed her hand as she questioned the doctor.
"He hit his head fairly hard as he fell so expect a minor concussion. The first 24 hours is always the most critical Mrs. Puckerman, but I believe that your son should make a full recovery. He was highly sedated so it might be a few hours before he gains consciousness." He answered with a small smile.
"Thank you. When can I see him?" Ava asked hopefully.
The doctor glanced around the waiting room once more before answering her.
"Immediately family can see him now. He's back in his room. Anyone else will have to wait until he's moved out of Post-ops in a few days to a week." He answered firmly.
"Thank you doctor," She turned to face Rachel as the doctor walked away. "Rachel would you like to come with me?"
"I need a few minutes. I'm sure you'd like some time alone with him Ava. I'll stop by in a bit. Thank you." Rachel hugged Ava and watched as she headed down the hallway and out of sight.
Rachel turned to face the waiting room and took in her surroundings for the first time. There were a couple of jocks sitting in the corner with their Cheerio girlfriends. The entire Glee club was there, along with Mr. Schuester and Miss Pillsbury. She smiled over at Coach Beiste and Sylvester who were bickering in the corner of the room. She smiled at her friends before her eyes narrowed as they landed on Finn, where he was sitting with his parents. She heard a few gasps as she glared at the tall boy who was looking at her in some confusion.
"You!" Rachel growled, with a pointed finger in his direction.
"What did we miss?" Kurt and her daddy whispered to Santana behind her.
"You left me!" Rachel yelled in accusation as all eyes landed on Finn in surprise.
"No! You listen and I talk. We were having a pleasant conversation when everyone starts screaming. A girl runs by yelling about guns and imagine my surprise when I reach for the hand of my fiancé only to realise that he's gone. My fiancé left me all alone in a hallway with a gunman headed in my direction. A gunman who just so happened to be looking for me." She snarled furiously.
"Well you're okay right?" Finn answered awkwardly.
"No thanks to you." Rachel snapped viciously.
"What were you doing with Puck anyway?" Finn snapped back, standing to face her as the room watched the drama unfold in disbelief.
"He heard Jacob muttering about finding Rachel on his way out of the school," Santana answered quietly and every eye was on her in an instant. "He texted me telling me to call the cops and went looking for her."
"What?" Rachel asked as everything fell into place.
No wonder he didn't look surprised to see Jacob. The panic in his eyes hadn't been for himself, it had been for her. Rachel swung around and punched Finn in the eye.
"What the hell was that for?" Finn yelled as he clutched his eye.
"You just left me alone to die. Noah put himself back in danger to find me and hide me. He jumped in front of the fucking gun Finn!" Rachel screeched in fury, pulling the ring from her ringer and throwing it at his head.
Finn stared in horror at Rachel for a few minutes of shocked silence. She wasn't sure if the language, the violence or the ring-throwing shocked him more.
"We're done. Forever." Rachel spat out finally. "Not a fifth or a sixth try. If it wasn't for Glee club I'd swear to never talk to you again. We're over."
Rachel turned her back on the waiting room and her ex, winking at Santana and Quinn as she left the room. Her fathers seemed to be celebrating a little to joyously given the circumstances. She could hear everyone dissecting what had just happened and heard several friends chastising Finn for his cowardice as she turned the corner. She wandered the halls until she saw Ava through the window. She noticed that Ava was just sitting with him, so she walked in and sat beside Noah on his other side.
"I'll give you some time." Ava said quietly as she got up and left the room.
Rachel's eyes followed her out of the room before landing back on Noah. She felt relief when she noticed that his skin was the creamy olive tone that she was so used to. He had been so white when they wheeled him past her into the ambulance. One of her hands clasped his as she closed her eyes to pray. The doctor had said that he should be okay but she figured more prayers could only help right?
Opening her eyes she studied the beautiful man in front of her. She had been so incredibly blind. He had thrown himself in harm's way to save her more than once today. He hadn't for a moment considered his own safety, even when the gun was pointed directly at his chest.
She moved closer to the bed and ran her fingers along his jaw line delicately, just relieved at the feel of his warm unshaven cheeks.
"I'm so sorry." She whispered with a heart full of regret.
Rachel was vaguely aware of time passing as she continued to stare on Noah's unmoving face. His Mother came in frequently but stayed in the hall mostly giving Rachel some privacy with her savior.
The clock on the wall told her that she'd been sitting there for seven hours and thirty two minutes when Noah began to move. Her first indication was the tiniest movement of his fingers in hers. A few minutes later he sighed quietly as he began to regain consciousness. She watched with bated breath as his lips shifted slightly and his eyebrow twitched. She squeezed his fingers lightly when he let out a groan of pain as his body shifted in his bed. His free hand moved to towards his face before he yelped at the pain that the movement caused. His eyes popped open and he looked around in confusion before his eyes settled on the girl attached to his hand. He stared at her in horror.
"Fuck, all of that really happened?" He asked roughly, before pointing to the jug of water.
Rachel poured him a cup of water and pressed the nurse's station button before answering him.
"You thought it was a dream?" She asked worriedly.
"Not really, it just doesn't seem real." He answered with another groan of pain.
"Ah, sounds like you need some more pain medication." said the nurse as she walked into the room. "Let me just page your doctor."
"Noah!" Ava Puckerman exclaimed as she walked into the room. "Oh my sweet boy!"
Rachel excused herself from the family moment and headed to the waiting room. Santana leapt from her seat as Rachel walked towards the remaining members of the group. She was relieved to notice that Finn was longer present. Quinn, Sam, Mike and Blaine also jumped to their feet. Kurt, Mercedes and Tina were asleep in the corner. Mr. Schuester and Miss Pillsbury smiled at her as they waited for news.
Santana whooped loudly and laughed when a nurse glared at her in warning. The others had been startled awake at Santana's yell.
"I think the doctor will give him more medication because he's in some pain but he's awake." Rachel declared with relief as her friends pulled her into a dorky but awesome group hug.
She promised to call all of them if anything else happened before turning to her fathers.
"You don't have to stay." She told them, feeling guilty about all of the worry they must have been feeling.
"Noah is family my Dear." Hiram announced before pulling his daughter into his arms.
"We are so happy you're both okay." Leroy added.
"Thanks Daddies. I'm going to head back to his room." She hugged everyone again and headed back towards Noah's room.
Ava Puckerman smiled at Rachel and excused herself quickly, leaving the two of them alone.
"Did they give you some more pain medication?" She asked in concern as she retook her seat by his side.
"The doc said he'd give me some in a bit." He looked down at her hand as it tangled with his own again.
The two of them lapsed into thoughtful silence, both thinking over the day's events.
"Rach, listen about what I said-" Rachel covered his mouth with her hand and shook her head gently.
"You saved my life. You knew that Jacob was after me and you did your very best to protect me," His eyes widened when he realised she knew everything. "You caught me when I fainted, you carried me to safety, you kept me calm and comforted me when I was upset. You stood in between me and a gun Noah. And then you took a bullet for me. It's one thing to say you'll take a bullet for somebody but it's another thing entirely to actually do it."
She felt him smiling behind her hand and continued.
"You are such an incredible person. You're loyal and smart and funny. You're kind and talented. You're the bravest person I've ever met, whether you're singing the first male solo in Glee for an admittedly high-maintenance girlfriend or jumping in front of a gun. You saved my life Noah and you did so without a moment's hesitation."
He pulled her hand from him mouth.
"S'no biggie." He said casually.
She laughed at his casual attitude.
"It is a biggie Noah," She smiled when he snorted at her use of his slang. "It's a huge biggie. Thank you for everything."
The two of them smiled at each other before he looked away for a moment, dragging a hand over his face.
"I meant it ya know. When I said I love you. In my defense I thought that I was gonna die and I really didn't want for you to not know but-" His words were cut off when Rachel's lips leaned down to meet his softly.
She hadn't meant to kiss him. But he started rambling and it kind of freaked her out. She pulled back and she smiled at the wide-eyed shock on his face.
"That's all ya got to say for yourself?" He complained jokingly. "I take a bullet for you and tell you I love you. You kiss me and tell me you know?"
Rachel shrugged and then laughed when he started muttering about 'ungrateful pretty girls.'
"I wondered what it meant that my own fiancé left me to die and that you protected me. Then you got shot and said you loved me."
"Then what?" He asked curiously.
Rachel's smile slid from her face as she recalled everything since.
"Your eyes closed and your heart stopped beating," His eyes widened. "I started screaming and someone was pulling me away from you and out of the school. I tried to get back to you but they wouldn't let me. I may or may not have punched a cop."
He laughed and told her how proud he was before asking why she was wearing a patient's gown.
"I freaked out when I saw you on the gurney. They gave me a shot of something and I woke up in the hospital." She admitted and she saw the confliction on his face. "Daddy told me that my shirt was covered in your blood so they threw it out."
"You freaked out huh?" He asked with a grin.
"Santana mentioned something about a video of me doing it. I'm sure she'll show you if it hasn't already gone viral." Rachel answered with a laugh.
"Everyone else made it out?" He asked seriously.
"As far as I know. Everyone was here when I woke up."
Noah looked at a patch of wall just over her head as he continued.
"Finn?" He asked tightly.
"Was here. He left sometime after I threw the ring at his forehead." She told him, almost laughing at the look of glee in his hazel eyes.
"Oh that's uh you know too bad." He replied, failing to wipe the smile off of his face.
Rachel laughed and pinched his foot.
"So you're over." He stated.
She pinched his foot again.
"Give me a few weeks and maybe you can tell me you love me again." Rachel suggested.
"Yeah." She answered happily.
The two of them sat there in comfortable silence with matching grins on their faces. Rachel knew that she should be more upset about how things ended with Finn. But her life changed today. She had been forced to grow up and face an ugly world. Finn hadn't been there with her because he was a silly high school crush. Looking towards Noah she knew in her heart that he could and would be so much more to her. She was already so much more to him.
"What about the skirt?" He asked seriously. "You said that they threw out your shirt. You didn't mention the skirt!"
Rachel laughed when she realised he was genuinely upset.
"I think that the skirt was saved Noah." Rachel answered dryly.
I hope you enjoyed it. I should have the epilogue up in the next few days. Let me know what you thought. Thanks!