Author's Note: I just had a little drabble idea. Kinda fluffy Puckleberry. Hope you enjoy.
Had Rachel Berry been aware that her first day of high school, she would have been mocked and ridiculed for her skirts and knee high socks, or her bright shirts, or her over articulation of her words ("Honestly, what is wrong with being intelligent?" she had asked herself, looking crossly at the back of the Jock's shirt as he sauntered away.), or the fact that she still signed her name with a gold star sticker at the end, she probably would have feigned sickness and spent the day researching high schools in or near the Lima area that were up to the standards her current school was. (There wasn't any. She had checked later.)
She could remember being more excited than nervous as he walked up the steps to the entrance in a gaggle of other nervous freshmen, and she could remember the breath leaving her as soon as her wide eyes rested on the population of sophomore through senior, all getting along and high-fiving to reminisce, sans a kid being shoved into his new locker. She remembered, vaguely, giving him credit for shrugging it off and laughing, though not quite masking the hurt and disappointment on his face. Never did she think that she would have to learn that, too.
She remembered being assigned her locker; a top one, which surprised her regarding her size, but she took it anyway. Maybe she'd be able to trade someone for a bottom closer to her classes (she was by the far end of the school, whereas her classes were completely on the other side.) And she had remembered cleaning it out and stacking her new binders and folders in there, meticulously lining up her pencils, sharpened with fresh, unused erasers, and adjusting her extra schedule on the door. (It was a good idea, to make a copy. Luckily the school didn't charge her a dime per copy, as the one in the only grocery store in town did.)
She had made her way to her classes, without many mistakes, and could remember she had an easy, uneventful day. Her teachers had introduced themselves, had given them the initial light homework that was the staple welcome into high school, and she had made acquaintances with a few people, like that sweet girl with the stutter, and had bumped into a boy with a very nice jacket. (It had looked pretty expensive; probably even brand name label, which was rare in Lima, because everything in Lima was a rip-off of some high name designer.) She had remembered grinning most of the day, enjoying herself, laughing at how easy that night's homework was going to be. When it had happened.
She could look back now, and if she knew then that it was a right-of-passage prank, she probably would have shrugged it off and let the boy do it, for his own sake at trying to fit in. But it didn't mean it wouldn't hurt, or be painful, even, to stand there, being laughed at as she tried to blink through corn syrup and transparent purple. She could remember wiping the slushie and tears (though she wouldn't admit the last bit out loud.) out of her eyes, gazing upon a handsome boy with tanned skin and bright green eyes, his head shaved save for a short Mohawk sticking in the air without gel, it seemed. He was grinning, and it was a mean, unforgiving grin, as sneer, even as he stared down at her, the laughing and jeering around them seeming to give him a sense of pride as one of the older jocks, a junior, by the looks, slapped him on the back, giving him some sort of praise that Rachel couldn't and didn't really care to hear. The slushie was still cold on her face, and even colder as it seeped into her new shirt, and she could feel it congeal in her hair as he threw the Styrofoam cup down at her feet.
"Grape, Berry. I thought I'd give you the chance to live up to your name." It was a lame retort, but the cut of his shallow prideful voice made it hurt even more, and it shocked her to even have remembered it so clearly. Tears sprang up in her eyes again, as she turned and ran to the bathroom, trying not to hear the upswing of laughter as she did such. And she could remember how long it took to get it out of her hair, and she could remember her daddies asking her what happened, frantic almost as they had to wait an extra forty-five minutes to pick her up because of the incident. She remembered she lied smoothly, saying that a student had accidently tripped and had spilled it on her, and she didn't know then why she had lied, when her daddies would've made that boy pay for ever trying it. She remembered that she wanted it vehemently, but as she lay in bed that night, she thought to herself maybe she didn't want it.
And it went on and on through the school year, different flavors now, never grape anymore. She almost found herself missing it, because the grape was the most delicious, and she could lick her lips and catch the flavor before cleaning off. She supposed strawberry was second best. And she found herself looking forward to it, almost because, well, he was the most handsome boy in school. And, well, he technically was paying attention to her by throwing slushies in her face. She decided to take it in stride, because, hey, he could've just as easily thrown melted wax or glue or something else on her.
It was year later, now, and it was the first day of school once again. She walked up the steps behind the groups of students, now, instead of vainly trying to join the conversation and getting shot down. It hurt more, now, to go to school, but she reminded herself of Glee, and how it was alright to be herself, no matter what. These highschoolers be damned if they try and change her, and they hadn't, which probably infuriated them more. She still wore her knee high socks and short skirts, and still over-articulated her words, and still signed her name with a gold star at the end. She still had her good personality quirks. And she still got the bad things that came with being a loser.
She decided then as the slushie was flying in the air towards her that she probably should have seen it coming, should have expected it and not worn her new, expensive shirt to school today, but what would it matter? This slushie, the first slushie of sophomore year, was a slap in the face, letting her know that it was going to continue. She didn't cry anymore, at least, and now just stood there, shaking in anger, looking up at the handsome boy fondly known through the school as Puck smirk down at her with perfect, full lips. (Don't think about that. They are not perfect, but he does have nice genetics.) She took a deep breath and was yelling at him now, to the shocked onlookers it seemed a suicidal moment for Rachel, but Puck just stood there, smirking, before raising the cup and dumping the rest over her head, throwing the cup at her feet and stalking off. The crowd dissipated as she stood there, mouth open, staring at Puck's back as he walked away. Tears sprang up in her eyes now, but it wasn't from the sting of the corn syrup.
She stood there, dripping, before bending down and picking up the cup. She stalked into the girls bathroom, cup in hand, and looked in the mirror. A sloppy scrawl in sharpie on the side of the cup caught her eye in the reflection, and she turned the cup, and read. -Happy anniversary, Berry. Styrofoam is like paper right?- Puck.
She stared, shocked at the words, before shakily placing the cup on the sink and slowly washing herself off, and the inside of the cup out. She ripped of the part he had written on, and stuck it in her pocket before throwing the cup away. And It wasn't until she had gone home that night, snuggled against her pillow with the piece of Styrofoam on her bedside table that she realized.
The slushie was grape.