A/N: You would think after how long this took me write it would either be amazing or really long. This is neither. I don't think this story we'll be that much longer. Maybe another three chapters...
Oh, and I'm looking for a beta so if anyone's interested just PM me. Thanks again for the reviews; you all are amazing.
It's been four weeks. They're living off of snack cakes and Easy Mac, and their landlord keeps threatening to turn off their power. She hasn't taken a hot shower in a month, and he's had to give up dip because it costs too much. He works double shifts as much as his mom used to, and she considering getting a real job. He won't let her though. He's convinced that if she gives up on Broadway then he took her away from her cozy suburban life for nothing (not for nothing but they still don't talk about that).
They're sitting at the apartment when it happens. Their shared piece-of-crap cell phone rings. It's a rare occurrence, so they both look at it like they don't know what it's doing for the longest time. Finally Puck picks it up. "Sup," he yawns into the phone.
There's a beat on the other end, and he thinks for a second that Lima had found them. Then a confused voice speaks, "Um, is this Caroline Hitler's phone?"
"Uh, yeah. On sec." Puck says confused as to why some guy that sounds like a douche is calling Rachel. "Ra- Caroline! Phone!" (he still isn't completely used to the names yet) he yells. Rachel walks towards him muttering something about it being completely absurd and unnecessary for him to yell when she's literally five feet away.
She answers the phone professionally, "Caroline Hitler." He thinks it's weird hearing that voice being used to say something other that Rachel Berry. She nods (not that they can see her) and says a few yeses. Suddenly her face lights up.
She hangs up the phone (still smiling), and flings herself on him. When she's done hugging him, she pulls away breathlessly, "I got a callback." He hugs her, spins her around, and promises her a night on the town.
They end up staying in because as it is Rachel hasn't gotten the job yet and they can't afford to go out. But they do end up springing for Cosmic Brownies instead of Hohos and buying wine that isn't in a box.
She gets a supporting role in a small Off-Broadway production; she loves every second of it. It's a small role, but she has a couple lines and two solos in two different chorus numbers. Rehearsals are fun, and surprisingly she doesn't hate the girl who plays lead. And even more surprisingly they don't hate her either. They don't think she talks too much, and they don't think that's she annoying, and they definitely don't slushy her.
It's like they're her friends. They accept her, and it's kind of a foreign feeling.
She's in the Seven-Eleven with Puck one night, trying to convince him to get bread or peanut butter or carrots, or really anything that doesn't have a cream filling (he keeps claiming they don't have enough money which is ridiculous because the peanut butter is 14 cents less than the Twinkies), when she sees a familiar mass curls in the other isle.
Rachel pauses for a second, wondering if her costar wants to avoid being seen with her in public. She realizes with a shock that this isn't Lima; she's not embarrassing. She grabs Puck's arm and walks over to the next isle. "Hey," she says (still a little worried he'll be embarrassed to talk to her).
Gideon smiles and hugs her. "Hey, Caroline!" He looks genuinely happy to see her.
She smiles back and then glances at Puck beside her who's frowning. "Uh," she says awkwardly. She's never had to introduce people before (she's never had anyone to introduce), "Gideon this is my roommate John. John, this is my costar Gideon. Gideon's the male lead. You should hear him sing. It's amazing." Gideon blushes, but Puck still frowning. She assumes it's just one of those 'I'm a badass' things that he likes to do.
They shake hands (Puck looks like he's trying to crush Gideon's hand), and the three of them stand there awkwardly for about five minutes before Gideon says he has to go. Puck and Rachel check out and begin walking back to the apartment.
She glances at him out of the corner of her eye and says, "Look Noa-John, I realize that it's male instinct to not show weakness or to prove that your stronger or whatever when you first meet someone, but that was just plain rude!"
Puck runs his hand through his hair and sighs, "What do you see in that guy? He's not good enough for you."
Rachel stops walking and stares at him. And then she bursts out laughing, not like cute girly giggles but more like derange serial killer snorts. She's barely laughed since Lima. She's shaking and can barely breathe. Puck just stares at her like she's lost her mind. After a full minute, she finally calms down (a little bit). "Puck," she breathes, forgetting to call him John, "Gideon's gay."
She starts laughing again, and Puck just says quietly, "Oh."
They've been in New York for a month and a half. It's after rehearsal one day when Rachel lets her curiosity get the best of her. She doesn't tell Puck, but once her director dismisses them she walks straight to the New York Public Library. When she gets there she walks over to one of the computers and sits down. She opens up Google and stares at the screen before finally typing in: Rachel Berry Lima Ohio. She presses search.
The entire first page is dedicated to articles about the two Ohio teens disappearing in the middle of the night. There's a missing person report too. She clicks on the first article. It takes all her willpower not to cry. There's a picture of her from Sectionals (Noah's is his football picture). She skims through the article
She stops when she gets to quotes from some of the Glee kids. Worried classmate and former girlfriend of Noah Puckerman, Santana Lopez say, "I just really hope both of them are okay. I miss Noah so much." Figures she'd use their disappearance for her fifteen minutes of fame. Whore. Other members of McKinley High's New Directions aren't so concerned. "I doubt they'll be gone for long. Rachel's kind of a diva," says Kurt Hummel, 16. Her eyes filled with tears. Miles away and Kurt still managed to make her feel bad about herself. She wonders if he even remembers that night.
She goes back to the search results and clicks on a different article. She scans it, and two words immediately stand out to her. Finn Hudson. She gasps quietly. Good friend of both students, Finn Hudson says that he misses them both and wishes they would come home. She smiles to herself. She misses Finn.
She quietly exes out of the window and deletes the history. She doesn't mention it to Puck.
It's a week before opening night, and Rachel's driving him crazy. She's all over the place, practically buzzing. She nervous and excited. He's excited for her, but if she doesn't shut up he will not hesitate to strangle her.
He finally gets her to sit down (with much effort), and they talk. He's never felt so comfortable with someone before. It's like he can tell her anything, and she won't judge him. Sometimes he wonders if he could love her, but their friendship to perfect to even consider fucking up. He's telling her a story about his day at work, "So then Missy trips and spills soup all down this guys shirt. He's threatening to sue."
She nods, but Puck can tell she's hardly paying attention. She rests her head on his shoulder. "Noah," she murmurs softly, "I'm nervous."
She's so different than how the rest of the world views her in these moments. She's quiet, vulnerable, and scared. He strokes her hair absentmindedly. "You're going to be amazing; you are amazing," he tells her. He fully believes it too. Rachel Berry (or "Caroline Hitler") was the most amazing girl he's ever known because she's strong and talented and beautiful.
They sit there until the sun rises above the city that never sleeps.
The opening of her play is absolutely perfect. The leads were flawless, the music was beautiful, and her brief solos went brilliantly. She meets Puck after the show, high on pure delight. He's waiting for outside with a bouquet of cheap looking roses in his hand. Her face lights up when she sees him. "You got me flowers?"
He smirks, "Actually, I stole them from the Seven-Eleven." She grins (not doubting his story at all), too happy to scold him. He hugs her and whispers in her ear, "You were amazing. Seriously, you're eight lines were the highlight of the show." She laughs.
She takes him to the cast party and introduces him to everyone in the cast. Puck's much nicer to Gideon once she introduces him to Gideon's boyfriend. He spends the whole night marveling at her in her element.
He doesn't even notice the blonde understudy that throws herself at him.