Chap 11

- No POV -

The first football game was coming up and everyone was excited. The school was rife with school spirit and the team was being treated like gods. Rachel rarely got to see Noah because he was training and she was trying to learn the routines. The only time they saw each other was in Glee and classes but even then they were extremely busy. Sectionals were coming up fast and Mr. Schue was beginning to freak out.

The day before the game finally rolled around and Rachel, Quinn, Britt and San were standing around Rachel's locker talking when Anderson walked up to them.

"Hey there girls. Looking good," He said.

"What the hell do you want freak?" San asked as she put her hands on her hips and glared.

"Just wanted to chat to Rachel, that's all," He said as he pushed San out of the way and leant on the locker next to Rachel.

"Do you mind?" Rach asked. She slammed her locker door shut and turned to glare at the Lacrosse player.

"I was just coming to compliment you. You look absolutely sexy in that cheerleading uniform. Wanna hang out some time?" He asked.

"How long is it going to take for you to realise that I am with Puck. I will never get together with you EVER!" Rachel yelled.

Anderson grabbed Rachel's arm hard and pulled her towards him.

"I know I'm not seeing you with your hands on my girl." Puck's voice came from behind Anderson. Anderson turned and went pale when he noticed Puck's face. He dropped Rachel's arm and pushed past her, knocking her to the ground as he ran. Noah walked over to Rach and helped her stand. He pulled her to his chest in a hug.

"You ok beautiful?" Noah asked as he looked down at the girl. Rachel nodded but Noah frowned.

"Hey girls, the boys are looking for you. Something about tomorrow." Noah said as he turned to the girls. They all nodded and after shooting one more concerned look at Rachel turned and walked away. Noah looked down at Rachel and noticed she was shaking. He opened up Rachel's locker and pulled out his bag and placed it on his shoulder with his own.

"Come on babe. Let's get out of here." Noah said as he started pulling Rachel towards the front doors of the school.

"Won't we get in trouble?" Rachel asked.

"Rach, the day before big games, cheerleaders and football players are treated like royalty. We can get away with anything. If anyone asks, you were practicing your routine and I was at the gym training. Let's go." Noah said. Rachel smiled and grabbed Noah's hand in hers. The pair ran out of the school and jumped into Noah's truck. Noah started the truck and drove out of the parking lot.

"So, where are we headed?" Rachel asked as Noah drove.

"You'll find out when we get there," Noah said with a sly grin.

Rachel shook her head and settled back into her seat. She closed her eyes and let the soft music Noah had playing calm her down. She felt the car slowing down and soon they were pulled up at the entrance to some woods.

"Noah? Why are we here?" Rachel asked as Noah helped her out of the truck.

"You'll see. We aren't there yet," Noah said. "Come on beautiful. I'm glad you're wearing running shoes."

Noah started pulling Rachel into the woods. They walked along the walking track for a bit until Noah veered off. Rachel tried to protest but Noah just shushed her. He navigated his way through the trees, over tree stumps and roots and under low hanging branches. Finally they came to a big bush.

"He we are," Noah said triumphantly.

"Uh Noah, we're in woods that look just like the woods we walked through. Are you sure we aren't lost?" Rachel asked carefully.

"No silly, we are in the right place. We still have to go through the bush. Come on," Noah said. He moved the bush aside and showed Rachel a small entrance. Rachel smiled and ducked under the branches. When she emerged, she gasped. She was standing in a clearing. There were toys, blankets and other things spread out on the floor. The canopy overhead provided protection against the elements but still let light in. Noah followed Rachel in and smiled at the look of awe on her face.

"Welcome to my special place. I found it when I was ten. Come on," Noah said. He pulled Rachel over to a blanket and sat down beside her.

"This place is great. I was never in a place long enough to have a secret hiding place," Rachel said as she cuddled into Noah's side.

"I've never brought anyone here. You're the first person besides me that has seen this place," Noah explained.

"Thank you honey. This means a lot to me," Rachel said.

"I'm glad you like it. Rach, can I tell you something?" Noah asked.

"Sure baby. What's up?" Rach asked.

"I want to tell you about my dad," Noah explained quietly.

"Are you sure?" Rachel asked. Noah took a deep breath and nodded.

- Rach POV -

I sat up straight and listened as Noah told me his story. He told me about how his dad beat his mother and him. His father had never met Indi and Noah hoped it stayed that way. By the end of his story, there were tears in his eyes.

"Oh honey. I'm so sorry," I said. I gathered him in a hug and let him cry into my shoulder.

"I never want to turn out like him ever." Noah said through the tears.

"I know honey, I know. You never will. That I promise you. You are so much better than your father ever was or ever will be." I said as I grabbed his face and made him look up at me. Noah smiled through his tears and kissed me on the lips. I smiled as he deepened the kiss and kissed him back just as hard.

We lay back on the blanket and sat in a comfortable silence.

"Rach, there's something I want to ask you," Noah said. I sat up and looked down at him.

"What's up?" I asked.

"Well there's this sort of tradition that happens at school. The day of a game, cheerleaders are given the jersey of a football player to wear, sort of like a good luck thing. That's what the girls had to see the guys about. I was wondering if you would wear my jersey tomorrow," Noah asked. I bent down and kissed him.

"I'd love to. Bring a clean one over later and I'll happily wear it," I replied. Noah smiled and kissed me.

"We probably should be heading back. We've been here for a few hours," I said as I looked at my watch. Noah nodded and helped me to stand up. We walked back through the woods and back to Noah's truck. We drove back to my place and walked inside. My dad's were sitting on the lounge watching TV when they turned and smiled at us.

"Hey kids. How was school?" Daddy asked with a knowing grin. I shook my head knowing someone must have contacted him.

"It was alright. How was your day?" I asked in reply. Dad and Daddy smiled at me and shook their heads.

"It was ok. What are you two up to this afternoon?" Dad asked.

"Not much. Just going up to watch some movies," I said.

"Alright. Just keep the door open," Daddy said before they turned back to the TV. Noah and I walked upstairs and into my room. I let his hand go as he walked over to my DVD cabinet to pick a movie. I went over to my bed and lay down and waited. When he had put the DVD in the player, he walked over to the bed and slid in next to me. He wrapped an arm around my shoulder and pulled me into his chest. I sighed and rested my head over his heart and sighed at the steady beat.

"You ready for tomorrow?" Noah asked after a while.

"I guess. I've practiced the routine to death with Quinn, Brit and San so I should be sweet. It's just more the fear that I'll screw it up," I said.

"Babe, you won't screw it up. This is you we're talking about. You can't screw anything up," Noah said before he bent down and kissed me.

"Thanks honey. That means a lot to me," I replied.

We sat and watched movies for a little bit longer before Noah went home to grab the jersey. He came back over with it and smiled at me.

"Here you go beautiful. Try it on," Noah said. I turned my back to him and took my cheerleader top off. I slipped his jersey and laughed at how long it was.

"I can just tie it up at the back," I said. Noah laughed with me before walking over to me and placing his hands on my waist. I wrapped my arms around his neck and met his lips.

"You look beautiful in my clothes," Noah said with a grin once we pulled away.

"Thanks babe," I said. I cuddled into Noah's chest and smiled when I felt his arms tighten around me.

"What are you doing on Saturday night?" Noah asked after a while.

"Nothing that I know of. Why is that?" I asked.

"Let's go out on a date," Noah said with a smile.

"Ok, where are we going?" I asked Noah.

"You pick. You can design your perfect date and we'll go on it," Noah said.

"Thank you so much honey," I said. I jumped up and wrapped my legs around his waist. Noah laughed and wrapped his arms around my waist. We started to fall backwards and we landed on my bed.

Noah looked at me and started laughing again. I couldn't help but join in. that was how my dad's found us ten minutes later.

"Ok. I don't think I want to know," Dad said with a smile.

"We just came up to say that dinner was ready. We called your mum Noah and she said you were allowed to stay," Daddy said.

"Thank you sirs," Noah said and we followed them down to the dining room.

During dinner we talked about school and the football game the next day. Dad and Daddy promised to be there in support for both of us. After dinner, Noah and I walked to the front door and I hugged him.

"See ya tomorrow," I said after giving him a quick kiss. Noah nodded and kissed me deeper.

"I'll pick you up. Don't forget to wear my jersey," Noah said with a smile. I nodded and waved as Noah walked back to his house.

"Bye dad, bye daddy," I called out as I shut the front door behind me the next morning. I ran over to Noah's truck and jumped into the passenger's seat.

"Hey babe," He said as he kissed me. "You look great in my jersey."

"Thanks honey," I replied. Noah smiled at me before pulling away from the curb and driving towards school.

When we arrived, Noah grabbed my hand and we walked into school. The entire halls were covered in red, black and white. People were wearing war paint and William McKinley jerseys.

"Wow, you guys go all out when it's football time don't you?" I said with a grin.

"You know it. We may not win every game but we always support our team," Noah said.

I nodded and smiled at him. The whole day was a bludge because everyone was too excited about the game. The cheerleaders and footballers had the last three periods off to practice and warm up.

"That was sloppy girls. I have had more painful experiences listening to a tone deaf elementary school choir," Coach S yelled through her megaphone at us. The footballers stopped practicing to watch Coach yell at us.

"Rachel, Quinn, Santana, Brittany, you have one lesson to come up with a routine that I will like or you can kiss your cheerleading positions goodbye," Coach S said.

The girls and I walked over to a corner and Quinn looked at me worried. "She will probably go through with the threat. We need to think up something good."

"I've got it," I said. I quickly told the girls the plan before we walked back over to the group. By now the football team were running drills and no longer watching us.

"Alright, impress me if that's even possible," Coach said after we had been practicing for the whole lesson. We got into our positions and flawlessly performed our complex routine of leaps, tumbles, flips and lifts. By the end, Coach looked impressed.

"That didn't suck as much as I thought. Take five. Rachel, come here," Coach called. I flipped off the pyramid and was caught by Carl, one of the male cheerleaders. He smiled at me and squeezed my shoulders in support. I walked over to coach and prepared myself for the abuse that was likely to come.

"Rachel where did you learn those moves?" Coach asked as we walked away from everyone else.

"At my old school. I was on the dance team," I said.

"Hmm," Coach nodded. "I'm gunna say something to you that I don't think I have ever said to anyone before: I was very impressed. You are a very talented cheerleader."

I was stunned. Coach had never been this complimentary before.

"If you ever tell anyone that I said that, I will rip your head off at the neck and dance under the blood spurt. Now get back to practice," Coach said.

I nodded and raced back over to the girls. We practiced the routine again before calling it a day. Noah, Finn, Matt, Mike and Kurt walked over to us and smiled. Noah kissed me before I pushed him away.

"You stink babe," I said with a grin.

"I probably do. We are gunna go shower and get changed. Then we can all go grab some food before the game," Noah said. The boys waved and walked back to the showers. We got changed out of our cheerleading uniforms and back into our clothes from this morning.

Once we all met up, Noah, Kurt, Finn, Matt and I jumped into Noah's truck whilst Mike and the girls jumped in Quinn's car. We all headed towards the Chinese restaurant ten minutes from the school. When we got there, we walked in and sat at the table. We ordered our food before sitting back and talking.

Just as the food came to the table, my phone rang. I pulled it out of my pocket and excused myself.

"Hello?" I asked.

"Hey princess," Ethan said.

"Hey Eth. What's up?" I asked.

"Not much. Your football team has their first game tonight right?" Ethan asked.

"We sure do. Why is that?" I asked.

"Just wondering. Wish the boys' good luck from the team and me," Ethan said.

"Will do. I'd better go and eat so I don't throw up during the game. Love you," I said.

"Love you too princess," Ethan said before he hung up. I walked back into the restaurant and sat next to Noah again.

"Who was that babe?" Noah asked.

"Just Ethan. He wanted to wish you all good luck," I replied. I started eating my burger and only just realising how hungry I was.

We ate our food quickly before walking back out to the cars and heading back towards the school. The boys headed to the change rooms to get ready for practice and so did we. When we were dressed, we headed towards the gym where we would be training.

After a gruelling hour of practice, we headed out to the pitch. Once there we noticed the stands rapidly filling with people from both William McKinley and Oakland Valley High School. Something in the stands caught my eye and I turned to see Ethan and his friends waving to me.

"I'll be right back," I said to Q. She nodded and smiled.

I walked up into the stands and smiled at my brother. I hugged him and his friends quickly.

"What are you guys doing here?" I asked.

"We came to watch your boyfriend and friends play. You look pretty hot in that cheerleading uniform princess," Zach said with a grin as he looked me up and down. Ethan smacked him on the back of the head and smiled.

"I'd better go I'll see you after the game," I said. I kissed Ethan and waved to the boys before running back down to Q and the girls. We got into our positions as the Oakland team ran out of their change room. Once our boys were ready, we started cheering as they ran onto the field. Noah winked at me as he passed by and I smiled back. Once the two teams were on the field and warming up, we moved to our positions and started our routine. By the end, we had the entire crowd on their feet cheering and even the boys on the field from both teams had stopped practicing to watch us.

The game quickly began and I couldn't help but get involved in the excitement. I watched as the Oakland boys scored a touchdown and cringed. I smiled as Noah ran onto the field with the rest of the offensive team.

I watched as they talked about a tactic before clapping their hands and moving into position. I couldn't help but feel tense when the ball was snapped to Finn and he threw it to Noah and I certainly couldn't help the scream that emerged when Noah crossed the line. He did a dance before running towards me. He took his helmet off and picked me up. He kissed me before running back over to his team. I smiled as Tanaka hit him over the head. The team along with Kurt went back on to the field and prepared for the kick. I couldn't help the laugh the escaped my lips when Kurt started dancing to Single Ladies before he kicked the ball. It easily cleared the goalposts and we all cheered.

The boys scored twice more and Oakland scored once more before half time. Once the boys went back to the change rooms, we took to the field for the half time show. We performed our routine flawlessly and Quinn ad I couldn't help but laugh as Ethan and his friends whistled at us. We finished our routine and walked back to the sidelines. The boys came out again and the game began. I grabbed Quinn's hand as Noah ran for the touchdown area. He scored but just as he put the ball down, an Oakland player tackled him. I was about to run over when Quinn and San put their hands on my arms.

"He'll be ok. The player seemed to be losing momentum. He's probably a bit winded," Quinn said comfortingly.

I nodded and watched in pain as Finn and Mike helped Noah to stand. He took a few deep breaths, took his helmet off and rested his hands on his knees. He looked up at me and smiled softly. I'm ok he mouthed and I nodded. Noah stood up and walked around a bit before putting his helmet on and running back onto the field. Kurt kicked and scored a goal. After another touchdown was scored by our team, the scores were tied. The clock was winding down and Quinn and I started to bite our nails.

I could feel everyone in the William McKinley stands tense as the ball was snapped to Finn and Noah took off running. Finn threw the ball and we all watched as it landed smoothly in Noah's arms. He pushed away a tackler who was coming for him before slamming the ball down in the touchdown zone. His eyes met mine and he smiled. The crowd stopped cheering and watched as he pointed at me and then put his hand over his heart. From what I could remember from my old school, that meant he dedicated the winning touchdown to me. I blew him a kiss while Quinn and the girls squealed. The final buzzer went and Kurt scored the goal meaning McKinley won by a 7 points.

The boys had a quick meeting with Tanaka before Noah ran towards me. He threw his helmet off, lifted me up and kissed me. When we broke away I smiled down at him.

"That touchdown was for you babe," Noah said. I kissed him again and giggled when he spun me around.

"I noticed, thank you," I said. He put me back on the ground and shook hands with Ethan and the boys.

"Great game Noah. I'm assuming from the crowd reaction, that is the first game you have won in a while," Zach said.

"This is the first game we have ever won," Noah said.

"Really. You guys have great potential. Your coach needs a few tips though," Ethan said.

Noah laughed and I smiled. I pushed Noah towards the change rooms and told him that I'd meet him by his truck.

"See ya Noah. Alright Princess. Will we see you at home?" Ethan asked.

"Possibly. See ya," I said. I kissed the boys on the cheek and walked out to Noah's car. I leant against the bonnet and smiled when I heard Matt (who had been on the defensive team) call out "PARTY AT MINE!" I pulled Noah's jacket out of my bag and put it on over my cheerleading uniform.

"Hello Rachel," I heard a voice say.

I spun around quickly and came face to face with someone I really didn't want to see.

"Jesse?" I asked.

Jesse St. James, my ex-boyfriend stepped into the light and smiled at me.

"You look just as beautiful as before," He said. He reached out to touch me but I moved away.

"What the fuck are you doing here?" I hissed.

"I was sent by your aunt. She said you were missing me," Jesse said.

"Well she lied so you can piss off now," I said.

"Now now sweetie is that any way to talk to the man you love?" He asked me as he came even closer.

"I don't love you. I never did. Now get the fuck away from me," I hissed again.

"Ok, but I will never be far away love," Jesse said. He blew me a kiss before walking back to the shadows.

I felt around in my cheerleading bag for a piece of paper and pen. I grabbed out the paper and pen and wrote Noah a quick note.

Hey honey. I walked home – decided not to go to Matt's party. Talk to you later.

I slipped the note under the windshield wiper and wrapped Noah's jacket tighter around me and started walking away. I was about to turn down my street when I decided against it and continued walking. I ended up at the park. I walked over to a park bench and sat down after putting on my tracksuit pants. I pulled my knees up to my chest and rested my head on them.

- Noah POV-

I walked out of the locker room and towards my car. I laughed as everyone shouted about the party at Matt's and walked over to my truck. I was shocked when I didn't see Rach waiting for me and even more so when I noticed a piece of paper sticking out from my windshield. I picked it up and frowned at Rachel's neat cursive.

I jumped in the truck and pulled out my phone.

"Hey, you've reached Rachel. I guess I can't be bothered to take your call but please leave a message and I'll get back to you if I feel like it! Many love!" Rachel's voice message said.

"Hey babe. Call me back please," I said before I started the car. I drove in the direction of Rachel's house but her bedroom light was off. I continued driving until I reached Matt's place where the party was in full swing. I parked my car and was immediately assaulted by the football guys who were all cheering and clapping me on the back.

I walked inside and noticed the glee kids were all there and talking to the cheerleaders. I made a beeline for them and stopped when I met them.

"Hey Puck, where's Rach? I thought she'd be coming with you," Quinn asked me.

"She left me a letter saying she was going home and didn't feel like partying. I called her but she didn't answer. I assumed she had turned it off," I replied.

The glee kids nodded and we enjoyed the party. At around midnight, just as the party was wrapping up my phone went off. I didn't recognise the number but I picked up anyway.

"Hello?" I asked.

"Hey Noah, its Ethan. Um, is Rachel with you by any chance?" Ethan's worried voice asked.

"No. she told me she was going home. Isn't she there?" I asked.

"No, she never got home. We thought she was with you but its midnight and she usually calls if she's going to be out past midnight on a weekend. Dad and Pops are freaking out," Ethan said.

"Ok. I'll go looking for her. If she comes home, call me please," I begged.

Mike, Kurt, Matt and Artie were the only sober people so I called them over.

"What's wrong?" Mike asked.

"Rach is missing. She hasn't gone home yet. Artie, Kurt, can you two take Kurt's car and go to the left. I'll take Mike and Matt in mine and we'll go right. Call me if you find her," I said. I was starting to get panicked.

The four guys nodded and we got into our cars. Matt told his parents where we were going and I pulled away from his house. We drove around for an hour and we still hadn't found her and it began to pour rain in buckets.

"Come on. Let's check the park," Matt said.

I drove towards the park as I dialled Rachel again. I got her voicemail again and threw my phone angrily onto the passengers' seat. I pulled to a stop at the park and the three of us jumped out. We split up and walked in three different directions. When I was about to give up, I heard sobbing. I walked towards the sound and saw a figure curled up on the park bench. The figure was wearing a red and black tracksuit set and I knew it was Rach. I ran over to her and noticed her shaking from both tears and cold. I pulled my leather jacket off and wrapped it around her over my other jacket and pulled her into my arms.

"Rach babe are you ok?" I asked. I didn't get much of a response. I lifted her into my arms and carried her back to the truck. She stopped crying midway and just snuggled into my chest. When I got back to the truck, Matt and Mike were already waiting. They raced towards me and after noticing Rachel's predicament, threw their jackets over her shivering body.

"Mike, you drive. Matt, call Artie and Kurt and tell them we found her then call her dads and tell them that she is going to spend the night at yours," I ordered. The boys nodded and I handed Mike my keys. We got in the truck and I put the seatbelt awkwardly over myself and my girl and turned the heat on.

"Kurt and Artie said that they'll meet us at mine," Matt said before he dialled Rachel's number.

I heard Rachel moan and whisper something in her sleep.

"No Jesse. Get away," She whispered. She was starting to get agitated and began moving.

"It's ok babe. I'm here. No one will hurt you, I promise," I whispered.

My blood began to boil when she started crying again and say "No Jesse" over and over again. I swore to find this Jesse person and kill them for hurting my girl. As we pulled into Matt's house, I jumped out of the truck and carried Rachel inside.

"Take the spare room," Matt said. "I'll find some of mum's clothes for her."

I stepped over the few drunks and walked upstairs. Matt followed me because he knew his parents would be in their room. He walked in and spoke for a bit before returning with a pair of grey sweatpants and an Ohio State sweatshirt. He handed them to me and smiled before walking back downstairs.

Rachel was awake now but didn't respond as I sat her on the bed.

"Babe, you need to get changed," I whispered. She didn't make any movement so I awkwardly undressed her and swapped her clothes. When she was dry, I wrapped her hair up in a towel that was on the bed and picked her up. I slipped her under the covers and made to leave when her hand shot out and grabbed mine. She pulled me over and I knew what she wanted.

"Give me a sec babe," I whispered. I took my shirt, jeans and shoes off and slipped on a pair of sweatpants from my football bag that Mike had brought up for me. I slid into the bed behind her and pulled Rach into my arms. She curled up into my chest and started sobbing again. I kissed her head and soothed her as best I could until she fell asleep again.

"I promise I will protect you beautiful. I love you," I whispered before I shut my eyes and went to sleep.

I am so sorry this has taken so long. I wrote an extra long chapter to make up for it. I am studying for my trial exams at the moment and am extremely stressed and tired. Writing is quite cathartic but I am not allowed to do it much. Hope this sort of tides you over. I had to add in Jesse, I couldn't help myself but for those of you who like him – turn back now. I hate him so he will not be portrayed nicely.

Thanks for being so supportive and keep on reviewing.

Love Bronte (midnightwolf2192)