A/N This is written for Gleek4Lyf, I hope you like it! This is only the hint of a Mike and Rachel relationship, if you want more ask!
Rachel collapsed at the end of the dance room; seven hours of intense physical training had taken it out of her, physically exhausted ,she leant against the bar, gasping for air after an exhaustive street dancing class. Today she had done Ballet, Ballroom, and Jazz, followed by three hours of Penack Silat, and finally street dancing. This had all be in an effort to physically exhaust herself enough so that she would finally be able to achieve at least eight hours of sleep, she had found it extremely difficult to sleep since sectionals, as she had predicted she had suffered the backlash for risking their chance to win.
Surprisingly the only people who acknowledged her was Santana and Brit and Puck, Matt and Mike had refused to take sides in babygate, however outside of glee she had very little contact with them. Finn and Quinn had patched their relationship back together only days after Sectionals, both of them leaving Rachel to deal with the backlash from the original gleek's who had found Rachel's selfishness to be the last straw.
Since that day, she had suffered everything they could throw at her, now they were the ones drawing pornographic images on the bathroom wall, and posting erroneous and hurtful messages on her My Space and Jacob's blog. Finn and Quinn were sorry that she was going through such hard times, but were having enough problems trying to deal with Quinn's pregnancy, especially the money issues that were arising because of it, coupled with Quinn insisting that Puck not have anything to do with the baby. Rachel tried to be there for them as much as she could but she didn't want to make Finn and Quinn uncomfortable and think that she was still harbouring feelings for the footballer.
In some respects however she was much better off than before, her and Puck were extremely close, as the only person who had not judged him, Puck had found himself hanging out with Rachel more and more, thankfully his ego had not got in the way and as such she was now protected from the footballers, he would get angry at the original gleek's but Rachel wouldn't let him retaliate for her.
Mike watched from the front of the class talking to the instructor, he had spotted Rachel on entering the class and had been shocked to see her in such a class, now watching her he was worried how exhausted she seemed, thinking back to the last few weeks at school she had seemed tired a lot, picking up a water bottle he walked down the room to hand it to her. Startled at the water bottle that had appeared in front of her, Rachel took it gratefully gulping down half of the bottle quickly,
"Thanks" she said finally looking up to see Mike Chang's worried face
"You ok Rach?" he asked sitting down next to her, Rach smiled and nodded pulling off her trainers that she had worn for her last class, revealing her battered and bruised feet, pulling her bag towards her she bandaged and plastered her bleeding toes,
"I'm ok Mike, I'm just really tired" she told him exhausted leaning back against the wall
"Yeah you look it" he told her wincing at the state of her feet "how long have you been dancing?" he asked,
"Dancing? Four hours today, but I also did three hours of Silat, that's the martial arts I learn"
"Seven hours of hard core exercise? No wonder your tired" Mike laughed, Rachel smiled and pulled her phone out of her bag, looking down she found a text from Puck saying he couldn't pick her up because his mum had been called into work, sighing Rachel called her father's but neither of them picked up,
"Sorry" she apologised "I don't mean to be rude, I'm just really tired, and now I need to get the bus"
"It's ok Rachel" Mike assured her "Come on I'll give you a lift" he told her, getting up he helped the exhausted girl to her feet, feeling her stumble a little he put his arm around her shoulders to steady her. Exhausted physically Rachel gladly leant against the tall Asian, who looked down at the brunette worriedly, he had never seen her so reliant on someone before, he hadn't been very observant in school recently due to his own fallout following the announcement that Brit and Santana were sleeping together, and therefore hadn't registered the abuse Rachel was receiving from her so called 'friends'.
Getting Rachel to his car, she roused herself enough to get into the passenger seat "god, I'm so sorry Mike" she apologised again "I'm just so tired, all I want is a massive chilli cheese burger and vanilla milkshake and bed"
"Don't sweat it Rach, I'd be in the same position if I had your Saturday" he laughed "Come on we'll go past the diner so you can get food in you, doubt you have had enough calories to make up for everything you burned today" Rachel smiled and nodded "go on take a nap I'll wake you up when we get there" thankful Rachel closed her eyes and let herself slip into unconsciousness easily. Mike glanced over at the sleeping form in his passenger seat and felt the same pang he got every other time he looked at her.
He was a painfully shy boy usually, and it was only due to his presence of the football team that meant he wasn't a social outcast, but he had been attracted to the strong and determined brunette since she had walked into McKinley High at the start of Sophomore year. Now since joining glee he was feeling more confident in himself, as such pulling into the diner he wasn't scared to see that it was full of the popular crowd. Getting out of the car he circled it to open the passenger door side, shaking her shoulder gently, he woke Rachel up gently, "We're here babe" he told her, opening her eyes Rachel smiled at him sleepily.
Looking around the parking lot she saw a number of cars that she recognised as belonging to popular students of McKinley "Oh Mike you can just wait here in the car if you want" she assured him, Mike felt a pang of guilt that Rachel offered this so openly,
"I'm not Finn Rach" he told her bluntly "I'm not ashamed of you" he told her strongly, he reached out to take her hand and helped her out of the car, feeling her try to steady herself again he wrapped his arm around her shoulders, without removing it he guided her into the diner, he could feel the eyes of the jocks inside fall on him but he didn't care. Right now all he cared about was this exhausted, bruised and battered girl next to him, they ordered their food and sat down at a booth.
"So you do Silat?" asked Mike curiously "I do Ta Kwon Do, but I have always been interested in Silat, I didn't realise there as a place to do it here"
"Yes, it's only a small place, but it teaches the most common styles, if you're interested you should come with me next week, my teacher is always happy to have new students" Rachel offered, as the waitress placed their food in front of them, without waiting for an answer Rachel dug into her burger with relish, Mike watched, proud that she wasn't one of those rabbit food eating girls, he also wondered how she kept such a fantastic figure when she ate like that, then he remembered how much exercise she had done today.
"That would be so cool Rach" he answered enthusiastically "I'll definitely be there" Rachel smiled at him happily finishing her burger quickly. Taking a quick gulp of her milkshake she enjoyed the coolness sliding down her throat,
"I must admit, I hate being this tired, but the good part of exercising for so long means I can enjoy my milkshake, even if it's possible that it might damage my vocal cords I can't give up my vanilla milkshake"
Mike smiled at this small knowledge of Rachel, it meant so much to him that she was opening up, and he wondered vaguely if it was because she was so tired, but realised that he never had actually spent time with her, something he deeply regretted, and he knew he was going to change from now on.
"Come on darling, bed time" he told her as she yawned widely, he helped her out of the booth, which Rachel was thankful for as her muscles started to seize, again he steadied her with his arm around her shoulder, loving just how natural it felt and the way Rachel lent into him.
Pulling up outside the Berry house, Rachel blushed in embarrassment as she tried to get her tired muscles to respond,
"Could you help me?"she muttered, Mike smiled in response and hurried around his car to help her out
"Course" he assured already helping her out "so what's your plan for tomorrow? I doubt you'll be moving very much" he joked
"Well this will actually surprise you, but I'll be on my Xbox all day, probably playing Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2"
"What!?" Mike cried as he helped Rachel up the stairs to her porch,
"I know, I know! it's nothing like me, but I love it and Halo, I can just shut my mind off and play, I go online and just enjoy being a teenager for awhile"
"Wow Rach that rocks it really does, I never would have guessed it, but it's so cool, what's your gamer tag? I'll add you when I get home"
"GoldiStar" Rachel replied happily as she opened her front door
"Hey you want some company tomorrow?" asked Mike, remembering his vow to change the fact he didn't know Rachel very well.
"That would be lovely" Rachel replied
"Cool, I'll see you tomorrow then Rach" Mike told her, hugging her gently goodbye. Rachel closed her front door happily, glad she had stayed for her last class when she had been so tempted to go home, it was remarkable how easy it was to hang around Mike, and she admitted to herself quietly that she had felt butterflies in her stomach from the minute he had helped her get off the floor, hugging herself gently and looking forward to tomorrow Rachel headed for her room to have a long hot soothing bath and bed.
Mike drove into his driveway a bounce in his step that hadn't been there since the beginning of his relationship with Brittany, every male in school found Rachel attractive Mike knew, but very few actually wanted to take the time to get to know her, feeling that warm fuzzy feeling in his stomach Mike knew he had to.