AN: So I had absolutely no intentions of starting a new story, but I was inspired and it wouldn't leave me alone. I'm not giving up on What Makes Us Remember but it might be a while before I get back to that. This story was inspired by a song spam over in the Puckleberry thread Gleeforum and Matchbox Twenty's Back 2 Good. I'm going to play around with my non-Puckleberry couples so this should be an interesting journey. I don't own glee...but we have 4 days left! It's about time! Please Read and Review!
Rachel Berry did not do high school parties. All the underage drinking, drug use and promiscuous sexual activity was not the behavior of a future star like herself should ever partake in….ever. But Mercedes had asked her to tag along to the party that Brittany was having while her parents were out of town. And since a strong group of friends was something Rachel wished for and wanted for her bright future, so she had agreed.
But at some point, despite her previous promise not to leave her alone, Mercedes had gone off to dance with Matt, and hadn't returned since. And now Rachel couldn't find her. For a while she walked around aimlessly in Brittany's house but she felt severely out of place with all the giggling and the drinking and the random couples making out in the hallway. So Rachel decided that a place against the wall, glass of water in hand, would be a suitable position for her. She had begun to wonder why Mercedes hadn't asked Kurt to come with her to the party instead. Despite their standing in glee club, Kurt's momentary position on the football team would have allowed him to fit in perfectly. Instead she had come along and was currently surrounded by a bunch of people she didn't know.
Well that was until she noticed Puck walking (really fast) in her direction. She knew better than to acknowledge his presence. She had kept her distance since she released baby gate on everyone. While she had confronted Quinn and offered an apology, Rachel had yet to speak to Puck about the whole situation, to offer an apology. Rachel was so lost in her thoughts of ways she would have changed the whole situation and making a mental note to possibly break the silence between her and Puck with an apology she didn't realize that Puck had walked past her until he walked into her, knocking her water from her hand. And then he kept going and Rachel thought that maybe their silence was going to be broken in another manner, one not as friendly as she had planned. There was plenty of room between her and the furniture in front of her for Puck to not run directly into her. It would have been one thing if he'd done it and then stopped to at least acknowledge that he was in the wrong, but instead her kept walking, until he stopped. He didn't turn back to Rachel immediately, he just stood there as if he was thinking or waiting for something. And then he turned around and hurried back towards Rachel. He stood in front of her and her confused and angry expressions, grabbed her by the hand, and pulled her towards the front door.
"Noah, what are you doing?" Rachel calls but Puck doesn't stop until they are on the front lawn of Brittany's house and he throws something at her. She's catches whatever he throws to her and glances down to see keys in her hand.
"What is this?"
"Don't play dumb Berry. It doesn't suit you very well," Puck says and it obvious to Rachel that he's drunk, "Those are keys, my keys, for my truck. We're going for a ride. You're driving."
"Won't even notice you're gone, trust me."
"And you want me to drive?"
"Well I'd say I'd drive. But we both no I'm not in the best condition to do so."
"I don't really know if this is the best idea."
"Look, as I see it you have three choices. You can give me back my keys, go back in there, stand against the wall, and wait for Mercedes to come find you. Whenever that may be. You can stand out here all night and contemplate what I've asked of you until I'm sober enough to drive myself. Or you can go along for the ride."
Rachel stood there and looked at the boy in front of her. She found it incredibly odd that he was putting her in this situation. But she believed that she owed Puck and maybe helping him in this would clear her conscience of her need to apologize.
"Fine," Rachel said swinging the keys around her pointer finger, "Where'd you park?"
"Turn right here," Puck directed as Rachel maneuvered his "baby" through the streets of Lima. They had been driving for only a few minutes and Rachel was getting frustrated because every time she'd ask Puck where they were going he would only response with 'just drive'. Rachel thought she deserved some kind of award for this. Maybe a simple apology would have been for efficient. For all Rachel knew Puck was forcing her to drive to the place where he would kill her and then bury her body not to be seen again for thirty years until its all over the local news that the once great Rachel Berry's remains were found when they went to build a condominium. Okay, maybe not, but Rachel was really getting frustrated by not knowing what was going on. With a few more directions (or orders) from Puck, Rachel approached one of the wooded areas of Lima. She parked the car in the spot that he pointed to and they both hopped out of the vehicle. Immediately Puck began walking towards the trees and Rachel followed him curiously until they reached a clearing that made Rachel laugh.
"How very Twilight of you," Rachel says.
"Nothing," Rachel said not surprised he didn't understand the reference, even if she was certain that he'd seen the movie.
"Thanks for the ride Berry. I'll just take the keys and you can be on your way." Puck said turning around to face her.
Rachel went silent. Was Puck really using her for ride and then sending her alone into the dark much farther from home than she liked? Immediately she wondered if Mercedes would come to get her if she'd called. She wondered if she walked would she get raped or murdered or mutilated beyond recognition by some deranged man with a monster like Frankenstein ready to use her feet to complete his creation. Rachel really needed to lay off the crime shows that her fathers were so addicted to. Puck's voice dragged her from her inner freak out.
"Berry. I'm kidding. I don't blame you for thinking I would send you into the night alone. But I'm not that much of an asshole, so take a seat. We might be here a while."
Rachel felt the anger escape from her body. She watched as Puck went to sit, staring towards, nothing really, just trees. But from the way he's sitting Rachel can tell this is his place. The place he comes to think and do all the non-Puck, more Noah, like behaviors. She remembers that part of him from those days that they dated. There were moments when he was totally Puck and then Noah would come out and she couldn't help but smile at him. Despite the fact that during their relationship she was still harboring feelings for Finn, when Noah came out she forgot about the tall boy and was able to focus on the self-proclaimed badass in front of her. Rachel sat down, away from Puck, like far away. It was as if he had some kind of disease that would destroy her voice and rendered unable to perform.
"I'm not going to bite ya. You don't have to sit all the way over there," Rachel doesn't move, "Look, I don't blame you for not wanted to be around me. I haven't exactly been the nicest to you and I thought I apologized for all of that. If you want we can go back to the party." Rachel took note of how in one sentence he flashed between Puck and Noah. It had been so quick that most people wouldn't have noticed. But she did.
"Noah, it's not your company that I am finding uncomfortable. I just don't know why you want me here. You made it very clear that we weren't friends," Rachel said remembering that afternoon the bleachers, "But then you grabbed me and now we're here."
He was quiet for a while. So long that Rachel was pretty sure he wasn't going to say anything to her at all. She took in the silence as looked around her. The moon was shinning brightly illuminating the area and it truly did look beautiful. She wondered how Puck knew about this area but then realized it was probably a great make out spot, or she supposed he used it for a little more than making out.
"I grabbed you because you looked lonely." He finally said.
"Oh," she said not entirely clear if that was a sufficient answer, but she chose to move over, closer to him, "Why were you running out of there?"
"Leave it to you to ruin a good moment by asking questions,"
"Because my inquiry clearly upset you."
"I'm not upset. Not at you at least," he said as Rachel stayed silent and then was surprised when Puck continued, "Quinn told me she's chosen a family for our daughter."
"Is that not what you want?"
"I don't know. I know I don't want her to grow up feeling abandoned. I'm not my father."
"Have you told Quinn this?"
"No. Well she knows this isn't what I want. But she doesn't care."
'For what now?"
"If I had just kept my mouth shut-"
"We'd be in a bigger mess. And why aren't you off playing house with Finn? I figured he would have seen the light by now."
"I believe last I saw Finn, Santana seemed pretty comfortable on his lap." Rachel remembered one of the many images she'd seen while looking around Brittany's house for Mercedes. Its not that it shocked her, Finn was a cute and popular boy and Santana, well she was Santana. When Finn hadn't come running to Rachel after baby gate she figured he was just in need of some space and Rachel was willing to give it to him. But he seemed to want to share his space with everyone who wasn't her as of late. It was all over the school that Finn made out with Crystal Harper last weekend.
"I thought San was sleeping with Brittany again."
"Apparently Brittany is into boys this week. Her and Santana had a fight or something and now Brittany had been flirting with Mike again."
"Poor Changster. How do you know all of this? You aren't exactly BFFs of whatever with any of them."
"No one seemed to notice me at the party, so I was privy to a plethora of conversations I normally would not be."
"I noticed you," Puck said and he noticed the confusion in Rachel's eyes, "Why did you come if you were so uninterested?" Puck added to distract Rachel from his previous statement.
"Mercedes begged me."
"The great Rachel Berry gave into peer pressure."
"I was just giving a friend some moral support,"
"Even when that friend ends up ditching you?"
"She didn't-" Puck gave her a look, "Okay, fine maybe she did but I do believe her intentions were good."
"Do you always only see the good in people?"
"Bullshit. You keep following around Hudson despite the fact he's just stringing you along. Quinn's been nothing but a bitch to you and you do nothing but support her. You thought I possessed some greatness despite the shit I put you through."
"Because you do. I truly see potential in you Noah. I've forgiven you for all your past in discrepancies"
"You're the only one apparently. And I think you've got an extra screw lose because of it. Look, I think I'm sober enough because this feelings shit is really getting on my nerves," Puck said standing up, "How about I take you home. Or would you rather see if Chocolate Thunder is done with Chocolate Lightning?" He offered Rachel his hand.
"That's a horrible nickname for Matt," Rachel said accepting Puck's hand and allowing him to help her up.
"You want the ride home or not Rachel?"
He didn't let go of her hand until they got to his truck.
Puck insisted that he was sober enough to drive. Which Rachel was thankful for because she felt that Puck's truck was a mammoth and refused to drive it any longer than she had to. The ride home is silent. At least on Rachel's exterior. Inside Rachel is trying to figure out how she ended up here, in Noah Puckerman's truck after having a real conversation with the boy. Puck occasionally glances at Rachel who had this look in her eye and Puck can only assume that she is thinking. Which he seemed to be doing as well. He might have to blame the alcohol for him grabbing Rachel Berry by her tiny hands. But he was so angry from his argument with Quinn and the second he saw Rachel, he was fixated on her. It was like something clicked. And he was well aware of how ridiculous that sounded. Because he and Rachel Berry weren't suppose to click. When Puck pulls into Rachel's driveway, Rachel quickly thanks him for the ride before exiting the vehicle and hurrying inside. Puck waited until Rachel was safely inside. He knew from one of the conversations that he over heard during glee that her Dads weren't home until Monday morning.
Immediately after locking the front door and setting the alarm system Rachel went to her bedroom and began her nightly ritual. Teeth, hair, and skin are perfect order. She emerged from her bathroom in purple and pink flannel pants and a white tank top and glanced at her nightstand where her blackberry was blinking. She had a text message. She immediately thought it would be from Mercedes who Rachel called on the way home so that if Mercedes wouldn't be worried. She hadn't answered but she left a voicemail. But to Rachel's surprise her text message was from Puck.
Noah April 10, 2010 12:43:02 AM
So. I like that you think I have potential or whatever.
Rachel caught herself smiling at the text. She pushed her covers back and slipped into bed before responding to his text.
Does that mean you want to be friends Noah?
Noah April 10, 2010 12:47:46 AM
You've gotta stop callin' me that. But yeah.
Rachel laughed at his honesty. She hadn't meant to mock him in anyway. But this was Noah Puckerman. Honesty and feelings weren't exactly his forte. She was shocked that he had chosen her. She wasn't going to question it because she knew that it would very well drive him away. She had her fair-weather friends but Rachel thought for just a second that she might be able to find a genuine friend in Puck.
That would be wonderful. Goodnight Noah.
Noah April 10, 2010 12:59:35 AM