I have an honest confession to make… I've been avoiding writing because I know that I'm reaching the end, and the end of this means the summer is over and I have to go back to the real world and the real world is boring and educational. Thank you to everyone who has stuck with me from the beginning, and to those who have picked this up along the way. I love my readers dearly. There are only two more chapters after this, so know that we are hitting the proverbial home stretch. I will also tell you that this chapter is pure fluff.
The two songs in this chapter are "And There It Is" by Scott Alan ft. Lisa Brescia and "A Light in the Dark" from Next to Normal. If you get the chance, listen to them. They are both beautiful songs, and if I can take a second to give a shout out to the music of Scott Alan, look up some of his music if you have the time, as he is a genius at telling stories lyrically. Ok, schpiel over, read on!
Monday had ended unremarkably, as Rachel had plans to discuss music with Quinn during free period, and then Puck had basketball practice after school. Although it seemed as though they were back together, both Rachel and Puck were unsure where exactly they stood, and they both spent their evenings staring at their phones, contemplating calling, and wondering why the other person wasn't.
Tuesday dawned, and Rachel was up early creating a karaoke track for her performance today. After the ambivalence of yesterday, a definite statement of intent was needed. Rachel's song would make that statement and then some. With a smile, she pulled the CD out of the drive and popped it into a case. Here goes nothing, she thought.
A few blocks away, Puck was just getting up, but his mind was on his song as well. He was taking a pretty big chance with his choice, since picking a song from a musical had the potential to take a good amount, if not all, of his street cred. He needed to make a big gesture, though, to show Rachel he was committed to their relationship. Right now, they were in that awkward 'we know how we feel about each other but haven't really said it' phase, and while that might seem all cute and shit to those crazy chicks reading vampire books or whatever, it was frustrating as hell when you were living it.
As he walked into McKinley High, Puck spotted Rachel talking to Tina at her locker. In the course of their conversation, her eyes locked upon him and she smiled. He smiled back but didn't head over, wanting to let her continue her conversation. He'd see her in math anyway.
Tina laughed a little when she saw Rachel's face light up.
"So, things are going well?" Rachel's smile faded.
"I think so. Yesterday was great and I finally found what I was missing. I needed to be able to fight for myself, and I'm feeling absolutely empowered. And Noah seemed to be comfortable with my confidence, but then I didn't hear anything from him, and I thought that perhaps he would contact me, since he seemed to be quite determined to repair our relationship. Perhaps, since he is a male, he figured that it would be somewhat of an affront to his manhood to be the first to call, but then again…"
"Rachel, you're rambling."
"I'm sorry, Tina. Thank you for telling me."
"You said you're confident now, so be confident that things will work out, and that you're not doing anything wrong. He probably feels just as weird as you do." Rachel's smile returned.
"What would I do without you Tina? Speaking of which, thank you for your musical assault on Santana yesterday. It was quite refreshing to see her embarrassed."
"I could say the same about you taking down Kurt and Mercedes. Santana can be a bitch, but at least she's honest about it. I used to be close with those two, but once they joined the Cheerios, all they cared about was their reputation. I mean, trying to get ourselves on the Glist was fun, but when that was done it was back to them being Cheerios and Artie and I being on our own again. I want to be friends with them, I just wish they'd be consistent about who they are."
"That's exactly how I felt as well, so I'm glad we were able to help each other." Not for the first time, Rachel was thrilled that she and Tina had become friends. This was an amazing feeling. A glance at the clock let the girls know that they needed to head off to class. With a promise to sit by each other in Glee, they headed off in their different directions.
Math was an interesting experience. They were taking a test, so Rachel and Puck couldn't talk, but being near each other was driving them each crazy. There were about a hundred things to discuss, and besides that, there was the instinct to forget the discussion and move on to more pleasant activities. By the time the period ended, they were both at a simmer.
As they walked together to Glee, however, they found themselves at a loss for words.
"I'm doing my song today." Puck finally said.
"Me too." She replied with a smile.
"Good timing." He laughed. When they reached the choir room, Puck noticed Rachel take a deep breath and straighten her back a bit. With a little more strut in her step, she walked in, sending a quick glance Santana's way to let her know that she had not backed down since yesterday. The Cheerio was sitting off to the side with Brittany, glaring at Rachel. Rachel simply smiled and sat down next to Tina, and Puck continued the show by sitting down next to Rachel.
"Glee has become so entertaining these past few weeks." Tina commented with a chuckle.
"You said it." Artie joked from beside her.
"Okay, guys, let's get started." Mr. Schue said as he walked in. "Who's up today?" Rachel's hand shot up and she didn't wait for Mr. Schue to call on her to head up to the front.
"I can almost guarantee that you haven't heard this song before. It's by a musician named Scott Alan and he writes these beautiful story pieces and, well, this one was fitting my emotions recently." She slipped her CD into the player, pressed play, and took a deep breath while the piano intro played.
When I was young I fantasized
I thought each revelry came true
Secured away, unawakened
A prince's kiss would bring me to
We'd ride away upon his horse
We'd journey 'til the sky appeared
His hair would blow upon my face
And we'd live happily for years
When you're young you dream for hours
But I have learned dreams fade away
And there it is.
His hands, they're warm like a summer day
His lips taste sweet like honeydew
It's almost too good to be true
The two of us can talk for hours
About what seems like
Nothing much at all
He's not afraid to show his affections
He's not afraid to fall deeply in love
And there it is
That's just the thing
I'm not the same
I am afraid
I'm scared to death
To love the way I once did
If I surrender, would it hurt me like it did back then?
He's a budding rosebud
I'm just the thorn upon his stem
But he still loves me as I am
And there it is.
Yes, there it is.
Yes I know he loves me
Maybe it's time to let him in
Start my heart over and let this new chapter begin
Well, there it is.
Yes, there it is.
The group broke out in applause, but Rachel's eyes were set on the one person clapping the hardest from front row.
"That was a very honest piece, Rachel, and I thought it was great. Another strong performance, as usual." Rachel smiled at his comments as she headed back to her seat. "Who's next?" To the surprise of a few in the room, Puck raised his hand up. He didn't usually participate in the weekly challenges unless he was coerced. "Okay, Puck, let's see what you've got." He sauntered up to the front and stood where Rachel just had.
"I got talked into expanding my music knowledge recently," He started, shooting a smile Rachel's way, "And I found a song that I related to. I've been asking a lot of questions recently about who I am and what I want, and I think this will help everyone know my answer."
One light shines in the drive Tell me why I wait through the night,
One single sign that our house is alive.
Our house, our own
So why do I live there alone?
And why do I leave on the light?
You know—I know,
Our house was a home long ago.
Tell me why I wait through the night,
Take this chance, Take my hand,
'Cause it may be our last
To be free,
To let go of the past,
And to try,
To get through all this strife,
To let our love never die
Or to just live our life.
And let me take you heart,
Keep it far
From what keeps us apart
Let us start
With a light in the dark.
Take my hand,
Suddenly, Puck walked forward and pulled Rachel out of her seat. He knew that she knew the lyrics, he needed a female vocalist to help him with the end of the song, and he wanted her to be a part of his gesture, not just showing Glee that he was serious, but specifically showing her.
Night falls I stare at the walls
I stare at these walls
I wake and wander the halls
I get lost in these halls
And I ache to the bone
It's like nothing I've known
I can't get through this alone
He took her hands and pulled them to his chest, drawing her close so her face was just inches from his.
Take this chance,
And we'll make a new start
Somewhere far from what keeps us apart,
And I swear that somewhere in the night
There's a light
A light in the dark.
The song ended, and for a moment the Glee room sat in absolute silence. It was broken as Tina began clapping, following it with an "About time you idiots!" Most of the group followed with their applause, but Santana kept her silence in the corner. Quinn and Finn were smiling from their seats together, proud of their work of getting the two back together.
"Are you surprised?" Puck asked, still holding Rachel close.
"That you embraced musical theatre? Yes, that was a pleasant surprise. That we ended up back here?" She leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on his lips. "Not one bit."
I saw a promo for the new season of Glee on Fox today. They didn't show any clips, they were just saying that it would be back in September and I got very excited! That may be my one comfort with summer coming to an end. Just two chapters left, and I promise to write more quickly now that I've gotten over my mild summer ending depression. Hope you enjoyed it!