Chapter 1

"So this is me" Puck said his hands stuffed in his pockets listening to the announcement for his flight, Rachel was the only one with him, the only one he trusted to say goodbye without making him feel guilty for leaving again.

"Good luck Noah" Rachel said with a bright smile, leaning up to hug him tightly, his arms wrapping around her quickly, his now army trained muscles lifting her up to bury his head into the crook of her neck "not that you need it" she added "because I know you are going to come back"

"I am?" he asked with a smirk "well you are sort of physic"

"Yes I am" Rachel smiled "but it's more you have been sleeping in my guest room for the last 2 weeks and I have seen how strong you really are now"

"Right strength is all I need" Puck said wryly

"Noah you are coming back because you have to, you can't leave things like this with everyone, but me" she clarified

"Why do you get this? You got this when I left after graduation and now three years later you get it again"

"Because this is what you feel you need to do, it's not my job or anyone else's to say what you feel is wrong, I'll be here when you get home ok? Right here to pick you up"

"Thank you Rachel" Puck said pulling her close again before letting her go "um I put you down as my next of kin, so if something does happen you'll get told. It just it didn't seem to be right to put my mom down when she was so against me joining up in the first place"

"That' ok" Rachel smiled "but I don't want anything to happen ok?"

"Ok, if I am about to get shot I'll stand up and tell the person he can't because Rachel Berry won't let him"

"Good" Rachel nodded smiling "I know not everyone is happy with you right now, but I always here if you want to call and get a reminder of home or as much as home as New York anyway"

"Thanks again Rach"

"Can I write to you?" she asked suddenly as his flight was called again.

"Sure, you have my address in Kabul" Puck shrugged, thinking only Rachel Berry would write when something called email had been invented "everyone else is going to email me, by everyone else I mean Mike and Finn"

"That was your flight again" Rachel sighed "I'll let you go"

Puck smiled tightly again and nodded before pulling her close and hugging her again "thanks Rach, you're a good friend"

"I try" Rachel shrugged as he let go of her "go on Noah" she pushed him away "go fight the good fight and come home safe and sound in six months"

"I will" he promised before turning and walking away hurrying to his gate, refusing to allow himself to turn around and see if she was watching him. After graduation he had left to join the Army, light infantry Rangers, but against his mother's wishes who had wanted him to go to OSU, three years later after Officer School and basic he was off on his first deployment to Afghanistan, and his mom still didn't support him, very few people did. Mike ad Finn didn't like it but hadn't stopped talking to him like Matt, Sam, and Quinn had, Rachel was the only one who fully supported him, she had easily accepted him leaving straight away and when he needed a place to stay before his deployment she had offered her place straight away, he hadn't thought they were great friends but they still were friends.


Noah

I know it's only been about a week since you left but it has felt like so much longer already, perhaps I became too used to your presence in my apartment. New York is ok, the weather is warm and it is stifling in the theatre but I am too excited to be starting in Wicked to care! I am so excited to be staring in one of the most well known and liked plays in Broadway theatre I just wish you were here to see my opening. I hope that you have acclimatised to Afghanistan easily, and that the routine is not to difficult, I know that your day to day events are more than likely quite mundane but I would love to hear from you!

Rachel

P.S I'm proud of you Noah!

Noah smiled and read the letter again as he lounged on his bunk, he had made the dig about email to try and convince her to email him, but now that he had the physical letter in his hand he knew it was more of a Rachel thing to do to write a real letter. Grabbing a pad of paper under his bed he called across to his tent mate "got a pen I can borrow?"

"Uh sure" Collins said digging through his pockets and tossing it across the tent to Puck "you writing a letter?"

"Yeah this friend of mine wrote one to me so I guess I should write back"

"That's cool" Collins smiled as Puck pulled his legs up to make a desk.

Hey Rach

You know I don't think I have ever written a letter, bet you had no idea that I had such nice, badass hand writing (you know it is!) Aww missing me already are we? Got to admit that I am missing the long ass lie ins and you cooking me my breakfast. Breakfast here seems to either be lumpy porridge or a piece of dry toast washed down with the strongest coffee in the world.

Congrats on the starring role in Wicked, that's awesome I can't believe that you didn't tell me when I was there, we should have gone out and celebrated, you haven't had a good night out unless you have been drunk on tequila and not gone to bed until after six. I may not be there for your opening but good luck, I know you are going to do great are you playing the green one? You were right about my day to day being mundane; I'm much more interested in hearing your day to day.

Noah, Puck, Noah

Noah

He chucked the letter into the post bag the next morning, knowing it would take a while to get back to her but already looking forward to her next letter, for some reason it had been a lot easier to write what he was thinking down on the piece of paper, in fact his letter had been longer than hers. Returning to his tent to pick up his gear for his patrol that day passing his neatly made bed, something he was sure his mom would have fainted to see, he saw Rachel's letter resting where he used it that morning to find her address picking it up he fiddled with it lifting it to his nose as he smelled a delicate scent on the dry air.

Breathing in a delicate scent of jasmine he grinned, from his one week with Rachel back in sophomore year he remembered her smelling like that, he didn't think that she had sprayed the paper with her perfume but for some reason the knowledge that she had physically touched the paper made him feel better then he thought. Folding the paper up he slid it into his inside jacket pocket, after only a week he hadn't really stared to be homesick, yeah life was completely different out in Afghanistan but the knowledge that someone cared like that for him was warming his heart.