"Dude I just don't get this" Puck moaned throwing his pen down and not caring as it rolled away and off the side of the table he and Artie we working at in the library "it's too hard"
"Geometry? I already helped you with that today" Artie protested looking up from his history homework
"Chemistry, I didn't even realise I was taking it this semester" Puck admitted dropping his head on to the desk with a smack that had Artie wincing in sympathy.
"Well I'm not, but Rachel is" Artie said turning back to his homework and not seeing Puck's scared face as he shot up from leaning it against the table. The last time he had talked to Rachel had been when he had run away from that meeting with Figgins and his parole officer last week, he had pelted it up to the stairs to the top floor to where he knew Rachel hid from Biology in an unused classroom.
"Mel?" he practically sobbed before stumbling over to Rachel whose face was in a picture of disbelief at hearing her old nickname, Melody, Mel for short from his lips, one she hadn't heard in years, not since they had stopped talking in junior high.
"Apollo?" she whispered as he collapsed next to her and put his head in her lap as she sat on the floor, her hands fluttering to his head she stroked down his returned Mohawk his tears soaking her skirt more as he heard his old nickname, one he didn't deserve anymore.
"I'm sorry Mel, I'm sorry" he sobbed clinging to her thighs underneath his head
"You already apologise Pol" Rachel reminded him of when he apologised last year
"I promised you to be better, I promised this summer after Beth that I would be a better person, I promised you before that awful video that I tried to be good and failed but I would be better. And look what I did, look what I'm doing"
"Pol you need to explain to me" Rachel whispered caressing his back to sooth him as much as she could "I'm confused"
"I was stupid and got sent to juvie, and it sucked Mel, it was awful someone tore out my nipple ring and kept eating my waffles, and I don't want to go back...but..."
"But you're still trying to live up to your reputation" Rachel sighed leaning down to press a kiss to his head as it lay in her lap "oh Pol, I want to help, can I help?"
"Where were you before?" Puck said angrily suddenly sitting up and dashing the tears from his eyes "you don't care about me either!"
"No Pol, I do! I always have" Rachel insisted getting on her feet as he climbed to his and moved forward "I do Pol, I always will" she promised earnestly moving towards him only to finally start crying as he backed further away from her and ran away again.
"Ra...Rachel?" he stammered at Artie who nodded again and returned to his work wanting to finish it before his date with Brit tonight, wheeling away half an hour later with Puck still chewing on his pen as he tried to make sense of the equations he was supposed to be balancing in front of him, trying not to think about the girl he had run from again, run from and hurt and tried to stay away from now she was happy.
"Do you want some help?" Rachel said timidly from the corner she had been sitting in since they had entered, she got to her feet and scuttled over to him when he scowled but nodded sharply, sitting down next to him Rachel clearly showed him what he was doing wrong without raising her head to look at him. Knowing he would get angry at the hurt look that had been in her eyes since lunch, and worrying what she might see in his.
"Thanks" he grunted, Rachel flashed him a little smile and scuttled away again before collecting her stuff and disappearing out of the library, Puck's head snapping up as soon as she did knowing something was wrong with his Melody if she was avoiding him knowing she was there.
After finishing his homework, it now making sense he went home and helped his mom with dinner before helping his sister with her homework and spending the night watching TV. Trying to follow Artie's advice about him hanging around with people who would be a good influence on him, therefore not answering Santana's sexts, and thinking of the girl three streets over with hair like silk and a voice that soothed him like no other
Rachel on the other hand spent the evening crying her eyes out before angrily dashing them from her eyes and marching into her closet, she was going to make them regret the day they decided to mess with Rachel Berry. She prepped a new outfit for the next day that would have them stopping in their tracks and worked out until she was exhausted before collapsing in her bed.
Waking up the next day she slid her long legs into the same black leather pants that she had worn for the most recent mash up, loving the way they made her feel sexy and sleek paired with the knee high black boots she had bought herself, with a light tunic top in a deep purple, she looked like never before. So with a strut into school that they hadn't seen since she had decided to dress like Britney she had once again ever boy eating out of the palm of her hand, Finn's face dropping as he grabbed his hoodie once again and headed towards his girlfriend as she entered the cafeteria.
"Hey you look cold" he started only to be surprised by a sharp slap across the face that cracked sharply enough to silence the teenagers hanging out in the cafeteria before the start of school.
"You got a nerve" Rachel said sharply bringing up her knee between his legs and relishing into the sharp sympathetic groan from all the men as he squealed like a pig in pain , kicking him over with the toe of her boot as he crumpled in pain Rachel walked towards the jocks and Cheerio's. "Well Bitch features?" she called out Quinn "got something to say? How about to your new boyfriend if not to me?"
"Quinn? What is she talking about?" Sam asked from his perch next to Puck and Artie, Puck's eyes on Rachel's legs in those tight leather trousers, finally clambering to his feet Finn stumbled over to Rachel as she crossed her arms and stared down the blonde beauty in front of her.
"Rach" he squeaked, trying to clear his throat
"Unless you want me to remove the ability you currently posses to achieve an erection at all, I would sit down and shut up if I was you" Rachel snapped not looking back at him as everyone paled and grabbed their cocks in sympathy, even Puck who could see the sharp points of those boots he wanted to slowly take off her.
"Well Quinn?" she asked again arching her eyebrow and leaning all her weight on her left leg "want to explain to everyone here? Want to explain how much of a whore you are, which is ironic considering how much you call me that"
"I am not a whore!" Quinn screamed, her composure finally cracking
"Getting pregnant by your boyfriends best friend, and then cheating again on your new boyfriend that makes you a slut, and a slut is just another word for a whore" Rachel said her voice deathly quiet but the cafeteria was silent all straining to hear her.
"You cheated on me with Finn?" Sam choked out in anger wrenching himself away from Quinn who moved to grab his hand "fuck this shit I'm out" he stormed away, Mike and Artie followed him quickly to make sure he was ok.
Puck stayed behind as he realised this is what had been wrong with Rachel yesterday and if he had just opened his mouth and stopped avoiding her he would have been able to be there for her like he had wanted to be for the last two years.
"Like you can talk Man Hands!" Quinn said bitterly as Sam stormed away, only to scream in shock as Rachel's hand snapped back and slapped her, Quinn brought her hand to her cheek in surprise and looked at Rachel in shock ready to protest, her other hand on her stomach instinctively.
"Not pregnant anymore, can't use that as an excuse" Rachel said smugly "see you made a mistake Quinn; actually you made a few over the last few years. First you decided to make me your victim, ok fine high school is four years of my life I really don't give a flying monkey. Secondly you and my boyfriend cheated, on me, me Rachel Berry, I don't take too kindly to that hence the slap, and the hell I'm going to put you through. But finally, you turned my best friend against me"
Puck's head snapped up as he was brought into Rachel's speech, at least he thought she meant him.
"What best friend?" Quinn asked scathingly, trying to gain some high ground back
"Noah, my best friend, the one you told I would leave behind two years ago, the one you successfully managed to drive a wedge between himself and me, the friendship you got jealous of so you had to end. Because how dare Rachel 'man hands' Berry be close to the hottest guy in school even though Quinn Fabray doesn't want him? Rachel can't have him, oh no that can't work, so let me start lying, let me start bullshitting, lets pray on the one thing that Noah is self conscious about and make out like Rachel is going to leave him in the dust. Well let's just say you have had you three strikes Quinn, so no more Man Hands or Ru Paul, no more pornographic images on the bathroom walls, no more flushing my lipstick down the toilet, no more bitching moaning and whining at me. In fact I'm holding you accountable for every cheerio in this school, I get bullied one more time by any of them I'm coming back to you, so do yourself a favour and just don't talk to me anymore or about me anymore"
Everyone stunned by Rachel's speech all of which had been said in a calm even voice that was both intimidating and quiet simply watched as she strutted away, all of the guys eyes trained to her ass as she did.
"I'll deal with you later Hudson" Puck promised angrily before getting to his feet and following Rachel, fuming both at Finn's behaviour and everyone's eyes following his Melody, she was his she always had been. Following her as quickly as he could as she stormed away, knowing she was trying to get to her hideout before she started to cry he followed her to the unused classroom, reaching her just as she broke down he wrapped her in his arms as she let out all the hurt at Finn's actions and the control she had need for that little scene in the cafeteria.
"I'm here" he murmured "I'm here Mel"
"I need you Pol" Rachel admitted "I've needed you these last two years, but you pushed me away and treated me so badly, what happened to my Apollo? What happened to my god of protection? I really needed him the last few years"
"I know Mel, I know" Puck said pulling her in tighter and pressing a kiss to her head "I'm sorry I really am, but I'm here now and I'm not going anywhere this time"
"You promise?" Rachel sobbed looking up at him, her makeup running down her face as she gazed up at him, not knowing that he still thought she was the most beautiful girl in the world.
"I promise, I promise, I promise, I promise" he chanted into her hair as she clung to him "the return of Melody and Apollo"
"I missed us" Rachel choked out "I want this, I want us"
"This is us, this is us in every way it can be, musical partners, best friends, boyfriend girlfriend, this is us the return of us"
"Assuming a lot there" Rachel laughed a little but nodding, agreeing with him as he bent down and pressed a kiss to her lips quickly.
"I was always your endgame you knew that" he argued against her lips, unable to stop kissing her now that he could again.
"I know" Rachel sighed as the bell rang for first period and the both winced "I really don't feel like class"
"I never do either, you know I never got breakfast, this hot as fuck girl walked in and reminded me I was an idiot for letting this bitch get to me two years ago"
"Waffles?" Rachel said with a grin