Title: I'm Still Standing
Fandom/Pairing: Glee Rachel/Puck
Disclaimer: If I owned it, I wouldn't be writing fan fiction about it
Spoilers: Through FURT
Summary: When Kurt leaves school that only leaves 1 main target for all of Karofsky's anger.
Warnings: attempted sexual assault
Author's note: After watching FURT this idea came to me…I am SO anti-bullying and this is kind of my personal homage to the cause.
Author's note 1: This will be written from Rachel's POV unless otherwise noted (I am planning one Kurt POV part)…
Most organizations have a serial bully. It never ceases to amaze me how one person's divisive dysfunctional behavior can permeate the entire organization like a cancer.
I give myself a final once over in the mirror before I head down to breakfast. I adjust my pink sweater set and grey skirt, make sure my argyle socks are pulled up and slip my feet into my loafers. I hope I look like I normally do. Since Finn and I broke up I don't want people thinking I am pining over him. I'm not. After lying to me about having sex with Santana and then my own need for revenge that had led me into Noah's arms, I realized that while I loved the idea of Finn, the idea of Finn and I, the reality wasn't anything like that. We both seemed to be spending all our time trying to be the person we thought the other one wanted. Isn't love supposed to be about being accepted for who you are and accepting others in the same way?
I sigh and head downstairs to the kitchen. My dad's are away on business until early next week. They had left the evening after sectionals. I quickly grab a SoyJoy bar and a glass of juice. I'm not looking forward to heading to school. I am sure by now everyone knows of the demise of my relationship with Finn so I know I must prepare myself for the ridicule that is to come. While it never totally stopped, being the quarterback's girlfriend did have the perk of lessening the bullying that I have experienced since junior high. Now I feel as if I am heading right back into enemy territory totally unarmed. If I am lucky, there might be 3 people who will talk to me outside of the glee room. Mike and Tina had double dated with Finn and I on several occasions and we seemed to have gotten closer, but I don't know how they feel since the break up. Maybe they did it to make Finn happy or maybe they will take his side in the breakup. I suppose only time will tell. The only other person who might talk to me is Noah. I'm still a bit shocked that he admitted to liking me in front of everyone at sectionals. As soon as Santana had said that no one in the room liked me, I figured that was it. I saw the guilty looks on Mike and Tina's faces, but I also know that neither one is good in confrontational situations. But then Noah had piped up that he liked me. Maybe it was because of his whole porta-potty epiphany, but I wasn't going to question it.
The clock seems to be glaring at me and I know that I need to head out so I grab my coat and bag and head for the door. I dropped my stuff in the back of my car and slide into the driver's seat. After buckling my seatbelt I head out. I crank up my music and sing along as I head to school, trying to use the music to clear my head. All too soon I end up in the school parking lot. I take a deep breath, grab my stuff and head towards the front doors of the school. I am about halfway across the parking lot when I hear someone calling my name. I turn and see Noah jogging towards me and I slow to wait for him to catch up.
"Good morning, Noah," I greet him with a smile. It looks like there is someone willing to talk to me.
"'Sup Berry?" Noah greeted in reply. "Kind of surprised you're here today. I thought you might take a day after everything that went down."
"That wouldn't make it any easier to come back," I point out as we walk through the doors and head in the direction of my locker. "In fact, it would probably make it harder. Finn and I are over and life goes on. I am not going to sit around and wallow in what could have been or better yet what never should have been."
"Good for you, Berry," Noah smirked and leaned beside her locker. "He's not worth it. Neither is Satan. You're a young, hot Jew with your whole life ahead of you."
"Thanks, Noah," I laugh at his compliment. "To be honest, I am a little surprised that you talked to me this morning. I was worried that since Finn and I broke up that everyone would take his side."
"Fuck that," Noah snorted. "I don't do sides. He fucked up, you fucked up. I even helped you fuck up."
"I am sorry about that, Noah," Rachel apologized again. "It was so stupid. If this has caused any rift between you and Finn I will make sure he knows it was all my idea."
"Don't worry about it," Noah shrugged as his eyes drifter across the hall behind me. "It's not like I want to hang out and watch him and Santana all over each other anyway."
I slowly turned my head to see Santana running her fingers up and down Finn's arm. When Finn looks into his locker, Santana turns and smirks at me as if to say 'He's mine now, man hands.' Surprisingly, I don't feel the sadness or loneliness I thought I would.
"You okay?" Noah nudged my arm to get my attention.
"Unpredictably yes," I smiled at him. "I was contemplating just this morning in relation to how I think that I loved the ideal of Finn rather then the actuality of him..."
"English, Berry," Noah interrupted.
"What I mean is that I liked who I wanted Finn to be more then who he really is," I explained as I closed my locker. "I had this stupid fantasy in my head about him being this perfect guy and he isn't. Perfect is overrated."
"Let's get you to class," Noah chuckled.
"You're coming to math?" I asked in surprise.
"Hell no," Noah replied, putting his hand on the small of her back and steering her in the direction of class. "I said we were getting YOU to math. I'm heading to the nurse for my morning nap."
I gathered my things and headed out of class. When I entered the hallway, it was bustling with activity. As I headed to my locker I noticed Dave Karofsky become aware of me and then head in my direction. I didn't see a slushy in his hands, but that didn't necessarily make me feel better. I looked back at my locker and proceeded to get what I needed and ignore Karofsky's presence. My attention, however, was immediately attained when I feel a hand grabbed my backside. I gasp and immediately spin around finding Karofsky very much in my personal space.
"David Karofsky!" I fume. "What do you think you are doing manhandling me like that?"
"Since Finn dumped you that makes you free game," Karofsky chuckled darkly, his eyes raking over my body. "Just getting my share."
Before I can form a response, Mike Chang puts himself between the two of us. I relax against my locker as Mike comes to my aid.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Mike demanded. "Back off before I make you back off!"
"Yeah," Karofsky snorted. "That worked well for you last time and you had Wheelie with you then. Now why don't you back off so Berry and I can continue our conversation?"
"I don't think so," Mike smirked as he looked over Karofsky's shoulder.
"Do we have a problem here?" Noah said from behind Karofsky, Tina at his side.
"No problem," Karofsky put his arms up in mock surrender and backed away. "Just talking to Berry about our romantic future."
"I don't know what fantasy world you seem to live in," I seethe, "but there isn't now nor will there ever be any romantic anything between us. So if you would kindly keep your hands to yourself from now on I won't go see Principle Figgins about this."
"You put your hands on her?" Noah glared at Karofsky, who just smirked and walked off.
"He grabbed her ass and pinned her to her locker," Mike explained, glowering at Karofsky's retreating figure.
"Are you okay, Rachel?" Tina asked, putting her hand on my arm.
"Um, yeah," I nod, gathering my wits. "He's just…I mean, no one has ever actually laid their hands on me before. I know he threw Kurt into lockers and such, but Kurt is still technically a guy."
"Let's just get to glee," Noah said, picking up my bag and ushering us down the hall.
As I walk with my three friends I see the other students that had been in the hall either openly stare at me or totally avoid looking at me. I am sure I even hear a few mutter things like 'she totally deserved that' and 'she asked for it'. What in the world had I ever done to deserve to be treated the way I was? How could I have possibly offended an entire school? Sure, I knew I was driven and abrasive, but I have never been mean to anyone.
"You okay?" Noah asked as the choir room came into view.
"Just a little shaken," I replied, taking a deep breath to gather my senses. "Thank you all for your help. I shudder to think what would have happened if you hadn't…"
"But we did, Rach," Mike interrupted. "Are you sure you don't want to tell Figgins or maybe Mr. Shue?"
"Maybe even Coach Sylvester," Tina said, and then added when she got strange looks from Mike and Noah, "Kurt said she resigned as principle to be able to walk the halls again to help him with the bullying he was experiencing."
"I'll be fine," I assured them. "I'm sure it was just a one time thing. With Kurt gone I suppose I became public enemy number one, so to speak. David used to divide his time between the two of us and now there is just me. Let's just get into glee. I definitely need some music therapy."
The following morning I found myself once again staring into my mirror, critiquing my outfit. I didn't think my skirt was too short or that I was exposing too much skin. The Cheerio's skirts were much shorter then this and their tops were sleeveless while mine wasn't. I tried to bring my thoughts away from this. I knew that what happened yesterday was not my fault. It didn't happen because of what I was wearing or anything I had done, but there was still this little voice in the back of my head that kept repeating what I had heard in the hallway. I sighed and stepped away from the mirror and looked at the clock. Noah would be here to pick me up in about 15 minutes and I still needed to grab breakfast. It seems he and Mike had decided that I needed bodyguards or something silly like that. I had tried to protest, but they would have none of it. To be honest, it actually made me feel cared about that they were worried about me and wanted to protect me. Outside of my father's I don't remember anyone ever trying to protect me.
Just as I am finishing up my juice I hear Noah's truck pull into my driveway. I quickly rinse out my glass, grab my bag and head for the door. I swing it open just as Noah seems to be lifting his hand to knock.
"Miss me that much, Berry?" he teased and I felt my cheeks turning pink.
"Yes Noah," I huff, hoping to cover my embarrassment with bravado, "I have been up for HOURS sitting by the door because I couldn't wait to see you again. I don't know how I survived the night without you around."
"We could remedy that," he continued to tease as I closed the door and we headed to his truck. "You're single, I'm single. We're both hot, incredibly talented Jews. I think it would be a disservice to the world if we didn't."
"Do you stay up at night thinking that ridiculousness up?" I fire back, though I can't stop my mind from wandering to the memories of making out with him while we dated.
"If I didn't already know how hot I am," Noah replied as he opened the truck door for her, "you would really be a blow to my ego, Rach."
"I definitely don't think a low opinion of yourself will ever be a problem for you," I laugh as I climb into the cab and settle in as he closes the door and rounds to the driver's side.
"I'll take that as a compliment," Noah smirks as he starts the truck and they head to school.
The day had progressed without incident, mainly due to the fact that Noah and Mike never left me alone. One of them was always there to walk me to class and when I left one of them was there to get me to the next. Whenever I saw David in the hallway he seemed to be glaring at whichever guy was my current bodyguard, but he kept his distance. At lunch I sat on the end of the glee table next to Noah while Mike and Tina sat across from us.
"So, Rupaul, what's up with the security detail?" Santana asked from her seat beside Finn.
"I don't know what you are referring to," I responded, not wanting to have this conversation.
"Oh please," Santana sneered, "Since you walked into school this morning either Puck or Mike has been glued to your side. Got Karofsky off and are now working on two guys at once?"
"Back off, Satan," Noah growled.
"Or what, Puck?" Santana challenged. "I'm not saying anything most of the school isn't. Berry seems to fill some kind of fetish need in guys. Finn obviously didn't get off on it so now she is marketing it to a broader audience."
"That is enough, Santana," I almost growl. "I understand that being a bitch is thoroughly ingrained in your being. You have an almost Pavlovian response with it, but that doesn't mean I am going to sit here and allow you to talk to me or about me in such a way. Mike and Noah are my friends. I know that is a foreign concept for you, especially since they are males. But you see, it is possible for men and woman to be friends and not be participating in any kind of sexual relationship. I can not fathom why you and so many others in this school seem to think that it is okay to pass judgment on me and to spread scandalous and untrue rumors, but I am done. Considering I am only 1 of 2 virgins at this table I think you are quite the hypocrite. If rumors are true, and since you seem to be vouching for there validity, you've had sex with every guy in this school that has a letterman's jacket except Sam and not all of them one at a time. Personally, I don't care who or what you do, but I will not have you saying such lascivious things regarding my person while you are the one actually acting on them. Now if you will excuse me, I have lost my appetite."
My gaze swept over the table where I took in Santana's angry face, Noah's amazed face, Brittany's confused face and the shocked looks of everyone else before I grabbed my bag and headed for the door.
"Wait up, Berry," I heard Noah call as I reached the cafeteria door. I turned and waited for him to catch up before continuing on. "That was totally badass the way you put Santana in her place! I didn't know you had it in you! I must be rubbing off on you."
"I hope not," I chuckled.
Thursday morning came and I woke up feeling more hopeful about my day. Yesterday had gone well so I was optimistic about today. I went through my normal routine and was just gathering my school things when the doorbell rang.
I opened the door to find Tina waiting for me. Noah and Mike had an early practice with Coach Beiste so Tina had volunteered to pick me up.
"Good morning, Tina," I smiled as we headed towards her car. "How are you this lovely morning?"
"Not too bad," Tina replied. "I'm a little worried about our science test, but Mike helped me study last night so I hope that will help."
"I must say that you and Mike are so cute together," I giggled, enjoying having another girl to bond with. I slipped into the passenger side of Tina's car.
"Thanks," Tina blushed. "We're good. It's weird. I wanted Artie for so long, but then found that we were better friends. It's not like he changed or anything, but I think I thought he would. Mike just gets me, you know?"
"I wish I did," I replied wistfully as I look out the window and watch the scenery pass by. "I think Finn and I had the same problem as you and Artie. I wanted a fantasy and was let down by the reality."
"Live and learn," Tina shrugged. "But you have Puck now."
"Oh no," I shook my head firmly. "Noah and I are just friends. He doesn't feel that way about me. He just sort of found God so to speak when he became locked in the porta potty. He promised God that if he got out he would be nicer to other Jews."
"He isn't nicer to Jacob," Tina pointed out as she pulled into the school parking lot. "In fact, I think he wedgied him yesterday."
I decided to drop the subject and grabbed my stuff and exited the car. I waited for Tina to get her things and then we headed into the building.
When I left English I expected to find Noah waiting for me, but he wasn't there. He must have gotten held up so I began to make my way to my locker. I walked quickly, planning to rush to my next class. Without Noah or Mike by my side I felt incredibly vulnerable. I opened my locker and began to exchange my books. I was about half way done when I saw a shadow fall over me. I turned slowly and prayed it was Noah, but instead I come face to face with David Karofsky.
"Alone at last," Karofsky leered at me, moving closer to press me into the lockers.
"We're in the middle of a crowded hallway," I retort, trying to will my voice not to quiver. "Now if you will excuse me, David, I have a class to get to." As I say this I attempt to move around him.
"You're not going anywhere," Karofsky replied. He grabbed my arm and slammed me back into the locker bank. My head bounced off the metal with a clang, sending a shooting pain into my skull. Before I could even react, I feel his hand on my breast, squeezing roughly. Then his other hand is moving under my skirt. I know that I am saying "no", but I am unsure how loud I am. My head still feels rattled and my vision blurs as my eyes tear up. Just as I feel his hand brush against my underwear he is suddenly yanked away from me.
"What the hell do you think your doing?" I recognized Sam's voice as I slide to the floor. "Get the hell away from her!"
"This doesn't concern you, Evans," Karofsky growls.
"Anytime some asshole tries to take advantage of a girl, I make it my business," Sam growled back. "I will only tell you once more to back off."
"Another time, Berry," Karofsky smirked at me as he walks off.
Sam is then at my side trying to help me stand.
"Are you okay, Rachel?" Sam's voice is filled with concern. "What do you need?"
"I…I need…" but I can't seem to form a coherent thought. "Safe…I need safe."
"I'll take you to Puck," Sam suggested. "I think Coach Beiste needed to talk to him."
I just nod and let him begin to lead me away. As he does my eyes scan the hallway to see all the people who had witnessed what happened to me and did nothing. Looking across from my locker I am shocked. My eyes meet Finn's. He had just stood there and let David Karofsky attack me and did nothing. I gasp and Sam follows my line of sight. I notice him glare at Finn as he continues to lead me down the hall.