Author's Note: It has been entirely too long since I've updated. Since Chapter 10 was posted, the company I worked for liquidated, I got married, the house temporarily turned into a hotel (we had a lot of visitors), I became unemployed, and, most recently, the hubs and I just got back from our two week vacation on the mainland. Despite all of the time I've had on my hands since September, I've found it really hard to write. Unlike some authors, I only have a rough mental sketch when I start writing a story; when the inspiration dries up, I don't have anything substantial to fall back on to keep writing. I have every intention of finishing this story (and Sing Me Home); I just may take a roundabout way of getting there.

Hopefully, this chapter makes up for the long wait. Originally, it was going to be a fun, drama-free piece. Easily written, quickly posted, and onto the next thing. Nothing about this chapter went the way I had hoped it would. I realized, several months ago, that things in the In Treatment-verse hadn't resolved as neatly as I had planned. Anyway, thanks for not giving up on me and I hope you enjoy!

In Treatment

Chapter 11: Run Right to the Edge with You

You can't run away from trouble. There ain't no place that far.

Uncle Remus

The week (almost) ends in the principal's office. Rachel's not sure if it's a metaphor or irony or just the cherry on the top of a truly ridiculous week. To be fair, it really, truly doesn't matter.

Rachel hates Principal Figgins' office.

Good girls don't get called into the principal's office. Good girls accept awards at the end of year honors assemblies. Good girls don't make it past the secretary's desk; they pass along papers or messages or receive whatever it is they need to receive but they do not get called into the principal's office.

Finn is sitting on the other side of the office, an ice pack held to his face. Coach Sylvester is standing in the corner, a small smirk playing over her otherwise impassive features. Mr. Shuester looks like he wants to puke. Principal Figgins is sitting behind his desk, hands folded, the picture of calm and composure (except for the little muscle that's jumping beneath his left eye). Rachel's pretty sure Noah's growling beside her, a low steady sound that is eerily reminiscent of a German shepherd, but she's too busy listening to the thoughts swirling around in her head to really notice.

And then, just as the principal is about to break the silence, Rachel bursts into tears.

Honestly, Rachel can't understand what she used to see in Will Shuester. Yes, he's handsome and well built and sings well enough to have a chance on Broadway. However, he's also self absorbed (Rachel should know the signs), a terrible teacher, a worse choir director, and completely ignorant about how the real world works. A year ago, she found his earnestness endearing. Now, she just wants to punch him in the face.

It's not like she's blind or deaf or stupid. Miss Pillsbury is dating Dr. Howell (the hot dentist) and the evidence of that dating is all over campus. Rachel's pretty sure that normal faculty members don't flaunt their personal lives so blatantly but Miss Pillsbury and her boyfriend are absolutely fucking everywhere. She's not sure if it's because the hot dentist is marking his territory or because Miss Pillsbury is trying to prove to Mr. Shue that she's over him or because the people working at McKinley are all just that fucked up but Rachel doesn't blame Mr. Shue for going a little crazy.

She does, however, blame him for taking his crazy out on the glee club.

Halloween is less than a week away and Rachel's looking forward to dressing up to hand out candy to the neighborhood kids. Her dads go all out for Halloween (there's a fucking spook house in her backyard) and it's the one holiday when Lima forgets that Hiram and Leroy are the weird queer couple and descend upon the Berry residence for something other than nailing patio furniture to the roof or throwing pee balloons at the front door. She's already been to the RHPS showing in Dayton twice, once with her dads and once with Noah, Kurt, and (surprisingly) Mercedes.

Considering all the idiotic things Mr. Shue has done (usually in the name of love or teamwork or something else achingly idyllic), Rachel shouldn't be surprised. She can't help but cringe when she sees him start to write on the white board (Rocky Horror Glee Show) and if she wasn't sitting in Noah's lap, the only thing shielding the group from the obvious tent in his pants, Rachel would be out of the room faster than you could say 'And the award goes to…'

"You cannot be serious."

The words are out of her mouth before she can stop them. Noah pats her knee, Kurt sucks in a ragged breath behind her, and she can feel several pairs of eyes burning into the back of her head. This is probably one of those moments in time that Dr. Robinson would tell her to back up, take a deep breath, apologize for her outburst, and then explain herself. Of course, Dr. Robinson isn't there and Rachel has no intention of apologizing. This is not time for apologizing; this is time to get shit done.

"Have you lost your mind?" It's a fair question. There's no way in hell that they can modify RHPS to be appropriate for a high school setting in a week. Even worse, there's the whole issue of their nonexistent budget and the fact that's it's almost November and they've made no real progress towards preparing for Sectionals. "As co-captain, I have to protest because this is really horrible timing. Sectionals may be months away, but, we are going to be out three days next month for Thanksgiving Break. Then, we have two and a half weeks off for winter break. This would be a perfect time to do the math and realize we are not exactly swimming in free time. Even if we had the time, our budget is strained enough without dipping down to present a shoddy musical production. So, I repeat, have you lost your mind?"

It's the most she's said in glee in weeks and Mr. Shue looks too shocked to say anything, much less roll his eyes. She's not aware of much besides her heavy breaths rattling around in her chest and Noah's fingers digging into her thighs. Rachel doesn't care what the rest of the club thinks; they can't put on a quality production in less than a week. They might pull of miracles but even for them this is asking too much. If anything it's asking too much of her.

And then, as if on cue, Finn opens his big, fat, stupid mouth.

"Oh, come on Rachel. I think it's a really good idea." Of course he thinks it's a good idea. He wouldn't know a good idea if it bit him in the face.

Finn stands up and fixes her with the goofy look that she once, somehow, found adorable. Now Rachel just finds it annoying, especially when the quarterback and Mr. Shuester share some nonverbal communication that makes her stomach jumps up in her throat. Nothing good can come of this; she doesn't need ESP to tell her that.

"Rachel, I think we all understand where you're coming from," obviously Mr. Shue doesn't understand where she's coming from or he wouldn't be suggesting this, "but, this isn't a gleeocracy. We really should take a vote." They really shouldn't, especially when she knows exactly how the vote is going to go. Voting in glee club always has and always will be a popularity contest.

Quinn's the first one to raise her hand in support and Sam, looking confused and a little disgruntled, follows her lead. It isn't long before (almost) everyone else follows suite. Typical. Rachel keeps her hands in her lap and Noah keeps his hands on her thighs (although she's pretty sure he's glaring at Finn too). Santana grumbles somewhere behind her, unsuccessfully trying to convince Brittany to put her hand down, and Kurt pats her shoulder and tells her he wholeheartedly agrees with her.

When the vote has been tallied up, nine against four, Mr. Shue claps his hands together and bounces on the balls of his feet excitedly. He then promptly hands the role of Janet over to her. There's no guilt or eye rolling or even a mention of auditioning. Even though she just shot down his idea with extreme honesty and brutality and she's still glaring at him like it will set his overstyled hair on fire, he just smiles and hands over the sheet music like he doesn't (probably) maybe hate her guts. It's like the early days when Mr. Ryerson was still on the front page of the Lima Herald and Rachel bulldozed over Mr. Shue (and the glee club) without a by-your-leave. That funny feeling in her stomach is now tap dancing on her spleen.


She's not the kind of person to turn down a lead role. She tries, she really does, but the words stick in her throat. It may just be Janet but it's a leading role and those are really important when it comes time to fill out college applications. Turning down a lead goes against the very core of what makes her a person. So, Rachel tries to tune out all the bad vibes while Finn and Mr. Shue share some more non-verbal communication, pats Noah on the leg, and prays that they won't completely embarrass themselves at the end of the week. Obviously nothing good is going to come of this.

It doesn't take long for the fragile peace she has with Mercedes to come tumbling down.

"What exactly is your damage?"

Mercedes corners Rachel as she's coming out of Chemistry. Noah is in another wing, Kurt and Tina are nowhere to be seen, and Santana is probably running around with Brittany (they're on better terms now with Artie out of the way).

"Excuse me?"

There isn't anywhere to run and no one to save her, so, Rachel tries to put on a brave face. When facing off with another diva, sass is important. You don't cringe or back down. You especially don't turn your back on said diva. It's a good way to get yourself shanked with sheet music from Cats.

"You heard me, Rachel, what is your damage? Last year you would have jumped at this chance. Shue didn't even pretend to make you work for this and you still can't suck it up? Newsflash, but, you don't always have to get your way."

Rachel stares at Mercedesand tries to pick her jaw from off the floor. All she's done for the last couple of weeks is suck it up. Since her break up with Finn, she's been overlooked for every single solo. Instead of blowing up and storming out (and possibly threatening Mr. Shue with a lawsuit for threatening her future career with his obvious favoritism), Rachel's helped Tina with her range and Kurt with his breath control. She even gave Quinn some tips on her phrasing, to help her from being so pitchy, even though it killed a piece of her to do so.

"Even if Finn and I were still together, I would still think this is a bad idea." Truth be told, the weird vibes are only her second concern. "We have four days to put together a performance worthy of ticket sales. Four days to put together new material in a responsibly coherent manner so that we don't embarrass ourselves. I know you all think that it's easy to put a performance together but, maybe, just maybe, you'll notice that when we put shit together on the fly, we only win against deaf kids and juvenile delinquents."

After all, it's almost November and they could be finalizing a set list (or three) and drilling choreography and not having to worry about pulling something out of their asses a couple of weeks after winter break. Considering how devastated they all were last year at the thought of club breaking up and how they need a win at Regionals to secure funding for another year, Rachel thinks they might be a little more concerned with the upcoming competitions and less concerned with fun times and Mr. Shue's love life.

With the way Mercedes just stares at her, it's obvious that the truth that she's sharing is falling on deaf ears. Which figures, considering Mercedes believes an award-winning performance consists of standing in one spot and belting out one note until her throat is raw.

"Look, this isn't some elementary school production. There are lines to memorize, blocking to learn, and choreography to rehearse. I'd be onboard if this had come up a month ago. I'd be ecstatic if it had come up two months ago. If I wasn't sucking it up, I'd be sitting this one out in silent protest."

As it is, they need her if this is going to be anything but a fucking disaster.

On Tuesday, they all cram onto the handicap accessible bus and head down to Columbus. "All" meaning the glee club, Mr. Shue, Miss Pillsbury, Miss Pillsbury's (hot) dentist boyfriend, and Quinn's mom. Rachel lays her head on Noah's shoulder, cuddles into his side, and intends to be asleep before someone (most likely Dr. Howell) encourages them to sing campfire songs.

Noah's having none of that.

"This isn't a good idea."

"That's a little vague." After all, there are a lot of terrible ideas floating around. Like the part where Rachel and Finn stand on stage half naked in front of the peers that taunt them on a regular basis. Or how Dr. Howell keeps petitioning Mr. Shue to let him play Dr. Frank-N-Furter (because Kurt turned him down and Mike's parents refused to sign his permission form) even though it's creepy considering the character is inappropriate with most of the cast and the cast consists entirely of teenagers. And those are just the top two; the other, approximately fifty million, ideas don't even bear mentioning.

"None of this is a good idea, Rach. You know, especially the part where you and Hudson limp off into the sunset together."

There really isn't anything to say to that. Actually, that's a lie. There are too many things to say to that. Rachel just cuddles into Noah's chest, afraid the first words out of her mouth are going to have something to do with all of the people she will potentially "kiss," "date," or "fuck" on stage. Because, honestly, that's years down the line, with costars she'll have had no previous romantic connection with (God willing), and it's nothing that she needs to throw in Noah's face considering, for all intents and purposes, he's kind of her rebound relationship.

Except that he's not. After all, she loved him first and because she wasn't exactly heartbroken over Finn in the first place. At least not since the last time when he tossed her aside for the promise of SantanaandBrittany and effectively pushed her into Jesse's arms, which ended up being a complete and total disaster.

So, she stretches up and tugs Noah's earlobe between her teeth before whispering into his ear. "I'm not limping off into the sunset with anyone but you, okay? And we won't be limping; we're going to be flying out first class with a one-way ticket to NYC." The way he beams at her makes Rachel (temporarily) forget the feeling of dread growing in her stomach. Mr. Robinson would want her to think positively. Hopefully it's an ulcer, not a tumor. That's about as positive as she's going to get until this whole mess is over and done with.

By the time they make it to the second hand costume shop that smells like rejection and Mr. Ryerson's tears (thanks Brittany), Dr. Howell has busted out in song no less than ten times. Ms. Fabray looks like she could use a drink, Santana looks like she could kill someone, and everyone else looks a little shell shocked. It's the perfect time (honestly, she couldn't have planned it better) for Rachel to sneak up beside Mr. Shue and inform him, using a hundred words or less, that she (and Finn) will not be running around stage half naked at any point in the show. The choir director just nods, truthfully he's probably more concerned with getting Artie safely off the bus than with what she's saying, but Rachel gets him to shake on full (opaque) slips and t-shirts and the quick distribution of lab coats in front of an audience.

That is all that matters.

Well, it's all that matters until she comes about of the dressing room in her Janet dress, feeling like an escapee from an FLDS compound, and catches Sam staring at himself in a full length mirror in the back of the shop. He's wearing short (short) gold shorts and not much else and even though his body looks like it's sculpted from marble, he looks like the saddest person in the world.

"What's wrong?"

He startles and nearly trips over a coat rack, before turning around and staring at her with equal parts mistrust and uncertainty.

"Shouldn't you be worrying about Puckerman over there? He looks like he's about to rip Mr. Shuester a new one." Rachel spares a quick glance in Noah's direction, keeping Sam in her peripheral vision least he run off while she's distracted, and then turns her back on the scene in the front of the shop. It looks mostly under control and no one's crying yet, so, it's probably nothing to worry about.

"No matter what Quinn has told you about me, I'm really not a terrible person." He doesn't look convinced, but, Rachel's a little worried that Quinn's going to come popping up at any moment (since her name has been invoked) and she doesn't need to deal with that on top of everything else in her life.

"Look, I'm not going to try to seduce you. You just looked sad and we're teammates and I wanted to see if there was anything I could do to help." Contrary to popular belief, she's not a completely selfish, self-absorbed bitch.

"It's just…walking around in a pair of hot pants that would make Colossus proud really isn't going to do wonders for my reputation. Especially if I keep swiping Doritos off of Hudson's tray when he isn't looking. I mean, look at this, I'm pretty sure you can see the fat growing in this light."

At this point, Rachel knows she's got a lot of options. The easiest would be to turn, walk away, and inform Miss Pillsbury that she should drop a couple of pamphlets about body image in Sam's locker. The second easiest would be to laugh it off, tell Sam he doesn't have anything to worry about, and find Noah as quickly as possible before Quinn finds her and tries to rip out her hair. In between the second option and the last, there's probably about ten others she could settle on that wouldn't involve her baring her soul to the (almost stranger) boy who Quinn Fabray has her sights on (it might be the other way around but, when Quinn's involved, it doesn't matter).

Instead, Rachel rummages around in her purse, pulls out her wallet, and after some careful maneuvering, thrusts a school photo in Sam's hands.

"Last year, when it felt like the whole school hated me, I used to run around the track until I threw up. I didn't mean to throw up. It just happened once and I figured that must be what a really good workout feels like, so, I kept doing it." The confession makes her intestines knot up. She hasn't told anyone; not her dads, not Noah, not even Dr. Robinson. "I couldn't change the fact that I'm short or have small breasts or a big nose, but, I figured if I could run off that last bit of baby fat, then maybe something would be easier for me."

At the time, the only people she considered friends were her dads and she was convinced they were required by law to like her. Finn wanted her because Jesse had her and Noah might not hate her, but, he had too many of his own problems to get involved in hers. She was starting to realize Jesse might not care about her as much as he said she did. Her mother, the woman she'd waited her whole life to meet, was too wrapped up in thoughts of an imaginary relationship with an imaginary baby to see that her real daughter really did need her. The only things she really had was glee club and they were pretty much just tolerating her for her voice.

It was the year that beat out sixth grade for the worst year ever.

Sam stares at her picture for a long time like he's examining a bug or (more likely) a limited edition comic book.

"It's not the same. We're not the same." He must notice the look in her eye, the crestfallen one that precedes a total mental shut down, because he grabs her arm before she can pull away. "I'm dealing with enough in my life that I don't want to worry about getting laughed off stage for pairing stomach rolls with gold hot pants. I need this year not to suck, okay. If it means dropping out of this musical to avoid slushy facials and Quinn scratching out your eyes and chopping off my balls, then I'm going to do it. It's not like it's a big deal, Mr. Shuester already volunteered to take my place."

If that, that right there, doesn't scream really awful, really terrible idea, then Rachel doesn't know what will. She knows she's got to shut that idea down before it gains any more traction.

"You do realize that if you force me to strut around stage with our choir director, my boyfriend is going to make you hate your life. Noah's a lot more creative than he gets credit for; I'm sure he can think of something worse than slushies to the face or chopped off testicles." Sam gulps and Rachel feels a little guilty, but, she's never been above blackmail; especially the emotional kind. Especially when it means preserving her already fragile hold on reality. "Look, you can find that kind of gold fabric in the back of any Wal-Mart," she knows because it's her favorite crafting material, "if you go up to Ms. Fabray and beg her to protect your modesty, I have no doubt that she'll bust out a respectable tank top and board shorts in record time. And you'll score points when it comes to wooing her daughter."

None of this is a lie and she doesn't have a problem with doing Quinn a solid if it means not having to ask Mr. Shuester to touch her in front of Noah, her dads, and God.

"And Mr. Shuester won't get mad?"

"Look, Sam, if he gets mad because one of his young male students is no longer prancing around in the equivalent of gold boxer briefs, I'll tactfully remind him what happened to the last glee club director."

At Sam's blank look, Rachel sighs and pats him on the shoulder. "Mr. Ryerson got fired for getting up close and personal with the former male lead. Between you and I, I may have possibly had something to do with that. Maybe. Nothing you could prove in a court of law. I would know, my daddy's a lawyer."

"Okay, so, I'm going to go find Quinn's mom and see what she can do for me."

They share this look, when he passes back her picture, that makes her think that maybe the possible threat of bodily harm was worth the chat. Then, just like that, the moment's over and she's marching up to the front of the store where Noah is glaring daggers at Finn and everyone (besides Santana and Brittany) is looking really uncomfortable.

It takes the entire bus ride back to Lima before Mr. Shue allows Noah to take up the role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Kurt looks smug, Mercedes looks wounded, and Finn looks pissed off, but, on the plus side, no one says a damn word about Sam's costume change when they show up to rehearsal Wednesday afternoon.

There are three people in New Directions who have theater experience and it shows. Ignoring Cabaret, Rachel has been participating in Community Theater and acting workshops since she was six years old. Kurt was the lead in Mr. Ryerson's summer play (which wasn't nearly as horrible as she thought it would be) and Noah, driven by the promise of sugar cookies and tears, participated in every JCC performance with her in elementary school. It means that Wednesday rehearsals are a complete and total cluster fuck.

The RHGS premieres Friday night and even getting excused half the day on Friday to rehearse, they still don't have a lot of time to put things together. Although the stage is littered with colored blocking cues and Mr. Shue is literally walking them through every single scene, the simple progression from cue to cue is still too much for Finn. No surprising, despite being so on board to put the show together, the majority of the cast don't have their (meager) lines memorized and the cue cards Miss Pillsbury is holding up are more of a hindrance than a help. About the only thing they mostly have down is the Time Warp and Mercedes can barely get through that without being sick.

It's a mess and Rachel has to fight the urge to yell, 'I told you so.'

Rehearsals run an hour late and Rachel is ready to start ripping Noah's clothes off in the parking lot by the time they finally make it out to his car. Santana's peeping tom threat is the only thing that forces Rachel to keep her hands in her lap on the ride from the school to the Puckerman household. Ava's working nights and Hannah's at a friend's house, so there's nothing stopping her from jumping her boyfriend in the living room.

So she does.

Her lips attack his neck as the fingers of one hand tangle up into his Mohawk and the fingers from the other start trying to undo his belt buckle. It's not really polite, dropping down to your knees to deep throat your boyfriend where anyone could walk in to see, but, Rachel's been past polite since noon (when Finn suggested for the first of fifty times that they hold hands to practice for the show). She's got Noah's pants around his knees and her fingers hooked into the waistband of his boxers when he catches her chin in his hand and forces her eyes to meet his.

"Rach, baby, you've got to slow down a minute."

If it were anyone else, it probably wouldn't bother her. In fact, she'd probably think he was being sweet. However, this is Noah "Puck" Puckerman. This is the same guy who knocked up his best friend's girlfriend, who fucked April Rhodes in the boys' locker room, and who supplemented his pool business with prostitution.

"Obviously there's something wrong if you don't want to be balls deep in my mouth right now."

Noah groans and lets her chin go to pull his pants back up and refasten his belt. He's still hard, which is the only thing keeping her from bursting into tears, when he bends down to lift her up by her armpits and set her on the arm of the couch. Even so, tears well up in her eyes anyway and she buries her face in his shirt.

"Babe, come on, just hear me out." She shakes her head back and forth and wonders where they went wrong that he's the one who wants to talk and she just wants to drown her frustrations in sex. "Rachel, I just spent three hours watching you prance around the stage alternating between being in love with your ex-boyfriend and sexing up Quinn's newest victim."

"I wasn't…"

Rachel gets two words out and then Noah's lips are slanting over hers, his tongue is in her mouth, and his fingers have worked up under her skirt and around her panties and into her dripping wet center. She clenches around him once, twice, and then he's slipping out of her, pulling away completely, and wiping his fingers on the back on his pants.

"I can't do that with you if I think there's even a chance you're getting wet because Finn's trying to put a ring on it."

She should reward her boyfriend for being articulate but she's so out of her mind with wanting Noah that what Rachel should do and what she wants to do are two completely and totally different things. If she wanted Finn, she would have let him flip her skirt up about the time that the mystical grilled cheese made its appearance. If she wanted Sam, all she'd probably have to do is learn a couple of sex words in Nav'i and he'd be putty in her hands. It should be pretty obvious to everyone, especially Noah, that she doesn't want anyone but him.

"Do you think I'm stupid? Do you think I don't see what they're trying to do? Mr. Shue decides to bring Rocky Horror to McKinley at the same time Miss Pillsbury is suddenly getting hot and bothered by alien transvestites and feather boas. And, if that wasn't enough, Santana dropping Finn to link pinkies with Brittany has nothing to do with his badly veiled attempt to pursue the girl who broke his heart."

Noah looks about as uncomfortable as Rachel feels and it just takes a quick glance down to confirm that the mood has effectively been killed.

"I haven't had a solo in weeks and suddenly I'm being handed the lead in the musical I shot down without a second thought. Yeah, obviously there's nothing weird going on." She smoothes her hands down his arms, marveling at how small his biceps make her hands look, and for the first time in her life wishes they could have fooled around first and talked about their feelings second. "I don't want Finn and I don't want Sam and if you think that me wanting your dick in my mouth has anything to do with anyone but me wanting you, then you should probably come book an appointment with Dr. Robinson as soon as humanly possible."


"I just…can you just take me home? If we keep going, I'm going to go to bed angry at you and I really, really don't want to do that."

Within fifteen minutes, Rachel's locked herself in her room and is on the phone, crying her eyes out to Santana. It's obvious she's entered into some bizarre alternate reality and she just hopes that she can get through the performance and the rest of the week without killing someone.

At this point, it's going to be a close call.

Rachel gets through Thursday by pretending that everything is fine.

She kisses Noah when he picks her up in the morning and sings along with the radio on their way to school. She tolerates Kurt when he re-ties the scarf around her neck and touches up her makeup. She tunes out Mercedes in English, partners up with Tina in Pre-Calc, and sits on Noah's lap all through lunch. When Finn offers to practice, 'Damn it, Janet,' during free period, she insists that Santana and Kurt come with them. And, when Santana tells her that she and Brittany caught Mr. Shue and Miss Pillsbury (the creepy perv and the weirdo ginger) practicing 'Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me" in an empty classroom, she resists the impulse to call Dr. Howell and inform him that her choir director is making the moves on his girlfriend.

It's a really horrible day.

Thursday's rehearsal is even worse than Wednesday's. She (and Kurt) spends twenty minutes arguing with Mr. Shue about why it's extremely inappropriate for him to take over the role of Rocky, even if it is just for one song. Miss Pillsbury and her cue cards are nowhere to be seen, so, scripts are out and blocking is being ignored and even with the very hands on directing, their timing is still horrible. Mike's supposed to be helping with choreography, but, he can't get two words in before someone starts complaining that they shouldn't move on until they get the Time Warp right.

And then Dr. Howell bursts through the stage doors and rehearsal is effectively over.

Rachel grabs her bag, hugs Noah goodbye, and is out the door with Kurt before Dr. Howell gets halfway through his impassioned speech. If she wasn't so busy pretending that everything was okay, she'd probably be putting the finishing touches on her resignation letter from glee.

Every member of glee club gets pulled out of first period on Friday morning. Mr. Shuester, looking properly ashamed (probably not for any reason on Rachel's long list), informs them that they won't be getting out of class early and that both their Friday and Saturday performances have been cancelled. Neither incompetence nor accusations of seduction were enough to put a stop to RHGS; as usual, only Coach Sylvester's insane hate for glee club was enough to stop Mr. Shue in his tracks.

No one looks particularly sad, not even Finn.

Rachel spends the rest of her day dodging everyone in glee. She manages to avoid Kurt, Mercedes, Finn, and Sam before Noah brings her streak of success to an end. Her boyfriend boxes her into a corner in an empty science classroom and she can't help her halting breaths when he presses himself hard against her stomach.

"See, I figure, if I were you, I'd already have your skirt up around your waist and your panties around your ankles." Noah's breath is hot against her ear and he feels so good pressed up against her that Rachel doesn't even care that they're in school and that anyone could walk in at any moment. In fact (not that she'd ever admit it) it might just make her hotter. "But, I've got restraint, so, I figure that maybe we should talk about shit first."

Honestly, she'd rather lose her virginity in an empty classroom than talk about the horrible week they just had.

"Noah, I'm sorry I…"

He threads his fingers through the hair at the nape of her neck before gently placing his forehead on the top of her head. "I'm still not used to being yours, you know? I'm an idiot and I love you and I hate watching Finn pant over you." Noah hugs her tightly and she sinks into him and suddenly Rachel isn't in a hurry to do anything but listen to the sound of his heart beat.

"I told you that I don't want…"

"And I just told you that I'm an idiot. I'm barely good enough for you as it is and it's obvious you're being punished because of me and I just…"

"If it gets too bad, we'll just plant weed or fetish porn in Mr. Shuester's desk and let Coach Sylvester do the dirty work, okay?" It will probably be the end of glee club, considering Mr. Shue was the only teacher stupid enough or idealistic enough to take up their cause, but, while therapy with Dr. Robinson has helped immensely, she's Rachel Berry and, when pushed, she pushes back. "But, if you don't kiss me before the bell rings, I just might die."

Rachel thinks she might die if he stops kissing her. He bites down on her lower lip and grips her hips hard. He inserts one jean clad leg between her thighs and grinds against her stomach and she thinks (very briefly) that if she could put this on her resume, she'd quit glee all together. This is almost better than beating Mercedes out for a solo. Almost.

She's so, so close to ripping her mouth away from Noah's and begging him to do whatever he wants to her when she hears a muffled 'What the fuck?' and the sound of squeaky rubber on tile and suddenly Noah's no longer up grinding up against her.

Instead, he's being pressed up against the wall a couple of feet away with Finn's arm pressed into his throat.

"Finn Hudson, what in God's name do you think you're doing?"

Her ex spares her a glance before Noah's struggling forces him to keep all his focus on keeping his (ex) best friend up against the wall. "Seriously? You're practically fucking at school and you're asking me what I'm doing?"

"We broke up! I'm with Noah now! I can do whatever I want to with him."

"Right, I had to pray to Grilled Cheesus so I could touch your boobs but you let Puck do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. I should have known you were just another slut."

She doesn't even realize she's holding a stapler until it has made contact with Finn Hudson's unusually thick head. It isn't until Finn and Noah are rolling around on the floor that she realizes she's yelling (screaming). It doesn't dawn on Rachel that maybe things between her and Finn aren't as settled as she thought they were until Coach Sylvester pulls Noah off of his (former) best friend.

That's how they end up in Principal Figgin's office.

Rachel doesn't mean to start crying. Really. She sits there, in the too small room that smells like moth balls and lemon drops, and uses the silent time to put together an award-winning 'get out of jail free' speech. But when the principal opens his mouth to speak, she realizes just how much she doesn't want to be there, and she can't help the strangled sound that bursts out of her throat and the tears that start tracking down her face.

"Oh, this is such bullshit."

"Shut it, Hudson, before I finish what I started and beat your face into the floor."

"Finn, Puck, can we please just…"

"…and really, Figgins, it's exactly this kind of idiotic behavior that the glee club espouses…"

"…and I just wanted to apologize and then Finn was there and he attacked Noah…I didn't mean to hit him with the stapler and I'm so, so, so sorry…"

"…I'm not saying anything without my lawyer, who happens to be her dad…"

"…daddy…I just want to talk to my daddy…"

It's the talk of involving a lawyer (even if that lawyer is Hiram Berry) that shuts down everything really quickly. Figgins kicks out the crazy cheerleading coach and Mr. Shue while handing Rachel a tissue. They all escape with a stern warning and the threat of detention if they commit anymore acts of violence. Noah and Rachel manage to sneak past while Mr. Shue and Coach Sylvester are arguing (she hopes Finn doesn't get so lucky) and she's so relieved that the janitor isn't mopping blood up off the floor that she doesn't mind being fifteen minutes late for seventh period. When the final bell rings, it takes Noah all of five seconds to convince her to ditch glee club and use the hours before the drive to Columbus making out in her bedroom.

All they do is make out and it is, no joke, the best damn part of her week.

Author's Note: Well, there you go; I can't wait to hear what you have to say. Although I haven't started to think about Chapter 12, I'll do my best not to keep you waiting another eight months.