Title: Dream Come True
Category: Glee
Genre: Romance/Drama/Humor
Ship: Rachel/Puck
Rating: Teen
Warning(s): Coarse Language, Sexual Innuendo
Prompt: No one really knows what happened to Puck after graduation. A few years later, when some of the glee gang decide to surprise Rachel at her apartment in New York, they also run into her very familiar mohawked live-in boyfriend. - puckrachel drabble meme
Word Count: 5,273
Summary: Five years after graduation, a surprise visit from half the glee club enlightens them to Rachel's long-time boyfriend, the missing presumed-in-jail, Noah Puckerman.

Dream Come True

The sound of him strumming his guitar followed Rachel as she stepped into the kitchen to get out plates and paper-towels, a bottle of beer and a glass of wine. While the sound was enough to make a shiver of awareness trickle down her spine, she was fairly certain that it was discouraging in terms of how thick the walls of their new home were. Never mind the fact that if she could hear him playing his guitar across the apartment, the neighbors could most definitely hear them late at night when he put those fingers to use in other places, making her sing a tune they had long perfected. Even still, it was just so pretty and big and welcoming that she didn't want to focus on the negatives. She bit her lip so not to delve too deeply into those lustful thoughts anyway; there would be plenty of time for that later. She knew all too well how letting those thoughts and feelings run rampant while waiting on their dinner to arrive only put a stop to things best enjoyed full throttle without interruption.

She smiled at the tune he plucked from the den, where he kept his guitar (his baby) leaned one of two of his favorite armchairs. Stacks of music sheets lined the end table, scratches here or there from where he corrected bits and pieces of his latest masterpiece. He may wear a badge by day as one of New York's finest, but the musician in him was alive and well and every bit as passionate as ever. Her hips rocked unconsciously to his song, her skin flaring with appreciative heat. She tried her best to focus on pulling down the plates and tearing sheets from the paper-towel roll – he was always a messy eater and the grease would do nothing for their new couch. She plucked the cork from her favorite red wine and poured herself a tall glass before removing his beer and popping the cap off with the help of the counter edge – a trick he taught her years ago that she probably shouldn't be repeating since their marble counters were in pristine order.

Their whole apartment was.

Their realtor had found them this little slice of heaven for a steal. Rachel had been unsure at first; buying rather than leasing was a huge step. And yes, they had five years together and a pretty diamond on her finger said that this was the logical step, but she never expected to have so much and be so happy this quickly. She'd only graduated from high school five years ago, where the kids had laughed at her dreams and berated her intensity. And now here she was with a boyfriend she loved, a man who wanted to be her husband, and a career that she'd worked her whole life to get.

After half a decade of mutually hard work, they deserved this apartment. They deserved a roof that wasn't so low he had to hunch his shoulders when walking around. They deserved adequately-sized appliances rather than the too small fridge and stove. They deserved the walk-in closet and the soaker tub and the view that still made her breathless. One month they'd had this new address and she didn't care if the walls were paper-thin, because it was all that their hard work had earned them. Having finished a roll six weeks earlier and finding another just a few weeks after, they'd had enough time in between to pack up and move from their cramped living space to their new residence. All they'd scrimped and saved and toiled away for at their jobs combined for a down payment on something more livable. Signing her name next to his as owner of their very own place was the most exhilarating experience she'd ever had. More so than standing in front of a crowd of people, bowing to their applause, the warmth of a job well done swelling in her chest. Because this was not fantasy, this was not a well-played part or an ovation-worthy performance she had long perfected. This was real life, her life, with him.

They were waiting on pizza; she'd called for dinner almost an hour earlier. They found a particular place that listened to her vegan demands and didn't mind doing what they could to make at least half the pie to her desired tastes. The other half was all meat and topped with triple cheese and greasy with flavor. He loved it. When the buzzer rang, she crossed the floor and pressed the button to unlock the building's entrance, not bothering to ask who it was. While they had friends here in New York, buddies from the force and fellow stage performers, everybody who knew them knew that Friday was their date night. Yes, it meant staying in with beer and pizza and lounging around to music and movies, but it was theirs. The raucous noise of city life was shut out behind heavy curtains and closed windows and the apartment door stayed closed to anybody who wasn't the pizza delivery boy. This was their time to put away scripts and stage make-up, to let go of what he saw on the streets and the weight of his gun at his hip. This night was reserved for enjoying only each other and fatty foods and testing out the thin walls as his mouth and his fingers and his everything wandered her body on every surface available. Her face flared as she thought about how dark his eyes got each time she tugged on his nipple ring with her teeth. With the pizza boy about to drop off their food, she fanned her face with her hand. Just a few more minutes and she could give in; pizza, she'd found, was best when cold and eaten on the floor, in the light of the fridge, while she was wearing his shirt and nothing else and leaned against the expanse of tanned, naked chest, both of them starved from earlier activities.

She nearly ran to the door when the knock was heard, grabbing the money from his wallet in the key dish by the door. She threw open the door with a distracted smile. "How much was it?"

And then she blinked, because staring back at her was not a teenage boy or her half-vegan, half-carnivore pizza. No, staring back at her was half her high school glee club.

"SURPRISE!" they cried exuberantly.

She blinked again. Partly in hopes that they would disappear from sight and partly because she thought maybe that sip of wine and her overactive hormones were playing tricks on her and she hadn't just seen what she saw.

No such luck.

Kurt Hummel, Brittany Pierce, Artie Abrams, Santana Lopez, Quinn Fabray, Finn Hudson and Mike Chang were still staring back at her.

"What-What are you doing here?" she replied, shaking her head.

Brittany's face fell. "You're not happy… Surprises always make me happy…" She turned to Santana with a sad, but hopeful expression. "Maybe we should say it again!" Not waiting for anybody to agree, she again cried, "Surprise!" And then, with all her childlike innocence, launched herself into Rachel's arms.

Catching her, though it threw her off balance, she stumbled back and patted the blonde's shoulders. "Yes, sorry, I… I didn't mean to be rude. How-How completely inhospitable of me." Biting her lip, she explained, "You see, I was just waiting on the delivery boy and thus you took me completely off guard. Please accept my apology, I'm sure when the shock wears off I will be suitably excited."

Brittany grinned up at her. "You're still really cute."

"Oh, um… Thank you." Stepping back into her apartment, she ventured an uncertain gaze backwards, listening and vaguely hearing the strum of his guitar. Perhaps he hadn't heard the exuberant exchange. "Please, come in… I… If anybody would like a beverage of some kind, I could—"

"How about a hug first, Miss Thang?" Kurt interrupted, holding his hands out from his impeccable clothes and fluttering his fingers in a beckoning matter. "As long as you don't wrinkle my coat or mess up my hair, I would like to hug New York's most beloved Broadway star."

A smile cracked her face and she couldn't help that his praise made her chest bloom. Kurt Hummel was not the type of man who gave out compliments to just anybody; in fact, more often that not, she was usually on the receiving end of one of his nastier comments. So she accepted his offer and hugged him tight, careful not to wrinkle or dishevel him.

"Ooh, ooh, I want a hug!" Brittany cried, bouncing in place.

"You already got one, Britt, get in line!" Finn told her, holding his long arms open next.

Chuckling quietly under her breath, Rachel stepped up to hug him, briefly remembering how a hug from Finn had once been the very highlight of her existence. Now it was full of warmth and friendship and reminded her of the few good times she'd had in high school.

When he stepped away, Mike jumped forward. "Sup Legs?" He hugged her rather than wait for her to reciprocate and lifted her right up onto the tips of her toes with a good shake before he dropped her back and stepped away.

"It's very nice to see you, Michael. I'd heard from a few reliable sources that you were making generous waves in Los Angeles, gaining much appreciation for your talent."

His smile widened. "They like my pop and lock all right," he agreed.

Faced with Santana, Quinn and Artie, Rachel took the lesser of all evils and bent to hug the wheel-chair bound man that grinned up at her pleasantly. As she stepped back, she took his hands in hers. "I haven't seen you in ages! You absolutely must fill me in on your life; facebook can only do so much."

Just behind them, the pizza boy finally arrived, stalling any more conversation. Rachel paid him, thanking him for his services and stepped back into the apartment, closing the door behind her.

"Rachel Berry eating pizza?" Kurt fluttered a hand to his chest dramatically. "I've been rendered shocked, Diva."

"Yeah, isn't cheese bad for vegans?" Finn wondered, screwing up his face in confusion.

"Oh, my half doesn't have cheese…" she explained, walking further into the apartment.

"Your half?" Santana scoped the area. "Tell me you've got some hottie actor tied up here all Misery-style, Berry, it'll make up for this lame field trip."

"He's not an actor and while I find your insinuation that I would have to take a man hostage to keep him in my company, I'm rather impressed that you've either read the Stephen King novel or partook in watching its cinematic rendition."

Santana blinked at her. "Whatever… James Caan's cool."

"His acting is superb… Although he usually leans toward rolls that would heighten his badass reputation, I find his dramatic rolls to be much more entertaining."

"Dude, she cussed," Mike stage-whispered to Finn.

Rachel smiled at them. "Not that I don't appreciate the visit, although a little warning next time might be nice—"

"That would ruin the surprise," Brittany reminded, bouncing around the room and looking at knick-knacks and pictures.

"Admittedly, yes, it would. But I hadn't planned for guests and Fridays are usually spent just between us…" Hurriedly, she added, "I wouldn't ask you to leave, of course. That would be truly rude. But just as a note for next time…"

"So are you all shacked up with your costar? 'Cause I have to say, Manhands, Jonathon Groff is a little more than I gave your credit for," Quinn mentioned, eyes glancing over her in a vaguely dismissive way.

"Jonathon and I are no more than costars… Although I have it on good authority that if he weren't firmly attracted to only those of the male persuasion, I would be the lucky woman to woo his heterosexual heart."

Kurt perked up. "I knew my gaydar wasn't on the fritz." He sniffed, smirking. "And Blaine thought I was seeing things… Hah!"

Rachel fiddled with the pizza box, wondering if she should shoo them out and make a date to speak with them later or if she should just call out for her boyfriend and get his help with the matter. The group before her was a mismatched bunch, at best, and so she was a little confused how they made it to her apartment, why, and what they were all doing together. She wondered what the polite way to ask those questions might be. Thankfully, her very impolite boyfriend ventured in to save her from pondering it too much. The relief she felt at seeing him made her knees a little weak.

"Babe, the hell's the pizza?" he wondered, stepping into the front foyer and running a hand over his shaved head and down his bristly cheek. That five o'clock shadow made her every concern over the rag-tag bunch before her melt-away. She was back to wanting to nibble her way down his jaw and suddenly kicking her old high school friends (and enemies) out seemed like a great idea. Dressed down in sweats and his police academy issued sweatshirt, he looked downright scrumptious.

"Puck?" they shouted.

All but Brittany, anyway, who waved airily from where she stood next to Santana, their pinkies twined.

Brow furrowed, Noah stared at them, confused. "Thought you ordered the usual," he muttered.

She couldn't help the very unladylike snort that escaped her and raised a hand to cover it. He was taking this much better than her.

Reaching over, he took the box from her and flipped it open, plucking a meaty, cheesy piece out and then closing it again. "The hell are they doing here?" he wondered, not unkindly but with his usual whatever attitude that reared its head around anybody that wasn't her.

"Visiting… It was a surprise…"

As if on cue, Brittany threw her hands up. "Surprise!"

Puck raised his brows. "I'm really shocked, Britt," he told her.

She grinned happily. "See…" She nodded at Rachel. "He knows."

What he knew, Rachel couldn't begin to understand. "Yes, of course… Um…" She glanced at Puck and then back to the still gaping group before her. "Perhaps we should return the sentiment…"

Through a mouthful of pizza, Puck shrugged. "Surprise."

Santana was the first to blink back into coherence. "The hell are you doing here?"

He smirked. "Eating pizza."

"What…? What…?" Quinn shook her head, struggling for words. "You disappeared after graduation… Not even Finn knew where you went."

Licking pizza sauce from his lower lip, Puck glanced at Rachel. "New York."

"Yeah, we can see that!" Santana put her hands to her hips. "It's been years!"

"'m aware." He cocked a brow. "You waiting for an explanation or some shit, 'coz last I checked, you didn't have me on a leash anymore… Cut my ties with you back in senior year."

"Yeah, when I caught you sniffing around Treasure Tra…" She trailed off, brows furrowed. Her eyes cut toward Rachel. "He followed you to New York… It wasn't accidental that he ran off to Broadway central!"

Smiling, she turned toward Noah and looked up at him warmly. "Not so much followed as joined…"

"Wait, since graduation?" Finn looked between them in surprise. "You've been together five years?"

"Dude!" Mike reached over and slapped Puck's shoulder. "Nice!"

Puck nodded vaguely, though his smirk was enough to show he was proud.

"I mean you were crushin' hard for like a year or two, but I never thought you'd get your shit together…" Mike threw an arm around Rachel's shoulder. "I totally told Tina a Puckleberry reunion was in the books."

"How is Tina?" Rachel wondered, smiling brightly.

"Whoa, cut the shit." Santana waved a hand. "Can we stay on track here? Does nobody else think it's fucking nuts that Puck here ran off from Lima to chase after Granny Panties?" She looked from face to face, her expression flushed with irritation. "Like seriously?"

Finn scratched his head, shifting his feet. "Not… really…"

Everybody turned to look at him.

He grinned goofily, flushing under the scrutiny. "What? I mean… He wasn't really good at hiding it… Even San said they broke up when she realized he liked Rachel…" He shrugged. "He was always standing up for her and singing to her and telling Mike to stop looking at her legs…" He stuffed his hands in his pockets. "Whatever, I'm really happy for you guys."

Rachel softened. "Oh, Finn, that's so nice to hear from you. While I know you and Noah have had your arguments and it's been a long time since you've engaged in a friendship, I'm sure your approval will mean so much to him." She reached out to hug him, but it lasted only seconds before Puck was tugging on her hand and drawing her away. Giggling under her breath, she rolled her eyes up at him. "Really?"

"What?" He eyed Finn suspiciously. "He's got big hands and they tend to roam places…"

Smiling indulgently, she squeezed his forearm and leaned into him. "Your Neanderthal tendencies should not be encouraged… even if I find them undeniably attractive at times."

"Whatever, babe, you like me possessive." He leaned over to kiss her hair and her eyes fluttered to half-mass at the tender display.

"Aww… Puckleberries are sweet and hot!" Brittany clapped her hands together happily.

"Yeah, and on that weird note…" Puck cocked a brow at them. "Seriously? The hell are you misfits doing hanging together in our apartment?"

"Blaine and I were visiting about a job offer nearby," Kurt explained. "Finn tagged along because Brittany made him promise they'd see your show, Rachel… I told them it ended but she refused to listen to me… She wanted to see Cats when I proved to her your old show had ended…" He rolled his eyes.

Brittany nodded solemnly. "New York's mean! They got rid of all the cats, even the alley ones… All you've got is aristocats and not the kind that sing pretty."

"Aristocrats, Brittany."

She sighed sadly. "I tried looking for Thomas O'Malley but I couldn't find him… New York's really big."

Rachel pursed her lips and then took in Kurt's expression of how-do-you-expect-me-to-put-up-with-this? and giggled to herself. "And the rest of you?"

"I've got tickets to a Jets game. Finn, Artie and I were gonna hit it up while Brittany and Kurt did the Broadway thing," Mike explained.

"Shopping," Santana explained simply.

Quinn nodded, her hand on Artie's shoulder. "Since Artie was going to spend the weekend with the boys, I thought I'd get some shopping in with San."

"And you found your way here…?" Puck shook his head questioningly.

"When Brittany found out your show had ended, she was really disappointed," Kurt explained with a dramatic sigh. "I gave in and told her we'd look for you and then the others just sort of agreed they wanted to tag along…"

"Wanted to see if all your big talk paid off," Santana admitted with a cock of her hip.

"You've seen," Puck replied with a sneer.

Her eyes narrowed. "And I've still got questions…"

"Why don't we all take this into the living room? I'll get some more plates and we can dish out the pizza," Rachel suggested. "Although I can't promise you'll appreciate my vegan half…"

"Tastes like shit… If shit tasted worse."

Rachel slapped lightly at Puck's shoulder in warning. He followed her to the kitchen while the others sat down on the couches and armchairs that filled their new living room.

"We need to get them outta here," Noah said, dropping the box to the counter.

"Noah…" she sighed. "It's been five years. They wanted to visit, it would be impolite to—"

"Impolite's showing up at eight o'clock at night on Friday without any warning… If the pizza hadn't taken so long, they'd have shown up while I was fucking you over my favorite armchair."

She shivered, the promise of those words sending a spike of heat between her thighs. "Still… They obviously wanted to drop by and see me, for whatever reason, and it would seem very rude to ask them to leave now."

"You got anything good to drink?" Santana shouted to them. "Need something to take the edge of this Twilight Zone shit."

"Yeah, we wouldn't wanna be rude," Puck muttered, rolling his eyes. Grabbing a few beers out of the fridge, he walked back to her and bent to kiss her shoulder. "One hour. We answer their questions and explain the fuck happened between graduation and now and then I'm kicking their asses out." Pressing in close to her, he ground into her ass and she felt the hard outline of his desire. "Friday's our night, Berry, and I wanna spend it getting reacquainted with you."

She licked her dry lips and turned to watch him swagger back into the living room, passing out beers as he went. Following after him, she placed the pizza and the plates on the coffee table and then moved to take a seat. She wasn't surprised when Noah reached out and dragged her to sit in his lap while he sat in said favorite arm chair, feet planted far apart. She leaned back into his chest and relaxed at the familiar warmth of him.

The gleeks all reached out for Puck's half of the pizza and filled their plates before sitting back and glancing at the couple across from them.

"So, like… When'd it happen?" Finn wondered.

"We were hooking up half of senior year…" He smirked in remembrance, tuning back in when she pinched his knee. He sighed, already bored with the explanation. "Last day of school, she told me she was heading for New York…" Puck shrugged. "I went with her."

"Half of senior year?" Santana narrowed her eyes.

"We were over, Satan," he replied in a bored tone.

"Hooking up but not exclusive?" Quinn wondered, lips pursed. "Why?"

When the others looked at her, she lifted a shoulder. "Just because I didn't like her didn't mean I was blind… He liked her a lot longer than just senior year."

Puck rolled his eyes, muttering under his breath.

"With school close to ending and our future uncertain, we didn't want to engage in a relationship if it only meant we'd be breaking up…" Rachel looked back to him. "He wasn't convinced he could make it out of Lima…" She grinned widely. "He proved himself wrong."

Staring up at her, he shook his head. Taking her hand, he squeezed, threading their fingers. "So maybe I wasn't willing to stick around Lima without her… And no loser was gonna chase her to New York."

"No loser did…" Her face softened. "You were always a winner, Noah."

"Got you, didn't I? Proof's in the pie, Berry," he agreed.

"Gag me," Santana muttered.

Puck glared at her. "Good idea."

She sneered back. "And what does your winner do, Berry? Leach off you?"

Rachel turned back to stare the Latina down imperiously. "Noah's a very respected officer with the New York Police Department."

They blinked back at her.

"Wh-What?" Santana laughed. "You became a cop!"

"That's, like, ironic," Finn nodded, though he glanced around to see if he got the word right.

"No way, they gave you a gun?" Mike asked excitedly. "Awesome!"

"He's a wonderful shot," Rachel agreed. "First in his class at the academy."

"Babe…" Puck shifted, uncomfortable with the praise.

"Well you were." She patted his hand. "Regardless of whether you appreciate his talents or you think them unexpected, Noah makes a very good cop… Likely because he knows what to expect out of perpetrators, having thought along a similar line once. So if anything, what you might think would make him a bad police officer, is actually what makes him such a good one."

Proudly, he squeezed his arm around her waist and kissed her shoulder.

She looked back at him, smiling lightly.

"Is anybody else still stuck on the image of Puck in the uniform?" Kurt fanned himself.

"He looks really hot," Brittany agreed.

When they turned to look at her, they found her holding a picture of just such a thing. Arm slung around Rachel, Noah stood in full police issued gear, his hat stuck under his arm and his shiny badge glinting.

Quinn whistled. "Not bad, Puckerman."

He smirked back arrogantly.

"Can I see your gun?" Mike hoped.

"No," he said firmly, already imagining just how badly it could turn out.

"Can I?" Brittany asked.

Rachel looked horrified.

Puck laughed.

Finn fidgeted, obviously wanting to ask for a turn as well.

Artie sighed. "Keep an eye on them… If they disappear for very long, they're looking for it… And I'm getting out of here before anybody gets shot." His eyes widened in emphasis.

When Quinn reached over to pat his knee comfortingly, Puck raised a brow. "And you guys thought me and Berry was weird?"

Artie smirked, squeezing Quinn's fingers between his. "I got game," he boasted.

"Nice, Wheels!" he praised, nodding.

Mike bounced from his place on the arm of the couch. "Man, you can keep the safety on and everything and I won't even touch the trigger… I just wanna see it… and maybe touch it a little…" He looked around a little suspiciously before adding, "Just don't tell Tina."

Puck shook his head. "I could get fired for that."

"Who's gonna know?" he whined.

"Ninja's shouldn't play with guns," Artie said in a sage voice.

The group couldn't help but laugh.

"So five years…" Quinn looked back at them. "And I'm guessing the ring on her finger isn't just a birthday gift?"

All eyes zoomed in.

Rachel grinned brilliantly. "We're engaged."

"Did she cut off your balls?" Santana wondered. "Has a vag seriously grown in?"

"You're a bitch," Mike told her offhandedly.

"Can it, Miagi." She waved a hand at him. "Why am I the only one who thinks this is fucked up?"

"Likely because you can't help a sense of possessiveness in regards to Noah. You share similar personalities and, at one time, lifestyles. To see him in a place where he's happy and settled down probably confuses and even irritates you. Whether because you want to be settled down yourself and haven't found the right person or still can't understand the appeal is entirely your business," Rachel replied.

Santana stared back at her and then cocked a brow at Puck. "The fuck? This is really what you want for the rest of your life?"

Puck grinned up at Rachel. "Hell yeah."

Brittany bounced. "Can I be flower girl?"

"Actually, Noah's cousin Marie already asked…" Brittany's face fell. "But you can be an honorary guest!" she offered.

Brittany brightened. "I'll be the best honorary guest ever," she promised, nodding seriously. "Best guest," she murmured under her breath to herself and then looked at Finn. "Rhymed."

He smiled back at her, squeezing her fingers in his happily.

"I'm sure you will," Rachel agreed.

"It's getting late," Puck said, staring at them bluntly.

"And his manners are still impeccable," Kurt scoffed. "Still… The uniform would make up for everything."

"If you're still here tomorrow and you have time, I'd love to catch up some more," Rachel said, standing with them. She walked them back to the foyer. "There's a lovely café just down the street. We hardly got to hear anything about your lives or what's been happening."

Kurt nodded, stepping toward her to air-kiss each of her cheeks. "Of course." He took out his bejeweled cell phone and raised a brow. "Digits?"

While Rachel rattled off her number, Puck was fist-bumping Finn, Artie and Mike. After numbers and hugs and promises to get together the next day were exchanged, Rachel and Noah finally stepped back and waved goodbye before closing the door. He reached out and locked it firmly. She sighed, shoulders slumping. "It was nice seeing them…"

"Exhausting," he corrected.

"They had every reason to be confused. You haven't spoken to anybody from high school since graduation…" She looked up at him, brow furrowing lightly. "Why was that?"

He took her hips in his hands, squeezed, and drew her close. Jaw ticking, eyes darkening, he smirked down at her. "'Coz I was with the only one I really cared about."

She relaxed into his touch. "Can you believe it's been five years, Noah?" she wondered.

He drew the shoulders of her shirt out of the way and leaned in to kiss the bare skin, his fingers already working the zipper of her skirt. "Mmhmm…"

"It feels like just yesterday we were all singing and dancing in glee…"

"Yeah, and I was fingering you in supplies closets while you tried not to scream too loudly…" He nipped her skin and she jerked, pressing into him. "You remember when Mr. Shue almost caught us going at it in the choir room?"

She shook her head. "You were such a bad influence on me."

He chuckled breathily, pushing her skirt down and put of the way before he traced his fingers along the band of her lace panties. "'m in New York, engaged and about to fuck my future wife on the floor of the apartment we fucking own… I think you were the influential one here, babe."

Her breath caught as his teeth grazed her clavicle and his fingers slid inside her panties. "Perhaps it was a mutually beneficial relationship… I was far less tense when regularly satisfied and your eyes were opened to your vast potential."

He stilled, lifting his head so they were eye to eye. Slowly, gently, he nipped her lower lip. "Rachel… I was a seventeen year old kid who thought the best he could do was fuck the girl he'd been in love with the whole time she was dating every other douche that didn't deserve her… When you were about to leave town, I realized I didn't wanna be the guy who let you get away just 'coz I wasn't worth it…" His jaw ticked. "For some reason, you saw a lot in me that nobody else did and I was really hoping you wouldn't figure out you were wrong…"

"Haven't you learned yet, Noah?" She drew his t-shirt up his body and tossed it away before spreading her fingers along his biceps. "I'm never wrong…" She stared at him searchingly. "And you were a seventeen year old boy fucking the seventeen year old girl who had long fallen in love with you and hoped you would see that you were so much more than you or anybody could ever understand…" She nuzzled his nose with hers. "And now you're a twenty-three year old man who lived up to his potential and earned everything he wanted and deserved."

"The gun's a bonus," he agreed.

Her laugh was cut short as he kissed her and Rachel knew words would compare little to the harmonizing of their bodies there on the floor of their home. Regardless of old friends (or enemies), their praise or their doubts, Rachel and Noah had proven to each other and themselves years ago that they could and would weather any storm, that their love was not as confusing or unfounded as some might think. Before she was a Broadway star and he a New York cop, they were just a couple of kids with hopes of getting out of Lima, Ohio and through mutual love and respect, they got what they so deserved. Their every dream come true.