As Dreamers Do

The air was chilly; seeping through Rachel's skin and settling against her bones. She knew how stupid it was, for her to be sitting outside in the snow looking up at the stars, but right now her intelligence was the least of her concerns. For the first time in her life she felt like she was lost; a kind of overwhelming resignation that everything she thought she knew was wrong had almost knocked her off her feet. She had really thought she loved him, that he had loved her.

But that was a story for another time.

Her hand found the small gold star around her neck, her fingers rubbing against the metal as her eyes scanned the sky above her. Stars were her thing, they always had been since the time when she was four and she had heard jiminy cricket sing 'when you wish upon a star.' It seemed so foolish to her now, sending her wishes up into an open sky expecting her dreams to come true.

It was time to grow up and face the music.

Pushing her bangs off of her forehead, Rachel glanced up at the sky, a few tears tumbling down her face. Ignoring the ache that had seemed to settle in her chest a few days prior was harder than she had anticipated. Brushing her fingers over the fabric covering her heart she let out a small sigh.

"When you wish upon a star as dreamers do," the words come from behind her and she finds her eyes clenching tight. She's not really all that surprised that he came to check on her, but she's more than a little embarrassed to be seen in the state she's in.

"I can't believe you remember," she whispers, her body scooting over on the blanket to make room for him to sit beside her. "That was such a long time ago." She finds herself thinking about the small boy from her Temple who she used to play with on occasion. Things were so different back then; he was so different, that it's almost hard to believe that the small boy and Puck are the same person.

"Not that long ago," Puck replies with a shrug of his shoulders. He moves to sit next to her, his knee bumping against hers as he maneuvers his way onto the blanket. It's silent between the two of them and when she turns to look at him, she's kind of surprised to find him looking at her.

"It's completely stupid," Rachel admits. She finds herself brushing off a few more tears and a bitter laugh escapes her lips. "I'm so stupid." He shakes his head, a small frown marring his features.

"I tried it once," he mumbles his eyes looking up at the sky as if explaining, "shortly after my Dad left us." His voice is solemn and it's the quietest she thinks she's ever seen him. His shoulders seem to sag a bit at the admission, but it's something she knows she needs to hear. "You were so sure that it was true, so convinced that wishing on stars with all of your heart would work. You had me convinced too."

"I'm so sorry, Noah." The words fumble from her lips and she finds her hand reaching out to grip his fingers that lay resting against the blanket. "I was so foolish, so easily mislead."

"At least you believed in something," he murmurs, "and as much as it hurt for it not to come true, it did give me some hope; at least for a little while." A gentle sigh escapes from her lips and for the first time in quite awhile she feels at a loss for words.

"I wish life was still that simple," she speaks softly, her voice catching on the words. "But then again I've always wanted everything too much, putting all of my heart into it." She clenches her eyes tight and knows that he can see the pain marring her features. For some reason she doesn't care.

"Rachel," it's the first time since they were five that he's called her by her first name and it kind of takes her by surprise. She opens her eyes meeting his and she can see the sadness in his eyes and on his face. "Don't you see? That's why you're so special."

It takes her a minute to understand, but when she does her eyes close and it's silent once again. When she opens them, he's still sitting next to her, his eyes looking up at the sky above them. "Thank you." The words are a whisper on her breath and she finds her head bowing as she let's his words help fill up a few of the cracks marring her heart.

"Course," he mutters. "Now do one thing for me," he untangles his hand from her grip and points up into the sky. Her eyes linger on his face for a moment before she looks up at the star he's pointing at. "Make a wish."

It shouldn't hurt as much as it does, but she closes her eyes and listens to her heart. When the words finally come to her, she sends them up into the night sky and into fate's hands. Her eyes open a few seconds later and she watches him for a moment in fascination. His eyes are closed, lips moving softly, and if she didn't know any better she would think he was wishing too.

"It's fucking freezing out here," he grumbles a minute later, a small smile on his face. "You better?" She's not really sure what she's feeling anymore, so she shrugs and leaves it at that. Rachel watches the way the light of the moon and the stars light up his face as he maneuvers himself off of the blanket. "High five?"

She can't help but let out a small laugh as she reaches up and slaps their hands together. It's kind of become their thing and as strange as it sounds she kind of likes it. "I'm going to stay out here for just a bit longer," she tells him as she tucks her hands back into the pockets of her coat to warm them. "I just want a bit more time to think."

There is concern in his gaze, but he nods his head in understanding before heading back up the path and into the warm house. She's not sure how she missed it, but she's almost positive she can now hear the music blaring from the basement of the house. It's probably lame of her to be ditching out on a party to sit outside and stare at the stars, but for once she doesn't care what anyone else thinks.

"Don't like freeze or anything," he calls out to her just before the door closes behind him. She feels her face flush a bit at his concern and she's kind of not at all surprised by the response. Maybe, she realizes, she does care what he thinks. She really doesn't want to think about what that means.

As much as I blather on about shipping this or that, my heart kind of broke for Rachel in Silly Love Songs. This kind of came out of that, I guess.