a/n: Hello everybody! I couldn't let too much time pass between fics. People might forget about me or something and I just couldn't stand for that to happen. This is my new multi-chapter fic! The prompt for this came from truelovepooh and I am so honored to finally be working on it. This will forever be dedicated to you bb! I've had it sitting on my computer, just waiting on Chase the Morning to get finished so I could actually devote my time to it properly. This story definitely won't be as long as Chase the Morning, but I hope it will go over with everyone just as well. I really can't thank everyone enough for the support you've always given me in the past and I hope that you'll continue it with this story. I don't own Glee. Please enjoy To The Twelfth!
The notes flowed easily as he played through the music in his head. It wasn't until he'd made it all the way through the song that he realized what song he'd been playing. It was the song that Rachel had sung that day in glee club.
Puck had seen her perform a lot over the years that he'd known her but not one performance had really compared to the latest one. When Rachel had gotten up and announced that she was going to sing "Touch Me" from Spring Awakening, he'd sat up a little straighter in his seat. The assignment had been to tastefully push boundaries, and he couldn't think of anyone who'd done it better than her. The freedom that had shown in her eyes during that song somehow made her voice even better, which he honestly didn't think was possible.
It sort of hit him right there, how much Rachel had been on his mind lately. They'd become friends shortly after he'd picked the wrong time of the month to break up with Lauren and she ended up throwing him up against a couple of lockers. Rachel found out about it and showed up at his house that afternoon with 'I'm Sorry Your Ex-Girlfriend Kicked Your Ass' cookies. She made a joke about how she seemed to have a habit of using the word ass around him and they'd been pretty close ever since. But now, it was like his brain just kept returning to her, even when he didn't intend for it to, like when he was just playing his guitar in his room and the song he was playing happened to be the one she'd performed that afternoon! There was no doubt about it. Rachel Berry was on his mind far too often to be just a friend. It's not like he was constantly remembering Santana's favorite foods, or Brittany's favorite weird animal hat, or even Finn's favorite pair of drumsticks, and they were all his friends. But Rachel was different from his other friends. He didn't have an urge to make out with his other friends every time he saw them.
But he wanted to do more than just make out with her. He wanted to hold her hand in the hallway, walk her to class, take her out to the movies, really date her. Puck knew that she would take some convincing, seeing as how even though it'd been months since he'd caught her staring longingly at Finn, he wasn't totally sure she was over his stupid ass. It wasn't like that was something he'd asked about and it wasn't information she volunteered. He was just going to have to find out. And once he did, it was on.
"You're totally over Hudson, right?" Rachel looked up at Noah beside her with wide eyes. She was at her locker, changing out her books for her classes after lunch when he'd walked up.
"Well hello Noah, it's nice to see you too. My day is going just fine, thank you for asking." He rolled his eyes at her and waited until she closed her locker.
"Why can't you just answer my questions instead of focusing on the stupid formalities that I skip over? We're together all the time. I'm pretty sure we've made it past the whole 'good day milady' thing, right? Just answer my question Rachel. Are you over Finn or not?" Rachel stuttered for a moment, trying to figure out where he could possibly be going with this particular line of questioning. When he was still standing there waiting for an answer a few seconds later, she answered.
"It's been almost a year since Finn and I were together Noah. I can honestly say that I harbor no feelings other than friendship towards him. Besides, Santana has been exceptionally helpful in making me see his less than perfect qualities." The satisfied smirk on his face confused her just slightly but she asked, "Why do you want to know anyway?" Rachel found herself backed up fully against the row of lockers as he moved in front of her, his hand resting just next to her head against the cold metal, close enough that she could feel his wrist brushing against her hair. She was use to his lack of respect for personal space. It was usually something that he used as an intimidation tactic, such as when he coerced Jacob Ben-Israel to leave her alone, or when he just wanted to get his way with her. Seeing no evidence of intimidation on his face, just a playful grin on his lips, Rachel took a deep breath.
"Because I prefer to date girls who aren't into other guys. Since I've made that mistake a couple other times in the past, I figured I'd make sure first." Rachel stared at him for a moment, working through his words, and then started laughing out loud.
"That's funny Noah, now come on or we'll be late for lunch." Rachel ducked under his arm and started walking down the hall towards the cafeteria. Puck stood there for a minute, trying to figure why that plan had just crashed and burned. By the time he caught up with her, she was walking through the doors to the cafeteria headed towards the gleek table. When she sat down in her usual spot next to Santana with the lunch she'd brought from home, he plopped down next to her.
He knew that he wouldn't get a straight answer out of her until he got her alone again and convinced her that he wasn't joking so he resigned to stealing her carrot sticks when she wasn't looking.
Unfortunately, he wasn't able to get her alone until after glee that day. He waited until everyone left the choir room, stalling by stacking chairs, and walked over to her as she was straightening up her sheet music.
"Go out with me." Hey, nobody could accuse him of beating around the bush. The look on her face was between annoyance and surprise, but leaning a bit more towards annoyed than he liked.
"Quit it Noah, the joke has run its course and," he put his hand over her mouth to shut her up.
"Not joking Rach, we should date again. I'm dead serious, I've been thinking about it a lot lately and I decided that we're good together." Rachel nodded her head and waited for him to remove his hand.
"Exactly, we're good together as friends. Attempting to be more would just ruin what we have. You're one of my closest friends Noah. I trust you, and while I would have to say that Santana is surprisingly most likely my best friend, you are an exceptionally close second in that hierarchy. I can't mess with that. I'm sorry Noah, but you and I should just stay friends. I think it would be better for everyone involved." And as soon as the words were out of her mouth, she gathered her things and walked quickly out of the choir room.
He watched her leave. Puck had known it wouldn't be easy to convince her. But he honestly hadn't expected to be completely shot down. Fuck that was a little harsh though. When he thought about it, he could sort of understand why she'd refused. Rachel was afraid of messing with what they had because she wasn't sure of the outcome. Well Puck had amazing powers of persuasion.
Once Rachel made it to her car, she took a couple deep breaths but that didn't help to assuage the clenching feeling in her chest. She took her phone out and dialed the first number that came to her mind.
"Didn't I just see you in glee?"
"Santana this is important. Where are you?" Rachel heard Santana laugh but answered,
"I'll meet you at your house. Be there in a few." Confident that Santana would know what to do, she put her phone away and headed home.
"Santana I really must insist that you stop laughing. It isn't funny in the slightest." Her caveat fell on deaf ears as Santana clutched her sides from giggling so much.
"Tu no sabes, it's hilarious! Puck wants to date you and you're freaking out about it. Please tell me what part of that isn't funny. From where I'm sitting, it's hysterical! It's about damn time as far as I'm concerned." Rachel stopped her pacing to look at the girl on her bed.
"Yes I'm freaking out about it! Why shouldn't I? Noah is the first boy that I've completely trusted in a long time, the first one that I didn't feel was just after something. The two of you are the first real friends I've really ever had and now he's trying to screw that up! I believe that is perfectly substantial grounds for a freak out!" Santana, still laughing though she was at least making an effort to stop, stood up and walked over to Rachel. Rachel quickly found herself pushed down on her bed as Santana stood in front of her.
"Alright Berry, from what you told me, Puck really wants to date you. Not sure if you realize this but, that never happens. Puck generally just wants to get laid. It sounds to me like he's trying to make an effort, something he hasn't done since Zizes and the moron thought he was in love with her at the time." Rachel's phone started ringing and both girls stared at it for a moment. It was Noah's ringtone. Santana laughed again and handed Rachel her phone whispering, "Put it on speaker." Rachel did as she was told and answered the phone.
"Hello Noah," she greeted.
"Have you come up with a pros and cons list of dating me yet?" Santana put her hand over her mouth to keep from laughing again and Rachel replied,
"I'm working on it actually." He laughed at that.
"Well let me save you some time. Just say you'll date me. Then you can forget about that list and problem solved. I promise it'll be all pros anyway Rach. Come on." The convincing lilt in his voice wasn't helping anything. Doing her best to ignore the way her heart had sped up and the way Santana had moved completely on the other side of the room to keep from letting a giggle slip, Rachel looked back at her phone.
"Why do you want to date me again all of a sudden Noah?" She noticed that Santana suddenly seemed interested in what he might say to that question.
"Because I realized that I like you Rachel. Pretty sure I have for a little while now but that's not important. What is important, and what should be enough, is that I like you and I'm pretty sure that you like me too. At least a little bit. So, is it enough Rachel?" Santana made an 'aww' sound and promptly covered her mouth with her hand, hoping that Puck hadn't heard her. Rachel couldn't really blame her for the sound though, she kind of wanted to make it for herself.
"I need to think about it Noah. This is something that could drastically alter our relationship. Just give me a little time. Is that okay?" She heard him groan and knew she was trying his patience but she honestly couldn't see herself jumping into this without proper preparation.
"Yeah it's cool Rach. Fair warning though, I'm not gonna quit until you say yes so you might wanna make you mind up pretty quick alright?" Rachel couldn't help the smile on her face as she listened to him, so sure of himself but with a tinge of hopefulness lingering on the edge of his words.
"I will give it serious thought and consideration Noah." He laughed at her choice of words, always choosing the sentence with more letters than point.
"Alright. Hey Santana!" Santana gasped when he said her name, wondering how he knew she was there, despite the fact that she was almost always there now. "Be my wing-woman, help me out here! You know you're on my side." He laughed and didn't wait for her to answer. "I'll see you tomorrow Rachel." The line clicked dead as he hung up and Rachel looked at Santana for a moment.
"Well? Are you on his side? Do you think I should date Noah? You realize that if anything were to go wrong, it would have devastating effects on our group dynamic, not to mention unbearable tension and drama it could cause in glee club that we certainly don't need to add." Santana then shrugged her shoulders and rolled her eyes.
"Yeah, but do you realize that the last time you two actually dated, you were both so hung up on other people that you never even gave it a fair shot? And every single time you guys have made out or done anything since then, it was because of other people. Just once, it should be about Puck and Rachel, nobody else. Maybe what the two of you needed was to be friends first, so it could actually have a chance to grow into something more. I'm not gonna lie and say that it's impossible for something to go wrong, because let's be honest here, it's Puck we're talking about. But just think about it going right."
Rachel had thought about it going right. She could remember how it felt to be in his arms, to feel so protected and not just because of the muscle he brought into the equation. More than once, she'd caught herself staring at his mouth when he would sing in glee club, or even when he spoke. Santana was right. Perhaps, becoming friends first had given them that needed edge to make a relationship really work. But that niggling feeling at the back of her mind kept telling her not to fix something if it wasn't broken.
"I understand what you're saying Santana but what if, what if something happens and we can't go back to being friends? The two of you are the closest friends I've ever had and I would absolutely die if I lost either one of you. If something happened between Noah and I that ruined our friendship, I could never forgive myself." Santana sat down on the edge of the bed and laughed softly.
"Slow your roll drama queen. We're talking a couple dates here, not a marriage proposal. Look, I can almost guarantee you that nothing can happen in just a few dates that could ruin the friendship or whatever. And can you honestly tell me, knowing that Puck likes you, that your friendship hasn't already changed a little bit? You both like each other, so what's the harm in seeing if that could turn into something more?" Rachel gave Santana a small smile, knowing that her friend was remembering when she'd thrown her own heart on the fire only to be burned. She'd taken that chance at love and been shot down, yet somehow she'd healed and still managed to believe in love, in the risk it presented. Santana wasn't the same girl she'd been that day when she'd poured her soul out to Brittany only to have it crushed in the same breath, and for that Rachel was thankful. Because the girl she'd become after that day, that girl was her best friend.
"You're absolutely right. I like Noah and there's no sense in hiding it when I know that he likes me too. And a couple of dates shouldn't be that bad. If we decide that we're better off as friends, then we can just go back to being friends and nobody gets hurt." Rachel smiled and picked her phone up, ready to call Noah back and tell him her decision. So it surprised her when Santana grabbed her phone out of her hand.
"Whoa, what do you think you're doing," she asked her, keeping the phone just out of Rachel's grasp when she reached for it.
"I was going to call Noah and inform him of my choice. You're on his side anyway so please return my phone Santana." Santana held the phone even farther away when Rachel lunged for it again.
"I may be on his side but that doesn't mean I don't want to see him sweat it out just a little bit. You're decision isn't gonna change from now until you see him at school tomorrow, is it?" Rachel shook her head and looked longingly at her phone. "Alright then, if you tell him now, you know he's going to be walking around all day tomorrow with this smug little look on his face. But if you wait to tell him, he'll be on pins and needles all day just waiting for your answer. And nothing makes me happier than seeing that boy squirm." When she was positive that Rachel had agreed with her, Santana handed her phone back to her. Rachel still looked at her phone like her fingers were just burning to dial that number but she didn't.
"So I wait until school tomorrow to tell him." Santana grinned, winning was the best and few people did it as often as she.
Puck was starting to get a little worried. He'd met Rachel at her locker that morning, hoping that she'd give him her answer. But when he'd asked her about it, she gave him this smile that he just knew Santana had to be at the bottom of, and told him that she was still weighing her options. He knew that she'd already made her decision, hell she'd probably made it as soon as they'd gotten off the phone the night before. Santana was totally behind this, this making him wait for the answer. The downside of Rachel and Santana being friends was that they usually teamed up against him. It didn't really bother him that much when it was something like video games, which he could smoke their asses at blindfolded. But when it was something that actually mattered, like whether or not he got to date Rachel, the vagina loyalty needed to fuck itself.
He figured it couldn't hurt to keep trying. If Rachel hadn't decided yet, then he could still butter her up a little. But if she had decided, Puck was going to do everything in his power to make sure that decision was the right one.
They didn't have glee that day so Puck rushed out of his last class to get to her locker before her. He'd made the stupid grand gestures in the past, but Rachel needed something more suited to her, something he'd never done before. He'd originally planned on writing this big long note to her detailing all the reasons she should go on at least one date with him. But, everything that he could come up just sounded stupid or wrong. So he settled on one word written in huge block letters across the page.
Just as Puck was folding up the note to stuff into her locker, Rachel rounded the corner and saw him. When she called out to him, he gave up and crumpled the note into his palm.
"Noah, I'm sorry." Well fuck, that wasn't how he wanted her to start this conversation. His shoulders slumped.
"Don't be. It's not over. I'm not gonna quit until you say yes Rach." Rachel looked up at him, slightly confused at his demeanor and then realized how he'd taken her words.
"That's not what I'm apologizing for. Against my better judgment, I was informed that it would be better to make you wait. But in doing so, I actually managed to make myself more anxious and you seem to be a little belligerent now. For that, I'm sorry. But my answer is yes, I would love to go on a date with you Noah. I should have just called you last night like I wanted to but Santana insisted that I make you wait for my answer." Rachel watched him run his hand over his head and felt terrible. "You don't completely hate me now, do you?" Puck just grinned at her and pulled her into a hug.
"Couldn't if I tried Rachel." She sighed in his arms and he sort of wanted to jump around a little bit. But instead, he pulled away and smirked at her. Rachel smiled back at him and turned to open her locker. That's when she remembered what he'd been doing at her locker in the first place.
"Noah, what were you trying to put in my locker?" The guilty look that replaced his smirk made her laugh and she glanced down at his hand to see a piece of paper sticking out. "Is that it in your hand?" She reached down but he clenched his fist tighter.
"It's just a note. Not important now anyway. You said yes." Rachel narrowed her eyes and held her hand out in front of her.
"I'd really like to see it Noah." Her voice was soft but demanding at the same time, and like every other time she'd ever used that voice on him, he did whatever she said. Reluctantly, he held the ball of paper out for her to take. Before she could unravel it, he put his hand over hers and said,
"Just so you know, I was starting to think you'd say no so I was trying to make a gesture. It's stupid." Rachel nodded and gently pulled the paper out of the ball he'd wrapped it in. She gasped a little when she saw what he'd written. Her eyes were warm when she looked back up at him.
"It's not stupid at all Noah. It's actually very sweet." Puck rubbed the back of his neck and ducked his head just a little.
"Yeah well, that's me I guess." Rachel smiled at him and he stood a little straighter. "So I guess I'll call you tonight and we can set the date then. Is that cool with you?"
"That's perfect Noah. Don't you have to pick up Dani from school today?" His eyes widened. After everything that day, he'd forgotten about his little sister.
"Oh shit yeah. I gotta go. I'm gonna call you tonight though, I promise." Rachel watched him leave and then looked down at the paper in her hands.
It was just a sheet of notebook paper, the word 'PLEASE' written on it in huge letters that covered the whole page, but it was possibly the sweetest letter she'd ever received. She quickly turned the dial to open her locker, moved some magnets around until she had room on the door, and attached the note to the metal so she would see it every day. Her first love letter from Noah. She kind of hoped it wouldn't be the last.
a/n2: against my better judgment, I've decided that I will leave the anonymous reviews enabled. I reply, or at least try to reply, to every single review I receive. Now with the anons, I of course can't reply to them but I still read them and take them to heart. So, if you enjoyed the story, if you didn't, please review and let me know your thoughts. Whatever they may be. Thank you! Hearts!