It was the first Glee rehearsal back after the summer break. The choir room was filled with members of the Glee club. Laughter filled the air as the smiling members recalled what they had all done over the vacation. Quinn had gone to LA with her Mom to see her older sister, Sam's father had finally got a job and his family was no longer homeless and Tina and Mike were still together and had gone to Asian camp again. However they had not realised that they were missing two of their number, Rachel and Puck. None of the members had heard from either of them all summer, well Kurt had but he was not saying anything.
Then Rachel came quietly through the door of the choir room, her trade mark smile lighting up her face, her head brimming with ideas for songs which would get them all the way to winning Nationals this year. However there was also a bright spark in Rachel's eyes, something which made her brown eyes light up. As the club turned to welcome her and pester her about her silence over the summer, in came the school's self proclaimed 'badass', Noah Puckerman.
'Berry, slow down' he said coming in after her.
'But, Noah' she said turning round to face him 'we were going to be late for the first Glee club of the year and I have so many ideas and...'
'Shhhh babe' Noah said cutting through Rachel's speech
'Right' Rachel replied, realising that the rest of the Glee club had stopped talking and were watching the two Jews with great interest. Well all, except Kurt, who was sitting there with a knowing smile on his face as her looked up from the text he was composing to his boyfriend Blaine.
Rachel pulled Puck over to a pair of seats near the edge of the group as the rest of the group watched their progress curiously. Well Finn wasn't. He was watching Puck jealously. When they had been in New York,, Rachel had rejected his advances, He had said he loved her and she had said that she wanted to follow her dreams more than she wanted to be with him, so now what was she doing with Puck? he wondered. Finn then turned to look at his other ex-girlfriend, the one he had broken up with for Rachel. Quinn was sitting talking to Sam and Mercedes; she had not even glanced at him.
'Welcome back!' announced Mr Schuster as he walked into the room, late as usual. 'Welcome back to your senior year at William McKinley High School!'
'Mr Schue, don't say it so loudly, your making me feel old' Puck joked as Rachel thumped him over the head.
'Hey!' he remarked turning to the small girl who was situated next to him. Her legs crossed as she balanced her pink star coloured notebook on her knees, a matching pen with a star on the end was clutched in her hand.
'So before we think about this week's assignment, has anyone got a song they want to sing?' Mr Schue said turning to the glee club. He looked expectantly at Rachel who normally jumped out of her seat when he asked the group something like this. 'No one...well let's get started...'
'Wait Mr Schue' Puck piped up, 'I've got something to sing, well it's something, me and Rach have been working on.'
'Rachel and I, Noah' Rachel corrected, muttering under her breath. Why was he getting her to sing this, she thought they had agreed to keep their relationship under wraps for the time being. She shot Noah a questioning glance, what was he up to?
'Well let's hear it!' Mr Schue said enthusiastically, walking over to sit with the rest of his students, who were wondering what was going to happen next.
Puck pulled up two stools and placed them in front of the piano, facing the audience. Rachel sat on one and he sat in the other carefully positioning his beloved guitar on his lap. Looking deep into Rachel's eyes Noah began to strum the opening chords to the song, then he opened his mouth and turned to sing to his secret girlfriend.
(P)Midnights in winter
The glowing fire
Lights up your face in orange and gold
(R) I see your sweet smile
Shine through the darkness
Its line is etched in my memory
(R&P) So I'd know you by heart
Noah gazed down at the small girl who was sitting next to him, her face lit up only by the small Hanukkah menorah in the corner of the candles flickered gently, filling the silent living room with a soft orange glow.
'Thank you for getting me from the Christmas tree lot' Rachel whispered to him.
'No problem' he replied silently cursing Finn 'douche' Hudson. After he had received Rachel's quiet phone call asking for help, he had raced to get there. On his arrival, he had discovered Rachel shivering quietly in the dark lot, tear tracks clearly visible on her face. If he was not on probation, he would have probably gone round to Hudson's house and have beaten him up. How could he have left Rach there, all by herself in the dark?
Knowing that Rachel's fathers were away on a business trip and would not be back until Christmas eve, Noah had taken the shivering girl back home with him. Rachel was now wrapped up tightly in on old blanket, her head lying on his shoulder as he wrapped his arms around her trying to make her warm.
'Thank you Noah' she repeated before snuggling into his chest and falling asleep.
Noah gentle kissed Rachel tenderly on the forehead before blowing out the candles and falling asleep on the sofa, his arms still around Rachel's small form.
(R)Mornings in April
Sharing our secrets
We'd walk until the morning was gone
(P)We were like children
Laughing for hours
The joy you gave me lives on and on
(R&P) So I'd know you by heart
Rachel was walking through the park hand in hand with Noah. Eden, Noah's nine year old sister had been driving his mother, who had a horrible migraine, mad. Rachel had offered to take her to the local park, so Eden could play with her friends and Noah had tagged along, looking for an excuse to get out of the house and away from his irritable mother.
It was a fresh spring morning, with the flowers just starting to come out. Noah liked being in Rachel's company. He had come to realise that Rachel was a very special person. He had spent the first half of her High School life, tormenting her; he was the first one who gave her a slushy facial, but Rachel had forgiven him. She was someone he could really be himself with, not Puck, like he was at school, but Noah. She always listened to him and encouraged him, trying to persuade him to take more of an interest in his studies.
'I don't know what I'm doing with Lauren' he suddenly blurted out.
'What?' Rachel asked stopping dead in her tracks. Out of all the things she had expected to come out of his mouth, that was not it.
'I mean, I like her, but everything I seem to do to please her, she just criticizes me. I can't get it right!'
'Hey! That's my line' Rachel said jokingly linking her arm back through his, thinking about the song she had performed a couple of weeks previously at Regionals. 'So what do you like about her?'
'umm... she's more badass than I am?'
'Noah! That's hardly a reason for liking a girl, if you excuse me for being blunt, Lauren treats you like shit, she bosses you around, walks all over you and makes you miserable'
'I never said that!'
'No, but I can see it in your eyes Noah' Rachel said softly, reaching up and tenderly stroking his cheek 'She's changing you, you used to take nothing from no one, rule the school and let no one criticize you. Puck was the biggest badass in school'
'Hey, you said ass and earlier you said shit' Noah said laughing at the revelation
'I can swear you know' Rachel said in a huff, removing her arm from Noah's grasp and folding them across her chest, 'I just choose not to'.
'So what do you suggest I do?' he asked more seriously, 'if I dump her, she'll quit Glee club and we need 12 people for nationals'
'I never knew you cared for Glee that much' Rachel remarked teasingly, letting Noah take back her hand. 'Seriously it does not matter if we lose her, I have a sneaking suspicion that a certain Mr Kurt Hummel might be coming back to McKinley.'
'Really, he misses us and we need him for nationals'
'Thanks for listening Rach' Noah said softly giving her a big hug
'Any time Noahie!' she replied with a cheeky smile, knowing how much he hated being called that.
'I'll get you for that!' he cried as he attacked her, tickling his small friend all over. Noah was one of the only people who knew that Rachel was extremely ticklish.
'Get away from me you brute!' she screamed
'Only my mother gets away with that Miss Berry' Noah said giving her time to breath before starting again.
Rachel tried to catch her breath between her laughter, 'stop it please' she said as she tried to escape. She struggled out of his arms and made a dash for it but was quickly caught again, by the bigger football player.
'Say sorry and I'll stop' he demanded
'I promise I'll never call you that again'
Noah immediately stopped tickling and held Rachel tightly as she caught her breath back.
'I hate you when you do that' she remarked leading him back to where Eden was playing
'No you don't' he replied confidently. 'You could never hate me Berry
'No I suppose I couldn't...Noahie' she said before running away laughing.
(P)I still hear your voice
On warm summer nights
(R)Whispering like the wind
(R&P) Oh oh oh oh
It was now summer and the club at just come back from New York placing 12th at Nationals. After the initial disappointment, the group became quite proud of their achievement. Coming 12th out of 50-something schools was not bad for their first time at nationals.
The door bell rang, breaking through the silence which filled the Puckerman home. Noah's mother had taken Eden to stay with cousins for the week and Noah been left at home. He quickly turned off the programme he had been idly watching and opened the door.
'Hey Noah, can I come in?' asked the small brown haired girl on the doorstep, who was shivering even though it was a warm stuffy summers night.
'Sure Rach' Noah replied as let her in.
As soon as she was in the house, Rachel started crying.
'Hey, what's the matter?' Noah asked, wrapping her up in a big hug.
'Finn' came her mumbled reply.
Not for the first time, Noah cursed. He hated the way Finn kept on hurting Rachel, he was like an over grown toddler, never caring about anyone but himself and never wanting to share. 'What has he done now?' he asked
'Nothing' she replied but Noah gave her the I-don't-believe-you look. 'Well he came round and begged for me to be his girlfriend again and I said no' she continued 'he just does not understand how much my dreams mean to me, I want to go to New York, he's a country boy at heart and I'm not sure I even like him that much' she added.
What? Noah thought am I hearing things? Rachel Berry was finally over Finn? His heart subconsciously leapt with joy. 'Come up to my room and we'll talk about it' he said leading her up the stairs to his room.
'Thank you for listening to me' Rachel said as she sat on Noah's bed, next to him, their backs leaning against the wooden head board.
'Rach, you're always here for me, now it's my turn to be there for you'
'You're my best friends Noah' she replied 'and I realise that...'
'What do you realise?' he asked curiously, turning to look at her. She seemed to be searching of the right words to say. Her eyes then turned to look straight into his. Chocolate brown met hazel.
'I realise that I love you' she whispered
'You do?' Noah replied amazed. He could not believe it, Rachel Berry, loved him.
'Yes' she whispered 'I have for a long time'
Noah, determined to waste no more time leaned down and gave her a kiss. 'I love you too' he whispered back to her.
(R)You left in autumn
The leaves were turning
I walked down roads of orange and gold
(P)I saw your sweet smile
I heard your laughter
You're still here beside me every day
'Cause I know you by heart
Rachel was walking to school, she had waited for Noah to pick her up, like he said he would but after 15 minutes of waiting she decided to leave her house otherwise she would be late for the first day of school. Rachel sighed as she trudged through the first leaves which had fallen off the trees. She knew the summer had been too good to be true, Noah-Puck, she corrected herself, obviously wanted to try and gain back some of his reputation this year and turning up with Rachel Berry was not going to help. A lone tear made its way down her face. She brushed it away ashamed. She was not going to cry any more over boys. She only had to get through one more year of school then she could go to New York, become a star and start living her dreams. With the image of a Tony Award in her mind she walked on, head held high, towards the school. Suddenly there was a loud honking sound behind her. She turned around searching for the source of the noise.
'Rach, I'm sorry I was late, please can you get in the car' Noah shouted, out of the window, towards her. Rachel smiled. He had not forgotten about her after all and she was ashamed at herself for doubting him. She quickly clambered into the seat next to him and they set off for school.
'I'm sorry I was late' he said 'it was not my fault, it was Eden's, she was so scared about starting middle school, that she just would not get into the car and you know I have to drop her off before I get you'
'Its fine' she replied and she leaned over and gave him a kiss on the cheek.
'Is that all I'm getting, for taking you to school?' he asked in mock annoyance
Rachel laughed before replying 'I would love to get to school in one piece and I would not want to distract you'
'So will I get a distraction later?'
'Maybe' Rachel replied blushing slightly
'How did I know you were going to say that?'
'Cause you know me by heart' she replied as they parked in the school parking lot. Out of sight of all the other students, she gave Noah, the person who knew her the best out of anybody, her own father's included, a passionate kiss. 'I love you' she whispered gazing at him lovingly.
'I love you too, Rach' He replied as they walked towards the entrance, Noah's arm wrapped firmly around her waist and both were smiling happily.
'Cause I know you by heart' They sang together, finishing the song, still looking into each other's eyes. Their voices had blended together perfectly, creating a wonderful smooth sound with amazing harmonies. As the music stopped, over come with emotion, Rachel, forgetting her want for the relationship to remain secret, leapt into her boyfriends arms. The whole of the Glee club was silent. The last chord was left echoing off the walls. They were in shock. Even Mr Schuester did not see that coming.
'That was amazing guys' he said finally, breaking through the silence.
'I knew it! I knew it' Kurt exclaimed happily, 'that was so beautiful, you sounded wonderful together, oh I love Puckleberry!' he remarked before running over and giving Rachel a massive hug.
'I love Puckleberry too' Rachel said, agreeing with her friend's comment
'So do I' Noah said in agreement, as he pulled Rachel into another hug and gave her a quick kiss 'so do I'
Hi! I hoped you liked this story, the song I have used is called 'I know you by heart' by the amazing Eva Cassidy. This story comes off a comment made by Quinn in Chapter 10 of one of my stories 'Home' about how Rachel and Puck became a couple. For readers of 'Home' I'll try and have chapter 11 up sometime at the weekend or early next week. I'm very busy at the moment but this story just had to be told. Please review and let be know what you thought!
A big thank you to my friend, clonedmemories, for encouraging me to keep writing!