Title: I'd Fight for You (I'm Right for You)
Category: Glee
Genre: Romance/Drama/Humor
Ship: Rachel/Puck, ma!Puckerman
Rating: Teen
Warning(s): Coarse Language
Prompt: Penny Mrs. Puckerman: I hear you broke up with Amy Rachel.
Sheldon Puck: A breakup would imply she was my girlfriend. She was a girl who was my friend who is now a girl who is not my friend.
Penny Puck's sister: Wow. That's like the worst country song ever. - puckrachel drabble meme
Timeline: Disregards episodes post A Very Glee Christmas (2x10)
Word Count: 7,135
Summary: "Noah, the fight I don't ever want you to lose is the one for what you deserve… You fight for a purpose, bubbala, and I'll never ask you to stop."

I'd Fight for You (I'm Right for You)
-1/1-

School was out but Puck lingered at his locker. He had football practice and Coach Beiste would tear him a new one if he didn't get his ass in gear, but his feet were firmly planted. Across the hall, and hell yeah he was watching it through the mirror on his locker door, Finn was making a move on Berry, again. Since their break-up in December, he'd been staying away from her. In fact, most of the glee club was giving her a wide-berth. Apparently, her making out with Puck when she and Finn were having a rough patch was just as bad as Quinn getting knocked up by her boyfriend's best friend. Which also meant Puck wasn't getting much more than the cold shoulder from the gleeks either. It didn't really surprise him when he and Rachel became friends; he kinda liked her and her crazy grew on him. Without Finn or the others to tell them to back off each other, hanging out just happened. And she surprised the shit out of him when she turned out to be good at Halo.

Now that it was May, he thought maybe making a move wouldn't be too sudden. Yeah, she was bat-shit most of the time, but he liked that about her. She talked too much, with words she shouldn't even know, but he actually listened most of the time now. Except when she went on about Idina whats-her-face or the Tony's. He only listened to that once and every conversation since has just been a variation of the same. Shit's boring. Like he wanted to know what she was gonna say at the Tony awards – he'd be watching that shit, he didn't need spoilers! And yeah he knew this. 'Cause even if he and Berry didn't work out, she'd already wormed her way into his life. Like, legit, his ma thought the sun rose and fell with Rachel Berry's smile, it was fucking weird. And his sister was in love with her! Like he couldn't come home after school and not hear, "Where's Rachel? She said we'd watch –insert lameass Disney movie title here-!" So she was pretty much a permanent, life-long friend that his ma wanted him to bang and knock up with Jewish babies, but whatever… He was kinda okay with that.

Except Finn Hudson was suddenly back in the picture and reaching for her hand and giving her that I'm-sweet-and-dopey-forgive-me-for-being-a-hypocritical-douche smile and Puck could feel every inch of him tensing like he wanted to beat the shit out of his former best friend until his knuckles bled. It wasn't the first time he'd felt this, but he'd thought with the last five months of him and Berry hanging out and her moving on from Hudson and working on getting back to being Rachel Berry – Future Broadway Star and not Rachel Berry – That Girl That Tries Not To Be So Crazy So Her Boyfriend Won't Be Embarrassed To Be Seen With Her that he wouldn't be feeling it anytime soon. He knew they had history, in fact she told him the whole crazy fucking story (and she cried way too many times!), so he was pretty sure Finn had a douche-setting reserved just for her and Rachel just kept letting it go.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, Finn leaned down to kiss her cheek before taking his gigantically overgrown body and making his way down the hall, off to football practice. And Rachel watched him, her brows furrowed as if she couldn't figure this shit out. It was fucking obvious; Finn wanted his devoted girlfriend back and she was the only one who'd put up with his bullshit. He slammed his locker and cracked a smile when she jumped.

"Noah!" she said, eyes lighting up and widening. Apparently she hadn't even seen him there. "Shouldn't you be at football practice?" She crossed the hall, her tiny little skirt bouncing off her tanned thighs. His eyes fell, stared awhile; such a damn tease. "Noah?"

Huh? Oh, right. "What'dHudsonwant?" he grumbled, cocking a brow.

Her eyes turned back down the now empty hallway. "He's having a small get-together this weekend and he wanted to know if I'd like to come… He suggested I'd be a great co-host."

"'s a party, Berry," he corrected, 'cause what teenager their age had a 'small get-together' that didn't involve beer, music and acting like totally dumbasses? Shit. He hadn't even heard about it. Either his popularity had dropped even more or Hudson was going out of his way to keep him from joining in on the festivities. The fuck ever, Puck made those parties, and Finn's would suck ass without him. Not that he cared or anything. "And seriously? You're gonna say yes to dating him? Again?"

She chewed her lip, shoulders slumping. "It's really not that simple, Noah."

"Cut the bull, Berry, it's really fucking simple. Douche asks girl out, girl says no…" Worked up, he reminded, "'Cause Douche is a motherfucking douche!"

She clucked her tongue. "You know how I feel about curse words… And might I remind you that he used to be your best friend?"

"Used to," he agreed, nodding. "Now I've got a hot Jew replacing him and trust me, I like you better!"

She smiled but tried her best not to; whatever, shit was charming. "I really think you're blowing this out of proportion…" She clasped her hands in front of her. "I told him that dating him wasn't an option right now. I'd prefer friendship. My romantic feelings tend to attach themselves to people who are unwilling or unlikely to notice or return them and I feel it would be best to avoid that sort of confusion right now. I want to take things slowly and reintroduce myself to the dating pool at my own pace…"

He cocked a brow, pointing a finger down the hall. "Berry, you go to that party with him and you'll be sucking his face off and wearing his Letterman's jacket by Monday… Fuck your own pace, Finn is gonna reel you in just like he always does!" And he was not bitter about that shit… Okay, maybe a little. The hell made Finn Hudson so special that he got all the do-overs?

"Why are you so upset?" she wondered, shaking her head. "Just last week you were telling me that I was too wound up and should seek an outlet for my frustration…"

"I said you were horny and you needed to get laid! And I didn't mean by him!" His hands curled into fists and he barely stopped himself from making a very large dent in the lockers behind him. "Just…" He inhaled deeply, sighing loudly. "Just don't go out with him, Rachel…" Please! Please don't go out with him! Hell, he wasn't gonna fucking beg…

"Noah…" She shook her head, reaching out to touch his arm. "Whatever you seem to think my feelings are for Finn, you're wrong, I—"

Licking his lips, he stepped back from her. "I swear to God, if you start telling me how awesome Finn is and that he's just misunderstood and you're trying to be a friend while he grows-the-fuck-up, I'm gonna lose my shit…" His jaw ticked. "I can't— No, fuck it! I won't watch you date him again… I won't be the guy who sits around waiting for you to get your heartbroken just so I can put that shit back together… 'Cause he is gonna hurt you again, like he always does, and I'm not gonna be your go-to revenge fuck because you can't have the douche you want." He stared at her seriously. "I won't do it."

Her expression screwed up, both hurt and angry. "Are you giving me an ultimatum? Because if you are—"

"You fucking date that dick and we're not friends." He wanted to take the words back as soon as they came out of his mouth. But he was angry and a little hurt, so instead of doing the right thing and not making a total ass of himself, he let it hang there. And when she took too long to reply, her mouth hanging wide, he turned and walked away. "Have a nice fucking life, Berry." Leaving her was one of the hardest things he'd ever done, 'cause every step he was fucking praying she'd call him back; that she'd choose him;, and she didn't.

He skipped football practice and spent the next few hours driving around. He grabbed a slushee and some stale ass taquitos but they kept giving him a stomach ache… or that's what he was blaming the twisting and turning on. He turned up the music as loud as it would go and tried to sing every angry song he had, but it just gave him a headache after awhile. So he drove and he drove and maybe he went past her house a couple times and maybe he thought about egging Finn's place, and maybe he dropped by a convenience store and eyed another ATM 'cause being in juvie might actually be better than watching the Finchel show again. He wondered if he could get somebody to smuggle him Eggo's… Shit, only Rachel would do it and now he didn't even have her as a friend.

Fuck his life.

Aviva Puckerman was watching the clock. Football practice had ended an hour ago and while it wasn't unusual for her son to stay out later with his friends, things had been different since the existence of Beth. She hadn't seen the same group of friends coming around; the jocks that never wiped their feet at the door, oy vey, and ate her out of house and home were long gone. Even Finn had been absent for a lot of the last two years. She knew his reasons for it and though she felt bad her son had lost a friendship he'd had since he was just a little boy she couldn't help but think it might've helped him grow. Ever since his dad had left (and she cursed that sonofabitch in her head), her Noah had been angry. He was always acting out and getting into trouble and acting like he didn't care when really it was all he did. He cared that people thought of him as his father's son; that he was always second best to the good guy Finn; that he was just a Lima Loser waiting to happen. And it didn't matter what she said to change his mind, he never listened.

And then Rachel Berry came along.

She was aware of their brief relationship during Quinn's (shiksa!) pregnancy and she thought it was too bad that they hadn't lasted longer. But then a miracle happened and suddenly Rachel was around again. Of course, Noah said they weren't dating, that they were friends since her break-up with Finn, but Aviva was not blind. She saw the way her son looked at the young girl who made it her mission to get Noah to graduation. She saw how he smiled more, not smirked, and how genuine his laugh had become. Sure, he still bugged her that she was crazy and half the time he called her by her last name, but something had bitten her son and it wasn't going away.

Their friendship bloomed before Aviva's eyes, from study sessions to movie nights, to just sitting on the couch and watching The Simpsons while Noah played absently with her hair and Rachel spoke of how cartoons like this affected the people that grew up watching them. And Noah nodded and grinned and told her she was "bat-shit" and she slapped his chest and rambled on and on and on about statistics and studies and tried not to laugh at the ridiculous behavior of Homer and Bart Simpson. Aviva watched as Rachel grew closer to her daughter Sarah, playing dress-up and singing and watching all the Disney movies Noah had long ago sworn off. And she played mother to the young girl with two dads, listening to her woes and answering her questions and hugging her close, providing the maternal affection Rachel so desperately needed. And when friendship grew into something else, something her son wouldn't give a name to, she crossed her fingers and watched and hoped (and maybe planned the wedding in her head).

This was the girl she could see her Noah dating. The woman he could grow old with. She could already see the beautiful grandbabies in their future with Noah's green eyes and Rachel's bright smile. They would challenge each other and butt heads, but they would love each other with the kind of passion only two people who want something so badly they'll fight for it for a lifetime could. And she'd seen that passion in each of them, albeit for other things - Rachel and her Broadway, Noah and his getting out of Lima - but as soon as they directed it at each other, she was absolutely certain that nothing would tear them apart.

She got the call while she was making dinner.

Despite Sarah being home, she made no move to get to the phone. Rolling her eyes, Aviva waved the steam of boiling carrots out of her face and wiped her hands on a dishtowel before grabbing the phone off the wall and breathing out a distracted, "Hello?"

"Hi! Aviva? It's Rachel," she stated clearly. "I know you're probably very busy with dinner right now, seeing as football practice has already let out and you have a very well maintained schedule to make sure dinner is on the table by six, but I wondered if I could trouble you in asking if, um…" she stuttered, losing all previous steam. "I-Is Noah home yet?"

Her tendency to ramble and explain herself was a trait Aviva found both amusing and adorable. But when her voice faltered near the end, she felt her heart plummet. "Not yet, dear… Can I ask why?"

"Oh, it was awful!" she declared dramatically. "After school, I was speaking with Finn about… well it doesn't really matter. But I spoke to Noah afterwards and there was a fight and he, in not so many words, told me that we were over… I mean, honestly! To end our friendship over something so trivial…" Aviva was absolutely sure the girl speaking to her was now pacing. "I realize he's your son, but even you must admit that he can be absolutely pig-headed about things and-and—" She sighed. "What am I going to do? I don't… I can't lose Noah…"

Without all the facts, she could hardly agree or disagree. But when upset, Rachel tended to speak half out loud and half in her head. "Rachel, I think you know him as well as anybody… He was probably upset and said something without meaning to…"

"I think even if he did, he would stick to it because he's stubborn," she muttered.

She grinned. Yes, yes he would. "So maybe you have to be more stubborn than him, hm?"

"You're right!" And no doubt the wheels were turning in her head now. "Thank you so much, Aviva. I really must go. Please excuse my hasty exit, but I'm sure I'll be able to make it up to you in future."

"Not a problem, Rachel. You have a good night."

Hanging up the phone, she smirked down at it. If that girl wanted to make it up to her she'd fix this mess, date her son, and make an honest man out of him.

Returning to dinner, she tried to piece together what she knew and what might have happened. As usual in the drama between Rachel and Noah, Finn was playing a part. She had nothing against the boy; she'd known him since he was very little and had witnessed the heartbreak when his father had died. But the more he grew up, the less mature he became. Like too many high school boys Finn was obsessed with popularity, and she'd seen her own son fall into that trap as well. But thanks to the unfortunate mess of Quinn and Beth, Noah was forced to grow up quicker than the others and she hoped he'd learned his lesson. Obviously, the same could not be said of Finn. And she knew this more because Noah had spent a considerable amount of time complaining about his former best friend and the crazy girl he was dating more times than he probably would've liked to admit. She thought even then that Noah couldn't help but feel something for Rachel and wasn't it just his misfortune that the two girls he'd ever cared about had both been with Finn…

As she continued to cook, her eyes darted to the clock off and on. It wasn't like Noah to be late for dinner. Like Rachel said, Aviva kept to a strict dinner schedule of six o'clock and she expected her children to be there or to call ahead to warn her that they had other plans. But from what Rachel had told her, no doubt she expected the falling out of his friendship with her to have affected him. There were few people in Noah's life that he really let in and Rachel had been one of those. She'd managed to crack through his defenses and bring out the hurt boy inside who just wanted to be accepted. He would never agree that was what he was, he had too much pride for that, but more than once she'd overheard her son and Rachel talking in his bedroom. He shared things with her that he had never said aloud before; things about his dad and how hard it was when he'd first left. Her heart broke a little to hear it coming from him, but then Rachel was there with her arms around him, telling him that he didn't deserve it and that it was Eli Puckerman's loss.

She called Sarah in at five to six and had her set the table. Her ten year old daughter grumbled and whined, dragging her feet, but she did as she was told. She set out the plates and the cutlery and she carried the juice with both hands (only when she was reminded; twice) and she asked if she should set up a place for Rachel, because more often than not she was a fourth member at the table. And finally, Aviva placed the bowl of mashed potatoes and the plate of baked pork chops on the table before taking a seat across from her daughter.

Sarah looked confusedly at the place where Noah usually sat, but she served herself out and began sharing her day, from a fight she got into with one of her schoolmates to the goal she scored in soccer in phys ed. And just as she was in the middle of her story about the boy who kept tugging on her hair during recess, the front door opened and slammed. Noah walked in frowning, kicking his shoes off and making his way into the kitchen. His jaw was set but his knuckles weren't bruised, so Aviva had high hopes that he hadn't gotten into a fight. This time last year, she wouldn't have been surprised to see him grab out a bowl of ice and rest his battered hand in it while he ate, not bothering to explain what he'd done or why the other boy deserved it. She wondered if he'd found self-restraint during his friendship with Rachel.

He took a seat across from her and started scooping potatoes onto his place, glowering and not looking at either of them.

Aviva looked from him to a curious Sarah and then back. "Practice was good?"

He grunted.

"I was expecting you home earlier."

Grunt.

She pursed her lips. Fine, she'd just get right to the point then. "I heard you broke up with Rachel."

His hand paused on the way back to the potatoes and his jaw ticked. "A break up would imply she was my girlfriend," he muttered darkly under his breath. "She was a girl who was my friend who is now a girl who is not my friend…"

"Wow," Sarah mused. "That's the worst country song ever."

He looked up to glare at her. "Shut it, Shrimp!"

"Mo-om!" Sarah whined.

Aviva half-rolled her eyes, but then leaned to the side to stare at her son. "I just don't understand what happened… Everything was going well. You were getting out more – you've been so subdued since the baby and your time in that Juvenile center. And you've stopped getting into trouble; your grades were getting up; heck, your football team was even getting better!"

"Ma! I get it!" he snapped. "You think Rachel's a saint, okay? Too bad she wants stupid dopey Finn, all right?" He threw the spoon into the potato bowl and glared down at the table. "So no, you're not planning our wedding and there's not gonna be some badass Puckleberry grandkids with all her shiny fucking hair, so just drop it!"

"Wait… So Rachel picked Finn over you?" Sarah wondered.

"Jesus fucking Christ… Suddenly, 'm not hungry." Shoving away from the table, he turned and left the room, stomping his way toward and up the stairs.

"Mom, I thought you said Noah loved Rachel?"

Aviva reached over to pat her daughter's hand, seeing her confusion and smiling gently. "He does, baby. But sometimes… Sometimes loving someone doesn't mean they love you back." She swore she heard her son's footsteps falter on their way to the second floor. She wished there was an easy cure for heartbreak. She knew all too well there wasn't.

"That sucks…"

She smiled sadly. "Yeah… It does."

Deciding to give Noah some time to calm down, she encouraged Sarah to finish her story about the boy at school, but her mind wandered. Truthfully, a part of her wanted to be angry with Rachel. She wanted to shake sense into that girl and tell her that what she needed was right in front of her. Why she was chasing after Finn made absolutely no sense to Aviva. Not when somebody like Noah was there and more than willing to make her happy. She could be bias, however. She wasn't unaware that her son had flaws. He was, after all, a father at sixteen, even if he didn't have his daughter with him any more. And she had her suspicions that he wasn't just cleaning pools for the many older woman ofLimaduring his summer job. And he'd made mistakes, a lot of them, and slept with entirely too many girls for his young age, but… He'd grown up. And he'd taken responsibility when it was important. And when Rachel said she was proud of him or she encouraged him, Aviva could see that he took it to heart; that he would graduate and make something of himself, if only because he wanted to be as good as Rachel made him feel.

To be fair, it wasn't just that Rachel was good for Noah, but the other way around as well. He didn't try to change her, even when he was teasing her for talking too much or for putting more effort into things than was needed. He may have bugged her that she could say things were fewer words, but it was only because sometimes the girl was uptight and too focused and she needed that little push to relax and let down her guard. Aviva was fairly sure, from what she'd heard from both Rachel and Noah, that Finn didn't make her feel that way. That he relied too much on what was popular or accepted to make his decisions for him. He wanted Rachel to fit in and not stand out. Noah just wanted her to be with him.

When dinner was over, she told Sarah to finish up her homework and then she put away the leftovers. She could hear the pumping bass of Noah's angry music rattling their walls but it didn't stop her from climbing the stairs. She knocked twice, unanswered, before just opening the door. "Noah?"

He sighed, looking over at her from where he lay sprawled on his bed. "Ma, please… Can we just not?"

She frowned. "You think it's that easy to get rid of me? Please." Scoffing, she walked further into his room, closing the door behind her before she reached over and turned off his music. "Your room's a mess, you know? You'll clean it or you're not going out this weekend."

"Yeah, 'cause I got so much to do," he muttered.

"You wanted to have a Halo night with the boys, didn't you?" she reminded.

"Whatever, Mike and Artie'll probably ditch me for Finn's party anyway…" His jaw ticked, eyes darting away.

His loss of popularity had obviously hurt him. Maybe more so because those he thought were real friends didn't always step up to the plate like they should. It was an unfortunate lesson to learn, but she hoped he might take his true friends less for granted.

Crossing her arms over her chest, she moved to sit at the edge of his bed. She glanced at him, brow raised expectantly. "You wanna tell me what happened?"

"What always happens…" He laughed derisively. "Finn gets the girl." He darted his eyes away, but she still saw how hurt he was. He could be the biggest self-proclaimed badass in Lima, but he was still her little boy.

"She said yes then? To giving their relationship another try?" she probed carefully.

He shrugged. "He asked… She's thinking about it. 's close enough. Pretty much a sealed deal," he sneered.

Aviva frowned. "I never thought I'd see the day my boy didn't fight for what he wanted…"

Noah smirked. "Yeah, well, I got you and Rach in my ear telling me violence isn't the answer… Had to rub off some time."

She turned, facing him better. "Now, Noah, you're twisting my words… You've fought all your life. Not to be your dad; to be more than what circumstances might allow; every chance you've got. And when you got angry, you let your fists speak for you… I can't even count how many times I've been called into the principal's office to discuss your behavior… And most of those times, yes, I wanted you to learn that fighting wasn't the answer. That all that hurt you've got inside you wasn't any reason to beat up on somebody else… But Noah, the fight I don't ever want you to lose is the one for what you deserve… You fight for a purpose, bubbala, and I'll never ask you to stop."

He glanced at her. "You think Rachel's my purpose?"

"I think…" She smiled. "She reminds you that you were Noah once and that Puck is just a shell. I think she knows you and believes in you and it makes you want to be better… And I think you can love her more than any dopey Christian boy ever could…"

He grinned, shaking his head. "Ma…"

"Finn is a good boy, Noah… He's sweet and nice and very good at being the boy next door. But he's also misguided and immature and still too young to realize how special a girl like Rachel is… It's going to take him awhile to grow up and realize popularity isn't everything. And I think you're already there… I think you look at Rachel and see a beautiful young woman. I think you respect her and love her in a way you never expected to and I think that scares you. Because you don't know if she does or even can feel the same… So you can walk away and wish her the best with Finn, knowing he's just going to hurt her worse, or you can step up and be the good man that I know you are and put your heart out there."

He stared down at the bedspread, looking a little less like the cocky, self-assured teenager he usually acted like. "And if she breaks it?"

"You'll heal, baby… It'll hurt, but…" She sighed, lifting a shoulder. "When your dad left, it almost killed me. My heart still hurts. But Noah, the time I had with him… He gave me you and your sister, so it was worth the heartache."

He nodded vaguely, even as his hands curled into fists at the mere mention of Eli Puckerman. That hurt still hadn't faded.

Rising, she crossed the space to lean down and kiss his temple. "I love Rachel, sweetie… But you're my little boy and if she breaks your heart, I will personally destroy her."

He laughed. "Thanks."

She smiled, stepped back from his bed and walked to his door. "Clean up your room and do your homework," she added. "And eat your dinner before bed. It's in the microwave for when you're ready."

"All right, all right," he muttered dismissively.

Stepping out into the hallway, she sighed to herself. She really hoped she hadn't been wrong about Rachel, because her son was painfully in love with her.

Puck finished up his homework and tossed the last of his laundry into the basket against the wall. It was only eight but he was tired. Tomorrow he was going to school with even fewer friends and he felt like shit. He kind of hoped Rachel wouldn't hold him to his word. That she'd stop him in the hallway and tell him he couldn't just end their friendship, mostly so he could save face. 'Cause yeah, he was really pissed that she wanted to be with Finn again, and maybe his chest hurt (a lot) and maybe his mom was right and he was a little in love with her, but not having her at all? That shit stung.

Distractedly, he wondered how pissed she'd be if he called the cops on Finn's party and had it broken up early. He smirked. He was gonna do it anyway.

There was a rustling outside his bedroom window that caught his attention. He was on the second floor and the last time somebody came through his window, it was Santana looking for a quickie. But he and Satan had been off for awhile and she'd been more than a little bitchy since he'd been spending most of his time with Berry. So he was just being cautious when he grabbed his baseball bat and waited for whoever was outside to make their move.

But then his window went up and a very long, tanned leg came through and he lost his train of thought. The hell?

A tiny body followed and then a head full of dark, shiny hair, before finally Rachel Berry was sitting on his windowsill glaring at him. The first thing he noticed was she wasn't wearing white, like in his dream, and he was kinda disappointed. Frowning, she hopped down and put her hands on her hips. "You're an idiot, Noah Puckerman!"

Glaring, he tossed his bat away. "Yeah? I'm still smarter than your boy, Berry!"

She rolled her eyes. "That is precisely my point!" Walking toward him, she pursed her lips. "It's become obvious that you and I need to have a very in-depth conversation regarding Finn Hudson!"

"Yeah," he scoffed, cutting her off, "'Cause I really wanna hear what a catchHudsonis."

"As I was saying," she said, loudly.

"No," he cut her off, shaking his head. "No, you always do all the yapping and I listen, 'cause somewhere along the way I just let you put my dick in a vice and it's not happening now. So shut up and listen to me for once!"

She gaped. "Firstly, I would like to say that never have I ever put any of your—of—I've never put that in anything! And secondly, I don't appreciate the tone you're using to—"

"It was a metaphor or fucking ever," he snapped. "And just shut up, okay?" Reaching over, he grabbed her shoulders and shoved her down so she was sitting on his bed before he started pacing. "Look, I don't do this… this talking it out shit and I'd just tell you where to shove it, but this is the first time I'm actually being like, encouraged to fight, so I'm gonna do it."

She stared up at him, brows furrowed. "I'm not sure I understa—"

"Finn is a douche," he yelled over her. "I mean yeah, he can be a cool guy. But when he's with you, he's a douche. And you're a doormat. Or y-you just put up with how lame a boyfriend he is to you and that's not… Shit's not kosher, Berry!" He sighed, frustrated. "Finn's not going to stand up for you like your deserve. He-He's never gonna not wonder if it'd be easier if you were cooler or you talked less or if you'd wear something that didn't have fucking animals on it! And maybe he doesn't know that it's douchey; maybe he's not even trying to fix you, 'cause he's like three crayons short of a full box; but I know those things about you. And sometimes, yeah, sometimes your never-ending talking drives me fucking nuts. Like you don't even know you're repeating yourself and you think about you and your career and 'Rachel Berry – Broadway Star' more than anybody else and I kinda get that, 'cause you've been on your own since like kindergarten when Quinn told everybody your had a special kind of cooties that'd never go away and we were all stupid little shits that believed her.

"But whatever, it's just… I can handle all the talking, 'cause sometimes, when you shut up or you're not yapping on about the Tony's or whatever, you're cool. Like you're quiet enough that you ask a question and then you wait for an answer and actually listen and like, care about what I'm saying…" He shrugged. "And the clothes, I… I really don't care if you're wearing your stupid horse sweater or a garbage bag, just as long as the berries are covered so Ben-Israel can't perve out." He threw up his hands. "And all the other shit, the crazy and the diva and all that, I like that… Okay? I don't know why… I just… do. And Finn won't. He's used to Quinn and all her undeveloped crazy hidden under layers of fake perfection and that's his shit to deal with. 'Cause I have my hands full enough with you, so just…" He sighed. "Don't go to Finn's. Don't—Don't play his hostess or his girlfriend or his anything. 'Cause I… I wanna be the guy on your arm and I wanna slowly drive myself nuts listening to you talk and I wanna beat the shit out of idiots who try to slushee you, so…" He frowned, looking away. "So this is me like, fighting for you…"

"And to think," she murmured. "No blood was shed."

He rolled his eyes. "You're hilarious," he muttered.

Taking a deep breath, she rose from his bed and clasped her hands together at her lap. "Well…" She licked her lips. "If you'd have stayed you might have avoided that whole spiel because you'd have been enlightened to hear that while Finn will always be my first love, and heart break – multiple times over, my feelings have changed dramatically and I could not in good conscience enter into a relationship with him when it had become abundantly clear that my heart had misguidedly devoted itself to a completely different idiot!"

He went from irritation to smirking in like three-point-five, not that she noticed, since she was pacing now, glaring at his carpet like it pissed her off.

"See, if you hadn't been such a pigheaded and stubborn jerk, you might've realized that I was trying to tell you that Finn asking me out was complicated because I wanted to repair our friendship and nothing more… That recently, over the last few months, I've begun to realize that my very obnoxious best friend has come to mean more to me than he should. That I've once again fallen for somebody I shouldn't have. And that caring about you and being with you should not be an option. Because we will undoubtedly fight, often; and you will second-guess my feelings for Finn, I'm sure; and almost nobody at McKinley will approve, which will make things even more difficult; and a laundry list of other reasons, but…" She sighed, rolling her eyes. "Senselessly, I let my heart get in the middle of this friendship, or non -friendship considering your ridiculous ultimatum earlier this afternoon. But then…" Her shoulders fell as she came to a stop and stared up at him. "Then you make that very moving, if confusing and slightly insulting, speech and I—"

He cut her off with his mouth. His lips crashed down on hers hastily, so much so that they tripped a little and landed back on his bed. Props to him, 'cause that turned out awesome. A worked up Rachel meant she was more than willing to take charge of their making out. So she flipped him onto his back and climbed on top, her hands balling his shirt at the shoulders while she met his bruising kiss with just as much intensity. And she rocked that awesome body of hers down into him, the warm weight of her molding perfectly. Instead of reaching back to correct his hands as they slipped up the back of her legs, fingers eagerly teasing her thighs, she whimpered and bit his lip a little. She drew back, wincing, ready to apologize, but he slanted his mouth across hers before she could and hoped she'd do it again. He loved when she did that; he missed that. She chuckled a little, getting the point, and her soft hair fell, tickling the sides of his face.

"Oh, Noah, bubbala, I forgot to ask, I—" His mother's voice suddenly interrupted them, the door to his room flying open as she stepped inside. She came to a sudden stop, her eyes wide as she stared at Rachel, who was now scrambling to get off of him and sit primly on his bed, smoothing out her skirt nervously.

"Mrs. Puckerman," she said rather loudly. "Uh… Hello…"

His ma laughed a little, pinching her lips closed to stop herself. "Hi, Rachel…" Her eyes darted from her to her son. "I assume this means you've made up…"

"Ma," he groaned, rolling his eyes.

She held her hands up. "All right, I'm going." She paused at the door and looked back with narrowed eyes. "Don't get me wrong, I want Jewish grandchildren, but if you two do more in here than heavy petting I will not be held accountable for my actions!"

Rachel lit up brightly. "Oh no, that would never—I wouldn't—We won't—"

"Not when you're here anyway," Puck said, smirking.

Rachel whirled around to glare at him. "Noah!"

He sighed, shoving himself up to a seated position. "'Kay, fine, I'm not getting any play." He looked over at his mom. "You happy?"

She grinned widely. "Ecstatic." With a wink, she closed the door and walked off humming… Was that Sweet Caroline she was singing?

Licking his lips, he shook his head and looked over at Rachel. "So…"

"Do not finish that sentence with, 'You wanna make out?'" she warned.

He grinned. "Golden."

Rolling her eyes, she rose from his bed and crossed her arms. "It's rather late, I think…" She motioned toward his door. "I should probably go home."

"Wait…" He hopped off the bed and blocked her way out. "Look, just so we're on the same page here…" He cocked a brow. "The Finchel show's over and Puckleberry is…?"

She smiled slightly, head ducking. "On," she told him, raising her eyes to his. "Very much on."

"Cool." He reached for her, hooking a hand on her waist and tugging her closer. "I'm sorry, y'know, about earlier… I was just…" He shook his head, frowning. "I was an ass and I shouldn't've made you pick."

She nodded. "You were being hard-headed, but I suppose I should be used to that." Her eyes twinkled with her light jab. "Look, Noah…" She sighed, resting her hands against his chest. "I think we could be really great together… It won't always be easy and I'm certain I won't be like any girl you've dated before, but… I don't really want to be." She chewed her lip and stared up at him from beneath long, dark lashes. "I like that you treat me differently; that you like me and my very… strong personality." She smiled. "I like that I can be myself around you, unapologetically, and that even if you tease me or you might remind me that I'm exceedingly talkative, you wouldn't really want me to change…" She stared up at him searchingly. "And I wouldn't want you to change. I-I don't think there's anything about you that needs changing. I think we're both growing naturally and we can work through the kinks and make a real go of it." She smoothed out the shoulders of his shirt absently. "I like that you fight with me and for me and while I can't promise your mother that we will be everything she wants us to be, I believe we can be something very wonderful together."

He chuckled a little, bent down and kissed her forehead. "You could'a just said, You're forgiven, Puck, 'cause you were right and we'll be awesome together and Finn's a douche just like you said…"

She rolled her eyes. "At no point did I suggest Finn was a—"

He cut her off with his mouth; he was really starting to like that quick-fix.

She huffed but then wrapped her arms around his neck and leaned into him.

This whole getting permission to fight thing was fan-fucking-tastic!

He got the girl; Finn didn't; and just 'cause he felt like it, he was still gonna call in the cops on Finn's party. What? Dude made a play for his girl; he deserved it. So what if they weren't technically dating at the time; Puckleberry was an inevitability. Everybody and their mother should'a known that. Come tomorrow, Finn would and Puck didn't care what he or anybody had to say about it. He had a free pass to fight for Rachel and he'd make good use of it. There was probably gonna be some trips to the principal's office for his ma in the near future, but he had a feeling she'd think they were worth it. After all, she was their number one fan.

[End.]