Title: Boys, Band-Aids and Lessons in Becoming a Badass
Ship: Rachel/Puck, Mike/Sam/Matt/Rachel Friendships
Summary: How Rachel Berry became Noah's girlfriend, Mike and Sam and Matt's little sister and a badass.
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee or its characters.
A/N: Since I miss him dearly, Matt is still around.
My Beta is A-W-E-S-O-M-E!
PuckRachel Drabble meme:Finding out about Puck's Fight Club, Rachel dubs herself the nurse, cleaning their cuts and keeping watch over them, striking up a friendship with each boy as she goes. I'd love to see them teach Rachel fighting techniques, Puck to be possessive, and for them to stand up for her when she gets picked on either in or out of school! – Sarcastic_Fina
Rachel gets into a physical fight with a student when she overhears them call Puck a Lima Loser. - Sarcastic_Fina
Principal Figgins stared at the petite girl sitting before him along with Mr. Schuester and Coach Sylvester. "Ms. Berry, would you like to explain why Mr. Azimio is on his way to the E.R with what is quite possibly a ruptured testicle?"
Rachel Berry looked at the adults calmly, for once not resorting to theatrics to get out of trouble. She took her time as she pressed her ice-bag to her bruised knuckles. The boys were going to be so pissed; they always told her to hit with the heel of her hand and not with a closed fist. "He was making horrible remarks about a fellow student, Principal Figgins. You promised that the school is going to take a harder stand on bullying around here and yet if you walk down the halls you can see nothing has changed. Kids still get slushied and pushed into lockers every day, name-calling is still rampant at this school. Someone had to do something!"
"And you thought attacking Azimio was the way to go?" Sue Sylvester asked, arching an eyebrow while she questioned Berry.
"He attacked me first." Rachel pointed out, remembering the way the big black boy had pushed her into the lockers. "I was defending myself and, besides, I can assure you, he'll think twice about physical or verbal attacks in the future."
Will shook his head as he sat next to Sue on the office couch, tired and still in shock over what he had seen in the hallway. "Rachel, please."
"Well, she has a point." Sue conceded, fighting a smirk that was dying to make its way to her face. She did not like any of the gleeks but she had to admire the girl's gumption. "She chose to neuter him, he'll be lucky if he can ever reproduce."
"The world's gene pool weeps." Rachel muttered, rolling her eyes when her Spanish teacher said her name sharply again.
"Hey!" She snapped at the curly haired teacher, causing him to reel back at her sudden outburst. "He called Noah a Lima Loser and put his hands on me… he's lucky he still has his balls attached to his body, if Coach Sylvester hadn't stopped me, they wouldn't be!"
"RACHEL!" Will screamed for a third time.
Sue allowed the smirk to take over her face. She decided right there and then that if she's going to like one of glee clubbers, she was going to like the one who reminded her most of herself. Rachel Berry was proving to be a younger version of her. "Let me ask you, Berry, not that I disapprove of your methods but Azimio is a three-hundred plus linebacker, your weight maybe a hundred ten soaking wet. How exactly did you bring him down, do you have some fighting training?"
Sue watched as the girl's face went blank—one hell of a poker face if she ever saw one.
Rachel Berry crossed her arms as she stared at the adults, all waiting for an answer. Lifting one single finger she said..."Rule number one."
… … …
There were eight rules in the Fight Club. Rachel, while never having seen the movie, knew that much. The first rule was so important that it was the second rule also. You did not talk about Fight Club. Of course, Noah Puckerman's gleeful delight in breaking that rule was the reason why she landed doing the most unexpected care-giving role, a man she never knew she loved and three of the greatest friendship she could ever have.
It all started two months earlier when she did not plan to get involved, but she could not help but notice things. Noah started mentioning fight club again in random conversations; that was easy enough to let go since it wasn't the first time he has spoken about it but then he showed up one day with a bruised jaw. On another day, he and Sam were talking quietly in a corner and as they talked she noticed Noah passing Sam a couple of hundred dollar bills. Sam's knuckles were purple and blue. Mike walked into Glee with a busted lip and when Tina demanded to know what happened, Noah, Sam and Matt, who had a cut over his left eye, all looked at him. It was obvious they were waiting for his answer.
"Rule number one." Is all he said even when Tina threatened to cut him off if he did not explain. He looked at her, pained but remained silent even when she huffed away. It was clear as day that he wanted to go after her but he stayed put.
"Ninja." Noah muttered to the Asian boy slapping him on the shoulder as he took his seat a row higher.
"Use it as fuel, Brother." Sam whispered with a slight smile, laughing as the boy flipped him off.
For days the pattern continued. The boys all had scrapes and bruises and it seemed like nobody noticed but her or, if at least if they noticed, the only person that seemed to care was her. Other than Tina's initial question, no one bothered to ask. It drove her crazy, not knowing, wondering and having her suspicions but no verification.
She was sure Lauren knew; she had watched as Noah and his ex-girlfriend greeted each other casually a few lockers away from her. Making herself look busy, she had listened to their conversation, luckily enough, the hallway had been quiet enough that their voices carried.
"How are the ribs, Puckerman?" The other girl asked, giving Noah a friendly once over.
She watched as Noah grimaced. "Tender, dickhead did a number on them."
Lauren laughed in response. "Yeah, well, you paid him back, you mangled his face."
Noah smirked. "True."
"You know if you just broke your self-imposed celibacy, you wouldn't have to take your frustrations out with your fist."
She watched as Noah leered at the big girl, his smile lopsided. "Why... you offering a tumble for old time's sake, Zizes? Starting to miss our junior year together?"
Lauren scoffed at him, reaching up and slapping him in the back of the head, earning a scowl from Noah. "Please, like you even want to revisit our… and I use the term so very loosely 'love affair'. No, I was thinking you'd garb the midget you beat your meat to every night. Tell her you want to fuck her seven ways from Sunday and then proceeded to do so."
"Jesus and they say I'm vulgar!" Noah muttered, shaking his head, earning a laugh in response. "You have a shitty way with words, Zizes… and are kind of a bitch."
Lauren patted his cheek hard, getting another sour look from Noah."You charmer."
… … …
She tried asking Noah straight out but he flirted, teased her about her concern and made a crude joke about how she can help him if that's what she really wants; and, finally walked away with a parting comment about keeping her cute Jewish nose out of it and to let it go.
She couldn't, of course. Curiosity killed the cat for a reason. She really did not want to but, in the end, she bit the bullet and asked Lauren. The heavy girl laughed in her face at her questions.
"You want to know what Puck is up to?"
"And some of the other boys in Glee." She answered. "They are involved, too, I know it."
"Sure," Lauren said, giving her a mocking look. "You're concern for them too, nothing to do with Puck specially."
She frowned at the comment because she did care about the other boys. For weeks she had seen Sam, Mike and Matt with some sort of injury. She even went as far as asking Finn which was awkward, to say the least, since they did not talk more than they had to since their break-up over the summer leading into senior year.
The cluelessness on Finn's uninjured face told her; her ex did not know what the boys were up to. She cared about all of them; they were her teammates. While the others had cuts and bruises like Noah, they were still engaging with the group happily while Noah seemed more reclusive and brooding with every passing day. At first, she had thought that his break-up with the girl in front of her had hit him harder than expected but having watched them together, it was obvious that Noah and Lauren were not only over their break-up, they were still great friends.
She crossed her arms, her chin in a stubborn tilt. "I care about all of them."
"Right." Lauren snorted. "Just as stupid as him, I see."
"Lauren." She said, annoyed at the insult. "If Noah is doing something illegal…something that can get him in trouble, I want to know."
Lauren rolled her eyes at her. "What Puck is doing is what is keeping him from doing illegal shit, Berry, he's channeling his issues."
Confused, Rachel frowned. "What?"
Lauren rolled her eyes again and Rachel bit her lips to keep from lashing out.
"You really want to know, Berry?" Lauren asked, studying her closely. "Fine, since you're responsible anyway. Friday night, eight o'clock I'll pick you up. Wear something not so naughty, school girl, where we're going testosterone is spilling on the floor. No need to add to the feeding frenzy.
Before she got a chance to agree, the girl was walking away from her.
… … …
Lauren pulled up to her house at eight on the dot. As Rachel sat in her car, the girl gave her skinny jeans, boots and olive jacket a once over. "Who knew you could dress normal."
She huffed as she gave the smirking girl an annoyed look. "I hope my outfit meets your approval."
"Yeah, yeah, it will do." Lauren answered as she drove. She remained quiet even when she was dying to ask questions. Lima was not a big town but there was definitely a good side and bad side of it. They had crossed that line a few blocks back, heading for the old warehouses.
"You're not going to kill me, are you?" She asked as Lauren pulled over to a rundown building, uncertainty running a chill down her spine.
Lauren laughed loud and hard. "I have no beef with you, twig, now before we go in, you're not too squeamish, are you? I know you're vegan or whatever, so you're probably not too keen on blood, but you're not an up-chucker, are you?"
Rachel narrowed her eyes, not liking where the conversation was going. "How do you know I'm vegan?"
Lauren shrugged as she got out of the car. "Puck, he's like a walking encyclopedia of all things Berry, let's go."
She followed Lauren as she led her over some overgrown weeds to the back of the building. As she opened a metal door, Lauren turned to her. "Three things, Berry, whatever you see you keep it to yourself. Rule number one of this is you don't talk about it. Two, you don't intervene and, three, stay the hell out of the way if you want to avoid any nastiness. Puck is going to be pissed enough, no need provoking him by getting your skinny ass hurt."
"Lauren, what exactly is going on here?" She asked, at her wits end.
The corner of Lauren's mouth lifted. "Come on, Rachel, you know exactly what this is. You're not stupid and I know you've noticed the marks on the guys. It's exactly what you've been thinking it is, this is just your confirmation."
Rachel shook her head as she followed Lauren down a flight of stairs and a darkly lit hallway, grunts and cheers echoing from behind another metal door a few feet ahead of them. "Noah wouldn't be stupid enough to start this up again after Juvie."
"Lauren!" She whined.
"Rachel!" Lauren mocked, pointing at the door. "You wanted to know… now, deal with it."
… … …
Lauren was dead wrong. What she pictured was nothing compared to what she found. She had expected silly boys rough-housing; their ridiculous 'fight club'. A stupid but harmless version of it. Instead, she walked into a room with cement floors, metal beams and a massive crowd of boys. Some from McKinley and the neighboring schools, some, quite obviously, not in high school. There had to be a couple dozen guys crowding a makeshift circle cheering, screaming, taunting as two guys went at it in the middle. Lauren grabbed her hand and pulled her to a side, pushing her forward away from the crowd to an elevated part of the room where she can see better. It was not any two guys fighting after all, she recognized both immediately. Dave Karofsky and Noah were both shirtless and shoeless and going at each other like it's a fight to the death. Knowing the bad blood between them, it probably was.
"Oh my god!" She whispered to herself, her hand pressed to her opened mouth as Karofsky put Noah into a headlock, his meaty fist hitting Noah's side.
"Don't worry about it, Puck's good. He'll have the asshole down soon enough." Lauren commented, letting out a cheer as Noah broke from the hold and, with a roundhouse kick, caught Karofsky across the head.
Rachel stared transfixed as Noah circled Karofsky with his hands held up in a defensive stance. There was a line of blood at the corner of his mouth as he gave the other boy a nasty smile, it was Karofsky's only warning as Noah lunged at him, knocking him down. They struggled on the floor for a moment before Noah got the upper hand, sitting on Karofsky. Rachel watched as Noah pulled his fist back before slamming it into the boy's snarling face. She cringed at the sound it made but couldn't stop staring as the muscles of Noah's back rippled with every swing. She watched as Karofsky, who was no longer blocking Noah's hits, extended his hand over the floor and tapped it twice. The roar of the crowd went up and Noah got off the boy immediately.
She turned to Lauren with wide eyes, the girl already looking at her as if she had been studying her while the fight was going on. "He tapped out, Berry. It's a rule, you don't continue the fight if they tap out, say stop or go limp. Puck won."
She looked back at the circle. She watched as Noah grinned and got patted on the shoulder as money was passed into his hand. Behind him, Karofsky was slowly getting up, scowling at Noah's back before turning around and walking away slowly. She watched as Mike walked up to Noah and pumped fist, laughing before he leaned in and whispered something into Noah's ear. She watched as the grin dropped and his eyes snapped to the crowd, finding hers quickly.
"Shit." Lauren murmured behind her. "Should have known he'd have his Berry-radar on."
She turned to Lauren, aware that Noah was making his way over to them. "Lauren?" She questioned as the girl took a step back.
Lauren shook her head. "Sorry, Berry, but you're on your own dealing with him. You have a better chance of controlling his temper than I do, see ya later."
"Lauren." She called back as the girl walked away. "Where are you going? You're my ride! Lauren!"
"What the FUCK!"
Rachel closed her eyes for a moment. She could feel him close behind her, still breathing hard from the fight; she could feel his breath behind her neck. She turned to face him, finding him even closer than expected, his green eyes blazing as he glared at her, the frown on his face dark and intimidating. She tried to keep her eyes focused on his face but they seemed to have a mind of their own as they skimmed over his tanned chest and torso. A very defined and toned torso. Strong arms all covered in a light sheet of sweat; the word delicious flashed through her head and she licked her lips without thinking.
His eyes still angry but also darker with something else, tracked the movement. "If you're done looking at me like a main course, Berry, you want to tell me what the fuck you are doing here?" His voice was low and rough as he took a step forward, crowding her.
"I wanted to know what you were up to." She answered bravely as she looked back up at him, hoping her face wasn't too red at getting caught checking him out; but, as she looked at his bloody mouth, she felt her stomach clench and without thinking whether or not he might appreciated her hands on him, she took a step closer, her body brushing against his, placing one of her hands on his chest for support, she raised the other to wipe the blood at the corner of his mouth with her thumb. "Oh Noah, your face."
"It's fine." He said quietly as she continued to touch his face gingerly. The anger seemed to have dissipated from his body, his shoulders no longer bunched-up and tense. She felt his body heat as he leaned into her and she felt hot all of a sudden. She could not explain the look in his eyes or why she felt like whimpering at all. She felt all too small and Noah too big, too close.
"No, it's not." She protested, letting her hands fall off him. "What do you think you are doing? This is dangerous! You can get really hurt."
The annoyance was back on his face and she welcomed it. She understood that look which she can handle. "I told you to keep out of it, Rachel. What are you doing here? How did you even know about this?"
"I had my suspicions." She answered, annoyed herself. "Lauren confirmed them, she brought me."
"Lauren." He muttered like a curse under his breath. "And where is she now? I'd like a fucking word."
Rachel looked around not seeing the girl. The crowd was slowly clearing out, only a few people lingered. Some of them being the Glee boys, who were standing together by a table at the far end corner of the room, watching them. "She kind of left when you spotted us."
Noah rolled his eyes to himself. "Yeah, well, Zizes has excellent preservation skills and she knows I'm going to kill her for bringing you here."
Noah frowned at her, incredulous. "Why? Because this is not the place for you Princess and she knows it."
"And it is yours?" She argued.
With narrowed eyes he pointed an index finger at her. "My place is wherever I fucking want to be. Go home, Rachel."
She wanted to scream at the dismissive tone and, maybe it was the environment she was in but she also wanted to kick him. She curved both impulses. "Lauren was my ride."
He rolled his eyes again and, this time, at her as he cursed. Turning around, he walked over to Sam, Mike and Matt saying something quietly at them as the three of them sent her looks. Mike said something to Noah in return, waggling his eyebrows at him, earning a laugh out of Sam and Matt and a rude gesture from Noah. He pulled a shirt on and grabbed his backpack.
"You coming, Berry?" He asked over his shoulder, heading for the door. "I don't have all night."
She gave the boys a look as they smirked in her direction and quickly followed Noah out the door.
The ride to her house was quiet, only the radio filling the truck with background noise as he pulled up to her house. He killed the engine and rested his head back against his seat with his eyes closed.
He groaned. "Don't start, Rachel, I'm tired and it's late. Just get into the house so I can go to mine and sleep it off."
"No." She repeated.
He opened his eyes and gave her a pissed-off look. "What do you want then?"
She turned in her seat to face him, her hand tentatively lying on his forearm. She felt him tense under her touch. "Why are you doing this?"
He smirked. "None of your beeswax."
"Noah." She whined.
He shrugged. "It isn't, and honestly why shouldn't I, you saw me, right? I owned."
"You're not going to stop, are you?" She asked quietly.
He just gave her a sideways look.
"Fine." She said, giving him a hard look as she opened the door of his truck and climbed out, slamming it as she leaned into his window. "Don't stop and neither will I!"
"What does that mean?" He asked cautiously.
She smiled at him mockingly. "You'll see."
… … …
Rachel Berry spent the following week thinking over her decision. She should leave it alone, should understand that she and her concern weren't wanted or needed. Like Noah had said, he had owned, and while he and the boys had walked around with slight marks on their faces, they seemed to be in fine form. No limping or wincing to be seen. Even with Mr. Schuester working them extra hard in the dancing department, the four of them had stepped up. She could still feel Noah pulling her and lifting her in a particular routine they'd been partnered for, by the end of it, she had been breathing heavily, her body flushed and tingling at his touch while he hadn't even been winded. But whenever she caught Noah's gaze, she found him looking at her with an unreadable expression. So come Friday, she found herself dressed again in jeans, pulling up to the old building with a big black tote bag on her shoulder. Walking in, she noticed that there was a smaller crowd already enjoying the fight in progress. She could feel a few of the spectators giving her a curious look, being the only female in the room, she wasn't surprised.
"Puck's going to be pissed you're back, Rachel."
She turned her head to find Matt standing next to her, giving her a curious look of his own.
"Hello Matthew." She greeted, looking at his face and the cut over his cheek. "I see you've already fought, did you win?"
Matt gave her a smile and nodded.
"Congratulations!" She said with a smile of her own. "You should have someone look at that cut."
Matt smirked down at her. "You wanna to play nurse, Rachel?"
She surprised him when she nodded and tapped her bag. "That's what I'm here for. So, is there a quieter room we can use?"
He raised an eyebrow at her and lips twitched again. Taking her hand, he pulled her along through another door into a quiet better-lit room, neither noticing the green eyes following them. "Some of the guys drop their crap here." He explained.
Rachel studied the room—there's an old wooden table, some chairs and old rundown counters lining the walls, even a rusty sink. Obviously the room was some sort of kitchen in its better days.
"Does the water work?" she asked as she pointed at the table for him to sit down.
"Yeah." Matt answered as he did what she said. "Sometimes it's not even brown."
She allowed a smile as she started pulling gauzes, band-aids, alcohol and other things.
Matt fingered her bag. "You weren't kidding, huh?"
"Just call me Nurse Rachel." She answered, soaking a cotton ball with alcohol. "This is going to sting."
"Kinky." He laughed, and then began to shout as the alcohol worked its way into his cut. "Shit… that hurts, Rach!"
She rolled her eyes as she blew over the wound. "Don't be a baby, Matthew, if you can take the hits, you can take this."
"So much for bedside manner." He murmured under his breath, sighed when she removed the cotton ball and put ointment on the wound.
"You have soft hands." He commented, grinning when she blushed.
She ignored the comment. "You talk more outside of school."
Matt started laughing only to be cut off as someone by the door cleared his throat.
They both turned to find a shirtless Noah standing at the door, looking at them darkly. "What's going on here? Why is she back?"
Rachel looked back at Matt who was at a loss for words and saw that Matt was giving Noah a teasing smirk. "Rachel has decided to be our caregiver, our very own Florence Nightingale."
"Rutherford, Sammy's up, why don't you go watch?" Noah told the boy while his eyes stayed on her. It was clearly a command. She dug her nails into her palms to keep from holding on to Matt to keep him in the room.
Matt turned to her and thanked her for cleaning him up, brushing his lips across her cheek. Chuckling, when they heard a sound like a growl coming out of Noah. Walking by Noah, Matt just continued to laugh.
Left alone with Noah, Rachel felt the room get smaller as Noah started to pace in front of her, the tension radiating off him in waves. "Why the hell are you back, Rachel?"
She took a seat on top of the table like Matt and answered with a calmness she wasn't feeling. "Matthew already explained why I'm here." She pointed at the medical supplies.
"Why?" He questioned as he walked up to her.
"Because someone has to." She answered angrily. "You guys insist on being reckless and someone has to make sure it doesn't get out of hand or at least bandage you idiots up."
"GO. HOME." He growled, now inches away from her.
She swallowed as she felt his breath on her face. "No."
"UGH!" He ground out, mumbling about stubborn woman and pains-in-the-ass. "Why the fuck do you even care!"
"Because I don't want to see you get hurt!" She screamed, pushing off the table, her hands slapping his chest. "This is stupid! You are stupid for doing this, but since you're not going to stop then I'm going to be here and you can't stop me. You say I'm stubborn? You haven't even scratched the surface of it!"
"I..you…"He sputtered, letting out a frustrated snarl, his hands on her arms. She let out a gasp as he pulled her helplessly to his body, pressing her against him intimately.
"Noah." She breathed out as his eyes focused on her lips. He shook his head in defeat and started to lean down, his mouth was a breath away from hers when a voice called out to them.
"Interrupting, are we?" Mike quipped behind them, helping Sam into the room.
She broke away from Noah, hearing him curse again as she did. "Sam, are you okay?" She asked as she reached the blond boy.
"Yeah." The boy croaked out as he smiled at her. "Just had the air knocked out of me, that's all."
"What happened?" Noah questioned, looking at Mike for answers.
"That asshole from Carmel, he said stop, Sam stopped and when Sam turned around got a cheap shot in." Mike answered as he helped her get Sam on the table. "Matty said Rachel was here to fix us up."
"Welcome to fight club, Rachel." Sam grinned, letting out a hiss.
"Shouldn't you be wearing some naughty nurse outfit?"Mike questioned, teasing but with a friendly smile.
"Don't humor her, she's not staying." Noah answered, glaring at her as she gave Sam bottled water.
She answered she was, just as Mike questioned if she wasn't.
"No." Noah answered them both. "She doesn't fit in here."
"She seemed to be fitting fine when Mike and I walked in." Sam commented, lifting his arm as Rachel asked so she could get to a cut at his side.
"I'm not going anywhere, Noah." She spoke, not bothering to look at him as she checked Sam's ribs. Happy that he didn't flinch, they didn't seem to be broken.
"I already told you as long as you continue with this foolishness, I'm going to be here. Now, Sam, with you in mind I bought these." She said, holding a pack of tattoo band-aids of 'Star wars' characters. "I looked for 'Avatar' ones but couldn't find them, I hope these will do."
"Sweet!" Sam grinned at her, holding up the box to read it. "They're really like tats?"
She nodded. "And they're waterproof to keep water and bacteria out… I figured your sense of whimsy would appreciate them."
"Hey, what about me?" Mike asked, pouting as Sam showed off his personal band-aids.
"I also have Scooby Doo and Sponge Bob." She answered.
"Sponge Bob!" Mike cheered. "Matt will totally want Scooby, I agree with Sam. Welcome, Nurse Rachel."
"She. Is. Not. Staying!" Noah yelled.
Sam and Mike just ignored him and continued talking to her until Noah stalked out of the room. Leaving them alone, Sam and Mike looked at each other and started to laugh. "God, he's so easy." Sam chuckled.
"You really riled him up, Rachel."
"I almost feel sorry for the poor bastard who's up against him next."
"Noah's going to fight tonight?" She asked with trepidation.
"He wasn't going to." Mike answered her. "But now he is, he's got to get his aggression out somehow, like Sam said you have a way of making him lose it."
She frowned at the words. "I don't mean to."
Mike placed a hand on her shoulder, giving it a squeeze. "We know, that's what makes it even better, I'm going to go make sure he doesn't kill anyone. You stay with Sam, seeing you out there is going to fuck with him even more."
She sighed as Mike walked out. "Maybe I should go… upsetting Noah was never my intention."
"Puck's going to be pissed either way." Sam tried to assure her. "Haven't you noticed that he's been like a bear for the last few months?"
"Why?" She questioned as she sat next to him.
Sam shrugged. "You'd have to ask him, we have our theories though, it's why he started this up again. Everyone has a reason for being here, anger, boredom…there's always a reason."
She gave Sam a sideways glance. "What's your reason?"
He shrugged again. "Resentment."
"Quinn." He answered after a moment, looking sad. "I really loved her you know and then she did what she did and I tried to get over it. I hooked up with Santana and that blew up in my face and then over the summer I was with Mercedes. She's great, but I wasn't over with what Quinn did so I didn't trust Mercy and finally she got tired of it. I don't love Quinn anymore but her cheating on me with Finn really screwed me over."
Rachel looked at her friend. Pained, feeling horrible for him and for Mercedes, remembering the way the girl had cried to her and Kurt over her break-up with Sam. Taking his hand in hers, she leaned her head against his shoulder. "I'm sorry, Sam."
She felt him rest his chin on her head. "I'm a mess."
She shook her head. "You're human. What Quinn and Finn did was wrong, you didn't deserve it, but you shouldn't let that affect you and Mercedes, she would never do that to you and she misses you so much."
Sam's breath hitched. "Really?" He asked her hopefully.
She nodded reassuringly. "Yeah, she's been moping since you guys ended it. Kurt and I have had to sit through at lot of sad soul music."
She smiled as he chuckled, welcoming the hug he gave her. "Thanks, Rach."
"Lovely." Noah said sarcastically, coming back into the room.
Sam let her go as they turn to Noah. He let out a whistle as she covered her mouth to stop the gasp. Noah was dripping in sweat, blood on his chest, his knuckles bloody.
"Dude." Sam whispered in awe, getting off the table. "Is there anything left of your opponent?"
Noah snorted, giving her a quick look. "He'll live, he might not want to, but he'll live."
Sitting down, he gave her an expectant look. "Well, Nightingale? You gonna get to work or not?"
She gave him a beaming smile which Noah answered with a shake of his head but with a small smile of his own.
Sam looked between them, amused. "I'll leave you to your TLC, Puckerman… she's got soft hands."
"You out?" Noah questioned him.
"Yeah." Sam nodded, looking over at her. "I'm going to see if Mercedes is still up."
She let out a little clap. Bouncing over to Sam, she gave him another hug which he returned again before leaving them.
"What was that about?" Noah asked her as she gets to work. With Noah sitting on a chair instead of the table, she was forced to knee between his open thighs, the position was not lost on either of them. "It's about true love."
Noah raised an eyebrow at her answer, not flinching when she started to clean out the cuts on his knuckles. "Nurse and a matchmaker, Berry?"
"Let's not forget future Broadway star." She teased, earning another smile.
"All should go on your business cards." He joked, his stomach twitching when she placed her hand on it.
Rachel nodded. "I'll get to work on that after I clean you up."
"You don't like me dirty?" He asked, his voice low, lighting a spark of awareness in her.
She could not stop herself, aware that she was close to flirting when she looked at him through her eyelash, liking the way his stomach clenched under her fingertips. "Depends on the content, Noah."
He narrowed his eyes, his hands leaving hers, holding her waist lightly. "Dangerous game to start playing, Rachel."
She licked her lips and she knew he was watching. Dangerous was right, but the tension around them excited her. She could feel her pulse racing, the blood roaring in her ears as he studied her. "Who says I'm playing?"
He did not answer, instead, before she could react, he was pulling her up and she found herself straddling his hips.
"Noah." She gasped as he pressed against her, his face in the curve of her neck. She held on to his shoulders, her fingers digging into his skin as he ran his tongue over her collarbone. His teeth nipping at her skin, she found herself rocking over him as she felt him harden through her pants and his. His hands found their way under her shirt and all she could do was fight for breath, letting a keen cry as his hand mold her breast, his fingers pulling at her sensitive nipples. "Oooh god, Noah."
He pulled back to cover her mouth with his groan as she allowed him access and his taste filled her mouth. Her hands were gripping his shaved head, her fingernails running down his scalp. He let out a shudder, his hips snapping to meet hers, which she imitated.
"Jesus, we can't…we can't do this here, Baby." He groaned slowly against her mouth, loosening his grip down her hips. "I want you so much, but not here, god, you drive me crazy."
She stopped, looking down at him, his face pained and frustrated. She blushed as she remembered where they were and the fact that outside the room there was still a crowd of guys enjoying violent fights. "Sorry."
"Are you?" Noah asked curiously, keeping her straddled on his lap. "Why?"
"I don't mean to drive you crazy." She said quietly.
He laughed, pulling her against his chest. "I know. You just do."
She looked at him. "Noah."
"I want you." He blurted out and laughed again, thrusting upward. "I think that's obvious enough. I want you in other ways, too, and that drives me crazy. This summer the idea of you back with Finn drove me crazy. I had to bit my tongue to keep from cheering when he told me you guys broke up at the start of the year. I can't seem to stop thinking about you… it's all I fucking do."
As far as any declarations went, it needed work, but Rachel couldn't stop the smile from taking over her face. "Sorry." She said again, beaming.
He snorted as he looked at her. "No, you're not."
She shook her head, leaning down to kiss him slowly, loving the way he cradled her face. "You're right, I'm not."
… … …
Just because that night she and Noah started something did not mean he stopped his going to the fight club, which means she did not stop playing nurse to him and the others. He did not like it but he was not as upset about it anymore. In fact, he did not walk around all that upset at all. They all had their reasons for fighting. Sam had his Quinn issues. Matt was breaking out of his quiet-shell issues. And, Noah had her.
One night as they laid naked and breathless on his bed, he told her his motivation for starting fight club again. It made her upset that she was the reason but she listened as he told her how much he hated that she was back with Finn, how it wasn't working with Lauren and they both knew she was the reason until Lauren cut him loose. He told her of his self-imposed celibacy, not being about to forget her with other girls. "I needed a release, Baby, and sex wasn't doing it."
She wondered how she missed it— how she didn't realize sooner what he was feeling for her, what she was feeling for him. Having him now, sharing his bed, feeling his body as he moved over her, in her, she couldn't imagine a time when she didn't feel this strongly for him.
She hated watching him get hurt, but she would not try to stop him because she knew that while they were settled now, Noah still had demons to work through and fight club helped him. Matt and Mike still fight regularly; Sam, on occasions, taking to spending his time with Mercedes again.
"You should have seen the left hook coming, Michael." She said, pressing into his cut harder than needed, annoyed that he got caught off guard.
"Ouch, fuck, Rach!" He yelled, moving away from her hands. "You my nurse or my coach?"
"Maybe you need a coach." She snapped. "If you aren't going to pay attention, you shouldn't be out there. You shouldn't be out there at all."
"I just need a few more wins." Mike answered.
"Why?" She questioned, crossing her arms.
Mike sighed. "Tina."
She raised an eyebrow. "What about her?"
Mike looked over her shoulder to see if anyone was close enough to hear. "I'm going to ask Tina to marry me come graduation, I'm saving up money for a ring."
Rachel's jaw dropped at the confession, a smile taking over her face and she stepped forward, hugging Mike happily. "Oh Michael!"
"Why is it that every time I walk in here you're hugging some other guys, Baby?"
She turned to find Noah, leaning against the threshold. "Only Sam, Mike and Matt. I can't help it, they're huggable."
"They can also be breakable." He answered, giving Mike a hard look.
"Noah!" She reprimanded. "Don't threaten our friends."
"It's okay, Rach." Mike said, throwing an arm over her shoulder, pulling her to his side. "Puckerman is just worried we'll steal you way from his sad ass."
"I'll show you sad ass in a second, Chang." Noah mumbled, pulling her away from the boy's embrace.
"Michael, stop provoking Noah." She said, wrapping her arms around Noah's stomach, looking up at her boyfriend. "And you behave… you have nothing to worry about. Wild horses couldn't drag me away from you."
"Gag." Matt said, walking in with Sam who nodded.
"You three!" She said shaking her head. "And to think I call you guys my friends."
"We're your best friends, Rach." Matt smiled, tugging at her hair.
"We're your boys!" Sam exclaimed.
"We'll as my boys," She said dryly. "I would hate to kick your collective bottoms for messing with my boyfriend."
"Asses, Rachel, asses." Mike corrected, laughing. "And you think you can? Really?"
"I've been watching and taking notes."
"I bet." Noah smirked.
"I'll kick your ass too, Noah, so watch it." She said, pulling away from him as he laughed lightly.
"Let's see it then…" Mike cut in before she started in on her boyfriend, holding up his dukes in front of her.
"Let's see what you got, Berry."
"I'm not sure about this." Noah interrupted. "She can get hurt."
"No, this is good." Sam said, sitting down. "Rachel should know how to defend herself. She has you, Puck, and she has us, we'd do anything for her, but we can't always be around."
Rachel smiled warmly at the three boys as Matt and Mike nodded at Sam's words. Filled with love for all three of them, she looked at her boyfriend who still had a worried frown.
"You'll be careful, right?" He questioned her, pulling her close again, his hands caressing her face. "I don't want anything to happen to you, okay?"
She went on her toes and kissed him softly, no longer upset, laughing into the kiss as her friends pretended to leave behind her.
"I worry about you, Baby." He whispered against her mouth.
"The boys won't hurt me, okay?"
He sighed as he kissed her again. "Okay."
… … …
So what started as her nursing them turned into their teaching her how to fight until she thought they were trying to turn her into an ultimate fighter. With less gatherings of fight club, Noah had changed it from every Friday to the third Friday of every month. She found herself hanging out with the boys outside of the old building. They started off jokingly but once they see she's serious, Mike, Matt and Sam started to teach her defensive moves and then offensive moves. Noah always watched the sessions like a guard dog ready to pull her away at the first sign that she might get hurt. She had been better than they expected and she liked that she caught them off guard. She had been dancing since before she could walk so she had stamina to burn and she took their lessons like learning a dance routine. Incorporating her years of ballet in her kicks, her legs were stronger than her upper body strength, anyway. She sparred with Sam the most, being the smallest of the guys. Gloating when she extended her legs under his feet and he landed on his back.
Noah laughed happily, ready for her when she ran into his arms. Matt and Mike teased Sam but he just laughed while groaning about his back.
The boys took to calling her 'Killer', earning curious looks from others when they used it in public. No one commented on the fact that she and Noah were obviously together, or the fact that the boys were spending their time with her, but the question was clear in their eyes. Everyone seemed to want to know when she became best friends with Sam, Mike and Matt but since it fell under the first rule of fight club, nobody talked about it. They just say they're her boys and left it at that.
… … …
She had no intention of using her newfound skills and she did not really have to. She was still picked on at school but not as much as before because she was dating the biggest badass in school and was close to three football players. People around her gave her a wide berth. Still, there were the occasional pests— a cheerio here or there glaring at her because she had taken Noah off the market, other football players who hated her for being her and Jacob Ben Israel her resident stalker. Each time, if it wasn't Noah, it was one of the boys stepping in between her and her attacker. She smiled, remembering a particular instant when Jacob had approached her, his creepy leer and even creepier hand out to touch her, she had been ready to scream bloody murder or punch him when he was pulled back and slammed into a set of lockers, being held there by Sam and Matt as Mike stood before him shooting the boy a look, a threatening look.
"Jacob, I want you to see us the way we see us." Mike said in a calm voice, pointing at Sam then Matt and finally himself. "We like to think of ourselves as Rachel's big brothers, as such, it's our job she stays happy. When you're around her, she's not happy, and when she's not happy, we're not happy."
"You want us happy, Israel?" Sam gripped Jacob's arm a little tighter.
Matt gave the boy a nasty smile, looking out of place on the quiet boy. "Us happy means you keep breathing."
"You understand right, Jacob?" Mike asked, smiling when he got a frantic nod in response. "Good, then on your merry way, Jacob, on your way."
Of course there were some who simply did not understand the new rules or just did not care and still seek her out, looking for what they hadn't lost.
"Hey geek." She got in greeting and she tensed up as she saw Azimio approaching her, luckily his hands were slushy free. The sensible part inside her told her to walk away, the part of her that had embraced Noah, the boys and fight club told her to stand her ground.
"What do you want, Azimio?" She asked curtly, rolling her eyes when he gave her a once over.
"From you nothing." He answered with a smarmy smile. "The only thing worthwhile about you is what might be under that itty bitty skirt of yours. You want to show me what you've been flashing Puckerman's way, I can show you a better time."
She let out a bark of a laugh and it grew as he looked at her, surprised.
"You must be joking!" She giggled. "I'm vegan but even I know that going from Noah to you would be like trading steak to eat ground beef. Noah is a sex god while you probably have a hard time finding your….equipment."
She was proud as she watched his face turn an unattractive prune color. "Listen freak, Puckerman is a pathetic Lima loser, always has been, always will be, even worse now that he's fucking the queen of the gleeks." He ground out.
She never thought that she would reached out and slapped him hard across the face. He did not react for a moment, surprised as she was.
"You shouldn't have done that." He said, fuming as he shoved her.
Rachel slammed into the lockers, her books falling from her arms. "No…" She growled. "You shouldn't have done that!"
She took him by surprise again as she rushed him, her elbow connecting with his nose. She smiled, satisfied at the crunch she heard. After that, it was all a blur. He reached for her with his meaty fist and she dodged it, hitting him with a closed fist, flinching at the pain that radiated up her arm, she span around her leg, but she miscalculated and, instead, of kicking him in the stomach she kicked lower. The crowd that had gathered all let out a collective wince as her foot connected with the football player's privates.
"What in the hell is going on here!" Sue Sylvester roared as she worked her way through the crowd with Mr. Schuester close behind her.
"Rachel." Her teacher breathed, shocked.
"Damn." She heard Sylvester muttered as she took in the scene. The massive black boy in the fetal position on the floor holding his privates and Rachel standing over him still in a fighting stance ready to continue. "Someone get the nurse. Berry, with us."
… … …
She sat watching the three adults watch her.
"Sue asked you a question, Rachel." Will told her, trying to stay calm.
"I heard her, Mr. Schuester, and I already answered. Rule number one."
"What does that mean?" Will screamed.
"It means you don't talk about it, Schuester." Sue replied, looking straight at the girl, smiling. "You're free to go, Rachel."
She started to stand but Principal Figgins stopped her. "Wait a minute only I can dismiss her and we still have to talk about her punishment."
"Principal Figgins, I will gladly take detention." She told the Indian man. "But if you even think about suspending me or worse expelling me, I'll slap this school with a lawsuit so fast it will make your head spin."
"On what grounds?" Will asked curiously.
"Endangerment." She replied. "I had to defend myself because this school doesn't care about the safety of its students by not stopping the bullying going on around here. Before Azimio pushed me he was sexually harassing me, that's the fault of every adult here that turns a blind eye."
"Two weeks detention." Sue answered before Principal Figgins could say anything.
Rachel nodded. "Acceptable."
… … …
She was not surprised to find Noah and the boys were waiting for her when she walked out of the office, nor when Noah gathered her in his arms.
"Are you okay?" He asked against her hair.
"Yeah." She said, breathing in his scent. Now that the adrenaline had worn off, she was shaking and the feel of her boyfriend was the only thing that could calm her down.
"You crazy midget!" He whispered hoarsely, giving her a soft kiss. "What were you thinking?"
"He pissed me off!" She answered and he huffed in response.
"Ninja!" Mike said when she broke away from Noah, giving her a hug. "It's all over school."
"Hell, it's on the web." Sam hooted, giving her a high five. "Kids recorded it with their phones."
"You are totally badass." Matt said as he gave her a kiss across the cheek. "Totally did us proud, baby girl."
"It's you guys encouraging her that started this." Noah interrupted, annoyed. They gave him a look and then looked back at her.
"Boys you need to leave Noah and me alone now." She said seriously.
The three of them nodded and turned to leave but not before Mike left a parting shot at Noah. "She cut Azimio down Puck; she can totally do the same to you."
He flipped them off as they walked away laughing. He turned to her, his arms crossed. "Again, what the hell were you thinking?"
"I was thinking that he called the man I love a loser and I wasn't going to let that happen!" She shouted at him, furious.
Noah gave her a long look, his anger dissolving, grinning at her. "You attacked that mammoth because he called me a loser?"
"Yes." She pouted, still annoyed.
He pulled her into his arms. "You love me?"
She continued to pout and did not answer. He leaned in and gave her a kiss behind her ear, smiling against her skin as she moaned softly. "Tell me you love me."
She shook her head, starting to smile as he worked his way slowly to her mouth.
"Tell me you love me, Rachel." He whispered, his lips brushing against hers.
"I love you, Noah." She sighed before he kissed her deeply.
"I love you, too." He stated as they parted.
She smiled at him happily, taking his hand in hers and looking at him warmly as he raised her hand to kiss her bruised knuckles.
"So, are you going to fight anyone who says something bad about me?" He questioned, smirking.
She thought about it for a moment and then shrugged. "Yeah."
Laughing, he pulled her close. "I'll be your nurse, Baby."