Author's Note: So so sorry this has taken so long! I have been going through quite a lot of personal stuff the last few days.
This is the final chapter so thanks to all of you for the reviews and staying with me!
I am not 100% happy with how this turned out. My writing brain is not where it should be, but I really wanted to get this done.
The rest of Glee seemed to go at a snail's pace. Every so often I could feel Puck playing with the ends of my hair while humming Sweet Caroline. It was low enough that only I could hear it. I could picture him behind me, leaning his elbows on his knees. I wondered what he was thinking or feeling.
I'm driving you home today
He said it so softly yet the sexiness of his voice had sent chills down my spine. What exactly he had planned I didn't know. But I was definitely looking forward to it. I glanced over at Finn who had the same sulky expression he was wearing when I finished my performance. Good. I was over Finn Hudson and I was ready to shout it from the roof tops. Of course being Rachel Berry, I was happy to sing it in front of our friends.
Once Mercedes and Santana finished their song, Mr. Schue dismissed us.
"Have fun," I looked over to see Kurt smiling widely and his eyes moved next to me, "Don't do anything I would do."
Blaine dragged Kurt out the door and I grabbed my bag, "Ready, B?"
Puck had made his way in front of me, "Ready as I'll ever be."
As we exited the room, he silently took my bag from me and swung it over his shoulder, "Where's your backpack Noah?"
"Don't need it," before I knew it, he grabbed me hand.
We walked silently hand in hand out to his truck. He helped me into his truck and sprinted to the driver's side.
Putting the key into the ignition he looked over to see me watching him, "What's up?"
"What exactly do you plan on doing with me?" I said quietly and turned my attention out the windshield.
"I'm taking you home. But first I want to make a quick stop."
I didn't question him and soon we were pulling out of the school parking lot.
Within minutes, he was pulling onto a dirt road that led into a wooded area, "You aren't planning on killing me in the middle of the woods are you?"
"No, but if you don't quite asking me questions, I just might."
"That's not funny," I laughed.
"Apparently," he chuckled as we approached the edge of the forest. He put the truck in park and turned off the engine, "Stay right there."
I watched as he hopped out and ran over to open my door, "And they say chivalry is dead," I sighed jokingly as he helped me down.
"Not when it comes to you babe," I smiled up at him, "I've been wanting to bring you here for a while. I never had a chance."
He took my hand into his and we walked into the woods. After a few minutes, we had reached a clearing that appeared to be used as a campsite. There was a fire pit near the middle and a wooden picnic table just to the right.
"My dad used to bring me and my sister here before he left. We would come here and camp out. He would set up two tents and make a small fire while he told us ghost stories while we ate smores."
He guided me towards the picnic table and climbed to sit on the table top. He motioned for me to sit on the bench seat just between his legs. I gladly took the spot and he wrapped his arms around my shoulders, his chin resting on my shoulder.
"Thank you for bringing me here Noah, but I'm a little confused."
"This is one of my favorite memories. As pissed as I am at my father, when he was around, he was a pretty cool dude. I usually come out here alone, to think. I came out here when I found out about the baby. The day you broke up with me, I was going to bring you here, to tell you that I was the father."
I turned my body as he sat up, my legs now under the table, "You were?"
He nodded and looked past me, "Yeah, I really liked being with you. It just really scared the hell out of me, but I thought if you knew the truth…." He looked down at me, "I was expecting you to break up with me once you knew the truth. I knew you wanted Finn and I guess I just wanted you happy. You didn't need to get mixed up in all the drama. But, I was hoping you would still want to be with me."
I could feel my eyes water, "I already knew you hadn't planned on breaking up with me. I was so consumed by Finn and you were… you know… you. I just didn't want my heart broken."
I looked down and started playing with my hands, "I had no intentions of doing that Rachel. Yes, I wanted to be with Quinn, but it was more about the baby than anything else. I thought hell if I have Rachel on my side, I can get through this."
"You weren't mad at me when I told Finn," I stated and he shook his head, "You wanted him to know."
"Of course I did. I was tired of everyone giving him the pep talks and sympathy. It was my baby in there not his. I lost my dad when I was ten. I didn't want Beth to grow up like that."
Quietly I stood from the bench and sat next to him on the table where he wrapped an arm around my waist. I laid my head on his shoulder, "Do you ever wonder what if we had never broken up? Or if we would have gotten together after Finn and I broke up last year? How different things would be?"
I could feel him take in a deep breath and let it out slowly, "Every God damn day Rach."
We sat like that for a while until a breeze made me shiver, "Come on," he kissed the top of my head and released me slowly, "Let's get you home."
We had made it in to Rachel's house and her dad's weren't home, "Do you want to come for a little while? My dads are at dinner with clients."
I nodded and we made ourselves inside, "Rachel?"
We had entered her large kitchen and she stopped and looked over at me, "Yes Noah."
"There's something else," I could feel my heart pounding a mile a minute; "Something Finn promised he would tell you, but never did."
She walked over slowly and took my hands, "You wrote Pretending."
"Wha…um," I backed away, our hands still joined, "How did you know?"
She smiled that award winning smile and shook her head, "I was helping him clean up his room one day over the summer. He had gone to get something to drink and I saw his notebook with a piece of paper hanging out of it. It was the song but it wasn't in his handwriting."
"You…recognized my handwriting," I was in shock. She knew this whole time, "Why didn't you say anything?"
She narrowed her eyes and put her hands on her hips, "Really Noah Puckerman? Why did you let Finn take credit for it?"
"Because I wanted you happy God damn it! And the only way for that was for you to be with Finnessa."
She flinched and I instantly regretted the venom in my words, "Did you ever think that had I known how you really felt, maybe I would have WANTED to be with you?"
"Why would you want to be with a loser like me Rachel?"
The frustrated scream she let out made me jump back, "If I ever hear you call yourself a loser again Noah Puckerman, I will never speak to you again!"
Damn I love this girl. I quickly brought her into my arms and kissed her. She wrapped her arms around my neck, "Well, we can't have that, now can we?"
"But you love me anyway."
"Yes, I do," she whispered.
I kissed her forehead, "And I love you to. For so long, I'm sorry I never told you."
The next day at school, Rachel and I entered hand in hand. We could hear Kurt squealing, "Puckleberry! The greatest ship this school will ever know!"