Author's Note: This is a pretty short One Shot, but I've gotten inspired over the last few days.
I hope you all like it!
Just the Way You Are
He wasn't sure what had brought him to this moment. He also wasn't sure when he finally realized that he had been waiting for this moment for well over a year. Puck just didn't seem to have the ability to realize his thoughts and feelings actually meant something until his ex-girlfriend aka baby mama pointed it out not so gently just a few hours before hand.
"I'm not going to date you Puck. I refuse to be second fiddle to Rachel Berry, not again."
Quinn was stuffing her books in her locker not making eye contact with the father of her baby. Had she decided to look over as he leaned on the locker next to hers, she would have seen the look of confusion on his face.
"What the hell are you talking about Q?" he asked with a strain in his voice.
Quinn rolled her eyes and let out a breath of frustration, "I can't believe you are that stupid, Puckerman. It's painfully obvious to me and the rest of the Glee club, aside from little Miss Diva herself, that you are desperately in love with her."
Puck stood up straight and crossed his arms, "Am not."
Quinn shut her locker and looked somewhat sympathetically at him, "Maybe it's time you stop and think for a minute. And I mean with this head," she patted the top of his Mohawk, "not the one in your pants."
All Puck could do was stare at her retreating figure for a moment before he jogged up beside her, "Maybe you can enlighten me and why everyone seems to think I am in love with Rachel Berry."
She stopped suddenly, leaving him to stop and retreat a few feet back, "Puck, why did you stop yourself that night last year? When she wanted to get back at Finn for sleeping with Santana?"
"Because I wasn't about to fuck Hudson over again."
Quinn squinted, "Really?"
Puck's eyes quickly looked away, "okay, maybe I didn't want to be a revenge fuck. I wanted…" he scrubbed his hand over his head and let out a slow breath, "Okay, well, so what."
"And the duet? I saw the way you watched her the whole time. It was very sweet. That song meant something to you."
"I was helping her out, so what?" he was trying to hide the uncomfortable twist in his stomach that he felt every time he thought about singing that song with Rachel.
"And the party?" Quinn couldn't help the small smile that was forming on her face.
"I wanted to get drunk," he stated flatly.
Quinn's laughter irritated him, "I saw your face when she kissed Blaine, you were jealous."
Puck shifted on his feet, "Well, she's a good kisser. He was a lucky dude."
Quinn let out a low growl which caused him to take a step back, "Okay, I'm done with this conversation," she started to walk away but turned back, "Did you ever tell her why you planned the Barbravention?" His silence was enough of an answer. When the bell rang to signal they had to get to their last class of the day, she patted his arm and gave him a soft smile, "I'll see you in Glee…Noah."
Puck's face scrunched up in annoyance and he felt himself get irritated again when she laughed knowingly and walked away.
Now, here he was sitting with the rest of the Glee club in the auditorium watching Rachel and Mercedes belting out some Broadway song that he had never heard before. But it didn't matter because these girls were owning it like they were on a stage in the middle of New York City.
Seeing Rachel on stage was always something that made his heart soar and his pants tighten slightly. She became a more self-assured person while performing. She was sexy and confident, something that she couldn't seem to be while walking through the hallways of McKinley.
When the song ended the entire club cheered as Rachel and Mercedes hugged and complimented each other. Soon after, Mr. Schuester released them for the day. He held back as the rest of the class exited. Rachel was the last to leave.
"Noah? What are you still doing here?" she asked with a bright smile.
He was thankful that Hudson had left early that day for a dentist appointment, "Was seeing if you needed a ride. I know Finn brought you to school this morning."
"Oh," she looked towards the door to the auditorium, "I was going to find Shelby and ask for a ride but," she looked up at him and smiled again, "It would be great to finally have some time with you. I feel like we haven't really talked much this year."
He held his arm out, which she took with a small giggle.
They made their way out to his truck and they were soon pulling out of the parking lot of the high school.
"So, how are your classes going Noah? I've noticed you seem to be making a better effort at your studies."
He chuckled softly has he slowed down at a red light and looked over at her once stopped, "Going pretty good. I figured if I'm gonna try to go for JC in another state, I should try to look somewhat motivated."
Rachel studied him thoughtfully, "Another state? I thought you were staying in Lima?"
"Turns out there's a junior college in New York that looks pretty cool. BMCC, it's in Manhattan."
Rachel's eyes widened slightly at him, her mouth hanging open. He found himself staring back. They stayed like that for what seemed forever until they were both shaken by a horn. The light had turned green, so Puck turned his attention back to the road.
Neither of them spoke until he pulled into her driveway, "Thank you for the ride Noah."
Her hand moved to the door and he stopped her by putting his own on her shoulder, "Wait."
She turned back to look at him, "Is something wrong?"
"Yes, I mean," he pulled his hand away and gripped both on the steering wheel, "I never told you why I didn't want you to get a nose job last year."
"Oh," he couldn't look over at her, but he knew that confusion was etched on her face, "I just assumed it was the Jewish thing."
He shook his head slowly and turned towards her, "That was…that was easier than saying," he felt his stomach twist and took in a large breath, "It was easier than saying that I like you just the way you are. You don't need to change anything for me…" he noticed her eyes start to water and he took her hand in his, "You don't need to change anything because I love you just the way you are."
Rachel's head tilted slightly and her mouth opened to respond but nothing could come out. Noah Puckerman had just told her he loved her just the way she was. She had been waiting so long for Finn to say those words to her and here was Noah…Puck…crass, insensitive and incorrigible Noah Puckerman telling her she didn't have to change a damn thing for him to love her, because…he already did.
The silence in his truck was broken by her phone ringing. She broke the eye contact first and pulled her phone from her bag, "It's Finn."
Puck had a small case of déjà vu and turned back to stare out the windshield, "Alright, well, have a good night."
"Noah," he noticed the phone stopped ringing and looked over. His heart stopped as he noticed she had moved closer, "I.." her eyes searched his face then locked with his, "thank you."
Rachel leaned closer and kissed him softly on the cheek, her lips lingering for a moment. She pulled away and exited the truck, walking briskly to her front door. She turned just before walking in and waved slightly.
Once she had disappeared behind her the door, he let out a large breath he didn't know he had been holding in.
Puck pulled out of the driveway and drove towards his house with a large grin on his face and feeling ten times lighter.
He didn't know what was going to happen at school the next day. Puck wasn't about to get his hopes up.
But at least he had said what he should have said to her in the bathroom that day. That getting a nose job was stupid because she was perfect just the way she was.
He also clued her in on the fact that he was doing his best to go to New York, unlike Hudson who was only applying to schools in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Puck made a mental note to text Quinn when he got home and thank her for getting his ass in gear.