Disclaimer: No, I don't own Glee.
AN: Finn and Rachel are not together, the whole Shelby/Beth/Puck thingy has never happened (like really, shits not right) and I should probably call this like, hard T, 'cause Puck is a dirty teenage boy. Also, this takes place somewhere before Asian F.
Me casa is not su casa
Rachel's always striven for the best, exceeds in all her subjects and has the affection of all her teachers – perhaps with the exception of Mr. Schue, but who cares about him anyway? The poor dufus has a failed marriage, teaches a glee club in his late thirties and is in love with an OCD cray-crayed woman. His opinion about her is invalid. Maybe Rachel's not loved by her fellow peers, hated by her glee clubbers, but it's not like she needs them or anything. In the end she'll be famous and they'll all just be frictions of her imagination. Who cares if her relationship with Finn has stranded and she has found a newly made enemy in Quinn? Even if Rachel has had a secret hunch for a while now, that the only reason Quinn vehemently hates her – despises her evenly – is because Finn still loves her.
(And no, her mind isn't playing weird tricks on her, and no she's not seeing things either. Her psychiatrist doesn't know what he's talking about.)
She doesn't need either of their approbation, because in the end their words and their lack of trust in her will be merely memories of all the hate she has had to endure in high school.
Besides, her fathers will love her until the end of time, so who needs jealousy filled peers like them when she has supporting fathers to fill that spot?
Or so she thought.
She finds out that her fathers don't love her at all.
Because, well let's face it. Which parent would dispose their child into a home with one of the most horrendous creatures ever made? Only contemptuous parents, she tells you. She feels sorry for the boy's mother. Having to live with such a monster like him, she pities his sister, always forced to endure her brother's obvious taunts. She pities them. If she could bake cookies just to show them how much she feels sorry for them, she'll have to buy all the flower of every store in Lima.
She does not need to pity herself for having to endure the same fate as his mother and sister.
Is the universe playing jokes on her, turning tables around because her life has been nothing but wonderful?
(Minus the hate treatment, obvious jealousy stares and the slushy facials, of course.)
Rachel isn't born a quitter, so obviously she wouldn't go down without an honorable (mind you) fight.
''Don't you think I could provide for myself? It's not like this would be the first time ever that I've been left home alone.'' Oh yeah, she will play dirty. And the regretful look her daddy shoots her is just what she needs. She gives him a pout. ''I thought you loved me…''
Work the water floods Rachel. Work them!
The oozing tears in her eyes are Tony worthy.
''Oh baby.'' Her daddy moves over to her as dad bites his bottom lip in thought. Daddy squeezes her tightly (too tightly for her own comfort) against his chest.
And she sees this exact moment as an open window to sob against his chest. Her tiny fists, fist his shirt as she snuggles her nose against his chest.
She may have said that she would fight honorable, but she never said how. A few dirty tricks won't leave any stains.
''We do care about you.'' Daddy pipes up, rubbing slow circles on her back. She snuggles deeper in his chest. ''That's why we can't leave you alone for so long.''
''But it wouldn't be the first t – time.'' She hiccups, sticking out her bottom lip. She sees her dad's restrain cracking from his seat on the couch. And she's almost there.
''We can't baby.'' Dammit! ''We will be gone for weeks.'' Liars! It will probably be months. Don't listen to them, they'll collude together and pollute her head with lies. ''Besides, we've already told Edna that you would come.''
''Wait, Edna… as in, Edna Puckerman?''
Daddy let's her go, smiling down at her. ''Yes. She's our long dear friend after all. When we told her she had to contain herself to not jump a hole into the sky.'' He purses his lips. ''Metaphorically, of course.'' Rachel nods absently, eyes bugging out. ''She's always loved you, baby.'' Of course she does. Rachel's the only female teenage Jew in Lima. And everybody in the Synagogue knows Edna's wicked plans of matching Rachel and Noah together.
She's flattered, honestly. But she already has her own plans at getting Finn back. Can you say heart weakening music?
Rachel thinks about a rebirth of 'Only exception.'
''Besides.'' He holds her tightly. ''We've already told her that you were coming.''
She exhales a wild breath, raising her eyebrows. ''Amazing daddy.'' She say's sarcastically, pursing her lips. ''It's great that you've preformed this without my consulting. That's just great! Feed me to the enemies whilst you're busy. Don't worry, though, I will – just for your amusement and I'm highly likely that a couple of hundred would enjoy the show too – stand idly by and let them consume me into little bits. Perhaps even preform soul touching songs; Barbra the way we were, so I could at least go down modest. Wouldn't that please both of you?''
''Rachel! Don't be so dramatic. It will be fine.'' Dad waves a dismissive hand.
She rolls her eyes as daddy releases her. They just don't understand her.
''And we did think about you.'' Dad continues and she just rolls her eyes again. Because, really she does not see any truth in that statement. ''We know that you and Noah go to the same school together and are participating in the same glee club.''
He looks pleased with himself.
And apparently that is more than enough reasons to shove his daughter into the Puckerman's household.
Her dads are so delusional. Who in his right mind could possibly think that she and Noah are friends? Okay, perhaps they've created a mutual understanding. As in, she knows he's there, he knows she's here, they like, say 'hi' sometimes…
Honestly, she's the one saying 'hi' and he's the one nodding or rolling his eyes or grunting something incoherent. And yes, they did have a brief arousing romance, but as far as she can think, that's it. It's not like they'll suddenly want to be alone in the same room together. Let alone in one house where they'd pursue to eat, shower and sleep –
Oh God, what if she walks in on him with one of his hussy's?
This is atrocious. It simply cannot happen! The thought alone wills her to puke all over the carpet.
''That doesn't suddenly mean that we're friends! We've just accepted one another, for just being there.'' She waves her hands around to make a point, her dads quirk their eyebrows up. She sighs, closing her eyes.
If this won't do. Then this must.
''Daddy, dad… please! I don't want to live underneath the same roof as him.'' She wines, scrunching up her nose. ''He's a Neanderthal, with a horrible vocabulary… Did you know that he swears in possible every sentence that he enunciates. He eats pig dad! Pig! He's Jewish! He makes the most inappropriate statements at the most inappropriate timing! He has girls in and out of his house every single time! I'm confused that his sex hasn't fallen of yet! Yes daddy, so many times.'' Her daddy quirks his eyebrow up, higher. ''He's a monstrous buffoon, who presumably – but I'm quite certain – provokes his little sister every single time… I've seen it in Temple and believe me, that poor little girl was on the verge of crying.'' She frowns. ''He picks her… even pulls her hair! What kind of young man could be so puerile? And what if he dares to put his fingers on me?''
The thought alone crosses her mind and she suddenly feels a wave of nausea filling her insides. ''Oh, if he dares… He'll feel my own gushingwrath!'' She shakes her head. ''Do you see it? I'm not even near him and I'm already infuriated. You see what he does?''
''Rachel…'' She shakes her head, crossing her hands under her chest and muttering a 'this is not fair' which gets promptly ignored. ''It's final. You are going.''
You see? They hate her.
What kind of parents would go against their own daughter's judgment, not to mention blocking out their own healthy sanity, and put her in a home with Lima's notorious womanizer? Tear her clothes off immerse her body into a bucket full of barbeque sauce and have her sing some kind of rock-arousing song to perfect it.
Because Noah Puckerman would just love to see that.
Things are fucked up.
It's not like that time when Puck and his lil' sis Becca went to visit his grandma and grandpa for three weeks during spring break and he, unaware as the eleven year old boy he was, heard muffled voices that oddly resembled the slaughtering of a cow. But in this situation it's his grandma being slaughtered – or tortured or somethin'.
And just, don't judge him okay, but before he went to bed he saw this pissed offed scary movie that –and he's fucking sure – kids of his age shouldn't be watching. But his grandma was gone doing something (he can't really remember what it was, maybe groceries shopping. But yet again, what will she do in the store at nine o'clock in the night?). And his gramps is one of those chill old men that gives out mind blowing candy and can pin-point out which chick has fake breast (turns out, a lot of them), and just lets him do whatever he wants.
Including watching scary movies for sixteen year olds.
So when his movie turned from scary to bat-shit fearsome to shit-I-think-I'm-about-to-faint, he was kind of (a lot) shivering his ass off, but in a totally bad-ass way. His gramps – and to this day Puck's sure that the old weirdo could smell the fear radiating from his body – challenged him to watch it without peeing his pants.
It's like the old dude felt the need to test him.
(But shit, was the old whack a douche for asking this crap.)
And obviously that was a challenge to prove his badassery.
He totally watched the film without peeing his pants.
Shivering his ass off in bed and squirming at every little sound that was made, not so much.
(Like fuck, he nearly cried when he heard the branches ticking against his window.)
It was when he heard those muffled voices which sort of resembled those noises that, that girl made in the movie (poor Annie), he was sure (like fucking sure) that he would prove his grandpa right and pee the fuck in his pants.
But because of the badass that he is (and he thought that peeing his pants should be like the last resort) he took something very hard and thick – his History book – and tiptoed to the noise.
What happened after that, really, never again.
No kid with pure thoughts (shut up) should see his grandma and grandpa getting it on (like really getting it on, with all those weird positions and exposed skin everywhere) in the middle of the night.
It was hideous man.
He was squirming irrevocably and lost grasp of the book, which drew their attention when it landed on the laminate. And when their eyes locked, his resembled shock and fear, his gramps had this oddly happy smirk on his face while his grandma got all flustered, neither seemed to have the strength to turn and look away. That spell which lasted for seconds – minutes, hours, the fuck ever – got broken precisely when his grams said; 'Oh my God, Noah!' Which was a bit too fucking too late if you'd ask him.
His Gramps though, was more like; 'Like what you see son?'
He dashed away, locked his bed room door, climbed on top of his bed and cradled his knees. Chanting something along the lines of not being worthy of losing his sanity so young and being a good boy and all.
'Cause he is (was).
'T was fucking wrong, dude. Mind fucking blowing wrong.
Shit was fucked up. He'd been so scarred; he's never found the strength to look either of them in the eye again.
It was like re-runs of that awkward moment when Ross caught Chandler and Monica getting it on. God only knows what that had done to him.
(What? His mom loves Friends.)
He even had that fucked up moment when he caught his twelve year old sis' kissing a fourteen year old boy (the dude looked like twenty, if you'd ask him. 'Cause seriously, no dude of fourteen years old grows sideburns. Dude should've been like baby skin clean and shit.)
Naturally, he was pissed. Raged. Fucking raged. He was seeing all red and shit. And if it wasn't for his restrain he would've torn sideburns into a fucking millions pieces.
…Who's he kidding? He has no restrain.
If he recalls correctly, it was his sister holding him back and becoming his restrain. Whatever though, shit was wrong and somebody needed to get bruised. It sure as hell wouldn't be his sister, 'cause he doesn't hit girls. Neither would it be him, 'cause like have you seen him? Have you seen his guns? Obviously, it totally had to be the jackass trying to steal his sister's innocents.
So yeah, if she can't give him the satisfaction of putting his anger to good use, she'd pushed him to extremer limits and further consequences.
Hence, telling on her.
If he can't hit the dufus, then he sure as hell won't let that shit slide.
So he told on her.
And get this, when he told his ma about this, nonchalantly throwing in that he was seconds away from being thrown into Juvie… again. (You know, trying to make the situation sound really bad so Becca could get like serious punishment? Maybe get whipped by a belt, or locked up in a closet?) But instead woman acted all cool like it was no big deal. And even had the decency to quirk her eyebrow up as if to ask; 'Was that it?'
Well excuse him for trying to keep his sis from becoming main locker-room trash talk.
Does he have to tell her the things he did to girls when he was fourteen? The shit boys think about at that age?
His mom wouldn't want that mental picture in her head.
She said some bullshit about the dude being Jewish and a really nice boy and he knows that if it was up to him he would've kicked Rebecca into Azkaban the minute he saw that shit.
''You could learn from her, Noah.'' He frowns, clenching his jaw to prevent himself from saying something like – 'learn how to turn into a slut? That shit's not needed. I'll probably be a better teacher for that' – but he doesn't.
And then her lips continue and he thinks that he should've known where this lecture was going. It should've been like a red flickering light going on and off, screaming; 'do not continue! I repeat do not continue!' But yeah, he's probably blind or deaf or something and just completely ignorant at times as he goes on and listens. ''Maybe you could find a nice Jewish girl in return.''
His jaw relaxes.
He so knows where this is going.
She just saw that opening and had to take it. Didn't she? And the evil, daring smirk Rebecca sends him when she also spots the red light, looked a little bit too much like his.
(He was, oddly, proud – angry – but proud.)
He rolls his eyes. ''Ma…''
''Noah…'' He hates it when she mimics him.
She sighs, crossing her legs as she stares back at him. She's piercing him with that 'Hear me out' look that he despises 'cause it all leads up to that numbero one subject in her crazy mind. ''All I'm saying is that a nice Jewish girl could really be good for you. And – I'm just throwing a blind suggestion out here –'' Yeah right, and the pope wants him as their priest. ''How about that classmate of yours… Rachel Berry?'' Fuck. Won't she ever drop that shit? ''She's such a nice girl, and very talented… did you know –''
He's gonna cut her off right there because that shit she's spouting isn't anything new.
Though, Puck thinks that maybe after her many and many times of trying to convert him into the dark side. He might've cracked.
Or maybe it were Rachel's sexy ass skirts that pulled the trigger.
Anyway, which one it may have been, it hit him – hard – and he's sure he caught a bad case of Berry disease.
And if that wasn't already fucked up, then this is. Because him jacking off to an imagery Rachel Berry spells 'FUCKED UP' in capital letters.
It started out as innocently as his mother's thoughts were.
Which, actually aren't innocently, at all. Probably some kind of sick shit that could lead him faster than lightning bolts into the hands of Rachel 'effin' Berry. It wouldn't surprise him if she was planning some sick kind of twisted game that only Jig Saw could own, in her mind.
Puck knew just by looking into his mother's eyes that she had planned it. ''I need you to bring this to the Berry residence.'' A freaking evil genius, he tells you. 'Cause woman knows that he can't say no to her. Not after all the shit she has had to go through with his dead-beat father, struggling to pay the bills and mortgage and taking care of him and Becca. Shit was hard and she deserved every ounce of respect he had in his amazing body.
But that doesn't mean that he wasn't opposed to the idea of going to his ex-girlfriend's – now sort of friend's – house. It's not like they weren't on speaking terms, 'cause they were. They talked, briefly. They discussed, y'know, things… Like, music… And glee club, occasionally.
Or maybe she discussed that shit and he blacked her out because shit she talks a lot, okay and maybe sometimes she say's things that do make sense or sometimes he really does listen to her 'cause well, she's kind of cool, but that's all. That's like occasionally the case. Most of the times she just spouts shit that don't matter. Like from music she's suddenly on politics and he doesn't know how she does it but when he tunes back in she's saying some shit about how much she loves Finn or how Broadway is her one and only dream.
And God dammit, how the hell does she say all of that in one breath?
It's not like he was sweating or some shit, or scared to go to her house. He's done it like a fucking billion times (because his mom wanted him to go, not 'cause he wanted to go). So when he knocks on her wooden door, holding some kind of bullshit letter he has to give to Rachel's parents (he knows for a fact that her dads are out of town, again… Sneaky old woman.) And Puck just can't understand why the hell his mom couldn't mail this shit. Like is it so hard to post a letter?
He expects the usual when she opens the door. Rachel Berry scowling, her – sexy, 'cause frankly she's kinda hot – lips pursed. Her long eyelashes batting (shit… He shouldn't be thinking about this), her tight, tiny body standing between the doorframe and her arms crossed underneath her rack.
And he does get that. Just, a little bit different.
He just never knew that she owned shorts and a tank top. Or looked that good with clothes hugging her like a second skin.
It doesn't help when she looks at him all angry like he just peed on her lawn.
(And he hasn't done that in like two years, okay.)
''What?'' She has this frown on her face and one of her Berry like fires shifting through her eyes that make his pants tighten, more than it should.
''I had to drop this.'' He matches her frown, but his seems to flatter every second of every ticking minute.
Was it always this hot outside?
She grabs the letter, and without further out due asks him if that's all. Her hand reaches for the door as her fingers dig into the hard material.
He's got a couple of idea's what her hand can grip onto. ''Don't get your panties in a twist.'' He raises both his hands, swallowing the lump he feels in his throat. (Shit, was that always there?) He gives her a once over – totally aware of the glare she shoots him – before licking his lips. ''I'm already leaving.''
She doesn't respond when she shuts the door close.
That night when he got to bed he had his first dream (since the 'God told me that I needed to get in her pants' dream) about her. It wasn't sexual or anything. It was just her and him in a class room. And he was just looking at her, like she was the most fascinating person that has ever crossed his path. She wasn't looking back, just staring ahead. And he remembers that he wondered at what she was thinking about. Was it about her dreams, that faraway look that seemed to cross her face whenever her brain was somewhere else? Or was it about her mom and did she wonder where the old hag was now?
Was Finn in her mind?
Or maybe, like a really farfetched maybe, was she thinking about him?
(It was probably about Finn, though. It's always about Finn.)
But his dreams seemed to escalate. It wasn't only looking, but soon it became secret touches, lingering looks, and sometimes just sometimes she would kiss him, softly. Her red plump lips lingering on his for a second longer. Marking territory, he would say.
When he woke up, he always begged for more.
Just a month ago did the dreams take a turn for the worse (or right, it depends; which way are you looking at it?) He started thinking about them having sex. Her naked, writhing underneath his body. Her screaming his name, panting breathlessly because of him. Because of what he's doing to her ('I'mma make you feel so good, Rachel.') And she would let him, 'cause she wants him and cares for him (loves him?) and he would make her feel so good, 'cause he cares for her too.
And that's why things are so fucking fucked up. Because he shouldn't be thinking about her like that. Not after his reunited friendship with Finn, not after her and him became sort'f friends. You don't think about your sort of friends like that (like your real friends… not like, Santana friend, or Brittany friend.)
He suppresses his feelings. He manages to look her straight in the eye without grabbing her face and pulling her into a kiss, he manages to keep his self under control. But that only works for so long. Because when the lights turn dark and he's alone in his room, he'll starting thinking about stuff and thinking about stuff will mean bringing things up that he tries to forget and bringing things up that he tries to forget will undoubtedly have Rachel Berry in the midst.
(Shit, why does he always think during the night and not while he needs it during the day?)
And even if he manages to block her out of his thoughts during the night, he can't do squad when he starts falling asleep and his unconscious decides to play a messed up game with him. This entitles no rules so nothing that's in any aspect wrong. Dreams have no limits, remember?
After a week or so he gives in and starts jacking off at the thought of Rachel before him relieving her tight body from her plaid skirt. Her fingers caressing herself and her lips revealing his name like it's this forbidden fruit that she just can't get enough of. He hovers on her lips tainted to fall off. Lingering at the tip of her tongue.
She's so gorgeous –
He stops pumping his cock for a second; whipping his head so fast to his door, he's sure that he heard some sort of crack in his neck.
''What! I'm busy!'' He knows it's sick. It's fucking unhealthy, alright. You don't talk to your little sis and keep pumping your cock. It's just Puck needs a little release, a mayor one. Dream Rachel always gives him a mayor one.
''You need to come downstairs! Mom said so.''
''In a minute!''
''She said now!''
He rolls his eyes, shouting a; ''I'll be down in a fucking minute!'' at the door. He hears the stairs crack one by one and two pair of feet jumping of the staircase at the last tread.
He closes his eyes and thinks back at his dream, completing what isn't done.
''He said he'll be right downstairs.'' Rebecca quips up, flopping onto the end of the couch.
Edna rolls her eyes. ''Typical.'' She refocuses back on her guest and motions for her to take a seat. ''Noah will be down in a minute.'' Rachel hears the shower go on, water tickling against the roof. She averts her eyes to the stairs and quirks an eyebrow up. She takes it that he won't be down any time soon. ''That incoherent Yutzi… he'll be down in a few minutes,'' Edna clears her throat. ''Take a seat please.''
''Thank you.'' She smiles brightly. Taking a seat and leaving her suitcases at the doorstep. ''I appreciate your hospitality, Mrs. Puckerman. Not many people would do such a nice thing for me.''
''Oh sweetie, no need to thank me.'' A slight light shifts through the older woman's eyes. Her hands clasped before her. ''You're practically a daughter of mine'' Rachel can't stop the smile from cascading across her face. Heartfelt words from a mother always sooths her. ''And any friend of Noah is a friend of mine of course.''
She purses her lips, raising one eyebrow.
A friend of Noah? Does he talk about her like that?
She can't help but feel be confused – slightly happy – but confused.
''Sadly, he doesn't really mention you.'' Oh, of course. ''Or talks about you.'' …Typical. ''Or even gives me any sign of your existence.'' Edna purses her lips, cupping her head sideways as if to think about it. ''He never ever really mentions you, either way.''
Rachel should've expected it.
''I did hear him say your name, once.'' Becca pipes up, taking a sip of her coke.
''Yeah, in his room…'' She places the glass of coke back down. ''Once. It was really scary, like, I thought maybe you were hurting him or somethin' he sounded like he was in pain. But you weren't there, so that didn't make any sense.''
She doesn't know what to think of this. And looking at his mother, she sees the same confusion shifting over. She's not nosy, too much, actually. But she knows when it's right to ask further and when it's right to stop something from revolving.
This is one of those moments.
''It's probably nothing, sweetie.'' Edna say's, picking up on the look Rachel's shooting Rebecca's way. ''Perhaps he was talking to somebody on the phone, and Rachel's name just popped up.''
Rebecca shakes her head. ''Na-ah… It didn't sound like that. Pretty sure it was somethin' else.''
''Anyway.'' Edna claps her hands together, forcing a smile, choosing to ignore Rebecca's indecisive look. ''He hasn't… Directly,'' she gazes over at Rebecca. ''Said your name. But even if that may be, I think neither of us have heard him say it out right.''
''What is so fucking important that I had to come down for?'' Rachel whips her head to the stair case, staring at a shirtless Noah Puckerman cladded in only boxers.
She takes it that he hadn't heard anything about her arrival.
''I was busy.'' He frowns.
''Language Noah! We have a guest.'' Edna scowls.
Noah takes the last tread and looks over at the couch, raising both his eyebrows. He mutters something uncoordinated as he steps from the stairs and onto the floor. '' 'Sup.'' He shoots her a nod before turning to his mother. Changing his tone instantly. ''What the fuck is she doing here?'' He doesn't seem facade by the look his mother shoots him during his once again use of profanity. He also doesn't care that they have a guest in their house because he promptly seems to ignore her presence. If it was someone else treating her like garbage she might've said something about it. Rachel does not like being ignored. A star needs all the attention one can give her.
Like, what if she was belting out her rendition of 'Don't rain on my parade' and the whole stadium was chattering with each other?
Exactly. That wouldn't have gone well in her book.
But because it's 'Puck', it doesn't seem to bother her at all. She's accustoming to his way of treating her or how he simply seems to be treating every breathing human species.
''Well she, whose name is Rachel.'' His mother shoots her an apologetic look. Rachel smiles. ''Is here on her fathers behalf.''
He glances around, as if to search for her fathers. But while turning in his own ash he sees suitcases that don't need to be here and bags that should be like, somewhere else, he takes one look at his mother before his eyes trail back to Rachel's suitcases. He seems at a loss of words.
Rachel does that to a lot of people.
He looks on horrified. ''What the fucking fuck is this!''
''Noah!'' His mother admonishes. ''Language!"
''No seriously, why the hell am I looking at those things… A – are we like moving or something'? Couldn't anybody have given me a heads up?'' He takes in the suitcases, shaking his head slightly. ''It's too pink for Becca… And ma doesn't do flowery shit.'' Rachel rolls her eyes. ''So whose is it?''
''It's mine, Noah.'' He seems to ignore Rachel. Turning around to his mother for an answer. But Rachel rather gives it to him. She does appose to the idea as much as he, but if she could see him break down, even for just a minute, it might warm up something cold he has left behind. ''I'm moving in.''
He barks out a laugh, tumbling over as his laughter clashes over the walls. His sister widens her eyes, as his mother sighs heavily.
Poor mother and daughter. Rachel might be moving in for a few weeks (months?), but they have to deal with him their whole lives.
He pinks away a tear as he grins brightly, not really recovered from his spur. He glances at the people inside the living room and she knows that he's expecting them to laugh and smile and say things like 'It's just a joke, got you there!' But nobody does, and nobody's intending to do it. He glances around slowly, sheepishly as his smile falters from his face.
He finally gets it.
Not so funny now, is it, Puckerman?
''The fuck!'' Noah shouts. His mother sighs harder, moving a hand over her face. This may or may not be good for Edna's blood pressure. ''Shits not right!'' He paces around; somehow unaware of six pair of eyes following his every movement. ''I have to be with her in school! Learn shit alongside her.'' He points a finger at Rachel. ''I have to listen to her eve-ry fucking lecture during glee club!'' She purses her lips. She's not that bad. Perhaps her lectures may be a little bit too overbearing. But she wants the wellbeing for her club. She does mean well. '''You can't belt a high F Kurt. I'm better for this solo, Mr. Schue. We need to win Regionals, and I'm capable of moving us to the top Mr. Schue. The last time we gave the others a fair chance of preforming we had a draw Mr. Schue! A draw!''' Well, she was right about all of them. '''And might I say, with my solos we always win.'''
He rubs both his hands over his face, like he can't believe that this is really happening to him.
And okay, if he says it like that she may have been a little bit too harsh on everyone.
She really doesn't talk that high, though.
''…And now you want us to live together? Together? Underneath the same fucking roof? Shits not happening! I rather fucking crawl into a hole full of cockroaches and blood sucking ants than to hear her fucking shit over and over and over and over again.''
''Noah, you better clean your act up!'' His mother raises her voice just as hard. Allowing the three kids to cringe. ''She is staying with us. If you like it or not! And it's final.'' She glares back at him, pointing a finger his way. ''And if I were you I would behave like a gentle man, or else I'll take away your COD games and have you grounded 'till you're too old to generate children!''
This seems to shut him up.
''Now, be a gentleman and help Rachel with her suite cases.''
''For how long?'' He asks, this time moving his stare up to Rachel's. Now that realization fenced him, he finally acknowledges her presence.
She wants to answer as truthfully as she can. It may be a few days, or a few weeks. Tops up a, few months. But if she has to be specific it would probably be a few months. Her dads are known for giving false promises just in order to keep her happy. And once she's heard it all, it starts to sound so inconsequent and trust soon seems to falter with every word they utter.
She'll make something up. ''A few weeks, I think.'' Noah seems to have a hard time accepting this. But anything better then months and years are good for him.
It won't be years, though. Her dads aren't that ferocious.
''Fine.'' He grunts out, walking up to her suitcases. ''Where do I have to put these?''
''In the spare bedroom.'' His mother says.
He doesn't give a reply as he takes the bags and moves up the stairs with Rachel hot on his heels.
''You know, it won't be that bad.'' She wrings her hands together. ''I'll promise I won't sing too loud… And I am a really neat person.'' She bites her lip. ''And also, I can bake fantastically.'' Okay, she's trying to lighten up the mood. Sue her. ''My dads won't take too long. I mean, I know they're known for their escapades, and sometimes this may take quite some time. But they love me and won't leave me alone for months – with you.''
''You're a lousy liar, Berry.'' He grunts out, taking up the stairs two at a time. She has a hard time following him without tripping. ''I mean, great actress, but fucked up liar.'' It's sweet how he can complement her and vituperate her in the same sentence. That's a talent right there. She trips while taking two steps at a time. ''Like ya said. It's not the first time they did this crap. And you could've always stayed home before. So shit means something if you gotta move out.'' He purses his lips, reaching stability. ''Where are they actually?''
''They already left…'' She brushes her skirt, holding onto the railing as she takes the last tread, frowning while she looks at him. ''But that's not entirely true.''
He shrugs, kicking the spare bedroom door open and dropping her things on the ground. She has to withhold herself from screaming at him. '' 'S not?''
''Yes… Well, they just thought it would be better for me to be living with a family I've known my entire life then to stay home alone, again. You know, it can really be dysfunctional for a child of my age to be home alone so much.''
''I guess they really fucked you up, didn't they?'' He earns a glare, he shrugs again. He turns around and looks her up and down. He seems to do that a lot lately. ''So like keep telling yourself that.'' His stare reaches her eyes and he seems to look at her like he's seen her all. In every way, in every possible situation. She looks away. ''And maybe one time you might believe it.'' He walks to the door, his shoulder lightly gracing hers.
He doesn't say a thing when the door shuts close.
This is how her life will be; living with the Puckermans. She's going to live with a pig eating bamboo that's dirty, crass, and disrespectful. Ignorant and cruel.
Ms. Puckerman and Rebecca don't need her pity anymore. She needs that little bit of pity forherself. Better yet, she needs a pen and a note block to write down an escape plan for when things take a turn for the worse. And with Noah, she knows that things will take a turn for the worse. They're like two pawns put together in a world where they must survive. And instead of fighting the others off of them, they hurt each other. (He hurts her, she just reacts.)
Times like these call for songs. She thinks of 'Home' by Miss Barbra Streisand, because that seems fitting in a situation like this.
She lays her neatly folded clothes on the bed. Looking at the colorful garment. It might be appropriate to wear jogging pants and a sweatshirt instead of short-shorts and the occasionally tank-top.
Noah is already a pervert. No need to stimulate him even more.
(Although it does sound very tempting.)
''You're really pretty.''
Rachel turns her head to the door, seeing that this is open and a petite girl (smaller then her. Take that universe) is standing at the door opening. She's got this smile on her face that oddly remises with a certain boy. And her eyes glaze over Rachel's body like second nature.
Odd. It really does seem familiar.
''Thank you Rebecca.'' Rachel smiles. Because what else can she do with a compliment like that? ''I appreciate your kind words.''
Rebecca shrugs. Seeing this as an invitation for her to walk further. Rachel doesn't mind. It's Becca's house after all. ''You really do look pretty.'' Rachel smiles another time, re-focusing on her clothes and picking them one by one. She does like the blue sweat pants, but the pink one is more allure. It clamps her hips tightly and hugs her legs perfectly. It's not really the appropriate gesture she's going for, but it's not wrong either. ''I get why Finny liked you.''
Rachel drops the fabric instantly. Whipping her head to meet Rebecca's eyes. ''What did he say?'' Rachel say's, with a shrilly tone.
''Nothin'.'' She shrugs, again. Nonchalantly. The answer of her attitude lies at the tip of her tongue. But Rachel can't find that switch to spit it out. ''It was a long time ago.'' Well, that was unnecessary hope given. ''But I mean… I did see you like a'lot. In temple and shit and we used to hang out a lot before you and Noah went to Highschool.'' Really. Swearing, shrugging. So familiar. ''But I never really saw the appeal.''
That didn't sting as much as Rachel thought it would.
''But when I look closer. You really are pretty. Like exotic pretty.''
''Not to sound rude or anything… But is this going anywhere?''
''Oh yeah.'' Rebecca walks up to the bed, plopping on top of it and placing her shoe cladded feet before her. It's gross. But she won't comment. ''You had boyfriends, right?''
''Well,'' Rachel smiles, this time she's the one to shrug nonchalantly. She whips her hair over her shoulders, seemingly untouched. ''I have had my fair share of beau's, yes.'' She grins, moving down to the bed and sitting on her knees. ''There was Jesse and Finn of course.'' She bites her lip, staring down at Rebecca. ''And the short lived romance between me and… And Noah.''
''Yeah. So I've heard.''
Rebecca nods. ''Mom wouldn't shut up when she heard about the break up… She blamed Noah for the whole thing.''
''Well, that does seem unfair.'' Knowing that it isn't his entire fault she feels like she's given him undeserved problems. She needed to be blamed too. Because she has had her fair share of mistakes in that relationship too. It was just a wrong time for both of them. They couldn't work. He had a baby coming, and she still had those unresolved feelings for Finn. It was just not the right time. ''I'm sorry.''
''No need to be.'' Becca shrugs. ''Mom just needed somebody to blame fo' that dream bein' ripped away.''
''Dream?'' Rachel asks curiously.
''Yeah… Jewish granddaughter, Jewish babies… It was tough on her.''
Rebecca nods. ''Yeah… But anyway.'' Becca sits up straighter, averting her eyes to the slightly taller girl. ''I need your help for a boy. I mean… I could go to my mom, but she'd totally freak out. And Noah won't approve. It'd be like that last time when he caught me and a boy. He nearly had a heart attack and I had to stop him from landing into Juvi… again.'' Sounds like Noah to Rachel. ''He'll only haunt the poor boy down and kill him. Really. He will.''
''Okay. So what for help do you need?''
''I guess.'' Becca exhales, looking down at her feet. ''I really like him. And it's not like I've never been with boys – not in that way – but in a like, kiss and hug and in a relationship kind of way.'' Thank David that Becca still has her virginity. Rachel does not want to be dragged in the middle of one's dirty little secret again. That's like a bad re-visited to the past where the whole Glee club knew about Noah and Quinn, and Finn was the only one in the dark. No more. Never again. Better left in the past. Rachel sighs. ''But he only looks at me when his girlfriend isn't around.''
''He has a girlfriend?''
''Unfortunately yes. But he does really like me… He even told me so.''
''And I know it's wrong.'' Becca continues. ''But, isn't love always wrong?'' Not really… ''Doesn't love make you do crazy things?'' Yes, okay, but – ''And don't you have to do everything – everything – to hold on to them. If you feel it in your heart…'' Becca puts her hand on top of the left side of her chest, closing her eyes. Rachel looks on. ''Then you need to do it, right. Because it's right, right?''
Poor young girl. Lost in a daydream.
''Rebecca, I'm going to be honest.'' Rebecca nods, opening her eyes. ''Our hearts aren't always right. They're fools. If anything, we need to listen to our brains.''
''Believe me; I've been in your position.'' Sort of still am, but whatever. ''And because I've listened to my heart, it got broken every single time. The truth is our hearts are liars. Dirty, bleeding, organic liars. And it should not be trusted. It honestly comes down to one thing and one thing only.'' She exhales. ''If he loves you, he'll choose you above her. If he doesn't. You might need to accept the fact that he might not be the one.''
Rebecca is silent. The truth came like a ton of bricks her way.
And it hurts. Rachel knows how much it does.
The truth always hurts.
''You're right.'' Rebecca says and of course she is. Has she never? Wasn't she right that if she doesn't sing a solo during Sectionals they wouldn't win? (And might she remind everyone of the draw that took place.) Has she not said that Mr. Schue's obsession with Ms. Pillsbury will kill them all? (Killing them slowly. He was killing Glee club slowly.) Has she not said that the Cheerios are not to be trusted? (They've been stabbed in the back – for God knows how long – thanks to Quinn, Santana and even Brittany.) And oh, how about the Sunshine debacle? The shorter girl stabbed them in the back once they looked the other way. And God, did she stab them hard. ''I'm such a fool – God – crap… Shit. I can't believe it…''
There was a time when Rachel was in the same position as Becca. She has this little agreement with herself that falling apart will only be done in the darkness of her room with sad country songs at the background.
But that's beside the point.
''You need a minute?'' She asks, looking down at the smaller girl.
Rebecca nods, lying down on Rachel's bed and closing her eyes. ''Crap.''
''I'll leave you alone.''
She won't really leave the room. Because well, she still has to unpack her panties and bra's and Rebecca is like Noah only in a girl's body without the extensive extra hormones. She'll take her stuff, never looking back, hand it to Noah, and God knows what he'll do with her garment.
He will do something. She knows he will.
So instead of leaving, she walks up to the desk in the corner of the room and looks in the four or six draws for a piece of paper. She takes out of the third draw a blank paper and grabs a pen right next to it. She's thinking about a song (I'm your lady by the fantastic Celine Dion) which is perfect to sing to Finn. He'll fall at her knees and kiss her feet after she's done. For her voice does set him in awe and he does feel a jab at his heart when she sings.
Or maybe she should go up unannounced to his house and tell him how much she still cares for him.
(What? Don't look at her like that. What she said to Becca does not apply to her! For information, Finn's not dating anyone.)
She's watching Funny girl. Again. Yes it's been the fortieth time that she has watched it.
She's watching the movie by herself, but it's not like it matters. Usually it would be a family kind of thing (she and her dads) but they're busy and she needs to suck it up, because families can't always be together (and every star has had that one little difficulty in their past that made them grow stronger and braver and set aside a magnificent biography about their struggles). Besides, the movie affects her more when she watches it alone, anyway.
It does not surprise her when somebody, roughly (to be exact) takes the remote from her side and switches the channel. It does not surprise her when said person in question grunts something along the way – ''scoot over, I need to watch my thang'' – and proceeds to put his feet on the coffee table.
Now those were many wrong actions in less than a minute. But she will only comment on one.
''How dare you!'' She whips her head to her left, frowning his way. He seems unaffected. Undisturbed he continues watching Jersey shore. (She's rolling her eyes. Really? Really?) ''I was watching something!''
''Too bad it's not your house, right?''
''You-you-y-'' She stops mid-sentence and proceeds to take a deep breath. He wants that. He wants to get underneath her skin and make her writher. He wants to enrage her. It's 'Puck' for Christ sake. It's what he desperately seeks. But she would be damned to give it to him. ''Can you please hand me the remote back, Noah? So I can watch my movie again without any interruptions. If you'll be nice I can even explain to you what happens during the film. I could tell you about ones gambling problem? Perhaps it would help you in the near future, don't you think?''
''Did you just?'' He casts her a glance. Shaking his head slightly, amused, though. He seems amused. ''Fuck that Berry. My house, my TV, my couch.'' He moves up and down on the furniture. She rolls her eyes. ''My everything.'' Noah emphasis. ''Just don't kid yourself babe. Me casa is not su casa.''
''Well Noah.'' She rolls her eyes at his horrible Spanish. ''If you were paying the electricity, the rent, the gas bill and so on. I may have really given you the pleasure to watch tanned bimbo's running around in bikinis.'' He raises his eyebrows. Surprised and… Intrigued? Rachel continues. ''But after all, you do not do any of those things – I'm even positive that going to an alcohol sustain party is the only time you get of your ass!'' His mouth is agape a hint of anger shifting through his hazel eyes. She smiles. ''In fact, it's your mother who does those things. And thinking back she's the one who gave me permission to watch my movie.'' She pulls the remote out of his hands with ease. He's astonished. ''So excuse me while I change the channel.''
Oh no she didn't.
But yes she did.
''You fucking –'' His words die on his lips, looking at her as she manages to click a few buttons on the remote and put it back to her movie. He shakes his head. ''You've seen this shit like a million times.''
''So? What precisely is your point?''
He blows out an exasperated breath. ''You won't fucking die if you don't watch it this time!''
She frowns, pursing her lips as she pauses the DVD before looking back at him. ''I might really die, Noah.'' It's scary how serious she looks. ''This is Barbra Streisand we're talking about. If I get a glimpse of her and hear her obviously tremendous range I need to see it to the end. If I don't, who knows what will happen. I might never be able to put those what ifs out of my head – what if she died – what if she found another – what if she screamed my name during a moment of passion?'' Noah widens his eyes raising both his eye brows as he looks at her like he's one step away from grabbing a phone and dialing the nearest mental hospital. And okay, perhaps the last bit did sound a little off putting. ''Can't you see? I could go insane – ''
''You su' you haven't gone already?''
She blows the falling strings of hair out of her face, setting her jaw. ''As I was saying, before you rudely interrupted me.'' He shrugs. Asshole. ''I can get very angry if I don't see this to the end. And you do not want to see me angry.''
''Is that a threat?'' He muses.
She shrugs. ''Why? Are you scared?''
The way he's looking at her tells her otherwise.
Bitch did not just threaten him! Who the fuck does she think she is?
'Are you scared?'
Hell no! He's not scared of her. Even Plop the gnome has him wetting his pants faster than her batshit fucked up crazy ways.
And shit. It's fucking wrong – hot, sexy, totally making him hard wrong – but also so fucking wrong.
What the fuck?
Did this really happen?
He's so not going to take this shit. He'll show her. It's his house! He's the man of this house! He takes care of them.
Yeah his ma does most shit, but he watches out for Becca and for his mom – sometimes – when it fits his schedule –whatever, fuck off. Crazy bitch doesn't know what she's talking about.
Fucking H. She thinks she's going to die if she doesn't see her fucking movie to the end. Who gets like that?
It's midnight. Dinner is over, he's in his bed after brushing his teeth, and he's still pissed. Shooting Berry an angry look does not help if she sends him one of her fucked up big smiles. Y'know one of her smiles that look like it's 'bout to break from her face. Shit that sparkles in her eyes and makes her look pretty or somethin' that one that lights her freaking face up, whatever.
He marches over to her room, knocking on her door and crossing his arms over his chest. He's not done. He can't be done. He didn't win this and Puckesaures is done when he wins and inns that trophy; (her shocked ass face that looks like she's out of words).
The door opens, and he prepares the first things he's about to say to her ('you crazy ass bitch! It's my home. My house! My couch! My TV! It's all mine! You think living here makes you some sort of fucked up queen with a voice that can make my mom wet, but you're wrong! 'Cause you may get everybody to like you in this fucked up twisted universe by using your crazy ass witchcraft, but you won't get me! I can see through your fucking façade and get you shaken up all the way to your fucking core!') Yeah. That'll do. That's gonna feel so good.
He gets a light déjà vu, instead. She's standing there in tight tight, tight (sinful, so sinful) shorts and wearing a tank top that doesn't cover much. Her hair is hiked up in a loosely bun and she just looks…
It's there that he knows he's fucked. In more ways than one.
''Do you need something Noah? I need to sleep and your presence is disturbing me.'' She barks out, raising a perfect eyebrow as she looks at him lazily.
He focuses on her lips. Which, really shouldn't be happening?
''Yeah, well.'' She looks at him expectantly. And he's officially lost his entire cool. ''Well, y – you suck!''
He scrunches up his face, marching off because that's the right thing to do in a moment like this.
Today she woke up in an unfamiliar bed and surroundings that didn't ring a bell at all. First thing Rachel did was jump out of her bed (viscously might she say, she looked like a rocket taking of for the sky) and search for her mobile phone. Because really, she was certain somebody kidnaped her and hidden her somewhere away from everyone's reach. Her mobile phone probably wouldn't even work if the place they've put her is indeed so far away.
Is this what happens to stars in the making? Getting kidnapped before they even make it to the top?
This will not do!
She will not simply give up without a fight.
She gazes over to the swivel chair at a desk in the corner of the room.
Is that her… skirt?
And shirt? And, oh, her handy note block. She had written a few ways to get Finn back on that note block; 'Plan 'A' sing a love song to him during Glee club a really obvious but very useful plan. Plan 'B' tell him how much you love him in the hallway, he can't just leave her hanging like that before everyone. Plan 'C' her favorite, make sure he's alone in the football locker room and surprise him with a kiss. He can't just ignore your lips. It's his favorite thing about you (besides singing, mind you).'
But that means.
Her face falls, walking back to the bed and falling on top of it.
This is just great. She's going to start school while leaving Noah's premises. That will do well for her reputation. She'd probably be called that; crazy-ol'-girl-who-Puckerman-is-banging. And that's just perfect gossip for a star in the making.
''Ma, you can't be serious!'' He throws his hands up in the air. ''I can't bring her to school, too.'' He clenches his jaw, crossing his arms at his mother's determine look. ''It's one thing for people to see me dropping of Beck, but seeing me arrive at school with crazy over there,'' he points a finger at Rachel leaning against his couch.
Chick thinks she can do everything around here.
''It's gonna kill my rep. Have some sympathy will ya?''
''Oh shh, Noah.'' His mom sends him an angry look, shaking her head disapprovingly. ''Don't say such nonsense before our guest!'' She hushes him when he tries to interfere, turning around to Rachel and offering her a regrettable look. He rolls his eyes. ''I'm sorry for Noah's actions. Sometimes he just blurts things out – that don't mean a thing.'' His mom says directly afterwards.
Rachel nods like she's been there and done that.
''Can't she just hail a cab somewhere?''
Rachel gasps outraged. Girl needs to dim on the caffeine. ''I will not!'' She splutters out, holding her trolley bag tightly in her hand.
Who even goes to school with that?
(She looks cute though – fuck.)
''Noah,'' his mom sighs, like she's really tired of this and he's one step away from getting his ass kicked with her foot. Red Forman's style. ''I really don't have time for this. I need to leave for work, and you need to get going or else Becca will come late. And we can't have that… again.''
Okay, yeah he got Becca late last time. But blame that on the hot as fuck cop chick patrolling the road. He couldn't just let her go without a number.
(He so got it. Not even the feds can resist him.)
''Yeah! I can't be late.'' Rebecca says. ''Last time I completely missed Missy fighting with Caroline in the hallway – just for being five minutes too late! Do you know how long I've waited to see them go down?''
His reply is a grunt attached with a curse.
He's living in a house with three women. He will never win this argument. Better yet, he won't ever win any argument with them.
They're woman and women always win.
''Rule number one; dontz touch my shit. Not my radio, not my headboard or even the freaking mirror.'' She rolls her eyes, retreating her hand from the glass.
She was only going to fix her hair.
She sighs. And they call her unbearable.
''Better yet, be happy that I even gave you permission to sitin this fucking seat.'' Rachel bites the inside of her cheek, withholding herself to talk back, clasping her seatbelt on and leaning against the chair. ''Do not and I repeat, do not, talk to me while I'm driving.'' He sends Rachel an angry look. Like she needs to get this into her head. Which she's highly offended about. She does not talk as much as he claims she does.
It's just a few light corrections on his driving skills. And that happened once.
''And so help me fuck. If you, in anyway, put some fucked up show tunes on, I will lose my shit!''
He's deadly serious.
''Can we go now?'' Becca pipes up from behind them.
''Yeah.'' He tells her. Casting a final glance at Rachel next to him before driving of his lawn. ''Let's hit the road.''
She's making him so fucking angry. So fucking pissed off. And he's fucking suicidal now. Like really, if someone laid a gun in front of his ass right now, he'd pick it up and blow his fucking brains out.
She's spouting bullshit, really. What she's saying doesn't make fucking sense. And seriously, if she doesn't fucking stop talking he's going to jump out of this car. Like, right at the moment when he jumps out, a truck rides up and hits him – hard. And he's just little bits of flesh and shit and he's gone from ever hearing her say crap like that.
Becca's so fucking lucky she had to go. The brat even shot him a smile.
And shit. What does she not understand about no talking in his car? Did his rules go into death men ears or something?
''You're fucking full of it, Berry.''
She rolls her eyes. Appalled. Scowling his way and pursing her lips. ''No I'm not.''
''Yes you are!'' He looks ahead of him. And he swears, if she keeps going on he's going to drive both of them against a tree. ''In what for fucked up universe can wonder woman defeated superman?'' He blows out a breath, clenching his jaw. ''Are you forgetting that superman is like, undefeatable?''
''Are you forgetting that wonder woman can achieve wonders?'' She clicks her tongue. ''Defeating superman will be a wonder. Which fits her persona perfectly.''
He laughs haughty. ''Superman is fucking strong, alright. Have you not seen his shit on TV?''
''Well obviously you haven't read wonder woman, have you? But what do I have to expect from a sordid human creature like you? It won't even surprise me if you'd announce that you're inadequate to read.''
He's going to ignore her insults. ''You read comic books?'' He asks. Casting her a fast glance before re-focusing on the road, cocking one eyebrow up.
She shrugs. He can see it out of the corner of his eye. ''Sometimes.'' Well. Okay, that's kind of… hot. It's actually, really hot. ''Mostly wonder woman. It's just… I guess I'm intrigued with her and that universe. I enjoy the thought that one of my species could be yet so feminine – yet so beautiful – and so undeniable strong.''
He nods. Like he really understands – which somehow, in some fucked up way – he really does. ''Yeah. I guess so.''
And suddenly talking with her doesn't seem that bad.
(Maybe a tiny little bit, but he can brush that bit off with ease.)
School officially sucks. He got D minus for English, people are whispering behind his back since he came out of his truck with Rachel (and somehow he never left her side. But really it's because he wanted to talk more about the kind of comic books she reads, that's all). And to put the icing on the cake; Quinn totally called him off.
He was just trying to be the good guy here. She seemed depressed, Finn seemed like he was about to tear his balls off (hope to fuck he won't) and everybody just looked really fucking nosy and shit.
Really, he was just trying to put some light in everyone's chilled darkness.
He did not expect her to blow her shit in his face ('I'm never going to get Beth because of you! You're the problem Puck! You always are! You can never keep your dick out of girls, can you? And now you've sunken so low and chose Rachel? Rachel of all people?'' She had sniffed, all pathetic like. ''Take a knife and stab it in my back while you're busy!' And then she sighs and he's stunned. 'What should I even expect from a Lima loser like you? Mistake is your middle name.')
And he was kind of hurt by her blow. He knows he does deserve it – in some way – but it still hurts. Not as much as before, though. He's used to her calling him like that. It's like second nature. He'll get over it. He always does. Didn't he get over his dad walking out? Didn't he move on when Beth was gone? Didn't he? Didn't he? Didn't he?
He fucking did.
Quinn walks away like she's said what she wanted to say and got it off her chest. Dumping all her garbage on him. And shits heavy and he feels like he's about to fall underneath the entire load.
''She's wrong.'' Rachel says while she walks with him to his truck. He looks at her confused, but doesn't comment. He wonders how long she wanted to get that out in the open.
''Quinn.'' She clarifies.
He simply nods. ''You're not a Lima loser.'' It's kind of funny how she seems to think that she knows everyone so well. And he just shrugs like it's no biggie. Quinn's words won't kill him.
Bruise him, scar him, and hurt him, maybe. But never kill him.
''You're so talented… And you really are smart when you put your mind to it. I believe that you can do so much. I – I believe in you.'' He opens his car door, but never steps in. ''Don't let the things people tell you become truths. Because it's not. They're not right. You make your own truth.'' And he thinks that she's also talking about herself, like how everyone belittles her (including himself) but she never really lets it get to her. Because they're not right.
What she thinks of herself – is what's right.
He looks back at her. And they don't say much at the car ride back home. But he thinks that his silence and the looks he shoots her are his way of saying thanks. And he's positive that when she looks back at him she's saying; 'You're welcome.'
She's at glee club working on a song. Marking the lines that she will be singing with a pink marker. And really, the whole paper is starting to look awfully pink. To be truthful, there isn't really any another color on the paper besides pink.
Rachel's trying to be as generous as possible and give her fellow glee clubbers a fair share in the song. But nowhere do their voices reach the notes as well as she could. And honestly, they wouldn't even do a Celine Dion song any justice. Kurt – maybe, Mercedes – possible, Santana – not very likely.
However, it is a contest and they are a team.
So background harmonizing much? A few 'hmms' and 'aaahs' and as last but certainly not least Mercedes breathtaking belt as Rachel will be picking it up and put a fantastic ending to it.
She couldn't have settled the dismemberment any better.
''Spit it out Berrylips.'' She looks away from her sheet music. Rolling her eyes at the offender before her. She does not need this right now.
''What do I own this pleasure to Santana?''
She's not in the mood for Santana's insults, nor does she want to be in the Latina's presence without anyone near. Knowing Santana, Rachel needs a witness if her body suddenly goes missing.
''You know why.''
She raises an eyebrow, putting the shell on top of her marker. She's really curious now. ''No I don't… should I?''
Santana rolls her eyes, taking a seat right next to her and crossing her arms. The look she shoots Rachel is pleasing as it is terrifying. ''You and Puck. Doing the nasty. Hitting bells. Honking the horn. Slapping the monkey.''
''Oh come on. Don't play the ignorant card on me.'' She rolls her eyes another time. ''Everyone can see that your nailing Puckerman.''
Rachel gasps. Completely shocked.
She wouldn't even let him near her, let alone touch her. ''I'm not here for the deets.'' Santana shrugs. ''I've been there, done that. Not going back. Pussy's frankly better.''
''Oh God.'' She mutters.
''But – '' Santana unabashedly continues. ''I've put some money on this thingy you've both have going on.'' Santana cups her head slightly, eyes shutting close and re-opening. ''And I've put big money on this reunion.''
''You've – you've what? With whom? Which reunion? What – what? What the hell?'' She shakes her head.
Honestly she doesn't want to know.
''Hummel, Trouty mouth, Britz, Wheezy and Wheels.'' Santana purses her lips. ''Kurt really thought that both of you would wait 'till graduation… Wheezy laid cash for after Puckleberry's 'sleep over'.'' Santana looks on serious. ''But we both know there ain't no way they're winning, 'cause you're little reunion already took place.'' She leans back against her chair. ''So, spit it out so I canz collectz my money and bring my girl to a fancy dinner… I'm thinking… Breadsticks.''
''Santana… I hate to disappoint you… really, I do. But there is nothing going on between me and Noah.'' She frowns. ''We're just friends – or acquaintances – or, err… um… We're just, you know….''
''Don't lie to me Schnoz. I know you're raising those midget skirts for him.'' Santana glazes over her body.
She suddenly feels very exposed.
''Instead of using those legs for something good and moving over to the dark side with me.'' Her eyes widen. She's not… She's not – ''you choose to spend it humping bridges with Puck. At least grow a pair so we can skip this conversation and I can go back to ignoring your hideous nose. Even if we both know that shit won't work.'' Santana gets a look of disgust on her face. ''Seriously, it's huge. How the hell do you expect me to sing if your nose keeps distracting everything around me? It's a freaking monument. You'll be famous because of it.''
''C – can we keep the insults at a minimum, please? And as I have said, there is nothing going on between me and Noah… nothing. We're just – I guess. You could call it friends. He's been really nice to me and we've just gained a far bigger perspective and accepted each other more. It's better than to degrade ourselves to what our peers would like to see. That is all.''
Santana sighs. Leaning back against the chair and setting her jaw. ''Dammit. You're not playing, are you?'' Rachel shakes her head. ''Fuck it. There goes a hundred bucks.''
When Glee club starts she finds that there are three things off. Firstly Finn is looking at her again (It's probably the way she has styled her hair today. Extra curly.) Noah gives her this look as he also picks up on Finn's stares (it's strange and maybe it's just her mind playing tricks on her, but he looks a little bit envious – angry – fuming pissed off.)
It's also strange that Santana has never left the seat she was sitting in. And even when glee club finished, she kind of waited for Rachel before walking down the hallway together to their respective classes.
(And get this. Santana sat next to her at the same desk. And they even indulged into a polite conversation. Turns out, she does have a heart. Shocker, right?)
Living with Rachel isn't as bad as he thought it would be. Two weeks have passed and he's honestly, kind of enjoying it. She's like a really great cook (famous sugar cookies, damn) and she helps Becca with homework (score, no need to do it himself anymore), they like talk a lot, now even on school about stuff, like really important stuff and also just stuff; comic books, movies, songs, life and about everything really. And he never knew he could find a real friend in her. They do get there occasionally fights ('The hell do you think this is, a fucking resort? You don't spend hours in a freaking bathroom!' Yeah it's all him. But also her; 'Don't you dare walk into this room again without knocking Puckerman! I could've been naked!' 'Well maybe you should've been?') But all in all it's really cool. She's really cool.
It's fucked up that he's still thinking about her in that 'I-need-to-fuck-her' kind of way.
(Yeah, the dreams didn't become any lighter.)
He walks into her room, plopping down on her bed and stationing his arms behind his head. She doesn't look up from her lying position on the bed. Her note block seems all the more fascinating. He looks at her. ''What ya doin'?''
She mutters something in response as her focus attains the note block, but he can't hear her. And he's not really a guy who likes to be ignored. So he moves to a sitting position, pulls the note block into his own hands and stands up straight afterwards to read the thing that detains all of her attention.
She follows up strictly. ''Give it back, Noah!'' He takes advantage of his height and holds the note block high above his head, still managing to read it.
He frowns. ''The fuck is this?'' He spits out, looking back down at her. She tries throwing the innocent look, but he shakes his head. ''Not gonna do, Berry.'' He holds the book behind him. '''Ways to get Finnegan to be my long lost puppy again?'''
She gasps. ''How dare you!'' She takes a jab at the note block, but he moves aside. ''That is not what stands there. For your information it's 'ways to get Finn to love me again.'''
''Yeah whatever, same deal.'' He raises his eyebrows in an 'I'm waiting' motion. ''Howw 'bout it. What's this kind of crap.''
''You read it, didn't you?''
No need to be so bitchy about it. ''Yeah. But I wanna hear it from your lips.''
''You just did.'' She walks back to the bed and seats herself on it. He looks at her. ''I want Finn back.'' She sighs. He waits. ''And, I don't know… I was just… thinking of ways to do that.''
He takes the note block in one hand and reads one of her 'plans' out loud. ''Set up a kissing booth for him to come to – fuck Rachel, don't you know you're gonna get imbeciles all over you?'' He's not only talking about himself. Say; Jacob Ben Israel? Douche gonna infect her with whatever infections he has going on.
''I thought about that! I'm not going to let them near me. I'm just going to come up with an excuse.''
''And then Finnegan comes 'roun and you'll le' him?'' She nods. ''That a stupid plan Rach. How'd you even know for su' that he's coming?''
She seems to think of that. Her face falls. ''Oh, yes. I forgot.''
''Y'know, this whole plan thingy is even stupid to begin with.''
''No it's not.'' She stands up firmly and rips the note block out of his hands. He lets her. ''They can perfectly work. Thank you very much.''
''Don't you think you need to leave that douche alone?''
She looks at him like he's just told her Hitler is back on the road. ''Of course not! You never give up on true love!''
''Didn't you say the same bull crap to Becca?''
''What – how did you… How?''
He shrugs. ''It's not like I was eavesdropping or anything.'' Nah… Of course not. ''I just have like, telepathic and shit when it comes to Becca.'' He brushes it off with a wave of his hands, moving down to sit on the bed. He can see that she doesn't believe a thing he just said.
''So, how 'bout it?''
''That was different.'' Rachel says, crossing her arms. ''That boy was dating someone else.''
''Didn't stop you from going after Finn either in sophomore year.''
''Yes, well – ''
''Didn't stop you from dating him too, now did it?''
''Yes I know but – ''
''The only difference here.'' He says, cutting her off again. She's annoyed, he can see that. It's really, sort of fun. ''Is that he's not dating anyone. It still holds that if he wanted you, he'd take you back. Without you needing to try, right?''
She exhales, looking down at him. She shakes her head slightly. ''Why do you even care?''
And shit. Why does he even?
What the fuck.
It's not even his business.
(It feels like it is, though.)
''Because.'' He pauses. Thinking about it. Come up with an answer Puckersaures! Hurry! He looks around and she's waiting expectantly. He shrugs again. ''Because, we're friends? Because, I don't wanna see you, hurt? Because? Because, this shit you're doin' is, unhealthy?'' He clicks his tongue. ''I don't fucking know. Just, because… Because!''
He's frustrated to say the least. She shouldn't confuse him like that. It's fucking irritating.
She raises both her eyebrows.
''Fuck this.'' He stands up and she looks on. ''I need a drink.''
It's past nine pm and Rachel's watching 'Mean Girls' and it's a miracle that Noah's not bothering her. He's up in his room doing God knows what. Usually, before their newly found friendship he would've done everything to annoy her (he never really let her live it down when she claimed that this house wasn't his). Pulled her hair, pocked her in the side when she was really going up in a movie. And even talked whilst watching the screen ('who is she? Where did he come from? What the fucks happening? How the fuck did that happen! Oh shit, Oh crap! Get me some popcorn, babe.') But it's different now. He may have finally accepted her.
(Which actually feels really, really good?)
She feels slightly angry when Regina starts treating Cady like crap, only because she can't hold on to her man. And really, it's not even her man anymore.
What the hell, world?
Her phone beeps and she takes it from the armrest, whilst holding her eyes on the screen. Popping popcorn into her mouth while she clicks her phone open.
(Regina so deserved that buss to hit her.)
''Hello.'' Rachel says. Shaking her head at the TV. It's outrageous that people can get away like that.
She hears a hiccup. ''Rachel.''
''Yes? Who might this – wait… Becca?''
''Can you come get me, please?'' Rebecca says as Rachel hears a light sob break out of her throat.
''What happened? What's going on? Where are you?'' She drops her sight from the TV and instantly focuses on the phone call. Standing up and walking circles around the couch. ''Are you – Are you crying?'' Rebecca replies with another heart wrenching sob. ''Who did this to you? I swear on all that is holy to Barbra I will make them pay! Give me an address!''
Becca lets out a breath. Muttering something along the lines of – 'why did I call her?'
Well, excuse Rachel for being concerned.
''Could you like, chill?'' Becca says sniffing. She will not chill! ''I just… I need you right now. And please, don't tell Noah. Just come and pick me at soccer practice.'' Rachel knows where that is. She used to go there whenever Becca had a game. It's not like she and Becca are strangers, it's just. They kind of lost touch when Noah decided to throw slushy's in her face and treat her like a freak. ''I just.'' Becca sighs. ''I saw that guy with his girlfriend – and I just – I…''
She stops in the middle of her sentence. And Rachel can hear her shake her head. Her dark-brownish hair brushing against her face. ''Can you please come and pick me up?''
''Of course I will. I'll be there in a few minutes.''
Rachel replies with a, ''It's no big deal.'' And a; ''I would do it for anyone.'' Which she actually means, before ending the call.
She takes her jacket and puts it on. But right when she decides to leave, something hits her.
She has no transportation.
''I can't believe her!''
Do not look at her like that. She had to.
''And I can't fucking believe you!''
She had no choice. Would you rather have her call the girl's mother in the middle of her shift and ask her to pick up her daughter because the girl has (obviously) experienced a broken heart?
''Don't yell at me!'' She scowls at him, pursing her lips as she starts to justify her actions. (She hasn't even done anything yet!) ''You're sister needed me. You should've heard her Noah, what else was I supposed to do?'' She clenches her jaw. ''I haven't even done anything wrong!''
''You almost would!'' Noah shouts, turning the wheel around as he sees the building before him. ''If you had your car here you'd go without telling a fucking soul.'' He sighs, shaking his head. ''It's my sister for Christ sake. Didn't you think I needed to know about the fucked up boy who made her cry?'' He narrows his eyes. He looks really scary.
''She called me, Noah. She asked me not totell anyone. What did you think I was going to do? Betray her trust?''
He doesn't miss a beat. ''Hell yes!''
She rolls her eyes. ''Would you rather have her not call me at all and be left alone?''
He stops talking and castes a sideways glance. His grip on the steering wheel relaxes. ''No… I wouldn't.'' He relaxes. ''It's just – fuck – I just. I'm her brother. She needs to turn to me for that shit.''
''Maybe she doesn't want you to beat the boy into a pulp?''
He shrugs, like he gets that. ''Yeah, well. Serves him right.'' He parks in front of the building and closes the engine. Leaning against his seat. ''I don't want her to get hurt, too, y'know.''
She nods. She gets it. She gets what he's going at. ''And you think because of my decision involving Finn, I would cause her to make the same mistakes.'' She never really asks.
And he never answers.
Rachel steps out of the car and walks up to Becca. Rebecca looks confused as she stares the truck down behind her. ''How could you?'' Becca looks pointedly at Noah stepping out of the car. ''I told you not to tell him!''
''I had to. He was my only transport.''
''Yeah right.'' Becca replies bitterly.
''Just so you know we could've left you here in the cold, too.'' Noah says coming to stand next to her. She feels just a bit happier that he's backing her up. ''Now, tell me. Where's the douche who needs a good spanking.'' He cracks his knuckles. ''These guns are gonna send some bullets.''
''Noah!'' Rachel demolishes, shaking her head. ''You are not going to beat him. Violence is never the answer.''
''I kinda want him to beat, Nick.''
Nick. What a nice name for such a horrendous boy. ''No you don't.''
''Yes she does.'' Noah says. ''Didn't you hear her?''
''I did. And I tell you it's not going to happen.'' He looks at her like she's got two heads. She shrugs it off. ''And that's final.''
''Fine.'' He mutters.
Becca looks at both of them, raising her eyebrow. ''You guys are really, somethin'.''
''We know we are.'' He puts an arm around Rachel's shoulders, pulling her flush against his side. She rolls her eyes but doesn't make any motion to push him off.
(What? It feels nice.)
''Can we just go. I don't want to stay here any longer.''
''Don't you want to talk about it?'' Rachel asks. Looking back at her motherly. ''Talking about it takes it off your chest. It feels good.''
''I bet it does.'' He juts his chin her way. ''Take it from her to know that talking does wonders. Probably only for herself though – it never helps the people around her.''
Rachel glares. ''Oh, hush.''
''I don't really know what there is to talk about.'' Rebecca says, ignoring the two bickering before her. ''His girlfriend came, they kissed. He acted like he didn't know me. I tried talking to him, she teased me, and he just – he just laughed.'' She shrugs. ''He's not even worth my breath, anyway.''
Noah looks at Rachel. ''Déjà vu, don't you think?''
''Don't even start, Noah!'' Rachel pipes up.
''Can we just go home?'' He nods in reply, and Rachel shoots her a yes.
Rebecca walks past them to the truck as Rachel intends to move away from Noah's grasp and on to follow Rebecca, but he stops her by grabbing her hand and things just feel different now.
(In a good way.)
''Maybe you should write notes about today.'' She quirks an eyebrow up. Looking at him. ''Maybe you'd know how you're going to end up if you keep trailing behind Finnegan.''
He lets her hand go and walks forward.
And words have never left her more indecisive, then his.
It was all about Rebecca.
That was the original plan.
The poor girl had a tough week after Nick's cruel behavior (he even dared talking to her again at school. Douche bag.) And even though Noah had offered to punch his nose in ('please le' me hit him. Please le' me hit him. Please. Please. Please.') It's not wise to low their standards to Nick's level.
It doesn't really help with feeling bad, and down and utterly depressed, though.
She suggested a day in the park. Noah wanted to go see a movie – a kick ass movie with blood and guns and screaming girls that get murdered somewhere underneath a midnight sky in a dark alley – she said 'no' ('that's not an appropriate film for a child, Noah.') of course both of them had disagreed.
Why must she always be the responsible one?
Anyway, the park seemed like a valuable better option than bloody films.
And it was. It still is. But after an hour or so, Becca skipped off to go play with a friend who was walking with a few dogs (a dog walker she guesses. It probably explains the six or so dogs rounding her feet) and she was there with Noah, and they were talking about so many things (comic books, life, graduation, relationships, and families) it just… sort of clicked.
He's actually really sweet.
(She never thought that not even in a million years would she say that about him.) But she did, and she doesn't regret the thought anyway.
When he asks her what she sees in Finn she's suddenly out of words. It's like the sentences, the words, and the mere thought of it is lost somewhere in head, and she needs time to retrieve it.
(She wonders if she wants to retrieve it.)
He's waiting for an answer, and she's looking up at the sky. Her lips a thin fine line. She's thinking. Really thinking. Like hard thinking. But not a word has been retrieve yet and she just doesn't want to think about it anymore (at least not today).
She looks down at the dogs running behind Rebecca, her friend trying to (failing miserably) to call them back.
Her feet jump up, a smile breaking on her face. ''I'll race you there.''
''What?'' He asks, still looking at her.
She points to the dogs and the screaming Rebecca. ''The first person to get the biggest quantity and manages to stop them has the privilege of spending as long as they want in the bathroom.''
''Hey. Hold up!'' He shakes his head, standing up. ''That's not fair.'' She quirks an eyebrow up, as if to ask why. Noah brushes the backside of his jeans. ''That's only something that you'd want.''
''Don't you want that too?''
He shrugs. ''Not really. I spend like five minutes in the bathroom… Besides, I'd give you the time to do your shit anyway.'' Her cheeks raise up, eyes glinting. ''Better yet… The first one to get the most dogs to quiet down has to do all the chores for a week.''
''Deal.'' She runs ahead up to the dogs, hearing him shout somewhere behind her that she's playing dirty for never announcing when they've started.
She knows she's playing dirty, but that's what makes it all the more fun.
(She never tells him that she had a job as a dog walker when she was twelve. She never hears him bring up the subject of Finn again. And it only strikes her, after she wins – jumping up and down with joy and relishing in his annoyed (happy, he's happy too) demeanor – that she hasn't written in her note block 'ways to get Finn to love me again' for over two weeks.)
It's an achievement. Might she say.
It's not easy living with Noah. He can be crass, mean, sweet, irritating and simply unbearable. It's all in one. She gets the whole package. Nothing less, nothing over the top. It's nice, really. It gives her the chance to meet Noah and 'Puck'. She knows Puck; it's the boy who sleeps with cougars and treats girls as one night stands (take them and leave them). It's the boy who throws poor students into a trash can and never shows up at Math because he feels like that's the bad ass thing to do. She knows Noah to, contrary to others. Becca knows Noah, Edna knows Noah, Finn probably knows Noah too – in some way – and her dads know Noah too (they were there during Noah's father's getaway).
Noah is the boy who's sweet. He's smart and talented. It's not that 'Puck' isn't those things, but Noah is just the gentler version. The sweet, caring, loving version. The one that knows sorrow, the one that can cry the one that does have a heart.
She gets 'Puck' on Friday night one month in her stay at the Puckermans.
It's an accident, she reminds herself. Things like that just happen.
Living with them feels like home really, they're nice and sweet and sometimes it just reminds her of home. If she thinks of home she thinks of loneliness (she's never lonely with the Puckermans, though) if she thinks of loneliness she thinks about nobody being home except her. When she thinks of being home alone it's naturally that she doesn't lock the door while bathing.
It's her fault and it is his fault too.
(Whatever happened to knocking?)
She can't blame him, really. But she's still pissed off.
Maybe she should've, like, let the water run down so he could've at least have a clue that she's in there.
But in a moment like this there isn't really much to process.
She unbuckles her robe, releasing it as it pools down to her feet and bares her completely. And right at that moment, exactly on cue, he just had to open the door, hadn't he? He just had to step in unabashedly, with that bored expression on his face and his handsome looks just oozing off of him, hadn't he? And she just had to turn around right at that moment to grant him access to see her completely.
(Why world? Why?)
He never really takes his eyes off of her. Which are just bad manners all together. She tries covering herself up, wrapping her arms around her chest and pressing her legs together. But it takes like a second for it to really sink into her head that she's still completely naked before him. So she turns around and hides herself from his face value.
She knows that this is the 'Puck' everyone knows and not the sweet hearted Noah, because not only does she not hear the door close (which obviously means that he's still staring at her, now at her rear end) but he also comments, very Pucklike. ''Nice ass, babe.''
She had to pick her robe up and push him out of the bathroom if she ever wanted him to leave.
''Wait. Come on, let me stay. I'll be a good boy. Promised.'' His tedious (endearing) smirk is the last thing she wants to see at this moment.
She doesn't look him in the eyes as she turns away. But he's fast and grabs her wrist. Halting her to a stop and attains her from ever moving. His lips dip lowly and his warm breath breezes against her ear.
(This is so wrong – yet so right.)
''If you like it that way, we could make it work.''
She pulls her wrist out of his hand, shooting him a glare. Not giving him the pleasure of seeing what that mere lethal action has done to her.
He never looks at her the same way again.
Two weeks pass, and she gets the call on Monday after school. She's walking with Noah and Becca to the kitchen ready to make her famous sugar cookies.
(They've begged her all the way through the drive to make some. And who is she to not give in to their childlike commands? Besides, she just can't ignore Noah's hazel eyes when they look at her like that.)
She puts the flower on the kitchen table and Noah walks past her to take the sugar. It's strange how he has finally adjusted to her so much that he's willing to help her and be like a really good guy.
It surprises her. Really.
(Not as much though. Not anymore.)
Becca's talking about gymnastics and how she – during dodge ball – threw the ball against Nick's head. Noah's reply, ''Serves the douche right for footballing with your heart.''
She hears her phone beep in the middle of Becca's story and tells them that she'll continue in a few minutes. They tell her okay before continuing their conversation. When she picks up her phone and sees her daddy's number the first thing she expects to feel idly joy – overjoy – to be precisely.
She feels nothing.
Noah stops pouring sugar into the bowl, and Becca suddenly becomes quite.
''Oh, that's great.'' She tries ignoring their stares. But it gets harder with every second. ''Yes. That really is great news… so, Wednesday. Yes, I'll tell Ms. Puckerman.'' The lump that she feels in her throat should not be there. But it is, and she does feel that jab at her heart when they tell her that Wednesday is going to be her last day with the Puckermans.
''I love you too. Bye.''
When she looks at Noah while closing her phone he looks like somebody kicked him in the nuts. He doesn't try to show any emotion, because it's suddenly not Noah anymore who she's looking at but 'Puck', and he never does show any trace of pain. He never did when his father left, and he didn't show any emotion afterwards. It's just how this side of him is. A complex package.
(Secretly she wants to figure everything about him out.)
Becca is different though. And Rachel was certain that Noah ('Puck') and Becca were like two biscuits in the same package. But they're not. And Rebecca runs away without sparing her another glance.
Noah never talks about it, not even when Wednesday comes.
(He never even ate her cookies.)
Wednesday couldn't come any slower.
It's been two days since the phone call and Becca never tried talking to her. More likely, she was avoiding her like the plague.
Noah didn't seem any better. He'd talk to her, sit next to her while watching TV, told her good night before going to bed and walked with her to all her classes. But he never did do the usual things he used to do before the news. He never teases her anymore, smiles because she talks too much for her own health or sometimes lets her envelop her arm into his because she just loves feeling him so close.
It's worse because he's pretending to be unfazed, hiding all of his emotions, because he thinks that it's the bad ass thing to do. Because everyone else expects him to be untouchable. Because that's who 'Puck' is and that's what he has to be. (Not wants to be – has to be.)
But it's okay to break down once in a while.
Take it from her; suppressing emotions never revolves well.
She packs her things and waits on the couch for the inevitable knock. Edna is standing uncomfortably next to the sofa and moving from one foot to the other.
It surprises her when Noah walks down the stairs to sit next to her. Neither seems to move.
Edna picks up. She has, like this 'they need to be left alone to talk' radar, that some mommies have. Is it natural for mothers to have those kinds of things? Movies do averment her words. ''I should… I should probably – oh, I think I left the stove on.'' Without waiting for a retort, Edna runs to the kitchen.
It's an undeniable lie.
But probably for the best, though.
''Rebecca is angry.'' He starts eyes ahead at the off TV screen.
She nods. Gaze attached to the wall before her as her eyes trace the scorching patterns.
In her house they have blank walls, no patterns to stare at.
She sort of loves this version more. ''I know.'' She mutters.
''Yeah.'' He retorts.
''We could still see each other.'' Rachel tries, biting her lip. ''Nothing's going to chance… Except me moving out. But it was inevitable, nonetheless. We all knew that this day was coming.''
He absently nods.
Doesn't mean he suddenly likes it.
''Are you going to miss me? I mean –'' God, stop sounding so needy for a reaction. ''I do know Rebecca's going to miss me, and your mom too – but you? What about you?'' For the first time she looks next to her to see his expression.
He doesn't show much.
It's because he doesn't want to. Not that he can't.
''I dunno.'' He shrugs, leaning against the couch. ''I guess… I guess so.'' He moves his head to meet her eyes. ''I'm kinda confused, right now.'' His eyes shrink, a little glint shifting through them. ''About a lot of things.''
She can see him thinking, and she wonders about what.
(About her, maybe? About Becca? About her fathers? About Quinn?)
It's probably about all of those things – except her.
She's not important enough to be thought about (just look at Finn). She knows that now.
It doesn't hurt.
(Only that it actually, does.)
Her eyes widen, lips slightly parted. ''Are you going to miss me?'' She closes her mouth, looking slightly around.
''We'd still see each other around.'' She tries not to scream at him to tell her more than just 'yeah' she needs full sentences and heartbreaking words. And tears and knees and love confessions. She won't pressure him and she won't ask him. But she won't stop thinking about that either. ''We'd still see each other at school and I could always come over.''
''It's not the same.'' He mutters, eyes glazing over her face.
And there it is again.
That same look he gives her all the time.
And life is throwing her those balls, but she keeps dodging them instead of catching one.
''I can always come over – if you want me, of course – we can always… hang out, if you'd like.'' She bites her lip nervously. ''Or we can simply just. You know…''
''Yeah.'' He nods. ''I know.''
Neither speaks for what feels like hours. Neither wonders where Edna has gone off to, and oddly, them two, in a room together, completely still, feels strangely comfortable.
A honk is what breaks the moment.
Before she knows it, Edna's back, giving her a hug. And Rachel's standing up because staying here any longer is making it harder for her to leave. She's positive that if she's not gone in the next five minutes or so, that she'll fall on her knees, clamp onto Edna's legs and beg her to let her stay.
(And no, she's not being dramatic. God.)
She opens the door and her eyes find the familiar car of her fathers. The black BMW with dad behind the wheel and daddy sitting next to him. She exhales – she needs those breaths – as her daddy walks out with this smile on his face that illuminates her world.
And she suddenly understands why she wanted them back before. She gets the reason why she can't stand it when they're gone.
She needs them; like she needs air. She needs them; like Broadway needs her, she needs them; like the stage and she need each other.
She gets it.
She's ready to go.
Rachel steps out, turning around to tell Noah and Edna goodbye when she gets attacked by a hug.
It's a hug that clamps her tightly and holds her like the person's dear life depends on it. ''I'll miss you, Rachel.''
She shatters, just a bit (just a tiny bit), letting go of her luggage to hold Rebecca against her. Her hair smells like citrus. She's going to miss that smell. ''I'll miss you too.''
It's a heartbreaking moment that ends too soon.
''Let Rachel go honey, she needs to leave.''
Beck reluctantly lets go. Tear strikes haunting her beautiful face. Rachel reaches a finger out to wipe a falling droplet away.
She actually wants to see this reaction coming from Noah.
But wishful thinking is wishful.
''I'll come over as soon as I have time, and then we'll hang out.'' She smiles, because that will nail her words against the roof. She squeezes Becca's shoulder, because that would make her believe Rachel. She exhales, because if Becca sees that it takes a lot out of her to leave, maybe she wouldn't hate her forever. ''I promise.''
It's a promise that she intends to keep, as she walks away with her luggage trailing behind her.
'10.16 pm – It's quiet without you.'
'10.17 pm – Miss me already, Noah? Can't say I blame you… I am a very memorable person, aren't I?'
'10.17 pm – Dim the attitude babe. I never said that I miss you. Just that it's kind'f quiet without you. Is all.'
'10.20 pm – You are such a liar, Noah. But I'll leave you to those suffocating puddles of falsehoods, and pray that you won't drown in your own nonsense. So, how is Rebecca doing, and your mother? I know evidently that this was hard on them – contrary to you – and I hope that neither of them broke down too much – not that you know anything about break downs, as you love to – just love to – keep everything puddled up!'
'10.24 pm – You angry or something? Cuz you do sound pissed off.'
'10.26 pm – No I'm not angry, Noah. I'm just perfectly fine. I just left your family whom has been nothing but kind and bounteous to me while my own family had left me for the billionth time. And there you are, on your phone, texting me like nothing's wrong. So no, I am not angry.'
'10.27 pm – So, you are pissed.'
'10.33 pm – Rach, you there?'
'10.36 pm – Come on. I didn't mean it like that.'
'10.44 pm – Fine whateves. Don't need you anyway.'
'10.58 pm – Really low life of you to shut your fucking phone off when I'm phoning you! But that's just another side of Rachel fucking Berry that the whole damn world didn't know, ain't it?'
'11.03 pm – I don't fucking need you anyway!'
'11.15 pm – Fuck you.'
'11.16 pm – Seriously. Go. To. Hell.'
'11.20 pm – Just pick up your phone, alright. I'm… I'm sorry okay. I'm sorry for whatever shit I said.'
'11.21 pm – What do you want me to say? That I miss you? That I care for you? That I want you to choose Finn over me? No fuck it! I'm not saying that shit!'
'11.21 pm – You're too crazy for me anyway.'
'11.24 pm – I miss you Rachel.'
'11.30 pm – Please pick up your phone, this is killing my prepaid.'
'00.02 pm – You're just enjoying this aren't you?'
'00.11 pm – I'm done chasing your ass all over. I'm done trying to sound like a chivalrous retard who'd strike a fucked up dramatic pose 'cause it'd make you happy. I'm not like that.'
'00.24 pm – I love you Rachel. Don't you believe me? Should I like, fuck, go on my knees or something. Or like, go up to your house… 'Cause I will, I swear on all my secret x-men action figures, I'd climb up your house – Romeo style, 'cause you love that fucked up movie and watched it like a thousand fucking times when you were still here – and declare you my love and stuff. Shit… this sounds so fucking cheesy.'
'00.27 pm – Just pick up the phone, please?'
She stops putting her books in her locker, turning her head sideways as her right hand grips the iron material. ''Finn.'' She grimly replies. ''How are you?''
He nods sheepishly, tugging the strap of his bag tighter. ''Good. You?''
She shrugs, nodding. She's better, actually. ''Yes, I've been good, too.''
He nods understandingly, staring at her for a moment. She feels uncomfortable, to say the least. ''And… how's, Puck?''
His voice has a light undertone.
''Fine, I guess.'' She looks slightly around. ''I haven't talked to him since I left.''
''Yes. My dads came.''
''Oh…'' He says, pursing his lips. He leans against the lockers next to hers, staring ahead. She follows his gaze. Seeing a bunch of students walking to their respective classes, chattering along the way about what they've experienced. Her eyes travel back to Finn's.
He shouldn't be leaning against that locker. Becky won't be happy if she sees the quarterback leaning against her locker. Unless he aims to get kicked in the nuts.
''What happened to us?'' Finn pipes up, frowning slightly. He sighs contently. ''How did we come here?''
Here as in what? As in talking – as in being less than friends – as in that awkward vibe hovering around them?
She doesn't know.
Rachel looks down. ''I don't know –''
''I wish we could go back to before.'' He cuts in.
Her eyes travel back to his, lips parted.
It's a light déjà vu. It feels like that moment when she first met Jesse and fell instantly in love with his charms and personality. But then right here near her locker Finn had to come around, willing to take her back with raised arms to sweep her off her feet. He wanted to be her charmer.
''I wished that too.'' He looks down at her. ''I wanted that too.'' She exhales, meeting his brownish puppy doe eyes. He's so cute.
But this – him here – it's just not enough anymore.
(When did she become so wise?)
Finn licks his lips. ''But not anymore.'' He sounds disappointed.
He takes his eyes from hers, gaze traveling back to the students.
He talks again, loud and clearer. ''It's him. Isn't it?''
She knows who he's talking about.
(She can't bring herself to lie to him.)
What happens afterwards is a blur. She's still tangled up in that universe where she had come to the decision that her and Finn are perhaps simply not meant to be. Her eyes are looking down at her figure and he's holding her tightly, his nose in her hair as he inhales her sent. They exchange polite goodbyes and smiles that mean so much.
She hears – inside that strangled up universe – his lips muttering 'I love you' in her ear. And she smiles because she needed to hear that. She needed to know what that three letter verb would evoke in her. And when she feels nothing, she mutters it back.
And that's their goodbye.
She watches him walk away, head held high as she closes her locker when he rounds the corner.
At the moment she wants to go to her class, their eyes connect. Hazel meets chocolate.
She's never seen him more peevish than now.
At last, Rachel Berry has awoken emotions out of Noah Puckerman.
But not the ones that she craved.
It takes a lot out of her to knock on his wooden door.
After the little incident (which was really, nothing to worry about) she had to run to catch up with him. Like really, run. He even brushed her off when she tried talking to him. Using silly excuses ('Whateves Berry, I need to go to my class') which is completely bull because Noah never goes to Math to even begin with.
It's not like something happened between her and Finn.
(And what if it did? It's none his business.)
His door opens and she plasters on a bright smile. ''Rebecca, hi.''
Rebecca mimics her smile, grabbing her around the waist in a tight embrace. ''I can't believe you actually came!''
''Of course I did. Didn't I promise?''
Rebecca nods, grabbing her hand and pulling her in the house. ''I knew you would.'' Rebecca turns around to close the door. ''Noah said you wouldn't… He didn't believe you like I did.'' Rachel frowns, staring up at the stairs that lead to his room. ''But he's always full of crap. I never let his words get to me, anyway.''
''It's good that you don't.'' She turns around, crossing her arms beneath her chest. ''Is he home? I need to talk to him.''
Rebecca nods, pointing up at the stairs. ''He's right up there. After he got home he was sulking and swearing underneath his breath the whole time… he didn't even watch x-men with me.''
Oh, Lord. It's far more serious than she thought.
Rachel nods, turning around and making her way up to the stairs. ''Thank you.''
''Rachel, wait.'' She turns around, whipping her hair over her other shoulder as she stares the smaller girl down. ''I just… I'm really, really happy that you came… now we can all be friends like before.'' Becca chews her lips. ''Before you and Noah went to high school.''
Maybe they really could.
Perhaps never the same… But everything is worth a try.
''Noah?'' She mutters, knocking on his door. ''Are you there?'' It's silly, really, asking if he's there when she knows that he's indeed present in his room. ''Can I come in?'' He doesn't answer. But she takes a shot anyway. Her hand clamps the doorknob tightly, turning it over and pushing the door open. ''Noah?'' She tugs her head through the door, looking around in his room.
Her eyes fall on the figure on the bed, tuning softly on his guitar.
It's a soft recognizable ditty.
And when he starts humming the lyrics, her lips sing along.
Beauty queen of only eighteen
She had some trouble with herself
He was always there to help her
She always belonged to someone else
His hand stills on the guitar as his eyes look up to meet hers.
He doesn't say anything as she steps in closes his door behind her and walks up to his lying body.
''Hey.'' She starts.
He juts his chin in recognition. ''You know this song?''
She nods, crossing her arms as she moves from one foot to the other. ''I love this song.'' She purses her lips. ''I used to always listen to it when my dads bought a Maroon 5 CD and played it every single day.'' She grins. ''I was so curious at my age, surfing through the songs and listening to all of them. And then I found that one… never stopped listening.''
He looks like he's about to smile – but he never lets himself. ''Why are you here, Rachel?''
She shrugs. ''You tell me.'' He raises his eyebrows putting the guitar gentle on the empty space next to him.
''I don't get it.''
''Neither do I.'' She bites back. She rolls her eyes when he tries to look innocent. ''Today at school you completely dismissed me.''
''Serves you right.'' Noah grunts out. ''I called you all night long and you didn't even pick up your damn phone.'' She pales slightly. ''I even texted you.''
''Oh, so you do know?'' He stands up, crossing his way towards her. ''Why didn't you respond? Scared that I'd smell your bullshit throughout the phone?''
''What are you going at?''
''You and Finn, that's what. You thought I wouldn't notice, didn't you?''
''This is absurd Noah.'' She shakes her head, frowning when he blows out a laugh. ''What are you accusing me of?''
''Today, at your locker… I saw you two, all cozy and shit.'' He shakes his head, throwing his hands in the air. ''You know what Rachel… I really thought that you had at least a tiny bit of sanity left.'' He holds his thumb and index finger slightly for affirmation. ''But I guess crazy took you over completely.''
''How dare you! I haven't –''
''Come. The. Fuck. On. I saw you two. Wanna call my eyes liars?''
She shakes her head. This conversation isn't going anywhere.
She shouldn't have come here in the first place.
''I don't need this right now Noah.'' She steps away from him. ''I'm leaving.''
''Yeah, go ahead, run, ignore.'' He shouts at her back. ''It's what cowards do best!''
She stops abruptly in her tracks, turning around.
''How dare you!'' She points a finger at him, glaring at his daring look. ''You are the biggest coward in the world!''
''Yes you are!'' She stomps her foot, walking up to him, steps larger than normal. ''You call me a coward? Me? Have you lately been looking in the mirror? I bet you'd be surprised at what you see! All this time – all this time – you were bubbling your emotions up because that's what 'Puck' does best. That's what everyone expects Puck to do! But you can't stop to think that maybe… just maybe showing a little bit of emotion could make you less of a jerk! Maybe, I could than look at you without think that you're a cruel monster!'' She shakes her head, waving a hand to his bed. ''Maybe, I like this Noah who sits up in his room, tuning a song, while looking heartbroken. Maybe I love this Noah, because this one… this one shows humanity.''
She licks her lips. ''If we're going to talk about cowards, Noah – oh, I mean, Puck.'' He flinches at the sound of his nickname leaving her lips. ''Then, you're the coward.''
''You don't get it.'' He bites out.
But she shakes her head. ''I do get it… you've been hurt so many times – it's completely natural.'' She grabs his hand, looking in his hazel eyes. They're so expressive right now. ''But if you love me as you say you do, you shouldn't hide this part of you away from me. Because I won't ever think less of you if you'd break down and cry right in front of me.''
He laughs. ''You would love that, wouldn't you?''
She shrugs slightly. ''A little bit.''
He gets a cheeky grin on his face, moving downwards to capture her lips in his.
She gives in.
His lips are soft against hers and his body feels so right.
He moves away for an inch to look down at her. ''So, there's nothing going on between you and Finn?''
She nods, still high from the kiss. ''I told him it's over.''
He wraps his arms around her body, pressing her flush against him. It feels oddly, nice. ''Good. I want you all to myself anyway.''
She couldn't have said it any better.