AN: Forgive the cheesy ending, I wrote this at work. Set during the episode "Props" in Season 3. Lyrics belong to Taylor Swift. I do not own Glee or its characters.
And darling it was good, never looking down, and right there where we stood was holy ground…
She grabbed the last book out of her locker, shutting it closed with a loud slam. She re-adjusted her bag over her shoulder and turned to make her way out of the school. The halls were almost empty by now, so it didn't take her long to get through. She was halfway to her car when she heard a commotion.
She turned her head to see a large group of people standing near the dumpsters. Normally, she would have turned her nose at their immaturity, but something made her want to investigate. Curiosity killed the cat, she told herself.
She shook her head, and stepped closer. A school bus was parked next to the crowd, and she peered around the corner to get a better look. There stood five or ten students, all cheering on the infamous Rick "The Stick" Nelson – who looked as if he'd been punched a few times. He was taunting someone she couldn't see; probably a poor freshman laying on the ground.
Suddenly, his opponent got to his feet. It was Puck. She sucked in a sharp breath at his appearance. He looked just as bad as Rick, if not worse. His lip was split and bleeding, and his eye was starting to turn purple. His clothes were dirty and wrinkled, too, she noticed.
Rick took another swing, and she had to turn away. Tears pricked at her eyes when she heard his body slam into the dumpster. The crowd of students cheered. She heard a few choice words about his father, and she gritted her teeth. That was a low blow, Rick. She couldn't take it anymore, so she opened her eyes. She moved closer to see the crowd dissipating, but she couldn't see Puck.
She moved closer carefully, calling out his name in a whisper. "Puck?" Suddenly, she heard a groan from inside the dumpster. There he was lying inside it atop the piles of garbage bags, bloody and bruised. She let out a gasp, running towards the dumpster and putting her hands on the edge. "Puck! Are you okay?" She gasped out, feeling terrible for not intervening sooner.
He groaned again, opening his eyes. "Am I dead?" He whispered, looking up at her. She didn't answer right away. He lifted a weak hand, clearly asking for her help to get out. She wasn't strong, but she gave him her hand. "No, you're not dead…why?" She asked him once he'd gotten out.
He sighed sadly, and took a seat on the asphalt of the parking lot. She remained standing, waiting for his answer. "It doesn't matter." He paused, dropping his head into his hands. "Nothing matters." She frowned, wiping her face quickly to get rid of the tears she'd shed earlier. She took a seat on the ground next to him. "You matter to me." She whispered.
He looked up at her, lifting his head out of his hands. He was crying. "You don't mean that," he said, shaking his head as he started to get up. She placed a hand on his arm, stopping him. "Yes, I do. You matter to me, and a lot of other people." He shook his head once more, brushing her hand off of his arm, and getting up. He started pacing. "You don't get it, Quinn! I'm a joke!"
She sat there in silence and disbelief at his words. "I'm a deadbeat! You all have your big futures and I'm not even graduating!" She got up, taking his hand in hers. "Come with me," she whispered, dragging him into the school. She took him straight to her locker and stopped there, looking him in the eye. "What are you doing?" He asked her.
"Showing you how much you're worth." She told him, putting in her combination and opening her locker. No one had seen the inside of it since she'd re-decorated. He let out a gasp. Pictures of him, her, Beth, and their friends adorned the inside of her locker. Two pictures in particular were of him and Beth, smiling widely and looking completely happy.
She heard his breath catch in his throat, and she wrapped an arm around him. "Someone once told me that the first step in becoming an adult is to stop blaming yourself for things you did when you were a child." She whispered, pulling him closer. "Beth is something we will always share. No matter how bad our lives seem, we can always say that we did something perfect."
He looked down at her, and their eyes locked for a moment before he pulled his away to look back at the pictures. "I'm going to Yale this fall. I'm going to try to make something of myself…for her." She told him, dropping her head onto his shoulder. They hadn't shared this much affection in so long, she thought.
His arm slowly snaked around her waist, and their sides pressed together. A few silent moments passed. Suddenly, he spoke, pulling her out of her thoughts. "There is…one more chance." He told her, looking down at her with optimism in his eyes.
She looked up at him, raising an eyebrow. "If I make a good grade on my last geography test, I might be able to graduate." He said, dropping her gaze, his cheeks heating. She gave him a small smile, and put a finger under his chin. She turned his face to look at her.
"I guess we've got a lot of studying to do then, don't we?" She said playfully. His other arm wrapped around her, pulling her into a warm and tight hug. She let out a laugh, putting her arms around him tightly as well. They pulled apart, looking into each other's eyes.
Before Quinn could even move for a second, his lips were crashing onto hers. She responded with just as much force, thinking it had been far too long since they'd kissed and how she'd been missing it so badly. His hands held her hips with gentleness, while her hands went to his hard and toned chest, where they remained. They continued kissing for a few more seconds, Puck's tongue travelling into her mouth ever so gently. He pulled away soon after, cradling her close in his arms.
"I still love you, you know." He whispered, staring right at her. Her laugh choked on her tears of happiness, and she laid her head on his chest. "I love you, too," she told him, not wanting to let go. They stood there in silence, arms wrapped around each other. Both were nervous of their futures, but they didn't need to think about that. If they had each other, they could make it through anything.