Hello everyone! Thanks for the lovely response to the first two chapters. Here is number three! I hope that you enjoy.

-Chapter Three-

***September 2003***

"I miss Miss Sokoloff."

Noah looked to his right, where Rachel Berry had appeared out of nowhere, like the pinkest, smallest ninja of all time. He shifted as they stood in front of the busy school on their very first day at secondary school. Fourth grade. Nap time was officially over. Recess would be replaced with physical education classes. They would have lockers now, not stinking communal cubbies. Bathroom breaks would be taken between classes and no teacher would have to walk them there in a huge pied piper line of poopers and pee'ers.

Being eleven and in fourth grade and in secondary school freaking rocked.

"Oh look! It's Aaron Mackery!" Rachel announced cheerfully, her voice a chirpy, seemingly deadly weapon.

Noah cringed as Aaron ignored Rachel and walked into the school. That douchebag was the worst half-Jew to ever walk the Earth, Puck was sure of it. He knew that the kid would rather die than admit he knew two fourth-graders from Jew-camp. Noah rolled his eyes as Rachel made one small tiny hurt squeak before squaring her shoulders as she looked up at the big, scary school.

"Do you think we'll have classes together?" she wondered softly.

"Doubt it," Noah mumbled as he slowly began to amble towards the front doors. Rachel followed in his footsteps before turning very suddenly and waving with the hugest grin on her face at her fathers and Noah's mother, who was taking as many pictures as she could as the two walked towards their first day of secondary school.

"But? How could we not? I mean, you're my only frie-you're the only person I know here," she finished lamely. "And really, there aren't that many children here, do you think they'll need to split up the fourth grade that severely?"

"Severely?" Noah repeated quietly. He stopped his slow, torturous walk up to the front steps of the building and shook his head in a mixture of confusion and amusement. "That's the thing Berry-pants. You say words that I'm NEVER gonna be able to spell. Like ever."

"I don't see why that should mean we won't be in classes together," Rachel disputed.

"It's not grade school anymore, they gotta keep the smart kids away from the dumb ones, or else the smart kids will catch stupid and then everyone will be stupid," Noah explained.

"That's ridiculous!" Rachel huffed. "And you're not stupid, Noah. Sure in the past month you've given me a lot of reasons to think that you're not the smartest person on the planet, but you figured out all the guitar chords yourself in just two weeks in time for my end of summer show extravaganza and that displays a…"

"Enough, look, I sort of wish we could be in the same classes, but its not gonna happen," Noah admitted. "You're super smart. I'm dumb and lazy. You're going to be alone in class and so am I. But you gotta promise me something."

"Okay," Rachel said softly.

"Just…try to sort of blend?" Noah offered. He rolled his eyes as he saw his heartfelt advice go in one of her ears and straight out the other one. She was going to be toast by the time lunch rolled around. He glanced down at the bright pink trolley bag she rolled behind her and groaned, "I thought my ma told your dads to get you a real bag!"

"Posture is very important for me and my future in the dance world!" She disputed quickly. She shrugged her shoulders and said, "And I simply don't understand your advice, Noah. Blend? I don't know if that's possible…even if I tried my very best, which you know is—"

"Yeah, yeah. I get it. Look, I'll meet you down there at the corner after school and I'll walk you home, okay?"

Rachel watched as Noah walked towards the school with more speed than he had displayed before. She clutched the handle of her bag and turned her chin upwards as she walked towards the next milestone in her academic career.

***September 2009***

"Do you want to know a dirty little secret none of them want you to know?" Rachel glared around the class room filled with celibacy club members. She took the smallest of breaths and barely managed to keep her eyes on Puck for a fraction of a millisecond before aiming her words at stupid Finn. "Girls want sex just as much as guys do!"

And she turned on her heel, making that ridiculously short skirt of hers flare around ass the tiniest bit. Puck glared as Jacob turned around to question,

"Is-is that accurate?"

"Not for you dude. NEVER for you," Puck clarified before popping the ballon he had been fooling around with moments before in his hands, satisfied with the loud and obnoxious noise.

Rachel's little speech stays with him for the remainder of the week. She wants to have sex? Who the fucking with? And why hadn't he heard about this…oh say four weeks ago when they had plenty of damned opportunity in the basement of the temple? Suck-it-lots was getting to be damned near thirty and he was sure that the woman's hearing was going. She could have let him play doctor. He was after all the most experienced and damned near professional sixteen year old doctor in Lima Ohio. Suck it Doogie Howser, M.D.

But he quickly realized that she hadn't wanted that. Not him anyway. The answer was clear when those curtains parted revealing Berry and her stupid Glee club along with the Paul Bunyan of the not quite so Special Olympics. Seriously...her skirt was ridiculously inappropriate for the dancing she was doing, he could see her fucking spank panties every time she lifted her leg, and-

Oh sweet fucking Christ. She was wearing god-damned knee pads. What the hell was she thinking? Did she even know what mental image came to every pea-brained mind in this school when they saw her in the knee pads?

And the pigtails? She had to have known Jacob Ben-Israel was sitting two rows in front of him. And he would take great pleasure in torturing her with the fact that she had just given Jew-fro the limitless gift of school wood to walk around with all day due to his unhealthy fascination with her hair in pigtails.

He watched as she rapped to a song he had introduced her to four summers ago and fought to keep his face from betraying any emotion whatsoever. He just kept thinking about those Chinese stone soldiers from that Discovery channel special. He was a badass stone soldier…his face would always be this way…he would never, ever show weakness…oh God…Finn was rapping.

Must not die from laughter-must stay as a badass stone soldier.

He felt his lungs almost explode as he desperately swallowed the chuckle that threatened to slip from his stony exterior when the Icecapades kid smacked Finn on the rear end.

-WHAT IN THE EFFIN HELL? What was she DOING? Was she bouncing up and down-oh God, he was going to have a coronary. He could feel a vein in his forehead bulging and pulsing as he felt rage course through his veins.

He was going to tell her dads. He was going to tell his mother. That would teach her a lesson. She had just simulated a sex-act with a Christian boy in front of the school. His mom was going to disown her and rip up the 2020 reservation she had for their inevitable (in her words) wedding.

The school erupted in applause, led by the seriously tent-pantsed Jewfro. Puck remained unmoving however and glared at Mike Chang as the boy had started to clap with the slightest hint of enthusiasm. Mike coughed and brought his hands roughly to his sides. They remained in the gym, waiting for Finn as the entire football team was supposed to be getting instructions from Tanaka about their first away game.

"Did you see Cadillac? And your sister from another mister?" Matt asked Chang excitedly.

"Dude, how many times do I have to tell you, just because we're both Asian, doesn't mean we're related," Mike explained with a surprising amount of patience.

"Whatever dude, same last name," Matt countered. "But still…wasn't it cool?"

Mike couldn't help but grin as he quietly agreed, "Yeah…I mean, did you see Rachel Berry? I mean, every time she bent her knees even just a little…"

"If you don't think about your next few words carefully…we're going to have a problem, Chang," Puck suddenly rumbled, causing the boy to jump slightly. He leveled a glare his friend's way and nodded when Mike mumbled an apology. Puck looked around angrily and wondered, "Where in the hell is Finn, dude?"

***September 2003***

"Remember boys, if you'd like to sign up for peewee football, stop by my desk and grab a permission slip and paperwork for your parents to fill out."

Noah couldn't help the small grin spread across his face. He had been waiting since he was like, three years old to play football. He couldn't do the mini-midget football league because his ma had told him it was way too expensive and completely useless. But now, he could definitely play football on the taxpayer's dime. It was going to be the most awesome thing ever.

He sauntered up to the front of the class as the end of day bell rang on his first day. He waited patiently as the other boys grabbed their information packets and eagerly looked at his.

"Dude…we're totally the McKinley Peewee Beavers! That's FUNNY!"

Noah looked up curiously at the declaration made by the surprisingly tall eleven year old Asian boy in front of him. He wasn't racist or anything, but weren't Asian's supposed to be like, short? He shrugged it off, chuckled and wondered, "What idiot came up with that name? Do adults even KNOW what we call Beaver?"

"Man, my mom doesn't even know that I know a girl has different parts than us," a young black boy commented.

"My mom calls it her bajingo."

Noah looked up, a ridiculous amount of amusement in his eyes at the freakishly large fourth grader. "No shit."

"Seriously. And she calls mine a pogo stick."

The four boys laughed riotously and Puck finally slapped the largest, slightly slow looking boy on the shoulder appreciatively.

"That's priceless…pogo…what's your name? Because if you don't tell me soon, I'm going to call you Pogo the rest of your life."

"Finn…Finn Hudson," Finn said quickly, definitely not wanting to be branded with that particular nickname.

"I'm Mike Chang," the Asian boy reached out a hand to Puck, grinning as he did so.

"Noah Puckerman…"

"Matt Rutherford," the black boy introduced himself. He shook his head at the sign-up sheet and said, "Seriously guys? The kids on the other teams are going to laugh their asses off at this name. What are we going to do?"

Noah thought for a second or two before a slow grin spread on his face, "We'll just tell them we named ourselves after our number one favorite thing."

The boys agreed wholeheartedly as they laughed their way out of the class room. They meandered their way around, stealing into the gymnasium for half an hour and playing a quick game of basketball. They parted ways at the front of the school, Matt and Finn heading north up the block and Mike and Noah heading in the opposite direction. They were discussing the newest Madden game when Noah suddenly froze in his tracks.

Mike looked at him curiously, wondering why he had stopped and why his new friend's body seemed to be stuck in place as he stared towards the end of the block. The eleven year old squinted in the direction Noah's eyes were glued and he saw a small girl sitting under a tree, her left hand clutching the handle of a pink trolley bag while her right hand furiously wiped tears from her eyes. Mike shifted uncomfortably and wondered,

"Is that your little sister?"

Noah could only shake his head no ever so slightly as he walked slowly towards the tree that Rachel had planted herself under due to his firm directions earlier that morning. Mike watched with interest as Noah plopped down next to the girl and was simply quiet as she began blubbering about her horrible day.

"And some girl named Santana Lopez said that I had MAN-HANDS! And her friends laughed themselves silly. And they took all the cheerleader papers and just laughed and laughed at me when I tried to explain to them that with-with all my years of training, and small stature I would be perfect as a tumbler or on the top of the pyramid. They called me MAN-HANDS! My hands are perfectly normally sized!" she sobbed as Noah simply sat cross legged in front of her, his face holding too many complex emotions for Mike to process with his eleven year old brain.

"You're hands aren't normal sized. They're like…miniature tiny midget people hands," Noah said softly. "They're smaller than anybody else's hands. Ever."

"I just-I just want to be in the same class as you. I don't care about smart classes or not as smart classes. I just want a…a f-f-friend!" Rachel wailed, her loud voice ringing out over the school yard. "And I was so scared that they had gotten to you somehow, and that…you wouldn't be my friend. And I was waiting and waiting and I thought for sure."

"I'm here though. I lost track of time, I'm real sorry, Rachel," Noah whispered. "Real sorry."

"S'okay," she mumbled as he grabbed her bag and then her hand. She felt herself being led away from her waiting spot. "I hate secondary school, Noah. I want to go back to summer camp."

Noah looked back to where his new friend had stopped in his tracks, having witnessed the whole thing. He shrugged Mike's way and Mike gave the tiniest smile and a wave back as he headed crossed the street in the direction of his house. He was the youngest child in his family, with four older sisters. He could understand being nice to girls. It had to be done, and it was embarrassing as all get out. But it HAD to be done.

It was the first and last time he had ever seen Noah and Rachel interact and he would never mention it again if he could help it.

***September 2009***

"Dude, what are we doing?"

Puck looked over at Chang and shrugged, "We have a party to get to."

"We can't head over to Quinn's without Finn, she probably wouldn't let us in if we showed up without him," Mike reminded him.

Puck rolled his eyes as they passed the auditorium. The sound of ridiculously high singing coming from a dude that had to be squeezing his balls together to get that sound coming out of his mouth wafted out of the auditorium. Puck shot a half amused, half annoyed look Mike's way and gestured towards the auditorium, "Looks like we found Senor Michael Bolton."

They shared a small laugh before Puck opened the door to the auditorium quietly, as Mike got out his iphone, ever ready to record one of their best friend's warbling. Puck felt his stomach clench at what he saw however. Rachel was sitting on the stage in some ridiculous picnic set-up. She was handing Finn a tiny cup that was perfectly her size, but looked really ridiculous in the hands of the beanstalk giant.

"Seriously, can't you talk to her about those skirts? They're going to wind up killing some dude," Mike whispered.

"We talked about you looking at her legs, Jackie Chang," Puck gruffly intoned.

"If you're talking to me for oogling her legs, you should talk to Finn for-"

Mike's whisper drifted off however and Puck felt his world slip slightly as he watched Rachel and Finn kissing and rolling around on that stage. He felt that throbbing vein in his forehead and the rage that he knew was coming as his eyesight darkened. Mike reached out and closed the door quietly looking at a frighteningly blank Puck.

"Man, you should have told Finn…I knew she was off-limits. Hell, I even told Matt, but Finn…I love him like a big stupid Of Mice and Men brother, but dude, he couldn't possibly have known! I never told him…I never thought he'd need to know he's been after Quinn Fabray since we were twelve!"

Quinn. That was his answer. That was the only thing running through his brain at that moment. Finn had just taken something from him. Noah shrugged off Mike's hand that had found its way to his shoulder and said, "Let's stop and see if the stop and save will give us some wine coolers before we head to Fabray's."

Puck was going to be taking something of Finn's now. It was only fair.

***September 2003***

Noah walked from the school, Mike Chang in tow. They walked towards the corner together, and as they got close to what Mike internally referred to as the tiny elf-girl's tree, Mike started saying his goodbyes to his friend as he walked across the street to his side of town.

Rachel peaked around the trunk of the tree as Mike walked out of sight and asked, "He's gone right?"

"Yeah, Berry-pants. I thought I told you," he smirked at her. "You don't gotta hide from my friends."

"I know that's what you said, but even if I've only just turned eleven, I'm still acutely aware that status in school is a really important thing," Rachel said quickly, her cheeks flushing.

"What's acutely? Are you calling yourself cute?" Noah wondered.

"It sort of means…very, like I'm super very aware," Rachel clarified.

"You're acutely Berry," Noah chuckled.

"Stop being nice to me," Rachel demanded. The firm control in her voice left no room for an argument. This was an order.

"What? You're my friend. Suck-it-lots accomplished her summer goal and made us friends in four weeks at Jew-internment Summer Camp," Noah insisted, shrugging off her completely insane demand. If he stopped being her friend, his mother would murder him, bring him back to life and then murder him again.

"That is a very inappropriate phrase, Noah," Rachel shook her head. She reached on top of her trolley and produced a white bakery box. "These are for comforting me earlier this week. I realize that I'm a very emotional girl…and I promise to control it in the future. I've discussed this with my fathers and we all realize that given the fact of my unusual family and big star personality, I'm never going to be the most popular girl…but I can't let them see me cry."

"Its okay to cry sometimes," Noah shrugged, grabbing her trolley.

"No, it's not. Crying will only let them think that I'm weak. And I'm not," Rachel insisted.

"I know that," Noah nodded, opening the box of cookies she had given him and shoving one in his mouth.

Rachel seemed to sense an opportunity as one cookie became two, then two and a half. She began talking very rapidly, intent on getting all of her ridiculously large words out all at once before he could chew and swallow.

"I was serious earlier. You need to stop being so nice to me. One of these days, Santana Lopez and the rest of the cheerleaders are going to see you and me at this corner, and they're going to tell everyone that your friends with what they consider the school's biggest loser. And you'll lose all the new friends you've found in the last week, and I just don't want that happening to you. You ARE a nice boy, Noah, and you deserve to have friends…but I shouldn't be one of them. Not at school at least."

Noah looked at her as if she had gone crazy. Maybe she had. He couldn't understand for the smallest fraction of a second why she would be babbly so crazily. Then he realized exactly what she was doing. He had seen enough buddy cop movies in his lifetime to know.

"You…you're taking a bullet for me?"

Rachel furrowed her brow and admitted, "I can't possibly know what you mean by that phrase. But I think that one of us deserves to be happy at school. It's clearly not going to be me. I'm okay with that. But you-you could be the king of this school and the school after that. And I don't want to make that difficult for you."

"You're my friend, Rachel," Noah said quietly as they slowly began walking home. "We only see each other before and after school. That couldn't hurt my rep. End of discussion. Things don't change. We stay the same."

Rachel flinched and watched as he continued to pull her trolley and chomp down on the cookies she had painstakingly baked for him.

"How come they're always circles? I mean…do you have other shapes?"

"Not really. Daddies don't really understand the concept of kitchen supplies. We have eighty-four restaurant menus in a file folder by the refrigerator and a lifetime supply of plastic cutlery and paper plates," Rachel admitted.

"Huh. Good to know."

On the next Monday, Noah walked out of school with Mike and his friend carefully took leave as they reached the elf's tree. Rachel slowly poked her head out and shot a smile Noah's way.

"Did those bitches lay off you for today?"

"Oh no, one cleverly came up with the nickname Rupaul," Rachel shrugged. "I now find it less hurtful and more ridiculous that these supposedly smart girls can't come up with better more accurate insults."

"Damn straight," Noah nodded. He handed her a white box, one of the boxes she had used to give him cookies in the last few weeks and mumbled, "Happy Birthday, Berry-pants."

Rachel couldn't help the large grin from brightening her face as she slowly lifted the lid to the box. She gasped slightly and whispered, "Noah…thank you!"

She pulled out the star shaped cookie cutter and turned it over again and again in her hand, marveling at the seemingly golden copper star.

"No biggie. I made it in shop class today. I look forward to a real thank you later this week with the first batch of star shaped cookies, ever."

***October 2009***

"I'll see you guys tomorrow…remember…think about relaxing and those hips will start to move for you!"

Puck rolled his eyes as Schue bee-bopped his way back to his office. He stole a glance Finn's way and couldn't help but be annoyed at how the world's tallest buffoon was grinning like sunshine was coming out of his ass. He was gathering his things when Finn looked at him curiously and demanded,

"So are you going to just give it up and join Glee with me, now?"

Like he would join Glee for the likes of Finn Hudson. He had been offered life-long cookies by Rachel Berry and he had still resisted joining. No way in hell would he be joining the teenaged, dumber Andre the Giant.

"I mean, Quinn and the girls are staying. They're all gung-ho with Rachel about this crazy expensive dance designer," Finn mumbled as he continued to get no response from his best friend. "Santana probably misses you."

Puck actually had to scoff at that one. They'd known Santana since they were eleven. She didn't miss shit.

"You know she broke up with me right? Over my credit score?" Puck reminded him.

Realization dawned on Finn and he nodded sadly. Puck rolled his eyes for the sixteen millionth time that afternoon before taking a deep breath.

Wait a fucking minute-he inhaled again. His gaze swept the room and he looked over on the piano to see a platter of cookies covered in saran wrap. Star-shaped cookies.

Finn followed his gaze and shrugged, "Rachel tried to bribe Mr. Schue with them so he wouldn't completely abandon us."

Puck tuned out at that point, he lifted the saran wrap and lifted one of the star cookies off the plate, staring at it intently. Yup. That was definitely his. One of the star tips had been slightly misshapen when he had created it in shop class at the age of eleven. She still had it. Maybe she still had all of them. He cleared his throat and pocketed the cookie before looking at his friend and saying honestly.

"We'll see how it goes tomorrow. Then I'll seriously think about it."

Author's Note: Next chapter will go through Preggers and probably Rhodes not Taken. : ) How many more days till Season Two again?