Summary: "How many times do I have to tell you you're not responsible for the synagogue burning down."
A/U Long one-shot providing a different reason as to why Puck presented Rachel with the slushy in Mash-Up. Involves memories and flashbacks interspersed with the current timeline (i.e events of mashup). Puckleberry with Matt, Mike, Puck and Rachel friendship.
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee, it belongs to RIB and I'm pretty sure I'd know if I was one of them.
As per their usual morning routine Rachel squeezed her eyes shut prepared for the ice cold slush to hit her in the face. Sometimes she wondered if she was in fact a masochist for no one else could have possibly come to think of this as part of their daily schedule and actually embrace the rush of endorphins that flooded her body even a year and a half on. She took a moment to curse her psychic abilities for failing her when she'd decided to put on her favourite skirt and sweater this morning.
Puck shook his head in exasperation as he waited for her to open her eyes. Taking a moment to run his eyes over her, he smiled as he noticed she was wearing his favourite skirt. Clearing his throat the politest way he could think of telling her to get a move on. Sure enough the sound had her slowly opening one eye after the other, her long lashes casting a shadow across her cheek as they moved.
Rachel eyed the slushy in his hand with confusion, this was not supposed to happen, she was meant to be retreating to the bathroom by now, wiping the stinging chemicals from her eyes. She felt him wrap her hands around the drink before he let go completely. Looking into his eyes she saw a once familiar spark that had been missing for too long had now returned.
Leaning in, Puck let his eyes trail to her lips once before speaking quietly so she was the only one who could hear. "The builders finished this morning so stop worrying about your vocal chords for one moment and enjoy this." With that said, he turned and continued down the hall.
His ears perked as he heard her locker shut and the telltale patter of ballet flats on linoleum. Slowing his gait slightly he waited until she fell into step beside him. His arm curled around her waist, his thumb drumming against her side. He noticed her lick her lips slightly before taking her first sip.
Ignoring the stares, Rachel wrapped her pinky around his side belt loop and enjoyed her slushy with the boy she knew would never hurt her.
Matt and Mike shared a sly look before falling into step on either side of the pair. "So, I guess they finally finished the repairs." Matt chuckled at the look Puck shot him, clearly telling him to shut it before Rachel changed her mind.
They heard others in the hallways whispering as they took in the unlikely foursome. The freshmen looked completely bewildered while some of the older kids seemed to be running through their minds for some explanation that would explain what was so special about this particular Wednesday.
Puck tightened his grip on Rachel as they passed Finn. Surprising everyone - Puck included, Rachel did not so much as glance at the quarterback even as he called after her. Continuing down the hall, the crowds parted around them, the action not lost on the fuming Quinn who stood beside Finn, her hand hovering over her flat midriff wondering how it was possible for Ru Paul to be able to part the crowd even before anyone knew about Quinn's baby. She and Finn had been slushied earlier in the week and now Rachel was strolling down the halls unharmed it was either madness or a sign of the apocalypse.
As they turned into the maths room, the teacher raised an eyebrow at Puck's attendance but quickly stopped at the glare thrown her way by none other than Rachel Berry. Without even speaking to each other the group immediately stopped at a group of desks in the middle sitting in the same formation as they had walked in.
Mike fiddled with a strand of Rachel's hair, curling it and then releasing it, watching with wide eyes as it straightened again. Matt chuckled at despite the fact that they'd been friends with the girl for over 10 years, Mike still struggled to understand the basic idea of a hair straightener.
"Did you break Rachel, she still hasn't said anything?" Mike's words were quiet as if he were afraid of what would happen if they were taken the wrong way. Rachel simply glanced at him before gesturing to the slushy which was now half empty. Her actions that clearly made perfect sense to her only confused him further. Turning to Puck he waited for the other boy to answer.
"I told her to shut up, drink the slushy and enjoy the moment." Puck swallowed as Rachel placed her hand gently on his thigh, causing his skin to tingle as the heat from her palm transferred to him though his jeans. Unable to help himself he let his thumb stroke the back of her hand as his mind replayed the incident of first slushy that had been thrown in the history of William McKinley High School.
Noah Puckerman wiped his brow as he felt the sweat beading on his forehead. The summer season of his freshman year had hit with record highs. Standing outside he glanced up at the grey building from his spot under one of the few trees lining the car park, wondering how it was possible to already hate a building after only a week.
He eyed the rapidly melting slushy in his hand, cringing as he attempted to ignore the need to consume the grape flavored mess. He'd already finished his own cherry one on the way here. His hopes that the severe storm last night would carry on into the morning or at least cool the temperatures a bit were fruitless. Sliding down the tree, his eyes followed his insane best friend as she spoke rapidly down the phone to her fathers.
He was well aware of the looks they'd received when they'd initially walked into McKinley together a week ago. The Jock and the Singing Freak were not supposed to get along - of course the others hadn't known that he and Rachel fell into those respective categories until after their first day. Rachel had been singing on the bleachers and one of the new freshmen - they'd later learnt his name was Dave Karofsky - who had been trying out for the junior football team had decided to impress some of the senior players by taking her out. Throwing the ball sharply from a few feet away it was obvious he had an arm but not good enough to be the QB.
They'd noticed her eyes widen slightly when she saw the ball coming but she never stopped singing simply tossing a glare their way that was somehow warning and mocking at the same time. When the ball was seconds away from hitting her a muscular arm shot up and caught it, his back still facing them. Karofsky swallowed the fear he felt rising in him, as the boy turned around. Even some of the seniors had the self-preservation to take a step back at the look of pure anger radiating through his eyes even as his face remained blank.
He remembers feeling Rachel's soft hand on his arm that one action pulling his rage back from murderous to simply 'hospitalize the bastard'. Moving his arm back he released, the ball spiraling through the air and hitting Karofsky straight in the chest, effectively winding him. Coach Tanaka blew his whistle signaling the others to start training the newbies for the tryouts. Shuffling over to the bleachers he watched as the girl calmed her friend down.
Spitting out the last bit of dip he had, he momentarily wondered how long it would be before Sandy Ryerson could get anymore. "Hey Kid. What's your name?"
Puck glanced over at the overweight guy with what seemed like a strange fondness of football socks. Eyeing the whistle around his neck and the fact that the team had started training behind him told Puck that this unlikely man was the coach. "Puck."
Rachel smacked him in the stomach at his manners - well lack thereof. "It's not polite to grunt." Turning to the coach, Rachel smiled her Broadway smile at him refusing to let what some neanderthal wannabe football player did affect his high school career. "His name's Noah Puckerman. My father's a lawyer if you're here to charge Noah with anything I'll have-"
"Rach, chill." Puck cut her off before they got into any serious trouble, besides if the rest of the school followed this example odds are he'd need the lawyer excuse some other time. Leaning against the gate as he looked the coach over, his scrunched nose showing exactly what he thought of the guy before him.
"We could use a guy like you on the team. Our wide receiver just moved out of state so there's a spot open on the senior team. It's yours." With that said Tanaka moved away from the unusual pair muttering to himself as he heard the girl exclaim how proud she was of him and that she'd be at every game.
The sound of Rachel's phone snapping shut brought him from his memories. He couldn't contain his laugh as he noticed her roller bag had now indented an oval shape into the grass from her pacing.
Rachel subtly dabbed her face grateful that her body had somehow refrained from sweating. Looking at her friend she took a step towards him wanting to join him under the shade, leaving her bag where it was she wished they hadn't had to leave her home that morning, she would have much preferred spending the whole day in her pool.
Puck rested his hands on her hips, encouraging her to sit still. Hearing the first bell ring he groaned but was surprised to see that Rachel simply sat down beside him resting her head on his shoulder her eyes fluttering closed. Being best friends with Crazy Berry forever meant he was very well versed in Berry-speak. Giving up he simply started drinking her slushy as he waited for her to spill.
Five minutes after the late bell, Puck had finally decided enough was enough. Standing up her grasped her small hands in his larger ones hoisting her up beside him. Slinging his backpack over his shoulder, he grabbed her roller bag, pulling it and her alongside him. The slamming of the doors echoed around them as they continued down the corridor to her locker. Spinning the combination he grabbed the various colour coded books she needed for the first half of the day and turned to her.
"It's all my fault." Rachel's words were mumbled quietly as she eyed the slushy in Noah's hands, making a promise to herself before she fully understood what she was doing, she pulled his hand forward sending a spray of grape flavored ice all over her. Despite her squeal she realised the ice was actually rather refreshing on her hot skin.
Puck's head snapped up as he heard Rachel's scream. Instantly worried he looked her over before realising exactly what had happened. Once her cry cut off there was absolute silence in the hall allowing him to hear the heavy breathing of one of the most disgusting people he'd ever met. Taking in the familiar Jew-fro that lived on top of Jacob Ben Israel's head, Puck glared at the boy. Stalking forward he kept the boy frozen in his spot as he recalled his last interaction with Rachel's creepy stalker.
While Lima while not all that big, it was by no means small. Rachel and he had known each other since they were in diapers, she was there when his dad left, she was there when he had needed to look after his baby sister Abby, she was there when he picked his first lock because she needed to practice singing 'Don't Rain on My Parade' in Lima's only concert hall. The point was she was there and despite their differences she never left.
They'd both attended a private Jewish school where they'd unfortunately discovered Jacob. They hadn't been in Jacob's presence for the last four years, their last interaction being when Puck found Jacob tying Rachel to a chair and trying to kiss her. It had taken five out the other kids to restrain Puck and even then it was only once Rachel was untied and at his side did he finally stop seeing red. Needless to say it was better for all involved when Jacob had changed schools.
From that point everything had been fine until his father had skipped out when Noah was nine and Abby just one. His mother, Ava, had enough money saved that she could afford the tuition for one more year there, Rachel had decided that was unacceptable and had sneakily applied for a scholarship on Noah's behalf. With the money that provided he was able to finish middle school there.
When the time had come that Ava had no choice but to send him to a different high school, Rachel had pleaded with her fathers and Ava until they had agreed on them both moving to Matt and Mike's high school. Puck wasn't sure anyone had ever managed to say no to Rachel.
"Noah?" Rachel's words were soft not wanting to alert Matt or Mike to the fact that Noah was currently cutting off circulation to her fingers for fear of how they'd respond. His head turned to her as his eyes finally cleared of the dazed look he'd had. Tapping him on the cheek she silently asked him what was wrong.
Puck shook his head not wanting her to know what he'd been thinking of in case she got mad at him and changed her mind. Knowing she'd need something for now, he smiled lazily at her, taking a swig of her slushy before telling her. "I was thinking about how great we were before these two idiots came along.
"Hey!" The protest came from both Matt and Mike before they looked to Rachel who was back to innocently drinking her slushy.
"Come on Rach, you're not going to stand up for us?" Mike's question was simply friendly teasing and he smiled as the corner of Rachel's mouth twitched upwards involuntarily.
"Ouch Rach, that's harsh." Matt moved his hand over his heart feigning pain until he groaned in pain.
Rachel didn't chastise Noah for punching him as she'd become accustomed to this weird form of male expression of friendship over the years. So with a smirk she muttered one last remark before getting dragged into her memories. "You know it's the truth."
They'd met Mike when his family had moved in next to the Berry's when they were five and Matt a few weeks later when his family moved in two houses down from the Puckerman's, which was only about a block away from Rachel's anyway. The two boys had been readily accepted into the group by Rachel while Puck only agreed because it made Rachel happy, Mike had a really cool cape and Matt - well he just kind of fit so Puck didn't mind him.
Being best friends with three boys meant that Rachel had become quite skilled at video games and various sports though her heart still belonged to Broadway. While being best friends with Rachel meant the three boys had quickly learnt various skills to assist her with her goal, Noah had moved his Nana Connie to tears when he played his guitar for her, Mike had a starring role in an absurd number of the Berry's quarterly dance recitals that Rachel insisted on having on their basement stage. While Matt, well he didn't say much in real life but if you put him on stage, the boy could take on any character you could imagine.
She remembers the day she first saw Jacob after he'd tied her to that chair. She'd just slushied herself and she heard Noah growl in warning and saw the blob she knew even with blurred eyesight was Jacob wisely set the phone down and ran away from the scene. Through stinging eyes she looked up at Noah trying to see his expression and figure out if she really was a crazy as Noah kept insinuating.
Puck shook his hand as he felt the slushy drip down, soaking the braided bracelet Rachel had made him when they were twelve. "What the hell Berry, did a screw finally get too loose in there?" Grabbing her elbow, he shoved the books into her locker ignoring the sound she let out in protest at his actions. Pulling her into the nearest girls bathroom he grabbed a 'cleaning in progress' sign from the janitor's closet next to it and placed it in front hoping that would deter others.
Lifting her up he placed her on the edge of the sink, shaking his head at her idiocy. "Do you want to tell me what the hell happened there?"
Rachel looked up at him, her eyes red from the chemicals. Feeling him slowly running water through her hair, she hoped that he would understand. "Half the Synagogue burnt down last night. It burnt down Noah and it's all our fault!"
"Woah, woah, woah. Don't drag me into your crazy. How is it your fault?" Seeing the look she gave him he thought back on how she could have possibly decided that it was her fault. As he mentioned earlier he was well versed in all things Berry and as such quickly came to an answer. "Because you were supposed to sing at the church?"
Rachel nodded glad he was finally understanding her reasoning. Squeezing some of the slushy out of her hair, she carefully watched his face determined to figure out when she had him.
"That's idiotic, you cancelled because of the storm and I spent the night at your place, so you couldn't possibly be responsible unless you've been taking lessons in the art of ninja from Mike and crept out to set fire to it yourself." Puck took her face in his hands looking at her red eyes and releasing a very manly wince as he thought about how much that would sting.
Rachel threw her hands up in frustration not understanding why Noah was fighting her on this. "The only reason it didn't burn down completely was because I cancelled."
Puck pulled her shirt off, searching through his own bags for her dance clothes not everything fit on those roller bags and since he didn't use any form of school books it was a win-win situation. Watching as she pulled her hair into a bun he finally felt the soft material against his fingers. Wrestling it out of the bag he sighed as he realised she was now going to be walking around school in even less than usual.
Rachel shivered as the wind hit her bare skin, her body tingling as she became acutely aware of Noah's eyes on her. She'd never been embarrassed by changing in front of him and as she got older he simply kept telling her she was 'smoking' so it was never a problem. Yet sitting before him she was well aware of her body's reaction to his stare.
Grabbing her top from him, she pulled the material over her head relishing in the fact that it left her shoulders exposed allowing the slightly colder air from the air conditioner to dance across her skin. Shuffling so that she was able to jump off the bench she smiled at Noah hoping he wouldn't get too mad at her for her next proposition. "So this is going to have to be a daily occurrence, it's the only way the both of us will be able to accept our appropriate penance."
"Penance? I don't owe anyone anything." Rachel sighed at his unwillingness. Placing her hand on his arm, she pulled it forward under the tap and began rinsing his bracelet before continuing.
"Since you were going to accompany me, I'd say a portion of this is your fault. Think of it this way… since I am the main person at fault I have the most to repay. By being slushied it will help prepare me for adversity in the future and boost your reputation, while you're penance will be the cost involved in actually purchasing the slushies."
Puck shook his head, stepping back from her as if she had burnt him. He saw her flinch at the look he was giving her but knew this was one thing that would screw them up for good. "No. This is crazier than your usual crazy. I'm not going to throw a slushy at you every day. It's insane. It'd make me worse than Karofsky." Pointing at Rachel he stepped further back hoping the distance would make her see reason. "You can't make me." While he knew the last line was rather childish, there was no way he'd cause her to go through this everyday. She was the only one who thought anything of him and he was not going to let her idiotic sense of penance ruin that.
"If you don't I'll just have to find someone else. At least this way I know you won't get too much enjoyment out of it and that you'll always help me after." Rachel knew she had him when she saw his fists clench at the thought of having someone like Karofsky slushy her. As he let out a deep breath a small part of her broke at the fact that she was causing Noah pain, but her psychic powers had told her something really bad was going to happen to Noah if she didn't get him to agree to this. She knew it wasn't pressing but it would be something life changing - she wasn't sure why being a teen father kept floating into her mind but she was determined to prevent it.
Matt shook his head as he tried to catch Mike's attention, both Puck and Rach where staring into space obviously caught up in the memories and he didn't need to be anywhere close to Rachel's level of psychicness to know they were thinking about that first day. The importance of today was only beat out by the importance of that first day.
Despite the years of friendship Matt and Mike were well aware that Rachel would freeze them out without a second thought if they did something to Puck and vice versa. Sure Rachel would berate Puck whenever he did something she deemed unacceptable to one of them, they knew where her loyalty and her heart really lay even if she herself didn't.
However the day of the first slushy it hadn't mattered how much Rachel had been willing to forgive Puck, it didn't matter that Puck and he were mates the only thing that mattered was that Puck had willingly hurt Rachel. So while he was holding back an out of control Mike as they stood outside the bathroom he took a moment to wonder why Puck would have broken the only promise that ever seemed to matter to him. Yet all of those thoughts flew out the window as he heard Puck's fist hit something and his rage overcame him again.
As Puck opened his mouth to speak he heard the bathroom door slam open and before he could blink he was being held against the thankfully cold wall by a fuming Mike and Matt.
"What the hell dude?" Matt hissed the words, spit hitting Puck in the face as he tried to understand exactly what was happening. He'd never seen Matt this angry not even when he found out that Mike had a crush on both his mum and his sister.
"Michael, Matthew put him down right now." Rachel's words were quiet but commanding. Looking over at her they saw she was completely serious so he shrugged at Mike before they both let Puck drop unceremoniously to the floor.
Dusting himself off, he glared at his two friends as they glared back, the tension between the three of them hitting a new high.
Matt flinched as Rachel walked between them and hit them all on the chest - she couldn't reach their heads - refusing to let them do something this idiotic without having all the facts. "First of all I 'slushied' myself." She shook her heads at their confused looks remembering feeling it herself as the icy corn syrup had first leaked into her eyes.
"Noah and I have entered an agreement." She ignored him as he shouted that he had yet to agree, his voice filled with anger and defeat. Running a hand through her damp hair, she turned on her toes and looked the three of them down making sure they understood she was serious about this. "He will slushy me every school day until the synagogue is rebuilt."
Mike looked at Puck in shock as he watched the boy glare at the 5'2'' bunch of crazy that they all knew he loved. It was that look that sealed the deal for him that he wasn't the crazy one who had just imagined Rachel coming up with officially her most idiotic plan ever.
Matt shook his head clasping Puck on the shoulder in sympathy, he could see the idea was already haunting his friend. However all their past experiences told them they had to agree because she was bound to come up with worse if you tried to say no.
And so it began, Puck slushied Rachel every day. He brought a change of clothes for her, took the slushied ones home and cleaned them each day. So it was confusing when around the 6th month mark he disappeared for two weeks, refusing to go to school and faking sick whenever Rachel came over. He only caved when Matt told him it was beginning to have an affect on Rachel both emotionally and that Karofsky had decided to take over his duties as Rachel's tormentor despite how much Mike and Matt tried to take care of her they knew Puck was the only one Karofsky really feared.
Needless to say Puck showed up the next day slushy in hand and as Karofsky walked around with a busted lip and a black eye everyone knew Rachel was Puck's and Puck's only.
Unfortunately for the three boys during that two week hiatus Finn had helped Rachel pick up her stuff after a slushy and she had fallen head over heels for the gawky quarterback.
Matt knew about the day Rachel told Puck about her crush on Finn. That was the first day Puck had given into his first cougar. That was the day he'd stopped looking at Rachel as he slushied her, it was the day he started waiting outside the bathroom as she changed and leaving before she came out. That was the day Matt noticed he started breaking into her locker, because despite his own feelings Matt knew Puck never wanted Rachel to have to explain the slushy stains to her fathers. That was the day Matt started to become truly concerned about his friend.
Matt watched with a pained heart as Rachel watched her best friend pull away from her for the rest of the year and had no idea why. They all watched him become the persona he put on for everyone else. While Matt and Mike had the uncomfortable knowledge that while she cried herself to sleep because Puck had stopped sneaking into her room after she called him up scared from a nightmare, she also had no idea that he was crying himself just a few streets over.
It wasn't until the first day of the summer that everything was finally laid on the line. Matt had watched as Rachel walked past his house headed for Puck's. He contemplated calling him as warning but decided it was about time those two worked their shit out. Instead he'd called Mike who had already been sneakily following Rachel the whole way.
They watched as she snuck into his room at six am, having climbed up the ladder that he still left there despite the fact that she'd stopped showing up four months prior. Deciding to leave it there Mike had come back to his place and they'd crashed in the living room as countless Saturday morning cartoons busied themselves on screen. Only showing up a Puck's a few hours later, leaving breakfast for the sleeping pair before sneaking back out, hoping that things would stay like this for the rest of the summer and into the new school year.
Rachel felt Noah's arm wrap comfortably around her waist as she lay her head on his shoulder. Glancing up at him she saw the soft look on his face and couldn't help but blush as she was transported back to the first day of summer where nearly the exact same thing had happened.
After picking herself off his bedroom floor she wondered if it was possible for four months of not climbing through his window had made her regress. Brushing herself off, she glanced down surprised to realise she had not changed out of her pajamas in her determination to see Noah.
Crawling into his bed, she curled into him as his arms automatically encircled her waist knowing without waking that it was her. She pressed a soft kiss to his chest, closing her eyes as she felt like she was home for the first time in months. Noticing he was shaking she hesitantly glanced up worried he's woken and was cranky she was here or laughing at her for thinking it was okay for her to be here. Things between them had been so distant and different lately she wasn't sure even sure what he was thinking anymore.
So it surprised her as she took in his still slumbering face, a face that was now scrunched up in pain. She felt him cry in his sleep as he begged her not to make him throw it again. Begged her to notice him, notice that he was so much better for her than Finn.
Her heart broke as she heard his confession but until he said it to her directly she knew they would have to both deal with their burdens because she refused to let him become a teenage father especially with Quinn Fabray. Yes as the year had progressed so had her visions as she was not about to let Noah ruin his life like this. As such she constantly snuck extra condoms into his bag not wanting one of his cougars - she visibly shuddered every time she thought of one of them - to end up pregnant either.
Rachel was pleased to see that after waking up with her curled into him and a breakfast waiting on the nightstand - it's low nutritional value meaning that it definitely came from Matt and Mike - Puck had become her Noah again.
Summer was great and Rachel thought that maybe they wouldn't have to resume the slushies when they returned to school. However within the first week of the year, she'd seen the looks Quinn sent him which made her visions go into overdrive now providing her with dreams filled with lots of arguments, lots of tension and the name Beth.
So with a painful sigh she presented Noah with the first slushy of the new year closing her eyes as she awaited the sting. While she saw the pain and darkness return to his eyes she took solace in the fact that for her to see that he was still looking at her as he threw them.
By the second week Finn had joined Glee Club and given that Noah had never said anything other than his sleepy confession, Rachel's crush was uncontrollably back even stronger than last time. So when all of it culminated in a near kiss in the auditorium and despite knowing better she agreed to go bowling with him despite knowing better when he asked her with no thought of- well not as much thought of Noah in mind.
Puck looked down at his little star and smiled as he realised she was obviously no longer angry at him from what had nearly happened with Quinn and he was pleasantly surprised to realise he'd stopped blaming Rachel for the whole mess and realised that the main instigator had been Finn and his indecisiveness when it came to the two girls. The biggest catalyst of all being that day when he'd seen them in the auditorium. Rachel look beautiful in his second favourite skirt.
His mind had been a jumbled mess as he watched Rachel and Finn nearly kiss in the auditorium, so he'd sought out a temporary solution. Three rounds with Satan in the broom closet later and he was feeling a lot more calm. Later when he'd accidentally overheard Rachel agree to go bowling with him he made the dumbest decision ever and told Quinn. Maybe he just wanted Finn to hurt as much as he did. However when the night of 'the date' arrived, Quinn showed up at his door, wine coolers in hand asking if she was fat.
Finally having someone who understood his pain, Puck let it go further than it should have, his hand wrapping in hair that was too light and not soft enough. As he began kissing a girl whose nose just wasn't Jewish enough.
Without really understanding how he found himself with his boxers he was seconds away from crossing a line that could never be uncrossed when his phone had started ringing. He had half a mind to ignore it when the opening lyrics of 'Don't Rain on My Parade' became more obvious as they obnoxiously from the coffee table. It wasn't lost on him that he had refused to take Quinn or any of the others he'd had at his place up to his bedroom. His knew that bed was for his Rachel and his Rachel only.
Grabbing his clothes off the floor he quickly dressed, shooting Quinn a look - he wasn't really sure what one but told her to find Finn and lock up on her way out. He barely registered the fact that he was shirtless as he jumped into his truck answering his phone already knowing Finn had done something to hurt his Berry. Sure enough when her strained voice carried down the phone he knew she was only a few sentences away from crying. Disregarding every speed limit there was he pulled up in front of the bowling alley not five minutes later.
Rachel slid into his truck crawling across the middle and wrapping her arms around his shoulders. He stroked the back of her head as she murmured into his chest. Without even thinking about what he was doing he pulled back before he pressed his lips softly to her own.
Pulling away moments later, Puck wiped her tears letting her curl into his side as they drove to her house. He felt her hand drawing patterns on his chest and had to do something before he crashed and killed them both. Taking her hand in his he laced their fingers moving their hands to her thigh as he began drumming out a rhythm.
It took all of about five minutes in her house before everything exploded the key parts he remembers were. "Quinn! After all my efforts you were with Quinn!" and "I didn't think it mattered, for all I knew you were planning on fucking Finn tonight."
Puck shook his head pulling himself from his memories as her cold words echoed in his mind. "Get out." There had been no emotion in them it was as if they were being delivered by a robot. However he'd seen her eyes water and heard her choke back a sob as he turned away closing the door behind him and he knew he'd fucked up. God he didn't know how everything had gotten so out of control that night but as he looked at Mike who was beaming so largely one would have thought he'd just discovered the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, he was certainly grateful that they'd made up.
Mike glanced at his three friends smiling as he realised this day had finally come. Matt had often worried about their two friends and if it was possible for this to end without heartbreak. At every little hiccup Matt had been jumping into action trying to prevent their friends from being screwed for good. Mike had been a little more conservative, not many realised it but Matt did not like conflict his instinct was to be the peace maker, however Mike believed that a little conflict and speaking the truth was good for people. At least he did until that night after Rachel and Finn's date.
Mike had been lying on the couch at home, windows open trying to create some kind of breeze to cool him down. He'd been staring at his maths homework for over an hour and had finally decided to take a nap. Just as his eyes had started to close he was startled awake by yelling at Rachel's house. Worried about what Finn might have been doing to Rachel he was half way out the door before he heard Puck's voice.
Instantly he settled knowing Puck would take care of it, he'd probably been waiting for Rachel to get home only for Finn to flip out demanding to know why his friend was at his date's house. Mike had decided to go back inside until he noticed it was only Puck's truck in the driveway. Stuck about how to continue Mike listened as his friends ripped each other to shreds with their words. A year's worth of pain finally erupting from Puck which only caused Rachel to fight back. Hearing the door close, he peered out his window seeing Puck wiping furiously at his eyes.
Grabbing his phone he called up Matt telling him to get to Puck's now. They didn't need him to be doing something stupid just to get back at Rachel. After relaying some of the finer details of the argument, he heard Matt's front door slam as he muttered about Puck's stupid decisions. Hanging up on his friend, Mike left a note for his parents that he was spending the night at Rachel's and slipped out.
He was surprised when he noticed that despite their argument Puck had made sure to lock Rachel's door. The boy was seriously more concerned about Rachel's safety then she herself was, given that she left her bedroom window - the one next to the easy to climb if you have upper body strength tree - wide open. Fishing around in his pocket for his spare keys he quietly entered, eyeing Rachel who was tucked into the corner near the stairs balling her eyes out.
"I said get out Puck." For the first time since this whole mess started Mike was concerned about the chances of Puck and Rachel making up. She'd never, ever called him Puck despite the fact that he picked the name because he knew he was her favourite character in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. No one other than the four of them knew that so it would have been fine for Rachel to call him Puck but she insisted on Noah. What worried him even more so than her use of Puck's nickname was the fact that her tone was devoid of everything as if in just that one argument she'd given up hope.
Silently moving towards her, Mike flopped down beside her wrapping his arms around her. His movements startled her for a second before she realised who it was and broke down crying. Muttering about all her effort being for nothing.
After hearing her reasoning for starting the slushies and what she believed she was preventing he carted her off to bed feeling a headache form. Unlike Matt and even Puck to an extent Mike liked to believe in free will and an undetermined future and sometimes got annoyed when Rachel did something like this to prevent some big catastrophe that may or may not happen.
He camped outside her bedroom door all night on the blow up mattress, Mr Fluffypants the awesome white rabbit soft toy doubling as a pillow when he knocked the pillow off at some point during the night. Mike was ready to put his ninja skills to use if Puck came by sure Rachel had been a big idiot but Puck had overstepped some major lines. Not to mention he was still shirtless when he'd left and Mike knew Rachel had at least a draw filled with Puck's clothes that she'd claimed as her own, any number of which he could have changed into.
However the night went on undisturbed and when he awoke the next morning he found two still cold blueberry slushies next to him with a note. As he sipped one of them, he chuckled as he noticed the note was already stained with green colouring presumably from the Apple slushy Puck had already given Matt to throw at him.
Quietly opening the door to Rachel's room he saw her cuddled up to the monkey Puck had won for her at a carnival when they were nine and on her windowsill lay two untouched grape slushies with a note that was at least four pages long. He had to give his friend silent props on his own improving ninja skills.
Leaving the sleeping girl, Mike shook his head in frustration before moving downstairs and out the front door finding Puck on the side of the road where he said he'd be. The dark circles under his friend's eyes making him momentarily reconsider doing this to someone who hadn't gotten any sleep. Well it bothered him until he remembered why he had been sleeping on Rachel's floor in the first place when they all knew she'd prefer Puck in the bed next to her anyway. So without giving him a chance to talk Mike thrust his arm forward smirking when Puck's previously green covered form was now speckled blue.
Nodding his head towards his friend showing him that he wasn't too mad at him, he watched as Puck sighed before shaking like a dog to get the slushy off. He ran his hand through his now multicoloured mohawk before going to sit on the grass underneath the tree leading to Rachel's bedroom, his head hitting the bark as he looked up at the mocking blue sky that already had a trickle of sweat sliding down his forehead.
Glancing over at Matt, Mike moved past the slushy remnants and gestured for him to come inside Rachel's house. With slushy cups in hand they sat on Rachel's couch and explained both sides of the story they'd been told. However by the end they both needed some form of distraction to restrain them from wringing their stubborn, idiotic friends' necks. Deciding they'd done enough they headed over to Matt's place grateful that his parents were gone for the weekend, content to have a COD marathon in the hopes that by Monday things would get back to normal.
Finn walked into maths still confused by Rachel's lack of an answer in the hallway. He'd needed to ask her for help with a Glee assignment and well the fact that she was tucked comfortably under Puck's arm was just not right. His confusion only doubled when he noticed firstly that Puck was in class, Finn didn't even know his friend took maths. Then he registered that Matt, Mike and Puck were surrounding Rachel while she looked deliriously happy, sucking on a grape slushy instead of wiping it from her hair. Had the world turned upside down when he wasn't looking.
His mind raced as he remembered the last time he'd felt jealousy flare up within him. He'd been driving to Rachel's the morning after their disastrous date. He'd finally gone all the way with Quinn and in the middle of it he'd agreed to stop seeing Rachel. Naturally he'd forgotten all about Rachel since he was finally getting to be with his girlfriend. A girlfriend who he wasn't really sure why she seemed much calmer than usual but he wasn't going to complain when she'd finally let him be intimate with her.
Yet the first thing in the morning it became obvious Quinn hadn't forgotten about his deal when she'd said what they'd just shared was a mistake and that she'd made a vow with God. As such she'd been insistent that for them to work out he'd have to follow through and stop seeing Rachel but not before explaining it to her, because apparently she'd decided that worked as his penance for making her breaking her vow and the fact that she couldn't rub the fact that Finn was hers in Rachel's face now without someone else undoubtedly hearing about it meant that it worked as her penance too.
He'd just pulled up in Rachel's driveway when he noticed a familiar shaved head sleeping under her tree. His skin was stained blue and green but that did not change the churning Finn got in his gut at Puck's presence in Rachel's yard. Not wanting to hear why his friend was waiting at Rachel's place, he left. Content to simply call her and explain later that weekend.
When Monday rolled around Finn had still been unable to get through to Rachel. Her phone always busy. He didn't understand why since as far as he knew she didn't have any friends. So when he saw her walk into school he took a step to talk to her until he registered the smile on her face. If he hadn't of seen her other smile a million times he never would have noticed the difference but he had so he did and once again that flare of jealousy rose up in him wondering why she'd never smiled at him that way.
Within seconds Puck had slushied her but instead of walking away like everyone was used to he paused and whispered something in her ear. Finn thought he saw something different in Puck's eyes as he walked away but he tossed it aside deciding it was just the jealousy talking. Ten minutes later he walked passed Matt, Mike and Puck, pausing confused by the snippets of their conversation that he'd caught.
"So she forgave you and you forgave her." He saw Puck nod shyly as a smile - a real smile, not a smirk - crossed Puck's face.
"Why?" Matt's question seemed to hold more weight than one would expect from such a simple word but Puck seemed to know exactly what he was talking about.
A dirty smirk overcame Puck's face as he responded to the other two. "We can both be really convincing when we need to be."
Mike's face twisted uncomfortably as he punched Puck in the arm. "Dude… the whole weekend?" The somewhat sad look that crossed Puck's face momentarily had Matt punching Mike, the whole thing making no sense to Finn.
"No just Sunday." Puck's soft smile was back again as he seemed to be lost in memories of Sunday.
"How far did you let it go?" Once again Matt's words were weighted though this time a little quieter so Finn had to shift in order to hear better. Unfortunately that movement drew Puck's attention as he glared at him, making his opinion of Finn's eavesdropping obvious.
Hurrying around the corner he stopped and looked back just in time to see Puck shake his head. "I'm not ready and she's not ready either. Neither of us is going to be ready until this damn thing is over so if I have to spend my Sunday's doing construction instead of cleaning pools then so be it."
The warning bell rung but the four of them did not move. Finn watched as Matt and Mike both smiled at Puck in a way that made it seem like they'd never been prouder, before sharing a devious look and both making a whipped sound. Surprisingly Puck did nothing more than chuckle at the two as they began to dance their self-titled 'whipped dance'.
Deciding he'd been confused enough for the day Finn had hurried to history, pushing the whole memory to the back of his mind where it had stayed until today. Settling in behind the foursome he noticed Puck and Rachel's hands were clasped together and he was playing with her hair.
Frowning he pulled out his phone and navigated to Jacob Ben Israel's blog. Despite his crush on Rachel, Finn had never been to JBI's blog. However with that particular memory fresh in his mind he needed answers. Scrolling back to that Sunday - he'd never forget that date especially now that Quinn told him he was going to be a dad - he clicked on the photo link and felt his mouth dry out.
Sure enough in a grainy pixilated picture where one needed to either have really good eyesight or have a distinct mohawk to make out at least one of the people involved, Puck and Rachel were sitting on her porch steps talking. Flicking through the pictures he noticed that they only started up on the third week of freshman year, but before the pictures there was an in depth post every week. One telling of the first week of high school and how Puck and Rachel had been inseparable - something Finn and what appeared to be most of the student population had forgotten.
However what really got him was that the blog started at age eight recalling memories from even earlier all of them involving Puck and Rachel. Together. Some even included Matt and Mike. Reading it over he was so drawn in that he didn't realise that double maths had come and gone until the guy next to him punched him in the arm as he left.
After that two hours of 'research' he'd learnt that Matt, Mike, Puck and Rachel were really good friends and had been for years. Pressing a hand to his temple, Finn desperately tried to make the pieces fit together.
Focusing on what was important about today he recalled that earlier this morning his mum had pointed out that the synagogue had finished being rebuilt. He knew Rachel and Puck were both incredibly proud Jews but it had to be more than that. Thinking back to what Jacob had written about the first slushy Finn realised that it had started around the time of the storm that had taken out part of the synagogue. Puck's words about construction and working on a construction crew echoed in his mind mocking him on all the things he had missed. However that couldn't possibly be right as just because Quinn would have probably done something as crazy albeit less damaging on her reputation as penance that didn't mean Rachel would. He'd learnt a lot about penance since that Sunday to the point that every little act was beginning to look like a form of penance.
He was certain Rachel wouldn't do something like that, would she? As he walked out into the hallway his jaw dropped in surprise as he watched Puck cage Rachel in against the locker, his lips moving slowly over hers. There was something surprisingly tender in the movement not like the purely jackassy moves he'd used on other girls.
Noah smiled down at Rachel, his eyes alight with joy as her hand softly cupped his cheek. He licked his lips as he tasted the grape slushy the way a slushy should be shared. Wrapping his arm around her shoulders he pulled her in the direction of the bleachers.
Rachel giggled as she let herself be moved in the opposite direction of her history classroom. As she looked up at her Noah, she knew they were going to be alright. It had been a hard year and a half but the synagogue was rebuilt, Noah wasn't going to be a dad and she could kiss him whenever she wanted. Of course she knew they'd have to go to Shul on Friday nights. She wasn't sure they could handle another round of penance. She was too addicted to him now to stop.
A/N Thanks for reading that was my first one-shot and glee fic. I know that the line used in the summary isn't exactly in the fic but it popped into my head one day and wouldn't leave, sparking this whole idea. I was having a hard time finding the tone of the characters so just decided to make it A/U and run with it. Somewhere along the way Matt and Mike came into it and I was like 'why not?' so I just went where the inspiration took me. Hope the numerous flashback bits weren't too confusing. I tried to explain what was happening as best as I could. So yeah... Also in the second last paragraph the reason at least for me why Puck was referred to as Noah was now that he wasn't in any more pain from causing Rachel pain he could let Noah through once again.
P.S I had really cool music note characters on either side of *Glee* for the line breaks but they didn't survive the move to a .doc file. Oh well.