Puck is in trouble again
I don't own Glee or any of its franchise – Sadly or else PR would be End Game.
Unbetaed, please let me know if there's any glaring mistakes so I can fix them. Thanks!
A/N Longest IASWGC chapter ever, but I really couldn't cut it in half for reasons you'll know soon enough. It's a drama filled chapter and it will lead to a little bit of angst and drama, but I've had this planned for a long time so I couldn't really cut it out. Thanks for the reviews; they're really why I'm updating so fast. Enjoy!
"Son, you really need to stop now." Abraham's voice was low and sad. His eyes kept staring at me with this look in his eyes that he'd worn only once before; that time he'd witnessed me fall to pieces over my loser father so many years ago.
I honestly didn't care; fuck, I wouldn't have given a shit even if he'd looked pissed off at me, 'cause right at that moment, all I cared about; no, all I fucking lived for was behind a locked door somehow still sobbing her heart out loud enough to pierce my heart with painful stab after painful stab.
"Not yet," I stated and placed my forehead against the wood of my bedroom door and once again began begging Rachel to open the door – no way in hell, was I gonna break in the door and add more misery on my shoulders.
Confused? Well, it all started a few days ago just before Sectionals.
Okay, to be fair, I guess it started last year when I'd made that fucking idiotic idea to submit to Santana to make her keep her mouth shut. What I hadn't known; what neither of us knew was, that we'd been caught on camera and evidently, Jacob had been waiting for the perfect moment to ruin my life.
Rachel and I had been through a period of relative peace as a couple, our friends having been the ones to live the messed up lives for a change, so stupidly, I thought it would always stay that way. But that morning, we went to the school to get into the bus for Sectionals, I noticed something weird the moment I pulled into the parking lot.
"Is it just me or are people staring more than usual at us today?" I asked, casting a glance over at Rachel, who was sitting and scrolling through her phone's pictures to see the new ones she'd taken of Caroline just that morning in preparation for our separation during Sectionals.
"Hmm? No, don't be silly Noah," she murmured, only looking up briefly before returning her loving gaze at the picture she'd snapped while I was holding a clearly laughing Caroline up in the air, grinning like a fool myself. "And if they're staring, I'm absolutely sure that it's due to my continued refusal to throw away our new friendship with David."
"Yeah, I guess so." I answered and frowned in confusion when I spotted Santana looking wide-eyed at me with clear apprehension in her face; something I don't think I've ever witnessed before. Then she whipped out her cell phone as I was watching and mere moments later, my own cell beeped and I took a look at what she'd written.
'Don't come over here. Go Home! Trouble!'
I didn't get a chance to really comprehend what the hell that meant, before the door to my truck was ripped open and someone grabbed a firm hold of my flannel shirt and threw me on the ground and started kicking me in the stomach.
Instincts that came from years of abuse and the time that I'd orchestrated my own underground fight club, took over and I jumped up and twisted around to deliver a kick straight into my attacker's face.
I pounced now that my opponent was down and sat on his torso and was just about to pummel my fist into his face with all that I had in me, when I finally realized just who I was about to massacre.
"Finn? What the hell Dude?" I growled, feeling confusion taking the place of my earlier anger. "What are you on?"
"Fuck you," Finn spat out some blood from the split lip my kick had earned him. "You're such a filthy hypocrite! I've been listening to you play Yoda for me and then you're such a fucking asshole yourself! I can't believe you!"
"I have no fucking clue what you're talking about, Hudson!" I hissed as I got back to my feet, rubbing my sore stomach, happy that I was completely healed from my appendix thing or else I'd have been in a lot of trouble with Rachel.
As the thought of Rachel passed through my mind, I looked around to see why she hadn't jumped in to stop us and reprimand us for fighting –especially right before an important competition, but when my eyes eventually found her, standing with Mercedes, Artie, Quinn and a truly scary looking Sunshine. She wasn't even looking in my direction. Her head was bowed and I saw that she was staring without blinking at something on her cell.
I suddenly had a bad feeling and started making my way over to her, only to be hindered by Mike and Sam, who stepped in front of me with solemn expressions.
"You better realize that I'm not in a great mood right about now," I warned, staring Mike straight in the eyes, acting like Sam wasn't even there.
Mike crossed his arms and I could see the silent warning in his dark eyes, which reminded me that this was a guy whose fighting techniques were a bit more…well, kickass than my own. "It's better if you stay right here for the time being, Puck. Trust me."
I looked over his shoulder and froze when I locked eyes with Rachel. Except, this wasn't the Rachel that I'd just shared a great morning with, snapping pictures of our daughter to keep us sane until we'd return the next evening. This was a Rachel that suddenly seemed like she'd lost everything and I didn't like it.
Her eyes were wide and her face was deathly pale, with big red blotches on her cheeks. Her lower lip was trembling and I knew the signs that signaled that she really wanted to cry, but was doing everything she could not to.
But honestly, all of that didn't bother me as much as the expression in her eyes. She looked like I'd killed her parents and told her we'd serve them to Caroline or something. Like I'd betrayed her entire worldview.
Santana's sneering in Spanish at Quinn, who was standing with her back to Rachel and saying something harsh to the Latina, suddenly brought the pieces together as clear as day. The frantic warning by text, the disappointed looks from the others and the rage that Finn (and Sunshine too) had shown.
Somehow Rachel knew about what had happened with Santana. But, I thought with growing desperation, it didn't mean anything and nothing really happened; it was just a kiss…
Even as I thought it, I knew it was a bullshit excuse; I'd felt guilty even back then when my lips had first crashed down on Santana's.
"Fuck!" I cursed and ran a hand through my 'hawk, filled with agitation and fear. "How?" I looked back over at Mike and he answered my question by handing me his cell phone and I had an eerie sense of déjà vu; remembering the last time a fucking video had ruined my life.
"Nononono," I heard someone mutter desperately and it was only once the video started showing me a scene of myself fucking devouring Santana up against the wall that I realized that it was me, I was almost keening like a wounded animal as the minutes went by.
I quickly understood that the video had been heavily edited; it ended just as I shoved my hand down Santana's skirt and she groaned my name into my ear. Having been present when it actually happened, I knew that Santana's moaning was her first attempt at pushing me away; that it had ended only seconds later with her and me talking things through in a much more grown up kind of way.
But in the video, it faded to black like we were just about to take things to the next level and whoever filming was sneaking out of the room to leave us a tiny shred of privacy. There were sounds of me and Santana fucking in the background, something I knew was from the party that she'd held the year before I started going out with Rachel, but it sounded like we'd banged each other in that room and from the date stamp on the video it seemed like I'd been screwing Santana on the side during Rach's pregnancy. Fuck!
I all but threw the phone back into Mike's waiting hand and sidestepped him and Sam, who'd lost a bit of his focus during my video watching so he didn't notice until it was too late. I knew that it was only the friendship me and Mike shared that stopped him from jumping on my back and battling me to the ground like Finn had.
"Babe," I could hear the pleading for understanding in my voice, but I didn't give a shit that I was losing face, since I was in the middle of perhaps losing my fucking life! "Please let me explain."
"Word of advice," Sunshine, tiny little Sunshine sneered up at me, "Don't come closer because I'm very dangerous despite my size."
I knew that it wouldn't help my case if I pushed a girl away, let alone one as small as the foreign exchange student, so I stopped advancing. Instead, I tried catching Rachel's eyes, but she was still staring down at the cell phone in her now shaking hand.
"It didn't happen like it's portrayed – I mean, I fucked up by kissing her, but I swear that's all that happened and I was proving a point, I wasn't gonna sleep with her, I promise! Please; the rest of it wasn't from that time."
"What? So you've fooled around with that bitch ever since? That's disgusting!" Sunshine roared, letting her impressive voice pipes come to their right.
Santana's protest went unnoticed in the background, as I kept ignoring Sunshine and the others, who were glaring at both me and Santana. My only focus was the trembling brunette, now almost hidden in-between Quinn, Sunshine and Mercedes.
I honestly have no idea how long I stood there, pleading both with my voice and my eyes for some kind of understanding, but it was Mr. Shue that put a stop to things and ordered us into the bus, completely ignoring the fact that his best performer was clearly heartbroken.
I've never wanted to kick that son of a bitch's ass more. Pushing away from the grip I only then realized that Sam had on my shoulder, I walked over to our curly haired teacher and pointed back at Rachel.
"Can't you see she's not ready to leave? That something is seriously wrong?"
"Look, Puck," Mr. Shue acted like I was just a silly kid and stared at me with bemused eyes, "I know that you and Rachel are obviously in the middle of some couple related drama, but it's not the end of the world. Besides, it's not professional to keep dragging everyone into your love life. Save it for after Sectionals and I'm sure by then it'll be over and done with."
He left before I had a chance to point out that he really wasn't allowed to say those kinds of things, 'cause really, the dude was the worst at separating his personal and professional life. I mean, Miss Pillsbury, anyone?
Anyway, I didn't really take his words in all that much, still too preoccupied with trying to figure out how to a) get Rach to listen to and if possible forgive me and b) find a certain fellow Jew with a bad fro and kill his sorry ass. I was gonna make him long for the time I'd been smacking him around, that's all I'm sayin'.
And that's gonna get Rach to see you're a decent guy? A rarely heard logical part of me pointed out sarcastically, and I sighed, running a hand through my 'hawk in exasperation.
I stepped over to the bus as one of the last ones, right behind Santana, 'cause apparently, she too was being held out in the cold as long as possible. She glanced behind her shoulder at me, her face showing guilt and embarrassment in equal measure. Even if I didn't already know who was responsible for this fucked up mess, it was clear that she had had nothing to do with this shit seeing the light of day.
She'd probably have messed with the other Gleeks, especially Rachel, hoping to bring everyone down for kicks, but I knew deep in my heart that Santana would never do those kinds of things to me. We were too alike.
"I swear I didn't know he was there," she murmured without looking at me, as though not looking at me would make people calm down a bit, "when this thing is over and hopefully in the bag, I'm gonna hunt his ass down and make him eat that fucking camera."
"Not if I get him first," I replied as she got in the bus.
Once inside the tight space, I spotted Rachel in the back, with Quinn and Sunshine close by and I sat down dejectedly in the seat behind Artie. The guy looked at me with so much disappointment and annoyance that I knew he wasn't about to listen to me either. And also, he kept glaring at Mike for some reason that didn't really register in my head at the time. Too bad he wasn't willing to lend me an ear, 'cause I knew he was brilliant enough to help me plan my revenge on Jacob.
Once we finally reached the hotel where we'd performed exactly one year earlier, I thought sadly that I was apparently doomed to feel shitty every time I went to one of these fucking competitions. Mr. Shue led us to our rooms and I dared hope briefly that our rooming hadn't been tampered with.
It had taken Rachel two consecutive weeks of begging, arguing and plain old nagging to get Mr. Shue to agree to let her room with me, 'cause as she'd stated (many more times than one), "Noah and I board together on a daily basis and we are very responsible. My parents deemed it would be fairly hypocritical to make us sleep away from each other, since trying to keep us innocent is already a tad late, seeing as we have a child together. And to be honest, I doubt anyone here, besides Quinn and perhaps Sunshine, would want to room with me for the night since I'm fairly demanding and to be completely honest, I'd feel more secure in having Noah around me once my maternal instincts start screaming at me to return to Caroline...Of course, I could always come to my fellow glee clubbers and you Mr. Shue for help, but I'd feel better knowing that the father of my child was with me to comfort me in a no doubt dreary time."
I smiled as the memory of the panic stricken expression on the other Gleeks and Mr. Shue's faces as Rachel had subtly threatened to burden them with her hormonal feelings of yearning. Once she'd gone that route, everyone stopped talking about it being unfair to the others that we roomed together or, in Mr. Shue's case that our behavior would set a bad example, and started sending me looks varying degrees of sympathy and pity.
A moment later, the smile vanished, when Quinn stepped over to me, sending me angry looks that I didn't even bother say anything about, 'cause she was protecting Rachel and anyone who was nice to my girl could pretty much do anything to me right now.
"Rachel is sleeping in my room tonight. And I'm telling you right now that I need to sleep so I can sing just a little bit nicely tomorrow, because I seriously doubt that Rachel or Santana will be able to sing their best."
I snorted halfheartedly, scanning the hotel floor for Rachel's dark hair so I could try to intercept her before she went up to her room. "If you think that, you're obviously not as good a friend of Rachel's as you think you are."
I turned to leave, but Quinn's voice stopped me dead. "She said she couldn't handle seeing you right now, Puck. Give her a little space, she just found out her boyfriend cheated on her."
"I didn't!" I shouted, no doubt looking like an idiot as I spun around to defend myself, "That dweeb Israel did something to make it seem worse than it really was!"
"Okay," Quinn looked a little bit self-righteous as she continued and I wanted to slap her or at least just leave, especially 'cause she was right. "So the kiss wasn't really a kiss? You were giving Santana CPR of some kind? The hand in her panties was just to check for a pulse or what? Tell me something reasonable so I can go find Rachel and explain for you."
I swallowed a lump, knowing she wasn't asking for anything unreasonable, but also aware of the fact that I couldn't give her what she asked. The truth was, that I'd fucked up royally and even if it had all worked out back then, it had now come back to bite me in the ass and I feared for my future.
"I thought so," I heard Quinn mutter as she left me and I walked up to my room to keep out of everyone's way.
The only thing I did until Mr. Shue came to tell me that it was time to leave, was send Rachel a text that simply said, 'I love you.'
It didn't surprise me when she didn't respond.
As we sat in the Green Room, there was this heavy mood that weighed down on all of us. Tina and Artie were sitting together, muttering quietly to one another and sending glares and hurt looks at their respective partners; Brittany looked torn between being guilty over something to do with Artie and upset when she looked over at me or Santana.
Finn was still glowering at me, too busy to really appreciate that his lip was being tended to by Quinn, who tried covering the gash with makeup or something. Sunshine was sitting next to Santana on the couch, whispering what sounded like native voodoo chants in Santana's direction and Mercedes was sitting next to Rachel over in the other end of the room, supposedly "guarding" her, but knowing that girl as I did, I had a suspicion that she was just keeping the best front row seat for any possible action. I mean, it's no secret that the girl loved her gossip…
In the end, I couldn't take it anymore and stood up. At once, everyone turned their full attention on me and I quickly told them all to fuck off and roughly shoved past Sam, who'd been hovering near Quinn as she helped Finn.
I slowly fell into a jog and then a flat out run out of the hotel, pushing past guests and audiences that I couldn't care less about right at that point in time. Finally, I burst through one of the side doors and ended up out in a stinking alley full of containers of trash and other crap. I even spotted one bundle in the far away corner that I'm pretty sure was a human being sleeping.
I banged the door closed behind me and in my frustration I slammed my hands into the brick wall several times until, at last, I ran out of steam and slid down the grimy wall next to the door and put my head into my bruised and bloody hands, screaming out my emotions in the only non lethal way I knew.
I lost track of time, too absorbed in my own misery and that's why I jumped like a scared kid when none other than Rachel's voice sounded next to me.
"You really need to get over your urge to react psychically whenever your emotional turmoil boils over inside of you Pu-"
"Don't Rach, please don't!" I interrupted, staggering to my feet and taking a firm, but gentle hold of her shoulders. "I know I screwed up, and I'm gonna do whatever it takes to fix this mess, but for fuck's sake, don't start calling me Puck."
Her deadened gaze, not holding any emotion at all met mine briefly. "It's just a name, Noah. Now, if you're through with your masculine tantrum, we're about to start and we can't go on until we're all there."
"Babe," I begged softly, sounding truly desperate, "I'm truly sorry…" I trailed off at the flash of true agony that I caught in Rachel's eyes before she blinked and looked as dead as before.
"I can't do this right now, honestly, I find it hard to look at you, so please let's just get through this stupid competition and go home."
I really couldn't argue with that and nodded mutely as I released her. She looked at my hands for a long moment, but didn't comment before turning around and leading the way to the stage.
In the end, we all put our combined drama on hold long enough to perform well enough for us to tie with Kurt's Gayish Choir, The Warblers.
Before the whole mess had begun, Rach and I had agreed to go out to celebrate, never doubting a second that we'd place for Regionals, but I wound up spending my night alone, "celebrating" my life with a bottle of vodka, I'd gone out to buy after the competition.
Finn showed up at one point, and actually started apologizing for his violent behavior before spotting my drunken state and ended up calling me pathetic. I just stared at him and told him he should join me, 'cause we both had piss poor love lives at the moment.
He looked thoughtful for a second and then nodded after having looked around the hallway to check that no one saw him entering the room of "The Enemy".
Next morning, Finn and I were hung-over, but friends again, 'cause we'd ended up spilling our guts to each other during the night. Him about his feelings of longing and desperation that Quinn didn't leave him for Sam and his regrets about how he'd acted with Eve. And well on my end, I kept bawling like a loser that I'd never get a chance to fix things with my soul mate…
Yeah, I truly was as pathetic as Finn had said, I know.
Anyway, when we got back to McKinley's parking lot, Rachel had Quinn drive her home and I went over to my truck and tried driving home without wincing every time my injured hands had to be used for anything other than sitting on the steering wheel.
I came home, just as Quinn drove away, looking eager, no doubt anxious to see Eve, and I didn't really know if I would be welcome. I mean, sure, I knew I had earned a place in the Berry men's hearts, but once they learned about what had transpired in our absence, I'm pretty sure I'd have to run from Abraham and Hiram as they came after me with their shotgun.
Sighing, I grabbed my duffle bag and prepared to enter my home. When I walked inside, I was met with Abraham's knowing look, while Hiram kept dabbing his eyes with a handkerchief as he muttered about something I was happy I couldn't hear.
"How'd you find out so fast?" I asked Abraham, secretly relieved that he hadn't made a run for his gun as soon as I walked in.
Abraham just shrugged, "Jacob's mother came by yesterday to apologize on her son's behalf. Evidently, he'd neglected to clear out the evidence in his room – he's confessed to me that he manipulated the video to some degree, but I'd really like to know why you kissed another girl so passionately while my daughter was carrying your child?"
I sighed again and quickly explained and by the end, Abraham looked conflicted. Hiram had walked by me with a scoff, so it was obvious he'd returned to the 'Noah Puckerman can't be trusted'- fold and I tried telling myself that I didn't really care; that I'd never really gotten on with the white Mr. Berry, but it was a downright lie and everyone knew it.
To my surprise, Abraham actually sent a scolding look at his husband before turning to me with a serious look in his eyes. "I – we – won't interfere with your relationship with Rachel, Noah, but I will admit that you could've handled everything a lot better and that I sincerely hope that you intend to grovel at her feet."
"Yes Sir," I nodded, 'cause, really, it was my plan until Rachel deemed me worthy of forgiveness. "Did she take Caroline already?" My heart longed to see my daughter, but I knew that I'd respect it if Rach had taken her to our room to comfort herself.
Both men nodded and I returned the gesture. "I'm just gonna go try and talk to her. I'm not hungry." I added and scratched my not shaved chin only to see Abraham's eyes widen in horror at the sight of my hands.
"What happened?" Hiram immediately forgot his anger and went into doctor mode, ready to check me over.
A few minutes later, they'd unsuccessfully tried getting me to go to the emergency room to get an x-ray of my hands, but I refused and begged of any more of their worry to go begin my silent vigil at Rachel's door, which turned out to be locked just as I'd suspected.
And now, two days later, I'd barely left my place at the door, only leaving when Rachel silently handed me Caroline in the door so I could spend some time with her, only to return her hours later and continue our new routine of me waiting for Rachel to either forgive me or just give me a chance to explain. I'd long given up on asking her out loud through the closed door, 'cause it didn't work.
Apparently, my last refusal to get myself together was one too many for Abraham Berry to handle, 'cause he just bent down and pulled me to my feet and dragged me out to the nearest bathroom, shoving my no doubt stinky ass into the shower stall and turned on the water.
He didn't even leave to let me undress in private, probably not sure if I'd bail through the bathroom window or not. It was a battle with my now swollen hands to get everything off in the midst of the pouring water, but in the end I managed and he threw me a towel as I turned off the water ten minutes later.
"Dry off, get dressed and then you're going to sit down and eat the first real meal you've had all weekend before I'm taking you to the ER to get those hands looked at. Then we'll get back and get Rachel to sit down and talk with you face to face like a mature human being; do I make myself clear?"
I nodded timidly, honestly a little scared for my life, 'cause the dude's eyes were practically burning through me with determination.
On the inside though, I was also extremely grateful 'cause now I was sure that Rachel wouldn't be able to avoid me anymore… I mean, I was sure that I wasn't the only one that immediately obeyed once Abraham got like this.
"What are you waiting for, Son? Get moving!" Abraham bellowed from the doorway, once he noticed that I hadn't really begun getting dressed yet.
I smiled a small smile, the first since that morning before pulling into McKinley's parking lot and nodded brusquely. "Yes, Sir, I'll be right there."
A/N Doesn't the fact that I didn't cut this in half earn me a little comment? Lol. I hope you liked this despite the drama.
Until Next Time