sapphireej: (Starlight)
[personal profile] sapphireej

Title: Starlight, Chapter 44a
Author: Sapphire ([livejournal.com profile] sapphiresfic)
Fandom: Glee
Pairing/Characters: Rachel, Puck, Rachel/Puck, the Glee clubbers
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 10,685 (Part a & b)
Spoilers: Up to 1x22 ~ Journey; just to be safe
Series: 'Starlight' (List of all the parts on my LJ)
Summary1: He's the star who just wants to be a high school student; she's the loser, who dreams of her name in lights on Broadway... When they meet at WMHS on the first day of a new school year; how will they take each other? ~ AU from the eps.
Summary2: Someone contemplates joining Glee and the club celebrates Noah's awards
Disclaimer: I am just borrowing them for the fun of writing, BUT I do own the plot, ideas and original characters.
A/N: I edited this chapter, so all mistakes are mine.
A/N2: Feedback keeps me writing, so please comment or review. :D



~*~

A/N3: Keep in mind, within this AU... There is no Puck/Quinn, no Finn/Rachel, Quinn is NOT pregnant at all, Puck's dad never left when he was a kid and Puck will be OOC so yes, totally AU, though you'll see similarities to the episodes.

~*~

Once the Glee club settled down from the news that Noah had dropped on them, they decided to practice their songs a few times. Rachel wanted to see how behind she was and also wanted to see if there was anything she'd have to do differently because of her cast.

Rachel was happily surprised that she'd kept up as well as she had. Her vocals were not an issue and she had remembered a large portion of the choreography. Her cast hadn't gotten in the way, like she thought it might, which she was relieved for, but knew she was still behind, but not as much as she thought she might be. She was about where everyone else was. While she had been missing and then out of school, and Noah being gone for a week, everyone else had tried to practice, but missing leads for some of their songs made it difficult to work on everything. They were all behind and knew they'd need Saturday's practice and a lot of free time the following week to master their dances.

The club worked until a little after four-thirty. Will could see they had made some progress, but also didn't want to wear them down too much before the weekend practice, so he let them go a little earlier than usual. Ethan stayed to talk to Will, but said he'd meet the teens outside and Carly had stuck around the whole time to watch the club practice and walked out of them room with all of them when they started to leave. Walking through the now empty halls, some of the teens split off for the day, saying 'goodbye' and heading out to their cars, leaving Finn, Quinn, Noah, Rachel and Carly to stop at the guys' lockers one last time before they went home.

"So what did you think, Carly?" Rachel asked.

"You guys are awesome," Carly admitted with a smile, "um, were you really serious about me joining?"

"Yeah, if it's something you'd be interested in. We'd always love new members. Ryan joined us after Sectionals and you could join after Regionals. He came with us for Sectionals, actually, so if you want to, we could see if Mr. Schuester would be okay with you joining us for Regionals next weekend. You could get the competition experience and see if it's something you'd be okay being a part of," Rachel explained.

"If you joined it'd make us have an even amount of guys and girls, too," Quinn added, "that would be cool."

Carly took a deep breath, "um, okay. That would be cool. I don't know if I'd be able to go next weekend. I'd have to talk to my parents, but as long as it's a school trip and there are adults going, I don't think they'd have a problem with it. We'll see."

Rachel nodded, "that's understandable. Yes, there are adults going. There has to be because we're going out of state. It's in Detroit. We'll talk to Ethan and either he or Noah can bring it up to Mr. Schuester tomorrow."

"Noah's parents and sister, Mr. Schue, Ms. Pillsbury, Kurt's dad and my mom are going with us," Finn said as he closed his locker.

"Carly, you might as well say you're gonna join, because they're not gonna let up until you do," Noah smirked.

"Okay, okay... I'll join," Carly blushed, "I sing in the shower and don't dance well, but I guess I'll get better when I practice," she admitted.

"Exactly!" Rachel grinned.

~*~

The five teens walked towards the exit of the school and made their way to their cars. They paused at Ethan's SUV and Quinn, Finn and Carly said 'goodbye', leaving Rachel and Noah waiting for Ethan. "Carly's joining Glee. That's awesome," Noah smiled.

"It is. I was hoping she would. She already gets along with everyone, so I know they'll all welcome her," she pulled her phone from her pocket and created a text message, sending it to everyone who hadn't been there to let them know that Carly was joining, "and I hope Mr. Schuester is able to let her join us on the trip."

"I'm sure she can come. I don't see why not," Noah shrugged, slipping his arms around her, "enough about everyone else," he said, taking her phone from her hands and slipping back into her jacket pocket, "I'm more into you," he said softly, pressing a kiss to her lips.

Rachel melted into his embrace, "I needed this," she murmured as their lips broke apart.

Noah glanced at her, realizing there was more to her comment than just wanting a hug or kiss, "babe, what's wrong?" He asked concerned.

"If I told you that I'm staying at your house tonight and ask you to let me tell you and my dads at the same time, would that be alright?" She asked softly.

"Of course," Noah nodded, not wanting to push her, but couldn't help his curiosity, "did something happened today? Because this morning we talked about staying at your place."

"I know," she bit her lip, "something did. I just think it would be easier if I could tell you and my dads together. I've already spoken to your dad; he knows and said I could stay. We'll still go to my place and talk to dad and daddy, have dinner and all that, but we're just going back to your house tonight."

"Okay," he shrugged, pressing a kiss to her forehead, "you're the boss," he winked.

"Thanks," she blushed, snuggling against him, "this is definitely nice."

Noah smiled, rubbing her back gently, "it is." He was very curious about what was up, but tried not to ask again, deciding to change the subject instead, "you were amazing today. Sure, we all do need some time to practice more, but I think we'll be okay."

"Me too!" Rachel grinned, pulling back a little to look at him, "I'm glad. We've all missed a lot of time together, but even after the short time we had today, I'm sure we'll be okay with the performance; it's the nerves we may have issues with."

"Yeah, I figured that," he nodded, "are you sure you're not mad at me for not telling you sooner?"

"I'm sure," she promised, "you're right. It's only fair we found out at the same time. It's okay," she leaned up and pressed a kiss to his lips, "so stop worrying."

"Alright," he smiled, seeing his dad and Will walking towards them, "Mr. Schue's here, too. We can talk to him about Carly now."

Rachel turned around and saw him, "okay, cool."

~*~

Explaining to the guys that Carly had decided to join, Will was happy to have another member in the club. He didn't see a problem with her joining them on their trip, as long as her parents were okay with it and she brought in a permission form, so Will asked Noah to talk to Carly the next day and have her find him when she had free time, so they could talk about the trip and club.

After a short time, Will welcomed Rachel back to the club, then said 'goodbye' and headed off to his car. Noah told his dad they'd be over later; he didn't know why they had changed plans, but Rachel promised to tell him and her dads once they got to her place. Ethan understood and asked that they not be back too late as he climbed into his SUV. The couple agreed and waved at Ethan, before heading over to Noah's SUV in the lot.

Reaching his SUV, Noah opened the door for Rachel and helped her inside, before getting in the driver's seat and soon they were on their way to her house. Being just a short trip, Noah parked in front of their house and the two climbed out. They grabbed their bags and Noah followed her up to the house and went inside behind her, knowing her dads were already home. Dropping their bags by the stairs, she took her jacket off and then the two moved into the kitchen, "hey dad, hey daddy!" Rachel greeted, smiling when she saw them.

"Hey you two, how was Glee?" David asked, wrapping his arms around Rachel.

"It went really well. We still have some issues, but we were all picking things up. We're all meeting Saturday at school to practice and we decided to do Noah's party then, too," Rachel explained, returning his hug.

"Oh really? At school?" David commented surprised.

"Yeah, during a lunch break from practice," Noah added, "we need all the practice time we can get. Regionals is next weekend and even though we're not as behind as we thought, we need the time to work together."

"That's understandable," Alan agreed, "you guys haven't really had a full rehearsal for almost a month."

Rachel nodded, "and also because Noah let us know something he found out while he was in California, so everyone is nervous about it, too."

"What's that?" David wondered.

"Olivia Newton-John and Josh Groban are going to be judges at Regionals," Noah said simply, taking a seat at the island.

"Oh, wow! Aren't you guys doing a Grease song?" Alan asked.

"Yes, we are," Rachel nodded, "and we don't have time to pick a new song, so we have to stick to it. It's just going to be difficult. Aside from everyone meeting Taylor, only Quinn, Finn, Noah and I have met other celebrities, so we many not be starstruck or nervous, but the rest might, especially because of the song."

"That is possible, but they all seemed to take quickly to Taylor being around, so maybe they won't be as nervous as expected," David commented.

"That's what I hope, but it's a different situation. I know we can't really prepare for that, so as long as we're aware of it, we can now hopefully focus on just our performances," Rachel explained, taking a seat next to Noah. She knew he was holding back on asking what happened that afternoon, so she decided to continue with it, "um, after dinner, I'm going to pack some things and go stay at Noah's house tonight and possibly tomorrow night," she said softly.

"Really? You said this morning you guys were staying here," Alan said, moving over to them.

"Apparently something happened today, but she hasn't told me what yet. She wanted to tell us all together," Noah said, nudging her playfully, "so, what happened?"

Rachel couldn't help the blush that grew on her cheeks. After thinking about what happened, she got a little embarrassed that such a little thing bothered her, but she couldn't shake her feelings, "well, I was fine when I first got home. I showered and then started doing homework. Without anyone at home besides me, every noise I heard freaked me out and then someone rang the doorbell and I couldn't handle it anymore. I called Ethan and he came over around eleven-thirty or twelve with lunch and kept me company. We talked briefly and he suggested that if I stayed at their house tonight, when Noah and Arin go to school and Deborah goes to work, I could stay there and hang out, do my work there and Ethan would be around, so I wouldn't be alone. Then when Noah got out of school, he could come home and I'd be there already, so we could see each other and now with our practice on Saturday, I just figured it'd be easier to stay there again tomorrow night," she explained, "and of course you guys are invited for dinner."

"Oh sweetheart," David moved over to her and wrapped his arms around her, "I'm so sorry. You seemed so confident that wouldn't be an issue that I felt better about going back to work; I should have waited."

"I didn't know I'd have problems. I honestly thought I'd be okay," she replied, "no one knew I'd have issues, so don't be upset about going back to work. I didn't want you to stay out any longer than you already had been."

"I had a feeling you might have a problem, but since you seemed okay, I didn't want to bring it up," Alan admitted, "but I'm glad Ethan was able to come over to help you out."

"Me too," Rachel agreed, "I felt bad calling him, but I didn't know what else to do. I knew if I told you guys, you'd take off work and rush home and I didn't want that and I also didn't want you skipping school on your first day back to come over to be with me," she said, looking at her boyfriend.

"I would have in a heartbeat," Noah said honestly, "but I understand why you didn't tell me," he added, taking her hand in his, "it wouldn't look too good to skip on my first day back," he admitted sadly.

Rachel nodded, "yes, exactly, which is why I didn't say anything. I really appreciate that you'd do anything for me, but that's not something I want you to do. I took care of things; well, kind of. Your dad came over and none of you had to miss work or school. I'll be with him tomorrow so it doesn't happen and then I'm back to school on Monday. Hopefully with most of this behind me, so I can focus on Glee and getting back to normal."

~*~

Rachel was relieved they didn't put too much fuss up about it. She knew they felt bad she'd had problems, but was glad they were understanding and okay with her arrangements for the next day. Settling down for dinner, they let their conversation shift to how Rachel did being back at school. She admitted she'd had a slight problem in the hallway, but that slowly disappeared the more she was there. They also talked about the plans for Saturday and agreed to talk more about it the next night when David and Alan joined them at the Puckerman's for dinner.

Finishing up downstairs, Noah and Rachel moved up to her bedroom with their bags. She needed to pack things to take to her boyfriends, so while she was doing that, Noah pulled out of one of his books and started on his homework.

After a short while of Noah working and Rachel packing, Noah had a thought, "you know, if you ever wanted to, you could leave some of your clothes at my place, or just an outfit or something."

Pausing in her closet, Rachel turned to him, "really? Are you sure?"

"Of course," Noah nodded, getting up and moving towards her, "you spend time at my place and it saves packing everything all the time," he explained, "it's no different than me leaving a few shirts here, even though I know you like to sleep in them when I'm not here."

Rachel blushed at his words, "you know about that?"

"Yeah, but it's okay. I think you look hot in my clothes," he admitted with a grin as he slipped his arms around her waist.

"Then I won't bring any pajamas over and will just sleep in your shirts," she replied, pressing a kiss to his lips, "because I do enjoy wearing them."

"Sounds perfect to me," he agreed, kissing her once more.

"Noah," she blushed and knew he was trying to keep going, "if we're going to make it to your house at a decent time, I need to finish packing."

Noah sighed, reluctantly letting her go, "alright, I suppose I could finish my work while you're packing. I don't have much to do, just math and science."

Rachel nodded and kissed him once more before he walked away. Moving back to her closet, she collected a few more shirts and returned to her bed, going through her things. In one bag, she made sure she had clothes for the next few days, along with everything she'd need to shower or get ready with. In a smaller bag, she put her workout clothes and some things to take with on Saturday for Glee practice, along with different shoes. "I'm gonna go get my homework packed up and then I think I should be ready to go."

"Alright. I have a few questions to finish answering and I'll be done with science, so take your time. We can leave when you're done. Do you need any help?" Noah asked.

"No, I've got it," she replied, grabbing a bag and headed downstairs.

In the bag she usually takes to school, she'd forgotten was filled with all the notes from her locker and remembered her flowers were still in Noah's car. Wanting to read all the messages at some point during the weekend, she organized her bag, stuffing the last few books and binders into it, so she could keep the notes inside. Leaving that bag by the door, she took her laptop upstairs and added it to her larger suitcase, "we have to be careful with this one. I have my laptop in it for some homework."

"Okay," Noah nodded and closed his book, "I'm done with my science. I can do math when I get home. Are you ready?"

Rachel glanced around her room, "I think so. I have a change of clothes for a few days and things for practice on Saturday. That should get me through Saturday night, into Sunday. I was thinking we could stay here Sunday night. It's Glee on Monday, so we'll go together and that way I can see my dads before school."

"That sounds good. No problem here," he shrugged, open for anything at the moment.

~*~

Collecting their bags and saying 'goodnight' to her dads, Rachel and Noah loaded their things into his SUV and headed out to his place, arriving just after seven. After talking with his family for a short time, the two took their things up to his room and found comfortable places to sit and do homework. Rachel was sitting at his desk, while Noah did his math on his bed and since they didn't have the same work to do, they didn't do a lot of talking. Rachel knew she couldn't finish hers that night, but passed the time while he was doing his work for the next day.

Noah's math went quicker than he expected and just after eight he was done with it, closing his book and stashing it back into his bag. Rachel was still working, so he got up and set his bag by his door and then moved towards her, "you want to take a break?" He asked softly, leaning over her a little to see what she was doing.

Rachel blushed a little, "you're done already?"

"Yeah, and you've got all day tomorrow to work on your homework, so let's go raid the fridge," he smirked.

"Noah, it's eight at night and we're going to bed soon," she commented, putting her pen down and turning to look at him.

"So?" He shrugged, "alright, then let's make some popcorn and watch a movie."

She laughed lightly at his change, but nodded, "that sounds good."

~*~

Moving downstairs, Noah went to pop a few bags of popcorn in the microwave and Rachel went through his parent's movie collection and found a romantic comedy that Deborah said she liked, so she settled on that and met her boyfriend in the kitchen. Once the popcorn was done, the two headed downstairs and he set up the DVD player and the two got comfortable on the couch.

Noah didn't really care what the movie was about; he usually was pretty open to anything she picked and while she spent more time paying attention to it, he had his eye on her. He felt bad about what happened to her during the day. He tried to play it off when they were with her dads, by being understanding, which he did, but it still upset him. Even after being back home, safe for several weeks, he still got a sick feeling in his stomach whenever his mind would drift to why she was having those problems and he'd get even more pissed. He hated she had to go through anything like that.

Rachel was enjoying the movie, laughing lightly at things the characters went through, but could tell her boyfriend wasn't into it. She wasn't quite sure what was up with him; he was the one to suggest the movie, but she noticed he hardly took his eyes off her, so about halfway through the movie, she leaned forward, grabbed the remote and paused the movie, "alright, what's going on?" She asked, turning to look at him as she sat back.

"Nothing," he shrugged, "I'm fine."

"No you're not. Do you even know we're watching a movie? You have hardly taken your eyes off me since we sat down. I definitely don't mind it and being close to you is quite enjoyable, but something is wrong, so spill," she said, setting her half-empty popcorn bowl on the table.

Knowing she wasn't going to give in until he told her, Noah nodded and shifted a little so he could face her, pulling one leg up on the couch and folding it under him, "I still am upset about this afternoon. When you told us about it, I tried to be understanding and I do get it, but it still bothered me," he sighed, "when you have problems, I think back to what caused them all and it pisses me off. I haven't really shaken what happened to you, yet."

"Oh, Noah," Rachel leaned forward and wrapped her good arm around him in a hug, "I'm here. I haven't totally shaken what happened either, but I'm better."

Noah held her close to him and pressed a kiss to her cheek, "I know and I'm so thankful for that, but sometimes I just can't help these sick feelings I get when you have a problem and it's from what happened," he bit his lip and pulled back a little, taking her good hand in his and squeezing it gently, "I was there when you told Mike and Allison what happened exactly and my imagination is too active at times, so I get these flashes of you when she had you and it still pisses me off that I couldn't protect you. I swore to you I would and then this happens. I keep wondering if I missed something I should have seen."

Rachel quickly realized that Noah had never talked about or dealt with everything, like she had. She'd talked about and was dealing with it, but he'd been her rock, listening to her and helping her recover, while he was holding in all of his emotions to be the strong one for her and finally, he was starting to crack, "I had those same feelings today, actually, and your dad told me, 'don't try to figure out what you did wrong, because you didn't do anything wrong'. He's right. She was hiding things from everyone and there was nothing we could have done to prevent her from doing what she did. He said he'd experienced similar feelings while being a cop and," she paused, trying to remember his exact words, "I think he said 'you can't beat yourself up about what happened or you'll spend the rest of your life second guessing everything you do, say or feel'. Again, he's right. There isn't a day go by that I don't remember what happened to me, but what's really helped is talking about it with you and everyone. The more I do it, the easier it is for me to deal with, so don't hold it in; the sick feeling won't be as bad if you do talk about it," she squeezed his hand, "as for protecting me, you had no clue this was going to happen, so you couldn't have protected me from it, but you've been there for me for everything since and that means the world to me. You do not know how good I felt when I opened my eyes and saw you; you may not have stopped what happened, but you found me and you've been helping me deal with everything; I see that as protection," leaning forward she pressed a kiss to his lips, "I feel horrible that it's taken this long for me to figure out you need to talk, too. When I first got back, you seemed okay, but I should have known things might change. I'm sorry."

"Don't be sorry," he shook his head, resting his free hand on her cheek, his thumb gently brushing over her skin, "I haven't wanted to talk, because I thought I was getting past things; you know? I remember we talked briefly just after you were home and at the time, all my fears and worries had disappeared because you were home. Since then, I guess I have been keeping things bottled up, because I wanted to be strong for you and I'm not used to always talking about feelings. Sometimes, yeah, but not always, but you're right. Talking about it does make me feel better," he admitted honestly.

"Good," Rachel smiled, shifting closer to him, ending with her sitting on his lap with her good arm wrapped around his neck, "keep talking," she added, pressing a kiss to his lips.

Noah blushed a little, but gladly welcomed her and slid his arms around her body, "well, what my dad said; yeah he is right. I know logically I should be able to let go, because I couldn't have done anything differently, but my heart can't shake it. I don't think I'd ever second guess myself, but this has definitely made me a bit more cautious. I'm sure some of that will go away over time," he paused, remembering something else she said, "I'm so glad I was there to find you, too. Dad almost didn't let me, but Mike talked him into it. There was no way I was gonna let someone else find you. I wanted you to know that I'd be there for you for anything and that's never going to change. I'll always be by your side," he promised.

Rachel grinned brightly and pressed a loving kiss to his lips. He gently returned the affection and as their lips broke apart, she pressed her forehead against his, "I know you always will be. I love you," she murmured.

"I love you, too," he replied with a bright smile.

~*~

The teens went to bed shortly after their big discussion, because Noah still had to go to school Friday. When they woke up that morning, Noah insisted she didn't have to get up with him, but she wanted to. Her goal was to finish her homework that day and wanted to get an early start on it, so she could have the weekend free before returning to school.

Rachel had slept well, just like the night before, but this time when she woke up, there was no confusion; she knew where she was. She was definitely relieved that she'd gotten past it, because she enjoyed staying with him.

After everyone had gotten ready for the day, they all sat down to a nice breakfast together, before walking everyone to their cars in the garage. Saying 'goodbye', Rachel and Ethan watched them leave and then went back inside. Even though Ethan insisted she didn't have to, Rachel helped him clean up from breakfast, before she went upstairs to shower.

Once she was ready for the day, Rachel started right on her homework. She felt weird being in Noah's room without him, so she gathered up the things she'd need and went down to the dinning table to work. Ethan knew she had work to do so he gave her some space, but after a while, he joined her, thinking they could talk about some arrangements for the 'party' the next day. They knew that Finn's mom was bringing a cake and as much as Rachel didn't like the idea of pizza being the 'food', she agreed it would be the best idea for the time and situation. She also knew she couldn't keep a fear of pizza for the rest of her life, so she promised him and herself that she'd be okay with it.

Having a break for lunch, Rachel got back to work and finished more of her assignments. She only had a few more to do and knew they wouldn't take very long, so she settled in and by the time her boyfriend and their friends had finished with school for the day, she was done. "Finally! After working for almost two weeks on this all, I'm done," she thought, gathering up all of her things and heading back upstairs to put them in Noah's room.

As she reached the top of the stairs, Ethan was walking towards her, "hey, you finish your work?"

Rachel smiled happily and nodded, "I did."

"Awesome. I bet you're glad you're done with it. Now you've got the weekend free," Ethan replied, "Noah's on his way to pick up Arin at school, so they should be home in a bit."

"Oh, alright. That's cool. Thank you for letting me stay over here, today. I know it may not have seemed like much, but it means a lot," Rachel admitted.

"Don't mention it," Ethan waved his hand, "it's cool. Glad to help out any way I can. Besides, it doesn't hurt to get out of your house for a while," he added.

"Very true," she agreed with a nod, "I actually like being out here. It's quiet. There isn't the noise from neighbors or unexpected visitors," she explained, "but there still are noises. I'm actually surprised it doesn't bother me, because of where she had me," she admitted, stepping into her boyfriend's room to drop her things onto his bed.

"That probably all has to do with feelings. You know you are safe and comfortable here, so even though we live in a quieter area with similar features to the place she had you, it's also totally different," Ethan explained.

Rachel nodded, moving out of Noah's room and followed Ethan downstairs, "yeah. It is very different. I think this was a really good step and now it's one less that I have to achieve."

"Exactly. Pretty soon this will be behind you as nothing more than a memory," he said, moving into the kitchen.

"I can't wait for that. I sometimes think the reason why I'm still reminded of it more is because of my cast. I'm hoping once it's gone that I'll be able to move on more than I have," she commented.

"That could be," he agreed moving to the fridge and getting out a few things he needed to start dinner along with a bottle of water for her.

Rachel gladly accepted the bottle and took a seat at the island. She opened it a took a swig, watching as Ethan began to start cooking and for the moment, let her mind wander. After a few minutes, a thought came to her, "can I ask you something?"

"Sure, anything," Ethan replied with a nod.

"Um," she blushed and ran her hand through her hair, "Noah's probably going to be upset that I said anything, but Noah isn't past what happened to me and I'm not sure how much he'll talk to me about it. We did talk a little last night and he admitted he'd been bottling things up and I think he's been trying to stay strong for me. I told him he shouldn't hold it in and should talk about it, because talking has really helped me, but could I also have suggested writing music? I don't know how he gets inspired to write."

"Definitely," Ethan nodded, "it's a good idea. I'm sure he's been more focused on you, so it's not crossed his mind. He's never been one to talk about his feelings all the time, so he puts them into his music. That's why most of the songs he wrote on his last album were about friends, family, being at home or wanting to be himself. He had an opportunity to have some freedom from the business and when he had to go back to it, he put how upset and pissed he was into the songs he wrote, to express himself," he explained honestly, "so that's a really good suggestion."

"Okay cool. I knew that, so that's why I thought of it, but I wasn't sure if that worked for everything or if it was just certain things," she admitted, "Noah is very talented. So are you. I know you helped him write some of his songs, too."

Ethan smiled, "thanks and yes he is. I'm sure he'll get to it once things settle down. He's focused on you right now and Regionals is on all of your minds, so he probably doesn't want to distract himself with new music, while you all need to stay focused on Regionals."

"Oh yeah! I didn't think of that. That definitely could be it," she agreed, taking a sip of her water, "I'll talk to him about it when he gets home. I'd love to watch him go through the writing process. I've never seen it before."

"Sometimes it happens quickly, sometimes it takes forever. There are times when Noah sits down and in a few hours can write a chorus and a few verses, along with guitar or piano music. Other times he has the music, but not the words; it just depends on the mood he's in and what flows. Same with me," he explained, "but it's great when it's done and you can hear the final product. It's an amazing feeling."

"I bet it is," she smiled, jumping when the gate alarm went off, like a doorbell echoing through the house.

"You okay?" Ethan asked, not bothered by the sound.

Rachel blushed and nodded, "yeah, I just wasn't expecting it. Noah and Arin are home?"

"Yeah. Deborah doesn't usually get home until after four. Most of the time I pick up Arin or she goes home with a friend that lives near where we used to," Ethan explained.

"Oh. That must be hard for her. Not living near her friends anymore," she commented.

"Yes, but her friends parents, Deborah and I all work together so the kids can still hang out. When Noah and I were gone, Arin always went home with her friend and then Deborah would pick her up after she got off. Now that we're home, we split it up. The days I'm at school for Glee, she goes home with her friend and Deborah picks her up, the other days, I pick her up. Gives her and I some bonding time."

"That's good," Rachel smiled, "you could have gone to get her today. I think I would have been alright for a short time."

"It's okay. Noah has to go right by there on the way home, so it's not out of his way," he explained as the door to the garage opened and they could hear footsteps on the floor.

Rachel turned so she was facing the door and after a few moments, Arin skipped into the kitchen and waved at Rachel before moving to Ethan to hug him.


"Arin! You could have hung up your jacket," Noah called out.

Ethan hugged Arin and looked at her, "did you leave your jacket on the stairs?"

Arin blushed and sighed, pulling away and moving out of the kitchen and both Ethan and Rachel could hear the closet door opening, "see, that wasn't so hard," Noah commented.

"I was gonna hang it up later," Arin replied as she returned to the kitchen.

"That's usually my line and I usually forget," he replied, joining them in the kitchen and smiling when he saw his dad and Rachel, "hey dad. Hey babe," he smiled, moving to his girlfriend.

"Hey, Noah," Rachel smiled brightly, reaching out and wrapping her good arm around him in a hug when he got near her, "how was school?"

He shrugged, pulling back a little to press a kiss to her lips, "it was school. Carly got a permission slip from Mr. Schue and said she'd talk to her parents tonight and bring it back tomorrow if she can go with us. How was your day? You didn't respond to any of my messages, so did you get them?"

Rachel's eyes widened and then she blushed, "no, sorry. I left my phone in my bag upstairs while I was doing homework down here," she admitted. "I'm glad Carly talked to Mr. Schuester."

Noah nodded in understanding at her comment about Carly and then continued, "ah, that explains it. Others had also written you and were curious. You may want to check your messages," he told her, pressing a kiss to her forehead.

"I will," she assured him, "do you have any homework?"

"Nope. Our math teacher was gone today and didn't want our substitute going over the next lesson. My other classes were just going over past work and some lecture, so we didn't get any assignments," he explained.

"Awesome! Neither of us have to do any homework this weekend. I finished all of my work today," she explained, "just what are we going to do?"

Noah grinned, "I think it's about time I take you out on a date," he admitted honestly.

"Really?" Rachel blushed.

"Yeah, really," he nodded, "it's been a while since we've gone out, just you and me. I figured since we'll be practicing and having the party tomorrow, that we could go out Sunday afternoon. Then we could head to your place afterward."

"That sounds like a great idea," she smiled, "but I don't know what to do."

"It's alright. We'll come up with something."

~*~

Rachel and Noah stayed in the kitchen for a few more moments, before heading up to his room. She took her things off his bed and set them near her bags and got her cell phone, checking the messages. She responded to a few of them and soon was snuggling up with her boyfriend on his bed.

"Did you talk to my dad about tomorrow?" Noah asked.

"Yes I did," Rachel nodded, glancing up at him, "since Finn's mom is bringing the cake, we're just going to have pizza and drinks," she shrugged, "I know I've been against pizza, but I can't hate it forever and for the time frame we have and where we're going to be, it's easier to clean up than other things," she explained.

"That is true. You sure you'll be okay with it?" He asked concerned, knowing her reasons for not liking it.

She smiled at him, "I will be," she promised.

"Good," he reached out and brushed his hand along her cheek, "another thing to get past. You're doing amazing, babe."

Leaning into his touch, Rachel smiled and shifted closer to him, "thanks, Noah."

Noah let his hand drift down to rest on her forearm and then pressed a kiss to her lips, "you're welcome. I'm really proud of you. You're doing great in your recovery."

"I appreciate that, Noah. I'm trying and you've been a big help, too," she admitted, taking a deep breath, "um, I... I hope you're not upset, but I mentioned to your dad a little about what we'd talked about last night. I wanted to ask him about your writing," she explained, biting her lip.

"I don't mind," he assured her, "but what about my writing?"

"Well, I know you wrote 'Someone To Fall Back On' for me, but I wasn't sure how or when you wrote. I wanted to suggest that if you weren't used to talking about your feelings that you could write them into music and I asked your dad if it was a good suggestion and he said you usually did, anyway," she explained.

Noah lifted his hand and tapped his temple a little, before returning his hand to her arm, "I definitely have a few songs going on in my head," he admitted, "and yes, I do usually do that. It's a good release for me. I'll pick up a guitar sometime after Regionals. With all of us down to crunch time, I don't want to distract myself."

Rachel nodded in understanding, "that's what we thought. I just wanted to make sure. I can't wait to be around to see you go through the writing process. I've never experienced it before, so it'll be nice to see how things happen."

"It's fun, but it can also be very frustrating. Sometimes when I get a chorus and a verse written, I can get stuck on the rest. I have sheet music downstairs of just melodies and even recorded some, but never could find the words to put with them," he told her.

"I can definitely understand where that would be frustrating. I've never written my own music before, but I do know and have heard of writer's block before."

"Yeah, that's it. It sucks big time, but then there are times when things just come easily; especially when I'm inspired. You're definitely one of my favorite inspirations," he said truthfully, smiling at her.

Rachel felt her body begin to flush at his words, "I am?"

"Oh yeah," he nodded, leaning in and pressing a kiss to her lips, "I'm in love, it's something I've never felt before, so now I'm inspired to write love songs. Have you heard that Sara Bareilles song 'Love Song' from a few years ago?"

"Yeah, but isn't that about not writing a love song?" She wondered.

He laughed lightly, "yeah," he thought a moment, and then sang the chorus of the song lightly, "Blank stares at blank pages, no easy way to say this. You mean well, but you make this hard on me. I'm not gonna write you a love song 'cause you asked for it, 'cause you need one. You see, I'm not gonna write you a love song 'cause you tell me it's make or break in this if you're on your way. I'm not gonna write you to stay, if all you have is leaving I'm gonna need a better reason to write you a love song today," as he finished, he blushed a little, but smiled, "I used it to point out to the record company on my last album that I wasn't just gonna write love songs because they wanted them. I had to be in love to feel like writing them and now that I am, you've helped me open another door in my music," he admitted, "I only helped write the songs from 'Camp Rock' and the ones from 'Camp Rock 2' that I wrote after we got together should be a proof of that."

Rachel felt tears fill her eyes at his explanation, "oh Noah, I'm so happy I've been able to help you," she admitted, hugging him, "you're an amazing writer and I think you would have been able to write them without me, but it really means a lot to hear."

Noah smiled and returned her hug, "thanks, babe. I may have been able to, with dad's help, but I wouldn't have been able to feel them like I can now, so for that, thank you."

With tears falling from her eyes, she returned his smile and kissed him lovingly, "you're welcome."

~*~

The young couple's emotional moment turned into just relaxing, talking lightly about anything they could think of and enjoying the time together. When his mom and her dads arrived, they reluctantly emerged from his room and joined their families for dinner. They all talked about the party and practice the next day and what Rachel and Ethan had decided to do and sorted out some arrangements. David and Alan agreed to pick up drinks and Deborah and Ethan would take care of getting the pizza, all of them being reassured from Rachel that she was okay with it.

They also talked a little about the day and David and Alan were happy to hear she'd had a great and successful day, finishing up her homework. Rachel was definitely relieved to have it done and hoped she wouldn't have anymore make-up work to do once she got back.

After dinner they all sat around and continued their conversations, but soon her dads decided to get going and promised to be at McKinley the next day by noon, the time the teens had agreed to take a break for the party.

When it got closer to bedtime, Rachel's dads decided to get going, saying 'goodnight' to their daughter and promising to see her the next day. Rachel assured them she'd be fine and Noah and his family promised the same thing and said 'bye' to the two men as they left a little after eight.

Rachel and Noah knew they had an early morning, so even though they didn't want to, they knew they should try to get some sleep, so they could be ready for a long day of practice.

~*~

Link to Chapter 44b
(Had to split the chapter up because it was just a little too long to fit in one LJ post.)

~*~


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Notes

Hi! This is EJ... AKA sapphiresfic on LJ, sapphireej on FF.net and EJ8302 on Tumblr and Twitter.

6/8/2012 - ALL LINKS in posts go to LJ. Over time I will correct them so they go to DW, but for now, it's a start.

June 2012

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