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Title: Breakaway, Part 1/?
Author: Sapphire ([livejournal.com profile] sapphiresfic)
Fandom: Glee
Pairing/Characters: Puckleberry (Puck/Rachel), Puck, Rachel, other Glee characters
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 5,682
Spoilers: This part to '3x13 - Heart'; whole series will be through the Glee season 3 finale.
Series: 'Breakaway' (List of all the parts on my LJ)... Also follows my LJ Lark series. So far 'Part 1 - Breaking The Rules' and 'Part 2 - Something To Talk About'.
Fic Table prompt: #31 - Space (table at my journal here).
Summary1: Alternate, deleted and additional scenes leading to Puckleberry being endgame by the end of season 3. Parallels with my LJ Lark series. Slightly AU after the end of '3x11 - Michael'. Posted in honor of Puckleberry Week. For fic table prompt #31 - Space.
Summary2: Episodes '3x11 - Michael' to '3x13 - Heart'
Disclaimer1: I don't own Glee, so I'm just borrowing the characters and ideas for the fun of writing, *but* I do own the original characters, original plot and other original ideas.
A/N1: I edited this, so all mistakes are mine.
A/N2: Feedback keeps me writing, so please comment or review. :D
Disclaimer2: Title from one of my favorite Kelly Clarkson songs 'Breakaway'. Just borrowing. I don't own!
A/N3: Posting in honor of 'Puckleberry Week' on Tumblr. 'Deleted Scenes' is the theme for the first day, 4/23/2012, so I thought this fit into that category... Sorry it's a bit late!


~*~

A/N4: I'll detail it more below the fic, but for the moment I'll say this is going to be nothing like I've done before, so please be gentle... Normally, I refuse to associate with anything after season 1 of Glee (except Sam), but for this I'm making an exception. This fic will parallel with my Lark series, that I only post on my LJ and will span from the end of '3x11 - Michael' to the end of season 3. You don't need to read my Lark series to understand it. When reading, understand this takes out ALL of the Finn/Rachel relationship things: the proposal, the almost-wedding and anything involving them as a couple. It will also change some of the Puck scenes, his comments or things he does, and this will all twist the episodes into a Puckleberry friendship; eventually becoming an endgame Puckleberry relationship by the end of the season. Below, you'll find each episode listed and under them will be one to several scenes that can be added into the show... Some are 'alternate' scenes, where you'll recognize what the scene is from one we saw in the show, but the wording will be slightly different and other scenes will be 'deleted', 'additional' or 'what should have been' scenes, as in, if this was the shows plan all along, some of these would be scenes that were cut out.

Disclaimer3: Any familiar lines from the episode listed have been underlined... Just borrowing them! I don't own!

~*~

3x11 - Michael

~*~

As Finn began to sing 'I Just Can't Stop Loving You' by the Jackson 5, Rachel listened to the first few words, but her heart just wasn't into listening to him singing about that. She didn't feel the same, so she reached out and rested her hand on his and waved at the band to stop, "Finn, I... We need to talk," she admitted.

"Rachel, what's going on?" Finn asked, now embarrassed as he stood next to the piano in the choir room.

Rachel had been thinking about what she wanted to tell him for a while and glanced at the floor briefly, gathering her thoughts and turned her gaze on him, "Finn, I'll always care about you," she started and could already see he was getting the hint, "but we're not ready and we're way too young to get married. We don't really love each other, not like a real couple should when talking about getting married. We love the idea of having someone special, but it would be a mistake for us to believe our relationship is going to last after high school. When we got back together after Nationals last year, I told you I was going to New York after school without any ties and I meant it. We're going in two different directions and both of us would miss so many opportunities if we got married right now and I, for one, don't want to jeopardize my future because of it," she took a calming breath, and tried to ignore the hurt look on Finn's face as she continued, "you're going to make someone very happy one day, but it's not going to be me. I just think it's best we end things now, before they get any further along. I'm sorry Finn, but my answer is 'no'."

Finn's shook his head, "so that's it? You're just gonna end it. You can't be serious!" He snapped, glaring at her, "you're just gonna totally walk away without even caring about my feelings?"

Rachel took a deep breath and nodded, "yes I am, Finn, because I know I'm doing the right thing. You may not understand it right now, but you will," she said, turning around and walking out of the choir room with her head held high; she knew she did the right thing.

~*~

3x12 - The Spanish Teacher

~*~

"Quinn," Rachel called out, catching the blond's attention in the hallway.

Quinn turned from her locker and saw the brunette and her eyes couldn't help drifting to her left hand, noticing it free of jewelery, "hey Rachel."

Rachel saw her gaze had turned to her hand and she wiggled her fingers, "I want to thank you for your advice. You were right and I'm glad you snapped me out of the daze I was in. I said 'no'."

"You're welcome and I'm glad you took my advice. You've got a bright future ahead of you and I'd hate for him to hold you back," Quinn told her honestly.

"Thank you," Rachel smiled at her, "so, um, I know we haven't been like best friends or anything, but Yale isn't that far from NYADA. I was thinking maybe we could visit each other when we're in school sometime."

Quinn returned Rachel's smile and closed her locker, "yeah, I'd like that."

~*~

Sitting on her bed with Mercedes and Kurt, watching one of the movies from the Twilight series, Rachel was glad to have a girls night, where she didn't have to think about Finn and everything that swirled around their former relationship. Things seemed to be going well until Mercedes began asking about how Bella was supposed to choose between Edward and Jacob. Both made her feel good in different ways and Rachel quickly realized Mercedes saw similarities to her current relationship stress between being with Shane, but still having feelings for and being pursued by Sam.

When Rachel responded to Mercedes' question with, "you don't get to choose when it comes to true love. True love chooses you. And you better be certain when it comes to marriage because marriage is a promise and it lasts forever," she commented, reminding herself again that she did the right thing by turning Finn down.

Realizing it was a great time to tell her two friends, because she, so far, had only told Quinn, and had a pretty good idea that Finn never told Kurt, Rachel shifted to face Kurt and Mercedes, turning off the TV, "I need to tell you guys something," she started, taking a deep breath once they looked at her, "Finn proposed."

"What?" The two gasped, both sitting up a little, "and what did you say?" Mercedes asked quickly.

"I said 'no'," she replied, biting her lip, "I... we're not ready to get married and I really don't think we love each other like a couple should to do that. I know I don't have those feelings," she said softly.

"Okay, I'm going home right now to yell at Finn, because this is insane," Kurt snapped, shifting to get up.

Rachel quickly reached out and rested a hand on Kurt's arm to stop him, "that's not fair, Kurt. I'm sure he's already upset because I turned him down, so you don't need to make him feel any worse."

Kurt sighed, "alright, fine, but I am going to talk to him about it."

"Rachel, you did the right thing. I can't believe he proposed to you, because you guys are way too young to get married," Mercedes said, truthfully.

"Yes, you are," Kurt agreed, "I can't believe he did that. What was he thinking?" He shook his head, trying to figure everything out.

"I think it's because he's had a rough few weeks or months," Rachel admitted softly, "he didn't get the scholarship to OSU like he thought he would, then he found out about his dad and I don't know. I can't speak for him, but that's what I think happened. Probably that and he got the idea after all that Mr. Schuester did to figure out how to propose to Ms. Pillsbury."

Mercedes reached out and rested her hand on Rachel's, "are you okay? Did you guys break up completely?"

"We did," Rachel nodded, "I ended it completely. I have a bright future ahead of me and I shouldn't let anything from my past hold me back. I need space to focus on NYADA, graduation and my future and I can't do that engaged to him. When we got back together, we agreed it'd be until the end of this year. Yes, I've had feelings for him for a long time, but I can't see myself making a forever future with him like I once thought. I would have been fine with staying together until the end of the year, but after he proposed and especially because I turned him down, I think it's going to be awkward between us and I just thought it was best to end it all now, because the longer we wait, the harder it will be to let go," she admitted honestly.

Kurt reached out and rested his hand on Mercedes and Rachel's hands, "you did the right thing, Rachel. If you need anything, don't be afraid to talk to us, okay? Just because Finn is my step-brother, doesn't mean I'm going to take his side."

"Thanks," Rachel smiled at him.

~*~

Though Kurt didn't rush home to talk to his step-brother about proposing to Rachel when she told him, he did want to talk to Finn about it. He now understood why he'd been moping around the house and not walking with her in the hallway at school, but after only two days, he couldn't wait any longer, so he went looking for him after school and found him in the weight room.

"Hey, Kurt, what's up?" Finn asked, seeing him walking in.

Kurt paused near the weight bench Finn was working at, "we need to talk."

As soon as Kurt answered, Finn already knew what he was going to bring up, "I can't believe she told you," he sighed.

"I can't believe you didn't! We're supposed to be brothers," Kurt snapped.

"Look, I didn't want to put you in an awkward position with her," Finn replied with a shrug, "and what does it matter? She turned me down, anyway, but I'm sure you already know that, too."

"Yeah, I do, which is the right thing," Kurt told him, "Finn, do you really think that getting engaged to a girl you've had an on-again-off-again relationship for the past few years is a good idea? Do you even know what you're doing after high school? I haven't seen you even look at a college website, let alone apply to any of them. Did you think you'd just get engaged to her, marry her after high school and then dash off to New York and magically you're life would be perfect? Rachel's been dreaming of New York and Broadway since she was a child and marrying you could honestly hold her back from that. Do you want that? Do you want to ruin her life?"


"Whoa, that's a low blow, Kurt," Finn snapped.

"Someone needs to knock some sense into you," Kurt replied, not caring if he got pissed.

"Rachel's like the only good thing I've got going in my life right now, well, had in my life. She won't even talk to me now," Finn huffed.

"And for good reason! Look, I get you've have a rough year with finding out who your dad really is and losing the scholarship, but getting engaged to Rachel isn't going to make it all better. You put her in an uncomfortable position. We're Seniors in high school, we're supposed to be planning our futures, figuring out what schools we want to go to, where we want to live, what we want to do with the rest of our lives. You can't expect Rachel to plan her future and yours! She's got enough on her plate as it is."

Finn took a seat on the bench and looked at him, "but I love her and I want to be with her."

"You've had a lot of things going on lately and Rachel has been there for you, but she's not the magic answer. If you guys got married you'd be worse off than you are now. You have your whole lives ahead of you and most high school romances don't last, so what's so special about you two that tells you it will?" Kurt asked him, "do you guys have anything in common besides Glee Club?" Finn opened his mouth to reply and then closed it, unable to come up with something on the spot, "that's what I thought. It's time for you and Rachel to move on," Kurt told him, turning around and walking out of the room, leaving his step-brother to contemplate what they'd talked about.

~*~

3x13 - Heart

~*~

When Sugar invited everyone to her Valentine's Day party, Rachel didn't plan to attend. Sugar specifically stated everyone had to bring a date and since she was no longer seeing anyone, she was not going to make an appearance and be the only single person there.

Rachel hadn't told her dads about Finn proposing, but she knew it was only a matter of time before they realized she wasn't spending time with him, so that evening, she decided to bring it up over dinner, "dads, I... need to tell you something."

"What is it, sweetheart?" LeRoy asked.

"Is everything alright?" Hiram motioned to her half eaten plate of food, "you've hardly touched your dinner."

"I, um, I don't know if you've noticed, but Finn and I have not been spending any time together," she started.

"I have noticed that," LeRoy nodded.

"That's because we broke up about two weeks ago," she said softly.

"Oh, sweetheart! Why didn't you say anything? Did he hurt you? Did he cheat on you?" Hiram got up and moved around the table to sit next to her, "talk to us."

She shook her head, "no, he didn't hurt me or cheat on me," she confirmed, "he actually proposed to me, and I told him to give me some time to answer. I did some thinking and talked to a friend at school and she helped me realize that we're too young to get married and I realized I'll always care about him, but not enough to marry him, so I called it off when I turned him down," she explained, trying to keep from crying.

The two dads' mouths fell open in shock at what she said, both taking a moment to gather their thoughts and LeRoy reached over and took her hand, "I'm so sorry you broke up, sweetheart, but you did the right thing. You are way too young to get engaged or married. You have your whole lives to do that."

Rachel took a deep breath and nodded, "I feel bad I hurt him, but I need my own space to do what I want. Glee Club has Regionals and then Nationals after that, I have the NYADA audition coming up and graduation seems like it's just around the corner and planning to move to New York," she sighed, "Finn's a great guy, and he'll make someone happy one day, but it won't be me. I couldn't let it go on any longer," she admitted.

Hiram wrapped his arms around her and pressed a kiss to her forehead, "you're absolutely right. You definitely don't need that added stress right now and you need time to be Rachel, not Finn's girlfriend," he agreed.

~*~

Sitting at lunch with Mike, Tina, Artie, Rory and Kurt, Puck could tell everyone was excited about Sugar's party, because that's all they were talking about.

"So Puck, who are you taking to Sugar's party?" Tina asked curiously.

"I don't know if I'm gonna go," Puck admitted honestly.

"You're gonna turn down a chance to party?" Artie gasped in surprise, "this from the one who talked Rachel into having a party at her house the weekend her dads were gone last year? That's a new one!"

Puck rolled his eyes, "I don't know if I'm gonna go, because I don't know who I'm gonna take," he replied.

"You need a real girlfriend, not one of those cougars you seem to enjoy hooking up with," Kurt commented from across the table.

"I tried having a girlfriend, but it didn't work out, remember?" Puck asked.

"You just haven't found the right person yet, but you will, and when you do," Kurt said back in his seat, "you'll just know."

~*~

After lunch, Puck couldn't help replaying Kurt's words over on his head. He agreed with Kurt and knew he just hadn't found 'the one' yet, but he highly doubted he would find her in high school. Pushing aside his thoughts, he agreed to join the guys who were helping Artie sing a song for Sugar and spent the day after school practicing with them.

Sitting in the choir room the next day, Puck was sitting in the second row of seats, right behind Rachel, but noticed that she was not sitting next to Finn, "that's odd," he thought, "it's almost Valentine's Day. I'd expect them to be all over each other," he smirked and looked up when Mr. Schuester walked into the classroom.

"Finn, you wanted to start Glee today?" Will asked.

"Yeah, Mr. Schue, I do," Finn nodded, getting up and moving to the front of the classroom. "Um, I don't know a lot about what I want for my future, but with Valentine's Day coming up, I've been doing a lot of thinking and Rachel, I know we have a lot of work to do and things to discuss," he moved towards her and knelt down in front of her, "but I love you and I really do want to marry you, so I hope you'll reconsider my proposal," he said honestly, pulling out the ring box and opening it to show her.

"Finn! What are you doing?" Rachel hissed, shifting uncomfortably in her seat, "I told you 'no' once, and I'll say it again, 'no'. I don't want to marry you," she murmured, her cheeks flushing in embarrassment.

The entire club's mouths were hanging open in shock, especially because of how Finn said 'reconsider', so the ones who didn't know were surprised to find out he'd proposed in the first place, "why not? What's so wrong with me that you don't want to marry me?"

"Don't you dare turn this around to make you look like the innocent one! Where do you get the idea that we're ready to get married? We're not! We're too young, we need space to be ourselves and figure out our lives before we even consider making a commitment like that! There's nothing wrong with you," she told him, "and this is not the place to be discussing this, either!" She told him, shaking her head, "if you wanted to talk to me you could have come to me, and just because you propose again, this time, in front of our friends, doesn't mean I'm going to change my mind. I'm sorry Finn, but my answer is still the same," she reached for her bag and then stood up, "and I apologize everyone, but I'm not in the mood to sit around and listen to love songs. I'll see you guys tomorrow," she added, storming out of the room.

Puck tried to keep his facial expressions as neutral as possible, but he was utterly shocked. He wasn't sure what was more surprising, the fact that Rachel had turned down Finn's proposal or that Finn had proposed in the first place, but what he did know was that Rachel is a friend and he definitely was gonna try to cheer her up and he had a good idea how he could.

~*~

Rachel just needed some to calm down. She couldn't believe Finn would try to propose again, especially in front of all of their friends. She wondered if he kicked a chair over when she left the classroom, but at the moment she didn't care. She dropped her things off at her locker and then went to find a quiet spot to gather her thoughts, playing a game on her phone. She was also trying to ignore the red and pink decorations all over the school, "Valentine's Day is just not my holiday," she told herself with a sigh.

Distracting herself for a little while, the bell rang to start lunch, so she got up and was heading through the courtyard full of lunch tables and was joined by Santana, "you did the right thing, you know?" The Cheerio said.

Rachel's eyes widened at her words, surprised she was on her side, "thank you. I can't believe he did that. I haven't spoken to him since I turned him down the first time, but I thought he would have gotten the hint. I didn't expect him to do that."

"Yeah, well, he's pissed, but he'll get over it," Santana waved her hand, stopping when Mercedes, Quinn, Sam, and the new kid, Joe Hart, walked up to them.

"Rachel, we have a request from a 'Secret Admirer' to sing you a song. After what happened in Glee, are you up for it?" Mercedes asked.

"Is it from Finn?" Rachel wondered, biting her lip.

"He was in Glee with us and the note and money wasn't there before we went to Glee. We checked our box on our way out here and it was there, so it probably wasn't. The note just said it was from a 'Secret Admirer'," Quinn explained.

Rachel took a deep breath, "I've never had a secret admirer before, so I'd be alright with that," she nodded, wanting to enjoy it, but had a sneaky suspicion it was still from Finn.

~*~

"Finn! We need to talk!" Rachel exclaimed as she stomped up to him the next morning. She'd spent the whole night trying to figure out who sent her the 'Vocal Valentine' and the only person she could come up with was him, "after what you did yesterday, do you really think I'm going to change my mind just because you sent me a love song?"

"I don't know what you're talking about. I never sent you anything. I tried to propose to you, again, but you turned me down, again. Remember?" He retorted with a sigh.

"You're just saying that because you want to keep this big secret about something you've got planned to try and get me to change my mind. Well, you might as well stop whatever you're planning, because I'm done with you and I mean it," she snapped, turning on her heel and storming off from him and almost slamming into Puck on her way.

"Whoa, Berry, what's the hurry?" Puck asked, noticing she wasn't in a good mood, "do I need to beat someone up for you?"

Rachel shook her head, "no, Noah, you don't. I've just got a lot of things on my mind and have been upset."

"Yeah, I could tell that," he glanced up and saw Finn walking the opposite direction from where they were standing, "Hudson?"

She sighed, "yes. He had the God Squad sing to me yesterday and now he's denying he sent them."

"Maybe he didn't," Puck shrugged.

"But if it's not him, then who else could be my 'Secret Admirer?" Rachel wondered.

Puck shrugged, "don't know, but maybe they're closer to you than you think," he shrugged, patting his shoulder, "see you later, Rach."

"See you later, Noah," she called out as he started to walk away, now even more confused than she had been.

~*~

Puck's words continued to play over in her mind the rest of the day and all through the next. "I'm missing something. What was Puck hinting at? 'Maybe they're closer to you than you think'; what does he mean?" She thought, sitting in Glee, trying her hardest to not cry while listening to Mercedes sing 'I Will Always Love You' by Whitney Houston.

By the end of the song her tears eventually came and Rachel felt even worse for Mercedes when Sam walked out of the room, obviously upset by the message the song had. She couldn't help glancing to Finn, who was in the corner, his head hung and arms crossed over his chest, he was definitely mad and Rachel felt the song shared a similar meaning for them. She'd always love Finn, but never like that and she hoped one day she'd be able to be friends with him, but didn't see that happening anytime soon.

Turning her attention to Mercedes, she got up to hug her, just like Kurt and the other girls in the club had and everyone wanted to break up the emotions, by bringing up Sugar's party the next night.

"Rachel, are you going to Sugar's party?" Quinn asked as she came to stand next to her.

"No," Rachel shook her head, "it was clear that Sugar invited only couples to her party and I don't have a date."

"Oh, well, I don't think she'd mind if you came. We'll all be there," Quinn motioned around to the club.

"Thank you," Rachel replied politely. Ever since Quinn had given her the advice that helped her make up her mind, the two were slowly building a friendship, "I'll think about it," she promised.

~*~

Hiram and LeRoy watched their daughter from the kitchen as she sat in their living room, having spent the whole Valentine's Day watching romantic comedies, "I wish there was something we could do to help her out. I hate seeing her like this. She hasn't even gotten out of her pajamas yet," Hiram admitted softly, motioning to her on the couch.

"It's her first big break-up, which unfortunately fell around Valentine's Day. She's a tough girl and will get through this. She just needs some time. I, for one, am glad she turned him down," LeRoy replied.

"So am I, but I still feel horrible," Hiram sighed.

"Rachel, sweetheart, dinner is ready, if you'd like to eat," LeRoy called out from the kitchen, "we just need to keep her occupied."

Rachel paused her movie and got up, padding into the kitchen, "you know I can hear you talking about me," she commented. "I'm upset because of the break-up, yes, but also because it's Valentine's Day and I haven't had the best of luck in finding someone to spend Valentine's Day with, that's all," she explained with a shrug.

"That's not true. You just haven't found the right person yet. One day you will," Hiram told her, wrapping his arms around her in a hug.

"Thanks," she smiled lightly, "I did the right thing, right?" She asked softly.

"You did, sweetheart. Finn seemed like a nice boy, but you both are much too young to get engaged. He should have thought about it a little more before he asked you something as big as that," LeRoy replied.

Rachel nodded, "he should have. I don't even think his mom or step-dad knew. I know his step-brother, Kurt, didn't... I just wish he would have talked to someone, gotten advice before doing that. My feelings have been all over the place for him and yes, when I first met him, I had a crush on him and we've dated on and off over the years, but I... I just can't marry him. He wasn't 'the one'."

"We were in our late-twenties when we got together. You've got plenty of time to find your special someone; high school isn't the end of your lives," Hiram said, "so there's no hurry."

~*~

After dinner, Rachel returned to her movies and her dads started cleaning up the kitchen, when the doorbell rang. "That's odd. Are you expecting someone, Rachel?" Hiram asked, moving towards the door and knowing he or LeRoy weren't.

"No," she said, pausing her movie and turning to look towards the door.

Hiram pulled it open and was surprised to see Noah Puckerman standing on the other side of it, "hey, Mr. Berry, is Rachel around?"

"Hey, Noah. Yes, she's here, come in," Hiram said, motioning inside and turning to Rachel, "you have a visitor, sweetheart."

When Rachel saw him walk inside, her eyes widened and she jumped up, "Noah! What are you doing here?" She asked surprised, moving towards him, "shouldn't you be on your way to pick up your date for Sugar's party?"

Puck rubbed his neck nervously and couldn't help looking over her pajama pants and the button up shirt she was now holding closed around her, "nice pajamas," he started, "um, well, I was wondering if you'd like to go with me to her party."

"Did your date cancel on you at the last minute?" She asked with a light laugh.

"No, I never invited anyone. Look, I was just thinking that since we're both single now, that we could go to her party together. I imagine today has been kinda tough, but I thought you'd like to get out of the house," he admitted, not really used to inviting girls out like that.

Rachel's mouth fell open in shock and for a moment she couldn't speak, but slowly her brain began functioning again, "you want to take me to Sugar's party?"


"Yes," Puck nodded, "if you don't want to go, that's cool, but I just didn't think you should be alone."

"I..." Rachel took a deep breath, a blush growing on her cheeks. Part of her wanted to turn him down, because she had just broken up with Finn, but it was Valentine's Day and just because she was single didn't mean she couldn't go out and she knew all of her friends would be at the party, too, "that would be lovely, Noah. I will need some time to get ready, though," she admitted.

"Take all the time you need," he nodded, smiling lightly at her.

"Okay," Rachel smiled at him and excused herself to head upstairs.

~*~

Rachel was thankful she hadn't spent the day crying, so her face wasn't red and puffy like it could be. It only took her about twenty minutes to clean up, do her hair and make up and throw on a cute sun dress covered in red hearts, perfect for Valentine's Day. Slipping her feet into a pair of red heels, she grabbed her purse and red jacket and made her way downstairs and followed voices to the kitchen, "I'm ready," she said, twirling around, "how do I look?"

"You look beautiful, sweetheart," Hiram smiled and LeRoy nodded in agreement.

"Yeah, you look great," Puck said standing up, "so I guess we should get going. It started about ten minutes ago, so we shouldn't be too late."

"You kids have fun tonight," LeRoy replied, "but not too much fun."

Rachel moved to her dads and shared a hug with each of them, "we will. Love you both and we won't be out too late," she promised.

"It's not a school night, so if you're out a little later, I don't think that would be a problem," Hiram commented, "Noah, make sure she does have fun."

"I will, Mr. Berry," Puck nodded, holding out his arm to Rachel, "ready?"

Rachel linked her arm into his and smiled at him, "yes, I am."

~*~

Puck and Rachel walked into Breadsticks in the middle of the God Squad's performance and Rachel wasn't surprised that everyone from the Glee Club was there, except Finn. She and Puck made their way over to a table with Kurt and waved at some friends on their way before taking a seat with Kurt.

"So this is a surprise," Kurt admitted, motioning to Puck and Rachel together.

"Noah invited me to join him for the party," Rachel explained, taking her jacket off and hanging it over the back of her chair.

"Just because we're both single, doesn't mean we can't party on Valentine's Day," Puck added.

~*~

Sugar's party was very entertaining and Rachel appreciated that Puck had invited her out. She knew that even though her romantic relationship was gone, she had friends that were important to her and was glad to spend the holiday with them.

Rachel happily joined Blaine, Mercedes, Kurt and Brittany on stage singing 'Love Shack' and enjoyed dancing with her friends, including her date, even sharing a slow dance with him. During their dance, she realized that even though they'd had their issues and she still was upset that he'd done unmentionable things with her biological mother, he'd always been there for her. He took a slushy for her and he apologized for ever slushying her in the first place, he chose Glee over football for her, he moved the Glist off her locker, he was the first one to want to beat Jesse up when he found out he'd egged her, when she and Finn had issues the previous year he was there for her, but stopped himself before anything got too far, because he didn't want to hurt Finn, but when she wanted to make Finn jealous he happily sang a duet with her, and when she talked of getting a nose job, he helped talk her out of it, by helping plan a Barbra intervention.

Puck was never like that with others, at least that she knew of and she hoped it meant he felt she was a friend. Even if he was the 'Bad Ass' of McKinley, he did seem to have a soft spot for her and she knew that he was a good guy underneath the rough exterior and hoped she could stay friends with him after graduation.

When Sugar's party ended, Rachel and Puck said 'goodbye' to their fellow Glee members and got into his truck. The trip to her house was quiet, but when he pulled up to her house and parked, Rachel turned to him, "thank you, Noah, for inviting me out tonight. I'm really glad we went. I had fun."

"You're welcome. I had fun, too," he agreed, glancing at her in the dim light coming from her front porch light, "friends can go out on Valentine's Day, too, right?"

"Yes, they can," she nodded, smiling at him, "we're friends?"

"I'd like to think so. What do you think about that?" He wondered.

"I think it's a great idea. I like being friends with you, Noah," she admitted honestly.

A moment of quiet passed between them, before he spoke again, "so did you ever figure out who your 'Secret Admirer' was?"

Rachel sighed, "no. I just don't understand. I thought it was another way for Finn to try to get me back, but then he denied it and I think I believe him. I figured that whoever it is would have revealed themselves at the party tonight, but I guess not."

"Maybe they decided it wasn't the right time. It's too expected," Puck shrugged. "Isn't a 'Secret Admirer' something common around this holiday?"

"It is and you could be right. I also had a thought that it was Quinn or Mercedes, but they just said it was a 'Secret Admirer' to help cheer me up," Rachel explained, "but again, I think they would have told me by now if it was one of them."

"Did it cheer you up?" Puck wondered, glancing at her.

"Yes, it did," she nodded, "I was starting to think that Valentine's Day gave me bad luck. Then you invited me out tonight and between the song and spending the evening with you and our friends, I realized that I don't have bad luck around Valentine's Day, it was just that Finn wasn't the right person for me," she leaned over and pressed a kiss to his cheek, "thank you, Noah, for taking me out."

Puck smiled at her, "no problem, Rach. That's what friends are for."

~*~

Shout out to youhadmeatmashup and PKTeach for reading this over and lovin' it!

~*~

A/N5: And so begins the Puckleberry friendship. This has been fun and I hope ou all enjoyed! Please be gentle, but I would love to hear what you thought! Up next is '3x14 - On My Way' and '3x15 - Big Brother'. Maybe even '3x16 - Saturday Night Glee-ver', depending on how much I have to alter.

A/N6: For those of you who don't know, back in late-January / early-February, I began writing a Lark series. It started out as one fic, but I decided to turn it into a series. A second fic was posted shortly after the first one. In it, Mark and Lea discuss with and get the writers, including Ryan, to realize that the Finn/Rachel relationship needs to end. The Lark series overall changes and removes Finn/Rachel from the show and turns the last of season 3 into a Puckleberry friendship that will eventually turn into a Puckleberry endgame relationship by the end of the season. The Lark series is AU after 1/1/2012 and the end of 3x11 - Michael... When I began writing the Lark series, I eventually wanted to write the show's side of the series, and I finally got the inspiration to go through with it. It's discussed in the second part of the Lark series, 'Something To Talk About', that the scripts for episodes 3x11 to 3x13 have already been written, so the writers decide to alter the scripts to follow along with a break-up of Finn and Rachel... I plan to keep the episodes as close to what we've seen on TV, so most everything will be the same, except instead of the Finn/Rachel relationship, we'll have Puckleberry building a friendship and soon have a relationship... I say this will 'parallel' my Lark series, because when I return to writing it, I can reference these scenes in my Lark fics... You don't need to read my Lark series to understand this, but you're welcome to. You can read and comment without having an LJ account or you can PM me on FF. They're only posted on my LJ, because it goes againt FF's posting rules:

'Breaking The Rules' - Lea and Mark finally get to spend a New Year's Eve together!

'Something To Talk About' - continued from 'Breaking The Rules' - After the events of New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, Mark and Lea definitely have a lot to talk about.

~*~



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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