sapphireej: (sapphires fic)
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Title: Breakaway, Part 5a/?
Author: Sapphire ([livejournal.com profile] sapphiresfic)
Fandom: Glee
Pairing/Characters: Puckleberry (Puck/Rachel), Puck, Rachel, other Glee characters
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 10,617 (Part a & b)
Spoilers: This part to '3x17 - Dance With Somebody'; 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: Episode '3x17 - Dance With Somebody'
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!


~*~

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

~*~

It'd been a few days since New Directions sang 'Stayin' Alive' in the auditorium at school and since Rachel had talked Puck into trying on his suit, even though he hadn't been at school that day. His grandma had been in the hospital for a while, but she'd been released to go home the next day, only because Puck was going to stay with her during the day to make sure she did what she was supposed to, and his mom would stay with her in the evenings, because she couldn't get time off work.

The last few days of the week, found some of the teens thinking about Whitney Houston. She'd passed away a couple of months prior, but some of them hadn't really gotten over her death. No one was really sure the exact reason, and on Friday, Rachel joined Mercedes, Kurt and Santana to sing an acappella version of Whitney's song, 'How Will I Know', right in the middle of the hallway.

Rachel couldn't help thinking of her boyfriend while they were singing. Since they'd agreed to keep their relationship a secret for a while and because he hadn't been there, it was easy to keep their physical relationship from everyone, but she still missed him at school. Glee and their lunch time just hadn't been the same in his absence, but she did understand why he was still gone. Since 'Stayin' Alive', Rachel had been going home right after school and he'd been coming over to meet her and they'd work at her NYADA audition at her place. It gave them some time to spend together and she was glad for the time together, but she was also looking forward to his return to McKinley. They would be graduating in less than two months and she wanted to spend as much time with him as she could.

~*~

Puck and Rachel spent their weekend together. Saturday they went out, going to lunch, then rollerskating and afterward picked up some take-out and had a small picnic at a park near her house for short while before returning to her place to watch a movie. Sunday, they agreed to focus on her audition, which was coming up in a few weeks and she needed as much practice as she could get, so they spent all day at the Berry's, with Puck playing the music on her family's piano and Rachel singing along.

Even though it was important that they focused on her song, they both made time for breaks, or chances to physically explore their new relationship. They were still in the early stages of being a couple and Rachel was slowly getting more comfortable being close to him, even enough that they ended up in her room after dinner, kissing and cuddling on her bed. He made it clear that he was not pushing her into anything and she appreciated his willingness to take things at her pace, and while silently laying with him, she found herself feeling happy, content, safe and loved; things she hadn't completely felt before. The feelings reminded her that she was with the right person; that Puck was who she should have been with all along and part of her regretted that it had taken her so long to figure it out. She kept quiet about her thoughts, knowing one day she'd talk to him about them, but for the time being, she pushed them aside, to focus on the present and to look forward to their future together.

~*~

Feeling refreshed after her enjoyable weekend, Rachel was ready for a new week when she walked into McKinley Monday morning. She knew Puck still wouldn't be back to school, but the time they'd had over the weekend helped make up for some of it.

The morning was uneventful and when she walked into the choir room for Glee, she found that Mercedes, Kurt, Blaine, and Quinn were already there, so she greeted them and took her usual seat in the front row, right next to Artie.

Will took that moment to come into the choir room, having heard their conversation room his office, "hey everyone," he waved, moving to the front of the class, "I've been doing some research to prepare for this week's lesson," he admitted, picking up the white-erase marker to write 'Whitney' on the board.

Rachel's eyes widened and she gasped, "oh my God, yes! It's about time we did a Whitney tribute!"

"Are we sure that's appropriate?" Sam asked curiously.

Turning around, Mercedes glared at him, "you did not just ask that!"

Sam took a deep breath, "I just mean, didn't Whitney kinda have a lot of problems?"

"She had a hard life, Sam, and?" Mercedes wondered, glancing at him, before turning her attention to the front of the class.

"This week isn't about passing judgment on Whitney," Will said, moving around the piano to sit on it's bench, "it's about celebrating her legacy. Honoring her memory, her accomplishments..."

"Which I will happily list for you..." Kurt started, shifting in his seat, but Blaine reached out to rest a hand on his shoulder to stop him from interrupting Will.

"I also want you guys to use her songs to get underneath your own feelings. To express and explore what's really going on with you," Will told them truthfully.

"I don't get it, Mr. Schue. What's really going on with us?" Finn asked curiously.

Will took a deep breath, "well, for most of you, these next few weeks will be your last here at McKinley. Lot's of changes coming up, lots of saying 'goodbye' to your friends, to your significant others, to the past four years of your life. For a young person, all that transition can be overwhelming, so it's easier to focus on other things, like not being able to say 'goodbye' to Whitney Houston," he explained, looking around at everyone. "I saw some of you signing one of her songs in the hallway last week. I realized that it's not just about mourning her, but she's also a metaphor for you all having a hard time letting go of your high school lives."

Sometimes Rachel saw Will's weekly lessons as an excuse to do a certain type of song, but this time she actually agreed with him, so she stood up and turned to face everyone, "Mr. Schuester is right. Even if we don't want to admit it now, she is a metaphor. I know these next weeks are going to be tough on everyone, and by continuing to mourn her with photos in our lockers and singing her songs in the middle of the hallway, we're trying to hang on to the last piece of our youth we have left. By not letting her go, we're admitting that we're not ready to say 'goodbye' to the lives we have now. Our future is unknown, even though most of us have plans after high school, and while we may be 'fine' with leaving, I'll admit I'm scared. I'm not ready to let go of all of this yet," Rachel motioned around the room, "so I think this week's lesson is great! It can help us start to face our fears of the future and prepare us for when it really is time to say 'goodbye'."

~*~

Rachel was excited for singing songs by Whitney Houston and she knew of a few that she wanted to try out. Everything she'd said in Glee, she meant and believed. Before Will had mentioned it, everyone had been wondering why they all still focused on Whitney. Now it was quite clear what the answer was and it was time for everyone to let her go in peace and deal with the true reason behind holding on to her.

She was thankful that in her new life's adventure, she'd have Kurt and Puck along with her, so she knew she wouldn't be alone, but she still was scared of being away from the only home she'd ever known and upset that she wouldn't see all their friends daily like she had for the past few years.

~*~

By Tuesday in Glee, Rachel was missing her boyfriend, more than normal. The day before, he didn't come over after she got home from school because had a few pools to clean, something he wanted to do as often as possible, to save up more money for their move to New York. She completely understood what was going on and was glad he had a way to make some money to save, but it didn't keep her from missing him. The hardest part was not being able to mention anything to her friends about why she seemed like she was daydreaming a lot; she was thinking about him.

Brittany and Santana started 'Whitney Week' off by singing and dancing to her song, 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' and everyone enjoyed the upbeat song. They all knew that Brittany was one of their best dancers, and she showed it well during the song and even Rachel wished she had as much dance talent as she did.

~*~

When Puck arrived at Rachel's house that afternoon, she had her room torn apart. She knew she had a large book of sheet music of Whitney's songs, but she couldn't find it anywhere. Puck suggested just buying a new book, when she explained about their lesson for the week. She wasn't thrilled about spending more money on a song book she knew she had, because she'd spent a lot on finding songs for her NYADA audition, but she also didn't want to spend the rest of the week looking for it, so she and Puck climbed into his truck and headed to 'Between The Sheets', Lima's only sheet music store.

After an hour of looking around, Rachel had decided on two different Whitney books that had several songs in each that she'd enjoy singing. Once she'd paid for her purchases, she and Puck returned to her house to have dinner with her dads. After dinner, she cracked open one of her new books and with Puck's accompaniment on the piano, she wanted to work on Whitney's version of 'The Star-Spangled Banner'.

~*~

Rachel went to school Wednesday morning, severely frustrated. She and Puck had worked for several hours the night before on the song she'd picked out, but she just couldn't nail the vocals. She was also upset because she realized on her drive to McKinley that she hadn't gotten her weekly gift from her 'Secret Admirer' that week yet and they'd been consistently dropping gifts off at her locker on Monday afternoons, so she was worried they found out she'd gotten with Puck and gave up trying to pursue her.

With both things on her mind, when she saw Kurt standing at his locker, dusting off the things hanging up, she walked up to him, "Noah came over last night to play piano for me and oh my God! I practiced Whitney Houston's version of 'The Star-Spangled Banner' all night and I still can't sing it," she huffed, leaning against the cool metal lockers near him.

Kurt glanced at her as he continued dusting, "you're just realizing this now? I'm surprised anyone has attempted it after she nailed it to the wall," he admitted, "and Puck went over to your house? Wow! You two have been spending an awful lot of time together lately. If I didn't know any better, I'd say you two were dating," Kurt commented truthfully, as his phone vibrated, so he set his duster down and picked up the item to look at it.

"Saved by the text message," she thought, seeing Kurt smiling at the screen, "oh, I know what that is! Blaine is sending you cutesy text messages, right?"

"It's not from Blaine," Kurt replied simply.

Rachel's eyes widened, "then who is it?"

Kurt blushed, "he's just a guy. I met him at Between The Sheets. His name is Chandler. He's nice," he explained, smiling as he leaned against the lockers.

"So what did Mr. Between-The-Sheets say, then?" Rachel asked, wondering just what was going on.

"Nothing. We just joke around. It's sweet," he assured her, but when he saw her curious look, he continued, "okay, alright," he leaned in and turned his phone a little to show her the most recent one, "'are you an astronaut? Because your smile is out of this world'. See, it's sweet," he assured her.

"Are you kidding me?" Rachel grabbed his phone to look at the other messages and she gasped, "Kurt! You have been going at this with him for two days now?"

Kurt shrugged, "it's nothing. It's just fun. He makes me feel good."

Rachel's mouth fell open in shock, "what's going on with you and Blaine?"

"I don't know," Kurt sighed, closing his locker, "the last few months, ever since his brother was here, I get these feelings like he's pulling away from me," he explained, "I don't think we've had an unscheduled make-out session in like a month."

"You schedule make-out sessions?" Rachel raised a curious eyebrow at him, "really?"

"Yeah, I guess we do. Look, I know we love each other, but right now there just doesn't seem to be the spark we once had. I don't know what happened. I can't even remember the last time he sent me a text message or complimented me. Chandler does; he makes me feel special," Kurt explained, "it's all innocent. I wouldn't date him or anything, so I don't know what the big deal is. I'm not cheating on Blaine."

Rachel took a moment to gather her thoughts as they started to walk down the hallway and then stepped in front of him to look at him, "have you even talked to Blaine about this?"

"No," Kurt shook his head, "and I know I need to, but if he's got a problem then he should be telling me. I shouldn't have to pry it out of him."

"That is true, but as his boyfriend, you should be able to see something's wrong and ask him. Maybe he's waiting for you to do that," Rachel offered, "and if you say this is all innocent, then would you show Blaine those text messages?"

"Of course not," Kurt shook his head.

"Well, then I guess it's not all innocent or you'd be willing to show him. I'm sorry, but this is a form of cheating," she told him honestly. "You've got to tell Blaine about this and you guys need to figure out what's going on. You can't let this go on and you're gonna have to figure out if what you have with Blaine is worth holding on to. It's not fair that you're hiding this from him."

"I'm not cheating on him," Kurt commented, "this is not cheating. I just am talking to Chandler."

"Yeah, that's how it starts," Rachel took a deep breath and realized there was no way to change his mind, so she decided to end the conversation, "look, I think you and Blaine need to talk and figure things out. I know what it's like to make a tough decision. I did turn down a proposal from Finn, remember? That wasn't easy, but I knew it was the right thing to do. If you and Blaine are having issues, you need to figure out if what you have is worth working on or if it's time to let things go," she finished, turning on her heel and walking down the hallway, leaving Kurt to his own thoughts.

~*~

A bit later, Rachel and the club sat and listened to Quinn and their newest member, Joe, sing 'Saving All My Love For You', a song they'd started working on while Joe was helping with her physical therapy. The teens couldn't help sharing confused glances with each other, curious what was going on between Quinn and Joe, because they seemed to be a lot closer than everyone expected.

Rachel also was thinking about Puck. She glanced around the room a little out of habit, but knew he wasn't there. As she looked around, she saw Finn looking at her, so she quickly returned her gaze to Joe and Quinn, but knew why Finn was looking at her - he missed her.

When their song was over, everyone clapped and cheered for their performance and Will complimented them and all the songs that had been sung so far that week. With no one else ready to sing, Will let them leave Glee early, so Rachel got up and left the room, heading for her locker. She hoped Finn wouldn't follow her, but as she reached for her lock she saw him, "hello, Finn," she commented softly.

"Hey, Rachel, I, um, we haven't talked a lot recently. I wanted to see how you're doing," Finn started.

"I'm doing wonderful, actually. Thank you for asking," she replied, opening her locker and pulling out her backpack, "how are you?" She asked, knowing they agreed to stay friends.

"I'm okay," he nodded, "been working a lot at the garage, so I've been making some extra money," he replied, "are you practicing for your NYADA audition? That's coming up really soon, isn't it?"

"Yes, it is and I am practicing daily. Since Noah's been absent from school, he's been coming over to my house to practice, after I get home, because I've asked him to play during my audition," she explained.

"He's been going over to your house?" Finn asked, his eyes widening in shock.

"Yes, he has been. Is there something wrong with that?" She wondered, raising a curious eyebrow at him.

"Uh, well, no, I guess not, but it's just Puck... He's pretty... Forward sometimes."

Rachel glared at him, "though you don't deserve an explanation, I'll have you know that Noah Puckerman is a complete gentleman!" She snapped, slamming her locker shut.

"Look, I didn't mean it like that, but I'm surprised you're gonna let him play during your audition," Finn replied, trying not to piss her off anymore.

Though Rachel knew Finn was trying to cover his insinuation with a slight change of subject, his new comment upset her even more, "for someone who is supposed to be his friend, you don't seem to care about him at all or you'd recognize that Noah is a wonderful pianist and guitarist!" She took a deep breath and figured she'd 'fight fire with fire', "anyone can bang on a bunch of drums!" She hissed, turning on her heel and stormed down the hallway, hoping he figure out what her last words meant.

~*~

Rachel kept her and Finn's conversation from Puck when they hung out that night; the last thing she wanted was for him to know that his 'friend' thought that little of him.

When she got to school Thursday morning, she was surprised when Santana cornered her and asked if she'd sing a Whitney song with her during Glee. They had sung on a few songs together in the past and she definitely wouldn't turn down an opportunity to perform, so she gladly accepted when she found out what song Santana had selected.

Just before Glee that day, Rachel was stuffing her bag into her locker when she spied Finn walking towards her again. With a sigh, she closed her locker with only her phone in her hand and turned to him, "what do you want, Finn? Come to insult your friend some more?"

"Stop it," Finn snapped, "look, I didn't mean to make it seem like that. I just was surprised he was going over to your place a lot, and I was jealous, too. I know what he's been like in the past with girls and I didn't realize he was a different guy to you. I also know he's a good piano and guitar player, but jealously got the best of me. I'm sorry."

Rachel glared at him, "are you only apologizing because you know what you said pissed me off or do you really mean it?"

"I mean it, Rachel. Puck's one of my best friends. Yeah, he's done some things in the past that I've not agreed with, but we've worked them out," Finn said.

Taking a deep breath, Rachel crossed her arms over her chest and motioned for him to follow her to Glee, "apology accepted, then," Rachel said as they walked down the hallway.

"Cool," Finn smiled, "so, um, I hear you and Santana are gonna sing a duet in Glee."

"Yes, she asked me this morning. I'm looking forward to it, because I really like the song she picked out," Rachel replied.

~*~

When the two reached the choir room, Rachel greeted those who there and went to Quinn, asking her to record her and Santana's performance on Rachel's cell phone. She wanted to show Noah that night, but didn't have a video camera with her, so she opted to use her iPhone and Quinn gladly agreed to help out.

After Will greeted everyone and spoke a little, Santana and Rachel got up and announced the would be singing Whitney's song 'So Emotional'. Santana started out and Rachel joined her after a few lines and the two happily danced around the choir room, bringing the Whitney classic, from the late 1980s, into a new decade.

Rachel had a lot of fun, singing and dancing with Santana and couldn't wait to watch the video to see them in action. After their performance, Rachel got her phone back from Quinn and she thanked her a lot for doing that. Quinn assured her it was fine and was happy to help out, giving her something to do, to keep her mind off the fact that she couldn't really 'dance' at the moment, even if she wanted to.

~*~

During lunch, Quinn, Rachel, Mercedes, Tina, Santana and Brittany ended up in the same girls bathroom together.

"Quinn, when you sang 'Saving All My Love For You' with Joe yesterday, it sure felt like you meant it," Mercedes commented, turning to look at the blond.

"Yeah! You guys seem like a lot more than just singing partners," Rachel added, curious if there was more going on with them.

Quinn sighed and turned her chair around to face everyone, "Joe and I are just friends. Nothing else is gonna happen," she replied quietly.

"But you wait it to, don't you?" Tina wondered.

"It doesn't matter what I want. I've said 'goodbye' to that part of my life. Joe took me to rehab the other day, we had a moment, and before we kissed, he pulled away. Grossed out by me and my chair," she explained sadly.

Rachel immediately felt horrible for bringing it up, "Quinn, I'm so sorry," she said honestly.

Quinn shrugged, "I don't want to hear that tone. Joe's not into me. I don't blame him. Who would be?" She asked rhetorically, before wheeling her chair towards the door.

Watching her leave, Rachel collected her thoughts and went after her, hoping to catch up to. As she stepped out of the bathroom, she saw her rounding the corner, so she followed, "Quinn, wait up!"

Quinn stopped and turned a little, "what?"

"Talk to me, Quinn. We are friends and I'm concerned about you," Rachel told her.

"There isn't anything to talk about. My physical therapy is hardly working, so I'm frustrated, and the only guy that has started to show interest in me recently pulled away as we were about kiss," she said simply.

"You've given me some great advice and it worked for me. Now can I give you some?" Rachel asked and when Quinn shrugged, she continued, "you're a great person, and I'm sure Joe didn't pull away because he was grossed out because you're in a wheelchair. That would be very shallow of him. Wasn't he home-schooled all his life? I'd rather think that you're one of the first girls he's gotten close to, like that, so it's a whole new territory for him. And Joe is a Sophomore. He's two years younger than us, so even if you guys did date, what would happen when we graduate and you go to Yale? You two would probably break up, so even though there's a possibility that he could be interested in you, maybe it's better that you guys just stay friends. It'll be less complicated and there's nothing wrong with guys and girls being just friends," Rachel told her honestly.

Quinn soaked in what Rachel said and took a deep breath, "it's just been a frustrating few weeks with my physical therapy and I'm not totally thinking straight. Thanks for saying all that. You're definitely right. It is better that we stay just friends and now that you mention it, he was home-schooled, so he could be just confused at the feelings he is having for me," she agreed, smiling lightly at her.

Rachel returned her smile, "you're welcome. That's what friends are for."

~*~

Thursday, after school, Rachel was glad to spend the evening with her boyfriend. She told him of her duet with Santana and showed him the video. He was impressed and made her send it to him so he could have it to watch whenever he wanted, because she looked 'hot'.

Friday, Glee was quiet and the teens did some talking and even brought up some ideas for Nationals, since they hadn't really talked about the competition much. No one was really sure, but they knew it didn't hurt to suggest ideas.

As school came to an end on Friday, Rachel went home and looked forward to her boyfriend showing up at her house. When he did, the two fell into the familiar routine they'd had for a while, but they still found time to talk and Rachel filled him in on some of the things going on with the club, including the conversations she'd had with Kurt and Quinn about their relationships. She still hadn't told him about Finn's jealousy from a few days prior, but decided she'd tell him that weekend.

Puck had a few pools to clean Saturday, but he promised he'd be done early enough in the day, so they could still hang out. While he was busy, Rachel passed her time relaxing in her backyard in the sun, listening to some music on her iPhone, glad that Ohio finally started to get some sunny weekends to enjoy.

After lunch, she returned to her lounge chair outside and settled back into place, sticking her ear buds back in and listening to Whitney Houston's 'Greatest Hits' album, in honor of their weekly lesson at school. As she listened along, her eyes closed while she relaxed and soaked in the sun's rays, but soon she noticed the sun was gone. At first she thought a could had covered it up, but as she opened her eyes and they adjusted to the light, she smiled brightly and pulled out her ear buds, "hey Noah! Sorry, I didn't hear you!" She admitted, sitting up a little.

He shrugged and took a seat on the edge of her lounge by her legs, "it's okay. I just got here," he leaned in and pressed a kiss to her lips, "your dads said you were out here, so I thought I'd join you."

"I'm glad you did. Are you done with your pools for today?" She wondered curiously, getting a faint hint of chlorine coming from his clothes.

"Yep. When I'm just cleaning them out and not doing anything else, it goes quick," he admitted, "and I'm telling them I'm moving in a few months, so I have to make as much money as I can and have other pools to clean so I can't spend much time at each place. I hope that's alright. I figured if I told them I had a girlfriend they wouldn't pay me at all," he said softly.

Rachel nodded, "I get it. It's alright. As much as I'd like them to know you have a girlfriend, I trust you're being faithful to me," she paused, "but what if they say they'll give you more money if you do, um, other things?" She asked softly, biting her lip.

Puck rested his hand on her cheek and pressed another kiss to her lips, "no amount of money is worth cheating on you, babe. I'm not gonna do it," he promised, "I mean it."

Slipping her arms around his neck, she smiled and kissed his lips, "good to know."

~*~

When clouds did began to roll in, Rachel and Puck moved into the house and kicked back on the couch for a little while. "I didn't say this earlier, but you look amazing in that," he motioned to her toned body, being showed off by a bright pink sports bra and matching shorts.

"Thank you," Rachel blushed, "I didn't want to break out my bikini, so I just went with this. Is it... Are you okay with this? I can change if you'd be more comfortable."

"It's fine, babe," Puck assured her, pulling her close to him, "I can deal. You look fucking hot and I definitely enjoy the view. Now, if you're uncomfortable, then that's a different story. Get dressed if you need to, but don't do it because you're worried about me."

Rachel smiled and relaxed against his chest, her right hand gently resting on his stomach, "I'm comfortable like this around you," she murmured.

"Then that's what is important," he smiled, pressing a kiss to her forehead.

The two were silent for a few moments and Rachel knew she needed to talk to him, and she'd spent the past few days thinking about how to bring it up, "we need to tell everyone about us."

"I know," Puck nodded in agreement, "can we at least wait until I'm back to school?"

"I guess," she nodded, "when is that going to be?"

"I think this week. My nana's doctor appointment is Monday and if everything goes well, I should be back Tuesday," he explained.

"Great!" Rachel grinned, "I've really missed you at school," she said honestly, "I totally understand why you've been gone and I hope she is doing okay, but it's just not the same without you. We don't have to tell everyone the moment you get back, but I want to soon," she bit her lip.

"What's wrong?" Puck looked at her, noticing her hesitation.

"Finn and I had an argument this week," she told him.

"Okay, about what? What did he say?" Puck asked quickly.

"Finn got jealous when he found out you have been coming over to my house to practice for my audition and that I've asked you to play during it," she said softly, "it pissed me off, because he said he was surprised I'd let you play for it and he knows what you've been like in the past and didn't realize you were different around me."

"I'm not surprised," Puck said honestly, shrugging it off, "he found out we're spending time together outside of school, so of course he's gonna get jealous. You're his ex and you're the one who broke up with him, so he's not completely over you," he admitted.

"You're probably right," she sighed, "this all happened after Joe and Quinn sang their duet. During it, I was looking around the choir room for you. I knew you weren't there, but it was habit and I saw him looking at me," she told him, "I'm over him."

Puck nodded, "I know you are, but he's not over you. Whenever we tell him, he's gonna be pissed, so you need to prepare yourself for some problems. That's part of the reason why I think we should wait until after your audition. You don't need the added stress before it."

Taking in what he said, Rachel gathered her thoughts and nodded at him, "yeah, I guess you're right. I can't be worrying about any drama before it," she agreed, "waiting for a little longer is the best, but what if others figure it out?"

"Then if you trust them, tell them. If you feel like you need to tell someone, tell them, but just make them promise to keep it to themselves. I know it sucks that we're hiding, but Finn has been a loose cannon in the past about things, so this, I know, will set him off," he explained.

"There is that," she agreed, "I guess it's best to keep doing what we've been doing and when the time is right, we'll tell them."

"Sounds good to me," he pressed a kiss to her lips, "if you're okay with it."

"I am," she nodded, closing her eyes for a moment, before opening them to glance at the piano, "when you come back to school this week, would you be interested in playing the piano for me? I'd like to sing a song for this weeks' lesson and I think I found the perfect one," she told him.

Puck shrugged, "sure. I can do that. Where's the music?" He wondered.

"Up in my room. I'll go get it," she kissed him once more before shifting to stand up, "be right back."

~*~

Puck was not surprised that Finn had been quick to jump into jealousy mode when he found out Rachel had been spending time with him. He totally expected it and he knew that eventually Finn would find out they were dating and hoped that by Finn knowing they were spending time together, it might help him prepare for finding out there was more going on, when the time came to tell him. Until then, he pushed the thoughts to the side, not wanting it to ruin the time he and Rachel had together.

For the rest of Saturday and even all day Sunday, Rachel and Puck worked on the Whitney song she wanted to sing. She knew she should be focusing on her audition, but she also needed a bit of a break from it, because she didn't want to get burned out.

When Monday arrived, Rachel wasn't quite ready with her Whitney song and when she got to Glee, Blaine asked to start. He had a song 'for anyone who's ever been cheated on'. All eyes turned to Kurt as he tried to say he didn't cheat on Blaine and Rachel knew right away that sometime over the weekend, Blaine had found out about the text messages Kurt had been exchanging with Chandler.

As Blaine finished 'It's Not Right, But It's Okay', he stormed out of the room, almost in tears. Everyone could tell he was pissed at Kurt and they all continued to share looks with Kurt, no one knowing what was going on, except Rachel.

Given the tension in the room, Will excused everyone and Rachel followed Kurt out of the choir room, "Kurt, are you okay?" Rachel asked as she caught up with him.

"I'm fine," he snapped, then sighed, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to snap, but Blaine..."

Rachel nodded, "it's okay. Did you tell him about the messages?"

"No. It's worse than that. He found them," he said sadly, "we were at my place and we were in my room. My phone was on my nightstand and I left the room to get something. When I came back, he had my phone in his hand looking at them, because Chandler kept texting me and it kept going off," Kurt explained. "He hasn't talked to me all weekend, no matter what I say and I don't know what's gotten into him! He's been giving me the cold shoulder, brushing off invitations to go do things, I don't get it! And all of that was even before Chandler and I met."

"Maybe he just needs some time to cool off. Give him a day or so. You could always sing him a song," Rachel offered.

Kurt smiled, "I've already got a few picked out. I'll sing one of them tomorrow," he assured her, "I should have listened to you when you first warned me."

Rachel rested a hand on his arm and rubbed it gently, "things will work out."

~*~

Ever since Rachel and Santana had sung their duet in Glee the previous week, Rachel had been doing a lot of thinking. After watching the video multiple times, she realized she and Santana sounded amazing together and they should have done it a long time ago. She knew time was running out for many more chances, so she had an idea and after school, before going home, she went to find Santana.

"Hey, Santana," Rachel greeted, seeing the Cheerio digging in her locker.

Santana turned around, "hey," she said, slightly confused as to why she was talking to her. "Can I help you with something?"

Rachel smiled, "I don't think I've completely thanked you for inviting me to sing with you last week. I had fun," she told her honestly.

"Yeah, it was pretty cool," Santana agreed.

"You know we blew it, right? We wasted three years going at each other's throats, when we could have been singing together. Killing it in Glee Club," Rachel commented, looking at her.

"Well, we hated each other. Actually, I hated you," Santana said, and when she saw Rachel biting her lip, she realized she shouldn't have said it that way, "sorry. Yes, our duet in Glee was a whole truckload of awesome and who cares that it took three years? I mean, we still have plenty of time to do it again."

"No we don't," Rachel shook her head, "we have forty-two days left until graduation. Half of that's going to be prepping for Nationals. I mean, that was it," she said honestly.

"Oh crap. I think I just realized I'm gonna miss you," Santana groaned, "oh God! Say something irritating so I can get the taste of this out of my head, please!"

Rachel laughed lightly, "it's okay. Look, you went out of your way to make my life a living hell for three years, but when this is all over," she motioned around the hallways a little, "I know that you respect my talent and my ambition."

"I do," Santana confirmed, "and I like it when you sing. I guess I just didn't want to admit it," she shrugged.

"Well, we should change that. I know we only have a short time left at McKinley, so we probably won't be able to sing together, but we have forty-two days left to at least be friends. What do you say?" Rachel asked curiously.

Santana was silent for a moment, but nodded, "yeah, I think we could do that," she agreed.

"Great! I'm going to hug you now. It'll be quick," Rachel promised, slipping her free arm around the cheerleader's body and gave her a quick hug. As they pulled back, Rachel smiled at her, "I'll see you in Glee Club."

~*~

Once Rachel got home, her boyfriend arrived a little bit later and he informed her that his grandma was doing well and he'd be back to school the next day. She was glad she was okay and looked forward to when he returned to school, because she'd missed him. The two settled into their routine and between working on her audition and the song she wanted to sing for Glee, they also talked about anything that came to mind and she caught him up on what had gone on that day, so when he returned, he wouldn't be completely unaware of what was going on.

~*~

Link to Part 5b
(Had to split the chapter up because it was just a little too long to fit in one LJ post.)

~*~



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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