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Title: Breakaway, Part 5b/?
Author: Sapphire ([livejournal.com profile] sapphiresfic)
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!

~*~

Link to Part 5a
(For full header see Part 5a.)

~*~

Rachel could hardly contain her excitement when she walked into McKinley the next morning. She even had an extra bounce in her step that she usually didn't and she knew it was from being happy that Puck was finally back at school. Given their schedule, she knew she wouldn't see him until later, but just knowing he was back made her giddy.

Later in the morning, as she pushed her things into her locker, so she could go to Glee, Puck walked up to her, "hey, babe."

Rachel smiled brightly, "hey, Noah. I'm so glad you're back," she said, closing her locker.

"I'm surprised I'm gonna say this, but I'm actually glad to be back. I kinda missed it around here," he smiled as they began to walk towards the choir room. "It's gonna be weird when we graduate."

"It will be," she agreed, "time is getting shorter. In some ways I feel like it's going too fast, but in other ways I'm excited."

"Yeah, I know. Ever since you told me why Mr. Schue wanted to do Whitney songs, and especially since we've been working on that song of hers, I realized it's pretty close. Less than two months," Puck admitted.

Rachel nodded, "yes, but I'm glad you're coming with me to New York," she said truthfully.

Puck smiled at her and returned her nod, "yeah, I definitely am, too."

~*~

Getting into Glee, Puck and Rachel took seats in the back row and everyone that started coming in, welcomed him back and when Will came into the class to start Glee, he also mentioned he was glad to see Puck was back. Will asked if anyone had a song to sing and Kurt stood up and soon the teens were listening to him singing another Whitney song, called 'I Have Nothing'. It was his way to apologize to Blaine and everyone kept glancing at Blaine, wondering how he was going to react to it.

During the song, Rachel couldn't help letting her hand rest on Puck's knee. Finn was sitting in front of them, so she knew he couldn't see it and though it was definitely a risky move, because others could see them, she didn't care. She shared a glance with Puck and he smiled lightly at her as he rested his hand on her's. The simple touch, along with the words of the song, helped silently tell the other that they wanted to make their relationship work, no matter what, even if the coming weeks would be tough and almost like a test for them; to see if they could deal with the stressful times and keep their relationship strong.

When Kurt finished singing, Blaine was almost in tears, but he kept quiet and Kurt was the one to walk out of the class this time. Rachel wanted to go after him, to see if he was okay, but Puck stopped her, "he needs some space," he murmured.

Rachel sighed and nodded, hating to see that one of her best friends and his boyfriend were going through a rough patch, but she knew Kurt did need some space to clear his head, so she gave in and settled into her seat.

Once the teens relaxed and even Blaine walked out of the classroom, going in a different direction than Kurt, Will asked if anyone else wanted to share something. Rachel admitted she did, but asked if she could go the next day and Will said that would be fine. With time still left in class, they all spent it talking about ideas for Nationals and brainstorming costume ideas.

~*~

When Glee was over the couple went their own ways, but met up during lunch, working on her audition song. They were both happy to get back to their usual routine and being in the auditorium, it gave them some private time, away from the busy halls of McKinley to talk or kiss, without people seeing and wondering what was going on with them.

Ever since Rachel had told Puck about the reason for doing Whitney songs, and then her picking the song she did to sing, he'd been doing a lot of thinking and realized that graduation was coming up and there were some guys that had become his best friends over the past few years and he wanted to thank him, so while he'd been off, he'd picked up a few things to give them during their gym class that afternoon.

Finishing up a game of basketball in the gym, the five guys moved back into the locker room and they were all standing near him, so he knew it was the perfect time to give them the gifts. "Hey bros, here you go," he said pulling out several small gift bags from his locker and handing one to Sam, Mike, Blaine and Finn, "I was inspired by the goody bags they give out at the end of birthday parties; thought I'd try it. A little something from the Puckster to all of you," he smiled at them, watching the guys take out the black shot glasses and red guitar picks from the bags.

"Guitar pick, sweet," Finn smiled, looking at the red item in his hand.

"And a shot glass that says '2012' on it, cool," Mike said, looking at the black ceramic item.

Puck nodded, "I had the picks inscribed with 'The Dudes of Glee 2012'. Shot glasses all say '2012'. Sorry they're not too original."

"It's okay. Thanks, man. What's this for?" Blaine wondered, looking at him.

"Rachel kept me informed of what was going on here and when she told me what the Whitney lesson was, I realized that the clock's tickin. Time's coming. We're all gonna have to say 'audios', some of us forever. I want to make sure you guys remember all the bro-ments that we had together and the great things we accomplished, forever. I know I haven't always been the perfect friend or teammate, but you stuck by me and forgiven me... Not everyone in my life has done that and it really means a lot to me," he shook off the 'sappy' words and moved back to his locker to get his own shot glass, "anyways, I'm only going to say this once. I'm gonna miss all of you. I love you guys. Cheers!" He said, holding his glass out to them.

The four guys moved closer, gently tapping all of their glasses together, "cheers!" They all said, smiling at each other, knowing everything Puck had said was something they'd all been meaning to say at some point and were glad he'd thought to initiate the moment.

~*~

After school, Puck and Rachel headed to her house to work on the Whitney song for the next day, and he mentioned what he'd talked to the guys about and given them. Rachel liked it and thought it was very thoughtful and meaningful for them to share that moment, because she knew the guys had a hard time talking about their feelings at times. Puck was glad she liked what he'd done and suggested doing something for the club before the end of the year and she agreed she'd figure something out.

~*~

With a quiet Wednesday morning, Rachel and Puck were ready for her song and once they got to Glee and Will had greeted everyone, Will welcomed Rachel up in front of the class for her song.

Puck moved to the piano and sat down with the sheet music in front of him, and Rachel took a seat on a stool a few feet from Puck and the piano, "I know I already sang a duet with Santana for this lesson, but I did want to sing something to you all. I know this lesson was to help us express what we're feeling and this song definitely does. Most of you, I honestly never thought I'd be friends with, but I'm happy I was wrong. I really care about all of you and over these past three years, I've become close friends with most of you and I'm very thankful for that," Rachel admitted, glancing at Puck and smiling at him, before turning back to everyone else, "this is a song Whitney did as a duet with Cece Winans on the 'Waiting To Exhale' soundtrack, but it's also on Whitney's 'Greatest Hits' album. It's called 'Count On Me' and this is dedicated to all of you," she smiled, already feeling tears in her eyes as she nodded at Puck.

Taking the cue, Puck began playing the music on the piano and Rachel started singing the chorus moments later, "count on me through thick and thin. Our friendship that will never end. When you are weak I will be strong, helping you to carry on. Call on me, I will be there. Don't be afraid. Please believe me when I say 'count on me'," Rachel looked around at her friends and could already see some of the girls wiping her eyes and her own tears were building, but she held them back so she could continue, "I can see it's hurting you. I can feel your pain. It's hard to see the sunshine through the rain. I know sometimes it seems as if it's never gonna end, but you'll get through it. Just don't give in, 'cause you can..."

Continuing on with the chorus again, Rachel stood up and moved towards her friends, who were joining in to sing the chorus with her, sharing hand shakes and high-fives as she walked past them.

Tears were falling from her eyes as they finished chorus and she picked up with next verse, "I know sometimes it seems as if we're standing all alone, but we'll get through it, 'cause love won't let us fall," she sang, moving over to her boyfriend and slipped an arm around his shoulders as they all started singing the chorus once more.

When the song ended, everyone was wiping tears from their eyes. Puck stood up and he and Rachel moved back to their friends, "I know a lot of us are going in different directions, but I hope our friendships lasts forever," Rachel said honestly, looking at Quinn, Kurt, Tina, and the others.

"Definitely," Quinn nodded, wheeling forward a little and reaching out to take her hand, "I want to be friends with you, all of you, forever," she said truthfully.

Rachel wiped her eyes and smiled brightly, leaning down to hug Quinn, and then Puck joined them and soon the whole club was crowding around to share in a large group hug, with everyone promising to do their best to keep in touch. Strong friendships had been formed over the past few years and none of them wanted to let go of them anytime soon.

~*~

The rest of the day continued much like normal and as Rachel walked to her locker at the end of the day, she was looking forward to going home. The day had been emotional for her, Puck and their friends and she just wanted to go back to her place and relax with her boyfriend, like they'd been doing for the past few weeks.

Spinning the dial, she unlocked her locker and pulled her door open, gasping at what sat inside: a large red and white slushy cup, filled with her favorite flavor - grape. A clear straw was sunk down into it and a folded note was taped to the cup, so she carefully reached for it and pulled it off. Opening it up, she found a message typed up and she immediately knew it was from her secret admirer, "My star, Rachel - I'm sorry I haven't left you anything for a while, but I have my reasons. I know you and Puck started dating three weeks ago and he's definitely one lucky guy. I hope he makes you happy. You deserve all the happiness in the world and I hope one day I can be the one who makes you happy. Sincerely, Your Secret Admirer... PS - turn around."

Some of the comments confused her and she was surprised he knew that she and Puck were dating. Rereading the message and seeing the two words at the bottom, she dropped her bag to the floor and set the note in her locker, before turning around like it asked. As she did, her focus landed on who was leaning against the lockers behind her, holding his own slushy cup. Her eyes widened in shock, "oh my God! You've been my Secret Admirer all along?" She gasped, tears filling her eyes as she walked towards him.

"I have been," he nodded, pushing off the lockers to meet her in the middle of the hallway, "it started out because I knew you were upset and I wanted to help cheer you up. Then after Regionals, it was because I'm... I'm not the best expressing my feelings all the time, so it's easier for me to write them out or give gifts to say what I'm trying to," he explained, rubbing his neck nervously, "are you mad?"

"Oh, Noah, how could I be mad?" She asked, reaching up to rest her hands on his cheeks, "all of your gifts and notes have meant so much to me," she admitted, slipping her arms around his neck as tears fell from his eyes, "they have been the best gifts I've ever gotten. Thank you," she told him truthfully.

Relieved that she wasn't upset, he returned her hug and as they began to pull apart, he smiled, "you're welcome. I meant everything I said, too. You're going to be a star. You deserve to be happy and I hope I can be the one who makes you happy."

Rachel leaned in and pressed a kiss to his lips, not caring who saw them, "you make me feel so special and now that I know all those messages were from you, too, I feel even more important. Before we were together, you were complimenting and supporting me and my dreams and I'm so thankful to have you in my life. I don't ever want to let you go."

Puck reached up and wiped her eyes, "I'm not going anywhere," he promised, "I want us to work, babe. I mean it."

"Me too," she agreed, stepping back a few feet to her locker to pick up her slushy cup and held it up to him, "to making this work," she smiled happily.

With a smile, he tapped his cup to hers and nodded, "to making this work. Happy three weeks," he said before taking a sip of the cold drink.

Rachel sipped on the grape flavored syrup and ice mixture for a moment and then slid her arm around his waist and smiled at him, "a very happy three weeks."

~*~

Rachel was on cloud nine when she got to school the next morning. She knew she was getting some strange looks as she skipped down the hallway, but she didn't care. She was happy and couldn't contain it anymore.

"How much sugar did you have for breakfast?" Kurt asked, following her to her locker.

She laughed lightly and shook her head, "none, except the natural sugar that was in my apple. Why?" She wondered, opening up her locker.

Kurt leaned against the lockers near her, "because you're skipping down the hall and have a bright grin on your face."

"Oh, that... I'm just really happy right now, that's all," she said honestly, "I had an amazing day yesterday, after school."

"What did you do? Did you have sex?" He laughed, trying to figure her out.

Rachel glanced around the hallway to make sure no one they knew was nearby and then turned back to him, glad she'd thought to ask Puck the night before if she could tell Kurt, "no, I didn't have sex," she assured him, "but can you keep a secret?"

Kurt raised a curious eyebrow at her, "a secret? What kind of secret?"

"The kind you can't tell Finn at all," she bit her lip a little, "I'm dying to tell someone, and I want to tell you, but you have to promise me you won't say anything to him."

"I promise I won't tell Finn," he said honestly, "now tell me!"

"Yesterday makes three weeks since Noah and I started dating officially. Yesterday he also admitted he's been my Secret Admirer all along," she grinned brightly.

"Oh my God! Are you talking about Puck... That Noah?" Kurt gasped.

"Yes and we went out to dinner to celebrate... Kurt, I'm so happy with him; he makes me feel things that I've never felt before. He touches my hand and I feel sparks all over my body and when we kiss," she sighed dreamily, "it's like the Fourth of July."

Kurt smiled at her, "wow. I'm really happy for you. You deserve that feeling."

"Thank you," she smiled, "we're waiting to tell everyone after my audition. He doesn't want me to have the extra stress, in case Finn doesn't take it well," she explained.

"That's totally understandable and it is best to wait. I promise I'll keep your secret," he assured her again, "and my stress is a little less now, too."

"Really? What happened?" Rachel wondered, "have you and Blaine worked things out?"

"Not completely, but we did talk to Ms. Pillsbury yesterday and he finally admitted why he's been so distant," Kurt said, "he's upset because I'm leaving for New York this summer and he'll be stuck here for another year and most of our conversations deal with that or NYADA, so he's trying to see what it's like when I'm not here all the time," he sighed.

"Oh, Kurt, I'm so sorry. I didn't think about that when you told me how upset he got. So you guys got a chance to talk?" Rachel asked softly, reaching out to rest a hand on his forearm.

"Yeah, we came up with some things we need to work on and I'm gonna try to keep New York and NYADA from our conversations all the time and I've already told Chandler not to text me anymore," he explained, "Blaine and I love each other so much and I don't want to leave him, so I definitely don't like this situation, but it's only a year, and then he can join us."

"That is true," Rachel agreed, "but a year is a long time."

"I know, but I think we're strong enough to make it through," he said truthfully.

"Well, I'm glad you guys are starting to work things out," she told him with a smile.

"Me too," he returned her smile, "and you and Puck are together. Awesome. I guess Mr. Schue's 'Whitney Week' was a big one for both of us."

Rachel nodded, "yes I think it was."

~*~

When Puck met Rachel at her locker just before Glee, she told him Kurt knew about them. He was fine with him knowing and the two walked together to the choir room. Greeting their friends and taking their seats, they waited for Will to join them and when he did, he pulled a stool up into the front of the classroom and took a seat, "thank you to everyone who did a song this week. They were all amazing and I hope they helped you guys out with saying 'goodbye'. I'll be honest, I've been dealing with my own issues of saying 'goodbye'," he said truthfully.

"What do you mean, Mr. Schue? Are you going somewhere?" Finn asked.

"No, I'm not going anywhere," Will shook his head, "when I decided we'd do Whitney songs, it hit me that half of you won't be here next year. You'll be off, starting your new lives and I was worried if Emma and I waited to get married later in the year, that you guys wouldn't come back for it, because I want all of you there," he said honestly. "You guys changed my life and we've been through so much together in these past three years that I don't want you to leave, but I know you have to. I'm going to miss all of you so much," he finished, taking a deep breath as he tried to hold in his tears.

"Mr. Schuester, I think I speak for everyone here, when I say that we will all be at your wedding, whenever you plan to have it," Rachel said smiling at him and others nodded in agreement or said something similar to what Rachel had.

"That's really good to hear," Will replied, calming down a moment, "um, the only other thing I have to tell you is that there's no 'Booty Camp' after school today. Sue has a doctor's appointment and I figure that we could all use a break, so take the afternoon off."

~*~

"It just doesn't seem right," Rachel commented softly, digging her books out of her locker after school.

"What doesn't?" Puck asked, leaning against the bank of lockers near hers.


"Skipping Glee," she replied, "we should go."

"But Mr. Schue is giving us the afternoon off. And Finn said that he was gonna go to the shop and work a few extra hours and Joe was gonna take Quinn to physical therapy, so everyone has plans," Puck shrugged, "I guess we could go hang out there and practice your song for your audition. It's either do it here or at your place."

"Maybe someone will be there. I just want to spend as much time with everyone as we can before we graduate," she said, stuffing her bag into her locker and reached for his. Puck let her have it and she put it into her locker, "let's go for a little while. If no one shows, then we can leave," she told him.

Puck sighed, but nodded, "alright. I know the music for your song by heart now, so I don't need the music," he added, holding out his arm for her, "let's go."

~*~

Walking towards the auditorium, they slipped into one of the side doors and heard music, so they knew someone was there. As they stepped in one side by of the seats, they saw Blaine and Kurt walking in from the opposite side from them and realized Mercedes and Artie were on stage singing 'My Love Is Your Love', another Whitney Houston song.

Puck, Rachel, Kurt and Blaine smiled and met in the center aisle and while Kurt and Rachel hugged, Blaine and Puck gave each other a high-five before the four walked down the aisle and up the stairs onto the stage. Greeting Mercedes and Artie, they joined in to sing the chorus and Rachel guided Puck over to the bench sitting on the stage. As they reached it, Finn came in from the backstage area, waving at Puck, so the two guys shook hands and Finn took a seat on a stool, right behind the bench that Rachel and Puck sat down on.

Slowly Brittany, Santana, Sam, Rory, Sugar, Joe, Quinn, Mike and Tina arrived and happily joined in, everyone singing the chorus and sharing hugs, handshakes or waves to each other as they found places to stand or sit on stage. It was definitely an impromptu performance, but the teens had come to love them. They loved being together as a team, not bickering about choreography or who should sing the solos. It was a fun moment and as the song ended, everyone stood up and shared another group hug.

"You know what this means, right?" Rachel asked them.

Puck raised a curious eyebrow at her, "what's that?"

"We need to clean out our lockers and take down the Whitney pictures," she said honestly, "I think we've all been able to let her go in peace."

~*~

Music - just borrowing for fiction; I don't own!

'Count On Me - duet of Whitney Houston and Cece Winans. It was originally on the soundtrack for 'Waiting To Exhale', but it's also on Whitney's 'Greatest Hits' album. In writing this chapter and knowing what the show's 'lesson of the week' was, this is one of the songs that should have been in the show, considering it fits perfectly with the lesson, which is why I included it in here.

~*~

Lots of notes... please read them... Question below, too...
A/N3: I'd like dedicate this chapter and 'Count On Me' to all of you! To my readers, reviewers, all the friends I've made through my fiction, the Glee fandom, the Puckleberry bubble... You all know who you are and I hope our relationships never end!
A/N4: I hope you enjoyed. After watching Props/Nationals last week, I was inspired to work on this again and I wanted to have it finished before the Glee season 3 finale aired. Please review and let me know what you think!
A/N5: The graduation episode airs tomorrow (5/22) and I'm emotional. I'm currently planning my 10-year reunion for this summer (I graduated from high school in 2002) and all the Glee graduation spoilers, pictures, music and my reunion planning is bringing up tons of feelings and emotions; a lot that I never felt when I actually graduated. I couldn't wait to get out of school and had some things going on, so I just didn't care or feel the sad emotions that I should have back then. It's almost like Glee's graduation is helping me relive my graduation and making me feel all the emotions that I should have had back then... I'm also not ready for Glee to change... I've heard the whole cast will be 'back' for season 4, but not all of them will be in each episode, so I imagine they'll focus on New York and Ohio and then add a few scenes in of the others wherever they are, or they'll be visiting Ohio or New York in their scenes, so they won't be in it as much. Not really sure if I'll watch anything after this. The true Glee for me, died at the end of season 1, so season 2 and 3 have just been, I guess you could say, filler. We'll see what happens...
A/N6: It's come to my attention that some of the Puckleberry writers have stepped away from writing, possibly for good. They have their reasons and it's totally understandable; I'm not knocking what they're doing... I just wanted to let you all know that I will always ship and write Puckleberry. I'm not going anywhere!
A/N7: I'm still dealing with my medical issues and am going to a specialist this week. Hopefully I'll have some more answers, soon. Surgery is still possible, too.

Question: I'm trying to sort out the next few 'episodes' for this fic. I know Becky played a large part in the prom episode, 3x19, and I loved her story line for it. Becky is awesome! She's such a great character, but unfortunately, I don't know how I can fit her into the Puckleberry plans I have for the chapter, so if I'm unable to, would you all be okay if I didn't include her in it?

~*~


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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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