Title: Broken Road, Part 16/?
Author: Sapphire (sapphiresfic (LJ) / SapphireEJ (FF/DW) / EJ8302 (Tumblr/Twitter))
Pairing/Characters: Puck, Rachel, Puck/Rachel, Puckleberry
Word Count: 6,981
Spoilers: Up to 1x22 ~ Journey; just to be safe
Series: 'Broken Road' (List of all the parts on my LJ)
Fic Table prompt: #47 - Protection (table at my journal here).
Summary1: Rachel visits her dads in Lima for the holidays, gets pulled over, her ex from NYC stalks her, threatening her life and the cop who pulled her over helps protect her... For fic table prompt #47-Protection. (Story: T/PG-13. Ch. 10-12: M/R for content.)
Summary2: Noah, Rachel and Arin start their trip to NYC
Disclaimer: 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/N: I edited this, so all mistakes are mine.
A/N2: Feedback keeps me writing, so please comment or review. :D
A/N3: Title comes from 'Blessed The Broken Road' a song by Rascal Flatts. I do not own it, just borrowing for the fic.
A/N4: A super-belated, but much anticipated, birthday fic for a good friend of mine, PKteach. I wanted to write her a birthday fic, and this is from an idea she gave me.
A/N5: The Gleeks were Juniors in high school when Quinn was pregnant.
A/N6: AU after 1x22 ~ Journey, but contains a relationship that began in 2x01 ~ Auditions.
Reminder: The rating of this story as a whole is 'T/PG-13'. Only chapters 10-12 are considered a rating of 'M/R' due to content.
Excitement kept Rachel from sleeping past four-am, so the last hour before the alarm went off, she laid silently next to her sleeping fiancé and let her thoughts take over. She couldn't wait to show Noah and Arin around the city. She knew they'd only be there a short time, but hoped she'd be able to show them a few things she'd come up with, while laying there.
Watching the numbers change on her clock, slowly getting closer to five in the morning, she realized she wouldn't get back to sleep and decided to just get up. Carefully crawling out of bed, she quietly padded into her bathroom to take a shower. She was only in there long enough to wash her hair and body and once she was rinsed, she stepped out and wrapped her hair in a towel, before grabbing a larger one to dry off with. She could hear the alarm going off and then the beeping stopped, so she realized Noah was either up or at least awake enough to hit the snooze button.
She had a feeling he was trying to go back to sleep, so after wrapping her towel around her body, she stepped out of the bathroom and confirmed her suspicion, finding him laid out on his stomach, arm stretched towards the clock, "good morning Noah. You're can't sleep too long," she said softly, taking a seat on the edge of bed next to him.
"I know," he murmured, shifting a little to look at her, "morning. You're up early."
"I've been awake since four," she shrugged, "I couldn't sleep."
"Are you okay?" He asked concerned, sitting to look at her, "did you have a bad dream?"
"Oh, no," she shook her head, "nothing like that. I'm just really excited to take you and Arin to New York. I've spent the last hour or so thinking about all the things we should do if we can," she explained, blushing a little.
Noah reached out and brushed a water droplet from her cheek and smiled, "I'm glad you didn't have a bad dream. As for what we do, I'm open for almost anything. To be honest, I've never really thought about what I'd want to do if I ever went to NYC, so I'll let you and Arin figure it out."
Rachel leaned into his touch and then turned her head a little to press a kiss to his palm, "I'm glad I didn't have a bad dream, too," she admitted, "and you've never thought about visiting New York at all? Really?"
"Really," he nodded, "since we'd lost touch and I was working, I didn't really have a need to go there. Sure, Kurt lives there and we're friends, but not like best friends or anything. I do know of the major places, like the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty and some other popular tourist places like Central Park, but as for anything specific, I'm totally clueless," he replied, slipping his arms around her towel covered body and pressing a kiss to her moist shoulder.
"By the time we get back here, you won't be. I'll show you guys as many sights as we can and I hope we can make it to all three places you mentioned," she admitted.
"Sounds like fun," he smiled, groaning when the alarm began to go off again.
Rachel sighed, not wanting to move from the comfort of his arms, but knew they couldn't say there for long, "Noah, we need to get moving. Why don't you shower while I finish getting ready?"
"Yeah, alright," he nodded, reaching over to turn the alarm off, then returned his arms to where they had been around her, "are you gonna check to see if my sister is up?" He asked softly, "or do you want me to?"
"I'm sure she will be, but I'll check once I get dressed," she smiled at him, pressing a kiss to his cheek, "love you."
"Love you, too, babe," he pulled back a little to look her over, "and definitely lookin' amazing this morning, but you look amazing every day," he added with a grin.
"Thank you," she blushed, glancing down at her body, wrapped in a towel, "it's nice to know you love me without make-up."
"Of course I do. You're just as gorgeous without it, as you are wearing it," he promised, brushing his hand along her cheek before letting it rest on her bare shoulder, "you don't need all that to impress me or make me love you. It's what's on the inside that counts," he assured her, giving her a quick hug.
Rachel smiled happily and as they pulled away, she kissed his cheek, "you make me a very happy woman, Noah," she told him, standing up and taking his hands to tug him up.
Noah slid his feet out from under the blankets and stood up, slipping his arms around her again, "and you make me very happy, too, babe."
Reluctantly prying themselves apart, Noah moved into her bathroom to shower and Rachel went to get dressed. Once she had her clothes on, as promised, she went to check on Arin, but found she was already up and about to go shower, so Rachel was happy they were on schedule.
Between showers, getting dressed and making sure things were gathered up, Rachel, Noah and Arin finally dropped their bags by the door and joined Rachel's cousin Anna, David and Alan in the dinning room for breakfast. The three had gotten up to help put together some food, so they didn't have to figure everything out and they talked lightly over their meal since no one was totally awake yet.
After everyone had their fill of breakfast, Rachel and Alan moved into the den to get the paperwork they'd need to pick up their tickets, while the others cleaned up a little and soon the travelers were making one final check through the rooms they'd been staying in to make sure they had everything and started saying 'goodbye' to Rachel's dads and cousin, who was going to leave for Columbus a few hours later, since she didn't have anything going on that day.
Rachel shared hugs with her dads first and then Noah shook their hands, "I'm sure we don't have to tell you, but Noah, take care of yourselves," David commented.
Noah smiled at the two men, then glanced at his fiancée and sister, "I will," he promised, "we'll be fine."
"Yes we will be," Rachel confirmed.
"We're pretty sure you will be, too, but it doesn't hurt to mention it again," Alan replied with a smile.
"I promise I'll take care of us. I'm not gonna let anything happen," Noah assured them, "I may not be officially a cop once I'm out of Lima city limits, but that doesn't stop me from being one," he grinned, "or being an overprotective brother and fiancé."
Arin and Rachel blushed, and all of them laughed lightly at his comment, "I may be excited to be going, but I'm definitely nervous, so I'm not gonna cause problems," Arin promised.
Rachel slid her arms around her to give her a hug, "we'll be fine. Dad and daddy had come help me get settled in my dorm when I first went to school in New York. Once they left, I was nervous, but soon that wore off. Besides, you won't be alone," she told her.
"Very true. I trust you guys," she returned Rachel's hug, "and I may not say this enough, but I really do love that Noah is a cop and I don't mind him being overprotective. I love you, bro," Arin replied as they pulled apart and she glanced at her brother.
Noah smiled and moved towards her, slipping an arm around her shoulders and pressed a kiss to her forehead, "love you, too, sis, and I'm glad you don't mind either, because I'm always gonna be overprotective of you."
"Fine with me," Arin smiled, giving him a quick hug.
Rachel smiled at the exchange between the brother and sister. She felt a brief glimmer of jealousy towards their relationship, because part of her always wished she had a sibling to look out for her. The feeling quickly subsided when she realized that even though she didn't have any biological siblings, she had close friends who were like siblings, she'd soon have Arin as her official sister 'in-law' and her a soon-to-be husband would be just as overprotective of her as any older brother would be, so she was quite happy with her life.
Grabbing their bags and with waves to the others, the three stepped out of the house into the early December morning. It was definitely not warm out, so they were all bundled up in jackets and walked towards the car quickly to get in. Rachel was letting Noah drive, so after Arin slid into the backseat, he dropped his bag into the seat with her and then pulled the front passenger door open for Rachel. Soon he was climbing into the driver's side, adjusting his seat a little and getting the car started and turned heat on, not only to warm them up, but to help defrost the icy windows.
After letting the car warm up, Noah pulled away from the Berry's house and headed to the nearest coffee shop. They picked up some drinks for the trip to the airport and it wasn't long before they were on their way out of Lima.
For the first hour, the car was quiet, except for the radio that Noah had turned on that played a variety of popular music. He figured once they got closer to the city, he'd need to know if there was anything going on with traffic, in case he had to make a detour. They all listened to the music and sometimes would sing along lightly with a song they knew well, but most of the time they stayed quiet, lost in their own thoughts.
Rachel was still trying to think of places to take Arin and Noah once they had some free time to go sightseeing, so she turned a little in her seat, "Arin, have you thought about anything you'd like to do when we get there?" Rachel wondered.
"Do? I thought we were going to see Kurt, meet your friends and get the shoes," Arin admitted, raising a curious eyebrow at her.
"We are, but I was meaning for sightseeing. Is there anything you've ever wanted to do in the city?" Rachel asked. "If we can get done today, everything we need to, then we'll have all day tomorrow free, until we have to be at the airport."
"Oh!" Arin nodded and thought for a moment, "well, aside from the Statue of Liberty and Central Park, I haven't really thought about it. I guess I didn't think we'd have too much time to do anything else," she explained.
"I thought of those, too. It's probably going to be pretty cold, but if you guys want we could go to the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building," she admitted, "I live within a mile of Times Square and Central Park, so we could go there, too."
"Sounds good to me," Arin shrugged, "I'm open for anything."
"Okay, cool," Rachel smiled, "we'll have fun. I promise."
"I never doubted that," Arin replied, "I also wanted to mention something to you. Remember last night when you said that next weekend we could go to Columbus to get dresses for the wedding?"
"Yes," Rachel nodded, "what about it?"
"Sectionals is next Saturday in Columbus," Arin admitted, "so I don't know if you guys were planning to go, but I won't be able to do any dress shopping until afterward."
"That's right! I knew it was coming up. This could work out great, actually! What if some of the original New Directions members came down to support you guys?" Rachel asked with a grin, "I'm sure a bunch of them would like to go see you guys. Right, Noah?"
Noah shrugged, "yeah, we've done it before. I guess we could go down and get a hotel for the night. Depending on how long it's gonna take."
"We could. I'm sure it's gonna be easy to find dresses in the color I want, it'll just be fitting everyone, and you guys are going to need to go get suits soon, too," Rachel replied.
"We can do that this week or next. Let's just focus on getting to New York and when we get back we can figure that out. Getting the shoes is gonna kinda depend on the color of the wedding, right? I mean, if we can't get enough red shoes, we could go with black shoes, which might make more sense, because they'd go better with tuxes, and a white dress. And also, if the girls are wearing red dresses, won't the reds clash, if they're not exactly the same. We could still use red ties, flowers in our lapels and red accents, but if the bride's side is gonna all be in red, red shoes might be too much. I don't know. Just a thought," he shrugged again, keeping his eyes on the road.
Rachel and Arin exchanged glances, "who are you and what happened to my brother?" Arin laughed lightly.
"Nothing," he smirked, "the Converse idea is great, but I just got thinking about all the shades of red. It'll be easy to find red ties to match dresses, but it might be harder to find them all to match the red shoes, too," he shrugged, "besides, don't they always say that black goes with anything?"
"You do have a point," Rachel agreed, "it was different in school because all of the guy's Letterman's jackets were the same color, but red shoes, dresses, ties and other accents all might not match, so black shoes do make more sense. Can they be the black and white shoes? Not the all black. I don't like those as much," she admitted.
"They can be whatever you want, babe," Noah glanced at her and smiled, "the black and white ones are probably the most common Converse, or the most recognizable, so I'm sure they won't have an issue getting them. The red probably is, too. Just thought we should have an option, just in case we can't get enough red ones in time. Everyone should all have the same color."
"Good idea," Rachel leaned over and pressed a kiss to his cheek, "I'm going to text everyone and ask them what they think," she admitted.
"Okay. Do what you need. We should be at the airport in about thirty minutes," he said, as they passed a sign that gave the miles to certain places in the city.
Letting their conversation settle, Rachel sent a text to everyone about what they'd discussed. They all replied back that black and white would be fine and probably a better idea, so Rachel let her thoughts go to what color she wanted and decided to wait until they got to the store to be sure; she wanted to look at the red shoes in person before she made her final choice.
Arriving at the airport around the time Noah said they would, it was now just before eight-thirty. He pulled up to the rental car area and parked in the drop-off area, so they climbed out and gathered their bags and trash. Moving inside, Rachel talked to someone and explained what they were doing and the clerk understood, so she put Rachel's information in and promised to have a car ready for her the next day when they returned to the airport.
Heading towards their airline's desk, they picked up their tickets and then moved to the security line. It was early and there weren't too many people there, so it didn't take them too long to get through. Noah and Arin had a small duffel bag with their clothes and some personal items, and Rachel only had her purse, so there wasn't a lot to check out and after getting their shoes back on and making sure they had everything, it was about nine-fifteen, forty-five minutes before their flight would start boarding.
Stopping at a restaurant in the food court, they got a few snacks to eat and then headed towards their gate to wait. Soon they were lining up, passing over their boarding tickets and making their way onto the plane to find their seats. Noah, since he was the tallest, stashed his and Arin's bags in the luggage spaces above them, while Rachel and Arin took their seats; Arin taking the window, Rachel sitting in the middle and Noah taking his aisle seat when he sat down.
Arin, Noah and Deborah never traveled anywhere out of Ohio and in the past few years, since Arin had been in the Glee club, she had yet to fly anywhere for a competition. So far they all had been held in places close enough that a bus could drive them, so she'd never flown before and Noah had only flown once, during his and Rachel's Senior year when their Nationals was held in Washington, DC.
Take-off was a nervous moment for the unfamiliar fliers, but once the plane reached the cruising altitude and the seatbelt sign went off, Arin's white knuckles let go of the armrest and both siblings began to relax.
"I don't know about you two, but I'm gonna take a nap," Noah admitted, shifting a little so his back was to the aisle.
"I'd sleep but I can't after all the coffee I had," Arin commented, pulling out her iPhone, "so I'm gonna listen to music."
"I got decaf," Noah replied with a grin, "so no problems there."
"A nap sounds great," Rachel said softly, "I didn't get a lot of sleep."
Noah reached out and rested his left hand on her stomach, "well, turn around and lean towards me and we can nap together," he suggested.
Rachel did as he suggested and shifted until she hit the armrest of the seat and then joined her left hand with his, "how's this?"
"Perfect," Noah whispered, leaning in to press a kiss to her cheek, "just think, babe. The next time we fly to New York you'll be Mrs. Puckerman," he whispered softly.
"I will be," she smiled brightly, turning her head to press a kiss to his lips, "I can't wait."
Rachel and Noah slept during the whole flight and Arin occupied herself listening to music and playing a game on her iPhone. As their plane got closer to New York, she found herself drawn to the window as the skyline came into view from the clouds. She took a few pictures with her camera and soon the captain came over the intercom to say they'd be landing shortly and he would be turning on the seatbelt sign, so they'd have to get back to their seats and start putting their things away. Reaching over, Arin nudged her brother and after a few seconds he and Rachel started to stir, "we're close to landing," she murmured.
"Whoa, really?" Noah asked, lifting his head a little to glance out the window, but couldn't see much from where he was sitting.
"Yeah, you guys have slept the whole time," she replied.
"Seems like we just got to sleep," Rachel admitted, sighing as she reluctantly let go of her fiancé and started to shift in her seat.
Noah nodded in agreement and reached up, rubbing his neck a little as he turned. "Best nap I've had in a long time, though."
Rachel smiled at him and leaned over, pressing a kiss to his lips, "we can nap anytime you want," she said, resting her hand on his cheek, before hooking her belt.
"I may just take you up on that sometime," he winked.
It wasn't long before the plane was landing on the runway at the airport. The landing was a lot easier on Noah and Arin than take-off had been and they were all glad their flight had gone smoothly. When the plane docked at it's gate, the three stood up and collected their bags and followed the line of passengers into the busy airport. Staying close together, Rachel showed them to the exit, since they didn't have any extra luggage to pick up at baggage claim, and once they'd reached the doors and stepped outside into the cool New York air, Rachel smiled at them, "welcome to New York!" She said happily, motioning around as she continued to walk towards where she usually hailed a taxi.
"Wow, this place is huge," Arin admitted, looking around, seeing the airport going on for miles and off in the distance from one way she could faintly see the Manhattan skyline.
"It is," Rachel nodded, "and it can be a bit intimidating, but since I've been living here for a few years, I'm pretty familiar with most of the areas; where to go and where not to," she explained, waving at the next taxi they saw and soon it came to a stop near them.
The three climbed into the backseat of the yellow SUV and Rachel expertly gave them her street and soon they were on their way into the city. Rachel was sitting in between Noah and Arin, so as they passed a place she knew about, she'd point it out and both of them were checking out what they could.
When the driver reached 51st Street and began heading west, she pointed out some of her favorite spots, but her top choice was knowing she lived on the same street as the famed Gershwin Theater, home of Wicked.
"We're here," Rachel said, as the taxi came to a stop halfway between 8th and 9th Avenue.
Noah opened his door, since he was on the side Rachel pointed to, and climbed out. Rachel handed the driver the payment for the trip, along with a nice tip and the man thanked her, as she and Arin climbed out the door Noah had. Soon the three were standing on the sidewalk in front of a bunch of three to four story brick buildings, all attached together.
A short staircase led up to a single door with windows on either side and three to four windows per building on each floor. The ground floor of most of the buildings contained small businesses and just feet from her stairs was a restaurant and bar, along with a sushi restaurant across the street and down the other way was an Italian restaurant.
"Wow! You live here?" Noah asked surprised.
"Yep. It's great because my friends and I love sushi, so we're there a lot and if we want drinks, I'm just feet from a bar," she explained, taking his hand and guiding them up a set of stairs to a wooden door and pushed it open.
While Rachel knew where she was going, Arin and Noah followed her to the back of a long hallway and started up a set of stairs, taking them to a second floor. Once there, she led them down another hallway to her apartment, with a view of the street they'd just been on. Digging out her keys, Rachel unlocked her door and pushed it open, going inside first to see it hadn't changed since she'd been there, "well, it's not much, but this is my place," she motioned around.
When Noah and Arin walked into the small apartment, they understood what she meant. The apartment itself was small, but it had all of the things needed to live. The large room they were currently in was her kitchen, living and dining room. She had a TV, a few small couches, a couple of bookshelves and cabinets scattered around the room with books and other items stored on them. She had a small four-seat dining table that was currently piled with mail her friend was collecting for her when she checked on her place.
"Come on in and get comfortable for a bit," Rachel said closing and locking the door behind them, motioning to an open door nearby, "my bathroom is right there, if you guys need it."
"Dibs!" Arin called out, dropping her bag by one of the couches and dashing into the room.
Noah smirked, "so, now what?" He asked, setting his bag next to his sister's and leaning against the back of the couch.
Rachel stepped closer to him, "well, I'd like to glance through my mail really quick and then I was going to grab the extra blankets from my room to let Arin make her bed up, then we can call Kurt and go over to his place," she explained, dropping her purse to the floor.
"Up to you," he said, slipping his arms around her waist, "or I could get the blankets while you look through your mail. Unless you don't want me digging around in your personal space."
"I've got nothing to hide," she replied honestly, wrapping her arms around his neck and pressing a kiss to his lips, "and this will be ours in a few weeks, so I'm fine with that."
"Good to know," he smiled, holding her for a moment. "Same goes for me, and we need to talk about if we're going to add each other to our leases or figure out what we're going to do," he told her softly.
"Yes, that is something we'll have to talk about. I don't think it'll be too big of a deal to add each other, since we are getting married. It's not like we're just getting another roommate," she said honestly, "but let's talk about that later," she kissed him once more, "in the closet in my room is an extra set of sheets and a comforter. Can you get them?"
"Definitely," he nodded, giving her gentle squeeze as Arin came out of the bathroom, "how long until we leave?"
"Uh, maybe a half an hour at the most," she shrugged, stepping back and taking his hands.
Noah let her pull him up and leaned down to grab his bag and then kissed her cheek again, "sounds good," he replied, moving into the open door of her bedroom.
Stepping into Rachel's small bedroom, he glanced around and couldn't help the thoughts that came to his mind, "man, and I thought my place was small. Rachel's is a lot smaller," he said to himself, seeing her bed taking up a large portion of her floorspace, coming out from the wall opposite from where he was standing. Aside from a desk and a dresser, she also had several colored plastic storage containers piled along the walls, each one with stickers marking it's contents.
Walking over to her bed, he dropped his bag onto it and then moved to her closet, pushing the doors around until he found the blankets she was talking about. Grabbing the sheets and comforter, he walked out of her room, "damn, babe. I thought my place was small. No offense, but this place is tiny compared to mine."
Rachel glanced up from the mail she was looking at and nodded, "yeah, I know. That's something I noticed when I was there," she admitted, "but this is big compared to some other places I've seen around here and for the location, it's worth it. I'm not here that much, either."
Noah handed his sister the things in his hands and then moved over to his fiancée, "that's understandable. I'm sure there's a lot of nightlife that you get involved in, huh?"
"Yes, but not the kind you think," she assured him. "Usually my shows run until nine or later, then sometimes my friends and I go meet for drinks at a restaurant, or downstairs," she motioned towards in the direction of the bar, "and a lot of our favorite places stay open until late. We don't usually go to clubs."
"Why not?" He wondered, pulling out a chair and taking a seat at the table.
"I don't know. I guess that's not my 'scene'. Sometimes I do or we might on a weekend, but none of us are really into going out and dancing, especially when I dance in a production," she explained.
"Good point," he agreed, reaching out and slipping his finger into one of the belt loops on her jeans and tugged her towards him until she landed in his lap, "but you would look amazing all dressed up to go out," he told her, "but you also always look amazing."
Rachel blushed at landing in his lap, but turned so she could look at him, then pressed a kiss to his lips, "thank you. Maybe sometime we can go out together," she suggested.
Noah nodded, slipping his arms around her waist, "I definitely think that's an option."
Arin had been trying not to intrude on their moment together, but she couldn't help wondering something her and Deborah had been thinking on for a while, "sorry, this may not be the right time to ask, but have you guys talked about how you are going to deal with everything while Rachel's doing her show?" She asked, moving towards them.
The couple nodded and Rachel bit her lip, "it has come up, but we have been saying we'll talk about it later. It is something we do need to talk about, but it's the last thing on my mind right now."
"I think our best option for now is to just see how things go. I'm not letting her quit the production, so if it means living apart for a while, then we will. I've got plenty of leave, so I figured I could take some long weekends or days off during the week, depending on when she's off and I can start looking into changing jobs or getting into the NYPD," Noah explained.
Rachel smiled at his offer and leaned in, pressing a kiss to his lips, "thank you. I'm still thinking about coming home, too."
"I know," Noah nodded, "you're gonna be here for a while with the show, and you've said you'd thought of coming home, but I'm not going to expect you to and I, at least, want to see about it. If things don't work out, then I can at least say I tried. I also know you're not going to make me pick you or my job. I love what I do and where I am, but I also love you, so it's not an easy choice, but I know it's something we're both going to have to figure out."
"Everything is gonna work out and we'll be together, wherever that ends up being," she promised, hugging him tightly, "I love you, too."
Noah smiled at her and kissed her, "I never doubted that at all," he assured her.
As much as Rachel wanted to stay where she was, she knew they had things to do, so she reached for her phone on the table and glanced at the time, "I don't mean to change the subject, but I think we need to get to Kurt's. It's a quarter to two already," she admitted.
"No worries. I know we gotta get going. You gonna call him first?" He wondered.
"Yeah. I want to make sure he's home," she replied, pulling up his number, "I think I know where he lives, but it'll be easiest to just take a taxi," she added, pulling his phone number up in her phone. "Stay quiet. I want to surprise him," she said before hitting the call button and putting the phone to her ear.
After two rings, Kurt answered it, when he saw it was Rachel, "hey Rachel! How are you?"
"I'm doing alright," Rachel smiled, "are you busy?"
"Nope. I was actually going to call you. It shouldn't take me too long to get your dress going, but I need some measurements," he admitted.
"I thought you might. That's why I was calling. A bunch of us were at my dads' house last night and we were talking and I knew I needed to get those to you, so I told them I'd call you today. What ones do you need?"
Kurt gave her a few of them that he needed and she played along like she was writing them down, and even asked him how to take a few of them. "Are you going to be home for a while? I can call you back in a little while and give you these. I'll have Arin or Deborah help me out," Rachel said casually.
"Yeah, I'll be here. Don't have any plans today, except a date with my DVR," he replied with a grin.
Rachel laughed lightly, "alright. I'll call you in a little while."
Saying their goodbyes, Rachel hung up her phone and grinned at Noah, "that was easy. He'll be home all night."
"Great! Then let's get going," Noah replied.
Arin grabbed a few things from her bag and Rachel made sure she had Kurt's address before the three left her place and made their way back outside. They decided to walk down to the corner of the street and Rachel pointed out a few of the other places she spent a lot of time at, on the way.
Flagging down a cab, Rachel glanced at the note and read it off to the driver and soon they were on their way again, driving through the streets of Manhattan. Kurt lived east of the southern part of Central Park, so he was definitely away from Rachel, but still within an area of the park, that she liked to jog towards during the warmer summer months when she wanted to get some extra sun. When the taxi came to a stop on the corner of the street they needed, Noah paid their fare and climbed out of the yellow car.
"I don't know how you can stand taking a taxi around everywhere," Noah murmured as the car drove off.
"Parking is hard to find in certain areas or very expensive, so it's pointless to have a car. It's easier for someone to just drop you off and then you don't have to worry about where you parked or walking to your car, if it's in an unsafe area," Rachel replied, slipping her arm around his as they began walking down the street towards Kurt's building.
"Someone's a little on edge," Arin commented, quite familiar with her brother and noticed during the two taxi rides they'd already taken, his hand kept moving to his right thigh.
Rachel glanced at Arin, "what do you mean?" She asked, then turned her gaze on her fiancé, "Noah?"
"I feel a little lost without my gun," he said softly, patting his leg where Arin had been looking, "this is where my gun usually is. When I'm on the job, I've learned to be really cautious and that extends to my off-time, too. I can't help seeing everyone as a threat, especially being in a strange place to me."
"Oh, Noah, I didn't realize you were that uncomfortable. You should have said something," Rachel said honestly.
"I'm not uncomfortable, I'm just being extra cautious. Keeping my eyes open a little wider, that's all. You've lived here a while and from what I know, you've never had anything happen and I'm glad for that, but I also wanna keep it that way," he told her, "and part of this is from never being here and hearing all the horror stories about what goes on in bigger cities. I'm sure the more I'm here the less on edge I'll be. Just need some time, that's all."
Rachel smiled at that, "time we can definitely give you," she promised, "and besides, I think you're pretty sexy as a cop."
"Oh you do?" He glanced at her, "really?"
The blush that grew on Rachel's cheeks confirmed his question, "a few mornings that you've gotten ready for work and been dressed in your full uniform... I've had to take a cold shower after you leave."
Noah's mouth fell open in shock. He knew she was attracted to him, but didn't realize how much and he grinned brightly, "well, I'm glad you enjoy the view and I'll keep that in mind for next time," he winked, leaning in to press a kiss to her forehead.
Though Rachel wanted to continue their conversation, she also knew if they did, Arin would probably get uncomfortable, so she let his comment settle. After a few moments, she noticed Kurt's building number and found he lived on a street much like hers. Small businesses on the lower floor of three- to four-story brick buildings. "We're here," she said, motioning to their right.
Following Rachel, the three climbed the stairs up to a door and walked into a small hallway. His apartment number was '1F', so they knew he lived on the first floor and headed down the hallway until they came to a stop at a door with the right letter and number on it. Rachel reached up and gently knocked on the door. She had thought of coming up with a surprise for him, but realized just being there would probably be a surprise enough, so she passed off her thought and waited until he answered.
Hearing some shuffling and then a gasp on the other side of the door, it flew open moments later to show a very surprised Kurt, dressed casually in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, "Rachel, Puck, Arin! What are you guys doing here?" He exclaimed happily, rushing out the door to throw his arms around Rachel.
A little caught off guard, Rachel took a moment to react, but happily put her arms around him, "hey Kurt. We wanted to surprise you. We came to the city for the weekend. It's a long story, but thought on our trip I could stop in and you could get the measurements you needed for my dress and we could catch up," she explained as they pulled away.
"Wow, this is definitely a surprise," he agreed, sharing a quick hug with Arin and then moved to Noah, "and I definitely want to catch up. Come in. It's not much and if I would have known I was having company, I would have cleaned up a little," he admitted.
"It's alright, man," Noah assured him as they all moved into his apartment, looking to be about the same size as Rachel's.
From their brief hug, Rachel noticed that Kurt had grown up in every way. His still had a similar look to the teen she once knew, but he'd toned his body a lot since high school and though she knew he was into fashion, she was happy to see him dressed down in jeans and a t-shirt.
After closing the door, Kurt moved to stand in front of Rachel, "the last few years have been good to you, Rachel. You look great," he said, smiling at her.
"Thank you. The same goes for you," she said, taking her jacket off as they all moved towards his few couches.
"Thanks," Kurt smiled, "I started going to the gym in college. I also realized that I don't always have to dress flashy. I guess you could say a little bit of Finn rubbed off on me, too," he said motioning down to what he was wearing.
"There's nothing wrong with that. I've found all the sweaters and things I wore in high school didn't seem practical anymore, so I went with a more casual look," she explained, "and I'm more comfortable in jeans, than I am in skirts and dresses all the time."
"Understandable," Kurt took a deep breath, "wow. I'm just really surprised you're here. I'm happy about it, but still shocked. So what brings you guys to NYC for the weekend?"
"That's a bit of a long story, but we can talk while you're getting my measurements. We actually can't stay too long, because we have to be somewhere else soon, but you're welcome to join us. I want to catch up with you and we need your shoe size," Rachel explained.
While they were sitting down, Kurt moved into his room and got out his tape measure and a notebook and returned to the living room, "my shoe size?" Rachel went on to explain their decision to wear Converse shoes at the wedding and how her friend worked at the store, which is why they'd returned to the city for the weekend. "Wow, that's original, but surprisingly I'm not shocked. I actually think it's a great idea," Kurt admitted with a smile, "it is surprising, but I think it'd be neat for the entire bridal party and others to be wearing them. I'm assuming all our Glee Club friends are going to wear them, too?"
"They are," Rachel nodded, "just like old times."
Kurt smiled, taking a seat on his coffee table right in front of Rachel, "yeah it is. I really wish we didn't lose touch, but I'm glad we're talking now," he admitted.
"Me too," she nodded, "it happens, but what's important is that we're talking again and we can rebuild our friendship. I look forward to finding out more about the new Kurt Hummel."
"And I'm looking forward to getting to know the new Rachel Berry," he smiled, "well, I guess it's more like the soon-to-be Mrs. Rachel Puckerman, huh?"
"Yes, it is," Rachel smiled brightly, "Mrs. Rachel Puckerman. I really like the sound of that. I can't wait until it's official."
Noah smiled at her and nodded, "same here, babe. I'm looking forward to when we're finally husband and wife."
A/N7: Hope you all enjoyed! Please let me know how you feel! I haven't gotten a lot of reviews the last few times I've updated and I hope I haven't lost you all! I know it's been two months since my last update, but I have my reasons, which I'll explain below. The next chapter will finish up their trip to New York and then I'm gonna do a summary / time jump to the wedding, to skip over the rest of the planning and the holidays.
A/N8: Health update (for some it may be news) - In late-April / early-May, I started having some abdominal problems, getting sick when I eat certain things. I saw my doctor. She sent me for an ultrasound thinking it's my gallbladder. The ultrasound came back normal, so I was sent to a specialist. The specialist also agreed it's gallbladder and ordered another test to check. I got the results two days ago and it found abnormalities, so I have an appointment with a surgeon to discuss surgery. I've been feeling kinda of cruddy the last few months and I've been able to keep up on some fics, but others are not getting updated as often, so I'm doing what I can. Due to some medical company issues, I have to have it done before the end of June, so sometime in the next few weeks I'll be having surgery to remove my gallbladder. I hear the recovery is not too bad, a week or two, so with the way I've updated things it might not be noticed, but I just wanted to let you all know, in case you don't see any updates from me for a while. I will keep my Tumblr and Twitter updated through the recovery as much as I can - I'm EJ8302 on both of them, so if you wanna keep up with what's going on, find me there. Thank you for all the well wishes and support I've gotten recently, it really means a lot!
FANFICTION DOT NET ISSUES (IMPORTANT) - It's come to my attention in the past week or so that FF is doing a lot of changes to their system and 'purging' or deleting certain fics that break the rules. I have not had it happen to me, yet and I hope it doesn't, but if you guys ever want to read my fics and they're not here, I have them ALL posted at my LJ account 'sapphiresfic dot livejournal dot com'. I am also in the process getting on Archive Of Our Own, 'AO3', and once I do, I'll be posting on there, also. A few of my author friends have already had a fic of theirs taken down and I know many authors are removing all of their fics to get away from FF completely, so in case you're wondering where your favorite fics or author's are going, that's why / where. I will be keeping my fics up on FF, so it's not going to change, but I do have 'back ups' in other places for you all to read them and once I get an account at AO3, I'll let you know what it is.