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16 May 2010 @ 11:32 pm
Let the sun shine in (Glee, 1/1)  
Summary: Something was wrong with Noah Puckerman. Puck/Rachel.
Rating: M/NC-17, for mature themes (highlight to read): Rape
Warnings: Follows canon up to Bad Reputation, then diverges from that.
A/N: Oh, this one took forever, and I went back and forth (and back and forth and…) on even posting it. But it hit me over the head and just would not let go, so in the end I can only hope that I’ve approached the topic with the sensitivity it deserves, and haven’t turned it into an after-school special or anything. Please let me know what you think, because I’m kind of terrified.


Something was wrong with Noah Puckerman.

Not like everything had been sunshine and rainbows for him lately, Rachel thought, glancing worriedly at the boy across the choir room. First there had been the huge blowout when the true paternity of Quinn’s baby had been revealed (she still felt guilty about her part in that ordeal), and then the pain of giving the little girl up for adoption right after Regionals.

(They’d placed, which wasn’t enough to move on to Nationals, but enough to save Glee, and she was satisfied with that, for now. They could take Nationals by storm next year.)

Noah had been difficult to be around for weeks after that, but it seemed that time was doing its job and slowly healing those wounds. He scowled less and smirked more. He and Quinn had broken up without the baby keeping them together anymore, but they were still friendly with each other. Finn was talking to him again, instead of just ignoring the other boy, and it looked like that friendship just might be salvageable. On Friday she’d even heard him joking with Matt and Mike about some cougar he’d be seeing that night—“getting ready for pool season,” or some such nonsense—and as much as she hated his cavalier attitude toward sex, it was just the latest sign that things were going back to normal.

But it was Monday now, and somehow all that improvement had vanished. It was like she was seeing a different person. He’d actually gone to his classes today—she hadn’t known they were in the same history class until he’d walked in. That should have been an improvement, but he didn’t do anything as novel as listen to the teacher or take notes. But he didn’t disrupt class or harass any of the other students either. He just sat there, staring blankly at his desk, until the bell startled him back to reality. She’d tried to catch his attention then, to see what was going on, but he’d slipped out of the room before she could catch him.

And now they were in Glee, and something was just…off. Noah was a master at slouching—he elevated sprawling in a chair to an art form—but today it was like he couldn’t keep still. He kept shifting and rearranging his limbs in the seat, like he couldn’t get comfortable, like he didn’t fit in his skin anymore. And he still wasn’t paying attention. Mr. Schue had to call his name three times before his gaze snapped up to their teacher, wincing at the sound.


“We’re ready to practice, Puck, if you’ve finished your daydream.”

There was no snide comeback to Mr. Schue’s friendly teasing, just a muttered “Sorry” as he took his place with the rest of them. Rachel frowned, and kept an eye on him throughout the number. It wasn’t easy—while they were the leads, the choreography kept them apart for the entire song—but she was excellent at multi-tasking. He didn’t miss a step, but she caught the way he flinched every time someone touched him—just barely, but it was there.

She finally managed to corner him after practice, as he was stuffing sheet music into his bag. “Is everything okay, Noah? I couldn’t help but notice that you seemed preoccupied to—”

“What? No,” he interrupted. “Nothing’s wrong. Everything’s fine. Mind your own business, Berry.” He brushed by her on his way out the door.

What was going on?


He could barely see the woman on top of him in the dark room, moonlight catching her dark hair and olive skin as she undulated against him. She moved for a few more beats before stopping and pouting down at him, finally registering his lack of reaction.

“What’s wrong, baby? Did I wear you out?” The touch of an accent just added to her exotic image. She crawled down his body until her cheek rested against his hip. “Don’t worry, I can help you recover in no time.”

His hips arched up against his will as she swallowed him down, humming in triumph as he got harder with each swipe of her tongue. Satisfied, she released him with a wet pop and straddled him again, and he wanted to do something, anything, but he couldn’t move, could barely breathe through the invisible weight crushing his chest, and he wanted to scream, but badasses don’t scream, and—

Puck woke up with a strangled gasp, sitting up and backing himself against the headboard. When his breathing finally evened out and his heartbeat slowed, he turned to check his alarm clock.

And groaned. Four thirty in the morning, the ass crack of dawn. And there was no way he was getting back to sleep now. He sat there for a moment before throwing the covers off and getting out of bed. Ten minutes later he was locking his front door and stepping out into the early morning darkness. For the next hour he pounded the pavement, running through the empty Lima streets until his lungs burned and his legs felt like lead.

Until his mind was blissfully blank.

He hopped in the shower as soon as he got back, letting the hot water wash away the sweat and soothe his aching muscles. Stepping out of the tub and wrapping a towel around his waist, he looked at his reflection in the mirror.

He looked like shit, really. This hadn’t been the first night he’d had trouble sleeping, and the evidence was clear in the dark circles under his eyes. That wasn’t something he could fix. (Kurt, of course, would say it was, with some kind of colored goop, but there was no fucking way he was ever putting makeup on his face.) The fact that his badass mohawk needed trimming, however, was. He pulled his electric razor out of the drawer and looked back to the mirror, running an appraising hand over the stripe of hair—

She leaned forward, seeking out his lips again, but Puck kept them stubbornly sealed. She frowned at him, disapproving. “Come on, sweetie, don’t be like that.”

“Fuck you,” he sneered up at her.

She laughed, the sound deep and throaty. “I think that’s what we’re doing,” she said, and shifted her hips. His mouth fell open on a gasp and she swooped in, tongue slicking against his. The hair of his mohawk was long enough to grip and she did, tugging his head into a better position—

He blinked at himself and let out a heavy breath. Then he looked down at the razor for a moment, silently. Without hesitation he changed the setting and brought it up to his scalp. Hair fell into the sink and on the counter, and a few passes of the razor later a mohawk-less boy stared back at him. The churning in his gut, however, remained.

Fuck this shit. His mom was working late tonight, and his sister was staying with friends after school let out. Screw school—the guy at the local liquor store never looked twice at his fake ID. He would make sure the brat got on the school bus, and then he was getting wasted.


He ignored all the attention his new hairstyle got on Wednesday—except when Santana slinked over and leaned against the locker next to his, smiling at him suggestively. “Like the haircut,” she purred. “Now you don’t look like an idiot anymore.”

“Fuck you,” Puck said amiably, slamming his locker shut. “You know the ‘hawk was a chick magnet.”

“Whatever,” the Cheerio scoffed. “I’m sure you’re totally better without it.”

It was a lame line, but Puck didn’t care. Lopez may have been making her lesbian love nest with Brittany, but she still craved dick every so often, and he was desperate. He hadn’t gotten laid in days, and he always had a good time with Santana, bitch though she was. He smirked at her.

“You wanna put that to the test?”

Which was how they found themselves in Puck’s truck during lunch, doing their best to fog up the windows. They were going at it hot and heavy, her straddling his lap and his hand on her boob, lips fused together. He thought things were going great until Santana pulled back with a frustrated sigh. “Okay, what gives?”

He frowned at her, confused. “The fuck you talking about, Lopez?”

She sighed again and gave him her best bitch face. “I’m giving you my best shit here, but someone doesn’t seem to be interested.” She ground her hips against his to emphasize that his dick was apparently not enjoying this as much as the rest of him was.

He scowled and tried to ignore the heat in his cheeks. “Just give me a few more minutes.”

Santana laughed. “Are you fucking shitting me? You’ve never taken this long to get it up before.” He scowled at her again, and she laughed even harder. “Oh, this is precious. Noah Puckerman having performance issues. What, did someone finally screw the stud right out of you?”

He froze, his breathing getting rougher as he stared at the girl in his lap. “Get out.”

It was Santana’s turn to look confused, but he just reached around her and opened the door, practically pushing her out of the vehicle. “I said, get the fuck out of my truck,” he said harshly, as she stumbled onto the asphalt.

“Fine, fine! I’m out! Jesus, what’s up with you?”

He ignored the question. “Don’t you dare mention this to anyone.”

She smirked, and if she wasn’t a girl Puck would have wiped the expression off her face. “I swear to God, Santana, if you breathe a word of this I’ll—”

“Okay! My lips are sealed.” She’d never seen Puck look so intense, so…raw. She gave him a look of legitimate concern, voice softening. “What is up with you, Puck?”

He started his truck and left the parking lot without answering the question.


God damn, Berry just couldn’t take a break, could she? They didn’t have any more competitions that year, so he didn’t see the harm in just going through the motions in practice. Crazy apparently thought differently, if the rant that he’d tuned out after “pulling your weight” and “we’re both leads in this piece” and “excellent preparation for next year” was any indication. But really, it was better than all the concerned looks she’d been giving him at the start of the week. What was up with that, anyway?

The sudden silence in the room clued him in to the fact that Berry had stopped talking. He snapped out of his reverie to see her looking at him, expectant, hands on hips. “Well? Do you accept my proposal, Noah?”

He shrugged and smirked. “Sorry, I stopped listening after the first Tony reference.”

She sighed in exasperation, but repeated her offer. “I was suggesting that you come over to my house this evening to work on the song. After our latest run-through I have several recommendations that I think will greatly improve our performance.”

Shit. Berry wouldn’t take no for an answer when it came to something Glee related, and he didn’t have anything to use as an excuse—basketball season had ended last month, and baseball practice didn’t start until next week.

But would it be so bad, really? The midget wasn’t that bad once she sucked you in and got you used to her crazy. And if their history was any indication, there was a good chance they could end the night sucking face. Which would be awesome, because after his rendezvous with Santana yesterday went from hot to lame in point two seconds, he was getting twitchy from lack of action. And, he thought, admiring her mile-long legs (seriously, how did a girl that short have legs that long?), there were worse chicks he could get action from. Even better, despite the dark hair and tan skin, she didn’t remind him of—

She didn’t remind him of anyone.

He answered just in time to prevent her from berating him for staring.

“What the hell. Sure.”


Puck thought it showed considerable restraint on his part that he let Berry coach him on his vocals for a fucking hour before he called for a break and, leaning back in his chair, fell back on old reliable.

“So, wanna make out?”

She sat on her bed and scoffed. “Please, Noah. I will not fall for that line again. And we didn’t engage in any relations last time you were in my room, so why would now be any different?”

He smirked and sat on the bed beside her, leaning into her personal space. She didn’t lean away. Score. “That line’s a classic, baby. And the only reason we didn’t make out last time was because you were so uptight about ‘being professional’ and cheating on your douche of a boyfriend. It’s not like we have to worry about that now.”

That was an understatement, Rachel thought, biting her lip as she recalled all that had happened since then. Her drama with Jesse, ending with the revelation that he was still conspiring with Vocal Adrenaline. (When she looked back on it, she wondered if Finn and Noah’s combined “beat down,” as they called it, of the older boy was the start of mending their fractured friendship.) New Directions overcoming the odds and placing at Regionals. Her ensuing relationship with Finn, again, and their breakup, again—although it had been mutual this time, and they’d managed to come out of it as even better friends.

That had been weeks ago, however, and after having a boyfriend for so long she’d gotten used to having someone she could go to when she wanted…physical comfort. And there was no denying that Noah was very talented in that regard.

“That’s very true,” she admitted.

Puck trailed his fingers up her arm, smirking to himself when her eyes fluttered at the contact. “You know you want to.”

She stared at his lips for a long moment before looking him in the eye, mouth curving up in a lopsided grin. “My dads won’t be home for another two hours.”

Awesome,” he said, and slanted his mouth over hers.

He laid her out on the bed, covering her body with the warm weight of his and swallowing her ensuing moan. God, he’d forgotten how amazing she was at this. Rachel Berry always gave one hundred percent, no matter what she was doing, and she wasn’t one of those girls who pretended that she wasn’t interested in sex and everything that led up to it. And she must have gotten plenty of practice since they’d last sucked face, cause what she was doing to his neck was making his eyes roll back in his head. Fuck.

She giggled at his groan and wedged a knee between his legs, twisting her hips and urging him to the side. So she was feeling a little bossy, wanted to be on top? Sweet, he could go with that. He rolled onto his back and pulled her with him so she was straddling his hips and pressing against him right there, and his dick was definitely into it this time, thank God. She threw her head back, gasping at the friction, and he swept the hair out of her face before reaching down to lace his fingers between hers. She leaned down to kiss him again, pulling their joined hands over his head—

He knew there was no way he was going to break free—the headboard was solid and the cuffs were metal, not some cheap-ass plastic party toy. But that didn’t stop him from trying anyway, from kicking his legs and twisting his arms, pulling and yanking until steel bit into his wrists despite the padding, until they ached, because he had to get out, had to, had—

He scrambled out from under her, crab-walking on his hands and feet until he literally fell off the bed. As soon as he hit the carpet he was moving again, shuffling back until the bed frame bit into his skin. The pain let a little reality bleed back in, and he could feel the tightness of his chest as air left his lungs in harsh gasps. He pulled his knees in and clutched his head, concentrating on trying to beat back the impending hysteria.

Breathe, Puckerman. Breathe.


Rachel blinked. What had just…? One second she and Noah had been having a delightful make out session, if she did say so herself, and the next she was alone on the bed, utterly speechless—and she was never speechless.

The sound of Noah’s rough breathing snapped her back into the moment, and she clambered off her bed and flew to his side. He was pressed up against the side of the bed, curled in on himself, body trembling violently. Her eyes widened.

Was Noah Puckerman having a panic attack?

Having absolutely no idea what to do, she reached out and rubbed his shoulder, trying to soothe the muscles jerking under the skin. He tensed at first but then leaned into it, pressing against her until the shaking subsided, unfurling his limbs and leaning his head back against the bed, eyes closed.

Rachel could only gape. “Noah…what in the world was that?”

“Nothing,” he lied, voice weak. “Nothing. Everything’s fine. I’m gonna bounce now—” He leaned forward, attempting to stand.

“That was not nothing, Noah Puckerman. Do not lie to me.” She grabbed his wrist to stop him, and he hissed in pain at the contact as he flopped back to the floor.

Confused, she gentled her grip on the appendage and started investigating for the source of his discomfort. He tried to slap her hands away, but with the adrenaline fading he could only put up a token resistance as she rolled up his sleeves and unbuckled the wide leather bracelets he’d been wearing all week.

She gasped in horror. The long sleeves and cuffs had been hiding raw and abraded skin that hurt just to look at. Bruises completely circled his wrists, looking like bracelets themselves, a sickly yellow-green color indicating they were days old. She turned her gaze back to him, eyes wide. “What happened?”

“Noth—” She gave him a look, and he sighed. “Jesus, it’s nothing. Some cougars like it a little rough, is all. You’d be surprised how many kinky housewives there are in Lima.” He waggled his eyebrows at her, but it was a pale imitation of his usual charm.

“A little rough?” she repeated, incredulous. “Noah, this is more than a little. This is…”

She trailed off as everything that had happened that week started coming together, painting a picture that she desperately didn’t want to see, wanted to erase as soon as it formed. No. No, this wasn’t possible. It absolutely was not possible. Her body wanted to shudder at the very implausibility of it all.

But she had to be sure.

She could barely get the words out. “Did someone force you to—”

He scoffed, cutting her off. “No one forces the Puckster to do anything.” The tension was back in his body, and he wouldn’t look at her. “I may not have been that into it, but sex is sex, right?”

Her stomach dropped, a horrible ache traveling up her throat until she could almost taste the bitterness in the back of her mouth. She had to swallow it down before she could speak, and even then her voice was thick. “No means no, Noah, even for boys.”

He snorted. “‘No means no’?” he mocked. “What is this, an after school special? Fuck, Berry.” He laughed, voice high and brittle, and God, Noah Puckerman wasn’t supposed to be this fragile. “You’re acting like I was raped—”

He froze, mouth still open around the last syllable, and it was like all the sound, all the air was sucked out of the room.

He hadn’t said it before, hadn’t even considered it, but now it was out there, and he couldn’t take it back.

She could only watch as he desperately tried to hold on to the denial, growing paler and paler as it slipped through his grasping fingers.

“Fuck,” he whispered. She tried to put a hand on his shoulder but he knocked it away as he lurched to his feet, stumbling blindly toward her bathroom. Right behind him, she turned on the light as he fell to his knees in front of the toilet, barely able to flip the lid up before the sound of retching filled the tiny room.


This was going to be the best weekend ever. Maria Vasquez had asked him to “get the pool ready for summer,” which had turned out to be code for “my husband’s gone until Saturday afternoon, so we have all the time in the world to fuck like bunnies.” Everything was set—his mom thought he was staying at Mike’s, and Mike knew to cover for him if she called. He wasn’t going to let anything get in his way, because Mrs. Vasquez had only hired him once before, but it had been the best, dirtiest sex of his life, and he was totally ready for another serving.

They’d already gotten one round out of the way, and he was currently on his back in her bed, hands behind his head, smirking smugly at the ceiling as the woman beside him caught her breath. Fuck yeah, he was so the man.

Mrs. Vasquez rolled on her side, facing him. “That was amazing, honey,” she said, kissing his chest. She gave him a mischievous smile. “But there’s something else I’d love to try out.”

At Puck’s raised eyebrow she leaned over him and reached for the bedside table. He blatantly stared at her naked breasts while she rummaged through the drawer until something metallic entered his vision. He focused on what she was dangling in front of him.

His eyes widened as he took in the pair of handcuffs. She was into bondage, huh? He’d toyed around with the concept with a few other cougars, but only with scarves or ties—nothing as hardcore as actual handcuffs. But there was some kind of padding on the inside, to protect the wearer, so they wouldn’t hurt that much. And hey, he’d come into this expecting anything and everything. What was the harm, as long as he got some awesome sex out of it?

He smirked again as he unfolded his arms and raised them above his head. “Ladies first?”

She actually squealed as she snapped the first cuff around his right wrist, looping the chain through the slatted headboard and clicking the other one into place around his left. “Thank you,” she said, kissing him soundly, biting his lower lip as she backed away.

Puck laughed. “Are we going to need a safe word or something?” he joked, and she laughed as well.

“No, I don’t think so,” she murmured, giddy housewife completely gone, and he shivered in anticipation as she started kissing her way down his body.

The anticipation quickly turned to irritation, though, because she wouldn’t stop with the damn biting. He tried to go along with it, but a particularly sharp nip to his stomach had him wincing.

“Hey, be careful. Don’t wanna fuck up this work of art,” he joked, but she ignored him and just kept going. By the time she was down to his thigh he thought she might actually be drawing blood, and sorry, but that shit was an instant boner-killer.

“You know what? Fuck this,” he said, making to sit up, but he was stopped by the sound of another cuff snicking into place. He stared, dumbfounded, at the ring that now circled his left ankle. She had cuffs at the foot of the bed too? What the hell? He was so shocked that he didn’t even move when she secured his other foot.

“What the fuck are you doing, bitch? I said I want out.”

She didn’t say anything, just looked at him with a predatory glint in her eye, and Puck felt another shiver travel down his spine.

But it wasn’t anticipation this time.


Puck barely noticed Rachel’s hand on his back as he threw up everything he’d eaten that day. He felt numb, like everything was happening at a distance and he was just observing. When his stomach finally stopped heaving he wiped his mouth and rested his cheek against the cool porcelain. The hand against his back disappeared, and he could hear water running. He slid to the side, up against the cabinet, and Rachel knelt before him, hesitantly holding out a glass of water. He took it and drank quickly, eager to get the foul taste out of his mouth. When the glass was empty he set it on the floor beside him, and silence descended over them once again. He would have been content to just stay that way, awkwardness be damned, but suddenly he was talking, mouth opening without his permission. A case of word vomit, to go with the real thing.

“I actually fell asleep, you know…after,” he said blandly, staring off into the middle distance. “Didn’t want to, but getting off that many times kinda takes it out of you. She let me go when I woke up. I could have messed her up real good, you know, with guns like these, but I didn’t. I just…got dressed. And you know what she did?” His face twisted into a grimace, and he spat the words out. “She patted me on the cheek. She patted me on the fucking cheek, and then she paid me, like it was a normal pool cleaning booty call, and she hadn’t just—” He swiped a weary hand over his face, then let it drop to rest on his bent knees. “Shit, I’m probably just overreacting. I did let her handcuff me in the first place.”

Rachel took his hand, holding it tightly, and he stopped talking. “Did you tell her to stop?”

She watched his Adam’s apple bob as he swallowed roughly, then nodded. “Then she should have stopped. None of this is your fault, Noah.”

“Whatever. Can we just…not talk right now?”

“Of course,” she said softly. “Whatever you want.”

They stayed there until her parents came home.

He never let go of her hand.


Rachel yawned as she trudged into McKinley the next morning. She had forgone her usual full night’s sleep to sit in front of her computer, Googling and reading and researching. She had taken notes, filled out calendars, drawn up dozens of plans of action, neatly labeled and color coded.

And then she had thrown them all away. There was no way you could plan out or prepare for something like this. It all still felt so surreal. This couldn’t be happening, could it? But it had. She had spent the majority of the previous evening on the cold tile of her bathroom floor, Noah holding onto her hand like a lifeline.

She made her way to the choir room for her usual pre-class practice, taking advantage of the precious half hour before the school started filling with students.

But this morning she had company. Noah sat in one of the plastic chairs, listlessly strumming his guitar.

“Oh! Good morning, Noah.” She fidgeted, fussing with the hem of her shirt. “I didn’t expect to see you so early.”

He shrugged and set the guitar down. “Couldn’t sleep, so I figured I might as well just come in early.”

His exhaustion was easy to see, from the dark smudges under his eyes to the weary slump of his shoulders. “Has that been happening a lot?” she asked softly.

He shoved his hands in his pockets and shrugged again, avoiding her gaze.

Her heart broke. “Have you decided what you’re going to do?”

Noah snorted. “What I’m going to do? I’m going to forget about it, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Rachel took a step toward him. “Noah, you can’t just ignore this! This woman, what she did—you can’t let her get away with it. She needs to be prosecuted.”

He finally looked at her, incredulous. “Are you shitting me? You think I’m just going to walk into the police station and tell them I was—” He broke off and turned away, hand coming up to rub the back of his neck. “Even if they’d believe me, there’s no fucking way that’s happening. I don’t need everyone knowing about it.”

“You’re still a minor, Noah, and I don’t think the police are allowed to release the names of—”

“That’s bullshit, and you know it,” he interrupted. “This town lives and breathes on gossip. They’d find out eventually, and I’d have to walk down the halls with everyone knowing…no. No fucking way.”

“Then you should at least talk to a therapist. One of my dad’s friends from college has a practice in town—”

He stepped toward her, intense. “Did you tell someone? If you fucking told someone—”

“No!” she exclaimed. “No, I didn’t. I just know of him because he’s a family friend, highly thought of in his field, and I thought it would be beneficial if you visited him.”

He scoffed, derisive. “Oh, so I need a shrink now? I’m crazy?”

“No! I just thought it would be helpful if you could talk to someone who knew what they were doing.” She raised her arms and let them fall helplessly. “I’m not equipped to help you with this, Noah.”

His eyes turned cold, and her stomach dropped. “You mean you don’t want to deal with this anymore.”

“No! That’s not what I meant at all!” she said frantically, but he was already stiffly packing up his guitar, slinging the case over his shoulder.

“No, no, it’s fine, I got you. Don’t worry about it. Consider yourself completely fucking off the hook.”

“Noah!” she cried, but he was already brushing by her and striding out the door. She ran after him, but his longer legs quickly took him out of sight. She searched for him as the halls filled with students, the first bell soon signaling that it was time to start the school day. She searched for him between every class, and during her free period, but he was nowhere to be found. She finally leaned back against her locker, frustrated tears pooling beneath closed eyelids.

Oh God, what had she done?


That night was the Berry Family Date Night, a night once a month where her dads took her out to a fancy restaurant and then to a movie or a play, whichever she wanted. Usually she loved these excursions, looked forward to them the entire month, but tonight all she could do was think about Noah and worry about what he’d been doing since their fight that morning. He dominated her thoughts so much that she thought that was what woke her up in the middle of the night—one in the morning, more specifically, according to her alarm clock. It was only when she heard the soft clink of something hitting her bedroom window that she realized that wasn’t the case. Her heart leapt into her throat when she looked out for the source of the noise.

Noah was standing on her lawn, throwing pebbles at her window.

She flew down the stairs and yanked open the front door, revealing the boy in question in pajama pants and a sweatshirt. It looked like he’d just gotten out of bed and come straight to her house, but she couldn’t find it in herself to question him, or even care. “Noah,” she breathed, completely and utterly relieved, sagging against the door frame. He was here. He was safe.

His whole body tensed, struggling, and then it was all bursting out of him.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m sorry I yelled at you, and you probably don’t even want me here, but my mom and sister are away for some Girl Scout thing, so the house is empty, and I can’t sleep, haven’t been able to all week, and—fuck—” He broke off and looked to the sky; the moonlight glinted off unshed tears. “—and I am just so fucking tired, and I don’t know what to do, please don’t make me leave, I’m sorry—”

She stepped forward and wrapped her arms around him. He did the same, burying his face in her hair and hugging her so tightly it was almost hard to breathe. Turning her face to the side, she whispered in his ear.

“You have nothing to be sorry for.”

She took his hand and led him to her room. Once in bed she hugged him to her once more, and sang softly until he fell asleep.

He only woke up twice during the night. She counted that as a victory.


Saturday morning Rachel woke to sunshine and the top of Noah Puckerman’s head. They’d shifted during the night so that they were on their sides, facing each other, Noah’s face buried in her neck. She couldn’t see his face, but she could hear his deep, even breathing, and she felt tenderness and relief well up inside her as her heart clenched. He was sleeping peacefully now, at least, the nightmares at bay for the time being. She wished she never had to wake him up. She wished she could just lay there and listen to him breathe, run her hand across the cotton of his t-shirt, but her dads—

Her dads.

She was proud of herself for not starting when the realization hit her, staying perfectly still while she inwardly panicked. While Dad and Daddy respected the fact that she was a teenage girl and liked to have her privacy, they sometimes still woke her up on the weekends, bringing her pastries or pancakes or some other type of breakfast treat. She could only imagine their shock at opening the door and seeing her in bed with Noah Puckerman.

Carefully but quickly she extricated herself from Noah’s arms, tiptoeing silently across the carpet and out the door. She found her parents in the kitchen, as she’d expected, Dad manning the waffle iron while Daddy piled sliced fruit and berries into a bowl. “Hey there, sweetie,” her daddy smiled. “We were going to bring this up to your room, but you can eat down here if you want.”

“Thanks,” she said, smiling weakly. “Actually, I was hoping I could talk to both of you first.”

“Sure,” her dad said pleasantly as he slid the last waffle out of the iron, and then they both took seats at the kitchen table, facing her. Their smiles faded, however, as they took in the anxiety in their daughter’s frame. “Is everything okay, Rach?” her daddy asked.

“I’m fine,” she replied. “I just…I just need to tell you something, and I need you to let me say it all without interrupting.” They nodded slowly, and Rachel sighed. She could only hope that sixteen years as a model daughter would give her enough leeway on this.

“Noah Puckerman is in my room right now. He stayed the night.” Their faces tensed—talk of the baby drama had spread far beyond the halls of McKinley, so her dads knew Noah’s reputation—and she rushed on before they could say anything. “Nothing happened. Absolutely nothing happened. All we did is sleep, I promise you. I know you don’t approve, and I’ll take any punishment you deem fit, but I had to. Something…something happened to Noah.” She swallowed. “Something really, really bad, and I found out, accidentally, and now I’m the only one he can turn to. So please, don’t get mad at him for this.”

There were benefits to recording your daughter’s entire life for posterity, to being at every recital, every play, every musical. One of them was being able to recognize her Acting Face. And looking at Rachel at that moment, the despair and sadness written over her face, both of her fathers could tell she wasn’t lying.

“Rachel, you can tell us what’s wrong. You two are still kids—you shouldn’t go through this alone,” her daddy said, concerned, and her dad nodded in agreement.

Tears filled her eyes, and she looked to the ceiling, trying to keep them from falling. How long had it been, since she’d found out? Just a few days? It felt like a lifetime ago. Before, she would go to school and worry about slushies and insults and someone getting a solo over her. She would cry, and rail against the injustice of it all, and complain about how hard her life was. God, she’d had no idea what hard was.

Her thoughts turned to the boy sleeping in her bed.

She still didn’t.

“I know. And I really want to tell you. But Noah’s so frightened about anyone finding out that I’m not sure what he’d do if I did. I…I can’t risk it.”

There was silence for a moment, and then her dad sighed, resigned. “I have enough leftover batter for a few more waffles. Noah’s free to join us for breakfast, if he wants.”

Rachel gave them a small smile. “Thank you,” she said, hugging them quickly and then running back upstairs, slipping silently into her room. She paused at the sight of Noah still asleep, curled around her abandoned pillow. Even though he hadn’t been able to sleep through the night, the rest had done him good—the dark circles under his eyes had faded slightly.

He shifted when she sat on the bed, rolling onto his back and opening his eyes, sleepily blinking up at her. “Hey.” His eyebrows pulled together in confusion. “Did you get up already or something?”

“Yes. I let my dads know that you were here.” He tensed, and she rushed to continue. “I didn’t tell them why. But I had to let them know—they sometimes like to surprise me with breakfast in bed on the weekends, and I think it would be a different type of surprise altogether if they found you in here.”

“Yeah,” he laughed. “But I don’t hear any angry voices coming to chase me out of the house, so they’re okay with this? Seriously?”

“I don’t think they’re exactly happy with the situation, but they’re trusting my judgment for now. You’re invited to join us for breakfast, if you want.”

“Awesome,” he said, smiling. The smile turned into a smirk as he took in her attire—tiny pajama shorts and a slim tank top—and he tugged her down beside him. “But, you know, I wouldn’t mind staying in bed a little longer.” His lips found their way to her jaw.

Heat started pooling low in her belly. “Noah,” she moaned, shifting restlessly, “I told them nothing untoward was going on.”

He kissed his way back to her mouth. “What they don’t know won’t hurt them, right?”

She tried to resist, but it was impossible. What was it about this boy that turned her inside out like this? Soon she was opening her mouth, letting her tongue brush against his.

And he tensed. He tried not to show it, but she could feel it in the way his fingers tightened around her arms, the strain of his body against hers. She pulled back slightly.

“Are you okay?”

“M’fine,” he murmured, “don’t worry,” and kissed her again.

But he wasn’t. His breath was getting rougher, and his fingers were starting to tremble slightly. She pulled back a second time.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes—no—fuck—” He tore away from her and sat on the edge of the bed, head in his hands. She moved to sit beside him.

“This is…” He laughed hollowly. “I’ve gone from being a stud to a pansy who can’t even French kiss without freaking out.”

She leaned into him, the line of their arms and thighs touching. “I’m sure it’ll just take time.”

“Yeah? How long?”

She hesitated. “I don’t know, Noah.”

They sat in silence for a moment, before she stood and offered him her hand. “How about that breakfast?”

Her dads raised their eyebrows when she and Noah came down the stairs hand in hand, but softened at the obvious tension and anxiety radiating from him.

He spent most of the weekend at their house. They didn’t say a word.


Rachel frowned as she scanned the cafeteria Monday afternoon, packed lunch in hand. She’d planned on seeking Noah out and seeing how he was doing after the weekend—getting some well-needed sleep had seemed to take an edge off his anxiety—but he was nowhere to be found. She fidgeted nervously, shifting from one foot to the other. They had spent a lot of time together in the past two days. Maybe he needed a break from her, some space to breathe. She should just let him be.

That idea lasted only a moment before she was taking out her cell phone. The last time she’d left him alone, he’d shown up at her house in the middle of the night. She had to make sure he was okay.

The text she sent was short and to the point. Where are you?

She didn’t have to wait long for a reply. chr rm

When she got there she found Noah on one of the risers, discarded wrappers showing that he’d already finished his meal. “I didn’t expect you to be here.”

He shrugged. “I dunno, I just…” He trailed off, then started again. “It was nice this weekend, you know? A break from reality, or whatever. And now we’re back here, and there are people everywhere, and it was just…”

“Overwhelming?” she suggested, and he shrugged again.

“Maybe? I dunno.” He snorted, disgusted. “And now I’m talking about fucking feelings. God.”

She took a seat beside him. “I don’t know,” she said, contemplatively. “I think talking about your feelings is quite badass.”

He raised an eyebrow at her.

“I mean, it takes a lot of courage to open yourself up like that to another person. Not a lot of people can do that.”

They sat in silence for a moment as he took in what she’d said. Then he smirked. “You actually swore. That’s awesome.”

She smiled as she unwrapped her lunch. If he wanted to change the subject, she’d let him. “Don’t expect it to become a common occurrence,” she said, taking a bite of her lettuce wrap.

When the bell ending lunch sounded, Noah looked up at her expectantly. “Guess it’s time for you to head out.”

Rachel cast a glance towards the door. “I am actually two assignments ahead in English. I’m sure Mrs. Anderson won’t mind if I’m absent this once.”

Noah sprawled back in his seat. “See, now that’s not right. Skipping class just to hang out in another classroom is totally not badass enough.”

She grinned at him. “Would it make you feel better if I promise to do something with you in the future that is much more delinquent?”

He grinned back. “Damn straight.”

She could see the wheels turning in his head. “Nothing illegal, Noah!” she exclaimed, and he just laughed.


Unfortunately, when they finally left the choir room at the next passing period, they ran into Karofsky. Puck bristled as the other boy leered at them. “Did you seriously go back to Manhands, Puckerman? I didn’t think you liked dick.”

He had the hockey player up against the lockers in an instant. The other students in the hallway crowded around them. “You feel like getting your face rearranged today, dickhead?”

“You think a loser like you could even do it?” Karofsky sneered, and Puck drew his arm back, ready to pound the fucker’s face in. He was itching for a fight, ready for pain and blood and broken bones instead of the shit he had now.

A hand grabbed his arm, breaking his concentration, and he looked down to see Rachel by his side. “Noah, don’t do this. He’s not worth it.”

“Yeah, Noah,” Karofsky mocked, and Puck shoved him harder into the wall, but Rachel tugged on his arm again, forcing his concentration back to her. “He’s not worth it.”

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. After all the shit Rachel had put up with for him over the past few days, it was probably his turn to do something for her. Opening his eyes, he let go of the other boy’s collar and shoved him away. “She’s right—don’t want to get any of your blood on me anyway. S’probably diseased or some shit.”

Rachel took his hand and turned him down the hallway, but they hadn’t gone two steps before the douche was calling after them, unwilling to give up the last word.

“Oh, I see why you don’t care about the dick, Puckerman—it’s ‘cause you’re the pussy this time.”

For a few seconds Puck saw red and he turned around, ready to lay the asshole out, no matter what Rachel said—

He blinked.

And then he blinked again, because he still didn’t quite believe what he saw. Rachel had gotten to the douche first and slapped him so hard that he actually fell back against the lockers. He could already see the red hand print forming on his cheek. Now she stood with her hands on her hips, breathing heavily, glaring at the boy as he stared back at her in shock.

Hell, Puck was kind of shocked too.

“You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about, David Karofsky,” Rachel said fiercely. “Noah Puckerman is more of a man than you will ever be, so I suggest you desist with the aspersions about his character.”

“Fuck, Rach,” Puck said, and she turned to look at him, startled. “That was awesome.”

She tilted her head to the side, as if weighing his words. “I abhor physical violence, but I have to admit that that was rather satisfying.”

“No shit,” he laughed. “You might have some badass in you after all.”

They stood there like that, grinning like idiots, until someone in the crowd cried, “Teacher!” Puck grabbed her hand. “The first rule of being a badass—don’t get caught.”

They scattered with the rest of the students.


Rachel was at her locker the next day when a familiar voice called out to her. “Hey, Treas—Rachel.”

She closed her locker, slightly surprised that Santana even knew her real name, after years of insulting nicknames. She kept silent as the Cheerio stalked up to her.

“What’s up with Puck?”

Her eyes widened as she scrambled for an excuse. “I’m sorry, Santana, but I don’t know what you’re talking about. As far as I know, Noah is doing fine, nothing out of the ordinary—”

“Bullshit,” Santana interrupted. “You two have been attached at the hip lately, so you know exactly what I’m talking about. I just…is he okay?”

She hadn’t expected actual concern from the Latina, and so she answered as truthfully as she could. “No, not really.”

Sadness briefly flitted across her face before she hid it away. “Is he going to be okay?”

Rachel thought back to the day before, how the brief moments of laughter had lit up his face.

“I think he might.”


The next few days only bolstered Rachel’s optimism, so much so that she thought maybe—just maybe—the worst was behind them. So on Friday afternoon, when she was collecting sheet music at her locker for another after-school practice, and Finn came running down the hall and skidded to a stop in front of her, her initial emotion was confusion, not concern. “Did you need something, Finn?”

“Have you seen Puck?” he gasped out, still catching his breath, and her heart leapt into her throat.

“No, I haven’t. Why? What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know.” He raised his arms in a helpless gesture. “We were in the locker room after baseball practice, and he got changed really quickly and was acting kind of weird, and some of the other guys decided to be stupid and, like, start snapping towels at his ass and his…you know, and he just…went off. And then he ran out and now I can’t find him.”

Her stomach sank with every word he said, and by the time he was finished Rachel felt sick. God, things had been going so well…she’d thought he was getting better.

“Go back and handle things in the locker room,” she told Finn. “I’ll find Noah.”


“I’ll find him, Finn, and I’ll let you know when I do, I promise. Just please let me do it alone.”

Finn seemed confused, but he agreed, and she took off without saying another word. She’d go and gather her things from the choir room, and then she’d circle out, look in all the other classrooms. Or maybe she should check the parking lot first for his truck, make sure he was still—

But there was no need, because she opened the choir room door to see him in the corner, curled in on himself. She sighed in relief and sent Finn a quick text before Noah noticed her arrival.

“You weren’t here. You’re always in the choir room, and you weren’t here, and I didn’t…” He was rambling, working himself up again, and she rushed to his side. He pulled her into his lap, wrapping his arms around her, and if anyone came in the room it would look like he was comforting her, not the other way around. Maybe it made him feel better, to be the protector? She didn’t know.

She hated not knowing things.

Noah buried his face in her hair, and she stroked the back of his neck until the attack subsided.

“Finn told me about the locker room,” she whispered. “What happened?”

“I don’t know,” he answered, resting his head on the wall behind them and closing his eyes. “I just…the guys were just fucking around, I know that, but all of a sudden it was like I was back there, and I just wanted to get away, any way I could.” He paused. “I think I gave Sanders a bloody nose.”

“Don’t worry about it—Finn’s taking care of it. I’m more concerned about you—are you okay?”

He hugged her closer. He thought he’d forgotten about it and moved on, but this kind of proved that to be a big fucking lie, didn’t it? And really, if he thought about it, things hadn’t gotten that much better. He was still jumpy and nervous, going off at the littlest things. He knew he was worrying his mom, and scaring his sister, and Rachel…

God, Rachel. She was trying to hold him together with hugs and the touch of her hand and sheer force of will. He thought back to what she’d said the week before. He’d been pissed in the moment, but she was right—she wasn’t equipped to handle this, and it wasn’t fair to her to make her try.

“Not really,” he finally replied. “I think…I think maybe that therapist dude you mentioned would be a good idea.”

She looked at him with wide eyes. “Really?”

He took a deep breath, let it out, and nodded. “Yeah. What the hell. Couldn’t fuck me up worse than I already am, right?”

“You’re making the right decision, Noah.” She jumped up and reached her hand out to him. “In fact, let’s go now.”

He took her hand and let her pull him up. “What? Right now?”

She nodded, leading him out of the room. “Yes. Even if he doesn’t have time for a session today, you can at least schedule an appointment. I don’t want you to change your mind. This is for the best.”

They were halfway to his truck when he stopped and turned her to face him. “Rach, I just…” He ran a hand over his scalp. “Thanks. I know I kinda dragged you into this—”

“You didn’t drag me into anything,” she said firmly. “I came willingly. You’re…you’re important to me, Noah. I want to help. I want to make sure you’re okay. And whatever happens, I’ll be there.”

Impulsively she stood on her tiptoes and kissed his cheek. When she rocked back to her heels Noah gave her a soft smile, then leaned in and kissed her on the lips. There was a little tongue, and he tensed for a moment, but then he relaxed, kissing her a second longer before pulling away.

It was a chaste kiss, more chaste than any they’d shared before.

But it was a start.

Current Mood: worriedworried
cailet_06: Spock BWcailet_06 on May 17th, 2010 04:22 am (UTC)
Interesting fic. Normally it is the reverse for these stories, but I liked the way you handled it. Great job.
countrygirl_914 on May 17th, 2010 04:38 am (UTC)
Whew. *wipes forehead* I'm glad you thought it was okay. Thanks for commenting!
Lady Lionessevening_shadow on May 17th, 2010 04:27 am (UTC)
I don't normally comment, but I wanted to say that I liked this. It was plausible and believable. The role reversal is certainly different and, while I can understand why you'd be reluctant to continue, I hope you choose to expand this story. It's interesting seeing Puck being the vulnerable one and relying on Rachel. Wonderful job.
countrygirl_914 on May 17th, 2010 04:40 am (UTC)
Thank you for commenting, even if you don't normally! I'm so happy to see that it was believable. After having it live in my head for so long, you start to wonder.
e-ellens: Glee-puckleberryFTWbreathemusique on May 17th, 2010 04:29 am (UTC)
Wow. I thought this was amazing; subject matter was really interesting, specially since it isn't something that's really covered by many authors.

I thought your characterisation of Puck and Rach were really good, given the circumstances.

Kudos :)
countrygirl_914 on May 17th, 2010 04:40 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
(Deleted comment)
countrygirl_914 on May 17th, 2010 05:28 am (UTC)
I know--it's definitely not an idea that you normally see. I think that's why it stuck in my head so much, getting to explore when this happens to someone you don't expect.

Thank you so much for commenting! I really appreciate it.
Not tacky, just delusional: Puck/Racheltotally_loca on May 17th, 2010 08:00 am (UTC)
Oh sweetheart.
This is hurty and well developed and there was the perfect ring of their characters in all of them. The way they reacted to everything seemed true to the way they're portrayed. Your charactersiation of Puck made me ache, because even though he thinks he's being weak and pathetic, actually he's so strong and Rachel is wonderful. I adored Santana too.

I want more! I want to see you make him better! But I also really like this ending too, because it's hopeful without being explicit.
countrygirl_914 on May 17th, 2010 05:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! I'm glad to know you thought they were still in character, even through what was going on.

Santana is a little more clued in because she witnessed the freakout in his truck. I like their relationship--as so many other people have said, they're like the same person, just the male/female versions. They may screw around, but I like to think they actually care about each other.

I thought this was just going to be a one-shot, but everyone clamoring for more has planted some ideas in my head. We'll have to see if anything comes of it.
motylik: OMGmotylik on May 17th, 2010 10:22 am (UTC)
I really liked this. I've read a few stories with the reverse and I have to say, with how Puck is, this variation is more powerful. Poor Puck. This has to be aweful for him. You tackled a really painful issue very very well. I liked how Santana was so worried about him that she even approached Rachel. Awesome fic. Really.
countrygirl_914 on May 17th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

Yes, I've seen stories where Rachel is assaulted and, in Puck/Kurt fics, where Kurt is the victim. I had a stray thought of "What if it was the other way around?" and then this idea hit me over the head and demanded to be written. I'm just so relieved that people think I approached it well.

Thanks again!
tienriu on May 17th, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC)
This was absolutely fantastic - and a nice, nuanced gender flip on the normal rape-victim-recovery stories within fandom.

From your post at puck/rachel, you said you were worried about posting this story. For what it's worth, I'd like to say that I think you handled the concept of male rape responsibly all whilst keeping the characters true to form.

Congratulations - I do hope to see more of your work (and maybe a continuation of this?).
countrygirl_914 on May 17th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad to know you thought I handled the concept well.

If you go to my main LJ page you'll find more of my fic--the last three or four stories I've written have been about Glee. And this one was just supposed to be a one-shot, but now I'm getting more ideas. We'll have to see.
samj3sus_bl00d939 on May 17th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
this is really wonderful. I really don't take the time to comment on fics that much but this one deserves it. You handled this so well and made it really believable. I'd have to say their moment after his locker room incident was my favorite-Poor Noah. And I loved the concern of Santana and Finn and how they just knew to go to Rachel...

really great job.
countrygirl_914 on May 17th, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you for taking the time to reassure me--I really appreciate it. It seemed okay in my head, but you never know how others are going to react.

I'm glad you like that moment--it's one of my favorites as well. Although I think my very favorite is the entire scene where Rachel finds out. It was pretty much what I built the rest of the story off of.

Well, for Finn it was less "going to Rachel" and more "running into Rachel as he was looking for Puck," but yes, Rachel knows how to fix things, doesn't she?
M~mvp on May 17th, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC)
Wow this was incredible i really hope you decide to write more!!
countrygirl_914 on May 18th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks for commenting!
sweetcakes983sweetcakes983 on May 17th, 2010 08:00 pm (UTC)
This was absolutely fantastic. I'm like a few other readers...I'm not a big commenter on fics, but I simply had to tell you that I was very moved by this story. I'm actually having a hard time putting my thoughts together, but I do know one that I want to express--please write more! I feel like there's so much more to be explored and you're so very talented. This could turn into one epic fic!

Thank you for sharing it with us!
countrygirl_914 on May 18th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow, thank you--such high praise! I might end up writing more, but even if I do I doubt it'll turn epic--I've never been good at writing huge, long stories.
mikhailaquinnmikhailaquinn on May 17th, 2010 10:32 pm (UTC)
This was amazing, really. After I was done, I scrolled to the top and almost cried when I saw that you weren't making a second part. I liked the ending though =) You really are a great writer
countrygirl_914 on May 18th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! :D
gentlelamb: Puck & Rachel 2gentlelamb on May 18th, 2010 12:27 am (UTC)
I'm going to join the chorus of people telling you they don't reply often. (Such a terrible habit) I actually think telling the story from Puck's point of view as the victim is genius because he is portrayed as a sexual aggressor and very tied to that identity.

I was curious how you would handle the actual encounter. I feel that it was very believable having it start out with him willing and that turning on him made his confusion and self-blame highly understandable.

I actually saw a storyline with male rape by a woman botched on my favorite soap (General Hospital) they treated it like a joke or like it could never happen which I though was very irresponsible.

So thanks for that bit of closure it’s a sensitive subject that I think you handled gracefully.

Rachel, her dads, Santana and Finn were all spot on as well.

Thanks again for the read!
countrygirl_914 on May 18th, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Don't worry, I'm horrible at commenting on fic too, so I totally understand.

Yeah, I think the idea of the role-reversal is what grabbed me from the beginning and wouldn't let go. And I felt like the encounter had to start out willingly, and use some kind of restraints, because realistically Puck is a strong guy and really couldn't be overpowered by a woman any other way. That's the part that I was most worried about being over the top, but it seems like everyone thought it was okay.

Aww, so sorry it was botched for you before. Glad I could give you some closure.

Thanks again!
firewordsparkleruniquegrl7 on May 18th, 2010 01:38 am (UTC)
Aaahh!!! I loved this! It was really in-character despite the situation, and it was overall just so good and so different.
countrygirl_914 on May 18th, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
faith_wicked: Puckfaith_wicked on May 18th, 2010 04:49 am (UTC)
I read this yesterday on ff.net and it broke my heart just as much the second time I read it.
countrygirl_914 on May 18th, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
Awww, thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much you read it twice.
nicki, chibi patton: halomusical_jay on May 18th, 2010 10:28 am (UTC)
This was so powerful. Well done at handling such a sensitive topic. I loved the way you approached this, it was both believable and heartbreaking, and the gender variation makes this fic stand out. Amazing. Your worries are unfounded :)
countrygirl_914 on May 18th, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC)
Yay! Thanks for saying so. I'm glad you enjoyed it enough to comment. :D