I don’t own the Buffy ‘verse or Glee. That’s Joss Whedon and Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan.Author’s Notes:
For SariLane, who gives good distraction. Also, this is AU as of Sectionals. (See, liability, I remembered!)
Sectionals might have been won but New Directions was anything but united by the victory. There were fractures, fissures running through them, dividing them now more than ever into separate classes. The Gleeks and the Populars. And Rachel knew that what was to come next wouldn’t strengthen their bonds any.
The bullying was more covert now. There weren’t any slushy facials or pee balloons. Rachel knew exactly who was doing it, too. The guilt was the only thing that kept her from confronting him.
Rachel knew she shouldn’t be doing this. Her Dad and Daddy would be appalled. But the sad fact of the matter was, she didn’t know that, if she didn’t do it now, she would ever get a chance to.
Climbing up the side of the house was easier than she could have imagined. Crawling through the window was a graceful endeavor. Deftly dodging around a teenage boy’s detritus and gently slapping a hand over his mouth? That took courage.
Rachel caught the startled fist that was swung at her and whispered, “Shh, I just want to talk to you.”
Puck stilled, eyes automatically darting to the V of her shirt and Rachel rolled her eyes. Still, distracted though he was, he managed to murmur, “What the fuck,” into the soft palm of her hand.
“I wished to tell you that I understand that you saw my telling Finn the truth a betrayal, as much as you as to Quinn. And I understand that your juvenile mentality dictates that such betrayals are best dealt with with pranks and destructive behavior.” She tightened her hand over his mouth when he started to protest. “I understand, Noah, and I know you think I told Finn to win him. But I told him because what you were doing was unfair. But none of that is why I’m here. I just wanted you to know that you don’t have to worry about me anymore. I’m gone.”
And then she was, out the window and down the street before he could even untangle himself from his blankets.
He wouldn’t really understand any of it until tomorrow, if then. None of New Directions would really understand. Not that they’d care about anything besides losing her vocal talents.
Rachel swallowed the lump in her throat and kept running, letting the night air cool her face. There was something, now, about running that just felt like freedom in a way that used to belong solely to getting a solo. Her mind started to clear and she pushed harder, hanging a sharp turn into a small cemetery.
Lima was notorious for being quiet, quaint, so no one bothered her, nothing heeded her path straight through the rows of headstones.
She slowed, though, as soon as she spotted the gates. She walked slowly up to them and there he was. He’d blown her world to pieces and she wanted to hate him for that but there was something about the man that was just too kind for serious hatred. And she could tell that giving her the news had been hard on him.
Telling a girl that all her dreaming had been for naught had to be hard. Rachel could find understanding in her heart for the man that did so with empathy and sincerity.
He spotted her before she was fully out of the shadows and straightened away from the hood of the car he’d been leaning against. “Hey,” he said hesitantly.
She took a step closer to him. “Do you think I’ll like it there? Will people like me?”
She winced slightly at the last question. She hadn’t meant to ask that, although it was what she truly wished to know most.
“I think you’ll like it,” he shrugged helplessly. “And I’m sure there’s somebody there that’ll like you.” He brightened minutely and said, “Just hang with me, kid, and I’ll introduce to some real winners.”
She studied him for a moment, then straightened and strode up to stand beside him. “Then Mr. Harris, I’m prepared to begin training for my new destiny.”
He grinned at her, a little bemused but not at all put off. “Awesome.”
Rachel closed her eyes as they passed the sign telling them they were leaving Lima and made a wish. ‘Please let me find friends.