Prompt: Rachel and Finn break up because he decides he needs to leave a legacy at McKinley so he has to be popular again. Part of him getting back in with the popular crowd? He slushies Rachel. Puck is not pleased! – PuckRachel Drabble Meme on LJ (by: ajjha)
It seemed like the entire hallway froze when Finn Hudson slammed into the lockers and slid to the ground from one punch to the jaw. Seconds later phones were whipped out and mass texts were sent; all the while most McKinley high school students were cursing themselves for having been unable to video the event. Most, because anyone who had heard about what happened earlier in the day or had witnessed Noah Puckerman storming down the hall before the punch had been ready and waiting with camera phones prepped to record whatever eventually went down.
Some texts were calling it a sucker punch; claiming Puck should have given Finn due warning to fight back. Those that had heard the gossip or had just seen Puck within the last ten minutes were calling Finn an idiot for not having known it was coming from miles away. All were confused as to what the big deal was to begin with.
After all, it wasn’t like Rachel Berry being slushied was uncommon or unaccepted.
Still, despite all all the texting and video taping, no one said a single word. Instead they stared in silent anticipation of what would happen next. As neither boy spoke or moved except to glare at each other; one (for once) towering above the slumped and still slightly stunned figure of his supposed best friend with his fists clenched tightly as though waiting to deliver a second hit. The rest of the students began to shift uncomfortably and their eyes darted up and down the hallway, meeting the gazes of fellow students and watching for any type of authority figures, but still the boys didn’t move.
Someone muffled a sneeze and that seemed to break the bubble that surrounded the two football players.
“What the fuck man?” Finn suddenly shouted, wincing and bringing a hand up to tenderly feel his jaw. “What the hellwas that for?”
“If you have to ask then you’re an even bigger idiot then I ever gave you credit for,” Puck snapped back the not so carefully masked insult in a tone that every single person in that hallway, especially the boy on the ground, knew to tread carefully around. Noah, a side of his personality that had been seen more often then not in the last two years, was no where to be found in the glowering figure. This was all Puck. This was suddenly more then gossip. This was a potentially legitimately dangerous situation.
“I seriously don’t have a fucking clue why the hell you just hit me,” Finn replied very carefully, though everyone noticed how he began to eyeball various escape routes. “But, ya know, maybe if you explain I won’t kick your ass back.”
A few people inhaled sharply at the rebuttal. A few even took a step or two backwards. One freshmen ran away down the hall.
“You. Slushied. Rachel,” Puck bit each word out, even more venom leaking into his tone as though the words themselves were personally offensive. And a few of the more perceptive students at McKinley knew they actually were.
When Finn rolled his eyes in response more then a few students wondered what kind of flowers Mrs. Hudson would like to receive at his wake. When Puck growled the students standing closest to the boys wondered what kind of flowers their own parents would receive because this was going to be a very big blow up and there very well could be collateral damage.
Everyone was surprised when Puck’s next move, rather then to just kill Finn where he lay, was to reach a hand out towards the taller boy. They waited with baited breath as Finn eyed the hand and then accepted it, using Puck as a counter balance to pull himself to his feet. There were wide eyes and nervous glances as everyone’s world was thrown off it’s axis. Finn was breathing and Puck had just helped him to his feet.
They all breathed a sigh of relief, as their worlds were set back in their proper places, when Finn was suddenly slammed once again into the lockers. The difference was this time he was held on his feet by Puck’s forearm digging into Finn’s collarbone.
“Listen very carefully,” Puck growled quietly into Finn’s ear, only audible to anyone else because of the dead silence still in the hall (and everyone was more then grateful that it was a lunch period because class would have interfered with this completely). “As of this moment we are finished; no wait, as of this morning we were finished. Any protection being friends with me has given you since we were kids? It’s gone. That “Golden Boy” reputation you’ve got because your best friend is the local delinquent? Let’s see how fast people realize the real you without me to use in comparison. Any so-called legacy you want to leave at McKinley? I am going to use the rest of my senior year to make sure that doesn’t happen. And it’s only September, I’ve got a whole lotta months to work on that Finny.”
“What? Did she go crying to you?” Finn choked out. “Funny how she always does that after I’m done with her. Don’t you get tired of being second string to all my girls?”
“Actually,” Puck replied, and this time even the closest students had to strain to hear him. “I haven’t seen Rachel all day. I have however seen Kurt, your own brother who told me to do anything short of actually breaking your jaw but only because we have sectionals in a month and a half. Though, with Blaine here now, I don’t think we actually needyou. I’ve also seen Quinn, oh and Sam and Santana. They were all more then happy to fill me in word for word on what happened.”
When Finn just blinked in shock Puck’s face took on an even more dangerous, cold, smirk before he reached up and patted Finn hard in the exact place he had punched him, causing the taller of the two to hiss and cringe.
“Pretty sure it’s cracked at most,” Puck added, nodding slightly. “Somewhere over the last couple of years you’ve forgotten one really important fact; I made you. I’m going to take it all away.”
That final statement made, Puck quickly stepped back and released his hold on Finn, chuckling darkly when the other boy once again stumbled and had to catch his locker to avoid falling again. When he turned and stalked down the hallway everyone in his path scrambled to get out of the way, even as they stared after him in a mix of shock, awe and confusion.
Because, again, it wasn’t like Rachel Berry being slushied was uncommon or unaccepted.
Noah Puckerman sat quietly in the back of the choir room as he waited for Glee to start later that day. His eyes were focused on his phone, headphones plugged into the side, as he seethed while watching a video that Jacob Ben Israel had finally released to the entire student body.
It was probably the tenth time he had watched it and he was only slightly grateful he hadn’t seen the video before confronting Finn; Juvie had not been pleasant. He didn’t want to go back. Not only had it sucked; but it would majorly mess up his future plans. He knew full well he had gotten off far lighter then he should have last year and only a few people knew the real reasons why. A second strike, like say assault, wouldn’t go over quite so easily.
He kept rewinding back and listening to the words Finn spoke to Rachel as he stood in the middle of the hallway, surrounded by students, before first period that day.
“It was one thing during the summer Rachel; but, I’ve got a reputation to think about. If I’m going to leave any kind of legacy here at McKinley I can not date a Lima Loser.”
The two words that had been thrown at Puck as a description of himself for almost his entire life. The words Quinn had used to try and keep him from his baby. The words Rachel usually yelled at him over believing. The very words Finn had once told him he didn’t want to be known as.
Apparently Finn really was a bigger idiot then Puck had ever given him credit for; because, he obviously didn’t know the definition of the very term he had just used on screen. Calling Rachel a loser of any kind was bad enough; but to use that term, with all it’s connotations?
Yea, Puck was very glad he hadn’t seen the video earlier. As it was he wasn’t completely certain what his reaction would be when Finn inevitably showed up to practice. If the way he could tell the other Gleeks were studying him was any indication, they thought it might involve actual bloodshed this time.
He rewound again and let the video play through fully for only the second time since he had received it. He heard Rachel’s response and his heart clenched at the lack of shock in her voice. She wasn’t supposed to sound resigned even as she pretended to question him; hell, he was almost disappointed in her for not having decked Finn herself.
“But…you said you loved me. And last year, when…I guess I…I just don’t understand where this is coming from.”
“I mean, I do love you. I just can’t be with you. Not if I want people to actually remember me as anything cool. I’m like the Quarterback and I’m supposed to date people like Quinn. You’d just drag me down in the long run.”
It was the dopey grin on Finn’s face as he patronized Rachel that fueled Puck’s rage; that ‘awe shucks aren’t I so adorable’ grin that everyone in the damn school bought hook line and sinker. Puck knew he was an asshole but he also owned up to his own insecurities; Finn let his cripple him.
The next part of the video was proof positive of that.
He watched as Finn seemed to glance around for a second, and the almost unnoticeable nod at someone only told Puck that there were probably some jocks standing off screen, and then without any warning Finn reached into his locker and dumped an entire Big Gulp on top of Rachel’s head.
The bastard hadn’t even had the decency to get grape.
He watched Rachel standing in shock, staring at Finn like her entire brain had literally frozen, her mouth moving but no sound coming out. Then suddenly Brittany and Santana were running into frame and rushing her away, Britt giving a good solid kick to Finn’s knee on the way, the camera following them until they entered the ladies room down the hall.
That would have been as shocking as the slushie itself (and probably was to the rest of the student body) if Puck hadn’t known that the Latina, her girlfriend and Rachel had formed a strange friendship over the summer when Rachel had taken it upon herself to help the two girls work out their relationship.
Ironically, he actually found Finn’s words a little funny; because, if what Quinn had told him when she informed him of the incident was anything to go by, Finn would not be dating Quinn at any point in the future. Apparently, there were lines that even Fabray thought should not be crossed when it came to popularity.
“I hate her; but if he could slushie Rachel? Someone I honestly believe he at least thinks he loves, for the sake of being popular. What’s to say he won’t do the same to me? After all, I’m not a Cheerio anymore. Oh, and don’t get yourself expelled.”
Santana had merely asked him if he needed any help. When he told her he had it handled, he pretended he didn’t overhear her muttering in Spanish about knives and Finn’s tires. Or possibly testicles. He wasn’t completely fluent in Santana’s version of “ghetto” Spanish. Hell, he didn’t think Santana was even fluent in the real thing.
Sam had looked so pissed when he told Puck what had happened that Puck had briefly considered taking the blonde along with him; he knew that Sam had become closer with Rachel this summer, since he was dating one of her best friends, and would want to play Jedi warrior or some shit. Instead he had simply turned Sam away and told him that the best way he could help Puck was to make sure Beiste made Sam the starting Quarterback when their games started next week.
The Coach’s slight soft spot for Rachel had nothing to do with her receiving the very video Puck was watching as insurance of this happening; none at all.
He wished he could be surprised by Kurt’s reaction; but, few people realized how infuriating Finn could actually be when forced to interact with him on a daily basis in close contact. Puck couldn’t imagine what living with his lack of brain to mouth filter would be like. At least as his ‘best friend’ Puck had been able to go to his own house for a break from it.
He knew the video from the fight, or what could generously be called a fight, was making the rounds and it had Puck thinking about the threat he had made. He really hoped Finn didn’t take him seriously; and knowing the other boy, he definitely wouldn’t. It would be so much more fun to take him apart if he didn’t see it coming. To put it simply, Finn had never fully realized that Puck was the puppet master pulling all the strings.
The Finn’s and Quinn’s of the world thought they ran the school when in reality it was the Puck’s and Santana’s.
The slushies had started because Rachel had turned him down for a date the summer before Freshmen year. The Cheerio’s smear campaign against Rachel had started because Santana was insulted that Puck had asked Rachel out instead of her.
Then like a snowball down a hill it had gathered speed and participants and yet, had never been fully out of control. Because, if anyone had looked closely – not one person had slushied Rachel except Puck, until he had stopped. The only thing he slightly regretted was not having any control over Santana’s minions; he was a little crazy, but trying to get involved with that was just insane.
Puck had, in his own way, protected Rachel even while attacking her. If Finn had ever realized that, realized that Rachel was Puck’s, then there would have never been a “Finchel” to begin with. Unfortunately, for Finn, he believed his own hype and had never seen how things really were.
He had never seen how Puck’s “bad” reputation had bolstered his own “Golden Boy” routine. How Puck had kept himself, just ‘bad’ enough that no one really noticed everything else about the Jewish boy, things that had kept him from a much longer sentence last year, very good grades, exceptional athlete, multi-talented musician, employed,good son, etc. He allowed Finn’s mediocre “star” to outshine his because it allowed Puck to be underestimated so he could play the wizard behind the curtain.
He might even push for Figgin’s to release his name on the honor roll list this semester. Something he knew the Principal hated his presence on to begin with and had therefore been conveniently leaving off for the last three years. Pointing out how much smarter he was then Finn, and for that matter a lot of their class, on top of everything else could be fun.
His contemplation and silent rage came to an abrupt halt seconds later.
“Noah Elijah Puckerman! What in the hell were you thinking? You just got off probation!”
His first thought? Rachel was legit pissed. His second? Rachel cursing, even in a half-assed manner, was really hot.
“Hey Berry,” he replied, going for casual indifference. When in doubt? Deny.
Slumping in his chair Puck merely shrugged before replying, “Don’t even try and lecture me. Prick deserved more. But, I’d really like to not be expelled.”
When the tiny ball of energy then stalked over to him Noah Puckerman felt a slightly legitimate fear overcome him; he couldn’t hit a girl and Rachel was almost as scary as he was when riled up enough. She stopped in front of him and glared straight into his eyes; he could see anger, fear and an emotion that he recognized but refused to really acknowledge. He knew he had the same thing in his eyes whenever he thought about her; it had been there for years.
It just wasn’t the time to put a name to it. High School pressures would burn that unnamed emotion out. He knew it and sometimes when she looked at him, like now, he thought she did too. It didn’t matter, his NYU application was already filed for early decision anyway.
“How’s your hand?” she finally broke their silence more quietly, and with quite the unexpected question, then he thought she would.
“It’s fine,” he responded, flexing his fingers and nodding in reassurance. “I’ve had worse playing ball.”
“How’s Finn’s jaw?”
“Not broken. Kurt said anything else was fair game.”
“More’s the pity,” she mumbled back, sitting down beside him and patting his knee lightly before slapping the back of his head.
Puck grinned brightly. They would be fine.
And in a few weeks he’d let her in on her part of his plan for the systematic destruction of the ‘legacy’ of Finn Hudson. It involved a few slushies and his one time best friends massive, but unknown, fear of any and all frogs. Even stuffed ones.
And if the way Rachel kept glancing at him and grinning after Finn came in with an already bruised jaw was any indication? Maybe, just maybe, the pressures of high school would be worth naming that emotion sooner then he had planned.