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Title: Diverging Normality [2/?]
Rating: R
Genre: Romance/General
Pairing: Rachel/Puck
Summary: AU. Rachel always knew that love was blind, but she never knew it was also unpredictable, stupidly exasperating and more than a little masochistic. She just wished she didn't have to get pregnant first in order to finally discover what love really was.
Warnings: None.
Disclaimer: Glee does not belong to me. No copyright infringement is intended.

Chapters: Prologue

A/N: Someone said they were interested to see things from Puck's POV. So this one is entirely Puck. Hope you guys enjoy it and thank you for the kind words and encouragement. Sorry about the mistakes. I still don't have a beta. Would love some help in finding one.

Diverging Normality

Chapter 1

Noah “Puck” Puckerman wasn’t quite certain how it happens. Sure, that Berry chick had a rocking body but she gave him these seriously weird urges. Not the good kinky kind either. Like the really disturbing non-kinky kind that makes him want to jump out of a plane without a parachute and quite possibly set himself on fire. Then again, ass was ass. Even if it comes with too many big words and a bad habit of making his ears bleed he wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. So when she kissed him he kissed her back. It was cliché as shit but surely enough that was how it happened, one thing just led to another.

They were both drunk. He was horny. As two good-looking Jews it was only natural they got it on.

What he can’t get his head around and what he absolutely refuses to accept was how it all went down. It was downright embarrassing. He’d barely gotten his pants undone and a condom on before he began thrusting into her like an unseasoned virgin about to get his first taste of pussy. To make matters worst, just as he pulls out the fucking rubber nearly slides clear off him. Luckily he caught it in time. Nothing leaked. So he really didn’t think much of it. Because really, when you realize you’ve just boned a half conscious girl who was now completely out cold while you on the other hand were becoming lucid enough to exercise some semblance of sense it was hard not to have a sudden personal attack of conscience. Not that he did any wrong. She was willing. That he was sure of. And if she was too drunk to know what she was doing then it wasn’t as if he was exactly in his right mind either. Besides the few beers he just chugged he also snuck in a couple of shots from the liquor cabinet he managed to stumble upon. So it wasn’t his best idea. But the way he saw it was if he was going to get through this bore-fest his mother was, for some inexplicable reason, determined to make him suffer through he needed more than just some sissy fruit punch. The only reason he wasn’t out cold right next to her was because this obviously wasn’t his first time drinking.

Although he knew he stunk of alcohol and was more or less still visibly drunk he left her there. Made sure to pull her panties up – because despite being the world’s worst jerk he wasn’t a total bastard – and get rid of all the bottles before stumbling downstairs to face his mother’s wrath.

Afterwards Puck resolves never to think of it ever again. This wasn’t some chick flick. He wasn’t about to turn into some sappy idiotic pussy and suddenly discover a never before known love for the school’s resident freak because of one drunken night. That was more Finn’s department. So he goes back to what he does best. And she goes back to whatever the hell she did best.

As for what happens next. Well, now that he wasn’t expecting.

* * *

Weeks later, a few days after Kurt Hummel successfully tries out for the football team he notices that Berry is away for nearly a week. He knows because he ends up finishing his slushy on one of these days, throwing it at some other nameless loser for three and actually throwing it away every other. It was fucking annoying. What was more annoying however was that for that same week Finn was for some reason completely distracted. Like more than usual. Even during those stupid dance lessons they were all forced to take - the same ones he suggested in the first place - he always looks especially constipated. A sure fire sign he had something heavy on his mind.

Puck is pretty sure the idiot misses Berry or something because he catches tid-bits of calls he would make during breaks. It’s kind of sickening really. He was always asking if she was okay, if she wanted him to drop by later with homework and some food. He wasn’t sure what he hell was going on. But it was damn annoying.

* * *

Although it all cumulated with them finally winning a game Kurt’s stint as a football player did absolutely nothing to change Puck’s mind about the Glee freaks in the slightest. In fact it only served to confirm what an utter freak show the whole thing was. So when Matt and Mike decided to check in their cool points and join up with Finn’s merry band of little misfits to say that he wasn’t happy was putting it mildly. He was pissed. It was like he was in some kind of weirdly lame zombie movie, where rather than turning into a bunch of gruesome but still awesome flesh eating zombies the infected instead became a bunch of singing, dancing freaks of nature. First Finn, then the Cheerio bitch brigade and now two more of his best buds, it was turning into a fucking epidemic.

While he wasn’t afraid to tell them exactly what he thought about their douche move they were still his friends. So when the other guys begin talking about going after Finn, Matt and Mike he quickly shuts them down. Despite everything he always looks after his own and no matter what they’ve done, nobody, absolutely nobody messes with his best buds. Not without his permission.

However. Every time he gets blown off for Glee. Every time he has to defend the three numbskulls he call friends against the ever-growing ire of the rest of the team. Every. Damn. Time. He feels like punching a goddamn wall. Aside from tackling the hell out of every asshole that got in his way during practice and picking up every willing cougar in town Puck was working out his newfound frustrations in other, more productive ways. Namely, on the Glee freaks. With a slushy in hand and a grin on his face he wanders the hallway, silently scanning for his favorite target. A week was way too long to go without and he was more than happy to be the one to welcome her back, the Noah Puckerman way of course.

Before he could get very far, out of nowhere a large if not slightly lanky mass halts him in his step. Glaring he tries to navigate around only to find himself being blocked once again as the source of his current ire sidesteps to stand right in front of him.

“Dude, what the hell?”

“I want you to stop it,” Finn replies, the pointed glance he gives the slushy gripped firmly in his hand making it quite clear what the ‘it’ he was referring too was.

Puck rolls his eyes and with a derisive snort remarks, “I know you’re desperate but really man, you got Quinn Fabray, hottest girl in the school Quinn Fabray practically saving herself for you. Stop drooling over that Glee freak already and grow a pair.”

“It’s not like that,” the other boy quickly defends, his eyes doing that squinty thing it does when he’s troubled or just thinking really hard in general. “It's just she doesn’t need this. She…” He trails off, his gaze flickering to the side as he struggles over his next words. “Just stop okay.”

He glares. “No, not okay.”

“Seriously Puck, she has enough to deal with right now. She doesn’t need your shit on top of everything else.”

“Tell it to someone who cares.”

Why the hell should he give a damn if she was having an off day? Ever since Finn had the bright idea of running off to join the homo-explosion known as Glee all his days have been off days. Angrily he shoves at the other boy and watches as he stumbles back slightly. Just as he was about to bypass the lumbering quarterback he feels a tight grip on his arm and he frowns as Finn leans down closer to him, his expression pinched.

“Just don’t Puck, I mean it.”

Completely ignoring the pleading in his friend’s voice Puck heatedly tries to shrug off his arm. When he still refuses to release him he finds his temper flaring. He drops the slushy and pushes Finn up against the lockers, his arm pressed hard to the other boy’s chest as he bites out, “What the fuck is your problem?”

In a hushed growl Finn blurts out, “It’s not good for the baby.”

Finn’s eyes go as wide as his upon realizing what he’d just said.

“Wait, pretend I didn’t say that,” he dumbly says.

For a moment there is nothing but silence between them. Even as Puck staggers backwards and stares numbly at the apprehension and slight fear he sees reflected in his friend’s nervous gaze there is nothing. Only silence.

Finally finding his voice he breathes out, “She’s pregnant?”

“Man, don’t tell anyone okay,” Finn pleads, completely panicked. “It’ll be worst if everybody finds out. I wasn’t even supposed to know.”

Suddenly remembering what he tried so hard to forget Puck swallows. He averts Finn’s gaze, mind going a mile a minute as he desperately tries to think.

“Who’s the father?”

“I don’t know.” Finn frowns. “When I asked she wouldn’t stop crying so I didn’t try again.”

“I need to…” he begins only to trail off as he turns away and practically takes off, barely hearing Finn’s yells as he pushes through the crowded hallway. He completely ignores every indignant cry and curse directed at him.

The moment he spots her, right by her locker where he knew she would be, he slows down and stalks right up to her.

“Is it true?” he demands and watches as she turns to him, visibly startled. As the color quickly drains from her face and she stumbles back like a deer caught in headlights he knew he had his answer.

“I-” she shakily says. Regaining her composure she stops and takes a deep breath. Looking completely resigned she lifts her gaze. Almost protectively she crosses her arms over herself and murmurs quietly, “Not out here.”

Without another word she closes her locker and walks away, never once looking back.

Silently he follows her.

They walk into the choir room and just like the last time they were alone together he closes the door behind him. This time however he remains by it, his eyes following her every movement as she stands before him.

“If you are pertaining as to whether or not I am currently with child and if that child is yours, then the answer is yes to both,” she answers him in a steady voice.

At her words he feels as if he’d just been punched in the gut. He wasn’t quite sure what to do. Not even sure what to say. Then again, what could he say? What the hell could he say to make it all better? To make it all go away. Better yet, to make it so it never happened in the first place.

But this was Rachel Berry he was dealing with. She barely even gave him enough time to think, let alone enough time to let it all really sink in.

“I have though long and hard about this. I am nothing if not practical and at this point in my life there is just no room for a child.” She falters for a moment but is fast to regain herself. As quickly as it appears it’s gone again, the glimpse of vulnerability, fear. “You will be happy to know I have already made an appointment. By this time next week this will be nothing more than a mere distant memory, however unpleasant.”

Finally realizing what she was talking about he barely manages to murmur out, “you’re getting an abortion” before she’s talking again.

“As he has already offered me any help I many require I will be requesting Finn’s services on the day,” she continues. “So you don’t have to worry about a thing. I have this under control.”

“If Finn hadn’t spilt his guts were you ever going tell me about this?” he demands, tone much more forceful than he’d intended but far from caring.

She avoids his eyes guiltily and simply says, “If Finn hadn’t said anything there would’ve been nothing to tell.”

Puck feels his jaws clench, just at the same time as his hands tighten into fists. He should feel grateful. Relieved even. He wasn’t ready for a kid. Didn’t need it, definitely didn’t want it. But the way she so readily dismisses him, so readily accepts Finn in his stead, pisses him off. Makes him feels useless. Worst of all it makes him feel like his deadbeat dad.

“Fuck you,” he angrily growls. ”Fuck you Berry and fuck him too.”

“I’m sorry?” she questions uncertainly, clearly taken aback by his outburst.

“Did it ever occur to you that I have a right to know? That this is also my life you’re deciding on here. That I should have a say on what happens.”

Sounding completely shocked and more than a little scandalized she asks, “You want me to keep it?”

“No,” he snaps. “But I might’ve.” Still angry he looks her right in the eyes. Challenging. Accusing. “I might have wanted to help, to be there.”

“You never gave me any reason to think you would do anything other than laugh in my face and demand I get an abortion,” she returns just as heatedly.

“And Finn? Did he give you reason to think he wouldn’t?” His face twists into a sneer. “I bet you wish it was him instead, don’t you? Is that why you told him? Thought maybe he would be his your little knight in shining armour, is that it?”

“If you must know I never told Finn anything,” she yells at him and glares. “He came over to give me some homework and found one of the test boxes himself. Did you really think I wanted anyone to know about this, least of all him?”

She didn’t say it, but he knew. He knew exactly what she meant. She didn’t want anyone to know about him, his involvement. She was ashamed of him. His gaze hardened.

“I will pick you up. I will bring you to wherever it is you need to go. And I will be the one that is there with you when it happens,” he tells her in no uncertain terms. “This is as much my mess as yours and I take care of my mistakes,”

Her glare intensifies but instead of protesting, instead of shutting him down she simply says, “Friday, ten o’clock. Don’t be late.”

“I’ll be there,” is all he says before opening the door and slamming it behind him. The moment he is out Puck turns to the nearest wall and ignoring all the strange looks punches it. Hard. He couldn't believe it. A baby. A real life damn baby. Taking a deep shuddering breath he swallows the lump in his throat and realizes that wasn't quite true. There was going to be no baby. There was never going to be any baby. Not now. He knew he should be relieved. But he isn’t and for the life of him he doesn't know why.

* * *

When the day finally arrives Puck shows up at her place at ten on the dot and for the first time in days he allows himself to finally look at her. The only word he could find to describe her was tired. Simply tired. Like she spent the whole night tossing and turning, unable to sleep no matter how hard she tried. He ran a hand tiredly over the prickly tips of his Mohawk and sighs. Ever since the last time they talked he made sure to completely avoid her, in class, at lunch, even in the hallways. Even now he could barely bring himself to really look at her.

They don’t say a word for the whole ride and when they finally arrive at the clinic he does no more than follow her into the waiting room. As they sat there he could feel eyes on them, some inquiring, a few disapproving. He ignores them all and glares balefully at the diagrams littering the walls.

“Rachel Berry,” the receptionist finally calls.

Quietly he glances at her. Sees her white knuckled grip on the armrest and fearful expression. He feels as if he should say something, feels as if he should try to comfort her. But instead he keeps his silence. Does no more than watch as she gathers the courage to release her grip and hesitantly make her way across the room, towards the kindly woman waiting for her and only breathes when he sees her disappears behind the clinic doors. He waits. Not quite sure what was happening but knowing that after this it was going to be over. Everything will go back to normal. Still not quite sure how he feels about the whole situation he sighs. He knew it really didn't matter. Despite his demands to be involved he knew that in the end he would not have the final say. In the end it was her choice.

Although it feels like forever he's sure it was no more than fifteen minutes before he sees her again. Far from being doped up and disoriented she's more than fully awake. When she rushes into the waiting room her eyes are wide and panicked. She stops for a moment, gaze darting around frantically. When she finally meets his questioning stare he sees the guilty look in hers and immediately stands up. Before he could reach her however she runs.

"Berry," he calls after her. Realizing she wasn't going to stop he quickly follows her.

When he finds her she is by the truck, her face in her hands as her whole body trembles.

“What happened?” he demands, confused and more than a little worried.

She does not look at him, only quietly pleads, “Not now Noah, please.”

“I have a right to know Berry,” he returns angrily. “This is as much mine as yours. Tell me what happened.”

“Fine,” she relents. She lowers her hands to reveal her tear-streaked face.

She crosses her arms, pushes herself back against his truck and avoids his eyes.

“There’s a heartbeat,” she finally tells him. Her voice shaky with barely suppressed emotions. “They did a preliminary check before the procedure and… there was a heartbeat.”

He feels the world spin at her words and silently he wonders. He reaches a hand out, wanting to see if he could feel it, wanting to know if it was truly there, only to quickly pull it right back and clench his fists.

"I couldn't do it," she admits. "I just... it's alive. It's alive and I just... I-" She looks up at him with a sob. "I'm sorry, I couldn't do it."

He watches as she breaks down. Her eyes drowned in tears and whole body shaking. He stands lamely in front of her. His mind going a mile a minute as the reality of it all slowly began to sink in. With it so too did the realization of what it all meant, for her, for him, for their future. There was no way, no way he could do this. When it came down to it he knew he was only really a kid himself. He wasn't ready. Not for this. But even with all his doubts he knows, knows as certain as the sky was blue there was no way he was going to walk away. There was no way he was going to abandon his baby. Not if she was going to go through with it. Not if she was going to keep it. Sucking in deep breath he closes the distance between them. Rests his hands on either side of her body and leans down towards her. With his weight fully supported by the truck behind her he brings himself as close as he dared.

“I may not be the nicest person around but I’m not a complete bastard either,” he states, trying to keep his voice steady. “And whether you like it or not the spawn is definitely half mine. Like I told you before. I take care of my mistakes.” He swallows. "So whatever you decide. If you decide to come back later to try this again or choose to go through with the pregnancy you better get use to me. I'm not going anywhere."

She lifts her head. Her eyes wide and scared. She must've seen something, something he wasn't too sure he was comfortable with showing, because before he knew what was happening she practically throws herself into his arms. He stands there awkwardly. Hesitantly he gently pats her back before finally wrapping his arms around her. He says and does nothing. Only lets her cry. For now, he knew, it was enough.

* * *

The very first thing Puck does when he returns to school on Monday is to knock on the door of an unfamiliar office. He waits. When he hears a murmured “come in” he does so without preamble.

“Can I help you Puck?” Mr. Schuester asks with a frown.

With a deep breath he replies, “I want to join Glee.”
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August 2010


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