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Before He Cheats

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It had always been a major worry for Rachel, after all it was Puck, it was almost inevitable. But when her Noah cheated on her, she couldn’t believe it had actually happened. She was numb.

Rachel had been so happy the day that he told her. She was finally going to tell him that she loved him, after 8 months of dating.

“Noah, I need to talk to you.” Rachel had pulled the jock aside following a Glee rehearsal, not wanting the other gleeks to hear what she was about to say.

Puck frowned as the words in his head connected to form a worry that she’d found out he’d cheated on her and that’s when his mouth connected with those thoughts. “I didn’t mean to cheat on you!” The words were out in a rush and his girlfriend’s mouth dropped open.

“Noah, you- you… cheated on me?!” Rachel’s voice was low and quiet, and tears began to well in her big, brown eyes.

“Wait, that’s not what you wanted to talk to me about?!” Puck’s voice came out in a pained hiss.

“I- I was going to tell you…” the tears started to stream down Rachel’s face. “That, that, I love you!”

Puck’s face dropped completely. “You weren’t going to break up with me?”

Rachel laughed bitterly shaking her head and wiping her eyes. “Well, I am now.” And with that Rachel’s hand reached out and slapped Puck across the face hard. “I hate you, Puck.” The small brunette grabbed her bag and stormed out the room, the use of his nickname, rather than his name, pierced a hole in his heart. It was really over.

Although the gleeks hadn’t heard the exchange they’d seen the end of it and were currently looking at the jock in shock.

“Puckerman, what the fuck did you do?!” Santana hissed at the boy, who was stood there, a few silent tears falling down his cheeks, stinging over the perfectly formed red handprint of his ex-girlfriend.

“I fucked it all up.” Puck’s voice was quiet and croaky and with that he burst into tears, shocking the whole glee club. No one had ever seen Puck cry.

***

Rachel didn’t go to school the next day, or the next, or for the rest of the week. She’d tarnished her perfect attendance record, but she couldn’t bring herself to care. Noah had cheated on her. The brunette had laid in bed for a whole week, not showering, eating or even sleeping, only getting up to use the bathroom.

Rachel’s phone was chiming with text notifications and ringing off the hook, but she hadn’t looked once, until finally the noises stopped, the gleeks and Noah had stopped trying to talk to her. She turned her phone off, not wanting to torture herself anymore.

And then it was 2.30am and Rachel couldn’t stop going over the exchange in her head. And then the questions started coming. Who had Noah cheated on her with? And what had they done? Had he had sex with her?

Then, she couldn’t handle it anymore, she had to know. Before she knew it, she’d turned her phone on and was listening to the dial tone, waiting for Noah, no Puck, to pick up the phone.

“Rach?” Puck’s voice was hoarse, but it wasn’t full of sleep and Rachel wondered if the past week had been torturous for him too.

Puck.” Rachel’s voice was harsh, and she could almost hear Puck’s wince down the other end of the phone. “What did you do? I need to know.”

“Rach, I don’t think it’s a good idea.” Puck’s voice sounded broken and Rachel tried to ignore the small ache in her chest.

“I. Need. To. Know.” She spat out gritting her teeth.

“I was horny, really horny.” Puck started to explain. “One of the cheerios, Stacey or Tracey or something, started to flirt with me and I, I just caved.”

“When?” Rachel demanded.

Puck was silent for a minute. “3 months ago.”

“Did you fuck her?” Rachel spat and ignored the sharp intake of breath that came from Puck at the curse.

Puck was silent for a few seconds, before realising Rachel deserved the truth. “Yes.”

“You couldn’t fuck me, so you fucked her.” Rachel laughed bitterly. “Well fuck you Puck.” Rachel hung up the phone and stared at her home screen. 129 unread messages? 53 missed calls? The glee club actually cared about her. Rachel couldn’t bring herself to open any of the messages and threw her phone onto her bedside table before turning over and finally falling asleep.

***

The weekend came and Rachel decided she needed to start pulling herself together a bit. She finally started to read her messages.

Santana: Whatever Puckerman did, he’s an ass Berry, you deserve better.

Brittany: I don’t want u 2 b sad Rachie, pls don’t b sad.

Kurt: Spill, diva, what did Puckerman do?

Mercedes: Are you ok, diva?               

Tina: I hope you’re ok Rachel.

Mike: Are you ok? Do I need to beak Puck up?

It was all variations of the gleeks asking her what Puck had done and trying to cheer her up. She wasn’t particularly close to anyone at that point in time, but none of them hated her anymore, not even Quinn. Rachel chose not to open any of Puck’s 52 messages, knowing it was probably just him grovelling.

Rachel bit her lip and punched out a reply to Santana, not wanting to deal with Kurt and Mercedes gossiping, but needing someone. The text was short and to the point. He fucked one of the cheerios.

Santana’s reply was, unsurprisingly, almost instantaneous, but the actual content was what was surprising. Should I come over?

Yes, please. Rachel typed out, she needed to start getting out of this funk. Brittany too, if she wants. She added, after all the ditzy blonde would probably cheer her up without knowing what she was doing.

Be over in 20 w/ Britt.

Rachel finally climbed out of her bed, without the intention of rushing straight back in. The broken girl pulled her 5-day old clothes off, throwing them into her washing hamper, before entering the bathroom to take a quick shower, to wash off the sweat, tears and to refresh herself. Afterwards she pulled on a hoodie, ignoring the ones that belonged to her ex, and a pair of shorts, grabbed her phone and ventured downstairs.

Less than 5 minutes later Santana and Brittany had settled either side of the small brunette, the blonde had thrown her arm around the girl and pulled her into her side and the Latina was rubbing circles on her arm.

“Which cheerio was it? I’ll cut the bitch.” Santana’s voice was softer than Rachel had ever heard before, but it still had Santana’s usual bite to it.

“He doesn’t even know her name.” Rachel laughed bitterly. “’Stacey or Tracey or something’, that’s what he said.”

Bittany thought for a second going through the names of the cheerios in her head. “Lacey?” Brittany questioned. “She’s slept with all of the football team, except Mike and Finn.”

“Puta.” Santana growled. “I’ll go all Lima Heights on her.”

“It takes two to have sex.” Rachel remarked bitterly. “Three months. Three whole months, he kept on making out with me and being with me and he knew he’d had sex with her.”

“At least it wasn’t Quinn.” Brittany smiled, earning a glare from her Latina friend and a bitter laugh from Rachel.

“I think it would’ve been better if it was her. At least the would’ve been a real reason why.” Rachel shook her head. “I need to get over this.”

“It’s not going to be so easy Rach. You guys were Puckleberry, everyone was routing for you.” Santana sat up and took Rachel’s hand. “It’s going to suck Rach. You’ve got to realise that.”

Rachel was shocked at Santana’s words; did she want to make the diva cry? Then Rachel realised what Santana was really telling her. There was going to be reminders everywhere, people were going to be asking questions and staring.

“Fuck!” Rachel exclaimed loudly, making the blonde cheerleader jump.

“Rachie, it’ll be okay.” Brittany assured the girl wrapping her back into her arms.

“How am I going to do Glee with him there?” Rachel whimpered.

Santana thought for a second. “Thinking of it as an acting job, Rach, you just need to pretend you don’t give a shit.” Santana had a grin on her face. “And you can change your look and sing him a song, so he knows you’re done with him!”

Rachel was actually smiling at that and she seemed genuinely excited. “Oh my gosh, Santana, you’re right! You guys have to help me with my wardrobe!” Rachel jumped up, pulling Brittany up by her hand. “And I know exactly what song to sing! Also, I want to do something to get back at Puck.”

***

The next day Rachel Berry had walked into McKinley with her head held high, with Brittany and Santana either side of her. The diva had her hair in curls, cascading down her back and was wearing heavier makeup than she was used to. She was dressed in a pair of black high waisted skinny jeans, that Brittany had taken a pair of scissors to, a black denim jacket and a plain white tshirt that had been tied to make it cropped.

In Glee club, Rachel had immediately volunteered herself to sing, and for once no one really minded because she’d been gone for over a week, they were kind of missing her. Santana and Brittany jumped up to sing back up for their friend and Santana shot Puck a dirty look, who was sat in the corner cowering away. No one other than the two cheerios knew what Puck had done to Rachel yet but they were about to.

“This is for Puck.” Rachel smirked and gestured to the band to start playing, Puck had the decency to shrink in on himself as the whole of the Glee club turned to look at him before looking back at Rachel.

Right now he's probably slow dancing with a bleached-blond tramp,
And she's probably getting frisky
Right now, he's probably buying her some fruity little drink
'Cause she can't shoot whiskey
Right now, he's probably up behind her with a pool stick,
Showing her how to shoot a combo
And he don't know

Puck had never heard the song, but he quickly got the message of the song as Rachel smirked at him, whilst the rest of the club glared. Rachel’s voice was gravely and husky and it was turning Puck on and he was really regretting having cheated on her.

That I dug my key into the side
Of his pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive,
Carved my name into his leather seats
I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
Slashed a hole in all four tires
Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats.

Then, Puck realised it had been Rachel that had spray painted ‘cheater’ on the side of his truck, rather than Santana. If he wasn’t so pissed off that he’d had to walk to school, he would’ve been pretty proud of the girl. Mr Schuester was finally clicking onto the meaning of the song and he too glared a little at Puck, Rachel may be irritating sometimes, but she certainly didn’t deserve that.

Right now, she's probably up singing some
White-trash version of Shania karaoke.
Right now, she's probably saying, "I'm drunk"
And he's a-thinking that he's gonna get lucky,
Right now, he's probably dabbing on
3 dollars worth of that bathroom Polo

Oh, and he don't know
That I dug my key into the side
Of his pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive,
Carved my name into his leather seats,
I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
Slashed a hole in all four tires
Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats.

This time Rachel pointed at Puck throughout the chorus. If anyone had any doubt about what Puck had done it had all dissipated now.

I might've saved a little trouble for the next girl,
'Cause the next time that he cheats
Oh, you know it won't be on me!
No... not on me

'Cause I dug my key into the side
Of his pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive,
Carved my name into his leather seats
I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
Slashed a hole in all four tires
Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats.

Oh, maybe next time he'll think before he cheats
Oh, before he cheats... oh, oh.

Rachel’s head dropped for a few seconds and the Glee club could hear her breathing heavily, they were all wondering if she was about to cry, but instead she lifted up her head and looked Puck straight in the eyes. “Did you like my present?” Rachel smirked.

The rest of the Glee club turned to look at Puck, who’s jaw was now clenched hard. “I’m sorry.” Puck’s words were really soft, and his eyes were all shiny, like he was going to, oh fuck, she’d made Puck cry. “I’m so sorry.” The boy began to sob quietly, and no one was quite sure what to do, after all he was the one that broke Rachel’s heart.

“I think we should leave this rehearsal here.” Mr Schuester announced, the rest of the group agreed and left the room quickly, not wanting to be involved in the drama, leaving just Puck, Rachel, Santana and Brittany.

“Fuck.” Rachel mumbled, she hated seeing him cry, she’d only ever seen him cry when he had to give Beth away and even then, that was only a few tears. “Brittany, go on.” Rachel gestured from Brittany to Puck and she immediately ran over to the crying jock. “I need to go.” Rachel turned and fled.

***

Rachel was curled up in her own bed reading the dozens of messages that Puck, no Noah, had sent her. She’d made up her mind.

Meanwhile, Puck was curled up in his own bed, sobbing into his pillow, which still smelt like her. He didn’t even care about his stupid badass reputation anymore, he was just heartbroken, which was strange really, since he was the one who broke her heart.

Puck turned, slowly as he heard the rustling of his curtains as someone climbed through. “Noah?” A small voice spoke, and fresh sobs erupted from his throat. “Hey, shush, shush, shush, please don’t cry Noah, you’re breaking my heart.”

“You, you called me Noah.” The boy’s sobs had eased slightly, and he swung his legs over the side of his bed, so he was perched on the edge.

“That’s your name isn’t it, silly?” Rachel’s voice was light, and she stepped towards him. Puck’s arms were around her in a second, pulling her to him and burying his head into her stomach. Rachel stroked his mohawk. “I’m still mad at you, you cheated on me.”

“I’m so sorry, Rach.” Puck mumbled into her stomach. “I was thinking with my dick.”

“Can you do this, Noah?” Rachel asked. “Because we’ve taken so many steps back we’re almost at the start of the relationship again. It’s going to be a while until I’m going to be able to sleep with you.”

“I just want you back.” Puck’s face was still pushed into her stomach, tears still escaping his eyes.

“Okay.” Her voice was light.

“Okay?” Puck looked up at Rachel.

“Okay.” It wasn't okay yet and it wasn't going to be easy, but they just couldn't let it go.