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Title: True Colors
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Puck/Rachel
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em - not making any money off 'em. Dern it.
Summary: AU. When Rachel finds about Finn and Santana having sex, she tells him a secret she kept from him. Finn lashes out and hurts Rachel in an unforgivable way. Puck helps pick up the pieces.
Word Count: 1,568
Warnings: mentions of sex
Note: Taming the Muse Prompt: Capsize

It didn't take a long time before it got around school. Finchel was officially over, and the reason was too juicy to not spread around. Rachel Berry had sex with Noah Puckerman during the short time they dated.

Rachel heard slut directed at her throughout the day. She closed her eyes, unable to believe Finn actually told everyone. Quinn didn't get it this bad when the truth about the father's baby came out, and Rachel didn't even cheat on anyone. She and Noah were actually dating each other. I guess it's because she was the perfect, blonde cheerleader, and I'm just Rachel Berry, the loudmouth gleek.

Of course, Finn completely disregarded the whole part about him sleeping with Santana and then lying about it. What she did was so much worse. Rachel angrily rolled her eyes.

Tears burned her eyes, but Rachel refused to let them fall, at least until she was able to find somewhere private to nurse her wounds.

She was just glad that there was no glee that day. She wasn't sure she'd be able to handle it.

It was after lunch when she got a cold slushy thrown at her face. She wildly blinked and wasn't surprised to find that the culprit was Santana. The Latina smirked as Rachel shivered. She sauntered away with her nose in the air, and Rachel raced to the nearest girls' bathroom.

She was busy washing her hair when the door opened. She stiffened when she spotted Noah. She kept her eyes averted, and she hoped she hadn't completely destroyed things between Finn and Noah. In her pursuit of total honesty with her boyfriend, she hadn't thought about the effect on his friendship with Noah.

"Quinn came and got me.

"Quinn? Really?" She couldn't keep the disbelief out of her voice.

Noah smirked. "Quinn can be nice, sometimes. And she'd thought I'd be the only one you wouldn't mind seeing right now."

"I'm sorry," she whispered brokenly.

Noah came over and started helping her wash her hair. Like always, he seemed to understand what she was saying. "My friendship with Finn who pretty much gone when the truth about the baby came out. There wasn't that much damage you could really do. Besides, we were dating at the time. We had every right to do what we did."

"That's what I thought," Rachel said as she closed her eyes so the sticky substances wouldn't irritate them. "Everyone's acting like I cheated on Finn even though he was dating Quinn at the time. How did our relationship totally capsize in less than five minutes?"

"Rachel, I know you think he's the perfect leading man, but it I'm perfectly honest, you're too good for him."

Rachel looked at Noah as if he lost his mid. "He's the quarterback, the school's hero. I was lucky to be with him."

"And that's why you're too good for him. He made you believe you should be kissing his shoes since he allowed you to be with him. We had sex. So what? You and I were dating. Like you said, he was with Quinn at the time. He had a one-night stand with Santana. Why is what he did okay, but not what the two of us did?"

"Because it was you I had sex with," Rachel whispered. Tears began falling. "He totally ignores the fact that Santana has always made me miserable. She didn't hesitate throwing a slushy at me."

"She always felt like she owned me, even when she's not with me. And besides her and Quinn, you're the only girl I've had sex with that I've cared about. And she hates the fact that I didn't tell her about the experience because it makes you seem even more special to me."

Something in Noah's voice gave her pause. She thought about his words and wondered if there was any hidden meaning. She physically pulled away from the hands that were cleaning her. "Was I special?"

Noah smiled bitterly. "Of course. If t hadn't been for the baby, if I hadn't felt obligated to Quinn, I would have fought harder for you. You were always different, and Santana knows that. Having it confirm that we had sex, shattered the illusion that she had something over you where I'm concerned. She thought she had something with me that you would never have."

Rachel turned to look at herself in the mirror. She had just been in tears because of her boyfriend. Ex-boyfriend, she corrected, even though it was only to herself. She had not expected such a confession to come from Noah. She had always knew he had a soft spot in his heart where she was concerned – him allowing her to call him Noah proved that – but she didn't think his feelings ran that deep. "I didn't know," Rachel said.

"I know." Noah came to stand behind her; his body pressed against hers. "That's my fault. I never told you about my feelings because I didn't think I stood a chance. I also thought you'd be happier with Finn. Now, I wish I hadn't been such a coward. Maybe you wouldn't be in tears right now."

Rachel swallowed and met his eyes. There was still some slushy in her hair, but right then, Rachel didn't care. She shivered when Noah's arms came around her. Even last year, she had felt safe in his arms, and that was something that had never changed.

"Do I have any chance?" He spoke softly into her ear, and his breath tickled.

"I think there was a reason Finn had a problem with it being you that I had sex with. He wouldn't have reacted as violently if Jesse had been the one I went that far with." Noah raised his eyebrows at her. "I didn't. I mean, I didn't go that far with him. It never felt right." She should have known than that Jesse wasn't right for her. She had been with Noah for less time, but she didn't hesitate, except the normal amount which was applied to a bit of fear, when it came to sleeping with him.

"Rach, I had sex with his previous girlfriend and got her pregnant. That's all it was."

Rachel shook her head. "No, it wasn't. You always meant something to me, and it was more than just you being my first. I was always drawn to you; there was always chemistry between us. And he knew it. Even before the truth came out, he hated the fact that we were friends. He accused me of being too nice to you." She rolled her eyes.

"You're drawn to me?"

"Yes." She looked down at the sink.

"That means I have a chance," he whispered, and it was in a way Rachel never heard come from his mouth. It sounded hopeful.

She turned around and stared into his eyes. Now that he was allowing it to shine through, she could see the care he had for her. "Let me ask you something," she said resolutely.

He blinked, probably at the forcefulness in her tone. "Go ahead."

"Most guys talk about the girls they've have sex with, and taking the virginity of anyone, even me, would have boosted your popularity even more. Why did you keep it quiet? Was it because of Finn and Quinn?"

"No, it was for you. I didn't want to ruin your reputation. I knew how important it was to you."

"Most guys wouldn't care."

"I'm not most guys."

"No, you aren't," Rachel whispered. She leaned up and gave him a soft peck. She pulled away before he could deepen it. He followed her lips, but she kept them at a distance.

"That's just teasing me."

Rachel smiled at the small whine in his voice. Of course he would deny it if she ever pointed it out to him. "I don't mean to tease you."

"Then why?" He pouted.

She laughed softly. "I hope that was enough of an incentive to make you wait for me a little while longer. I want to be with you, but I don't you to be a rebound from Finn. I need to be over Finn so I can be fair to you."

"Do you think you'll be able to get over Finn?"

She nodded. "You did everything you could protect me. In a fit of anger, Finn hurt me in one of the worst ways possible. He showed his true colors. It won't take a long time to get over him, but I want to make sure I am over him. You deserve that."

"Then I'll wait. It's been over a year. I can wait a little while longer, as long as I know there's light at the end of the tunnel."

She smiled, suddenly feeling shy. Their relationship had irrevocably changed, but she was glad for it. She had always thought Finn was her future; she never tried looking at other guys. She had almost overlooked someone who might be a better future for her. She should thank Finn, but she doubted he would take her gratitude well.

She turned back to the sink to remove the rest of the slushy. Noah's strong hands aided her in her quest.

She hoped she wouldn't make Noah wait too long, but as he deftly washed her hair, she could feel her heart already letting go of Finn and latching onto Noah.

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