Rating: R (language, sexual themes)
Summary: She's supposed to be done with this Finn shit. She's supposed to be growing up, and going to New York and chasing her dream and being single so that he can get his chance again, once they sort their lives out.
A/n: written for Puckleberry Hanukkah on tumblr. Set somewhere late in Season 3, and yes, I've played fast and loose with the timings because it suited the fic. So there.
Married? She's gonna marry him?
"Noah? Aren't you going to congratulate us?" Rachel asks, and the tiny crack in her voice drags his eyes to her face. It's the first time in months he's let himself actually look at her - he'd promised Finn to stay clear - and sure, he'd heard about her fluffing her audition and all, but none of those fuckers had told him it was this bad. She's all huge brown eyes and gorgeous wide smile, but there's nothing behind it, anymore. No passion, no dreams, no stars in her eyes.
She's not Rachel Berry anymore, so she's gone looking for a new dream. And that smug fucker was perfectly happy to let it be him, Puck realises as he looks at Finn in disbelief.
He mumbles something - sure as hell wasn't congratulations, but it was something that made 'em smile - then told 'em he had a pool to clean and escapes to the gym. The punching bag takes more than a few hits aimed at Finn's face, and he refuses to even think of Rachel, because he knows it's her that has let him down the most.
She's supposed to be done with this Finn shit. She's supposed to be growing up, and going to New York and chasing her dream and being single so that he can get his chance again, once they sort their lives out. He'd even written a song about it, their stupid high school drama, and now she'd never get the chance to hear it because she was gonna be Mrs Rachel Hudson and he just ... couldn't. He and Finn would never be best buds again, maybe never even real friends, but he wasn't gonna do that to him either. Stealing a man's girlfriend was one thing, but his wife ...
And he and Rachel would always have this thing between them, this heat, and sooner or later, if they were in the same room for too long, or he touched her by accident, or they ended up rehearsing by themselves or ...
Stealing a man's girlfriend was one thing. But his wife.
He wasn't that guy anymore, even if the sugarmamas barely counted. He was done fucking other men's wives.
But he wasn't done with Rachel Berry.
There's a rustling outside of her window that reminds her of the days when Noah used to climb the tree to surprise her just before bedtime. It's been nearly a year now, but the memory still makes her smile - he'd only done it twice when they were actually dating, but he'd did it a few times when she was with Jesse (yes, he was trying to break them up, she knew that, but Noah was like a safe port in that ridiculous storm) and more regularly when she had broken up with Finn the second time (or was it the third?). Maybe it was both, she thinks, because Noah was her constant when she was between boyfriends, cheering her up, making her feel good about herself, and yes, he liked to do it physically, but that was just him, and a few kisses never hurt anyone.
She shivers, and refuses to wonder why those kisses are etched in such perfect detail in her memory, every one of them (and yes, it was more than a few. She knows exactly how many, because she counts them off when she's lonely, one by one, from the very first time his lips met hers, until the last time she tasted him) when Finn's kisses are a pleasant blur. Finn has learnt to kiss over time (she had dedicated many hours to teaching him, after all), and love's kisses are surely superior to those of a concerned friend, but ...
Noah's kisses used to leave her wet.
She hadn't realised quite how important that was, and, well. She and Finn are both learning, and if she occasionally thinks of another man and other kisses when she is making love with her boyfriend, it doesn't mean ... it's not that she doesn't love him, it's just ... Noah is so ...
She blushes at the memory, then gasps at the unmistakeable sound of knuckles on glass. Blushes again, then panics, because she can't possibly let him in here now. It's past midnight, her dads are overnighting in Chicago, and she's covered in goosebumps just from thinking about him ... she cannot handle the reality of Noah Puckerman in her bedroom! So why is she already pushing up the sill? Why is she moving back to give him room? Why is she sitting on the bed, right where they were the last time they kissed, and simply waiting for him?
Why does he look so angry?
Rachel jumps up to find out what's wrong, throwing herself in front of him in a bid to stop his pacing. His mouth is working as if he's practicing a speech, and he looks so grim, she fears the worst.
"Noah? Noah! What's wrong?" she begs, one hand creeping up to his face, forcing him to look at her.
"Please - tell me! What's happened?"
He'd been standoffish with her for a while, especially physically, so she's surprised when he grabs both her wrists and simply stares down at her.
"You really don't know?"
"No! Who is it? Your mom? Tell me she's okay."
"Mom's fine. She doesn't even know."
He rolls his eyes and lets go of her wrists.
"About you and Hudson. Getting married. But you know why I didn't tell her?"
That's what this was about? "Why?"
"Because it isn't gonna fucking happen, that's why. You ain't gonna through with it. Because unlike Hudson, you have some fucking common sense, and you know you're better than this place, and have better fucking things to do than getting married," he yells.
Rachel takes a step back, her mouth falling open in shock before outrage marches in to restore her backbone. Puck's not finished, though.
"You know why else it ain't gonna happen?"
"Oh, pray tell."
He moves in close then, forcing her to take a step back, then another, until her back is up against the door.
"Because I'm gonna show you what sex can actually be like, and I know you, Berry. You ain't the type to settle."
Rachel slaps him, outraged. (She's not sure exactly why, but it bubbles up from inside and as much as she abhors violence, she cannot stop herself.)
Nor can she stop the shiver when he grabs her wrist and licks it, or the moan when he pulls her onto his chest before crushing his lips down onto hers.
He's never really kissed her with intent before, she realises. She's had kisses for the sake of kissing, and these ... these aren't kisses at all. These are attacks on her judgement, and judgements on her sanity. Sanity evaporating into the reality of his hands, sliding under her pajama top, and his lips, nibbling over her collarbone and down towards her cleavage. Reality evaporating into too many nights of fantasy as she yields to the possibility that this won't just be good, this could be amazing, and she might never have amazing again.
Oh, help, Rachel thinks, and closes her eyes.
No. No fucking way is she going to pretend this isn't happening, Puck thinks as her eyes drift closed. He knows this girl, knows her in a way fucking Hudson never will, and right now, she's prepping herself for a little plausible deniability.
Deny this, he thinks as his fingers find rock hard nipples already pouting for his attention, and he pinches them - hard - to bring her back to him.
"Ow!" she gasps, eyes flying open, and he just smiles at her, and sinks his thumb inside her mouth, sliding it over her suddenly cooperative tongue. He withdraws it with a smirk, then jerks her pj top fully open, making her watch as he runs the wet digit over each peak in turn.
"Better, baby?" he asks, and the way she's moaning, he has to figure it is. The way she's moaning, he needs to get out of these fucking jeans, and into her fucking panties, pretty damn soon, because he's about to blow a gasket. Shit's embarrassing - he's supposed to be seducing her, but he's the one about to come in his jeans like he hasn't done since he was 13.
Which takes him right back to thoughts of Finn, and suddenly, he hasn't got a problem anymore. He needs to get the taste of betrayal out of his mouth, so he drops to his knees in front of her and trails kisses across her bare belly, flickering his tongue into her bellybutton. She's writhing now, not even trying to push him away, and when he drops a little lower to nibble along the waistband of her pajamas, she's the one pushing them down to give him more access. Another two minutes of this, he realises, and he'll be eating her out up against the door, and that's not really what he wants.
He wants to take hours doing this, and he wants to hear his name from her lips, and fuck it, he'd like her to ask him nicely for once. So he drops one last kiss right above her mound and tugs her pajama pants back up, then steps away, leaving her leaning back against the door. And people say he has no self control, he thinks desperately as he watches her bare breasts dance with the shudders racking her body. They have no idea.
Nobody but her ever did. That's why he's doing this, he tells himself. It's nothing to do with Finn, it's about him and Rachel, and the fact that they fit, better than she does with anyone else.
Better than he does with anyone else.
And no one knows better than him that sex is only one small thing in a much bigger ... thing, but for fucks sake. She's gotta realise. She's this creature of life and passion and purpose, and Finn's gonna suck that right out of her and she's getting nothing for that, not even good sex, and if this is how he has to stop that ...
Her eyes stay closed for a moment, then flutter open to look at him resentfully.
He smiles - no Noah this time - and drops down onto her bed, stretching out on the familiar counterpane, getting comfortable.
"If you want me to fuck you, you've gotta ask for it. You keep your eyes open and you say my name, or I'm gonna think you're pretending I'm Finn. Not gonna let you do that."
Her eyes pop with outrage, and he hopes she never figures out just how sexy she is when she's mad. She might try to keep a lid on her temper then, and fuck that for a joke. He loves her like this, all riled and passionate, and yeah baby, that's it. You come here and show me just how good and mad you are.
This time he catches her hand before the slap descends, and uses it to pull her down on top of him. There's no hiding his hard cock (as if he'd try) and she's not the blushing virgin she was last time they did this, but still, he's surprised when she simply pulls in a deep breath, and rocks her hips against him. And then he's beyond surprised when her hand lands on him, and strokes him through his jeans.
She looks up and catches him staring, and maybe that's why her question is so soft and tentative.
"Is it this good with everybody, Noah? As good as it would be for us?"
He shakes his head even as he arches into her hand.
"Nah. It's not. Not even close, most times. I've never ..." he breaks off, realising this is serious shit he's about to land himself in.
But it's Rachel, which means it was always serious, even when he refused to let it be. Time to jump.
"It's different with you, Rach. Sometimes I forget that we haven't actually gone all the way, because ..." he shrugged, resigned to handing over his entire manhood to her, "a kiss from you is better than anything from another girl."
Her eyes fill with delight, and she moves up to kiss him, but he hasn't forgotten why he's here, even if she has.
"So you marrying Finn? Doesn't work for me," he says pointedly, and her face falls. Make a decision already, he wants to demand, but he cradles her against his chest instead and waits for her to speak.
"You're leaving. You and Mercedes are going to California, and Kurt's going to New York, and Quinn's going to Connecticut and Santana to Kentucky ... I didn't want to be alone here," she whispers eventually. She sounds so sad that he almost feels sorry for her, even if she was intent on fucking up three lives as a result.
"So don't be! Call shotgun, babe. It's yours if you want it," he points out acidly, not wanting her to see how fucking much he wants that. Wants her to be his, and not just for a week this time. "You'd look good in a bikini. They have shows on the West Coast too - and theatre schools, if you wanna stick with that." He rubs her back soothingly, and if his hand occasionally strays to her muscly dancer's butt, well, no one ever said he was a good guy.
'Cept Rachel, of course.
She's trying to think straight, really she is.
She had been in love with Finn so long, it makes it hard to recognise the other truth. She's in love with Noah, too. She's in love with Noah despite hardly speaking to him in the past six months, despite telling herself it's just lust, despite the fact she had just agreed to marry Finn.
She had just agreed to marry Finn.
She had just agreed to marry Finn?
She's barely 18, and she's bound for stardom, and she's just agreed to marry someone? Completely apart from the fact she might still be in love with someone else? She's out of her ever loving mind!
Rachel sat bolt upright, pulling herself away from Noah's chest, hands flying to her cheeks in shock. Her eyes found the modest ring on her finger, and she stared at it as if seeing it for the first time. The symbolism, the endless circle that cannot be broken, two people bound for eternity, excluding all others.
She leapt up from the bed, and crossed to her bathroom, suddenly retching with her realisation of what she had almost done.
Noah was right behind her, holding her hair as she bent over the toilet, and ... my God. What she'd nearly done to them, these beautiful boys who loved her. She reeled with it, and began to shake, and Noah was there, solid and comforting, as she began to cry.
"Rach, baby, Rach, don't cry sweetheart. I'm sorry, baby. So sorry," he was saying when her brain finally began to function again. How could he possibly think he was at fault? Why did he always assume that it was something he had done, she thought uncharitably as she turned in his arms to frown at him.
"Why? I'm the one who's made the mess," she snapped, and pushed herself up and out of his lap, and away from the tear-soaked spot on the floor. Her pajama top was still hanging open, and her hands shook as she shoved the buttons back into their holes.
"But, I ..."
She threw her hand up to silence him, and stomped her way back into the bedroom. "But, nothing. You were right. Marrying Finn would have been ... a disaster. I can't even stay faithful to him for a week!"
Noah followed her, but stayed on the other side of the room, hands deep in his pockets and shoulders hunched.
"I shouldn't have pushed you," he said quietly. "I came here to ... sex you into breaking up with him."
Her anger sparked, and then flared at the realisation of exactly how well her knew her. Or maybe it wasn't just her - maybe Noah Puckerman knew every girl dreamed of him, and pretended their boyfriends were him, and couldn't say no when it came to him. Her mouth was opening on a filthy accusation when she looked at him - really looked - and saw the self-hate in his eyes.
He was making it easy to blame him, she realised. All his life, he'd been big, bad Puck, source of every bit of mischief in Lima. It would be so easy, to say Puck had seduced her, and make him the brunt of everyone's anger. But this was her mess, dammit - hers and Finn's. Puck was a fine catalyst, but he wasn't the problem.
"I wanted you to," she hiccupped, trying hard not to cry. "I didn't have to open the window. I didn't have to let you touch me. If I'd said no, you would have stopped," she sniffed. "I'm a ridiculous, brazen hussy!" she wailed.
"Rachel. You're not a hussy!" he said sternly. "Whatever that is," he added with a self-deprecating smile.
She suspected Noah knew full well what a hussy was, but it was just like him to pretend to be stupid just to make her smile. He'd always done the most outrageous things for other people - that hideous blue dress! - and no one recognised that about him. Just like no one recognised when she was dying inside, or diving off the deep end. Except him.
Rachel dragged in a shaky breath, and slowly prised Finn's ring from her finger, setting it on the bedside table. Puck needed to go, before she did something stupid, and she needed to get some sleep. Then in the morning, she'd go to see Finn, and put a stop to this farce.
Maybe they could figure out where their relationship stood without the need to fast forward to getting married. Maybe she'd tell him about what had happened with Puck, and he would understand this time. Maybe pigs would fly, she thought with a grimace, looking up to where her sinfully tempting friend was watching her carefully from the other side of the room.
Or maybe she finally be able to forget all about what Finn thought, and let Noah congratulate her on being a single woman.
"Come and visit me in New York," she blurted, and then blinked with surprise. She'd given up on the idea of New York, hadn't she? She'd only applied to NYADA and missed the cutoff for Tisch and even a general degree at NYU, but my God! She was Rachel Berry and letting such a tiny little thing stop her was just ridiculous. She'd take workshop programmes and use the year to save up some money waitressing or something. It would leave her much more time for auditions than being a full time student would ... and she'd try again next year. If she needed to. If she hadn't been discovered by then. If she wasn't taking her bows as Fanny or Elphaba or Wendla ...
Rachel dragged herself out of her plans to find he had moved closer, dropping next to her on the bed. She dragged in a deep breath and pushed herself upright, so she could look into his face.
"Thank you. For making me realise what a huge mistake I was making," she said, and then blushed when a huge grin spread across his face. "Not like that - I didn't mean sex!" she protested.
"I was about to do something very selfish for the wrong reasons, and you made me realise that I had ... options. All sorts of options," she said, surrendering to the need to smirk, just a little bit.
He grinned back, and with that the sexual heat between them flared back into life. Rachel's heart began to thud, and he caught her hand is his own, pulling it to his mouth to press a kiss into her palm.
"Anytime, babe. And hell yeah I'll come visit. Couldn't keep me away," he vowed, the intensity in his eyes slaying her.
"You need to go, before I do something stupid," she admitted, and he nodded, even as his hands crept their way up her arms, massaging as they went.
"Puck," she groaned as they found the bare skin either side of her neck, and lingered there, stroking, as if he was powerless to pull them away.
"Fuck. Yeah, I'm going," he cursed, taking a step back, then another, as if every foot between them hurt. He swung himself out the window, then poked his head back in.
"Are we good?" he asked, sounding so worried that she simply had to smooth her hand over that ridiculous mohawk, and drop a final kiss on his cheek.
"Always, Noah," she promised. "You've made it better. You always do, despite what you seem to think."
He raised his eyebrows sceptically, but didn't reject the idea outright. "Whatever, babe. If you're single, I can take a little heat. If you're single and in New York ... " his eyes went dark and Rachel forgot to breathe as he slowly licked his lips.
"We're gonna burn that town to the ground," he promised.
Disclaimer: This fanfiction was written for personal enjoyment rather than profit. No infringement on the rights of the intellectual property owners is intended.
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