|Chase the Morning
Author: 27vampyresinhermind PM
Rachel celebrates with Santana at club and ends up with more to celebrate than she ever dreamed. A/U Puckleberry featuring Santina and Bike pairings. Rated M for good reason! Smuckleberry abounds! COMPLETE!Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Humor - Puck & Rachel B. - Chapters: 23 - Words: 175,415 - Reviews: 745 - Favs: 514 - Follows: 458 - Updated: 04-07-11 - Published: 06-16-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6057244
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
a/n: i'm back! so excited about this story. it's A/U, set in New York, featuring a Santana/Rachel friendship & Mike/Puck friendship. Will also feature Santina at the request of Sassy26 and when i started writing, i really liked the way it went. Of course, no need to tell you, this is gonna be Puckleberry, with some Smuckleberry mixed in as well because, let's face it, i can't write anything where those two don't end up in a bed, or against a vanity, or mixing board, or...well you get the point. this is my first venture into the A/U world so if you get confused with anything at all, just message me and i'll do my best to clear it up for you. i want to thank Sassy26 & GoingVintage for the help and motivation they've already provided with this fic so far and (a warning) i plan on cashing in on that many more times! I love you girls, you always make my day. so without too much more ado...read & enjoy! please review, as i won't be updating again until first chapter's reviews kick ass. you can do it guys! love you all!
Rachel Berry walked up the staircase to her apartment, hoping like hell that her roommate was home. She just landed the biggest and most important role of her career and couldn't wait to break the news to her best friend. Her hands were shaking as she fumbled with her keys in the lock. The excitement was rolling off of her body in waves when she finally pushed the door open.
"Lopez," she yelled when she didn't spot her Latina friend in the living area. No answer. She sat her purse down on the couch and walked down the short hallway to Santana's bedroom. Not hearing any noises coming from the room, she slowly opened the door to see her friend sprawled out on top of her bed in nothing but a tank top and her underwear. The girl had headphones in her ears and her eyes were closed so Rachel wasn't positive that she was even awake. That didn't stop her from crawling on top of her and ripping the headphones out of her ears.
Santana's eyes opened wide when she felt a weight over her body. She laughed when she saw who it was but yelled when her headphones were torn from her head.
"Hey bitch, what was that for? And why are you on top of me?" Rachel rolled her eyes and watched a familiar glint appear in Santana's eyes as she grinned. "Have you finally decided to test out the waters of bisexuality? Your fathers would definitely approve. Although, if we hook up, it could get weird with us already living together and all."
Santana continued to laugh as Rachel rolled off of her and stood up on the mattress, staring down at her like some midget dictator. She had the biggest urge to call her 'Fem Jong-Il' but she quickly noted how easily she could get kicked for that and promptly shut her mouth. Rachel still wasn't saying anything but Santana could tell she was about to burst with news of some sort. That's when she remembered the audition, the audition! She stood up in front of Rachel on the bed and placed her hands on her shoulders.
"Oh my god Rach, did you get it?" Rachel struggled to hold back the wide grin and quickly gave up the fight with a squeal.
"Yes! Santana, you are looking at the new Maria for Broadway's revival cast of West Side Story!" Santana threw her arms around Rachel and jumped up and down on the bed with her.
This was the part that Rachel had been dreaming of all her life, the one role that needed her just as much as she needed it. Since moving to New York, Rachel Berry had all but taken Broadway by storm. Critics raved over her for every role she was cast in, saying that the Great White Way was built for performers like her or, even better, built for her. The only reason Santana knew every possible little detail about the musical at all was because Rachel had talked about it practically non-stop her entire life, so that meant for most of Santana's life as well.
Santana pulled back from Rachel with a smile on her face.
"When do rehearsals start?" The grin on Rachel's face got impossibly bigger as she held up three fingers and squeaked,
"Three weeks!" She started squealing and jumped off the bed to run around the room, flailing her arms out from her body. Santana just shrugged her shoulders and laughed before doing the exact same thing.
After about fifteen minutes, Rachel realized that all the screaming couldn't possibly be good for her voice, which just happened to be her livelihood, she sat down on the end of the bed to catch her breath. Santana flopped down beside her and wrapped an arm around her shoulders, pulling her close.
"This is phenomenal. We have to go out and celebrate tonight. I feel like we haven't been to a club in forever." Rachel laughed at Santana and shook her head.
"We went to a club last week, San," she reminded her. Santana, unfazed by the reminder, stood up and pulled her tank top over her head as she walked to her closet.
"Yeah but that didn't count because we weren't celebrating anything. Besides, there's a place I've been dying to go to forever and I hear the owners are oh hot damn fine. We should at least check it out. If you don't like it, we could always go somewhere else or come back home. Come on Rach, don't make me turn on the charm. You know you can't resist when I turn on the charm." She smiled devilishly over her shoulder to the petite woman still seated on the bed. Rachel looked back at her and grinned sheepishly before nodding her head.
"Sounds good to me. But right now, I need to take a shower. The audition ran long so I took the subway home from the theatre and I feel kind of gross." Santana nodded and started yanking tops and skirts out of her closet, tossing them on her bed barely missing Rachel's head as she darted out of the room laughing.
As Rachel let the soothing water run over her skin, she couldn't help feeling that her life was about to change completely.
Puck looked up from the paperwork on his desk to see Mike, his business partner and best friend, closing the door behind him.
"Hey Chang," he greeted, "is the DJ set up yet? Doors open in an hour." Mike simply rolled his eyes and chuckled.
"Dude, we've only been doing this for a year. It's not like I know what I'm doing or anything. Chill out man. Just do your business thing and I'll do my dance thing and we got this like always. Why are you so tense lately anyway?" The Asian man leaned over the desk to look his friend in the eye, knowing all too well that Puck would try to skirt around whatever issue had him wound so unusually tight. He was normally the life of the party.
"Nothing man, just bogged down with DJ contracts and…" Mike slammed his hand down on the desk and met Puck's startled stare once more.
"Bullshit Puck, now tell me what's really wrong with you?" Puck dropped the papers on the desk and rubbed his eyes.
"Talked to my mom the other day," he answered after a minute had passed. Mike let out a breath slowly, realizing the issue with his friend.
"Aha, so Jewish mother guilt trip about not blessing her with beautiful Jewish daughter-in-law and even more beautiful Jewish grandchildren?" Puck nodded his head somberly and Mike couldn't help but laugh.
"Damn woman threatened to move to New York and, I quote, 'find a suitable woman for me if I couldn't do the job myself.' I feel like I'm stuck in a sadistic version of the fucking Fiddler on the Roof where the curtain never closes! Yenta can't mind her own business and realize that I've got too much shit to worry about without having to deal with blessing her life with grandkids at the moment." Mike burst out laughing when Puck said that.
"You might wanna Google yourself just to make sure she hasn't put you on any of those Jewish singles sites behind your back. That sounds like something she'd do as a backup plan for when you fail to find and seduce an attractive young Jewess into your bed." Puck wanted to roll his eyes but realized, with absolute horror, the truth of Mike's words. His crazy mother had actually told him at one time that she didn't mind him sleeping around, as long as he only slept around with Jewish women. That way, if he slipped up and didn't use protection in the heat of the moment, she'd at least have Jewish grandbabies even if she didn't have a Jewish daughter-in-law. The mere thought of that had made Noah Puckerman swear off sex for a week, and that's kind of a big deal for him.
Mike sat down in the chair in front of the desk and propped his feet up on the corner. Puck looked at him with a glare that Mike promptly ignored with a smile on his face and leaned back with his hands behind his head.
"You know there's a simple solution to this problem." Puck's eyebrow arched and he nodded.
"Yeah, kill my mother and dump her body over Niagara Falls," he said simply. Mike laughed out loud and sat up in the chair, removing his feet from the desktop.
"Dude, no. That would get you arrested and I can't run this place by myself. The answer to your problem is this. Find a Jew and date her." If Puck had been drinking anything at the moment, Mike would've been soaked because he would've spit it out everywhere. Mike saw his shocked expression and continued with a chuckle in his voice. "I know, I know, you don't date girls, you fuck girls. But really, is that not getting old yet? You've been doing that since we were in high school. And I'm not saying you gotta marry anybody right now. But wouldn't dating some chick get your mom off your back long enough so that you could focus on all 'the shit you have to worry about'?" Puck rubbed his temple with the tips of his fingers and shook his head.
"I thought Asians were supposed to be smart. Even if that did get my mother out of my hair, I'd still have a girlfriend to deal with!" Mike feigned a hurt look at the Asian jab and stood up.
"Yeah, well I thought Jews were supposed to be cheap but you helped foot the bill for this place." Puck couldn't help laughing at that before he stood up as well.
"Touché." Mike just nodded somberly in that Yoda-esque way that he'd mastered in the tenth grade before shrugging his shoulders.
"Still, I don't see why you're so afraid of having a girlfriend. You get a hot chick that just so happens to be Jewish, which makes your dear sweet mother happy, and you get to fool around with her whenever you want, which makes you happy. I'm not really seeing any blaring flaws with that plan of action." Puck let out a heavy sigh and ran his hand over his scalp. Mike just didn't get it.
"Can we just drop this conversation right now? I need to check with Artie about the sound system. He did some rewiring yesterday and I wanna make sure the music's not gonna die at two in the morning." He started to move around Mike to the office door but stopped short and turned around. "I'm not gonna date some random chick just to make my mom happy. I'll just point out that my sister hasn't given her grandkids either and that'll buy me a little time." Mike scrunched his nose and shook his head.
"Dude, not cool. Rebecca's cool and you're gonna turn your mom's wrath on her? I'm glad you're not my brother." Puck just laughed and opened the door, stepping out into the hallway before making his way out into the club. All the relationship discussion was getting to him. Why couldn't people (his mother) just accept that he couldn't be tied down?
Rachel stepped out of the taxi and adjusted her blouse. The black pleated miniskirt Santana had convinced her to wear actually looked really good with her cherry red stilettos, and the combination made her legs look amazing (if she did say so herself). The shirt she wore was the only conservative thing about her outfit, and even it couldn't exactly be considered conservative. It was a tight fitting, short-sleeved white button-up with black lace adorning the waist. Her long chocolate hair was pinned halfway up and the rest fell down her back in soft waves. There was no denying it, she was hot and she knew it. She turned to see Santana getting out of the taxi behind her and felt her usual pang of envy over her friend. But it just made her smile.
No matter what Santana wore, she always managed to look like a goddess. The Latin beauty was wearing a navy blue mini-dress with a sweetheart cut that accentuated her breasts, as if she needed it, and a skirt that flared when she moved. Her black strappy heels made her two inches taller than normal. Rachel didn't feel too short though because her own heels almost evened them out. Santana's hair was straightened and fell around her shoulders.
Rachel smiled at her friend. Santana was definitely on her 'I'd go gay for…' list.
"Rach, you look amazing, like Catholic school girl wet dream." Rachel couldn't help laughing at the lewdness of Santana's comment.
"I'm Jewish San." Santana just waved her hand dismissively and scoffed.
"Okay, so Hebrew school wet dream, who cares. My point is that you look hot tonight babe. And I will personally kill you if you don't get a little action from one of these fine specimens tonight. Or from me, you know I'm always available for my best girl." Rachel laughed again but then turned to look at the club.
The line went around the block! Granted, Chase the Morning was one of the top clubs in the city but Rachel had never expected a line that long to get in this early in the night. The place had only opened two hours prior! She turned to look at Santana, worry written all over her face.
"We're never gonna get in tonight. Look at this line, it goes on forever." Santana rolled her eyes at her petite friend and slipped her hand into hers.
"Rach, you're a Broadway star. And we're hot. We don't wait in lines to get into clubs. Come on, let's put these womanly wiles to use." Rachel started to protest but Santana quickly pulled her off the curb, walking with purpose past the people in line right up to the bouncer, a tall lanky man with short spiky hair, at the front door. Rachel knew the drill.
She blushed as Santana's arms snaked around her midsection and smiled demurely up at the man, feeling Santana's breath on her neck. Santana shot the guy a look that clearly said 'we'll let you watch if you let us in', which just so happened to be every man's fantasy. With a smirk on his face, he unhooked the velvet rope and raised it up, nodding for the girls to go inside. Both Rachel and Santana shot him a flirty wave of their fingers before the door closed behind them.
Rachel immediately started laughing the second the door was shut and slapped Santana's arm.
"That is the last time I do that with you. One day, the bouncer is going to be gay and completely immune to our 'womanly wiles' and then where will we be? Out in that line from hell where all those other…"
"Are you done yet," Santana interrupted her with a yawn. A group of people walked by at that moment and one blonde in particular caught her eye. "Ooh, I came to shop tonight and I see some things I wouldn't mind trying on right now. Damn, did you see that blonde?" Rachel giggled and shook her head.
"Come on, let's get something to drink. If we're celebrating, I want alcohol and a dancefloor." Santana whooped and threw her arms up in the air.
"There's my girl! Let's go!"
Puck jumped when Mike came up behind him and slapped him on the back. He was watching the swirling dancefloor from the safety of his office window above the club.
"Mark just got sick and we need another bartender for a few minutes until he comes back. You know more about mixing all that stuff than I do." Puck rolled his eyes and chuckled darkly.
"You'd think that guy's pregnant with as sick as he stays. I'm this close to firing his sorry ass if he can't keep his shit together for one whole night." Mike just laughed and nodded his head.
"Yeah yeah yeah, now come on downstairs. Maybe when he comes back, we'll hit the floor. You can rub up on some fine piece of ass and get your mind off your mom." Mike laughed at his own words, at his own horrible imitation of Puck, and the fact that Puck was full-on glaring at him. He walked by him, shoving him roughly in the shoulder, which only served to make the tall Asian man laugh harder as he followed Puck downstairs into the club.
The second Puck stepped behind the bar, he grabbed a beer and took a swig. A couple of bottle-blonde Playboy bunny wannabes strutted up and ordered two Cosmos, which he fixed with a smirk. Even if they weren't his type, he still had to play the good host, whether they knew he owned the place or not. When they slinked off, he peered out onto the dancefloor. That's when he saw her.
She had legs that went for miles and her hips rolled seductively in time with the throbbing beat of the music. The way she smiled, like she was having the time of her life, was electrifying. Her friend, a hot Latin chick, ground up against her back and Puck felt his jeans tighten. He noted the drooling faces of the men around them, obviously staring but afraid to do anything about it, and smirked to himself. The smaller one, the one who'd originally caught his eye, broke away from her friend and started dancing by herself for a second. That second was long enough for Puck to admire the way her body flowed with the music. She was, by far, one of the hottest women he'd seen in like, ever. What was better, and infuriating, was that she looked familiar and he couldn't figure out why.
The song blended into another one as the two women made their way off the dancefloor, headed straight for the bar.
Rachel pulled Santana closer to her as they made their way to the bar. She'd already had a drink and her legs felt somewhat light when they weren't moving to music. Santana's laugh rang in her ear as she sat down on a stool in front of the bar. Suddenly, Santana was tapping her on the shoulder and leaning over to whisper in her ear.
"Rach, ridiculously hot bartender is checking you out. He's not even trying to hide it." Rachel quickly glanced in the direction that Santana indicated and forced herself to stifle a gasp. 'Ridiculously hot' was a gross understatement. The man she saw walking towards them from the end of the bar was like some sort of Adonis. His high cheekbones and chiseled jaw just screamed to be touched, to have her fingers run across them.
"What can I get for you ladies?" Oh god, that voice. It had a smooth timbre, but still managed to sound rough around the edges. At that point, Rachel realized that this man had, with one sentence, managed to turn her thoughts into a nonsensical internal psycho-babble. She shook her head and sat her small clutch on top of the bar before answering,
"Two beers please." She started to pull the money out to pay for the drinks as he sat the bottles in front of them. He waved his hand, causing her to look back up at him.
"Don't worry about it. These are on the house." Santana laughed beside her and grabbed her beer, taking a long pull from the bottle and smiling at Rachel.
"Such a gentleman, isn't he Rach?"
Puck perked up when he heard the girl's name. Rachel was a Jewish name. The chick definitely set off his Jewdar, in the best possible way of course, but he didn't really think there was a cool way to ask someone if they're Jewish. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Mark returning to his post but when he turned back to face the girls, they were turning to leave. Without thinking, he reached out and grabbed her wrist. Rachel turned her head back, looking at him as if he'd lost his mind.
"Wait a second, uh, you wanna dance?" He watched as her friend elbowed her sides and Rachel shot her a half-glare in return before looking back to his hand still wrapped around her tiny wrist. She cocked her head to the side and smirked at him, which he thought looked sexy as hell.
"Won't that get you in trouble with your boss?" Puck just returned her smirk and shook his head.
"Nothing to worry about there. Is that a yes?" She smiled and nodded, watching as he let go of her and moved to speak with one of the other bartenders.
"Okay seriously Rach," Santana spoke into her ear, "if you don't tap that, I will. He is gorgeous with his bedroom eyes trained all up on you." Rachel laughed and took another swig from her beer before turning to her friend.
"I'm just dancing with him and his bedroom eyes." Santana rolled her eyes and leaned back against the bar.
"Well, I can think of a few other dances that would be a lot more fun than anything on that floor." Suddenly, her gaze fell on a woman a feet away from her. She was Asian, really cute, wearing this steampunk/dominatrix/Victorian outfit that screamed 'you can look but that's all' and Santana's curiosity was instantly piqued. She heard Rachel laugh beside her.
"Go get her San." Santana shot her an appreciative look before strutting off in the eccentric woman's direction. When she turned her head back towards the dancefloor, she was met with the spine-tingling smirk of the bartender. Without a word, he took her hand in his and pulled her swiftly to his body. His eyes were playful as she stumbled into his chest and grabbed onto his forearm. Rachel inhaled sharply as she felt the veins running down his arm. She quickly regained her composure and walked out in front of him, pulling him along behind her as she headed straight for the middle of the floor, Rachel's clutch purse forgotten on the bar.
Unbeknownst to anyone, Mike had watched the entire exchange from a few feet away. He'd seen the way his friend's eyes had trained on the small brunette, completely entranced with her when she'd been on the dancefloor. He saw the way that Puck had practically ignored the other customers around him, something that Puck never did when he was working. (What? He was actually pretty professional when it came to the club.) But, above all else, he saw the way his friend had literally lunged at the girl when she'd started to walk away. Now Mike had known Puck since they were teenagers and if there's one thing he knew more than anything else was that Puck didn't chase girls, they chased him. Puck had broken his own cardinal rule and Mike was fairly certain that the poor schmuck hadn't even realized it. That's when he noticed the girl's purse thing still on the counter and he smiled to himself. Puck would definitely want to see this girl again, and the plan he quickly hatched in his mind pretty much guaranteed another meeting between the two. Stealthily, he made his way over to the purse and grabbed it off the bar. He knelt down and quickly locked it in the safe under the register before anyone saw him do so. Quite pleased with himself, he pressed a beer to his lips and grinned slyly.
Puck smiled at the way her fingers entwined with his as he followed her out to the middle of the floor. When she turned around and swung her arm around his neck, he almost laughed at how natural it felt. She rolled her hips to the beat, and found his hands on her waist before he realized what was happening.
He'd heard the song countless times before. I mean, come on, he owned a club and his best friend was a dancer. There wasn't a lot of stuff he hadn't heard. But something about the way her body swayed to the industrial, mechanical whirring, the way her ass rubbed against him to the erratic rhythm of the bass, the way her lips were mouthing the words of the rap; suddenly, "I Can Transform Ya" became his favorite song in the world.
Rachel felt free, with a complete stranger. Something had to be wrong in her head. He trailed his fingers down her arm before grabbing her wrist and hauling her hand up to the back of his neck. His chest, every muscle painfully defined, was pressed to her back so close that she wasn't sure if it was the throbbing of the music she felt vibrating throughout her body, or the man's heartbeat. Or both. She couldn't deny the heat pooling low in her stomach as she felt his hot breath on her neck and his hand resting high on her thigh. He touched her with purpose, and even though she wasn't certain what that purpose was, she didn't really care.
In an instant, she felt his hands grip her hips tightly and she was turned around, facing him once more. Puck moved forward just slightly, into her space, and pulled her into his. Before he knew it, he'd hiked her leg up over his hip and she ground her pelvis into his. He pretty much died in a pile right there. The lust burning through her eyes he knew mirrored his own as he stared back at her. Woman was hot as hell and knew it.
The song was coming to an end but neither Puck nor Rachel was ready for the dance to end. Puck leaned in, about to suggest they get the hell out of there and continue a different type of dance, when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
Rachel saw the tall Asian man walking towards them out of the corner of her eye. She watched as he leaned in close to her dance partner, whispering something in his ear over the music and that's when it hit her. She didn't even know the man's name! When the Asian took off, weaving effortlessly through the crowd, the man turned back to her. His hands rested on her hips and he pulled her close. She felt his breath on her face and knew, she just knew, that he was going to kiss her. But as the seconds passed, and the pressure of his lips went missed, she came out of her fog and stared back at him.
"I'll find you," he mouthed. And then he was gone. It instantly felt weird, not having him there. Which was weird in and of itself. She didn't know anything about him so it was ridiculous to feel anything at all by his abrupt absence. But she couldn't deny the fact that, without his body attached to hers in some way, she felt off. She knew she had to numb that feeling some way, so she quickly directed her body back towards the bar.
Rachel downed a beer just as a semi-attractive guy sidled up beside her, a little too close for comfort. He smelled like alcohol, like the bartenders should have cut him off before he even walked into the club that night. Rachel just turned and smiled politely at him as he looked her up and down.
"Hey baby, you look like you could use a drink." Rachel's smile became a grimace as she suddenly didn't feel like entertaining the fool on the stool. Not bothering to hide the disdain in her voice, she replied,
"Funny, you look like you've had about nine too many." The drunken man just leaned in closer, completely undeterred by her obvious dislike towards him, and smiled.
"Care to dance?" he asked. She almost threw up all over him just to force him to get the picture that she was completely uninterested. She turned away from him and looked for Santana. To her surprise, she found her friend still standing, talking with the Asian woman from before, except now she was shamelessly flirting with her. Rachel smiled at her, hoping that Santana would understand her plea. She caught Santana's eye and then turned back to the moron who just couldn't take a hint. He grinned a cocky smile and leaned in again. "So, how about that dance?"
Just then, Santana walked up and placed an arm around her shoulders. "Hey baby! Is this guy bothering you?" Not waiting for an answer, Santana looked over at the guy still on the barstool and said, "Sorry honey, she's taken. You can leave now." Her dismissive tone seemed to have no effect. Instead of leaving, the man just sat back, a happy drunken smile on his face and his thin finger brushing against Rachel's bare arm.
"Now come on, I bet we could all have a little fun together." Santana's fake saccharine smile immediately turned upside down as she grimaced at the man. Her voice lowered dangerously and Rachel was surprised she could still hear her at all.
"Now listen to me, you creepy son a bitch. You're gonna pick your sorry ass up from that stool, walk away from my friend, and not bother her for the rest of the night. If you don't, I will not hesitate to castrate you. I can assure you that the only fun you'll be having tonight is with yourself. Now just walk away, you sad little man." The tone in the Latina's voice was so vicious, it actually made Rachel fear for the man's testicles out of pity. She watched as his eyes got huge with actual fear and he backed slowly away from the bar.
Rachel turned back to Santana and threw her arms around her neck.
"Oh my god, thank you San!" Santana hugged her back and pulled her away from the bar.
"No problem. What happened to the hot bartender?" Rachel shrugged her shoulders, feeling an odd sting in her throat at the mention of the man.
"I don't know. We were dancing but then some guy came up and pulled him away. He said he'd find me but I'm not holding my breath." Wanting desperately to change the subject, Rachel smiled up at her friend. "So what's going on with you and the dominatrix?" Santana actually blushed at the mention of the woman, and then proceeded to giggle.
"Her name's Tina. Not what I usually go for but she's a lot of fun." Rachel raised an eyebrow at the smitten look that covered Santana's face.
"Good kisser," she questioned. Santana just shrugged her shoulders.
"Don't know yet. Can't wait to find out though." Rachel's mouth fell open in shock. Santana was more of a 'kiss now, maybe call later' kind of girl. She went through men and women like she went through shoes. No one ever really held her interest for very long. But as Rachel looked towards the group that Santana was pulling her to, she couldn't help thinking that there was no way Santana could be bored with Tina.
Santana introduced her to the group and they all started talking again but Rachel couldn't keep her eyes off the dancefloor, hoping to spot the shaved head of the bartender. Pretty soon, one of the guys in Tina's group asked if she'd like to dance and Rachel said yes, in desperate need of a distraction. She danced with a few different guys throughout the night, but she just couldn't shake the notion that it didn't feel right. Their hands weren't calloused enough, their touch too light, their bodies not fluid with hers. Basically, they weren't the bartender. After another hour or so, Rachel was ready to leave the club having lost all hope of seeing the mysterious man again. She watched with a content smile as Santana and Tina exchanged numbers and then linked her arm through Santana's to leave.
When they got outside, blue lights were flashing along the curb. They heard murmurs all around them about a fight of some sort breaking out in the line, a gun being pulled on the owner, a gun being pulled on the bouncer, the police being called in, the owner was sent to the hospital, a cop was sent to the hospital. They didn't exactly have a damn clue what had happened, but as Rachel slid into the cab beside Santana and looked back out to the crowd outside the club, she noticed a familiar looking shaved head.
Puck was pacing the sidewalk, watching as the idiot who'd pulled a knife and started a fight in the line was shoved into the backseat of a police cruiser. He ran his hand over his head and looked back at Mike who was giving his statement to another cop. He was anxious to get back inside the club and find Rachel, if for nothing else but another dance. He turned out towards the street and watched the cars passing by the club when he felt Mike's hand on his shoulder.
"Hey man, the cops need to know if we're gonna press charges. He's already going to jail for a public intoxication, disturbance, and something about a concealed weapon." Puck turned his head and looked at the moron in the backseat of the squad car, his anger rising again.
"Hell yeah we're pressing charges. Fucking asshole, who the hell pulls a knife on a bouncer anyway?" Mike just nodded his head and walked back over to the police officer. Puck realized that this whole ordeal would probably cause them to have close early for the night. It was too dangerous to stay open. He was pissed about that thought but the last thing he needed was something similar repeating inside the club, putting more people in danger. He didn't want any more people to get injured. His bouncer had a gash missing out of his arm but had refused treatment and someone in the line that had tried to stop the fight had gotten punched in the process and was currently nursing a broken nose on the sidewalk where the cops were taking his statement. Puck just wanted to go back inside and find Rachel!
When everything was over and the cops gave the okay to leave, they told the remaining bouncers to start turning away patrons. Mike and Puck went back inside and had the DJ make an announcement that the club would unfortunately be closing early for the night. There was a slight uproar from the displeased club-goers but everyone eventually started filtering out through the various exits. Puck's eyes trained on the crowd, trying to find the familiar head of silky brunette hair but to no avail. Once the main area of the club was empty and the employees started cleaning up, Puck retreated back to his office.
He stood, as he'd started the night, up against the windows looking out into the club. He watched as the last customer left and, still not having seen the small brunette woman, this Rachel, he slumped down in his chair behind his desk and pressed his fingers against his temple.
His head shot up when he heard something drop unceremoniously on his desktop. He stared up at Mike for a second, who had a shit-eating grin on his face, and then down at the little cloth purse thing on his desk.
"The hell is this and why the fuck are you so happy about it?" He didn't like the smirk his friend wore. That was his smirk, not Mike's.
"Remember the hot little thing you were all up on tonight like white on rice?" Puck groaned and rubbed his head again.
"Ugh dude, English please. My dumbass Asian slang translator is broken right now." Mike just scoffed and flipped him the bird with that annoying little smirk still firmly in place. But then he stood up and made a big show of zipping up his jacket and slicking his hair back. When he was done, he stood straight up and placed his hand on his stomach, trying to look like a 'gentleman'. Puck chuckled at his stupidity but wondered what his friend was getting at with the little bag.
"Mr. Puckerman," Mike spoke with a distinguished inflection in his voice which made Puck laugh again. "Would you happen to recall the beautiful young damsel you accompanied on the dancefloor this fine evening?" Puck stopped laughing and sat straight up in his chair.
"What are you talking about Chang?" Mike laughed and clapped his hands, not-so-secretly relishing in his friend's obvious interest in the woman.
"Oh, have I said something of interest?" Puck growled and stood up.
"Spit it out Mike! Did you see her?" Mike continued to laugh as Puck just grew angrier.
"Oh I saw her alright. I saw her when your eyes couldn't bear to be torn away from her while she was on the dancefloor. I saw her when you practically ripped her arm out of its socket trying to make sure she didn't leave the bar. I also saw her up close when I came to get you to help deal with the fight outside. But most importantly, I saw when she left that little thing on top of the bar. And I, in all my awesomeness, noticed that you were so into her that I created a way to insure that you see her again." Puck furrowed his brow, slowly understanding what Mike was saying.
"You stole her fucking purse! Dude, what's wrong with you?" Puck slammed his hands down on the desk and the little bag bounced slightly.
"Chill the fuck out man! Now, you can return the little thing to her. Which means, you get to see her again." When Puck didn't immediately seem very excited about the fact that he would be seeing the woman again, Mike almost started to doubt his intuition. That was just nuts. Puck was in denial. He'd seen the way they danced together. No way in hell was Mike about to let his best friend ruin something before it started just because he had a slight tendency to be a douchebag.
"So Master Chang, since you have this all planned out, what exactly am I supposed to do now? Show up on her doorstep in the middle of the night to return her purse? You're a moron." Mike's face fell. He knew he hadn't imagined the chemistry he saw between his friend and the mystery woman. So why the hell wasn't Puck jumping at the chance to see her again? "If I do that, she's gonna think I'm some kind of freaky-ass stalker and I don't need that." And there it was! Mike grinned at Puck from across the desk, understanding fully.
"You're scared of what she'll think of you," Mike said knowingly. When Puck glared at him, he knew he'd hit the nail right on the head. "That must have been some dance man. I've never seen you this hung up…"
"I'm not hung up," Puck interrupted. Mike just rolled his eyes.
"Whatever, just because you call me a moron all the time doesn't mean I am one. So anyway, since this is a bar I'm pretty sure that there's gonna be some identification in that little bag. Just open it already." Puck exhaled heavily but reached for the purse anyway. Very carefully, like it was a bomb, he popped the snap on the top and peered inside.
He felt really guilty about going through a woman's purse. That was just something you didn't do. But as he looked inside, he saw a small plastic card with a picture. He pinched the card between his thumb and forefinger and pulled it gently from the bag, careful not to disturb any of the rest of the items. Puck held the woman's license up in the light of the office and stared at the picture for a second.
"Rachel Berry, why does that name sound so familiar?" Mike shrugged his shoulders and easily plucked the card from Puck's fingers while grabbing the purse with his other hand and dumping it out on the desk. "What the hell are you doing? Didn't your mom teach not to go through women's shit?" Mike just laughed and grabbed the cell phone that fell out. Puck grabbed it back before he had the chance to open it and go through her contacts. Mike looked at him, kind of stunned by the odd respect that Puck was showing for this woman's possessions.
"What's the big deal man? At this rate, you're never gonna see her again. I didn't hide this stupid thing for you just so you could stare at all of her stuff." Puck looked up when Mike had said something about hiding the purse and he knew he'd said the wrong thing. He quickly started speaking again before Puck could start yelling. "If you're not gonna show up on her doorstep in the morning, at least use her phone to call somebody so they know we've got all her crap." Puck looked at her cell phone in his hand and shook his head.
"It's like two in the morning. I'm not gonna wake up one of her best friends in the middle of the night just so she can have a reason to be pissed off more at me." Mike furrowed his brow at Puck and cocked his head to the side.
"Wait, why is she pissed at you?" Puck rolled his eyes and set the phone down in front of him.
"Oh I don't know. Maybe because my best friend stole her purse so I would have an excuse to see her again. God, that sounds so pathetic. What the hell is wrong with you?" Mike was starting to get annoyed with Puck's lack of appreciation. His plan was brilliant, he knew it was. He was just going to have to bring out the big guns. He quickly shrugged his shoulders and reached over the desk, stuffing everything back into the purse.
"Whatever dude. If you're not interested man, I'll take her. I saw the way she danced, I could definitely tap that." The words felt weird coming out of his mouth. But he knew that he had to make Puck think he could lose the woman before he actually got her, otherwise he'd never make a move. When he saw Puck's eyes narrow up at him, he smiled internally knowing that he had him.
"Fuck you man! Give me that back. I'll call her, or somebody from the phone, whatever. But not right now. At a normal time, I'll call." Mike smiled, very pleased with himself, and walked out of the office without another word. Puck's outburst had told him all he needed to know. Puck wanted this woman, enough to chase her down, and Mike couldn't help thinking that maybe, just maybe, he could help him out in getting her.