|Every Car You Chase
Author: JooseBoxx PM
Puck looks to 'fix' Rachel after a break up with Finn. It has some surprising results. "Can we try us again?" Rating for Puck's language. Prompt fill.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Puck & Rachel B. - Words: 3,403 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 67 - Follows: 6 - Published: 01-06-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7716781
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Not mine. No money. No affiliation.
Puck's certain that Schue does this shit just to piss him off. It's not even fair.
Working with Rachel isn't the big deal, not really. He likes her well enough that they can work together and they do sound pretty awesome or whatever. But working with Rachel, who has just broke up with Finn for the hundredth time this semester and has already hooked up with Quinn again, well, that shit is fucking hard going.
They have a week, one week to find the song, rework the song with Schue's choice (seriously, 'Every Breath You Take' wasn't bad enough) and then preform it. Everyone got their own first song, which was something to just keep it a little different (Puck would like to point out that getting the 'stalker song' is just another point on his list of Schue doing this shit to piss him off). It'd be fine, if Rachel wasn't so fucking passive about everything. Like confrontation is going to break her or something. He hates that Finn can do this to her every freaking time. Like, she always builds up this image of them working out but Finn is just a dumbshit that can't handle it and fucks it up, nearly breaking her in the process.
He honest to God misses crazy-ass Berry that made him want to light himself on fire. This chick, this more mellow-passive-blank Rachel makes him want to stab himself in the face, or stab Finn, whatever felt right.
It's why he's sitting on Rachel's floor, using her laptop to trawl through youtube trying to find something for them to work with while she's trying to play hostess. He's told her about five times that he doesn't need anything, that she should just chill out and hang out with him, but it's like if she stops moving she'll disappear or something. "Hey, Rach!" Usually, he avoids yelling in the Berry house, because Hiram usually does some work in the study down the hall and he'd hate to interrupt that cause the guy is pretty cool. But he has no idea where the hell Rachel is right then, so it's unavoidable.
When she doesn't answer, he has to go looking for her. He knows the Berry house pretty well; used to get dragged over for dinner just after his dad had left, cause the Berry's were making things easy as they could on his ma, so him and Sarah would get taken over for dinner two or three times a week. Leroy used to pick him up from middle school with Rach too. It was weird that he sort of remembered almost being friends with Rach when no one else was around.
"Yo, crazy where you at?" He finds her in the kitchen, hunched over the sink, shoulders shaking. "Shit." He sort of hates it when chicks cry. His ma used to cry all the time, like serious sobbing shit, and he figured out pretty soon that there was sweet fuck all he could do about it (beyond finding and kicking his dad's ass that was), and he knew exactly what Rachel was crying over, and there was nothing he could do about that either. Chicks cried, and guys just couldn't help, most of the time. Even when he really just wanted to (shut up, he's still badass, it's just that chicks get all blotchy and whatever when they get like this).
"I'm sorry, Noah, was there-" He can barely make out what she's saying through the hiccups.
"Jeez, c'mere you nut." So he lets Rachel hug him, cling to him really, while he rubs her back and she soaks a patch on his shirt, but it's pretty clear that something set her off and he's just going to have to wait it out for a minute or so. It takes ten. Ten minutes for her eyes to finally dry up and for her to get under control. He doesn't exactly push her away after that though. "Y'okay now?"
"Yeah." She doesn't sound it, not by a long shot, but he's not calling bullshit on her right then. He'll just pull a few distraction techniques if he can.
"C'mon, I might've found our song. You like Snow Patrol, right?" He knows that she does, because 'Run' and 'Third Bar' are like two of her favourite songs (she has about fifty-three and counting right now) so it's enough to pull her mind off whatever it was the upset her.
He finds out later, in his own room, when he gets a nudge from Santana via text to check his facebook. Finn and Quinn have been facebook official for three days, Finn and Rachel broke up five days ago; it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that there was probably an overlap. But Finn and Quinn have now also changed their facebook profile pictures to this lovey-dovey-sickening-saccharine bullshit picture of the two of them. It's probably what upset Rachel, because she never got the facebook picture -three months into a relationship she was still too intense or something for Finn. It probably doesn't help that Mercedes, Tina, Mike and Kurt have all 'liked' the picture either.
The weird thing is Santana's text message though. 'What'cha gonna do bout it?' What the hell is he supposed to do about it? Get someone to hack their accounts and change it? Although he's fairly sure that Bobby -one of Artie's little friends who hangs around when Artie is helping Puck with his Geometry might actually be able to do that. But still, it's not like Puck can do a whole lot about Rachel's break up agony (it's not like he was in the middle of it this time, that's all on Finn) but San confuses him sometimes.
"What the hell are you talking about?" He goes as far as to call her, because texting takes too long in this case.
"Listen, Berry is a pain in the ass, but she's a talented pain in the ass, and if you tell her I said that, I'll chop off your balls. We need her focused, not sulking about over the wet blanket." He's pretty sure that sometimes, Santana rents a heart or something, from time to time it's like she's actual blood and flesh like the rest of them. "So, since you've got the week to work on this with her, and we are four months away from our last try at Nationals, get working on it."
She hangs up on him, leaving him wondering just what the hell he's supposed to do. She is right, he'll admit that. In order to do well at Nationals, to at least place this time, they have to bring their A game, she's not focused on it, she's too busy trying to put on this brave face in front of Quinn and Finn and all their stupid happy shit.
He should be pissed off that it means he's doing most of the work on this project, but he's too busy trying to work out if he can actually help her pull it together in time for Nationals. But he figures he needs a plan, for a week he can use glee as the reason he's always around her, so that she doesn't do her Berry freak out at him (although right now he'd maybe welcome it a little since it would be a sign of the old Berry and not pod-person Rachel) and he can work on things.
God, he cannot believe that he has been relegated to the 'perk Berry up' brigade.
What's even weirder is that Santana helps.
Without Finn as her boyfriend, the slushies started again. It's sort of pathetic that the jocks can't think of something new or even figure out that they're gonna get hell for it. But Rach gets slushied first thing in the morning and it's sort of sad seeing her like that (drenched in blue [she hates the blue ones] and just standing there while a few people laugh and two jocks high five and walk away). Puck uses that as the reason why, when the jocks come towards him, he has the one that threw the slushy up against the lockers and punches him in the face. There's a warning for the rest of the team -the glee kids are off fucking limits, and if Rachel gets another slushy thrown at her, he's going to seriously fuck up the team, he doesn't care if it screws their chances for the Championship.
It's Santana and Britt that pull Rachel away, into the girl's room to get her cleaned up, and later, she's walking around in a pair of San's jeans and one of Britt's tops. It's kinda crazy how hot she looks, even with her hair all sticky and shit.
"Um, thank you." They're just sitting in the choir room, Puck having stolen the piano area for them to work on while some of the others were lingering around to use the resources for their projects. "For earlier."
"S'cool." He shrugs his shoulder, because he still kinda feels like shit that she gets that so often and it's totally his fault for starting the slushy facial shit. "Sorry you got it in the first place." There's this small smile on her face, the fact that she can smile while Quinn and Finn are in the room, playing the couple, he counts it as a win. Nudging her shoulder lightly, he just smirks, "C'mon, pull your weight and help me with the arrangements."
Over the course of two days, he's practically always in her company. He's had to deliver on the threat with one member of the hockey team who went for the slushy shot and missed (there's more than one puck to blame for his missing teeth) and Santana chews out a Cheerio for using 'manhands' when clearly, that is Santana's thing.
The change is gradual, she smiles a bit more (and it's not the creepy show smile either) and she even laughs at one of his dirty jokes when she hears him telling Brittany. But when she starts to really put some feeling into their rehearsals, well, he knows that he's getting somewhere on it. They work it out so that she'll since the Snow Patrol parts and he'll take the Police parts. He can work Sting's voice and he's getting down with the chords for it too. And it's not just school, he's over at her place a lot, Leroy just sort of accepts it when he walks in from work and Puck and Rachel are spread out over the living room floor with sheet music and his guitar and she's got this cute plastic microphone in her hand. She even has dinner at his place because his ma complains that they're always over at the Berry's house, is he ashamed of her or something? His sister and ma adore Rach, so it's cool, he doesn't mind.
It's Thursday, and they're performing in glee tomorrow but there's this one bit where he keeps skipping the chords and it throws the sound so they wind up in the auditorium after school so that he can try and sort that. He fucks up half way through though, stopping Rachel in her tracks.
"Can we...can we try it again?" It's weird, she sounds a little hesitant about asking and he's the one fucking up. He'd have thought she'd just tell him to try harder and start again.
"Umm, sure." It was sort of the point, to do it until it was right, "Although, Berry, I though you of all people would know that the phrase is 'from the top'." He's half joking, trying to find the Rachel that was around an hour ago. He doesn't share last period with her, but she didn't mention anything happening with Quinn and Finn and Santana didn't send him an SOS text or whatever (she actually did that when it looked like Rach was going to be stuck with Quinn and/or Finn at any time). He really can't figure out what's getting her down.
"Not the song, Noah." She crosses the stage, sitting on the piano stool beside him (and maybe that's his problem, sitting for this, maybe he should just get the strap out his bag and stand). "Us." She's deadly serious, he notes that from the way her deep brown eyes just bore into his, "Can we try us again?"
They were a week of kisses and jokes, a few hours playing around with music and two dinner dates that didn't end in total disaster. They were shared slushies and rides home and some of the best making out he's ever had. He had the epiphany with her; the one where he did what made him feel good and not what kept him popular, the one where he didn't care what people thought about him, he was living his life his way. She was what made him figure out that being popular wasn't what made a person cool or awesome or interesting. And he hadn't been intending on breaking up with her, because he liked her, liked all those things about her, when you got past the super crazy intensity of her, and he'd figured that maybe he could be good enough for her, like he wasn't for Quinn.
But she ended them and he got over it (mostly) and grew from it (eventually) and yeah, maybe he was a bit more mature now and maybe she was getting over Finn and maybe Santana was angling for this the whole time.
"I um," it wasn't like he wasn't into her. He was, her legs were fucking phenomenal and her lips were insane and hell, she was just this midget of fucking sexiness. He even liked hanging out with her, and she didn't make him feel like shit the way Lauren did, or always ask for reassurance like Quinn did, or just flat out pull her crazy psycho thing like San. "I don't know if I'm all that comfortable with being your rebound." But fact was, she was still probably getting over Finn, and as much as he liked her, he wasn't down with being any girls rebound, unless that was all he wanted.
It's weird how much more he'd be okay with from Rachel.
"I'm not rebounding. I mean, I thought I would be too." Rachel pushes some hair behind her ears, smiling slightly. "Santana sort of, well. You were my first boyfriend. And then I dated Finn, even though it was for only two days, he was my rebound from you. Then I dated Jesse. And when he and I broke up, I dated Finn again. Twice. And now I'm off the rebound." Santana was totally scheming, he knew it. "So, numerically speaking, you wouldn't be a rebound."
"How about emotionally speaking?" He's been trying that whole relationship thing. He's had three since Lauren, each to varying degrees of success. Lauren was great, as a friend. Sandy was pretty cool, but the chemistry sort of lacked. Him and Stacy just didn't work out on many levels and Bryce was great, she was awesome and fun and just a tad crazy, but she was also a bit too much of a hippie for him to really get on with. Rachel, well, Rachel is all kinds of different. "See, cause, if you've finally figured out that Finn just isn't that guy, if you've accepted that while he's great and everything he's never going to be able to handle an 'admittedly high maintenance girlfriend' like you, well," he shrugs slightly, smiling at the corner of his mouth.
She laughs at him though, ducking her head before nodding and tilting towards him. "You know, even when we're not dating, you've treated me better than either of the other boys I've dated."
"That's worrying, since I've thrown slushies in your face for a year and a half."
"You never lied to me about why we were together, you never killed baby chickens on my head, you never pretended you were anything but yourself, never cheated on me." So she does know that Finn was with Quinn before he dumped her. "You've always been honest, you've always been kind of sweet, you always listened. And this whole week, you've been trying to get me to smile."
"It's a nice smile." He's a total pussy, like seriously. But she just responds with that smile, the obnoxious-Rachel smile, the I'm-Rachel-Berry-and-I'm-going-to-be-a-star smile.
"Will you be my boyfriend again, Noah?" He pretends to think about it long enough to get a smack before he just laughs.
"Yes," it's kind of the first time a girl has asked him to be her boyfriend, it's kind of also the first time he's been totally giddy about being a boyfriend (and giddiness is totally not badass but he doesn't fucking care, no one will ever know). "Now c'mere and gimme a kiss, girlfriend."
She laughs and does just that.
Santana tells him he owes her the next day, when he walks around the halls with her arm through his. They nail the song, even getting a compliment from Kurt, although Puck notices the glare from Finn while they sing. It's nothing new, Finn always seems to want Rachel more when she doesn't want him. It's just too bad for Finn that Puck's got her now. Finn manages three days before he says something, but the funny thing is that he says it to Santana of all people (Puck's still not sure what her deal was with this whole thing, but whatever, he does sort of owe her) and she hauls off and slaps him across the face. It means that Quinn is pissed at him, Santana's pissed at him, Rach is pissed at him and Puck just laughs.
It's later that night, when they've told her dads that they're dating again and listened to the 'we trust you to be responsible but please be careful and don't do anything reckless' speech (which goes better than expected all things considered) and they're sitting in Rachel's room (door open, because her dads are cool, but there are limits) when she asks.
"Is it too soon?" He isn't sure what she means until he sees that she has her facebook profile up, he just laughs, pulls out his cell phone and updates his relationship status before her. Four days, it's longer than Finn and Quinn lasted before they rubbed salt in the wounds, and Puck knows that this is a little bit of insecure Rachel coming through, trying to see if he'll tell her that it is, and he wants to wait a while, that he's just not ready for that level of commitment (while he's trying to talk her into getting his hand under her shirt) because he knows that Finn pulled that shit with her.
"Never too soon." She is legit glowing and he is rewarded by a lap full of Berry and the hottest make out session to date. (When he gets home he's notified that Santana, Britt, Mike, Sam, Tina, Mercedes, Lauren and Kurt 'like' his new relationship status. He's pretty sure that'll help Rach chill too.)