A/N: Feeling very inspired from "Sectionals" so, I'm back with another poetry inspired Puck and Rachel fic. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for reading and reviewing.
Sadly, I don't own Glee, but if I did the "look" would be on constant replay...
I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.
From Variations on the Word Sleep, by Margaret Atwood
Puck sits on the practice room floor, holding his head in his hands. Shit, his face hurts. Who knew Finn could hit so fucking hard? He's an asshole, but he feels a little grim satisfaction at the thought that Finn's hand is probably killing him right now. The room is empty--no more shouting, no more tears, no more disgusted glances. Just quiet. It's finally happened and now he's so close to getting everything he wants, right? So what the fuck is he still doing here?
After Finn's big storm out (had he been taking lessons from Berry?) the room is frozen for a moment. He's focused on Quinn, watching her watch Finn walk away, her hands clapped over her mouth, trying to hold in her sobs. Finally the silence is broken by Brittany, who shockingly, has her mind on the essentials. "Uhhh, Quinn. You should probably stay at my house for a few days. I don't think staying at Finn's house is going work very well right now." Good. Baby Puckerman won't be sleeping on the streets anyway. Brittany grabs Quinn's hands, murmuring something about sitting down while she finds her keys and Mike says that he'll help Brittany find them because otherwise it could take a while. Schue and Pillsbury go to find Finn. Santana shrugs and Matt glares at him and they leave too and he supposes at some point the rest of the Gleeks go too, since here he is, alone.
He's been preparing for this exact moment even since Finn told him Quinn was pregnant. Or maybe since he'd had that moment of clarity (the one that goes: hey dumbshit, what the hell do you think you're doing?) while he's between Quinn's thighs, and she's calling out his name. Or even further back, when Quinn's giving him these looks that he finds pretty easy to identify and he wonders why he doesn't look away.
He's so caught up in his own thoughts that he doesn't hear anything until she's close, actually entering his peripheral vision. He recognizes those legs, so he doesn't even bother looking up at her face. God, the last thing he fucking needs is her laying into him about Finn right now. Or maybe she just wants the practice room to sing some stupid song about heartbreak. Fuck her. He just needs a few more minutes to figure out his next move, so he says the first thing he can think of to get her to leave.
"Shit Berry, I thought you'd have those legs wrapped around Hudson by now." That'll have her flouncing off in a huff.
It doesn't. She takes a step closer. "That's odd, Puck. Usually being unpleasant comes so naturally to you. If you don't mind me saying so, that sounded a little forced."
"I do mind you saying so," he says curtly, "what the fuck do you want, Berry?"
She drops an icepack by his feet and sits down next to him, but not too close. She's smoothing her skirt down which he knows is one of her nervous habits (and he's pretty annoyed with himself for knowing it). Oh, shit. She's about to open her mouth and he so knows what's coming. Best Friend...betrayal...how could you...poor Finn. Hell, he should save her the time--it's nothing he hasn't said to himself once or twice.
"I just wanted you to know that I...I didn't realize it would happen like this. I'm really sorry you got hurt when Finn punched you so many times and I blame myself a little. Although of course it is more your fault than mine."
He rolls his eyes at this, but grabs the icepack, which apparently she takes as a sign that he wants her to continue. "Maybe I could have broken it to him in a different way. I've been told that I lack tact. I just didn't want to see Finn hurt any more."
Does she even listen to herself? If the situation wasn't so fucked up he'd be laughing his ass off right now. "Berry, you are wrong on so many levels. First of all, I'm not hurt. Hudson punches like a girl." She looks pointedly at the icepack he's holding on his cheekbone, but he ignores her. "Secondly, you didn't tell because you wanted to help him. You did it because you want him."
He doesn't say it unkindly, but he can see the effects of his words spreading over her face. She looks like she's about to cry. You've got to be kidding, she's just figuring it out now? And people say she's the smart one. "Look, don't worry," he says awkwardly, "if you hadn't have told him, someone else would have." Now she looks shocked. Shit, she's frighteningly naive sometimes. He continues, "Did anyone look very surprised to you? I'd guess they all knew. You're going to catch some shit for letting the cat out of the bag before sectionals."
"Oh...sectionals." she sighs, then shakes her head. "Never mind. You're right, of course. I really am a terrible person."
"Shut up, Berry and stop being a drama queen. Like I said, bound to happen. Hell, you've done me a favor. It's all better out in the open." He frowns off into space. She puts her hand on his arm and he looks at it, but doesn't shrug it off.
"Do you think things will work out with Quinn?" she asks, her voice soft.
His stomach clenches. "God, something's going to have to. We're having a baby together and I'm not walking away from that." Fuck, he sounds like an idiot. And why the hell is he even talking to her about this? She's just this annoying diva who's never given two shits about him. (A memory, the look on her face when he appears in the doorway after choosing her over football, floats through his brain, but he shrugs it off with irritation.) "All right, you've done your charity work for the day. So why don't you go find Finn and knock boots, or sing a song or whatever?" he mutters.
Her hand falls from his arm. "I really should go apologize to Quinn." She stands up, heads for the door and then pauses and looks back at him with her hand still on the handle. Crap. He recognizes that look. It's the look she gets when she is crazy determined about something. She takes a deep breath and says in a rush, "Puck, I know that we've had a colorful past few months. I mean first you were throwing slushies at me and then you joined Glee and I began see how talented you were. And of course there was the kissing which was awkward because we both liked other people but still kind of hot..."
Puck's brain is spinning from the effort it takes to translate her babble into actual intelligible English. Wait. Did she say she thinks he's talented? And that kissing him was hot? Actually, that one's a no-brainer...
"...and I know when we broke up, you said that we couldn't be friends, had never been friends, but I can't help thinking that even though our situation, especially in respect to Finn and Quinn and your unborn child, is fraught with difficulty that we actually could. Be friends I mean." She looks at him a little hopefully, but he's still staring blankly at her, trying to figure out just what the hell she's saying. The silence obviously goes on a little too long because she looks away and says, "well, okay, goodbye." and she's out the door.
And he must be in desperate need of a distraction because he finds himself thinking about it--being friends with Berry. She's ambitious, determined and stubborn as fuck and the best thing he knows about her is that her skirts are criminally short. Fuck. She's also the only one who bothered to show up with an ice pack. No way, not in a million years.
But when he sees Rachel in the hallway, on his way to lay it on the line for Quinn, he takes one look at her and realizes it's a done deal. If there's someone up there running things, he or she is apparently asleep at the switch (or laughing at him) because he knows it and he can see that she knows it. There's some kind of freaky link between the two of them. When the hell did that happen?
Still, he comforts himself, they probably aren't very good friends.