Author's Note: So..I don't really know where this came from lol, but I was advised to just run with it. I'm usually a huge Tartie fan, but I guess my fangirl heartbreak produces interactions between Puck and Tina instead. I've been working on this for awhile, so I'm pretty excited to see where this goes.
As cute as that Clueless-talking-on-cells-while-you're-right-next-to-each-other homage was (RIP Brittany Murphy :/), let's pretend for the sake of this fic, that Mercedes kept the baby drama secret to herself. Or that she told Kurt. And they somehow managed to not tell anyone else. I'm not really sure when this takes place, but I'd say it's definitely after Ballad. That is all for now.
Happy Reading :]
Chapter 1: Only the Beginning
Puck never understood why human emotion had to be such a complicated mess. He remembered when he was younger—when things were defined as either right or wrong, happy or sad. Everything seemed so much easier then. Simpler.
Yet as he recalls his parents' shouting matches and his father packing up and leaving one night, now he thinks that maybe he just never understood it all.
And as he gazes dumbfounded at the sight before him, he realizes he still doesn't.
He turns around quickly to double-check that he didn't stumble into the ladies' room by accident (on normal circumstance he might not have minded that). Spotting the urinals and graffiti and the unmistakable stench, he's pretty sure he's in the right place.
What's different, though, is the fact that there's a mass of black and blue slumped against the wall by the sinks that he identifies as Tina. She's leaning with her gloved hands swiping at trickling tears, her streaked hair a flowing curtain around her face.
Puck's no one to judge, but he doesn't really think this is sanitary.
He stands there awkwardly with his hands jammed into his pockets for a few seconds, debating whether or not to just walk right back out. Before he could make up his mind, she raises her chin and she spots him—a horrific deer-in-the-headlights look etched perfectly onto her flushed face.
And if anything was certain right now, it was that Noah Puckerman does not do tears.
So he says the first thing that comes to mind.
She sniffles a little and a few more tears fall past her defensive glares. He shifts his weight from one foot to the other, obviously uncomfortable.
Of all the people to walk in, it just had to be him.
"So, uh, do you want me to go grab Mercedes or one of your little friends?"
"It's fine," she mumbles and he notices that her husky voice and the quivering of her bottom lip are saying otherwise.
Before he could even blink, she's grabbing her messenger bag and rushing past him out the door. For a moment he thinks he may have just imagined it all.
He doesn't see her again until Glee rehearsal after school. Not that he was looking.
It's been a couple of hours and the redness in her eyes has cleared, but he can't look at how calm she appears without thinking that she must have one hell of a poker face.
Considering she always seems to be lacking a smile at the beginning of these meetings anyways, she seems perfectly fine; the only odd thing about her disposition is that she's seated across the room from Abrams. Puck's not stupid—everyone in the club knew how inseparable those two usually were. Not that that means he cares about any of them. Because he doesn't.
Soon enough, his reverie is shaken by Mr. Schuester strolling into the room, sheet music clutched in his hands and an enthusiastic gleam in his eyes.
Even after the Berry-stalking ordeal, Mr. Schue apparently hasn't given up on this ballads idea, eternally determined to 'shake things up a bit'. The only difference is that this time they get to pick their partners. The group seemed to sigh collectively in relief until he added that they were still using that stupid hat to determine the order in which they were allowed to pick.
It's not that the club hasn't bonded—he's sure that a few months ago Matt and Mercedes weren't sharing these comical knowing looks and Santana wasn't swapping beauty secrets with Kurt, but the fact remains they're teenagers—and that usually meant that drama was present, even in such an overlooked club as Glee.
Puck doesn't know how it happens, but 5 minutes pass and those that were left were Tina, Artie, himself, and Quinn. The look of discomfort on their faces reminds him of the expressions of the kids leftover after picking teams for elementary dodge ball.
He didn't know whether to laugh or not.
Puck's name is drawn next and he stares dumbly at the rest of them.
Quinn was rolling her eyes, an uneasy look only he recognized veiled behind her cool exterior. Normally he'd jump at the chance to be alone with her, but since their last fight, he doesn't know whether it's worth trying anymore. He looked to the other two; Artie's frown lines signified his own anxiety, and Tina wouldn't even look at any of them.
For the next 27 seconds, he weighed out his options—or lack there of.
First off, there's the Queen of the Damned, who he just oh-so-awkwardly found crying in the boys' bathroom. Better yet, there's Abrams, whose wheels he had duct taped one too many times. And last but not least, the pregnant girlfriend of his best friend who was secretly carrying his child.
He didn't really feel like laughing anymore.
Quinn arched an expectant eyebrow while Artie and Tina looked horrified at the prospect of being paired together—which he didn't exactly understand, considering how they were usually attached at the hip…so to speak.
He tried to determine which of these potential partnerships would be the least sufficiently awkward; his brain reeled through food fights and rejection to slushies and dumpsters—so far they were all tied.
"So, who will it be?" Will asks as if he's some snazzy game show host, the smile on his face revealing he's getting a kick out of this himself.
Taking one last look at Quinn before he speaks, Puck can't believe he's about to do this.
"Tina," he announces dully.
The silence is deafening.
"Interesting," Schue comments with a chuckle before scribbling their names down on his clipboard. The club is staring at him in surprise; Tina is fixing him with this look that tells him she's trying to figure out what kind of game he's playing at.
He wishes he knew, too.
"Okay this is stupid. Can't I just know why you were hiding out in the boys' bathroom? You can't expect that to not raise a shitload of questions."
She visibly tenses.
They were in his truck headed to his house to practice. He figured this was the best option—he had to be home in time to help his sister with her spelling and he wasn't sure he wanted to visit her vampire's lair just yet.
He shrugs off her silence since they were arriving at his street. There's an old green Honda in the driveway; Puck grimaces a little at the realization that his mother would be home.
Tina removes her gaze from out the window to look at him.
"You'll see for yourself in about 2 minutes."
"Oh Noah, she's gorgeous…"
"Mom," he started with a wary tone, knowing what was coming.
He tried to explain that Tina was just a girl from Glee. That up until an hour ago, they barely said more than two words to each other; that between her stoic stares and fishnet gloves, she kind of freaks him out. Not to mention her miraculously cured stutter nobody seemed to be addressing these days.
But his dear mother either didn't hear him, or just chose not to.
Tina nods politely before he could warn her—but it was too late, the dam had been broken.
"Oh this is…"
"You're Trudy's daughter, aren't you!" she beamed in realization, her hands clasped together in an excitement that shone from the golden speckles in her brown eyes to the tips of her wavy dark hair. "Oh, what a sweet woman…"
"Ma," he huffs, all but whining, running an exasperated hand across his Mohawk. "Can we please not do this?"
She turns to her son as if just now noticing he was pleading with her and quickly silences. She does a zipper motion across her lips but the gleam in her eyes is still apparent and despite her discomfort, Tina can't help a small smile of her own.
"It's just you never bring any girls home," his mother reasoned before he could shush her again.
Tina continued to smile with her shy and slightly uneasy courtesy. He simply snorted.
"Tina doesn't count."
"It's just a Glee thing! I didn't mean it like that, Ma," he grumbles and nods towards Tina. "See, Tina doesn't mind, right?"
"Not at all," she supplied dryly.
"Great. We'll be in my room."
Before his mother could start up with the gushing again, Puck shakes his head and swiftly leads Tina up the stairs in silence.
Various mismatched frames of family photos litter the walls surrounding the staircase. A little league baseball mug shot. A little girl in a Halloween costume. A Mohawk-less Puck in a family portrait. Was that an actual smile?
His bedroom door is opening before her, and she takes his nod as a cue to walk in before him.
"Your mom seems nice."
It seemed harmless enough, but he recognized that look. He usually gives that look. He scowls.
"Shut it, Anna Wu."
She just smirks slightly, taking a seat at the foot of his bed as he pulls his guitar case open. Tucking a foot under her and looking around his bedroom, she notes it's cleaner than she thought it would be—aside from the hoodie draped over his desk chair and a few scattered trophies and a basketball that make his room look that much more boyish.
She gazes at the maroon walls and also notices the calendars with busty models and laughs, not all that surprised by the Sports Illustrated posters close by. What does catch her eye, though, is the old-fashioned record player and neat vinyl collection by his nightstand; it looks out of place with the athletic vibe and cluttered casualness of the rest of the room.
She turns and watches him quietly strumming and notices how the customary sneer on his face dissolves instantly. She smiles softly. Perhaps this afternoon wouldn't be so horrible after all.
And if it was, they'd both blame Mr. Schue anyway.
Hope you guys liked the beginning! Reviews are love.