Title: Perception (I am in You and You in Me)
Word Count: 6150 - yah baby!
Rating: M
Characters: Rachel, Puck, Finn, Sarah (baby!Puckerman)
Disclaimer: I do not own Puck or Rachel or Finn, or Sarah (who belongs to dresswithoutsleeves the bestest beta ever!). If I did the Puck in this story would be locked under my bed for me to play with ANY TIME I WANTED. But sadly he's not.
Spoilers: Up to and including "Sectionals" and some vague, very vague casting spoilers.

AN: For Steph who requested some super awesome fic with super hot hate!sex. I did what I could honey. My offer still stands. If you're unsatisfied with the hate!sex in this baby, I'll write you some fresh stuff! :)

Thank you to Molly, Ali, Teri, and Shannon all of their support and general awesomness (for betas and stolen names; for reading outside of your ship; for having amazing ideas; for setting up the story and donating cookies)

AN2: Title partially stolen from William Blake - the coolest most badass dude around.

So it starts the way things often do.

With a beginning.

Or an ending.

Depending on how you look at things.


She wanders the hallways of McKinley half despondent, half indifferent (a never ending roller coaster).

She'd imagined a million outcomes when she found out that the baby wasn't Finn's. A million, no hyperbole. And none of them included Finn shunning her along with everyone else.

She wonders, with all her intellect, why that never occurred to her.


So her only friend won't speak to her.

Logically she knows that it's not her fault. It's not. He's reacting to a series of events that were placed in motion before she was ever a part of their intricate and irresponsible web. Lust and hormones, cheating and lying, games that she's not built to play. Games that she has no skill or practice at.

She walks beside him in the hallways sometimes, between classes (completely silent). He never comes for lunch in the cafeteria anymore, but neither would she if she had somewhere else to go.

Most days she ends up eating next to the piano in the rehearsal room, checking her phone compulsively or fiddling with the black and white keys.


But that's not how things begin.

(They don't become friends in the music room or the school. They don't really become friends at all.)


She sees how sad he is (when she's not busy feeling sorry for herself or thinking about how much she's lost with Finn). He sits across the room from her in Glee (when Finn is somewhere near the back as he has been for every practice – an effort to remain removed from both Quinn and Puck and also to avoid having any kind of connection with any other human).

His hazel eyes are often downcast.

When they aren't, he looks at his music.

But one day, his eyes lock with hers, and hold. And she feels his anguish burn. Blue and hot, scalding incinerating everything in its path. It's both beautiful and heartbreaking because at that moment she knows him better than anyone ever has before.

And inside him is nothing but despair.


He sits beside her in the cafeteria. He doesn't say anything, simply eats his lunch. When he's finished he throws his garbage away and leaves.

(Finn still doesn't eat there. She wonders if he knows.)


He drives her home when it snows.

His mom knows her dads.

Sometimes she babysits his little sister.

But they're not friends.

They don't even really talk.

Not yet.


That day comes slowly.

It's March and Ohio winter has blown its last snow storm, forcing the drift banks to rise another foot, and the plows push another foot of fresh powder off to the side of the road.

They're sitting in his truck on the way to school (it saves them both gas money; now they have a pool they each put twenty bucks a month, when that money is gone they put in another twenty). The heat is up high, just the way she likes it. Her backpack sits between them on the seat, a subconscious barrier to protect her from him, because no matter how much he may have changed he's still the boy who threw slushees at her and laughed at her, there's no forgetting that.

"Are you still hung up on Saint Finn?" They're the first words he's spoken to her outside of Glee, where their conversations normally begin and end with "Pass the music, please."

"Yes," she says without thinking. Then changes her mind. "No. I don't know." She shrugs, a completely un-Rachel thing to do. Rachel Berry is not indecisive. Rachel Berry has a life plan. She's going places and knows just the steps to get here there, she can't afford to be hesitant.

But the fact is, she doesn't know. She thought she loved him once. Thought that short and sweet kisses pressed against cushy pillows meant something deeper. That the ripple of emotion – lust, or love, or hormones – that went through her had some connotation, some meaning beyond the fact that two pairs of lips were touching. She thought he understood that they weren't just kisses for her. They were her first kisses and they were with him for a reason.

"Are you still hung up on Quinn," she asks instead of spouting all of that emotional baggage over him.

"No." He doesn't hesitate.

They arrive at the school, she opens her own door, and they don't speak again until three days later.


Finn walks into the cafeteria weeks later.

She sees him.

He sees her.

He sees Puck across from her.

He walks out.


Why does her heart still hurt?


The snow has disappeared and she assumes so will her rides, so on a fresh Tuesday morning she steps out of her house to place her bag in her car.

He's sitting in his truck waiting for her.

She (almost) smiles as he slides across the seat to open the passenger side door for her.


The weather turns warm for a few weeks near the beginning of April.

They sit outside on the bleachers to eat lunch.

Finn has finally come back to the land of the living and has even started acknowledging that there are other people in the school building. Sure, he might not talk to them all, but he sees them (at least she hopes he does).

Puck asks about him on one particularly warm lunch hour (one where she's actually had to remove her sweater and wear only her spring dress because she'd be stifling otherwise). "How is he?" he says after a long silence.

"He's okay," she responds. "He's excited for baseball season. He knows that Quinn..." She stops. She remembers the phone call two weeks ago in the early evening, his mother begging her to watch Sarah because she and Puck needed to be at the hospital with Quinn. "Well, she should be back at school next week, right?"

He shrugs at her.

"Anyway, he asked how you were." It's not a complete lie. She distinctly recalls the harsh edge to his voice as he said, So, you and Puck, huh? At the time she hadn't dignified his question with a response.

"Sure, he did." The sarcasm bites at her with sharp teeth. "So are you two together or something?"

She surprises herself when she ignores the slight bitterness lace through his words.

"No, we're not together." She doesn't add that he sometimes comes over to her house and they sit together in her room. Or that after the last time when he walked out on her and Glee, she doesn't know if she can forgive him anymore. "No, we're not."

She closes her eyes to the sun and leans back.

(She never does see the smile spread slowly across his features as he looks at her.)


"Shut the fuck up, man. You don't know what you're talking about." She hears Puck scream after school on a Wednesday in mid-April. She rushes towards him and sees a small crowd of basketball players surrounding him with Shane O'Connor pushed up against a locker with a mean looking smirk on his lips, his body held by Puck against the wall.

"I bet she's into that, isn't she? I bet you she begs you for it. She sure seems the kinky type, what with those tiny ass skirts and those freaky knee socks." Shane's voice is raised so she knows he's playing to the crowd, wanting to impress his friends who still have yet to notice her.

"Don't talk about her like that, O'Connor."

"With a mouth like that I'm sure that she can suck like a fucking Hoover." Shane shifts his body away from Puck's fist as it rams towards his face.

She pushes her way through the crowd now and pulls Puck's arm down. He turns and stops just seconds before his elbow would have made contact with her eye.

"Let's go," she says to him in a quiet voice, pulling him away from Shane as best she can.

"You don't understand, the shit that he's been saying..." He whispers it loudly to her. She hears one of the other boys snicker, and simply pulls harder at Puck's hand.

"Let it go. It's not like I haven't heard it all before."

And suddenly she's won and he's moving along with her.

It takes only two steps before Shane spoils it all.

"Hey Puckerman, does she swallow? Cause I hear that jizz is good for the...."

He never does finish what's sure to be another wonderful insult. Puck's fist is too far into his face for him to make any words.


"Noah, why would you do that?" She asks him while waiting in the office to see Principal Figgins.

Shane O'Connor's bloody nose leads him to the Nurse's office, which in turn leads to Puck, and Rachel as his witness, walking over to see Figgins.

"Why did you punch him?"

They sit there in silence and she pulls casually at her skirt, forcing it closer and closer to her knees.

After a long silence he finally responds. "The guy's a jerk. He needed to be brought down." Like it wasn't about her at all. But it was, is. It is about her, about him protecting her. And she feels a ball of heat pulse in her chest.

She looks at him, really looks at him, maybe for the first time (in a while at least). Shaved head and that stupid Mohawk, hazel eyes that look down as they always seem to do, a short nose that leads to the most magnificently pouting lips. And she gets stuck there. Staring at his mouth, recalling how it covered her, how it tasted to her, all boy and cola with a faint hint of smoke. How his mouth just seemed to know hers without ever touching. He knew exactly what she needed.

He own mouth tingles with the memory and she comes alive when she's a breath away from him. Her eyes flick up to his only to realize that he's been watching her. She's so close. So close to him, she can all but feel his lips on hers already.

Then Principal Figgins opens his door and she sits back hard in her chair, forcing herself to inhale slowly and exhale slowly to stop the rapid pulsing of her heart.


When he finishes talking to Figgins he drives her home.

"I won't be able to give you a ride for the next few days," he says like it's no big deal.

She nods.

When he stops the truck in front of her house she presses her hand to his for a moment, then leaves.


Two nights later she knocks on his door.

His little sister, Sarah answers. "Rachel! Are mom and Noah going out somewhere? Are you here to watch movies with me? Can we have popcorn for dinner?"

"No, Sarah, I'm not here to look after you. I just have some things to give your brother, is he here?" She steps into the small house, taking off her shoes at the front door, and looking towards the stairs.

"Noah!" Sarah screams at the top of her lungs. "You know where his room is?" Rachel's never actually stepped foot into his room, but yes, she knows where it is. It might be the only room she hasn't gone in his house. She nods her response and starts up the steps one-by-one.

She knocks when she gets there, a quick tap. He yells at her to come in.

She opens the door and is not surprised at all to find him with an Xbox controller in hand. However, he puts it down immediately when she enters the room. His bed is made. His clothes are in drawers or his closet, or wherever, they're not lying around the room. His things are actually quite orderly. Books stacked on his desk, she wonders if he actually reads them or just looks at the pictures on the covers.

"I brought you some work from your teachers." She hands him the stack of papers quickly trying to avoid the sick feeling of embarrassment at being in a boy's room unsupervised.

"You know I'm not going to use this, right?" When he stands he stands close to her. So close. She can feel the whispers of his hands on her body, like memories of a place she's never been.

He leans towards her so slowly and she stares completely enthralled by the slow movement of his breath in and out, moving his chest up and down. Finally he comes to rest his nose against hers, and if she just tilted her head, just slanted her head, she would be kissing him. And all the imagining and dreaming and remembering would be unnecessary. She would be living it, feeling it, loving it.

But something stops her.

And at that moment Sarah walks by the open door.


A Saturday night at Brittany's seems innocuous enough.

It's not.


She finds him sitting outside on the patio nursing a beer.

She sits beside him because it is natural. Because after everything – the slushees and the bad names, the kisses and the rides to school – sitting together is easy.

"I miss her, you know," he says. "My baby girl. I just miss her."

Even with just those words it's the most profound conversation they've ever had together. So she dangles her feet over the side of the patio with him and leans her head against his shoulder. Brittany's house is packed with kids, from Glee and the Cheerios, basketball and football teams, but upstairs out on the deck, they're alone.

So when his hands move along her back, she leans into him just a little bit more. And when his body turns into hers, she reciprocates.

It's only when she feels his breath flow hot across her mouth that her lips part and she thinks this is it. This is the time. And it's so right. His bottom lip just barely brushes along hers, not even a kiss, but a touch, but she feels it through ever cell of her –

Brittany's at the door and he's sitting away from her.

"Hey guys, what's going on?"

"Nothing," he says taking another swig from the bottle. "Nothing at all."

Something inside her cracks open.


And it really begins.


It's after school, two weeks later.

She's gone straight home because she can (her dads aren't home from work yet, still another few hours of peace before they do).

Sure, maybe there's something in her thoughts. Something that makes her compulsively check her blackberry over and over and over again. Something that makes her smile. A huge smile. A true smile.

She's in the kitchen when the doorbell rings. Phone in one hand reviewing text messages, the other one unlocks the door and grabs the handle to let the person on the other side in.

Her mouth drops at the figure on her doorstep.

Puck doesn't wait for her to invite him in, just pushes by her removing his shoes at the front door and stepping into the living room.

"What are you doing here," she asks him, her phone still in hand.

She wonders if he's ever going to answer her or if he's simply going to continue to pace around the living room. "What are you doing here," she asks him again.

"I'm here to talk about your boytoy. Did you think that you could keep it hush-hush or something, because I knew the same fucking day that you'd been out with him. What were you thinking? He's the competition, Berry, not to be trusted. What the fuck was going through your mind when you said that you'd go out with him?" His face is red with anger. Maybe she's even a little afraid of him as he is now.

"It's none of your concern, Puckerman," her own voice is laced with rage. "Who I date, and certainly where they're from is of no consequence to anyone but me." She gestures to the door. He doesn't move.

"What did you stalk him at that little preppy school of his? Did you go over there and beg for him to talk to you? Were you dressed up for the occasion? In that little fucking excuse for a skirt and those knee highs you're always so proud of?"

"I think you should leave." She wants to freeze him out. She can't let him ruin this. Can't let him ruin what's happening with Jon, because she really likes him. And he likes her back. It's not hard or painful or a series of interrupted movements. He doesn't lie to her, or have a pregnant girlfriend at school, or keep her in the dark. They go out together and get tea, or watch movies, or eat food. Puck can't touch that.

"Oh no. I'm not finished. Not finished at all." He stalks towards her, long strides so effortless that it almost seems that the room diminishes for him, at his will. "Do you let him touch you, that fucking school boy?"

His voice is like broken glass, stabbing shards into her skin with every word, but she can't seem to move her feet or the rest of her body away from him.

"When you're alone in those darkened movie theatres does he touch your skin? Finding that place just below your ear? Does he press his lips there? Do you let him, like the little hussy you are? Do you let his fingers slide up your shirt? Underneath the fabric of your skirt? Has he seen you? All of you? Lying on his bed, waiting, for his hands or his mouth or his cock to fill you? Is that what happened, Berry? Did you finally swipe you V-Card at the douchebag checkout?"

She takes a moment to process the fire in his eyes, the barely contained anger in his stance (muscles jumping for the chance to break something or move), the way his lips moved sharply with his words. Words that were specially designed to make her feel cheap. And in that moment she hates him.

He's taken everything good he ever gave her in that moment.

Made her feel worthless.

And what's worse, she can't stop staring at his lips. She can't stop wanting him to kiss her despite all of this.

"Are you finished now?" She whispers when her body is against the wall and his is directly in front of her. His arms block her in on both sides, and her chest feels constricted, like she can't draw in enough air. Never enough.

"No." Is his short response before his body presses flush to hers and his mouth descends.

No interruptions.

No parents.

No friends.

No sisters.

Just them.


He still tastes the same, more tobacco this time, maybe even a hint of something else, something sweet that burns slightly. His teeth are biting at her lips, not as softly as they would have a month ago, if only. But this will do.

His tongue explores her mouth, tracing along her teeth, her palate, before finally massaging her taste buds with his flavour.

It's violent and fast and beautiful. She's pressed against the wall, her body trapped by his, her feet dangling carelessly as he lifts her up without breaking his mouth from hers. And as he kisses her again and again, her leg comes around his waist, wrapping tightly, pulling them together even more intimately.

She doesn't tell him that she's dreamed of this. His taste, his touch, his body. He'd probably just laugh at her anyway.

When his mouth finally dislodges from hers she feels dizzy and wonders if she can finally breathe. She does, inhales sharply, so sharply that her head hits the wall and his mouth passes along her neck, a wet trail. She trembles and hitches her other leg around him.

When his hand moves up her shirt, sliding along the skin against her ribcage, he doesn't ask for permission. He simply takes it. He grips at her there slightly but she never thinks of the bruises he'll leave behind when he's gone. Or maybe she does and she welcomes it. Either way, when he palms her breast she's lost. The calloused fingers, from Xbox or guitar or his truck or football (she doesn't really care), push against her nipple and the sound that releases from her throat is guttural.

The other hand works its way up her skirt trailing along the outside of her thigh until it grasps the thin cotton of her underwear. His fingers press into the material hard and she knows he feels how wet she is already. When his digits hook under the fabric and brush along her skin there, pulling the moisture up to circle around her clit, she groans and tightens her hold on him. She finds his mouth with hers again and shares the feeling with him that way. Small vibrations run through her body as his finger pushes inside of her, moving in a harsh circle inside her before hooking and pressing into the flesh hard, and pulling out. Then he does it again. Following the same pattern push, circle, hook. And again. Until she uses her legs to move with him, pulling his finger just that bit further inside her.

She pulls her mouth from his and leans her head against the wall, riding his finger until he adds a second one, and she squirms on top of him. Pleas falling from her lips, begging for something she doesn't understand and can't reach on her own. He pushes his thumb in a circle around her clit once more and she falls apart, crying out his name, and God, and a string of vowels that make no sense.

He doesn't let her down gently. Doesn't let her down at all, actually (not that she wants to come down). He removes his fingers from her panties wiping them on her leg before pressing himself on her hard. She attacks his neck with her lips, nibbling and sucking at the salty skin there, and he wraps his arms around her pulling her to her bedroom. Her back runs up against the wall a few times as they attempt them (more of the bruises she won't recognize when she looks in the mirror tomorrow). She crashes into to the door when her hand finds him through his jeans and presses. He's hard already and she's sure that she'll be dealing with that when they finally make it to her room.

She undoes the button on his jeans, then slips the zipper down while leaving wet kisses under his ear, his hands pull at the door and his feet rush across the room. Her hand dips inside his boxers (he's wearing them today, she almost wonders why) and strokes the hot skin there. Wrapping her hand around him he pushes her legs down so that she's standing and he manoeuvres her underwear so they slide to the floor with her stepping from them without a thought. She grabs his jeans and does the same.

Her mouth is free and her lower legs are pressed against her bed, and she lowers herself down, pulling him on top of her. His boxers have disappeared and fuck, he's inside her (her eyes go wide and unseeing), and everything goes still except for the madness of her breath, trying to ignore the pain. She feels something wet slide down her cheek and tries her hardest to concentrate on that, anything to take her mind off the fact that his body is pressing so tightly inside her own.

"Fuck, Rachel." His whisper is rough against her face. He carefully moves his weight onto their legs and his one arm so the other can brush away the wetness on her face. Slowly she comes to focus on him again. "Rachel," he starts, "I don't... I can't... I should have known."

The sharp pain has dulled slightly but not enough that she understands why he's talking at all. "What," she finally says, listening to her irregular breathing.

"I should have... I mean. Fuck. I can stop. I'll just..." He starts to pull himself out of her, using all the strength of his muscles to move slowly.

But he slides and it feels amazing, the pull he creates inside her. So she moves her hips back to his, thrilling as the pain dissipates even more.

"Don't you dare." Her hips work again, and this time he moans and pushes himself deep inside.

Over the next few minutes (or hours, or days, she loses track of time) she comes to realize that there's poetry in this, the rising of her hips to his. There's something important about the way his kisses stay dark even as his body pulses within her, like he can't get enough of her. There's something to be said for the fact that she doesn't come while he's inside of her, but when he withdraws he works his fingers magically to make sure she does find release. And maybe in that she finds a bit of perfection.


When he leaves her that night he tells her to have a bath because the hot water will help ease her muscles.


She stops seeing Jon.


They're not in a relationship. They're not even really friendly anymore. But the sex is amazing (and she thinks he might care about her just a little bit more than he lets on). He apologizes one day, inside the practice room, while she's sliding onto him while he sits in a chair. She rotates her hips, changing the angle of her thrusts and she's telling him everything she knows he loves to hear (fuck me harder, right there, right fucking there), and he changes the game on her.

"I'm sorry, you know."

Her lips pant out breath after breath her movements never slowing. "Sorry for what?" If anything she's pressing harder down on him, moving her fingers to brush across the bundle of nerves at the juncture of her thighs.

"For what I said to you that day," he says between clenched teeth. "Fuck, Rachel." His hands are in her hair and her mouth fuses to his as she clamps tightly around him (latex firmly in place this time) and he comes inside her. She rides out the orgasm with her lips on his, her body jerking violently until she has nothing left. And when her heart beat returns to something close to normal she looks at him.

"You're not... Look, I know you're not like that. What I said about that douche – about that guy from Carmel, I'm sorry. I know you're better than that."

She slides her body off his and leans down to put her underwear back on.

"Gee, Puck, that sure was nice of you." She bites at him. "See you later."

She leaves him sitting there in the practice room, his pants around his ankles and the used condom still in place.


Sometimes they fuck when she's babysitting his sister.

Sometimes at school, in the boiler room, or the janitor's closet, or the locker room if it's empty.

Sometimes it's at her house, but never again in her bedroom.


The best part about it is that she doesn't have to like him.

And she doesn't.

Most of the time.


But sometimes he does the sweetest things.

Like he'll go to the corner store when she's babysitting Sarah and buy her the biggest package of Junior Mints, because she loves them.

Or he'll actually attend class once a week so she has someone to sit with.

Or at Glee, he'll stick up for her when everyone else is calling her a diva and politely telling her to shut the fuck up.

Or he'll sit across from her in the cafeteria when everyone else finds a table somewhere else.

Sometimes he offers to drive her home and she's too tired to say no, and they talk about their families and their dreams.


Sometimes when he slips out of her, she thinks she's fallen in love with him.


June arrives. The summer sun is hot and the nights aren't much cooler.

She invites him over to play. He sits on the couch. She tries to kiss him and he moves away. She sits on his lap, he pushes her aside.

"What is wrong with you," she asks him finally.

"We haven't been up to your room," he says after a pause. "Not since that night."

"So what? There are plenty of other places we haven't been either, like the basement, or my parents' room, or the dining room, or outside on the patio." Her fingers are rubbing slow circles on his arm and he shakes her off.

"No. Your room, or not at all." He's acting like a child. A petulant child so sure that if he pouts long enough he'll get his way.

"Fine." She sits there her arms crossed staring at the T.V. as some stupid show about teenage vampires comes on.

She's still busy thinking of ways to get him to change his mind when he gets up to leave an hour later.

"See you tomorrow," he says before letting himself out and leaving her with her mouth agape.


It becomes another kind of game for them. He comes over to her house more often than not now, refusing to have sex anywhere but her bedroom. So they don't have sex.

At all.

Not at school.

Or at his house.

Or at her house.

And she wonders why this is so important to him. Plus, now that she's learned how wonderful sex, even emotionally stunted hate-sex, can be, she's having a hard time quitting it. She's always had an addictive and obsessive personality.

Her fingers just aren't doing the job anymore.

So a few days before the team is supposed to go to Nationals in Tennessee, she invites him over.


He knocks, she opens the door.

She doesn't say anything to him. Simply waits as he removes his shoes and hangs up his coat in the closet. She doesn't even need to tell him that her dads are away on another business trip. He seems to have a sixth sense about parents.

She takes his hand and leads him up the stairs, pulling him into her room and closing the door behind them. It's early evening and the sunlight filters through her blinds leaving the room in a pleasant sort of half light.

She moves away from him just long enough to grab the bottom of her dress and start to pull it up over her body.

His hands stop her, squeezing her fingers until she lets the material go. His fingers move to her face tracing her eyebrows, then her cheeks, then her nose, and finally her lips so lightly with the pads of his fingers. "Let me make it up to you," he speaks softly along the shell of her ear and she doesn't really comprehend what he's asking, but she's powerless to stop him.

She thinks that he's going to kiss her and everything will be just like it was, hard and rough and glorious. But he doesn't.

His mouth stays by her ear, the sound of his breathing sending weird shocks through her. "You're beautiful, Rachel." Those light fingers slide down her neck pausing at the juncture of her shoulder before tracing along her collar bone. They travel down her arm pausing to dip a little around her elbow before continuing on until his palm rests along hers and his fingers entwine with hers.

His other hand moves along her side, starting just under her breast, sending tingles along the skin under her dress, all the way to her hip, where it sits. His head moves sinuously his nose grazing hers in a slow sensual Eskimo kiss, and for a moment she forgets to breathe. He's barely touching her and the tension level in her body is so high (but so different) that when his lips finally do caress hers her muscles quake and she becomes fluid.

"Let me show you how it's supposed to be," he says to her as the backs of her knees hit her bed. She can't even nod at him, she hopes he knows that she's completely at his mercy.

His mouth touches her again, tongue tracing softly at lips that he knows so well. But when things should speed up and get rough, they don't. He spends minutes only kissing her, sampling from her in a million different ways with only his mouth on hers. And all she can do is follow him blindly.

Without breaking his lips from hers he lies down on the bed beside her, his fingers lacing in her hair, brushing through the strands. She breaks her mouth from his, breathing deeply, she moves her hands to the bottom of his shirt and pulls it over his head. She moves his hands from her hair to the bottom of her dress so that he can reciprocate. He does.

His hands move along her skin with more urgency now, but his lips stay soft. His tongue questioning instead of probing. Subtle differences that matter. Maybe too much.

When he removes her bra and underwear, then his own, she barely notices.

His lips press a wet kiss to her nipple before suckling at it and she arches her back off the bed and grips his head in her hands. When his hand dips between her legs and straight inside her in a deep and lazy rhythm her hips move automatically. And the pressure inside her builds and builds until his fingers slow and his head lifts. She's right on the edge, her hips ache to lift again, pulling his fingers in deep, knowing that's all it would take for her to come right now, but he seems to have other plans. His mouth rests next to her ear and he whispers it to her, "Mine, all mine." And she tightens even more around his fingers. "Let go, Rachel." His words flood over her as his fingers move deep one last time and her muscles clamp around him, a sharp sigh escaping her lips.

When he grabs the condom waiting on the bedside table and rolls it on she realizes that she hasn't touched him at all. He's been so busy taking care of her that she hasn't –

"Oh God." It slips from her mouth as he fills her. He stays there, fully embedded in her staring down at her with hazel eyes so knowing. Her knees bend and spread to allow him better access and his mouth finds hers again.

He pulls almost entirely out of her and slides back in slowly, then repeats the action again. It's terrifying because it's so new, because the pleasure is intense and there are a whole manner of words on her tongue that he keeps kissing away each time he enters her. So many things she feels compelled to share with him every time her hips meet his. But mostly he's touching places inside her that no one has ever touched. And when she comes this time (with him), it's a slow skate into bliss, with his taste inside her and his voice in her head repeating her name over and over.

She inhales deeply and reaches a hand to her face. It comes back wet.

She turns to the boy beside her whose eyes are questioning and warm in this moment. He thumbs away the tears and asks her the words he forgot that first time. "Are you okay?"

She nods at him. He rolls off the bed and walks out of the room, only to come back a minute later. He crawls into the bed behind her, wrapping his arm around her waist, playing with the soft skin there, drawing patterns.

"Will you stay this time, please?" Her voice is quiet, but it's a question she needed to ask. An answer that she needs to have.


The sun sets submerging their bodies in darkness but neither notices.


They don't win at Nationals. But they're proud to have made it that far.


As the Glee club waits to board the plane back to Cleveland, Puck steps in front of her.

"Rach, look, I was wondering if maybe you wanted to, you know, like, go out, or something." He looks so awkward standing there in front of the club asking her on a date.

She laughs and grabs his hand.


Five minutes later, they've officially christened the women's washroom in the Nashville airport.