A/N: A little Puckleberry Finn! This was meant to be a oneshot, but I can't stop writing it, so it's longer. It'll probably be around 10 chapters or so.

Warning: The first chapters will be heavier on the Rachel/Finn, but it's listed as a Puck/Rachel for a reason; I'm just setting the groundwork.

Picks up after Sectionals. Spoilers up to there. And I obviously don't own Glee.

----

In the days after everything comes out, Rachel clutches her books to her chest as she walks the halls, because as much as everyone's talking about those other three people, hers is always the fourth name in the mix.

She's the one who broke the news.

Finn has told her not to worry about it, that it's not her fault, and that he can't blame her for being honest. But there's something in his voice or his eyes that tells her that he wishes he didn't know at all.

She knows how to do a lot of things. She's excellent at a lot of things, and her superb artistic talent is just the tip of the iceberg. That's not ego, it's just a fact. She's special, and she knows it.

The one thing she has no idea how to do is to mend a broken heart, a broken boy. Every time she sees him, it's the only thing she wants to do.

She's used to being called names. She's heard just about anything the miscreants at her school have the brainpower to come up with.

'Slut' is a new one.

It's cruel and awful, and not even true, so she doesn't know why she's standing at her locker, struggling for breaths and trying to keep the tears out of her eyes. Maybe it's all just getting to her, the tension in glee and the sadness she sees in her friend's (friends'?) eyes. Whatever it is, she tries to blend in, make herself invisible, and it feels like last year all over again, just trying to get through the day without feeling terrible.

She sees Dave Sommer walking down the hall with a smirk on his face and a cup in his hand, and she clenches her jaw so she doesn't start crying before he even hits her with the drink.

But before she knows what's happening, Puck is standing in front of her, talking to her about...she doesn't even know, she's not even paying attention, just looking at him and trying to figure out what he's doing. But Dave keeps walking down the hall, and Puck casts an angry look over his shoulder at the guy.

Puck doesn't say anything more to her, just nods once before walking away, and she realizes that he stood there and talked to her because he knew that if she was seen with him, no one would mess with her. His reputation might be pretty much out the window, but he'd still get physically violent with anyone who crossed him.

There's something Rachel really likes about knowing that he cares enough to want to keep her from a slushie assault.

When she gets to glee rehearsal, he's already there, sprawled out in a chair with his legs stretched at pretty much a 90 degree angle and his arm hooked over the back of the chair. She doesn't know how he can appear so disinterested, and then get up and sing the way he does.

She doesn't say anything, and he glances at her once, just quickly, and she thinks he's expecting her to give him some long-winded thank you or acknowledgment of his good deed.

Instead, she sits a few seats away from him, and she smiles when Finn walks into the room, and she stops thinking about Puck at all.

----

Finn comes over one day after school and, all nervously, asks for help with his English homework. Her dads smile and say hello, then remind her to keep her bedroom door open, and she thinks Finn blushes harder than she does.

She tries to help him understand The Grapes of Wrath, and she thinks he gets it. She thinks maybe he understood it before he even showed up, so she wonders why he's here in the first place. She figures that now that he's single and he's sought her out, the least she can do is ask why he's showing up at her house at 7:00 on a Wednesday.

"Finn, may I ask you something?"

He looks up from his book, his brow furrowed adorably, and she toys with the pillow in her lap. "Sure," he answers.

"It seems that you completely understand the Joads' struggle, and so I'm more than just a little curious as to why you're laying on my bed and talking about something you clearly don't need help with," she says. He looks guilty or something. (It's really cute.)

"I just...wanted to see you," he confesses, shrugging his shoulder. "My house is really quiet when my mom works nights, and now that Quinn's staying with Terri..."

"I did not see that coming, by the way," she interrupts.

"Me neither. I guess she's making amends though."

"Quinn, or Terri?" she asks under her breath.

"I dunno. Both," he says. He sits up a little, and he's closer to her now. She finds it really hard to control her breathing when she can smell his cologne and his hand is so close to her thigh. "But I was just sitting at home and thinking about what I'd rather be doing, you know, instead of sitting there by myself, and..."

He gets all shy and she swears her heart beats out of her chest. "What?"

"All I could think of was you," he admits.

There's a moment or two where she thinks he's going to kiss her. She honestly thinks he's just going to lean forward and kiss her like she wants him to.

But he doesn't. He clears his throat awkwardly and looks down at his notes, then asks a question about the book (actually, the illustration on the cover of the book) and she plasters on a smile and answers him as though her heart isn't breaking.

----

Finn starts spending time at the Berry house two nights a week, when his mom works nights. Rachel's dads love him, and he's not so nervous around them anymore, not when they insist on making him dinner and snacks, and they don't drill him about his relationship with their daughter, and they don't scare the bejeezus out of him like Quinn's dad did.

Sometimes the four of them sit in front of the fireplace with hot chocolate, watching sitcoms or talking about things that Finn can actually weigh in on. Her dad is a big basketball fan, so they talk about the game, and Finn promises to reserve some tickets for the Berry's for his next game.

Rachel thinks that it's really sweet, the way Finn makes an effort with her parents. She's not a fool, and she knows how intimidating it can be, how awkward sometimes, that she's got two fathers. She thinks it says a lot about Finn that he acts completely normal around her dads.

She doesn't even realize she's let out the dreamy sigh until he laughs softly and looks at her. They're laying on her bed, a few feet of space and their school books between them, and she should be paying attention to math, not to him.

"What?" he asks with a smirk.

"Nothing," she says.

The only thing she ever lies about with him, is him. She doesn't want to push him, and she doesn't know how he feels about her in the wake of everything that's happened. She thinks he likes her, and for once, she plans on being patient until he figures out what to do with it.

He walks her to her classes, and they sit together at lunch. He doesn't sit with the football players anymore, and he doesn't care what anyone says about him, and she's proud of him for that. She likes that he's confident enough about his involvement with glee club to not care about other peoples' opinions.

(And yet, every once in a while, she'll look over to the 'popular' table and see Puck and Quinn talking, and she wonders if Finn's sitting next to her has more to do with that than it does anything else.)

But still. He sticks up for her when Kurt gets on her about her wardrobe choices, or when Mercedes gets on her about her song choices. He drives her home from school every once in a while, and they've gone to movies together.

He's probably the closest friend she's ever had.

She's walking down the hall one day after classes have let out, and it's a Tuesday, so there's no glee club practice. She's got her backpack slung over her shoulder, and she's going to go home, eat dinner, then Finn's coming over and they're going to watch a basketball game with her dads. It's not exactly her first choice of activities, but Finn always sits really close to her on the sofa, and he doesn't treat her like an idiot if she has to ask questions about the rules and stuff.

"Berry! Rachel!" she hears, paired with footsteps running behind her. "Wait up."

She turns around to see Puck rushing towards her, and she sets her jaw, prepared for whatever it is he's going to say to her. She's not really sure she wants to hear it. He hasn't been horrible to her lately. He hasn't really been anything to her. It's been weeks since his little...whatever that was at her locker, and they've barely spoken. She hasn't really had any complaints about that, since it's far better than the alternative (him torturing her every chance he gets.)

"Noah," she says, because she still calls him that when they're speaking one on one. And every time, he rolls his eyes. "What can I do for you?"

"Look, you're tight with Finn, right?" he asks needlessly.

"Excuse me? Tight?"

He rolls his eyes again. God, he wishes she'd just get what he says. Just once. "Yeah. Friends. Or whatever it is you are." She notices a trace of bitterness in his voice, but she's sure that's all in her head. She shrugs her shoulder, and he's surprised she doesn't give him an earful, defining her relationship with Finn. It just seems like something she'd do. "I was just thinking you could talk to him."

"I do talk to him," she says.

"I mean about me," he specifies. He's almost smiling, because she's fucking impossible at the best of times. It doesn't drive him insane anymore. He's not exactly sure when that happened. "If you could talk to him about me."

"We talk about you all the time," she says, though it's a bit of an exaggeration. He just looks at her. "He's still unimpressed with you. You can't expect him to just forgive and forget. He may not be able to do either."

"Well, he listens to you," Puck admits quietly, his hands in his pockets as he looks to the floor. He can't believe he's asking her to do this. "No one else..."

"No one else listens to me."

He laughs and shakes his head at her. He doesn't know how someone so smart can be so clueless. "He won't listen to anyone else," he clarifies. "Jesus, everyone listens to you. We can't help but listen to you."

"Are you insulting me or complimenting me?" she asks, and she's smiling, though she doesn't really want to.

"I dunno." He shrugs and she arches her brow. "Maybe both."

She laughs softly, looks away for a moment, and she can feel him smiling at her. She thinks this is probably the second serious conversation they've ever had, and he's winning her over far too easily. But what he's asking her to do is something she probably should have been doing all along. It's for the good of the group, the unity of glee club as they prepare for regionals. They need to all be working together, and they can't be at their best if Finn isn't talking to two of their members. It's been a concern of hers for quite some time, now, and in her discussions with Finn, he hasn't made mention that he's about to talk to either Puck or Quinn.

"I make no promises," she says. His grin gets a little bigger, almost a full smile, which is rare from him.

"Thanks, Berry," he says sincerely.

He winks at her before he walks away.

Finn's standing at the other end of the hall, watching the whole thing. She watches him leave without even saying a word to her.

----

By 7:00, she knows Finn isn't going to show. She's not exactly surprised. The look on his face was enough to tell her that. And he hasn't called her, and she knew he wouldn't.

So she knocks at his door, because she figures he can't ignore her this way, and as she's waiting for someone to answer, she realizes that she's never been to his house before. It's always her house they spend time at. She's not entirely sure why that is, but she finds that it bothers her.

His mother answers the door, and Rachel thinks it's weird that they've never been introduced. She's going to change that right now.

"Mrs. Hudson? I'm Rachel Berry," she says, extending her hand.

"Rachel, of course. It's nice to meet you," Mrs. Hudson says. She opens the door and gestures for Rachel to come in. "And call me Carole." Rachel smiles and slips off her shoes, suddenly very nervous to have just shown up unannounced. "Finn's up in his room. Come on. I'll show you the way."

"Thank you, Carole," Rachel says sweetly.

She looks around the house a little as she follows the path through the living room and towards the stairs. She catches sight of some photos, framed and hanging on the walls. It's clear that his mother is very sentimental. Rachel thinks his house is lovely. It's very homey and comfortable. She can't begin to understand why he wouldn't ever have invited her over.

The nerves build and build as she walks up the stairs. She's worried that he just doesn't want her here. Certainly not now, when he's clear he's already upset with her. Not that he has any real reason, since all she was doing was talking to Noah. She knows it'd be a sore spot with him, but he should know that there was nothing really going on.

"Finn, sweetie, there's someone here to see you," Carole says as she steps into the room.

Finn pauses his video game and looks over just in time to see Rachel walk into the room behind his mom. She's wringing her hands in front of her and smiling weakly at him, and she can tell he's more than a little surprised to see her there.

When it's just the two of them alone again, Rachel shuffles her feet, but she hasn't really been invited in, so she doesn't move towards him. He sits back a little on his bed and looks at her, and he decides she looks really pretty, her hair half pulled up (it wasn't like that at school) and her little skirt hitting her mid-thigh. She always looks pretty, though. Maybe it's just the fact that she's in his room that makes him think she looks even better now.

"You can come in, you know. If you want," he says. She smiles at him and steps forward, looking around before she sits down next to him. "Sorry I didn't..."

"Nothing's going on with me and Noah," she says, interrupting his apology, which she just knows would have been rocky and full of stuttering. "What you saw today was just a conversation. Nothing more."

"You don't owe me an explanation, Rachel," he tells her.

"Is that so? Because you didn't show up and you didn't call," she says. He winces slightly.

"It's just hard for me to see him. With you. Talking, and...he made you laugh," he says. He doesn't know why she's smiling at him. It's like she thinks all this is funny or something. "I guess I'm just still kinda sensitive after the whole...thing."

Rachel nods (she's always so understanding, he thinks). "Actually, that's what he wanted to talk about. It seems Noah is...perhaps missing your friendship," she explains delicately. Finn scoffs. "I know it's a lot to ask, maybe too much, that you forgive him, but could you at least make an effort?" She can tell he's ready to tell her, again, how much he hates Puck. "For glee." He looks at her like she's crazy to think that'd work. "For me?" she asks in a small voice.

Damn, this girl knows how to get her way.

"Every time I look at him, I remember what a liar he is," he says. He looks at her with a pained expression on his face. "Do you have any idea what that's like?"

"No," she admits. "But what about Quinn? I've seen you talking to her."

"It's different. I loved her," he says. Rachel thinks her heart breaks a little bit every time she hears that. She nods anyway, and looks to her hands. She wonders if he knows how uncomfortable it makes her to talk about Quinn. Or rather, to hear him talking about Quinn.

She notices he's wearing a pair of grey sweatpants and a plain black tee shirt. He's so casual. She thinks he might sleep in something similar, and she blushes, wondering why she's even thinking about what he sleeps in. It's completely inappropriate, especially right now, when she's sitting with him on his bed for the first time ever.

"I saw the photos downstairs," she says, trying to get back on track, and also to help prove her point. "You and Noah have known one another since you were children."

"He knocked up my girlfriend."

"There are a lot of years of friendship and leaning on one another there," she insists. "And I think it'd be foolish to throw it all away."

He turns towards her a little bit more, his knee brushing against her thigh. She sucks in a breath and looks up at him. "You know what it's like to have your best friend to betray you like that?"

She looks away from him, down at her hands, toying with the hem of her skirt. "No," she admits quietly. "I've never had a best friend."

He thinks he could cry or something, because that's just about the most heartbreaking thing he's ever heard.

"Rach," he says. She shrugs her shoulder, and when she looks up at him again, she's wearing that gorgeous smile of hers.

"It's okay," she says. She must be a good actress, because he almost believes her.

He takes a deep breath and thinks about it for a second, about everything that's happened and how much he actually misses his buddy. And maybe Rachel's right. If he can talk to Quinn, he can talk to Puck. He can at least try to put this all behind them. He's still got to see them five days a week for the next couple years, so he figures maybe he should try to let it go.

Of course, Rachel's right. She's always right.

And he thinks she can read his mind or something, because she's smiling at him like she knows he's already agreeing to her request.

He throws his arm around her shoulder and she leans against him, giggling a little bit as he sighs. He knows how much she loves winning. When she pulls away, he rolls his eyes at the smug smile on her face.

"I'll do it," he says. "For glee." Something flashes, maybe disappointment, in her eyes. "For you."

She thinks her heart is going to beat out of her chest. He's the sweetest boy in the world, and he might not always say the right thing, but when he does, it makes up for all the rest of it. And then there's his little smile, the one he gives her when he knows he's just said something to make her swoon, or when she's said something to make him all nervous.

And she takes just a second to think about how happy Noah's going to be when he and Finn start talking again.

"Will you be horribly upset if I now mention the cowboy wallpaper?" she asks, barely containing her smirk.

He lets out a playful growl and narrows his eyes, and when she giggles, he tickles her, and she stops thinking about that other boy and focuses on Finn's hands on her skin.

----

A few days after her talk with Finn, Puck shows up at Rachel's door. At 9:00 on a Saturday night, actually. To say she's surprised to see him would be an understatement. To say her fathers are curious would be a vast understatement. To say that she wishes she wasn't wearing a pair of yoga pants and a form-fitting tank top would be the understatement of the year.

He's standing at her door in jeans and a white tee shirt, a hoodie zipped up to his chest and his hands in his pockets. He looks a little freaked out that her dads answered the door.

"Noah?" she asks. Her dads recognize him, of course, they just weren't expecting to see him, oh, ever.

"Hey," he says quietly. He looks to her dads, who appear to be waiting for an explanation of his arrival on their doorstep. "Sorry to come so late, I just wondered if I could speak with Rachel."

She smiles. She doesn't think she's ever seen him act so polite. Her dads step aside and Puck steps into the house, closing the door quietly behind him.

"Daddy, we'll be upstairs, okay?" Rachel says.

Her dads both nod, and Puck wonders just how much they trust their daughter. They really don't seem to mind that she's got guys coming coming to see her late at night. Not that he's here for that. He's just trying to talk to her. The fact that she's wearing the tightest pants he's ever seen in his life, and her shirt isn't quite hitting the top of those pants? Not helping. He can see her stomach, so tight and firm, and he can see how perfect her hips and ass are. He remembers complimenting her when they were dating, and she said her body comes from years of dancing. That's a hard image to get out of a guy's head.

Once they're in her room, she sits down on her bed, tucking one leg beneath her.

"I interrupt a workout or something?" he asks, looking her over once again.

"I practice yoga five times a week," she says nonchalantly.

Oh, good. A visual.

The thing is, in the weeks since the truth came out, Puck has realized that running errands like a bitch for Quinn and the baby was definitely not the same as being a boyfriend. And doing all that stuff really isn't making her want to be with him. Which makes him wonder if he really wants to be with her. Sure, she's hot, beautiful even, and she's a cool girl when she's not being a raging bitch, with all the hormones and everything (and the fact that she's been doing it for years). But he thinks he actually likes being her friend. She still has no idea what she wants to do with the baby, and yeah, she's asking his opinion on the matter now, and they talk about it, but the thought of being with her for the long haul is becoming a little scary. He wants to be there for his daughter, if Quinn decides to keep her. In fact, there's nothing that could keep him from his little girl.

He's starting to think that there's a lot that could keep him from Quinn. He's starting to think that there's not much that would keep him with her.

Fuck, his life is so complicated.

Rachel Berry's sexy, messy ponytail and the swell of her breasts beneath her tight top is only complicating things more. Because it's not like he ever disliked her. She was one of the first people to actually speak to him after the truth came out, when everyone was trying to hate him. Maybe he should have been pissed at her, but he actually felt better (and still does) knowing that the truth is out and he doesn't have to hide anything anymore. He hasn't thanked her for any of that, because, well, let's not get carried away.

"So what brings you by?" she asks. He assumes she doesn't notice the way he's been looking at her, because he's sure she'd have some crazy-ass long lecture for him.

"Finn came by today," he says. She kind of smiles, half biting her lip like she's trying to hold back. "We talked and stuff. He said you told him to try."

"Was that not what I was supposed to do?" she asks pointedly.

He rolls his eyes and lets out a sigh. "Well, yeah. But I didn't know if it'd really work. I mean, he was pretty pissed."

"You knocked up his girlfriend," Rachel says seriously, repeating Finn's words from the other night. Puck grins and looks at her with a raised brow, like he's impressed or something. "What?"

"Knocked up? You surprise me, Berry," he says, almost laughing.

"Well, that's what happened. And even though I don't hold anything against you, I certainly don't agree with the way you..."

"Yeah, yeah. I get it. No one agrees with it. And they shouldn't. I was a dick," he says. "Safe to say I learned from that mistake."

Rachel almost smiles at him, because she likes that he can at least admit his wrongs.

And maybe also because there's something kind of nice about sitting in her bedroom with him on a Saturday night, having an actual conversation. Who's she kidding? It's nice to sit in her bedroom with anyone on a Saturday night. It sure beats sitting alone.

"Has Quinn decided what she's going to do?"

He moves so he's laying back against her like, 40 pillows, then puts one hand behind his head. "Not yet. It's not an easy decision, you know?"

"I know," she says. He raises his brow. "Well, I don't know, but...I can imagine."

He nods, then just looks at her for a few moments, and it's not just because she looks really hot in this outfit, or because she's not kicking him out or yelling at him or talking his ear off. It's because he has no idea why she doesn't hate him. Maybe it's because his fuck up lead to Finn and Quinn's breakup (he's seen Rachel and Finn together enough to know that she's definitely reaping some of the rewards of that). He finds himself curious enough to ask.

"Why don't you hate me?"

"Pardon me?" she sputters, her brow furrowed like that's just about the most absurd things he's ever heard.

"Everyone else judged. You didn't seem to, not once since all this shit went down," he points out. "I dunno. I guess that of all people, I thought you'd be the one kicking my ass."

She looks down at her lap. "Oh, because I'm such an uptight goody two shoes?"

He doesn't know what the fuck's up with her always putting words in his mouth, but he thinks it should stop, like, now. "No, crazy girl," he says with a smirk. "Because you tend to want...I dunno...the best out of everyone. Sleeping with your best friend's girl isn't really the best."

There's a beat of silence, and she wonders why that's such a bad thing, wanting everyone at their best. And it's not that she's not disappointed in him. She is. But it's not so much the act that got him there in the first place. It's not even that he lied about it (from what she's heard, it was Quinn who wanted to keep it all a big secret anyway).

She figures they can be honest with one another. She thinks they always have been.

"I just don't understand why you thought you couldn't tell me," she says quietly, shaking her head. "When we were..."

He shrugs his shoulder. "You would have told Finn."

"No, I wouldn't have," she says. But she's looking to her lap and she's not even sure she believes herself.

"Berry, you talk all the time, and you're in love with the guy. You would have told him."

"But I was with you," she says defensively.

He scoffs and shakes his head. "Doesn't matter. You would've."

He watches her for a few seconds, and she looks like she's clenching her jaw. He doesn't think she's going to start crying or anything, but he can tell she's thinking of something really heavy.

And then she says something in the saddest voice he's ever heard, and he's pretty sure he hates himself a little.

"It's okay if no one trusts me."

"I didn't say..."

"No, it's true," she says, shrugging one shoulder. She looks at him and her eyes are all sad. "I talk too much and I'm selfish. And sometimes I don't think before making decisions, and when I do, it's possible that they're simply the wrong decisions. I can't blame people for not trusting me."

He doesn't know why he says it, but he thinks it's the truth anyway.

"I trust you."

Just because he thinks she would have told Finn doesn't mean that he didn't necessarily want to tell her. He can't really blame her for telling the truth. In fact, he actually admires her. He thinks it's kind of cool, the way she just is who she is without really worrying about how it makes her look to other people.

After all, he wouldn't be sitting with her right now, talking about this whole issue, if he didn't trust her. He hopes she knows that. He's not gonna tell her again.

----

Rachel's standing at her locker one day, and when she looks up, she sees Finn, Puck, Matt, Mike and Artie all coming down the hall together, all laughing and smiling, and she can't help but think about how good things have been lately. Finn and Puck are talking again, getting along almost (only almost) as though nothing ever happened. Since their win at Sectionals, the group has been brought closer together, and it's nice to see the football guys pulling Artie into their group.

As they approach her, Finn bumps fists with the guys and tells them he'll see them later. He's smiling at her as he steps in front of her, and when she glances to the other guys, Puck winks at her. She really doesn't know what that means.

But then Finn's kind of leaning against the locker next to hers, and she can smell his cologne, and she thinks she's swooning a little. It happens. All the time, actually.

"You wanna come over tonight? Mom's working," he says with a smile. She really wishes she could control this blushing problem. Finn catches on quickly. "No. Hey, whoa. I didn't mean it like..."

"I know," she whispers. For all the talking they've done, they've never talked about...that. Or this. Or them, or whatever it is that's between them. "What time?"

He smiles and gives her the details, and he runs his hand down her elbow before he tells her that he has to get to basketball practice, and she nods and tells him she'll see him later.

The butterflies flutter in her stomach for the rest of the day, and they don't go away, not even when she sings the song that always calms her nerves. Not even when she's on her way to his house or when she knocks at his door. She thinks she could scream, and she doesn't know why this feels so different from any other night, but it does. They hang out all the time, but never alone, unsupervised. She should be 'cool' enough that this isn't a big deal, but it really feels like one. She knows, of course, that he doesn't like being at home alone when his mom's working, but that's why he goes to her place. He's never invited her over. Ever.

The door swings open and Puck walks out, and he's laughing. "Hey, Berry," he says. She's more than a little stunned to see him there. "Have fun."

He winks at her again, but it's all suggestive this time, and she thinks she might see jealousy in his eyes, but it's probably all in her head. (Because why would he be jealous?)

"Sorry about that," Finn says. "He invited himself over after practice, and..."

"It's okay," she says, smiling at him. He opens the door a little wider and she steps inside. "I'm actually glad to see you two getting along again. It makes everything less tense."

They step into the living room, where ESPN is on and there are a couple cans of soda sitting on the coffee table. She wonders if this is what the boys always do when they're together, now that they aren't actively tormenting people. He tidies up the living room a little bit, then switches off the television. He pours her a glass of water when she asks (she's so nervous) and then he smiles at her all sweetly and leads her towards the stairs and up to his room.

They talk for a little while about their school days and glee, the new song Mercedes and Tina have been paired up to sing, and how good Rachel's taking that. She just shrugs her shoulder and tells him that maybe she's becoming more of a team player, and he smiles and tells her that he's proud of her. Her cheeks hurt from smiling.

It's kind of dark in his room, just the dim bedside lamp switched on as they talk, and somehow they gravitate towards one another. He's laying back on his bed, and she's sitting next to him, facing him, and sometimes his arm will brush her hip or her wrist and she'll look away, hoping that he won't see how he makes her blush, or how he makes her smile, or how bad she wants to kiss him.

The conversation takes a turn, and he asks her favourite colour, her favourite animal and her best memory from when she was a kid. She asks him the same, and they speak in quieter tones, and somehow, his arm ends up draped over her thighs lazily, and when she accidentally moves her hand and bumps his, he takes her little fingers in his and weaves them together with his own. She takes an audible breath and he smiles at her before he sits up, leans forward, and kisses her.

It's tentative, like their other kisses, but then his hand comes up to rest on her cheek, and she grasps the front of his shirt in her hand, and when he lays down again, he pulls her with him, and then she's laying half on top of him. She giggles a little when they part, then he smiles and kisses her gently and says her name, and she wonders if he notices that her hands are shaking.

They kiss for a while, just getting used to one another, and when his tongue presses against hers, she lets out a noise from the back of her throat that she can't quell, and it makes him hold her a little closer. Her leg is over his, and her hand is on his chest, and she'd really, really love to take charge and climb on top of him, but she thinks he's as nervous as she is, and she doesn't want to freak him out and send him running again.

Her phone rings around 9:00, and she remembers that she told her dads she'd be home by then. She tries to catch her breath before she answers, but she's still seeing stars, and Finn's hand is still rubbing her back. She feels lightheaded when she tells her dad they just got caught up watching a movie and she'll be home soon, and she doesn't even feel guilty that she's just lied to her dad for the first time.

Finn walks her to the door, and they're both quiet, and she doesn't know what any of this means, but he wraps her up into a hug and then kisses her gently, lets it linger for a second, and smiles when she lets out a little humming sound when he pulls away.

"See you tomorrow, Rach," he says. She nods and bites her lip, and he laughs at her inability to speak.

He waits until she's backed out of the driveway before closing the door, and she can hardly concentrate on the road. She wants more of him. More of his hands and his lips and his pressure against her. She feels like they have lost time to make up for, and she wants nothing more than to just kiss him all the time.

She thinks that just maybe this means something really big is about to happen.