Disclaimer: Again with the me not owning anything, including the song referenced in this part, which is Sam Sparro's "Black and Gold"

You've always been too good at lying to yourself. Oh, you talk the talk and walk the walk, but inside, secretly, there's a lot you keep pushed down, smoothed over. It's easier this way, and you like to think of it as a coping mechanism, a way to keep yourself sane. (You know what this is though, even though you're busy not thinking about it)

Seeing him, alone on that park bench, fractured something inside you.

(it had been coming loose a long, long time, had it not?)

You call him out, and watch his eyes slide over you, never quite meeting your own, and you burn with dark, dark things.

That night, you stop locking your window, and someone, somewhere up there must be laughing. Probably to death, you figure. You've held funerals for half your wardrobe over the years because of this man, and now?

Well. Things are different now, under the cover of dark (beneath the covers of your bed.)

You wished you understood your motivations better. (liar) You tell yourself its lust, (definitely) vengeance, (maybe) or even justice. But when he's spread across your bed wearing nothing but midnight and that lost-lamb look you can only half-see in the black and moaning your name, your justifications slip away.

(you are terrified by how real this feels, like a small piece of rapture)

Noah is beautiful and powerful, a real mans man, but in this place, at these times, you take back every bit he's stolen from you over the years, with interest. The force of your control is heady, intoxicating.

(you cannot admit that the thought of his arms around you afterward, like two strong parenthesis, scares you utterly. You always make him leave)

It takes some time, (several times) before you both hit your strides, as it were. The process of learning another's body is tricky and deeply satisfying.

You call him your bad boy once, and he came so hard it took him nearly ten minutes to come back to himself, every second of that spent lying next to him, feeling the tension ratchet up your spine in slow degrees.

(He returned the favour once, the only time he called you Darling. When you blinked yourself back into the real world, he was gone, and you convince yourself you're pleased he's so well trained.)

Glee hasn't quite started yet, although it should have, but Mr Shue was in the corner, on the phone with Miss Pillsbury, doubtlessly doing their awkward mating dance. The result could only be described as uncomfortable; the room split neatly into two rival camps. There were those sided with Quinn, those sided with Finn, and of course, Puck off to the side, (but still somehow close to you, like a hovering satellite,) neither here nor there, wanted by no one. (This does not break your heart, not for someone like him)

He is strumming his guitar with force, and it takes you a moment to pick out the tune, your musical brain slowly translating the familiar synthesized beat into the chords your hearing. Well, never let it be said that Puck couldn't do the impossible, playing electronica on an acoustic, chords jarring and solid, nearly drowning out his soft crooning.

He does not look at you, but his body cants your way as he plays. (Cause if you're not really here, then I don't want to be either, I want to be next to you...) You feel yourself ice over inside, liquid nitrogen in your veins.

You use him that night, abominably so, leaving bruises in places that you'll never see in the light of day. He takes it, takes everything, all your misplaced rage and frustrations, fury and confusion, drinks it down in a symphony of skin and sings it with every tight line of his body. (he comes to you for this, he still comes...)

As he dresses, in the aftermath, shuffling blindly into his pants, he speaks, voice low, back turned to you.

"You were the only one." He says, velvet soft. "How can I not love you, even a little, if just for that?"

You know he thinks you were sleeping, (you were pretending, always pretending...)

(Locking the window behind him gives your hands something to do that doesn't involve breaking your personal belongings.)

The window stays locked, and you return the call of the nice young man you'd met at the mall with Tina and Mercedes a couple weekends back.

The dinner and conversation is bland and unexciting, and he barely dares to kiss you at the end of the date, but he knows clothes and shoes. (not as well as you, but no one else does.) He's serious about his music, and he's sweet and shy and would never dream of doing half the things Noah's rumoured to have done. He's exactly the type of boy you've always known you needed, bright and golden compared to the black, denied moments taken with a boy you are meant to hate.

(Someday, you may even believe that to be true.)

Continued in final part "Blank White Pages"