Discalimer: I do not own the 'Glee' world.
Buona sera! I bring you a gift of a one-shot back from Rome! Well, actually, I only wrote about the first 1000 words on holiday, but still…
New Directions had made it through to Nationals, much to their delight. Nationals that year were taking place in Dallas and, due to its distance from Lima, Principal Figgins had reluctantly agreed to finance the glee club's journey – flight and all.
The twelve members of New Directions, Mr. Schuester and Miss. Pillsbury had successfully managed to make it to the correct departure gate at Port Columbus International Airport with no major catastrophe occurring along the way.
"Okay, everyone," Mr. Schuester said, gaining the group's attention, "the flight will be boarding soon so I just want to talk to you about the seating arrangements; I know you guys are always getting closer as a group but I'm sure there are a few of you who could get to know each other better. Therefore, I've arranged for you to sit next to someone you don't normally socialize with outside of glee. Try to look on it as a good bonding experience before Nationals."
The teenagers looked back at him somewhat blankly and Mr. Schuester reasoned that they were probably too tired to care. It was 6:30 in the morning and they'd had to leave Lima at 3am. The kids had all been really excited when they'd left McKinley on the bus but the adrenaline had clearly dissipated now. The only person who looked even remotely excited was Rachel Berry but there was little that the girl wasn't enthusiastic about.
"Right," Mr. Schuester continued, "Artie, you're going to be seated first so Brittany do you want to go with him?"
Brittany grinned at Artie. She liked Artie; he was really clever and always had some interesting story to tell her. She didn't believe half of the things he said – like that white was made up of all different colours. She'd thought that was silly because white was just…white. It didn't have any colour in it. But then Artie had coloured in a circle with the colours of the rainbow and twirled the piece of paper round really fast and the colours had all blurred together to make white!
Basically, Brittany thought that Artie was a genius. Artie's mom also made the most amazing brownies which she knew Artie had a stash of. So, she was pretty pleased that she was going to be sitting with him.
"Sure, Mr. Schue," she said. "But, um, where are we going?"
"Don't worry, Mr. Schue," Artie said, taking his and Brittany's tickets, "I'll make sure we get on the plane okay."
Mr. Schuester glanced nervously at the blonde cheerleader but reasoned that it would be really difficult for Brittany to get lost on the few feet it took to get on the plane. He nodded at Artie, who wheeled off with Brittany in the direction of the gate.
"Right, so the other pairings are: Mike and Kurt, Matt and Tina, Quinn and Mercedes, Finn and Santana and Puck and Rachel."
Everyone seemed quite happy with their partner (or more specifically, that they wouldn't be sitting with Rachel) except for Noah Puckerman and Rachel Berry.
Rachel couldn't understand why Mr. Schue had seated her with Noah; personally, she felt that she knew Matt, Mike or even Santana less than she knew Noah. They had engaged in a past relationship (however briefly) after all. But they never really spoke to each other – mostly because he'd been too busy helping Quinn with all the baby stuff and she'd been focusing on glee club. Still, Noah Puckerman wasn't the worst partner she could be seated next to; Santana was still a complete bitch to her and things with the post-baby Quinn were very uncomfortable.
However, Puck believed that Rachel Berry was the worst person to sit next to. The girl was on some sort of music-y, gleeky high and he did not want to spend the next three fucking hours in close proximity with her. His first time on a plane was going to be totally ruined by Berry yapping away in his ear about fucking Broadway.
Puck glared openly at Mr. Schue, while some of his friends gave him sympathetic looks. Maybe he could force (through blackmail, mind games, the threat of physical violence – he wasn't picky) one of them to switch…
"The seats are fixed," Mr. Schue said, looking directly at Puck, who glowered back, undeterred. "You can't change who you sit next to this time but I'm open to rearranging the seats on the way back."
'Thank fuck' Puck thought. There was no way that he was sitting next to Berry on the way back – she'd either be manically depressed that they hadn't won or bouncing off the walls because they had. Either way, she'd be an absolute fucking nightmare to put up with.
It was announced that their flight was now boarding and everyone retrieved their tickets from Mr. Schuester. Rachel frowned, her ticket was marked 35B. She would've preferred a window seat. She wheeled her small hand luggage towards the line of passengers, ready to board.
Puck stuck himself next to Matt's side, determined to spend as much time away from Berry as possible, for his sanity's sake. Puck glanced out of the window and could see their plane sitting there, waiting for everyone to get on it. He was surprised by how small it looked.
Puck flapped the ticket in front of his face. "Dude, is it me, or is it totally baking in here?" he asked Matt as they joined the queue.
Matt glanced at him and shrugged. "No man, it must be you; I'm actually a bit cold."
Puck frowned. He was definitely feeling hot and, now that he thought about it, his stomach didn't feel right either. He probably shouldn't have snatched that 3 day old burrito from the kitchen to eat on the coach…
Rachel located her seat at the rear of the plane. The seats were set out in pairs on either side of the aisle and the glee club and their adult supervision took up three and a half rows, with her and Noah forming the last couple.
She retrieved the inner purse from within her hand luggage which contained a book, a magazine, some water and other items to keep her entertained on the flight and placed it on her seat. She popped the overhead holder open and heaved her larger bag up to her chest. She mentally prepared herself for a moment because she knew that she could probably tone her arms a bit more and her slightly short stature was going to make successfully storing her hand luggage away difficult.
As Puck closed in on row 35 he could see Berry standing on her tiptoes trying to shove a fucking enormous bag into the storage over her head. Seriously, how the fuck had that bag passed as hand luggage? It was nearly as big as Berry. He could see that she was fighting a loosing battle – that bag was about to drop on her puny midget head any second.
Normally, he'd just stand back at watch because that shit would be funny, but he wanted Berry to be on top form for Nationals (he wanted to fucking win after all the effort he'd put into this).
He stood behind her and put one hand onto her ridiculous roller bag, before pushing it easily into the locker.
Rachel gave a rather unladylike squeak when she felt someone help her with her bag and turned round to come face to, er, chest, with someone. She cursed the cramped conditions and leant back slightly to discover that her saviour was Noah Puckerman.
"You'd think they'd have mini stepladders for children and little midgets like you." He said and Rachel frowned at him. She'd been about to give him a glowing thank you for helping her but now she didn't feel like it. However, her manners wouldn't let her not acknowledge his help at all so she simply muttered "thanks" and moved out of the way to let him get to his seat.
Puck wondered what he could've said to upset her (not that he really gave a shit). Maybe it was the midget thing?
She was just standing there now with her arms crossed and her foot tapping impatiently on the floor. He gave a last lingering look at her boosted cleavage (thank you, crossed arms) and slung himself into his seat. He didn't need a bag the size of Hawaii to store pointless crap in. He had his ipod, his phone and his wallet (with a couple of condoms tucked into one of the sleeves). What else did anyone need?
He glanced out of the window but there was fuck all going on out there. He felt Berry sit delicately into the seat next to him (what was she, a fucking flower?) and then he heard a series of loud clangs come from within the plane somewhere.
Fuck. Was that supposed to happen? Was there something wrong with the plane? He glanced at Berry but she didn't seem to be bothered by the noises. He pulled himself forward and looked at the rest of the glee club in the seats in front but they seemed fine too.
He sat nervously, er, macho-ly, back in his seat.
Rachel placed her purse carefully underneath the seat in front and did her seatbelt up securely. Then she picked up the safety information that was held in the pouch below the food tray and started to read.
"Haven't you ever flown before?" Puck asked her in surprise. He was sure he rich Dads flew her all over the place.
Rachel glanced up at him before resuming her perusal of the pamphlet. "Oh, yes, many times."
"Then why you reading that safety stuff?"
"One must always make sure that they are prepared for any situation that arises. I don't want to be rusty about what I should do if an incident occurred during our flight."
Puck raised his eyebrow. "An incident?" he asked in a voice that made him sound like a fucking pussy so he said it again about an octave lower.
"Yes, you know, like a crash."
Puck sucked in a breath. "The fuck, Berry!"
Rachel rolled her eyes at him. Did he have to be so melodramatic? "It's a highly unlikely occurrence but, as I said, being prepared is the best chance for survival should the worst happen."
Puck rubbed the back of his neck not nervously. He was feeling really hot again. Had someone turned up the heating on this thing?
The air stewardesses started walking up the aisles, closing the overhead storage and checking people were sitting correctly. Puck was feeling a tiny bit freaked out from Berry's talk of crashing and he completely forgot to check whether any of the stewardesses were fuckable or not. He was feeling really fucking uncomfortable. Damn that burrito!
Rachel ducked down to retrieve a packet from her purse. It contained some hard boiled candy. She unwrapped a raspberry flavoured one and popped it into her mouth. She held the candy towards Noah.
"Would you like one?" she offered.
He frowned at the small packet. "Um, why?"
"Normally I would disapprove of ingesting such sugary snacks but sucking on the sweets stops your ears from popping in the air. Not swallowing often enough can do damage to you aural health."
Puck had to fight his natural response to her using the words 'swallowing' and 'oral' with every ounce of restraint as he could. He thought she'd get really pissed and…he wanted some candy.
"Sure," he shrugged and picked a green one. He shoved the candy in his mouth and started crunching on it immediately.
"Noah!" Rachel admonished. "You're supposed to suck it!"
Puck wrinkled his nose. Those words just sounded wrong coming out of Berry's mouth. He took a yellow candy this time and fought his reflex to crunch the hell out of it.
He glanced out of the window and could see that the plane was moving back slowly from the airport terminal. So, this was it. He was going to be flying up thousands of feet in the air for the first time.
A tingle travelled up his spine, as though there was some sort of bug creeping up him.
He remembered all the airplane crashes that he'd heard about on TV. There seemed to be an awful fucking lot of them…
The safety video started playing on a screen a couple of seats in front of them and Rachel dutifully paid attention. One could never be too sure.
Puck tried to pay attention to the safety announcement but his mind kept skipping off to thoughts that, if he was completely honest with himself, freaked him the fuck out. Like, it was all very well to tell them about life jackets and shit but they were flying over the country; there was no fucking water! If they were going to crash, they would crash hard and everyone would die – forget all that brace position crap. He couldn't think of when a plane had crashed on land and anyone had survived. That shit sucked major ass.
Rachel could sense that Noah was incredibly tense next to her. He was gripping the arm rest really tightly and he was resolutely staring straight ahead, an unreadable expression on his face.
"Noah, are you okay?" It was a stupid question because he quite clearly wasn't but she really was not sure what to make of his behaviour.
"Fan–fucking–tastic, Berry," he muttered, flinching when an air hostess walked pass.
Rachel stared at him curiously.
"Cabin crew please take your seats for take off," a voice announced on the tannoy and Noah sucked in a huge breath. Suddenly it all clicked in Rachel's brain.
"Oh, gosh, Noah! You're afraid of flying!"
Puck glared at her. "I'm a fucking badass, Berry. I'm not scared of shit!" he ground out through clenched teeth. He glanced out of the window and saw another plane taking off. Fuck, fuck, fuck! His life could be over in seconds and there was shit all he could do about it. Would he feel anything? Would it hurt? Would there even be any time to react before he was already dead?
"Oh, Noah, why didn't you say something?" Rachel asked, seeing through his words.
"How the fuck was I supposed to know?" he snapped. "I've never been on a plane before!"
Their plane came to the end of the runway and started powering up the engines. Puck felt like he was burning up and his stomach was squirming, making him feel sick. He could feel every hair on his body standing on end and his senses felt like they were on overdrive. His heart was beating rapidly but he couldn't seem to catch his breath. He could feel the adrenaline coursing through his body as the plane began moved forward again.
It seemed to start off reasonably slowly and then all of a sudden it was racing down the runway. Puck leant back in his seat, eyes screwed tightly shut – he didn't want to see his death, thanks.
They were still on the runway. He wasn't sure how he could tell with his eyes closed but he knew they hadn't taken off yet. It was taking too long. They were going to crash!
A hand as cold as ice settled over his and he grabbed onto it, knowing full well that it was Berry's but he couldn't give a shit about that right now. Her other hand ran up and down his arm, trying to sooth his burning skin.
"It's going to be fine, Noah" her voice said in a gentler tone than he was used to. It wasn't fine they were going to die!
There was a weird swooping feeling that made his head feel weird. Was he dead? Berry's hands were still cold against his skin so he figured not.
"We've taken off now, Noah." Berry said and Puck cautiously opened one eye and saw that they had, indeed taken off. It made him feel a bit better, but only a little; they could still crash from here.
Rachel continued to rub her right hand up his arm. She didn't really know what to do to make Noah feel better. The plane tilted to change direction and Noah squeezed her hand slightly tighter than was comfortable.
The plane righted itself and Noah's gripped relaxed slightly but it didn't look like she was going to be getting her hand back anytime soon.
"Do you want me to alert a stewardess or Mr. Schuester?" she asked.
"Fuck, no!" he breathed. "It's bad enough that you know. I'll be okay in a minute, I'm sure."
Rachel could see that he still had his eyes closed and she could hear him breathing really quickly.
Two minutes passed and he didn't seem to have relaxed at all. There was a dinging noise and the light overhead blinked out to show that it was okay to undo the seat belt.
"What was that?" Noah asked.
"It's just the seatbelt sign. You can go to the bathroom now if you want to."
Noah shook his head. Rachel turned her attention forward and saw someone familiar moving in their direction.
"Finn's coming," she whispered and Noah's eyes flew open.
"Shit," he muttered.
"Noah, what are you – " Rachel asked as he manoeuvred the hand that was in his just as Finn stopped beside them.
"Hey guys," the quarterback greeted. He frowned down at their hands. "What are you doing?"
"Thumb war," Puck supplied. "Berry totally sucks."
"Oh, cool." Finn nodded. "Well, I'm just, you know," he pointed down the aisle and Puck would've rolled his eyes if he didn't think it would make him feel more nauseous.
"Yeah, man, we get it." He wished Finn would hurry the fuck on.
"Okay, well, I'll see you later," Finn said and continued down to the end of the plane.
Puck glanced over at Berry and saw that she was looking at their joined hands. He supposed that he could've just let go of her hand but for some reason he just really didn't want to. It was like, keeping a grip on Berry was helping him keep a grip on the situation (and even that he wasn't doing very well at the moment).
Puck glanced out of the window and saw nothing but white cloud. That was okay. He could deal with that.
"You know, air travel is an extremely safe mode of transport," Berry said and Noah groaned. "You're much more likely to experience an accident travelling by car. The way that the media report air incidents just makes it seem like there are a lot of crashes but, there are hundreds of flights a day that the media don't need to report because they've had no difficulties."
"Look, Berry, I know you're trying to make me feel better but that's really not helping, like, at all."
Rachel bit her lip. Was she really going to have to sit like this for the next 3 hours? She didn't mind helping Noah through his aviophobia but if he was only going to let her have one hand to herself than there wasn't much she could do to occupy her time. She knew Noah wasn't much of a talker or even a very good listener and she couldn't exactly shut him out by reading a book or listening to some music; that would be very insensitive of her.
She retrieved another piece of candy from the packet sitting in her lap and had to resort to using her teeth to help unwrap it. She held the candies out to Noah and watched him struggle to unwrap one too. She didn't really understand why he didn't just let go of her hand. It wasn't like she was going anywhere. She could, of course, just take back her hand herself but he seemed to be relying on her somehow and she didn't want to be the one to make the first move. She'd barely ever seen Noah so unsure of himself and that worried her because she was unsure how he was going to react to the next couple of hours.
A few minutes later the plane shook slightly and Puck nearly choked on his candy. What the fuck was that?
"It's just turbulence," Berry explained and he glanced down to see that she was looking like she was in pain. He realized that he was probably crushing her fingers and he loosened his grip on them slightly. They'd gone back to normal hand holding once Finn had returned to his seat.
"And what the fuck is turbulence?" he asked, heat flushing through his body as the plane shook again.
"I don't really know," Berry admitted. "But you get it on practically every flight. It's just when the plane passes through different air pockets, or something. It's really nothing to worry about."
Puck nodded but he wasn't convinced. He didn't think he'd be happy until the plane touched down safely in Dallas. He checked his watch and saw that they still had about another two and a half hours of this torture. Fucking great.
Rachel sighed. She didn't mind flying normally, but Noah was making her nervous. They were both just sitting here thinking about how the flight could go wrong and that really wasn't the best approach to take.
She reached down with her free hand for her purse and pulled out a small oblong pack.
Puck looked over at her.
"You any good at poker?" she asked and for the first time in about an hour Puck let himself smile.
Puck was good at poker but Berry seemed to be getting the luck of the draw. They were playing Texas hold 'em for her candy and she was totally whooping his ass. It was kinda awkward playing with only one hand especially when it came to shuffling the pack but Puck was able to unwind slightly and he only tensed up again when there was a batch of turbulence (man he hated that shit).
"Ha! Beat that Berry; full house." Puck threw his two cards onto the food tray and made to grab the assortment of candy but Berry's triumphant laugh cut him off.
"Four of a kind," she grinned at him and moved the candy to her significantly larger pile.
Puck groaned. "That's it; I'm dealing the next one."
"Are you accusing me of cheating, Noah Puckerman?"
"No…it's just the cards seem to really love you. Maybe it's like dealer's luck or some shit."
Berry shrugged. "Yes, well, you know what they say: lucky in cards, unlucky in love."
He didn't need to be a mind reader to know that she was thinking about Finn. Ever since the true identity of the father of Quinn's baby was revealed, everyone was expecting Finn and Berry to get it together. He knew that Berry was more than up for it but for some reason Finn kept pushing her away. The tension between the two of them was starting to get really old. Puck knew what it was like for someone to not want you (see Quinn) so he didn't understand why Finn would turn down someone that was obviously crazy for him. Okay, so Berry could be a little full on but despite what he'd said at the time, he totally wasn't planning on breaking up with her a few months ago. She was a pretty hot Jew and she was also nice. He didn't really do nice (see Santana, Quinn or practically every other girl he'd ever fucked) but Berry had made him feel good about himself and she hadn't tried to make him choose between hot make-out sessions and football (because, it totally wasn't about glee). Obviously, Quinn had just fucked Finn up (not literally, of course) and Berry seemed to be suffering the consequences. The freaky little Broadway girl deserved better than that.
"Seriously, Berry, you need to get over that shit." He told her and she turned her sad eyes towards him. "If Hudson was going to do something about it, he would've done it by now."
"You don't think Finn likes me?" she asked in a small voice. What the fuck was he doing? Why had he started a talk about feelings? He normally avoided that stuff like it was the fucking Disney channel.
"Nah, he probably does," Puck admitted. "He just doesn't know what to do about it."
"Oh," was all that she said in response.
After the whole sleeping with his best friend's girl thing, Puck wasn't sure why he was trying to sabotage said best friend's (most likely) next relationship. Things between himself and Finn had only recently gotten back to normal. But something about the idea of Finn and Berry getting together didn't sit well with him all of a sudden.
He didn't fucking like that.
He was tempted to let Berry take her hand back but then the plane jolted through some turbulence and he changed his mind and gripped her hand tighter.
They managed to waste an hour playing poker before an air stewardess gave them some crappy breakfast. Berry had managed to win pretty much all of her candy back by this point so he figured it was time to call it quits.
The food was okay; not as bad as the horror stories he'd heard about airplane food but it wasn't great either. By the time that was all cleared away he was relieved to see that they only had about an hour left of the flight to go.
"Um, Noah?" Rachel began tentatively. He looked over at her, eyebrow raised. "I need to go to the bathroom."
"Is that an invitation to join the mile high club?"
Rachel almost smiled; he was starting to sound like the Noah she knew and tolerated.
"It most definitely is not."
She could see him hesitating. They had been holding hands ever since take off and to let go mid-flight seemed like a very big deal.
"I haven't seen anyone else go past to use it so I should be really quick." She tried to reassure him.
Puck knew he was being stupid; Rachel Berry was asking his permission to go to the bathroom. In any other situation he would've found this both hilarious and freaking weird but…he really didn't want her to go.
He nodded and took a deep breath. "Sure, Berry, just go." He let go of her hand. Nothing happened. The plane didn't plummet or burst into flames. Everything was fine.
"I'll be right back," Rachel said, squeezing his shoulder before vacating her seat.
She had to shake her head a little to confirm that this was in fact all real. It felt completely surreal to think that she needed to hurry back to her seat so that she could hold Noah Puckerman's hand.
Yes, Noah Puckerman; the jerk jock who'd cost her a couple hundred dollar's worth of dry cleaning bills; the guy who'd gotten his best friend's girlfriend pregnant; the self-proclaimed stud who (according to high school gossip) had serviced more than the pools of a lot of Lima's older female residents. Yes, that boy was practically cowering while he waited for her to get back from the bathroom.
It was a side of Noah that she'd never have believe existed but she'd seen it with her own two eyes and felt it with her (now slightly aching) hand. He wasn't showing this side of his own accord of course, it had been somewhat forced out of him. In fact, she doubted that even he knew that he could be so terrified of something; he was always giving off the persona that he was invincible and didn't care about anything (although him trying to take responsibility for being the father of Quinn's baby had proven that he cared a little). She felt a sort of tingling in her stomach that only she knew about this aspect of Noah Puckerman (but she wasn't glad that he was finding flying a very distressing experience). It made him seem more human, yet she knew that the persona he portrayed to everyone at school wasn't the real Noah. She'd caught glimpses of him during their week of dating and she'd been very pleased with what she saw (serenading, anyone?). If it hadn't been for her unassailable feelings for Finn then she could've quite happily stayed with Noah.
She pondered Noah's suggestion that she get over Finn. That would be easier said than done. She'd thought that her desire to become Finn Hudson's girlfriend was nearly as strong as her aspiration to perform on Broadway. But ever since babygate she wasn't so sure. After sectionals so was convinced that Finn was going to ask her out but…nothing. He'd completely ignored her over the winter break too. Once they'd got back to school things felt a little weird. He was obviously still hurting over the betrayal of Quinn and Noah and every now and then he'd ask her to hang out with him but that was all they'd do; hang out. He never kissed her or implied that he wanted to go out with her. It was as though he was making a statement to everyone that while he wasn't ready for a relationship yet, no one else should make a move on Rachel either. It was very frustrating.
She'd been patient with Finn, despite patience not being one of her strongest assets. Was he ever going to come round? Noah didn't seem to think so.
She stumbled as she emerged from the bathroom due to a very heavy bout of turbulence. Once it had passed she hurried back to her seat. Noah had his eyes shut again and he was gripping the arm rests so tight she could see his knuckles standing out as clear as day.
"Noah, it's okay, I'm back," Rachel soothed as she took her seat again and Noah took no time to grab her hand.
Puck breathed a sigh of relief and opened his eyes. He couldn't wait to get the fuck off of this plane. He hated how much of a pussy it made him look. Berry was probably never going to be able to look at him the same way ever again. That didn't bother him as much as it should.
If he was honest, he was glad that out of everyone, it was Rachel Berry that was sat beside him. It would've been fucking weird to act this way in front of a dude, Santana would demand he hand his balls over because he wouldn't be fit to own them anymore, Quinn would think he was more of a loser than she already did, Brittany wouldn't understand what was bothering him, Mercedes would try to punch him if he even brushed his elbow against hers, Tina would be more scared of him than he was of flying and Miss Pillsbury would be too busy trying to disinfect the seats.
To sum up his train of thought he turned to Berry and said, "I'm glad you're here."
"I tried to be as quick as I could," she replied and it took a moment for him to understand what she meant.
"No, I mean, I'm glad that Mr. Schue sat us next to each other."
Rachel felt her cheeks flush. She loved it when Noah was being…Noah and not Puck.
"Oh, thank you," she mumbled, giving his hand a squeeze.
"But, er, I'd still appreciate it if you like, didn't tell anyone about this."
"Oh! Of course I won't. Why would I tell anyone?"
Puck shrugged. "If I was sat with pretty much anyone else they'd make sure the rest of the school knew and they'd never let me forget it. I'm a badass, remember?" The words sounded hollow. He didn't feel like much of a badass anymore.
Berry seemed to sense what he was thinking. "Just because you have a phobia, it doesn't make you any less of a man, Noah. I'm pretty sure that Muhammad Ali was aviophobic and he's considered to be the greatest boxer of all time. No one would question his badassness."
Puck felt his chest constrict slightly but he didn't think this was a symptom of his avy-phobia thing.
They whipped out the cards again and Puck was happy to see that the cards were giving him more luck this time round. However, there was less to bet with the longer the game went on due to their ingestion of their winnings.
Each time a member of glee walked past they'd change their hands to make it look like they were playing thumb war again. Finn's brow creased in puzzlement when he went to the bathroom the second time.
"You're playing a thumb war and poker at the same time?" he asked.
"It's how the Hondurans play," Rachel told him in her most confident voice. Finn didn't know what the 'Hondurans' were so he just nodded and went on his way.
Noah grinned at her and Rachel felt a light-headedness that she didn't think was due to the plane's change of direction.
About fifteen minutes before the plane was scheduled to land the co-pilot announced that they were going to start their descent.
Berry squeezed his hand comfortingly. This shit was nearly over.
Five minutes later, the stewardess told them to put their food trays away and so Noah lost his source of distraction. He chanced a glance out of the window. The clouds were gone – all he could see was like brown. Oh, and there was a lake; maybe they'd get to use those life jackets after all.
Rachel wasn't really sure what to do to distract Noah now that they couldn't play poker. She had an edition of Glamour in her purse but she doubted he'd be interested in that.
Puck couldn't seem to stop glancing out of the window. They were getting much closer to the ground now. It would be really shitty luck if they crashed now – the flight was almost over.
He thought about his mom and sister back home in Lima. His mom would be fucking devastated if he didn't make it back from this trip. Sarah was still only eight years old. Would she still remember him in ten years time?
Then he thought about his dad. Would his old man even care that he was dead?
Berry rubbed her thumb over the back of his hand. He'd had no doubt that she would make it big; had you heard her voice? Would Broadway ever know about the star that they'd never get to have?
All his symptoms were blaring back stronger than ever. He was finding it really fucking hard to breathe.
Rachel could hear Noah's erratic breathing – it sounded worse than at takeoff. He was really freaking her out.
She glanced past him out of the window and could see that there were probably only a couple of minutes to go.
The plane jerked violently. Puck's eyes screwed themselves shut. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck! His mind screamed.
He felt Berry's right hand against his cheek and suddenly his head was jerked sideways. And whoa, fucking hell, Berry was kissing him!
He was about to die but it seemed that Berry was trying to kiss the life out of him anyway.
His free hand touched something silky and he realised that it must be her hair. He threaded his fingers through it as hers raked over his 'hawk. Her mouth was doing fucking crazy things to his already freaked out mind and the adrenaline coursing through his body grew tenfold.
He already knew that Berry was a more than decent kisser but this…this was on a whole new fucking level. He wasn't sure whether it was the threat of imminent death or that her mouth tasted all sweet from the candy she'd been sucking or maybe it was the way her hand had wandered down to brush over his nipple piercing but all together this was becoming one hot fucking kiss.
Seriously, if this was the way he had to go then he really couldn't complain. A fucking hot Jewish virgin was giving him the kiss of his life. He thought God would like the Jewish part.
She pulled away and he cursed mentally – he really hadn't wanted to stop. But it was probably a good thing she had because he wasn't sure when he'd last taken in a breath and he was pretty close to passing out right now.
He could see out the window across the aisle and the view was stationary. They'd landed? What the fuck? He hadn't felt a thing! The old couple across the aisle gave him a dirty look and then he realized that he should totally be paying attention to the girl who's hand he was gripping, who's hair was bunched in his left hand and who's right hand was resting on his shoulder.
Rachel's heart was beating wildly and she couldn't seem to get her breathing back to normal. That kiss…Oh, that kiss, had been unbelievable.
Noah rested his forehead against hers and she couldn't help but smile and close her eyes in pleasure.
"You're alive then?" she joked, slightly breathlessly. And she heard him chuckle.
She moved her head away from his to look him in the eyes. "I'm sorry if that was inappropriate. I just wasn't sure what else to do to stop you from having a full on panic attack."
"Berry, there's absolutely fuck all for you to be sorry about." He assured her, slowly dragging his fingers through her hair, making her shiver. "I just wish one of us had thought of that sooner – that two and a half hours would've gone a hell of a lot quicker."
The air around them was filled with the sounds of people unclicking their seatbelts.
Puck and Rachel looked down at their entwined hands. Then, at exactly the same moment they relinquished their grip and their hand was back as their own.
"Um, so, thanks, you know, for this." Puck said, suddenly not wanting to meet her eye. "I really appreciate it."
"That's quite all right, Noah," she replied, kissing him chastely on the corner of his mouth.
And just like that it was as though as spell had been lifted. Rachel and Puck both pretended like nothing had happened; at least not to each other or to the rest of the glee club.
They didn't win Nationals, but that was okay.
The night before they were due to fly back to Ohio Mr. Schuester twice received knocks on his hotel room door; the first time it was Rachel Berry, the second it was Noah Puckerman. Mr. Schue was quite bemused that they both made the same request; that there be no difference in their seating arrangements from the flight out.
A/N I like to think that Puck and Rachel got together after this one-shot, just in case you wondered!
The way Puck feels in this is a large exaggeration on how I felt on my flights to and from Rome. I've been on a plane a dozen times but all of a sudden I've developed this weird fear that the plane is going to crash. I seriously don't know where it's come from.
Anyway, I shall get on with my other fics now.
Let me know if you enjoyed!
Lil Drop of Magic