Author's Note: So this is first chapter (of who knows how many chapters) of the top-secret fic I've been tweeting about in Twitter-land. Anyway, I hope you enjoy. This plot bunny has been hopping around in my brain for a while now. And to all my reviewers, I've been really crappy about responding to reviews lately. I PROMISE to better with this story. I need to stop sucking so bad....
Anyway, on to Lima!
The first time she was his, really his in every way, they were in the final moments of their childhood. The days of lockers, cafeteria lunches, and Glee club practices were all part of the not-too-distant past and college life was just on the other side of the door. The future lay ahead - big, bold, completely unknown, and theirs for the taking. But as the uncertainty of the future rushed toward them to become the present, they found themselves clinging to what was left of their youth for as long as possible. Later, they would both think it was strange that they chose the last vestiges of their adolescence to finally take the step that they'd started years before.
He was sitting on his bed – the same bed he'd been sleeping in since he was 10 – strumming his fingers lazily over the strings of his guitar when his mind drifted to her. He knew that she was just a few streets away and at that very moment, probably preening and practicing acceptance speeches in the big mirror that sat on the white dresser in her very yellow bedroom. In the few months since graduation, his mind had traveled in her direction far too often. He blamed it on the fact that he'd seen Tina and Artie and Quinn and Mike, even Finn and Santana, but not her. She hadn't shown up at any of their gatherings despite her repeated invitations. No, he hadn't actually expected to see her but still found himself disappointed when she hadn't shown. She was the girl who was always there, in the middle of everything and involved in everybody's lives. With her big mouth and even bigger dreams, she was impossible to ignore. So he hadn't ignored her during their last year of high school; he'd just avoided her as much as possible, even if she was never really off his radar. He knew from the brief, PG-rated interludes they'd shared over the years that every stolen moment with her was like playing with a box of matches in a room full of sparklers – it would only take one real spark to start a fire that would be slow to burn out. So he sang with her when he had to, talked to her even less than that, and had given her a wide berth because doing otherwise would have been a roulette game that even he hadn't been brave enough to play.
But now high school was over, all the summer parties were winding down, and it was the end of the first day of an especially sweltering August. In just 12 days, he was hopping a plane to Pennsylvania to start college at a school that he'd never imagined would actually accept him. He hadn't allowed himself to become a "Lima loser" after all. He was getting the fuck outta that cow-town to study music full-time. Later, when he thought about that night, he would blame the prospect of leaving the town and the state of Ohio for putting a filter over his judgment. By the time he'd reasoned that maybe going to her house wasn't the wisest of decisions, he'd slipped on his shoes and was already climbing into his truck. But it was the season of change - a time for new beginnings - in both of their lives and it was that impending transition that drove Noah Puckerman to Rachel Berry's house on a Friday night, long after the sun had set and when the city streets were all but deserted.
As he rapped softly on the door, he shifted his weight from one foot to the other and grasped the neck of the wine bottle tighter. It had taken him five minutes to get out of his truck once he'd parked in her driveway. Contemplating rejection and the fear of starting something that he may regret later left him rooted in the cracked, dusty vinyl seat of his old Chevy for far longer than he liked. But then he thought about all the times when he wanted to see, just see,if the something he had always felt was there really was…and if it was, could it happen? It was the desire to see if lighting that match to create that spark that finally forced his tall, muscular body from the cab of his ancient vehicle. And when she opened the door in tiny pink shorts and a white tank top, her hair swept up off her neck in a messy ponytail, the look she gave him told him that it might actually have a chance of happening. Finally.
Rachel had been hard at work, organizing her closet and tossing out the clothes that wouldn'tbe making the trip to New York City with her when she'd heard the knock on the door. Glancing at the clock, concern registered. 10:14? Who would possibly visit at that time? Rachel had padded quickly down the steps and pulled the door open, fear dancing through her veins over the prospect of such a late night visitor. Shock registered on her face, though, as she appraised her visitor. Noah. She'd just been thinking about him. She wasn't sure why but she'd found herself wondering what he was doing on that Friday night as she stood in the dimly-lit walk-in closet. It wasn't like she'd even seen him since graduation back in early June. But even still, her thoughts had drifted in his direction and she'd been nearly positive that he was at a party, probably sucking the cheap lip-gloss off a junior Cheerio. But as she looked at him standing on her front porch, board shorts over his muscular thighs and brown sandals on his feet with a wine bottle in his hand and that smirk on his face, the only thing she had the power to do was open the door and invite him in. If she bothered to be honest with herself, she would have to admit that she wanted him there, in her home, on that night. She'd been thinking about him, she reason, simply because she wanted to see him before she left Lima in twelve days. She'd told both Mercedes and Quinn just earlier in the week that she wanted to at least see him to say goodbye before her future took her away from Lima. So as Rachel and Noah stood staring at one another that night on her porch, their worlds collided in melancholy and something else that was still indefinable.
When he stepped inside, his arm brushed against her breast, causing heat to immediately sweep through her like an unexpected wind. She saw that his body was tense as his eyes darted over the darkened rooms, surveying and analyzing his surroundings.
"My dads aren't home," she supplied casually. She watched the tension in his broad shoulders ease and he breezed, "cool," before plopping down on the couch, the wine bottle still encased in his long fingers.
She wanted to ask, "what are you doing here?" but instead, she wordlessly padded into the dark kitchen and pulled out two wine glasses and the corkscrew. Her hands shook slightly and it perturbed her. She was hardly the 16 year-old-girl that had once allowed him to kiss her senseless. And she was seriously different than the wiser 17-year-old, recently dumped girl who turned to him for gentle, soothing caresses after her last relationship had ended in a big flaming pile of sheet music. She was 18-years-old now, weeks away from starting college, and far more experienced than she had been before. But that was thing about Noah: he could reduce her to a ball of nerves with just a look from those mysterious eyes.
Rachel returned with the glasses, sitting cross-legged on the couch a few feet away from him, and unscrewed the cork before handing him the bottle. He filled their glasses silently and then she took a sip, looking up at him through her lashes as she drank.
"To what do I owe the pleasure, Noah?" she finally questioned as she placed her wine glass on the coffee table.
Puck wanted to tell her the truth. Because I can't leave Lima wondering if you felt what I felt. Because I want you so goddamn much that I get hard every time I even think about you. Instead, he shrugged. "Well, everybody's about to leave so I just wanted to stop by. You haven't come to any of the parties and nobody's really seen you except Quinn and Mercedes."
The look on her face told him that she didn't entirely believe him and his reason for visiting. Then again, he realized, maybe he was just hoping that she was on to him.
"I have been keeping to myself, Noah...I really didn't think anyone would notice that I wasn't around this summer. I have never exactly been the most popular person, you know." Without looking at him, she pursed her lips and took another sip of wine.
"Would still have been nice to see you," he offered awkwardly. This is not going like I'd planned. Fuck, Puckerman, figure this shit out. This is your last goddamn chance. So..." Puck looked uncomfortably around the room. "Do we need to hide the wine bottle in case your dads see it when they get back?" Are your dads going to be home soon?
Rachel shook her head. "No. They're on vacation until about four days before I leave for school so they won't be returning tonight. I'll just put the bottle out with the trash, provided we finish it, of course."
"Oh, we'll finish it," Puck promised with a smirk as he poured more wine into her glass.
Puck watched her lips press against the rim of the glass as she took a sip and his mind went to the many times he'd thought about her mouth. From her incredible singing voice to the intensity of her kisses to the things he only thought about in his bedroom while he stroked himself, her mouth had always tempted him.
"So..." Rachel looked around the room, doing her best to ignore the awkwardness. "Are you ready to head off to school? When are you leaving?"
Puck sat his wine glass down on the coffee table and leaned back into the couch. "I'm leaving on August 13th and yeah, I think I'm ready, mostly. I mean, there's only so much shit that's going to fit into a college dorm and since I'm flying, I can't take too much, ya know? How 'bout you?"
Rachel sighed loudly and then her face became animated. "I've been throwing out clothes and junk that I don't need. I don't know what to take to college, honestly. Noah, this is a tough decision! It's just....it's exasperating!" She wilted against the couch and took another sip of wine. "I don't think I'll ever be ready to leave," she added.
"But you're excited to go, right? You wanna go?"
Nodding, Rachel took another sip. "I do..."
The hesitation in her voice caused his brow to furrow. "You don't sound convincing, Rachel. You've dreamed of getting out of here and heading to New York. It's what you've lived for! It's what we've all had to listen to you drone on and on about every five fucking minutes for years."
A sad laugh escaped from Rachel's lips. "I know, right?" Standing up, she paced in front of the couch. Puck watched her long, tanned legs as she moved back and forth in front of him. His fingers itched to reach out and wrap his palm around her thigh. "It's just..."
"What?" He reluctantly pulled his eyes away from her legs and met her gaze.
"Are you ever afraid to grow up? I mean, I know we're not little kids anymore but we were in high school and still dependent on our parents and now, in just a few weeks time, we'll be living in another state and totally on our own. It's...it's intimidating."
Puck smirked and reached for the wine glass. "Rachel, relax. And sit your ass down. You'll kick ass in New York. The entire fucking city won't know what hit it. Annnnd you need another drink."
She plopped back down next to him, the wide strap of her top sliding down to bare her shoulder. She didn't notice at first and instead took a drink. When she felt his eyes burning into her, she realized that he was staring at the exposed skin, his eyes sweeping over her shoulder and collarbone and down to the gentle swell of her breast. For a few lingering moments, as the heat from before returned to her body and pooled between her thighs, she allowed him to look his fill before slowly sliding it back up on her shoulder. It was in the look in his hazel eyes when they trailed her fingers as she pushed the strap back into place (a look she'd seen before) that fully clarified his reason for visiting. He wanted her. The realization hit her like an electrical shock and nearly caused her to shudder in his presence. Does he...? Do I...? Can we...? And she...she needed another drink. Holding out her wine glass for more, he topped it off with a grin.
An hour later, Rachel was giggling and obviously on her way to being very drunk. She'd launched into a tirade about how she never could understand why Kurt hated her so much, even after she'd become friends with Quinn and Mercedes. And then she began laughing hysterically as she recalled Mr. Schuester and his many, many attempts at rapping over their three years in Glee Club. Puck, who could handle his alcohol, watched her laugh and smile and couldn't remember when he'd ever seen her so relaxed. The worry lines that often crossed her forehead were gone, leaving a clear, smooth swath of skin in its wake. Her cheeks were flushed from the heated blood caused by the alcohol. And her hand kept landing on his leg, squeezing his knee as she laughed. Puck found himself staring at her lips again. He wanted to kiss her…he hadn't kissed her in so fucking long. However, as strong as the desire to claim her lips was, he held back. But as he watched her, he saw that her eyelids were beginning to droop and he realized his chances were disappearing fucking fast.
Fuck. She's a sleepy drunk.
A few minutes later, once she'd quieted down slightly and when her head lulled back, she said, "I'm a little drunk, Noah…why are your eyes spinning around your face?"
He groaned in frustration and stood up, walking over to her. "C'mon, babe, let's get you to bed."
Rachel pointed at the bottle. "But there's still a sip left! We can't throw it out!"
Puck glanced at the bottle, picked it up, and then chugged the last inch of wine. Slamming the bottle down, he ordered, "Up to bed, Rachel. The wine's gone now."
She giggled and held her arms out for him to help her up. She leaned heavily on him as he helped her up the stairs as she yammered about how steep the steps were while he tried his damnedest to ignore the feel of her body against his. He knew that the things he had hoped would happen that night were certainly not happening now. He wanted to kick his own ass for getting her drunk.... As usual, he'd fucked up his own luck.
Puck nudged the door to her bedroom open with his foot and guided her toward the bed. She crawled across the covers and snuggled into her pillow as he flipped off the closet light, sending the room into darkness.
He made his way back toward her bed and looked down at her. "I'll lock the door on my way out, Rach."
He bent over her instinctively but then stopped himself. Was I just about to kiss her? He pushed himself upright again but she snagged his wrist in her hand.
"Stay with me, Noah….you've had too much to drink to drive."
As Puck stood there, he knew it wasn't true. He could hold quite a bit of alcohol and he was completely sober. Driving was no problem. He had no reason to stay.
Except he did.
Even as he grunted in protest, he gave in. "Okay, I'll stay."
He kicked his shoes off and crawled into the bed with her. Flipping onto his back, he threw an arm over his head and stared into the dark room. He felt her shifting beside him and her bare arm rubbed against his. He clenched his eyes tightly against the need to just fucking take her and flipped on his side away from her. As he closed his eyes, he wondered what the fuck he was still doing there, really. It made no sense.
Except it did.
Realizing that these were his last moments with her, he told his brain to shut the fuck up. He would sleep for a few hours, make sure she wasn't hungover, and then go home and occupy himself with a few last minute, nameless flings until he left Lima, and Rachel, in the past where they both belonged. S'fucking easier that way. With this determination, he fell asleep.
Puck drifted out of sleep a few hours later. He glanced around the room, slightly disoriented at first, until he spied the clock. 3:56am. Turning his head, he saw Rachel asleep on her side, facing him. In the moonlight, he watched the rise and fall of her chest and the deep valley of her breasts visible down the gaping neckline of her tank top. He swallowed hard against desire as he watched her sleep. She shifted slightly, a soft sigh escaping her parted lips, and he found himself rolling toward her.
He had to touch her. Desire shot through him and socked him the stomach as he looked at her sleeping serenely. I have to fucking touch her. It was why he'd shown up in the first place. This girl – this tiny wisp of a woman –and the fact that he never even attempted to see if she felt what he felt was the single biggest regret of his high school years.
When his eyes settled on her lips, he knew only one thing: he wasn't leaving for Pennsylvania with a single fucking regret.
Propping himself up on his elbow, he pushed her hair back and his eyes raked over the long line of her neck. While she still slept, he bent over and dragged his lips against the tender flesh of her collarbone. At first, there was no reaction from her slumbering body. He pulled back, glancing at her face, before dipping his head to press his lips against hers. It was only then that Rachel's eyes flew open. Puck stilled his lips as he waited for her to push him away. But when her arms went around his neck and she kissed him back, Puck snapped with desire. He rolled her flat on her back, towering over her as he nipped at her lips before taking them fully again. Beneath him, Rachel softly undulated her hips and even the gentlest of contact seared through his skin. This – this thing he'd wanted for so long, was actually fucking happening.
His hands found their way down the sides of her body and he tugged the top over her head, locking his gaze with hers. He expected to see hesitation but instead, he only saw need. The look in her eyes – like she had wanted him for as long as he had wanted her – was the final nail in the coffin of his self-control. He was sick of fighting it. She was his – if only for right now and with only a few days left. That night, in her white four-post bed, she was his.
Puck disengaged his body from hers, pulling his shirt over his head and throwing it so that it landed somewhere in the darkness and then he pulled Rachel to him, their bare chests making contact for the first time. He ran his hand over her side to her hip and then up her body, flicking his thumb against her nipple. Before she could cry out, she pulled his head to her and she kissed him hard. Her heart was pounding and she could feel the throb of it deep inside her.
How long had she thought of this?
How many times, as she'd watched him kiss this girl or that one in the hallway, had she felt a twinge of jealousy and even regret that she'd had her chances for this and hadn't taken them out of fear or a sense of propriety?
Why was it, during the few times that she'd given into need and self-pleasure, that it had been his name to escape her lips?
When she'd been handed her diploma, she thought the door had closed on these chances. But as his full lips sipped against the flesh of her breasts before sliding his tongue over her nipple and then sucking it between his teeth, she realized the door was very much open and then her brain went fuzzy.
More. All she knew was that she needed more.
Puck jumped, almost shocked into stillness, when he suddenly felt Rachel's hands on the waistband of his shorts, jerking open the snaps, yanking down the zipper, and then pushing them down. When they were halfway down his thighs, her hand felt in the dark until it brushed against the heated flesh between his legs. Encircling him with her hand, she shuddered at his groan and began to stroke him. He threw his head back, eyes clenched tightly, because this...this was beyond his wildest fucking fantasy.
Puck pulled his hips back as he loomed over her to allow her more room to stroke him. She arched up into him, her breasts rubbing against his chest as she lifted her head to kiss his lips as she slid the soft steel of his cock through her hand.
So good, Noah.
So goddamn good, Rachel.
Rachel opened her eyes when she felt him pull away. His cock still in her hand, she saw his hand go to the pockets of the shorts still dangling from his thighs. She let go of him and arched her back, sliding her own shorts down and off.
She watched as Puck pulled a condom from the shorts. His eyes were on her splayed thighs and the wetness, slickly gleaming in the moonlight, between them as he pulled the condom from the foil packet.
So many things he wanted to do to her.
So many things she'd let him do.
But now was not the time. He needed her now.
Puck locked eyes with her in the near dark as he smoothed the condom down over his cock. He shoved his shorts off and crawled between her legs, sitting back on his haunches. Hooking her thighs in the crook of his arms, he pulled her down the bed to angle her just right. Then he leaned over her, kissed her hotly, and took her.
She shuddered as the blunt head pushed in deeply and cried out into his mouth when he bottomed out. But then it was pleasure, sheer pleasure, as he gripped her hips and guided her on his length.
Rachel's eyes were clenched in ecstasy.
Puck gritted his teeth, focusing on making this with Rachel last. If this was the only time he'd ever get to be with her like this, he wanted it to feel more like the main course than an appetizer. But reasoning and control left his body as he felt her slicking over him, tugging around him, pulling him deeper, wordlessly urging him on. This was beyond…
He fought against his release but knew it was futile. Dropping his hand from the knee he'd been holding wide open, he rubbed against her clit. She was so slippery, so wet for him. She keened into his mouth and pushed herself into his body as she clenched around him.
He felt the burn low in his stomach and tried to push it away. No. Not yet.
But Rachel had other ideas. Throwing her thighs tightly around his waist, she pulled him against her and begged, "Please," into his ear. Puck slid his hands to her waist and held her tightly as he pounded into her, losing rhythm as the orgasm tore through his body.
Seconds before he came, he said his first words to her in hours. "Let go, baby, please let go for me." Locking his lips to hers, he groaned her name. As Puck lost himself in her, he felt her tremble and then cry out, her arms wrapping tightly around his shoulders to pull him into a desperate, pleading kiss as her body clenched around him.
He softly kissed her through her orgasm, his lips never leaving hers, until she stopped shuddering and wilted in his arms. Puck lowered her to the covers and she sighed as her back hit the cool blankets. He unwound his arms from around her and then held tight to the condom as he slipped out of her. Climbing from the bed, he went into the bathroom, discarding the condom, before coming back.
He lay back down on the bed and turned to look at her. Her eyes were wide as she stared at him. He turned on his side and reached out, pushing her face from her hair.
"What?" he asked softly as her gaze continued to bore into him.
"I'm…I'm just shocked that we just did that," she said honestly.
Puck stared at her, unsure of what to say. If she was going to be regretful, he didn't want to hear it. He rolled away from her but she scooted up behind him, throwing her arm across his waist and leaning her head towards his. "But I'm glad we did," she added softly.
He turned his head toward her and captured her lips to kiss her again. Then he rolled them, tucking her against him, and kissed her head. Come daylight, he knew he'd have to go. But right now, it was the still-dark morning hours of August 2nd and that meant that she was still his.
When daylight had barely begun to filter into the room, Puck popped his eyes open again. Rachel was no longer in his arms; in fact, she wasn't even in the bed. Confused, he pushed out of the bed, pulling on his clothes, before he ambled through the house. Standing at the foot of the stairs, he heard a glass clink downstairs.
When he stepped into the kitchen, the only light on was above the stove and it shown dimly into the large room. Rachel was standing by the sink in nothing but a t-shirt, leaning against the cabinets with a glass in her hand.
"Rach?" he said softly from the darkened doorway.
She looked up and smiled. "Sorry I woke you, Noah. My tongue felt like sandpaper when I woke up so I needed some water. Would you like a drink?"
Puck nodded, stepping into the room. His hands slid into the pockets of his shorts as he watched her turn to get out another glass and fill it up with ice and then water. She handed it to him and he reached out, their fingers brushing as he took the glass from her. Taking a sip, he leaned against the island across from her. He watched her take another drink and saw her brow furrow slightly.
Rachel nodded and then put her hand on her forehead. "I don't drink much, obviously. My head is spinning a tiny bit."
Puck stepped over by her and put his arm around her. "No, I mean are you okay about…"
She looked up at him as he did, her eyes wide and confused for a moment, before her body seemed to relax and she leaned against him. "Am I okay about the fact that we had sex?" She shook her head. "Yes, yes…I'm absolutely okay."
Puck relaxed slightly, his lips brushing against her forehead. "No regrets?"
"No, Noah…well, other than drinking far too much wine so now I have a horrible headache. But as far as being with you? None. It was...it was something that I think I've wanted for a very long time. I just never thought it would happen."
Puck blew out a breath, her words - the same words as the ones in his head - sent relief through his body. He couldn't handle it if she had regretted even a moment of it. Finally, he snickered and squeezed her shoulder. "Thank fuck." He spied the empty wine bottle sitting on the countertop and then looked over at Rachel. "And I'm sorry you feel like shit. You just had wine, babe. I could have brought a bottle of bourbon and then you'd be vomiting. But I know you…wine is as hardcore as you're willing to get."
Rachel nodded, her hair brushing against his shoulder. "You're right."
She took a big gulp of water and then looked up at him. "How do you know me so well, anyway?"
Puck shrugged. Because I watch you. "Just do," he offered. She looked up at him, expecting him to speak more. When he didn't, she stepped out from underneath his arm.
"I think I'm ready to head back to bed now, Noah."
Puck stayed rooted in his spot as he watched her walk away. "I…I guess I'm going to head home," he finally said. He didn't want to leave. He wasn't ready. But he knew that if he didn't leave then, it would only make it worse later.
She nodded and said, "Oh, okay." Puck thought he saw hesitancy in her eyes but when she didn't say anything further, he walked toward the door.
He pulled his keys from the sideboard and shoved them and his cell phone into his pocket. When he opened the door, the heat that was already brewing for that summer day hit him in the face. He stepped out onto the porch, surveying the deserted street before turning back toward Rachel.
"Thank you for the wine...and for visiting, Noah," Rachel whispered softly, looking down at the floor. "I'm glad you came to see me. I would have hated to leave without being able to say goodbye."
Puck watched her, his head full of questions that he wanted to ask her and things that he wanted to say. Instead, he cupped her face in his large hand and tilted her chin up for a kiss.
When he pulled away, he softly said, "Thank you."
She looked at him curiously. "For?"
"You know why," he said sheepishly.
Rachel reddened but then kissed him again quickly. "You're welcome."
"G'bye, Rach," he whispered. "Good luck with school."
"You, too, Noah."
He watched her smile softly at him before closing the door. Long after she was gone, he still stood outside her house, staring. He'd finally answered his question and although she hadn't said it, her physical reaction spoke volumes. She'd wanted him as much as he had wanted her.
And now he'd be able to leave for Pennsylvania without the wonder.
But as he climbed into his truck and started it up, he wondered if he'd be able to stay away from her for the next 11 days. Just one time, right? That's all I wanted?
Backing out of her driveway, he looked up at her bedroom window and groaned. No, now that he'd had her once, that slow burn he'd been so careful to avoid was now scorching its way through his gut.