Disclaimer: I do not own the character's of glee.
AN: So I set myself a challenge while on our 'unintentionally extended' holiday. I borrowed my cousin Blake's iPod and put it on shuffle; (so blame him for the choice of music) then I wrote a story inspired by the snippets of lyrics that caught my inspiration in each song. So here's how it turned out. Hope you like it.
This is not a fic in Bree's 'crazy' series. This is my own attempt at Puckleberry.
Noah Puckerman was trying to think how his life had ended up with him being so insecure.
This morning he had woken up a stud. He had gone to school; he had thrown a computer club nerd in the dumpster because he had looked at him funny.
And he totally would have had some cheerio go down on him; but he was a stud- not an exhibitionist.
In conclusion, he was Puck, who was a badass stud. Was.
He had driven him and his ego home, barely room for them both in his truck.
He pulled into the driveway, surprised to see another truck parked there, one even more beat up than his, and he hadn't thought that was possible.
Seriously- how did that thing still drive along?
He was more surprised by the instinctive reaction his body was having to the sight of the dirty grey truck. His palms had started sweating and he could feel adrenaline surge through his body as though he had just seen some mountain lion poised ready to pounce.
Frowning, he jumped out of the truck and slammed the door shut. But even that sound did not drown out the shouting coming from the house.
He froze rigid, the hairs on the back of his neck standing up.
He was 13 again. It was sometime in summer because he clearly remembered it being very hot. Boiling hot. He had gone down to the kitchen; his bare feet sticky on the cold tiles of the floor. He had poured a pint glass with cool water from the fridge. It was a Sunday afternoon.
His dad had burst in through the kitchen door that led to the back yard. The sudden noise had caused him to spill some of the water onto his leg and it was deliciously refreshing against his warm skin.
His dad had recently changed from being never around to being around a lot but always ridiculously drunk and or angry. This man in front of him had stumbled slightly and hung onto the doorframe unsteadily.
"Where's ya mother?" he asked, a slur in his voice.
He'd pointed into the house dumbly and slipped quickly out of the opened door into the yard.
He'd sat down in the shade, the voices of his father and mother ricocheting back and forth like a tennis racket with a tiling bomb as the ball.
But this was different from normal.
Normally his dad would just pass out on the sofa and be at work by the time he got up for school.
But he was yelling about not having money because of the stupid fucking kids.
He learnt all the swear words under the sun by sitting against the wall in the shade and sipping his water.
His ma had opened the window wide and thrust his screaming sister at him and ordered, her eyes still flashing with anger, "take her to the park... Don't come back for two hours" and her tone made him hurriedly set his glass down and drag the bewildered girl down the road by her arm.
When they returned his mother was sitting in the dark in the bedroom, hugging her knees to her chest and crying.
His sister began crying again and he remembered being annoyed because it had taken him half an hour to get her to stop in the first place.
But his ma was sobbing that their father had gone and was never coming back and he had tears in his eyes because she was hurting so much.
And he vowed that he could never feel emotional like that again.
That shit burned.
So he became Puck.
That way it was easier to not get bogged down by anything real.
At home and somewhere inside him Noah still existed. The weight of responsibility on his shoulders, the squashed down ball of regret from ever recognizing such hurt on anybody's face.
But it was so much easier to be feared and hated than to be the one that feared. With his mask he was strong.
His dad was here. Anger boiled deep inside him and his fists clenched on their own accord as he strode over to the house.
His ma's voice reached his ears.
"You just think you can stride back in here after bloody years expecting my forgiveness? You were drunk for 4 years of our marriage, treated me like shit and acted like the kids never existed. You will never deserve my forgiveness".
"Pack that shit in sweetheart".
Puck bristled, a bitter taste in his mouth.
"I'm not asking for forgiveness. I'm asking for fucking money. And you are going to give it to me". His voice turned dangerous and harsh.
Puck walked in through the open front door, approaching the man from behind. He was shorter than Puck by about an inch and had brown hair in a scruffy pony tail. Puck was brimming with anger at the fear in his ma's eyes and the fact that his sister was sat at the table, pale and frozen rigid with fear.
He made an instant decision and grabbed the wrists of the intruder (he couldn't refer to him as dad- he'd never been a father to him) with an iron grip.
"Take her into the lounge", he ordered, nodding his head to his sister, his voice steely. The tables were turned now, forced to grow up so fast he was the adult.
As soon as they were out if the room he roughly wrestled his captive down the hall and out if the house.
As soon as they were outside, he had managed to break free and took a wild swing at his son.
His judgement was impaired from the high levels of alcohol in his blood but still caught his jaw as his fist flew past Puck's face.
Infuriated, Puck socked him full in the face, satisfied by the firm sound of collision and the fleeting look of pain across the older mans face. He staggered back, caught off balance.
"Get out of my house", Puck snarled, vehemently. "Get out and don't even think about showing your sorry ass here again."
He was answered by a sneering grin.
"You punch just like your old man. Look at you. Just gunna wind up just like your old man. Ha. Now you're angry aren't you?"
Puck flexed the muscles in his neck, trying to breathe evenly as his heart pumped hot blood around his body.
He wanted to wipe that grin off his face- but he would need to be able to drive away.
He took a step closer, drawing himself to his full height and clenching his jaw, the earlier hit causing it to throb painfully.
"You are not my old man", he hissed with venom. He brought his knee up sharply and kicked him in the groin with brute force.
The man folded like a newspaper. Puck caught him by the collar and brought his face up level with his.
"Wouldn't want you to bring any more kids into this world so you can fuck up their lives too", he said fiercely, pushing him to his truck.
When he left and the anger subsided, he felt suddenly nauseous, not from his aching jaw, but from the poisonous words that swirled in his mind. 'gunna wind up just like your old man'.
Scare myself to death
That's why I keep on running
His feet pounded an angry rhythm on the ground, and his fists were balled up tightly, and he ran still harder; despite the sharp pain of lactic acid build up in his protesting muscles; despite the fact that his eyes were stinging from where sweat was pouring from every gland as the sun beat down on him.
He needed to feel the pain. Anything to give him some outlet for the heavy weight of regret and the iron fist of fear that gripped his heart.
He was following in the footsteps of his father, and this terrified him. In his minds eye he could see the drawn and leering face but here it resembled himself, and he was running away but his feet were like lead and the terrain like sticky treacle.
He could pretend he didn't care.
He could keep pretending he didn't care but that wouldn't stop the nightmares of the blind panic in his ma's eyes, and the swirling noise of the pain he himself had caused, which at the time could be laughed off, but now came back at him like poisonous homing darts.
His heart was beating painfully against his ribcage now, and each gasp of breath sent a wave of nausea through his body.
It had been a while since he had last eaten and the combination of everything accumulated and in three more strides he collapsed unconcious.
I'm controlled by my fear
(Love Calling Earth- Robbie Williams)
Fuck the sun was bright.
He reeled slightly, trying to get up, pulling himself shakily to stand, a hard grimace already on his face.
He was not yet ready to let down these defences he had spent years building up. They were the only thing he had. There was nothing solid within these defences to lean on, nothing to stop him from falling.
"Berry", he spat it out.
Of course it would be Rachel Berry, in some miniature running shorts and a cropped top, her iPod headphones in her ears, probably blaring some inspirational Broadway shit.
It would be Rachel Berry.
She was always the one to believe in him, and now she could be all smug in her perfect little world to see him looking like shit.
She had exactly what she wanted. The perfect life plan along with the perfect boyfriend Finn.
"Watch where you're running Berry...people might trip over you you're so short".
He smirked as her lips pouted. She didn't offer him a torrent of long words in return and was instead surveying him kinda dubiously.
"What you looking at?" without waiting for an answer he jogged away. Seeing so much bare skin had reminded him that he needed himself some action.
You think you know me but you
have no idea
(Bout It- 3LW/Yung Joc)
Puck: r u wearin that tiny black thong?
Santana: yea. U wanna c?
Puck: I'll b over in 5
And then he found his fathers wallet. And he opened it and a few photographs fluttered down onto the floor, he picked them up quickly, looking around in case his ma or sister saw.
They were photos of naked women. Each photo was written on the back, a scribbled phone number, some disgusting comments that even he found disgusting, sometimes a name but usually followed by a question mark.
One particularly caught his eye, mainly because on the back it read 'easy lay' and the woman reminded him of Santana.
Santana: r u here yet?
Santana: that doesn't stop u.
Santana: next time you want me I might not be game.
But he knew there wouldn't be a next time.
You think that I'm strong,
You're wrong, you're wrong
(Strong- Robbie Williams)
She wasn't the forbidden fruit anymore.
There was no longer the excuse that she was Finn's girl so he couldn't. She wasn't pregnant anymore.
There was no longer the excuse that she physically couldn't.
"So that was fun", he said eventually, no enthusiasm behind his words, standing awkwardly outside the cinema.
Quinn raised her eyebrows.
"This is so much easier for you than it is for me", she said quietly.
"Bye". He said shortly, and turned to leave so she couldn't see the tear that fell because Beth's nose was the same as Quinn's.
Why do I act like I'm all high and mighty
when inside I'm dying
I am finally realising I need help
(Going Through Changes- Eminem)
So his ma had told him to go and talk with his friends.
He didn't have a friend he could talk to like that.
It used to be Finn, but the guy was so dense you got a more helpful response from an actual brick wall. At least the pain of contact made him forget for a while.
And it was the last glee practise before summer and he was there because singing and dancing and music was actually a better way of forgetting for a while than punching brick walls. And a lot less painful.
And he had thought that the stony expression on Rachel's face that told him there was trouble in paradise would have made him a little happy, but it didn't.
She approached him at the end of rehearsal.
"Do you need to talk about something Noah? You look really troubled".
"Fuck off Berry".
She looked unfazed and he found himself feeling a little ashamed of that.
"I don't need your sympathy".
"I wasn't going to offer you sympathy".
Oh. He could have done with some sympathy. Everyone was rallying round Quinn. Everyone seemed to have forgotten that he existed.
"Look. I know it's painful for popular people like you to talk to me but Finn saw sense. Anyway, that wasn't what I meant to say, if you want to talk, every Friday I go to this youth club kinda thing..."
She pressed a card into his hand which he slipped into his pocket without even looking at it.
He was so envious of her in that moment. She wore a megawatt smile still and yet he knew better than anybody that she hadn't been treated great. How did she find it so easy to get on with shit? On her own? He couldn't do this on his own.
Remember those walls I built?
Well baby they're tumbling down
He couldn't see Rachel as he entered what was some abandoned factory or something. Inside you wouldn't really be able to tell that though. There was a bar and a strange collection of couches and chairs, and old arcade games, and tables and people everywhere laughing and chatting.
On closer inspection he didn't recognize a single person there.
And Puck informed him that they were all a bunch of losers.
But nobody looked at him with fear, hatred or that 'you're a Lima loser' look.
Only friendly smiles.
"Do you want a drink?"
He didn't turn round at first, because he spotted Rachel. She was playing an enthusiastic game of cards with two younger boys, and was laughing uproariously, and the smile on her face was different from the smile he recognized as hers.
"Do you want a..?"
"I'll have what she's having", he replied, jerking a thumb towards Rachel.
The lanky guy who had asked him slid an apple and mango j2o across the bar wordlessly.
Puck looked at it incredulously.
"You're fucking kidding! Has it got vodka in or something?"
The guy looked at him like he was crazy.
He glanced at Rachel again, who was doing an impromptu victory dance, and a smile tugged at his lips.
The lanky guy followed his gaze.
"She's not drunk. She's always like that".
Serious? Rachel Berry? Rachel Berry sat with her legs crossed and making neat notes in her binder.
He took the bottle and winded his way over to her, just as she noticed his arrival. If she was smug to see that he had come for her help, she didn't show it.
"Rachel", she returned, automatically.
"So Finns gone on holiday", she said lightly. He took a sip of his drink and narrowed his eyes. Was this some kind of psychology shit.
"He told me he loved me then goes on holiday for a week without telling me until the last minute".
Ah. Hence the stony look.
"This place is..."
"It's brilliant isnt it? Better than any psychological therapy".
"You think I need to see a shrink? Is that what you're trying to say?"
She looked at him witheringly.
"Not everything is about you, Noah. You don't exactly have any friends to talk to, and I'm willing to listen. You don't have to be my friend because I know it would be too painful for you and if you can't even stop being Puck for just a moment then you can leave." she paused, and he tried to leave his expression neutral.
"But I always think that you can be a really good friend; if you put your mind to it."
"S'Beth and that", he said gruffly. "S'hard".
She waited patiently, but he found just saying that to her seemed to lift some of the pressure.
After a while she flashed him a grin.
"Can you play foosball?"
Wow. So this whole being friends with a girl thing wasn't so hard (or maybe that was just Rachel?).
She grabbed his arm and they really shouldn't call her 'man hands'; her hands were cute.
"Drew, Harry, Noah".
He received nods from the two guys on the opposite side of the table.
"You're defending Noah", she whispered. "I can't defend. Harry has a wicked shot from his goalie, so watch out for that".
He was feeling caught up in the happy atmosphere and the boundless enthusiasm of this Rachel beside him.
A Rachel he thought he was probably now friends with, and that that was stronger than any previous defences he had surrounded himself with; defences that were pointless in an environment like this.
And holy fuck Rach was fucking awesome at foosball.
Leave the past behind and
some day you'll find
there's more to life
than you first thought
(Strong Again - Ndubz)
He'd had great fun.
It felt good to talk to someone who had given him such solid advice. And he had never expected that the advice Rachel would give him would not be through words but just by showing him that he didn't have to be Puck all the time.
I don't expect you to feel my pain
(If Rap Gets Jealous- K'naan ft Kirk Hammett)
"Beth's not everything is it?"
It wasn't really a question, he could tell she knew it wasn't.
He laid his guitar down on her bed carefully.
"Word gets through the Jewish community quite quickly. I heard that your dad made an appearance."
She handed him the glass of lemonade.
"You're not like him".
"How the fuck do you know that? How can you be so sure? Why the fuck do you keep being my friend when I treated you like shit? What if I'm just like him?"
All his insecurities came bursting out then, and he kept expecting her to stop looking so calm.
"Noah. You're not like him. You will prove that."
That was less helpful than usual. But he supposed he better stop relying on Rachel to be the one to help him. He needed to help himself a bit. But his powers were caught up with Puck. And Puck wasn't there when he spent his days with Rachel, everyday wondering whether she was just a temporary stepping stone, only there as his friend until Finn came back from holiday.
He was almost scared of this. He was going to have to face the world alone without the mask to hide behind.
And not everybody was as nice as Rachel.
Lord I'm doing all I can.
To be a better man
(Better Man - Robbie Williams)
And Finn did come back eventually.
And even on the first day he missed her.
He missed her more than he thought he would.
Surely it wasn't normal to feel like he couldn't do stuff without her. Going out to feed the ducks on the lake just felt lame without her there, and when he sung along to the radio in his truck, it didn't sound right without her harmony added.
He'd never had a friend as a girl before, so he didn't know if it was normal or not. But she was like his best friend or something. That week he had been at her house everyday (her dads were away). They had got to know each other pretty well. He found it easy to tell just when she needed a bear hug and was always rewarded by her special smile.
She was missing Finn or something. And he was jealous of Finn. He realised this one evening, when he was in his room watching TV idly (it wasn't half as fun as when Rachel had muted it and challenged him to make up what they were saying).
And he felt like someone had dropped a tonne of bricks on his head. Because fuck he didn't deserve her.
But now he was buying a house with her and they had a baby and a cat.
He had known a lot of girls.
But she was the only one he actually wanted to return his feelings.
And fuck it.
He didn't want to lose what they had now.
He'd lost something being Puck, and she had helped him find it again.
And he felt like he owed her at least being as good a friend as she had been to him, when he needed one most.
And that meant suppressing the mountain moving desire to kiss her.
That meant she couldn't be the first girl he would ever make love to.
And next to her, no one else seemed good enough.
He found himself with a bottle of Jack Daniels in his hand, and the hard liquor wasn't as good a friend as Rachel, but he drank enough so that he couldn't think about that.
He woke up, his head splitting, his throat like sandpaper.
And she was there.
He thought he must be hallucinating because she climbed through his window and came over to him, her eyes puffy and red but she was still so beautiful. She took the bottle from his hands clasped in his lap and inspected the 1/4 left before tipping her head back, the bottle to her lips and downing the rest.
They often communicated best without using words, and ignoring the tightening in his jeans from the hot mouth on whisky bottle action, he pulled her to his side, holding her close in his arms until she took deeper shaky breaths and drifted off to sleep before he allowed himself to close his eyes again.
It hadn't been a dream.
He awoke again feeling even worse than when he had awoken in the early hours, and Rachel Berry was curled up beside him, her head on his thigh and her hand firmly clasping his.
He rubbed his eyes with his spare hand.
She was still there.
And she was looking up at him, her gorgeous eyes bleary and dull.
"I broke up with Finn."
He didn't know what to say.
"He slept with Santana. And do you know what his excuse was? He said it was so that he didn't pressure me by getting too excited. And he said he'd slept with her before!"
He stood up then, his fists clenched.
And then wished he hadn't because although he really wanted to pummel Hudson, he was overcome with nausea and rushed to the bathroom.
She must have followed him, because she was standing behind him, rubbing his back, and thanking him for wanting to stand up for her.
His mum must have gone out with his sister. Because Rachel had two mugs of black coffee and climbed into his bed beside him and he had immediately hugged her to him and he was no longer the kind of guy who took advantage of a vulnerable and hurting girl.
And he could never do that to Rachel.
I became somebody
through loving you
(Dear Life-Anthony Hamilton)
And he was going silently insane.
Now she needed him as a friend and dammit he was the best friend to her ever.
Her dads were still away so he was over at her house all the time again.
He even watched a musical.
He was particularly proud of staying up late into the night the night before learning how to cook her favourite meal.
And he realised she had made him prove that he wasn't like his dad.
And he had done this completely voluntarily.
And he needed to thank her.
And he didn't know how with words.
So Friday evening he was searching for her amidst the noise and excitement of a random twister tournament, finding her at last and feeling an unfamiliar fluttering in his stomach at her smile that was genuinely pleased to see him.
And he took a deep breath and kissed her amazing lips, and the instant heat and sparks he felt were amplified beyond his wildest dreams.
He had never kissed with so much emotion, his kiss was fierce and gentle, it was tender, and the pliancy of her lips underneath his and the overwhelming force of every fibre of his being concentrating on her alone meant he never wanted the kiss to end.
He had to breathe at some point though.
And he looked at her.
And she was speechless.
And he had been relying on her to put some words on the table for him to work with.
And she didn't.
So he left.
Everytime I think about those times I did not have you
Everytime i think about my life was incomplete
(For the love- Drew Sidora and Mario)
"Noah? Can you come over? There's a van I don't recognize parked outside and it's been there for almost an hour."
She was telling the truth.
He wished it was an excuse but it wasn't.
But he wasn't going to give up on their friendship. Because he didn't think he could go back to how he dealt with things before.
He needed her.
And she needed him right now, probably not in quite such an intense way, but she needed him nonetheless.
So he picked up some chick flick that he knew his mum and sister loved and a bag of microwave popcorn.
Don't fight the feeling, relax
(Revolution- Robbie Williams feat. Joss Stone)
They would be best friends forever, if nothing more, was what the warm hug and shining smile he received as he stepped out of his truck, informed him of loud and clear.
And she must have sensed that he didn't want to talk about the day before, because they didn't. And she just snuggled into his side on the couch as they watched the movie.
It was only later, when he was sitting cross legged on the sitting room carpet opposite her, sorting out a pile of washing into piles (with a few random conversations about types of detergent, moustaches, and the British accent, thrown in, by him, to distract him from visualizing her wearing just that pair of small black boy-short panties trimmed in blue lace with a tiny blue bow at the front).
He was just sorta staring at her and she looked at him, and hadn't looked away and then they were just staring at each other and he was detecting a different sort of curiosity in her thoughtful brown eyes.
Then she bum shuffled closer to him, still holding his gaze, and he stopped trying to hold back the raw naked lust from entering his expression.
Their knees were touching now.
His knees were on fire.
It was his turn now. He dropped the sock he was clutching in his left hand, and tentatively lowered his hand to rest on her thigh.
He heard her breathing quicken.
He stayed still as a statue when she drew a line up the centre of his chest with her forefinger, pausing to flick his nipple ring with her little finger, then continuing to trace along his collar bone and up to his jaw line, down to his chin, and to rest on his lips for a moment.
Her finger trailed fire.
He pushed his tongue out to barely touch her fingertip and a gasp caught in her throat. She slowly dropped her hand again, but picked up the hand that wasn't on her thigh and placed it carefully on her hip.
He gulped audibly.
He could feel her smooth bare skin under his little finger where her top had hitched up.
He was incredibly turned on.
And she wasn't even touching him.
He wanted to kiss her so badly.
She was still now, expectant, excited.
He rubbed his hand on her thigh a few times, gearing himself up.
Then pushed himself up to rest on his heels, the balls of his feet on the carpet.
He leaned over her, close enough to feel her shallow breaths on his overly sensitive lips.
But he stopped there.
Wanting to devour her whole, but this was Rachel Berry, and he wanted to savour every second of this incredible feeling.
Her eyes were darker now and she shifted slightly, almost touching their lips together but not by a hairs width.
She swiftly moved the hand on her thigh to her other hip and imitated his stance, before looping one hand after the other around his neck, her smouldering eyes bubbling desire deep inside him.
His chest was heaving with anticipation now, and his senses trained on her. It was his turn again. He would either pass go and collect $200 or he'd be sent to jail.
He licked his lips in readiness, causing her grip to momentarily tighten around his neck. Seeing only longing and want in her eyes he closed the final gap of millimetres between their lips and literally melted them against hers on contact caressing her lips with his thoroughly, spurred on by her sensually moan that vibrated his top lip erotically.
She was now leaning her weight into him, needing to be closer as they both experienced the heedless dizziness of their spark infused kiss.
He moaned then, surrendering to the fact that he was absolutely in love with Rachel Berry, and the fire consumed him as she slipped her tongue into his mouth and searched for his tongue.
When they finally broke apart, he was panting and even her superior lung capacity had been tested. Her face was flushed and her lips pinker, and returning his dumb grin she claimed his lips again.
I never thought I'd be in love like this.
(Knocks You Down- Keri Hilson ft Kanye West and NeYo)
"So... This relationship?"
He was the one who brought it up, who labelled it, and he felt like he deserved that proud smile with a hint of passion.
"We'll help each other. Well learn together... That sorta thing", she said firmly.
He nodded, thoughtful.
He wasn't sure how to tell her how he knew her name was the one tattooed across his heart.
He wasn't sure how to ask if she felt the same way about him.
"So...do I get you a ring or something?"
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