A/N1: Written for the puckrachel drabble meme at LJ
A/N2: Final chapter of BPS is still on the way, but this story was trying to get out. I hope you enjoy and I'd love to know what you think!
He's standing at the bar waiting for his beer, but really he's watching Rachel from across the room and he sort of wants to kick his own ass because on the one hand he can't take his eyes off of her, but on the other, he knows he needs to take a few minutes get his shit in order before he goes and talks to her.
That dress is screwing with his head. Or fuck, is there even enough of it to be called a dress? Looks more like a slip.
A little teeny tiny black slip that would look awesome on the floor next to his bed while he spends hours taking care of her like she deserves to be taken care of. Or even hanging in his closet; he knows she covets his closet, which is huge by New York City apartment standards. And shit, it'd definitely look good hiked up to her waist in a stall in the ladies bathroom, while his hand and his mouth work between her thighs.
Not going to happen, especially not that last one, but a man can dream. (Only probably not in this bar, unless he wants to get arrested for indecent exposure.)
Anyway, it's showing an amazing expanse of tanned leg and fuck, he can tell from the neckline of the dress that she probably isn't wearing a bra. Or maybe a demi-cup, but that's it. And his mind goes straight to the contents of her underwear drawer which he may or may not have seen the last time she and Satan had a party. (What? He was looking for the CDs he'd lent her and she was busy flirting with Scott. He didn't want to disturb her.)
Whatever. Point is, she looks hot sitting at one of the tables in the corner, laughing with one of her theater friends, and automatically, he's smiling a little too, because that's not her social smile or even her stage smile, the one she uses to pretend she's a teenage Maria in love with her Tony for five shows plus a matinee per week. No, this is the real thing, the one where her head is tilted back and her eyes are crinkling with enjoyment. He likes that smile, hasn't seen nearly enough of it lately. Hasn't seen much of her at all in the last month, especially not considering she's supposed to be one of his best friends.
It's not like he's been avoiding her since she announced her engagement, he's just busy with work. His name is finally getting out there as a session musician and he's getting to the point where he can be a little more choosy with the projects he takes on, and hell, the calls are still coming in. It's not the rock and roll stardom he'd dreamed of when he'd taken off (maybe followed her, who knows) to New York with nothing but a crappy associates degree from Ohio Tech in his pocket and his guitar slung over his shoulder, but it's still kind of a rush every time he gets paid for this shit.
Hell, he's making a living doing music, and besides Rachel, who in the original crew can say that?
Matt's in med school, looking at places to do his residency and Mike's out in L.A. doing some computerized 3-D shit for the movies. Finn and Britt are still in Ohio where he teaches third grade and apparently fucks Britt stupid; Puck's pretty sure he got a birth announcement for their second (third?) kid a couple months ago. As for the rest of them, who knows, who cares? Well, except for San, of course, he sees a lot of her since she and Rachel are roommates and have been since they hooked up as undergrads at NYU. Hooked up as friends that is, he doesn't think they've ever actually 'hooked up', even if he tries to make a point of bringing it up every couple of months. No surprise to anyone who was ever on the wrong side of her mouth, bitch graduated top of her class at Columbia Law and just got hired at one of the best firms in the city.
And speak of the devil.
"Puckerman," Santana's voice drawls in his ear.
"Lopez," he replies lazily. "I hear congratulations are in order. I guess blowing the senior partners finally got results, huh?"
Her eyes flash, but she comes back smoothly, "Hey, you're still working for hire, right? Karofsky's mother called. She needs someone to clean her pool out good."
They eye other for a moment before he grins and she snorts and they hug. He makes sure to run a quick hand over her ass, because San likes to be appreciated; at the same time he can't help looking over at Rachel, who's still chatting animatedly with her friend.
Santana follows the direction of his gaze and says with irritation, "Still? Fuck, Puckerman, either shit or get off the pot. It's bad enough that I've got to watch her with some dickhead who's probably making her miserable..."
"Miserable?" he interrupts sharply.
She shrugs. "Scott may have looks and money, but I've seen his type before. Asshat probably needs a road-map to find her clit." She smirks, "And unless things have changed in the last few years, we both know you've got no problems in that department."
"Your sister had no complaints," he responds automatically, mostly just to shut her up, and it's not a great come-back, because that was what? Four years ago? But maybe it hits a nerve because she shoves him as hard as she can (which, for the record is pretty hard.) "What the hell?" he demands, surprised.
"I'm fucking amazed I waste my time on you, Puckerman. It's been amusing watching you flail around for the last few years but this shit is getting serious. The fucktard is starting to press her about setting a wedding date."
Fuck. His mouth goes totally dry and he kind of feels a little queasy. "Yeah, well...shit San, she's engaged, so..."
Santana waves this away like it's nothing. "Trust me, she doesn't sound all that enthused. Look jackass, you've wanted her since, what? High school? Don't you think it's time to stop pussying around and go out and get her?"
"She's with someone," he mutters.
"Rachel is smart, talented and face it, she's a hot piece of ass. She's always with someone. And honestly, what the fuck is 'she's with someone'? 'With someone' didn't stop you from tapping the chastity queen."
He glares and she holds up one perfectly manicured hand. "Ancient history, I know. All I'm saying is that it's time to make a move, Romeo. Now, do you have any idea why she called us to meet her down here?"
He shakes his head, "Just a text."
"She's been quiet the last couple of days. I'm going to go talk to her and then I've got a date. You coming?"
"Gotta finish my drink. Tell your B.O.B. I said hi."
"Fucker," she says without heat and then gets her revenge when she's at the other end of the room hugging Rachel and she gives him the finger behind Rachel's back as her hand drifts to the top of the smaller girl's ass.
But damn, he'd totally think she was a head case. If she wasn't right so often.
He watches the two of them (the theater friend is gone) as he sips the rest of his beer, which is already flat and warm. Their two dark heads are bent together whispering about something for a few minutes and then Santana's eyes meet his with a look of triumph, which is ninety-nine percent of the time is bad news and the other one percent is fucking amazing and he's got no idea what to think when she walks out of the club without saying a word to him.
In the meantime, Rachel has spotted him and waves. He weaves through the crowd until he's at her side and she throws her arms around him and he can smell her perfume. He has to close his eyes for a minute because he's dizzy with it, but that could be because most of the blood in his body seems to want to pool in his groin; shit, that dress is even more spank-bank worthy close up.
"Noah," she pulls away and smiles up at him. "I'm so glad you made it."
"Your text said it was important," he says simply and if anything, her smile gets even wider.
"I've missed talking to you," she admits, and then: "I just...I just haven't seen you in a while. How have you been?"
He's watching her closely and he can see it, the little bit of tension she's carrying in her shoulders, and the way she's touched the little golden star necklace at her throat twice, a sure sign that she's anxious about something. It'll come out, whatever it is. It always does, Rachel doesn't keep secrets, but he'll play it her way for now.
The place is packed and the crowd is noisy, so they have to lean in close and he swears he can feel her breath on his cheek as he tells her about the last few jobs he's been on. He's missed this too, he realizes, telling her stuff about how last week he was playing back-up for an R&B artist whose reputation as a diva was, if anything, understated, and then a couple weeks ago, he'd done a session recording with an aging rocker who's a minor hero of his.
And because she's always easy to talk too, he also says a little about the stuff that he shares with her that no-one else knows, like about how he's still writing his own music. She nods and says a few encouraging words, but she doesn't ask to hear it any more. He always says no because he's well aware that it'll reveal more to her than he necessarily wants her to know.
And that train of thought gets him right back to his conversation with San.
Screw it, she's right, where Rachel's concerned, he just needs to go with his instincts. Fuck Scott. Puck had her first in just about every way that matters. And she's had him too, since...hell...since he was a teenager watching soft brown eyes light up because he entered a room, then holding her close and daring the world to just try and fuck with them. (Sure, the universe bitch-slapped him the next day, but he's going with it, anyway.)
The fact that they never really managed to be on the same page at the same time in high school? All the time that's passed since then? It's just taken them a while to figure it out.
(So now what, genius?)
She's looking up at him through her lashes, and her knee is brushing his under the table, and he wants to reach down and run his thumb along it, wrap around to the sensitive spot behind her knee, slide higher, see if her skin is as soft as it looks and...
He's got to get her to kiss him, because for some reason he's certain that if he can just get her lips on his it's all going to work out. He's just needs to convince her...
He's always had a talented mouth. And a disastrous way of blurting out complete shit.
"You know, that fiance guy would be really-"
Oh shit. That's going to piss her off.
"That works even less than it did last time," she says, laughing, and fuck, she's hooking one ankle around his. He doesn't really know what's going on, but he can work with this.
"How about if I told you that Scott will never fully understand what it means to be a Jew?"
She shakes her head, but at the same time her mouth is curling around the edges and when he reaches for her hand, she takes it and squeezes it.
"How about if I told you that you shouldn't marry him, Rachel?"
And for the first time since he's come over to her table, she's not meeting his eyes. "I'm not going to."
Huh. That was easier than he expected. Like way too easy and suddenly he feels a flash of rage. "Did he cheat on you? 'Cause if so, I can fucking kill him for you if you want!"
Her eyes flash up. "No! I broke it off with him. I realized that I'm not in love with him."
And he's really, really hoping that this has something to do with the fact that she's still holding his hand, thumb stroking along his knuckles almost absently.
"Why not, Rachel?" he asks quietly.
"Why won't you play your music for me?" she counters. "You've been writing songs for as long as I've known you. I used to watch you in Glee sometimes, writing in that notebook you kept in your guitar case."
He'd like to rag on her for changing the topic, but they both know she isn't. Not really.
"It's because they're all about you," he admits and then he leans over the table and presses his lips to hers, like he's been wanting to do forever. It starts out soft and sweet, but she responds quickly and isn't long before he's got her face cupped in his hand and she's opening her mouth for his tongue and curling it alongside his own, and he's chasing those sweet little moans she's making in the back of her throat.
It probably goes on for a while-he's not exactly sure because he's totally lost track of time, but eventually he hears a few catcalls, dimly from the next table over and pulls back reluctantly. Rachel performs in front of hundreds of people on an almost daily basis, but this, no, not going to happen.
"Will you play your music for me now?" she asks breathlessly.
"What? Right now?" he asks, surprised. "Yeah, I suppose I can, but my guitar is back at my place."
"I know," she says, her eyes dark, her knee sliding between his legs suggestively.
Two words: fuck and yes.
Looks like her dress may have a date with his bedroom floor after all.
(But if he knows his girl, not until after she's made him play a shitload of songs for her.)
"You know, that fiancé guy would be really-"
"That works even less than it did last time."