A/N: If I had more muse – aka, if Ryan Murphy would give me some Puck/Quinn once in a while, I'd write more. But alas, that is my predicament. This is AU. And it's extremely strange. It's a multi-chapter, yes, but since it's so strange and all over the place, the chapters are very very small. And because of that, I will update every single day. Mark my words.

She's walking along the surf on a Floridian beach at midnight. It's spring – her favorite season, for it's the time of regrowth and flowers and the smell of living things. She loves it. Everything tastes so fresh in the spring.

The sand feels cold in between her toes, but the blood-warm surf comes up to meet her, the foam glowing a light silver underneath the round disc in the sky.

It's so peaceful, with the heavy breeze rustling in her hair and the salty tang of the ocean in her eyes, that she doesn't even notice the disturbance until she's standing directly in front of it.

She starts a little. "Um..." Nervousness creeps up her spine, but she brushes it off insistently. The boy in front of her can't be much older than she is. "What're you doing?"

There's the glow of a grin on his shadowed face. "Watching you."

Rather than fear, annoyance grips her. "That's creepy," she admonishes snappily, turning to brush past him.

He hurries to meet her. "What's your name?"

She can taste the booze on his breath. "Courtney," she tries, glancing at him. There's a puzzled look on his face, and she can see it so clearly in the moonshine that it startles her into thinking that he might just be handsome, if he smiled.

"You don't look like a Courtney." He smiles again, wide and genuine. "You look like..." He stops. "I don't know. You look like something else."

And maybe it's the way he's looking at her, or the way he's smiling, but it makes her melt just a little, and butterflies beat their wings in her stomach. "It's Quinn," she admits. The surf rushes over her toes.

There's a quirk in his lips that makes it look like he's smirking at her, like he knows a secret, and she finds herself intrigued to know more about it. He winks. "It's Noah," he says. "But don't call me that."

"What am I supposed to call you?" She reminds herself that she won't be calling him anything. She would never see him again after tonight.

"Puck." He extends a fist, indicating for her to bump it. "It's short for Puckerman."

She stares at his fist until he lowers it, raising an eyebrow. "Why are you here, anyway?"

He indicates with his hand to the beach farther ahead. "Beach party," he explains. "Was heading home and saw you." There's a sheepish look on his face now. "Look, uh – you should give me your number. We can... do something, sometime, right?"

"I have a boyfriend," she tells him immediately.


She bites her lip. "My parents always told me to stay away from guys like you," she offers again, giving herself an A for honesty. He's exactly what she was told to avoid.

He moves closer, his breath hot on her face. "My mom would shit her pants if I told her I found a girl like you."

She blinks twice and smiles. Before she can help it, he smiles back, and it's not long 'till she walks home with his number written on the inside of her wrist.

That's how it begins.

She might as well blame the alcohol.