It happens in a flash.
Blinking lights and sirens and red and blue reflected in the cold, dark puddles on the sidewalk.
Happens just like that.
It came out of nowhere.
Puck clenches his keys in his hands, alternately squeezing and digging them into his palms. He thinks he'll draw blood. He wonders how no one can see it — the way his teeth grind together until his mouth tastes like metal, the way his hands twist and turn until they're numb.
He hasn't slept in days but he holds on to that.
He's terrified of his dreams.
Sam sleeps on the third day, and when he awakes in cold sweats at midnight, he thinks this is punishment. Something like that.
His dreams are very hazy — like his dream world is full of foggy mornings and misty nights.
But he remembers it.
Wide smile and green, green eyes, so green he could be swallowed up forever and never have to be saved.
There's blood on the sheets.
There's blood on the glass and there's blood on the road where the car wrecked right into the telephone pole.
Puck tells Quinn he loves her and waits until she can respond.
He waits, and waits, and waits.
There's blood in his eyes.
So juvenile now, the petty fights and the history of mistakes that flood back. Puck watches Sam's hands, twisting and squeezing and bruising.
And for the first time in days, he speaks. "You were driving."
Sam looks up and Puck sees himself in his eyes.
"Don't do that."
Puck bites the inside of his cheek and looks down again. It's easier to blame him. It's so easy to want to hurt him for this, hate him all over again, because that's what he's always done. But he nods a little, to himself maybe, an affirmation.
Sam says, "But they'll be okay?"
Are you asking me or telling me?
Puck shrugs a little.
It's also easy to give up.
Blonde hair and green eyes and her smile, and everything he's ever wanted to hear her say, everything she's ever done and every move she's ever made and all the times he wanted to say, "I love you," but never did.
That's what Puck dreams about when he closes his eyes.
You were driving.
Sam stifles sobs into the fabric of one of Kurt's shirts. It smells like him, but also not — like it's different somehow, like he hasn't been there in days.
You were driving you were driving you were driving.
There are letters Puck never sent.
He burns them and watches each letter curl into ashes — sweeps it into the trash can and tastes fire on his tongue.
If she dies —
He doesn't —
Kurt's hands are so small, so cold. Sam wraps them in his palms and stares until his eyes are dry and his own hands are cold.
He can't help but wish that Kurt will open his eyes. Like in all those movies or something — his eyes will flutter open and he'll say, "Sam?" and there will be love and tears and —
But Kurt stays still.
The monitor shows his fading heartbeat.
"Mr. Noah Puckerman?"
Puck clenches the phone until he's sure it will snap underneath the pressure. "This is he."
"This is St. Rita's Medical Center calling about Quinn Fabray? You were the only name on the contact list —"
"Yeah." There's something in his chest that constricts all the blood flow, and he feels like he'll fall, tumble down forever until his body turns to ice.
"We have good news for you."
Puck holds onto the wall for support and remembers how to breathe.
It's Sam that comes to him, eyes red and skin ashen white. Puck glances up and sets his jaw straight, waiting for something momentous to occur; he half-expects Sam to throw a punch, but the other boy is silent as he takes his seat beside Puck.
"Why is it…" he begins, searching for the right words, "…that you get the happy ending?"
Puck looks down at the ground.
Sam shakes his head. "Why do you get to take her home and be with her? Why can't I — why —"
Puck swallows hard. "It's not your fault."
"I was driving."
Sam learns that you can't begrudge someone of happiness just because you don't remember what that feels like anymore.
He stares into the mirror and wonders why he can't see the cracks underneath his skin.
Puck takes Quinn home and loves her and cares for her until she gets better. He kisses her and holds her and remembers how close he came to losing her forever, and he marries her eventually, and they have kids in the future and everything turns out quite well for them.
Sam spends his days longing for the sun, breathing in the smell of Kurt's clothes until they lose the scent altogether.
He was driving.
But that's not really the point.