A/N: Yeah, I don't know where this came from. I did get a lot more mileage out of the idea than I thought I would though. Song title is taken from the awesome, fun, sexy new Matt Nathansonsong Faster. I'm so excited for that album.
Disclaimer: None of it – Glee, Matt Nathanson, or Palmer's Lip Butter—is mine. But next time I go to Walgreen's, I'll own the last one at least temporarily.
Finn used the curved side of his fist to wipe the steam from the bathroom mirror and then flicked a quick glance down to make sure the grey bath towel was secured around his waist. Not that it was an area of concern, exactly, that someone would come barging into the bathroom anymore. Since they had all moved together into this bigger house, renovations were made, Kurt had a private bathroom upstairs…it meant he had a private bathroom down here, too. But really, making sure the towel would stay put was just a habit by now.
He looked at his face in the mirror and pursed his lips together on a sigh.
Your face tastes…awesome.
He didn't know why it was bugging him now. He and Rachel had already been back together for two months after the way-too-long-because-he-was-a-dumbass separation. But now, two months after they had really started to take care of their problems and four months after the super-stupid Spin the Bottle game at the party, it was bugging him. It was really bugging him.
Like, how could a face have a taste? And why did she have to think his gay brother's now-boyfriend tasted awesome? She hadn't ever said anything like that to him, even this time around when the making out was way hotter. Plus, maybe the other thing that bothered him was he didn't really know how they—Blaine and Rachel—had left it. It had been worked out while he was still in the grey not-speaking-much-to-her place.
Blaine and Kurt were going strong and Finn had the eye damage to prove it after an incident last week. Maybe hot and heavy was the better way to describe it, but Finn didn't really want to know the details. He had never been one for talk like that, even less when it was about two guys, and even less since he and Rachel had already shelved the sex conversation for the time being. She'd almost stopped asking if he really thought she was hotter than Quinn or Santana, too, so whatever—waiting was worth it. He knew all about that; just ask him. She might've been the only person who hadn't actually asked. Again with the whatever.
But back to the other debate. He stared at his face in the mirror, wondering what he could do to make his face taste awesome. I mean, they weren't really into licking. At least the closest they did was more like nibbling. And sure you used your tongue and everything when you did that, but he wasn't sure he'd ever actually tasted face. He kind of poked at his cheek a little bit with his fingertips. He had shaved this morning (and that sure sucked, but leaving a rash on her chest from stubble sucked worse because then her necklines got higher and even though she never said anything about it he felt bad and so yeah, he shaved) so the skin under his fingers was smooth. He used aftershave because shut up if he had sensitive skin and it would turn red if he didn't. But did it have a taste?
He leaned down and without looking, opened the drawer and retrieved the small, greenish colored triangle of a plastic bottle. He didn't necessarily need to use any more of it today, but he tipped the bottle upside down before he unscrewed the cap and sniffed at it. There was no way it tasted awesome. It didn't smell bad, but it wasn't a smell that made him hungry and since basically everything had made him hungry since he started really growing in like eighth grade, he thought maybe he knew all about that, too.
Why waiting to have sex was important and smells that could make you hungry. Was there a college major he could make from his two big areas of expertise?
Rachel was coming over and he wanted to at least smell good on the off-chance she would say he did on the off-off-chance they made out (they were actually hanging out with Kurt and Blaine later tonight and shut up, it wasn't weird to double date when your girlfriend was the only girl), so he put on a little bit of the aftershave for good measure and it stung. He realized he'd better add some deodorant and dropped both of the items back in the drawer before he used his knee to slide it closed with a thud. That was about the time he stopped looking at himself in the mirror.
Okay, so far he had figured out it wasn't his face that he wanted to taste awesome because faces didn't taste awesome and, even if they did, that aftershave wasn't going to get him there. What did you taste on someone when you were kissing?
Well, that was assuming you even opened your mouth at all because if there was no tongue there was no taste except the inside of your own mouth. Wait. The inside of a mouth? He frowned. He should've thought of that a lot sooner. He loved making out because Rachel always tasted good to him. But what was good made up of? What did she actually taste like?
Sometimes it was the sharp, cool mint of toothpaste. Ever since the whole Britney-Spears-Carl-the-dentist-hallucinations thing, she had been really, really beyond weird about brushing her teeth. Every time she ate—even if it was just a bite of one of his cookies or something—she brushed her teeth; she always tasted like cool mint. It was just a second of thinking before he remembered taking the tube of toothpaste from her after she pulled it out of her purse one day. His mom just always bought Crest and it never really occurred to him that there was another kind because he was so used to seeing the same colors on the tubes, year in and year out, so he had taken it from her and looked at it in fascination.
He laughed a little bit now as he remembered the name brand she used. Kiss My Face. Interesting. Even the toothpaste people seemed to think it was possible so maybe he was overthinking this.
Shut up. It was possible for him to be too far in his own head and thinking too much. Whatever. Stop laughing.
So, short of switching teams to use organic toothpaste (even his mom would make fun of him if he asked about it, he was pretty sure), he still wasn't sure what he could do to taste awesome and to make her sound that happy about kissing him.
What else did she taste like? There was the mint from her toothpaste and what else? Maybe vanilla? Is that what it was? He remembered her holding up two tubes of lip gloss while they were shopping and asking which one he wanted her to wear. The only thing he really looked at is what they would taste like, and one had been vanilla and the other was…maybe more mint? Whatever, he couldn't remember, but she'd bought the vanilla one and they were just at the drug store so it wasn't like, a big deal shopping trip or whatever. She had pulled a muscle in her leg while they were dancing so he was getting her some BenGay and then teasing her because she smelled like an old person for the rest of the day. But that didn't stop him from pulling her bare feet in his lap while they watched a movie and rubbing them because it wasn't something a lot of people knew because it wasn't a big deal but he liked having his feet rubbed so he thought she might like it, too.
So mint and vanilla… and what kind of food? She didn't eat that much because how much does it take to really keep someone that small going all day? Her favorite flavor, he knew, was strawberry. She usually had a bunch of strawberries for lunch (and he had never really contemplated offing himself until he sat through a lunch period with her eating strawberries across the table from him, like, the day after they decided not to have sex for a while), and another normal snack was strawberry-banana soy yogurt so sometimes there was banana mixed in with the other tastes. He was glad it was just the yogurt she liked because he thought he might really die if he had to watch her eat a banana. But she said those were usually only for breakfast and they hadn't actually had breakfast together in a long, long time.
So…mint, vanilla, strawberry and the occasional banana variety. Rachel always tasted so, so good when he kissed her. Maybe there was something about that combination, then. But if he tried any of that junk (he liked strawberries but usually just with dessert of some kind, honestly), would that cancel out where she tasted awesome? He wasn't sure about the science of it but that kind of made sense to him. It was like chocolate and peanut butter. Separately they were awesome and it seemed like a good idea to put them together, but it was actually kind of gross. Just because something worked for one person or made one person taste awesome didn't mean it would taste good to someone else.
Finn was back to square one. Your face tastes awesome. How could a face taste good? He rolled his eyes as he padded down the hallway to his bedroom, still lost in the thought. Starting over when you thought you'd made progress kind of sucked. And it was too close to what had happened to their relationship for him to be entirely comfortable not to change the mind subject.
He sighed as he turned to close his bedroom door. His eyes looked over at the digital clock. Even though it was the first week of summer vacation, Rachel had some sort of lesson lined up for nearly every day. The only people who worked as hard as she did, he swore, were those who ended up teaching her. Voice and dance were near-daily occurrences in her summer schedule. According to the clock in his room, she was just now starting her voice lesson (he was pretty sure today wasn't dance class second). A lady right up the street from his parents' new-ish house had been her summer voice instructor for five years or so, and Rachel would come over right after the forty-five minute lesson was finished. She had extended the lessons from a half-hour to forty-five minutes while she was preparing audition tapes to send around to a few summer drama camps. So anyway, he had about an hour. He knew Blaine and Kurt were out in the living room watching some dumb baking show (how could you have a Cupcake War, either? Really…faces tasting awesome, dessert pissing people off… what was the world turning into?) so maybe he should go sit there with them and see what kind of cupcakes made faces taste awesome. It was better than the nothing he had planned until Rachel got there.
He dressed quickly, just wearing a faded McKinley Football t-shirt with his jersey number and basketball shorts. Rachel had bought some weird dancing DVDs when he refused to take a dance class with her; and yeah, he knew it probably wasn't the worst idea in the world for him to try telling right foot from left foot and it would be just fantastic not to hear the joke Mr. Schue made about "Finn-proofing" their Glee dance routines, so whatever. Plus, he got to touch Rachel for, like, the entire time and there was nothing bad about that. Anyway, their plan for the night was one of the DVDs (she'd said something about a dance that sounded Spanish and kind of like 'possible', which he thought was not the best name for a guy like him to use for a dance) and he didn't see a need to dress like he was doing anything but that. He could always change before they went out with Blaine and Kurt.
So he went out into the living room and he had dropped onto one end of the L-almost-U shaped couch before he realized Kurt and Blaine were both on the other end. Occupying the same seat cushion. He cleared his throat and they jumped apart.
"I would say I'm sorry but I have a strict no-lying policy now that me and Rachel are back together," Finn said casually, kicking his legs up onto the short leg of the couch. He put his hands up behind his head.
"And I would say go away but you sent Dad downstairs the last time," Kurt huffed out. He folded his arms against his chest. "Which I still maintain was playing dirty and you're just jealous because you're in the middle of a horrendous dry spell since your girlfriend won't put out." He flicked a glance over at Finn. "Did you figure out why that is yet, anyway?"
"Kurt!" Blaine protested.
"What? The last time he got to second base, he left me alone for a while. A guy can dream!" Kurt defended.
Blaine looked over at Finn, too. "Second base? That's all?"
Finn gave a put upon sigh and looked over at them both. "Look, for the last time, and it's none of your business, me and Rachel are going slow… like, on purpose. So shut up about it."
"Well, I know if you'd gotten any further than that, she wouldn't shut up about it and she hasn't said a word…which leads me to believe you'll be doing the ballroom dancing DVDs again tonight," Kurt snarked back, in spite of the request that he stop talking.
"Oh, which one are you guys up to?" Blaine asked; he was actually interested in doing something like that, but Kurt had firmly stated his own stance on how stupid it was and if they would take a dance class, it would be more tasteful than a DVD in the basement and there was nowhere between Lima or Columbus (where Blaine was from and lived in the school off-season) that offered that sort of thing for a gay couple.
"Something Spanish," Finn mumbled. He turned his head and looked straight in front of him. "What's up with this cupcake show? Does it have any good flavors?"
"What?" Kurt asked. While it was true he was getting more used to the random questions Finn could ask, sometimes they still didn't make any sense and he was pretty sure they wouldn't ever completely.
"Y'know…flavors? It's about making different kinds of cupcakes, right?"
"Not exactly," Kurt said. "Were you looking for flavor ideas? I mean, maybe you and Rachel could bake together after you do your DVD. We can reschedule our date if you want to live a little."
"I don't appreciate your tone," Finn said with a sigh. "I've just been thinking about how things taste and…whatever. It's just whatever. Can we watch your stupid show?"
Blaine looked over at Kurt, his face loaded with no less than five questions he didn't verbalize. Finn was nice enough, most of the time, but sometimes Blaine felt like he needed some sort of an instruction manual to understand the rapid flow of vapid thought. Kurt just shrugged. He was all for just watching the stupid show rather than actually continuing the conversation. Truth be told, he liked conversing with Finn a lot better when Rachel was around because, even if all she ever talked about was Broadway and her bright and shiny future, at least it was a sympathetic subject to him and a train of thought he could actually follow.
"How things taste?" Blaine said against his better judgment.
"Well, y'know, like how my girlfriend thinks your face tastes awesome. Apparently."
Blaine's expression faded into confusion for a moment until the cobwebs fell away from that particular memory. "Oh, that."
"Yeah, that." Finn replied bitterly, narrowing his eyes at the guy to his right. "We don't have to talk about it or anything."
"I was wondering how long it would take that to come up. I saw the look on your face after that."
"What? When? There was no look on my face," Finn scoffed.
Kurt barked out a laugh. "I was busy being disturbed and I saw the look on your face. You looked like Blaine had just kicked your dog or stolen your iPod or something."
"Yeah, well, you looked like Rachel had just stolen your boyfriend."
Kurt opened his mouth, the sharp retort written all over his face and Blaine's sigh cut Kurt off before Blaine answered. "Well…I can't really say why she would've thought that because I don't know how much of anything was left to taste. I can't remember a whole lot about any of it. But I use flavored lip balm so I'm sure that's what she was talking about. I didn't do anything special."
"Is that how you make your lips taste like chocolate?" Kurt piped up.
Finn thought he might gag. Seriously. "What?"
"Palmer's Dark Chocolate and Peppermint lip butter," Blaine confirmed.
"Are we talking about dessert again?"
"No, but they have a cherry chocolate one that Rachel might like," Blaine said suddenly.
"Are you still talking about kissing my girlfriend?" Finn asked. He had somehow lost control of this conversation and he needed to get it back—badly.
Blaine sighed, giving Kurt a glance before squeezing his hand in reassurance, and then he turned back to face Finn. "You started it. Besides, I kissed Rachel as part of a game a long time ago and when we were both single. The kiss was hot, but…she doesn't do it for me because she's a girl. That's not my thing, as it turns out. She's your girlfriend now and you have nothing to worry about, just like Kurt's my boyfriend and he doesn't have anything to worry about. If you are worried, you're an idiot because she's totally into you."
Finn sighed and looked at Blaine skeptically. Like, he really wasn't up for sharing or anything, but he also wasn't up for thinking before he spoke so whatever. "She's never said my face tasted awesome."
Blaine's eyebrows shot up in understanding. So it was a jealousy thing, but not quite in the way he'd thought. Interesting.
"Well, Brittany told me guys usually taste like dip," Kurt interjected. "And I don't think Rachel likes dip."
"I eat other stuff besides dip and I'm not going to use some girly mouth crap, either," Finn pointed out.
Blaine was distracted and looked back toward Kurt. "When did you talk about that with Brittany?" He asked. Kurt just shook his head and mouthed later. That happened as Finn was muttering his comment, and Blaine lifted his hips up off the couch so he could reach into his jeans pocket. He pulled out the tube of lip balm and tossed it to Finn, who caught it without a word and with only his athleticism to thank.
"You can't be serious."
"That's what makes my face taste awesome."
"It's warm from being in your pocket," Finn protested, even as he flipped the small tube around in his hand to look at it. "I'm not sure we're that good of friends."
"Sure we are," Blaine said simply. "Just don't use too much because it will look like lip gloss."
Finn sighed as he uncapped it and spread some on his lips. By way of experiment he licked them and realized it tasted not unlike a York Peppermint Patty. If Rachel was going to come on board with this whole thing, that would be one way to tempt her because she had recently talked his ear off about a vegan recipe she found for those and she was so excited about it. They were her favorite candy and she had discovered they weren't actually vegan because the commercial ones had gelatin or something and blah, blah, blah.
He was still pretty sure gelatin was Jell-o, and if you put fruit in it that would make it kosher and vegan, right? Fruit was okay.
He shook his head and put a little bit more of the lip stuff on—he was trying to be careful—and then capped the tube and tossed it back to Blaine. What? Blaine was looking and caught it easily so it was cool.
"Thanks, I think."
Kurt had raised the remote and pointed it at the television. "Can we stop talking and start watching now, please?"
It seemed to Finn like one of those questions no one was expecting an answer to because Kurt used the remote to turn up the television so loud that Finn couldn't even hear himself think.
The show was actually so loud Finn didn't hear Rachel coming down the stairs when she arrived, either. She was so light she didn't usually make tons of noise anyway, but maybe he'd dozed off because the show was actually not as interesting as he'd thought it might be. Plus he wasn't so focused on flavors and tastes once Blaine had shared the secret, but it wasn't like the show talked about it so much and he liked frosting and had still never put as much thought into it as the people on that show and…
…whatever. Being kissed awake was not totally unpleasant.
Rachel had looped around the couch and bent down to brush her lips over his. She was massaging his bottom lip with her tongue when his body caught up to what was going on and he snaked his hands up around her waist to pull her down on top of him. Her hands were on his shoulders, but he could taste that stupid chocolate stuff on her tongue and it was mixed in with the mint strawberry vanilla and it was so sweet and so good and he totally wanted more. If they could make cupcakes that tasted like this, he would be in.
It wasn't like it had been long and it wasn't like they were going to do anything else with Blaine and Kurt right there (hello, even Finn had standards about that), but by the time she pulled away, Kurt was starting to call for Finn's mom to come look at something on the television show and Finn was actually pulling his hand away from Rachel's denim skirt to flip Kurt off.
Rachel backed away just a little from him and smiled. "Hey," she said simply.
"Well, hello," he responded, unable to fight the goofy smile that came to his face.
"What did you eat before you fell asleep? Your face tastes awesome," she said simply.
"So do you," he agreed, the goofy smile turning into a real smile as he heard his mom coming down the stairs and Blaine and Kurt laughing behind her. But he didn't care because Rachel was totally in the mood to make out…with her boyfriend…because he tasted good.