Every morning, Lauren Zizes would grimace at her reflection. She saw how she always looked like she had two jawbreakers in her mouth, and how that made her mouth pop out. Then her eyes trailed down to her round stomach. She squeezed her skin. Being on the wrestling team, Lauren was proud of her bulk exterior. It won her many a competition. But prom was a whole other thing. It was supposed to be sappy and romantic and she knew that she wasn't built for any of that slow-dancing stuff.
It still confused her how Puck was attracted to her sometimes. His reputation as a player wasn't exactly reassuring. Boys were pathetic like that. All they wanted to do was have sex, and Puck was no exception. He had even requested getting into her pants a few times. On the inside, it made her tingle, but she hardened on the outside.
Lauren sighed. It hurt to think that she was just another piece of ass to him. Then again, he had been honorable. He respected the fact that she didn't want to get busy with him. Maybe that meant that Puck didn't find her desirable. Lauren squeezed her skin again. Who would find this desirable?
She strode through the halls to Glee club. At first, she didn't think much of it. Glee club was nothing to her. That was until she had rescued Puck from a port potty. He had asked her to join the club. Lauren agreed, but she wasn't going to do it until she got him to notice her. That's why she wanted seven minutes in heaven in exchange. It was better than she thought it would be, but she didn't want to come off as easy or desperate. That was not her style. Neither was Glee club, but she only joined to be with Puck.
As soon as she walked in, Puck smiled. It was like one smile made all of her stupid insecurities vanish. Lauren smiled back, and took a seat beside him. "Hey there, babe." He greeted, wrapping an arm around her. "So how's my lady doing?"
It made her flush the way he talked to her. He had the ability to make her feel like a girl instead of the tough wrestler that she embodied. "I'm good, but I'd be better if I had some skittles." Lauren replied as smoothly as she could. She refused to melt in front of him.
"Oh," Puck retracted his arm from about her shoulders to reach into his pocket. The crinkling of a bag sounded as he pulled out what she was craving. "Here you go."
Lauren took the candy, and smiled. She patted him on the arm, affectionately. "I'm impressed that you remembered. Thanks." That earned him a few more points. It showed that he really did pay attention to her. So, as a reward, Lauren opened the bag with the intention of sharing her candy, which she didn't do often. "Open up wide, Puckerman." She threw one up in the air.
Puck tilted his head back to catch the candy with his mouth. He chewed, and then opened his mouth for another. It was hot and cute at the same time.
"So…prom is coming up. What would you say about going with me?" Puck asked.
That's when all of her happiness dissipated. His question made her angry. It was enough that her parents kept bugging her about it. "No." Lauren replied. She knew how cold that one word sounded.
"No? But why?" Puck spluttered.
Lauren looked away. "Prom isn't my thing."
She was grateful once Mr. Shuester entered the room. His presence succeeded in ending that conversation. It did nothing for the mood, though. Puck was sitting back in his chair with his arms crossed the whole time, which heightened the tension. What made it worse was the fact that Mr. Shuester brought up the prom too. He said that they were going to perform at prom. Everyone didn't take that well, but for an entirely different reason. They didn't want to perform for people who didn't appreciate them. Lauren just didn't want to go because of the sappiness of it all.
She left the club without another word to Puck.
The next day, he confronted her in the hall. "What the hell, Lauren?" It was apparent that he was pissed.
"Good morning to you too, Puckerman." Lauren replied, evenly, ignoring how ashamed she felt for ditching him, and how her chest constricted. She really did like him. He was silly and a tad bit stupid, but he was nice and caring when he wanted to be. It was a bonus that he was easy on the eyes. Then she thought of how she wasn't.
"Don't gimme any of that." Puck took her by the shoulders. The abrupt action caught her off guard. She remained frozen, looking Puck dead-on. "You blew me off yesterday, and I left you a million voice mails on your phone. Are you avoiding me or something?"
Lauren let out an exasperated sigh. She didn't want any of this touchy-feely stuff. All it did was agitate her even more. Why couldn't he just let it be? "Puckerman, you will get off me or I will break you." She threatened, hoping that he'd take the hint.
Puck threw his hands up in the air. "All right, what the hell is wrong with you? Everyday I bust my ass to make you happy. On my way home, I stop by the pharmacy to get you whatever candy you want, granted I steal from my family's rainy day fund to pay for it, but I do it for you. I even restrain myself from getting into your pants because I know you don't want me too, and I respect that, and believe me it's as hard as hell to hold myself back. I'm making an effort, but I feel like I get nothing but crap in return."
She had no words. There were too many emotions coursing through her. Lauren felt guilty, and that her sad, and pissed off all at once.
The bell rang, and Puck stormed off to his next class.
Her confrontation with Puck bothered her all day. Lauren kept glancing at him in class. He'd give her a quick glare, which made her shiver, and look away. Lauren hated being ignored. It made her want to cry one minute, and beat the crap out of someone the next. What's more, time seemed to slow down with all of this tension. Lauren wanted to call Puck and be done with this gloomy mood. But she was afraid to. She was afraid of whatever answer that she'd receive. It hurt to have Puck angry with her, and she knew that her snapping at him didn't do anything to remedy to situation.
Over the span of the next few days, Lauren became antsy. It was as antsy as she usually was before making a verbal presentation. Times a million. Unable to deal with it anymore, Lauren approached Rachel about the problem with her new idea. She thought it'd mean a lot to Puck if she sang to him. But she couldn't think of a song that was appropriate enough.
"Berry." Lauren greeted as she walked up to Rachel's locker.
"Oh, Lauren," Rachel was somewhat awkward with returning the greeting. But she was able to recompose herself just as fast. "Hi, what may I help you with?"
"Listen up, Berry, because I'll only say it once. As you know, Puckerman and I are dating. But there's a bit of a problem."
"I've noticed. All week you two have been sitting on opposite sides of the room. So what happened? Are you two fighting?"
"If you must know, we are fighting, and it sucks."
Rachel hummed her empathy.
"I thought of a solution. I figured since he loves to sing so much that he'd appreciate being serenaded to. But I don't know which song to sing to him."
Rachel smiled. It was warm and welcoming. That was why Lauren went to Rachel other than the fact that she had to be the best vocalist in the club. "Then you came to the right person. Come with me." Rachel took Lauren by the hand and led her to the auditorium. Along the way, Karofsky and Azimio taunted them by calling them lesbians. Lauren would've beaten them to a pulp if it wasn't for Rachel. "Grow up." She glared at them before walking away.
Rachel put her bag down on the stage, and took out her MP3 player with speakers. She allowed Lauren to flip through the songs, commenting and talking through some of the lyrics and song meanings. It took a while before Lauren made her choice.
"I would say that sing is most suiting for this occasion. And it fits your vocal range. Even so, it never hurts to have some prepping. Now sing the song, and I'll help you through the vocals." Rachel instructed.
With Rachel's assistance, Lauren was able to conquer her song. All she had to do was sing it, which had her nerves bouncing about in a craze. Her thing was wrestling. Not singing, especially in front of a crowd of people. Sure, there were people watching as she wrestled, but she wasn't focused on them. Lauren was focused on her opponent.
To settle her nerves some, Lauren went to the restroom to wash her already-flustered face. She saw Rachel's reflection in the mirror a short while later. Rachel stepped closer before putting a hand on Lauren's shoulder. "Are you all right?" She asked, concerned.
"Not really. I feel the overwhelming urge to beat the crap out of somebody."
"I know performing in front of the club could be nerve-raking. Believe it or not, but I still get nervous at times. I feel like I could puke at any second or mess up a note or sing a line wrong or skip a verse since we tend to cut our song selections short. You know what makes me feel better, though?"
"I keep telling myself that I'm talented, which is a given. I've performed a whole lot of times whether that be at dancing competitions or singing competitions. So I know I have the experience to back up the fact that I'm well on my way to stardom. What also helps is that I'm not the only one who gets nervous. I can tell you right now that everyone gets the stage jitters every now and then. It's perfectly normal."
That was hard to believe. Rachel was typically as eager for the spotlight as Lauren was for M&Ms. But then, Lauren thought back to Puck, and what he had told her; how he felt like their relationship was one-sided. That must be what she was showing on the outside. Meanwhile, her insides were all out of whack at the mere sight of Puck.
"Lauren?" Rachel asked, softly.
Lauren took a breath, and then turned to her. Rachel was right. Everyone had their hopes and fears but they were hidden behind calm faces. She figured that was what she often did with Puck. Lauren put on a mask that hid her true passion of him. And to make this relationship work, she had to be more open with her feelings. "I owe you, Berry." Lauren murmured, giving Rachel a gentle punch on the arm.
"Ah, no, you don't." Rachel replied. "Think of this as a favor from a friend."
That was a surprise. Lauren didn't think that she'd have any friends outside of the AV club. But she had somehow managed to form an amity with Rachel. It felt nice to know that there was someone to fall back on in Glee club other than Puck.
They shared a smile.
"Now, come on, let's go woo your man." Rachel winked.
They headed to the club room. Everyone was already there, but Lauren didn't look at them. She looked at Puck, who was slouched in a chair in the corner. Her stomach twisted. Her cheeks grew hot. And she was even more anxious than before.
"Mr. Shue, Lauren and I would like to sing a song." Rachel announced.
Mr. Shuester blinked. "Of course. Go ahead, you two." He smiled, and then took a seat in the audience.
Stage fright kicked in. Puck was staring right through her. It made her feel even more exposed than she ever felt in her life. That made her go blank.
Rachel gave her a pat on the arm. "Deep breath, ok?" She smiled.
Lauren nodded, and obliged.
Rachel cued the band, who began to play Naked by Avril Lavinge. Lauren began to sing, gaining more confidence with each and every word she had memorized. Rachel backed her up where it was called for, and she wondered why she had gotten so worked up before. Lauren smiled as she saw Puck lean forward. It made her happy when he smiled in return.
At the end of the song, Puck stood up, and jogged to her to give her a hug. It made Lauren feel lighter and warmer to have his muscled arms around her. She reciprocated the embraced, basking in the very essence of Noah Puckerman. When they pulled away, he gave her a kiss on the lips. She was smiling so much that it hurt. While this went on, everyone clapped, and some even whistled.
They wrapped an arm around each other's waists as they wandered to their seats. Puck pulled her close so that she could lean her head on his shoulder.
"So do you have anything you need to do now?" Puck asked after Glee club.
"I was wondering if you'd like to go to Breadstix with me. My treat." She could see the hopeful glisten in his eye mixed in with some apprehension. Lauren put a hand on his cheek. She wanted to put him at ease.
"Now how could I say no to that?" Lauren grinned.
Since Puck's driving privileges were revoked, they took Lauren's car. It was a silver Toyota that was in mint condition. Puck was impressed. He ran his hand over the front of the car. "Whoa, nice ride." He complimented.
"Thanks." Lauren replied, getting into the driver's seat. Puck sat beside her. For the duration of the ride, they rocked out to Skillet, singing loudly, making rocker hand movements, and silly faces.
Once they arrived, Lauren and Puck sat at a booth by the window. A waitress took their order as well as their menus.
"So…about prom…" Puck began. Lauren could tell that he was scared to breach the topic. Not like she could blame him. She didn't react well the first time he brought up prom.
"I'll go with you." Lauren intervened.
Puck blinked. "Wha…? Really?"
"And I'm expecting a nice corsage." Puck was about to say something, but Lauren spoke instead. "One that's not illegally obtained."
He chuckled. "No, I wasn't gonna say that. I was gonna say that I'm a pretty lucky dude to be going with a hot chick like you."
Lauren blushed. Just then, her ribs arrived, and she dug in. "How about this? Whoever manages to eat their food the fastest pays for the bill." Lauren propositioned.
Puck grinned. "You're on."
"You're such a wimp, Puckerman." Lauren teased as she drove. She winded up winning their eating contest.
Puck held his stomach. "It's not I'm a wimp. You have a stomach of steel."
"What can I say? I have an affinity for food." Lauren pulled up in front of his house. "Here we are."
"I had a great time, Lauren, despite the stomachache." Puck smirked.
In turn, Lauren stroked his arm. "Me too."
Puck leaned over to give her a kiss before exiting the car.
It was finally the day.
Lauren looked herself over in the mirror. Her brown hair was curled, her hazel eyes were revealed due to the fact that she wore contacts, and her dress was flattering. It was a black gown with several silver designs on it, and she had all the right jewelry to go with it, courtesy of Kurt, who had assisted her in picking them out. She wore matching shoes that had low heels. Lauren twisted, and turned her body, smiling at the results. She looked gorgeous.
The doorbell rang. She hurried to answer it. It was Puck, all decked out in a suit and tie. Lauren grinned. "You clean up nicely, Puckerman." She complimented, rubbing his arm.
"Thanks, you too, but do you think you can call me Noah from now on instead of Puckerman? Or you can call me Puck. Whatever you're comfortable with. It just feels weird when you call me by my last name, especially when…"
Lauren put her hand to the back of his head, and pulled him into a fierce kiss. "Sure thing…Noah." She breathed once they pulled away.
They smiled. Noah offered his arm. "So are you ready to go?"
"I sure am." Lauren took his arm. They entered the limo where the whole Glee club awaited them. It was then that she realized that she was wrong. Prom was going to be a blast because she had a bunch of friends, and an excellent boyfriend to share the fun with.
A/N: So this is my first Glee fanfic. I love the dynamic of Puck and Lauren. Their relationship is different, and unique, and I just had to write about it. I do realize that Lauren will be running for prom queen, but I didn't know what when I wrote this fic a week ago. I just had to include Rachel in this because she has such a big heart, and she's always so willing to help out.
Thank you for reading and let me know what you think!