Rachel stood in the bathroom doorway and smiled at her best friend. Santana was pacing back and forth, barefoot on the tile floor, her hair pulled back into a messy bun, spit-up stains on her t-shirt. She was smiling down at the little bundle in her arms and singing softly. Rachel felt strong arms slide around her waist and a chin rest on her shoulder.
"What's going on?" Puck whispered in Rachel's ear, pulling her back against his chest and she sagged, exhausted.
"Shhh." Rachel put a finger to his lips but it was too late; Santana froze and turned around.
"How long have you been there?" she asked quietly.
"Not long," Rachel assured her. "What were you singing?"
"Hey Jude," Santana smirked as Rachel slipped out of Puck's arms to walk further into the bathroom. She pushed the blanket aside a bit and looked down into the beautiful face of her son.
"Hey, baby. Were you good for your Aunt Santana?" Rachel stroked her finger down his cheek and he turned his head, opening his mouth a bit before closing it again.
"He was good for the most part," Santana said. "Super gassy again though. And I can't get him to sleep."
"The formula's not working," Rachel said through a yawn. "We're gonna have to switch him to Nutramigen."
"I'll pick some up in the morning," Puck said and Rachel turned around to see him sliding into the bathtub with a relaxed sigh as he leaned against the back and stretched out his legs.
"So how was it? First night away from the baby?" Santana asked.
"It was hard," Rachel bit her lip. "Noah had to confiscate my phone so I didn't text you every five minutes."
"Thank you for that," Santana smiled over at Puck and he saluted her a 'you're welcome'.
Santana stared at Rachel for a minute and Rachel raised her eyebrows. "What?"
"Oh my God," Santana said in exasperation. "Did you win?"
"Oh!" Rachel said, finally understanding before breaking out into a huge grin. "Was there ever any doubt."
"Seriously?" Santana smiled and looped her free arm around Rachel's neck. "B, that's fuc…freakin' awesome," she corrected herself quickly. She and Puck had both been making a conscious effort not to curse so much around the baby. He didn't understand them yet but if they didn't start now when he couldn't understand them, it would be too late by the time he did.
"Yeah, I was pretty excited."
"Seriously, B. Your first Tony." Santana smiled. "Okay, lemme see. I want to hold it and pretend like it's mine."
"You don't actually get to bring it home," Rachel laughed. "They use the same one over and over again for the awards show and then they mail yours to you after they engrave it. It should be here in three to six weeks."
"That fucking sucks," Santana said annoyed. So the cursing was a work in progress, big deal.
"Whatever." Rachel shrugged it off.
"Don't even try to pretend like you don't care," Puck snorted. "You should have seen the fit she pitched when they took it away from her. It was hilarious."
"Shut up," Rachel glared at her husband and walked over to slap him in the back of the head, but he grabbed her wrist and pulled her into the tub with him, kissing her soundly before she could protest. With a contented smile, she snuggled up into his lap. "Okay so maybe I was a bit vocal about my disappointment but honestly, there should have been a more efficient system in place."
"You're just mad you didn't get to walk home down the streets of New York waving your Tony in everyone's faces."
"Well, what other reason is there to have a Tony?" Rachel protested. They were all quiet for a second as she yawned again. "I'm so exhausted," she complained, closing her eyes and burrowing deeper into Puck's embrace. "Like seriously, I could fall asleep right here," she paused then opened her eyes as if realizing for the first time where she was. "Why are we in the bathroom?"
"Acoustics," Santana explained.
"Why do I feel like we've spent the better part of our lives in the bathroom?" Rachel frowned.
"Well, probably because we have," Puck told her with a chuckle, just realizing something. Rachel tilted her head up to look at him. "We literally have spent the better parts of our lives in the bathroom."
"What are you talking about?" Rachel asked, not sure if Puck was just being Puck or if she was just too tired to understand what he was saying.
"Huh, he's right," Santana said, lowering the toilet seat lid and sitting down, the baby still in her arms.
"Pretty much every important moment in our relationship has happened in a bathroom," Puck explained to Rachel.
She sat up a bit to look her husband in the eye trying to figure out if he was messing with her. "That can't possibly be true?" Rachel frowned, unsure, and turned to Santana. "Can it?"
"Oh, it's true. Hey little one, you want to hear a bedtime story?" Santana smiled and looked down at the baby in her arms. "It's the story of how your parents became friends and then fell in love, and eventually had you. I think I'm going to call it…'My Porcelain Romance'."
"Please remind me never to let Santana write my biography," Rachel snorted but snuggled deeper in Puck's chest to listen to the story.
October 2009 - Sophomore Year – High School
"You're pretty good at this," Puck looked up at Rachel as she ran her fingers through his hair, rinsing out the ice and corn syrup.
"I've had a lot of practice," she chuckled. "You're actually a lot luckier than me and Quinn. Your head is shaved." He smiled and she grabbed the towel hanging over the bathroom stall.
"I'm really sorry I ever did this to you," Puck told her honestly.
"It's okay," she said, tucking her hair behind her ear as she perched herself on his leg.
"No, it isn't," Puck lifted his head up, took the towel from her and slid his hand onto her hip. "No one deserves this feeling. You know what the worst part is? It's not the burning in your eyes or the way the slushie drips all the way into your underpants, it's the humiliation." Rachel nodded sadly and looked down away from him. "I feel like I could burst into tears at any moment." He hated himself for what he was about to say but he didn't really see any other option. "Rachel, I'm sorry but today when the clock chimes three thirty—"
"You're choosing football over Glee which probably means we can't be together anymore," she finished for him.
"Yes. Damn, I feel like such a bad Jew," he said and he was only halfway kidding.
Rachel just smiled at him and kissed him softly on his forehead. Then she stood up, grabbed her raincoat and walked out of the bathroom. Puck watched her go and he got this feeling that watching Rachel walk away from him was probably going to be the most painful thing he ever experienced and he never wanted to do it again.
February 2011 – Junior Year – High School
Rachel was the last one to leave Figgin's office, almost as if she was in a daze, and he wasn't sure if it's because they didn't get expelled or if it was because Brittany fucking threw up on her. When she got to the hallway, all the other Gleeks were standing there glaring at her and it was fucked up how they didn't even have to say anything but the message was still loud and clear: they blamed her. Puck snorted because they knew just as much as he did that it was all their faults. Yeah, she brought that nasty purple punch shit but they didn't have to drink it.
Quinn and Santana grabbed Brittany and pulled her away, offering Rachel one last glare for good measure. The others filed out of the hallway until it was just Rachel and Finn and him. Finn opened his mouth and the hopeful look on Rachel's face made Puck want to puke. But Finn just closed his mouth and shook his head before walking away. Rachel's whole face fell and Puck just wanted to punch Finn in the face.
He could tell she was trying not to cry and the whole thing was made worse by the fact that she still had chunks of something in her hair and her clothes were drenched in purple puke. He groaned and pushed himself off the locker, grabbing her arm and spurring her into movement. "Come on, Berry," he said, and she followed him wordlessly down the hall. He stopped at his locker and pulled a bag out before dragging her into the nearest bathroom. Grabbing the chair by the door, he moved it under the sink and then sat her ass down in it. She smiled softly up at him as he turned the water on and made her lean back.
"This feels vaguely familiar," Rachel said softly and he smiled.
"Yeah, I guess I owed you or whatever," Puck shrugged, using one hand to direct the water onto her head and the other to run his fingers through her hair to dislodge any stray bits. "This isn't you, Berry. This drunk party girl."
"I know," she whispered.
"Then what the fuck are you doing?" Puck asked.
"Language, Noah," Rachel smiled up at him and he rolled his eyes.
"It's about Finn, isn't it?" he asked her.
"You're the one who wanted me to have the party. You're the one who wanted to break into the liquor cabinet." Rachel reminded him.
"Yeah and then you went a little nuts and kissed a gay kid and turned into this crazed purple punch pusher," Puck pointed out.
"They didn't have to drink it," Rachel whispered, echoing his own thoughts back at him, and sat up. Puck turned off the faucet and grabbed a towel from his bag, tossing it to her. "He called me pathetic," Rachel whispered and Puck clenched his fist.
"He actually fucking told you that?" Puck asked her.
"He was always telling me while we were dating that I needed to loosen up and act like a normal teenager and then I have a party, like a normal teenager, and a few drinks, like a normal teenager, and he calls me pathetic." Rachel stood up and rubbed her hair with the towel. "And it hurt but then I drank more and it didn't hurt anymore."
He dug through his bag until he found what he was looking for and held out his wrinkled baseball practice t-shirt to her. Rachel hesitated and he rolled his eyes, "It's clean or whatever, it's just been in there since last summer. More importantly, it's not covered in puke."
"Thanks," Rachel smiled and took the shirt, moving into one of the stalls to change.
Puck leaned against the stall and winced as Rachel hung her puke covered shirt over the door for him. He grabbed it with two fingers then threw it in the general direction of the trash can cause he was pretty sure she didn't want that back. "Look, I know this is going to sound like complete and utter bullshit coming from me of all people but alcohol is not the answer."
"I know," Rachel sighed and walked out of the stall. His shirt hung down to the middle of her thigh and the neck was so wide it grazed the tops of her boobs and he could see a bit of her lace bra poking out.
"Finn's the pathetic one," Puck shoved his hands in his pockets. "Look, he kisses Quinn when she's with Sam which is fucked on, like, so many levels 'cause what? All of a sudden he forgives her for sleeping with me but he dumps you for kissing me? That doesn't even count as cheating. Kissing me is just the inevitable outcome of living in Lima. Seriously, like everyone does it and it doesn't mean anything. He had you and he let you go," Puck shook his head. "Pathetic."
"Thank you," Rachel smiled at him. "And thanks for the shirt."
"Whatever. Like I said, I owed you." He grabbed his bag and reached over her head, opening the door and holding it open for her. She ducked under her his arm then stopped and turned around.
"Noah, every time I've kissed you," she bit her lip, "It meant something." Before he could fully process her words, she pushed herself up on tiptoe and pressed a quick kiss to his lips before walking away. And watching Rachel Berry walk away – still didn't get any easier.
August 2012 – Summer Before College
There was one more week of summer. That's it, one more week and then college and then the real world and all Puck really wanted to do was party but at the same time the last thing he wanted to do was be at a party. The music was too loud, the people were too annoying and the beer was too warm. He was considering just ditching when someone called his name.
"Noah!" Rachel called out, her voice easily rising above the music and the noise of all the people surrounding him in the middle of Mike's kitchen. He turned his head to see Rachel stumbling through the crowd, headed straight for him. She looked genuinely excited to see him which he thought was cute because they'd literally just seen each other like two hours ago at Temple.
"Hey," he smirked at her and she tripped over the little step between the living room and the kitchen so he reached out and caught her.
"Hey," she smiled up at him.
"Jesus fuck Berry," Santana said appearing at his side. "I turned around for two seconds and you were fucking gone."
"I found Noah!" she said, pushing herself to her feet and twisting out of his arms. "See. Noah!"
"Yeah, I see," Santana chuckled a bit.
"Was I lost?" Puck raised his eyebrows and Santana rolled her eyes.
"She's been hunting down everyone, wanted to have one last talk or whatever, like we'll never see each other again."
"I'm leaving on Monday for New York," she pointed out and then turned around to the rest of the party and raised her hands in the air and screamed, "New York!" Everyone cheered and she turned back to Puck a huge smile on her face.
"Yeah, we know," Puck laughed. "You've only told us that like at least once a day all summer."
"Look, I need a break, for just like five minutes," Santana said. "I've been chasing her around all night and I'm far too sober for this."
"I knew there was something different about you. I thought maybe you were trying something new with your hair." Puck laughed. "Isn't it usually the other way around?"
"We made a deal, I stay sober tonight to watch over her while she's drunk and she stays sober for pretty much every party freshman year to watch over me." Santana smirked.
"That sounds like a very fair trade," Puck nodded. He wasn't sure how the hell the world had turned upside down and inside out to accommodate Rachel Berry and Santana Lopez as roommates. But they both got into NYU and San shrugged and said something about the bitch you know versus the bitch you don't.
"Yeah, except she's seriously exhausting." Santana sighed, eyeing the beer in Puck's hand. He pulled it away from her quickly.
"She's seriously right here," Rachel frowned at them.
"You want me to take her off your hands for a while?" Puck asked, sipping his beer.
"Please," Santana begged. "Rach, Puck's gonna watch you for a few minutes, okay? I'll be right back."
"It's fine," Rachel waved her off. "Noah will take excellent care of me."
"You bet I will, Berry," Puck winked at her and Santana didn't have to be told twice.
"Oh! Party mix," Rachel said excitedly and Puck slipped a finger in one of her belt loops, holding her in place as she tried to reach for the bowl on the counter. She turned and frowned at him and he smirked.
"Not party mix," Puck shook his head at her. "I'm pretty sure that's potpourri."
"Oh," Rachel sighed and turned around. "Whatever. I need to talk to you anyway."
"I'm not really into teary goodbyes," Puck told her.
"Good, 'cause that's not what I want to talk to you about." She smiled at him. "We're friends, aren't we?"
"Yeah," he said cautiously. Conversations that started out like that never ended well for him.
"'Cause you said before we weren't friends but that was almost two years ago and I think we've grown closer since then—"
"We're fucking friends, Berry," Puck interrupted her.
"Right," she confirmed with a cute little nod. "That's good. So friends do friends favors, don't they?" She looked up at him from under her eyelashes and Puck swallowed hard because this was definitely not going to end well for him.
"I guess. I mean, it depends on the favor." Puck said.
"Well, I need a favor from you," Rachel said, bringing her hands up to play with one of the buttons on his shirt.
"I kinda got that much," Puck smirked.
"You see, I've decided that it would not be beneficial for me to go off to college with my virginity intact." Puck froze, the beer bottle halfway to his lips. She pulled the bottle from his fingers and took a long sip. "And I was thinking that you could help me with that," Rachel finished.
"And when you say 'help you', you mean?"
"I mean," she slid her hand up around the back of his neck and pulled his face down to hers. She smiled when he sucked in his breath and then turned to whisper in his ear. "I want you to fuck me." She pulled back and looked up at him.
"How drunk are you?" he asked her.
"Not very," she shrugged and he narrowed his eyes. "Drunk enough to ask you, not so drunk that I don't know what I'm asking you."
"This is-fuck Berry," Puck ran a hand over his head. "This is not…your first time shouldn't be like this. In the middle of some random party at someone else's house, in someone else's bed. It should be fucking special or whatever."
"It will be 'fucking special' because it'll be with you," she told him seriously and he had to bite his lip because Rachel Berry just said 'fuck' twice in like two minutes. "Noah, I didn't just decide this. I've been thinking about this all summer, weighing the pros and cons and this is what I want. I trust you, you can't deny there's always been a…physical attraction between us, I know that you'll make it good for me, and you won't make a big deal about it." Puck sighed, he honestly couldn't fault her logic. "Unless you don't want me," her face fell and he groaned.
He grabbed the back of her neck and pulled her in for a kiss. It had been almost a year since he'd kissed her last and it was just as good as he remembered. He could hear her voice in his head (Every time I've kissed you, it meant something). She swiped her tongue along his bottom lip and he groaned, pulling away from her.
"I'm giving you one chance to back out. If you want this, we'll do it, but if you don't, you tell me now. Right fucking now," he said.
"I want this," Rachel assured him and he took his beer from her, setting it on the counter, before sliding his hand in hers and walking away.
He pulled her up the stairs, the only thing on his mind the fact that he was about to have sex with Rachel Berry. He opened up the first door on the landing and it was shut in his face. Puck shook his head and pulled her further down the hall, knocking this time. "Occupied!" someone screamed from inside.
"Fuck," Puck grunted and reached for the last bedroom door but the second his hand hit the knob, they heard a crash from inside followed by a moan and he pulled his hand away. "Oh, come on!"
"Noah," Rachel tugged on his arm and nodded at the door behind him.
"That's a bathroom," he sighed. She opened the door and looked in.
"It's empty," she shrugged and he smiled at her, dragging her into the bathroom. He closed the door and when he turned around, Rachel had pulled herself up onto the countertop, her feet swing against the cabinet. "Hey," she smiled at him.
"Hey," he smiled back and walked up to her, nudging her knees open with his hip so he could stand between her legs.
"I'm not exactly sure what I'm meant to be doing here." The look on her face was slightly more annoyed than it was nervous and for that, Puck smiled. Rachel liked to know things. He felt a bit of a rush knowing that he had the upper hand here, something he rarely did where Rachel was concerned. He reached out and slid his fingers onto her hips, gripping them firmly yet gently before pulling her forward a bit, balancing her on the edge of the counter.
"Last chance, are you sure you want to do this?" Puck asked her, looking hopefully in her eyes. She nodded and smiled at him, bringing one hand to rest on his shoulder. Her other hand brushed the longer strands of hair off his forehead, something his mom had been bugging him about all summer. Puck closed his eyes, leaning into her touch as her hand moved from his forehead to his cheek, her thumb tracing the line of his cheek bone before drifting further down and sliding along his lips.
Unable to stop himself, Puck placed a soft kiss on her thumb and she froze for a second. She continued her journey south along the line of his jaw before her hand finally settled, her fingers tangled absentmindedly in the hair at the nape of his neck.
"Rachel…" Puck pleaded with her without really understanding why. Instead of answering, she simply pulled his neck forward and kissed him softly.
It didn't take long for the kiss to go from soft to urgent and then her hands were on his belt buckle and he was pulling her shirt over her head. His eyes widened when he saw that she had no bra on and his head dipped quickly to her chest, pulling one of her nipples in his mouth. She shoved his pants down around his ankles so he could kick them off before yanking her shorts off. "Your shirt," she panted, running her hands under the material, her fingernails grazing down his abs and he pulled away from her for a moment to grab his shirt and pull it off.
She ran her hands back down over her bare chest, her fingers sliding along the top edge of his boxers and then she gripped them and pulled the waist band out just a bit. Puck watched as she looked down and he laughed a bit. "What are you doing?"
"I'm…" She seemed confused for a second then smiled. "Just having a peek." A red blush crept up her cheeks and he smirked.
"Having a peek?" he asked incredulously and she just shrugged.
"Well, you're about to…and I just wanted to see…I mean, it's going to go…"
"Oh for fuck's sake." Puck shoved his boxers to the ground and held his hands out. Rachel looked down. Puck watched her eyes widen and saw her cheeks get even redder, which was awesome ,but he seemed to grow steadily more uneasy as she continued to just stare. "Rachel?"
She swallowed hard and looked up at him. "It's rather large." Her voice was slightly breathless.
"Not so large." Puck said trying to calm her nerves and she barked out a laugh. "What?"
"Nothing." She assured him. "It's just, I never thought I'd hear a guy say that."
Puck glared at her as she chuckled. "Cute. I was just trying to make you feel better."
"I know." Her laughter died down suddenly and it was serious again. He leaned his forehead against hers, running his fingers up and down her arms lightly. He kissed her again and they could tell immediately the intent had changed. The whole atmosphere had changed. Puck put his hands on Rachel's bare hip and rubbed his thumb along the bone before pulling her up against him. When they touched, skin to skin, chest to hips, she moaned.
"Okay?" he whispered against her collarbone.
"Yeah," she assured him as one of his hands slid up from her hip to cup her bare breast, his thumb brushing lightly over her nipple.
"Okay?" he asked again.
She nodded, not trusting herself to actually talk at the moment. He'd take it though, moving his mouth back up to hers, kissing her deeply, almost lazily as the other hand on her hip moved down her leg. He squeezed her knee and ran his hand back up the inside of her thigh and his fingers brushed softly against her slit. She shivered at the contact and he smiled against her lips, sliding one finger into her and her hips jerked forward.
"Okay?" he asked again as he worked his finger in and out.
"Would you please stop asking me that?" she panted but smiled up at him.
"Sure." Puck smiled, adding a second finger and making her gasp as her forehead dropped to his shoulder.
"God," she groaned, trailing kisses up his neck and Puck couldn't help but echo that thought in his own head. He added one more finger, going even deeper this time and curling just so. He knew when he hit the right spot because Rachel's legs tightened around his waist and she threw her head back. "Noah," she panted.
The sound of his name falling off her lips like that hit him hard and went straight to his dick. Quickly, he pulled his fingers out so he could get himself under control or this whole thing would be over before it even had a chance to begin.
"Condom?" Rachel whispered breaking through the haze of lust he found himself in and he nodded, reaching down and grabbing it out of his wallet. He tore the packet with his teeth and he could feel his hands shaking a bit as she watched him roll the condom on, something about her watching was both hot and nerve-wracking.
He lifted his head, saw her looking at him with a smile and her head tilted to the side, and he couldn't help but drop a kiss to her forehead. Her eyes fluttered closed so he turned to them, kissing the right then the left. He moved on to her nose, then the corner of her mouth and when she turned her head to face him, he smiled, kissing her softly.
"Ready?" he asked; she nodded. He guided himself into her, just the tip and she gasped and Puck had to bite his tongue to stop himself asking her if she was okay. "This is going to hurt," he warned her
She didn't say anything, just nodded as he pressed in further, slowly sinking himself deeper and deeper inside of her. She had lasted longer than Puck thought she would but eventually, she cried out and he had no illusions that it was a cry of pleasure.
He stopped immediately, frozen in space and time as both their breaths came fast and painful and that's when he realized her eyes were screwed shut tightly. "Rach, look at me." She shook her head and Puck grabbed her face and tilted it toward him. "Open your eyes." She stared straight at him and he could see the water filling her eyes. "Look at me okay," he murmured softly, the rumble in his chest just as soothing as the way he refused to turn away from her. "Just look at me." She nodded and he started to move again, slowly, taking his cues from her face.
He stopped again when he saw her bite her lip and didn't move again until she nodded. The shake of her head caused her hips to jump slightly and the sensation was so unexpected that Puck thrust forcefully the rest of the way before he could even think about what he was doing. She cried out, a half-choked sob and he grabbed her face with both hands. "I'm sorry," he murmured as he kissed her softly, trying to wrench the pain from her through her mouth. "I'm sorry, I didn't…fuck, I'm sorry." Her tears fell freely now and he wiped them away as fast as he could. "I'm sorry." He leaned his forehead on hers and closed his eyes, mumbling a constant apology.
After a minute, her breathing evened out. "It's okay." She assured him, bring her hands up to embrace him, rubbing his back soothingly. "It's fine, I'm fine." She smiled and kissed his temple. She shifted her hips and he gripped at her waist.
"Don't." His voice was strained. She was so tight and it felt so good but if she moved, he was going to rail her and he wasn't going to hurt her again. "Just wait a second."
"Yeah. okay." She smiled.
After another minute, he trusted himself enough to move again. Slowly he got into a rhythm, lifting his head to look into Rachel's eyes again. "I'm okay," she kept saying over and over again and he sped up, going faster and faster, his breathing out of control. It took him a minute to realize that she was meeting him thrust for thrust, that she was making these little moans in the back of her throat and they weren't moans of pain.
He looked up and saw her head tilted back, her mouth open and nothing had ever been hotter. He was like two seconds from coming and he could tell she was close. too. She'd told him she trusted him to make it good for her so he was going to make sure he did just that. He slipped his hand in between them, sliding his finger along her, putting just the right amount of pressure in just the right spot and she cried out, her whole body clenching around him, "Noah!" she panted again and that was all it took, he was done.
She collapsed against him, her head falling on his shoulder and he wrapped his arms around, holding her tight as she got her breathing under control. "Thanks," she said into his shoulder and he scoffed.
"You're welcome," he told her. "You okay?"
She nodded. "It doesn't really hurt anymore but I'm not sure I can stand just yet." She blushed and Puck couldn't help but smirk because yeah, he was a fucking stud.
"Stay right there," he told her, kissing her forehead and pulling out of her. She actually pouted at the loss of him and his smirk got even bigger as he peeled the condom off and dropped it in the toilet, thinking of all the things he could do to her when he finally got her to a bed. He grabbed a handful of toilet paper and brought it back to Rachel, cleaning her up gently before flushing it.
He was about to ask her if she wanted to maybe get out of there, go down to the lake or something when the door was flung open and he saw Santana in the doorway. "Are you fucking kidding me?" she shrieked at them and he at least had the sense of mind to cover his junk. "Five minutes, I leave you alone for five minutes?"
"Trust me that was way longer than five minutes," Rachel mumbled under her breath and Puck couldn't help but laugh.
Santana stormed into the bathroom and slapped Puck in the back of the head. "I trusted you to take care of her," she snapped.
"Oh, he took care of me," Rachel mumbled sleepily.
Santana glared and smacked Puck again. "Stop hitting me," he said rubbing the back of his head. "She's the one saying that shit."
"Yeah well she's drunk, you know better," Santana said. "Rachel get dressed, we're leaving."
Rachel slid off the counter and gathered up her clothes, pulling them on quietly. "I'm ready," she told Santana as she zipped up her skirt and Santana offered Puck one last glare before turning to the door.
"Thank you Noah, that was…exactly what I wanted."
"Anytime," Puck winked at her before Santana stormed back in the bathroom and smacked him one last time for good measure.
"Stay away from her," she said and then stormed off. Puck smirked, pulling on his boxers then his jeans. He figured now would be the wrong time to mention that he'd been on the waiting list for NYU all summer and he just got the notice this morning that he was in. He was just going to surprise them. And maybe then Rachel would stop walking away from him.
November 2012 – Freshman Year - College
Rachel forced herself to swallow another sip of vodka, thankful that she didn't have a gag reflex as the liquid burned its way down her throat. She really hated the stuff, preferring wine or even beer, but she'd found it under Santana's bed and as it was 10 in the morning, and she was underage, she figured it was the best she could do on such short notice.
She heard the door to their dorm room open and panicked, sinking down further in the bathtub as Santana moved around the bedroom. The two girls had gotten much closer since moving to New York. Rachel would even go so far as to say they were friends, pretty good friends actually, but not so good that Santana wouldn't go crazy on her for stealing her vodka.
Rachel grabbed the shower curtain and pulled it tight, making sure that she wasn't visible. She was glad now that she'd decided to hide in the bathtub. It had seemed so wrong, underage drinking right in the middle of the dorm room so she'd come in the bathroom and sat on the toilet, but then that had seemed so…pathetic, so she climbed in the tub and got comfortable. She'd actually started to relax, at least until Santana came home and ruined everything. She was supposed to be in class right now. Granted, so was Rachel.
She heard the door to the bathroom open and she sucked in a deep breath, making sure to keep herself completely still, to keep her breathing quiet and shallow. She heard the toilet seat lift up, a zipper being pulled down, the sound of someone sitting and then a sigh of pleasure – but not Santana's sigh of pleasure – this was a distinctly manly sigh of pleasure. Rachel froze. There was a man in her dorm room, in her bathroom, on her toilet. She didn't know what to do. She'd never imagined a scenario like this before. What was the proper protocol? Did she announce herself? Did she stay quiet? Did she try and slip her phone out of her pocket and dial 911? If she talked though, he'd know she was there. Maybe she could text them? Did 911 even accept text messages? Rachel didn't know. But she could text Santana and tell Santana to call 911. That was an excellent plan.
Rachel slowly and carefully pulled her phone from her pocket, making sure to silence it before opening her texting application. She quickly selected Santana's name and started typing.
Santana felt her phone buzz in her pocket and sighed, pulling it out and seeing Rachel's name flash on her screen. She opened the message and nearly swallowed her tongue trying not to laugh.
Berry*: EMERGENCY! Was hiding in bathtub when strange man entered bathroom. Is currently ON OUR TOILET. Could be crazed killer. Currently fear for my life. Please contact police immediately.
Santana typed back quickly and set the phone on her desk, biting her lip because seriously, she wanted to laugh so bad, she was almost crying. She paused for a second before picking up the phone and sending out another text.
Rachel let out a breath when she saw Santana's reply pop up on her phone's screen.
HBIC: First of all, what the fuck kind of killer uses the victim's bathroom before killing people? Second of all: chill out. It's probably just Puckerman. He uses our toilet from time to time. Third of all, what were you doing hiding in the bathtub?
Rachel relaxed only slightly taking deep breaths in and out and then she heard a beep coming from the phone of the man who might possibly be Noah. She gathered up all her courage, curled her hands around the side of the shower curtain and pulled it back a bit. She peeked out quickly and then slumped in relief to see that it was none other than Noah Puckerman, sitting on her toilet, a spoon in one hand and his phone in the other.
Grabbing her phone, she let the curtain close again and typed out an angry reply to Santana.
Noah licked the spoon and wrinkled his nose in disgust at the flavor but stuck it back into the green container anyway for another bite. His phone beeped, signaling a new text message so he popped the spoon back in his mouth, set the container on the counter and then bent over to dig his phone out of his pants pockets. He saw Santana's name flash on his screen and rolled his eyes. She fucking knew this was his bathroom time so she'd better have a pretty good reason to disrupt him.
Satan:So just a heads up or whatever, but Berry's hiding in the fucking bathtub. She thinks you're some crazy psycho killer and she's like two seconds from calling the cops on your ass.
Puck froze, pulling the spoon from his mouth slowly and looking over to at the shower curtain. He couldn't see anyone through the material and it would totally be just like San to try and pull some stupid ass shit like this on him. He sent her a quick text because he was legit not going to fall for that shit. But, on the other hand, "Berry?" Puck said slowly, feeling like a fucking idiot.
"Noah?" Rachel called back and he closed his eyes in complete and utter mortification before yanking his pants up and grabbing onto the shower curtain. He pulled it back and looked down to see her lying in the tub, her cell phone in her right hand a bottle of vodka in her left. She was staring up at him with the weirdest fucking expression on her face and the longer she looked at him, the redder her cheeks got. "Hi," she whispered.
"Hi," he said back for lack of anything better to say before closing the toilet lid and sitting back down.
Santana was tapping her foot impatiently as she stared at her phone. It beeped twice, one right after the other, and she grabbed it quickly. Puck's text was concise and to the point.
Puckerman: Fuck you.
He didn't fucking believe her. Fine, she'd done her good deed for the day and tried to warn him. She hoped Berry brained him with that big ass shampoo bottle of hers. Rachel's text was a bit longer.
Berry*: How am I supposed to know what a killer would or would not do before killing someone? There are all kinds of crazy people in the world, Santana Lopez. I know; I've watched Criminal Minds with you a few times. Also I was genuinely afraid and I don't appreciate you dismissing my fears so casually. What if it had been a crazy killer and you came back from class to find a blood-spattered bathroom and my lifeless, dismembered body in the bathtub? What would you have done then? Furthermore, do you care to explain why exactly Noah Puckerman is using our bathroom when we're not here? There is also the little matter of the fact that I did not hear him break into the room so I'm going to assume that he has somehow procured a key. You wouldn't know anything about that, would you?
Santana rolled her eyes because seriously the girl was such a fucking drama queen. She looked up to the front of the lecture hall and the professor was standing behind the podium now with his 'this is going to be on the final' look on so she typed out a quick reply to Rachel, ignored Puck and put her phone away to pretend to take notes.
Rachel opened her mouth to say something – anything – because honestly, the longer this silence stretched out, the more awkward it got. Her phone beeped saving her the trouble of having to figure out something to say and she looked down.
HBIC: Sorry, can't talk now, very important lecture. Must take notes.
Rachel snorted because Santana didn't take notes. She was avoiding Rachel because she knew she was in trouble. She looked up and for some reason Puck was still there, so she sat up straighter and figured out she'd better tackle this problem head on. "So, do you do this often then?"
Puck raised his eyebrows at her. "Not normally with people hiding in the shower but yeah, you could say that it's probably a daily occurrence."
"A daily occurrence?" Rachel asked. Noah Puckerman had been coming into her dorm room, every day, while she was in class, to use her toilet. She wasn't sure if it was the vodka or the fact that it was Noah that made that thought not as surprising as it should have been. "Would you mind if I asked you why?"
"It's like, I've never really been good with shared bathrooms. I mean, don't get me wrong – I can piss in a urinal with the best of them but when I'm dropping the kids off at the pool, it's really fucking uncomfortable to know there's a dude in the stall next to me, doing the exact same thing and knowing that I'm doing it too, you know?"
"Dropping the kids off at the pool?" Rachel asked, confused.
"You know, clearing the traffic jam on the Hershey highway? Taking the Browns to the Superbowl? Makin' a deposit at the porcelain bank?" Puck offered but she still looked confused and slightly disgusted. "Droppin' a deuce, Berry."
Her eyes suddenly went comically wide and now she looked really disgusted. "Are you talking about a..a..bowel movement?"
"Yes! Jesus fuck," Puck sighed.
"So wait, you can't do it in the bathroom at your dorm so you come here?" Rachel frowned.
"Not can't," Puck scowled. "Didn't fucking say can't. I prefer to have my privacy or whatever. Look, it's just I'm pretty regular. Seriously, my body is like, bam! Every day at 10 like fucking clockwork and my 9 o'clock class is right there but my rooms all the way across campus so I'd have to fucking run to get back there and by the time I make it, I'm totally touching cloth." Puck smirked at Rachel, "That's like when you have to go so bad that a little bit—"
"I get the picture," Rachel held up her hand to stop him and shook her head.
"Anyway, I was complaining to Santana about it and she said I could just use you guys' toilet since you were both in class and it was right there and I remembered you totally scored the handicap room with the private bath so I figured why not? And I kind of like it in here. The toilet seat is padded and the heater is like kickass and it smells nice and shit."
"Right," Rachel said, leaning back in the tub. They were quiet for another ten minutes or so when Rachel spoke up again. "Noah?"
"Were you eating yogurt earlier?" she turned to him, "On the toilet?"
"No," he shook his head and Rachel relaxed slightly until he reached over to the counter and picked up the green container and a spoon. "'S Pudding," he said before taking a big bite and Rachel sunk lower into the bathtub in disgust. "Got a funny aftertaste though, I think it might be bad or something." Puck swallowed then shrugged and took another bite.
"It's soy," Rachel said, sparing him a glare. "Pretty expensive and hard to find."
"Oh, sorry," Puck said, his mouth full of soy chocolate pudding. "You want the rest?" he offered her the container and she rolled her eyes and shook her head, giving him a small smile.
"Do you mind if I ask what you're doing hiding in the bathtub with a bottle of vodka at 10 in the morning?" He finished the last of the pudding and dropped the container in the trash. So Rachel explained her logic behind being in the bathtub and Puck just shook his head at her. "And the vodka? Where does that come into it?"
"Oh," Rachel looked down at the bottle. "I tried out for a part in the Spring Musical yesterday. I found out this morning that I didn't get it."
"And?" Puck frowned.
"I didn't get it, Noah," Rachel said, sitting up straighter. "I've never not gotten a part before. Everything I try out for I get."
"Everything?" Puck asked and she nodded.
"And this was just a school play," she said, the panic in her voice rising. "That's like the equivalent of Community Theater. If I'm not good enough for a school play then how can I even hope to make it on Broadway? Then everything I've worked for my entire life was all for nothing and I'm going to end up teaching music to third graders in Lima, Ohio and I'm not very good with kids, Noah, I'm not. They kind of scare me because they're tiny and ask strange questions and their hands are always sticky and why are their hands always sticky?"
"Shit. Okay, seriously you've got to calm down 'cause you're freaking me out over here," Puck said, sliding off the toilet to kneel down next to the bathtub. He grabbed her shoulders and made her look at him. "One rejection isn't the end of the world, Berry." She opened her mouth and he clapped a hand over it to keep her quiet. "No, seriously, trust me. I've been rejected like a billion times. It doesn't mean you aren't going to make it on Broadway and it sure as hell doesn't mean that you're going to end up teaching music to third graders. Fuck, where did you even come up with that shit?" He dropped her hands and shook his head amused.
"It was a nightmare I had when Finn and I were dating. It was like subconsciously I knew he'd never leave Lima and I imagined what would happen if I were to stay with him and it was horrible, Noah. They were everywhere like a swarm of sticky, curious little things." She shuddered and Puck laughed, full-on laughed at her and that pissed her off so she slapped him as hard as she could, which was totally not hard at all, and just made him laugh even more. Pretty soon she was laughing, too.
"Look Berry, in five years when you're up on stage accepting your Tony for best fucking everything, those fucktards are going to be sitting at home wishing they'd given you that part so that they could say they knew you back when."
"Yeah?" Rachel asked him shyly and he nodded with conviction.
"So how about I take this," he pulled the vodka bottle from her hands, "Cause it's not even noon yet and I have a feeling this is Santana's and she will cut you, roommate or not, and if you still want to get drunk tonight, I'll take you out and pay for your drinks."
"You'd do that for me?" Rachel asked.
"Well, yeah. Fuck, Berry. That's like what friends do and shit, right?" She smiled huge then and he knew he'd said the right thing. "But I don't do wallowing or whatever so if we do this, we're gonna be celebrating."
"Celebrating what?" Rachel asked.
"Celebrating the bullet you dodged when they didn't give you the part because obviously, if they couldn't tell how talented you are, then that's gonna be like the lamest show ever," Puck said.
"I can deal with that," Rachel smiled.
Santana rushed back to the dorms after her class figuring Rachel was ready to strangle her, all while hoping that she hadn't already strangled Puck. So to say she was surprised to see them on the floor of the bathroom, Puck's guitar balanced on Rachel's knee as he moved her fingers into the correct position on the neck, would be an understatement. "What the fuck is going on here?"
"Noah's teaching me how to play the guitar," Rachel said brightly.
"We've mastered a total of one chord," he said and Santana could see that his patience was wearing a bit thin but she also noticed that he hadn't stopped yet.
"Okay, why are you doing it in here?" Santana walked into the bathroom and sat down across from them.
"Acoustics," they both said at the same time as Rachel slid the pick down the strings and then smiled brightly when the sound that came out wasn't that of a dying cat. "I did it!" she said and Puck nodded patiently.
"Okay, now E, remember E? I showed you earlier?" Puck asked and Rachel bit her lip and moved her fingers where she thought they were supposed to go. Santana figured that was wrong with the way Puck looked to the ceiling, probably praying to God to give him strength.
He grabbed her fingers and rearranged them all then looked at Santana. "So we're going out tonight, drinks on me, you in?"
"You're buying? Hell yeah," Santana smirked and watched as Rachel slammed the pick down the strings just a bit too hard, causing one of them to snap. She barely resisted the urge not to laugh as the muscle in Puck's jaw twitched and he pulled the guitar from Rachel's hands slowly.
"I'm so sorry, Noah," Rachel said quietly.
"It's okay, it's fine," he said taking deep breaths. "I think we're done for today, but tomorrow we're going to learn how to restring a guitar."