In the first dream, they were both naked. He'd seen Puck naked before, countless times, in the showers after football, but never where he could look and see him all at once, without fear of someone kicking his ass for looking. But in his dream, they were alone in the pool – he didn't know which one, probably some made-up pool he'd never been to – and he thought it was funny how his mind could make up things like that, just invent a pool he'd never seen and that never would be real, but his brain sure thought it was. Real, that is.
When he was awake he never really thought about looking at Puck naked, but in this dream it was all he wanted to do. It was dark out, and there was a bright moon, and Puck walked out by the pool, naked, with the silver light shining on him, on the lines of his broad chest and abs and back, and his round ass. There was no sound. He stepped slowly into the water, his toes disappearing up to his ankles, then with each step the water lapping higher on his body, first his calves, then knees, then thighs, and finally wrapping itself around his –
And that's when Finn would wake up, jerking his head forward and blinking to reorient himself to wherever he was – the middle of Glee rehearsal, or football practice, or in class or at the dinner table or just about anyplace. With a raging hard-on, usually, and a foggy memory of the dream that had just left him.
The most difficult moments were those in which he had to immediately see Puck, the real-life Puck, right next to him. It was hard to reconcile his dream Puck with that Puck, the one that said, "I can't believe we have to sing this disco shit," or "Look at that chick's cankles – think she's got one in the oven?"
There were other moments, too, like the time he shook off the dream to find himself kissing Quinn, and he had to think of the mailman very, very emphatically. At least until she pushed him away to complain about his kissing technique, at which point he could fade back into the woodwork and not think for a few minutes. Minutes like those were just about the only sleep he got anymore.
Because at night, from the moment he flopped back onto his bed until the moment he hit the snooze alarm, the dream (and, later, others like it) consumed his consciousness. He woke several times a night, sometimes to wet sheets, sometimes to gasping hardness which he finished off himself, in minutes. And the subject, always the star of his sweating, panting fantasies was Puck – his very straight best friend.
This was not good.
"Have you noticed something's up with Finn?" was Puck's opening comment Monday morning as he slid into the seat behind Quinn in Glee.
She turned around and glared at him. "Only that he's more clueless and distracted than ever. Oh, and did I mention broke?"
Puck backed away from the fuming Quinn, holding up his hands. "Relax. At least wait until he's around to defend himself. And, clueless and distracted are pretty ordinary with Finn. I was thinking more that he's been taking a lot of naps during class."
"Maybe something's keeping him up at night." Santana leered over Quinn's shoulder at Puck. "Or someone."
"Well, it's not me," Quinn grumbled. "I'm not sleeping well myself, and I have to get lots of rest for the parasite here."
"That's it!" said Brittany.
"What's it?" Puck said.
"Finn. Don't you see?" Her eyes were wide. "He's pregnant!"
"Don't even joke about that, Brit," Quinn rounded on her surprised friend angrily.
"I wasn't," Brittany began, but Santana cut her off.
"Don't get in her face, Q. Anyway, I saw a tv special about it once. It's possible."
"Finn is not pregnant!" Quinn yelled. The rest of Glee turned to stare at her, and she colored and rolled her eyes. "He's just tired," she continued at a more normal volume.
"Well, I'm going to figure out why," said Puck. "Because something is definitely keeping my boy up nights."
He positioned himself discreetly in the back of Glee rehearsal so he could get a good look at Finn's situation. Sure enough, Finn was barely paying attention to Mr. Schue's mashup idea. He had a vacant look on his face, and – yes, he was definitely nodding off.
His first thought was that Finn was getting something on the side. God knows Quinn wasn't putting out for him. Could it be Rachel? Puck scowled. You'd have thought Finn would have at least told him about it. Best friends get first rights to new gossip, he thought, even if they are rotten at keeping a secret.
After class, the boys stuck around the choir room to discuss and brainstorm mashup ideas, but Puck was too distracted watching Finn to really pay attention. Finally, rehearsal was over, but Finn didn't move. He was asleep.
Puck leaned over and stared into Finn's face. "Dude. Wake up." Finn's eyelids fluttered, but he still didn't move.
"He's drooling," said Kurt, leaning over next to Puck. They both turned perplexed gazes on Finn while Puck reached out with a finger and snapped his eyelid gently. That did it. He straightened up, blinking and wiping away the spit from his chin.
"Sure, yeah, that sounds good," he mumbled.
Puck wasn't buying it. "Dude, what's wrong with you? Go see the nurse."
Finn took a deep breath and refused to make eye contact with Puck as he struggled to his feet and trudged out the door. "Thanks, guys. Keep up the good work," he added, clapping Puck on the shoulder.
Puck looked after him in frustration. "I think he's seriously losing it," he said.
"What makes you say that?" Kurt asked.
Because he's hiding something from me, and he always tells me everything, he didn't say.
Finn paused outside the choir room and pressed himself against the wall, breathing erratically. His heart was beating funny. That was almost too close, Finn thought, the dream still right on the surface of his memory. When he woke to find Puck's face just inches from his own, Finn's mouth had nearly taken over and planted a kiss on his smirking lips. He really didn't want to explain the drool. His fingers tingled where they'd touched Puck on the shoulder. Rest. I just need some rest.
He stumbled down the hall and stuck his head into the nurse's office, and was startled to see Mrs. Schuester behind the desk. "Oh, hey, Mrs. Schuester – it's me, Finn. I sang with your husband in Acafellas."
"Finn," she said vaguely, then brightened. "Are you the one who's dating Quinn Fabray? What can I do to help you?"
He looked longingly at the cot in the back. "I've been really tired lately, and I was wondering if I could lie down in here for a while."
"Why don't you have a seat?" Finn settled heavily into the chair in front of her desk. "Why don't you tell me a little bit about your sleep habits?"
"I'm really tired, but I can't fall asleep. It's like my brain won't shut up."
"Well, what are you thinking about?"
Finn stared blankly at her. My best friend, leaning over the pool table… yeah, that would go over well.
"Oh, you can be honest with me-there's a code of silence in my office."
How much can I say and not be telling a lie? "Football plays… girls... dance steps..." - around certain football players - "... girls."
She went on to lecture him about keeping up with his homework, girlfriend and other responsibilities by taking… a vitamin?
He was just desperate enough to try it. Anything to help me get through another day… preferably without dreams.