For shaesweetie on LJ - For the Puckleberry drabble meme. It's sort of like your prompt!

Prompt: Puck can't help but wonder when Mr. Schue will figure out that whenever Finn and Rachel sing a duet, they lose.

He also can't help but wonder when Rachel will figure out that whenever she picks Finn, they all lose.

Disclaimer: If I owned Glee...oh the possibilities.


It was that time again.

Regional's - the one he always seemed to mess up with Sectionals. Maybe because he hung around Berry too much than what was good for anybody. She had a tendency to speak a lot, loudly and with words he knew existed but never bothered to use, his ears were not yet practised enough in the art of Berry-speak.

He was getting there though. He had been practising for the better part of two years listening to her. (Hello. Good-looking Jews had to stick together.) And after that stupidity with her nose - how could she think that? Foshiz - especially since he had called her hot - twice before that! He made sure to listen to Berry more often. Chick had some good ideas mixed in with all that other stuff. (He would say crazy, but again with the nose thing, she's probably still a little sensitive.)

Quinn still didn't want to talk about the baby. And Finn - well. Its like he didn't exist to her.

He found it quite funny. Finn hated being disliked.

Like now. He was being laid into by Santana and her freaking awesome angry Espanol. It was moments like these he reminded himself why he dated her. Yeah she was a bitch - but better to be on her side than against it. (And lets face it, he could make any woman happy.)

Artie knew this first hand - after Santana had gone after Britt - the same way he had gone after most his ladies. Although he had really only meant it twice - Berry's was just awesome. Its like Pirates of the Caribbean - nothing beats the first one! He remembered that nod! Zizes - he didn't remember what he was thinking there. He would count "Beth" but then that wasn't really to Quinn as an "I like you" song. More a "that's my kid - and despite everything, I worked for this, even though I wasn't really thinking I wanted a kid - I still deserve to help name her" song

Still Santana focused on just the one lady love, then again, Brittany proved difficult. And Santana didn't count on Artie pinning her to a locker with his (awesome) wheel chair and telling her - that while he can't hope in competing against one of the most beautiful girls in the school for the most beautiful girl in the school he will be watching, he will be making sure that Santana Lopez does not hurt Brittany Pierce again. Because Santana hurt Artie and in doing so, it made Artie hurt Brittany, something he never wanted to do. So Santana owes him - and she better treat her right. Because Artie didn't care about the advanced weaponry she had in her hair. Because he had his own!

That last whisper had been awesome. Santana had never apologised to Artie for going after Brittany while they had been dating - and he doubted that his boy Artie ever expected one. However Santana was unusually nice to Artie - and whomever was around Artie at the time. She had even been nice to Berry - which had been a shock, normally the two were not acknowledging each other, or Santana was taking over Berry's crazy.

He wasn't really sure which side to pick if an all out Berry/Lopez battle came to head.

It'd be smokin' though.

They were on their way now. Rachel - defending her boyfriend in front of the entire Glee club, Santana ripping into the both of them - with words no one could understand, even Shuester. Sam, Mercedes, Brittany, Mike and Tina were holding her back. Artie was in front of her - and not looking happy about it.

"Okay, enough, ENOUGH!" Shuester finally shouted and slowly the group came to a halt.

They found their way slowly back to their seats. The tension was immense in the small choir room. Last year it was a unanimous decision - Rachel is there- eager. Why not use her. They kicked ass at Regional's as a result. And then Nationals. Finn decides what's best is another duet. He had wanted to say, "dude we already tried that - and lost. Get over it."

Puck would have been up for a Mercedes and Rachel duet - those two were freaking insane together. Tina? Kurt? He entertained the idea of Santana and Rachel - but then thought no. The last thing the world needed was those two taking over. Hell Artie has the best voice out of any of the guys (he comes a close second.) He and Rachel would have been better. But no. What Finn wants - Finn gets. Always.

"Mr Shuester - Rachel and I have a connec-"

"So do me and Prada but you don't see me singing with it every day." Kurt huffed in. Rachel let out a giggle and Finn stared at her. "Sometimes Mr Shue I like a little Jacobs or maybe even some Mr Ford. And you know -"

"Thank you Kurt - yes I believe we get the analogy." Kurt leaned back and lifted his chin up at Finn sending waves of "I do believe I have made my point."

Finn glared at his step-brother then turned around again, "Mr Shuester-"

"Oh give it up white-boy," Mercedes butt in loudly. "We've given the two of you your chances - that's right chances, twice we put hope in the two of you, and twice you have failed. And this is our last chance."

"Exactly - we have done this, we know what we are doing!"

"Yeah, failing." Quinn chimed in, Finn turned to look at his ex incredulously, she smiled lightly at him.

"Look Finn, it's not that we don't want you to sing at all - I mean our group numbers always do well with you having a small solo, but as a duet with Rachel - maybe that kind of connection is all in your head." Tina spoke bravely while Mike held her hand.

"Rachel?" Finn turned to his girlfriend asking her to back him up. She floundered slightly, Rachel Berry hated sharing the spotlight - with anyone, plus the evidence spoke for itself."

"Rachel, you said it yourself - we are the best singers. Together -"

"When will you get it?" Puck interrupted. His voice was angry and desperate. Like the edges of a dam, with enormous amounts of water crushing against it, trying to push through.

Finn stood up and turned around to look at Puck who was sitting at the back, his pose was nonchalant, it betrayed his words.

"You are holding her back." At this the Glee club let out harsh breaths and small whispers.

"Every time she sings by herself - it's, it's - I don't even think there's a word for it." Puck stood up and walked down the steps to stand in front of the Glee club - and right in Finn's face.

"Its why you fell in love with her in the first place right? Her voice? I mean every time you hear her sing you get shivers right? You just can't help but watch her. It's what we need. We need the judges to be in the moment. Completely lost in the performance."

The Glee club knew what he was talking about. They needed the heart. They love to sing. Yeah they all had it. But Berry was in a league all her own.

"We won Regional's because of her - Vocal Adrenaline based their performance around Sunshine and they ended in the top ten!" The small girl had sent flowers to Rachel - and had come to congratulate them in coming in the top 12. And although he had wanted to punch that Jesse kids face, he didn't - cause he had been right.

Puck forged on, "but for some reason - you felt we needed a stinking duet - and every time you two do a duet. WE LOSE." He spread his arms wide, "the whole team does." He was thankful that the rest of them nodded.

"Shouldn't that tell you something? And that kiss man?" He screwed up his face as he remembered. He had turned around to see why they weren't clapping and then turned back around to face the more pleasing band. "What the hell was that? Oh I know. Stupidity at its finest! Seriously - after all that hard work we did with that stupid date, and then you have to go and be the most unromantic douche bag ever?"

The dam broke.

"What?" This time it was Rachel. Finn was staring at him like he used to - like he had broken something sacred. Again.

The rest of the club was looking at him, impressed that he had the guts to stand up and say what they were all thinking.

Truthfully he had just seen red and let rip. He hadn't really been thinking - that last comment proved it.

"What about the date?" The boys - minus Kurt - in the room all avoided looking at Rachel who stood next to Puck and Finn with her hands on her hips.

"Finn?" There it was - that heartbreaking small voice she used before she was about to cry.

Puck hated that voice - it ranked in his top five, above there being no dip for him to eat, but slightly below his absentee father.

"Okay guys - lets just-" Mr Shuester broke the silence but it was too late. With a whirl of dark hair, Rachel rushed out.

"Rachel!" Finn didn't move He just stared at the door. Puck waited. Waited for him to move but he didn't, instead Kurt and Mercedes rushed down the stairs and out after their friend. The door slammed behind them and Finn turned to Puck. The shorter boy braced himself for the punch.

It hurt like a bitch. But that's the only one he allowed. He was proud to say he fought back and now he was sitting outside the principals office with an ice pack on his eye. Finn had already had his parents - Burt and Carol - come and pick him up. Carol had glared at him - he had snorted. Like he cared. She had never like him. Plus, she spawned Frankenteen, that put her on his blacklist right now. Burt had looked disappointed but he didn't care. Burt had never paid him any attention. He had heard from Kurt he was the best dad ever. He had yet to see it. Artie's dad paid him more attention - currently in Puck's position, daddy Abrams was the best dad ever.

Plus he made a mean waffle.

His mother was busy working so he had to wait till she came to pick him up - it's probably why Figgins was muttering to himself. Staying longer meant using more power. Figgins hated it - and now subsequently him.

He felt someone sit next to him and turned his good eye. He held in a groan. "I'm not sorry," he spoke immediately. The cut on his lip stung slightly as he spoke. "I know," came the choked voice of one Rachel Berry. "I didn't -"

"Seriously Berry, don't speak. I've said enough for the day - and I don't doubt I would disagree with everything your about to say so please, just don't talk. This-" he gestured to his mouth, "hurts like a bitch."

She sniffed loudly and straightened her dress before standing. He leaned forward - ignoring his aching back - and grabbed her forearm. "I said don't talk, I didn't say leave." She looked at him and he gently pulled her back down into the chair. His hand slid down her forearm to intertwine their fingers.

They sat in the uncomfortable chairs, holding hands and not saying anything.

"The word for my singing talent-?"

Puck groaned as loudly as his bruised body would let him.