Author's Note: Like the summary says, this is dedicated to my 100th reviewer on Needed You Always, michaelfanfic. S/he asked for a oneshot that had Puck and Rachel doing more than just kissing in that scene sometime during the week after Rachel found out about Finn and Santana. I had to watch the episode a bunch of times to try to figure out some sort of timeline, and then I made it extra hard on myself by making it Rachel's POV since I've already done so much stuff centered on this event, but mostly from Puck's perspective. I'm not sure if this is exactly what s/he had in mind, but I hope s/he and ALL of you enjoy! And if you do (or even if you don't), let me know by reviewing!


Rachel was the last to board the bus back to McKinley, her eyes shifting from seat to seat self-consciously. The group was small enough that everyone got his or her own seat on the bus, but they'd all gathered collectively in the back. And even though they weren't necessarily sitting next to each other – some were, like Sam and Quinn – the cliques were obvious. It was still Mike and Tina, Artie, Santana and Brittany, even Finn was so engrossed in a conversation with Lauren that he didn't notice Rachel.

Not that he'd want to sit next to her after the conversation they just had, she thought sadly before grabbing the front seat behind the driver. She studied her hands in her lap, focusing all her energy on not crying. It was a feeling that had consumed her for the past week, and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't avoid it. Even the split seconds of joy she felt, like earlier when she had hugged Finn out of reflex, were immediately shrouded in heartache and pain, her mind flashing with the vivid images she had in her mind of his and Santana's tryst.

Every time she saw Finn now she saw Santana, and the whole thing made her want to throw up.

It didn't matter that they weren't together when it happened. And she wasn't caught up on the Santana of it all, whatever that meant. Her reaction to the news had nothing to do with Santana, and everything to do with Finn. How he'd lied to her. How he'd yelled at her. And, most of all, how he'd not even apologized for what he'd done. No, he was too busy defending his actions. Too busy calling Santana super hot.

Rachel glowered at her lap, her hands clutching the scratchy fabric of her dress. She had half the mind just to rip the stupid black gossamer from the white base, envisioning Santana's face the whole time. However, mid-delusion, she hadn't noticed that she wasn't alone anymore. Puck had moved from his spot three rows back to sit right next to her, his head resting back against the bench chair and his eyes on her. She inched away from him and returned his gaze, the scowl still firmly in tact.

"You gotta drop a deuce or what?" Her expression didn't change, but her eyes must have shown even more confusion. "You look like you gotta take a crap."

"You're repulsive," she responded, her nose lifting up in disgust but her scowl otherwise lessening. No matter how long she'd known Noah Puckerman, she'd never get used to him. He was basically her polar opposite, and she was fairly certain that sometimes his behavior was geared directly toward upsetting her. In fact, change that to most of the time. "I just have a lot on my mind."

"Don'tcha ever take a break?" He asked comically, his hands lifting up in presentation. "We won. Relax."

"First of all, we didn't win. We tied." She rolled her eyes, not even letting herself get worked up about that again. The only reason she'd been able to choke out a smile in the first place was because she was happy that Kurt hadn't had to deal with the bout of disappointment that would now, unfortunately, have to be felt after regionals. "Which is precisely why we shouldn't relax, and instead start working on our set list for regionals. But then again clearly my opinion doesn't matter in this group anymore so I guess I'll just bite my tongue and watch in horror when we lose the regional competition again."

"Wow. Bitter, party of one?" Puck lifted his hand as if he were actually garnering the attention of a waiter. Rachel rolled her eyes, exhaling a heavy breath. "If it makes you feel any better, I didn't get a solo either."

Rachel turned her eyes back to her right, evaluating him for a brief moment. She'd been so distraught over Ken and Barbie's disastrous number and how it ripped away her own time in the spotlight, she'd never taken into consideration the others in the group who'd been slighted. Puck had an incredible voice, but she'd never once heard him complain about not getting a solo. Granted that was probably because he'd rather sing background vocals than be showcased in a group that she knew he still was slightly embarrassed to be apart of, but … still.

"You deserve a solo, Noah." Her voice finally held some softness, her eyes showing the same tame emotion. "Quinn and Sam wouldn't have even won the stupid duet challenge if Finn and I hadn't thrown it, and you've been here longer than Sam, too. You've earned it."

He shrugged complacently. "Whatevs."

Puck crossed his arms over his chest as he lounged further into the seat, Rachel inhaling a sharp breath when his arm brushed against hers. Her gaze filtered over the deep red of his shirt, pulled tight over his chest and biceps because of his position. The rich color complemented his complexion well, and somehow made his hazel eyes pop. She suddenly couldn't stop thinking about that day last week when he'd rescued her in the hallway, taking her home only after they stopped at the 7-11 by the school for a grape slushie.

"You're really taking this commitment to being nice seriously, aren't you?" His brows burrowed, his head turning to face her a little more. "First saving me last week, then what you said in the green room before our set, now sitting here …"

"What makes you think I'm just being nice?"

Rachel scoffed lightly, sinking into her seat a little more. Her head bowed and she again surveyed her lap. She blinked two tears out, letting them fall down her cheeks as she recalled what Santana had said in the green room. No one liked her. It was a truth she'd ignored for so long, and it was the perfect opportunity for Finn to jump in and defend her, but he didn't.

He never did.

"People like Santana and Quinn." Her voice was barely above a whisper, and she hated it. She hated that she couldn't shake the melancholy from her tone. She was a strong, independent woman who should be in the process of dusting herself off right now, but instead she was just laying in the dirt in the fetal position. "Not me."

"Nobody likes them, either. They're both bitches." Rachel raised her eyes back to his face, squinting in confusion. "Everyone is just nice to them because they're popular and shit. Q's a tease and San's a slut."

"Well I refuse to be either of those things, if that's what you're getting at."

"Nah." He shook his head, dropping it a little closer to her and lowering his voice. "You don't need to change a God damn thing."

Rachel's breath caught in her throat, her admonishment about his language lost somewhere between her esophagus and lips. Suddenly she could feel the heat radiating off him and her whole body flushed in response. He was so close to her that she could smell what had to be a mix of deodorant and something else. Him, probably, since it smelled masculine and pure.

"Wh-what …" she cleared her throat, trying to carry on with a shred of dignity. "Do you have any plans for this evening, Noah?"

"Zilch." He lifted one of his eyebrows in curiosity. "Why?"

"Well," she started, inhaling shakily, "if it isn't too much of an inconvenience, I was hoping I could ask you for a favor."

"A sexual favor?" He leered.

"A ride," she clarified quickly.

"So sexual or not?"

Rachel groaned disapprovingly, squaring her shoulders forward and falling further into the seat. She could hear him chuckle softly beside her, and again the thought of ripping her dress or screaming at the top of her lungs seemed completely justified. Instead, she settled for crossing her arms over her chest, mirroring Puck's position even though his was much more relaxed.

"Easy, B. I'll take you home." The bus pulled into the McKinley High School parking lot, parking to the side of the school. "Where are your dads?"

"Out of town," she answered absently, not realizing what she was saying would be anything more than informational until she saw Puck's eyes darken. Her resulting response again vanished, every cell of herself focused on Puck's reaction and her reaction to him. She sucked her bottom lip between her teeth, letting her eyes fall as she tried to wrap her head around all the emotions swirling inside her. She didn't know why she kept finding herself in this position, but she had to figure it was some strange chemical imbalance. It had been a long day and she hadn't really eaten much all week as a result of all the personal anguish. Low blood sugar. That made sense.

"Please be careful driving home, guys. I'll see you Monday!"

Mr. Schuester held up their trophy in triumph, and it was enough to pull Rachel away from her trance on Puck. The judges should have cut the stupid trophy in half if they were going to have New Directions and The Warblers tie. It was the least they could do to show that they had put in an iota of effort into their jobs. Instead they just picked a loser and then called everything else even, likely handing Mr. Schuester the trophy just because he was closest.

After Mr. Schuester, Rachel and Puck exited next, both of them walking straight to his truck at the far end of the parking lot. Surprisingly, he opened the door for her, and her resulting smile had only disappeared after he closed it and her eyes settled on Finn's in the distance. He looked upset, but otherwise fine and she landed somewhere in the same position. Upset because he didn't seem more heartbroken, but otherwise fine thinking they might be able to salvage some aspect of their relationship after all.

"Legit, you need to relax." Puck shoved his keys into the ignition, rocking the gear shift into drive and slamming on the gas pedal. Rachel jostled in the seat as he made a sharp left turn out of his spot and then a quick right out of the parking lot, slamming back into the seat when he again picked up speed. She scowled at his widening smirk, tightening her seat belt for further safety. "About Finn. Not my driving."

She rolled her eyes, not dignifying either with a response. His driving was atrocious at best, and she couldn't help but wonder how he'd managed to keep his license after crashing his car and stealing an ATM. Unfortunately, it was a passing thought, overpowered by the million others about the other thing she apparently needed to relax about.

Finn. It seemed like too small of a word to hold such meaning in her life. Four little letters, and somehow they meant everything to her. Or, they did. Now they just meant an arm's length of pain and regret, a name that would always be accompanied by a past tense verb. She used to date Finn. She loved Finn. He'd lied to her. It was all in the past, and yet it was ruining her present.

"Can I change at your place?"

"Why can't you wear what you're wearing?" She shook herself from her thoughts, surveying his outfit once more. "You look quite dashing, Noah."

"Gettin' hot and bothered, Berry?" Puck wiggled his eyebrows at her and she couldn't help the light giggle that escaped her.

Whether it was real or not, Puck really had been nice to her the past few days. Rachel needed someone to lean on if Finn wasn't going to be by her side anymore, and her and Kurt's relationship wasn't quite there yet, especially with him at Dalton now. Puck was a fine replacement, actually; he'd always sort of been there for her in one way or another. He was the strong-silent type, so sometimes you wouldn't notice when he did anything particularly nice, but she hadn't missed his moments of humanity. Taking the Glist off her locker, singing her a solo, buying her a treat last week – they weren't all that important individually, but together their significance was a bit more life-altering than she would have expected.

"If I come home lookin' like this, Ma will know somethin' is up," he explained more, pulling into her driveway. "She still doesn't know I'm in glee."

"Why would you have possibly kept this information from your own mother?" He looked at her pointedly while turning off the truck, and Rachel consented with a sigh. Much like she'd known Puck for a long time, she also knew Mrs. Puckerman. She wasn't the easiest woman to tolerate, and coming from Rachel that meant a lot. He had more than few valid reasons for withholding his participation in the club from his mother. "What did you tell her you were doing?"

"Community service."

"And she believed …" Rachel stopped, smiling softly. "Nevermind."

"Ha ha. Very funny." Puck rolled his eyes, yanking the handle on the door and stepping outside the same time Rachel started climbing out. He grabbed his gym bag from behind his seat and followed her inside the house. "Bathroom?"

Rachel locked the front door and pointed to her left. "It's not very big, but it should do you just fine."

"You'd do me just fine."

"I'm going to my room to change," she announced on a sigh, ignoring his suggestive comment much like she always did. "Thank you for the ride home, Noah."

Rachel brushed past him, climbing the stairs and heading to her room without another word. She grabbed a simple outfit from her dresser and went into her bathroom, washing her face of the extra makeup she'd worn for the performance before stripping out of the dress. She'd likely never wear it again, but she hung it up anyway before tossing on a white camisole tank top and black skirt. She'd opted to go sockless, but she did add a sweater to the outfit simply because it was December and her fathers had clearly turned down the heat before they'd left for business this morning.

When she stepped out of the bathroom, she squeaked in surprise at Puck's lounged position on her bed. "What are you doing here?"

"I don't wanna go home." He shrugged, continuing to flip through one of her magazines. "This article is bullshit. A hundred ways to please your man?" He looked over the top of the magazine, Rachel trying to hide her blushing cheeks under the veil of her hair. "It should just say blow job and be done with it."

"Noah!" Rachel chastised, coming over to the side of the bed and yanking the magazine out of his hands. He had been laughing at her obvious embarrassment, but immediately started whining like a four-year-old after she'd taken away his "toy" and allegedly given him a paper cut. Men. "You're incorrigible."

"Is that a fancy word for sexy?"

"It's a fancy word for gross." He frowned, and for some reason she felt bad. She sighed, thinking maybe she should be nicer considering he was being nicer (if not still annoying). "Shouldn't you call your mother to tell her you'll be late?"

"Nah."

"Community service doesn't usually last into the evening hours, does it?"

"I'll just tell her I got drunk with my friends and forgot to call."

"And that's better than just telling her you're in glee?" Rachel scoffed, placing her hands on her hips in an effort to intimidate him into being a better son.

"The less she knows, the better."

She wasn't sure why, but his reply rocked Rachel to her core. She instantly felt faint and had to lower herself into a sitting position on the bed, a ragged breath passing through her slightly ajar mouth. Her hands shook as she moved them from the mattress to her lap, her eyes closing in a desperate attempt to stop the dizzy, spinning feeling she had.

Was that how Finn had felt? That it was OK to lie to her about Santana because then she wouldn't get mad? If she didn't know the truth, then she could look at Santana for longer than a split second and not try to figure out what she could do to be more like the Latina girl? That everything would be fine as long as she never found out the truth simply because it hadn't meant anything? The less Rachel knew, the better?

"Ya'okay?"

Rachel shut her eyes tighter, almost forgetting he was still there. Slowly she turned and faced him, her breath catching in her throat at the look of concern on his face. She was once again reminded of their time together earlier in the week, how nice he had been to her. He'd said it wasn't just an act, so maybe she could count on him to tell her the truth.

"You knew about Finn and Santana?" She questioned softly. He nodded honestly, and she couldn't help the slight smile that formed on her face. They were friends now. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I didn't know Finn hadn't." Puck shrugged. "Shit's fucked up."

She let out a sardonic chuckle, then immediately returned to her previously depressed state. "Everyone knew."

"It's no biggie, B." His hand fell to the top of her shoulder, Rachel looking at it from the corner of her eye. "All Santana said was that Finn blew his wad way too early, so it's way worse for him, if you think about it."

Rachel finally turned her face back toward his, noting his wide smile. Typical man, placing himself higher up on the food chain simply by sexual prowess. She almost wanted to grab the magazine he'd been reading earlier and turn to the article that had discussed the true merits of being a man, where it listed things like sensitivity over machismo, but thought better of it. It was bad enough that Puck had seen she'd owned such a magazine. She didn't need him seeing that she hadn't just read the article he'd referenced earlier, but she'd circled some of the numbers in the list of hundred.

"I don't want to think about it."

"Cool." Puck patted the spot next to him on her bed. "Let's not think."

Rachel shimmied to the spot next to Puck, both their eyes staring blankly in front of themselves. They sat like that for a long while, the only noise coming from the sporadic hum of the heater above Rachel's bed. Puck probably really wasn't thinking of anything, but Rachel couldn't seem to turn her mind off. Even as she pushed aside all her thoughts about Finn and Santana and lying and … she was still left with all these other thoughts. Strange thoughts, about grape slushies and manly smells and flushed skin. The more depressing thoughts she let fall by the wayside, the more irrational, impure thoughts about the boy sitting next to her crept up.

She really needed to eat something.

"Do you think Santana is super hot?"

"Sure." He said it so matter-of-factly that Rachel felt her heart actually fall. "But so are you."

Rachel whipped her head to the right, her eyes boring into his face until he turned to face her. There was no indication of amusement or mockery. He didn't appear sinister or cruel. He looked sincere. Genuine. Trustworthy.

So she kissed him.

It took them both by surprise, her eyes opening wide for a split second and noting that his were still open, too. She was pulled back to that first time they'd made out in her room, and how shocked she'd been by the power of his kisses. She had been head over heels for Finn at that point, and only agreed to make out with Puck as a practice of sorts. She hadn't expected to feel so much from their embrace, and she was again surprised by its strength.

His lips were smooth, so unlike the rest of him. His personality more closely matched his callused fingers, which when she felt them reach up from their spot on the bed and graze over her bare thigh she tightened in pleasure, accidentally biting down on Puck's lip. He groaned into the attack, his tongue sliding over her lips seeking entrance.

Rachel inhaled deeply through her nose, pushing her mindset past the initial shock of being back to kissing Puck and allowing her mouth to open. She let him take control, sliding her tongue along his more as an afterthought than as the aggressor. She felt the tip of his tongue run over the roof of her mouth, and before she could censor it a low moan came from deep inside her throat. It was the first of many primal reactions, the second being the way she scooted down into the mattress, her one hand rising up to his shoulder. It served no function as he'd gladly followed her descent down, but it put another part of her body on him and that was reason enough.

They kissed like that for a few minutes, their tongues and lips dancing together in a new but slightly familiar tango. But just when Rachel felt her desire start to heighten, ready to push the boundaries, Puck's previous urgency tampered off. Maybe she recognized the feeling because she was guilty of it herself sometimes, but the way he was responding to the kisses made her believe his mind was on something else. And when she felt him eventually pull back, her hand reached up to her lips self-consciously, her eyes narrowing on him.

"Is something wrong? Did I bite you again?"

Puck looked down for a second, then back up into her eyes. Her breath hitched even as she listened. "I did this to Finn once before; I can't do it again." Her eyes fell down. "I'm sorry. I have to go."

Rachel's breath caught in her throat as he pulled away completely, scooting off her bed almost in slow motion. She knew it was probably for the best. She obviously wasn't thinking clearly and she probably wasn't in the right mind frame to be making such important decisions. She'd spent the past six months with Finn and the months prior to that with Jesse talking about waiting for it to be special and right and perfect and … it all went out the window with Puck. That rational part of her brain packed its bags and the only thoughts left were how to make the warm feeling spreading throughout her body last forever.

"Finn and I broke up," she blurted out. Irrationality it was. "Not that you are a rebound or anything, but …"

Puck turned away from her door, looking at her with furrowed eyes. "You broke up?"

"Before boarding the bus."

Rachel bit her lip, her eyes cast downward as she thought back to a couple of hours ago. Her immediate reaction after hearing about Finn and Santana had been to fix their relationship. She'd wanted to make it work because it was Finn and her, and she'd worked too hard to have it all just for it to fall apart like that. She'd gotten the star quarterback, the most popular boy in school, to fall in love with her, and it wasn't supposed to end.

"We get to go on."

His words from after they'd won (tied) had rung in her ears. There was something about that statement that had been the catalyst to it all, aside from the actual betrayal. Something about the nervousness on his face that mixed with hope and managed to lift her heart so far up that she could better see the large hole he'd put in it. OK, maybe she was being overdramatic, but that sentence had hidden meaning behind it. It wasn't just New Directions heading to regionals. It had been a subliminal message from Finn and after he'd said it, she couldn't even bring herself to agree. She hadn't even been able to manage a glimmer of a smile, because she didn't hear the hesitation or feel his hope. She could only see him. She saw him and her, Santana, and Rachel didn't want to see anymore. She didn't want to go on.

"You said you liked me." She shrugged emptily, adding, "Sort of."

"I do like you."

His voice seemed strangled, and she oddly took some satisfaction in that. She felt about eleven hundred shades of awkward right then, and it was nice to know that maybe she wasn't alone. "And I know you think I'm good looking, if the hot Jew references are any indication."

She could see the hesitation on his face, and she was actually surprised. This was Puck, after all. His reputation preceded him, and never once was there any indication that he put any thought into his conquests. Then again, he'd already demonstrated some restraint on his part, so perhaps it was her who had to up the ante.

"I trust you." He seemed shocked by this, which was endearing in a way. Almost child-like. So like Finn, if she dared to draw the parallel. "You've never lied to me, Noah. Ever." He opened his mouth to rebut, but she didn't allow him. "Even though you didn't always say nice things, you've always told me the truth."

After a moment too long of silence, she stepped closer to him, locking eyes with him once he finally lifted his head back up. She searched his eyes and was surprised to see how soft they were. They were open wider than usual and so clear that she swore she could see all the way down to his soul. This was Puck, right?

"No I haven't." Her breath caught in her throat, but neither of their gazes left one another. She inhaled another quick breath when his hands came out to rest on her hips, the heat from before immediately scorching through her. "I lied last year, on the bleachers."

It didn't matter if he meant them not being friends or if he was finally admitting that he wasn't going to break up with her. Both answers made her reaction completely valid, her reaction being throwing her arms around his neck and basically mauling him. Again. Luckily Puck didn't seem to mind, her previously listed reasons and her enthusiasm clearly enough to alter his decision to leave. His fingers indented her skin he was gripping her so tightly, and she gasped into the kiss when he pulled her closer.

Rachel had felt wanted before. Finn was much like a pre-pubescent child in the way that he was completely inept at hiding his arousal or even disguising it by not blurting out every asinine dirty thought coursing through his mind. And Jesse, well he'd wanted to go all the way, so clearly he wanted her, too. But … Noah. This was different. This was need. She could feel it pressed against her stomach, but she could feel it in his touch. She could feel it in the way his breathing had changed, and she most definitely felt it when he pushed her back toward the bed.

Her knees touched the cool slat of wood on her bed frame, and then they collapsed onto the mattress in a mess of tangled limbs. This was usually the part where she pulled back, afraid to go any further. But stopping was the furthest thing from her mind. She wanted this. And she always got what she wanted. That's what everyone thought, anyway, considering her dads treated her like a princess. And she'd confessed to Puck himself that she wanted everything too much.

But, then again, want wasn't good enough to explain the feelings coursing through her then. She didn't just want Puck. She needed him. She needed him to be the one to show her how to do this. She needed him to take control, to give her the answers. She needed him to quit toying with the buttons on her sweater and just rip the garment off. She needed him to continue grinding his hips against her core.

She needed him like he needed her.

"Noah," she whimpered when she felt his fingers graze the skin of her inner thigh, his name falling off her lips so easily. Like it was always meant to be him. "Please."

"Please what?" He asked in his trademarked arrogance, Rachel able to feel his smile on the skin of her neck after she'd hissed out another breathy plea. She squirmed beneath him, trying to create some friction to alleviate the pressure she could feel building up, but he used his position and strength to pin her to the mattress. Honestly, it only made things worse.

"I'm on the pill."

He growled but didn't give in. "What do you want?"

She groaned in frustration – and maybe partially because he'd rolled his hips into her again – because she knew what he wanted. He wanted innocent Rachel Berry to say all the naughty things she wasn't supposed to even think, let alone say out loud. But, he'd been at the celibacy club meeting last year. Hadn't he been listening? Didn't he already know she wanted this just as much as he did?

"I want you."

It wasn't the answer he expected, she could tell, and it pleased her to no end. Or maybe his reaction was what had her so happy, his actions feverish after that confession. Clothing was quickly removed and no newly exposed area went unexplored. Rachel had never been naked with a boy before, and she'd never been with a naked boy. While Rachel let her hands wander in fascination - her eyes dancing when she saw Puck's penis jump at her brief contact – Puck was taking a more tactile approach. He ran his tongue over almost every inch of her body, and when he'd finally returned to her lips, Rachel was seconds away from an orgasm and milliseconds away from needing him inside her.

So it was really no surprise that when she lifted her hips and connected their bodies in one that the pleasure of her orgasm outweighed the pain of the first penetration. She was entirely too focused on how Puck filled her (in more than just one way), was paying too much attention to the strangled groan that rumbled out of his chest to notice the rip of discomfort that flashed through her. What was one second of misery when it was surrounded by more pleasure than she'd ever felt before?

"More," she keened, Puck grunting in response as his movements grew less patient. He pushed into her recklessly, lifting up onto his arms and looking down at her with a look in his eyes that catapulted her close to the edge again. She bit her lip to avoid screaming out, afraid she'd say the one thing that she knew would scare him off. They weren't ready for that yet, which might have seemed backward to her earlier but now she understood.

The less he knew, the better.

"Fuck, I'm gonna …" Rachel mewled, locking her legs around his back and calling out in ecstasy when Puck gave three more powerful thrusts before collapsing on top of her. His body was like a fire sitting on top of her, the sweat brimming on both their bodies leaving everything cool to the touch. Every inhale pushed his chest into hers, and she wrapped her arms around his neck to keep him close so she could enjoy the feeling for a little while longer. She figured Puck wasn't a cuddler, which is why she didn't protest when he finally pushed off of her to lie on his back beside her.

She turned her head to the right to look at him, biting her lip to keep her smile from spreading all the way across her face when he mimicked her movement. His eyes looked hazy and there was a lazy smile on his lips that made her proud. "Legit …" He trailed off, still catching his breath. She was kind of proud of that, too. "Is there anything you ain't great at?"

Rachel stopped biting her lip, unable to stop the 1000-watt smile. "Sure you aren't just being nice?"

Puck snorted in response, turning the rest of his body to match his head's position. Rachel mimicked the position, pressing her hands together palm to palm and resting her cheek against them. His right arm lifted to hook across Rachel's waist, his fingers dancing across the soft skin of her back. She sighed dreamily into the contact, leaning more deeply into him. Her head was tucked underneath his chin, her nose nestled into the soft skin of his neck.

"Finn's a fuckin' idiot."

Rachel pulled back slightly, not enough to actually detach herself from his body – her legs were still completely tangled with his and her chest was pressed up against him. But now she could see his eyes, she could watch the emotions play across the hazel depths and she could read his expressions for things he wasn't saying. It wasn't something she could do with everyone, but she knew him well enough – more than well enough now.

"You're a thousand times better than San, I'm just sayin." Puck shook his head slightly. "And he'll never know that."

"Who says he won't ever know?"

She saw the flash of anger in his eyes before he even spoke. "Fuck that noise. You're my girl now."

Rachel beamed at his confession, thinking maybe they were closer to where she wanted to be than she'd originally thought. Closer to one another, and closer to themselves. Closer to the image Rachel had in mind for how a relationship should be. Raw. Honest. Them.

"Bring it."

Puck chuckled, dipping his head into her personal space. His lips were just millimeters away from hers and she took his closeness (physically and emotionally) as excuse enough to close the distance between them. He responded in kind, sliding his tongue across hers languidly. There was no rush anymore, no urgency in the embrace.

Right then, they had forever.