A/N: There are a lot of pairings going on in this story, but I assure you that it will be Puck/Rachel in the end. That said, I'm hoping you'll trust me enough to take a chance on a four-chapter story that may explore a relationship between characters you don't necessarily enjoy together, including Finn/Rachel, Puck/Santana, and Finn/Santana, and keep your comments respectful as you've been warned. We're all mature enough not to stoop to character bashing, yes?
The four of them end up in Boston, and it pisses Santana off.
She worked her ass off, quietly, to get into Harvard. It's her dad's alma mater, and it means a lot to him, which means a lot to her, and she thinks she can be a kick ass lawyer someday. Fuck, if Harvard was good enough for the president, it's good enough for her. (Whatever. She knows it wasn't his undergrad. Not the point.)
Then she finds out that Rachel is going to Berklee, some conservatory or whatever in the city, and sometime in the last year, Puck actually got some songwriting skills and managed to get his dumb ass a scholarship to the same place. Finn's a jealous, insecure asshole, so he gives up OSU (which everyone knows he's always wanted) when he gets scouted by BU for football to follow Rachel.
Santana tells all three of them, in no uncertain terms, that they are to leave her the fuck alone before they even leave Lima. She isn't moving to the East coast to hang out with these people who make her crazy, even if she doesn't completely hate them any more. Sure, she's been sleeping with Puck for years, she and Rachel have developed a sort of tentative friendship, and Finn doesn't make her want to roll her eyes every time he speaks, but that doesn't mean she wants to see them every day. Or ever.
Rachel fucking Berry doesn't know how to follow simple instructions, apparently, because the girl starts sending Santana emails and text messages as soon as they're all in Boston, inviting her over for dinners and movie nights and once, honest to god, a "girls' spa night." Santana ignores the hell out of her until the beginning of October. Her roommate is making her crazy, and Rachel sends her a message about dinner and wine and 'Noah and Finn will be here too.'
Honestly? Santana might have gone anywhere that promised booze, but it turns out to be a lot of fun. She and Rachel reached sort of an agreement back in high school, have had moments where they were almost friends or something, and there's something about being out of Lima that's working for the midget. Finn's kind of clued in over the last couple of years, and he and Rachel are done being disgustingly in love. Once Finn stops being scared of someone - like he was scared of Santana for years - there's something almost sexy about him. Like, she can actually see what Rachel sees in him beyond the fact that he treats her like gold.
She had forgotten how much she really likes Puck, the fucker. He was her first, years and years ago, and for all of her bravado, she wouldn't have given that up to someone she didn't like at least a little. It sometimes seems like they've been friends forever, and no one has ever fucked her like he does.
She ends up alone in the tiny kitchen with Rachel, watching the girl open a bottle a wine so she can top off her glass.
"I'm glad you finally decided to come," Rachel says as the cork comes out of the bottle with a satisfying pop. "Spend time with us, I mean."
Santana just holds out her glass for Rachel to fill. "My roommate was pissing me off," she says, and it's the truth, even if she is having fun.
Rachel just nods, leaning back against the counter and sipping wine slowly. "Well, next time she upsets you, you're welcome to come here. And we have dinner every couple of weeks. I'd love it if you'd come."
"Maybe," Santana offers with a shrug, turning and going back into the living room where Finn and Puck are sitting, talking about whatever.
Sometimes, Finn feels like he's been in love with Rachel forever.
Seriously. He came to Boston for this girl, busts his ass playing football and keeping his grades up so he can stay here with her while she's at Berklee, and it doesn't even make him feel like a pussy. And honestly, that's all her. Other girls might hold that kind of thing over his head, make it into a big deal, but she's really just happy that he's there.
They've been together, really together without anyone else interfering, for less than a year, but he's loved her since he was sixteen and he feels closer to her than he ever has to anyone else.
He's sort of blindsided when she mentions, one night after dinner at her apartment, that sometimes she wishes he'd treat her a little less gently during sex.
"So, what?" he asks, confused. "You want me to like, pull your hair or something?" He knows their sex life isn't bad. In fact, he's pretty sure it's better than what a lot of people have. He always, always makes sure she comes - she faked it once, back when they first started sleeping together, and for all of her acting training, he could tell - and they spend the night together at her apartment a couple of times a week. He's really, really confused.
"No, I just-" She sighs, cutting herself off. "I love you," she tells him seriously, smiling when he takes her hand. "I just don't always want you to make love to me."
"I don't get it."
She lets out a little breath, and he can tell she's trying to find just the right words to say whatever it is she's trying to say. "Sometimes, sex isn't about love. It's just sex," she says quietly, swallowing hard. "Fucking."
Finn looks at her with wide eyes. "Rachel." This girl never swears, not ever.
"Sometimes, I just want you to fuck me." She's whispering, looking down at where their hands are joined on the couch between them.
He's trying to focus on the fact that she's telling him what she wants instead of the fact that she's telling him that she doesn't like what he usually does. He's never just fucked a girl. Santana kind of fucked him, yeah, but that was different, and he's only been with Rachel. Puck is the guy who fucks girls, and Finn isn't sure that even Puck could just fuck Rachel.
She's just not that kind of girl.
But she's sitting here beside him, looking terrified that he's going to be mad or whatever that she's telling him that she wants this, whatever this means exactly, and he hates the look on her face. He wants to give her whatever she wants.
"Okay," he says after a moment. She looks up at him with wide eyes, but there's something new there, something sexy. "I mean, I'll try."
She leans forward, presses her lips to his slowly. "That's all I want."
Puck fucking loves Boston.
Seriously. This is the first time in his life when he's loved basically everything about school, because playing guitar and singing and writing songs are kind of his favorite things. Except sex, but that's a given, right?
Santana's at Harvard, and when she isn't studying her ass off, they hang out and fuck around, just like they always have. Finn and Rachel spend most of their time wrapped up in each other, though he sees Rachel more on campus and stuff. Really, of all the people from Lima to end up in the same city, he thinks he kind of lucked out with those three.
He's sitting in the lobby of one of the buildings on campus, scribbling in a notebook in between bouts of being distracted by the snow falling outside the window, when Rachel flops down into the chair beside him, shaking snowflakes off her red wool coat. He ignores her little huffs of breath as she moves around; he needs to finish writing this or he'll lose it, and he's just not okay with that, even if it is pissing her off.
"What's your problem?" he asks when he finishes, putting the cap on his pen and looking over at her for the first time.
He rolls his eyes. Like she didn't want him to ask. "You're all huffy, Rachel. What the hell?"
"I'm just a little tense," she says after a moment, not quite meeting his eyes.
He smirks. "Just get Finn to rail you. You'll be fine."
She lets out a little breath and changes the subject, talking about the snow like she's never see the shit before, like they haven't already had a couple feet of the stuff this winter, and he thinks there's probably some subtext here that's he doesn't really want to pick up on.
Rachel insists on celebrating Santana's birthday in April, convinces Puck and Finn that they should all go out to dinner, and spends an afternoon making margarita cupcakes with tequila that Puck bought for her with his fake ID.
The girls get ready together at Rachel's apartment, put on dresses that are fancier than they should probably be wearing to the restaurant Santana chose, and Santana does Rachel's eye makeup darker and sexier than she usually wears.
"We're friends now, aren't we?" Rachel asks randomly.
Santana leans back a little, swirls a brush in a little pot of eyeshadow. "Yeah, I guess."
Rachel takes a deep, bracing breath. "I know our friendship is new, but I think I need some advice. Sex advice."
"Okay," Santana says with a smirk, tapping the excess powder off the brush and motioning for Rachel to close her eye.
"I love Finn," Rachel begins, speaking as seriously as she can with her eyes closed and this ticklish feeling on her eyelids, "and I love the way that he makes love to me."
"Get to the point, Berry."
"Awhile back, I asked him to...to fuck me." She pulls back from Santana to open her eyes and look at the girl seriously. "It's just that it's always making love, and I know there's a whole world of other things out there."
Santana's looking at her with her head cocked to the side, an appraising look in her eyes that almost makes Rachel nervous. "He can't do it," she says after a moment, and it's a statement rather than a question.
"He's trying," Rachel says quickly, and she feels defensive. "I can tell. And we've talked about it a couple of times. It's just...he's wonderful. And it's always good."
"He gets you off?"
"Always," Rachel says simply, because it's true. Finn comes from the school of thought that believes that the girl always comes first, and more than once, if possible. Admittedly, she loves that about him.
"If he isn't giving you what you want, maybe you need to find someone else who can," Santana suggests gently, and Rachel can tell she's actually trying to be helpful. It's such a radical difference from the Santana she knew in high school that it takes her a moment to process.
"No," Rachel says softly. "I can't do that. I don't want to."
That's the end of the conversation, because Santana tells Rachel to close her eyes again. She finishes Rachel's makeup, which really is lovely, sexier than what she usually does. Finn comments on how hot she looks, manages to whisper some dirty things in her ear when they're walking back to her car after dinner, things that make her blush, things that throb between her legs, and she finds herself hoping that he can follow through on the promises he's making.
They end up back at her apartment, all four of them, eating margarita cupcakes and taking shots of tequila after Santana insists that it's her birthday and she wants to be drunk, though Puck stays sober so he can take her home later.
Rachel and Finn find themselves alone in the kitchen, and he lifts her up onto the counter and wedges himself between her knees, running his hands up her thighs beneath her dress. "You look so fucking hot," he murmurs against her ear, nipping a little at the lobe with his teeth.
"Finn," she breathes, clutching at his shoulders. The room is spinning just a little, just enough to feel good.
"I want to take you from behind," he tells her lowly, and just the thought of it makes her whimper.
She buries her hands in his hair, pulls his head back just enough that she can kiss him hard and dirty, the way she wishes he would kiss her sometimes.
She doesn't realize that Puck has come into the room until he speaks. "Right on, Hudson. Fuck her on the kitchen counter."
She gasps, lets her fingernails dig into Finn's shoulders. God, there must be something wrong with her if she thinks that sounds amazing and sexy instead of just unsanitary.
"Fuck off, man," Finn offers, lowering his head to kiss the side of Rachel's neck gently. She's sure he means for it to be reassuring, but she liked the way he was treating her before.
Puck just shrugs, takes another cupcake from the counter and eats half of it in one bite. "Chicks like Rachel are always the one who are secret freaks," he offers with a wink to her, turning and leaving the kitchen before either Finn or Rachel can respond.
Finn does take her from behind that night, and Rachel isn't sure exactly what's missing, but it isn't what she wants it to be. Something about the way Finn grips her hips gently, smooths his hands up her back as he thrusts inside her. She knows this is a first world problem, having a boyfriend who makes love to you when you want to be fucked, but she's beginning to think that it's just going to have to be something she learns to live with.
It's kind of a given that Puck and Finn are going to live together when Finn moves out of the dorms at the end of freshman year, but Rachel and Santana freak the hell out of both of them when the girls start looking for their own two-bedroom. The guys are still looking when Rachel insists that she's found the perfect place, and before anyone but her realizes it, they're living in the same building, the girls on the eighth floor, the guys on the eleventh.
The first night in their new place, Rachel insists on having a girls' night, so Puck gets a bottle of Jack and the guy proceed to get shitfaced sitting on the couch in their new living room.
"Rachel wants me to fuck her," Finn says out of nowhere, and Puck seriously almost chokes on a drink of whiskey.
"Haven't you been doing that for like, a year?"
"No, dude. Rachel wants me to fuck her," Finn repeats.
Puck decides, immediately, that he isn't drunk enough to have this conversation, so he leaves Finn sitting alone to go to the kitchen and pour himself another glass of whiskey. It sounds suspiciously like Finn is about to ask him for advice on exactly how he's supposed to fuck the girl he's been with for the last year or whatever, and even though Puck wouldn't fuck shit up like that again, Rachel's kind of one of those girls he's always had a thing for. He can compartmentalize, and he's not going after his best friend's girl again, so he can just hang out with her or whatever, but yeah. He'd like to have a chance to go at her.
He knocks back half the glass before he leaves the kitchen, tops it off again, and goes back to sit in the armchair he was in before.
"I love her, man," Finn says after just a moment. "I just don't get what she wants me to do."
Puck takes a deep breath and blows it out of his mouth. "You love her enough to do whatever she wants, right?" Finn nods. "Then maybe you need to try to forget that it's Rachel and just do whatever you want. I mean, you've gotta be holding something back sometimes, right?"
"So don't hold back. And unless she tells you flat out to stop, don't stop."
"What if I can't do what she wants?"
This is the weirdest fucking conversation ever.
Puck shrugs. He figures that's up to Rachel. "Don't find out."
Santana comes home from having dinner with one of her friends from school and finds Puck and Rachel together on the couch in the girls' living room, Rachel's head pillowed in Puck's lap as they watch some movie.
"Hi," Rachel says softly. She looks guilty as hell, which is weird since Santana wouldn't normally think anything of these two hanging out together. They go to the same school, share some classes, and they're all friends.
Santana just offers a little wave and goes to her bedroom, and tries not to think too much about anything that's going on between any of them right now.
She gives up on getting what she wants from Finn around the time school starts again, tries to focus on the fact that she has a boyfriend who loves her and wants to show her that. It's been months, and she's tired of being disappointed, and she thinks he's probably tired of trying to do something he can't seem to do.
One night, he comes over after practice. Santana's still on campus, meeting with her new study group, so Rachel is just sitting on the couch, flicking through her iTunes to try to find the perfect song to sing for class next week. He lets himself in (they all exchanged keys when they first moved into the building) and comes straight to where she's sitting, leans down and kisses her deep and slow.
"I've been thinking about you all day," he says, and she can't help the way she smiles.
He takes her laptop and sets it on the coffee table. "Mmhmm. I was thinking about how you taste."
She shivers as he pulls her to her feet and starts leading her down the hall, because this could potentially be the beginning of what she's been wanting. Talking about her taste...god, it's so vulgar and so hot that it shoots down her spine. He pushes the bedroom door shut, then pushes the shorts she's wearing down off her hips. "Finn."
"Shh." He tugs her shirt over her head, leans down to kiss the side of her neck as he unhooks her bra. "I just need to taste you."
She comes on his tongue twice, and feels like the worst woman in the world for wanting more when she obviously already has so much.
Puck can see it when Rachel starts pulling away from Finn.
He's at the girls' place one night, first working on stuff for class with Rachel, then teasing the fuck out of Santana while the three of them sit on the couch under a blanket to watch Scrubs reruns. His fingers jump on the inside of Santana's bare thigh when Rachel's phone rings, and he ignores the look Santana shoots him when Rachel gets up to take the call in her room.
He isn't trying to eavesdrop. He really has to piss. He just happens to hear Rachel talking about how she and Puck are still working on their song, "so maybe it would be better if you didn't come over tonight."
As soon as he sits back down on the couch, Santana's sliding her hand over the front of his jeans, and he sort of forgets what he heard.
He comes home after class one day and finds Finn moping on the couch, his leg propped up on the coffee table and a cold pack wrapped around his knee like it always is after football practice.
"What's your problem?" Puck asks, dropping his bag and setting his guitar on the floor carefully.
"I haven't even seen Rachel in like, a week. We live in the same fucking building and you've seen her more than I have."
True. Puck saw her this morning, because they always take the bus to campus together, then stop for coffee before class if they have time. She cracked his shit up this morning, actually, telling a story about Santana and a clothes iron that he'd think was made up if Rachel wasn't the one who told him.
"Sucks, dude," he says simply, because it does.
"It's this sex thing."
Fuck. Puck has tried - literally tried - to forget that he ever had that conversation with Finn. He does not want to have it again.
So he says nothing.
"I think..." Finn trails off with a sigh and looks up at Puck. "I think I need to let her have someone else." Puck just looks at him with wide eyes, because he has no fucking clue what he's supposed to say. "I mean, you'd fuck her, right?"
"No, I mean, if Rachel was into it and I said it was okay." Finn takes a deep breath. "You'd fuck her, wouldn't you?"
"Dude," Puck repeats, even though it makes him feel stupid. "I'm not going there again. You know that."
"I know. But if it's what she wanted...I want to give her what she wants."
This is completely fucking fucked.
"I don't..." He trails off, because he doesn't think there's a way to have this conversation without somehow getting punched in the face. And if he's going to get hit either way, he might as well be honest. "Yeah, I would."
Finn just nods, looking resigned, and Puck's so uncomfortable that he goes and hides in his room like a pussy for the rest of the night.
"Finn wants me to fuck Rachel."
Santana literally chokes on her caramel macchiato and glares across the little cafe table at Puck. "What?"
He rolls his eyes, though she can tell it isn't at her. "Apparently Finn's too nice to her in bed and she wants to get railed, and he wants me to do it."
"I know," Santana says, and Puck looks shocked as hell. "Well, I live with the girl. She's basically my best friend. Chicks talk." It's true. Rachel hasn't talked about it a lot, her sex life in general, but after she and Finn had this conversation about including Puck in their relationship - or whatever the fuck - Rachel said she just needed to talk through it with someone, and Santana was there.
"Fuck." He just stares at her for a minute. "What am I supposed to do?"
"Do you want to fuck Rachel?" Honestly, she thinks he's making this harder than it has to be.
"Yeah. I do." He says it so simply that she knows it's true, and she ignores the little flare of jealousy in her stomach.
"If Finn's okay with it and Rachel wants it, do it," she tells him firmly. "Give her what she wants."
She means that, even if she doesn't know how it's all going to shake down. She isn't sure that Finn will be able to move past his jealousy of Puck, because it's kind of been a constant thing, and she isn't sure that Puck won't manage to get emotionally involved. The kid isn't nearly as detached as he makes everyone believe. But maybe, if they're all lucky, it'll just be a one-time thing, and Rachel will get it out of her system and go back to being the Stepford girlfriend to Finn she's always wanted so much to be.
Rachel can't remember the last time she was this nervous about sex.
That isn't exactly true. The last time she was this nervous about sex was about two minutes before she and Finn were together for the first time. Her first time.
She isn't entirely sure how she got here. Finn spent months trying to give her what she wanted, and she'd given up on it, truly. And then last Sunday, they were sitting together on the couch in the guys' apartment, watching the football game while Finn iced his knee and shoulder from his own game the afternoon before. He brought it up, told her that he wasn't sure he could give her what she wanted, but that he wouldn't be mad if she got it from somewhere else.
He told her that he'd talked to Puck about it, and Puck had agreed to be that guy, if Rachel wanted him.
She hadn't said anything, just sat there with his calves across her lap, looking at him as he told her that he just wanted her to be happy, and his game was out of state this weekend, so it would be a good time for it, if she wanted to do it. She still didn't say anything, and Finn didn't seem to expect her to. In fact, they'd just sat there, watching the game quietly, until Noah came home and started chatting like there wasn't this enormous thing hanging in the air between the three of them.
Later that week, she and Finn were sitting together in her room studying when she'd put down her notebook, looked at him, and said quietly, "I'm going to do it."
Finn had just watched her for a moment, then nodded and went back to his textbook.
She could tell, from the way Puck acted when they met to head to campus Thursday morning, that Finn had told him, but she'd acted as normally as possible right up until they got to campus and reached the point where they went their separate ways. "Noah," she'd said quietly. "Friday."
She'd watched his Adam's apple move as he swallowed, then nodded. "All right. Bye, Rach."
And now she's standing in her bedroom trying to talk herself down.
She's showered and fixed her hair so that the ends are curled, is wearing matching black lace bra and panties under her jeans and sweater. Her makeup is light, just like her perfume, and she's panicking.
She wants this. She does. She knows that Noah can give her what she wants, and honestly, there's a part of her that has always wondered what sex with Noah would be like. But...god, she's worried about what it could do to her relationship with Finn. Of course, he's the one who told her to do this.
She repeats that to herself: He's the one who told me to do this.
Then she grabs her keys and her phone and slips out of the apartment, walking slowly up the three flights of stairs to the guys' apartment. She knocks, then lets herself in, like always, and finds Noah sitting on the couch, his feet propped up on the coffee table as he plucks at his guitar. "Hey," he greets, standing up and walking over to where she's standing just inside the door. He watches her for a moment, reaches out to brush the tips of his fingers over her cheekbone. "You're completely freaked out."
"No. Maybe," she corrects when he quirks an eyebrow at her.
"All you have to do is say no," he tells her seriously, and she nods because she knows he means it. "C'mon."
He leads her down the hallway to his room, pushes her up against the door once it's closed. "Hi," she giggles. She's so nervous.
"Hi." He tilts his head down to brush his lips against hers, just gently, teasing until her hand comes up to fist his tee shirt at his side. "Rach."
"Shut up," she tells him, pushing her hips into his. "Just...kiss me."
He buries one hand in the back of her hair, tightening his grip just enough to tug her head back as he crashes his lips down on hers, pushing his tongue past her lips and stroking it against hers almost immediately. It's deep and a little rough, and she can feel herself getting wet as he wedges his thigh between her legs.
She gasps his name when he trails his lips up her jaw to bite down gently on the skin just beneath her ear, and she doesn't even realize that she's pulling at his shirt until he pulls away to tug the fabric over his head. She puts her hands on his shoulders to keep him from kissing her again, though his hands are pushing up the sides of her sweater. "Tell me what you want to do to me." She knows she's blushing and hopes that he'll think it's just because she's overheated.
He smirks down at her, tugs the sweater over her head and traces his fingers along the edge of her bra, his fingertips just dipping beneath the lace. "Tell me how you want it," he counters, and she lets out a moan.
"Just fuck me," she breathes when he skims his lips over the swell of her breasts, his fingers working the button of her jeans. "Fuck me like you want to."
"Jesus fucking Christ." He spins her around, pushes her back on his bed, and tugs her jeans down off her legs before she can even register the move. "'S'gonna be so good, Rachel." He lies on top of her, between her legs, and grinds his hips into hers as he attaches his lips to her neck. "So good."
It is good, exactly what she wanted, and she tells him that after, when she's still catching her breath and there's sweat drying on her skin. She pushes down the niggling sense of guilt in the back of her mind (He told me to do this.) and laughs when Noah says, "I know."
He gets up and leaves the room for a minute, and Rachel starts panicking. What's the post-sex etiquette when you're sleeping with your boyfriend's best friend? When you had permission to it?
She already has her panties on and is hooking her bra when Noah reappears, still naked and carrying a glass of water, which he offers to her, his eyes skimming over her body as she takes a long sip. "You're freaking out again."
This time, she goes with honesty right off the bat. "Yes. I got what I wanted," she says, ignoring his smirk, "but I might have just destroyed my relationship. And I love Finn."
There's something absurd about standing here like this, she in her underwear and him naked, having this conversation.
"Look, Finn's half-stupid for you," Puck says bluntly, looking her straight in the eye. "He wouldn't have done all this if he didn't want to keep you and make you happy. It's not like a trap," he adds, his tone more gentle. "He just wants to give you what you want, even if you have to get it from someone else."
She thinks it says a lot for Noah's maturity that he can have this conversation without making a lewd comment. Even she can see that there are half a dozen or so opportunities in his last sentence alone. "I'm going to go home," she says after a moment, setting the water glass on his bedside table and stepping into her jeans. "Thank you."
He makes a noise, something between a laugh and a scoff. "Yeah." He flops back on the bed - still naked - and watches her pull her sweater over her head, look in the mirror on his closet door and check her hair. "Stop freaking out."
She just smiles as she steps out of his room.
Finn manages to keep his focus on football right up until the end of the game, but as soon as he's in the locker room, he's thinking about Rachel and Puck and whether they actually went through with sleeping together and just how fucked up his life is going to be when he gets back to Boston.
This might be the dumbest idea he's ever had. He's legitimately never felt more stupid, and he drives himself completely crazy on the bus ride back into the city, coming up with fucking ridiculous scenarios in his head that involve walking into his apartment and finding Rachel bent over the back of their couch while Puck takes her from behind. (Which is like, hot and horrible all at once.)
Instead, he finds Puck on the couch playing CoD in a pair of sweats, a bag of Doritos and a can of Dr. Pepper on the table in front of him. "D'you win?" he asks, the same thing he says every time Finn comes home from an away game, even though Finn knows that Puck checks the scores online.
"Yeah. Their offense was weak."
"Right on, man."
He leaves Puck to go drop his shit in his room, calls Rachel to make sure she's downstairs at her apartment before he puts his knee through three flights of stairs.
She's waiting for him on the couch when he gets there, a giant bottle of orange Gatorade (his favorite), two ice packs, and a roll of athletic tape on the coffee table in front of her. "Hi, sweetheart," she greets, standing and crossing the living room to press a sweet kiss to his lips.
God, he loves this girl.
They end up sitting on opposite ends of the couch, their legs tangled together as he tells her about the game. And as much as he loves just sitting with her, being with her, he's going crazy, and he knows that she isn't going to bring it up.
"So...you and Puck," he says awkwardly. It's not really a question, but he needs her to say something.
She glances down at her lap, then meets his eyes. "Yes."
"And you...it was good?" He hates himself for asking.
Rachel's cheeks are bright red. "Yes. It's just different," she adds quickly.
"No! God, Finn, no." She moves so she's straddling his thighs, and he puts his hands on her hips to keep her from falling sideways off the couch. "It's just different. I love you," she says insistently. He nods. "Tell me you love me."
"I love you, Rachel."
He makes love to her that night, the best way he knows how, and makes sure that she comes twice before he's even inside her. He falls asleep wrapped around her, and he loves the way it feels, the warmth of her body and way her hair tickles his chest.
Maybe they'll be okay.
Santana's starting to think that going to Harvard was a fucking awful idea.
She's working her ass off because there's no way that she going to fail the fuck out of Harvard, but she doesn't have time for a social life. Like, at all. She and Rachel really just see each other in passing lately, and she knows some crazy shit has gone down with her and Finn and Puck, but she hasn't had the time - or the patience, really - to hear about it.
Honestly, that's part of the reason she'd been hoping to have a chance to go out at some point, because she really doesn't want to get involved in this shit, and she really, really needs to get laid. Puck's always been her standby, because she trusts him and he's good, and it pisses her off that her friends might have gone and fucked that up.
She has so much sexual tension in her body right now that it's unreal.
She's sitting in her room on the Saturday before finals, studying for her political science final and getting distracted as fuck by trying to figure out when she last got off on something that wasn't her own hand. It pisses her off that she can't.
Rachel and Finn are in Rachel's room, studying and being disgustingly cute, and Santana doesn't bother telling them she's going out before she leaves the apartment, half-running up three flights of stairs and crashing into the guys' place.
Puck's sitting in an armchair with his guitar and an open notebook on the table in front of him, and even though she knows that he actually probably is working, it pisses her off that his work is a guitar and an ink pen and she's losing her mind over textbooks and pages of notes and a ton of ridiculous shit that, right now, she hates.
She doesn't say anything, just takes the guitar out of his hands and sets it (gently) on the couch, then puts her knees on either side of his thighs and pushes herself as close to him as she can, leaning in to kiss him hard.
She kind of loves that he doesn't ask questions, just buries his hands in her hair and tilts her head to get a better angle as he curls his tongue around hers, his hips pushing upwards a bit so they're pressed together completely and she can feel that he's already getting hard.
He ends up pushing her over the arm of the couch and taking her from behind, and she's so tightly wound that she literally comes the first time he presses into her. After that, honestly, it's all just icing on the cake.
"So what was that about?" Puck asks when they're sitting on his bed, trading drinks from a glass of water.
She shrugs. "It's been a while." She thinks she could probably tell him that she's been feeling neglected without him giving her shit for it, but she isn't quite willing to give up that sort of power.
Then he looks at her seriously, and she thinks he might know even without her saying it. "You know I'm here whenever you need it, right Lo'?"
She sort of loves that nickname, mostly because no one else has ever used it, hasn't ever tried to. She doesn't say anything, just nods and doesn't argue when he pulls the blankets up over their bodies, though she does ask him to set an alarm so she doesn't waste too much time before she gets back to studying.
Honestly, it might be the most productive study break she's ever taken, three orgasms and an hour-long nap, because when she goes back downstairs to her own apartment, studying significant Supreme Court cases is suddenly infinitely easier than it was before.
Finn ends up flying back to Ohio for Christmas because Carole wants to see him and Finn's always been kind of a mama's boy. (Though, to be fair, Puck loves his mom, too, and if he had Carole, he thinks he'd be just as pathetic as Finn.) They all three take him to the airport the Monday after finals are over, and even Santana promises that she'll come along in two weeks to pick him up.
Puck is the only one with any responsibilities over break, but even that's not so terrible because he's just working in the ticket office on campus, answering phones and taking credit information from assholes with too much money who want to see showcases and whatever that neither he nor Rachel are involved in this semester.
Santana goes out on a date with some Harvard guy and tells Puck and Rachel - who are sitting on the girls' couch offering commentary on Santana's clothing choices - to stay the fuck out of her way when she comes home because she wants to get laid. They go upstairs to the guys' apartment before Santana's date even gets there, end up getting drunk on Southern Comfort and watching Meet the Fockers on TV.
Puck's sitting on the floor in front of the couch, leaning back against it as Rachel runs her fingernails over his scalp between sips of SoCo. He puts his hand up on the couch behind him, pushing up under the hem of Rachel's jeans to stroke his fingers over her bare ankle. Her skin is soft and she's driving him half crazy with the way she's touching his head, and he's just drunk enough to feel sort of tingly and awesome all over.
He drops his head back, rests it against her shin, and looks at her upside down. "Hey."
"Hi," she giggles, rolling her eyes a little. Neither of them says anything else, but she lets her fingers move lower, one hand skimming over the side of his neck and back up until she's brushing just her fingertips over the shell of his ear and then rubbing his earlobe gently between her thumb and forefinger.
"Rachel." It comes out lower than he means for it to.
"Noah." She isn't really smiling any more, and he notices that her eyes are a little glassy.
Fuck, he wants her.
He stands up, puts one knee on the couch beside her so he can lean over and speak into her ear with one hand braced on the back of the couch. "If you don't want this, you need to leave, Rachel."
She just blinks up at him, and he's about this close to jerking her up off the couch and kissing her stupid, so he turns his back and walks to his room, shuts the door behind him. He's drunk, yeah, but he still doesn't want to fuck up his friendship with Finn, and just because he got a free pass to fuck Rachel once doesn't mean that it's like, a standing offer. He doesn't know how it's supposed to work. Last time, it wasn't cheating because Finn knew about it ahead of time. Fuck, Finn set it up. If they do it again though...
He's lying flat on his back on his bed when his bedroom door pushes open. He watches her step through and close it behind her, even though they're the only ones in the apartment, then just stand there. "Noah."
It's practically a whisper, then she's walking up to the side of the bed, eyes locked with his as she pulls her sweater over her head and pushes her jeans down off her hips. He looks down just once, takes in her whole body because he has to, then looks her straight in the eye and reminds himself to breathe.
She climbs on top of him, straddles his hips and rests her hands on the pillow on either side of his head as she leans over. "I want you," she murmurs just before she kisses him, nipping at his bottom lip with her teeth as her hair falls in a curtain around them. She grinds her hips down into his when she pushes her tongue into his mouth, and fuck it.
He rolls them, presses her back into the mattress, and fucks her like he knows she wants.
"Do you mind if I stay for a while?" she asks afterwards. He looks over at her, notices the way she's clutching the sheet to her chest. "Santana will be upset if I'm there when she gets home," she says by way of explanation.
He just nods, hands her his tee shirt and gets up to go get a glass of water from the kitchen.
They hang out in the living room and play video games while she wears his tee shirt and her jeans, and she waits until well after midnight to go back to her own apartment.
Finn can tell something's up as soon as he gets back to Boston, because Rachel's doing the thing she does where she tries to pretend that she isn't acting weird when she is.
He doesn't give a fuck where Puck is when Rachel pushes his bedroom door closed and comes over to kiss him slowly. "I missed you," she tells him quietly.
He pulls her down to sit across his lap because he likes her that way, pushes her hair back off her face. "I missed you, too."
She pulls back a bit when he leans in to kiss her. "I need to tell you something." He just nods, because he's known that since he saw her at the airport. "I slept with Puck again."
Honestly, it's kind of what he expected her to say, but it still hits him like a bucket of ice water. Nothing had changed between them since the first time she and Puck had been together, and nothing had changed between him and Puck either, so Finn thought that maybe things could just go back to normal. Like, it was a one-time thing for Rachel, and now that she'd gotten it out of her system, they could just be together and in love and be enough for each other.
It stings that he was wrong. The fact that he isn't enough for her stings more than the fact that she slept with Puck at all.
"Okay," he says, because really, what else can he say?
"You aren't mad?"
"No." He isn't. He's hurt, yeah, but he isn't mad, and it hurt the first time, too. Maybe he should get used to it.
Rachel looks like she might throw up. "I started it. Puck walked away from me, but I followed him." She presses her lips together, and he can see the tears welling up in her eyes. "I didn't know that I wanted it until it was happening. I'm sorry."
Fuck. He loves her for blaming herself, because he knows that she worries about his friendship with Puck. He also knows that Rachel is a terrible liar, so he can tell she's telling the truth and that she feels awful about it. "It's okay."
He swallows hard, nods his head. "Yeah. I mean...if that's what you want..." He trails off with a shrug, because he doesn't really know how to tell her to fuck Puck whenever she feels the urge. He's sort of afraid that she'll like sex with Puck more than she like sex with him. But he doesn't want her to feel guilty for wanting it either. It's Finn's own fault; if he could give her what she wanted, she wouldn't need to get it from Puck. So that means it's his job to make sure that she does get what she wants, even if she's getting it from his best friend.
"If that's what you want, Rachel, you should go for it," he says finally. Her eyes are huge and swimming with tears. "I mean it."
It takes him by surprise when she leans in and kisses him, shifting in his lap so she's straddling his thighs as she pushes her hand into his hair. "I love you."
He pulls back enough to meet her eyes. "I love you, too."
She offers him a slow smile, runs one had down his chest. "Show me."