Title: Things That Go Bump in the Night
Author: TheMastress, or smartalli on LJ
Characters: Puck/Rachel with Mike/Puck and Mike/Rachel friendship
Warnings: A little Puck language.
Summary: He feels her hand grasp his arm, her fingers digging into his bicep. "But what if it's a serial killer? Or a rapist?"
Disclaimer: Don't own it. Not mine. Don't sue.
A/N: From a prompt from the puckrachel drabble meme.
He feels Rachel tense, the arm she'd flung casually over his body thirty minutes before now clutching desperately at his ribs.
"Yeah, baby, I know. I heard it too."
"In the apartment. Yeah." He tries to reach over the side of the bed for his pajama pants, but she's holding onto him like a spider monkey, so he wraps his arm around her and pulls her onto his body so she's lying directly on top of him, rolling them a little so he can reach his arm off the side of the bed.
Her whispered voice is strained. "Noah! You have to do something."
She grabs on tighter and he resists the urge to tell her that he's trying, but if she keeps tightening her arms around him like that, getting up is gonna be pretty fuckin' hard to do.
He smoothes the hair back from her face and says, "Rach, I gotta get up."
She nods and reluctantly pulls her arms from around his body, slipping out of bed and pulling on her pajamas. Puck pulls on his pajama pants then drops down to his knees next to the side of the bed, reaching under and pulling out the Louisville Slugger he put there three years ago that he's never had a reason to use. Until now.
"What are you going to do?"
"What do you think I'm gonna do, Rach? I'm gonna hit him with a baseball bat. Hard."
He starts to move toward their bedroom door and she says, "What am I supposed to do?"
He turns his head in the direction of the sound briefly before he looks back at Rachel. "Stay here. And don't make a sound."
When he sets his hand on the doorknob he feels her hand grasp his arm, her fingers digging into his bicep. "But what if it's a serial killer? Or a rapist?"
"Then I'll hit him harder. Bastard's not comin' anywhere near you, alright?"
She tugs on his arm. "But what if he does? What if he slips past you and somehow makes it into our bedroom without your knowledge?"
He turns and looks at her, and it's pretty obvious that she's really, really freaked out right now. And he wants to reassure her, wants to make her feel better, but he's not sure how to do that and take care of the noise in the family room at the same time. Odds are, it's not a serial killer or a rapist. It's probably a burglar. And he'd tell her that if he thought it would do any good, but telling her it's a burglar isn't much better and it doesn't really matter, 'cause he can tell that any attempt at reasoning with her isn't gonna work. Not right now.
So he looks around their room for anything hard and heavy, and when his eyes land on the statues on their dresser, he walks over and picks one of them up, holding it out to her. "Hide behind the door and hit him over the head."
She gasps and crosses her arms over her chest. "No! Absolutely not! I refuse to wield my Best Actress award as a weapon."
He tries to stay calm, but shit...doesn't she get it? "Why?"
"Because Noah, as you well know, that award means a great deal to me. I worked very hard for it. And I refuse to taint my memories of that lovely night by using it to brain someone."
Crazy fuckin' woman. As if her life isn't worth more than some stupid award.
He huffs out his frustration, sets the award back down on the top of the dresser, and holds out the bat to her. "Here. If he slips by me, hit him with this."
She holds onto the bat tightly and looks at him wide-eyed. "But...what are you going to use?"
"I don't know, Rach. I'll figure it out, okay?" He starts to open the door but stops and looks back at her. She's standing in the middle of their room gripping the bat so tightly she's probably cutting off the circulation to her fingers, and she looks so damn tiny and scared. He whispers, "Stay here. Be careful. Smash anything that moves. Got it?"
"Repeat it, Rachel."
She swallows. "Stay here. Be careful. Smash anything that moves."
He gives her a kiss on the forehead then takes one last look at her before he slips through the door and into the dark hallway, shutting the bedroom door gently behind him.
He has no idea what he's gonna use to protect himself now that Rachel's got the bat, and he admits he's getting more and more nervous the closer he gets to the family room. At the speed he's going, he'll run out of real estate in about twenty seconds and last he recalled, there isn't anything hanging around in their hallway that can really be used as a weapon. He could pull a picture off the wall, but he'd probably only get one good shot with that before the frame and the glass fall to pieces, and if that doesn't knock the guy out, Puck's out a weapon and pretty much up shit creek.
He passes by the linen closet (towels and sheets and first aid stuff – no help there) but stops when he gets to the coat closet. If he's lucky there might be something useful in there like a broom or their spare fire extinguisher, but at this point he'd take anything remotely hard or heavy. He opens the door slowly, hoping it doesn't creak ('cause it would just be his bad fuckin' luck that the only door in the whole apartment that never squeaks would pick now to start), and rummages his hand around inside until his fingers collide with something hard.
A bottle of wine.
Not the most helpful weapon, but it's hard and kinda heavy, so as long as it doesn't shatter the first time it hits skull, it's better than pulling that picture of Rachel's great-grandparents off the wall. Less likely to cause him to spend some quality time with the couch, too.
He holds the bottle upside down by the neck and inches quietly down the hall, pausing at the edge of the family room when he hears a grunt. He tries to make out the burglar/rapist/serial killer/douchebag, but the room is pitch black, so Puck stands still for a few seconds, waiting for his eyes to adjust. A few more seconds go by before Puck hears another groan and sees a body shift on the floor near the sofa, and Puck almost scratches his head 'cause the guy's just sorta laying there. Like, he kicks out a couple of times with his legs and his arms are trying pretty damn unsuccessfully to lift his body off the floor, but other than that, he's not doing much.
So basically, this dude is like, the worst burglar/rapist/serial killer ever.
He's still a douchebag, though.
Puck lowers the bottle and walks over to the guy, switching on the lamp next to the sofa. When he looks down, Puck rolls his eyes and swears under his breath, setting the wine bottle down on the end table.
Puck is going to fuckin' kill him.
"Dude...what the fuck are you doing breaking into my apartment at one in the morning?"
Mike tries to lift himself off the floor one more time but only manages to reach out and punch Puck square on the left shin.
"Ow! Shit!" Puck falls back on the arm of the couch, reaching down and rubbing his shin with his hand. "You fuckin' asshole."
"Don't you hurt my Noah!"
Rachel comes running down the hallway and, just as Mike has managed to lift his upper body up, Rachel brings the bat down on his back, sending him crashing back down to the floor.
He groans and Rachel jumps up and down and says, "Oh! I got him! I got him! Noah, did you see that?"
"I did. Good job, baby. Even though you couldn't follow a simple instruction and wait in our room."
"Well, I couldn't let him hurt you, could I?" She looks down at his shin and frowns in concern. "Are you okay?"
He nods. "Yeah, fine."
"We have to call the police."
She hands him the bat and moves toward the phone and he stops her, grabbing her wrist and pulling her back toward him. "No, don't."
"Why not?" She gestures down at the floor. "This...man...broke into our home. He deserves to be punished to the full extent of the law."
"Did you look at 'im?"
"Of course I did. Even though I was caught up in the emotion of the moment, I still had to know where to aim."
He rolls his eyes. "Look closer."
She looks down and it takes a few seconds, but Rachel finally says, "Mike!" She looks back at Puck and claps her hand over her mouth, her eyes wide. "I hit Mike!"
"Yep. And he totally deserved it too."
"How can you say that? He's our friend."
"He scared the shit out of you, Rach. And he punched me in the shin. Like I said, dude deserved it. 'Sides...not like you hit him that hard."
She sighs and looks down at Mike. "Well, clearly something is wrong if he's lying on our floor at one in the morning. Drunk, no less." She wrinkles her nose. "Has he related his troubles to you?"
"Hasn't said anything so far. Just groaned a bunch."
Rachel kneels down and pulls on Mike's shoulder and leg until he flips over onto his back. He groans something that sounds like "Tina", so it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out where this is going.
"Michael...what about Tina?"
Rachel lays her hand on his shoulder and says, "Why would she hate you?"
But she can't get anything out of him after that other than some mumbles that aren't quite words and a few groans here and there, so she stops asking him questions and starts lecturing him, like she thinks he can hear her.
"Michael, while I'm not sure what transpired between you and Tina, judging by the severity of your drunkenness, I'd say it must have been something quite serious. And while I sympathize with your plight, this hardly seems the appropriate response to your situation."
"Baby, you're just wastin' your breath."
She sighs and frowns. "What do you suppose happened between them?"
"I don't know, but whatever it was, I'm sure Tina will call you in six hours or so to bitch about it." He stands up off the arm of the couch. "C'mon...let's go back to bed."
"We can't just leave him here in the middle of the floor."
"Actually, that sounds like a pretty damn good idea to me."
He takes her hand and starts pulling her toward their bedroom but Rachel resists, pulling back on his hand to try to stop him. Just before she's about to speak, Mike says, "Tina hates me."
Puck lets go of her hand, groans, and sits back down on the arm of the couch. Shit. He was really hoping to go back to bed. But since his girl's gonna want to be all sweet and nurturing and fix whatever shit is wrong with Chang, he has a feeling that's not gonna happen anytime soon.
Rachel tucks her hair behind her ear and says, "I'm sure that's not true."
"Nope." He pops the P and opens his eyes, shifting his head to look at them. "Totally true. She thinks Imma bad, baaaaaaaaaaaaad boyfriend."
"Now, why would she think that? Tina loves you."
" 'Cause she thinks I don't wanna marry her." Mike suddenly lifts his upper body up off the floor and grabs her on the upper arms, his eyes wide. "But 's not true, Rach. You hafta believe me."
"Of course I believe you, Michael."
"Yeah?" She nods and smiles at him and his whole body relaxes and leans into her, like it was just waiting for one person to confirm that he isn't a complete nutbag.
His hands start climbing up her arms, toward her shoulders, using her body for leverage to lift himself a little further off the ground so he can sit and not fall over (he hasn't seen Chang this drunk in a while). But his hands are getting a little too close to Rachel's tits for Puck's comfort so he says, "Hey! Chang! Hands off the merchandise."
Seriously. Dude's his bro, but that shit is non-negotiable.
Rachel glares at him and purses her lips, but even as fucked up as he is, Chang still has the sense to take his hands off Puck's girl.
That's right. Dude knows what's up.
Puck says, "So what's the problem? If you wanna marry her, just ask her. Not like she's gonna say no to you."
Mike keeps his eyes on Rachel and says, "I've tried!"
She says, "Have you?"
"Yeah! Or...sorta." He groans and squeezes his eyes shut briefly. "I've come up with plans, you know? Lots and lots of...plans. But none of 'em are good enough for Tina. She's so...awesome."
Rachel smiles at him. "She is."
"Right? She is. And she deserves the best proposal ever in the history of...ever. So I can't ask her to marry me 'til I come up with the most awesome plan ever and all o' my plans are crap. They're crap, Rach."
"Mike, I'm going to let you in on a little secret, okay?"
His eyes go wide and he looks up at her full of hope, like she holds all the answers to the universe or something. "Kay."
"Most girls don't care how elaborate their proposal is. They just want to be proposed to by a man they love, who they can see themselves spending the rest of their lives with."
"Really. Tell you what...why don't you get a good night's sleep, and when you wake up in the morning, I will make you a large breakfast and you and I will sort this all out and come up with the best proposal possible for Tina. She won't say no, I guarantee it."
Mike lunges forward and wraps her in a hug, catching Rachel off guard. "Thanks, Rach! You're the best."
"Well, it's the least I can do after I hit you with Noah's bat."
Mike pulls back and furrows his brow. "What?"
Puck stands up off the couch and says, "Nothing. Alright, can you stand up or do you need help?"
"I think I got-" He tries to stand but his legs won't hold him and he falls back down to his butt. "I don't got this."
"Yeah. Obviously." Puck rolls his eyes and pulls Mike up off the ground. Chang wobbles around for a bit and Puck stands behind him with his hands out, but he eventually manages to keep himself standing. "You good now?"
"Yeah. Yeah...'m good."
"Good, 'cause once you start movin', you're on your own."
"Yeah, no...'m good."
He starts to make his way down the hallway to the guest bedroom and Rachel says, "Don't you think we should follow him? Make sure he doesn't injure himself?"
Puck snorts. "No. Dude broke into our apartment at one in the morning and, one more time...scared the shit out of you. He's already gotten all the help I'm willin' to give him tonight."
"Noah, he didn't break in, he's our friend. I'm sure he just used a key."
"What key? Kurt and Blaine have our only spare. And you really think he would have gone all the way over there to get it just so he could come to our place to collapse in the middle of our floor?"
She gasps. "You're right! But how on earth did he break in? We have an excellent security system."
They do. Her dads insisted on paying for it themselves. No price is too high to make sure their precious star is safe in the big city. "I've been tryin' to tell you for years, baby. Dude's a fuckin' ninja."
They hear a boom and a thud from the guest bedroom, followed by a strained, "Sorry!...Sorry!" and Rachel sighs and goes to help him while Puck looks around the room, trying to figure out how Mike got in. One of their windows is cracked, but only a little, which means drunk as he is, Mike still tried to close the window after he fell through it. That's something at least. Doesn't mean they won't be havin' words tomorrow, though.
(Seriously...all it would have taken was one damn text to let Puck know he needed a place to crash for the night. One damn text that would've saved Rachel a shitload of worry.)
When he makes it to the guest bedroom, Rachel is pulling a blanket over Mike. She looks over at Puck and smiles and he smiles back and waits for her to finish. He crosses his arms and leans against the wall across from the bedroom, watching as she brushes the hair back from Mike's forehead and switches off the lamp next to the bed.
(And no, that doesn't stir up any thoughts of Rachel putting their future kids to bed, tucking them in and kissing them goodnight. None at all.)
When she closes the door behind her gently, he says, "So...if most girls don't care how elaborate their proposal is, does that mean I didn't have to organize that flash mob in Central Park?"
She smiles and pats his chest with her left hand and before she can pull it away, he brings his hand up to cover it, fingers slotting between hers. She rises to the tips of her toes and leans in to kiss him.
"I said most girls, Noah. Most girls."