Summary: When the gleeks end up stranded at a rundown motel for the weekend, Sam notices Puck is acting strange. He's quiet and withdrawn. But is he really just tired or is there something more going on? And can they help him before it's too late?
Pairings: Chang-squared, Fuinn, Kurtofsky, with some Puckleberry/Samtana/Bartie leanings. Puck/Rachel/Santana/Sam/Blaine/Brittany friendship, emphasis on Puck/Sam bromance.
Warnings: This contains spoilers up to the second season finale. It pretty much goes AU after that for obvious reasons. Just assume everything up to the New York episode is canon. After that, it goes off into Ms.P's happy land!
Disclaimer: I don't own this show or anything related to this show. If I did there would be many more songs featuring Santana, Puck and Artie. There would also be a lot more Mike and his wondrous abs. There would also be a lot less emphasis on Finn and Kurt and Chord Overstreet wouldn't be gone. Clearly I don't own the show. So my vision will just have to live on through my stories. *sniff*
Author's Note: So this is the part where I apologize for the delay. It wasn't so much writer's block this time around as it was a massive case of the Real World. So again, very sorry. I hope that the epilogue is to your liking.
Now Here We Go For the Hundredth Time
When Puck initiated the whole 'Stop Sam From Being Homeless Plan', Sam expected that there would be a lot of changes in his life. He was used to being on his own. He knew that it was going to be a bit of a culture shock going from being a lone wolf to suddenly having five best friends. Especially when your five best friends were Brittany, Puck, Santana, Rachel and Blaine. He got used to expecting the unexpected. But having your best friend be ghost bait, well that was a new one. Sam wasn't looking forward to the lengths they would have to go to top this one. But he was fairly certain that they would… and soon. Still….
"I can't believe you made a ghost fall in love with you," Sam muttered to the blanket covered figure leaning against his shoulder. Sam's arm was draped across Puck's shoulders.
"Screw you, Sammy!"
"Any closer to the crotch area and you will be," Santana quipped, leaning over the back of their seat hovering over them, despite Will's frequent requests that she stop doing that. "You two are so adorable. When's the wedding?"
Puck's head emerged from the virtual cocoon of blankets that Rachel insisted on draping on him after they rescued him from the freezer. Sam only slightly loosened his hold on his friend to allow Puck to glare at the smirking Latina above them.
"Don't you have anyone better to torture right now? Isn't your quota low on damaging Kurt's self-esteem for the month?"
Santana paused to think about it for a moment before shrugging. "Yeah, but I think that this totally trumps making fun of Kurt. Besides that's getting kind of old and pointless. I mean he pretty much makes fun of himself by breathing. Takes all the art out of it."
"You're a class act, San," Rachel commented, tugging on Santana's sweater, forcing their mutual pain in the ass to drop down to her seat. Sam knew it was only a matter of time before she made another appearance.
"You know I've been warm for the past twenty minutes, right?" Puck asked, shifting a little in his seat. "You don't have to keep snuggling with me."
"I'm not snuggling…." He trailed off as he realized that was exactly what they were doing. Sam slowly released Puck, letting him sit up on his own. "You know you totally liked it."
"Oh, I wasn't complaining, Stud Muffin," Puck smirked. "I'm just saying. I'm not going anywhere. We're safe now. We're like at least twenty miles away from there now."
Sam nodded thoughtfully. "We'll revisit this conversation when we're thirty miles away. I'm not really sure how far crazy can travel. After all they let Santana through with no problems."
"I heard that!"
"You're sitting in back of me," Sam countered, rolling his eyes. "How could you not hear that?"
He smiled at the rapid, Spanish muttering that was punctuated by the sharp kick to the back of his seat. He finally felt himself relaxing as normalcy started to return. Santana was supposed to be the scariest thing he knew about. Ghosts and killer motel owners weren't even on his list. And he knew it was going to take a while to recover. But this was a good start.
"Satan, stop kicking the seat!" Puck whined, and there was a slight wheezing sound as he spoke. Of course the idiot would be getting sick.
Santana's head appeared over their seat again. "Puckerman, you brought your asthma crap, right?"
Puck's eyes widened in an attempt to look innocent. Sam was pretty sure that Puck didn't look innocent as a baby and he definitely wasn't pulling that look off now. "Uh, define bring."
Santana grunted as Rachel stood up next to her. At the front of the bus, Will protested but realized that the combination of Berry and Lopez was not one to go up against. Sam smirked before joining in the glaring.
"Noah, you need to start taking better care of yourself!" Rachel chastised.
"Why would I need to do that when I have you to take care of me?"
Rachel smiled softly. "And what happens when I'm not around?"
"You plan on leaving me anytime soon?"
Rachel rolled her eyes and indicated for Sam to move. He did so without complaint. He switched with seats with her, watching as she handed Puck his asthma pump. "See, babe. Between you and Superman back there, I don't need to watch out for myself."
"That's a totally sweet way of admitting you're lazy," Santana quipped, dropping down to her seat. Sam sat down too, not willing to risk inciting Will's wrath. "So."
"So," Sam grinned, looking at his new seatmate. "How was your weekend?"
"Oh, it was awesome," Santana replied with a grin. "Filled with adventure and fun. We should do this every weekend."
"You know there is just one last thing I need to know before I can put this whole weekend behind us."
"And that is?" Blaine chose this moment to chime in the conversation from his seat across the aisle from Santana and Sam.
"Who picked this weekend on the pool?"
Santana sat up straight. "You mean it wasn't you?"
"No," Sam sighed. "I totally had it down for at least Sectionals. You know there's always some big dramatic crap around that. I figured they'd get together and Finn would get all jealous and make that stupid angsty face that just makes him look really special. Meanwhile Quinn would be flouncing around pouting and whining about how no one loves her despite the fact that she pretty much screwed over two awesome dudes for Finn."
"And I figured they wouldn't get it together until at least after graduation," Santana said. "I just thought they would ignore the fact that they totally eye sex their way through every conversation until one day it all exploded into some angsty hot Jew love fest."
"I had the week after we moved to New York," Blaine admitted, somewhat reluctantly. "Pretty much everything San said but with more booze and less angst and clothing."
"I'm mad you guys are acting like we can't hear you!" Puck growled.
"So are you denying that you and Rachel are together?" Sam countered.
There was a moment of silence and Sam was pleased to note that almost all of the gleeks were patiently waiting for the answer to that one. There was a moment of silence before Puck sighed heavily.
"Ok, so we are. Big deal."
"Finally!" Tina cheered. "But wait who did have this week in the pool?"
"I would like to say that I'm surprised that you all have nothing better to do with your free time than to collectively wager on when Noah and I would get together but I actually associate with you, so I know you don't."
"Per the usual, midget. Way too many words to say what you could've said in like five."
"You're a bitch, San."
"See!" Santana patted Rachel on the head condescendingly. "Blaine, you've got the book. Who's the winner?"
"More importantly how much was it up to?" Puck asked. Rachel scoffed and gave him an annoyed look. "What? Babe, I think it's pretty sad that they have a pool going but you have to wonder just how much we're worth."
Rachel was obviously contemplating the matter and turned to Blaine. "Well?"
Blaine smirked, flipping through his ever present notebook. "Ok, so the winner of the $250 and free waffles at Artie's house for a week jackpot is…." Blaine's eyes widened as he looked at the name printed in the book. He cast a quick look at the seemingly oblivious Brittany before staring again at the name. "There are two winners."
"Who?" Sam snapped, impatiently.
"And why were free waffles included?" Puck added. "Wheels, I'm included in this, right?"
"Puck, you're at my house every Sunday to get waffles. Mom doesn't even ask if we want waffles on Sundays anymore. She just assumes you're coming over and makes them," Artie replied, exasperated. "Anyway who were the winners?"
"Britt and… Lauren?" Blaine read in disbelief. "Britt, you and Lauren won the pool?"
"Well, duh," Brittany rolled her eyes. "It was all part of the plan."
"There was a plan?" Sam muttered.
"Of course there was a plan," Santana grumbled. "You mean to tell me that Lauren broke up with Puck so that he could get together with Rachel."
Brittany shrugged. "Yeah. We didn't know he would take it so bad though. That's why I've been like extra nice this weekend because Lauren felt bad that you felt bad."
Santana pouted. "Does this mean I don't get to harpoon her on Monday?"
"It sounds like," Sam said, sympathetically. He poked Puck's seat. "You ok with this?"
"My ex-girlfriend broke up with me on purpose so that I could get together with Rachel," Puck summarized. "Given that I've pretty much been a ghost's bitch this entire weekend, I am actually ok with this. Although now I think I'm going to have to give Lauren the title of favorite ex-girlfriend. Sorry, San. Sorry, Rach."
"I think I'll live," Santana snorted.
"And I much prefer the title of girlfriend," Rachel cooed, placing a kiss on Puck's cheek.
"Oh, they're going to be cavity inducing aren't they?" Blaine gagged, playfully. Sam grinned and slung an arm around Santana's shoulders.
As far as he was concerned, this was a win all around. Everyone was safe. Yes, Puck and Rachel were going to be completely sickening at least for the first few weeks of this relationship but Sam was pretty sure that their combined insanity would balance out the gag worthy adorableness soon enough. And to top it all off, the tension between the gleeks was finally easing. While he didn't think he would be calling Quinn, Mercedes, Finn or Kurt to hang out any time soon, he didn't feel the same level of animosity before. And it appeared to be a mutual thing. So maybe, just maybe, this weekend didn't suck after all. Because his family was safe and he wouldn't trade that for anything.
"So now that the Puckleberry Pool is done," Blaine's voice shook him out of his thoughts. "Who wants in on the Samtana Pool?"
"Oh, I'm definitely down for that one!" Rachel chimed in.
"Me and Mr. Creepers want in too!"
"Britt, please tell me you didn't actually find Chtulhu's bastard love child and bring him on the bus?" Puck's head appeared in the aisle as he looked at Brittany when there was no answer after a long moment of silence. "Well?"
"Rachel always tells me that it's better not to say anything if the only other option is lying!" Brittany pouted.
"Brittany, he would've been fine," Blaine said, patting her on the shoulder. "So just let him out the bus window so he can go terrorize the woodland creatures like the giant nightmare inducing beast he is. I mean make some friends."
The blonde sighed heavily but reached into her bag and pulled out a small box. She lifted the lid on the box and frowned. "Hey, where did Mr. Creepers go?"
"Not again!" Santana squeaked, throwing herself onto Sam's lap. His arms wound reflexively around her waist even as he pulled his legs up onto the seat.
They were so busy searching for the spider beast that they failed to notice the satisfied smirks on the faces of Puck, Blaine and Brittany. Sometimes it was almost too easy. The Samtana Pool was officially open.
"Wait, Britt... you were kidding about Mr. Creepers, right?"
"Why would I kid about that?"
*And it's finally over! Yay. I'd like to take the time out to thank all you lovely people who reviewed. Your reviews kept me going and made me smile a lot during these past few months. Thank you so much for all your support! I may not have gotten back to each of you individually but just know that I have treasured every single review I've received. Your kind words have really helped to feed my ego. So thank you again. I'd also like to thank Linkin Park for pretty much sticking yourselves in my brain and not leaving the entire time I was writing this story. Special thanks to Bleed It Out for providing me chapter titles. Yay! Ok, that's enough from me. I'm off to try and write more stories before the real world tries to kick in again. Ciao for now!