Author's Note: I'm back again with yet another prompt fic, this time given to me by anchyweasley. I'm not saying this one is a masterpiece, either, but this was so much fun to write so I want to say thank you for that and hope it meets your standards. To everyone else reading, thank you in advance and I'd love it if you'd review and let me know what you think! I've got some crazy busy weeks ahead of me, so this might have to tide you over for awhile. Enjoy!
Noah Puckerman had never really been much of a planner. He was more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants kind of guy, generally just going with the flow of things. It wasn't usually a problem (excluding that whole baby mama drama in his sophomore year of high school) and he'd actually somewhat perfected the art of meandering. It was quite a skill to be completely ambivalent to everything, and one he legit felt he'd mastered. He'd at least perfected acting like he didn't give a rat's ass about anything, which was an important distinction because faking disinterest had worked to his benefit many times, but it wasn't always in his best interest.
Especially not when it came to Rachel Berry.
She was a spitfire, so full of energy and determination that anything short of 110% was unsatisfactory. She was so ambitious and crazy driven that it used to scare him, but now he knew that passion filtered into everything she did and that shit was hot. Plus, it was awesome to tease her that maybe they would have hooked up sooner than when she was in college if she had just tried harder. That stuff bugged the shit out of her for days - and even though that sometimes meant she bugged the shit out of him for a couple of days, it was usually worth it.
Which was precisely why he was marrying her. Or, going to, rather. She still had another semester of school to finish and he wasn't necessarily in any hurry to walk down the altar with the old ball-and-chain dragging from his leg. Rachel had shit like this mapped out, though, and he wasn't going to miss his chance to tie her down, either. For fuck's sake … how had he not tried to tie her down before?
"Noah! Are you ready?" His mother shouted up the stairs, her voice traveling just as well as it did when he was younger.
"I'm ready," he emphasized the first word just in case Rachel couldn't hear him over whatever it was she was doing in the hall bathroom. She'd gone in there like twenty minutes ago when he'd been ready and sitting on his old bed for eighteen minutes waiting. Typically he'd dick around downstairs or at least be social with his mother considering he didn't make it back to Ohio a lot since moving to New York, but he couldn't do either tonight.
His mom kept whispering in his ear about every little detail, legit making him regret ever telling her that he was going to ask Rachel to marry him. She'd been waiting for this day for three years … well, probably closer to fourteen since Ma fell in love with Rachel when they were just eight years old. Normally he could just brush her off or annoy her enough that she'd harass him about something else, but he was too nervous to do either of those things. His little sister had made some shitty joke yesterday when she'd picked him and Rachel up at the airport and he hadn't even made fun of her. It didn't even cross his mind. All he kept thinking about was not fucking up this proposal. Rachel was a perfectionist and she was also so enthralled by other people's engagement stories that he knew if he botched this he'd never hear the end of it.
"We'll be down in a minute!" Rachel sing-songed back down the stairs, tiptoeing into his room with a plush towel wrapped around her frame. His eyes widened in surprise, his body hinging off the bed in an innate attempt to get closer. He licked his lips when she dropped the towel, casually pulling on a simple black dress over her lace bra and underwear of the same color. She had straightened her hair and put on some smoky eye makeup and he had to literally restrain himself. Screwing her senseless was not part of the plan.
"Ain't it usually dinner then the show?" He asked lowly, wishing he could better disguise the lust in his voice. He'd think after dating for three years and screwing almost just as long that he'd be better at controlling the urge to rip her clothes and her in half, but it never happened. His appetite for her was insatiable and she looked good enough to eat.
"See something you like, tiger?"
He growled (not helping the situation because that was how he'd gotten the damn nickname to begin with) and watched her slip her feet into some crazy-high strappy, black heels. Fuck me shoes to go along with the fuck me look she tossed over her shoulder. He was in for a long night if she wasn't planning on letting up, which it was getting clearer and clearer that she wasn't since she'd been acting this way since they got to Lima. He was only human – and a man, at that – and he couldn't take too much of her torture before he gave the finger to his plan and just railed her into oblivion.
"That dress …" he trailed off, his eyes again skimming over the sleek fabric. It was about thirty degrees outside and she was dressed for a spring concert instead of her fathers' annual first night of Hanukkah party. The sun would be setting in less than an hour and by the time they got back to Puck's mom's house it would be in the teens. He was going to be able to see her nipples through the dress and … and, shit, now he was thinking about her tits. "Might look better on the floor."
"You don't want it to get dirty, do you?"
He swallowed thickly, his fingers twitching at his sides, just begging to touch her.
Puck sighed, somewhat gratefully, when his mother's voice echoed in the room and instantly squelched the fire that was burning between him and Rachel. She managed a coy (yeah right) wink before passing him to head downstairs, her hips swaying dangerously the whole time. He followed behind, shaking his head a little when he tried to remember why he thought proposing tonight of all nights was the best idea.
When he'd finally decided he wanted to marry her – he'd figured it out in high school but he ignored it for a lot of different reasons – he knew he had to do it somewhere that Rachel would be the center of attention. She didn't like surprises, so the whole thing had to be planned around a pre-existing event. And when he'd talked to her dads to get their permission/blessing/legal counsel, they'd come up with the brilliant plan of doing it at the party; the house would be beautifully decorated, the party was catered, all her family would be there. It would be perfect.
If she said yes.
"Do you have everything you need?" His mother asked, looking at him pointedly. He just nodded casually, shaking his head at Rachel to downplay his mom's weird behavior. "Are you sure?"
"Fuck, Ma." He groaned in frustration. "I took a leak and everything. Can we get in the God damn car now?"
Puck's mom muttered something in Yiddish and he sagged his head, following the women outside and into his mother's old sedan. Rachel sat up front with her while Puck sat in the back with his little sister. He faded in and out of their conversation, only stepping in once to alter the discussion when his mother legit started crying about how beautiful Rachel looked on a night she'd never forget. The rest of the time he wished he had a time machine so he could go back and untell his mother everything.
And maybe see Hendrix live. That would kick ass.
As they were walking toward the front door, Rachel veered them off course, leading him to the side of the house. She pressed his back against the cool, hard bricks, her hands sneaking underneath his coat jacket and settling high on his back. The subtle hint of her honey scent seemed to engulf him in comparison to the crisp winter air, instantly making him hard. She grasped his lips with her own, thrusting her tongue deep inside his mouth without warning. She dominated the kiss, catching him off guard in how quickly it had started and how abruptly it had ended.
"Wh-what was that for?"
She smiled coyly, pressing her lips to his once more, this time for a much chaster embrace. "You know me." She shrugged one of her shoulders, her hand running down his arm until her fingers interlaced with his. She tugged him toward the backyard, up the deck stairs and into the house. "I don't like to share."
On cue, Rachel was surrounded by friends and family, her fathers first in line. They'd talked to Rachel yesterday when she called to say they arrived safely, but tonight was the first they saw her. Because of the party, her old room was occupied by one of her father's sister's family, the guest room had been reserved by her other father's mother, and they even had a cousin or two sleeping on the pullout bed in the couch in the living room. They hadn't seen her since the summer, and yet even while almost strangling her to death in their bear hugs, both Hiram's and Leroy's eyes honed in on Puck.
"Good evening, son."
Puck narrowed his gaze at the older man, shaking his hand and muttering his own greeting. Leroy Berry had a good four inches on Puck and generally scared the crap out of him, but tonight his patience was nonexistent. Rachel's dads had a vernacular similar to Rachel (probably where she got that shit) and could get away with calling him son just because of his age, but Leroy had put too much emphasis on the word. And Hiram practically pissing himself while he watched the two men wasn't helping, either.
He wasn't sure why he looked at Rachel. Puck was completely capable of answering the question without assistance or prompting from his girlfriend, but when he moved his eyes from Leroy's to hers there was a sparkle that he hadn't seen before. Usually when he talked about his job she would frown or sprout off statistics about the dangers of being a firefighter. The chick legit read more in a week than he'd done his whole life; it was kind of annoying sometimes, but it was also really cute. She was wicked awesome at bar trivia, which he'd figured out that first year they were dating. Now, because of all that useless knowledge she had floating around in that pretty little head of hers, they got free drinks every Thursday night at the corner pub by their apartment.
"S'good." He filed her expression in the back of his mind, deciding to come back to it later when they didn't have an audience (and he didn't have a million other things to worry about). "Busy."
"Well Leroy and I pray for you every day, at least once."
Puck nodded at Hiram. "I'm off Sundays and Mondays, if that helps."
The two older men chuckled at his modesty, Leroy slapping him on the back before moving on to question Rachel about school and her own career opportunities. Puck managed to escape with the excuse of taking her coat to one of the back rooms, passing a few familiar faces on the way. His mother was talking to a few people from town and his sister looked to be awfully chummy with a kid he'd never met before. He'd have to find time to intimidate the young man before the end of the night.
"Hey, you," Rachel whispered, her heels giving her away about twenty feet ago. He turned and acted surprised to see her anyway, though, if only because he couldn't believe she'd gotten out of her fathers' death grips so quickly. "I forgot I have my fathers' gifts in my coat."
"Shit." He looked down at her coat in reflex. "Should I have gotten 'em somethin'?"
She giggled, shaking her head. "It's from both of us."
"Cool." Her side pressed into him as she riffled through her pockets for the two small wrapped boxes. "We're so thoughtful." He smiled at her scoff, pushing his hand into her hip to turn her frame, stepping close enough that she had to straighten her back to accommodate for the loss of space. Their lips were millimeters apart, his fingers curling past her hip to graze her pert little ass, and he bit back a moan before asking, "Didja get me anything?"
"I keep trying to give you something but you've been oddly resistant," she responded coolly, dragging her teeth across his lower lip before sucking on the plump flesh. His eyes rolled into the back of his head, reluctantly opening only when he felt her smile against his lips before she pulled back. "A coat room isn't necessarily out of our repartee."
He groaned, his slacks shrinking just at the memory of the sexual escapades they'd had at the handful of theaters where she'd worked. When he'd called her a prude in high school, Puck had no idea just how wrong he was. There was a sex goddess hiding under those stupid animal sweaters, and she was currently trying to prove it. When he felt her chest press more intimately into his, he sucked in a courageous breath and stepped back.
"It's almost sundown. They're probably gonna be lighting the candle soon."
And the winner for lamest excuse to not have sex goes to …
"Noah Puckerman," Rachel shook her head, bemused, "I don't think I'll ever figure you out."
He laughed nervously, accepting her chaste kiss on the cheek before watching her walk out of the room. He hung back for a few minutes, partially getting back his composure and partially scorning the day he ever decided to do any of this. He hated this bullshit. Why did it have to be such a production? He just wanted to give her the ring and be done with it. Being engaged – even being married – didn't matter to him. It was just a ring – or just a piece of paper. After three years (or seven depending on when you started counting), it was pretty obvious that Rachel was his girl and would be forever.
It was a comforting thought, one that was rightfully needed when he walked into the living room and saw Rachel greeting Finn with a warm hug. The two men had put their differences behind them years ago, but that didn't mean the urge to sock the taller man in the gut for even looking at Rachel a certain way would ever fully go away. Finn was the only other guy to see Rachel naked and do stuff to her other than Puck, and sometimes Puck thought Finn knew that and thought about it, too.
"Hey, Finn," he greeted tightly, extending his hand out and squeezing it a little harder than necessary. "Whatcha doin' here?"
Finn actually looked nervous. "Is this like … a Jews only thing?"
Puck sighed in exasperation, not able to hide his amusement when Rachel's laughter rolled over him. He tossed his arm over her shoulders for good measure, the three catching up quickly. Finn was finishing up his degree in education at state, and was actually applying for an open position at McKinley. He apparently met with Mr. Schuester a couple of days ago, and if Finn got the job, Schue said he could really use an assistant director for the glee club. New Directions had placed first at Nationals their senior year, but hadn't fared as well since they graduated. And by they, Puck meant Rachel.
"Are you seeing anyone?"
Finn choked on the sip of punch he'd just taken, his feet shuffling nervously as he considered his response. "Uh, yea, I'm sorta, um, kinda seeing … Quinn."
Perhaps the only reason Puck and Finn were able to bury the hatchet was because of Rachel's reaction at that very moment. In a word, she had none. She and Finn hadn't been an item since high school, and it was a point she made clear many times at the beginning of her and Puck's relationship. He'd been kind of a prick (major prick) when Finn had come to New York to visit her and she'd let him stay in the dorm. He'd slept on the couch, but it didn't stop Puck from blowing the whole thing out of proportion. It was his and Rachel's first major fight, one that luckily ended with Finn staying in her dorm and Rachel staying at Puck's place instead of any breaking of hearts or objects.
"We, uh, might be getting married, actually."
Puck's arm fell off Rachel's shoulders, his mouth falling open a little and his heart stopping for at least three seconds. It was bad enough Rachel's ex-boyfriend was here - if Jesse St. Assface showed up, Puck swore to J-Dawg that he would go Thunderdome on everyone – but then to bring up marriage? He was sweating bullets as it was and the only solution was to take off his coat, but he couldn't because it was holding the damn ring.
"Babe, you wanna …"
"Gather around everyone. It's time to light the first candle!"
Fuck his life.
Puck sighed, following Rachel closer to the table where the menorah was all set up. Like his mother, Leroy and Hiram were traditionalists when it came to their religion, so after the candle was lit everyone had to recite all three blessings. They didn't take particularly long, but Plan B was all but shot to hell when Rachel offered to help her fathers with the food directly after. It wasn't until thirty minutes later and with his mouth full of a latke did she saunter back over to him.
"I almost neglected to give you your present." She bit her lip, looking to her left and right to see if anyone was eavesdropping before bringing her mouth directly by his ear. Her hot breath danced across the sensitive skin and he had to bite back a moan when he felt her tiny hand reach into one of the pockets of his slacks for a few seconds; he wasn't embarrassed but he didn't want to choke on the food now lodged in his throat. "Happy first night of Hanukkah."
She sashayed back into the kitchen, leaving Puck dumbstruck for at least a minute before he reached into his pocket to see what she had placed inside. The second his fingers brushed the lace fabric, he knew what it was, but he looked down just to be sure. Staring back at him was the underwear she had been wearing earlier, and he knew that because she had already teased him to death by dressing in front of him. He didn't think it was possible, but he actually preferred her wearing the underwear. At least then he wasn't painfully aware of the fact that she wasn't wearing any. Now she was just in a dress he already wanted to rip off her and nothing else.
Puck needed a cold shower, but he settled for stepping outside for some air. It was freezing out so he was all alone, and the quiet was actually quite peaceful. The Berry backyard was immaculate, landscape lights and the lights inside the heated pool casting a beautiful glow across the property. He strolled casually down the stone path toward the large tree in the corner of the yard, lowering himself onto the ground and resting his back against the hard trunk. He inhaled a deep breath of the cool air, his eyes rising up to focus on the moon and stars.
"Not quite as good as the rooftop," she responded softly, her heels on the pathway giving her away before she came to sit next to him. Her head rested against his shoulder, her eyes still trained on the sky. "But this is nice."
It would have been romantic if his mind wasn't so deep in the gutter. Her body nestled next to his and he barely recognized her shiver enough to shrug off his jacket and place it over her torso like a blanket. He knew it was dangerous given the ring box was inside, but he wasn't just going to let her freeze to death. Plus, at this point he was willing to do anything to cover up her smooth, olive skin.
Seriously? Who was he?
"It doesn't make any sense," she began slowly, her arms still hidden under his jacket but clearly moving. "But you resisting my advances only makes me want you more."
Puck blinked hard, his brows furrowing as he tilted his head down to regard her. She looked completely innocent, but he knew better. "It's gettin' cold. We should head back in."
"Or," she drawled, straddling him so quickly that he could barely comprehend what was happening. It was the only reason to explain why his eyes followed his jacket she'd tossed aside in the movement instead of focusing on her seductive gaze. "We could warm each other up."
That got his attention. Unfortunately it was a minute too late, her lips incessant on his. Her tongue invaded his mouth like she was searching for buried treasure, the tip running along the top row of his teeth while her hands teased the hairline on the nape of his neck. To anyone else it was an innocent move; to Puck, it was an instant hard on. Even if he wanted to resist her for all the reasons he'd been trying to for the past two days, he couldn't. Not when he was hard and she was on top of him, grinding into him and whispering dirty shit into his ear.
"Please, Noah," she whimpered, her hands working him from the outside of his slacks. "Between your firefighter training and finals ... it's been too long." The cold air hit his dick like a million pins and needles, but he found sanctuary first in her warm hands and then the unmatched heat of her pussy. "I need you."
"You got me," he growled, his hands moving under the hemline of her skirt to grip her thighs. She rolled her hips and let her head fall back, a soft moan echoing into the night air. They were completely covered by the large tree and the thick darkness of the winter night, but Rachel Berry wasn't the next shoe-in on Broadway for being soft-spoken. The more she rocked her hips, the louder she became, and when he flicked his thumb over the sensitive bundle of nerves at the apex of her thighs, he had to lean forward and suction his mouth over hers just to keep their cover.
A few minutes later, after they'd sufficiently come down from their highs, the frigid temperature started to register again. Rachel coyly zipped his pants back up, smacking a kiss onto his lips before standing up. He chuckled and accepted her extended hand to get up, helping her smooth the skirt of her dress despite her muffled protests. Giggling and still fondling one another playfully, they scurried on somewhat unsteady legs back into the house.
"Well?" Hiram asked excitedly, appearing out of nowhere and startling the couple. Before Puck could give him the signal to shut his trap, he asked, "Did you do it?"
"Daddy!" Rachel's voice hitched in mortification and Puck shut his eyes in hopes that this was all a terrible nightmare. His plan couldn't have been any more off course than it was at that precise moment, with Rachel's father almost spilling the beans and Rachel's blushing cheeks and verbal embarrassment basically announcing they'd just had sex.
"Weren't you wearing a coat earlier, Noah?" Leroy asked.
Well fuck him, it just derailed entirely.
Puck sprinted back outside, inwardly groaning when his coat was sprawled out on the grass. It had taken him weeks to convince his grandmother to give him the ring - it wasn't that she didn't like Rachel, but it had been one of the few things left of her own mother, smuggled out of Germany during the Holocaust and passed down; sure as shit, Rachel was going to love it - not to mention all the effort that went into getting it sized to fit Rachel's freakishly small hands without her knowing. Put a horny girlfriend in front of him and one sex haze later, though, and he had no beef with just leaving it out for a raccoon or a snowstorm or a friend of the family to steal.
Or for it to completely disappear.
He searched every single pocket at least twice, absently wondering if he could have a heart attack at twenty-two years old. It was below freezing and he was actually sweating, his breath coming out in hard, visible puffs. He flipped the coat over and shook it, watching anxiously for the small velvet box to fall from one of the pockets. Seeing nothing, he cursed loudly and threw the useless garment into the pool, his hands coming up to cover his face in frustration.
"Looking for this?" Puck spread open his fingers, his eyes widening from behind his hands when he saw the box he'd been looking for resting in the palm of Rachel's hand. She had a very Puckerman-esque smirk on her face and it seemed fitting considering one of the reasons for the ring was for her to take his name. "I haven't looked, but I'm guessing there aren't earrings in here."
He glared at her, her hands falling to his sides for just a moment before he crossed his arms tightly over his chest. "How long have you known?" Her eyes twinkled and he groaned, the pieces of her persistent desire falling into place. "Why didn't you just fuckin' tell me?"
"I had every intention to just speed up the process, but you kept finding ways to elude me and … well, then it became a game." She smiled sheepishly, shrugging emptily. "And I know how you are when it comes to these types of male-dominated situations, so I didn't want to spoil anything. You went through a lot of trouble for this."
He stared at her blankly for a few moments, watched as she extended the small box out toward him. The plan had been in the works for almost a month, a little more if you counted drunken musings with the guys from the station. He'd gone through all the effort of planning every detail, which he hated if only because he had to talk like chick to far too many people. Plus he had to keep it all from Rachel and cram it into his already crazy schedule since the department was down one guy. But the plan didn't matter. Not to him.
"I don't give a shit about any of this." He lifted his hand, placing it flat against the ring box and pushing it back toward her. "I just did it 'cause you deserve it. The perfect ring and the perfect story and whatever other bullshit you want." He shrugged. "S'all for you."
"All I've ever wanted was someone who thought I deserved those things." She stepped closer to him, eliminating some of the chill with her body heat alone. "None of this is important to me, Noah. All that matters is that it's you."
"Maybe it's the frostbite, but …" he trailed off, an unfamiliar nervous lilt in his tone. "Is that a yes?"
She rolled her eyes, a tear falling in the process. "Of course."
All the weight that had been resting on his shoulders for the past month, the heaviest of which bore down on him today, lifted. She managed to ease it all with just two small words, and even though it could have been done in one he didn't care. It wouldn't have been Rachel otherwise, and she was all that mattered to him, too. Or, at least that was what he thought when he opened the box to retrieve the ring. But as he slid it on her ring finger, both of them inwardly blaming the cold for their shaking hands, the metal band got stuck on her knuckle. He tried a little harder to force it over, but it didn't budge.
"Dammit!" He snarled, wanting to chuck the ring as far as he could but settled for the box. It was too dark to tell, but considering his strength and his frustration, Puck was pretty sure the empty box landed at least six houses over, maybe more. His head turned back to face Rachel, who was failing miserably at muffling her laughter, and his complaint about her showing him little sympathy was halted by her lips. Each of her hands rested on his cheeks, and her tongue managed to work the same magic it had earlier by the tree. By the time she released him, he'd almost forgotten why he'd been mad in the first place.
"You like to tease me about my upper-class upbringing, but this princess does not need a ring to seal the deal." She let her hands settle onto his shoulders, looking up at him with that fake innocent smile again. "I'm sure you can think of a better way to show everyone I'm yours."
He smirked, knowing exactly what she meant (Rachel Berry never really perfected subtlety), but wouldn't dare allow himself to be considered predictable. The perfect moment was already flushed down the drain; now it was time to put some Puckerman flair on this shit. He appreciated her calming him down and being totally cool and all his screw-ups, but Noah Puckerman still had a few tricks up his sleeve and it was time she remembered that.
He moved away from her, grasping her hand as it fell from his body and pulling her back toward the tree. It might have been where they'd just engaged in a quickie, but it also happened to be the place where two years ago he'd told her that he loved her. Puck dropped to one knee, rifling inside his pocket for the panties she had given him earlier. Her eyes danced when she focused on the black lace underwear, an uncensored giggle filtering out of her before she refocused her attention back on him. The look in her eyes gave him strength, and he winked before clearing his throat and asking her the question properly.
"Berry, ya wanna be my girl forever?"
She nodded before answering, "Nothing would make me happier."
Gingerly, she stepped into the one hole and then the other, shivering from his warm touch as he lifted them up her legs while coming back to a standing position. He ended the "tender" moment by squeezing her ass, keeping her close with his somewhat inappropriate hold on her. Pretty soon they'd have to go back inside and everyone would be asking a million questions, and he suddenly knew what she had meant earlier about not liking to share. This was better.
"If this is my engagement 'ring' …" Rachel actually used air quotes and he chuckled. "… then I suppose you'll need a cock ring to match."
"Did you just say cock?" He teased.
Rachel grinned, taking his hand and leading him back toward the house before adding over her shoulder, "I have some tricks up my sleeve, too, Puckerman."
And even though a shiver ran through his spine, he couldn't have been any happier that he had his whole life to figure them all out.