It was supposed to be set after the last episode, but it could be anywhere this season, really.

It doesn't matter how she got to his house; relationships are relationships and no matter what labels people stick on them this one will always be different. He doesn't question it when she asks for a ride. She walks to school every day from the bus stop, because as a Skank she'd always secretly found smoking by herself as she strolls across the sidewalk to be edgy and dangerous and okay, maybe romantic, but only a little bit. It's the image, really, of the cigarette stub burning beneath a black leather boot that brings to mind images of Paris and darkness and dripping red blood and Do you want me to just take the bus? she asks, looking at him with those wide eyes that so many people had called crazy and deranged and insane. He just sighs, shoves his hands in his pockets, and tells her to get in the car.

He pumps up the bass and she remains silent, both of them too hyped up on adrenaline and shaking (and no, it's not just the adrenaline, but neither of them will admit to that). The beats pound through her chest and she shuts her eyes, not sure of whom she'll be when she opens them. This could be anyone, could be the girl that needed her daddy or the girl who used his image as a reason to move forward when she was afraid, as a reason to shed her old self and embrace someone deadly and sharp around the edges and all the more broken for it. She feels the need to say something suddenly, feels the air in the car slowly drain until she feels like she'll drown if she doesn't release some bit of steam, some bit of the pressure that's building in her chest.

She wants to tell him she hates him and she wants to tell him she loves him. Instead, she just reaches out and turns down the volume until she can hear herself think. "You were great today," she half-yells, and he just nods.

"We were all great. Those Troubletones didn't have a fat chance in hell at winning." She wants to wince at his language (and maybe the old her would have), but after being exposed to so much so fast she feels desensitized in a way. Like she's been walking through water all the time.

They don't talk. Filling silences is for people who want to impress each other, who care about impressing each other. These aren't those people. This is Puck and this is Quinn. This is a boy who's lost but he knows where he wants to go. This is a girl who's been broken so many times she isn't even sure she wants to be put back together again. This is a couple, a partnership, a mutual hatred, a love. This could be everything and it could be nothing. Listen to the silence, for it speaks louder than their words ever could. They're tricky like this. They're tricky.

When they pull up to his house she just breathes, the familiar scent of his mother's little garden by the front porch enough to bring her back to simpler, more complicated times. They walk in without preamble; he doesn't get the door for her, doesn't ask if she'd like anything to drink. He's not the Ken to her Barbie. He's not the prince she's always dreamed of, and thank God. She needs someone like him in her life, someone who's not afraid to tell her she's beautiful or kiss her when she's in the middle of saying something. He might be out of her comfort zone and her social circle and below her old, misguided set list of standards, but all she can think about when she curls up next to him on the couch is how they both love CSI and how that has to mean something, right? She's comfortable here, she's warm and happy and safe (he's safe, he's always been safe) and she's happier than she's been in a long time.

Review? This bit is part 1/2, so if people show any interest I'll post the next part, too. If not. Well. Yeah.

This (and all other parts) are also posted on my tumblr (abrokenkinfodperfect). I take prompts as well, some of which end up over here. Feel free to befriend me! I love people! :D