Author's Note: So this story idea has been in my head since this song came out. It's not amazing, and it is not fluffy (even though it is not super sad, either). But every time I heard the song on the radio (which if you listen to the radio you know is ALL the time), I would remember that I wanted to write a oneshot based on it and would be mad that I hadn't sat down and done so. Finally, I can be released from this burden. :)

Disclaimer: I don't own the song or Glee. So don't bother.


Puck woke in a cold sweat, his eyes snapping open and his breath lodged somewhere between his lungs and his mouth. The darkness of his bedroom immediately calmed him, but pissed him off at the same time. He'd been having the same dream for the past month and it was really starting to annoy him, mostly because one would think his subconscious would have learned it was a dream by now. Instead, in that restful state, Puck felt more at peace and happier than he'd been in … well, a month. And only upon that realization would reality hit him, jarring him awake.

What sucked worse was he couldn't go back to sleep afterward. Flashes of the dream would just play over again behind his eyelids, and tossing and turning lost its luster after the first week or so. He didn't have a TV in the room, and his mom used to tell him it was better to lie in bed resting than nothing at all. But he was legit exhausted, and he couldn't ask for advice on how to make it better because he couldn't tell anyone why he wasn't sleeping. Instead he had had to blame his sleep deprivation on made-up wild nights or crazy ass neighbors and take to drinking an extra cup of coffee (or two) just to make it through the workday.

To get through the night, though, Puck relied on the one thing that probably made everything worse. Plucking his ear buds off the top of his bedside table, Puck shoved them into his cellphone and pressed all the necessary buttons to start the music application. He set the small device back on the table and then slid open the small drawer on the table. Tucked way in the back was a crinkled, old photograph; if she'd known it was there, she probably would have bugged him constantly to put it in a frame so it wouldn't get ruined.

He leaned back against the headboard, his eyes focused on the picture even though it was almost impossible to see given the sun wouldn't be up for another three hours. He'd stared at the image every night for the past month, though, so he could pretty much recall every detail about it. What she was wearing, where it was taken, why they both looked so happy. It was as clear in his mind as the dreams that were now the only time he got to see her beautiful, smiling face. As clear as her voice that sung in his ear through his phone instead of from the pillow next to his.

Dreams, that's where I have to go

To see your beautiful face anymore

I stare at a picture of you and listen to the radio

Hope, hope there's a conversation

We both admit we had it good

But until then it's alienation, I know

That much is understood

And I realize

If you ask me how I'm doing

I would say I'm doing just fine

I would lie and say that you're not on my mind

But I go out, and I sit down at a table set for two

And finally I'm forced to face the truth

No matter what I say, I'm not over you

Not over you

Out of the comfort of his own bedroom, away from the cloak of darkness, Puck tried to pretend he'd moved on. He conjured up every bad memory of their long history and spouted out shit about how selfish and annoying she could be. The only thing his coworkers knew about her was that she was hot, so they thought his stories about her being bat-shit crazy were hilarious. And, sure, maybe it was a little immature, but she deserved it. She'd put him through hell every day, all for nothing; she'd made him jump through hoops and now he had nothing to show for it.

Everyone else just saw this goody two shoes, daddys' little princess. Sweet, innocent Broadway star from a small town in Ohio. She'd perfected the fake smile and on-point interview answers years ago, so she was great at hiding her feelings for the cameras. But he knew better. Or, he thought he did. He knew better than to underestimate her, and he'd known her long enough that he'd actually considered her to be easy for him to read.

If that were true, he wouldn't have been so shocked a month ago when she up and left.

And he tried not to care. He played off the whole thing very casually and went out that same night with his friends from work. He was determined to shed Noah and bring back Puck, bring back the guy who knew how to have a good time. He danced with hot chicks, hit on the shooter girls at the club. He'd been crude and an asshole and didn't care how late he was out or about what he had to do the next day.

But it wasn't the same; the only thing that happened that night was he'd gotten entirely shit-faced and ended up for the first time having the dream that was currently keeping him awake. A dream that reminded him just how much had changed, how much he had changed. He couldn't shed Noah entirely because, like it or not, that persona was part of who he was. A big part, no matter how much he didn't want to agree with her.

Damn, damn girl, you do it well

And I thought you were innocent

Took this heart and put it through hell

But still you're magnificent

I, I'm a boomerang, doesn't matter how you throw me

I turn around and I'm back in the game

Even better than the old me

But I'm not even close without you

If you ask me how I'm doing

I would say I'm doing just fine

I would lie and say that you're not on my mind

But I go out, and I sit down at a table set for two

And finally I'm forced to face the truth

No matter what I say, I'm not over you

Not over you

Unable to sit around any longer with just his thoughts (and her fabricated voice) keeping him company, Puck got up and dressed in a shitty pair of sweats and a T-shirt she'd never worn – not easy to find, by the way. He splashed some water on his face and left his apartment to head to the gym around the corner. It was a crappy place that only had a few machines, but it was always open and never crowded. Puck was able to lift weights for thirty minutes before anyone else even showed up, then he ran around the deserted track for another forty minutes before calling it quits.

He jogged back to his apartment – ignoring the fact that he still took the six flights of stairs despite a perfectly working elevator - and spent another hour showering, shaving and generally getting ready for his workday. He'd been awake for more than three hours, and yet the sun was just starting to shine through the blinds of his apartment. He still technically had two hours left until he had to be at work, so Puck decided to head to another nearby spot. This one, unlike the gym, was packed. He was starving, though, and the waffles were worth the wait.

"How many?"

Puck cleared his throat before lowly answering, "Just me."

He scoffed at the confused expression the elderly woman shot him at his response; he wasn't sure if she was offended he was eating breakfast alone or if she'd seen him in here before (not alone). Either way, she sighed heavily and tried to figure out the best spot to put him. The counter area – great for singles - was completely full, a row of construction workers enjoying stacks upon stacks of pancakes while clambering on about the traffic they were about to ruin once they started repairing some mainline a couple blocks over. The three other open tables were for groups of four and the lady clearly didn't want to waste such prime space on just a single order.

So she led him to the one table that he must have sat at a million different times, but never alone.

Puck slid into the open seat facing the door, immediately flipping over the coffee mug so it could be filled. He spouted off his usual order the second the waiter came to the table, his eyes never leaving the empty spot in front of him. This was the time he usually spent psyching himself up for the day, convincing himself the night before didn't matter and he was fine; he could shake this.

But it was all a lie.

She left a month ago, and no matter how acidic his train of thought could get, he knew exactly why. She wasn't exactly quiet, so she'd explained herself pretty damn clearly beforehand – probably more than once. He was just too busy trying to make it in the city, trying to make a name for himself. He'd been doing it since he'd moved to New York during her sophomore year; she'd taken over Broadway almost immediately after graduating from NYADA, just like he'd always said she would. And he wanted to support her – he'd always encouraged her - but it also didn't seem fair. He'd worked his ass off for three years prior and he still was just barely making it. Then she landed some amazing part, and all that effort seemed worthless when all he was going to do from then on out was be a purse holder at award parties and shit.

But he hadn't wanted to break up. All he wanted was a life separate from the one they shared in the limelight. Not at the cost of the one they'd shared out of it, though. He'd gladly exchange the sleepless, miserable nights he'd experienced this past month for any kind of life with her. He didn't care if they fought constantly or if he had to stand around smiling like an idiot at all her promotional events. If she would just make the first move, he would spend the rest of his life making up for how much of a dick he'd been those few weeks before she'd left him.

He still had the ring intended for her left hand, and he'd convince her that he was worth it. They were worth it. After everything that happened in high school and then later in college and beyond, she had to know they were connected - Finn said tethered, but there'd been a time when he'd thought he and Rachel were tethered so Puck didn't like that word. If she'd just give him an opening, no amount of pride would stand in his way of getting her back.

He wasn't over her, and he was never going to be.

And if I had the chance to renew

You know there isn't a thing I wouldn't do

I could get back on the right track

But only if you'd be convinced

So until then …

If you ask me how I'm doing

I would say I'm doing just fine

I would lie and say that you're not on my mind

But I go out, and I sit down at a table set for two

And finally I'm forced to face the truth

No matter what I say, I'm not over you

Not over you

Not over you

Not over you