A/N: This quick little glimpse into the future is what happens when I'm stuck in a truck for ten hours and it only takes 5 of them to reread the book I read last week. My husband didn't appreciate listening to it for 4 hours but the title and inspiration come from 66 by the Afghan Whigs (who are right up there with the Gin Blossoms in the bands I adore category). This isn't what I was going for with this it kinda ran away with itself but read and enjoy and whatev. It's a little dirty and a little depressing but so is the song so it's win/win. Give me some cool feedback or something to read when I get back to civilization and consistent internet service.
When they were in high school, when they were still together, she used to listen to him talk about football. She never really understood the game, it just seemed barbaric to her and she was too constantly afraid he was going to get hurt to want to understand it. But she caught on to bits and pieces here and there. Like when he explained to her why a left tackle was so important. When you're cocked sideways you can only see in one direction and you need someone to protect your blind side or you're going to be on the ground before you know what's hit you. And once everything was said and done, weeks after she got off the train he chased after, it was that was ramble about football that kept playing through her mind. They way he made her stand up and mock a quarterback's position and hold it as he disappeared from her line of vision. And the way he came up her blind side to tackle her onto the couch in a fit of laughter.
It's the week before Christmas and she's sitting at the Hummel's kitchen table with Kurt and Blaine staring at the couch letting that memory haunt her again. She's not sure why of all the memories she could be having of him, of all the memories with him in that house, that's the one that's flooding forward but it is. And it's beyond distracting. She doesn't want to be thinking of him, she wants to be enthusiastic as Blaine talks about glee club and their performance at sectionals. She wants to start planning for him and Kurt to come to New York. She wants to be doing anything but reliving some ridiculous memory of Finn talking about football but she just can't make it go away.
"So we'll leave at noon next Wednesday?" Kurt's head is tilted in her direction. He can tell she's somewhere else and he's trying to snap her back to the present. He's been really good at trying to keep her from thinking about Finn and Blaine's been trying to help as well. Blaine wants to check out what kind of competition glee will going up against for regionals, so they've been planning an overnight trip to Louisville.
"Right." She snaps her eyes away from the couch and nods at her friends. "Noon next Wednesday." Her voice is a little too cheery and she hopes they can't tell where her mind has just been. It's not that she wants to be thinking of Finn, she just can't make herself not think of him. Everything would have been so much easier if she could just hate him. But she can't. She's never been able to hate him. But she is going to resolve herself not to think about him. At least not right now.
Kurt's launched into a speech of how fabulous the hotel he's booked is and how much fun the three of them will be having. He has the whole day and evening planned and he just can't wait. And even though she's been distracted from the moment she walked into that house, honestly she can't wait either. It's a night away with two of her best friends and it's in a city where she has no memories with Finn, so maybe finally for just a night she'll be able to not think about him.
"It's going to be so gre-" Her words are cut off at the sound of the front door opening and before there's anymore words to disappear into it, it's like all the air is sucked from the room and her lungs don't know how to breath and she stiffens at the sound of a voice that's deeper, and more harsh than she remembers.
It takes everything in her to not to get up and run at the sound of his voice. She closes her eyes and braces herself as she hears his footsteps getting closer.
Her eyes are still closed but she hears his bag drop and she can feel his eyes linger on her. By the time she manages to look, Kurt and Blaine are already up and hugging up as they call for Carole and Burt to come in from grilling. Her heart is racing and she feels like she might throw up. There are no words she could ever find to describe to mix of emotions she feels right then as she lets herself look him over while he's distracted. He's still Finn, but different. He's thinner, his face seems a bit sunken and his arms more defined. He's probably dropped at least two pants sizes and his shoulders they were always broad but they seem stiff, rigid. Like he's a tower that holds steady over everyone now. And his hair is gone. She's not sure she's recognize him if she saw him on the street until she manages to look up at his eyes. His eyes, they're still that soft brown and as he breaks away from hugging Burt she catches a glimpse of that lopsided grin that tell her he's still Finn. Her Finn.
She swallows hard as she remembers that he's not 'her Finn' anymore. Carole replaces Burt in the hugging cycle and it gives her the perfect moment to get away before it's supposed to be her turn which she's sure will lead to some kind of awkward moment. "I have to go to the bathroom." She's not sure she says it loud enough for anyone to hear and she darts down the hallway before she has a chance to check. The bathroom door click loudly behind her and she leans against it. She hadn't realized she'd been holding her breath until the door had closed and now she's gasping trying to catch it.
Trying to catch her breath and get a hold of her emotions at the same time is proving to be a trying feat so she chooses to focus on catching her breath first even if a few tears begin to snake out as she does so. It's not the first time she's cried over him. She spent her first two months in New York crying over him. She spent her first two months in New York crying and holding onto hope that he would realize the mistake he'd made. Crying and begging that he would just show up and they'd live in some crammed little apartment as starving artists living on love and dreams. It wasn't until Kurt told her Finn shipped out to basic that she stopped crying. Until now. Now he's here and she's crying and all she wants to do is disappear out the door before anyone realizes that.
She's not sure how long she spends in the bathroom, but it was a minute too long or maybe a minute too short. When she opens the door and walks out she's face first in a chest, a chest that's different but all too familiar. She looks up and their eyes meet, her mouth falls open but there aren't any words coming out. And she watches as his does the same. It's only seconds but it might as well have been hours as they lock eyes in the hallway. She takes a side step to get away from his gaze and before she realizes it she's pinned against the wall. He's faster than she remembers and his body heavier as he presses her against the wall and pushes his lips down against hers. For the briefest second her mind tells her to fight and get away, but her heart gives in and everything else follows it. He's controlling everything about the kiss, she couldn't move even if she wanted to fight, he's too strong and heavy and she just wishes he'd pick her up and whisk her away upstairs.
But as soon as she wishes that he's pulling away as breathless as she is. His weight is off her and she steps forward to reach for him only to have him side step her. His eyes are closed and he's shaking his head at her.
"I shouldn't have done that."
His mumbled words shatter her heart and he doesn't open his eyes as she watches him turn and up the stairs.
She goes home that night and silently cries herself to sleep. And she doesn't go back to the Hummel's house to say Merry Christmas. She doesn't go back to that house for the rest of the week. It just hurts too much.
The morning they're supposed to leave for Louisville Kurt calls her to make sure she's going to be ready on time. The conversation is short, and the way he's talking gives her the impression he's hiding something from her.
Once she steps outside of her house to meet them at the car it takes her exactly ten seconds to figure out why he was so short with her. Finn is sitting behind the wheel of the car. He's obviously going with them and Kurt didn't tell her because he knew she would back out if she knew that.
"I'm just here for the drive. I'm not interfering. Got a buddy from basic that lives in Louisville." He makes the statement as soon as she's settled into the car. It's short and direct. Just enough to get the point across that he's not there for her. And she knows him well enough to know that he's probably been planning that short statement for days. It's enough to tell her why he's there but not enough so they have to talk about anything. Not that they would be doing any real talking about anything with Kurt and Blaine in the car but she gets it. He doesn't want to talk about anything. He just wants her to know why he's there.
She's almost made herself believe that's the only reason he came along when he starts drumming against the steering wheel. He's always done that when he's nervous. Or when he's got something to say. Or both. It's his tick. She's seen him doing a thousand times before. He did it the whole way to the train station the day he put her on the train to New York. She squeezes her eyes shut tightly and fights back tears. She silently wishes that a silence would fall over the car. But it doesn't. No one talks; no one even says a word. Instead she listens to his hands drumming with the beat coming from the radio the entire time and it feels like the longest four hours of her life.
She's sitting in some dive bar that doesn't card, a block from their hotel when she gets her first real insight into Finn's life since they parted ways. It doesn't come from Finn, or Kurt, or even Blaine. It comes from some man named Sieller, and she assumes that must be his last name since he keeps referring to Finn as Hudson. He's talking about running miles and miles with heavy packs strapped to their backs before they had to go into some room filled with tear gas and laughing about it. Finn's laughing too but she just doesn't get it. She doesn't get it and she doesn't want to hear about it so she's going to go get a drink. She has limited experience with alcohol and can vaguely remember Finn referring to her as a needy drunk. She's not even sure what to order, she's never ordered a drink at an actual bar before so she's just standing there trying her best to look like she's not completely lost.
"You do shots?" Sieller says as he approaches the bar and raises his eyebrows at her grins in her direction.
There's a moment of hesitation as she looks back at their table. Finn is talking and laughing with Kurt and Blaine. Whatever story is telling he's using his hands to animate it. Her heart sinks in her chest for a moment. It's painfully obvious to her he's holding things back when she's around. He's guarding himself from her and knowing that feels like someone is driving a knife into her chest.
"Yeah I do shots." She says as she gives Sieller her best fake smile. She's never really done shots before but there's a first time for everything. And to hell with Finn and all of his past needy drunk talk. He obviously doesn't care, so she's not going to care. "I do shots." She repeats as she's handed a small glass of gold liquid that burns as she chokes it back. She tries to hide the cough that's trying to choke it back up.
"First one's always rough. Want another?"
She knows she should but she doesn't stop herself from nodding yes. The second one goes down easier than the first. And Sieller is winking at her as she throws back her third. She goes to put the glass against the bar but a force stops her arm from moving in a downward motion and spins her around. Maybe it's the alcohol that's still warm in her chest, maybe it's the dizzying motion of spinning around, maybe it's a mixture of both but before she realizes what's actually going on there's a breath against her face and her lips are against lips. Not just lips but Finn's lips, she'd know them anywhere.
He can try and change everything about himself, he can try and fake like he doesn't care, he can try to lock her out, but he can't make her not know what his lips feel like. And even if it's just been days since the last time she's felt them, even if it's the same brutal passionate kiss kind of kiss they had in the hallway, it still feels like it's been years since she's felt his lips on hers. And she's hungry for more. Her hands are free this time and she reaches up, looking for hair to grab but finding her touch met with the soft stubble that now resides on the back of his head. It's a small reminder of how things have changed. A small reminder that this isn't a fairy tale and he's not hers anymore and she should pull away and control herself. But it's all a small reminder she doesn't want to think about right now. She pressed her hands against the back of his head and holds his mouth against hers as the kiss deepens. His fingers are drumming against her back until they finally tangle into her hair and she sighs into his mouth. It's the kind of public display she'd have never consented to before but none of that matters. She doesn't want to break away; she doesn't want this kiss to stop. She wants to freeze this moment in time. And for once she doesn't want to control herself.
She doesn't know how they got from the bar room to his hotel room but she doesn't care. She's never wanted anyone more. She's never wanted anything, not New York, not Broadway, not even him more than she wants him right now. If she had the willpower to stop and think that would probably scare the hell out of her but she's not going to do that. For once she's going to stop thinking and over thinking and just let herself feel.
Her fingertips more along his back. He feels different, less give and more muscles beneath her fingers, but it's all still the same. The way his muscles flex beneath her touch, tensing and relaxing. The way he sighs when her lips find the spot just beneath his ear, it's the same noise she's always loved. He's the same boy she's always loved no matter how hard he tries not to be. And in this moment there's nothing that could make her think otherwise. The touches gentle but filled with lust and passion and every other emotion her mind is too muddled to remember the words for. His lips blaze a wet trail for her navel to her neck and she bites her lip to stifle a moan before his tongue forces her mouth open. It's a tangle of limps and skin. A mess of mouths and tongue, wet kisses and goose bumps. She doesn't care that he doesn't have the hair to grab onto. Her fingers sink against the back of his head and trail down digging against his back as he moves over her and she shifts below him moving the way they used him. Their bodies aligning to meet like no time has passed. Cold air hits her lips as he breaks away and she doesn't let it stop her. Her mouth finds his collarbone and then his jaw as she arches up desperately seeking his mouth again.
Her eyes flutter open as he says her name. It's the first time she's heard him say her name since she's seen him. Her heartbeat quickens and her body shivers. She doesn't want him to stop. She doesn't want to let him second guess this because she doesn't care. All that matters is the here and the now and the him. She's not thinking about tomorrow because for once in her life tomorrow doesn't matter. She guides her fingers up his back and forces his mouth back down against hers as she racks her hips into his and lets out a moan. Here and now. That's all that matters to her. And if he knew what he was doing to her, what he had been doing to her since the moment he walked into the auditorium years ago, it's all that would matter to him.
"I still love you." He whispers before he pushes inside her. And nothing exists anymore. Time stops, there's no world. There is no long future in front, no dreams. Nothing exists but them and the here and now.
He pulls her against him afterwards and she curls up against his chest. She doesn't tell him she still loves him too because he knows. His fingers are drumming against her back in a peaceful rhythmic motion and she knows he knows.
Kurt and Blaine don't ask questions when she shows up to the room the three of them were suppose to share just before check out. But the seating arrangement changes on their drive back from Louisville. Finn's still driving but instead of sitting in the backseat with Kurt, this time she's riding in the passenger seat next to him. They're all silent again. And it's not long before she hears it, his fingers drumming against the steering wheel. This time she was expecting it. She was waiting for it. And this time it's almost a welcomed sound. It's a sound she never wants to stop hearing, even if she knows eventually he'll be dropping her off and it won't be there for her to hear anymore.
The drive home from Louisville seems like the shortest four hours of her life.
The cold is biting into her skin as they stand outside waiting. Waiting and still not talking. It's like this awful game of chess and neither one of them is sure whose move it is. She watches from the corner of her eye as he tightens the duffle bag on his shoulder. She can hear the rumble of the bus in the distance and the slight flex in his neck tells her he can hear it too. He's drumming softly against his leg and the sound of it, it's breaking her heart. But she's so sick of crying she refuses to let to tears come forward. They're not going to change anything. Tears won't turn back time, tears won't make the bus coming towards them disappear, even if there's a small part of her that wishes it would crash before it got to his stop. Tears won't change anything, so she refuses to cry.
The drumming stops and she feels his fingers slips into hers, gripping them tightly and stopping her hands from moving as he places the softest of kisses against her lips. Before she even has time to realize his lips are there, they're gone and her hands are empty as she watches the bus doors close. And all she can do is watch as he ducks into his seat, their eyes met through the window for a brief moment before his eyes close and break the contact. She sucks in a hard breath and a tear falls. And even if it's not going to change anything she lets herself cry. Their path isn't written in stone, there are still miles of future between them. But for now those miles are miles apart. She turns her body sideways, mimicking the quarterback stance he'd shown her long ago, putting him in her blind side. And she knows he's always going to be there. She's always going to be waiting for him to blind side her again.