Author's Note: This thought was rattling in my head (probably as a result of its timeliness) and it finally came out. It's changed a lot from what I originally pictured for the story, but I hope you like it anyway. It's basically completely A/U but you don't need any specific details than what are given to (hopefully) enjoy it.
Rachel is smart.
It's a statement that should come as no surprise. She got mostly all A's in high school despite being stretched as thin as a supermodel - chick was in as many advanced placement classes as there was allowed, had more extra-curricular activities than any other student, and still somehow found time to go to dance and voice lessons twice a week, each. Now, in college, she has an even more demanding school schedule, a part-time job outside of the full-time work that goes along with auditioning for actual shows, and (for once) an active social life.
Another statement that is so obvious that it doesn't need said is: Rachel likes to talk. The two sort of go together; she's wicked smart and, therefore, has an opinion about a lot of different things. And she likes to share those opinions. She can talk about anything from the latest pop culture gossip to the conflict in the Middle East, and she also knows a lot of trivia - some really weird, but all of it interesting. Like, legit, who knew beluga whales could mimic human speech? That's straight-up robot shit.
Regardless, the statement that just came out of her mouth was not obvious and it made entirely no sense to Puck.
"I said this is stupid and we should watch something else," Rachel repeats, turning onto her back. Her head's resting in his lap and his fingers are sort of tangled in her hair in that weird way that always happens without him really knowing he was doing it. "Anything else."
Puck knows he must look confused. She's giving him that pouty face she does whenever she thinks she won't get her way (which is basically never, but he likes that she still pretends for him). "There's nuthin' else on." His brows furrow. "I thought you'd like this. S'not sports and whatever."
"I'd much prefer one of your barbaric displays of superiority to this garbage," she states in such disgust that Puck can't help the way he turns his attention back to the television. Maybe he sat on controller when he was trying to discreetly adjust himself and changed the channel. "I'm not even voting."
Puck just blinks as he goes back and forth between the TV screen and her retreating form. There's eventually a commercial, giving him the chance to get up and follow her to the kitchen. She's already explaining herself while making them both a snack. For once he actually focuses on her words and not the crazy way she spends so much time fixing a plate of food that is just for the two of them.
"... when I was on the debate team. Besides, they aren't even debating. They never answer the questions that are asked of them, just go on and on about whatever they agree with and about how that's better than what the other person is going to say. It's called the United States of America. What is united about two grown men forcing people to pick a side?"
Puck just chuckles, which doesn't really stop her diatribe.
"I understand that we cannot please everyone, and there are important issues that require advocacy from those willing to put up the fight, but this is not the way it is supposed to be done," she whines. "There's no one fighting for what is right. The candidates are just fighting for their sides, playing yes man to the questions asked by those who are already following them."
"Babe," Puck soothes, jokingly removing the knife she'd been using to cut some fruit from her hand before leaning back against the opposite counter and forcing her small frame into his. "It's just politics."
"No, it's the politics of politics," she pouts, circling her arms around his waist and resting her head against his chest. "It's bullshit."
Puck laughs more, unable to hold it in. Rachel rarely swears, usually only when she loses her composure (read: good times), which makes it surprising but also really funny. "Ya got some pretty strong opinions for someone who is only able to vote for the first time this year." She huffs against his chest, which makes him chuckle again. "Why don'tcha vote for one of the independents. Ain't they bipartisan or whatever?"
"True bipartisanism doesn't exist. It's just a word used to make people feel better. Like love."
"S'cuse me?" Puck chokes, grasping Rachel's upper arms and forcing her back so he could see her face. Rachel the Green Party voter he can understand. Rachel the anti-Cupid? Not so much.
Rachel shies away from his stare, but answers quietly, "They're both words that are overused, rarely understood and never said when you want to hear them most."
Puck inhales sharply, his grip on Rachel's arms loosening to the point that his arms just fall to his sides before he sort of shuffles his feet and creates enough space for himself that he doesn't feel like he's suffocating. See? Rachel is smart. And she likes to talk. And that's exactly how a random conversation that stemmed from not wanting to watch the presidential debate turns into the talk.
He and Rachel have been hanging out for about six months. It was something that just sort of happened after graduation and hasn't stopped since. He moved to New York when she left Lima for school, and she managed to make him agree to some exclusivity clause, but the whole thing has somehow remained completely casual. They have fun together - and not just in the bedroom. She's cool. She always was, but New York upped the ante, too. Now she's cool and funny and hot as hell and pretty much everything any guy (including him) could want.
"I didn't mean it like that."
He hears the lie in her voice even before the words register. Casual or not, he's known the girl in front of him since they were seven and he can tell when she's lying. The only difference between back then and now is he cares more. He cares a lot more, which is kinda scary. But, like, in a good way. Like he might not actually be the tumbleweed piece of shit he thought he was going to end up to be, and it might have everything to do with her and their relationship.
"Yeah ya did," he says, trailing one hand down her bare forearm before twining his fingers with hers and pulling her back against him. His other hand moves up to her face, brushing some hair behind her ear so his thumb can dance freely over her blushing cheek bone. She finally looks at him again and he sees something in those big brown eyes of hers that he's seen before but never realized exactly what it was. It isn't his intention to kiss it away, but he leans in regardless and captures her lips for a passionate embrace.
Later, Rachel is redressing and presumably satisfied with Puck's attempt to show her how he feels instead of tell her. And right after they resume their previous positions on the couch (the debate long over and a rerun of some sitcom playing now instead), Puck tugs on a strand of her hair to make her look up at him. She's smiling softly and has that awesome post-sex glow, and she just hums in question.
"I bipartisan you."
Her entire face lights up and then she breaks out into a fit of giggles, wrestling her way into his lap and talking all kinds of fast while undoing his clothing even faster. He never finds out who won the presidential debate, but at least he knows he has Rachel's vote.