A/N: I really don't know where this came from. I had an image in my head of a particular naked cuddly pose, but this conversation... it snuck up on me. At least I was finally able to write one of these therapeutic one-shots that probably won't depress everyone more.
I couldn't think of particular place in existing canon that would fit this (emotionally mature yet angst-free), but it is true to canon (at least up through season 4). It will quickly become A/U in season 5, so I guess you could call it futurish. A word on the rating: the fic itself is probably a high T (nothing too explicitly graphic). It's the context that's M. Just to be clear.
For Cory and Lea.
Disclaimer: Don't own Glee, and all mistakes are mine.
It's like falling asleep, or like waking up, maybe. It's that relaxing, fuzzy head feeling that means he's found a comfortable spot and won't be moving for a while if he can help it. But this time it's not the magic of his bed on a Saturday or getting the couch cushions just right. This time it's her.
They're in bed, still sweaty and just this side of panting. Rachel slumps her head back onto the pillows, closing her eyes and smiling in a way he's learned means he did good. He grins and eases himself down against her, letting his hips rest just below hers and propping his elbows on either side of her waist so he can see her. She smiles wider and opens her eyes dreamily, stroking his sweaty back. It took a long time for him to believe her when she said that she loves feeling his weight in these private moments, that he isn't too heavy. She's stronger than she looks – he's always known that – but it still surprises him sometimes.
Her skin is glowing in the dim light from the bedside lamp, shining with sweat and something else he swears he'd see even in the dark. He sees her like this and wonders how she could ever be insecure about her body. She's all toned muscle and graceful curves, covered in sun-kissed silk. He realizes his fingers have been following his eyes, tracing her arms and her collarbone, gently pressing lower to feel the grooves of her ribs. He has to feel it all. He wants to know it all.
He feels the light scratching of her nails behind his neck, and he's suddenly aware that she's been touching him too. Well, caressing is more like it. Maybe that's where his head-tingle is coming from. Her hands glide, palms flat, across his shoulders and down his arms. She circles each wrist, pushing his palms up against hers. She strokes the sides of his fingers, and his head goes fuzzier. He watches their hands, noticing (not for the first time) how funny they look next to each other – hers dwarfed by his, her nails painted and his bitten to the quick. He sees her smirk, her eyes sparkling like she knows what he's thinking about.
He drops his head suddenly to plant a loud kiss on her stomach, and she giggles. He feels his whole body shaking with the force of it. They're pressed together so tightly, her legs bent against his waist and their torsos flush, that he thinks it feels like their sweaty skin is sticking together as it cools. He laughs out loud as he follows that train of thought, shaking his head.
Rachel tugs on his hand to get his attention. (As if she didn't already have it. As if she doesn't always have it.) "What's so funny?" she asks, and her voice is quiet. Intimate, he thinks she would call it.
"I was just wondering what would happen if we actually got stuck together like this." He looks down at their torsos, and he can barely tell where one ends and the other begins. "Like, what if they had to rip us apart like velcro."
She laughs, too, but he knows it's not at him. He loves that he can tell her anything, and she'll never think he's stupid. "That sounds like it would hurt," she agrees. "I think I'd just rather stay stuck to you."
He lifts one of his elbows, where his forearm had been practically melting into her waist, and it makes a squelching noise as it comes free. He grins as she laughs, then puts his elbow back down. "Yeah. It would make shopping for clothes kind of awkward, though. But I guess there must be a clothing store for like Siamese twins and stuff. We could just go there."
"Hmm," she says, like she's really considering this. God, he loves her. "I bet Siamese twins are all joined differently, plus they're each identical." Her head rolls sideways on the pillow to gaze dreamily at their mismatched hands again. "We'd probably have to get ours custom made."
"That'd be cool. Then we could pick whatever we wanted. Like, you could get a Barbra-themed outfit, or a Grumpy Cat one."
"Only if you get a plaid-themed outfit."
"Hey, at least we'll always match."
She bites her lip adorably. "We'd have everything his-and-hers, since we'd be together all the time. You'd better not get sick of me."
"Never," he says seriously. And then, "But you'd have to compromise with me on the wake-up time. No one but you gets up at six in the morning for fun."
She pouts playfully, but this is a conversation they've had many times before, so he knows some part of it is real. "I like to be productive. I get so much more done early in the morning before anyone else is awake."
He watches the muscles of her throat work as she swallows. It's weird to think all of that supports her unbelievable voice. Finally, he nods. "Isn't there anything productive you could do without waking up your Siamese twin?"
She gives him an appraising smirk. "I suppose I could do my reading early in the morning instead of at night, catch up on emails maybe."
He grins. "And I could play Call of Duty with headphones when I'm up late and you're getting your grandma sleep."
She slaps his arm, though it can't have much force behind it since there's all of three inches between them. And, yeah, they've had this conversation before too.
She picks up his hand again. "You know," she says, swallowing a little heavier with her chin ducked, "This is all starting to sound a lot like us living together."
He smiles. "How about that."
She just grins back.
"It's just as well," he says. "Think what would happen to your Broadway career if we ended up Siamese twins."
She lets out a peal of laughter at that. "Well, they'd just have to cast you as my male lead every time. But there's another problem."
Her eyes twinkle mischievously, so he knows he's walking into something, but he'll bite anyway. "And what's that?"
"Think how much it would challenge your dancing skills," she replies, grinning toothily.
"Below the belt, Rach," he tells her, smiling as he reaches down to tickle her thigh in retaliation.
"No!" she shrieks into his ear, laughing and wrapping her arms and legs tighter around him, like she's going to immobilize him rather than pull away. She's feisty, but he played football for years – she doesn't stand a chance. He lets up after a minute though, wrapping his arms between her and the mattress so they're in some sort of weird full body hug. It doesn't feel weird though. It feels perfect.
He drops his forehead down against her collarbone, feeling her chest heave as she catches her breath. "You're awful," she says, and he wonders if she even spoke or if he just felt her lips moving against his ear.
"You love me," he replies shortly into her neck.
She doesn't answer, but presses a kiss against his ear and lifts an arm to weave her fingers through his hair lazily. Little pin pricks of heat and sparks shoot off in his head, combined with the sweet smell of her sweaty skin, and he's feeling tingly all over again, though this time it's definitely in a sleepy kind of way.
He's drifting, only partially aware of anything, when he notices that her fingers have stopped, tunneled partway through his hair, and she's giving off that high, quiet whine with every exhale like she always does when she sleeps – a souvenir of the deviated septum he hopes she never has fixed because that sound is just so damn cute.
He splays his hands across her back and gently rolls her with him onto their sides. As incredible as that felt, he thinks both of them might find something very important numb in the morning if they tried to sleep like that.
She snuggles closer without waking up, tightening one leg around the back of his knee, nestling her face against his shoulder. He brushes her hair back so he can see her adorable sleepy face, the one he already has a dozen pictures of on his phone he won't tell her about because he knows how creepy that sounds (not creepy enough to delete them, obviously). He reaches across to turn off the lamp, trying not to jostle her too much, and then snuggles back down, giving in to sleep with his nose in her hair, knowing their bodies remain joined.
A/N: Hope you all enjoyed that. Still deciding what to do next, so any feedback or suggestion is appreciated.