Summary: Ten years have passed since Finn Hudson died. His funeral marked the last time all of New Directions (past and present) were in the same room at the same time. Now the gang is getting back together to celebrate Artie's film directing debut. But decades old tension and drama threatens to ruin a lot more than the evening.

Pairings: Blam, Pucktana, Jarley, Rachel/OC, Kartie, Mikecedes. Past Finnchel, Puckleberry, Ryley, Tike, Bartie, Brittana, Quinntana, Sam/OC, Samtana, and Klaine pairings. Pucktana/Blam, Puckerwilde and Hummelberry friendships.

Warnings: No real spoilers other than the obvious. Not really canon compliant.

Disclaimer: I don't own this show or anything related to this show.

Author's Note: Hello everyone! Here's another quick interlude to the story. I'm definitely going to have an epilogue. Just don't ask when cuz I have no idea! Anyway, hope you enjoy this one. Ciao for now!

Gone, Gone, Gone

July 2019

The bar was packed. Not that Santana was at all surprised. Puck was playing and he was always a guaranteed crowd bringer. She still wondered how everyone knew he was going to be there. Derek had long given up on asking Puck to pick a steady date to play. He just settled for allowing the stubbornly talented man to pick up his guitar and play whenever he felt like it. And so they settled into this routine where Puck would randomly just decide that he wanted to play and suddenly the place would be over capacity before he was two songs into his set. Santana was seriously concerned with how people were finding out that he was playing. Although she had a sneaking suspicion Lydia had something to do it. When in doubt, always think Lydia.

She caught the redhead on the fringes of the crowd, tapping her feet to the beat of the song that Puck was playing. It was one of his originals that he'd been working on. Santana smiled as she threaded through the crowd to place a glass of water next to his foot just as the song finished. He beamed at her, leaning down to place a quick kiss on her cheek.

"Thanks, wifey."

"Welcome, hubby," Santana retorted, though her lips were curled into a smile almost as bright as his. For a moment, the rest of the bar faded away and it was just the two of them. In that moment, Santana let herself believe that this was all real and that it was all for her. She let herself think that it could be hers forever. That she could actually be Mrs. Santana Puckerman forever instead of just for a, albeit very amazing, year. Or actually be Mrs. Puckerman, seeing as how she refused to change her name for a marriage that was only going to last a year.

It might come as a surprise to some but Santana could actually be pretty girly at times and did pride herself in a few traditions. True, she hid it better than some, *cough Marley cough* but she did have her moments. Like most girls growing up, Santana used to fantasize about her wedding day. While she could never clearly imagine who would be waiting for her at the altar (for awhile it was Brittany, sometimes Johnny Depp), she did have a vivid image of what this dream wedding would look like. Shockingly, getting married at a twenty four hour chapel that shared space with a Waffle House in a ceremony officiated by a morbidly obese Elvis impersonator with truly rancid halitosis while under the influence of a liquor that was banned for its hallucinogenic effects did not fit that ideal wedding. But her husband was actually fitting the idea of what she wanted in a spouse… and then some. Too bad it wasn't real.

Tomorrow would make a year since the great drunken group wedding ceremonies. And while Sam and Blaine settled into their sickeningly adorable marriage with relative ease, Santana was all too aware that the original terms of this was for a year. A year that would officially be over in just eight short hours. Puck would be free to, and well within his rights to, divorce Santana in the morning if he wanted to because he accepted the challenge for a year. The thing that bothered her the most was that she didn't know if he wanted to. And she didn't have the guts to ask. The truth was the friend with benefits thing was starting to be so much more even before he put a ring on it. But now, after a year of sleeping in the same bed with the same man every night, Santana really didn't want to go back to the single life. She really didn't want to go back to a life where she wasn't Puck's wife.

She didn't know when Puck became this all consuming force in her life again. She knew that she loved him to some extent in high school. She just didn't necessarily know what to do with that love. So she broke up with him and focused on things with Brittany. They were simpler. And Puck let her. Because like most of the guys in their life, he was in love with Quinn and then with Rachel, and that really awkward phase with Lauren. It was never about Santana. Sure, they were friends. But he always treated her like one of the guys… ok, one of the guys that was also a girl that he occasionally had sex with. But she didn't think he really saw her the way that she was rapidly finding she needed him to see her. She wanted to be more than just one of the guys. She wanted him to love her like he did Quinn and Rachel. She wanted him to sing her sappy love songs and leave poetry around the apartment telling her how pretty she was like Sam and Blaine did. Most importantly, she wanted to be in this marriage for real. But she was pretty much convinced that it would be over in the morning. And if that was not the most depressing thought in the world.

"Hey, San, you ok?"

Santana blinked, surprised to find Lydia standing in front of her. She started to tell her it was nothing. That everything was totally fine. Lydia shut that lie down before it even left her mouth. The older woman raised an eyebrow. Santana sighed.

"Just doing some thinking."

"Thinking," Lydia hummed thoughtfully. She glanced at the stage and then back to Santana. "Yeah, ok, so it's time for a break."

"But tables…."

"Sweetie, contrary to popular belief, i.e. Derek, the rest of that staff are not just there to look pretty," Lydia interrupted. She glanced over her shoulder at her own husband. "Dylan, find that brother of yours and make him wait on Santana's tables." Dylan rolled his eyes but did as she commanded. He knew better than to argue with his wife. Especially his four months pregnant wife.

Santana watched as Dylan tapped his stepbrother on the shoulder, tearing Scott away from his tried and true favorite hobby of leering at Isaac while he worked. But it was the smirk on Scott's lips as he went to wait on Santana's tables that gave her an indication that something was up. Usually he whined and pleaded to do anything other than the job he was actually paid to do. But tonight he went about his business like he was actually happy to do it. Something wasn't right. But she didn't have time to further dwell on that as Lydia was tugging on her wrist and pulling her through the throngs of people gathered by the makeshift stage with strength someone that small and pregnant shouldn't possess.

Lydia stopped them at a strangely empty table in the front. Santana was beyond confused now. The place was at capacity. There was not a single empty table in sight. Most people had taken to standing wherever they could but there was a table in the front which was like prime seating. And it was empty. She threw a questioning look in Lydia's direction. The ginger traitor only gave her a bright, too smug to be innocent smile. The smile grew as the last note of Puck's song played. A round of applause and cheers chorused around the room.

"Thank you guys so much!" Puck said, genuinely beaming at the attention. Santana put her suspicions on the back burner as she watched the man on the stage. He was such a natural up there. She got why he wanted to work as a counselor with kids but she also knew that he belonged on a stage. He was almost a completely different man when he was performing. She smiled softly. "So I just want to take a moment and thank you all for your attention and support tonight. I also want to thank my boys for backing me up as always. And no, you will not be getting a cut from tonight."

"Don't even expect it at this point," Sam muttered loudly, earning a few laughs from the audience who was used to their bickering. Jake and Blaine grumbled as well. Santana stifled the urge to giggle. Her boys were amusing little weirdoes. Sam caught her gaze and winked. Ok, so see now she was suspicious again.

"Ok, so most of you know me by now. And you know I've been through some shit in my life. But the people in this bar, the men on this stage, they all saved my life in their own awesome ways. I wouldn't be where I am today without them." Santana smiled softly even as Blaine, Sam and Jake all flushed. She heard Lydia make a murmur of appreciation before Puck continued on. "They saved my life but one woman gave me a reason to live." Santana's breath caught in her throat as a pair of hazel eyes met hers. "So I would like to take the time thank that woman. The woman that I want to spend the rest of my life with."

"What… how… huh?" Santana whispered, shaking her head in confusion.

"You see I've known her since we were in high school. She's been my girlfriend, my booty call, my best friend, my confidant, my wingman, my backup, my nurse, my everything pretty much since the day we met when we were eight and she pushed me off the swings. I can't think of a single time in my life when I've actually needed her and she wasn't there in some way. She even went to visit me when my stupid ass got sent to juvie as a teenager. When I think of the one person that I want to spend the rest of my life with, the only face I can see is hers." Puck snickered softly as if listening to some internal joke. "To put it simply and make it extra cheesy, she completes me. And I need her to know that this is for keeps. So long story short, I'm dedicating this song is for her."

Santana was still trying to process the words. That's why she failed to notice Derek settling in behind a bass while Dylan sat at the long unused drum set. Her eyes were only focused on Puck, who was still wearing that damn smirk. The one he wore when he knew he was just about to get one over on someone. And she had the sinking feeling that she was that someone. But she also knew she wasn't going to be mad this time.

When life leaves you high and dry
I'll be at your door tonight
If you need help, if you need help.
I'll shut down the city lights,
I'll lie, cheat, I'll beg and bribe
To make you well, to make you well.

When enemies are at your door
I'll carry you away from more
If you need help, if you need help.
Your hope dangling by a string
I'll share in your suffering
To make you well, to make you well.

Give me reasons to believe
That you would do the same for me.

And I would do it for you, for you.
Baby, I'm not moving on
I love you long after you're gone.

For you, for you.
You will never sleep alone.
I love you long after you're gone
And long after you're gone, gone, gone.

There was a pause in the song and suddenly a screen flickered to life behind the stage. Santana was grateful for the darkness because she did not want anyone to see the tears she knew were streaking down her face as moments from her life with Puck played across the screen. It was a slideshow of every significant moment from their lives and even the little ones. Like from their first sleepover. And one from Santana's tenth birthday. A picture from their first date. One from after some glee performance. One from graduation. One from their first Thanksgiving in New York. There were so many moments that she didn't think he remembered, much less kept a memento from. But maybe, just maybe he was trying to tell her that she wasn't as unimportant to him as she thought.

You're my back bone.
You're my cornerstone.
You're my crutch when my legs stop moving.
You're my head start.
You're my rugged heart.
You're the pulse that I've always needed.
Like a drum, baby, don't stop beating.
Like a drum, baby, don't stop beating.
Like a drum, baby, don't stop beating.
Like a drum my heart never stops beating...

For you, for you.
Baby, I'm not moving on.
I love you long after you're gone.
For you, for you.
You will never sleep alone.
I love you long after you're gone.

She was barely paying attention to the song anymore. It wasn't just the total spectacle he was making of himself just to tell her that he cared, it was the pictures. Because for every picture of the two of them together, there was one of her alone. And it struck her in that moment that he did see. He always saw her. Maybe they didn't have a fairytale romance. Maybe they didn't have the most conventional relationships but he saw her and she was reasonably sure that he was telling her that he wanted this. That he wanted her. And then the slideshow came to an end with a picture she never thought she would see. It was their wedding picture. She giggled through her tears, wondering how the hell he even managed to find that.

As the song came to an end with the others taking over vocals, Puck hopped off the stage and stood in front of her. She held a hand to her mouth as he got on one knee and held up a black box with his hands.

"Santana Maria Lopez, would you do me the honor of staying my wife?" he opened the box and there was a simple diamond and onyx ring resting on the pillowed lining inside. It matched her bracelet. She flashed back to that Valentine's Day when he gave her the bracelet. She should've seen it then. She should've known. She was really stupid. But she was getting a chance to make it better. "Hey, Satan, I kind of need you to say something."

"Oh," she whispered. He lifted his free hand to brush away her tears. A smile pulled on her lips as she remembered him doing the same for her so many times before. How many times had he tried to tell her, to show her that he did see her but she pushed it away? How many times had she not seen that he always saw her? "Bit showy, huh?"

He grinned lazily, glancing over his shoulder at the guys still playing. "Yeah, I guess. But admit it. You totally love it."

"I do," Santana nodded. She leaned forward so that her head was resting against his. "But mostly I just love you."

"I love you," he murmured before pulling away slightly. "So what do you say? Want to be Mrs. Puckerman?"

"No," she replied, laughing at the crestfallen look that crossed his face before she kissed his cheek. "Lopez-Puckerman. No offense, babe, but your mom is kind of a bitch monster from hell and I'd like to remain unassociated with that."

"Mmm, that's valid," Puck grinned, slipping the ring on her finger. Santana abandoned all pretenses and flung herself into his waiting arms. For the first time since she saw him again six years ago, Santana allowed herself to be happy with how well she fit in his embrace. She allowed herself to revel in how their lips were meant for one another.

"Alright, pay up, losers!" Lydia jeered from somewhere in the distance. "Let me just say that basically pretty much everyone in here except Blaine owes me their first born child and that kid's entire college education."

Santana was distantly aware of the grumbling from their friends but she tuned it all out to focus only on her wonderful husband who loved her and who she loved more than words. He smiled at her, pulling a genuine smile from her.

"We're not a fairytale, babe. But we're us. And that's amazing. I'm not leaving you ever, Santana. I want this. I want us. And I will do whatever it takes to prove that to you. I meant it. You're the only person I want by my side forever. You're the only one I'm every going to want by my side. Cuz I'll love you long after you're gone."

"Same here," Santana promised. She wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him closer. They might not be a fairytale but this was an awesome happy ending.

"Seriously, people, I want my money. You'd think after how many years you losers would stop betting against me but noooo! Blaine is the only damn one with sense around here. And Jake, stop making the puppy dog eyes. They're not going to work…. ok, but just this once!"

Puck laughed. "Our family is kind of nuts."

Santana rested her head on his shoulder as she turned to look at their friends… no, they really were their family. Puck wasn't the only one that was saved by these people. They saved her too. She laughed as Lydia and Blaine continued to harass the rest of the staff (and a few regulars, seriously was everyone in on this?!) for their winnings.

"Congratulations!" a familiar voice whispered in her ear. Santana's eyes widened as she turned around to face a beaming Quinn and Brittany. She must have looked confused because Quinn's grin turned slightly smug. "Puck called us asking for pictures of you for this project he was working on. Took a little bit of finagling and straight up emotional manipulation from Britt but we got him to admit that he was planning on actually proposing to you. So question, when the hell were you going to tell us that you were in love with Puck and that you guys got married?"

"And on that note," Puck muttered, extracting himself from the situation quickly. "I'll just be over there." Santana rolled her eyes as he all but ran away. She turned to face the other parts of the Unholy Trinity.

"I've been meaning to tell you," Santana admitted. "I just didn't know how. Things with you and Puck are…."

"Over," Quinn finished firmly. "Puck will always have a special place in my heart but it was never going to work out for us. I know that and I know he knows that. I just want him to be happy. And I think it's safe to say that you make him happy. And surprisingly romantic."

"It was pretty sweet," Brittany chimed in. Santana smiled softly at her former girlfriend. While she would always love this woman, she knew that their relationship was better as friends. She and Brittany were always on two separate pages when they were dating. and now that she had a taste of what it was like to be in a relationship where both people wanted it equally (even if she didn't really know that until like three minutes ago), Santana found that she had no desire to go back to anything less.

"Damn it, I missed it didn't I?" Santana whirled around completely surprised to see Mercedes approaching them through the crowd.

"Yeah, you did," Quinn replied. "What took you so long? I thought your flight got in earlier than ours."

"It did. Blame Mike," Mercedes answered, shaking her head. "I swear he's the worst with directions. And he's such a guy! He refused to pull over and just ask. Matt's just as bad, but after twenty minutes of driving around even he finally snapped and looked up the address."

"Mike and Matt are here?"

"Yeah, Puck called all of us looking for pictures. And then Quinn called us and told us what was going on. We had to be here to witness the engagement of New Directions' resident badasses." She lifted Santana's hand and gave a low whistle at the ring on her finger, complete with the matching bracelet. "Damn, Puckerman's got some taste. That ring is gorgeous. So I see you said yes."

"Yeah, I did," Santana smiled. She looked at the three women in front of her and felt a small piece of her heart mend itself at the sight. No, they weren't Rachel. But they each took the time out of their lives to be a part of her special night. They were genuinely happy for her. She brushed a shaky hand over her face. "And great, now I'm crying!" The three women giggled before pulling her into a group hug.

"There will be no more tears," Quinn said, pulling away. "I took three days off for this, so you are going to introduce me to everyone and show me everything you can possibly show me this weekend. Understood?"

Santana nodded. "Yes ma'am."

With that said, Santana allowed Brittany and Quinn to drag her and Mercedes back to the bar where Puck, Matt, and Mike were catching up. Santana wasn't the least bit surprised when Mike pulled Mercedes over and wrapped his arms around her. She saw that one coming a mile away. That would hopefully put a stop to any ideas about an Asian Fusion reunion. She also wasn't surprised when Puck looped an arm around her waist and pressed his lips against his.

"Hey, wifey."

"Hi, hubby."

"You guys are going to be so gross aren't you?" Matt asked with a grin.

"Eh, not any worse than them," Puck tilted his head towards Sam and Blaine who were a few feet down the bar and staring at each other like they were the only ones in the room. Santana snickered, leaning back in Puck's embrace. "Satan, let's never be like them."

"Neither of us is built that sappy," Santana countered. Blaine turned to glare at them but the look melted when he saw them standing together. He tugged on Sam's hand so they joined their friends. Despite the fact that Sam and Blaine never got to even meet Matt, the pair fell into a conversation like they were old friends.

Santana sighed happily, watching them all talking and laughing while wrapped up in her husband's loving embrace. This was all new and weird and scary as hell but she was down for ride. This is exactly where she wanted to be. More to the point, it was where she needed to be. For so many years she felt like she was just coasting through life. But six years ago, she got the family and the lover that she needed all along to get on her track. And she was finally feeling like everything was perfect.

"Oh hell no," Ali yelled. "Derek, please tell me the Lima Crew are not bringing in more strays!"

Well, almost perfect.

*The end again for now. The song was Gone, Gone, Gone by Phillip Phillips.