“With your brains and my jawline, I'm telling you, we'd kill it,” Puck says to Finn. “Come to L.A. with me, dude.”
Finn doesn’t respond right away, frowning a little and making his using-his-brain face. Puck’s pretty sure that Finn’s going to turn him down, but he had to ask. Finn starts to nod, though, looking resolved.
“Okay,” he says. “I’ll do it.”
“Yeah?” Puck can tell he’s grinning like an idiot. “Awesome! We’ll start making some plans after school?”
“Yeah, we’ll get together after I drive Rach— oh shit.”
“Uh.” Puck stacks his papers back up. “Where’s a place I never go on my own?”
“We’re already in the library,” Finn says. “Shit. What am I gonna tell Rachel?”
“Tell her you’re a bird or whatever that she has to let go,” Puck says. “Maybe I’ll stay in here.”
“Yeah, that might be a good idea,” Finn says.
“Oh, or the Lima Bean,” Puck says. “I’ll be there. No one expects me to like the Lima Bean.” He pats Finn’s shoulder twice. “Go with God, dude.”
“Thanks,” Finn says. He grimaces as he starts to stand up. “I’ll find you at the Lima Bean after.”
Puck nods, because he’s pretty sure that Jewish God is on his side in this. Rachel just wants Finn to hold her carpet or something, or at least that’s what he heard Kurt telling Blaine, and if anyone knows what Rachel wants, it’s probably Kurt. He doesn’t see Rachel on his way out of McKinley, though, and he heads to the Lima Bean without anyone else talking to him.
He quietly orders his caramel latte and Finn’s extra-vanilla hot chocolate with whipped cream, then sits down in a corner with the iPad ben Israel gave him in exchange for Puck not telling Rabbi Greenberg just who had posted all those rumors about him to the local news sites. With Finn coming to L.A., Puck figures their expenses won’t go up too much but their income will, plus Puck won’t be lonely or homesick.
It takes longer than Puck expects for Finn to arrive, so long that Puck eventually throws away the first hot chocolate and buys a fresh one, and the whipped cream still has time to melt away before Finn sits down across from Puck.
“Hey,” Finn says. He looks pretty rough, which means things probably didn’t go so great with Rachel.
“Hot chocolate,” Puck says, sliding the cup closer to Finn. “Didn’t go so well?”
“She wanted to know why I was breaking off our engagement,” he says, picking up the cup. “Thanks. Anyway, I told her I wasn’t, but she just yelled at me and cried for a while. I’ll try again tomorrow, I guess.”
“Yeah,” Puck says, nodding. “So I figure we can clean like, twice as many pools, but our expenses won’t double. Awesome, right?”
“I don’t know. How big a place do we need to get, do you think?”
“Studios are cheap, and it’s not like we’re cooking four-course meals, right?” Puck says.
“Will we have enough space for three people in a studio?” Finn asks.
“Sure,” Puck says. “We’ll get a room divider thing at Big Lots.” He’d be willing to bet his brand new iPad that Rachel will never set foot in the studio, much less in L.A., but he doesn’t say that to Finn.
“Okay. Cool. This is gonna be awesome!” Finn says. “L.A.!”
“No more snow!” Puck says with a grin. “Start going through your stuff now, ’cause we don’t have to take any sweaters.”
“Gonna have to buy more swimsuits, though!”
“This is amazing,” Puck says, looking around the flea market that several people told them to wait for before buying furniture. “Who knew the Rose Bowl had a flea market?” He grins at Finn and puts his sunglasses back on. Despite more than a few people telling them they were crazy and a few people telling Puck he shouldn’t have asked Finn to go to L.A., the two of them are there, and like Puck predicted, Rachel isn’t. Rachel’s in New York, Finn’s in Los Angeles, and they’re ‘trying to make it work’, but Puck isn’t sure how long that’ll last.
“We should see if we can find a couch that used to belong to somebody famous!” Finn says, excitedly picking up several vases, then putting them back down again, only to pick up a few more.
“Maybe we should offer flowers as a side service, if we’re buying vases,” Puck says. “We need a place to sleep before a couch, though.”
“I figured I’d just sleep on the couch, since the place is so small,” Finn says, putting down the rest of the vases.
“You don’t want to risk our lives with antique bunk beds?” Puck says jokingly. “At least we don’t need that much room for clothes.”
“I’m glad I bought two more swimsuits, though.”
“Yeah, if we see any more here, we should grab ’em. Maybe futons to sleep on?” Puck says, heading away from the vases.
“You think two’ll fit?” Finn asks.
“We could go for one big one, but you know two dudes in one bed is confirmed gay,” Puck says with a grin, turning towards one seller that looks like they have a lot of cheap furniture.
“Heh. Yeah,” Finn says, grinning back. “Maybe we can put a bed up on one of those loft things, and another one under it going a different direction.”
“Yeah, or if we find a TV, one of us can sleep over the TV,” Puck says. “Or a recliner, but that’d get old after about a week. Hey, that’s an awesome table!” He points at a table that looks like it’s been made from a surfboard and a couple of sawhorses.
“Plus Rachel can’t sleep in a recliner with me when she comes to visit,” Finn points out.
“Yeah,” Puck says non-committally, since it’s not like Finn said Rachel couldn’t sleep over the TV, and Puck doubts she’d do that, either. “You want to get the table?”
“Sure. It’s cool.”
“Awesome.” Puck pays the guy for the table, and the guy sticks a ‘sold’ sign on it before they move on, walking for awhile without finding anything. Puck grins slowly when they approach a new seller. “Look at that futon, dude. It’s tie-dye. Let’s get it and one of those tall beds.”
“Cool. Hey, we should get a lava lamp!” Finn says, pointing at a sad-looking purple lava lamp.
Puck shrugs, picking up the lava lamp and setting it on the tie-dye futon. “Why not?”
“I’m going to get some sleep,” Puck says, because a full day of pool cleaning is harder work than most people think. It’s not easy money, but he and Finn are making good money after just a couple of months, better than anyone in Lima thought they would, and he needs the sleep since Rachel’s flight is supposed to land in the next couple of hours and she’s taking a taxi from there. Puck figures if he’s lucky, he’ll get three or four hours before Rachel’s voice wakes him up.
“Okay. I’ll make sure we stay quiet when she gets here,” Finn says.
“Thanks, dude,” Puck says, climbing into bed and falling asleep pretty quickly. When he wakes up, he’s confused, because it’s dark outside, the lava lamp is still on, and the apartment is quiet. He sits up and climbs down the ladder, and Finn is sitting up on the futon, sound asleep.
Puck frowns and goes to the bathroom before coming back and checking the time while he gets a drink of orange juice. “Huh.” Rachel should have been there at least an hour or two earlier, but she’s not, and Puck goes over to Finn and throws a blanket on him, nudging him onto his side, before Puck climbs back up to bed.
When he wakes up again, a few minutes before his alarm, the apartment is still quiet, and Puck climbs down, checking the schedule for the day before remembering that there’s only a few places on the schedule because Rachel was supposed to be visiting. He snorts and grabs a pair of toaster strudels, popping them into the toaster before picking up his guitar and starting to play it softly.
The strudels pop up, and Puck looks over at Finn. Finn startles, sitting bolt upright, blinking as he looks around the room in confusion.
“Why are you toasting in the middle of the night?” Finn asks. “Why are all the lights on?”
“That’s the sun, dude,” Puck says as gently as he can. “I made strawberry this morning.”
“But… but Rachel isn’t here,” Finn says.
Puck winces. “Yeah. I know. You want me to call Kurt for you?”
“Did my phone ring? Or did you hear me get some texts or anything?”
“No,” Puck says, shaking his head. “It’s… I checked. Her flight wasn’t cancelled. Landed on time.” He doesn’t say that he checked the news for a plane crash first, even though he did, because it was the easiest thing.
“Maybe she missed her flight. Maybe… maybe you could call Kurt, just to see?” Finn asks, sounding hopeful.
“Sure,” Puck says, setting down the guitar and picking up his phone. He still has all the glee club numbers in his phone, even though he doesn’t use them and he’s pretty sure most of them don’t know his L.A. number. He thumbs to Kurt’s and presses ‘call’, listening to it ring.
“Hello?” Kurt’s voice comes through the phone, sounding confused. “Is this Puck?”
“Hey, Kurt,” Puck says. “Yeah, this is my L.A. number. So, uh… Rachel didn’t show up out here, but her flight landed on time and everything.” He doesn’t ask the obvious question of ‘is she okay?’ because he’s pretty sure Kurt understands why he’s calling. Plus, he figures it’s better not to put ideas in Finn’s head.
“Well, she’s fine. Physically fine,” Kurt says. “For now, anyway. Maybe not when I’m done with her.”
“Yeah, okay. She’s still there. Okay.” Puck frowns and doesn’t look at Finn. “I’ll let him know, and we’ll talk later, okay?”
“Please tell him I had no idea she was going to do this, and that I absolutely don’t approve of it,” Kurt says.
“I will. Thanks, Kurt,” Puck says, then ends the call and sets the phone down before walking over to plop down next to Finn. “She’s physically fine. She’s still in New York. Kurt didn’t know she wasn’t going to come.”
“She didn’t get on the plane? She isn’t coming at all?” Finn’s eyebrows smush together.
Puck shakes his head. “No. She didn’t, and she’s not. Do you want to call her?”
“I should call her,” Finn says. “I mean, there has to be a good reason, and she should have a chance to explain before I get myself too confused about it.”
“Want me to clear out?” Puck offers. “I can go load up for this afternoon.” Puck stands up before Finn can reply, because whatever Rachel tries to tell him, Puck can’t imagine it’s really anything Finn wants to hear—or wants Puck to overhear.
“Yeah, probably,” Finn says. Puck nods and pats Finn’s shoulder twice before grabbing his keys, wallet, and backpack and heading downstairs. He loads up for the afternoon’s schedule, then goes and grabs some sandwiches at the gas station before heading back to the apartment, figuring that Finn’s probably off the phone.
“Back,” Puck calls as he unlocks the door, just in case.
“Gimme a minute,” Finn calls back, and then Puck can hear water running in the bathroom before Finn comes out, face wet and eyes red. “Hey.”
“Hey. I grabbed our sandwiches for lunch,” Puck says as he puts them in the refrigerator.
“Cool, thanks,” Finn says. He sniffles a little and rubs the back of his hand across his eyes. “So, she's not coming, like, at all.”
Puck nods, closing the door and leaning against the counter. He thinks for a moment, then nods again. “Ever?” he asks, because maybe that would be easier for Finn to do, just agree with Puck instead of explaining it.
Finn nods. “Yeah.”
“Sorry, dude,” Puck says, frowning.
“Yeah,” Finn sighs. “I thought we could make it work.”
“I know.” Puck looks around and then back at Finn. “Beach until work?”
“Yeah,” Finn says, with another loud sigh.
“Awesome,” Puck says, grabbing the cooler on top of the refrigerator and taking the sandwiches back out, along with some pop. He throws in some ice and grabs a bag of chips before picking up towels and turning out the lights. “Want to finally take one of those stars’ homes tours tomorrow or the next day?”
“Yeah. Rachel said they were tacky,” Finn says. “We should go to as many as we can.”
“Absolutely. And we’ll take a lot of pictures,” Puck says. He’s pretty sure Rachel only thinks they’re tacky because she’s jealous no one’s taking pictures of her house, but he doesn’t figure that’ll make Finn feel that much better.
“Sounds like a good time,” Finn says.
Puck nods and grins a little, heading out of the apartment. “Exactly. It’ll be great.”
For the first three or four weeks after Rachel pulled the jerkiest move ever, Puck doesn’t bring it up again, but he does make sure that he buys Finn’s favorite flavors of Doritos and pop, and he doesn’t argue about what TV channel Finn is watching, even when Puck is really bored with what’s on.
The day that Finn starts crying at what’s on the TV, Puck doesn’t say anything, just pats his shoulder a few times, gets him another pop, and sits there being mind-numbingly bored for another couple of hours before he breaks his own self-imposed rule.
“You want to talk about it?” Puck asks quietly enough that Finn can ignore it if he wants to.
“No. I don’t know,” Finn says. “Maybe.”
Puck shrugs and lowers the volume on the TV a little. “Yeah?”
“It’s over,” Finn says miserably. “I thought we were making it work, but… she met this guy at her school.”
“That sucks, man,” Puck says, patting Finn’s shoulder slowly.
“Yeah,” Finn says, sounding even more miserable and sinking down into the futon, mumbling something to himself that sounds like “should learn to surf, so killer whales would eat me.”
“Maybe just the surfing,” Puck says quietly after a few moments pass, and he keeps patting Finn’s shoulder, thinking about the fact that he was able to call Rachel’s action—though he didn’t anticipate Rachel finding another guy so fast—for months in advance, and how Finn really deserves better than Rachel anyway. Rachel definitely, Puck decides, does not deserve Finn, especially if she’s going to pull a complete dick move and leave him sleeping while sitting up because of waiting on her to show up.
The surfing isn’t a bad idea, though, since they’re at the beach and they’ve got the money for real lessons, and Puck lets his hand stop moving. Finn is slumped down against the futon, and he looks like he’s either asleep or really close to it, so Puck doesn’t move at first. He just stays sitting there, his hand on Finn’s shoulder, and gets a little madder at Rachel, that she’s causing Finn to be so damn sad.
After another fifteen or twenty minutes, Puck slowly moves, letting Finn’s body slide into a lying-down position, and Puck smiles a little. “Yeah, just sleep,” he says quietly, picking up one of Finn’s blankets and positioning it over him before turning off the TV. He wouldn’t be such a jackass, and he stops at that thought, wondering where it came from. He shrugs and picks up his guitar, figuring that if Finn’s asleep, he won’t mind some quiet music, and since there’s a tiny chance Finn’s still awake, well, quiet music won’t hurt that, either.
Five minutes into playing, and Puck’s pretty convinced that Finn’s asleep, so he plays a slightly faster song, singing softly, and keeps going. He loses track of how many songs he’s played, watching Finn, and he startles a little when he notices Finn’s facial expression has changed, just barely. Finn’s eyes are closed still, but Puck slowly realizes that Finn may have been awake, listening, the entire time. Puck shakes his head a little and keeps playing.
Eventually, Puck’s mouth gets dry, and he goes back to just playing for another three or four songs before he puts the guitar down and stands up to turn off the lights. He pauses before climbing up into his bed and stares at Finn a little longer, light coming in from the streetlights.
“’Night, Finn,” he says quietly.
“’Night,” Finn says.
Puck smiles to himself and climbs into bed, lying on his back and staring at the ceiling for a few minutes before rolling onto his side and looking down. He can make out the outline of Finn on the futon, and if Puck’s bed weren’t over the TV, they’d more or less be facing each other. Another ten or fifteen minutes pass, Puck still staring at Finn, before he feels his eyes widen a little, and he rolls onto his back again.
“Well,” he says out loud, the sound echoing slightly, and he winces, hoping he didn’t wake Finn up. Of all the realizations he expected to have, the thought that part of the reason he’s still so pissed with Rachel is that he’s in love with Finn was not one of them. Once he’s had the thought, though, it doesn’t seem that off-base or that weird, and he feels almost comforted by it as he looks at Finn a final time before going to sleep.
Puck doesn’t say anything to Finn about what he’s realized, but as a few more days pass, he’s more and more sure that his late-night revelation was completely right. He’s not sure if he should say anything about it to Finn, then or ever, but he does decide that Finn’s tired, sad mumbles were right: they should learn to surf.
He makes a few phone calls and talks to a few people before finding a guy that will teach both of them at the same time, not too far from their apartment. Puck finalizes the first time just after they finish up before lunch one morning, and he grins at Finn as they drive to the closest park to eat their sandwiches and chips.
“What?” Finn asks.
“I signed us up for surfing lessons,” Puck says.
“Day after tomorrow, we’ll have to get up a little earlier, but that’s cool, right?” Puck asks.
“Sure,” Finn says. “But I don’t really want to get eaten by a killer whale, okay?”
Puck laughs. “Yeah, I figured. I don’t think there’s killer whales that close in to the beach, either, so it’ll probably work out. Just think, though, in a year, people’ll think we’ve always lived here.”
“Maybe,” Finn says, but he doesn’t really sound like he believes it.
“No, it’ll be great,” Puck insists. “Maybe we’ll get blond streaks in our hair from being out in the sun by then.”
“I don’t think either one of us is going blond without help.”
“You don’t think I’d look hot as a blond?” Puck says, without really thinking about the choice of wording, at least not until it’s already out of his mouth.
“Maybe not all the way blond,” Finn says. “Maybe just a couple streaks, like you said.”
“Yeah? Turn some heads?” Puck says, trying to sound as much like he’s joking around as he did before.
“Yeah,” Finn says.
Puck parks the truck and opens the door, then leans over, grinning. “What about you? Maybe a couple of streaks right here?” He points to the left side of Finn’s head, almost touching his hair.
“I’d probably look dumb,” Finn says. “It wouldn’t look right on me.”
“I don’t know,” Puck says, shrugging a little and sliding out of the truck. “Maybe you’re the one that should go full blond.”
“Nah. You could rock it, but I’d look stupid,” Finn protests.
“Get you one of those necklaces, dye your hair blond, I think it’d work,” Puck says, tossing the cooler towards Finn. “Maybe a dark blond.”
“Yeah, maybe,” Finn says, not sounding any more convinced. “I’d have to get some of those tribal tattoos.”
“Oh, yeah, like on your upper arm,” Puck says. “I’ll get a tattoo if you do.”
“After we surf, maybe. If it doesn’t work out, we’d just look like posers.”
“We’ll be awesome.” Puck throws his arm around Finn’s shoulders. “You think I should get one of those armbands, too, or something else?”
“Like, matching?” Finn asks.
“Uh,” Puck says, shrugging a little. “I don’t know.” He doesn’t really know, either, and he doesn’t know if matching tattoos is weird for friends, and if it is, whether he cares enough about it being it weird. “Is that weird?” he asks anyway.
Finn shrugs. “I think I’m the wrong dude to ask about that.”
“Huh?” Puck stops and sits down on the bench, reaching for the cooler and opening it. “What do you mean?”
“I think it’d be kind of cool, but just ’cause I think something, doesn’t make it true,” Finn says.
Puck studies Finn for a moment, pulling out their sandwiches and then shaking his head. “Okay, nope, this time I’m going to make you explain that,” he says. “Talking time I guess.”
“There’s not anything to talk about. It’s just tattoos. We don’t even have any yet.”
“Uh-huh.” Puck unwraps his sandwich and takes a bite, then continues after he finishes chewing that bite. “So why, exactly, are you the wrong dude to ask?”
Finn shrugs again. “I think a lot of stuff is okay that turns out to be not okay, is all.”
“Okay,” Puck says slowly. “So… why wouldn’t it be okay? Or why do you think it’s okay that might not be okay?”
“I thought things with me and Rachel were okay,” Finn says. “I thought moving out here would be okay.”
Puck stops just before taking a bite of his sandwich, which he knows probably looks ridiculous. “And… moving out here isn’t okay?”
“Not for my relationship, obviously.”
Puck frowns and goes ahead and takes a second and then a third bite of his sandwich, chewing it slowly and trying to decide what to say, because he doesn’t think it would have mattered where Finn went, whether it was New York or L.A. or staying in Ohio, and he feels a little bit like he’s being blamed. “So if you’d done exactly what she wanted and gone to New York to follow her around, your relationship would have been perfect and fine?” he finally says, scowling.
“I don’t know. Maybe,” Finn says. “Maybe we could’ve worked on stuff. We could’ve gotten married and then she couldn’t just not show up.”
“Oh, yeah, good way to fix a relationship,” Puck says, snorting. “Fine.” He waves his sandwich.
“Are you mad at me now?” Finn asks.
Puck looks at Finn and raises his eyebrows. “Well, since apparently L.A. is to blame for Rachel making decisions…” he says, trailing off.
“Hey, I’m the one who made the choice to come here,” Finn says.
“Yeah,” Puck says slowly. “Dude. I mean this in the nicest way possible, but do you really want to be married to someone who would just not show up?”
Finn sighs. “No. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. Doesn’t mean I don’t feel lonely.”
“It sucks,” Puck agrees. “I’m not going to tell you it doesn’t. But it doesn’t mean you have to second-guess yourself about everything including tattoos.”
“Doesn’t it?” Finn asks. “It’s not like I’m the king of making good calls or anything.”
“I can think of a few,” Puck says. “Most, actually.”
“Maybe I should’ve stayed in Lima.”
“Why the fuck?” Puck asks.
“Because I have no idea what I’m doing! You didn’t need me to clean pools with you. You should’ve just left me in Lima to be a loser,” Finn says.
“No fucking way,” Puck says firmly. “You know what we need to do?”
“I have no clue what we need to do,” Finn says.
“We need to get drunk as soon as we finish the two pools this afternoon.”
“Drunk off what?” Finn asks. “Pretty sure the only stuff they’d let me buy is mouthwash or NyQuil.”
“The old guy after lunch would probably pay us in a bottle or two of whiskey or something,” Puck says. “He looks like he’d like the barter system.”
“What do you even drink with whiskey?”
“On the rocks, right?” Puck says with a grin. “Or some pop. What do you think? Good idea?”
“Sure, I guess,” Finn says.
“It’ll be great,” Puck says, and after he finishes his sandwich, he changes the subject, trying to keep Finn thinking about trivial stuff the rest of the afternoon. Puck is right about the old guy: he gives them two bottles of whiskey and one almost-full bottle of flavored vodka. After their last pool of the day, Puck stops to get some more pop and a rotisserie chicken meal at the supermarket.
Once they’ve eaten, Puck pours them each a glass of whiskey, handing Finn’s to him and raising his own glass. “To L.A.?”
“Yeah,” Finn says, clinking his glass to Puck’s before taking a big swallow, and immediately starting to cough and sputter. “What the fuck? This is horrible! How do people drink this?”
Puck takes a drink of his, too, and makes a face. “Maybe that’s why people add pop,” he says, pulling out the pop and adding some to both of their glasses. “Try it that way.”
“Yeah, maybe so,” Finn says. He takes another, smaller sip, grimacing. “It’s still pretty bad.”
“We’ll try the flavored vodka next glass. I bet it’d taste good with orange pop.” Puck grabs the orange pop and the whipped cream vodka and sets them on the surfboard table before sitting on the futon. “Watch TV and drink or just drink?”
“Just drink. TV makes me sad,” Finn says, taking another swallow of his drink, with slightly less shuddering this time.
“Okay, TV if I chose the show,” Puck says with half of a grin before drinking more of his own pop-and-whiskey mix. “We can sleep in tomorrow.”
“Yeah, okay. That’s cool.”
Puck grins more widely as they finish their first drinks, and then he pours them each a second drink, this time with the orange pop and whipped cream vodka, and it does taste a lot better, enough that he fixes a third round pretty quickly.
“I like this drink,” Finn announces. “This drink is good.”
“We’ll tell the old guy to skip the whiskey and just give us the flavored vodka,” Puck says, taking a long gulp from his glass. “I was right, though, wasn’t I?”
“Sure,” Finn says agreeably.
Puck laughs. “Am I always right?”
“Yep!” Finn says, then grins at Puck. “Probably!”
“Another one?” Puck asks, picking up the bottle of vodka. “Maybe after another one I’ll definitely always be right.”
“Yeah, cool,” Finn says, holding out his cup to Puck.
Puck pours in a lot of the vodka and only a little bit of the pop, then makes his own drink with slightly different proportions, because feeling down about your recent break-up is worse by far, Puck figures, than realizing you’re in love with your straight best friend. He waits for Finn to take another drink or two and then says, “Am I always right now?”
“You’re always… not… wrong?” Finn says, grinning wider this time.
“Asshole,” Puck says, shaking his head. “I have great ideas.”
“Yeah, y’do,” Finn says. “Great ones.”
“We should do this every week before our late morning,” Puck says. “Not the other nights, or we might fall into the pools.”
Puck fixes them each one more drink before deciding that’s probably enough, especially since they don’t have the next day completely off or anything. He drinks his own mostly-pop last drink, watching Finn finish his last one. “Feel better?”
“I like your face,” Finn says.
“Yeah, I’m pretty awesome,” Puck says, grinning at Finn. “It’s good to know you’re a really nice drunk guy.” Puck isn’t exactly surprised about that, because of course Finn would be, but it’s still good to know.
“Yeah, I’m nice,” Finn says. “You’re nice.”
“I’m not really nice, unless you meant nice to look at.”
“Your head has a good shape,” Finn says.
“Just my head?” Puck asks, trying to hide his grin.
“Your feet are good, too.”
“My head and my feet. You know how to flatter a guy, Hudson.”
Puck laughs. “Yeah, that wasn’t really what I meant, you good-natured asshole.”
“My nature’s totally good,” Finn says, nodding his head. “I’m nice like that.”
“Yeah, I know,” Puck says. “What do you want to do, now that I went and got you drunk?”
“Drink more,” Finn says.
“Nope, I’m being responsible and cutting you off now,” Puck says cheerfully. “Second choice?”
“You drink more?” Finn suggests.
“If I drink more, who’s going to put a blanket over you when you fall asleep? Third choice.”
“We should arm wrestle,” Finn says.
“Okay,” Puck says with a shrug. “Right now?”
“Sure,” Finn says, sliding off the futon to the floor and propping his arm on the surfboard table. Puck laughs and mirrors Finn’s actions, grabbing Finn’s hand in his.
“Why are we doing this again? On three. One, two, three.”
Finn starts to push against Puck’s hand, but only thirty seconds or so pass before he starts to laugh. “Stop making that face,” Finn says.
“What face is it?” Puck asks, grinning.
“I don’t know. That one!”
“What do I look like I want to do?” Puck says without really thinking about what he’s saying.
“I don’t know. It’s… it’s, like, cute or something,” Finn says. “It’s cute.”
“My head and feet have great shapes, and my face is cute.” Puck nods. “So what do you want to do to me?” Puck almost slaps his hand over his mouth because that wasn’t really what he was planning on saying, and he wonders if he accidentally drank more than he realized.
Finn laughs again. “This,” he says, pushing Puck’s arm until the back of his hand hits the table. “Beat you.”
“You cheated,” Puck says. “Might as well go for broke. That wasn’t really what I was thinking.”
“What were you thinking?”
“Nothing you want to do, trust me.”
“Tell me!” Finn says. “I beat you, so you have to tell me.”
“No, I let you win, so I don’t have to tell you,” Puck retorts.
“No you didn’t. I won fair and square,” Finn says.
“Either way, I lost, so I don’t have to say anything.”
“That doesn’t make any sense.”
“Neither does me wanting to—” Puck cuts himself off and shrugs. “Sometimes things don’t make sense.”
“Tell me,” Finn says. “Telllll me.” He bumps his knee repeatedly against Puck’s as he continues whining. “Telllll meeeeeeee.”
“You bastard, you know I can’t resist your whining,” Puck says. “You’ve been taking advantage of that since fifth grade.”
“Are you telling me?” Finn asks.
“You don’t really want to know.”
“Don’t tell me what I want and don’t want. You’re not a mind reader. You aren’t reading my mind,” Finn says, then he frowns. “Wait. Are you reading my mind?”
“I don’t think so,” Puck says, shaking his head. “I’m making an educated guess.”
“Well, then you should just tell me. Or you can pour me another drink. Or you can tell me. Or both.”
“You’ll want a drink,” Puck says, reaching for Finn’s glass but not putting anything in it yet. “Kiss me,” he blurts out as he picks up the vodka.
Puck starts to pour some of the vodka into Finn’s glass, then pushes it towards Finn before it’s very full. “You heard me.”
“Like, on your lips?” Finn asks.
“Is their shape not as good as the rest of my head?” Puck asks, a little more bitterly than he means to.
“No, they’re nice, too,” Finn says. “I just didn’t even really think about them before.”
Puck shrugs. “Anyway, up to you.”
“You really want me to?”
“You think I’d just blurt that out otherwise?”
“Probably not,” Finn says. “Uh. Okay.”
Puck laughs for a moment and then slides over closer to Finn. “Guess it’d be hard to do that across the surfboard.”
“Yeah, I guess so. Hey.”
“Hi,” Puck says, managing half a grin and scooting even closer, letting his arm rest on the futon behind Finn.
“So, uh. How do we start?” Finn asks, grinning back at Puck.
“Close your eyes and go for it?” Puck suggests.
“Okay. So, I guess I’ll, like, meet you halfway?” Finn says, closing his eyes and leaning towards Puck. Puck can feel himself grinning fully as he moves the rest of the distance and closes his own eyes. He drops his hand onto Finn’s shoulder, his elbow still on the futon, and then connects his lips to Finn’s gently.
Finn doesn’t exactly slip him the tongue or anything, but he doesn’t pull away, either.
Puck resists the urge to laugh a little when he realizes that Finn’s lips, in addition to being a little dry, taste mostly like whipped cream with a hint of orange. Puck barely squeezes Finn’s shoulder with his hand, then carefully starts to part his lips. Finn makes a small, soft noise, and his shoulders relax under Puck’s hand.
Puck grins against his mouth and moves his hand across Finn’s shoulders as he runs his tongue along Finn’s lips, not completely sure what he will do. Finn’s mouth opens slightly. Their tongues touch tenuously, and after a few more seconds, Puck starts kissing Finn harder. He puts his hand in the middle of Finn’s back with his fingers spread slightly. Finn makes the soft noise again, scooting closer to Puck, so their legs are pressed against each other.
They stay in the same position as they keep kissing. Puck is almost afraid to stop, and Finn doesn’t seem to mind, so he continues until he feels like he has to pull away for at least a moment. Finn lets out a happy sigh, leaning the side of his head against the futon’s cushion and smiling at Puck. Puck moves his hand to the side of Finn’s head, running his fingers through Finn’s hair and then almost petting Finn, slowly and repetitively.
Finn’s smile gets wider as his eyelids start to droop closed. After a few more minutes of Puck petting him, Finn’s eyes close completely. Puck doesn’t stop moving his hand for another five or ten minutes, and then he grabs a pillow and a blanket, draping the blanket over Finn and putting the pillow under Finn’s head. He watches Finn until he feels like he might go to sleep on the floor, too, and then stands up to put away the liquor and turn out the lights before carefully lying down on the futon, his hand just an inch or so away from Finn’s head, so it’ll wake him up if Finn starts to fall over.
The sun wakes Puck up, later than usual but still earlier than he’d like for their late start day, and he lies on the futon with his eyes closed for awhile, listening to Finn’s snuffly breathing. He replays the evening in his mind, then wonders if Finn will even remember it, as much as he’d had to drink. Even if Finn does remember, Puck figures that there’s probably a chance of Finn nicely breaking it to Puck that he was just drunk, it shouldn’t happen again, and shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
Finn groans quietly and turns his face against the futon. “Bright.”
“Too early?” Puck says softly, his hand twitching. He manages not to put it on Finn’s head, but he’s glad no one was looking at the bizarre aborted movement.
“Am I on the floor?”
“Yeah. You fell asleep there. I made sure you didn’t fall over while you were sleeping,” Puck says as evenly as he can manage.
“Thanks. You’re the best,” Finn says, his eyes finally opening. “Hey.”
“Hey. You remember anything after the third drink last night?”
Finn’s face gets a little pink as he turns it against the futon again. “Yeah,” he says.
“Am I still the best?” Puck asks a little ruefully.
“Yeah,” Finn says, without moving his face away from the futon cushion.
“I’d say that I’ll make you breakfast the morning after, but I usually do that anyway, and it’d still just be toaster strudel,” Puck says, letting his hand land on Finn’s head this time.
“I like toaster strudel,” Finn says.
“Yeah, I know that. I know a lot of what you like, come to think of it,” Puck points out, not making any effort yet to get up and fix the toaster strudel.
“Yeah,” Finn says. He turns his head just enough in Puck’s direction for one eye to show.
Puck grins at him. “’Morning.”
“Yeah. ’Morning.” Finn smiles back without turning his face any further in Puck’s direction.
“So I’m thinking either I should kiss you again or we can pretend for a week or two that it didn’t happen,” Puck says, slowly starting to move his hand over Finn’s head.
“Which one do you want?” Finn asks, his face getting a little pink again.
“Question’s what you want, in my mind,” Puck says.
“You don’t think it was, I dunno. Weird?”
Puck shrugs and weaves Finn’s hair in between his fingers, which is at least half as good as actually kissing Finn, now that he considers it. “Maybe if it wasn’t you. C’mon, it’s us.”
“Yeah. It’s us,” Finn says. “Okay.”
“Okay, kiss me again.”
Puck laughs quietly and slides off the futon onto the floor beside Finn, their legs touching again. This time, he puts his other hand on Finn too, resting on the side of Finn’s face, and he kisses him with more force than he did initially the night before. Finn’s lips immediately part this time, and as Puck pushes his tongue over Finn’s lips, Finn’s tongue is right there already. Puck’s hand flexes a little in Finn’s hair, but he doesn’t stop kissing to see if he accidentally pulled it.
Finn wraps an arm around Puck’s waist, pulling him closer. Most of Puck’s weight shifts so that he’s leaning on Finn and relying on Finn to hold him up. Puck slides his hand down Finn’s neck and then wraps that arm around Finn’s shoulders so he doesn’t fall to the side. Finn pulls him even closer, so he’s halfway into Finn’s lap, and keeps kissing him.
Puck scrambles the rest of the way into Finn’s lap, half-heartedly telling himself that’s because it’s easier, and he waits a few more moments after that to rest his forehead on Finn’s. “Yeah, that’s definitely okay with me,” he says.
“Yeah. We should probably do our pools now,” Finn says, but he obviously doesn’t mean it, since he immediately puts his lips back on Puck’s.
Puck nods while they kiss, and the next time they pull apart, he says, “Yeah, but late start today.”
Finn grins at Puck before leaning in to kiss him more, both of his arms wrapping around Puck this time. Puck laughs a little as they kiss, and he shifts a little until he thinks he’s in the most comfortable position for both of them.
“We could stay like this for a while yet,” Puck says slowly. “And maybe after the pools we could see if the futon’s any good for kissing.”
“Yeah?” Finn asks. “You want to do that?”
Puck raises his eyebrows. “Did you have a better idea of how to spend our evening?”
Finn shakes his head. “Nah. I think that sounds cool.”
“Just cool?” Puck says. “You holding out for a better offer or something?”
Finn shakes his head again, harder this time. “No.”
“You sure?” Puck says, mostly jokingly.
“Yeah. Are you?”
“Yeah, I’m sure,” Puck says as he nods. He presses his lips briefly to Finn’s, then grins a little. “Definitely sure.”
“Cool,” Finn says. “Me, too.”