It’s not that Rachel’s wrong. While they didn’t exactly have an official break-up conversation or anything, Finn can admit that sending her to New York, enlisting in the army, and then not contacting her for months might have implied a breakup. Still, he really had thought he had a chance to make things work with Rachel despite all of that. He hadn’t expected her to have found somebody else already, or to have built a life that didn’t have enough room for Finn in it.
Coming back to Lima feels like its own brand of failure. Finn’s mom doesn’t say anything about him having to move back in, just that she’s glad he’s back, and while that should probably be comforting, mostly it’s just depressing. She almost seems like she expected him to move back, which means she probably expected him to fail at the whole army thing.
Finn’s barely been back in town for two days when his phone starts to blare Puck’s ringtone. He lets it ring a few times, but finally he sighs and thumbs the phone on.
“Hey, Puck,” Finn says.
“Dude. Get out some pop,” Puck says. “I’ll be there in ten.”
“Yeah, I’m in Lima. Came to meet the brother I didn’t know about,” Puck says.
“You’ve got a brother?” Finn asks. “When did that happen?”
“Apparently about fifteen years ago,” Puck says, sounding like he’s rolling his eyes.
“Well, crap. Okay, yeah, I’ll get some pop out, then,” Finn says.
Exactly ten minutes later, there’s a knock, and Puck calls out “Open up!”
Finn opens the door and steps to the side, so Puck can brush past him into the foyer, heading straight for the kitchen, where Finn already has two cold cans of pop sitting on the kitchen table, along with a bag of microwave popcorn that hasn’t even gotten a chance to cool off yet.
“So, a brother?” Finn asks, following Puck into the kitchen.
“Dear old Vern Puckerman got around,” Puck says, shaking his head and opening one of the pops. “Jake. He’s at McKinley.”
“How’d we never notice there was another Puckerman at McKinley?”
“I guess he transferred. Schue found him.”
“That’s … kinda creepy, actually,” Finn says. “What’s he like?”
“Half Jewish and half black. Thinks he’s a bigger badass than he is.” Puck grins and takes a long drink of pop.
“Does he look like you?” Finn asks.
“Yeah. I mean, except for the part where his skin’s darker?” Puck says.
Finn nods. “Wow. So, is he cool? Did you guys get along okay?”
“He’ll get there. I still need to introduce him to Kelsey. She’ll be disappointed she’s still the youngest.”
“What did your mom say? Was she pissed, or did she already know?”
“You know, I remember her being mad about something when I was really little. Only remember because she was mad for longer than usual.” Puck shrugs and picks up the popcorn. “Upstairs?”
“Yeah.” Finn grabs both the pops, and they walk upstairs to his room, which still looks exactly like it did when he left for bootcamp, minus the layer of dirty clothes on the floor that he hasn’t quite worked up to replacing yet. He sits at the head of his bed, and Puck sits at the foot, also pretty much exactly like it always used to be, the bowl of popcorn on the bed between them.
“Still don’t want to come out to L.A.?” Puck asks, scooping up some popcorn in one hand.
“The last few months have been kinda messed up,” Finn admits. “I think I probably need a little time to get my head together, you know?”
Puck nods and pushes the bowl towards Finn. “So spill.”
“Which part do you want first? The part where I shot myself and got kicked out of the army, or the part where I showed up at Rachel’s place and found out that she’s been thinking we were broken up for months?” Finn asks, picking at the popcorn, but not actually putting any of it in his mouth.
“Rachel, ’cause I want to see where you shot yourself when you get to that,” Puck answers after thinking it over for a few moments.
“Dude,” Finn says, shaking his head. “Anyway, there’s not really that much to say about Rachel. She figured me sending her to New York meant we were broken up, so she’s kinda-sorta seeing this Brody guy. He looks like a male model. How do I compete with that?”
Puck frowns. “I don’t really like girl models,” he says finally. “Way too skinny, like they’re going to break. Maybe Brody will snap a bone or something.”
“No, he’s got like abs on his abs,” Finn says.
“That sucks,” Puck says, shaking his head. “So what happened with the army? Where’d you shoot yourself? You didn’t shoot yourself in the balls, did you?”
“What? No. My balls are fine!”
“Just checking!” Puck says quickly, then gestures at the rest of Finn’s body questioningly.
Finn sighs. “It was my leg. I messed up cleaning my rifle. It’s really stupid and embarrassing.”
“Lemme see,” Puck says. “Which leg?”
“Here,” Finn says, standing up. He undoes his jeans and lets them drop, pointing at the dark, shiny scar on his thigh. “My drill sergeant said I must have stupid person luck, because it didn’t hit the bone or any arteries. It just went clean through.”
Puck squints at the scar, scooting closer. “Yeah, that’s good, right?” He makes an explosion gesture with his hands. “Can you feel anything on it?”
“Ow!” Finn says, as Puck starts poking the scar before Finn has a chance to answer. “Yeah, I can feel stuff. Stop poking it!”
“It feels cool!” Puck protests.
“Not on my end!” Finn says, smacking Puck’s hand away.
“Ow!” Puck says, shaking his hand dramatically and glaring at Finn. “That was uncalled for.”
“You were poking me,” Finn says, “in my bullet scar!”
“Because it’s cool!”
“Not to me, it isn’t! Plus, it got me kicked out of the army, so stop poking me in my failure scar!”
“Dude, would you really rather still be in the army right now?” Puck asks, still peering at the scar, but not touching it.
“No, but that doesn’t mean it feels good to fail at it, either!” Finn says.
“So your scar is like… your escape scar,” Puck says.
“No, it’s my Lima loser scar,” Finn says, leaning over to pull his jeans back. “It sent me back to Lima as an even bigger loser than when I left.”
Puck snorts. “Just leave your jeans off, we’re not going anywhere, right? And you’re only a loser if you make it to, like, fifty and you’re still living with your mom.”
“No way, I’m not leaving them off. You’ll keep poking it.” Finn scowls at Puck and continues pulling up his jeans. “Anyway, that’s easy for you to say. You moved all the way across the damn country just to get away from Lima.”
“You could still come out to L.A., dude,” Puck says. “Offer’s still open.” He takes more of the popcorn and then moves the bowl, stretching out on Finn’s bed.
“Like I said. I’ve got to get myself straightened out or something before I try to go anywhere else,” Finn says. He zips his jeans and sits down next to Puck, bumping him with his hip. “Move over.”
“Your bed’s small,” Puck complains, but he scoots over a few inches.
“Well, it’s big enough for me. Mostly.”
“Yeah, but maybe that’s the problem. You can’t entertain anyone.”
Finn snorts and rolls his eyes. “Yeah, ’cause I’m gonna be doing a lot of that, living at home with my mom.”
“With that attitude you’re never getting laid again,” Puck says, half-heartedly slapping at Finn’s chest with the back of his hand.
“Since I hadn’t actually planned on it, I guess that’s fine.”
“That sounds pretty awful,” Puck says. “No, really fucking awful. No sex?”
“Just not a top priority right now,” Finn says. “I have bigger stuff to worry about. Job, place to live that isn’t with my mom and Burt, stuff like that.”
“I didn’t say a relationship, I said sex.”
“Yeah, and that’s not really a top priority, either.”
“No, see, it’ll make all the other stuff better. It won’t feel as bad if you’re upset, you’ll be able to think better, all of that kind of shit,” Puck says.
“Yeah? Well, what kind of girl wants to hook up with some loser who got kicked out of the army for shooting himself, and then had to move back home with his mom?” Finn asks. “No kind of girl, by the way.”
Puck gestures dismissively with one arm. “Movie?” he asks after another thirty or forty-five seconds.
“Sure. I rented a couple that I missed while I was gone,” Finn says.
Midway through the second movie, Puck stops paying attention, mostly because he’s already seen the movie. He starts thinking about Finn’s pity party, and his disavowal of sex, which Puck is pretty sure won’t help anything. If Puck’s right—and he usually is, when it’s about sex—then the lack of sex will make everything else going on with Finn even worse.
L.A. is a lot different than Lima, and one of the differences is that two of Puck’s post–pool cleaning hookups have been with dudes. One was a guy and his girlfriend who both wanted to hook up with Puck, but the other one was a single guy, and it was kind of weird, but it wasn’t so weird that Puck freaked out or anything. Puck turns his head to the side, watching Finn watch the movie for awhile before he decides that hooking up with a total of three dudes still probably doesn’t mean that much, and some good sex would probably help Finn with the job hunting and place to live hunting.
“Let’s do it,” Puck announces, because if he’s anything after sophomore year, it’s a good best friend, and what kind of best friend doesn’t help his best friend out anyway he can?
“Do what?” Finn asks, not looking away from the movie.
“Sex,” Puck says with a shrug. “I’m good at it. I’m practically the best at it. And then you’ll go out and rock finding a job.”
Finn starts to laugh, shaking his head. “Yeah, right. Funny, dude. I’m trying to watch this.”
“No, seriously, come on,” Puck says. “I have to head back to L.A. in another day or two, but you can go find your place to live and everything.”
“Yeah, right,” Finn repeats.
“Hey, I’m not going to make you play receiver,” Puck says. Not that he’s actually bottomed before, but he can take one for the team, and Finn’ll be gentle.
“Dude, no, I’m not gonna have sex with you,” Finn says. “That’s ridiculous. You don’t really want that. Anyway, neither one of us is into dudes.”
Puck shrugs. “You need to have sex. You need to get some mojo back. I’m your best friend, so I’m, you know. Taking one for the team. An ass is an ass, right?”
“Yeah, I have no idea how to answer that.”
“I’m just saying, you can pretend it’s a chick’s ass, if you need to,” Puck says with another shrug. “I’ll roll over or something. I am serious, though. Sex will make you feel better.”
Finn shakes his head. “Come on. I’m not a one-night-stand kind of guy, chick or not. My brain doesn’t work like that.”
“I know, dude, but who knows almost everything about sex in this room? Me or you?”
“Probably you, but—”
“Definitely me,” Puck interrupts, and he unfastens his jeans as he starts to roll onto his stomach. “Trust me on this one. You need to get your mojo back, and I’m going to help you do it, because you won’t even look for anyone else.” Puck feels almost like his honor has been insulted or something, and he keeps wiggling out of his jeans.
“Puck, dude, seriously!” Finn says. “My mojo’s fine. You don’t have to do this.”
“‘It’s my Lima loser scar’ and ‘no kind of girl’ are not good mojo,” Puck says firmly, and he starts rifling through Finn’s bedside table. It’s probably too much to hope that Kurt somehow left lube in Finn’s room, and after he concludes that he’s right, he sighs and sits up. “I’ll be right back,” he says, kicking off his jeans the rest of the way as he stands up. “Take your jeans back off or something.”
He doesn’t wait for Finn to reply, just heads into Kurt’s old room and starts looking around for lube. He finally finds it in the weirdest place—inside Kurt’s desk drawer, next to extra staples and binder clips—and heads back to Finn’s room.
“You’re walking around my house with your ass hanging out to find lotion?” Finn asks.
“Lube, dude. My ass doesn’t make its own.” Puck flops back down on Finn’s bed. “Why are your jeans still on? I guess I can take care of it while you get undressed.”
Finn’s face is beet red, and he doesn’t start making a move to undo his jeans ago. “Even Santana kissed me first,” he says, quiet enough that Puck can barely make it out.
Puck rolls back over and shrugs. “Okay, cool. Didn’t want to assume,” he says, because he figures it’ll be harder for Finn to pretend Puck’s a random girl—or not-so-random girl—if he kisses Puck with all of Puck’s stubble, but if Finn wants kissing, Puck can do that. He props himself up on his elbow and then leans forward, kissing Finn a little harder than he would a first kiss with a girl, but not as hard as he usually would if someone’s already naked.
Finn starts to pull back, but Puck puts his hand on Finn’s neck and tugs him closer, and Finn doesn’t fight it. It takes him a few more seconds to really start kissing back. Once he does, though, he kisses hard and wraps one arm around Puck. Puck is a little surprised by Finn’s enthusiasm, but it should make it a little easier to really get into it.
While they kiss, Puck works the lube open with one hand, and he smears some lube on the other hand before starting to push two fingers into his ass. Finn keeps kissing Puck at first, but after a little while, he pulls away again, making that dumb puppy face.
“What are you doing?” Finn asks.
“Told you, my ass doesn’t make its own lube,” Puck says, grunting as he adds a third finger. “You want me on my stomach or my back?”
“How do you know how all this stuff works?”
“I know almost everything about sex,” Puck says, which doesn’t really answer Finn’s question, but while he’s naked with his fingers in his own ass doesn’t sound like a great time to answer questions.
“Oh. Okay. Yeah,” Finn says.
Puck pulls his fingers out and grabs the bottle of lube again, putting more on his hands and then looking at Finn. “Dude, you have to take your jeans off.”
“Okay,” Finn says. This time, his hands move to his zipper without him arguing, and he turns red again as he unzips his jeans and starts pushing them down. It takes Finn a little longer than it probably should to get his jeans off, but he finally does, letting them drop off the foot of the bed to the floor.
“Boxers, too,” Puck says, grinning a little.
“Okay,” Finn says again, more quietly this time. His face gets redder as he pushes off his boxes, and he doesn’t make eye contact with Puck. Puck doesn’t force the issue, just reaches for Finn’s dick and starts coating it with lube. It is a little weird, because he’s only given one other guy a hand job, and it wasn’t either of the two guys in L.A., plus this is Finn, but it’s kind of cool, too, and he wipes his hands half-heartedly on Finn’s sheets when he finishes.
“Back or stomach?” he asks again.
“Which way is better?”
“Do you need to pretend I’m a girl? ’Cause then I’ll get on my stomach. Otherwise back’s probably easier.”
“Maybe stomach?” Finn says.
Puck nods, because he was going to suggest stomach if Finn couldn’t decide. “Cool,” he says, rolling over and then adjusting his legs. “Go for it.”
Finn kneels behind Puck for about thirty seconds before resting one hand lightly on Puck’s ass. It feels like even longer before Puck feels Finn’s dick against his ass, pushing in very slowly, and Puck shifts a little in what he thinks is probably at least a semi-encouraging way.
“Yeah,” he says after another twenty or so seconds. “Keep going.”
“Does it hurt?” Finn asks, his voice higher-pitched than normal. “I can stop.”
“Nah,” Puck says, and it’s mostly true. It feels weird, and it burns and stings a little, and there’s a lot of stretching, but there’s no sharp pain or anything, so he’s pretty sure everything’s as it’s supposed to be. “Like I said, keep going.”
“Okay,” Finn says. He pushes a little deeper into Puck, the hand that had been resting on Puck’s ass moving to his hip. As he pushes in even more, he pulls back on Puck’s hip, pulling Puck closer to him. Puck closes his eyes and moves his legs up, trying to make himself concentrate on the mechanics of it, because he had really thought, up until about twenty seconds earlier, that he was mainly doing this for Finn, but now he’s getting really hard and he bites his lip to keep from giving Finn more direction.
“Is that okay?” Finn asks. “You need me to stop?”
“No,” Puck says quickly, shaking his head. “It’s— you’re good. You can go faster or whatever.”
“Okay.” Finn’s other hand grips Puck’s other hip, so he’s holding him by both hips, and then Finn does start to move a little faster, pulling out a little and then thrusting back in.
Puck gets that much harder, and he bites down on his lower lip again, because this isn’t supposed to be about him. It’s just for Finn, just a one-off so Finn can feel more confident again, and Puck definitely doesn’t need to be whimpering and moaning and telling Finn to keep going, or saying anything about how he doesn’t really want Finn to come, because that means it’d be over.
“You feel really good,” Finn says, voice strained and still higher-pitched.
“Yeah?” Puck says after taking a deep breath. “You need me to move or anything?”
“If you want to. Do you want to?”
Puck doesn’t say anything for a few seconds, because he’s not supposed to be wanting anything in this, but he nods, still biting down on his lip.
“Okay. Move however you need to,” Finn says.
“Okay,” Puck manages, and he starts slowly rocking with each of Finn’s thrusts, which means that it feels like Finn is going deeper than before. Puck bites back more whimpers and moans and tells himself that maybe it’s okay to get something out of doing this for Finn. His dick starts almost hurting, so he reaches under himself and starts stroking it.
Finn thrusts into Puck a few more times, then asks, “Do you want me to …”
It takes Puck a moment to realize what Finn’s asking, and he would shrug if he weren’t being fucked. “Up to you. Sure. If you want to.”
Finn slows his movements, then after a few breaths, he reaches under Puck, his hand covering Puck’s as it wraps around Puck’s hand and dick. Puck exhales a little and decides to stop worrying about what any of it means. He’ll just enjoy it, because all of it, from Finn’s dick inside him to Finn’s hand around him, feels really fucking good, and he’s always thought the point of sex should be to enjoy it and have fun.
Once Puck relaxes about it meaning anything specific, he notices that Finn definitely isn’t worried about it, because he’s panting and letting out little moans, and that’s also hot, because Puck knows it’s because of him. As Finn keeps fucking him, Puck realizes that Finn has gone from letting Puck’s hand guide him to moving his hand on his own, wrapped firmly around Puck’s hand on top of his dick.
“You feel so good,” Finn says. “You feel so awesome.”
“Yeah,” Puck says, more softly than he intends, but it’s true. Finn feels awesome, and it’s definitely some of the best sex he’s had in awhile. Finn keeps panting and moaning behind him, moving both their hands on Puck’s dick in time to his thrusts.
Puck rocks his hips back with a little more force behind them, and his free hand grabs at Finn’s sheets as he does let a moan slip out. Finn must like it, because he pounds into Puck even harder, the whole bed rocking underneath them. Puck closes his eyes again and lets himself focus just on how good it all feels, and how he’s probably going to come soon, and he tries to mentally will Finn into some extrahuman stamina. Puck knows he’s going to have too much to think about, but he pushes it aside and stops biting back the noises, too.
Finn gasps loudly, his hands tightening on Puck’s hip and dick. “Oh my god,” he says, sounding almost awestruck. “You’re so tight. Your ass is so tight, I think I’m gonna die.”
“Don’t die,” Puck mutters, still moving his ass with Finn’s thrusts, but he feels himself like he’s either going to have to come or pass out, as much as he wants to keep going.
“Okay. Then I’m gonna come, okay?” Finn asks.
“Yeah, okay,” Puck says, nodding his head. As soon as Puck agrees, Finn starts thrusting a little erratically, loud moans turning into cries. A few seconds later, Puck can actually feel Finn coming, and it’s a little weird, but a little bit cool, too. Finn’s hand is still moving on Puck’s dick, and Puck thrusts into it hard several times before he starts to come. He moves his hand and collapses down on the bed, breathing hard.
Finn’s weight drapes across Puck’s back, and Puck can hear that Finn is breathing hard, too. A couple of minutes pass like that, with Finn’s chest pressed against Puck’s back, then Finn rolls off Puck and onto his side. Puck stretches out his legs and rolls onto his side after another thirty seconds or so.
“Don’t leave, okay?” Finn says softly.
“I can stay for awhile,” Puck says.
Puck smiles to himself and closes his eyes, feeling like he’s probably going to doze for at least a little bit, even if the feeling of come in his ass is a little distracting. That’s exactly what happens, and when he wakes up again, he can tell it’s late afternoon. Burt or Carole or both of them will be there soon, and Puck really does need to get Kelsey and introduce her to Jake before he heads back to L.A.
Plus, if he stays, he’ll probably start thinking about things he doesn’t want to think about just yet, including how part of him is tempted to wake Finn up and suggest another round. Puck shakes his head and sits up, quietly getting dressed before squatting down beside the bed.
“Finn,” he says, and his voice echoes in the room, even though he was trying to keep his voice low.
Finn sound half asleep when he answers, “Yeah?”
“I gotta go,” Puck says. “Okay?”
“Oh. Okay,” Finn says. For a split second, Puck thinks that Finn sounds almost disappointed, but he’s probably imagining things.
“See you in a couple of months?” Puck says. “Unless you head west sooner than that?”
“Yeah,” Finn says. “See you in a couple of months.”
Puck nods and stands up, and he doesn’t give in to the brief impulse to lean over and kiss Finn, and once he turns to leave, he doesn’t turn around to look at Finn, either, because it was just a one-time thing, just Puck being a good best friend, and yeah, maybe he’s leaving for L.A. a day earlier than he planned originally, but it doesn’t mean he’s running away from anything.
By mid-October, Finn feels like he’s maybe starting to get his life together. He’s working about 30 hours a week at the tire shop, which gives him enough money to get a little apartment and enough free time to try to figure out what he actually wants to do with himself. He’s even gotten pretty good at grocery shopping and can cook a few things that don’t come in a box with step-by-step instructions. All things considered, he’s doing a lot better than he’d anticipated, with the one big glaring hole that’s Puck apparently not wanting much of anything to do with him anymore.
Puck replies to texts if Finn sends them—short responses, but at least they’re responses—but he doesn’t pick up the phone when Finn calls. Finn actually managed to get him on the phone once, probably because Puck wasn’t paying attention, but the conversation was short and awkward. Even though Puck wasn’t wrong about the sex making Finn feel better, Finn wishes he could take it back, because the trade off seems to be losing Puck entirely.
Since he doesn’t have Puck to talk to, though, Finn ends up thinking about the sex a lot. Like, a lot, a lot. Maybe Puck thought Finn was pretending Puck was a girl, but that’s not what Finn had really been thinking. Mostly, he’d thought that being with Puck didn’t feel like some kind of one-night-stand thing, or a convenience or desperation thing, either. It was a little weird, but mostly because it was different and new, but Finn doesn’t feel bad about it. He’s a little confused, sure, because it’s not like he’d ever really thought about having sex with another guy, but since that other guy was Puck, Finn feels like maybe it’s okay. Puck’s not just any guy; Finn’s known him longer and probably better than any of the girls he ever went out with.
Finn is halfway through an oil change when he hears Rachel’s voice directly behind him. “Hi, Finn.”
He’s so startled that he starts to sit up, then hits his head on the underside of the car. “Ow, shit!” He rolls the rolly thing out from under the car and looks up at Rachel. “Uh. Hi.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Rachel says in her not-really-sorry voice. “So we were coming to see the musical, and I thought I’d say hi.” She smiles widely. “I went by the house first, but you weren’t there.”
“Yeah, I’ve been working for Burt for about six weeks,” Finn says. He stands up, using the rag stuffed in his coveralls to wipe his hands. “What are you doing here?”
“I…” Rachel starts, then falters. “I thought I’d see how you were.”
“Doing okay, I guess,” Finn says. “You?”
“Oh, I’m doing well,” Rachel says, her smile a little shakier than before. “So… so, everything’s good for you here?”
Finn shrugs. “Good enough, I guess.”
“Are you seeing anyone?”
Finn frowns slightly, then shakes his head. “Not really.”
“Oh. Okay.” Rachel looks confused for a moment, then sad, before her smile widens again. “Well, I’m going to be here until tomorrow night, if you’d like to get together…”
“I guess we could meet some place for dinner or something,” Finn offers. “Did you fly in with Kurt? Maybe he’d want to go, too.”
Rachel looks very disappointed for about ten seconds, then smiles. “Oh, of course, you’d like to catch up with Kurt, too! Yes. We can do that. When do you get done with work?”
“I should be done here by five. Give me a half hour to go by my apartment and get cleaned up, and I can meet you at Breadstix at five-thirty, five-forty-five?”
“Your— oh, okay,” Rachel says, and she nods. “I’ll see you this evening then.” She looks like she wants to take a step forward, but stops herself, and then she leaves the shop as quietly as she must have arrived.
“Weird,” Finn says. He rolls back under the car to finish the oil change, then wraps up the rest of his work. Before he drives back to the apartment, he shoots Puck a text: Rachel showed up out of the blue.
Finn checks his phone after showering and getting dressed, and finds a short response from Puck: Stay strong bro. Finn frowns at his phone for not giving him a longer message, then sighs as he sticks the phone in his back pocket. Just one more short “bro” message from Puck. Finn’s a little tired of the “bro” messages.
Puck looks around the room a final time, then spots his toothbrush and drops it in his bag. No one wants their pool cleaned the week of Thanksgiving, anyway, so he’ll make everyone happy and head back to Lima for a full seven days. If he’s a great brother and son, he might even keep himself busy enough not to think about how he could try to hook up with Finn again.
All that having sex with Finn was supposed to do was give Finn some mojo. Instead, Puck is still not sure what all of it means in his head, except that he apparently really likes being on the receiving end, that hooking up with guys might not be just a situational thing, and he definitely feels un-bro feelings for Finn, which all add up to one conclusion: not cool.
He’s fine with the idea of ‘straight but shit happens’, but Puck is self-aware enough to know this is not just ‘shit happens’ and closer to ‘bisexual’ or whatever it means when he catches himself looking at almost as many dudes as girls when he goes to the beach or a club. That’s not really the worst of it, in Puck’s mind; after the two hookups in L.A., he’d thought he could handle being closer to bi as long as he’s the one doing the fucking. Fucking guys isn’t bad, but it’s not nearly as good as getting fucked, and Puck doesn’t know what to think about that either.
The long drive towards Lima is going to either give him time to figure out how to act around Finn, or it’s going to be too much time to think and result in Puck showing up at Finn’s apartment with his jeans already half-undone. Lights turned off, Puck locks up the apartment and climbs on the motorcycle, heading east. He waits until he’s stopped for the night in Oklahoma to send Finn a text.
See you Tuesday afternoon.
Yeah? Awesome! See you then!! Finn sends back, so quickly he must have already had the phone in his hands when Puck’s text came through.
Puck bites his lip, but that just reminds him of how he bit his lip while Finn was fucking him, and even though he tells himself he’s not going to do it, that’s what he jacks off thinking about before he falls asleep that night in the crummy motel, and it’s what he thinks about when he jacks off in the shower the next morning, too, and when he starts out on the last, nearly fourteen hour, leg of the trip, he tells himself he can’t think about it in Lima. He can’t let Finn know when he gets in town that evening, or that he’s there before Tuesday afternoon with everyone getting together. He can’t let Finn know, because otherwise, Puck will end up at Finn’s apartment, just like he’s afraid of.
Crossing Lima city limits happens just after nine Monday night, and Puck checks in with his mom before texting the number Jake gave him and arranging a late-night burger run with his brother from a different mother. Puck sleeps in on Tuesday morning and heads towards McKinley after lunch, because apparently the glee club can’t have a reunion unless it’s a place where they can all start singing.
Which is exactly what happens, all of them singing, and Puck kicks himself for not thinking Quinn or Santana either one looks remotely sexy. His entire body notices Finn, though, and when the song ends, he tries to keep Mike between him and Finn. Everyone’s talking enough at first that it works, but eventually, Puck ends up standing next to Finn, a little ways away from everyone else.
“Hey,” he says, not looking directly at Finn.
“Hey,” Finn says. “So … how’ve you been?”
“Good. L.A.’s good. Lots of pools,” Puck says. He knows it sounds dumb, but he really doesn’t want to blurt anything out while they’re standing on the stage at McKinley with people they know.
“So you’re staying busy. That’s cool,” Finn says. “Seemed like maybe you were really busy.”
“Yeah, it’s pretty busy,” Puck agrees, even though there are days that it doesn’t feel busy enough. Most days he notices as soon as Finn texts him, if Finn does, and most days he has a few hours free in the morning for the beach or at night for a bar or open mic night or a club, and that’s usually a few hours too many.
“I don’t hear from you much anymore, is all.”
“Yeah,” Puck says quietly and sighs, because ‘I can’t talk to you because then I have to admit to things and probably tell you them and freak you out’ isn’t an acceptable answer. “I know.”
“I thought, I don’t know.” Finn’s facial expression isn’t one Puck’s seen before, which is weird, since Puck thought he’d seen all of them by this point. “Maybe you were mad at me or something, you know?”
Puck is mad, but at himself, not Finn, so he shakes his head. “Nah, not mad at you.”
“Cool,” Puck repeats, and finally makes eye contact with Finn, which he decides about two seconds later isn’t the best idea, because with eye contact comes the thought that they could be kissing or something.
“But you’re in town for a while, right?” Finn asks.
“Yeah, I’ll have to leave Friday or Saturday, depending on how far I want to drive in a day, what the weather looks like,” Puck says.
“Cool,” Finn says, nodding slightly. He looks like he’s steeling himself a little, then asks, “So, do you want to go, I don’t know. Get dinner or something?”
Puck almost blurts out something along the lines of ‘duh’ or ‘yes’, but his brain catches up before he can, and he forces out a laugh. “We’re not dating or anything, dude. It was just a one-off.”
“No, I— I wasn’t trying to—” Finn’s face turns pink and kind of crumples. “I was just—”
“Anyway, I have to find Jake,” Puck says, trying to save them both, because now he feels bad for Finn and bad for being an asshole, but not bad enough to take it back or want to think about how he wants to make Finn feel better. “You know. Give him an older Puckerman that won’t steal his money, at least.”
“Yeah. Okay. I’ll, uh. I’ll catch you later, I guess,” Finn says.
Puck turns away at the look on Finn’s face, because Finn looks like someone stole his kitten, and all Puck can make himself do is leave the auditorium without looking back. It’s just a week—less than a week—and he’ll be back in L.A. for at least another month. Maybe by then he’ll figure out how to act around Finn again.
Finn makes a few half-hearted attempts to get together with Puck during the week, but if Puck replies to Finn’s texts at all, the return texts are short and usually some variation on “too busy.” He hadn’t exactly been asking Puck on a date, but he hadn’t not been, either. Puck was more than clear about how he felt about that, though, so Finn doesn’t text anything about that, or anything that could even sound like that.
Thanksgiving is kind of depressing, because it’s just Finn, his mom, and Burt, since Kurt stayed out in New York. Finn’s mom and Burt try to get Finn to stay the night, so Finn can just ride in to the tire shop with Burt in the morning for their early Black Friday hours. Finn turns them down and drives back to his apartment with containers full of leftovers. Before he goes to bed, he sends Puck a quick text that says If I don’t see you before you go, drive safe.
The return text is the fastest Puck has replied in months, and is longer than most of his texts too. Clear skies, clear road. See you in December?
Yeah, Finn texts back, sighing as he turns the sound off on his phone, sets his alarm, and flips off his lamp.
Finn and Burt open the tire shop at five in the morning, just in case any of the Black Friday shoppers’ tires need repaired. Burt puts on the Nebraska at Iowa game on the TV in the breakroom at lunch, and in between repairs, Finn sticks his head in to watch. The game turns out to be pretty boring, but it’s more interesting than helping with the third brake job in a row. When they finally clock out at five, Finn decides his only evening plans are to go back to the apartment and eat so many leftovers that he spends the rest of the night in a food coma.
He’s just stuck his leftovers in the microwave when there is an insistent knock on his door. If his food were ready, he probably would have just said ‘fuck it’ and left whoever it was to keep banging. Since his food still has a minute and fifty-four seconds to heat, Finn opens the apartment door.
“I’m an asshole,” Puck says, and he looks a little rough and rumpled. “Fuck me anyway?”
Finn stares at Puck until the microwave beeps, then he nods. “Yeah, okay.”
“Cool.” Puck steps inside and starts shaking off his jacket, then looks at Finn. “You need to get your food or whatever?”
Finn shakes his head. “No.”
Puck shrugs and pulls off his t-shirt, tossing it on top of his jacket before taking off his shoes. “Okay.” He pulls something out of his pocket, puts his hands at the front of his jeans, then stops, looking at Finn. “Where?”
“I’ve got a bed,” Finn says. “Unless … did you not want the bed?”
“Bed’s good, I just didn’t want to assume you did,” Puck says, shrugging and looking a little sheepish as he glances around the apartment.
“Sofa’s probably not big enough anyway,” Finn says. He waves his hand in the direction of his bedroom.
“Yeah, probably not,” Puck agrees, looking Finn up and down once before walking towards the bedroom. Finn follows, and by the time they are both in the bedroom, Puck is naked and lying down on the bed on his back, gesturing with the bottle in his hand. “Need me to take care of it again?”
Finn feels his face getting hot as he shakes his head. “I Googled,” he admits. “Not because I was expecting. Just, you know, in case.”
“It’s good to know things,” Puck says with a nod before tossing the bottle towards Finn. He puts his hands behind his head and just stares at Finn, the look on his face the same as it was all the times Finn watched him checking out girls. Bottle in hand, Finn pushes off his sweatpants and takes off his shirt, watching Puck watch him.
“I hope Google gave me good answers,” Finn says.
“It usually gives the correct ones, anyway,” Puck says, and he pulls his knees up. Finn nods and kneels on the bed between Puck’s legs, flipping the cap open on the bottle. He dumps some of the lube onto his fingers and gives Puck a shaky-feeling grin.
“You’re ready?” Finn asks.
“Yeah,” Puck says, sounding breathy, and he nods. Finn moves a little closer, touching just his fingertips to Puck, and tries not to think about the fact that he’s hoping if he does it right, Puck might actually call him after this time.
“Does this feel right?” Finn asks, slowly pushing one finger into Puck.
Puck nods again. “Yeah. You can start with two.”
“You want me to?” Finn asks. “I don’t have to. I don’t …” He trails off, because he doesn’t want to tell Puck he’s not in a rush for it to be over.
“It feels good,” Puck says quietly after a few extra seconds pass.
“Okay.” Finn withdraws his finger enough to slide a second finger in with it. “Like that?”
“Yeah,” Puck says, and he shifts on the bed, moving his hips up and towards Finn. Finn pushes his fingers farther in, then out a little, then in again, watching Puck’s face. Puck glances between Finn’s face and Finn’s hand, and he makes quiet whimpering noises.
“Yeah?” Finn asks.
“Yeah.” Puck sounds more definite and a little desperate, and he whimpers again as his hips and Finn’s fingers move.
“Did you … I mean, I could …” Finn gestures with his free hand in the vague direction of Puck’s dick, so Puck could pretend not to understand if he doesn’t want Finn to touch him like that.
“Not yet,” Puck says, then grabs Finn’s free hand and pulls on it. Finn lets Puck pull him up, and Puck leans in to kiss Finn hard, his tongue pushing into Finn’s mouth. Finn’s totally cool with that, kissing back just as hard while he keeps moving his fingers inside Puck, probably a little more awkwardly.
Puck’s hand grabs at the back of Finn’s head, holding him in place and not letting the kiss end for a long time. Puck pulls away barely every minute or so, gasping, and then kisses Finn again, his hips rocking upward. Finn bites at Puck’s bottom lip any time Puck starts to pull away.
Puck lets out quiet little moans as they kiss, and then pulls away enough to stare at Finn. “Now?” he says, sounding a little more desperate than before.
“Yeah,” Finn says. “I think so.”
“Yeah,” Puck says, nodding and shifting his legs again. Finn sits back on his heels, sliding his fingers out of Puck. He dumps a little more lube into his hand and spreads it on his own dick, then he positions himself between Puck’s legs again, the head of his dick pressing against Puck’s hole.
“Oh. Yeah,” Puck says with a tiny sigh.
Finn closes his eyes as he rocks his hips forward, feeling himself just start to push into Puck. “Yeah,” Finn agrees. “Definitely yeah.”
Puck thrusts up towards Finn, his hand grabbing Finn’s wrist and tugging at the same time he puts one leg around Finn’s legs. “Yeah, just like that.”
Finn slides deeper into Puck, eyes still closed. Just as he pushes completely in, he presses his lips gently to Puck’s. Puck puts his other hand on Finn’s neck and kisses back hard, but not quite as hard as they were kissing before. Puck almost whines against Finn’s lips, pulling on his arm and pressing with his leg like he wants Finn even closer.
“Just everywhere,” Puck mutters.
“I think that’s as much as I’ve got,” Finn says.
Puck snorts and wraps his arms around Finn, pulling him down until their chests are mostly touching. “There,” he says, then starts kissing Finn again. Finn slips one of his arms under Puck, bracing the other next to Puck’s head, and starts to slowly move his hips, not really pulling out of Puck very far before sliding in again.
Puck nods a little, still kissing Finn, and he starts to move one hand on Finn’s back. Puck really seems into it, and even though it felt great the first time, it’s about a hundred times better this time. Finn keeps moving in short strokes, and Puck’s hands grab Finn’s ass and guide it. Finn’s lips slide to Puck’s jaw, kissing the side of his neck a little, then back up to Puck’s ear.
“Is this good? Is it how you want it?” Finn asks softly.
“Yeah,” Puck says quietly, his head barely nodding. “Yeah, it’s good.”
“You feel good,” Finn tells him. “Being inside you feels so good, Puck.”
Puck moans a little, and he pulls on Finn’s ass again. “Yeah. Yeah.”
“Yeah,” Finn agrees, thrusting into Puck harder, and pulling a little farther out of him between thrusts. “It’s good like this.” It is good like this, both having Puck on his back and just being inside him.
“Mmm, yeah,” Puck says, moaning again as his leg tightens around Finn’s. “Now you can.”
“Yeah?” Finn asks, shifting his weight a little to one side so he can run his hand down Puck’s chest, not quite touching his dick.
“Yeah, kinda hard now.”
Finn wraps his hand around Puck’s dick, laughing a little. “Just kinda?”
“You can feel it,” Puck says with a little grunt. “More than kinda.”
“Yeah. More than kinda.” Finn strokes Puck’s dick slowly, his mouth still near Puck’s ear. “I want to make you come.”
Puck’s hips thrust forward, and he nods rapidly. “Yeah. That’s a good idea.”
“Yeah, it totally is,” Finn says. He moves his hand faster and fucks Puck a little harder.
“Yeah,” Puck says again, then starts kissing Finn again as they fuck. Puck is hot and tight, and Finn thinks it’s probably good he’s kissing Puck again, because he might do something stupid like tell Puck he loves him and ruin it. Instead, he keeps jerking Puck off and thrusting into him.
Finn can feel himself starting to get close, close enough that if he wants Puck to come first, he’d better do whatever he needs to do to get Puck there. He pulls his mouth away from Puck’s and puts it back to Puck’s ear.
“You should come,” Finn says. “It would be so cool if you came right now.”
Puck doesn’t say anything or nod, just whimpers loudly and thrusts up against Finn while his hands squeeze Finn’s ass. Fifteen seconds or so pass before Puck starts to come, still whimpering.
“That is so fucking hot,” Finn says. It only takes him a few more thrusts until he starts to come, too, Puck still tight around him. His whole body shakes and shudders, and he finally slumps against Puck, his face pressed to Puck’s neck.
Puck relaxes his legs and slides his hands up Finn’s back, leaving his arms wrapped around Finn. Finn pulls him closer. “I can sleep here?” Puck mutters after a few minutes.
“Yeah,” Finn says. “Sleep.” He closes his eyes and holds Puck against his chest, smiling as he starts to drift off to sleep.
“Morning,” Puck whispers, his mouth next to Finn’s cheek.
Finn smiles before he opens his eyes. “Hey.”
“Feed a guy breakfast before he has to head west?” Puck asks, sounding a little sheepish.
“Yeah, I can do that,” Finn says. He sits up, frowning as he squints around the room. “Do you know where my sweatpants ended up?”
“I think you left ’em in the floor,” Puck says. “In here, though. Not like my shirt.”
“Want me to toss it to you when I find it?”
“At least my jeans,” Puck says, slowly rolling to a sitting position and then stretching. “I really do have to get going today.”
“Yeah,” Finn says, trying not to sound too sad. He stands up and grabs his sweatpant, pulling them on and then tossing Puck his jeans.
“Thanks,” Puck says, putting on his jeans halfway before standing up and fastening them. “You have any pumpkin pie or anything we could eat for breakfast?”
“What?” Puck asks, looking confused.
“Do you think the leftovers are still okay to eat if I left them in the microwave all night?”
Puck rides his ‘fuck it, I want it, let’s go for it’ high through breakfast and through leaving, when he doesn’t stop himself from kissing Finn just before he heads out the door. He actually rides the high until around Indianapolis, which takes two and a half hours, which, Puck concedes, says a lot about the sex and everything else.
Having not-just-friends feelings for a friend seems almost easy compared to the rest of it. They’ve never run out of things to talk about. The sex is hot and amazing. There’s no need to do a lot of explaining about anything in their pasts to each other. That’s fine, and if Finn were a girl…
If Finn were a girl, Puck admits, he probably still would have jackrabbited after the first time they had sex, but he would have figured something else out this time. Maybe let someone talk or insist that they be in the same city, but something, not this nebulous ‘see you in a month’, and maybe that makes Puck an asshole still. It probably does, but when he stops at the same motel in Oklahoma, he just stares at his phone instead of sending a message or calling Finn.
Because Finn’s not a girl.
The next day is eighteen hours on the road, and it’s already close to midnight, and that’s the excuse Puck gives himself: the alarm set for 5:45 am.
Driving for eighteen hours is probably the perfect time to think about the fact that Finn is not a girl, and probably also the fact that Puck really digs that and wants Finn to fuck him more, but Puck does his best not to think about it at all, because he’s concentrating on not being too big of an asshole. If he thinks too much about it, he won’t even text Finn to let him know he’s back in Los Angeles, and that would be an asshole move.
He pulls into his apartment’s lot at one in the morning, local time, because he had to stop and eat and piss sometimes, and as he heads to his door, he shoots off the text to Finn. Finn’s probably asleep, but Puck’s tired enough that his resistance is down. If he waits until after he sleeps, he might wake up a monumental asshole again, and he’s at least trying not to let Finn know how big of an asshole he is.
Back in LA. Thinking I might try to fly next month. 18 hours on the bike sucks.
Text sent, Puck flops down in bed and tries for about thirty seconds not to think about Finn while he jerks off. He gives in after that, thinking about Finn’s mouth so close to his ear, and how Finn’s breath felt on Puck’s skin while Finn whispered to him. He thinks about the way Finn said being inside you, and how Finn felt inside him, and he imagines that the hand wrapped around his dick isn’t his own but Finn’s instead. After he comes, he rolls over on the mattress and sighs. He’s totally fucked.
By the time Puck wakes up the next morning, he realizes it’s already afternoon in Ohio, and he heads to the shower before he checks his phone. He picks up his phone, holding it face down for a moment, and mentally concedes that it’s another way he’s clearly fucked, too giddy about a single text message that he’s not even 100% sure is there.
Wish you could’ve stayed longer.
Puck knows his face must look weird, because he's torn between grinning and wincing, and he doesn't know which is the better response. He knows what the non-asshole response to Finn is, at least, so he types it out and sends it before the rest of his brain talks him out of it.
Maybe he can summon a little of the high for a few more days, just so he's less of an asshole for a little while.
That's pretty much what happens, and by the next time he has a block of time free, he realizes he’s slipped close to asshole mode again, sending crappy short texts that probably make Finn look like someone stole his kitten again.
Puck’s not trying to be an asshole, but he never wanted to be bi. Even after the hookups, if he’d decided to hook up with dudes and girls, maybe he could have integrated that into his ideas about himself, but that’s not the situation. He goes out to a club and feels guilty when he starts checking people out. He tries to hook up with one dude anyway, because he needs to know how he feels about being out somewhere with a dude.
He ends up going to the bathroom and then slipping out the back exit, which makes him a double asshole. It’s not really the dude factor, at least not at a club where he’s been dancing with and chatting up everyone. It’s that if he’s with Finn, people are going to think he’s full-on gay, and Puck definitely is freaking out about that. Gay isn’t ever how he wanted to be seen, and no amount of “I’m bi” is going to change it in people’s minds. Plus Puck is pretty sure that would also result in sad kitten stolen face from Finn, and fuck if he doesn’t have it bad, wanting to make sure Finn doesn’t look like that.
None of that even touches that Puck’s been on the bottom, letting Finn fuck him and wanting more of it. Sure, maybe it’s just that it’s Finn, which would be its own sappy thing, and topping Finn would be just as awesome, but it doesn’t alter that Puck’s never thought he’d actually like bottoming. He’s put so much effort into being Puck and on top figuratively and literally that Puck-who-likes-it-up-the-ass is a weird thing. He does, though, and no amount of avoiding Finn or avoiding identifying as bi is going to let him forget that.
So Puck spends December becoming increasingly more of an asshole, and he knows it, but it doesn’t make him change anything, because in the end he’s too scared. He does buy round trip airfare to Dayton for the end of the month, and spends three days moping over who he wants to ask to pick him up and who he should ask and if he picks Finn, what happens if he kisses Finn right there in the airport?
Eventually he decides to take one of those vans from the airport to Lima, and when he gets to Lima, he walks the mile to his mom’s. Of course, as soon as she opens the door, Puck realizes that while he was busy moping and being indecisive, he forgot to tell anyone what day exactly he was arriving.
He ignores the text Finn sent while Puck was in the air, just like he ignored the text the day before, and when he wakes up the next morning at his mom’s, he deliberately doesn’t even look at his phone for a couple of hours, then texts only Jake, who he meets up with around four at the Lima Bean.
Once he’s been in Lima for twenty-four hours, he figures he’s shown that he can resist. Puck’s not even sure who he’s trying to show it to, but he walks over to Finn’s after dinner and leans against the wall for five minutes. He tries to convince himself it’s nothing, that he can just hang on with Finn, but he’s not convinced even when he finally knocks on the door. His knock has more force than he intended, and he shifts from foot to foot, trying to listen to see if he can hear Finn approaching.
Either Finn is super stealthy or the carpet in his apartment is really plush, because the door opens before Puck hears anything. Finn looks tired, or maybe more accurately, weary. He looks Puck up and down.
“So I guess you made it in okay?” Finn asks.
“I, uh, sort of forgot to tell anyone when I was flying in,” Puck admits. “Took one of those shuttles from Dayton.”
“Cool,” Finn says, stepping to the side so Puck can walk in. “How long are you staying this time?”
“My flight leaves Thursday night.” Puck pauses after he’s inside. “I already did the obligatory check-in with everyone I’m related to.” He doesn’t think it totally makes up for being an asshole, but unless Finn says no, at least he can stay the remaining three nights.
“You want a pop or something?” Finn offers.
“Sure,” Puck says. “I guess you have to work part of the time. Didn’t really think that through.”
“Yeah. I have bills and stuff now,” Finn says. He walks into the kitchen and comes back out with two pop cans, handing one to Puck.
“Yeah, I hear you,” Puck says. “I realized after a month it was cheaper to use free wifi and buy pop at sports bars on the weekends than to have cable and internet at home.” He takes a drink from the can of pop and then flops down on Finn’s couch. “I didn’t crash your dinner, did I?”
“There’s plenty,” Finn says. “I haven’t figured out how to turn instructions for food for four people into instructions for food for one person yet, so I have, like, a lot of noodles cooking.”
“Yeah, me either,” Puck admits. “And no one sells just one steak.”
“I don’t eat a lot of steak. It’s mostly spaghetti or chicken casserole. I mean, I do mac ’n’ cheese and hamburger helper, too, but those don’t really count as cooking,” Finn says.
“Garlic bread with the spaghetti?” Puck asks.
“Yeah. You can’t smell it?”
“You remember how my mom always put so much extra garlic in the sauce, dude,” Puck says. “Awesome.” He grins at Finn. “I usually don’t try for bread.”
“It’s not hard. I can show you how to do it tomorrow, if you want,” Finn says.
Puck could feel himself start to relax as soon as he got to Finn’s apartment, and it’s not that everything’s perfect inside the apartment, but it’s a lot closer to being able to ignore everything else, which is probably why his response is “But I don’t need to, if you’re around.”
“You don’t ever want to eat garlic bread again after Thursday?” Finn asks. “Who knows. By the time you come back again, maybe I’ll be tired of cooking it.”
“So which is it, you’re going to stop cooking it or I’m going undercover?” Puck asks, eyebrows raised a little.
Finn shrugs. “Not like you’re here that often or stay that long.”
“You know I’m not coming back here,” Puck says, taking another drink of his pop. “Not for good.”
“Yeah. I get that,” Finn says. “I’ve got to stir my sauce.” He turns around and walks back into the kitchen.
Puck frowns at Finn’s back and then sighs. “So then what? You’re mad at me because I don’t live here anymore?” He knows that’s not probably what it really is, but that’s how Finn’s acting.
“I’m not mad. I’m cooking.”
“Uh-huh,” Puck says. “Dude. How long have I known you?”
“Too long or not long enough, probably,” Finn says.
Puck stands up and walks towards the kitchen. “The fuck?”
“Look, I get it. Whatever it is you’re doing, you don’t want to talk about it, and you don’t want to stick around,” Finn says, not turning to face Puck as he stirs the sauce a little more aggressively than it probably needs. “If you think that’s the way that I do things, though, maybe you don’t know me like you think you do.”
“I have bills too,” Puck says, glaring at Finn’s back. “I can’t just call people up and tell them, no, sorry, I’m staying in Ohio longer. You know what they’ll do? Find someone else to clean their pool, that day and every week after that.”
Finn shrugs. “Sure. That’s just what we’ll pretend this is about.”
“Oh? What do you think it’s about?” Puck asks, more defensively than he means to.
“I don’t know, Puck. We fuck, you leave, and then I’m lucky if I get texts from you that are longer than three words.”
“You sounded pretty sure you knew exactly what it was about a few minutes ago,” Puck says, crossing his arms.
“I have a guess, anyway.”
“Yeah?” Puck asks, eyebrows up again, even if Finn isn’t looking.
“Yeah,” Finn says. “I think you like what we do just fine when you’re here. I don’t know. Maybe you’re bored and I’m convenient. All I know is that as soon as you’re gone, you really are gone, so I guess however fine it is in Ohio, it’s not fine enough for when you get back to L.A.”
“That’s not it,” Puck says, because it doesn’t have anything to do with Ohio or L.A., not in his head, and it’s not that he’s bored, either. “It’s not.”
“Fine. Get out the strainer thing so I can drain these noodles,” Finn says, pointing to one of the cabinets.
Puck opens the cabinet and pulls out the strainer, setting in the sink and still frowning. “I know I’m an asshole, but it’s not why you think.”
“Doesn’t matter. Food’s ready.”
“Fine,” Puck says, moving away from the sink because the noodles are making a lot of steam, and Puck has learned the hard way that steam burns. He watches Finn finish getting the food ready and put plates on the little card table, and Puck guesses that the chair pulled out a little is where Finn usually sits, so he sits down in the other chair.
Neither of them really says much while they eat, just ‘pass the sauce’ and ‘pass the bread’, and when Puck finishes, he stands up with his plate, heading for the sink. “That was really good,” he says. “Especially the, uh, garlic bread.”
“Thanks,” Finn says.
Puck rinses off his plate, then picks up the dishrag and goes ahead and washes the plate, drying it off before putting it in the cabinet he saw Finn get the plate from. He walks the few steps back to Finn and stops behind him. “You get tired after a day at work?” he asks, putting his hand on the back of Finn’s neck.
“Yeah,” Finn says softly, his shoulders relaxing.
“You don’t really want to work at the shop forever,” Puck says, rubbing his hand slowly over Finn’s neck before putting his other hand on Finn’s shoulder and squeezing. “Almost done?”
“Yeah.” Finn nods. His shoulder relax more and he sighs quietly.
Puck squeezes both of Finn’s shoulders softly, over and over, and he can feel himself relax, too. Everything else is outside Finn’s apartment, and later. Right now, it’s just the two of them, and at least Puck’s found a way to accept what he feels for Finn. He leans over and kisses Finn’s neck, then puts his mouth next to Finn’s ear. “C’mon. Let’s go to bed.”
Finn nods again. “Yeah. That sounds good.”
“Yeah it does,” Puck says, straightening and starting to walk towards the bedroom, pausing for Finn to stand up. “You can talk to me again.”
“Yeah, you liked that,” Finn says as he stands.
Puck grins a little and starts walking backwards slowly. “Yeah. I did. What’d you like best?”
“I think you know what I liked best.”
“I have a couple of guesses,” Puck says, and when he steps into Finn’s bedroom, he stops and pulls off his sweatshirt.
“Tell me,” Finn says, pulling his shirt over his head and letting it drop.
“I think… you liked kissing while we were fucking,” Puck says, unfastening his jeans. “And I think you like coming inside me.”
“Yes. I liked that. I liked just being inside you.”
“Yeah.” Puck pushes his jeans down and then steps out of them, his eyes on Finn. “Yeah.”
Finn unzips his own jeans, pulling them off and kicking them to the side as he steps closer to Puck. He puts one hand on the side of Puck’s face and pulls him up into a kiss. Puck returns the kiss with what he thinks is probably a lot of enthusiasm, but it’s Finn and his guilt-thing means that he’s really not been hooking up, not even long make out sessions. He puts his arm around Finn’s waist and keeps kissing Finn as long as he can before he pulls back and grins.
“You said you were a little tired, right?”
“Yeah, I did say that,” Finn says.
“Want me to do most of the work?”
“I wouldn’t want to put you out or anything.”
Puck laughs and kisses Finn again. “I mean, if you want me on my back instead, tell me now.”
Finn shrugs, smiling at Puck. “I just want you.”
“Yeah,” Puck says softly, pushing Finn gently towards the bed. “Yeah. You, uh. Didn’t toss the lube, did you?”
“No,” Finn says, shaking his head. “It’s in the drawer by the bed. Just in case you actually came back.”
“I came back,” Puck says, sitting down on the bed and waiting for Finn to sit before kissing him again. He pulls back and finds the lube in the drawer, then looks at Finn. “You want to, or you want to watch me?”
“I want to. I like it.”
“Yeah.” Puck nods and hands the bottle to Finn, then scoots up with his back against the wall and his legs spread. “Like this okay?”
“Yeah. Very okay.”
Puck grins and reaches down, dragging his fingers over his dick and then over his balls. “Anything else you want me to do?”
“C’mon, tell me,” Puck says.
“It’s not really something I want you to do,” Finn says.
“Huh?” Puck says. “What is it, then?”
“It’s something I want to do,” Finn says. “To you.”
“Oh. Okay, cool,” Puck says, nodding, and then he stops and grins. “Wait, I just said okay without you telling me what it was.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know,” Puck says, still grinning. “So what is it?”
“I, uh.” Finn reaches out and brushes his fingertips across the head of Puck’s dick. “I wanted to give you a blow job.”
Puck blinks. “Yeah?” he says quietly.
“No take-backs,” Finn says. “So, you’re cool with that?”
“Yeah. No take-backs,” Puck says. “That’s hot.”
“Cool,” Finn says. He leans forward, touching his lips to Puck’s dick while looking up at Puck.
“Yeah, hot,” Puck says, staring back at Finn. He puts one hand on Finn’s head. “Okay?”
“Yeah.” Finn’s lips part, and Puck’s dick starts to slide into Finn’s mouth. Puck keeps staring, feeling like he can’t look away, and he nods a little.
“Fuck, Finn,” Puck says, a little overwhelmed by how much he suddenly wants this, considering he hadn’t thought about it before. “Really hot.”
Finn’s mouth slides farther down, and Puck can feel Finn’s tongue stroking up the underside of his dick and kind of swirling around the head.
Puck puts his other hand on the side of Finn’s head, too, and he can feel his breathing get faster. “Is this okay?” he almost whispers, eyes still on Finn’s face. Finn nods without taking his mouth off Puck. “Awesome.”
The corners of Finn’s mouth twitch like he’s smiling, his head bobbing up and down as he blows Puck. Puck slides one hand to the back of Finn’s head, cupping it, and he keeps his eyes fixed on Finn’s face. Finn’s eyes are still open, looking back at Puck, and it’s probably the hottest thing Puck’s seen.
He loses track of time, just watching Finn blow him, his hands still in Finn’s hair, until he gets close to coming, and he realizes he should warn Finn, in case Finn wasn’t exactly planning on swallowing. “Close,” he says. “Really close.”
Finn’s mouth does the twitchy-smile-thing again, his eyes crinkling up, and he wraps his hand around the base of Puck’s dick, stroking it while running his tongue along it, too. Puck shudders and doesn’t bother trying to bite on his lip, whimpering a little and then moaning as he comes, Finn’s mouth still on him.
“Holy fuck, Finn,” Puck says a moment later.
Finn sits up, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “Good?”
“Really fucking good,” Puck says, still watching Finn’s face. “Maybe best.”
“Did you still want to have sex?”
“Uh, yeah. Unless you came and you need to rest,” Puck says.
Finn looks down at his dick, which is definitely still hard. “Nope.”
Puck laughs. “Awesome.”
By the time Thursday afternoon arrives, Puck is glad he’s flying, not riding on his ass on the bike for hours, and Finn is frowning and clearly upset again. Puck throws the last of his stuff in his bag and sighs, looking at the clock.
“You know, the planes go both ways.”
“Yeah, well, so do texts,” Finn says.
Puck sighs. “Yeah, I know. I’m an asshole.” He shrugs a little, because fifteen minutes before they have to leave for the airport probably isn’t the time to have the conversation, either. “We should go so we can get a pop or something on the way.”
Puck sighs again, but he picks up his bag and heads out of the apartment with Finn. The drive down to Dayton is mostly silent; they don’t really sing along with the radio, and it feels almost contemplative. Puck checks in at the airport, looks at the screen that says his flight is on time, and then walks to the security line before turning to Finn, just staring at him for a few moments.
“See you when I see you, I guess,” Finn says, holding out his fist. Puck figures that answers the question of what to do, anyway, and he bumps Finn’s fist.
“Have a good Christmas,” Puck says, turning to go into the security line. When he reaches the end of it and stops, he turns back around, watching Finn leave the airport without looking back even once.
Puck actually texts Finn pretty often for the first three days, but by the fourth day, the texts start getting shorter and farther apart. He does at least text Merry Christmas early on Christmas morning. Finn doesn’t hear anything else from him that day, though, and the most exciting part of the day is Kurt trying to talk around his missing bottle of lube by asking if anyone knew of ‘something private’ missing from his room. Finn doesn’t fess up.
Maybe Finn shouldn’t have caved so easily when Puck was in town. Weeks of barely any contact, then Puck not even letting him know he’d made it into town, and Finn still ended up shelving any conversation about what it is they’re doing, what Puck wants, or anything like that. Now Puck’s back in L.A., and Finn feels like complete shit. Apparently it’s fine and dandy for Finn and Puck to have sex any time Puck’s in town, but Puck obviously can’t handle anything that looks like a relationship with another dude.
It’s not like Finn ever did anything with another guy before Puck, and the first time they had sex it was Puck’s idea, but Puck’s the one freaking out while Finn is somehow managing to keep his shit together. As much as Finn loves Puck—and Finn has to admit that he loves Puck a whole hell of a lot—what he and Puck are doing just leaves him feeling sadder and lonelier than if he wasn’t seeing anybody at all.
As they move into January, Puck’s texts keep coming unpredictably. Sometimes Puck initiates the texts and sends these long, wordy messages, then he’ll suddenly drop back to spotty, three word texts. Some of the longer texts even talk about things Puck wants to show Finn when Finn comes out to L.A., but Finn isn’t sure he can handle flying across the country just to deal with Puck’s hot-and-cold shit.
In early February, after five consecutive days of Puck not responding to any of his texts, Finn finally has to admit to himself that he can’t do this anymore. Too much of his days get spent waiting for his stupid phone to chime, only to have it be a one or two word response, if it’s even from Puck at all.
Finn finishes work for the day, drives home to take a shower and eat dinner, then he presses Puck’s name in his phone. Puck doesn’t answer the first time, and Finn hangs up when he gets Puck’s voicemail, dialing him again. Puck doesn’t pick up the second time, either, but by the third time Finn redials him, Puck finally answers.
“Hey,” Puck says, his voice a little too calm.
“Hey,” Finn says. “You’re tough to get on the phone these days.”
“Yeah.” Puck pauses, and he sounds almost apologetic when he continues. “I know.”
“Puck, look,” Finn starts, then sighs, waiting to see if Puck has anything else to say before he dives in.
“What is it?” Puck asks after a few seconds pass.
“I can’t do this,” Finn says.
“Talk on the phone?”
“No. This whatever-it-is we’re doing. Or not doing.”
“What do you want me to do? I can’t move back there,” Puck says defensively.
“And I’m not asking you to,” Finn counters, “but I can’t be some weird kind of shame thing, where we fuck whenever you’re in town, then we pretend like it never happened.”
Puck sighs loudly. “So what do you want me to do?” he says again.
“If you aren’t cool with the idea of having sex with me, or dudes in general, I’m not gonna try to make you do anything, but I can’t do that with you and then have you ignore me,” Finn says.
“It’s not— it’s not you,” Puck says. “But you sound like…” he trails off and doesn’t say anything else.
“It doesn’t really matter if it’s me, if I’m the one beating myself up when I don’t hear from you,” Finn says. “I can’t do this to myself anymore. It’s not fair.”
“Shit,” Puck says, and he’s quiet for awhile. “Shit, Finn.”
“I’m sorry. It just sucks too much to feel like this about you and then I’m just … invisible.”
Puck doesn’t say anything, and there’s a muffled sound like he’s covering the phone for a few seconds. When he does talk again, his voice sounds like it’s far away somehow. “Okay. Yeah.”
“I’m sorry,” Finn says again, and when Puck doesn’t answer after a few beats, Finn ends the call. He doesn’t feel any better; in fact, he actually feels crappier than he did before he called. Maybe this way, though, he can eventually stop feeling like that. Eventually.
Puck stares at his phone for ten or fifteen minutes after Finn hangs up, trying to make himself not scream or cry, even though he wants to do both of them, preferably at the same time somehow. He finally makes himself drive home to his apartment, eating one of his Trader Joe’s frozen meals before flopping onto his mattress and staring at his phone, the stereo off.
He knows he was getting there, slowly, but not fast enough, and he snorts unamusedly. Even when he’s not really officially in any kind of relationship, he’s still the one who gets dumped. This time, though, it’s not just someone he was seeing, it’s his best friend, too, and that really sucks. He tosses his phone across the room, hitting the couch with it, and then he rolls onto his back and puts his pillow over his face as he screams.
Just another fuck-up from Noah Puckerman.
He does his pools the next day in record time, so he can get back to the apartment and mope more, and that’s what he does for the next three days, too. The only difference is that on the second night, he cries instead of screams.
On the fifth day, he has to get up earlier than most days, because of the old lady who pays him double if he gets done by 8:30 in the morning, which means he’s done by two in the afternoon, and the apartment is too hot to sit in. He goes a few blocks away to a Panera and mopes with air conditioning and free wifi, and he’d like to say it’s part of a great plan, but it’s really just an impulse.
In between liking Jake’s pictures of him and the tiny girl with the nice smile, and replying to his mom’s message about hoping she hears his voice at least twice in 2013, he goes over to his personal information and changes it, and then he sends Finn one of the short texts that Finn hates. He crosses his fingers before typing it that Finn’s actually willing to read his texts, and then sends it.
Check my FB info
Finn doesn’t respond, which Puck guesses he probably deserves, and he frowns at his computer for a couple of hours before the Panera staff give him enough looks that he has to leave. He spends the rest of the night trying to figure out what else he could do, because moping is definitely worse than any assumptions, he’s decided.
After his pools the next day, Puck goes back to the same Panera and gets the same kind of soup; even though it’s hot, it’s still February. He scrolls aimlessly through the internet and eventually changes his relationship status to “it’s complicated” and tags Finn and then sends Finn another text, because that’s at least public, Puck figures.
It’s been a week, Puck realizes the next morning when he wakes up, and he doesn’t do anything with Facebook. Instead, he takes pictures all day, starting before he gets out of bed, and he sends them to Finn without any captions. At the end of the day, he sends a shot of the L.A. skyline, even though it’s pretty late in Lima.
The next day, he sends Finn links to songs on YouTube and bandcamp, all of them from local L.A. bands that he’s heard at clubs and other gigs. The day after that, he figures he should actually use some words, since Finn had been talking about returning texts and everything.
You’d like the mornings that there’s time to go to the beach before hitting the pools. I keep thinking about getting a dog. Why didn’t either of us have a dog growing up? But a dog would love playing on the beach. What kind of dog do you like best? is what Puck sends in the morning.
While he’s eating lunch, he sends a picture of his burger. I meant it, the first place I’m taking you is In-N-Out. You can get one with four patties on it, even. Or Animal style, which isn’t as naughty as it sounds. Or maybe we should skip Animal style because it has so many grilled onions on it. Onions: yes or no?
He doesn’t get any responses from Finn, which doesn’t surprise him, and he sends his last text of the day timed for, he hopes, just after Finn eats dinner.
There’s a place about ten minutes from my apartment that has music every night. Sometimes it’s a DJ, once a week it’s open mic, and the rest of the time it’s local groups. That’s where those links came from. Tonight’s supposed to be a pretty good act but there’ll probably be lots of hipsters. I said that last week to a guy sitting near by and he said he was pretty sure that I was a hipster. I’m not a hipster. Right?
Even though he doesn’t get any answers from Finn, he still picks up with more texts the next morning while he eats his poptarts.
The reason I asked about a bed that time was I was sleeping on an air mattress for the first six weeks or so out here. The apartment’s pretty small. I guess if you did come out here we’d have to get a bigger place. Or at least a bed frame? He sends a picture of the apartment with that one, then heads out of the apartment.
There’s no air conditioning in the apartment either. That’s probably another strike against it?
The last text he sends that day is still pretty early in the afternoon, California time. I guess I was right last spring tho? Two dudes one bed confirmed not-straight anyway?
His phone still doesn’t have a single response from Finn when he gets up the next morning, so he sends a picture of the rained-overnight trees, then a link to the best of the songs he heard from the duo he heard the night before.
Just before lunch, he sends another text.
I know I’m an asshole. I’m just trying to redirect the assholishness to things that aren’t you. Is assholishness a word? Is it working?
Puck checks his phone again as he finishes for the day, and he gets a pop before heading back to the apartment. It’s not as hot, so after a shower, he’ll probably stay in and mope for the evening. As he walks up to his apartment, though, he stops in his tracks and stares. Finn—or someone who looks a lot like Finn—is leaning against the wall near the door, a huge duffel bag and a carry-on size suitcase both near his feet, and Puck starts walking again after a few seconds, staring at Finn.
As Puck approaches, Finn holds up his hand, like he’s signaling Puck to not say anything. Instead, Finn pulls a piece of paper out of his pocket, unfolding it. Puck sets down his own bag silently and stops in front of Finn, watching him.
Finn looks down at the paper and starts reading. “My mom’s allergic. I really like corgis because of their funny short legs.” Puck frowns a little, trying to figure out what Finn’s trying to say.
“I like onions okay, but they’re not good for kissing, and I like kissing you,” Finn continues, still looking down at the paper. “I still have no idea what a hipster even is, but if you don’t want to be one, then I think you probably aren’t one.”
Puck holds back a snort of laughter and nods a little, waiting for Finn to keep talking.
“I’m cool with a mattress on the floor as long as you’re on it with me. I don’t need air conditioning.”
Puck shrugs and points up towards the sun, then shrugs again. Finn might change his mind after Puck opens the door to the apartment.
“You weren’t wrong, but you weren’t right, either,” Finn reads. “’Cause I don’t care if it’s confirmed or who it’s confirmed to.”
Puck starts to respond, to say that maybe just between the two of them, at least, but Finn doesn’t look like he’s done reading, so he doesn’t.
“I don’t know if ‘assholishness’ is a word or not. You’re definitely an asshole. I love you anyway.” Finn looks up from the paper at Puck, raising his eyebrows and looking hopeful. “I love you, and you’d better tell me you love me, too, because I broke my lease and sold my truck.”
“Yeah, I guess you do,” Puck says, stepping even closer to Finn. “And yeah. I love you. I can’t promise you any white picket fences or anything, but maybe those short-legged dogs like the beach?”
“Every dog likes the beach,” Finn says. He reaches out for Puck, grabbing him by the front of his shirt and pulling him in. “Yeah?”
Puck wraps one arm around Finn and props himself up with his other hand on Finn’s shoulder before leaning in, his face next to Finn’s. “Yeah. Very yeah.” He takes a deep breath with his eyes closed and then opens them to look at Finn. “But after you kiss me, we’d better go inside. So we don’t get arrested.”
“Sounds fair,” Finn says, then he brings his lips to Puck’s, kissing him hard. Puck leans into the kiss, most of his weight resting on Finn, and his arm squeezes around Finn until their chests are touching.
Puck grins at Finn and gestures with one hand. “Good welcome to L.A.?”
Finn grins back, nodding. “Yeah. I think I’m gonna like it here.”