Puck listens to Finn’s breathing get slower and steadier before he lets himself drift off and doze. When he wakes up, it’s still afternoon, and he realizes he hasn’t slept very long. Finn was probably working an overnight shift, so Puck doesn’t expect him to wake up very soon. Puck stares at him, though, and runs his hands through Finn’s hair, and tries to fix everything in his memory. He wants to remember all of it, from the moment he bumped into Finn to Finn kissing him to the two of them lying in bed together, and Puck spends at least another hour lying in bed doing all of that, sporadically kissing Finn gently.
Part of him is still angry, because for nine months he didn’t have Finn, and he knows they still have to talk more, but the rest of him feels so content and so happy. He still almost can’t believe that Finn is right there, lying half-beside and half-on top of Puck, but he is, and Puck isn’t sure he could explain how he feels to anyone.
When Puck is sure that Finn’s been asleep for at least five hours, he slowly and carefully slides out of the bed, pulling the blankets back over Finn. He puts on a pair of sweatpants and starts some food warming up in the oven, and then he can’t help himself sending another message on Facebook, whispering as he types.
“This is the best day.”
It is the best day Puck can ever remember having, and he’s equally sure that regardless of what else happens in his life, there’s nothing that can top getting Finn back, having Finn reappear and having Finn love him, too. Puck’s absurdly grateful to himself that he couldn’t quite type it out to Finn, even though he’s not totally sure why. He just knows that things feel more okay than they have in nine months, and really more okay than they have in years.
Puck makes a note on his phone to get a bigger chest of drawers and an actual table and chairs to eat at, but for now, he figures they can eat at the coffee table like he does. He finds the longest pair of sweatpants he has, which will still be too short for Finn, and after the oven beeps, he pulls the food out and goes back into the bedroom to wake Finn up.
“Hey,” Puck says softly, putting his hand on Finn’s shoulder as he sits down next to Finn on the bed. “Dinnertime.”
Finn startles awake, but then he rolls towards Puck with a wide, sleepy smile. “Hey. What’re we eating?”
“Leftover casserole. That one with the beans and cheese and rice my mom used to make,” Puck says, shrugging a little sheepishly. “I have no idea how to make food for fewer than four servings.”
“I haven’t had real food cooked for me in a long time,” Finn says. “And I love casserole.”
“Good, ‘cause it does get old eating the same thing for dinner three or four nights in a row,” Puck says with a small smile. “I found a longer pair of sweatpants. We can go get your stuff after we eat?”
“I’m paid up through the week, if you don’t want to go back out,” Finn says.
“Might as well take care of it, right?” Puck says. “Plus I’m only off today and tomorrow. Twelve-hour shift Friday, and Saturday and Sunday it’ll depend on the weather.” He pauses and laughs. “And I’m acting like you actually know everything I’ve typed, including where I work.”
“I guess you already know where I work,” Finn says. “I want to know everything, though. About you.”
“I’m doing seasonal work for IDOT. Union work, so the pay’s good.” Puck shrugs and stands up, handing Finn the sweatpants. “Joliet’s not a bad town. I’ve been trying to save some money in case I don’t want to work full time all year.”
“Wow. So you fix the roads?” Finn asks.
“Mostly salt and snowplows. It’s not a bad job, just cold sometimes. I was in Tennessee over the summer, though, working for a pool company.” Puck shakes his head. “I decided I didn’t really like the south that much.”
“I do a lot of carrying,” Finn says. “I get to talk to a lot of people, though. I like it.”
“How do you do that with your hand?” Puck asks. “You said it hurts sometimes.”
“I carry with the left, bags over my shoulders, and use the right for elevator buttons and door cards and stuff.”
Puck frowns a little and runs his thumb over Finn’s hand, still not really able to stop touching Finn, and then stands. “You want to eat? And then you can look in the kitchen and see something weird.”
“Sure. What’s weird?” Finn asks.
“You’ll notice. Or, well, the lack of something,” Puck says.
Finn nods, reaching for the sweatpants Puck set out for him. Puck doesn’t bother trying to find a bigger t-shirt, just tosses the one at the top of the drawer to Finn. Finn pulls it on, looking perfectly happy, even though the shirt stops two inches above the sweatpants. Puck grins and heads back out of the bedroom.
“No table, so we have to eat in front of the TV,” he says over his shoulder.
“Cool. I can sit right next to you, then,” Finn says.
“If it tastes awful, just pretend it doesn’t,” Puck says as he stops in the kitchen and starts filling their plates. “Look in the fridge and the freezer real quick.”
“It won’t taste awful,” Finn says. He opens the fridge and looks inside, then does the same to the freezer, then looks in the fridge again. “I… don’t know exactly what, but it feels like something’s missing.”
“Yeah. Think breakfast food.”
“I see eggs. I see orange juice. I see— Puck! Where’s the bacon?”
Puck snorts and then laughs. “I knew you’d realize. I’ve kinda-sorta been keeping kosher. Not really, ‘cause there’s a bunch of laws and stuff, but…” He trails off and shrugs.
“That’s okay. I like turkey bacon just fine,” Finn says. “I’ll buy us some.”
“We’ve probably been shopping at the same store, even,” Puck says, handing one plate to Finn and heading into the living room. “It’s… it’s possible I saw you from behind one day.”
“Yeah? How’d I look?”
Puck sits down and takes a bite before answering. “Well, I’m just saying that because I was looking at someone’s ass, and it looked a lot like yours, and yeah, it looked good.”
“Cool,” Finn say, grinning at Puck. “Yours looks good, too.”
“Good. It’d better,” Puck says, nudging Finn’s side and then scooting closer to him. “Any shows you watch I need to start DVR’ing?”
“I don’t watch a lot of TV anymore,” Finn says.
Puck nods, eating more and watching Finn. “So you just go to work, basically?”
“Sometimes I go to the library, too.”
“Well, that’s good, I guess,” Puck says. “I mostly watch movies or hang out at the Starbucks on Jefferson on my off days.” He sets his plate down and turns towards Finn. “I don’t think they probably require a driver’s license at the health department or something,” he says quietly.
“I’m not sick. Are you sick?” Finn asks.
“Finn, you basically lost it and disappeared for nine months,” Puck says slowly. “I don’t know a ton about mental health shit, but I’m pretty sure that’s on the ‘not usual’ side of things.”
“But I’m okay now,” Finn says, “and I’ve got you, and everything’ll be fine.”
“You had me before. Not like this, but you did. And…” Puck picks up his plate and takes another bite before turning to Finn again. “It’s not really the first time something like this has happened. You’ve lost it over stuff before. You impulsively joined the Army. And after you left the Army, you disappeared for at least a month, just no one had the full story enough to realize you were missing.” Puck sighs. “I told you, I love you. And I’m going to be a hardass and insist you see someone.”
Finn sighs and nods. “Okay. If you really think I need to, I’ll— oh shit.” Finn’s face turns white and he starts breathing heavily. “Oh shit, oh shit.”
“What is it?” Puck sets down his plate and half-stands. “What?”
“My mom thinks I’m dead,” Finn says. “Puck! Puck, Mom thinks I’m dead, you said they called you and told you I was dead, she thinks I’m dead!”
“Oh.” Puck sinks back down onto the definitely-too-small-now loveseat and puts both hands on Finn’s leg. “Yeah. Everybody does. Um. Maybe you should read the messages I sent you. We don’t need to call anyone right away.”
“All of you thought I was dead,” Finn says.
“It’s okay. It’ll be okay, anyway,” Puck says, even though a voice in the back of his head says that maybe not everyone will be as okay with forgiveness as Puck is. “We’ll figure it all out. Okay?”
“Okay,” Finn says, though he doesn’t look entirely convinced. “I’m sorry.”
“I know. I love you.” Puck squeezes Finn’s leg. “I have an idea.”
“You said something about letters?”
Finn nods. “Yeah. I have a stack. I wrote them to you.”
“So maybe after we get your stuff, I could read them? But before that, you can read the messages I wrote to you, and ask me any questions, and I can ask you questions after I read the letters?”
“Okay,” Finn says.
“Okay. Hang on.” Puck leans in and kisses Finn, then goes to get his laptop, kissing Finn again as he sits back down. “You can read them from my account. Okay?”
Finn nods. “We could wait until we get the letters, if you want.”
“I think I should be focused on you when you read them,” Puck admits. “Not distracted.”
“Okay,” Finn says. “Are you gonna watch me read them?”
“I can go wash the dishes if you don’t want me to.”
“Is it gonna be weird for you?”
“This is the best kind of weird, I promise,” Puck says. “I’ll go wash dishes and then come back?”
“Okay,” Finn says.
Puck nods and squeezes Finn’s arm, then picks up their plates and goes into the kitchen. While he washes their plates and the now-thankfully-empty casserole dish, he can hear Finn laugh once or twice, and he goes ahead and dries everything and puts it away before heading back into the living room. Finn’s been crying a little, and Puck sits down with another squeeze to Finn’s arm.
“What month are you on?”
“I just started November.”
“Oh. Okay.” Puck shifts so he can lean his head against Finn’s shoulder and then shuts his eyes.
“You were right,” Finn says.
“Yeah. I guess I was,” Puck says, eyes still closed. “Best thing I’ve seen.”
“And you were right about something else,” Finn says. “Yes and done.”
Puck smiles. “Yeah, that’s a good thing, too.”
“I had read The Hunger Games.”
“I won’t forget that again,” Puck says, lifting his head up a little. “Promise.”
“I didn’t see Smurfs 2, though,” Finn says.
Puck laughs, harder than he probably should. “Count yourself lucky,” he finally says. “I also promise never to make you watch it.”
“Not even as punishment?”
“Not even then.” Puck straightens a little and looks at Finn. “Any other questions?”
“Do you really hate Lima that much?” Finn asks. “Or did I ruin it for you?”
“A month after you…” Puck gestures in the air. “Schue had us all come back for a memorial kind of thing. Quinn couldn’t make it, but the rest of us were there. So I made the mistake of asking Kurt if I could have your letter jacket. Just to have something of yours, you know?” Puck shakes his head. “He yelled at me about dumpsters and told me I couldn’t have it, and then he gave it to Santana and then they all accused me of stealing it from her. Why would I want to go back there?”
“He gave my jacket to Santana?”
“I know!” Puck shakes his head. “She did a really good job of acting sad, I guess.”
“If Mom didn’t want the jacket, you should’ve had it,” Finn says. “They gave you my jersey at least, right?”
“It’s on the wall in the locker room, so no.” Puck shakes his head again. “It didn’t matter… it didn’t seem to matter to them that I’d lost you, too. It was mostly about Rachel and Kurt.”
“Are they doing okay? I mean, other than— they thought you stole it?”
“Yeah. They all got in my face about it, even Schue. So I don’t know. I took ‘em all off Facebook except for Sam and Jake and Quinn. I don’t think Sam and Quinn use it much, though. I figured that was enough, if someone needed to get in touch with me.”
“They all thought I was dead, and they were awful to you,” Finn says softly. “That’s like the last thing I would ever want! And the dumpster thing? What the hell was that! Did everybody lose their mind?”
“Maybe so. I don’t know, Kurt was doing some weird Banksy shit with the dumpster, making people paint it. Oh, Coach wasn’t crazy. I kinda lied to her, though, and told her I was joining Air Force, in case anyone asked where I’d gone.” Puck grins. “I don’t think she really bought it.”
“I’m glad you didn’t really join the Air Force. That would be awful,” Finn says.
“Yeah, I don’t think that would have actually worked.” Puck runs his fingers up and down Finn’s forearm. “Any other questions right now?” Finn shakes his head. “Okay.” Puck leans over and kisses Finn again. “Let’s go get your stuff.”
“Okay,” Finn says.
Puck grins as he stands up. “Okay.” He has Finn give him directions to the extended stay place, and once they get inside Finn’s room, a quick glance confirms that Finn doesn’t have that much, and what he does have will fit in the sidecar without any trouble.
It’s completely dark well before they get back to Puck’s, and it isn’t until they’re heading inside that Puck frowns with a thought.
“Do you have to work tonight or tomorrow?”
Finn shakes his head. “Nope,” he says. “Well, I would tomorrow, technically, but since I’ve never actually taken a day off, I’m calling in.”
“Okay, good.” Puck unlocks the apartment again and heads into the bedroom. “Next time I’m off after tomorrow, we can go up to Bolingbrook and hit the Ikea. Tomorrow we’ll call around about a psychiatrist or something and we just stay in?”
“Okay,” Finn says.
Puck puts down what he’s carrying and goes back to check the locks, then pulls Finn into a hug. “It might not be a lot of fun, but I think we’ll both feel better in the end if you see someone. Okay?” He waits for Finn to nod before continuing. “And… can I read those letters?”
“Yeah,” Finn says. “They’re in my bag.”
“Is it weird for you I lean against you while I’m reading them?”
Finn shakes his head. “Not if that’s what you need.”
“Cool.” Puck gets the letters and ends up lying half on top of Finn, their legs under the blankets, before he picks up the top letter and starts to read.
Puck doesn’t say much as he reads them, occasionally reaching for Finn’s hand or arms and squeezing or stroking them. “I’d bring you drinks,” he says at one point. “But I’d do that anyway, especially if you had your shirt off.”
Finn smiles. “If we ever get a pool, I’ll clean it and you can bring me drinks.”
“An illegal Canadian?” Puck laughs. “That’s great. I guess you could just tell people you’re undocumented and let them fill in the blanks.” He keeps reading, going over a few of them more than once, then puts them all on the table beside the bed. “I love you,” he says softly, rolling to look up at Finn’s face. “I’m glad we’re here.”
“I love you, too,” Finn says.
“And we’re definitely drift compatible. And we’ll find someone tomorrow, and we’ll figure out the rest of it.” Puck takes Finn’s left hand and weaves their fingers together. “Okay?”
“Okay,” Finn says. He lean his head on top of Puck’s and sighs in a way that sounds very content. “I have a question, though.”
“What do we name our Jaeger?”
Puck snorts. “Nude Erections.”