Puck makes a bet
I don't own Glee or any of its franchise – although if I did, Puckleberry would be a sure thing.
A/N Thanks for the reviews, they really inspire me to keep writing! I hate to sound like a broken record, but I struggled a bit with this chapter, which is why it's been so long. Sorry about that.
Unbetaed, but if you see any mistakes, please let me know so I can correct them as soon as possible. Thanks in advance.
Quinn didn't live at the Berry house any more, but damn, one would think so if they looked at the evidence. She stayed over all the fucking time and took away the few precious hours I could get alone with my girlfriend; it was like living with a pregnant chick all over again, 'cause Quinn was so high and low all the time.
One minute, she's all 'I'm woman hear me roar, 'cause I don't need no man', and the next she's weeping and wiping snot off in paper tissues while glaring at all the men in the house, and considering Rachel's dads work a lot that glare usually fixates on me.
And also, Caroline was going through her first cold and was not willing to cooperate when it came to the little things like you know sleeping for any extended periods of time…
So it wasn't really surprising that I was majorly exhausted and feeling pretty shitty as I made my way to glee, hoping against hope that it'd be a quick and easy class. But when has my hoping for anything ever really paid off?
As soon as I walked into the room, a little later than everybody else, ('cause I had actually fallen asleep in my seat in some useless class like History or something), I spotted Mr. Shue's goofy smile and knew that this was gonna suck – whatever it was.
It turned out to be some lame competition where we had to pair up and then sing a duet to win a free meal at Breadstix. I couldn't care less, 'cause I only had to bat my puppy dog eyes at Rachel and say something about being hungry and within ten minutes, I was holding something edible and delicious.
Although, now that I thought about it; it could be nice to take Rachel out on a proper date for once. But, I shook off my trail of thoughts, it wouldn't count, 'cause Shue would pay for it and there's no way in hell I'd let another man pay for my woman's meal. No way.
While I'd been debating whether or not I wanted to participate for real, most of the others had screeched with joy and I clearly heard Santana hiss something about winning in the background.
"Are they always like this?"
I looked to my right and met the new kid, Sam's curious, but amused gaze. I frowned at his sudden arrival, but apparently, he thought I didn't know who he was talking about, 'cause he just nodded with his chin in the direction of my fellow excited Gleeks.
"You have no idea," I said and turned to look at Rachel, whose beautiful eyes were lit up with a competitive fire that I hadn't seen in a while. Oddly enough, I'd missed it and hadn't even realized it. Judging from the narrowed eyes at Santana's bragging, I guess she had too.
Ten seconds later, everybody stopped abruptly when Sunshine held up a hand and asked who was gonna pair up with who. Rachel nearly pushed Kurt, Mercedes and Mike out of the way as she all but ran down to my side, grabbed my arm hard and declared that I was supposed to be her partner.
"Oh," Santana raised an eyebrow mockingly, "like that's any surprise."
"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked, feeling slightly put out at being treated like a fucking doormat. I mean, don't give me wrong, I dig it when Rach gets all firm and shit, but still; this was a bit too much and I was getting defensive.
"Well, you're great as a backup singer," Santana taunted me, her eyes still burning with the desire to win, 'cause like I knew from having had the unfortunate pleasure of dating her once upon a time, she had an almost unhealthy obsession with Breadstix.
"You're being absolutely out of line," Rachel pointed out, her fingers digging into my skin a bit too tightly for me to enjoy it anymore. "Noah's singing capabilities are in the strong end of this group and I dare say he'd win with whomever he chose to sing with!"
Santana's dark eyes got a certain look in them that I recognized with a sinking feeling in my stomach. I tried to warn Rachel, and opened my mouth, but she completely ignored me; staring angrily at the cheerleader.
"Are you willing to put that to the test?" Santana purred, smirking arrogantly.
"O-Of course I am," Rachel replied, looking at me briefly with a mixture of apprehension and unhappiness in her eyes. "Noah can sing with whomever he wants and still win – taking away the fact that I am not competing against him obviously."
"So not only do you think Noah here can win, but you're not gonna participate?" Santana seemed smug and the rest of the people in the choir room were holding their breaths – even Mr. Shue.
"Yes that's correct." Rachel's voice had lost the slight hesitation of earlier and was now firm and full of determination.
I was totally confused and shocked; if I'd ever needed any proof of my girlfriend's love for me this was it. Rachel Berry was stepping aside from a fucking competition that'd have proved (yet again) just how much better than us she really was to make sure I could win.
Yeah, okay so it was a bit arrogant to say that I'd never have won if she'd been competing against me, but, come on; it's kindda the truth, ain't it?
Anyway, Rachel kissed my cheek and walked over to her abandoned seat to wait for us all to divide into pairs. Then she suddenly straightened back up and sent Santana a glare that actually made the Latina stop talking confidently with Mercedes of all people.
"What?" she asked, trying – and failing – to copy Rach's look.
"I'd appreciate it if you'd stop calling my boyfriend his given name. He hates it when people use it."
"You use it all the time," Kurt pointed out, stopping his ogling at Sam to look at Rachel with raised eyebrows.
"Well," Rachel smirked and looked over at me with this knowing look in her eyes, 'cause she knew her smirking always got me all hot and bothered if you know what I mean, "he loves me. Right, Noah?"
I grinned and nodded; completely ignoring the eye roll from Santana and the sly grins from the rest of them. I didn't give a shit, 'cause it's not like Rachel was wrong…
In the end, I ended up getting paired off with Sunshine. If I hadn't already been so sick of her, I'd have chosen Quinn, but first of all she'd walked over to Rachel and said that she didn't feel like competing either and secondly, Sunshine damn near ripped my arm off trying to drag me over to a corner where she proceeded to tell me that she'd do anything to help me win; apparently, her devotion to Rachel had blended over to me for the time being.
I didn't really care much about what song we were gonna sing and told her to pick. And while she took that to mean that she had to have Rachel's input and stormed over to her, I looked around and spotted Finn standing next to Mr. Shue, staring longingly at Quinn.
I hadn't really spoken with him since he'd told me to leave his house, so I had no idea what was going on with him, but evidently he still had the hots for Quinn. I just wished that he'd not forgotten that a bit in the midst of trying to avoid working his share when it came to Eve's needs.
The next few days passed pretty calmly for the most part. I mean, Caroline was still fussy and I was for once very grateful for Rachel's craziness 'cause she made damn sure everything was normal with our little girl; bringing up statistics from baby colds and crap. If someone from my old circle of friend would've told me that baby statistics and shit was the most interesting thing I'd ever learned, I'd have kicked their ass, but seriously whenever it involved my kid, nothing could be more interesting and important to study.
Anyway, I was put through so many fucking rehearsals with Sunshine to make sure that we'd nail it. Rachel and Sunshine both agreed on us having to win for some lame reason. Or, well, it was mostly Rach, 'cause Sunshine just nodded fervently whenever Rachel actually asked her of her opinion.
Finally, I had enough of being everybody's buttmonkey when Quinn started in on me too. She was sitting daintily watching Eve sleep in her stroller (she didn't let Caroling come near her these days and I couldn't blame her 'cause I'd do the same if it was reversed) and started commenting on how I should sing higher during that or use my natural grace to do better choreography there.
I stopped mid-song and turned to look at Quinn, I wouldn't have been surprised if I'd started blowing fire through my eyes in that moment. "Look Goldilocks, until you man the fuck up I'd prefer it if you kept your mouth shut. All right?"
"Excuse me?" Quinn crossed her arms and I mimicked her stance, utterly ignoring Sunshine and Rachel who were both trying to get me to focus on them again.
"I said, until you stop being such a coward and join the competition then I don't want to hear another peep out of you, got it?"
"I'm not afraid of this silly competition," Quinn objected. "I just don't see the point. I don't want to win a date or whatever at Breadstix, because I'm not dating anyone. Remember?"
"Big whoop," I rolled my eyes, "that's just an excuse. You're just too chicken-shit to participate 'cause you know you can't beat me or Sunny here." I gestured with a nod in Sunshine's direction.
Rachel and Sunshine gasped simultaneously while Quinn with seemingly calm movements got to her feet. There was a part of me that wanted to turn tail and run, 'cause I knew Quinn could be dangerous, but I stubbornly remained where I was.
"I assure you," Quinn's voice was made of ice and that urge to run reappeared, "I can most definitely win in any competition where you're my competitor."
Yeah, well, to sum things up, we kindda bet on it. I mean, how could we not? If something unexplainable happens and Quinn beats me, I have to babysit every time she needs me to for two months and if…no, when I beat her, she's gonna do my math homework for two weeks (I'd totally have gone for two months, but Rachel's raised eyebrow and scalding look made me dwindle it down a bit).
Well, anyway, it was just what I needed to get really into this stupid thing. I was gonna win me some better grades in math.
The next time few times we went to glee, I was fighting damn hard not to give into just a tiny bit of hesitation, 'cause Quinn kept giving me this superior look. It turned out that she'd somehow convinced Sam the Newbie to come over to the Dark Side. No wait, her side – but it's pretty much the same thing, right?
Anyway; his original duet partner, Beyonce was looking majorly bummed out, but Sam seemed way too interested in Quinn to switch back to the gay side. And that sucked, 'cause first of all, I still remembered how good a voice Sam had had during the quick audition he'd given us a few weeks back and secondly, I figured having Beyonce eyeball him with this predatorily look all the time would've freaked the guy out enough to forfeit.
Fortunately for my peace of mind, Rachel took it all pretty casually, stating that "our combined superior talent and her excessive knowledge would make anything Quinn and her no doubt subpar partner did seem wholly inadequate."
When we finally showed up in glee to start the main event so to speak, it turned out that there wasn't gonna be such a big pile of participants after all. Artie and Brittany dropped out of the contest, which was followed by a squeak of excitement from Rachel and a smug snort from Santana. Finn had decided not to join in at all, once he realized that he couldn't get Quinn to sing with him and unlike Kurt he didn't feel like going the solo route.
I gotta admit that Santana and Mercedes rocked it. Jumping around and just belting a pretty kickass song out was a good way to do things. Quinn and Sam's song was all fluffiness and rainbows and stuff. The moment they started singing together I knew it was gonna be difficult. Also, I couldn't help but notice the slight awed look that the newbie kept having on his face whenever he stared at Quinn (which was a lot, in case you didn't already know that).
Me and Sunshine were up last. It went to hell in a hand basket pretty much immediately after the first verse. Next to me, I could practically feel the fear induced nausea coming off of Sunshine. A few seconds after that, she just bent over and barfed all over the place. It was the grossest thing I've ever seen.
It was weird, 'cause we'd all seen her perform 'Listen' with no issues at all, but I guess having Rachel's obsessively coach you for a competition was bound to bring out the nerves. And judging from the fact that Sunshine had already revealed that she wasn't much of a front line singer, I really should've expected something like this.
So, unfortunately for me and my Man cards, no one voted for me – despite Rach's fierce attempts to volunteer as an alternate for Sunshine so people could actually see the song performed.
I was actually not entirely bummed about losing, but I could've gone without Santana and Quinn's self-satisfied expressions. Oh, who am I kidding? I wanted to win and not doing so sucked balls.
Once class ended, I persuaded a rather reluctant Rachel to come look for Sunshine. I was sort of worried she might have tried to drown herself for disappointing Rachel. To my surprise, Rach wasn't really upset at Sunshine for giving in to her stage fright; I guess she was just happy that the tiny Philippine girl had just proved that she would never take her spotlight.
A part of me briefly wondered if this had been my girl's plan all along. I mean, she was pretty devious and if I needed proof of it, all I had to do was chat up our local drug dealer and former glee teacher, Mr. Ryerson to get all the details.
Every thought about Rachel's possible master plan fled my mind, once we turned the last corner and came face to face with a giggling Sunshine, who was staring up at an equally smiling Finn. I cleared my throat, interrupting their moment of joy or whatever and Sunshine immediately flushed red in embarrassment and refused to do anything else but apologize to Rachel. That pissed me off a little bit 'cause it was my shoes that had caught some of her puke for fuck's sake.
Once we finally got home, I was a bit surprised to see Quinn of all people waiting. She gestured to me and I rolled my eyes mentally, already saying goodbye to my night, guessing she wanted a babysitter for a date with Newbie.
Rachel kissed my cheek and went inside the house to send the nanny home for the day. I walked over to Quinn and crossed my arms with a heavy sigh.
"Here," she blurted out and handed me the gift certificate to Breadstix that Mr. Shue had given her only hours earlier. "I want you to have it."
"What?" I frowned in confusion. "What the fuck for?"
"For eating, Moron," Quinn quipped and thrust the paper in my hand, damn near pulling my shoulder out in the process. "Look, I'm not good at this sort of thing, but I realize that I've been around a bit too much lately. Spending time with Sam has made me understand that I've been afraid to spend time with anyone else but you two, 'cause you're safe to be with."
"I don't follow."
"Oh, Puck," Quinn groaned, "I'm trying to mend some fences here. I know you're sick of me. I mean, I know you consider me a close friend and all, but I shouldn't intrude upon your time with Rachel as often as I've been doing in the past. I need to learn to be independent and a strong single mother, which I won't if I keep coming back here all the time. I don't want to wake up one morning and realize that I've grown scared of being alone; I love Finn, but I don't need him. And I wouldn't have figured that out without you bullying me to participate in the duets competition. So, I'll forego our bet and take Caroline for the night; Hiram assured me she was fully recovered now, and you'll take Rachel out to a nice evening at Breadstix. But," Quinn added with a small smile that reminded me of why I'd crushed on her before I fell in love with Rachel, "you might wanna take a shower first, because your clothes smell of vomit."
I grinned and pulled Quinn into a hug before damn near running into the house to do as she suggested, completely ignoring that part of me that had stated that it wasn't a real date if someone else paid for it; this was a gift from a friend.
And later that night when I was slowly pulling that sweet ass dress off of Rach that she'd worn to the great night at the restaurant, I spared a brief thought of thanks for Quinn and mutely promised myself that I'd make Finn grow up to be a great dad no matter what...
Of course, once Rachel slung her delectable legs around my waist all conscious thought left my mind entirely and I focused on sexing up my girl.
A/N I'd appreciate you taking the time to comment, I'd like to try reaching the 400 review mark for once *nudge nudge* Hehe. Hopefully, you enjoyed the chapter… Tune in next time to see what I'll put poor Puck through during the 'Rocky Horror- episode'.
Until Next Time