The Way You AreDisclaimer:
I don’t own Glee. That’s Ryan Murphy.Author’s Notes:
Future fic! Probably AU as hell.
Mercedes had been having a bad week and it must have showed in her e-mails and calls back home because, before she could make it to her dorm room, her roommate Lindy, and her roommate’s best friend Kacey caught her by the arms, squealing.
“Oh my God, Mercy,” Lindy squealed and Mercedes hated
that nickname. “You should have told me that you were dating Hotty McHotterson from Hotmenville.”
Mercedes just stared at her for a second and wondered at her ability to find the only person on campus more annoying than Rachel Berry for a roommate.
Finally, after shrugging out of their hold, she said, “Come again?”
“Oh God. Don’t tell me we let some random creeper into your room, Lin,” Kacey said and Mercedes wondered why she couldn’t have gotten her
for a roommate. Practical and a little dull would’ve been much better than earnestly annoying, stupid, and a little slutty.
“He’s in some of the pictures in her collage,” Lindy said, waving away their concerns. “I’m not an idiot
Oh, yes she was but the fact that she recognized the guy from the collage made Mercedes feel just a little better. And if he actually was
from the collage, that made him a Gleek and something like relief surged through her. Nothing could make her feel better than time spent with somebody that knew exactly what she was about.
Still, with the pool of possibilities narrowed down to seven guys, Mercedes still hadn’t thought she’d open the door and find Noah Puckerman sprawled on her bed. But there he was and, when he saw her, that smile of his, the one that said, ‘I’m so much trouble but trust me, you’ll enjoy it
’ creeped across his features.
Her relief didn’t fade even as she said, “Boy, get your shoes off my bed.” She turned to Lindy. “And we’re not dating.”
Puck’s, “Aww, come on, Mama,” was drowned out by Lindy’s peppily chirped, “Awesome! Then I can still hook you up with the complete dweeb in my college algebra class! If I help him lose his virginity, he’ll make sure I pass!”
Mercedes just stared at her, afraid to say anything because she had to live with this girl for the next four months until Freshman year was finished and she could get a place off campus.
Puck said it for her, wrapping a broad hand around her arm as he said, “I’d eat him alive,” before slamming the door in the other two girls’ faces.
Mercedes looked up at him, serious, and said, “It’s like if Rachel shared a brain with Brittany and was possessed by Santanna.”
Puck pursed his lips and said, “That could be hot.”
Mercedes rolled her eyes and shook him off her arm, flopping back onto her tiny bed with her arm across her face. “Trust me; the annoying would get to you first. Why’d you come?”
Puck snickered and settled beside her, the strum of his fingers against the strings of his guitar lifting her heart even as she lifted her arm off her eyes. “Finn mentioned you were having a hard time.”
He was looking down at her and idly playing something that took a second to connect. She laughed and sat up, belting out as it came to her part, “As I was walking by, saw you standing there with a smile. Looking sharp, you caught my eye. Thought you’d wanna hang for awhile…
shouldn’t work acapella with only a guitar for accompaniment but they’d made less with more and it was just for fun. It was the best lesson Mr. Schue had managed to teach them, that music could just be for fun.
As she hit the last note, a knock on the door sounded before it was pushed open. They hadn’t locked the door because Puck wasn’t even supposed to be in the dorms. Still, Lindy and Kacey stood flanking Amy, their RA. Amy was a med student and pulling her away from studying meant that somebody had to be dying. There was no telling what Lindy and Kacey had told her to get her to come rescue Mercedes, but all three of them were standing there gaping a little. Because, oh right. They’d never heard her sing. She’d invited Lindy to a choir performance but she’d blown her off for some club.
“Lindy let him in,” Mercedes said as soon as she was finished with her runs. “And we’re not doing anything inappropriate. He came all the way from Lima.”
Puck let his fingers keep idly drawing music from the guitar, even as he looked at Amy with that look, the one that melted panties and hearts with equal efficiency. Mercedes elbowed him and he looked down at his guitar even as he swayed into her side a bit.
Amy shook herself and said sternly, “He can’t stay the night.”
Mercedes nodded. “Understood.”
Amy let her eyes skate over Puck one more time, seemed to remind herself that he was years
younger than she was, and left in a hurry. Mercedes raised an imperious eyebrow at Kacey and Lindy, and Kacey caught Lindy’s arm as she opened her mouth, reached across and closed the door before anything could be said.
Mercedes looked to Puck, opening her mouth to say something and he leaned in before she anything came to mind and pressed a soft, nearly chaste kiss to her lips, fingers trailing down her cheek. He pulled away and ran his thumb over her lips before he started to strum his guitar.
“Oh, her eyes, her eyes, make the stars look like they’re not shinin’. Her hair, her hair, falls perfectly without her trying. She’s so beautiful and I tell her every day. Yeah, I know, I know, when I compliment her, she won’t believe me. And it’s so, it’s so sad to think that she don’t see what I see
,” he looked up, into her eyes as he sang. “But every time she asks me, ‘Do I look okay?’ I say…When I see your face, there’s not a thing that I would change. ‘Cause you’re amazing, just the way you are…
Mercedes’s heart rolled over then started to thump hard against her ribs. It was everything she’d ever wanted a man to tell her and it had to be Noah Puckerman singing it to her. She remembered the song from forever ago, had listened to it compulsively, and had hoped someone would think of her when they heard it.
At the last chord, he lifted his hand from the strings of his guitar and gently swiped a hand down her hair before trailing it up her cheek. It was weird, remembering that a million years ago, they’d sort of dated. If he’d been this kind of romantic, she’d probably have lost her heart and her panties in a blind rush of hormones.
That was three years, two broken hearts, and one National Show Choir trophy ago and Mercedes was shocked to realize that Noah Puckerman, the biggest asshole in school, had grown up into a decent guy and that both Glee and she had probably had a hand in that.
He shifted, uncomfortable, as he watched it all play across her face. “I can sing it again,” he said, reaching for his guitar.
She tackled him to the bed, lips sealing across his, and the next time Lindy opened the door, they were definitely doing something inappropriate but she just giggled and tossed a glass of water on them. And Mercedes was maybe a little glad to have her for a roommate because anybody else would have told.
She stood in the doorway of her dorm, barefoot and not dressed to go out into the night air, but tempted to, anyway.
“I’ll be home soon,” she promised and it felt weird to be thinking about trying a long distance relationship with Puck.
He shrugged, tracing the delicate shell of her ear. “I was kind of thinking of moving. There’s a construction company downtown that needs some people to do the grunt work and I figured, in four months, you were going to need a place to stay.”
Mercedes’s breath caught and she was maybe a little weirded out because Noah Puckerman wasn’t just trying to seduce her. He’d put thought into this, thought about the future
He shrugged, dropping his hand. “It’s no pressure. I just want out
of Lima and I maybe miss my favorite diva. D.C. seems like a cool place. I could make this work. I think we
could make this work.”
She stepped out, using her foot to keep the door from closing behind her, and caught his face, bringing him in for a soft kiss. “I’d like to try that,” she said softly and he brushed his hand over her cheek before he left smiling, humming Just the Way You Are
under his breath.
Stepping back into the hall, Lindy practically ripped her head off her neck, she was bouncing and squeezing and squealing so much. Mercedes finally just gave in, wrapped her arms around the girl, and squealed with her.Author’s Notes 2:
Songs: Just the Way You Are
by Bruno Mars and Escapades
by Janet Jackson.