Written for: sotto_voice who loves marching band AUs.
Characters/Pairings: Lauren Zizes/Noah Puckerman, Tina Cohen-Chang/Mike Chang, Mercedes Jones, Quinn Fabray, Kurt Hummel, Blaine Anderson, Matt Rutherford, Finn Hudson, Santana Lopez, Brittany S. Pierce, Sam Evans, Will Schuester (later stories will include Blaine/Kurt, Santana/Brittany, and Artie Abrams, plus other pairings)
Author's note: This is a transformative work of fiction for the television show Glee. It is also an alternate universe in which they are all in marching band instead of glee club. I've played pretty fast with their ages, but most of the glee club members we know are juniors, except for Matt, a senior. This is story one.
Rating: 16+ for underage sexual activity
Word count: 13,500+
Summary: You'd think by now they would be prepared for how wild band camp gets, but Lauren Zizes didn't see these two weeks coming.
Part One LJ, DW | Part Two LJ, DW
Part Three LJ, DW | Part Four LJ, DW
It should be impossible, but the second week of band camp is even hotter and sunnier than the first week. They slather on sunscreen before practice and during breaks, but still they burn. They drink lots of water, but still people start dropping, turning pale and shaky and having to sit out for awhile. It’s a mess, and it’s hard work, and it’s horrible, but it’s wonderful at the same time, because it’s marching band.
Tuesday afternoon, something finally clicks.
It’s just like any other day, hot and muggy and bright; sweat drips down their faces and makes their shirts cling. They’ve warmed up musically and warmed up physically and moved back and forth between one mark and the next, then that mark and the one after, and then back to the beginning, over and over and over, singing their parts with each move, until Lauren is pretty sure that if she ever hears a couple particular bars from “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” again, she’s going to break someone.
“Okay,” Mr. Schue calls from his position on the high stand that gives him a good angle from above. “Let’s try running it with music from the beginning.”
They go back to the first page of drill, closing their drill books and readying their instruments. Lauren brushes her fingers against the edge of her harness, offering herself luck.
Wes is on the fifty yard line. He glares at them, from one side of the field to the other, and then calls them to attention and brings their horns up. That’s not when that illusive something finally clicks, but it happens sometime between everyone snapping their instruments into place and the moment Wes’ voice rings out again, “Mark time mark.”
They mark off four beats, left right left right, step off with the left, and suddenly they’re all motion and all sound. Wes directs them with sharp perfection, hands slicing through the air to hit each spot exactly in the four-four pattern. On their respective thirty yard lines, David and Quinn match his movements, their heads turned toward him so they are all perfectly together.
The horns are solid, rising high over everyone else, a full bright sound that makes Lauren glad she’s moving because oh, she wants to dance. She doesn’t have to look to know where the other quads are or that their sticks rise and fall with a beautiful, blurring precision, and she can feel the line as they move through the drill, surrounding her, ever present and exactly what she wants.
They’re nowhere near competition ready and still far from perfect. Some of their diagonals are more like curving lines and a couple freshmen get off step. Towards the end, one of the trumpets comes in three beats early, breaking out clear and loud over the woodwinds. But through it all rises the driving beat of the drumline and when they hit their final mark just as the last notes wail out, they’re not this collection of sections anymore, they’re one big, bold band.
They hold attention, instruments up, eyes on Wes. His hands are clenched so tight into fists it looks like it hurts, and his chin is up, his expression unreadable. There’s a squirming, quivering tension inside Lauren, but she’s in the zone -- they’re all there, one band, one sound, one focus -- and she could hold attention forever if she had to.
“Band, horns down,” Wes bellows. Almost before they’re done, the light glancing off bright instruments, he’s calling them to parade rest. This is the moment when anticipation can be too much, her head down, eyes on the ground, waiting for the call that will bring them to life.
Instead, Mr. Schue starts clapping. “Great job, you guys.” He’s laughing a little, and his voice lifts with excitement. “Let’s run it again, and then we’ll take a water break. Back to your opening spots.”
It’s only band camp and they’ve got a lot of work to do and they haven’t even started learning the drill for the other three songs, but god, it feels good to be a band again.
They do so well Mr. Schue lets them leave an hour early. (Well, he says it’s because they do such a good job, but Quinn snorts and mutters to them that the Spanish teacher, Ms. Holliday, is back from her summer in Europe, and he just wants to go get laid. Which, eww, and she sounds so much like Santana, Lauren can guess where that gossip came from. Still, Santana usually knows her shit.)
Once she’s taken care of her instrument, Lauren heads over to where Tina and Mercedes chat with Brittany. Brittany is a cheerleader, and used to only be a cheerleader, until Tina recruited her into guard last year from their dance class. Though some of the football players have always been in marching band, the cheerleaders -- except for Quinn -- really haven’t been, though now Santana’s joined Brittany in guard. (Sometimes, Lauren thinks Santana would be better suited to the line, but there’s no way Lauren wants to have her that close.) While she talks, Brittany is stretching, and more than a few of the guys end up stumbling on the gravel because he’s staring too hard at her ass when she bends over or her breasts when she pushes her hands high overhead. For her part, Brittany doesn’t pay them any attention and just laughs at something Tina says.
Before Lauren reaches them, she hears Matt calling the drumline. His voice is pretty quiet compared to everyone else, but one part of her is always listening hard for him, so she spins around and backtracks to where he’s gathering everyone, including the pit, behind the equipment truck.
“Line bonding time,” he says. “Load up and follow me.”
There’s a quick scramble into cars after that, everyone piling in so they don’t have to take too many. Lauren’s got a few freshmen for her car already when Puckerman struts up, grinning at the three pit girls. They giggle a little and blush and two of them look down at their feet.
“Girls, you don’t mind squeezing together in back, do you?” he asks, turning the full force of his smirk on the one who actually looks at him straight on, at least for a moment. Lauren tries not to roll her eyes, but she doesn’t try very hard.
She pins him with a glare over the top of her car. “What are you doing?” she asks, voice flat.
“Saving the environment. One less car on the road is good for everyone.” He arches his eyebrows at her, the corner of his mouth turning up even higher, and she ducks into her seat fast so he won’t see her smile.
Line bonding ends up being out at Matt’s favorite swimming hole. Probably she should have seen that coming, because they usually make it out a couple times during the summer, but this year they’ve been so focused on winning -- the stench of last year’s defeat lingers -- that they haven’t.
(Plus she spends the entire drive fighting with Puck over the radio. First thing he does is unplug her iPod, which gets him hit. Then he changes stations, which gets him hit. Then he stops her when she’s about to flip off a classic rock station -- and she likes classic rock, but there’s no way in hell she’s letting him control the music -- grabbing her wrist and smirking, because apparently, he likes the song. His palm is hot against her skin, and he holds on too long. That gets him hit, too, but it also leaves her tense and distracted.)
The trio of freshmen climb out of the backseat when they arrive, their eyes wide. The cars are pulled up in a half circle, and before them through a break in the trees stretches out a big lake, the water deeply, beautifully blue.
They made one stop on the way, to grab snacks and drinks, and everyone hauls their bags down to the water’s edge. Matt pulls a pile of blankets and towels out of his trunk; they collect good sized rocks to hold down the edges of the blankets, and everyone claims a towel.
Lauren’s hungry and thirsty, but she’s also sweaty and hot, and the water looks amazing. She’s wearing army green shorts and an orange tank top over a sports bra, and though she wishes for her bathing suit, she’ll make what she’s wearing work. She toes off her sneakers, peels off her socks, and drops her keys, sunglasses, and wallet next to the pile.
Trent, Thad, and Julie, the other quads, dump their stuff near her. Puckerman does too, which means the bass line sticks close. Not as close as Puckerman though, who is practically on top of her when he peels off his shirt. She’ll admit the view’s not bad at all, and maybe they’re sort of on their way to being friends again, but watching him strip -- watching the play of muscles under skin and the glint of piercings at his nipples -- is doing really wicked things to her.
She presses her lips together in a thin line and shakes her head at him. He’s watching her, trying and failing to be subtle about it, so she tries to keep her expression neutral. That gets harder still when he unhooks the chain that links his wallet to one belt loop and lets it pool through his fingers as he drops it onto the ground. All she can picture is it wrapped around his wrists, twisted up his arms, and how pretty he’d look while he begged and oh, god, she is not having these thoughts about him.
Now she really needs to fucking cool off. There’s already a line of drummers waiting to grab the rope swing, but Lauren bypasses them and heads straight into the water, careful to stay away from the spot they land. She jerks a little when she steps into the water -- it’s cold as fuck -- but forces herself deeper, until it hits her thighs, her hips, her stomach.
It’s better to get it over with fast, and Lauren ducks under, biting down on the gasp that wants to escape. She holds her breath as long as she can, until her lungs burn and her jaw aches, and then pops to the surface. When she comes up, she wipes water out of her eyes, careful not to dislodge her contacts, and looks around.
Some of the freshmen still linger on shore, but everyone else is either in the water or waiting to grab the rope and swing out into the water. She loses track of Puckerman for awhile, which is fine. Julie starts a splash war that turns into dunking when Trent loses; Lauren and Julie team up to school all the snares, even Matt, when they try to come in swinging. Eventually the entire drumline is in the water, soaked and shrieking with laughter, the sweat and their stress washed away.
Finally, stomach grumbling and mouth dry, Lauren forces herself out of the lake. She wrings water from her hair and the bottom of her shirt before she makes her way over to her towel and the bag of goodies waiting for her on the blanket she claimed. She dries herself off fast and sits down. There’s a bit of a breeze, and it’s actually a little chilly after the water. Chilly enough her nipples are hard, and sports bra or not, with a wet shirt clinging to her, you can tell.
She could cover herself with the towel, but she’s never been one to hide her body, so she drops it next to her and grabs a bottle of water from her bag. More people are leaving the water to grab drinks. Some sit down, others head right back in. She leans back on her arms and closes her eyes, enjoying the moment. Damn good idea, Matt. She should probably tell him so.
After awhile, a shadow falls over her face, blocking enough sun she can tell even with her eyes closed. When she looks, sure enough, it’s Puckerman, rubbing a towel over his mohawk while water drips down his chest.
That is a very good look for him. She’s so comfortable and content that she doesn’t roll her eyes or smart off; instead, she watches him close enough to catch individual rivulets of water working their way down his stomach and the way his shorts drip water onto his feet.
She knows the exact moment he realizes she’s looking at him, the moment he notices whatever must be showing in her eyes, because he drops the hand holding the towel to his side and watches her right back, his eyes hooded and dark.
“Want something?” she asks at last, bumping the bag with her knee even though she knows full well he grabbed food and drink from the gas station too.
“Yeah.” His voice is low and warm and though she already had a sharp retort ready if he said something about hooking up, when he says it like that, so simple and yet so effective, she doesn’t want to say anything at all.
Lauren’s proud of the fact that no matter how much he’s twisting her up inside, she doesn’t look away.
“Sit,” she orders, and he drops down next to her. They drink sodas and split a bag of chips, and she pretends she doesn’t notice how his eyes linger when she licks salt from her fingers.
Almost everyone is back in the water -- Lauren knows this because they’re both staring out across the lake, not looking at each other anymore -- when Puck says, his voice pitched so soft she can barely hear him, “I didn’t mean to knock up Quinn.”
“I know.” She wants to put her arm around him, pull his head down to her shoulder, kiss his forehead and hug him close. Instead she tucks her hands under her thighs and glares at the water, angry at herself. She’s not sure why she’s mad anymore, not sure whether it’s because she wants to comfort him or because she won’t let herself.
“I didn’t mean to keep fucking shit up either.” He runs one hand over his hair. “Juvie sucked.”
“Yeah?” She’s heard the stories, big bad Puckerman knocking heads together and coming out an even bigger badass than he went in, but she also knows how stories about badasses tend to snowball. Do one little thing -- for example, kick Ben Israel’s smarmy little ass for being a disgusting waste of space, and that’s literally kick his ass, one kick, just hard enough to interrupt his smarm and put him into the locker -- and suddenly you’ve beat him half to death, sucked out all his blood, and revived him as a zombie, which doesn’t even make any sense. So, yeah, she doesn’t believe most of what she hears.
“Like really sucked. They tore out one of my nipple rings.” She can’t help it, she turns to look, because he certainly had them both in earlier. There are two, but he catches her looking. “Got it redone. Thought maybe--” He cuts off whatever he was going to say, and stares back across the water. “They were fucking scary, and I wasn’t nearly as badass.”
“You’re badass enough,” she says, because it’s true. He’s been walking that line between tough guy and bully for awhile now, ever since he got Quinn pregnant, whereas before he was mostly just bully. If he was any more badass, he’d topple back across that line again.
He shrugs and they’re quiet again for a bit. “I don’t want Quinn to hate me,” he says at last. “I don’t want you to hate me either.” It’s her turn to look away. The mood is shifting; the sun’s getting lower in the sky and more and more of the line is leaving the water.
She waits too long to answer, there are too many people around them, and Puckerman won’t quite meet her eye while they gather everything up. He rides back with her, though, she thinks mostly because she shoves her keys at him and tells him to go start the car for her and take the freshmen with him while she helps Matt load up the blankets.
Lauren might have missed her moment, but she’s a pretty quick thinker. The freshmen can’t drive, so she offers them rides home, and drops them off first, Puckerman stuck in the car. Once they’re alone, she heads back to the practice field and his truck. He opens the door fast when she pulls up next to it -- it’s the last vehicle in the lot -- but she grabs his arm and looks at him, because if she’s actually going to say this, she’s going to do it right.
“I don’t hate you, Puckerman. And I don’t think Quinn does either.”
He looks down at where her fingers are wrapped around him, and when he speaks, it’s more a sigh than a word. “Thanks.”
The rest of the week passes in practice and plotting and singing their parts and sometimes putting it all together and lunches with her friends -- which has included Blaine every single day, but Kurt looks so happy, so damn smitten, that Lauren can’t even really hate someone intruding on their time together -- and sometimes even short conversations with Puckerman.
She’s also picked up the trio of freshmen who start following her around: Cindy on marimba, Dana on xylophone, and Erin on timpani. Dana’s the most forward, the ringleader, but all three laugh a lot and bring Lauren water without her asking and during one break, they start asking for advice on how to make it onto the line. She grins at them and talks about practice and strength and confidence and some of what they’ll face when trying for a section that is predominantly guys. Not so much from their line, at least not under Matt, but she hears a lot of trash talking at competitions. (She doesn’t tell them about kicking other line’s asses, not yet. They’ll see for themselves.)
It’s hard work, and she’s tired all the time, but Friday comes faster than she can believe and suddenly band camp is over. School starts Tuesday, after one last long weekend, and the band is buzzing because Matt’s parents are out of town. That has to be on purpose, surely they know their senior son is going to throw an end-of-band-camp/end-of-summer party the second they hit city limits.
So Matt’s hosting the end-of-band-camp party. The sky is gloomy all afternoon, a late summer storm threatening, but it’s not raining when they’re dismissed. Matt’s party is starting earlier than last time, and it’s Lauren’s turn to drive, so she rushes home to shower and change into a jean skirt, her favorite orange and pink Chucks and a flippy, flirty red cotton shirt. She’s not planning on doing much flirting, honestly, but after Tina does her make-up when she picks her up and Quinn slips jewelry on her when she picks her up, Mercedes pronouncing them all gorgeous, well, there’s energy buzzing in her veins.
The end of band camp marks the end of a long, hot summer full of hard work and tension. The end-of-band-camp party marks the beginning of a long fall full of hard work and competitions and random band hook-ups at games and on busses. It’s that weird, twisty time between summer and fall, between freedom and school, and anything goes.
Even rushing, the party is in full swing by the time they arrive. They stick together at first, getting the lay of Matt’s house -- Lauren’s the only one who’s been there enough to know where everything is -- and grabbing drinks, but eventually, they start splitting up. Kurt, Blaine, and Mercedes cut away to dance, and Mike and Tina find each other and start flirting. Quinn and Lauren chill on one of the couches for awhile, talking to some of the flute section, but eventually Lauren gets tired of the crowd and excuses herself to get a new drink. She does need one, but after she has it, she heads into the backyard.
The sky is black, not just nighttime dark, but heavy with clouds, the moon and stars gone. The air is muggy, hot and wet, but it’s still not raining. Despite the oppressive weather, plenty of people are outside playing beer pong, including Puckerman, but when he sees her, he hands his paddle to Hudson and cuts away from the crowd.
“Want a smoke?” he asks. She shrugs, but together they walk farther into the yard. There’s a yellow bug light on above the back door, but over by the big garage at the end of the wide driveway that curves around the house, the yard is darker. Puck hands over a cigarette and lights it for her again, and she concentrates on not coughing when it hits her throat.
They’re about halfway through their cigarettes when a cool, fast wind cuts across them. A second later, there’s a crack of lightning and a roll of thunder so deep Lauren can feel it vibrate. Before she can do anything else, the sky opens up and they’re pelted with rain, her cigarette hissing out in her hand.
She’s torn for a second, part of her wanting to run across the yard and into the house, following the beer pong players who have left their cups of beer behind and are shoving their way through the back door, but another part of her wants to stay right where she is, alone with Puckerman and away from the crowd.
Puckerman grabs her arm and tugs her a little toward the garage. It’s unlocked, apparently, because he’s got the side door open. She doesn’t hesitate, just steps inside, and he pulls the door mostly shut behind them, leaving it open just a crack so that cool air follows them in.
Lauren blinks water from her eyelashes. It’s too dark to really see, but after a few seconds, her vision adjusts enough that she can make out gray shapes in the blackness. She doesn’t need to see to know where Puckerman is, because she can feel him standing right next to her. Her damp clothes leave her feeling steamy in the enclosed space.
Another crack of lightning, followed immediately by the rumble of thunder. The storm is moving fast and it’s right on top of them already. The sound of the rain on the roof is loud, overwhelming, and Lauren is having trouble breathing steady. Or maybe that’s because Puck is so close, and when he turns toward her, he’s closer still.
“Freshman year,” she says, because it’s been eating at her, and because if she doesn’t talk she’s going to do something stupid like kiss him, “I was kind of a shit. Sorry.”
“You were,” he agrees. He’s not that much taller than her, but he tips his head toward her a little and it sort of feels like he’s looming. In a good way. “Why?”
She shrugs and shifts her weight, which is kinda a bad idea because now, with the way she’s turned toward him, her breasts brush against his arm and this is not what she intended when she got ready for tonight. Except that’s as much a lie as it is a truth.
Instead of opening up and admitting her fears back then, she puts her hand on his chest. She tells herself she’s going to push him away, but that’s pretty much impossible with the way she curls her fingers into the fabric. He’s just wearing a worn blue t-shirt that stretches across his shoulders nicely and is so soft to the touch, but it looks fucking awesome on him.
Lauren tugs him closer, and even as she lifts her head to kiss him, he makes this shocked sound, his mouth slack against hers for the split second it takes him to catch up, and then he’s kissing her back. He is so much better at this than he was back then. The first time they kissed, he was too wet, too sloppy and their teeth clashed together. Plus he’d had no idea how to follow anyone else’s lead.
Now, though, oh god, he puts his hands on her hips and angles their bodies together, his lips pliant, his tongue curling delightfully into her mouth. She presses into him, deepens the kiss, and he goes with it, letting her set the pressure and the pace. She keeps one hand fisted in his shirt and curls the other around the back of his neck, urging him closer, closer. He slides his hands to her ass and tugs her against him, one of her legs between his, and oh god, she can feel him already hard against her thigh.
She bites his lower lip -- he grinds against her, groaning -- then sucks his lower lip into her mouth to sooth away the sting with her tongue. Lauren kisses him until she’s dizzy from it, until she can’t even sneak little breaths and has to pull away, glancing one final kiss off his mouth.
They’re both breathing hard. Lightning cracks across the sky again, and the garage is momentarily lit up. Puck’s lips are slick and very red from their kisses and her lipstick, and her skin feels a little sore from the scratch of his stubble.
She thinks she should say something, but she doesn’t know what she can that won’t make this awkward. Puck’s eyes drop to her mouth when she licks her lips, but he meets her gaze directly when he very slowly and very deliberately grinds against her thigh.
Lauren’s hands clutch at him, and she tugs on his shirt and digs her nails into the back of his neck. His eyes close for a second, but that’s all the time she needs to gather herself. She is not going to fuck him in Mr. Rutherford’s garage, but she’s not ready to stop this yet, either.
She tugs him toward her and they stumble across the empty space where one of the cars would be parked until they’re up against the big SUV Matt drives to band practice. That’s a little weird, hooking up against her captain’s vehicle, but then Puck ducks his head and starts kissing down the side of her throat and she really, really doesn’t care anymore.
He slides one hand around her hip and rubs it up and down her side, coming close to her breast but never quite getting there. She grabs his wrist, and he freezes, his mouth against her neck, but that’s not what she wants.
“You’re good,” she murmurs, and immediately after, she wishes she’d chosen a different way to say it. Too late now, and she does what she was going to do before he stopped and moves his hand to her breast. She can feel him suck in a sharp breath of air, and then his head comes up and they’re kissing again, harder now, teeth sharp on lips, and his fingers stroke along her breast, his thumb unerringly finding her nipple.
She releases his shirt, her fingers slightly cramped from holding it so tight, and reaches down between their bodies, sliding her palm over the hard rise of his dick. His jeans are rough as she traces him with her fingers.
Puckerman groans into the kiss, and she grins, riding the power that rushes through her. She reaches for his belt next, fumbling it a little, but gets it open at last, then starts on the button fly.
The third button sticks. “Damn it,” she mutters, her mouth still touching his, and when he laughs, their bodies move together. He drops his hands and helps her, working the last two buttons free.
She pushes him out of the way and reaches for him, sliding her hand down his stomach, working her way beneath his briefs, and wraps her fingers around his dick. He shudders, his head falling back, and she smirks at him, smug though he can’t see it.
He’s hot and hard, and she can feel him pulse against her palm. She strokes him lightly, sliding the wetness at the tip down the soft skin, and he lifts his hips toward her. A couple faster strokes, a slightly tighter grip, and he comes up off the SUV, groaning.
She places her other hand in the center of his chest, pushing him back, holding him in place. He reaches for her again, slides one hand under her shirt, under her bra, rubbing his palm over her nipple.
They kiss again, sloppier, but it’s okay, because it all feels so good. Lauren runs her thumb over the head of his dick with every upward stroke, and he grabs at her, his fingers clutching so tight she can feel the bruises form.
Her muscles start to burn, but she keeps at the steady pace, working him and working him. Puckerman kisses along her jaw and down to her throat, his teeth scraping her skin again and again while he sucks heat to the surface.
Just when she doesn’t think she can do it anymore, the angle is wrong and her arm fucking hurts, his body goes tight. “Fuck,” he groans, burying his face in her hair. “Oh fuck, Lauren.”
The sound of him saying her name like that, guttural and so needy, slams into her like a punch, but he’s coming sticky and hot all over her hand.
Her neck burns where he left his mark, and shit, she’s going to have to figure out how to cover that or face a whole lot of questions she doesn’t want. And Quinn is like a fucking magnet for hickeys, she always notices.
Lauren feels a little sick suddenly, her hand still on Puckerman’s dick, his head on her shoulder, her lips sore from kissing him. Quinn is her friend, Quinn is important to her, and yet still here she is.
“That was -- fuck. So good.” Puckerman presses a kiss against the side of her neck. She tenses and slides her hand out of his jeans. She steps away from him under the pretense of looking for something to use to clean up and tries to calm her racing heart.
She stumbles her way over to a work bench. It’s very neatly organized, and on it is a box of cleaning supplies, including a roll of paper towels. She tears off a couple, wipes her hands clean, and thinks better of tossing them into the trashcan, instead shoving them into her pocket, even if it’s a little gross. She grabs a couple more paper towels and takes them to Puckerman.
He’s still slumped against the SUV, but he gives her a slow grin when she walks up. It’s lighter in the garage, and she glances at the windows. Sure enough, the rain has slowed, it is just spitting against the glass, and the clouds are starting to roll away. She can see the moon and a handful of stars.
Puck finishes doing up his jeans and belt and moves closer to her. “Come here,” he says, taking her hand. “Your turn.” His smirk is slow, his eyes warm, and she gets it, she does, all those songs about dancing with the devil.
But all she can think about now is how Quinn looked when she admitted she was pregnant, and how she sounded when she broke down in July after too many shots at Santana’s Fourth of July party. The way Mercedes talked about the birth, Quinn’s pain and the look on Puck’s face when they put Beth in Quinn’s arms. Mercedes’ voice shook and she sat nestled between Tina and Kurt, holding their hands, Lauren bringing them drink after drink. Quinn was still in the hospital that first night, and they sat together in the waiting room.
All the reasons she should stay away, and yet how she felt, her heart so tight, when he said her name.
Lauren pulls her hand free, grabs his shirt, and hauls him in for another kiss, bruising and fast. Then, even though she knows it’s a mistake, but what’s one more after all she’s done tonight, she shoves him back and spills out of the garage, hurrying toward the house and ignoring the way he calls after her, a sharp, “What the fuck, Zizes?” and nothing at all like how she wants him to sound.
No way in hell Lauren fucking Zizes hides from anyone, but she does make herself scarce until the others are ready to go. Tina and Mercedes are giggling and drunk, hanging all over her, talking about how much fun they had. Quinn’s closer to sober than they are, and she hands Tina off to her at least until they get to the car. They’re all sleeping over at Mercedes’ house, and somehow they manage to get inside and upstairs without her parents noticing.
Lauren keeps her hair down, tries to make sure it spills over her shoulders all night, and the others don’t notice anything, thank god.
Late Saturday morning, when Tina’s finally dragged herself out of bed and they’re sitting around Mercedes’ room eating bagels and drinking orange juice, Quinn raises an impeccably groomed eyebrow at Lauren.
“Who gave you the hickey?” she asks, and it takes everything Lauren has not to slap her hand over it.
“No one,” she grits out, but of course, her girls aren’t going to accept that for an answer. They might let her get away with her secret for awhile, but eventually they’ll push back and she’ll have to give them some sort of an answer. For now, though, she turns it on Tina. “Where’d your bra disappear to last night?”
Mercedes whoops a laugh, and Tina beams. “Only the hottest guard boy ever.” She fans herself a little. “Those abs of his, delicious.”
They gossip and laugh and eat, sprawl in the backyard to enjoy time in the sun that doesn’t involve marching and music, then come inside to watch movies and eat and gossip some more. It’s fun, it’s wonderful, Lauren loves spending time with her friends, but every time Quinn looks at her, it feels like she’s being laid open, all her secrets bared.
Sunday, they finally go back-to-school shopping, two car loads of people because even Hudson comes with Kurt. He’s got a weird look on his face when he sees Lauren, something halfway between a pout and a frown, but then again he pretty much always looks constipated.
Monday she hangs out with her parents, and Billy calls them via Skype to wish her good luck with the marching season. She wants to break down and tell him everything, but one, her parents are there listening and two, she doesn’t actually want to talk to him about sex, and three, she’s not sure she wants to hear what he has to say.
The text comes when she’s in bed reading. She grabs her phone automatically, expecting something funny from Tina or Mercedes or Quinn, but instead it’s Puckerman. The only reason she has his number in her phone in the first place is because of drumline, and she hasn’t seen it pop up since sometime sophomore year when he was throwing a party and invited the whole line.
Need 2 talk 2 u b4 band.
They normally start drumline practice at seven a.m., full marching band at seven-thirty, but for the first day of school, they’re skipping all that and meeting in the band room when school starts at eight fifteen.
Lauren drops her phone on her nightstand and flops back against her pillows, dread twisting inside. It’s going to be a long, long marching band season.
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