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First Response

Title: First Response
Character(s)/Pairing: Finn, Puck, Finn/Puck
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1,369
Status: Complete
Notes/Warnings: Contains bombing.
Summary: One second, it had been a normal day. The next, part of the school had exploded and Puck realized something. Finn was in there.

He was with Santana when it happened, standing and laughing about the old days when they’d cut class to hook up under the bleachers and look at us now. Still skipping class and hanging out in the same spot, but without the benefits their friendship had had before. She had been mid-sentence, halfway through telling him about her and Brittany’s date when something exploded.

They screamed and he pulled her into him on instinct, covering her body with his own as the bleachers shook around them. Wondered in one terrified moment if it would collapse. Somehow, it stayed up, sturdy enough even with the amount of rust it had. It stayed standing and… God. He could hear the gym class on the other side of them screaming as Beiste yelled for everyone to get to the far side of the field.

Get away from the school.


And like that, Santana was out of his arms and running out from under the bleachers, terrified and trying to get to her girlfriend, because they knew Brittany had gym this period. They’d been laughing about Beiste yelling at her to stop cartwheeling when she was supposed to be playing soccer.

That moment seemed so far away now and as he rushed after Santana, he just knew that he needed to get out. Get out. Call his mom to tell her he was okay and to call Sarah out of school just in case.

He felt the vomit rise in his throat as he finally caught sight of the school and the north end of it was in flames. Or…what left of it was standing. For a minute, he told himself that it was just a science class gone seriously wrong. That someone had really fucked up in Chemistry.

Except, science classes were in the south end.

English was in the north. English and language classes and…


It was like his heart stopped and he stood there, frozen and horrified, watching as the corner where his freshman English class was collapsed. Disappeared into some mess of plaster and bricks and as the fire rose.

Finn had Spanish.

Finn had turned down skipping with him and Santana so he could do his presentation.

Finn was in there.

“Puckerman! Get over here!”

He turned his head, finally, finally looking away from the school. Saw Santana and Brittany clinging to each other so hard that their nails would probably draw blood. Saw Beiste looking paler than he’d ever seen her look. She had her arm out to him like she wanted him to grab her hand or take it as a hint to run and get to safety.

He ran, all right. Just not to safety.

One of them screamed and it might have been Santana, because it sounded like Spanish before he heard some broken Noah come out, but he didn’t stop. His eyes were on the school and his mind was focused on one thing.

Find Finn.

He made it to the east end’s doors before anyone could stop him and before anybody could stop him. No teachers. No police. No firefighters. For a second, he wondered if the first responders in Lima were too slow or if this really had only happened a minute ago. It felt like hours.

The bar on the door was warm when he grabbed it and he had to remind himself that it was hot out. They were so close to graduation and the temperatures were climbing. It wasn’t warm because of fire. Couldn’t be. Wasn’t, because all that was there were a few lunch ladies that were too scared for themselves to realize that there was a student running toward the explosion.

Someone said a bomb had gone off and his stomach dropped as the word finally hit him.

It wasn’t like they hadn’t had bomb threats before. They had. They had had assholes do it before, stupid freshmen that didn’t want to take a test and didn’t realize what the hell would happen to you when you got caught. A real one, though… They’d never had a real one and for a second, he wondered why Figgins hadn’t evacuated the school when he got the call.

Realized a moment later that if someone had wanted to cause damage, they wouldn’t call in a warning.

They wouldn’t give people time to get out.

He didn’t know what he expected to see as he got closer to the north end. Body parts. Blood. His friends. Really, he tried to not look. His mind was on Finn as his eyes scanned for one face. One stupid puffy vest that would go up like a Roman candle if Finn got too close to a spark.


He coughed as the smoke hit him, flames licking at the walls and the doors. Felt the heat burning his skin like he’d been out in the sun too long.


Someone came out of a door, stumbling, and for a second, he thought it was Finn. Thought that the guy might have heard him, but it wasn’t him. It was one the AP English teacher Quinn was always going on about and the guy grabbed him, yelling that they had to get out.

“My boyfriend’s still in there!”

The words came out before he could even think about what he was about to say. Realized that he had finally put a name to what him and Finn had been doing the last few months. Neither one of them had ever said it, not until now and now that it was out, he couldn’t take it back. He didn’t want to, but this shouldn’t have been the thing that made him say it. It should have been him and Finn finally getting their heads out of their asses and talking about what they had been doing ever since the guy and Rachel had gone separate ways.

Not this.

Never this.

He was outside again before he could realize that the teacher had been pulling him out. Caught up in his own thoughts and… He had to get back in there. Tried to, but the first responders had finally responded and they were holding him back. Pushed him back towards the barrier of cop cars that had been set up.

He barely resisted punching the guy out to get back inside. Barely. Only because he couldn’t risk being arrested right now. Not when he hadn’t found Finn. Not-


He turned when he heard the voice. Saw Finn, pale-faced and terrified as he hopped the hood of a cop car. Almost fell on his face—because he would never be graceful—and rushed over to him right as he managed to break away from the firefighter. Grabbed onto the guy as hard as he could, his fingers digging into Finn’s forearms as Finn’s hands grabbed his.

“I thought you were skipping!”

“I did!” His breath hitched before he started coughing and Finn let go of one of his arms to rub his back. “You had Spanish. I thought…”

“I forgot my poster in my locker,” Finn said, shaking his head wildly. “I was there when…” He stopped, somehow managing to pale even further than he already was. “You went in after me?!”

He nodded, still coughing, and the hand rubbing his back turned into a slap.

“What the hell were you thinking?! What…” Finn’s voice cracked and he knew. Puck knew he knew. Saw it in the guy’s eyes and one of them might have started crying. Maybe both. Finn hugged him, though. Hugged him so tight that it almost made him start coughing again and they stood there while their school fucking burned behind them. Hugged him and Puck wondered if Finn was trying as hard as he was to not think about who was still in there or who might have been hurt. He couldn’t take anymore fear. Not right now.

Later, they’d get shoved back to the ‘safe’ side of the cop cars while bomb squads went through the school. They’d call their families and their friends and pray to gods they barely acknowledged that everyone was okay.

Right then, though, they held each other and they cried.

The End


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 28th, 2014 09:10 pm (UTC)
that is so...it was a gut punch and just...well done.
Apr. 28th, 2014 09:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks!! =)
Apr. 29th, 2014 09:00 am (UTC)
Wow. That was... I felt like I was Puck, running in there. Very emotive, very present, such a gut-punch. Well done.
Apr. 29th, 2014 02:14 pm (UTC)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Dianna Agron

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