Lady Paperclip (paperclipbitch) wrote,
Lady Paperclip
paperclipbitch

"'Cause You've Got An Awfully Long Way To Go" [3b/3], Glee, Puck/Kurt



~

Kurt isn’t even sure how he got into this situation, but he wishes like hell he was anywhere but here. Anywhere.

“You just... you don’t seem happy at the moment,” his dad says, eyes on the television, hands twisting in his lap. He’s trying and Kurt appreciates that, he really does, but right now he’d rather his father didn’t give a damn about him if it meant not having to have this conversation.

“I’m fine,” Kurt promises him, attention fixed on his nail buffer. If he buffs them any harder he’s going to end up actually sanding them away, but he’s uncomfortable enough as it is right now; he can’t look at his dad.

“Is this a... glee club thing?” his dad asks, almost tentatively. “They’re not discriminating against you again are they? ‘Cause I can go straight down to that school and-”

Kurt smiles a little, because he loves how much his dad tries in spite of not being a hundred percent comfortable with Kurt’s sexuality himself.

“It’s not a glee thing,” he promises quickly, cutting off his dad’s potential tirade. He glances up to find his dad is looking worriedly at him, and the last thing Kurt wants to do is worry his dad. “It’s a boy thing,” he adds, “so we don’t have to discuss it.”

He can see his dad visibly steeling himself and before Kurt can stop him or pretend to have a seizure or whatever, his dad says: “what kind of a boy thing?” He sounds a little wary and he’s not looking Kurt in the eyes but he’s trying and, God, that kills him a little bit.

“It’s no big deal,” Kurt says swiftly. “Just... I like this guy and he is never going to be interested in me in a million years. That’s all.”

Mercedes is going to have to fix his ruined nails tomorrow, and he forces himself to put the damn buffer down on the couch beside him.

His dad is staring at the television like his life depends on it, but after a long while he manages: “is it that Finn guy?”

Kurt winces. “No.”

He sees the exact moment his dad works it out but mercifully he doesn’t say it aloud. Instead, he offers Kurt a smile and then reaches for the remote. “You can do better,” he says quietly. “You deserve better.”

Then he turns the television up and Kurt blinks until his eyes are completely clear.

~

At school the next day Kurt puts up with exactly two minutes and thirty-four seconds of Finn’s whining about Rachel – he knows because he’s timing it on his watch – before he holds a hand up, cutting Finn off.

“I’ve decided that from hereon out I’m only going to focus on my own Feelings Of Inner Pain And Anguish rather than everyone else’s. Sure, it may make me less well-rounded as a person, but the good thing is that I won’t even care.”

Finn frowns, though he doesn’t look particularly hurt, and after a moment, he says: “you have Feelings Of Inner Pain And Anguish?” He looks empathetic. “I mean, I’m not entirely sure what ‘anguish’ is, but... you have inner pain?”

Kurt shrugs. “Maybe?”

Finn slings an arm around his shoulders. Kurt reflects that it’s sort of sad how up until a couple of months ago he would’ve given his right arm and every Marc Jacobs item in his wardrobe to get this much contact, but now that he can get it on a semi-regular basis, he doesn’t even it want it anymore. Still, he appreciates the sentiment so he momentarily leans his head against Finn’s shoulder. There’s the sound of a locker door slamming behind them, and Kurt carefully extracts himself from Finn’s arm. When he turns though, there’s only Puck, walking away, shoulders hunched underneath his letterman jacket.

“Look,” Finn says, “I’m not Puck or anything, but... if there’s someone bothering you or whatever, I can totally beat them up for you.”

Kurt wonders exactly how he got to the point where more than one hot footballer is offering to solve his problems through violence for him, and then decides he definitely shouldn’t point out that most of the time when Finn and Puck were beating on each other over the whole “you knocked up my girlfriend!” thing, Puck won.

“Thanks,” he says, aware that he kind of means it.

At lunch, most of the students run out of the cafeteria to see a fight going on outside. Kurt sips morosely at his cranberry juice, picks at his salad and is really not at all surprised when Tina comes running in, looking kind of startled and announcing: “Puck’s fighting half the football team!”

Most the table turns to look at Kurt.

“Um, what?” he asks.

“Well, you’re kind of his friend,” Artie points out, a slight trace of accusation in his voice.

“He hasn’t spoken to me in forever,” Kurt points out. He shrugs, trying for nonchalant while Mercedes just looks pitying. “I don’t know, he has issues. A wide variety of issues. And possibly that mohawk has grown through his skull into his brain. Did I mention the issues?”

Under the table, Mercedes squeezes his knee to shut him up. She’s creased his pants but on the other hand his voice was bordering on hysterical, and if she slapped him right across the face in the cafeteria people would probably ask awkward questions. Kurt’s had enough of awkward questions for the day.

Issues,” Kurt mutters darkly, and spends a moment reminding himself that reaching for chocolate is not ever the answer. Really.

Puck turns up for glee practice with a split lip, two black eyes and a grim, fiery expression that’s half triumph and half something terrible that Kurt can’t even name. Mr Schue does not look at all happy and the rest of the club sort of edge around Puck, careful, as though afraid of actual physical injury if they get too close.

“He’s not talking,” Finn shrugs, as Mercedes, Tina and Artie try to grill him for details. “He just picked a fight with the guys and let them kick the shit out of him.” He looks kind of sad and frustrated, and when they next glance over, Puck is glaring back at them, all bared teeth and simmering fury. It’s no wonder that practice is falling apart and Mr Schuester is practically pulling his hair out. Kurt would actually like half an hour with three kinds of product to fix Mr Schue’s hair, but that isn’t the issue right now.

Quinn, dressed in one of Mercedes’ loosest, brightly-coloured t-shirts, teamed with leggings and a delicious pair of ballet flats, hair carefully and elaborately curled, has been studying Puck carefully. She sighs and leaves the rest of them behind, walking over. Kurt can’t make out what she’s saying and Puck’s face is still a mask of anger, but after a moment Quinn forcibly grabs his hand and pulls it towards her stomach, pressing his palm against the bump and holding it there until his expression softens. It’s kind of useful, Kurt reflects, that the baby is moving so often these days.

Kurt smiles slightly, watching both Quinn and Puck grin fondly at their unborn child, and pretends something isn’t tearing just a little in his chest.

Really, Kurt knows he’s a teenager and he’s a fucking gay kid in Lima, Ohio, and his sparkling lovely future isn’t going to happen for a few more years, but seriously, he has no idea why his life has to have so much damn angst in it. Sighing, he turns his attention to where Rachel and Finn are belting out Addicted To Love while no one listens because they’re all too focused on their own social problems and/or attempts to bring down the glee club from within – not looking too pointedly at Brittany and Santana or anything – and, as he looks at the ridiculously lusting looks passing between Rachel and Finn, reflects that if they don’t get together soon, Kurt is going to have to choke a bitch. Or get Mercedes to do the actual choking for him, but the point still stands.

“Even your hair is moping,” Mercedes observes beside him, reaching to push a couple of locks back into place.

“Bite your tongue,” Kurt responds, “my hair is fabulous.”

“Oh honey,” Mercedes sighs. “I didn’t want to point it out earlier, but your shoes don’t match your purse.”

Kurt could cry, but he doesn’t. Instead, he leans his head into Mercedes’ shoulder and thinks, with absolute determination: this has got to stop.

The only good thing about this whole moment is that Rachel is wearing an outfit Kurt picked out over the phone this morning so his eyeballs don’t want to spontaneously start bleeding when he looks at her, but even that relief is short-lived when he re-thinks Mercedes’ words and realises that, right now, Rachel is better dressed than him.

“Oh my God,” he groans quietly, and Mercedes, being the fabulous, fabulous woman that she is, says nothing accusatory at all, just wraps an arm around him and offers to let him try out her new mascara after practice is over.

This has got to stop, Kurt repeats over and over in his head on the way home and after a while, he almost believes it to be true.

~

Quinn faints the first time the baby kicks. They’re in glee rehearsal and she falls to the floor. Puck and Finn are at her sides in moments, like they were that time that enabled Rachel to work out what was going on in the first place, only Quinn isn’t conscious this time to bitch at them about being ridiculous and overprotective.

Mike and Matt line up chairs for her to lie on as Puck and Finn lift her between them, and Kurt donates his fluffy angora sweater to rest her head on. Rachel, being the sensible one, runs for the nurse, while Mr Schue does other sensible things like checking Quinn’s pulse and saying soothing things to the panicking club as a whole.

Somewhere around the time they all decided to sing Lean On Me, the baby became the collective property of the glee club, Kurt realises, regardless of who the father is. He almost feels sorry for that little girl in Quinn’s belly, who is going to grow up with twelve of the most incompetent, pushy and determined parents in the world, but on the whole he thinks it’ll be a good thing.

By the time the nurse – a competent, actual medically trained nurse who at no point tries to drug any of them with fake vitamins – has established that Quinn is fine, just a freakish vortex of pregnancy hormones, and Quinn has regained consciousness, and Mr Schue has made her a cup of tea from the teacher’s lounge, everyone has kind of calmed down and is cheerfully discussing baby names. Rachel is loudly campaigning for Idina and Quinn isn’t bitching at her for it, like maybe a truce is forming between them, and Kurt looks at where both Finn and Puck are holding Quinn’s hands with a small smile. Quinn isn’t crying but her eyes are moist, and all of them are kind of shaky, and Kurt interlaces his fingers with Mercedes until his breathing evens out a little.

Artie offers Quinn a ride home with his dad and wheels off to the parking lot with her on his lap, Santana and Brittany tagging along behind, while everyone else packs up. Kurt has a standing date at the mall with Mercedes and Tina, but asks them both to wait by his car. Rachel leads the stunned-looking Finn out with a small hand fisted in the sleeve of his semi-hideous sweater, presumably to offer him support of some description, which leaves Puck as the only person without any kind of emotional safety-net. Kurt waits until the door has closed behind everyone else and is trying to work out what to say when Puck sinks into a chair, head in hands, clearly unaware that Kurt is there.

Words are still failing him, so Kurt clears his throat slightly. Puck’s head whips up but there’s no trace of venom or disdain or anything on his face, just a sort of exhausted blankness.

“Hey,” Kurt says quietly, carefully, someone approaching a wounded animal.

Puck’s mouth twists a little. “What do you want?” he asks, his voice cracking a little, lacking its usual confrontational tone.

Kurt steels himself and walks over. “Don’t say anything,” he says quietly, “and just pretend for five minutes that I’m not me and you’re not you, ok?” Puck frowns as Kurt stands in front of him. “Stand up,” he orders, and Puck does. He’s unnervingly tall – not as tall as Finn, but still definitely taller than Kurt – but what Kurt is doing is for Puck’s own good – and not at all for his own benefit, as he will probably have to explain to Mercedes in great detail later, maybe over lattes – so he doesn’t back down, and wraps his arms around Puck. The other boy freezes and for one long moment Kurt thinks he’s going to wound up punched, but when he doesn’t let go Puck seems to relax into it, head dropping to rest against Kurt’s shoulder, breath a slow exhale. Puck is shaking, just slightly, barely enough to notice, and Kurt reflects that it must be pretty damn terrifying to be bringing an actual kid into the world.

It kind of puts his own problems into perspective.

He doesn’t know how long they stand there, but eventually Kurt’s phone goes off in his bag, and Puck pulls away like he’s been burned. Kurt hurries to answer it – it’s Mercedes, demanding to know where he is – half-tensed for a blow that never falls. When he turns around again, the choir room door is banging closed, and Kurt smiles ruefully because he wasn’t expecting any different.

The mall is brightly-coloured and inviting and Kurt spends an enjoyable afternoon indulging in retail therapy with Mercedes and Tina, heading home laden with scarves he doesn’t need, a delicious new raspberry-flavoured lipgloss the girls wouldn’t let him leave without buying, and also one new pair of shoes because it’s been that kind of day, the kind of day that needs to end with new shoes.

He calls Quinn and she cries down the phone in a happy way for a while, and just before he goes to bed Kurt gets a text from Puck, saying, simply: thanks.

~

Wednesdays are a formula that Kurt is more than used to and one he’s never tried to do anything about, so when faced with a grinning, knuckle-cracking baseball team he takes the inevitable trip to the dumpsters with nothing more than a sigh. It’s done with less malice than when the football team do it, for one thing, it’s far more impersonal, and in any case they usually put him in the paper and recycling dumpster, so though he winds up with papercuts and little annoying slivers of paper all over him, the smell is far more palatable and he doesn’t have to go wash his hair in a bathroom sink. Which is always a plus; he can never get the back to dry properly, and sitting in chemistry with the back of his hair a mess is always a soul-destroying experience. The only downside is that the baseball guys are kind of fond of closing the lid of the dumpster on him, but years of this have made him no longer claustrophobic, and at least he isn’t being suffocated by yesterday’s uneaten lunch menu.

Kurt says nothing at all and daydreams about the time when Vera Wang clothing will be a regular part of his existence as the lid is closed. There isn’t a whole lot else to do, and getting upset about all this is not a valid way of spending his time; these guys are going to be stuck in Lima for the rest of their lives and they’ll never be happy, and it isn’t even resentment that’s making him think that, because it’s true. His eventual future may never match up to the castles in the air he’s so fond of building, but at least Kurt is secure in the knowledge he’s going to get the hell out of this state without letting the door hit his ass on the way out. They won’t see him for the dust kicked up from his fabulous Prada shoes, and really, it’s enough to make him smile in spite of it all.

“Grinning to yourself in a dumpster,” a voice says from above, as the lid is thrown open. “Well, isn’t that just really normal, Hummel.”

Kurt looks up into Puck’s still-bruised face, and shrugs minutely. “It’s better than crying,” he can’t help pointing out. “That would make my mascara run.”

Puck looks simultaneously amused and uncomfortable. “I... have nothing to say to that.”

Kurt sighs and pulls his nail file from his pocket since he has nothing better to do with his time, turning his attention away from Puck and the fact that he is possibly stalking him now. He wonders idly if they’re going to return to the bullying now, and he tries to ignore the fact that he finds that thought faintly reassuring, because he refuses to get Stockholm Syndrome. That’s just... that’s just no.

“You’re not gonna get out?” Puck asks, sounding confused.

“If I’m not in here for long enough they’ll only come back and put me in again,” Kurt responds, because, unlike some people he could mention, he actually learns from experience. He glances up at Puck’s puzzled expression and adds: “everyone has their own style, you haven’t actually patented dumpster tossing. You should probably shut the lid and go, I don’t want to waste more any of your time.”

Puck looks around briefly, and then before Kurt can ask for clarification, he puts his hands on the rim of the dumpster and easily swings himself in, landing on the cardboard boxes stacked beside Kurt.

“Um, are you having some kind of aneurism?” Kurt asks, before he can stop himself. “And you could have crushed me.”

He’s inwardly panicking but does his best not to let it show because just because he has no idea what Puck thinks he’s doing doesn’t mean he has to lose whatever semblance of cool he’s managed to create.

“Dude, I play, like, all sports ever,” Puck points out, ignoring the are you potentially brain-damaged? comment. “I totally have co-ordination.”

“You forget; I’ve seen you dance,” Kurt tells him, and is faintly relieved when Puck cracks a smile. It feels almost normal, until he remembers that, for them, this isn’t normal; Puck doesn’t talk to him and when he talked to him before he was faking it so he’d get Finn back. Recalling this, he turns his attention back to his nails, letting his smirk fall from his mouth.

“You ok?” Puck asks, sounding almost wary, a couple of very quiet minutes later.

“Fine,” Kurt responds shortly, and becomes aware that he isn’t so much filing his nails as sanding them. Mercedes threatened to slushie him herself unless he stopped damaging his nails through stress, so he forces himself to stop and puts the file away.

Puck looks around them at the abandoned sheets of paper and metal sides. “So, this is what the inside of the dumpster looks like, huh?”

“Yeah,” Kurt says, “it’s almost like a second home by now. I’ll probably miss this when I leave high school.”

Puck raises an eyebrow. “Seriously?”

“No,” Kurt replies. “Not at all.”

Puck smirks, leaning his head against the back, apparently getting comfy. “So, how long do you have to stay in here?”

Kurt checks the time on his iPhone. “Ten more minutes should do it. Mercedes said she’d get my lunch for me.”

Something angry passes across Puck’s face, his fingers curling into his palms momentarily, before he seems to force it back down.

“You’re not going to beat them up,” Kurt observes, tone carefully neutral because even he’s not really sure what point he’s trying to make.

“You asked me to stop,” Puck points out, quiet, and when Kurt finally looks at him he sees Puck is staring back, something intense in his eyes that Kurt has to glance away from because it kind of makes him want to burst into miserable, angsty song, and this isn’t High School Musical and he won’t get away with it. Which is just as well, because Kurt would rather come into school tomorrow clad head to toe in Walmart than admit to knowing the words to any of those songs.

“And you listened,” Kurt observes, sounding far more surprised than he meant to. He clears his throat awkwardly and looks down at his boots, trying to establish if they’ve gotten scuffed at any point. “I suppose you need to stop looking like your face had a run-in with a brick.”

“These totally make me look manly and awesome,” Puck tells him, sounding kind of offended, gesturing at the lingering remains of the bruises on his face.

“Even Santana told you that you looked like an idiot,” Kurt responds.

Puck shrugs, causing a small avalanche of sheets of paper. “She’s too busy screwing Brittany these days. Or ‘dating’ her, whatever.”

It’s so nice to hear Puck’s refreshing view of dating, Kurt thinks acidly, before registering what Puck actually said. “They’re what?”

Puck looks incredulous. “You know, you have no gaydar at all. Which is weird, seeing as how you’re totally gayer than that Adam Lambert dude, only with less glitter.”

Kurt makes a mental note to bring more glitter into his life. And also not to ask Puck how the hell he knows who Adam Lambert is.

“I suspected,” he protests. “I just kind of felt like if I asked Santana if she and Brittany had a thing going on, they would never find my body.”

Puck laughs. “Santana’s ok,” he says. “I mean, sure, she’s kind of a bitch, but she’s ok.”

Kurt reminds himself that being jealous of a girl Puck isn’t even dating and who is apparently a little bit of a lesbian is really stupid and needlessly masochistic.

“She doesn’t like me,” he points out, trying not to sound pathetic and as much of a loser as he so patently is.

“She doesn’t like anyone,” Puck shrugs. “Don’t take it personally or anything.”

Kurt smiles slightly and tries to ignore the fact that they’re sitting side by side in a dumpster, close enough to touch if he shifted his shoulder just slightly, though he doesn’t dare do that just yet. Or at all. After all, he went through all this with Finn, and gratuitous amounts of touching don’t get you want you want and they kind of make you hate yourself a bit, and Kurt has enough people hating on him already without adding himself to the mix. So he doesn’t move, and instead stares up at the rectangle of sky through the open dumpster lid, and hopes his heart isn’t hammering loud enough for Puck to hear because that won’t help anything at all.

“This kind of doesn’t suck as much as I thought it would,” Puck remarks after a moment, gesturing vaguely with one hand at their surroundings. Kurt thinks about telling him there’s a whole world of difference between getting in a dumpster and being thrown in, but he’s not sure that he could even explain, or that Puck would get it if he did.

Instead, he asks: “why did you even get in here?”

Puck shrugs, looking intently at a crushed box beneath his sneakers. “I figured I might as well keep you company while you were stuck in here.”

Kurt openly stares at him, and when Puck raises his head their eyes catch and Kurt thinks with a sudden, aching desperation he’s never felt before: oh God, please kiss me, please. Puck doesn’t, because he doesn’t have superhuman abilities, no matter what he’s trying to convince the rest of them, but neither does he look away. Kurt hopes that he isn’t blushing, but he probably is, and Puck’s mouth opens, just slightly, shifting towards Kurt in such a tiny way that it’s almost imperceptible.

Much as he likes to pretend his bitchy remarks are quipped straight off the cuff, sharp and improvised, Kurt does tend to think through what he says before he says it, carefully and thoroughly.

“Does... this mean we’re friends now?”

This is why he thinks things through, because when he doesn’t think, stupid things like that come out of his mouth, and he wants to bury his head in his hands and make a helpless moaning sound of humiliation. He forces himself not to, though, because this situation is stupid enough as it is.

Puck’s face shuts down eerily fast, closing off completely. “We weren’t ever friends,” he responds shortly.

“I know,” Kurt says, missing the flicker of surprise in Puck’s eyes because he can’t even bring himself to look at him. He suspects his cheeks are flaming, though from shame, not embarrassment. “Please get out now.”

Puck hesitates. “Look, Hummel-”

Kurt forces himself to keep his cool because he’s already screwed up enough today, and says: “get out,” voice low and sharp and dangerous. He’s had too much confirmed, more than he wanted confirmed, and while he is definitely not going to cry in a dumpster – both for the sake of the tattered remains of his pride and also his make-up – he would at least like to sit in here and make miserable faces before he has to go and face his friends.

Something in his voice must be serious enough for Puck, who stops looking like he’s flailing for words – what the hell can he have to say, anyway, now he’s said that? Does he want to insult Kurt’s outfit as well? – and pushes himself to his feet. Kurt gets a sort of sick satisfaction in noting that Puck gets out of the dumpster with considerably less grace than Kurt does – practice does make perfect after all – though when he’s out he turns around and offers a hand to Kurt.

Kurt stares at the hand for a long moment and then chucks a box at him.

Puck smiles mirthlessly. “I guess I deserved that,” he says, and turns away.

When Kurt is sure he’s almost definitely gone, he kicks the side of the dumpster, boot connecting with a satisfying clang.

“I don’t need this,” he says quietly, “I really don’t.”

Then there’s nothing left to do but get out.

~

A couple of days later, Kurt decides that he has really had enough of everyone else’s romantic angst.

“Ok, Finn,” he says, catching up with him in the corridor, “at some point today, you’re going to get Rachel alone, kiss her, and then ask her to be her girlfriend. Ok?”

Finn looks anxious and doubtful. “Today?”

“Today,” Kurt agrees. “Man up, Hudson.”

Finn exhales slowly. “Ok.”

Kurt raises a fist, and, after a moment of staring doubtfully at him, Finn bumps it with his own.

“Huh,” he says quietly to himself, watching Finn walk away.

~

The school would undoubtedly be full of buzzing gossip about Finn and Rachel getting together, only no one actually cares about the social life of the glee club, despite Rachel’s best efforts. Kurt does find Jacob weeping in the boys’ bathroom at lunch, but that’s a whole other disturbing thing he doesn’t want to get into, so he backs away and leaves him to it. Anyway, Kurt feels a small sense of triumph at having sorted this all out, despite the fact Quinn is looking smug and claiming all responsibility. Kurt considers asking her what a weird mess her brain must be at the moment, and then decides not to. If she’s happy her ex has finally gotten together with the girl he’s spent half the school year eyeing up, then that’s all to the good, and he won’t push it with her. The whole huge-amounts-of-hormones thing must be helping too, in any case. Maybe pregnancy hormones are like numbing drugs or something? They can only hope.

Kurt has barely been home half an hour when someone bangs on his front door. Like, really bangs on his front door, like they’re half planning on knocking it down. His dad is still at the garage so Kurt approaches it with a sense of trepidation, but when he peeks through the spy-hole, he can only see Puck. Whatever else has or hasn’t happened between them, Kurt is fairly sure Puck isn’t going to kill him, and if he was going to kill him, he is at least smart enough not to do it on Kurt’s doorstep.

He pulls the door open and steps out, carefully shutting it behind him. “What-” he begins, but he doesn’t know how to follow that up.

Puck looks confused and conflicted and just a little bit frantic. Kurt has never seen him look like this. “You’re not dating Finn,” he says.

“I know,” Kurt replies blankly. He tries again. “What-”

“You’re not dating Finn,” Puck says again, eyes dark and earnest and Kurt is so, so confused now. Before he can once again tell Puck that, no, he is really not dating Finn which he should probably know by now, WTF, Puck backs him up against the wall and kisses him. It’s hot and desperate and not in the slightest bit hesitant and Kurt is completely and utterly stunned, so stunned that he freezes for just a second too long before he remembers to kiss Puck back, and by the time his brain kicks into gear, Puck is already pulling away.

Puck has a horrible habit of rendering Kurt speechless and it doesn’t look like it’s going to end anytime soon.

“Um,” Kurt says, with dazzling eloquence.

Puck is looking anywhere but at him, scuffing the ground with the toe of one sneaker. “This was a stupid idea,” he mutters, turning away.

Kurt finally unfreezes and grabs Puck’s arm before he leaves. “You kissed me,” he says breathlessly.

“Points for observation,” Puck responds, sounding a little bitter. “Now, I have to go find an excuse to kick the shit out of someone I don’t know to piece my ego back together, so if you could let the fuck go, that’d be great.”

“You kissed me,” Kurt repeats, something approaching delight creeping into his voice.

“Uh, yeah,” Puck says, staring at him. “Really, Hummel, let go.”

Kurt tightens his grip, decides to take the initiative, and pulls Puck closer, standing on his toes to kiss him. He’s tensed, part of him still not sure whether Puck is going to punch him or not, but when Puck makes a soft noise in the back of his throat not entirely unlike a growl, curling his palm over Kurt’s hip, he allows himself to relax a little. Until he remembers exactly where they are.

He pulls away. “Um, not that this isn’t kind of awesome, but kissing guys on my front lawn is not going to make me popular with my neighbours. Can we move this inside?”

Puck gives him the slow smile that Kurt used to find kind of sleazy until it was directed at him – it now makes all his internal organs whimper simultaneously, which is an interesting but not at all bad experience – and says: “fine by me.”

Kurt has barely gotten his front door shut when Puck is all over him, pushing him until his back is against the wall and then doing nothing short of attacking him with his mouth. Kurt can’t protest, doesn’t want to protest, and just does his best to keep up, curling his fists in the back of Puck’s t-shirt and kissing him until neither of them can breathe. This is insane, this cannot actually be happening, Puck doesn’t even like him as he has demonstrated repeatedly over the past few weeks, and yet clearly all that is wrong because Puck is kissing him like he never intends to do anything else ever.

They finally part for breath and just stare at each other in the half-dark of Kurt’s hallway, mouths wet and swollen, and Puck’s eyes widen slightly. Kurt waits for him to pull away, to freak out, but all Puck does is lean back in, trailing tiny kisses up his jaw until his mouth touches Kurt’s again.

“Jesus, Kurt,” Puck mumbles against his lips, “you have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do this.” He kisses him again, pressing even closer to him, and Kurt wraps his arms around Puck, pulling him against him as hard as he can. “Wanted you ever since you blew that freaking solo, just wanted to touch you until you smiled again-”

Kurt jerks away so hard he actually whacks his head on the wall behind him and doesn’t even care. “What.”

Puck frowns at him and tries to lean in and kiss him, but Kurt’s mind is going at about a mile a minute and he pushes him until Puck steps back. “What the hell-”

“I’m sorry,” Kurt says blankly, “you just said something that makes absolutely no fucking sense at all, and I would like an explanation before you get anywhere near me again.”

Puck is still looking completely confused. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“You just told me that you’ve wanted to kiss me since I threw the diva-off,” Kurt explains, wondering what about this Puck thinks is ok.

“Um, yeah?” Puck still isn’t getting it.

“This was back when you were still kind of actively bullying me and a long time before you decided to set me and Finn up,” Kurt tells him. “Does no part of that seem screwed-up to you?” Puck crosses his arms defensively, looking down at the floor, and says nothing at all. “I’m waiting,” Kurt adds after a moment.

“You’re actually gonna make me say it, aren’t you?” Puck grits out, and although he sounds kind of pissed he isn’t leaving, which Kurt takes as a good sign. He continues to look horrified and blank until Puck says, quickly and not looking at him: “look, I thought maybe if I got you together with Finn then I’d stop wanting you, ok?”

“Oh my God,” Kurt mutters. “What a good plan, because it’s not like Finn having stuff has ever stopped you still wanting it, right?” His voice is just a shade hysterical and drenched in so much sarcasm the words are brittle. “You are so damaged.”

“You let me think you were dating Finn!” Puck snaps.

“You never asked!” Kurt protests. “Why the hell didn’t you have this conversation with Finn?”

“There wasn’t exactly an easy way to ask,” Puck shrugs, voice a little less confrontational.

“Yeah,” Kurt sighs, leaning back against the wall because he kind of needs the support. “I mean, it must be really difficult to ask your best friend if he’s screwing the school fag.”

Puck moves faster than Kurt can register, his hands clenching tight around Kurt’s upper arms. “Don’t call yourself that,” Puck says, soft and harsh.

“You were calling me that when apparently you were lusting after me,” Kurt shoots back, “I can call myself whatever the hell I want.”

“You’re better than that,” Puck tells him sharply, “and I’ve punched every single person who’s called you that in the last month, don’t have to make me punch you as well, Kurt.”

“Hummel.”

Kurt. Stop freaking out on me, ok?”

“You keep freaking out on me,” Kurt points out. “You kissed me and then you had your jock friends put me in the dumpster because I offended your masculinity.”

Puck lets go of him and looks almost awkward. “Uh... about that...”

“Oh God,” Kurt says, realisation dawning. “You just wanted me to think I’d offended your masculinity so I wouldn’t work it out. Do you have any idea how stupid that is?”

“Yeah, ‘cause telling you to stop crushing on Finn and start crushing on me would’ve paid off just great,” Puck spits. “Why the hell are you so angry, Kurt? Can’t you just be flattered and we can go back to making out again?”

“I’ve just learned you’ve been lying to me all along!” Kurt protests. “And also that you’re kind of a masochist. It’s a lot to take in.”

Puck passes a hand over his face, looking harassed. “Look, I started out wanting to bang you and I thought maybe if I got you together with Finn then I wouldn’t want you anymore and then it turned out that you were kind of awesome and it was actually really difficult to get over you.”

Later, Kurt might actually be flattered about this. Right now, he’s too weirded out to do anything but stare.

“Um,” he says, “and it never occurred to you to try and be well-adjusted and have a conversation with anyone about how I wasn’t dating Finn?”

Puck shrugs. “I kind of thought I was being pretty obvious about my lame-ass pining.”

Something occurs to Kurt. “Can you excuse me for a minute?”

Puck is looking increasingly bemused and frustrated; he waves a vague hand. “Go ahead.”

Kurt pulls his iPhone from his pocket and calls Quinn. She picks up after three rings, and before she can speak he says: “how long have you known that Puck has a thing for me?”

There’s a momentary pause. “Like, maybe a month? A month and a half?” Quinn replies. “Anyway, I’m coming over to yours tomorrow night and so is Mercedes, and you need to own bacon because Puck’s mom totally won’t let me eat it and my baby really needs it.”

“And you didn’t think to mention this to me while I was pining over him in an emo fashion?” Kurt demands.

“I told you to get Rachel and Finn together,” Quinn responds, “which I’m imagining did the trick since you’re calling me now. Anyway, remember the bacon, ‘k?”

She hangs up on him. Kurt looks to Puck to find the other boy still has his arms folded and is staring at him. “You wanna ring Mercedes too? Maybe Brittany?”

“Brittany knew ages ago,” Kurt shrugs, “she just didn’t know she knew. You kind of blew it with that ‘Congratulations On Being A Fag’ card.”

“I wouldn’t have used that word,” Puck tells him quickly.

“Stop,” Kurt says quietly. “I get it. Because you knew me you have been changed for the better-”

“I think you’ll find the quote you’re looking for is that I have been changed ‘for good’,” Puck corrects him lightly.

Kurt sighs. “Stop being appealing and capable of quoting Wicked at me, it’s making it hard to be angry and confused with you.” He frowns. “Also, why can you quote Wicked at me?”

“Uh, itunes?” Puck says. “I may have downloaded that whole stupid album at one point.”

At this point, Kurt actually just wants to melt into a little puddle of helpless want, but then reflects that, ok, Puck researched Wicked for him, but he has been pining needlessly for all this time when Puck actually talking to anyone would have sorted all this out weeks ago. Also, he feels weirdly awkward knowing that Puck has liked him longer than Kurt has liked him back; there’s something strangely like guilt in his stomach, which is just plain ridiculous.

“So you think after lying to me all this time you can just come in and sweep me off my feet?” he asks.

Puck shrugs. “I’ve been laying the groundwork for forever.”

“You were trying to set me up with Finn!” Kurt protests.

“Yeah,” Puck says, like this is fine, “so I was nice to you when I didn’t have to be.”

“Oh dear lord,” Kurt says. “You are so fucked up.”

“I’ll sing,” Puck threatens.

Puck should not be allowed to sing. It’s the reason he seems to have kissed about two-thirds of the glee club and has slept with half the girls in school and also most of their moms. He has like magical powers when he sings, and Mr Schue should really kick him out of glee for everyone’s personal safety and virtue and so forth. Some of these thoughts must cross Kurt’s face because Puck’s mouth splits into a smile.

“Can you stop bitching and just put your tongue back in my mouth already?” he asks.

“You are so obnoxious,” Kurt sighs. “Like, really obnoxious, and clearly emotionally unstable, and possibly still homophobic. And I’m totally not putting out until the third date, and I mean proper actual dates with going out and you paying for stuff and acting like you can have a real conversation like an actual person.”

“Second date and I’ll serenade you with Bad Romance at the next glee rehearsal?” Puck suggests.

It occurs to Kurt that they’re haggling over his virginity and he honestly doesn’t even care. Some ridiculous, embarrassing, overwhelming bubble of happiness is rising in his chest.

“Deal,” he says. “Now get over here.”

Sometime later, when Puck has well and truly messed up Kurt’s hair and they’re both crammed onto the sofa in his basement, legs entangled and the muscles of Puck’s back shifting under Kurt’s palms, a thought occurs to him.

“Are you sure this wasn’t some huge elaborate plan on your part to make me realise that I had options other than Finn?”

“Dude,” Puck says, “if I had an actual plan to get you, it wouldn’t have involved you making out with Finn at any point. Just me. Lots of making out with me. Like the making out we could be doing right now if you would just shut the hell up.”

“You have so many failings as a person,” Kurt says mournfully, even with his fingers running down the back of the mohawk, Puck leaning almost unconsciously into his touch.

“It’s kind of sad how you don’t even care, isn’t it?” Puck remarks, leant over Kurt with this huge shit-eating grin that Kurt has the suspicion he is mirroring. Stupid happiness; it’s totally overrated as an emotion.

“Really sad,” Kurt agrees, and pulls him back down again.

{end}

{Think Of It As Personality Dialysis; prequel/sequel/companion piece}
Tags: character: burt hummel, character: finn hudson, character: kurt hummel, character: mercedes jones, character: noah puckerman, character: quinn fabray, pairing: finn/rachel, pairing: noah puckerman/kurt hummel, tv show: glee, type: het
Subscribe

  • 303 comments
Previous
← Ctrl ← Alt
Next
Ctrl → Alt →
  • 303 comments
Previous
← Ctrl ← Alt
Next
Ctrl → Alt →

Comments for this post were locked by the author