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One of the nurses gets them to strip her down to her diaper, getting some cool clothes to pet over her chest with while trying to calm her. The doctor who finally sees them tells them it's an ear infection, which for babies of Hannah's age is common, but still painful. They're giving antibiotics for her and medicine to calm her down. If it doesn't clear up in a week, bring her back. By the time they get back to the empty Hudmel house, Hannah is sleeping, likely exhausted from all her crying, after the doctor gave her a quick shot to help her. Puck just can't believe how panicked he got over an ear infection. He knew that if anything happened to he would legit not deal with it at all. Losing one of them, two if he counted Beth, it tore him up, he couldn't stand if anything happened to her at all.
He wants to hold her all night, he knows he can't because it'll do worse than any good, but Kurt has to take Hannah away and place her in her cot and Puck just sits on his bed and watches her sleep, he's drained himself but he just can't even think about closing his eyes right then.
"Hey, are you okay?" Kurt sits beside him, and Puck doesn't have the energy to do anything but shake his head. "It's okay," Kurt's hand slides over the top of Puck's hair, smoothing down the back of the mohawk before he coaxes Puck to lean on his shoulder, "the doctor said she'd be okay." It's easy to just sit there, letting Kurt pet over his hair and taking a little comfort in the fact that he isn't really in this alone, because Kurt freaked out just as much. Only Kurt freaked out in a totally hot kind of way and Puck needs to not think about that or he'll do something stupid.
But Kurt's hand is really fucking soothing, and it'd be nice if he could just use that to lull him past the panic and over to sleep or whatever. Only it doesn't seem likely, because he's still got the pent up energy and shit to deal with and he knows that he should go for a run and that way he'll at least tire himself out. But running means being away from Hannah and that really isn't going to happen. The stroking just relaxes him, puts him to the point of just thinking 'fuck it' and going with whatever he wants, not thinking through the actions or what might come of them (he's always been pretty good at that). It's the reason he doesn't stop himself, he's sure it is. Kurt's fingers along the line of his mohawk just throw him back to the time where that would be the after-sex snuggle and petting that would send him off to sleep.
So he turns his head, twists up and Kurt meets him. It's soft, just lips pressing to lips, just a tentative kiss between them. Until Puck shifts, mouth moving against Kurt's with a little more pressure to coax Kurt into a deeper kiss. It doesn't take much coaxing, not with the way that Kurt leans into him, hand sliding to cup the back of Puck's head as his lips part for Puck's tongue. He rolls them slightly, twisting Kurt underneath him and leaning over. It's a better position; for Kurt to run his hand over Puck's hair, for his other to slide along Puck's ribs, for Puck to slot between Kurt's spread thighs, it just works out better. Kissing Kurt was always easy, always simple and addicting and something Puck could just get lost in. He enjoys kissing, it's no secret, it's not just this stopping point on the way to sex, it's fun and sensual and fucking hot (it's partly the reason he and Rachel lasted that week of dating). Kurt arches up under Puck, pressing their hips together and pulling a moan from Puck's throat.
Puck's not thinking of Kurt's boyfriend, or the reasons why this is a bad idea, as Kurt's hands slip under Puck's shirt to pull it off and Puck starts on the buttons of Kurt's shirt. Pants are off and boxers lost until it's just them, pressed against each other on the bed and Puck can pretend this is just last year, that it's before all the crap that killed them last year. Puck doesn't exactly have 'supplies' or whatever, but they've got lotion for lube and Kurt's started carrying a condom in his pants and Puck doesn't need to think what that means.
"Noah," two fingers in, stretching Kurt out and watching his spine bend backwards, the flush on his cheeks and chest, the way he responds so beautifully to everything Puck does, it goes a long way to wiping all thoughts of other boys out of Puck's head. Especially when Kurt's spreading his legs back, hands tugging at Puck's shoulders and pleading for him to get on with it.
Pressing into Kurt, feeling him wrap around Puck and cling is like everything he's needed for the last nine months and everything he shouldn't still want all in one. But it's like yesterday was their last time together, and everything just slots right back into place easily. Kurt's fingers at the base of the 'hawk, Puck's hands finding just the right spots to drive Kurt wild, the way their bodies just know how to set the rhythm, what angle is best, and Puck has honestly missed Kurt's legs wrapping around his waist.
Kurt comes with a shout of Puck's name and Puck has to muffle his groan into Kurt's neck as he trips over the edge a few thrusts later, heart hammering in his chest, pressed up against Kurt. He half thinks that it should be awkward, that once the need and lust has worn off they'll get that tense way with each other and Kurt will trail off to his own room with a blush and they'll never talk about it again. Instead, Kurt helps with the clean-up, pulling the sheets away after and just slotting into Puck's arms easily.
He doesn't know what it means, to either of them really, but Puck stops thinking about it and lets himself slip under the blanket of sleep, arms around Kurt's waist with Kurt pressed, back pressed to his chest and Puck's nose against the curve of his throat.
Sometime later, he's not sure when, he wakes up to Hannah's whining. His chest is pressed to Kurt's back, arms still around Kurt's hips and both of them pulled tight against one another. He's moments away from getting up to deal with Hannah when Kurt slips from the bed, reaching back to pat a hand on Puck's hip.
"I've got her," Puck just lies there, absently watching Kurt pull on a pair of pants and go over to the crib. There's just a slight light coming in from the window, casting enough of a glow to see Kurt stand with Hannah curled into his shoulder. She just wants a little attention, that's clear from the way she sucks her pacifier and slips back to sleep fairly quickly. Kurt doesn't put her down straight away, and Puck takes the time to think on things. It's yet another thing that sticks right there and he realises that this is what he could've had if he wasn't such an idiot; maybe he was too hasty with turning Kurt down on the whole 'together' thing. It had made sense at the time, because he didn't want Kurt to just be with him because of Hannah.
But then he sort of wishes he had this; he had this ease of normal everyday things. Someone to wrap around at night, someone to look over and smile when Hannah did something utterly adorable, someone to have those moments with while she was sickeningly sweet, someone to talk him out of his panics, someone to be the other parent. As much as Kurt was her dad and Puck was technically her mom, they weren't her parents together and it ached a little that he didn't really share that much with Kurt.
And this? The whole waking up and Kurt dealing with her and sharing a bed? Wasn't going to help him at all, because Kurt was dating Blaine, and Puck wasn't with anyone, and it wasn't going to be a recurring thing, so why the hell was he letting himself enjoy it? He can't let this feel like anything, because it was a mistake, it was a moment of comfort and that was all.
Only Kurt puts Hannah back into her crib, pulling her blanket up over her legs and turns back to the bed, kicking off the pants and crawling back under the covers. Puck doesn't really know what to do when Kurt shuffles up, pillowing his head on Puck's shoulder and wrapping an arm over Puck's waist before sighing and slowly falling back asleep. Puck half wishes he could do that too, just ignore everything for a while and sleep, but there's too much running through his head.
He understands that he's probably always going to be a little bit in love with Kurt, even if he eventually manages to fall out of love with Kurt, just like he's still got that piece that loves Quinn. They have a child together, and Puck's never going to be able to regret that, never going to be able to deny the person who gave him that, even if he doesn't see Beth grow up, even if he only ever knows of her and loves her without ever meeting her. So he's always going to feel that, for Quinn and Kurt. But he knows that he's going to have to address the matter of being in love with Kurt and letting himself fall into these habits. He can't be kissing Kurt, or having sex with him, or sleeping with him, they can't do couple things or treat each other like more than just co-parents, because that's all they are. They are co-parents to Hannah, nothing more. Puck can't let them be anything else, because if he does he'll never get over Kurt.
He'll just always remember how Kurt kisses him; deep and slow, like there's absolutely nothing better to be doing, the way they can draw it out and use it to just wind the other to the point of desperately needing something more. He'll remember the way Kurt knows every place to touch or kiss or how to pull at Puck's hair. He'll just know that Kurt whines when he's stretched out slowly, but how he'll do it that way too, because he knows it feels so good, how Kurt can wrap himself around Puck's hips and cling, how they just know what rhythm to fall into, how to work each other. He'll have this one last time to remember how it feels to have Kurt sleeping close; cool breath on Puck's neck, warm body curved along Puck's side, one hand possessively curling over his hips and their legs just tangling together. Up until Kurt, Puck never did the snuggling together to sleep thing, after Kurt, the bed feels a little big on his own.
It's all just things he's not allowed for himself, not with Kurt. Because Kurt is with Blaine, and he's just deluding himself to think they could be more than the fuck buddies that made Hannah.
Puck's gone from the bed by the time Kurt starts to stir, Hannah's still sleeping away soundly, so Puck uses the time to do his homework and sort out the kitchen for Carole coming home from her little trip with Burt and get something into the oven in case they're a little hungry. He's trying to just have this day start as the rest will have to go on.
Kurt is forever throwing spanners in the works though, and it's no different.
It's barely after ten, but it's still late for Hannah, but Kurt has a tendency to wake before then anyway. Puck's rinsing out some bowls in the sink when Kurt's arms wrap around his waist and before he can think to stiffen, he's already leaning back into the kiss that's placed on his neck as Kurt mumbles good morning. It gives Puck another flash of that potential life, that domesticated version of just how his life could turn around if he was as naive and hopeful as Rachel.
"Your phone's been chirping constantly." Puck already knows that it's not just Mercedes who was asking what Kurt was doing today, he knows that it's not just a few little notifications of Facebook messages or anything either. Puck was sitting in the living room, eating his breakfast, when Kurt's phone started vibrating on the table and Blaine's face appeared on the screen. It instantly put him off his breakfast.
He's fairly certain it should have the same effect on Kurt; because last night, Puck made Kurt cheat on his boyfriend, and neither of them even stopped to think about it. He's not sure what that says about Kurt's relationship with Blaine, but it does tell Puck that he hasn't changed a bit and that's a frightening thought. It leaves him alone in the kitchen for long enough to get himself under control and to stop letting his heart over rule his head, because it's just going to hurt more in the long run.
"So," Kurt comes back into the kitchen, phone in hand and Puck just turns to lean on the counter behind him. "Should we talk?"
"Nothing to talk about," Puck figures if they just brush it aside, no one gets hurt. It's not something that Kurt needs to tell Blaine, it's nothing that San and Finn need to know, nothing for anyone. Because it's not happening. Nothing is changing. "We don't talk about it, we don't tell anyone, you can go back to Blaine and pretend it didn't happen." Because Kurt doesn't need that in his relationship with Blaine and Puck doesn't need the drama it would bring. Because yes, sometimes Puck thinks that maybe Blaine did steal Kurt, if it was possible to steal something that never belonged to anyone, but Puck doesn't need their friends being forced to take sides in the matter because he turned Kurt into a cheater.
"I think we should, I think it matters. Noah, it's," Kurt shakes his head, in frustration or annoyance or defeat, Puck doesn't really know, "it's something to me. What we had, what we are even without it, it matters. And I know that I've messed up, and I'm so sorry for what- for the-" Kurt's head bows and his lips quiver and Puck's seen almost crying Kurt a few too many times if he's honest. "I know I can never make it right, and I understand if you hate me, but I'm sorry about, about our son and I can't change that, I just-" Puck can't make himself not pull Kurt closer, wrapping his arms around Kurt's shoulders and pulling him in tight to let him cry against his chest.
He never honestly thought that Kurt was holding on to that, to their other baby. He didn't realise that Kurt felt guilty about it.
"His heart never formed, Kurt, he didn't-" it's still difficult to think about, because Hannah could've had a little playmate, a brother to share everything with, they could've had two children sleeping upstairs right now. "It wasn't your fault." Santana had whispered it to him over and over again as he'd sobbed on her, blaming himself for something he had no control over and going through the what ifs. But their son's heart was malformed, the valves or chambers or something never fully grew and he couldn't support his own life, even in the womb. Nothing but nature was to blame.
"But you hate me for it."
"No, I don't." He wonders sometimes if it would be easier to hate Kurt; hate him for not caring the same, hate him for the condom breaking, hate him for Blaine. But it's impossible. "I really, really don't." Kurt sniffles against Puck's shoulder, raising his head and Puck starts to drop his arms, even as Kurt tips his head up. It's not really a kiss, it's more just Kurt brushing his lips over Puck's and Puck just lets him.
"Last night meant everything to me."
"You're with Blaine," he can't be hearing things like this, because it's this that makes him think maybe being like Rachel isn't so bad, and hoping can sometimes get you where you need to be, that maybe sometimes you get that lucky break and it's not on a stage or in a recording studio or in front of a camera. Sometimes it's in a kitchen with a stupidly brilliant boy and the world right there in front of you.
"I haven't been with Blaine since you held our daughter in your arms." Kurt looks so sincere, and Puck does want to just give in, to stop fighting what he doesn't even want to fight, to just try and not make the same mistakes his mother made. He could do it, he thinks, he could be pretty much whatever Kurt wanted, so long as it made him stay. "I just never believed you wanted me, after everything I did, I just figured I could have you as a partner, to raise our daughter, and that would have to be enough."
Puck has no idea what to do with this. He has no idea how he's supposed to handle these confessions or the nature of their relationship now that Kurt's pretty much admitting it's not obligation that makes him want to be with Puck.
"You never told me about Blaine, you never mentioned the kid you had a crush on at Dalton, or when it started to be more than that. You never even told me when you started dating him." He gets that they were just hooking-up, he's not calling it anything else, because he never got the chance to tell Kurt that he wanted something else, not before Kurt had already started something else with Blaine. "I had to figure all that out on my own, watching you perform at Regionals with him." And it's not just that which stings, the fact that Kurt never said anything. It's that it never meant what it meant to Puck. "We've never been on the same page before, what makes you think we can be now?"
"Because we know? Please, Noah, I get it, I'm sorry. I never knew it was more, I thought you were just blowing off steam with me, experimenting or something. I never figured it was just me." Kurt's fingers clench on Puck's biceps, clinging almost, "Let me make it up, please. I can do anything you want, I swear. I just want us to try; I just want us to prove that we can do this, that it's not impossible." Puck's not sure what Kurt wants to prove, or who he's proving it to, but he's not sure if he's really got the strength to say no.
"I can't turn into my parents." It's as honest as he can get about this. "I won't be my mother in seven years’ time, cursing you for not trying hard enough and hating myself for loving you anyway." He knew he could try it; he knew that he could go for things with Kurt and try to do whatever it took to make them work. But he wasn't sure if Kurt understood the seriousness of it. "You need to decide what you want. Because I'm not Blaine, I'm never going to be Blaine. And if he's what you want, then stay with him. I'm not making this decision for you." Puck is saved from having to further the conversation by Hannah, grumbling in the bedroom as she wakes up. It means Puck can busy himself with their daughter; he can leave Kurt to his thoughts and decisions and take care of Hannah now.
It feels like a bit of a cop out, but he's sort of glad that Kurt disappears (out with Blaine or Mercedes or Rachel or whatever) while Santana comes over when Finn comes home to wait for Carole and Burt. Hannah's still fighting off the infection though, so she mostly just curls up with whoever is nearest and sits quietly, playing with whatever is closest to hand. He's sitting with Santana later, Hannah sleeping on San's chest, both of them lying out on Puck's bed while Finn is downstairs talking with the adults.
"I slept with Kurt last night." San is probably the only one he could honestly talk to about this and have it make sense, because she figured things out on her own, she knew how he worked. Even if Finn knew that Puck felt something for Kurt, he probably didn't know what. San did.
"Are you guys getting together?" She understands being in love with someone and not really getting it, she understands caring but showing it the wrong way, she gets being afraid of your own feelings. "Cause you know we'd be behind you, hundred percent. Me and Finn." Finn's been hinting at it, not enough that Puck could honestly say that Finn didn't like Blaine, but enough that Puck knows that Finn isn't Blaine's biggest fan.
"I don't know." He cups the back of his daughters head, stroking her soft hair, his fingers brushing against Santana's where they spread over Hannah's back to hold her against San's chest. "He's still technically with Blaine." But Kurt said he hadn't really been in that relationship since Hannah was born, that he wasn't just looking at them because of her. Puck didn't know what to think yet.
"So, you're just letting him decide? Even if he picks the easy option, even if he sticks with the Hobbit?" Puck just nods, shifting closer to lie on his side, head close to San's shoulder on the bed, hand still smoothing over Hannah's head. "If he breaks your heart again, I swear to God, I'm gonna castrate the little princess." He doesn't comment, just smirks slightly and stays where he is.
Even if they aren't really touching, it's sort of like a hug and it's pretty helpful by itself.
School and Regionals and general life sort of gets in the way of Kurt and Puck actually talking about anything.
They have rehearsals almost constantly in the run up to Regionals, Rachel is like a slave driver, but it does make them near flawless. They pull out some impressive things; Santana and Rachel singing a duet, Mike and Britt's dancing, a little hip-hop in their group number for Artie. It's new, and fun, and they take the show easily. Nationals are in California this year, so it's not New York, but it's not Ohio either.
Puck hears from Quinn that Blaine and Kurt broke up again, and it might be for good this time.
"Have you like, heard anything?"
"Like, what?" Puck does still live with Kurt, so he was privy to a lot of the arguments that Kurt had with Blaine, most of them over the phone so he was only getting one side of them. But there hadn't been anything lately, and with their slightly hectic week and a half, he hasn't actually had the chance to sit and talk to Kurt since the morning after their hospital visit.
"Like the reason why? Last time it was Kurt's unwillingness to go away for winter break, the time before that it was Blaine's pushing for Kurt to stay in Lima until Blaine graduated, the time before that it was the whole sex issue, the time before that,"
"No, okay." He really doesn't need the run down on each of Kurt and Blaine's break ups and the reasons behind them. "I have no idea. Ask Finn." Or Mercedes, although if Quinn is looking for gossip then it's possible that Mercedes doesn't have it, because those two are tight.
But it does sort of stick with him for the rest of the day. Kurt broke up with Blaine, or Blaine broke up with Kurt, what if that was what it was? What if Kurt had picked Blaine, but Blaine had broken up with him? Would it matter? Did it change anything? What if Blaine knew that Kurt cheated on him? Puck had no hope in hell on concentrating during history when all he could think about was Kurt and Blaine's latest break up. It doesn't help that he can hear little rumours (the weirdest is that Blaine's leaving with the circus, but it's always a dream) because by now, news of Kurt's relationship is the kind of gossip people will talk about.
"Hey," he walks into the choir room during his study period, because if he's not catching up on a little sleep (like when Hannah is really fussy at night) then he'll head to the choir room to work on some stuff or just jam and relax. It's not a secret, so it doesn't surprise him that Kurt knows where he'd be.
"Hi." It feels a little lame, just a touch surreal too, considering all they've been and done and whatever. They aren't meant to have those hesitant moments, those unsure little quirks to things.
"I broke up with Blaine." He's not surprised to find himself relieved at how the end of that relationship played out. Because it means Kurt made the decision. "I want to try. I know we can't promise it'll be perfect, or even that it'll be everything we hope, but I want to try." They just sort of cover the space between each other, Puck moving forwards into the room and Kurt taking small steps from the risers to where Puck stands. "I don't want to look at Hannah and always wonder, what if we'd tried? I don't want her to grow up thinking we didn't love each other, because I do. I do love you and I know you love me, and that's all I need."
It's all Puck really wants. He doesn't need the confessions or the dates or the remembered anniversaries or the serenades. He just needs to know that Kurt loves him and that they both love Hannah and it's enough, isn't it? He wants to stop fighting how he feels.
"I've never done this relationship thing before." He doesn't really know how it works, because he's never had one.
"It's okay," Kurt's fingers graze over Puck's sort of drawing him in to link their fingers, "you were actually pretty good at it when I was trying to pretend it wasn't what I wanted from you." Puck just sort of smiled, because he knew they were an almost-relationship when all they'd been looking for was sex.
"Just don't expect me to get it right all the time." Kurt starts to lean forward, body angling into Puck's.
"I'll talk you through the difficult stuff." Their lips meet in a soft kiss, Kurt's fingers squeezing at Puck's just as lightly before they pull apart. "But we should keep things quiet for about a week. That way, Santana wins the bet on when we get together and she's more likely to babysit if we need her."
"Please, you just have to mention it to her and she'll change her plans. That girl has a maternal streak a mile wide. Finn's in big trouble." It's all deceptively easy, just how they can slip into it. But in the privacy of the choir room it's simple to just lean against the piano and make out. They'll have to deal with the world later; with Blaine, with Finn and Santana, with Carole and Burt, with managing themselves as a pair instead of two separates, with their future. It can all come later though, because Puck's sort of missed just living in the moment for a while.