The first day of school is hell.
Like literally. Hell.
Sam had to move out of town, Mercedes is legit heartbroken right now, they aren't doing the long distance thing. Kurt and Rachel are trying to keep her chin up, but she's totally a mess. Tina and Mike's parents had some kind of disagreement at some point; likely about Tina's parents supporting her creative dreams and Mike's parents being more academically inclined, so there is tension in the Chang Squared camp. Finn's suddenly been hit with the realisation that at the end of this year, Rachel is heading to New York and he needs to find something for himself, some direction, and that's giving the guy this massive crisis or something.
On top of it all, the trio had some argument about Quinn re-joining the Cheerio's and now those three are in their first ever snit and it's like the start of the plagues of Egypt, it's that serious. Santana said something to Britt that meant she was sad the whole day, and that is like painful to see, so she's almost attached to Puck's side when they aren't in class (and she goes to two of his classes that she doesn't even take) just so that she doesn't have to deal with Quinn and Santana bitching at each other.
So their first glee meeting of the year is a total wash. Quinn's not talking to San, San's making snide comments about everyone, the Asian's are tense, Finn's moping about not knowing what to do about anything in his life, Mercedes is sniffling from time to time and Britt doesn't bother with her own chair, just curling up in his lap and the only thing Puck can figure is at least she's not turning to Artie for comfort, because then shit would go down.
Suddenly, his shit doesn't seem so troublesome.
"Okay, guys," Schue either doesn't pick up on the serious awkward in the room, or he just figures that if he ignores it, it'll go away. "Welcome back for another year, we're gonna make this a good one, I can tell. Um, Mercedes, there's some tissues on the piano if you need them, might want to get your allergies checked. Britt, um, can you sit in your own chair?"
"No." Britt's voice is small and quiet, it's fucking heart breaking.
"Brittany, c'mon, sit in your own seat, we've got--"
"I'm sitting here, it doesn't matter where I sit, so I'm sitting here. You're not the boss of people." Puck just rubs his hand on her back, shushing her slightly until she curls back into him and pouts.
"She's um, it's been a rough day." For Britt to snap, it's pretty obvious that things are getting bad. Schue just stares at her, and then at Puck, almost as if he's about to tell them to separate again, but Puck's pretty sure that Britt's two steps away from crying at this point so Schue smartly keeps his mouth shut.
"Hey guys." It's like everything stops for the blink of an eye, and there's just white noise all around. Puck cannot figure out why Blaine is standing in the door way to the choir room, not in his fancy little Dalton uniform but in casual clothes (still with a fucking bowtie though) and just smiling at them.
"Seriously?" Brittany sounds a little drugged when she says it, her head raising from Puck's shoulder as she sits upright. "Seriously?" Puck's never actually seen Britt like this, not even when they almost cancelled One Tree Hill and then did that flash forward thing that she hated, because it messed up the characters for her. "Why can't you let people be happy? What do you have against my shark?" There's a huff from her, and Puck can practically feel her thrumming with anger before she gets up and stomps out of the choir room.
Legit, Brittany just had a Rachel storm out.
Puck takes barely five seconds before he figures he'd rather deal with Britt than listen to Blaine's reason for being at McKinley in the afternoon, so he takes off after her, ignoring the call from Schue. He gets to the hall way just as he sees the streak of Britt's blond hair and uniform vanish into the girls toilets and then he's down to follow her inside. She's hunched over a sink, her shoulders shaking when he just grabs her elbow and she wraps her arms around his waist.
"It's not fair." He's not sure just what she's talking about, since so much has gone to shit around them lately, so it could be anything honestly. He knew coming back to school would be awkward for them, but he hadn't imagined it would be like this. He'd figured there would be awkwardness for the trio fitting themselves into the social network as a trio, maybe some tension on if they were open or not. He'd thought maybe Finn and Rachel would hit a tiny snag on the whole 'back in the public eye' thing, since Finn's still all about his rep. It was a given that Kurt would avoid him, but shit, this?
"C'mon, Britt. I'll take you home."
"Will you stay with me? 'Cause Lord Tubbington is getting dewormed and I need some cuddles."
"Of course I will." He doesn't even need to think about it, who'd leave Britt feeling like shit while her girlfriends were fighting over something dumb? Not even Sue would be cruel to Britt right then. He knows that San drove Britt in, so he fires a text to let her know he's taking Britt home and she and Quinn can just figure out how to sort themselves out.
It's a while later, and Britt's a bit more upbeat, while they lie in her room, singing songs out of key and making up words that they don't know. It's cool just hanging with Britt, sprawled over her bed with his arm under her neck in a half hug while their sides press together, knees bumping as she swings her legs against the edge of the bed.
"Some will win, some will lose," she's already started giggling when he breaks out the Journey, just because she knows exactly where he's going, "Some were born to sleep with Jews." Britt's legs pull up as she starts cackling, like full blown cackling at him, she's clapping her hands and twisting towards him. It's sort of warming, the fact that he can make her laugh like that, just from singing out of tune and the wrong words.
She stops laughing fairly abruptly when the front door slams, her laugh falling away to unsure gasps, and Puck's a little worried that he's going to need to deal with Britt's dad, because it's his truck that's sitting outside their house. The twin stomps of feet coming upstairs make them both relax marginally since it signals Santana and Quinn instead of Mr Pierce.
Santana's the one throwing the door open and marching over, Puck's a little weirded out by the grin on her face, but Quinn's there at the door and she's just smiling slightly as San climbs onto the bed and pulls Britt into a deep kiss. Britt moans, and since they're right next to Puck on the bed, it's not a quiet moan. San's hands just push into Britt's hair, completely messing up her ponytail while Britt's little hands rest on San's waist. Puck's still a little caught up in the whole hot as fuck make out right beside him as Quinn crawls onto the bed, kneeling by Puck's hip. He raises an eyebrow at her, wondering just where this came from since Quinn was livid this morning and Santana was a snappy bitch.
"I agreed to go back to Cheerio's." Quinn shrugs slightly, and okay, so they've settled that argument; without bloodshed, declarations of war, bitter feuds or pulling hair.
"And Kurt broke up with the Hobbit." Santana's a little breathless, her forehead leaning on Britt's and both of them sporting these dopey, blissfully happy smiles that sort of make Puck's stomach hurt and-- Wait, what? "Blaine couldn't understand what Brittany meant, I may have muttered about you being her 'shark' and I think Kurt heard me."
"Kurt's my dolphin. Did you know that dolphins are just gay sharks?" Britt says it as if it should be common knowledge, and suddenly Britt's nickname for him makes a lot more sense. "You're still a shark because you don't only like boys, and its way more badass."
"So Kurt asks Blaine what he's doing at McKinley, right there in front of the club and the curly fry says he's looking at transferring, so that they can be together." Quinn's snort draws a smirk from Puck while Santana makes a face and makes her voice pitch higher. "It was kind of sickening. But Kurt hits out with how he'd never asked Blaine to switch schools, and Blaine was all about Dalton, and he didn't expect Blaine to leave all his friends just to come to school with Kurt."
"Then Blaine starts on about how they should spend as much time together as possible, and it would be better for New Directions to have another male lead and that's when Finn got defensive, so there's a whole lot of shouting going on, Finn's defending his place, Rachel's sticking up for Finn, Kurt's arguing that Blaine shouldn't just transfer on a whim and San and I are just watching the carnage unfold when suddenly--"
"Kurt just hits out with how he's got feelings for someone else." Puck's pretty certain he just about got whiplash from the way his head turned from Quinn to Santana there. "Yeah, you could hear a fucking pin drop the whole place went so quiet. Blaine was all 'we can work on it, sweetie, I care too much about you, honey, let's just see where this goes, baby' and Kurt was like 'bitch, step off'." Puck's pretty sure she's paraphrasing now, but it's sort of comical that San's just blazing through it.
"What happened San? Did Kurt tell Blaine it was Puck? It is Puck right? C'mon, it's gotta be." San smiled at Britt, hugging her close while stroking her arm.
"He didn't say Puck, babe." Britt's pout is big enough to be comical, "He said Noah," apparently, it's important that Kurt used his name. "Noah makes Kurt feel things that Blaine hasn't, and Noah's got a lot of great qualities that Kurt missed before, and Noah just feels like a better fit than Blaine does."
"Considering Blaine is Rachel Berry in boy form, yeah." Quinn still hasn't gotten over that. "Of course that started another fight, and I think as far as first break ups go, Kurt's was pretty dramatic, Mercedes made him go to her house so they could eat ice cream and lament their broken relationships before they got there fabulous diva butts back to normal tomorrow."
It's a lot to take in, especially in the space of twenty minutes. Kurt broke up with Blaine, for Puck. Hell, Kurt broke up with Blaine without even knowing if Puck was an option at this point. And he'd told the whole glee club. And Mr Schue. Fuck, Puck had absolutely no idea what to do with this.
Was this an outing? It couldn't really count as being outed though, could it? Jesus, it sort of was, wasn't it?
"Puck, y'okay? You look a little pale."
"'m fine. I just need to lie down."
"You are lying down."
"Oh good." So, it wasn't that big a deal. It wasn't. Puck had already told Quinn and Santana and Brittany, and Kurt had told Finn. So they were the only people he really cared about, reaction wise. Rachel would be her usual 'I accept you for who you are' self, Chang wouldn't care, Tina wouldn't either. The club in general wouldn't care, beyond Puck possibly getting the riot act from 'Cedes about treating her boy right. And well, if Kurt was sort of leaning towards considering dating Puck, that was what he'd been wanting, right? Well, yeah, it was. He wasn't worried about that.
"You want a cuddle?" Puck just nodded, letting Britt wrap her arm over his waist while San and Quinn ended up draping on him.
"Seriously, don't fucking sweat it. Between you and us? No one's gonna say shit about what team we're batting for. Bitches can just deal with the awesome that we are." It's not surprising that Santana knows exactly what to say.
Britt tries to convince him that he should just spend the night, but he's not that much of a pussy that he needs to stay with them just to not freak out over this. He has to go home, because it's the only way he'll actually let himself think about this stuff.
He's pretty sure he's making a big deal out of nothing, but the thing is, he never actually thought about if this happened. Like, if Kurt did pick him, or if it just got out that they'd fooled around together. He'd failed to actually consider how he'd feel about possibly having to label himself as something.
But this was sort of what he'd angled for, wasn't it? He'd been thinking about it. And he realises that it's not like him and Kurt have even talked about it, at all, but, well... Shit, he's thinking in circles again.
"Okay," he's startled by his ma, her just standing at the door to his bedroom, and he didn't realise he left his door open. "What's wrong?" The thing about having one parent is that everything is remembered; he can't do something without his mother knowing, his ma knows his moods 'cause she's the only one to see them, he needs to talk about things with her because Sarah's just too young and he's not laying his shit on her when she's just figuring out that Jessica Stein is a total bitch and Yvette Kendall was right. Besides, as far as Sarah's concerned, the fact that she wasted two months as Jessica's best friend is a fucking travesty (that's what she called it too, fucking kid is too smart).
"Huh?" He still likes to play dumb though, even if he knows why she's asking. He is doing his homework. After the first day of school.
"Baby, you haven't sat up here and done homework quietly with your door open since that horrible girl broke up with you." Lauren, his ma never liked her. It should be a sign or something, but then his ma's never liked any of the girls he's hooked up with. She's never really met many of them though. "What happened?"
"Nothing, Ma, its cool. Britt just had a rough day and it was kinda stressing." Since Britt, Quinn and San were around a lot during the summer, his ma sort of knows the deal. She doesn't know that they're dating each other, but she knows that they're all friends, pretty close friends, but Puck's not dating any of them. She's fine so long as he's not impregnating more cheerleaders.
"Okay, bubbala." The space is nice, being given the time to figure things out and go to her rather than be cornered. He knows that's what she's doing. She did it with the whole Beth thing, she did it when he had to explain the reason behind the ATM thing. Their situation means that she's more like a friend than his mother; he loves her to death, don't get him wrong, but the fact that she relies so heavily on him, that he's half helping raise Sarah, that it's just her and him and Sarah and no father figure, it makes things different. Not bad or anything, but different. He talks to her about stuff more than the average teenage boy would, and maybe that's not exactly the impression people would get, but he needs to, or else he would be jumping off buildings for more than just to figure out if it's a rush.
It takes him another hour, all his Chem work is done and he's read almost four extra chapters of Pride and Prejudice, and that was enough to 'cause an even bigger headache. Eventually though, he needs to drag himself out of his room and downstairs, finding her in the kitchen just messing around. The annoying pop music blaring upstairs indicates that Sarah's in her room.
"So," if he's going to do this, and he thinks he'd like to, yeah, he needs to be honest with her. "There's kind of this situation, where I got involved with someone," and she'll know what he means without him having to spell it out and get way awkward about talking sex with his mom. "But they sort of have a boyfriend." She puts down the laundry she's folding, sighing slightly as she turns to face him. He's just sitting at the kitchen table, picking at the nail bed on his thumb. "It's-- I don't know what it is really, but it's something, y'know?"
"Were you careful? Noah, honey we can't have another year like--"
"No, Mom, that's-- No, we're not in danger of that happening." For so many reasons. "You um, you remember when you came to Regionals with Sarah?" He hadn't told anyone, but Sarah had begged to see them in the competition, and since it was his ma's night off, they'd both been there for Regionals, since Puck had mentioned that they'd written their own songs. "The uh, the Warbler kids?" She just nods slowly, because he's pretty sure she's caught on to the fact that the Dalton Warblers are all boys. "Kurt was the uh, he was the 'cute, girly one' that Sarah talked about."
"Kurt," Puck just nods, watching her carefully. She's never given an indication towards homophobia, never seemed at all judgemental towards Rachel's dads. But it hadn't ever been him before, and it was different when it was your own, right?
"We um, the beginning of summer," he shrugged again, "we messed around a little, but he's sort of dating Blaine. Well he was."
"Blaine? Blaine is the boy with the--" her eyebrows wiggle and Puck bursts out laughing while he nods.
"Yeah, with the eyebrows." She's probably overheard Santana and Quinn talking. "Kurt broke up with him today. During school." So he might not be labelling himself, he'll do what he wants with who he wants, it doesn't matter. If he feels something why the hell would he not go for it? But if he's doing anything, he's doing it openly. He's not going to be a case of not being fucking man enough to step up and say, yeah, this is my shit, what of it? Which mean, well, basically it means labelling himself for his mother.
"And you and Kurt are..."
"Maybe," he's not sure yet, really not sure. Because Kurt might just be confused, or it might not work right or whatever. He shrugs though, dropping both his hands to the table and meeting his mother's gaze, "I wouldn't mind, y'know, and I kinda dig him a little more than I'm honestly willing to admit." She's not yelling, or freaking out, or telling him that it's just a phase, so he's pretty sure this is going well as far as awkward conversations go.
"So, you're telling me that, what? You like boys as well as girls?" He's kind of glad that his bluntness comes from her, because if she was all wordy and stuff like Rachel, it'd be a pain in the ass getting through this conversation.
"I guess so, I mean, it's only been Kurt, like so far or whatever, but it's not like I don't totally appreciate Brittany in a bikini, or Santana's ass in her uniform." It gets a laugh from his mother, because she's all about trying to get him to stop objectifying women and all that. "But I just, I mean, I'm kinda thinkin' I've got a shot with Kurt, y'know. And I wanna take it, but I didn't want go into this without you like, knowing the score and shit." Since the school would know and he might need to punch someone in the face and it was better if his mother wasn't blindsided with the why if that happened.
"I appreciate that, Noah," and she just comes around the table to cup his cheek and smile at him. "But that boy better treat you so much better than that horrible shiksa did." Puck doesn't bother mentioning the utter hell his mind has been this summer.
Britt is totally excitable the next day, it's a total one-eighty from yesterday, but there's reason for that and honestly, people are used to Britt's personality swings. The smallest of things can upset her, but the tiniest things make her so fucking happy it must hurt to smile that much. Thing is, he totally knows what she's all excited about. She thinks he's going to hook up with Kurt today.
Normally, he wouldn't really care about that whole 'just broke up' thing or whatever, but Puck's fully prepared to wait until Kurt's not fresh off his relationship with Blaine, really. He figures that if Kurt's gone as far as to state, in front of the whole club, that he as feelings for Puck, then it's okay to make sure Kurt's not jumping from one thing to the next.
It's the reason why Puck's not going to Kurt, Puck's not bringing it up, he's not going to give Kurt some come on, it's not going to be him. When Kurt's ready, Puck figures he can wait until then.
This is apparently met with a frown from Britt, disgust from Santana but understanding from Quinn. Quinn probably gets it, because Puck doesn't want to end up in the 'Rachel' role while Kurt plays out his own Finn and Quinn drama. Santana says he's like, fucking damaged, but he's not sure what the fuck she's talking about as she takes off with Britt to their own class and him and Quinn head to English.
It might be the whole 'not putting himself out there' thing, or just the fact that he's still not sure if Kurt is actually picking him. Britt's already highlighted that he doesn't let himself fall in love easily; there's a reason for it. He saw what it did to his mother, he can't help what's been ingrained in him since he was nine. Crazy thing is, everyone from glee keeps glancing at him.
Rachel tried to have a conversation with him in English, but Quinn was right there and apparently she's good at silencing Rach with a glare again. Mercedes watched him all the way through geography and in maths it's was awkward just because he attended class with completed homework and Tina, Mike and Artie didn't stop staring at the back of his head.
He skips lunch just because he cannot deal with all the staring. And he hasn't seen Kurt at all today, so it's just as well because he doesn't want to do it at lunch and have the entire club watching them like they're some kind of exhibit. Britt, bless her, asks him to take her to feed the ducks. So he does.
They don't have glee after school, but he has football and the girls have Cheerio's, although it does mean that Finn and Mike are trying to get him into a conversation, but Shane's pretty good to run drills against since he doesn't talk bullshit with him. He avoids talking about it for the whole day and he feels like he's actually accomplished something.
Which is super weird, but whatever.
He totally didn't count on Kurt showing up at his house. It's not that he doesn't want to talk about it, or even that he doesn't want to see Kurt, sure he does. It's just easier to give Kurt the time to figure things out without being around him, because it just reminds Puck that Kurt just dumped his boyfriend because there's something there. But there he is, the Navi parked on the street and Kurt sitting on the step to his house. He watches Kurt pull himself up, standing and brushing his pants off before giving Puck a tight smile.
"Hi." They haven't actually talked since Rachel's party, which isn't all that surprising really, "I um, I didn't see you at school so, I thought--" Puck just nods, walking towards the door keys hanging from his fingers.
"You wanna come in?" Kurt likely knows that Puck's heard about what happened in glee, it's not like Quinn or Santana can really keep quiet about things like this, even if it didn't kind of directly involve Puck. The girls like gossip just too damn much. Kurt just nods slightly so Puck steps around him to unlock the door and nod him inside.
"Where's your mom?"
"Working." His ma had a double to pull that day, she'd be home tomorrow afternoon and likely sleep the rest of the day, she fucking deserved it for the shifts she pulled without complaining.
"And your sister?" Puck glances at Kurt over his shoulder, wondering if Kurt's suddenly nervous about them being alone or something, like Puck's gonna do something or whatever.
"At Kelly's house, they go to girl scouts together and her mom watches Sarah when mom works through the night sometimes." It's not because Puck can't take care of Sarah or anything, it's just that Kelly's mom is recently divorced and it seems like she wants to busy herself with kids, Puck's not complaining cause a few nights on his own is kinda perfect actually. "What's up?"
"I um, I needed to talk to you." Kurt takes the shoulder bag off, leaving it by the side of the sofa and it almost looks like he's about to sit down before he changes his mind and starts pacing behind the sofa instead. "I said a few things, and I really didn't mean to, well, I did mean to, I just didn't mean to say them where I said them and to who I said them to." Puck's pretty sure Kurt's talking about yesterday during glee, after him and Britt left. It sounds like Kurt's about to apologise for something, but Puck doesn't know what. "It wasn't my place, and I get that I do, no one understands that more than me so I am so furious with myself for doing it. And I do understand if you're annoyed, but I just--"
"Wait, is this about what you said to Blaine?" Puck's figuring it out, slowly but surely. "About having feelings for me?"
"Sort of, I mean, obviously I understand that it was a rather backwards way to do things, but, oh, he just assumes these things all the time. I'd never ask him to move schools for me, and we've been- Well lately we've been off. And I know why and he just assumes that us spending more time together would fix that. And it really won't." Maybe Kurt's taken a turn towards Santana and Quinn's thinking and realised that he's dating Rachel Berry. "But after I said it I realised that, God, it so wasn't my place to tell everyone."
"That there was something between us! Are you even listening?"
"I'm trying, I am, but you're sort of confusing and a little over the place and I can't help it that it's hot when you're all frazzled or whatever." And really it's not. But Kurt's cheeks get this cute flushed way, his hands are sort of all over the place and there's this freaky little glint in his eyes that is just super hot. Not to mention the way his mouth just runs on and on. It's fucking distracting.
"I'm freaking out about outing you and you're focusing on how hot I am?" There's a smugness in the tone, Puck hears it and that's shit he recognises right there. But he doesn't like the fact that Kurt's worked up about this.
"Okay, for one, yeah, you're hot, like you don't know it. And two, I don't care. Quinn and San and Britt, they already know, the club probably guessed that there was a little something to read into considering I lack any real care about making out with you or riding Chang's fucking lap. You already told Finn what happened and he didn't freak out, so I don't really think there's much to care about." Really he didn't, he'd already found out who his 'friends' were, and while he played on a team with guys, they weren't his friends, just teammates. The club, well, they sort of ended up friends despite everyone trying not to be, didn't they.
"It'll get around, and-- What about your mother?"
"Told her last night," he shrugs his shoulder, "she figured something was up, contrary to what most people believe, I'm kind of open with my ma." He had to be really, since people around this damn town couldn't keep their gossiping mouths shut. Kurt just nodded slightly.
"So, you would maybe... I mean we haven't talked since..."
"Since I sucked you off in Rachel's kitchen."
"Do you have to be so crass?" Kurt just sighs, but there's this little tug at his lips and Puck knows he doesn't hate it.
"Wouldn't be me if I wasn't."
"Fair enough," Kurt at least stopped pacing, just leaning against the back of the sofa and sighing. "But really, we haven't talked, and I know that I didn't exactly help. Finn sort of, well, Finn is very good at being blunt." Puck didn't doubt it, Finn's filter wasn't the most reliable of things. "I never thought you weren't good enough, I never thought I was better than you, or that Blaine was better, I didn't." Puck ducks his head, because things could get heavy really fast if they went down this route and he was terrible at managing deep conversations. "I just--" Kurt pushed away from the sofa, crossing to stand in front of Puck. "I was just too scared to take a chance on maybe when I have safe. Turns out, safe is kind of boring." Puck barks out a laugh, smirking slightly.
"Quinn said the same thing."
"I'm pretty sure we'd be anything but boring." Puck couldn't agree with that more. His hands find their way to Kurt's hips, pulling him closer to Puck as he sits on the arm of the chair beside the sofa. "We'd probably be everything but boring." Kurt's hand rested on Puck's shoulders, his body curving towards Puck like it was just magnetically drawn in and Puck didn't bother hiding the smirk.
"We'd be pretty awesome." He's fairly certain they could be too, given the right chance. He's a fucking badass and Kurt's a kickass little bitch. "You'd really need to cut me some slack now and then, 'cause I'm a total fuck up, but--"
"No you're not." Kurt leaned all the way in, his arms wrapping around Puck's neck while the jock tilted back slightly to even them out a little, letting their chests press against each other as Kurt tipped his head down, "I'm sure your girls will keep you right."
Puck's little chuckle is lost in Puck's mouth, his tongue pressing against Puck's lips to part them before they both moaned, leaning into the kiss. Puck stroked his hands around Kurt's back, almost hugging him tightly to Puck's body as they just made out in his sitting room. He kinda likes how there's no rush to it, there's nothing pushing him to make a point, he's fine with Kurt rocking in against him, whining against his lips as Puck lets a hand trail down over Kurt's butt.
He doesn't even mind later, when they're just lying out over the sofa, Puck half leaning over Kurt and their legs tangled and Kurt's hair is a fucking mess, when Kurt angles for a serious fucking conversation.
"So, I sort of came here to apologise for outing you and to um, well, ask you to like," Puck's sort of amused that this is getting a blush from Kurt. They've been pressing against each other for the better part of an hour, and that shit's getting them both hard, but trying to ask him out is apparently blush worthy.
"Kurt, can I be your boyfriend?" The smile that causes is fucking adorable that Puck just has to kiss it.
"Yes please." Puck knew that it didn't fix everything, the second guessing and the issues that might crop up over shit, like the fact that they'd been involved while he dated someone else, but it could be dealt with later. For once, Puck didn't actually mind that someone wanted a relationship from him, hell, he wanted it too.
It seemed like an okay starting point.