Title: A Return
Warnings: Spoilers for the next episode of Glee. (highlight for Spoiler: Mentions of Klaine(Kurt/Blaine).)
Author's Note: My first bit of Glee!Fic that I'm ready to post. Let me know what you think?
Disclaimer: If I owned this show it wouldn't be half as awesome, because I freely admit that RM is totally more talented than I am. So lets all just be happy I don't and move on.
Summary: Puck stared at his hands moodily and wondered if this was what could be considered self loathing. He'd started back to school at exactly the wrong time, and he was feeling the backlash.
Puck stared at his hands moodily and wondered if this was what could be considered self loathing. He'd started back to school at exactly the wrong time, and he was feeling the backlash.
The bullying had finally gotten too much for Kurt and he'd transferred literally the day before he'd made what he'd thought would be a triumphant return, and Glee Club was just getting over the shock and moving into anger. It had been the worst time for a reformed Bully to show his face.
There had been no welcome, no one had really seemed to care that he was gone anyway, and if anything his return had dredged up old wounds from the others. Mercedes knew how to be just as cutting with her words as Santana when she chose. And she'd definitely chosen to be cutting at that point.
Of course he'd left practice as soon as she was done, he wasn't up for the fighting, not after having be on the defensive for a month straight in Juvie. Which was why he found himself contemplating his hands while leaning against his car in the parking lot. Wondering if Kurt was actually gone for good. And if it really was his fault at the core.
Because Puck hadn't ever actually hurt the smaller boy, just ruined his clothes and shoved him against a few lockers, and really Hummel had given almost as good as he got in some ways. Heck, half the time Puck hadn't even understood the varied and complicated insults that had been thrown his way, and the one time the countertenor had convinced half the cheerios that if they slept with him they'd be plagued with acne for the rest of their lives.
So yeah, they'd been sort of terrible to each other for most of their lives. But they'd had a sort of truce since Puck joined Glee, because really they'd both had bigger things to deal with. And Puck suddenly had to consider the 'team' and how they needed Kurt to be whole and sane enough to perform.
That meant no more swirlies, no more dumpster dives, and no more slamming him against anything that wasn't padded. And Puck had been abiding by that unspoken rule, and Kurt hadn't called him a “craven lout” either. Things had been okay.
So it wasn't Puck's fault really, he hadn't started it and the smaller boy had told him several times that he could handle the other bullies on his own. And really he hadn't ever been hard on Kurt because he was gay, because Puck was very well aware of his own bisexuality and honestly didn't care that Kurt was gay. The smaller boy was just well...smaller and that lended to being teased, also he'd always been a stick in the mud and just hadn't been very fun. Puck knew that the gay-factor was why others had always picked on Kurt, but it'd never really been a personal issue between them. Which really actually didn't make him feel any better at all.
Because he might not have been starting it lately, but as Kurt's team mate it was his job to finish it for him. And he'd made the mistake of taking the flamboyant teen at his word, and things had apparently gotten even worse once Puck wasn't flanking Finn's other side. And that just wasn't acceptable.
So Puck nodded and made a decision, it might be too late for Kurt to want to come back but Puck was still going to fix things at McKinley High. Because no one messed with someone Noah Puckerman considered a friend.
So the next day he started with the Track Team because they were the easiest to intimidate because they were barely considered Jocks and their deal was being fast and not so much messing with people, and really he only bothered with them to make a point that no one messed with Glee anymore and more specifically Kurt Humme. The soccer team was a bit harder, but a swirly for their captain and they were on board with the new No Slushie Policy. Puck didn't bother with the Cheerios since half of them secretly worshiped the ground Kurt walked on because of his clothes.
The real problem was the Football team, and Puck knew it because he was still technically one of them. Sure he was suspended for the rest of the season, but they still considered him apart of the team, and Azimo sometimes still tried to get Puck to hang out.
Puck knew here were two ways he could handle the situation. Start out civil and work up to the inevitable fist fight, or just go in swinging and risk being caught breaking parole and end up back in Juvie. Mercedes, Santana, and Quinn snubbing him at lunch sort of made that choice for him, because really no one who was being that much of a bitch was allowed to look so sad when the seat next to her was naturally left open.
That afternoon in the locker room he descended on Azimo and Karofsky like an angry cloud and the rest of the team just watched wide eyed. Puck had Karofsky in a headlock with Azimo backed into the corner when the heavier boy finally snapped back with one of his not so witty remarks, something along the lines of “Why do you care what we did to the fag anyway? You like cock too?” and Puck wasn't really thinking straight when he responded with “Yeah! So what? I'm bi, I can handle your ass so if you have to give someone shit about liking cock give it to me because I can handle you.”
The jock sputtered even as Karofsky choked a bit more under his arm while he sturggled weakly and Puck planted his foot against Azimo's chest, “So, no more harassing the Gleeks, and when Hummel gets back if I hear even a whisper of you touching the sleeve of his jacket or breathing in his presence I'll kill you. Got me?”
When the kid on the ground nodded wildly Puck half threw his friend at him, “Glad we understand each other.” He turned to the rest of the teams staring at him wide eyed and pointed, “That goes for you losers too.”
Puck didn't look back as he strode out of the locker room, his job was done.
The next day Mercedes grabbed his arm at lunch, and when he met her gaze she looked sheepish. “I was wrong, you're one of us and....and you should come back to Glee. We missed you.”
Puck didn't argue, he let her pull him to the girl's table and he found that even Santana was giving him a fond look. Apparently they didn't mind him beating people up as long as it wasn't someone they cared about. Which made a sick kind of sense Puck didn't want to think about.
It took him 3 practices to realize that the reason he couldn't stay still was because something was fundamentally wrong, and it took him another 2 practices to realize that without Kurt things just didn't mesh the same way. There was no melodic voice to bitch at Berry until she shut up, there wasn't anyone to give Mercedes an approving look when she made sarcastic comments, and the sound of their group had changed. Puck missed him and not in a 'he was a cool guy to have around' way, he found himself realizing more and more things he missed about the other teen and the realization of what this meant hit him in the gut in a way that tore the breath out of him worse than any fist.
Puck had somehow had feelings for Kurt Hummel for god only knew how long and had been too....Puck to understand it. Which was just annoying, because now that he was aware of these feelings they were tearing him apart and he didn't know what to do.
But Puck had never been a person of inaction, so when he ended up at the Hummel residence he wasn't surprised. Burt Hummel was though, and so was Finn, but Puck didn't really care about them. What he cared about was Ms. H giving him a soft look and laying a hand on his arm in a consoling manner while the men just gaped at him. “Oh Hon, he's at this boarding school. It's about an hour away. I can give you his number if you wa-”
Puck had swallowed, nodded and mummered, “Thanks Ms. H, I-I'll email him or something” and had shuffled back to his car.
He inevitably ended up on his Nana's porch with her scowling at him in a way that he knew too well, “Noah, bubelah, if you've knocked up another gentile girl I swear-”
“Um, no Nana, but I do need your advice about a, ah, person I guess.” Puck coughed a bit uncomfortably and wondered why he always ended up on this porch when something was wrong.
His grandmother gave him a shrewd look, “Come in then, you can't stand on the porch all night.”
It took an exorbitant amount of dancing around Kurt's gender while explaining before his grandmother actually threw her hands up in frustration, “Noah! I know it's a boy, and you know it's a boy so I swear if you don't stop twiddling about I'll get out the spoon and don't think I wont.”
Puck swallowed uncomfortably, but did as he was told because that spoon had played a major part in his childhood and he never wanted to see it again.
Of course once he was done she was silent for far longer than he was comfortable with, and when she finally sighed he jumped a bit. “It would be a boy when you finally got serious about someone.”
“I just don't know what to do-”
“Bullshit, you might carry that heathen of a goy that left your mother's name, but you are a Cohanim at heart boy! And Cohanims do not mope around, they man up. Now you go tell that boy how you feel, and if he doesn't want to hear it then you either get over it or you make him listen.” She scowled at him and prodded him, “And be sure I'll be asking after how this goes mind. Because I'm tired of you taking the easy road out of life. Your father left and that hurt you on a level I care not to think about. But it's time to stop dicking around.”
Puck left not long after resigned to finding Kurt and 'confessing', and it took very little cajoling to get Finn to tell him exactly what school Kurt had transferred to. And Kurt was fairly sure he had his grandmother's permission to skip school the next day to make the 3 hour journey, which Ms. H had totally lied about, and he was pulling into the drive way when he realized that it might not be as easy as he thought it was going to be to find Kurt.
He stood next to car for a while taken aback by the building in front of him, and garnered more than a few odd looks from students. Puck had run out of ideas of ways to find the countertenor and was about to give up and make up some sort of lie to attempt to get past his grandmother's wrath when a familiar voice cut through his reverie.
“So it is you.” Kurt was standing there in the same uniform as all the others, yet somehow just as unique as he'd been at McKinley. “What is it Puckerman? I have class you know.” Puck couldn't fight a relieved smile, but before he could respond an unfamiliar guy came from behind Kurt and slid an arm around Kurt's small waist and pressed a kiss against his cheek. The smile that spread across Kurt's face and the way he relaxed into the casual embrace told Puck more than he ever wanted to know and he had to fight the urge not to physically step back.
“Who's your friend Kurt?” The guy's voice was even and he didn't seem overly protective, just curious.
Puck didn't expect Kurts razor sharp, “He isn't my friend. He's an acquaintance. At best.” before turning back to gaze at him with cold curiosity again.
Puck forced a smile, and leaned back against his car in a faux-relaxed pose. “Just came to let you know, I took care of Azimo and Karofsky. Aretha misses you, you should come back and see her sometime.” He pushed off the car again and didn't meet Kurt's assessing gaze, “And if you ever need to come back, they wont bother you.” Puck paused with a hand on his doorhandle and looked back at the guy now frowning at him confused from where he was wrapped around Kurt, “Also, I don't know who the fuck your friend is, but I swear to god that if I hear one word of you being hurt in any way I'll rip his balls off.”
The guy met his gaze evenly and nodded even as Kurt sputtered, “His friend understands.”
Puck nodded back before looking at a visibly shocked Kurt one last time, “I'm serious about visiting Mercedes. She misses you. Quinn is cool, and Santana is just as bitchy, but they aren't you. And Berry is insufferable. So...just drop by sometime. When we aren't trying to beat your new teams ass.” He gave Kurt a sarcastic salute and was in the car, turning it on and driving off.
It was a long drive back to Lima.