Actions

Work Header

My Backwards Walk

Work Text:

The horrible sick feeling starts as soon as Quinn leaves.

Puck likes sex, yeah, and Quinn Fabray is hot, yeah. He would even date her, given the opportunity, and the sex was pretty good considering it was her first time. But Quinn’s still got a boyfriend, and that boyfriend is Finn. Finn who is Puck’s best friend, Finn who Puck knows he should have thought of before fucking Quinn Fabray instead of after.

Puck doesn’t do anything about it the rest of the night. He cleans up his room and decides to change his sheets, because that’s what he always does if he hooks up with anyone at home. He ignores his mom and his sister, he drinks some milk from the carton, and he finishes off the container of soup in the refrigerator without asking his mom. Puck spends most of the night tossing and turning on his freshly-changed sheets, and by the time the sun comes up, Puck’s come to one conclusion: he has to ’fess up.

His mom comes to his door like she does every Saturday morning, asking if Puck’s going to go with them to temple. Puck shakes his head no, which he does most Saturday mornings. He paces around his room until his mom and sister leave, and then he goes to the kitchen, eating a bowl of cereal with milk and then grabbing two Pop-Tarts to eat as he leaves the house, heading towards Finn’s.

He has no idea what he’s going to say. He has no idea how Finn’s going to react, either. The only thing he hopes for that he might get is Carole being away, and sure enough, Carole’s car isn’t in the driveway. That could mean Finn isn’t home, either, but Carole doesn’t usually take Finn with her on errands, not anymore, so Puck takes a few deep breaths, tries not to look too happy or too guilty, and knocks on the door.

“Finn, dude, it’s me,” he says as he knocks. Puck shifts from foot to foot, waiting for the door to open, and he still has no idea what he’s going to say. It’s possible he’ll even lose his nerve and not manage to confess a damn thing, and he doesn’t want that to happen, so as soon as he hears Finn unlock the door, Puck blurts out “Hit me.”

Finn stands in the doorway, looking confused, which isn’t exactly news. “Huh? I’m not still mad about the paintball thing. I said we were cool.”

“Not that,” Puck says, talking too fast, still half-afraid he’ll lose his nerve and half-afraid he won’t. “Just, c’mon. Hit me.”

“I’m not gonna hit you,” Finn says, laughing a little as he shakes his head.

“I deserve it,” Puck says flatly. “Just hit me. I— I did something bad.”

“What’d you do, cheat off my history quiz?” Finn asks. He loosely balls up his fist and gives Puck a tap on the shoulder. “There. Don’t cheat off me anymore.”

“No, I didn’t cheat off your fucking history quiz,” Puck says, feeling frustrated and sick at the same time. “I did, like, the worst thing. Just hit me, hard. I promise I won’t hit back.” Maybe if Finn hits him hard enough, Puck will feel like they’re square, and Quinn won’t mention it, and Finn and Puck can go on without anyone feeling mad or bad either one.

Finn squints his eyes and makes his stupid thinking face. “Did you kill somebody?” he asks quietly.

“Worse!”

“You killed two people?” Finn guesses, his eyes getting wider.

“I didn’t kill anybody!” Puck says, sighing heavily, because he’s probably going to have to actually tell Finn what happened. “I did the worst thing.”

“Dude, you’re starting to freak me out,” Finn says. He shuffles from one foot to the other, his eyebrows squashed together. “I’m not gonna just hit you for no reason.”

Puck sighs again. “Quinn Fabray showed up at my place last night,” he says finally, staring at the doorframe and not at Finn. “And I let her in.”

Finn’s face slowly starts to fall. “And then you sent her home,” he prompts. “Right? You let her in, then you sent her home.”

“Would I be asking you to hit me if that were true?” Puck asks, his shoulders sagging as he glances back and forth between Finn and the doorframe. “Just hit me. I wasn’t thinking. I fucked up.”

Finn starts to shake his head. “No, I’m not hearing this right. I’m misunderstanding you,” he says, his head moving rapidly side to side. “You know Quinn says I’m not really smart, so that’s probably what’s happening right now, I’m just being dumb and not understanding you.”

“Yeah, well, she’s wrong,” Puck says, feeling absurdly defensive, like he’s supposed to keep Finn from getting hurt, which he clearly fucked up. “I’m sorry. I’m so fucking sorry. It— just hit me,” he says, barely keeping himself from saying that it wasn’t worth it. It’s true, but somehow he realizes at the last minute that might not be the kind of thing Finn wants to actually hear.

Finn keeps shaking his head the whole time Puck’s talking, but by the end, his shoulders have sagged, and then his whole body slumps. The look he gives Puck is half sad and half betrayed, but not mad, not even a little bit. His face doesn’t even contort into his rage-face as he pulls his fist back and slams it into Puck’s cheek, knocking him to the ground. When Finn sits on top of Puck and starts pummeling him in the face, Finn still doesn’t even look pissed off, just really sad, like his dad just died again.

Eventually, Finn stops punching him. He gets back up on his feet, standing over Puck and looking down at him with that same stupid sad look. “Why?” Finn asks softly. “Why, Puck?”

“I fucked up,” Puck says, wincing a little at the way his face feels. He didn’t fight back, because what was the point otherwise, but nothing on his face feels even close to decent. “I’m so fucking sorry. I fucked up.”

“Go home, Puck,” Finn says, then he turns around and walks back into his house, pulling the door closed behind him. The lock clicks loudly, followed by the deadbolt.

Puck lies there for about five minutes, until he feels like moving more than an inch at a time, and he goes home with his head down, avoiding any other people. He gets some food and a two-liter of pop from the kitchen, then barricades himself in his room, door locked, for the rest of the weekend, replenishing his supplies after his mom goes to bed that night. By Monday morning, he knows his face looks bad, but he hasn’t had to deal with anyone else, and he heads into school with a scowl. The first person he sees asks him what happened, and Puck doesn’t know what to say for a moment. If he makes the answer good enough, it might spread around school and keep other people from answering. Finally, he nods a little and stares at the questioner.

“I fucked up.”

That seems to satisfy the people around him, at least, and Puck heads to his locker without anyone else stopping him. By third period, he’s caught at least two glimpses of Finn and Quinn, who to all appearances look like they are just as happy together as two sophomores in high school can be, but on Puck’s way to fourth period, he actually passes them.

Finn is laughing at something Quinn said, or maybe the other way around, because Quinn is laughing too, and that’s the first thing Puck notices. It’s the only thing everyone else seems to notice, but Puck glances away from Finn’s laughter and almost shudders, because Finn’s eyes aren’t laughing. They aren’t mad, and they aren’t even hangdog sad. They’re just empty, like he doesn’t feel a damn thing, and something about that makes Puck feel empty enough, too, that he gives up on the new leaf he tries to turn over every Monday, and heads straight to the nurse’s office for his usual fourth period nap.

 

Finn tells his mom that he smashed his knuckles up fooling around on his old skateboard, but that’s the last time he has to explain it, because on Monday, Quinn doesn’t even ask him what happened, if she notices at all. If Finn hadn’t talked to Puck, he never would’ve known anything had happened, because Quinn looks and acts just the same as always. Her Cheerios uniform is still exactly the same, her hair is still in the same high ponytail, and when he puts his arm around her, she still moves her shoulders around until his arm is in the right position. If Puck hadn’t told him, Finn would never have known that Quinn and Puck had sex. Finn isn’t sure what that means, or if that makes things better or worse, but he doesn’t say anything to Quinn about it.

He doesn’t say anything to anybody about it. He doesn’t dump Quinn, because nobody dumps Quinn Fabray. Finn manages to avoid Puck for most of the day, and when he does see Puck, he just looks right through him like Puck doesn’t even exist. To Finn, Puck doesn’t. Finn doesn’t even feel mad at Puck, or not exactly mad, anyway. Mostly, Finn just feels a big, empty aching feeling in his stomach, like somebody punched a hole right through him.

Sometimes, over the next few days, Finn catches Puck looking at him. No, Finn feels Puck looking at him. Puck looks miserable, and even though Puck’s the one who messed up, Finn almost lets himself feel sorry for Puck for a minute, then Finn squeezes his hand into a fist. His knuckles sting as a couple of the little scabs pop open, and that’s enough to remind Finn that he doesn’t actually feel sorry for Puck at all.

Quinn drops the bombshell on him a few weeks later at school, in the hallway in front of Finn’s locker, where Finn finds her leaning with her eyes shiny with tears. She’s about to tell me, Finn thinks, bracing himself for it.

“Finn,” Quinn says, her voice breaking a little, and a few tears trickle out of the corners of her eyes. “Finn,” she repeats, her voice quiet. “I’m pregnant. You— we— I’m pregnant.”

Finn stares at Quinn, the sound around him disappearing with a sort of whoomp feeling, like when his ears pop going down a rollercoaster. He can see Quinn’s mouth is still moving, but he can’t hear what she’s saying, and all he can think is She really does think I’m stupid.

“Finn? Finn! Are you paying attention?” Quinn says sharply, her ponytail swinging. “You can’t just ignore this!”

“Oh,” Finn says, and after a deep breath, “Okay.”

“I’m going to need your help. You are the father, after all,” Quinn says, studying Finn’s face closely before she seems satisfied. “I’ll let you know later.”

“Okay,” Finn repeats.

Quinn huffs and rolls her eyes, then pivots on one heel before heading down the hall, the tears in her eyes now completely gone, and her Cheerios skirt bounces a little with each step she takes. She turns right at the end of the hallway, glancing back at Finn one final time before she disappears.

Finn isn’t the father. He knows he’s not the father, because maybe he’s stupid, like Quinn thinks, but he knows that Quinn had sex with Puck. That makes Puck the father. Finn isn’t sure what to do with that information, though, so he just walks to class and pretends to take notes on Melville or Hawthorne or whoever it is.

When the bell rings, and Finn leaves class, he sees Puck leaning on the wall near Finn’s locker, still looking miserable. Finn goes to his locker without looking directly at Puck, then swaps out his books slowly, taking time to line them all up in his locker, even though he’d normally just shove them in. The warning bell for the next class rings, and Finn looks up at Puck.

“Congratulations,” Finn says. “You knocked her up.” He turns away from Puck and walks down the hall without looking back.

After class, when Finn goes back to his locker, Puck is still standing there, leaning against the wall. Puck looks stunned. His eyes look kind of panicky, darting around all over the place. Finn doesn’t say anything, though. He just swaps out his books again, taking a long time and lining them all up neatly, lingering at his locker until the bell, waiting for Puck to say something, anything.

“Please tell me this is your idea of getting me back,” Puck says, his voice rough. “That you made it up to mess with me.”

“Yeah, Puck, that’s exactly it,” Finn says. It comes out even meaner than it sounded in his head. “I’m making this up to mess with you, ’cause Quinn would never tell me she was pregnant and it’s mine, since I never had sex with her. She’d never think I was stupid enough to believe that.”

“You— she actually—” Puck stops and shakes his head, then punches the locker next to him. “Fuck!” A teacher looks out of her classroom, and Puck looks the other way for a few seconds, somehow seeming to know when the teacher goes back in the room. “Fuck,” he repeats, not as loud this time, and he shoves his hands into his pockets before walking away down the hall, his shoulders slumped and his head sagging, like he’s staring at the floor. Finn slams his locker closed and walks away in the other direction, not looking back at Puck.

 

Puck doesn’t go to school the day after Finn tells him Quinn’s pregnant. The day after that, Puck confronts her in the hallway, but that just turns into Quinn calling him a Lima Loser and insisting that Finn’s going to think he’s the father. Puck doesn’t say anything about that, because not only does Finn know he’s not the father, he had to know as soon as Quinn said a word. Still, Puck doesn’t have anything to gain by telling Quinn that, and neither does Finn, probably, so he acts like he’ll play along, and then Quinn leaves with a swish of her Cheerios skirt.

It’s the same damn skirt all the Cheerios wear, with almost identically perky asses underneath each one, which is why Puck can’t really figure out why he had to go and fuck the one Cheerio that his best friend is dating. Yeah, she came to him, and Puck thinks that might give him one positive point to balance out against the hundred or so negative ones, but there are Cheerios that Puck could call and have them at his house in less than thirty minutes, so that’s not a good enough explanation. He can’t think of a bad explanation, even, just a fucked up situation that got monumentally more fucked up the moment that Finn said Quinn was knocked up.

The last thing Puck wants to be is a deadbeat like his own dad, but he wants his best friend back, too, and Puck’s pretty sure that with the way his luck goes and with the way he fucks things up without meaning to, he’s going to end up a best–friendless deadbeat to Quinn’s belly.

All of that is why he starts trying to talk to Finn. He wants to explain, even though he knows there’s not really an explanation. He wants to tell Finn that he thinks they should tell Quinn that Finn knows it’s not his baby. He wants to tell Finn how fucking scared he is, because he doesn’t know how to be a dad, not even to a tiny clump of cells that are smaller than a grape or something.

He tries at the beginning of football practice first, falling into step beside Finn while Finn’s talking to someone else on his right-hand side, and when they peel off, Puck opens his mouth. “Finn,” he starts, and Finn immediately turns and starts walking in the other direction.

The next day, Puck only tries once, in the hallway before homeroom, and he gets the same result, but on the third day, Puck tries three different times. He tries cornering Finn after glee club rehearsal, at lunch, and finally at the end of football practice.

“Finn!” Puck says, jogging after him. “C’mon, just give me two minutes.”

Finn keeps walking, picking up his pace without looking at Puck or even acknowledging Puck is talking to him. Puck stops in his tracks, staring after Finn with his hands on his hips, and he barely spends any time in the locker room, just enough to take off his pads and throw on his jeans and T-shirt.

Puck’s not even sure what he would have done with the two minutes if Finn had stopped, because he doesn’t know what to say. “Sorry” probably doesn’t mean much, and now there’s a bunch of lies and a baby involved, too, and Puck still doesn’t fucking know why he fucked his best friend’s girl. It doesn’t make any sense, not even with Puck’s history of screw-ups, and he walks home from practice, taking the longest route he can think of.

For about half of the walk home, Puck tries to decide if it’s a case of wanting what he can’t have. There’s other Cheerios with boyfriends, though, and he doesn’t have any particularly strong desire to fuck them over other Cheerios, and anyway, it wasn’t like Quinn was explicitly forbidden to him or something, or that she’d chosen Finn over Puck.

If anything, it had started to feel like Finn had chosen Quinn over Puck, and then right on the heels of that, Puck had felt like Finn was choosing Quinn and Rachel and the glee club.

Puck gets another block after that thought before another thought stops him, and he leans against the nearest telephone pole, trying to look casual. He didn’t want Quinn at all. He still doesn’t really want anything to do with her, except for the fact that she’s carrying his kid. He wanted Quinn and Finn to break up, and if Puck doesn’t want Quinn, and if Puck was upset for feeling like he was coming in second or third or fourth, maybe he fucked Quinn as a stand-in or something. It wasn’t about fucking her, it was about wanting his best friend to himself again.

Puck nods at that, satisfied, and keeps walking home. He almost makes it home before he connects the final dot, that he wants Finn, and that’s not at all the answer he was expecting. He barricades himself in his room again, pacing some of the time and the rest of the time flopped on his bed trying to figure out when the fuck he went half-gay over Finn. He doesn’t figure it out, but he’s pretty sure that he’s right about the reason why, which is why the next morning he’s leaning against Finn’s locker a good fifteen minutes before the first bell.

It’s almost the first bell before Puck sees Finn approaching, though, and Puck starts talking as soon as Finn’s close enough to hear him. “Two minutes, just let me explain,” he says. “C’mon. Please?”

“Do you want me to beat you up again?” Finn asks.

“Will you let me talk to you for two minutes if you do?” Puck counters. “’Cause, okay, sure then.”

“No,” Finn says, shoulder Puck away from his locker. He opens the locker, pulls some books out, then closes it, all without looking at Puck.

“One minute?” Puck tries.

“No,” Finn repeats, walking away in the direction of his first period class.

Puck sighs and punches the locker next to Finn’s before he goes the other way down the hall. School isn’t working, but maybe he should try glee club rehearsal again, so the next day, he gets to rehearsal super-early and sits in the dark. All that accomplishes is scaring the black girl, who glares at him for the entire rehearsal. Puck thinks that’s probably an overreaction to being scared, but she does it anyway, and Puck tries to think of where else to try to talk to Finn.

He overhears Finn saying something about going to KMart with his mom, so Puck spends all of one evening hanging out in the girls’ clothing section near the entrance, like some kind of creeper. He almost misses Finn and Carole when they come in, and Puck slinks around the store after them, finally cornering Finn by himself near the power tools.

“Thirty seconds, please,” Puck hisses.

“Jesus!” Finn yelps, leaping about a foot off the ground as he spins to look at Puck. “What the hell, Puck?”

“You don’t need a power sander, either, but c’mon, thirty seconds?” Puck says.

“No!” Finn shouts, already turning away and starting to stomp off, back towards Carole.

“Dammit,” Puck says to himself, sighing as a KMart employee starts to approach. “No, I don’t need your help,” he says to the employee, glaring. “And I don’t need layaway either. Can you imagine if Carole let Finn use power tools?” He throws his hands up in the air, shaking his head and heading for the entrance, because he might as well leave.

Another night, he tries climbing a tree so he can knock on Finn’s window, but in the last month, Carole’s apparently had tree work done, because all of the lowest branches have been cut off, and Puck just ends up dangling off Finn’s gutter for awhile before he lets himself drop to the ground and trudges home.

Close to another week passes, and Puck finally figures out the perfect place to corner Finn: the boys’ restroom on the hall where Finn’s English class is. It takes Puck a day to steal the right key, but the next day he waits in the bathroom during all of Finn’s English class. The bell rings to end the period before Puck figures out the problem: there’s no guarantee Finn’ll use the bathroom there on any given day.

It takes three more school days of crouching in the bathroom during Finn’s English class before the door opens and Puck recognizes Finn’s shoes. He waits until Finn’s at the urinal, then hurries to stand in front of the door. Hopefully he won’t need to lock it, but he has the key in his hand anyway.

“I’m just asking you to hear me out once,” Puck says calmly. “You already get my kid. I just want two minutes.”

“What the fuck, Puck?” Finn says. “I’m just trying to pee. I don’t want your kid. Leave me alone.”

“Like anyone’s going to admit it’s mine,” Puck says with a snort. “I had to corner you somewhere. Do you know how much this bathroom stinks? One of the juniors uses it to take a dump at the start of this period every fucking day.”

“Go away,” Finn says, looking anywhere but at Puck.

“Just, I figured it out, and I’m sorry, so fucking sorry, you don’t even know, but I figured out why, and if you have to beat me up before you’ll listen, let’s go then.”

Finn shakes it off, then zips. He walks over to the sink and washes his hands, pulls out a paper towel to dry them, and without his expression ever changing, he decks Puck in the face with his fist.

“Ow.” Puck bounces off the door and sighs. “I guess it’s good I didn’t actually lock us in.”

“Do you want me to hit you again?” Finn asks.

“Do I get more minutes or seconds for each hit?” Puck asks. “’Cause like I said, if that’s what it takes, I’m in.”

“You want to talk?” Finn demands, throwing another punch and catching Puck just above his ear. “Fine. We’ll talk.” This time, he punches Puck in the stomach. “You ruined everything!”

Puck pulls back more from the words than Finn’s punches. “Oh, so now Quinn’s your fucking everything? Well, fuck you!” he says, his hands still at his sides. “You know I thought it was just that, that you’d fucking picked her and Rachel fucking Berry and the fucking glee club over me.”

“So, what? So you had sex with her?” Finn says, shoving Puck with both hands. “You’re pissed at me, so you had sex with Quinn? And that’s what, that’s my fault?”

“I never said it was your fault!” Puck says, letting Finn shove him against the door. “And I was wrong. It wasn’t that. Or at least not mostly that.” In the face of actually saying it to Finn, Puck starts to think maybe he should have locked the door, or he should do the exact opposite and run before he blurts it out.

“What was it then?” Finn yells at him, one hand braced against Puck’s chest, the other curled into a fist and pulled back. “What?”

“You!” Puck says, louder than he intends. “I fucking want you, and instead my brain fucks up like it usually does and I fucked her and I just want you.”

Finn freezes with his fist still raised and his palm pressed to Puck’s chest. He stands there, just staring at Puck and breathing, until the bell rings out in the hall. Finn shakes himself slightly, letting his hands both drop to his side and taking a step back from Puck.

“Out of all the bullshit excuses, that’s the one you come up with?” Finn says, sounding almost like he’s going to start laughing, if Puck couldn’t see the look on his face.

“It’s not bullshit,” Puck says angrily. “Fuck you. I let you beat me up, I didn’t say you could make fun of me.”

“What, so you’re Kurt now?” Finn says, shaking his head. “You’re following me around ’cause you want me? That’s the biggest sack of crap, Puck.”

“I don’t give a fuck about the gay kid. What do you want me to do? Prove it?” Puck asks, and he wonders how he can be so damn pissed at Finn at the same time he still fucking wants him, and he brings his arms up for the first time, grabbing Finn’s head and kissing him harshly before pulling back. “That good enough for you?”

Finn twists his whole body away from Puck, staring at him. For the first time since Puck told Finn he’d had sex with Quinn, Finn actually looks mad. Finn puts the back of his hand against his mouth as he keeps staring at Puck with an increasingly angry look on his face.

Puck swallows and steps to the side, because now Finn’s angry and maybe repulsed, and there’s nothing Puck can do about that. There’s nothing Puck can do about any of it, except he guesses he can let Finn be the kid’s dad, because Finn’d probably be better at it anyway, and that was all Puck’s fuck up, too. Puck opens the door and slides out, and he walks down the hall, out the door, then off campus, all without looking back.

 

After what happens in the bathroom, Puck stops trying to talk to Finn, which at least means that Finn doesn’t have to keep one eye open when he pees or goes to KMart or anything. He doesn’t understand why Puck would use that bullshit excuse; thinking about it for the next few days doesn’t help him understand it any better. Puck wants him, not Quinn? Bullshit.

He still sees Puck slinking around the halls, looking just as pitiful as he did before, but Puck doesn’t try to talk to him. In fact, Puck doesn’t seem to be trying to do much of anything. He phones it in at practice. The sides of his mohawk start to get scraggly where Puck stops buzzing it. Since Finn sees Puck in the hall or heading into the bathrooms as the last bell before class change rings, he isn’t even sure Puck’s going to class. Not that Finn cares about any of that, because he doesn’t.

Sometimes Finn thinks Puck might be following him, but he can’t ever catch Puck doing it. He even hears someone outside his house a couple of nights, though he doesn’t see anyone when he looks out the window. Maybe if Finn could catch Puck following him, he could just beat Puck up again, and then he wouldn’t have to think about all of it anymore. He doesn’t, though, and he doesn’t even catch Puck looking at him at all for another two weeks.

Puck stands beside his own locker, staring down the hall, and he closes his locker, still staring at Finn with a hard-to-read expression. He keeps staring at Finn without blinking or acknowledging that Finn has seen him. Puck’s mohawk looks even more raggedy, and he doesn’t look like he’s really showering or anything like that.

When the bell rings, Puck jumps, like he’d actually forgotten he was at school, and he looks around at the other people in the hall almost confusedly before he pushes away from his locker, heading slowly towards Finn.

Finn considers turning around and walking in the other direction, but for some reason, he keeps standing there. Puck walks until he’s just a foot or two away from Finn, and he stands there, his mouth opening twice, but he doesn’t say anything, just stares at Finn looking lost.

“You smell like you died,” Finn blurts.

Puck blinks and pulls back, looking surprised, and then he snorts once. “You having fun with the two of them?” he says. “Maybe I did die…” He shrugs and then keeps walking, looking over his shoulder at Finn. Finn watches Puck away, reminding himself that he doesn’t really care what Puck does anymore, and then ignoring himself.

The next morning, Puck’s standing at his locker again, staring at Finn. He looks cleaner, even though his mohawk doesn’t look any better and he still looks like he just threw together whatever clothes he found on the floor. Puck stares at Finn until the bell rings, and he jumps again, but he doesn’t look confused by the other people in the hall. He just walks down the hall and stops in front of Finn.

“Mom says hi.”

“Fuck you,” Finn says, turning to walk away.

“Yeah, that’s the problem,” Puck says, starting to walk in the opposite direction without any real emotion in his voice or the way he walks. Finn follows, shoving Puck with both hands.

“Do you know how fucked up that is?” Finn says harshly. “Fucking Quinn and then saying it’s ’cause you want me? That’s so fucked up.”

“How do you think I feel?” Puck says. “Knowing that, and then watching you…” He trails off and shakes his head. “Everything’s fucked.”

“Yeah, it is,” Finn says. He shoves Puck again, wanting him to fight back, argue, anything.

“You’ll be fine,” Puck says, turning away from Finn again.

“I guess you’d better get ready to have sex with all my girlfriends, huh? ’Cause you’re not ever having sex with me,” Finn says, feeling the muscles in his face tighten.

“Didn’t help the first time,” Puck says over his shoulder. “Guess I’ll have to figure something else out.”

Finn lets him walk away this time. The next morning, and the rest of the week, Puck stares at Finn from his locker, then walks past him. He smells better, but he doesn’t really look any better, and he doesn’t stop to talk again.

 

Puck is pretty sure that freshman-him or summer-him or even start of the year-him would kick his ass, tell him to get up and act like nothing is bothering him, but it hasn’t happened yet. He tells himself almost every night that the next day, he’ll get up and actually look at what he’s putting on, maybe buzz down the sides of his head, and manage to go to class. Most of the time, though, he does none of that. At least he’s going to the school building, which he thinks is a good effort that should be applauded by someone.

No one even noticed when he wasn’t there a few days here and there, though, or if they did, they didn’t say anything. Puck hates looking at Quinn, and he hates even more looking at Finn, because he still stupidly wants Finn even while he’s sad and hurt and Finn’s mad. The only even halfway-enjoyable parts of school have either Finn and Quinn or just Finn, which means that the entire thing sucks.

A week after Finn told Puck that he smelled dead—which did make Puck decide to at least shower semi-regularly—Puck decides to try to talk to Finn again. He’s not even sure what he’s going to say, but he’s not happy with the way things are, so why not?

Puck leans against his locker, watching Finn like he has every morning for the past week, and he starts to walk towards Finn in anticipation of the bell, reaching Finn ten seconds after the bell rings and people start scurrying to their classes.

“I’m not a liar,” Puck says firmly.

“That what you tell yourself to make yourself feel better?” Finn asks, as he turns to start walking towards his class – slowly, so Puck can keep up.

“Name a lie I’ve told you in the last two months,” Puck says. “Mr. My-mom-has-a-prostate.”

“We can start with the whole ‘you want me’ thing,” Finn says.

“You think that was easy for me to tell you?” Puck asks. “You really think I pulled that out of my ass as the best lie?” Puck snorts and shakes his head. “Not that I’d object to the ass part,” he mutters under his breath, not sure if he wants Finn to hear it or not. Puck’s not had the most comfortable few weeks, realizing everything it means that he wants Finn, and more than one of the days he’d missed school had been spent staring at himself and then moping on his bed, trying still to decide exactly when he’d gone half-gay and if it showed. It probably doesn’t except for when he’s staring at Finn, and maybe not even then.

“What do you even want from me?” Finn asks. “I’m supposed to accept your apology and pretend it never happened, because… why? Having sex with my girlfriend wasn’t enough?” He drops his voice. “You’re not gonna be happy until you fuck me, too? You’re just gonna follow me around forever?”

“I don’t expect you get your mind wiped or anything,” Puck says with a snort. “But I don’t know, don’t you think not getting to claim my kid might be enough punishment? Maybe I just want my best friend back, you ever think about that?”

“Well, that’s not happening,” Finn says.

“One fuck up, that I’m fucking paying for, and that’s it?” Puck says incredulously.

“I thought I could trust you!” Finn snaps at him. “I thought that out of everybody, you were the guy who always had my back. It’s not just one fuck up. You ruined all of that. You ruined everything.”

“How is it not just one fuck up?” Puck demands. “Was I supposed to lie to you about it? Keep my mouth shut? Is that what you would have wanted?”

“I wanted you to not do it in the first place!” Finn yells. “I wanted to be able to trust you!”

“Don’t you think I want to take it back? Undo it?” Puck yells back.

“It’s too late!” Finn says, giving Puck a one-handed shove.

“I know that!” Puck shoves Finn away from him, stepping to his right. “I fucking know that!”

“Then why won’t you just leave me alone?” Finn shoves Puck again, then takes a swing at him with his fist. Puck ducks out of the way, scowling. Finn takes another swing, connecting with Puck’s jaw with the other fist.

“Ow, fucker,” Puck says, pushing at Finn’s arm with one hand and grabbing the front of Finn’s T-shirt with the other hand, trying to pull him in so he can punch Finn’s jaw, or maybe his eye, even. Finn leans his weight back to twist away from Puck’s grip, but Puck lands his fist on Finn’s eye before Finn can pull away, and the momentum somehow carries them both down onto the floor, neither of them really landing another punch as they claw at each other and grapple.

“Boys! Stop!” Mr. Schuester’s voice says, not too far away from them, and then his voice gets even louder. “Finn? Puck? Stop that right now!”

“He started it!” Finn says, wrapping one of his arms around Puck’s neck like he plans on choking him.

“You pushed me first!” Puck retorts. “And you hit me first. They don’t care what happened before.”

“I don’t care who pushed who first, even,” Mr. Schuester says. “Finn, stop choking Puck.”

“He had sex with my girlfriend!” Finn yells as he tightens his arm even more.

Puck tries to twist away from Finn’s arm as he watches Mr. Schuester get flustered. “And I told you about it!” Puck says.

“I really don’t know—” Mr. Schuester starts to say, then interrupts himself. “Finn, stop choking Puck on school property, at least?”

“Fine!” Finn says, releasing Puck and shoving himself off of him. “I’m leaving!”

Puck watches Finn, and then Quinn comes running around a corner. “Finn! Someone said you were fighting! What’s going on?” she asks, looking angry.

“I’m done with you!” Finn screams at her, then he lowers his volume, his voice full of hate. “He can have you. Maybe he’ll leave me alone.”

“Finn, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Quinn says calmly, but Puck can see her eyes start to panic, and part of him feels smug about that. It’s about time she had to own up to coming over that night.

“I’m done with you,” Finn repeats, standing up and storming off down the hall.

“What’s going on?” Quinn demands, looking around the hall, and Puck realizes just how many people have gathered around, watching them.

“Did you really have sex with Puck?” someone yells, and Quinn pales, then stares at Puck, who stares back at her.

“I told him the next morning, you idiot,” Puck says.

“What?” Quinn screeches, and Puck winces, because apparently it’s just the day for people to yell at him. Luckily for Puck, Coach Sylvester shows up and runs most of the crowd off, and that distracts Quinn long enough for Puck to stand up and run off.

He skips all of his classes that day except for glee club, which he shows up to five minutes late, just to make sure Mr. Schuester is there already. Everyone in glee club glares at him, except for Brittany who smiles at him, and Mike, Matt, and the Asian girl seem indifferent to his presence.

When the last period starts, Puck goes to stand outside the door that Finn usually leaves by, and after the final bell rings, Puck waits there for Finn to leave. It’s surprisingly easy to follow Finn home without Finn realizing it, and he manages to speed up as Finn goes into his house, enough to catch the closing door with his toe. The door shoves against Puck’s foot a second time, and Puck braces his hand against the door.

Finn wheels around, looking more startled than pissed, at least at first. “Puck? What the hell is wrong with you? Did you follow me?”

“Yeah I never have been here before,” Puck says sarcastically.

“Why are you here? What about what I said to you makes you think you should be here?” Finn demands.

“What do I have to do?” Puck asks.

“Go away! You have to go away. You have to get out of my life!”

“I can’t do that!” Puck says, feeling a little desperate.

“Because you want me?” Finn asks. “Because you want to fuck me?”

Yes, I fucking want you!” Puck says. “I’ve been telling you that, and now you believe me?”

“So, what if I let you?” Finn asks.

“Huh?” Puck almost drops his hands to his sides, and he stares at Finn. “What?”

“What if I let you fuck me?” Finn says. “Will you leave me alone? Will you stay away from me?”

“I don’t think you quite get it,” Puck says slowly.

“You said you fucked Quinn ’cause you wished it was me. Well, I’ll close my eyes and let you fuck me, and then you can just walk the fuck out of my life for good,” Finn says, holding his arms out, like he’s inviting Puck to come at him.

“If I just wanted to fuck you, I would have dared you or something,” Puck says, shaking his head.

“Yeah, that’s totally why you fucked my girlfriend, then,” Finn says. He snorts and shakes his head, too. “I knew it was all bullshit, just like everything else is bullshit.”

“Why are you such an idiot?” Puck says. “I have no fucking clue why I love you, you absolute moron.” As soon as the words leave his mouth, Puck starts backing away from the door, knowing he should start running, but part of him wants to see if Finn says anything, first.

“Why does everybody keep telling me I’m stupid!” Finn says. “And then act like it’s okay to call me stupid, just because you love me, and that makes it—” He cuts himself off abruptly, his eyes widening in shock or surprise. “Puck?”

“Yeah, I’m going to go now,” Puck says, more to himself than Finn, and he takes off running down Finn’s street. He doesn’t look back again, and he doesn’t stop until he gets to his house. He spends ten minutes locking the doors and raiding the refrigerator, and then he barricades himself in his room, turning off his phone and planning on staying in his room as long as he possibly can.

 

Love? Puck loves him? For some reason, that’s even harder for Finn to wrap his head around. He watches Puck running down the street, running away from him, and he tries to call after him, but the words stick in his throat. All Finn can do is watch Puck disappear down the block, probably hating Finn, probably thinking Finn hates him.

Finn isn’t sure why it makes a difference, that Puck doesn’t just want him, doesn’t just want to fuck him. It shouldn’t make a difference. It shouldn’t somehow make what Puck did with Quinn, or the excuse he gave for it, anymore more justifiable. It definitely shouldn’t make Finn stand in the doorway for another ten minutes, watching the end of the street out of some stupid hope that Puck’ll come back and they can talk it out a little more. Puck is right; Finn’s a moron.

Pretending things are fine is something Finn’s had a lot of practice with, though, so that’s what he does. He pretends everything is fine when his mom gets home, even while he’s ignoring call after call from Quinn on his phone. He gets up the next morning and gets dressed like it’s fine, and he goes to school like it’s all fine, and he kinda-sorta-doesn’t-but-does look for Puck like it’s fine. When he doesn’t see Puck—not that morning, not during the day, not that afternoon at football practice—that’s all fine, too.

He’s able to dodge Quinn that first day, because there’s no glee club, but she catches up to him the following morning, when he’s not really—but totally is—looking for Puck.

“Finn, wait!” Quinn says, hurrying to fall into step beside Finn. “You need to tell people you made that up, about Puck and me.”

“Why would I do that?” Finn asks. “I’m not as stupid as you think I am, you know.”

“Everyone’s gossiping about us,” Quinn says. “All three of us, including you. You don’t want that, do you?”

Finn shrugs. “I don’t really care what anybody’s saying right now,” he says.

“Finn,” Quinn says in her scary voice, and she tries to take Finn’s hand.

“No,” Finn says, snatching his hand away.

“It’s important that we present a united front!” Quinn says, trying a second time to hold Finn’s hand.

“Stop,” Finn says, pulling his hand away again. “We don’t have a united front. We don’t have any kind of front.”

“You can’t just let them say things about your girlfriend, Finn!”

“Maybe not, but since you’re not my girlfriend anymore…” Finn shakes his head, then shrugs.

“What?!?” Quinn shrieks, stopping in front of Finn and pointing her finger into his chest. “Are you breaking up with me?”

“I think you’re kind of the one who did that when you have sex with Puck,” Finn says. “And then lied to me about it being my baby.”

“I— I don’t know what he told you,” Quinn says, still pointing her finger at Finn’s chest, “but I didn’t go over there to have sex with him. It was his idea to take it that far, and—”

“Don’t care,” Finn says, though he does care, actually. He cares enough to know that he isn’t sure Quinn’s version of events carry more weight than Puck’s.

“I absolutely did not want to hurt you, Finn,” Quinn says, but it sounds insincere. “Finn, please, reconsider.”

“You know,” Finn begins, sounding practically conversational, “people keep telling me what they did and didn’t want, but nobody really seems to care about what I want.”

“What do you want, Finn?” Quinn asks immediately, pasting a half-smile on her face.

“I want you out of my life,” Finn says. “I want to be with people who don’t lie to me.”

Quinn gapes at him for at least fifteen seconds, then she abruptly drops her finger from Finn’s chest, covers her mouth with her hands, and starts crying just before she turns to run down the hall, away from Finn. She always looks pretty when she cries, but not pretty enough to make Finn want to run after her.

Finn actually feels a little lighter as he continues through the rest of his day, though by lunch he starts feeling kind of weird. He might almost call it lonely. It’s not until his last period class that he realizes that what he’s missing might be Puck, following him around or trying to talk to him or just standing around unwashed and shaggy and sad-looking. That’s not the kind of thing that Finn wants to miss, so he tries to force the feeling out of his head, replacing it with how mad he is at Puck, or how weird and gross it should be that Puck not only wants to have sex with him, but says he loves him.

Of course, the really weird and gross part is how it’s not that weird and gross, at least not the love part. If Puck had just talked to Finn, instead of having sex with Quinn, Finn’s not even sure it would be weird or gross at all. He doesn’t have any way to know that, though, because the fact is that Puck did have sex with Quinn. He had sex with Quinn, then Quinn lied about it, and now Finn’s out a girlfriend and a best friend, and it all just really sucks.

Puck isn’t at school the next day, either. Finn doesn’t just sorta-kinda look for him. He does a sort of reverse-stalker act, hanging out around Puck’s locker, walking around near the classrooms Puck should be in, dodging a few pissed off looking Cheerios while checking under the bleachers to see if Puck’s under there. Puck isn’t anywhere, though. Not anywhere at McKinley, anyway.

Finn doesn’t see Puck on Friday morning. No Puck by Puck’s locker. No Puck in the nurse’s office. No Puck, period. Finn doesn’t want to be worried about Puck, but he is. He and Puck have been friends for too long—minus the past month or so—for him not to worry when Puck is absent for days in a row. He decides that he’ll have to walk over to Puck’s after school and make sure he’s not dead, at least. Yeah, he and Puck might end up in another fist fight, but at least Finn will know Puck’s okay.

Luckily, Finn spots Puck before fourth period, standing in the hall outside the choir room talking to Mr. Schuester. By this point, his mohawk doesn’t even look like a mohawk anymore. It just looks like a grown-out bad hair cut. Puck looks up from his conversation and sees Finn, and he cuts himself off mid-sentence.

“Thanks, Mr. Schue,” he says, and then he turns around and starts walking fast down the hall away from Finn, almost running. Finn sprints after him, but Puck ducks into a classroom before Finn can catch up. Finn’s not even sure it’s one of Puck’s classrooms, but the bell rings for next period, and Finn has to go to class to take a quiz.

Finn gets let out of class a minute or two before the bell so he can use the bathroom. Really, he goes back to the classroom where Puck hid, peeking inside through the window in the door. Puck isn’t in the class, so Finn was probably right about it not being one of his classes. He doesn’t find Puck again until the rest of the day, as everyone’s streaming out of the building towards the buses or their cars. Finn’s able to slip out of the building without Puck seeming to notice him, and he reverse-stalkers Puck all the way back to Puck’s duplex.

Since he’s not as fast or as stealthy as Puck, Finn isn’t able to get his foot in the door to keep it from closing, so he goes around to the back door and gets the key that Mrs. Puckerman keeps hidden under a lawn gnome. He lets himself in through the back door and looks around the kitchen for Puck, then checks the living room. He finds Puck there, gathering a bunch of stuff up like he’s planning on taking it somewhere.

“Hey,” Finn says softly.

Puck jumps and drops everything he’s holding onto the couch, and he stares at Finn. “Jesus fuck!” he says. “What the hell? You came to beat me up at home?”

“I just want to talk to you,” Finn says, holding his hands up in front of him.

Puck’s eyes dart around the room, and he looks like he doesn’t believe Finn. He puts his hands on hips and scowls. “Fine. Talk.”

“I’m not trying to take your kid,” Finn says. “I broke up with Quinn.”

“Congratulations?” Puck says blankly. “I sort of figured that out from your whole ‘I’m done with you’ scene on Monday.”

“You’ve kinda dropped a lot of shit on me at once, okay?” Finn says.

“Right. Yeah. It’s my fault you broke up with Quinn. I got that.” Puck shrugs. “Is that all? ’Cause I have…” He trails off and gestures at the pile of stuff on the couch. “Stuff.”

“It’s just, first you have sex with my girlfriend, then you tell me it’s ’cause you really want me, and then you say you love me,” Finn says. “I don’t know what it is you want me to think or do about any of that, dude.”

“You’re the one that’s standing in my living room,” Puck says slowly. “So obviously you have something to say or do or whatever.”

“You were the one who was following me around for weeks,” Finn counters.

“Yeah, well.” Puck scowls deeper and lets his arms drop to his sides for a moment before he starts gathering up his stuff again. There’s a blanket, a box of Pop-tarts, what might be some fruit roll-ups, and at least two VHS tapes, which Puck stacks on top of the box of Pop-tarts. “And now I’m not, so you should be happy. That’s what you wanted, right?”

“None of this makes me happy!” Finn says. “I’m not happy about any of it!”

“Neither am I! There we go, we agree on one thing,” Puck says, picking up his pile of stuff and looking around the room before stepping forward and grabbing a two-liter of pop off the coffee table, too.

“I think you should do it,” Finn blurts out, before he even realizes what he’s saying. He clamps his hand over his mouth and feels his eyes widen.

“Huh?” Puck says, looking confused.

“I think you should fuck me,” Finn says. “Then you’ll see it’s not really what you want, and maybe we can go back to how we were before.”

“Uh.” Puck drops the entire armful of stuff onto the couch again. “You… want me to fuck you.”

“Whatever it is we’ve been doing this past month isn’t working,” Finn says, trying to sound reasonable. “Maybe we should try that. Maybe that’ll, I dunno. Fix it.”

Puck stares at Finn with wide eyes for at least thirty seconds before he nods slowly. “Okay,” he says quietly. “Now?”

“Probably needs to be now, so I don’t chicken out,” Finn admits.

“Okay,” Puck repeats, and his eyes dart around the room for minute again before he turns towards the stairs, jerking his thumb in their direction. “Let’s go.”

“Okay,” Finn says, following Puck up the stairs, hoping he can get through it without freaking out or just flat-out bailing before they even get started.

Puck stops in the hallway, looking at Finn briefly, then frowning. “Go in the bedroom,” he says, walking into the bathroom. Finn nods as he walked into Puck’s room, sitting on the edge of the bed and feeling awkward and too big for the room.

When Puck walks in, his shirt is off and he’s holding something in his hand, and he shuts and locks the door behind him, doing it almost mechanically. “Okay. Get undressed, I guess.”

Finn nods again. He pulls his T-shirt over his head, letting it dangle from his hand for a few seconds before he drops it onto the floor. He stands up and unzips his jeans, pushing them down. None of it feels weird, because Finn’s undressed in front of Puck more times than he can count, and the rest of his body hasn’t seemed to figure out that it’s different this time from the other times. Once he’s down to his boxers, though, he stops undressing.

Puck looks almost at Finn, snorting once. “You want to try it with boxers still on?” he asks. While Finn was undressing, Puck finished getting undressed, and he’s standing there naked, arms crossed in front of his chest.

“No,” Finn says, shoving his boxers down and stepping out of them. He sits back down on the edge of the bed and tries not to look uncomfortable or nervous.

“Any requests?” Puck says, his voice sounding like he was trying to be lighthearted and failed.

“Let’s just do this,” Finn says.

“Yeah, okay,” Puck says quietly, moving closer. “How do want to, you know. Position?”

Finn has an answer for that, at least. “Hands and knees,” he says.

“Okay. Do that, then,” Puck says. “Anything else you want me to know?” Puck moves closer again, standing next to the edge of the bed now.

“I just want you to do whatever you’ve gotta do for us to fix this,” Finn says. He scoots back on the bed, away from Puck, and turns over onto all fours without looking back at Puck.

Puck doesn’t say anything for a few moments, and he doesn’t move, either, and Finn feels like Puck must be staring at him. Finally, Puck moves, climbing onto the bed behind Finn, and one hand touches Finn’s ass very briefly before he snatches away, like he’s been burned. There’s a funny sounding click, and Puck mutters to himself, quietly enough that Finn can’t make out what he’s saying, and then Puck’s dick is pressing against Finn’s hole.

Finn tenses up, all his muscles tightening, and he holds his breath. “Don’t stop breathing,” Puck says, his voice loud in the otherwise quiet room.

“Can’t help it,” Finn says, though he deliberately exhales and takes a deep breath in. He doesn’t really feel like his body’s relaxing at all, though. Puck keeps pushing at Finn’s hole, and his hands grip Finn’s hips while he almost prods his dick against Finn, making the same motion repeatedly.

“I don’t think you’re supposed to be this tight,” Puck says, sounding puzzled.

“Stop talking,” Finn says through his clenched teeth. “Just push harder or something.”

“Oh.” Puck does stop talking, though, and he moves one hand off Finn’s hip just a moment before his dick rams against Finn’s hole, a lot harder than before.

“Ow, shit,” Finn says, as Puck’s dick starts to shove into him.

“So—” Puck starts to say, then cuts himself off, and he keeps slowly pushing into Finn, not stopping at all this time. Puck’s hand grips Finn’s hip again, and it feels like Puck’s almost trying to pull Finn onto his dick. Puck finally stops moving, his breathing fast and loud, and his hands dig into Finn’s sides.

“Shit,” Finn says quietly, because it definitely doesn’t feel awesome or any of the other stuff sex is supposed to feel like. It hurts and feels kind of intrusive or invasive or something like that, which suddenly makes him feel really sorry for girls, if it’s always like that for them.

Puck doesn’t say anything, just stays still for what feels like at least a minute, his dick deep inside Finn, and then he starts moving, pulling almost all the way back out of Finn before pushing back in again. Finn grits his teeth and breathes hard, still not doing a great job of relaxing, and while it’s not agonizingly painful or anything, it still doesn’t feel good.

There are a couple of times it sounds like Puck almost says something, and once he definitely mutters something, but otherwise, Puck doesn’t talk or make any noise other than breathing. He keeps moving at the exact same pace until suddenly his breathing gets louder and he speeds up, pushing into Finn even harder. That lasts for a minute or so before Puck rams in harder than before and goes completely still, letting out a low moan.

Finn keeps himself propped up on his hands for a little while, and when Puck doesn’t start moving again, Finn asks, “Are you done?”

“Yeah,” Puck says quietly, and he pulls out of Finn and then sits on the side of the bed, his back to the door.

Finn rolls over and moves to the edge of the bed, picking his boxers up from the floor and pulling them on, not looking at Puck. While he waits for Puck to say something, he also pulls on his jeans, and then finally his shirt.

“I don’t think that did what you wanted it to do,” Puck says finally, standing up and pulling on a pair of shorts before going to the door and opening it. He starts out the door and then down the stairs, acting like he either assumes Finn will follow him or doesn’t care if Finn doesn’t.

Finn sighs and starts for the stairs himself, walking down them a little more carefully than he walked up, because now that he’s up and moving, his ass is kind of sore. When he’s at the bottom of the stairs, he stops and looks at Puck.

Puck picks up his pile of stuff from the couch again and looks back at Finn. “You want a Pop-tart?”

Finn shakes his head. “I’m gonna go,” he says.

“Okay,” Puck says quietly, walking towards the stairs with his bizarre pile. “Hand me that other pop?”

“Yeah,” Finn says, picking up the pop and putting it on top of Puck’s pile. “I guess… I guess some things can’t be fixed.”

Puck doesn’t say anything to that, and doesn’t even look at Finn after that, just heads up the stairs, and then Finn can hear Puck’s bedroom door close and lock again. Finn shakes his head and lets himself out of Puck’s duplex, starting the walk back to his own house. Some things definitely can’t be fixed.

 

Puck’s mom has learned by now not to even try to get Puck to come out of his room while she and Puck’s sister are still awake, which means that Puck spends about seven hours after Finn leaves locked in his room. He puts in a movie, eats an entire box of Pop-tarts, and then starts on the fruit roll-ups before deciding maybe he should just try to sleep. If his mom had some booze in the house, he’d steal it and get drunk, but the idea of having to leave the house to find booze is exhausting.

Puck wakes up in the middle of the night and goes downstairs, warming up leftovers from dinner and eating them in the kitchen before going on what he assumes is a futile hunt for booze. He finds one bottle of Manischewitz and takes it upstairs with him, along with a box of Triscuits and some Cheese Whiz.

Drinking the entire bottle of kosher wine sounds suddenly like a good idea, so he puts some Cheese Whiz on some Triscuits and starts eating a few of them while he drinks the wine straight from the bottle. He only had the one chance, the way he figures it, and he fucked that up. Fucked it up because he didn’t really know anything about buttsex, and he’d only tried to look it up online once. He hadn’t really found anything easy to understand when he’d looked, so Puck had closed that window and forgotten about it more or less.

Halfway through the bottle of wine, Puck starts talking to himself. “I guess I figured if I got a chance, it’d be a hand job or something,” he mutters out loud. “Maybe a blow job. And now I fucked it up. I fucked up fucking.” That’s funnier than it probably should be, and Puck starts laughing between drinks of wine and bites of Triscuits.

“It doesn’t even fucking matter if Finn’s right,” Puck says. “He thinks he’s right.” He sighs heavily and continues to drink the too-sweet wine straight from the bottle. He polishes off the entire thing faster than he means to, and about five or ten minutes later, his stomach starts to churn.

Puck barely makes it to the bathroom before he starts throwing up, and he spends too long in front of the toilet, head still spinning from all the wine even though he’s puking it up at the same time. When his stomach finally seems calm enough, he flushes the toilet and crawls back into his room, locking the door and turning out the light before collapsing on his bed.

His bed that has the same sheets, because he hadn’t changed them after Finn left, and even though Puck knows he fucked it up, he grabs his dick and starts jerking off, thinking about Finn. It wasn’t how he would have wanted it, and he would have rather talked to Finn, but maybe he should just be happy he got one shot at it, no matter how bad he fucked it up. It makes it even easier to come while he thinks about Finn, and he falls asleep after that.

The next time Puck wakes up is after noon on Saturday, and he spends the entire weekend either barricaded in his room or raiding the kitchen for food while his mom and sister are out or asleep. He doesn’t find any more wine, and he’s not sure he’d drink it if he did, but otherwise the weekend blurs together. The only thing he does any different is on Saturday night in the middle of the night he makes himself actually read one of the websites he’d ignored before, just so he knows everything that he did wrong.

On Sunday night, after a full day of berating himself, he decides he should probably do something about it, like an apology without actually having to explain why it was so bad to Finn. If the websites are even half-right about what Puck should have done, it was probably pretty bad for Finn, Puck figures. Puck’s not great about apologies, and Finn’s not a girl, so he can’t take Finn candy or flowers or whatever, but clearly Puck should do something, and it’s not until he’s putting on different dirty clothes for school that he decides to give Finn shit anyway.

Puck leaves for school a lot earlier than usual, detouring to the Rite Aid and walking up and down the aisles. He finally decides on the issue of Rolling Stone sitting there, with U2 on the cover, and he buys it before heading to school. He still gets there pretty early, and he picks the lock on Finn’s locker to put the magazine in it before going on to his own locker.

He tries not to stare at Finn as Finn goes to his locker, but once Finn has it open, Puck does stare, leaning against his own locker and watching. Finn picks up the Rolling Stone, making that stupid confused face, and he looks around suspiciously before putting the magazine back into his locker.

Puck sighs and turns back to his own locker, sticking his head in it more out of a lack of anything else to do. When the bell rings, he goes to the library instead of class. The one thing he’s learned his sophomore year is that the library is great for skipping class. No one there ever thinks he would voluntarily go to the library, so no one asks if he’s skipping. He spends all of Monday in the library except for lunch and a glee club meeting, and he makes sure he shows up after the bell for the glee club meeting.

During last period, Puck leaves the library and perfects his fake-cough, and by the time he leaves Tanaka’s office, he’s convinced Tanaka that he doesn’t need to go to practice because of whooping cough, but Tanaka will still let him play in the few games remaining, in case he infects the other teams. Puck doesn’t point out that even if he really did have whooping cough, the other team would take longer than an hour or two to get sick.

That done, Puck starts walking, this time heading towards the hardware store. He’s not really sure why the hardware store, but it seems like the exact opposite of flowers in his mind. The guy working at the hardware store asks what Puck’s looking for, and Puck’s pretty sure he shouldn’t blurt out the real reason, so he makes up a story about an estranged older brother’s birthday coming up, and leaves with a rachet screwdriver set and a tape measure.

The detour means that Puck only has about twenty minutes to change out VHS tapes and grab more food before his mom gets home, and as soon as he locks the door and collapses on his bed, he remembers that he still hasn’t changed his sheets.

Puck leaves early for school again, this time leaving the tape measure in Finn’s locker before going to the bathroom and deciding to at least splash water on his face. He might take a shower when he gets home, if he has more than a few minutes before his mom gets home. He peeks out of the bathroom in time to see Finn walking down the hall, and Puck counts to ten before actually stepping out of the bathroom and standing in the hall, watching Finn open his locker.

“Okay, what the hell?” Finn says, looking around him again. “Who’s putting this stuff in my locker?”

Puck takes a step forward, like he’s walking to his own locker and isn’t paying attention to Finn, and he keeps his head down as he walks past Finn, on the opposite side of the hallway. He repeats the same process all week, leaving the rachet screwdriver on Wednesday, an issue of Car and Driver on Thursday, and on Friday, a meatloaf Hungry Man dinner with a bunch of ice packs. Other than the gifts, Puck has tried to avoid and ignore Finn all week, and tried not to be spotted in the mornings, but on Friday, Puck’s a little more obvious, standing against his closed locker and staring at Finn from the moment that Finn appears in the hallway, and as Finn opens his locker, Puck keeps staring.

“Who’s doing this?” Finn asks loudly. “Stop putting weird shit in my locker!”

Puck doesn’t move, just frowns a little, because it’s not that weird. And he knows Finn likes the meatloaf. Finn looks in Puck’s direction and scowls at him.

“Was it you? Is this supposed to be a funny joke?” Finn demands.

“Huh?” Puck says. “How’s it a joke?”

Finn storms over to Puck, though when he talks, his voice is low. “All this, like, ultra-dude stuff,” he says. “Is it a joke? I let you fuck me, and now you’re trying to, what? Make fun of me? I’m not enough of a dude anymore?”

“What?” Puck says incredulously. “What the fuck are you talking about?”

“I thought it would fix things, okay? And it obviously didn’t, and now you’re making fun of me,” Finn says. “I didn’t even like it! I didn’t even come!”

“I’m not making fun of you!” Puck insists, looking around the hall before leaning in, whispering in Finn’s ear. “I just— I know I fucked it up. I didn’t know, okay? I’m, you know. Sorry.”

“Did Quinn?” Finn asks.

“The hell? Do you want me to rank the two of you, too?” Puck says, pulling back and glaring at Finn.

“If she did, and I didn’t, maybe that should tell you something,” Finn says. “Just go back to girls, and we’ll just pretend none of this ever happened. We’ll just forget it. I won’t bring it up again, not even the Quinn stuff, okay?”

“I know I fucked up,” Puck says, not whispering this time. “I’m sorry! I wasn’t exactly expecting to— you know. I didn’t know how it worked.”

“I don’t want to talk about it anymore,” Finn says.

“Fine,” Puck says, shrugging. “I’m going home now.”

“I just want stuff to go back to how it was!” Finn says. “I don’t want it to be all weird like this anymore.”

Puck shrugs again. “I don’t know that that’s possible,” he admits, pushing off his locker and starting to slowly walk down the hall. “I’ll be at the game later.”

“Puck,” Finn calls after him. “Puck!”

Puck turns around, walking backwards. “What?” He knows it’s weird to go home already, but he can’t be at school any longer, not seeing Finn and hearing Finn’s voice in his head over and over.

“I just wanted to fix stuff with us,” Finn says.

“Maybe you were right last Friday,” Puck says sadly. “There are some things we can’t take back.” With that, he turns and walks down the hall, and as he walks home, what he hears in his head is Finn’s voice saying, over and over, that he didn’t even like it, and that makes Puck feel even worse. He takes a long shower when he gets home and finally changes his sheets, watching DVDs in the living room until it’s close to time for his mom to get home, and then he loads up his room, ready for another weekend of solitude and, Puck knows, moping. Maybe he’ll come up with some kind of solution, but he’s not counting on it.

 

For something that he didn’t enjoy, Puck fucking him is sure a topic Finn spends a lot of time thinking about. Part of it is definitely that it was Finn’s first time, and it was lousy, but another big part of it is that the reason it was so bad was because Finn is the one who insisted on it being that way. He was the one who stripped down and turned over onto his hands and knees, no kissing or touching, not Puck. He wouldn’t even let Puck talk to him!

Maybe, Finn thinks, the actual worst part of all of it is that Finn didn’t walk away from Puck’s feeling like Puck fucking him confirmed that Finn was totally straight. It might have confirmed for Finn that Puck is probably totally straight, but if anything, Finn feels more confused than he was before. He realizes he might’ve hoped that Puck would somehow find a way to make it really great, even with Finn acting like a jerk about it. He wonders if it was great for Quinn, and then feels sick and mad at himself for wondering that.

Puck doesn’t seem to go out of his way to avoid Finn for the next week, but he doesn’t go out of his way to talk to Finn, either. When Finn does see Puck, Puck just looks sad and unkempt, which is how Finn is starting to feel, too. The more he obsesses over what happened with Puck, the less of a shit Finn gives about stuff like showering and spending time with people.

On Thursday, Rachel plants herself in front of Finn before he can leave the glee club meeting. “Finn, I must insist that I discuss something with you. Sit back down.” She points to a chair and advances on Finn as the rest of the club leaves, forcing him backwards until he sits. “Good. Now, I don’t know what has prompted your recent disregard for basic hygiene, but as the male lead of New Directions, you owe it to your fellow glee clubbers to take care of this matter.”

“Uh,” Finn says, because he doesn’t really think his hygiene is that bad.

“It’s bad enough that Noah Puckerman has been so slovenly, but really, you don’t need to emulate him, and at best, Noah’s in the background, whereas I depend on you as male lead to make sure I, as the female lead, look and sound my absolute best,” Rachel says, frowning and continuing to point her finger at Finn.

“I don’t think it’s that bad,” Finn insists.

“It’s quite bad,” Rachel says firmly. “Furthermore, as the male lead, I think it’s your responsibility to have a quiet conversation with Noah regarding the same issue. We are only as strong as our weakest link.”

“Puck’s doing the best he can,” Finn says. “He’s got some… stuff.”

Rachel puts her hands on her hips. “He needs to learn not to let his personal affairs affect the groups of which he is a member. To reiterate, Finn, put more attention to your own personal hygiene, and let Puck know he is to do the same!” With that, Rachel whirls around, leaving the room.

“I’m not that smelly!” Finn calls after her. Rachel doesn’t stop or even acknowledge that Finn spoke, just keeps on going, the heels of her loafers click-clacking on the floor.

“I’m not,” Finn grumbles to himself as he leaves the choir room. “Puck might be, but I’m not.”

Finn does at least take a shower that night, though, and in the morning he puts on clothes that smell clean enough. He’s not sure they match, but at least Rachel can’t tell him his hygiene is bad. When Finn gets to school, he looks around for Puck, but doesn’t see him, and is surprised by how much that bothers him. Finn goes to his first period class and spends the whole time thinking about Puck and wondering where he is.

He gets his answer when he leaves class, because Puck is traipsing down the hall with a book tucked under his arm, for some reason. As Finn gets closer, he sees that the book appears to have a naked or mostly naked man on the cover. Puck doesn’t seem to be hiding the book, either, and in fact, is looking directly at people as he walks through the hall, like he’s daring them to say something to him about it.

“Hey, Puck?” Finn says, as Puck starts to pass him.

Puck turns his head towards Finn and raises his eyebrows. “Yeah?”

“What’s with the book?”

“I do know how to read,” Puck says, sounding almost amused. He turns the book towards Finn barely, enough for Finn to be able to read the title: Gay Sex.

“Oh,” Finn says. His face starts to feel a little hot. “Uh. Okay.”

“If anyone asks you about me, though, the answer’s ‘no, half-gay’,” Puck says with a little shrug. “No one asks anything after that.”

“Oh,” Finn repeats. “Yeah. Okay.”

Puck shrugs a second time, moving the book so the nearly-naked guy is facing out again, and starts heading down the hall again, resuming his looks at the people staring at him and the book. Finn isn’t sure what to think about the book or Puck’s “half-gay” statement, except that if Puck’s half-gay, Finn’s not exactly sure what that makes him.

 

By the time Puck heads to glee club, he’s pretty sure he should have been carrying around books with half-naked guys on them a lot sooner. Tanaka practically fainted, Figgins ran the other way, and not a single teacher has said a word to him about homework or grades, which Puck figures is all pretty cool. People keep asking if it means he’s gay, and he keeps saying no, half-gay, and it made Finn actually talk to him, so Puck’s chalking all that up in the ‘win’ column.

Of course, the book’s actually kind of helpful, or at least the parts he’s skimmed so far, so when he gets to the meeting a little early, he props his legs up and deliberately opens the book, holding it up so the cover’s still visible. He has a feeling that he’s going to have to go back online and order more than just a book, but he continues skimming the first part of the book, mostly ignoring the part about condoms, since he’s pretty sure Finn isn’t carrying any diseases.

The next person who walks into the meeting is Kurt, who sits in a chair two down from Puck, craning his neck to get a better look at the cover.

Gay Sex?” Kurt asks. “A little light reading?”

“Don’t worry, it’s not for you,” Puck says without looking up from the book. He tilts his head slightly, examining one of the drawings, then turns the page.

“If you don’t do something about your appearance and,” Kurt pauses to take a dramatic sniff in Puck’s direction, “your odor, I’m not sure it’s going to be relevant for anyone.”

“Hmmm. You’re the only one complaining, and since it’s not for you, I guess I’ll manage,” Puck says, then looks over the top of the book. “Oh, hey, do you know anywhere in Lima to buy lube? It says lotion really isn’t the best option.”

Kurt straightens in his seat, face reddening. “I’m not a customer of those kinds of establishments,” he says.

“So you know where they are?” Puck says. “I mean, I’ve seen that place on Elida, but I wasn’t sure if they’d have what I was looking for.”

“I don’t feel comfortable discussing this with you!” Kurt says.

“Who else are you going to—” Puck starts to say, then stops when the Cheerios parade in, Artie behind them. Puck goes back to reading, ignoring the whispers he hears, and when Artie says his name, Puck doesn’t even look up as he answers. “Nope. Half-gay.”

Puck puts the book down when Mr. Schuester comes into the room and starts the meeting, but he notices Finn looking at him strangely throughout the meeting, like he’s super-curious about something, and Puck’s so far gone he zones out the last half of the meeting thinking about how damn cute Finn looks when he’s confused. When Mr. Schuester finishes, Puck stands up, positioning the book in front of him with the title deliberately showing.

Kurt clears his throat next to Puck, and quickly passes him a folded up strip of paper without looking directly in Puck’s direction. Puck takes it and unfolds it curiously, then smirks a little when he realizes it’s a web address, and underneath, Kurt’s written ‘fast delivery, plain brown paper wrapper’. Puck nods at Kurt, then as he slides past him, whispers “Thanks” under his breath.

He carries the book around the entire rest of the school day, then heads home, still carrying the book, but now his place is marked with the slip of paper from Kurt. When he gets home, he goes to the address and buys lube, not really sure what some of the rest of the categories are, but he bookmarks the site anyway. Maybe he’ll have a reason to look at it again sometime.

That done, he decides that maybe Kurt is right, because Finn did make that comment about Puck smelling dead, weeks earlier, and Puck might smell worse now. He gets in the shower and puts all of his clothes in the washing machine, which means he ends up lying naked on his bare mattress most of the afternoon while he thinks.

Maybe Finn would have rather had candy, for starters, but one thing Puck’s already learned from skimming is that gay and half-gay dudes go on dates just like straight couples, so he really just has to figure out a way to trick Finn into going on a date.

Puck picks up his phone and looks through his contacts. The best way he can think of is that they organize a guys’ night for the guys in glee club, and Puck convinces the rest of them not to show up. That means he needs someone else to be the one Finn thinks is organizing it. Kurt’s out, because Kurt doesn’t want to help anyone else get Finn. Matt’s too quiet, and Puck doesn’t want to resort to threatening Artie with more time in the porta-potty, which leaves Mike.

Puck checks the time and then hits Mike’s number, listening to it ring.

“Hello?”

“Mike, it’s Puck,” Puck says, remembering at the last minute that Mike doesn’t like caller ID. “I need a favor. Two favors, but they’re kinda the same favor.”

“Hey Puck,” Mike says. “What do you need?”

“I need you to plan a guys’ night for the guys in glee club, and make sure everyone says they’re going to be there, but really none of you are going to show up, just Finn,” Puck says. “I was thinking next Wednesday.”

“Okay. That’s kind of weird,” Mike says.

“Yeah, I know,” Puck admits. “I need him to not know it’s a date until, like, we’re the only two people there.”

“Ah. Sure. Makes sense.” Mike pauses for a few beats. “Is Finn going to be okay with this?”

“That’s the plan,” Puck says. “Hey, can I ask you a question?”

“Sure.”

“Okay, two questions. Do I really stink, and should I go with the mohawk or just go get a trim?”

Mike laughs. “Got to admit, you’ve been a little pungent lately,” he says. “And I don’t know about the mohawk. There’s not much mohawk left to it at this point.”

“Yeah. Okay. Thanks, dude.” Puck pauses. “Let me know what time and where you tell everybody and if you need me to explain to anyone that they’re not really going.”

“Will do,” Mike says, then hangs up.

Puck nods to himself and sets his phone down, deciding he’ll take a shower every day between then and Wednesday. Later, he gets a text from Mike with a movie and a time, and Puck can feel himself grinning a little, which is something he hasn’t done a lot of for awhile.

He still avoids his mom and sister most of the weekend, mainly because he’s still trying to skim his book, and he doesn’t do anything about his hair over the weekend, either. At school on Monday morning, Puck leans against his locker and watches Finn. One way or the other, he knows things’ll be different on Thursday morning. Either Finn’ll get upset or Finn’ll be okay with it, but it won’t stay the way it is, and Puck’s relieved about that.

On Tuesday after school, Puck stops at the Rite Aid and buys candy to sneak into the movie, his and Finn’s favorites, and two twenty-ounce pops. On Wednesday, he corners Mike just before lunch.

“You’re sure Finn’s coming? And no one else is?”

“I’m sure,” Mike says. “I made sure everybody else knew it wasn’t a real invitation.”

“And Finn’s going to be there?”

“Yes, he’ll be there.”

“Okay. Cool. Thanks,” Puck says, and since that’s settled, Puck decides to cut the rest of the day. It takes him a couple of hours to get out to the movie theatre and buy their tickets ahead of time, and then he walks to the haircut place and lets them even up his hair, because it did look pretty bad.

By the time he gets back home, he has enough time to shower and change clothes, and he checks the mail just before his mom gets home, which ends up being a good thing, because his brown paper wrapped lube is in the mail. He hides it in his dresser drawer and then goes back downstairs to wait for his mom.

His mom looks at him for about five minutes before she says anything. “Noah?”

“I need you to drive me to the movie theater,” Puck says. “I’ll call if I need a ride home.”

“Now?”

“I’ll eat dinner after the movie. Guys’ night.”

His mom looks disbelieving, but she drives him back to the theater, candy and pop in his pockets and his hair freshly cut, and Puck leans against the outside wall of the theater, tickets in hand, even though it’s at least fifteen minutes before Finn’s going to get there. He knows it’s a risk, knows it was all a risk, but he feels weirdly relaxed, more than he has in weeks.

Puck sees Carole’s car after twenty minutes, and she pulls up to the curb about twenty feet from Puck, letting Finn out, and Puck doesn’t move until after Carole’s pulled away. He straightens up then, looking at Finn, and waits.

“Hey,” Finn says, looking up and down the sidewalk. “Are we the first ones here?”

“Mmm,” Puck says non-committally, walking over to Finn and handing him his ticket.

"Mike say when he was getting here?" Finn asks, taking the ticket.

Puck shakes his head, walking towards the door. “We should get ourselves a seat.”

Finn nods, and as they walk inside, he says, "Hey, you got a haircut."

“Yeah, I think it looked like a dead squirrel,” Puck says. “You want some popcorn?”

"Sure," Finn says, reaching into his pocket, probably for money.

“I got it,” Puck says. “I’ve got pop and shit in my pockets,” he adds in a quieter tone before standing in line for the popcorn.

"Oh. Cool, thanks," Finn says. "Wonder what's keeping everybody else."

“Uhhh,” Puck says, looking around the theater in a way that could mean he’s looking for people they know. Luckily, the person in front of him gets their food then, and once they have popcorn and are walking to the theater, Puck feels like Finn bailing is less likely. “They’re not coming,” he says.

"Did we both get the day wrong or something?" Finn asks.

“No,” Puck says, drawing out the word. “I told Mike to tell them not to show up.”

"Uh. Why?"

Puck looks at Finn over the top of the extra-large popcorn tub. “Why do you think?”

"Did you want to talk to me again?" Finn guesses. "Though, I guess we can't really talk during a movie." He helps himself to a handful of popcorn from Puck's popcorn tub.

“Dude.” Puck sighs as they climb to the top row of seats and slide toward the middle, which is where they always try to sit. “I bought your ticket. I bought the popcorn.” Puck starts to empty his pockets, handing one of the pops and two things of candy to Finn. “Have some more food. Why do you think?”

"Are you still trying to apologize?" Finn asks.

“Oh for fuck’s sake,” Puck mutters, shaking his head. “I would have sworn you’d been on a date before.”

"A date?" Finn looks startled and a little stupid-confused. "Is this a— oh. It's a date."

“Yeah, that was the general idea,” Puck says, sitting down and opening his pop. “I figured if I said to meet me and only me here, you wouldn’t show up, but see, now I bought your ticket and some popcorn, so maybe you’ll at least watch the movie.”

"Oh," Finn says softly. "So it's a date on purpose. Okay." He takes another handful of popcorn, still looking a little confused.

“Yeah, on purpose.” Puck takes his own handful of popcorn, watching Finn’s face.

"Okay," Finn says again.

“Okay, I’m not going to leave, or okay, cool?”

Finn shrugs. "A little of both, I guess."

Puck thinks that’s probably about as much as he could have hoped for, given everything that’s happened just since school started, and he nods. “Okay. Good.” He grins a little, and it still feels weird, after going so many weeks without feeling like he ever smiled. “Enjoy your popcorn?”

“Yeah. Thanks,” Finn says. His voice sounds kind of strange, but he isn’t trying to get away, so that’s another one Puck’ll put in the win column. Puck decides not to push it with conversation during the remaining few minutes before the previews, and then once the previews start, it gives him a chance to stare at Finn more discreetly than usual.

Puck has told himself—is still telling himself—that if this doesn’t help, if it makes things worse or even makes things stay the same, he’ll get up on Thursday morning and try to move on. He doesn’t know what that would look like, and staring at Finn, he doesn’t really know if he could. Finn’s been his best friend for so long that Puck doesn’t really remember when he didn’t know Finn, and realizing everything else he feels for Finn on top of that is already almost overwhelming. Puck wonders if he’d have to walk away completely to try to get over Finn, and if that would make it even harder.

When the previews end and the main movie—Zombieland—starts, Puck does the old standby trick of reaching for popcorn at the same time as Finn, letting his fingers barely touch Finn’s, just to see what Finn does. Finn’s eyes dart over to Puck, but he doesn’t flinch or yank his hand away. Puck does it a couple more times before he decides he’s really done with popcorn, anyway, and it takes him about five minutes to decide that he might as well do whatever he feels like or wants to do. He moves the popcorn just a little, enough that he can move his hand so that it’s hovering just above Finn’s leg, palm up, and he waits, looking at the screen and not at Finn. Out of the corner of his eye, Puck can see Finn looking around the theater, like he’s trying to figure out if anyone is watching them.

Over a full minute passes before Finn slowly puts his hand over Puck’s, pressing the back of Puck’s hand to Finn’s leg, with Finn’s hand on top of Puck’s. Puck curls his fingers up, around Finn’s hand, and after another minute or two, Finn’s fingers just barely curl around Puck’s hand.

Puck’s not sure what it means, but it’s a better sign than pretty much anything that’s happened for a long time, and he keeps his hand exactly where it is, half-afraid that if he moves, Finn will snatch his hand away or something. The movie is pretty good, at least the parts that Puck’s paying attention to, but in the back of his mind, he knows he has to do something, not just buy popcorn and a movie ticket, and even if they walk somewhere and get dinner, it’s not enough.

That thought keeps him occupied through most of the movie, and as soon as the credits start, before the lights come up, Puck turns to Finn. “Come to the bathroom with me right now,” he says quietly. Finn responds with a confused-looking, wide-eyed nod.

Puck stands up as Finn releases his hand, figuring it was probably too much to hope that Finn’d forget and keep holding his hand down the stairs and out to the bathroom. The bathroom is miraculously empty, though Puck would have found a way to bullshit through that, too, and he half-gestures, half-nudges Finn into one of the two stalls before following him and shutting the door.

“Let me blow you,” Puck whispers in Finn’s ear, and he puts his hands on the wall, bracing himself and keeping himself from pressing against Finn. Finn’s eyes widen even more.

“Puck,” Finn says softly.

“C’mon,” Puck says, still whispering. “Let me do that for you.”

“But I’m not—”

“If you’re not hard, I can take care of that,” Puck interrupts. “And if it’s that I’m a dude, no one’s saying you have to say anything. I’m the one that’s going to have a dick in my mouth, right?”

Finn looks like he’s going to say something else, but then he nods. “Okay.”

“Okay,” Puck repeats, moving his hands to Finn’s jeans, and while he’s pulling the zipper down, he decides to just go for it, kissing Finn as he pulls Finn’s jeans and boxers down, kissing him a little harder as Puck wraps his hand around Finn’s dick. It feels good, better than Puck even expected, to be kissing Finn and to stroke his dick slowly. Puck had decided on offering a blow job partially because he figured it was the way to put the most focus on what Finn would get from it and the least on what Puck would get, but as he slowly moves his hand on Finn’s dick, he feels more eager than he expected, and the result is Puck running his tongue over Finn’s lips.

Finn’s lips part with a pretty confused-sounding whimper, but it’s still a whimper, and Finn’s not pulling away. Puck pushes his tongue into Finn’s mouth and decides that if he for some reason has to tell people he’s full-gay and not just half-gay in order to keep kissing Finn, well, fine, he’ll do that, because he wants to kiss Finn more than just in the movie theater bathroom.

Finn’s dick is hard in Puck’s hand, and Puck tightens his hand a little, just to see what Finn does. Finn doesn’t pull away, so instead he says “Mmmfohshit” directly into Puck’s mouth.

Puck laughs a little, his lips still on Finn’s, and he strokes Finn’s dick a few more times before he pulls away enough to talk. “Should I blow you now?” he asks almost conversationally, moving his hand away from Finn’s dick.

“If you want to,” Finn says, in this breathy voice.

Puck laughs again and nods, and without saying anything else, he drops down in front of Finn. He stares at Finn’s dick for a few seconds without touching it, and then licks the tip, almost experimentally. Part of him was afraid it would be gross or taste bad or something, and then he’d have to figure out an excuse or keep going anyway, but it doesn’t, and he licks the tip a second time.

Finn lets out a high-pitched whine, and both his palms smack against the wall, one on either side of him. Puck pulls back and looks up at Finn, whose mouth is forming an ‘O’, and Puck laughs a little. “Shhh,” he says. “Just in case someone comes in.”

Finn’s hands smack against the wall again, and he bites down on his lower lip as he nods, his eyes widening even more as he stares down at Puck. Puck grins a little and puts his mouth back on Finn’s dick, taking the tip of it into his mouth and then pausing, looking up at Finn again. Finn is staring back at him, looking mostly awed and a little bit terrified, and Puck drops his eyes back to Finn’s dick before sliding his lips further down it.

Puck feels kind of awed and slightly terrified, too, but mostly a little surprised at how much he’s enjoying himself, and he closes his eyes as he puts one hand around the base of Finn’s dick at the same time he slides down as far as he thinks he can. Even with his teeth in his lower lip, Finn moans loudly, probably louder than is a good idea, given the setting. His hands hit the wall again. Puck reaches up with his free hand, grabbing one of Finn’s hands. He doesn’t know what to do with it, but the banging on the wall is really likely to get them noticed, and Puck really doesn’t want to be interrupted, so he just holds it still in mid-air while he moves his mouth on Finn.

Their fingers interlace, Finn’s hand holding tightly onto Puck, and after what feels like just a second or two, Finn’s other hand lands on Puck’s head, almost like their holding hands gave Finn permission to put one hand on Puck. Puck slides his mouth a little faster and manages to go down just a little bit more before having to pull back, and he keeps going, his body rocking a little with each movement.

Puck hears someone come into the bathroom to pee, but he keeps moving his mouth and head and squeezes Finn’s hand just enough that he hopes Finn understands Puck has no intention of stopping. The peeing guy leaves, and Puck squeezes Finn’s hand again, his hand and mouth moving on Finn’s dick. The hand in Puck’s hair tightens, tugging a little, and Finn makes another whining noise. Puck tries to go even faster and take more of Finn into his mouth, and he opens his eyes to look at Finn’s flushed face and almost glassy-eyed stare.

As soon as their eyes meet, Finn’s mouths goes back into the ‘O’ shape, and he starts repeating, “Oh, oh, oh!” Then Finn is coming in Puck’s mouth, and Puck coughs and chokes just a little before he gets the hang of it, sucking and swallowing around Finn until he lets Finn’s dick fall gently from his mouth. Puck wipes his mouth and sits back on his heels, looking between Finn’s face and Finn’s dick a few times before he stands up.

Puck realizes as he stands up and starts to pull Finn’s boxers back up that he himself is hard, a lot harder than he expected from giving a blow job, and he bites back a moan when his hand accidentally brushes against it as he pulls up Finn’s jeans.

“You good?” Puck says softly.

Finn nods, his eyes still wide and surprised. “Yeah,” he says. “Yeah, I’m good.”

Puck leans in, despite part of his brain telling him not to, and kisses Finn again, not as hard as before. “I think… I think we should go back to your house or mine,” he says finally, his voice still soft.

“Yeah,” Finn agrees. “Mine or yours.”

“Which one are you more comfortable with?” Puck says, listening long enough to decide no one else is in the bathroom, and he unlocks the stall door. Finn shrugs, looking sort of spaced out and adorably dopey. Puck’s pretty sure he wants to see that look again, but first he has to figure out where to take them once they leave the movie theater.

The advantage to Puck’s house is that he has that lube stashed there, but Puck figures that’s possibly a disadvantage, too, plus he doesn’t know if Finn’s not liking it extends to not liking the bed or even the room, so just to be safe, Puck thinks they should probably go back to Finn’s house.

“Why don’t you call your mom and have her pick us up?” Puck says.

“Okay,” Finn says. He pulls out his phone and calls Carole to ask for her to pick them up, all without losing the dopey, spacey look. Once he’s tucked the phone back in his pocket, he smiles at Puck almost shyly. “Hey.”

Puck grins in response. “Hey yourself.” He pauses as they walk outside of the theater and stand on the sidewalk. “Good…” Puck pauses as he tries to decide whether to stick with ‘movie’ or be more honest. “Date?” he finishes. “So far?”

“Yeah,” Finn says, nodding. He doesn’t look directly at Puck, but he keeps cutting his eyes in Puck’s direction, smiling the shy smile every time. Puck thinks it’s too bad that they’re standing on a sidewalk in Lima and the world is what it is, because it feels like he should be touching Finn still, somehow, either hands or arms or kissing, but instead they’re standing next to each, sneaking glances.

“Good,” Puck says, grinning a little more widely, and now he’s pretty sure he really hasn’t had that particular expression on his face in months. Finn’s return smile gets bigger every time he looks over at Puck. Neither of them says anything else while they wait on Carole, but they keep trading grins back and forth, and each time their smiles get a little bigger.

Puck couldn’t really say how long it takes for Carole to get there, and she pulls up to the curb near them and waves. Puck nods at her as they climb in, and Carole smiles briefly at him before turning to Finn.

“Finn, sweetie, are you okay?”

“Yeah,” Finn says, his eyes darting over to Puck. “Yeah, I’m okay.”

“You look a little flushed.” Carole puts her hand on Finn’s forehead, and Puck covers his grin. “Hmm, you don’t feel too warm. If you’re sure you’re okay?”

“I’m fine, Mom, geez,” Finn says, jerking his head away from Carole’s hand.

“Okay, okay,” Carole grumbles good-naturedly, and she pulls away from the movie theater. Puck stares at his hand, and at Finn’s hand, and he doesn’t reach for it even though he wants to, and even though he’s starting to think that maybe, just maybe, Finn might even want him to. Finn’s hand shifts, and while he doesn’t take Pucks hand, he does move his own hand so the backs of his fingers are bumping against the backs of Puck’s. Puck grins, and he carefully does not look at Finn or Carole either one, because he’s pretty sure his face would give something away. Instead, he leaves his hand exactly where it is the rest of the drive to Finn’s, the same grin on his face.

 

When they get back to Finn’s house, he tells his mom that he and Puck are going up to his room, and then immediately heads up the stairs, Puck right behind him. As soon as they’re both in Finn’s room, he shuts the door and locks it, leaning against it as he smiles at Puck, thinking about how Puck’s mouth had looked around his dick at the movie theater.

“Hey,” Finn says.

“Hey,” Puck echoes. “What’re you thinking?”

“That felt really awesome,” Finn says.

Puck grins, looking proud. “Yeah? Anything else?”

“Yeah,” Finn admits. “I feel a little scared.”

“Yeah?” Puck reaches for Finn’s hand, holding it again. “Tell me.”

“I didn’t want it to be like this. I didn’t want me to be like this,” Finn says. He runs his thumb across the back of Puck’s thumb.

“Yeah. Believe me, I know what you mean,” Puck says, and he pulls on Finn’s hand, taking a step towards the bed. “I feel a lot better about it now than I did earlier, though.”

“Yeah?”

“I didn’t really expect to like sucking your dick,” Puck says with a little shrug, and he sits down on the edge of Finn’s bed. “But I did. So everything’s… matchy, I guess.”

“Matchy?” Finn asks, sitting down next to Puck, their hands still holding onto each other’s.

“I like you. I like your dick. I like kissing you.” Puck shrugs and doesn’t quite look at Finn, almost looking past him. “None of it’s different from the other stuff.”

Finn nods. “I didn’t think I was gonna like it. I didn’t want to like it.” He sighs and holds Puck’s hand harder. “I do like it, though. I like you.”

“Yeah?” Puck says, his voice sounding almost eager.

“Yeah,” Finn says. “It’s weird, because I’ve known you forever, and it all feels different now.”

“I don’t remember not knowing you,” Puck says, and he shifts on the bed, still holding Finn’s hand but sitting cross-legged and facing towards Finn. “And I want you, yeah, but like…” Puck trails off, like he either can’t decide how to say it or maybe is afraid of sounding too sappy. “I need you, too,” he finally says.

“I kinda don’t know what to do without you,” Finn confesses. “The past few weeks have been really weird and awful.”

“Yeah,” Puck says, looking sad for a few moments before he looks up at Finn. “Can I kiss you again?”

Finn nods. “Yeah, that would be cool.”

Puck grins a little and puts his free hand on Finn’s neck. “Just ‘cool’?” he says, in the voice he used to use when he’d flirt with the Cheerios.

“Good,” Finn says. “It would be good.”

“Yeah,” Puck agrees, and he pulls Finn towards him as he leans in, bringing their lips together and starting to open his lips under Finn’s. Finn kisses back, noticing how different Puck’s lips are from Quinn’s, how Finn can feel the light scrape of stubble on Puck’s face.

Puck keeps holding Finn’s hand, squeezing it a little, and his other hand moves up Finn’s neck, cupping Finn’s cheek as Puck deepens the kiss, most of his weight leaning into it. The little voice in Finn’s head whispers you’re kissing a dude! but Finn decides not to listen to that voice, because that voice is dumb. Puck leans back, pulling Finn with him, and finally ends up on his back, still kissing Finn.

Finn does have a brief moment of panic, because this is so much more personal than the blowjob at the movies, or even the sex at Puck’s, but it’s Puck. Somehow, that makes it okay. Finn slides one arm under Puck to hold him closer, shifting to the side so he can fit one leg between Puck’s legs. Puck seems to like that, pressing against Finn and kissing him harder, his tongue pushing into Finn’s mouth. Puck moves his hand from Finn’s cheek to the back of Finn’s head, his fingers tugging a little at Finn’s hair.

They keep making out—only making out—for a long time, like forty-five minutes or an hour, maybe. Finn’s the one who has to take a break, rolling to the side so his dick isn’t pressed against Puck, because he doesn’t really want to come in his jeans from making out. That seems like something Puck might actually tease him about.

“Sorry,” Finn says. “I needed a break so, uh.” He smiles at Puck and glances down the front of his own jeans.

“We’re at your house,” Puck says, and he puts his hand over Finn’s dick. “You could just change. Or… you want me to blow you again?”

“I just— Quinn didn’t like it when I did that,” Finn tries to explain. “She said I had no self-control. I’m trying, though!”

Puck raises his eyebrows. “Do I look like Quinn?” he says jokingly. “It’s cool.”

“Anyway, I didn’t want to yet,” Finn says. He puts his hand flat on Puck’s chest and runs it down to his stomach.

“Yeah?” Puck says, mirroring Finn’s movement. “What did you want?”

“Can I— would you take off your shirt?”

Puck looks a little surprised, but he sits up long enough to remove his shirt, then lies back down. “You going to take yours off now?”

Finn nods and pulls his shirt over his head. He lies down next to Puck, propped up on one arm, and puts his other hand back on Puck’s stomach. “This is okay?” he asks.

“Yeah, it’s definitely okay,” Puck says, and he moves his fingertips in big, lazy circles around Finn’s chest. “It’s good to look.” Puck looks sheepish for a moment. “I tried not to, after I figured it out. In the locker room or whatever, you know?”

“Yeah,” Finn says, nodding again. He spreads his hand out on Puck’s stomach, feeling how silky and warm Puck’s skin is. “The touching part is nice, too.”

“Yeah, it is,” Puck says, and he slides his other hand, palm up, down Finn’s side. “My offer still stands.”

“Huh? What offer?”

“If you want me to blow you again.”

“Oh. Yeah, that feels really awesome,” Finn says, “but, I kinda…”

“Kinda what?” Puck raises his eyebrows again, looking curious but not impatient.

“I kinda wanted to touch you for a little while, if that’s okay,” Finn says, ducking his head as he feels himself blushing. “I didn’t ever really get to.”

“Uh, yeah, that’s okay,” Puck says, nodding, and he reaches for Finn, pulling his head up again and kissing him. “That’s definitely okay.”

“Cool,” Finn says. His runs his hand over Puck’s chest, along the top of one shoulder, then back down to his stomach, where he dips his thumb below the waistband of Puck’s jeans. “Is it cool if I unzip your jeans?”

Puck nods. “Yeah,” he says, sounding a little breathless.

Finn grabs the front of Puck’s jeans and pops the button open, then unzips them quickly, slipping his fingers inside to press against Puck’s dick, because Puck really does go commando most of the time. Finn’s breath catches a little, and he looks at Puck’s face, eyebrows raised.

“I don’t know what you like,” Finn says.

“This is pretty good,” Puck says with a grin, but it’s his hiding-something grin, the one that means he really does give a shit about something. “Just… try something. We’ve got all night.”

“Okay.” Finn shoves his hand farther into Puck’s jeans, enough that he can mostly cup his hand around Puck’s dick. Puck is hard enough that Finn doesn’t feel so bad about almost coming in his pants a little while ago, and Finn slowly strokes upward.

“Yeah, that’s good,” Puck says, and his eyes dart between Finn’s face and Finn’s hand. Even though he’s hard, he seems to relax a little, his body leaning towards Finn’s, and he brings up both hands to Finn’s head, holding it and kissing Finn again. Finn tries to wiggle Puck’s jeans off more without actually taking his hand off Puck’s dick, stroking him awkwardly while tugging down on the jeans with his thumb.

Puck releases Finn’s head, still kissing him, and reaches for his own jeans, pushing them down far enough that he can kick them off the rest of the way, and then Puck’s hands are back on Finn’s chest, drawing big circles again while they kiss. Finn wraps his hand completely around Puck’s dick and starts jerking him off in about the same way he’d jerk himself off, just with a slightly more awkward angle.

“Do you like it like that, or is there some other way?” Finn asks.

“I’m good,” Puck says, sounding more breathless than before. “I didn’t really think about how big your hands are. Lucky me.”

Finn laughs and keep stroking Puck’s cock, probably a little roughly, and maybe too fast, but he can’t make himself go slower or easier. “This is awesome,” he says softly. “I didn’t realize it would be so awesome.”

“Yeah,” Puck agrees, his palm flattening against Finn’s chest. “We should just keep doing this.”

“Yeah, we can do this all night,” Finn says.

“Good,” Puck says, and he starts kissing Finn again, but he kisses Finn’s neck and collarbone instead of Finn’s mouth, his hands moving lower, just above the waistband of Finn’s jeans. Finn nods, not breaking the kiss, and jerks Puck off a little faster.

Puck unfastens Finn’s jeans and pushes them and Finn’s boxers down just enough for Puck’s hand to wrap around Finn’s dick. Puck pushes into Finn’s hand just a little more at the same time he starts stroking Finn, and he moves one leg to wrap around Finn’s legs, letting out a little moan. Finn kisses him harder in response, pushing his tongue into Puck’s mouth while they both jerk each other off, their hands moving fast and hard.

It only takes a few minutes of Puck’s hand on him before Finn realizes he’s already about to come. He whines into Puck’s mouth, moving his hips forward to let Puck know how close he is. Puck’s only response is to tighten his hand a little, still kissing Finn and still pushing his own dick into Finn’s hand. Finn comes just a couple of strokes later, feeling Puck’s hand get slick as it moves.

Puck whispers something into Finn’s mouth, still kissing him, and his hips jerk a few times before he comes, too, breaking away from the kiss with another moan, and Puck rolls onto his back, his head turned toward Finn and his hand still loosely wrapped around Finn’s dick. Finn stops moving his hand, but doesn’t pull it out of Puck’s jeans, and he doesn’t roll away from Puck. Instead, he dips his head down to kiss the side of Puck’s neck.

“So that was okay?” Finn asks.

“Yeah, that was definitely okay,” Puck says, sounding almost tipsy. He lets go of Finn’s dick and brings his hand up to his mouth, licking at it tentatively. “Really, really okay.”

“Cool,” Finn says. “It was really, really okay for me, too.”

Puck grins, and this time it’s the grin that only a few people ever see. “Good.” He licks at his hand a few more times, then wipes it on the bed behind him. “We can wash your sheets in the morning or something,” he says, and he rolls a little closer to Finn. He looks like he has something he wants to say, or maybe just something he needs to say.

“What?” Finn asks. “What’re you thinking about?”

Puck looks amused for a few seconds. “Can’t fool you,” he mutters. “So… I was thinking about something. The past few days.”

“Yeah?”

“I think maybe if we decide to do anymore, you know. Buttsex. Maybe you should do the fucking for awhile.”

“Oh yeah?” Finn asks, frowning slightly. “You didn’t like it? I know I kinda wasn’t really into it, and that probably sucked.”

“I don’t want to hurt you again,” Puck says, looking almost embarassed. “And I know it had to, and I guess I’d just rather wait awhile.”

“You didn’t mean to hurt me, though,” Finn says.

“But I still did,” Puck says, not looking directly at Finn. “I’m not saying, like, forever. Just at first or something.”

“Okay,” Finn says. “If that’s what you want. I was thinking, though. Maybe we could just wait on that for a while. We could keep doing this like we did tonight, ’cause we both really liked that, right?”

“Yeah.” Puck looks up again, grinning a little. “As long as you’ll still let me blow you sometimes, too.”

“Yeah, duh,” Finn says. “And maybe… maybe I could blow you, too.”

“If you want to, sure,” Puck says, his grin getting a little bigger.

“Yeah, I want to,” Finn says.

“Okay. Cool.” Puck closes his eyes, looking like a pleased cat, and he presses up against Finn. “I’m gonna say it,” he mumbles against Finn’s chest. “If you want to stop me.”

“Say what?” Finn asks softly. He puts his arms around Puck. “You can say whatever you need to say.”

“I love you,” Puck says, his face still pressed against Finn’s chest and his eyes still closed. This time, it doesn’t make Finn feel confused or weird or anything like that. It just feels right.

“Yeah,” Finn says. “I think I love you, too.”

“Yeah?” Puck grins again, and a few seconds pass. “I am pretty lovable.”

“Yeah, I don’t know if I’d go that far,” Finn says, poking Puck in the side a little to tickle him.

“Hey!” Puck says, scootching a little, and he retaliates with his own hand on Finn’s stomach. “I’m extremely lovable.”

“Oh yeah, totally,” Finn agrees, tickling Puck a little more, then pulling him close again. “There’s still a lot of stuff to figure out.”

Puck sighs a little and nods. “Yeah. I know. I didn’t really think about people scrutinizing everyone I know after Friday.”

“Yeah, that’s one thing,” Finn says. “And there’s the thing with Quinn, too. We’ve got to to figure out what we’re doing about all of that.”

“Yeah.” Puck is quiet for a long time before he starts talking again. “I guess everyone says it’s Quinn’s decision, what to do, but I looked up a few things. Figure I’ll at least make sure I’m listed as the father. Go from there.”

Finn nods. “You know I’ve got your back, no matter what, right? After all of this, I’m always gonna have your back.”

“I know,” Puck says seriously, and then he grins. “You can have more than just my back, you know.” He laughs for a moment before looking serious again. “I know. We’ll figure it all out, though.”

“Yeah, we will,” Finn says.

Puck closes his eyes again, curling up against Finn. “We made it this far,” he says with a snort. “Rest of it should be a piece of cake.”

“Definitely,” Finn says, closing his eyes, too. “Cake."

 

Just like Puck thought, things are different on Thursday morning. He doesn’t stare at Finn from his locker, looking down the hall. Instead, the two of them arrive at school at the same time, when Carole drops them off, and Puck glances at Finn as Carole drives off. They could walk in on their own, they could walk in together, or they could walk in together, and while Puck’s going over all of that in his mind, Finn looks over at him. Finn looks like he’s about to roll his eyes, but he’s smiling, and he reaches between them and takes Puck’s hand before starting to walk into the school.

There’s some glances and some weird looks, but nothing more than Puck’s been getting since Friday, and he thinks he even hears someone saying something about how they knew it and their friend owed them money. Good for them, Puck guesses, and he and Finn walk on, stopping at one locker and then the other. While they’re walking to first period, Quinn starts heading towards them, but she stops in her tracks at least fifteen feet away. She stares at their hands, then at the two of them, looking utterly confused and then gobsmacked before she wheels around and heads back the way she came.

Puck figures that might come in handy, if she can be confused for at least a few months, but he doesn’t say anything, just squeezes Finn’s hand as the two of them keep walking. Puck figures there will be a lot more scenes like that, except from Mike, and Puck decides he and Finn should probably send Mike a pizza or something.

By the time school lets out for winter break, Puck knows he was right – surviving the first part of sophomore year was the hard part. Yeah, there’s still more to figure out with Quinn and the baby, which is apparently a girl, and not just what a good name is. He and Finn argue about Drizzle versus Jackie Daniels, but Puck knows probably neither of those will be a good name in the end. And there have been a few people who are jackasses about Puck and Finn being together, but like Finn says, he’s got Puck’s back, and Puck has Finn’s back.

Plus, they both shower daily again.