Most of the time, the glee club was smart enough to stay out of the spats that Kurt and Blaine had. In the beginning, they were far and few between, but they had become increasingly common and more volatile. Normally the two would fume for a few days, make up, and things would be ok for another few days or a week, and then something would set one of them off again, and the cycle would repeat itself. Artie once joked they were a true glee couple now, they fought so frequently.
At first, Puck thought it was funny to watch. One or both of them would get angry and pout and fuss for the rest of the meeting, all while avoiding each other, only to be seemingly happy together a few days later. As funny as he thought it was in the beginning, it was beginning to grate on his nerves now. Sure, Kurt could be a real bitch when he wanted to be, but Blaine for all his supposed dapperness was no better. He could find just the right spot to pick at, and passive-aggressively pick at it until Kurt all but broke.
Puck didn’t find that funny at all.
When all that shit was going down with Karofsky, Puck had meant it when he said Kurt was his boy. If it hadn’t been for the threat of going back to juvie hanging over his head, he would have been leading the charge to get him to back the hell off. Sure he had been a world-class douche, and yeah he had been responsible for throwing Kurt in the trash and nailing his lawn furniture to his roof, but after glee things changed. Besides, what he did didn’t seem anywhere near as bad as what Karofsky had been doing.
He would never actually admit to it, but he kinda liked Kurt now. He had treated him no better and no worse when all the crap with Finn and Quinn had gone down, he treated him with the same amount of distain he always had. And while sure, being treated with distain wasn’t exactly ideal; it was the same treatment he’d always received from the other boy. He appreciated that, even if he would never actually verbalize it.
When he walked into Glee to see Kurt and Blaine standing off to one side in their ‘arguing pose’ as Quinn had dubbed it, Puck barely suppressed the urge to roll his eyes. He was able to ignore them for about five minutes. It wasn’t until, Blaine’s voice got progressively louder that he finally turned with the rest of the club to see what the problem was this time.
“You don’t keep secrets?” Blaine laughed incredulously and Kurt was sporting that I’ll cut a bitch look, Puck figured he picked up from Aretha…or maybe she picked it up from him, he wasn’t exactly sure. Blaine continued talking before Kurt had a chance to interject. “So, you must have told the others about what really went down with Karofsky then.” Kurt goes sheet white and Puck realizes that everyone is starting to exchange glances with each other and fidget.
“You must have told them all about how he kissed you in the locker room, and then threatened to kill you for it. That he continued to harass you in the halls and that’s why you really transferred.” Blaine flailed his arms a little in a wild gesture that Puck couldn’t quite figure out. He kinda looked like he was trying to stay upright on the edge of a cliff or something. “If you don’t keep secrets, you must have told them that it wasn’t actually me who sent you all that Valentine’s Day stuff, but Karofsky, who then proceeded to profess his love for you, and when you didn’t reciprocate it, he tried to-“
“Shut up!” Santana was suddenly there, pushing Blaine backwards and standing in front of Kurt, who looked very pale and Puck had a very real fear he might throw up, which be totally uncool, because Puck kinda has a thing about barf.
“What the hell Kurt!” Finn shouted, and Blaine flinched like he just realized what he let out. He knew the others hadn’t known, and he opened his big mouth anyway. The others began talking over one another trying to find out just what exactly was going on. Once the initial chaos settled down, they waited for Kurt to say something, and when he wasn’t forthcoming, the others seemed to silently pick Mercedes to be their leader for this.
“Tell us the truth.” Mercedes demanded and Kurt sighed before meeting their eyes with tired wary ones of his own.
“It’s all true.” He said simply and the group exploded into chaos again, demanding explanations and crying out their betrayals. How could he not tell them? They were his friends! They tried to protect him! Kurt was shrinking in on himself. Puck wondered how the others expected him to answer if they wouldn’t shut the hell up. He was about to voice this when Santana spoke up, loud enough and angry enough that the others fell silent.
“What are you people blind?” Santana snapped, and it’s then Puck realized she had snaked a hand behind her to clutch at Kurt’s wrist. “You all waited until it got so bad he had to transfer schools, don’t lay it all on him that you were his friends, and you tried to protect him. Yeah you tried to protect him at the very end, when it was too late! Where was all your friendship when he was grasping at straws and having to go to another town to have one person who would listen to him?!”
“Like you helped at all!” Rachel protested and Santana glared at her.
“I didn’t help when he really needed it no, but I tried to protect him and Karofsky when Kurt came back. I knew Kurt was having problems, but he and I have never been particularly close friends. You people were supposed to be! I figured out that Karofsky was gay, and I put two and two together. We worked together; we were each other’s beards. When I saw a chance to get Kurt back, I jumped on it, and it wasn’t just because I thought it would get me prom votes…I kinda missed the little diva. You were more upset that he bailed on the club, not that he was trying to get somewhere safe. Or did you forget about that meeting long bitch fit?” Santana’s chest was heaving as she exploded with anger. Really, were the others really so blind?
“Kurt, I’m sorry…I shouldn’t have-“ Blaine said, looking like he wished more than anything he could take it back.
“Damn right you shouldn’t have!” Santana snarled, auntie snix had been unleashed and she was far from finished with her verbal tirade. “Everyone knew that Karofsky tried to kill himself because of what was going on because people found out he was gay, they were shocked, of course they were! They didn’t know about Kurt though, and you just outed that! Are you going to make a habit of blurting out information that isn’t yours to share?”
“We were arguing and it just came out!” Blaine protested.
“Bullshit, you wanted to hurt me, and you knew this would be the best way to do it.” Kurt corrected and Blaine was silent, somewhat shocked hearing Kurt swear.
“You shouldn’t have kept this from us.” Finn yelled, kicking at a chair. “I tried to protect you!”
“No you didn’t.” Kurt’s voice was flat and the movement in the room stilled, even Santana whose mouth was beginning to creak open like the fucking pit of doom snapped shut.
“How can you say that?” Rachel demanded, sounding shrill, like she just couldn’t believe that Kurt would not fully believe that Finn had done everything within his power to protect him, even though she knew very well that he had not taken part of the brawl in the locker room.
“Because he was too busy trying to protect his reputation.” Kurt replied not even bothering to meet Rachel’s eyes; instead he had taken to watching his nails. He was trying to play it off as if the entire scene was boring him, but Puck could see how his hand was trembling. “I never expected any of you to fight my battles and I certainly didn’t think any of you would actually try. When you did actually try it was when Mr. Schue started to notice.”
“That’s not true!” Artie protested and Kurt set him with a look that silenced him.
“You and Puck where in the hallway behind me when Karofsky shoulder checked me so hard into a locker I ended up on the floor and you didn’t even pause to see if I was okay, you both just kept on going. I appreciate that you took part of the locker room fight trying to defend me, but I said it then and I’ll say it now, it wasn’t your problem. I wasn’t going to out Karofsky, even though he was tormenting me, I wasn’t going to do that to him. So yes, I am thankful you tried to stand up for me, but by that point it almost didn’t even matter anymore.”
Puck suddenly felt like an asshole, because as much as he wanted to protest that he never did that, he remembered that. He was still dealing with his fallout from juvie and Artie was trying to be his life coach or something and they had barely even spared a glance towards Kurt when Karofsky had creamed him into a locker. Wait, so all that, it was all because Karofsky had a crush on Kurt? He had heard of pulling pigtails and all, but that was taking it to the extreme.
“That doesn’t make it ok!” Rachel said, and Santana almost laughed when she stomped her foot. “The truth is you lied to us! You didn’t tell us what was going on, and you didn’t even talk to us before you transferred schools! You let the boys stand up for you!”
“First of all, that was your idea.” Quinn put in giving Rachel a side eye. “Secondly, how did he lie to you? Did you ask him if Karofsky kissed him in the locker room and he said no? If you didn’t ask him, then how did he lie?”
“He didn’t tell Burt about it either! When his dad found out he wanted to know what else and Kurt just said he threatened to kill him!” Finn protested.
“I told him all of it that night.” Kurt said and Finn snapped his mouth shut. “I told him and he understood that I didn’t want to out him, he wasn’t happy about it, but he understood. That’s when he started to see what he could do to transfer me to Dalton.”
“I agree with Rachel.” Mercedes said, giving Kurt a cold look. “You should have told us what was going on. We’re supposed to be friends.”
“Oh please,” Santana snorted. “You two haven’t been friends since you kept shoving god down his throat when his dad almost died!”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about! I was only trying to help!” Mercedes shot back. She turned her ire back on Kurt. “We all were trying to help then, and we were trying to help with Karofsky and you just don’t let us!”
“You weren’t trying to help me when my dad had his heart attack; you were trying to convert me.” Kurt said softly and Mercedes nostrils flared in irritation.
“That isn’t true! We were trying to help you, you just wouldn’t let us!”
“Really, you all were so helpful? Where did I stay when my Dad was in the hospital?”
“What?” Mike asked, speaking up for the first time looking a little alarmed.
“If you all were so very helpful, where was I staying during that time?”
“I would assume with a relative, or Finn’s mother.” Mercedes said, like she couldn’t quite figure out why he was bringing it up.
“I thought he was staying with you.” Finn said glancing at Mercedes and the two glanced back at Kurt.
“He stayed with me.” Brittany spoke up for the first time, finger twisting into her hair. “He was home by himself for the first few days but my mom works at the hospital and said no sir! She had my dad go get him and bring him to our house. Lord Tubbington loves him.”
“Wait a second, why didn’t you tell us you were staying by yourself?!” Tina demanded sounding upset and Kurt sighed.
“And just when was I supposed to? Between Finn’s fits about not being informed right away or you all singing about a God I don’t believe in? As soon as you found out I didn’t believe what you did and I did not appreciate it being shoved down my throat, you turned on me.”
“That’s just another thing you kept from us!” Rachel yelled trying to be heard over the other noise in the room.
“She’s right you know,” Tina said shaking her head. “No matter what was happening, you should have told us what was going on.”
“No one is even going to want to try and help you anymore; you just won’t admit anything is wrong, so why should we be bothered?” Rachel asked snottily.
“Getting our football player boyfriends to pick a fight with Karofsky in the locker room isn’t exactly helping him.” Quinn pointed out. “And I might add your boyfriend, Kurt’s brother couldn’t even be bothered to try and help. “
“It wasn’t like that!” Finn yelled.
“What was it like then? We all know you weren’t out on the field.” Puck spoke up. “Why exactly is everyone so pissed? It isn’t like Hummel was demanding we go fight his battles and protect him. You’re mad that he wasn’t constantly whining about it?”
“He didn’t try to get help!” Artie protested. “It’s not like he tells anyone anything!”
“He told Blaine.” Quinn replied motioning towards him. “Turns out it was a mistake to confide in him yes, but he did reach out to someone.”
“So he could talk to someone he just met, but he couldn’t talk to us.” Finn replied sourly.
“Like you ever listen anyway,” Puck said rolling his eyes. “Seriously, I’m probably like the last guy Hummel would tell anything too, but even I’m not stupid enough not to see that as much as this clubs claims to be a family and be there for one another, we do a real piss poor job of actually following through. Look how quick you’ve turned on him now.”
“Like you’ve ever done anything other than make his life a living hell!” Finn shot back.
“Ok, that’s enough.” Santana said and she looked back at Kurt who looked like someone let all the air out of his sails. “Let’s go.”
“Before I go, I just have to wonder… if you’re this pissed now, over my supposed secret keeping, I have to wonder just how willing you’d be to believe me if I told you that Karofsky kissed me. I mean I brought it on myself, right Finn?” He sneered before letting Santana lead him out of the room, Brittany and Quinn on their heels.
“You know, Puck is right. When I was having my problems with my family, Quinn and Kurt were there for me, and all you guys could do was accuse them of cheating on their significant others. Not much support there. You only let up after I told you what was going on, and to my knowledge you never apologized to either of them.”
“We didn’t mean it like that.” Rachel protested again and Blaine shook his head.
“You called me and told me about it.” Blaine pointed out.
“You both just saw what you wanted to see. Apparently it was ok for you two to spy on us in a van together, but the second you saw Quinn or Kurt with me, it was automatically cheating.” Sam said and Rachel’s mouth opened and closed a few times before she made a huffy noise.
“I still don’t understand why everyone is so pissed.” Puck said rolling his eyes and looking towards the door. “Whatever, since it looks like we won’t actually be doing anything today, I’ve got stuff to do.” Puck breezed out of the room assuming things would be evened out by the next meeting.
Puck was wrong.
Things had not blown over by the time the next meeting rolled around. In fact, when Glee did come around, Puck noticed the divide immediately. Kurt was sitting alone in the far corner while Rachel, Finn, Artie, Tina, Mike, and Blaine sat on the other. When Quinn and Sam came in, chatting about their last class, they exchanged a glance before seating themselves roughly in-between the two groups. When Santana and Brittany finally arrived, they didn’t even hesitate before going to join Kurt. The battle lines had been drawn, and it only took a few moments to decide that Puck was Team Kurt. He threw himself down in the chair next to Kurt, and made himself comfortable, stretching an arm across the back of Kurt’s chair.
“Dude,” Puck said watching the others. “Is this like a civil war or something?”
“More like world war three.” Santana put in. “Quinn and Sam are Switzerland.”
“Long live the Swiss.” Quinn replied, without bothering to look at them.
“I like Swiss cheese.” Brittany commented cheerily, and Kurt couldn’t help but smile weakly at her. When Mr. Schue entered, he seemed to notice the divide but didn’t mention it. Instead he let the class progress into the normal Finn and Rachel love fest and Puck quickly lost interest. Instead he noticed how quickly people who were supposed to be Kurt’s friends had turned on him so brutally. Blaine had told them a lot of heavy stuff and instead of confronting or getting angry with Blaine; they had all turned on Kurt.
Puck thought it was bullshit.
Once the class was over, Puck watched as the other half of the room breezed past them giving Kurt varying disdainful looks, or ignoring Kurt completely. He heard him sigh and watched as he exchanged a glance with Santana. It wasn’t until Sam stopped by next to them; giving Kurt’s shoulder an encouraging squeeze that Puck realized how much the others really had abandoned Kurt.
“Sorry Kurt, I’ll try talking to them if you like.” He offered, when Kurt shook his head in the negative but thanked him anyway, Puck frowned and watched as Santana exchanged a look with Brittany before speaking.
“We’ll see you tomorrow.” Santana said and Kurt nodded with a small smile. Santana shot Puck a look and he raised his eyebrow before the two swept from the room. He wasn’t sure how Santana had this power over him, but she did. Without asking, Puck waited until Kurt left and followed him out. They got to the parking lot just in time to watch Finn pull out. Puck looked around for Kurt’s navigator and frowned when it wasn’t there.
“Where’s your car?” Puck asked and Kurt sighed.
“Finn was my ride.”
“Wow that was a real dick move.” Puck said frowning.
“Yeah, well he’s been kind of pissy since he found out about everything. I took to hiding out in my room to avoid him last night. Carole must have taken pity, because she even let me eat dinner there.” Kurt said with a shrug. “I better start walking, it’s supposed to rain this evening.” He adjusted the strap of his bag and headed across the parking lot, glancing at Puck when he fell into step beside him.
“I should walk you home. The way things are going you’ll be jumped on your way home and no one will bother to look for you until tomorrow.” He wished he hadn’t said it, and Kurt looked at him for a moment before he shrugged.
“Probably,” He said mildly and Puck felt even guiltier. He walked Kurt all the way to his home in silence, and when Kurt thanked him, he tried to wave it off. Puck wasn’t sure why but something about how the majority of the glee club turned on him bothered him more than it should. He and Kurt had never been friends; they were acquaintances at best. Still, Puck walked Kurt home in silence, because if nothing else he could at least do that.
The next few days were rather unbearable. Kurt was subjected to rude remarks from people who he once considered to be his friends. He thought he and Rachel had actually become good friends, but she turned on him so quickly! Santana had made a point when she said that he and Mercedes hadn’t actually been friends in a long time. She was his best friend once, but when he really needed her she was more concerned with his belief system than what he might need.
She had taken him to church, something he had not wanted nor needed, but he had been so appreciative that she tried that he accepted. It seemed so silly to him now, that after everything he just needed someone to help him and he settled for the small offer that Mercedes made him. Things had never really been the same between them after that. Oh sure, they tried to maintain a friendship, but perhaps they had just outgrown each other. Or maybe they saw each other clearly for the first time and didn’t like what they saw.
If it hadn’t been for the fact that Brittany’s mother was one of his father’s nurses he probably would have continued staying alone in the house. He would have struggled to keep the shop going, and keep the bills paid, and pretend he slept. The fact that no one bothered to ask him where he was staying still bothered him. Oh sure they sent emails and texts and calls to find out how his dad was doing, but very few of them asked what they could do for him.
In fact, no one except Brittany’s family had asked what he needed.
When Glee rolled around, he knew it was going to be bad and took a moment to brace himself before entering the room. He didn’t even bother to look at the majority of the club who sat on the opposite side of the room; instead he just made his way over to where Santana and Brittany were sitting. Santana nodded in greeting, while Brittany grabbed his hand, linking their fingers. He appreciated her sweet nature so much right then. When Puck entered the room, he threw himself down next to Kurt and sprawled out a little bit. The small group sat quietly until Glee started, and when Rachel’s hand shot into the air Mr. Schue allowed her the floor.
“This song is about trust,” she said and no one missed the snide look she tossed Kurt’s way. She was joined by Mercedes and Finn and they proceeded to sing When it Rains by Paramore. Puck frowned when he heard the lyrics while Brittany’s grip tightened around Kurt’s hand and Santana looked furious. When the song ended it was only Kurt’s hand on her wrist that kept her from exploding out of her seat and unleashing the unholy bitch everyone knew she could be.
“Nicely done guys!” Mr. Schue said cheerfully, completely unaware of the divide in his club, Santana often wondered how he could be so very oblivious. When Kurt detangled himself from Brittany and slipped quietly from the room, Mr. Schue just let him go, no questions asked.
“Mr. Schue,” Sam called his voice a little tight with anger. “Maybe we should have a lesson about respecting other people, because some people in this club clearly need a refresher course.”
“I’m sorry?” Mr. Schue asked surprised.
“He means that song was about Kurt, and they” Santana said jerking her thumb in the others direction “are being self-absorbed jackasses and are deliberately trying to hurt him.”
“We have every right to be upset!” Rachel protested.
“You people crack me up.” Puck said rolling his eyes and laughing. “Really you do, you’re so upset about how he didn’t tell you, boo-hoo but did a single one of you, even for just one moment think, maybe it’s your own damn fault he didn’t?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Tina demanded and Puck sighed, long suffering and sounding like he was dealing with small children.
“It means he’s never been able to tell anyone anything that didn’t somehow blow up spectacularly in his face. He never asks for help because no one ever helps him. According to Finn, he brings it upon himself! Yeah if you’re going to make a big show about how he shouldn’t sing a song with the new kid in Glee, maybe you shouldn’t do it in the cafeteria where other people can hear you. I wasn’t even here and I heard about it. Also Mr. Schue, why the hell would you assign duets to a class that had an uneven number of students?”
“You told Kurt not to duet with me?” Sam asked a little horrified at finding out the reason he always wondered about. “I always wondered why he dissolved our partnership. I mean his performance alone was awesome and all, but I always wondered why he didn’t want to duet with me.”
“That’s enough!” Mr. Schue said trying to regain control of the class. “I don’t know what’s going on with you guys, but if you are deliberately trying to make another student feel bad…”
“This is a waste of time.” Santana said standing and pulling Brittany up with her. “Since no one else seems to care that Kurt ran out of here, I’m going to go find him.” She grabbed Kurt’s bag, which he had left behind in his haste, and left, Brittany at her side. Puck stood a moment after and Sam joined him.
“Seriously, fuck this noise.” Puck flipped everyone off, ignored the protest from Mr. Schue and noticed that Quinn quietly gathered her own belongings and followed, pausing just briefly to address the rest of the club.
“I’m trying to stay out of this,” She said softly, before shaking her head. “But what you guys are doing is wrong, and I’m not going to expose myself to this kind of behavior right now.” She turned on her heel and followed Puck and Sam out of the room. Once in the hall, Puck realized he wasn’t quite sure where he should go.
“Come on Quinn, I’ll walk you to your car.” Sam offered, and they pair bid Puck goodbye. He hesitated only momentarily before deciding to go look for Santana and Kurt. He found them exiting the ladies room near the cafeteria.
“Hummel, I think you may have successfully killed the glee club.” Puck told him; he hadn’t meant for Kurt to make that face like Puck just stabbed him in the chest, he was trying to joke with him!
“I didn’t mean for all this to happen.” Kurt said, wringing his hands in distress. “I just really didn’t think anyone would actually care and then-“
“He’s kidding Lady-Face.” Santana assured him interrupting, and Puck wondered why Kurt didn’t seem to get offended by the nicknames she bestowed upon him. Though he was pretty certain that was actually something Coach Sylvester had started, and just sort of stuck, though she tended to call him Porcelain now.
“Sorry. Come on I bet you can beat Finn to the parking lot and leave his ass here this time.” Puck suggested and Kurt laughed, but Santana looked pissed.
“Finn left you here?”
“A few days ago, but it’s alright, Puck ended up walking me home.”
“Well, I say go with Puck’s plan then.” Santana said folding her arms across her chest. That was a bullshit move, and she was pissed on Kurt’s behalf that Finn would behave so childishly. Not that she was surprised though; nothing short of him being smart would surprise her anymore.
“I would, except we didn’t come to school together. My dad was, uh, less than pleased when he found out I had to walk home just because Finn didn’t feel like driving me. Apparently Carole agreed because he has to be picked up and dropped off by one of them since he ‘can’t be trusted’ as Carole said. Needless to say, that did not make things at home any more bearable. Somehow, that’s my fault.”
“Of course it is everything is your fault. Global warming, I’m pretty sure you caused that.” Puck said trying to joke, but not sure how well it would be received.
“Is it cause he’s so hot?” Brittany asked and Santana laughed, while Kurt colored a little.
“I should go; I can probably beat Finn home and hide out in my room until we’re forced to interact.” Kurt said and Santana nodded.
“I’ll walk you.” Puck said, because he wasn’t sure if he could trust the others to not try and intercept him along the way and hassle him.
“Call me later; I’d still like you to take me shopping.” Brittany called as she linked pinkies with Santana. The pair headed off, and Kurt looked at Puck with the mildest hint of concern.
“Why are you being nice to me?”
“What?” Puck asked startled, because he hadn’t been expecting Kurt to ask him anything like that.
“Why are you being nice to me? We’re not friends, to my knowledge you don’t really even like me at all. So why are you being nice to me?”
“I don’t dislike you. Sure I mean, we weren’t really friends or anything, but I don’t hate you or anything, and the others are being really stupid. If they should be mad at anyone it should be
Karofsky or Blaine, because he shouldn’t have been running his mouth.”
“They don’t seem to understand that it wasn’t that I just didn’t want to tell them. I know how hard it is to come out, and it was so much harder for David, I wasn’t going to make it worse for him. So yes, I took some extra abuse I didn’t deserve, but you know what? He wasn’t my friend. Sure we’ve made amends, and we’re kind of friends now. You want to know something sad?” Kurt asked, and when Puck nodded Kurt sighed. “He tormented me for years, and right now, he’s a better friend then the majority of the members of the glee club.”
And Puck thought that was the saddest fucking thing he had heard in a long time.
Kurt didn't bother to show up for the next several Glee meetings. Puck thought he may have actually quit, but once he started thinking about it, Kurt seemed to not be in school on several of the days he missed glee. He also had mentioned something a couple days ago about making a doctor’s appointment since he hadn’t been feeling so well. Puck had though it was stress related, or maybe the flu or something like that.
Kurt had been looking kind of pale lately and more than once Puck thought he noticed some sort of new bruise or dark looking bag under Kurt’s eyes. He’d been looking like that for about two weeks now, and Puck figured whatever it was would run its course any day now. He had read somewhere that it took about fourteen days for something to work its way out of your system.
He turned the corner in the hall to see Kurt and Blaine arguing off to one side. Blaine said something, and then looked stricken. Puck knew that look, it was the ‘I can’t believe I just said that, I didn’t mean it,’ look. Puck watched as Kurt said something, and Blaine looked even more stricken, if that was possible. Kurt caught sight of him, and hurried over, managing to dodge the hand that Blaine shot out to stop him.
“Do you know where Brittany is?” Kurt asked, once he reached him.
“Uh, no sorry... Are you ok; you kinda look like you’re gonna like, cry or something?” Puck said, and really Kurt did look like he might be on the verge of a full on breakdown.
“I…No I’m not really ok.” Kurt admitted, which startled Puck, Kurt never admitted anything was wrong before. It was kind of weirding him out.
“Come on, let’s ditch.” Puck said, shooting a warning look at Blaine, which made him halter in his steps just briefly, before he continued on, stepping in front of Kurt before Puck could get them out of the hall.
“Kurt, I didn’t mean that. I was just mad, and I shouldn’t have said that.” Blaine pleaded before Kurt shook his head.
“Yes you did, and I meant what I said too.” Kurt said, stepping around Blaine and Puck followed, he wasn’t sure what had happened, but hell he was Team Kurt, so he guessed it didn’t really matter. He could be loyal when he wanted to be after all. The pair walked quickly, weaving their way through the halls until they happened across Santana and Brittany. Brittany took one look at Kurt, and suddenly she was wrapping her arms around him.
“What happened? “ Santana asked, glancing at Puck who could only shrug.
“We broke up.” Kurt replied and Brittany tightened her grip. “I told him something, and he took the out immediately. He says he didn’t mean it, but I can’t believe that. He jumped on it so quickly; he was just waiting for an out.”
“What did you tell him?” Santana asked and Kurt sighed.
“I’m sick San.” He admitted and Brittany stilled. It was something about the way he said sick that made something heavy settle in Puck’s gut. “It’s highly treatable, and they caught it really early, but I start Chemo next week.”
“Oh Shit.” Puck got out, because really, he hadn’t expected that. Kurt was like, invincible or something, that kind of thing wasn’t supposed to happen.
“He broke up with you because you have cancer?” Santana asked, sounding horrified and furious all at once.
“I told him I was sick, and that I would understand if he didn’t want to be with me anymore. He immediately said he couldn’t do it, and he wasn’t sure he would want to even if he could. He told me he didn’t mean it, but…he didn’t even think about it before he said it. If he really cared, he would have at least thought about it right?”
“You deserve way better than that douche.” Santana said angrily.
“I made my Dad promise to go to DC as planned, he wanted to push it back, but I told him I’d let Carole take me to Chemo. Finn doesn’t know yet, since he wouldn’t listen to his mother, and I’m about to go to the glee club and quit.”
“Wow, you’re having a real shit cake of a day Hummel.” Puck finally said and Kurt turned to look at him almost startled into smiling.
“Well, might as well get it over with right?” Kurt said trying to smile. The trio huddled around him and ushered him into the room. He stepped over to Mr. Schue and ignored the sad puppy look he was given before he started talking. The sad puppy look turned into genuine sadness when he told him what was going on. Once glee started, he stepped to the forefront.
“It’s nice of you to finally join us.” Rachel said snidely, and Kurt set her with a sneer that made her recoil slightly, he hadn’t looked at her like that in a long time.
“I don’t plan to stay. I’m quitting the club, and I don’t want any of your over inflated egos to think you had anything to do with it.” He took a deep breath and was overwhelmingly relieved when Brittany and Santana flanked him. “I’m sick, and I start chemo on Monday. I’m not going to waste whatever energy I may have left on this.” Kurt turned to leave when he heard Finn speak up.
“If that’s true, why don’t I know about it?” He demanded and Kurt set a flat dead look on him.
“Maybe if you hadn’t been behaving like a complete and total jackass and told your mother you didn’t want to talk to her and then blared your music so loudly you would have heard it when she told you.” Kurt snapped and Finn recoiled a little. “But don’t worry, no one expects you to do anything, and I don’t plan to spread the news around, heaven knows what it might do to your reputation. But then again, maybe they would praise you.” He sneered, anger seeping into his words. “Saint Finn, who not only puts up with the fag brother, but the fag’s got cancer too, I probably deserve it right?” And with that, he was gone, leaving the club in stunned silence.
Kurt did a really good job avoiding the members of the glee club for the next several days. He started Chemo with little fanfare, and Puck had to admit, he kept some distance. The weeks bled into nearly a month, and Kurt did a fantastic job of warding off the glee clubbers. Puck however, hadn’t been turned away. When it was just about the others being idiots, he was all on board, but this…Kurt had cancer and Puck had no idea what to do about that. Sure, he tried to remain loyal and be a team Kurt member, but it wasn’t until Sam came to him that he realized he had to step up.
“Puck, hey man, I need a favor. I was supposed to go sit with Kurt during Chemo today, but my parents called and they’re coming into town with my little siblings…do you think you could go? Santana and Brittany can’t and Quinn has a doctor’s appointment. Finn’s mom went to DC to pick up his Dad, and I’d hate for him to be alone.”
Puck wanted to say no. Wanted to have some reason why he couldn’t go and sit with the guy, because yeah, he was pretty cool with Hummel and all, but this was damn heavy. He was afraid of what he would see, even though he had seen Kurt just that morning. He looked like he had lost weight and was really pale, but he didn’t actually look like he was dying or anything. At least not yet. He opened his mouth to say no, but that isn’t what came out.
“Sure, what time?” And Puck cursed his stupid mouth, because that is not what he wanted to say! Sam smiled then, and damn it, Puck was suckered in. It was how he found himself standing outside the door to the room that had chemo patients hooked up to machines. He hesitated before a nurse gave him the gentle nudge he needed.
He spotted Kurt immediately. His head was titled back and his eyes were closed, one arm stretched out with god only knew what coursing through him. Puck wasn’t completely sure how the Chemotherapy worked; he just knew Kurt would get really sick before he got any better. He slumped down in the seat next to him, and pretended not to notice how surprised Kurt was to see him there.
“Hey,” Kurt greeted and Puck nodded, because he wasn’t sure what to say. After sitting a few moments in silence, where Puck fidgeted around a lot, because he hated silences he finally looked at Kurt again and sighed.
“Can I ask you a question?” He asked, and then felt stupid. Puck didn’t know why he suddenly felt like he had to tip toe around Kurt, he was just sick, it wasn’t like he was gonna die, right?
“Sure.” Kurt said, with a nod, and fixing his gaze back on him. Puck hesitated for a moment before blurting the question out.
“What really went on with you and Karofsky?” It had been bugging him that Karofsky had tormented Kurt for years and then assaulted him in the locker room. Sure, Kurt said it was just a kiss, but if it was an unwanted kiss, Puck figured that was assault.
“I think we went over that already.” Kurt replied and Puck shook his head.
“I don’t mean what Blaine blurted out for everyone to hear, I mean what really happened? What weren’t you telling us? I mean , shit I don’t know man, I meant it when I said you were my boy, and if I hadn’t had juvie hanging over my head, and if I had known what he was doing, I would have done something to stop it.” Kurt was quietly for a moment, before smiling slightly.
“You know, I actually believe that.” Kurt said and sighed a little. “But I don’t really want to talk about it.” Puck could have pushed, but he didn’t. Instead he told Kurt some completely fabricated story about some girl he just made up. It made Kurt laugh, so Puck figured that was good enough. He even went as far as taking Kurt home after the fact. He also started to look out for him more at school and making sure to fend off members of the glee club who alternated between being angry he hadn’t told them sooner he was sick, and pathetic excuses for apologizes that somehow still made it sound like it was his fault.
After that first day in the hospital, Puck suddenly found himself worked into the rotation of people who would go and sit with Kurt during Chemo. His day was often on Thursday, which worked out fairly well for him. It took another two weeks for him to broach the question again. As much as he hated to admit it, something about Kurt not wanting to talk about it was bugging the crap out of him.
“I know you didn’t want to talk about it before, but it’s driving me crazy. What did Karofsky do to you?” Puck asked, and Kurt sighed again. He was quiet for so long Puck thought he wasn’t going to get an answer when Kurt started talking.
“At first he was just more aggressive than he was before. The shoulder checks were harder, and he started to ignore the others in favor of just me. That wasn’t all that unusual in the beginning until I realized he was completely forgoing the others in favor of me. I guess the first time I noticed it; he had an open shot at Rachel for a slushie facial and bypassed her, to get to the other side of the hall, just to get me. Normally he would have just thrown it at the first available face.”
Puck couldn’t argue with that really. When he was still in that click, that’s what they did. Throw it in the first glee club member’s face. You didn’t single people out for slushies. They singled Kurt out for dumpster dives and graffiti on the locker, but not for slushies. That was just for any loser that happened to pass by. Kurt took his silence as reason to keep talking.
“And then you guys told me to go spy on Dalton, so I did. I met Blaine and the Warblers, and it was so shocking for me that he wasn’t treated differently for being gay. He wasn’t treated like he was diseased. I wanted that so badly Puck. I came back here, and things with Karofsky just got to a boiling point, and Blaine kept texting me about having courage.” He sighed and let his head go back against the head rest. Puck awkwardly patted his arm, making sure to keep far from any wires and tubes.
“I shouldn’t have told you that.” Puck said, rubbing the back of his neck, though he felt like that was probably the least traumatic part of what had happened. Kurt waved him off with his free hand, apparently agreeing with Puck’s thoughts.
“Doesn’t matter really, it probably would have come to it eventually anyway.” Kurt said before rubbing his eyes. “After being checked against lockers a few more times and constantly being covered in bruises, I got mad, and I confronted Karofsky. I chased him into the locker room, and we were yelling and then suddenly, he kissed me.” Puck realized he was grinding his teeth and forced himself to loosen his jaw muscles. He was about to say something when Kurt started talking again.
“And then there was more yelling, and after he ran I panicked and I called Blaine, who drove up, but it didn’t make it better. Karofsky threatened to kill me if anyone else found out. When I was teaching my dad to dance, Karofsky did something from the doorway to catch my dad’s attention, and he wouldn’t believe me when I said he was just hassling me. So I admitted he threatened to kill me. You know what happened after that with the transfer and all.”
“I didn’t know that he was the one who gave you all that Valentine’s Day stuff though.” Puck said and Kurt sighed.
“It was easier to just let you guys think that it was Blaine.” Kurt admitted. “I mean, Karofsky said he thought he loved me, and I tried to turn him down as gently as I could. Someone from his team saw us though, and it got out at his school. It was harder for him.”
“Since Blaine told all of us, I assume you must have told him about it at some point.” Puck watched as Kurt nodded. “He shouldn’t have blurted it all out like that. And shit Kurt, if I had known it was like that, I would have done something. I mean we knew it was bad, but we didn’t really know how bad it was until you transferred and even then, we just knew about the threat, we didn’t know about the other stuff.”
“It was hard, but I wasn’t going to spite him by outing him just because I could.” Puck thought that made Kurt one of the best people he knew, because people could be petty and want revenge and that would have been a really easy way to get it. Instead, he just took some extra abuse he didn’t deserve and even offered his hand of friendship after all the other had done.
“Dude, I can’t even imagine being able to stick something like that out.” Puck said, and Kurt sighed and tilted his head back.
“I’m tired; could we talk about something else now?” Kurt asked, and Puck suddenly felt guilty, like he had asked too much of him.
“Has Finn been less of a douche?” Puck asked kind of blurting it out since it was the first thing that came to mind, and then flinched, because that didn’t seem like any better of a topic. Kurt sighed tiredly and shook his head in the negative.
“No, he seems to think that I can just make myself feel like crap whenever I want. He threw a full on tantrum a few days ago, because Carole asked him to put away the dishes when he claimed it was my turn, even though it’s been Finn’s turn for the past month. He blamed her asking him because “my cancer” was acting up. I might have laughed if I wasn’t so stunned by his stupidity.”
“Wow, that’s stupid even for him.” Puck agreed, before shaking his head. “I’m sorry he’s being such a douche.”
“He’s still hung up on the whole Karofsky thing.” Kurt sighed. “He said I was withholding information again, with my being sick. You know, I told everyone I was sick pretty much the day after I found out, and he would have known that evening if he hadn’t been acting like a toddler. It’s frustrating to feel like I have to pretend I don’t feel like curling into a little ball and throw up in my own home.”
“I can beat him up, I can totally take him, I’m Puckzilla!” Kurt made a noise that almost sounded like a laugh and Puck grinned before launching into a rambling narrative about the verbal smack down he had missed between Rachel and Santana that had gotten so out of control that Mr. Schue had to end the meeting early.
It was right before glee ended the following day that Puck figured everyone really got look at what was happening to Kurt. Kurt had stepped in briefly, because Mr. Schue had asked him too, and when Mr. Schue’s back was turned, Kurt’s nose started to bleed. The others had been ignoring him mostly, so It wasn’t until he felt it hit his lip that he realized and his hand went up to it.
“I need a tissue.” Kurt said, and it was just loud enough for the others to hear, Rachel gasped at the blood dripping between his fingers and Finn looked slightly stunned.
“Did someone hit you?” Mercedes asked and Kurt rolled his eyes but shook his head.
“It’s from the Chemo.” And almost as soon as the words had left his mouth, he was sitting down pinching his nose while Sam held a tissue under it to try and stem the flow. A steady stream of worried babble was coming from the blonde and Kurt tried to reassure him.
“It’s not that uncommon Sam; it’s not the first one I’ve had.”
“Do we need to call an ambulance?” Mike asked hesitantly and Kurt glanced at him, of all the so called apologizes he had received, Mike’s had been the only one he even semi-believed. He wasn’t sure if it was because Mike was good at being earnest or if he had actually meant it.
“Only if it doesn’t stop within fifteen to twenty minutes.” Kurt replied, though his voice sounded odd because of the blood.
“Shouldn’t you lean back or something?” Tina asked and this time it was Santana who answered.
“No, he could choke on his blood that way.” She took to running a gentle hand over his back, eyes on her watch. “If it’s more than fifteen minutes Mike, call for an ambulance.” Time ticked by, and the nose bleed eventually tapered off, just short of ten minutes later. Puck kind of thought he should go to the hospital anyway. Kurt however did not like that he was being stared at with varying looks of shock and horror.
“It can be a side effect, it’s fine.” Kurt stood, and he didn’t pull away when Sam kept a steadying hand under his elbow, he would never admit that he just might have needed it. “Now if you don’t mind Mr. Schue, I’m going home.” Before anyone could stop him, Kurt was out the door, trying to pretend there was not blood on his shirt. Sam and Puck exchanged a glance before Puck followed him out; he was big enough to carry Kurt if it came to it, though he wasn’t sure if Kurt would ever actually allow it.
“You didn’t drive did you?” Puck asked and Kurt startled a little, he hadn’t realized Puck had followed him out.
“No, I’m not allowed to drive right now. My dad thinks it might be too dangerous. I don’t know what he thinks will happen, I guess a nose bleed or something.” Kurt said, he didn’t seem to mind that Puck had followed him out.
“Can I take you home then?” Puck asked and Kurt shrugged.
“If it’ll make you feel better.” Kurt said and Puck grinned sheepishly. “I don’t mind you know,” Kurt continued. “You didn’t turn your back on me, you defended me, and I’d like to think we’re friends…Surprising to find out who your friends actually are.”
“Bet you never thought it would be me.” Puck said with a chuckle.
“I never thought things would fall apart the way they did.” Kurt said suddenly feeling so tired.
“Well fuck the others.” Puck said determination in his voice. “If they are so full of…full of…dumbassery then fuck them. You don’t need them, if anything they need you, and they’ll figure that out soon enough.” Puck honestly did believe that. He believed that the others would realize how important Kurt was, and while yeah that nose bleed had scared the others, Puck could only imagine how bad it was when they didn’t see.
“Maybe, honestly I’m not sure what I would do if I didn’t have the small group who stayed with me. Santana and Brittany have been invaluable to me, so have you and Sam, Quinn has come over to my house several times. I really appreciate everything you guys have done.”
“Hell, I’m just repaying the favor dude; you didn’t treat me any differently after baby gate.” Kurt shrugged and let Puck lead him out to the parking lot. He stilled after a moment and took in a deep steadying breath, and let it out real slow. He dug a few crackers out of a baggy in his bag and ate them slowly.
“Sorry, the chemo makes me nauseous.”
“You’re not going to hurl are you, because I kinda have a thing about barf.” Puck told him. Maybe it’s the way he said it or the fact he said it out loud, but Kurt started laughing. Puck grinned sheepishly, and laughed too. Until Kurt actually did throw up, there was no more laughing then, there’s nothing funny about barf.
Two days later, Kurt found Blaine waiting anxiously by his locker. He took a deep breath, sighed and made his way over. He really wasn’t in the mood for this. He was tired and nauseous and the last thing he wanted was some sort of emotional blow out. Still, he gave Blaine a brief nod when he got to his locker twisting the lock on his combination.
“Hey Kurt, I just…I just wanted to see how you were feeling.” Blaine said shifting from foot to foot, like he was nervous. It was weird; Kurt couldn’t ever remember seeing Blaine like this before.
“I’m ok.” Kurt said, it wasn’t a flat out lie, today was one of the better days.
“I really am sorry Kurt, for everything. I shouldn’t have told the others about everything that happened with Karofsky, and I shouldn’t have said what I did when you told me you were sick. I didn’t actually mean I wouldn’t even if I could. I was angry and I was trying to hurt you. It was a really crappy thing for me to do, and I’m really sorry. I still really care for you, but it hurts to see you this way, you understand that don’t you?” Blaine’s tone was pleading and Kurt stilled momentarily.
If Kurt had been bed ridden or just skin stretched over bones, he would understand. All Blaine saw was a nose bleed. He hadn’t been witness to him throwing up, or how he was so tired he couldn’t get up when the chemo kicked in, he hadn’t seen all of that. He knew what Blaine was trying to say, but for Kurt it seemed more like Blaine was trying to alleviate his own guilt. Still, Kurt knew a part of him would always love Blaine, no matter how they might have hurt each other, so he nodded.
“I know Blaine; I don’t blame you for not sticking around for it.”
“I really am so sorry, and I just want you to know, if I could it back, I would.” Blaine said before he turned on his heel, leaving right as Puck strode up.
“What was that all about?” Puck asked, watching as Blaine beat a hasty retreat.
“He was apologizing.” Kurt said with a shrug. “I think he meant it.”
“Well, that’s special, but he’s still on my shit list, just so ya know.” Puck replied and Kurt shook his head, but he was smiling so Puck figured it was ok.
“So, for some reason, Finn said he wants to go to Chemo with me today.” Kurt said like he was making conversation. “I personally think Carole is making him go.” It was Puck’s day to sit with Kurt, and he shrugged a little.
“Ok, well I’m still going. He can kiss my toned ass if he thinks I’m not.” Puck informed him and Kurt laughed.
“Thanks, I appreciate that.” The bell rang overhead and Kurt looked down the hall. “I have to go, and since I have chemo today, it’s a half day. So I’ll see you this afternoon.” Puck nodded and watched him go. When he entered the first class of the morning, a class he happened to share with Finn, he sighed when he saw Finn in the seat next to his.
“Hey, so I’m going to go to Chemo with Kurt today, so none of you guys need to go.” Finn told him, and Puck scowled at him.
“Nothing doing, I’ll be there.” Puck informed him and Finn looked startled. “Look, I don’t give two shits if you suddenly realized your being a stupid jackass or if you actually realized your step brother was sick as shit, but either way, I don’t trust you as far as I can throw you, so I’ll be there.”
“Whatever man, what are you like, his bodyguard now?” Finn asked a little too snidely for Puck’s liking.
“Well someone has to look out for him since you’re so busy being a self-absorbed dick.” Puck snapped back, thankfully class started before Finn could reply. Once class was over, Puck beat a hasty retreat not wanting to have to talk to Finn again until he was absolutely forced too. The rest of the day went by uneventfully. When he got to the hospital, Finn was already there, sitting stiffly not speaking. Puck went over and borrowed another chair that wasn’t being used.
“Sup.” He greeted Kurt, pointedly ignoring Finn. Kurt flicked his eyes over to him and smiled tiredly.
“Hey Puck,” Kurt said and Finn glared stonily between the two. Deciding to just ignore him, Puck went about what he usually did when Kurt was stuck in Chemo. He told him all about what happened after he left for the day. Finally Finn sighed and cut in.
“Seriously, is this what you do?” He asked and Kurt raised an eyebrow. “Cause no offense or anything, but this is boring.”
“Finn,” Kurt said sharply and he startled a little. “I’m sure you are only here because your mother is forcing you to.” Finn opened his mouth like he was going to argue, but Kurt continued before he could. “You don’t want to be here, that’s clear. Puck however choses to be here, he doesn’t have to sit here with me. He didn’t have to be kind to me, but he was he is. You are supposed to be my brother, I know you never wanted to be, but you are now! Is it really so much to ask that you actually care just a little?”
“Hey calm down, you’re going to stress yourself out.” Puck said gently putting his hand on Kurt’s arm. “Seriously he’s not worth it. Shit Finn, do you even think for a second before you speak or do you just let words fall out of your mouth?”
“You really think I don’t care?” Finn asked, sounding a strange mix of troubled and shocked, ignoring Puck completely.
“Have you given me any reason to think otherwise?” Kurt asked tiredly, trying to stem the anger that was bubbling to the surface. He had put up with so much for so long, was it really so much to ask that he be given one single break? “Seriously Finn, all you’ve done is made it so I have to pretend in my own home that I don’t feel like curling into a little ball and hoping that I can stop hurting so damn much. My mom died from cancer; do you have any idea how scary this is for my dad? If you don’t care about me, fine, but at least knock it off for him.”
“I care…” Finn said, voice suddenly sounding really small. Kurt suddenly felt really light headed as the anger left him, and he barely had time to look apologetically at Puck before he blacked out. He vaguely heard Puck call his name and Finn yell for a nurse. Oh well, at least he made his point.
When Kurt opened his eyes next, he became aware of two things. One, he was in a hospital bed, and two, Puck and Finn were whisper-screaming at each other. That was almost funny, in a weird twisted kind of way. Still, he sat still, because shit his arm hurt. He figured he probably ripped the needle out when he passed out. That was embarrassing, but he supposed no one could blame him. His attention is grabbed by the full on rant that Puck is in the middle of.
“Damn it Finn, if you pulled your head out of your ass for twenty seconds you might realize that the sun does not rise and set for you! For once, this isn’t about you, or Rachel, or Quinn and baby-gate. The world does not revolve around you and whatever is happening in your life. This has nothing to do with you! This is about Kurt, who’s sick. It’s about Kurt, who is trying to hold his life together when the people he thought were his friends are trying to rip it apart, and it’s about Kurt, who can’t even voice the fact that yeah, he’s probably scared as fuck, because heaven forbid you throw another tantrum about it! For fucks sake, not everything is about you. This is not about you, it never has been. If you want to fixate your anger on something, maybe you should be angry at that douche Blaine, who broke up with your brother when he told him he was sick! Or maybe you could be anger at yourself, for abandoning him when he needed you!” Puck was angry, angrier than Kurt had seen in a really long time.
“Puck,” Kurt said, though he thought his voice sounded kinda weird. “You’re going to be in the bed beside me if you don’t simmer down, easy man you’re going to stroke out.” Puck was by his bed in an instant leaving Finn standing awkwardly by the door.
“Shit Kurt, you scared the shit out of me. Shit man, are you ok?” Puck rambled.
“Do you realize you said Shit, three times in that sentence?” Kurt asked and Puck startled.
“Well I’m in a shitty mood.” Puck replied, causing Kurt to grin weakly.
“Sorry, I guess my blood pressure got raised.” Kurt said rubbing his arm a little.
“Oh yeah, boy your dad is going to freak the hell out.” Puck said. “He’s on his way, no thanks to Stupid McDumbass over there.” Puck jerked his thumb over at Finn, and that apparently broke the spell because Finn was suddenly tripping over his own feet to get to Kurt.
“What can I do?” He asked and Kurt regarded him with wary eyes for a moment.
“Call Sam and Santana for me, let them know what happened. Phrase it carefully when you talk to Santana or she will kill you, I’m not even kidding about that.” Kurt said after a long moment of silence, a warning clear in his voice.
“Yeah, Yeah sure, no problem!” And with that, Finn was out the door to make those calls.
“He’s going to tell the others isn’t he?” Kurt asked exasperated, but seemingly resigning himself to this fate nonetheless.
“Oh yeah,” Puck said before sighing. “Shit Kurt, you really did scare me. The nurse said your blood pressure shot up, and that you probably need to stay in the hospital a couple days. Not gonna lie, your dad is super freaked and Finn may actually die if he finds out that he’s part of the reason you got so worked up.”
“I kept it bottled in too long I’m sure.” Kurt said mildly. “I probably should have said something sooner, but really I’m so tired and he made it so hard to even attempt to talk to him.”
“He probably should have pulled his head out of his ass and tried behaving like a decent human being after the first day. Or if he really couldn’t let it go, once you got sick.”
“No,” Kurt disagreed. “The only reason most of them are trying to talk to me now is because I’m sick. I don’t want that. They can’t be pissed one minute and then decide to talk to me just because I’m sick. Just because I happen to be sick doesn’t mean they can pretend they weren’t treating me like shit just prior.”
Puck had to admit, he’s startled by the fact that Kurt swore. It happened so rarely, that he couldn’t help but be caught off guard. Even though Kurt was right, the others had been treating him like shit until they found out he was sick, then it was all “Oh, things are ok!” or “We all make mistakes!” Except the apologies Kurt received weren’t particularly apologetic or sincere. He could understand why Kurt didn’t want them to flock to the room.
“You know, when my aunt was in the hospital, she was able to give the nurses a list of people who were allowed to visit. I bet we could do that.” Puck offered, and Kurt smiled tiredly.
“Mrs. Pierce is probably already on it. Brittany told her everything, and she is quite fond of me. She’s scarier than Santana when she gets really mad.” Kurt loved that woman. She had really been there for him when his dad was sick, and she had been there with his mom until the end.
“Dude, scarier than Santana? I’m not sure if that exists.” Puck said, because he’s never met Brittany’s mom, but he’s seen Santana in a full on bitch fit before.
“Believe me, it’s not something you want to witness, I only saw it once when I was much younger, and I’ll never forget it.”
“Wow,” Puck murmured.
“I’m exhausted, I’m going to try and sleep a little before Santana and Sam gets here, because Santana is going to want answers.” Kurt said, and Puck nodded, making himself comfortable in the chair next to the bed. He sure as hell wasn’t going anywhere.
The next time Kurt opened his eyes his Dad was sitting in the chair that Puck had been sitting in, Carole was sitting next to him, and Finn was pouting in the corner. His dad looked worn, and Kurt couldn’t help but feel guilty about that.
“Dad,” He said trying to clear his throat. Both his Dad and Carole shot up at his voice, and Finn jerked a little, surprised at the sound of his voice.
“Hey buddy, how ya feeling?” His dad asked looking relieved to see him awake.
“I’m ok, a little nauseous, could I have some water?” He said and watched as Carole poured him a glass, handing it to him, he sipped it slowly.
“Thank you,” He watched as Finn’s faced settled back into a semi-pout.
“So, Brittany’s mom showed us the list of people approved to visit, are you sure you don’t want to include anyone else?” Burt asked carefully.
“Yeah, like your friends from the glee club.” Finn put in angrily, ignoring the look his mother shot him.
“All my friends from the glee club are on that list.” Kurt replied, leaning his head back a little. Burt nodded, and glanced at Carole.
“Well, why don’t we let you talk to Santana and Sam for a while, she’s been pacing the halls for a while, we’ll go get some coffee.” Burt said and Carole stood, pushing Finn out with them. Moments later, Santana and Sam invaded the room.
“I talked to Brittany and Quinn, they didn’t want to overwhelm you, but the rest of the glee club had the gall not only to show up, but then act all surprised and butt hurt that they weren’t allowed in to see you.” Santana informed him as she hopped up on the foot of his bed.
“I’m not surprised.” Kurt said tiredly.
“So what happened?” Sam asked.
“Ah, well my blood pressure got raised, and I blacked out. I should be ok; they’re going to keep me a couple nights for blood work and observation.” Kurt told them, and when Santana set him with a look he sighed.
“How’d your blood pressure get raised?” Santana asked, and Kurt rubbed the back of his neck.
“That depends, have you spoken to Puck already?” Kurt asked and Sam and Santana exchanged a look.
“Yeah, we have.” Sam said and Kurt smiled a little.
“Then you know the answer.” Kurt replied and Santana looked like she might get off his bed and hunt Finn down.
“You should have seen the others.” Sam said, “They all said they were so worried about you, but for people who claim to be so worried, they sure got pissy when they were told they weren’t allowed to see you.”
“I should have been more specific and said to just call you two.” Kurt said rubbing his head.
“Well considering the task was entrusted to Finn, he would have done whatever he wanted anyway. He apparently told Rachel who called the others, but when they got here, Rachel asked Finn if he was ok, and how scary it must have been for him.” Santana informed him.
“Puck was actually asked to leave the hospital because he caused such a scene losing it on her.” Sam said. “I don’t think he actually left, I think he’s hiding out in the cafeteria.”
“He’s angry; he lost it all over Finn earlier too.” Kurt said, though it felt somewhat like he was making excuses for the other boy.
“Well, he has a right to be. I’m angry too, they can’t treat you the way they have been and they act all surprised when you pull away from them. Rachel didn’t even ask how you were before fawning all over how scary it must have been for Finn. Mike was the only one who actually asked how you were once he got here, and he was the only one who left without protest when they weren’t on the list.” Santana explained, irritating in her voice.
“Of all their supposed apologizes, his was the only one I even half way believed.” Kurt said, and he knew that Mike hadn’t really taken part of ripping him apart. “I might need talk to him once I’m out of the hospital.” He listened as Sam and Santana began telling him about how ridiculous the others had been behaving, and Sam kept up a steady narration as he fell asleep. He barely heard the door close as they left.
Every day that Kurt was in the hospital, Puck, Sam, Santana, Brittany and Quinn came to visit him. Kurt had found out who his real friends actually were, and it made the stay a little bit more bearable.
Kurt stayed in the hospital for two days before being allowed to leave. To his knowledge the glee club showed up both days, and every day acted surprised he hadn’t changed his mind to let them in. Rachel at one point even demanded that she be allowed in to see him, because he didn’t have the right to keep her out. He couldn’t help but laugh when Puck so joyfully told him all about how she was escorted out of the hospital for disrupting other patients.
He returned to school that following Monday, and spent a lot of it trying to hide from the glee club members. Unfortunately, he couldn’t avoid them forever and when Mr. Schue said he needed to talk to him, the last thing he expected was to be ambushed by the rest of the glee club. He turned a betrayed look on his teacher, who looked away guiltily.
“Kurt,” Mercedes began “You’ve been avoiding us, but we, as a group, feel like we should talk.”
“It might have been nice if you had been so willing to talk before.” Kurt replied, and when Puck stepped through the doorway looking furious, the others shifted.
“What the fuck is this?” Puck demanded.
“They want to talk apparently.” Kurt told him flatly.
“Well, you’ve got one minute before I fling Hummel over my shoulder and carry him out of here like a caveman.” Puck said folding his arms across his chest, and ignoring the slightly amused look Tina threw him.
“Look, we just want to talk to you.” Rachel said exasperated. “It shouldn’t be such an ordeal to talk to you. You wouldn’t even let us visit you when you were in the hospital!”
“Why would I want you there?” Kurt asked, and Rachel looked startled, and Kurt found himself growing angry. “None of you except for Mike have given me an apology that was even remotely sincere. Blaine apologized, but honestly Blaine, that felt more like you were trying to make yourself feel better. You wanted an out, and it just happened I was able to provide you with one so you wouldn’t have to be the bad guy by breaking up with me. My being sick gave you a convenient out. You all think that just because I’m sick you can give me some false platitudes and I should just accept it, because what? I couldn’t possibly survive without your so called friendships?”
“I really am sorry for what happened Kurt.” Blaine said softly, but he didn’t argue the point any further.
“We are your friends!” Artie protested, and Kurt actually laughed.
“The only person in this room who is my friend is Puck, and he’s only here because what you were passing by?” Kurt asked sounding angrier than Puck thought was healthy.
“Yup, and Santana is going to go ballistic when she finds out about this.” He agreed.
“Kurt, you’re being unreasonable, we all came to the hospital when we found out you were there.” Rachel argued.
“Who asked you too?” Kurt demanded and she stared at him dumbfounded. “I asked Finn to call Sam and Santana, if he called the rest of you, that’s on him. I certainly didn’t want you there pretending that you were my friends and trying to make yourselves feel better.”
“Kurt, that’s not fair.” Tina said softly, and Puck stiffened.
“Are you people serious? He’s made himself pretty damn clear, how else is he supposed to say to stay the fuck away from him?” Puck demanded.
“This has nothing to do with you Puckerman!” Finn snapped and Kurt straightened up.
“Actually it has nothing to do with you.” Kurt replied and Finn whipped his head around to look at him. “It has nothing to do with any of you. So let’s make this clear, I meant everything I said before, and I am not stupid. I know you are still wrapped up with what happened with Karofsky and really, you just feel guilty that I happened to get sick shortly afterwards. You do not actually feel bad for what you said to me, or how you treated me. Your so called apologizes have made that clear. How you behave now, makes that clear. You feel entitled to know what’s going on in my life, but then turn around and trash me for it later.”
“Kurt,” Mercedes tried to cut in, but he held up a hand to silence her.
“I’ll make this simple, we are not friends.” Kurt said plainly, ignoring the fact that Mercedes and Rachel flinched and that Tina’s eyes were beginning to water. “We were once, and I mourned the loss of our friendships, but we aren’t friends anymore. “
“Kurt, that isn’t fair.” Blaine said softly.
“Hey Hobbit, you don’t have any lines in this play.” Puck snarled, picking up the rather unflattering nickname Santana had for him.
“It might not be fair, but when has fair ever actually mattered? A lot of things aren’t fair, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. It’s not fair that when you all found out about Karofsky you weren’t supportive and instead turned on me. It’s not fair that you,” He said pointing at Blaine.
“Not only outted everything, but didn’t have to take any of the blame. It’s not fair that I’m sick. None of that is fair, but it happened anyway. So don’t talk to me about fair.”
“I think we’ve had enough for one day.” Puck said snarling, and putting a hand on Kurt’s shoulder. Kurt gave a sharp nod and the pair exited the room, Puck flipping everyone off as he went.
“Giving everyone the finger was a nice touch.” Kurt said dryly and Puck smirked.
“Come on Hummel, I don’t trust them not to give chase. Let’s go find Santana and tell her what happened so we can watch her face turn like seven shades of purple.”
“You have a weird idea of entertainment.” Kurt said good-naturedly but let Puck lead him away, and not a moment too soon because they just turned the corner when they heard Rachel’s shrill voice in the hallway behind them.
Santana had taken up a guard duty with Puck when it came to keeping the others away from Kurt. Puck was big enough to scare most away and Santana was scary enough to keep them at bay. Mike had been the only member of the glee club to actually talk to Kurt and not be chased away. Tina kept giving him these sad looks while Mercedes and Rachel openly stared when he was in the halls. Blaine kept giving him these sad precious moment eyes and Artie had taken to watching him with this calculating look, like he had come to some great epiphany. The only person from the glee club he was forced to deal with was Finn. Puck was more than happy to keep Finn away from him as much as possible at school though. Things went on well enough for a couple of weeks, and while the others might stare and given him sad pathetic looks, his friends kept them at bay.
Kurt hadn’t been feeling particularly well for the past week or so, so he really appreciated the interference. He managed to convince his dad he was well enough for school, and continued on with his days, pretending he wasn’t feeling sicker each day. His chemo dosage had been upped and he assumed his body was just reacting to the chemicals destroying his system.
All was well and good until he found himself in the same restroom as Artie. He thought about leaving, but the sudden violent urge to vomit overcame all other, and he just barely dropped to his knees in the nearest stall before he got sick. He could hear Artie’s chair rolling across the tile and when Kurt was finally done dry heaving, and flushed the toilet twice, he opened the door to find Artie there holding a paper towel and a small bottle of scope.
“We aren’t supposed to have mouthwash on campus, but no one ever asks to check my bag.” Artie said, and after a moment Kurt accepted both.
“Thank you.” He said rinsing his mouth out with water, and then the scope that Artie had offered.
“So, I know you’re pretty angry, and I’ve come to the realization that you have every right to be.” He said and Kurt met his eyes through the mirror. “We were hurt that it felt like you shut us out, but then you really did shut us out. I really took a proper look at the situation, and I think now in hindsight, after the damage has been done, I can see why you wouldn’t consider us your friends anymore. I just wanted to tell you that I really am sorry. You might not be my friend right now, but I’m going to try and make it so you could be again. So I’m going to back off, and if you want to talk to me, you know where to find me ok?”
“Thanks Artie, I appreciate that.” Kurt told him genuinely thankful for that. “Wait, why aren’t we supposed to have mouthwash?”
“Beats the hell out of me man.” Artie said with a laugh before he threw Kurt a wave and rolled out of the room, leaving Kurt standing there hands braced on the sink. He still felt pretty awful and a little lightheaded if he was honest. He stayed like that, breathing through his teeth until the door swung back open and Blaine and Finn walked in. Blaine staggered to a stop in the doorway, but Finn barely glanced at Kurt as he went into one of the stalls.
“Are you ok?” Blaine asked hesitantly. Kurt looked pale and a little gray in his face, and Blaine was no doctor but he was sure that couldn’t be good. When Kurt turned to answer him, his eyes rolled into the back of his head and he pitched forward. If it wasn’t for Blaine’s quick reflexes, he would have smashed his face on the ground.
“KURT!” His voice echoed around the room and Finn stuttered a few curses as he tried to finish up in a hurry. “Finn, call an ambulance!” Finn stumbled out of the stall, phone already in hand.
“What the hell happened?!” He demanded frantically pushing buttons on his phone.
“I don’t know, I asked him if he was ok, he looked really pale and gray and then he just passed out!” Blaine said trying to adjust his hold on Kurt as he dangled rather lifelessly from his arms. For a brief terrifying moment, Blaine thought Kurt just died right there, but he could feel him breathing still, and felt foolish for panicking. He managed to adjust his hold and ease them both to the ground. He vaguely heard Finn yelling into his cell phone and when a passing student poked their head into the room, they saw Kurt sprawled out in Blaine’s lap and Finn barking information into his cell phone and disappeared.
Blaine would forever be thankful to that nameless kid when Mr. Schue, Coach Sylvester and Coach Beiste hurried into the room. His arms were suddenly empty and he was pushed back to stand next to Finn as the adults did whatever they could to bring Kurt back around. When the EMT’s finally arrived, Blaine watched as everything went like it was in fast forward, Kurt’s on a stretcher, people were yelling over each other, and suddenly he’s standing there alone, Finn having been ushered alongside the gurney to give whatever medical information he could.
Feeling like he was in a fog, Blaine ended up calling Puck. He called him eight times before the bigger boy finally picked up demanding to know why the fuck he’s calling. Blaine barely stammered out an explanation before Puck hung up on him. Blaine stood there for what feels like an eternity, and he only left when Mike came to retrieve him.
Finn would be lying if he said he had been surprised when Puck showed up. In fact he would have been more surprised if he hadn’t showed up. They weren’t speaking to each other, but Puck was pacing around the small space like a wild animal. Finn wished his mother and Burt were here, but they were in DC, and Finn had to leave a message since neither was answering their cell phones. Blaine had trailed in quietly after Puck, and while he was physically sitting next to Finn, he doubted the other boy was really there. Blaine’s eyes were blank, and Finn thinks he probably freaked out so badly that he’s trying to rationalize it in his head.
Slowly, Santana, Brittany, Sam, Quinn, and Rachel trickled into the room. Rachel plastered herself on Finn’s opposite side, with the other four tried to get Puck to settle down some. After a moment, Santana turned a rather hostile look at the other three.
“I get why Frankenteen is here, but what the hell are the dwarf and hobbit doing here? Shouldn’t you be defending middle earth or something?” She demanded.
“I…I just wanted to make sure he’s ok, he just…he just collapsed, it was so fast.” Blaine murmured and Santana’s harsh glare softened the slightest bit.
“Why do you care,” Rachel snapped back. “We have every right to be here, Kurt might be able to keep us out of his room with his stupid lists, but he can’t keep us from sitting in the waiting room.”
“Mom,” Brittany said suddenly, cutting off Santana’s reply and the rest of the group turned to see a blond woman, obviously Mrs. Peirce.
“Hello kids,” She greeted. “I just spoke with Kurt’s doctor, he’s awake.” Finn began to stand up but she held up a hand to stall him. “He’s asking for Blaine, is he here?”
“I’m Blaine.” He replied, looking startled. She motioned for him to come with her, and he did so barely sparing a glance at the others as he went. He poked his head through the door, he wasn’t sure what he was expecting, but Kurt didn’t look like someone who was inches from death. He looked pale and tired, but he didn’t look in any immediate danger of dropping dead.
“Hey,” He greeted and Blaine tried to smile, but he wasn’t sure if he managed it. “Thanks for breaking my fall.”
“God Kurt,” Blaine moaned, sinking into a nearby chair. “The last thing I was expecting when I asked if you were ok was for you to prove you were really not ok.”
“Guess I was a little sicker than I thought.” Kurt said with a mild shrug. Blaine wanted to laugh, but he just couldn’t. There were so many things Blaine wanted to say, but he couldn’t seem to vocalize anything that seemed worth saying.
“I miss you.” Was what he ended up blurting out and then continued before Kurt could say anything in response. “I miss us, and you had a point, I blabbed your information to give and I didn’t have to take any of the blame for it. I’m sorry, I know you’re probably sick of hearing it, but I really am sorry about everything.”
“I know Blaine,” Kurt assured him. “I believe you’re sorry, but…I can’t give you anything right now. I can’t absolve your guilt or pretend that everything’s ok. It’s not ok, but maybe one day we could be friends again like we used to be.”
“I’d like that.” Blaine said, because he didn’t really have anything else to say. “Do you think I might be able to visit you? Not in the hospital if you don’t want, but maybe when you’re home?”
“I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to add your name to the list. I suggest you come visit with Finn though, or Maybe Quinn. I don’t think the others will be particularly accommodating.”
“Whatever you want me to do.” Blaine said managing a little bit more genuine smile. “I should go; I think Puck might start dismantling walls if he doesn’t get to see you right this second.” He stood, and slipped from the room.
“Puck, I think he wants to see you next.” Blaine said, and quickly dodged to the side to avoid being run over by Puck.
“Is he ok?” Finn asked, and Blaine rubbed the back of his neck a little.
“He seems ok, I mean he seems tired and kinda pale, but he didn’t seem like he was in really bad shape or anything.” Blaine replied. “He said I could visit him with you.” He added softly, in hopes that Santana would not overhear.
“Oh, well good. I need someone who’s on my side.” Finn said with a nod.
“I’m not on anyone’s side Finn.” Blaine said with a sigh, but Finn obviously wasn’t listening since he was now turned towards Rachel as she yammered on about how it just wasn’t fair for him to keep the others out. He rolled his eyes and slumped down in his seat, he wouldn’t leave just yet.
When Puck had finally answered the phone and found out what had happened, he would be lying if he said he wasn’t scared. All he heard was Kurt had passed out and had been taken to the hospital. So he had ditched the rest of his classes and made his way to the hospital. Once he got there it dawned on him he should probably tell the others. He blasted off a text to Santana, and barely noticed when Blaine slinked in behind him.
In the time that had passed, Puck came to think of Kurt as his best friend. He wasn’t sure if the other boy felt the same way, but in the time they’d spent together, Puck found he genuinely liked Kurt. It had gone from thinking the others were being ridiculous to actually enjoying being in the other boys company. So now he was scared, what if he best friend couldn’t win this fight? Then he shook himself because, this was Kurt he was talking about. He ignored Finn and Blaine, and while he had been surprised when Kurt asked for Blaine, he had been far less surprised when Blaine said he was asking for him.
“You gotta stop doing this shit.” He informed Kurt as he flopped down in the chair Blaine had vacated. “Seriously, I’m running out of underwear because you keep ruining them when you scare the shit out of me.”
“I apologize for your lack of underwear.” Kurt replied, and Puck couldn’t help but grin.
“Guess it’s a good thing I didn’t decide to go commando today.” And Kurt can’t help but laugh, shaking his head.
“I’m sorry though, I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“Hell, I think you scared the hobbit so bad he actually might be trying to invent a time machine so he can go back in time and sew his lips together.” Puck replied and Kurt laughed again.
“I think Blaine is sorry for starting this whole thing with the club.” Kurt admitted, “I’m still angry with him, but I think I could get over it.”
“Yeah, he seemed pretty freaked. I guess anyone would be if they were talking to you one minute, and the next they were trying to keep you from smashing your face on the floor.” Puck replied, he supposed he could feel at least a little bad for the kids scare.
“Yeah it was so surreal. One moment I’m talking to Artie and he’s giving me contraband mouthwash and apologizing and telling me he’ll back off and wait for me to come to him if I want too, the next, Blaine’s there and everything is tunnel visioning.” Kurt said suddenly looking tired.
“Have the doctors said anything?” Puck ventured to ask and Kurt sighed.
“I think they’re going to keep me in the hospital until my chemo is done. My doctor said it would be best, he thinks school might be adding undue stress. Once we get a hold of my parents, I’ll see about having my school work brought to me here I guess.”
“Is that a bad sign?” Puck asked, suddenly feeling sick. “That they’re keeping you here?”
“Eh, maybe? I’m not really sure; it could just be to avoid any extra stress. I admit it’ll be a nice reprieve from the looks from the glee club.”
“Oh yeah, Rachel’s here by the way, I’m sure she’s contacted the others.”
“Only Mike’s been added officially, and I told Blaine he could come with Finn, since he asked if he could visit, and then offered to wait until I was out of the hospital to do it. So the rest of them can show up, but they still won’t be allowed in.”
“Probably best to tell him to visit with Finn, not sure if any of us would be all that keen on having him around.” Puck replied, and Kurt shrugged.
“I don’t expect you guys do forgive anyone just because I happen too, and while there’s still some work to be done, I think eventually I’ll be able to forgive those who try to earn it.” Kurt said.
“But I can still be an ass right?” Puck joked and Kurt smirked a little.
“Like anyone’s ever been able to stop you from being an ass before.” Kurt replied, and Puck grinned before settling back into his seat a little.
“How much do you want to bet that Rachel will have another fit about not being allowed it?” Puck asked and Kurt sighed.
“I don’t know there’s probably a really good chance of it happening. It sucks; I thought we had become such good friends, jokes on me.” He said shaking his head.
“Well hell, you’ve got Santana wrapped around your finger, you snap and she’d probably kill someone for you.” Puck said trying to lighten the mood.
“Well, that’s something.” Kurt said before yawning. “I should tell you, the Chemo is getting kind of bad, I’m sick a lot, I know you kind of have a thing about vomit, so I could have people report back to you if I’m having a particularly vomit filled day.”
“Dude,” Puck said blinking. “I’ll deal with the barf, no problem.”
“If you say so.” Kurt said and Puck snorted.
“You already nearly threw up on my shoes once.” He said and Kurt smirked.
“Yeah, and you nearly threw up on me in return.” Kurt replied and Puck laughed. “I think I’m going to get some rest while I can, it’s only a matter of time before my Dad and Carole get the messages that were left for them.”
“Sure thing, I’ll hang around for a while.” Puck replied, and after Kurt drifted off, he didn’t bother to leave even after Finn joined in him the room, the pair sitting in awkward silence before Finn spoke.
“I do care you know.” Finn said, breaking the silence.
“Whatever lets you sleep at night.” Puck replied shrugging.
“You really don’t have any reason to keep being such a prick.” Finn said annoyance in his voice.
“It’s not like we’ve done anything wrong.”
“Finn,” Puck said slowly, drawing the name out and making it sound like an insult. “You are not a bright boy, everyone is aware of this, so I’ll make sure to use real little words. You have done nothing but be wrong since this whole thing began. You and your harpy have done nothing but make backhanded remarks since he quit the club. If you really think you haven’t done anything wrong, you aren’t just dumb; you are a complete and total waste of human space.”
“Like you have any room to talk,” Finn snarled. “You seem to think you’re so much better. You threw him in the trash. You nailed his lawn furniture to his roof, you threw slushies in his face, and you called him horrible names. What makes you so much better?”
“I stopped.” Puck said flatly. “I stopped doing those things, and if you think you never did anything like that to him, then you really are a dumbass. I’m not the one who told him he brought to much attention to himself. I’m not the one who told him that he shouldn’t sing with Sam because it would make other people not want to join the club. I’m not the one who continues to hurt him. None of that was me that was all you. I’m the one who stuck with him. I’m the one who listened to his side and I’m the one who is here by choice.”
“Shut up, you have no idea…”
“Why don’t you both shut up?” Kurt asked tiredly from the bed. “Seriously, am I going to have to separate you like you’re in kindergarten? Because if I chose between you, Finn you are not going to like the outcome.”
“I’m your brother!” Finn protested and Kurt shook his head.
“You’ve been a pretty bad brother lately.” Kurt said flatly and Finn flinched. “You said you really did care, so prove it to me. Stop making things harder, if you really can’t get over this whole thing with Karofsky, then do us both a favor, and don’t visit me. Don’t talk to me, pretend I don’t exist. If you care, then stop making it worse for me.”
“Ok man, just take it easy.” Finn said holding his hands out in a placating manner. “Do you want me to call for the doctor or a nurse?”
“No, I’m alright. I just need to rest, I’m really tired.”
“Rest, I’m going to text Santana and promise her you are in fact still alive.” Puck said and Kurt drifted off before Puck even had his phone out of his pocket. Finn sat silently beside him for a few moments before sighing and rubbing his eyes.
“I’ll be back; I’m going to try my mom again.” He said before he left the room. Puck barely grunted in response and once he was finished with his text, he sat back in his chair and closed his eyes. He might as well get some rest too.
The following week was a bit of a blur for Kurt. Between tests and visits from his friends and the awkward visits with Finn and Blaine and his father having more than one mini freak out, the days blurred into one another. It was Saturday when things took a turn for the weird. Finn and Blaine were sitting with him, making awkward stilted conversation when the door opened slowly and Dave Karofsky poked his head into the room.
“What the hell are you doing here? Get the hell out!” Finn screeched and Blaine flinched at the sound.
“I heard Kurt was sick and I wanted to visit.” Karofsky said simply and ignored Finn completely when Kurt motioned him in.
“Santana called?” Kurt asked and Karofsky nodded setting down a basket of flowers he brought.
“Yeah, thought I’d want to know. How ya feeling?” He asked and Finn sputtered. Kurt almost laughed at the expression on his face.
“I’m alright.” Kurt told him and Karofsky glanced over at the other two.
“Hudson, shut your mouth, you’ll catch fly’s.” Karofsky said and Blaine actually snorted out a laugh.
“So I hear that you got Lopez wrapped around your finger, nice work.” Karofsky said with a wink and Kurt laughed.
“So Puck says.”
“I would have been by sooner, but I wasn’t sure how welcome I’d be.” Karofsky admitted taking a seat.
“You’re more welcome than a lot of people.” Blaine said honestly, and Karofsky raised an eyebrow.
“Long story, I’ll fill you in later.” Kurt answered the unasked question.
“Wait, Wait!” Finn protested. “You won’t let your friends from the glee club in, but you’ll let him in?!”
“I let my friends from the glee club in.” Kurt said simply. “My friends are the people who stood by me and didn’t pretend to be apologetic when I got sick.”
“Sounds like a lot has been happening,” Karofsky said with a frown. Before Kurt could answer he turned very, very pale. Blaine reacted quickly and shoved an empty basin under him, just getting there in time as Kurt heaved. Finn’s nose wrinkled and Karofsky hesitated just for a moment before fetching water from the opposite side of the room.
“Sorry,” Kurt said wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “The chemo is getting rougher.” He took a sip of the water that Karofsky held out to him.
“Don’t apologize, it happens.” Blaine replied and Karofsky nodded.
“Puckerman said he’d be by later, try not to barf, he has a thing about it.” Karofsky teased and Kurt gave a small laugh.
“He told me he could handle it. I have to give him credit, I almost did throw up on him once, and he didn’t throw up himself.”
“That is an accomplishment.” Karofsky said grinning. Kurt smiled weakly in return before sagging against his pillows.
“That’s what three times today? “ Kurt asked, and Blaine nodded. “That’s better than yesterday.”
“You seemed wiped, so I won’t stay. I just wanted to check in on you. You have my cell number, text or call if you need anything.” Karofsky gave his shoulder a gentle squeeze before turning to leave. He gave Finn a rather disapproving calculating look before a deep frown etched onto his face and he left the room, pulling his cell phone out as he went.
“That’s bullshit Kurt,” Finn snapped. “You won’t let the others in, but you’ll see him?”
“Why wouldn’t he?” Blaine cut in before Kurt could. “He and Karofsky have made amends. The rest of the club really hasn’t done much to try and earn his forgiveness. Telling him things happen and then in the same breath telling him that if he had just talked to you things would have been different is not an apology. I am well aware that I screwed up this whole thing. I started it, I acted like a jerk, and the only people who are holding me responsible are Kurt’s friends. That’s why they are his friends.”
“That is exactly why I’m trying to forgive you.” Kurt said with a sad smile.
“I’m trying to deserve it.” Blaine replied, and Kurt leaned back shutting his eyes.
“Finn, you may want to calm down, my dad and your mom will be here soon enough to take you out for dinner.” Kurt said he had made his father promise to take Carole and Finn out for the evening and not worry about him. Puck was coming to stay with him, it was fine.
“I’m not worked up!” Finn snapped and Blaine raised an eyebrow.
“The angry voice begs to differ.” He pointed out and Finn let out an exasperated sigh.
“I thought you were supposed to be on my side.” Finn pouted.
“I told you before; I’m on no one’s side.” Blaine said rolling his eyes, and taking the basin into the bathroom to rinse it out.
“Quinn was on no one’s side, you’re on your own side.” Puck said striding into the room and taking the seat that Karofsky had been in, dragging it up to the side of Kurt’s bed.
“Dude, you should have seen the smack down during glee yesterday.” Puck told him and Finn frowned.
“Puck, that isn’t…” He started to protest.
“Rachel was harping on how we were completely unprepared for Nationals and how she needed some people in the club, meaning you know, Team Kurt, to and I quote ‘get our acts together’ and stop letting outside influences distract us.” Puck went on as if he hadn’t heard.
“Team Kurt?” Blaine echoed sounding amused.
“Yeah, the people who weren’t being self-absorbed pricks before he got sick.” Puck replied, Kurt could try and forgive Blaine, but Puck had no plans to make nice with him anytime soon.
“Ah, ok. Continue.” Blaine said with a nod, and it startled Puck the slightest bit he was being so laid back about his attitude towards him.
“And Santana was really gearing up, you know that thing she does right before she gets super mad, well she was doing that and Artie jumps in before she can get started and really tore Rachel a new one. You should have heard it, it was-“
“Completely out of line.” Finn interrupted frowning and crossing his arms across his chest angrily.
“Actually,” Puck said rolling his eyes. “Artie had a couple good points. Especially when he said that if she was so considered about it maybe she should spend less time complaining and more time being proactive. Maybe you guys could shut the hell up more about what we’re doing and actually live your lives instead of trying to control other people’s lives for a while.”
“Stop,” Kurt said when he saw Finn’s mouth beginning to open. “If you are going to argue, take it outside. I’m tired and don’t want to hear it right now.” Before Finn had a chance to reply, Puck
started talking again.
“Anyway, I brought your work like you asked, but seriously I’m pretty sure this would get you a get out of homework free card.” Puck said putting the stack down on the nightstand.
“Probably, but I don’t want to fall behind.” Kurt said, he ran a hand through his hair and when a clump of hair came out he stilled.
“It’s just your hair.” Finn said, trying to smile. “We knew it could happen remember?”
“Yeah,” Kurt said quietly, and Puck frowned.
“It’s just some Kurt, it could just be thinning.” Blaine said in an attempt to cheer him up.
“Maybe,” Kurt said doubtfully. “But it’s probably just falling out. It’s…It’s ok, hair grows back.”
“Well, just wait and see.” Blaine said, and when Carole popped her head into the room, she frowned a little.
“Kurt, are you ok sweetheart?” She asked and when Kurt nodded and attempted to smile she hesitated.
“We don’t have to go out, we can reschedule.” She offered.
“No, no I want you guys to go out. I’m fine, really.” Kurt said with a more genuine smile.
“Ok,” Carole said after a moment of hesitation. “We’ll be back later tonight.” She ushered Finn out and after a few moments Blaine stood as well.
“I should go too; I’ll be back in a couple days. I’ll text or call you first.” Blaine said before taking his leave as well.
“Dude, I know you’re bummed about your hair. We could shave it off first if you like.” Puck offered and Kurt hesitated.
“Sounds like a good idea; I’ll have my dad bring me some bandanas or something. Some hats, things like that.”
“I saw Karofsky in the lobby.” Puck said trying to change the subject for the time being.
“Yeah, Santana called and told him what was going on. He stopped by to visit and see how I was doing. I thought a vein in Finn’s head was going to pop.”
“Well, I’m sure he just can’t wrap that peanut sized mind around the fact you’ll let him but you won’t let his harpy in.” Puck said with a shrug.
“You really should stop calling her a harpy.” Kurt said, but he laughed none the less.
“I’ll stop calling her a harpy when she stops being one.” Puck replied defiantly.
“I received a card from Tina. She had Quinn deliver it; she didn’t want to put Mike in a bad spot I guess. She was very apologetic in the card, but of course it’s kind of hard to tell tone when it comes to writing…”
“Yeah she agreed with a lot of what Artie was saying. I think she and Artie took what you said about not being friends to heart. I’m surprised Aretha hasn’t started poking around. She isn’t saying anything about it really, so either she’s smart enough to keep her opinions to herself, or she’s you know, processing or whatever.”
“I meant what I said, I did mourn the loss of our friendships, but when it came down to it, I didn’t need them like I thought I would. People I didn’t expect stepped up, and the support I needed was there.” Kurt said.
“Well,” Puck said throwing a deck of cards down on the bed between them. “I’m going to win my money back tonight.”
“Puck, we don’t play for money, last time we played for the marshmallow type things in lucky charms.”
“Yeah, well I’m winning that back then.” Puck said before dealing the hand. He knew he would come to regret teaching Kurt poker, and he had. Kurt was good at the game, and Puck wasn’t sure if he was being hustled or not. Still they spent the evening playing poker until Kurt fell asleep. Puck sat next to the bed, resisting the urge to adjust the sheets around Kurt’s chest.
Puck was leery to admit to it, but he was starting to have like, actual feelings for Kurt. Like the kind of feelings he was pretty sure he wasn’t supposed to be having. Somehow, Kurt had gone from being his best friend, to something more. Something Puck was afraid to define. Still, he knew that the last thing Kurt needed to be dealing with on top of being sick was Puck’s sudden new found puppy love. So he kept his big mouth shut. He could totally get over it. He was sure of it. Well, maybe.
Kurt only had one more round of Chemo, and while he was thrilled part of him felt nervous that it wouldn’t be enough. He and Puck had shaved the rest of his hair off when it became apparent it wasn’t just thinning out. He had one minor breakdown about it; thankfully the only people in the room at the time had been Quinn and Sam. Quinn had just climbed into the bed with him and let him be upset. Sam had been silent, but afterwards informed him that Kurt would look bitchin bald, it had made him laugh so he supposed that was something. He had almost gotten used to the sight, since it had been a few weeks since they shaved it all off.
He asked to see Tina and Artie both in turn; he wanted to speak to them both. Artie had given him the space he wanted and he hadn’t pushed. More importantly once he got into the hospital room, he just greeted Kurt with a simple hi and after they talked and Kurt really knew Artie had been sincere, he began to forgive him. He didn’t say it out loud, but in his head where it mattered, he forgave Artie, and when he left, he accepted the fist bump Artie offered.
Tina had cried when she saw him. Once she managed to compose herself, she gave him a genuine apology. She had been more surprised that he dealt with so much alone, and she had been angrier with herself for being a bad friend than him, but she took it out on him because it was easier. She then offered him a scarf that she made and even though it tapered off into a triangle at the end, he wore it anyway. At the end of both visits they were added to the list.
He was surprised that on his last day of Chemo, not only did Puck show up, but Karofsky was there too. Santana who was going to be there had to go talk to her Abuela, and Kurt hoped that meant they were going to work things out.
“Hey,” He greeted and Puck threw himself down in a chair while Karofsky threw him a wave.
“Puckerman here said he wouldn’t throw me out on my ass, so I figured I’d keep you company.” Karofsky said and Puck snorted.
“I was more generous than that.” He said and Karofsky rolled his eyes. “You nervous?”
“Yeah, I am.” Kurt admitted. “It might not work and then I’ll have to do this all over again, and I don’t think I can do it.”
“Well, if you have to, you’ll do it. You’re Kurt, if you survived everything I’ve thrown at you, you’ll get through this.” Karofsky said confidently and Kurt smiled wanly.
“Thanks.” Kurt said before taking in a deep breath. “I’m already starting to feel sick.”
“Well, you want me to tell you about the latest debacle that was a glee club meeting?” Puck asked and Kurt nodded, and Karofsky glanced over in interest.
“Well, Rachel found out that Artie and Tina had switched sides and that you even went as far as talking to both of them, she lost her mind.” Puck began. “She accused them of just feeling bad for you and falling for your sad cancer eyes.”
“His what?!” Karofsky demanded, but Kurt snorted out a laugh.
“Sad cancer eyes,” Kurt said. “During a visit once Santana was relating a story about how Finn was talking about my sad cancer eyes, we thought it was funny, it’s kind of an inside joke among Puck, Santana, and I, but Rachel and Finn seem to think it’s an actual thing.”
“Wow, you people are insane.” Karofsky said with a chuckle.
“Well anyway, Tina told her that she was so disgusted with her behavior that she didn’t think she even wanted to be part of a club with her in it anymore. Rachel started to gear up for another lecture, but Artie interrupted then. He pointed out that you talked to them because they were genuinely remorseful for what had happened. They weren’t going to harp on you about a stupid competition; they were going to be there for you. Rachel starts crying and whining how everyone is against her, it was all very dramatic. So of course, Finn tries to give everyone some speech, but Mike of all people stood up and walked out. The rest of Team Kurt followed.”
“I can’t believe this is happening.” Kurt groaned. “The club is falling apart at the seams.”
“Yeah, well when people are shitty, shitty things happen.” Puck said with a shrug. Kurt shook his head but leaned back against the pillows. He wanted to ask Karofsky how he was doing, but he wasn’t sure how appreciated it would be with Puck in the room.
“What else has been going on?” Kurt asked and Puck thought for a moment.
“Well, Karofsky joined Team Kurt,” He offered though that was pretty clear. “And Brittany wants to make t-shirts.” Kurt shook his head a small smile on his face, and settled back to listen as Karofsky and Puck traded off on telling him stories to keep him occupied. When he only threw up twice during the session, he counted it as a victory, even if Puck nearly threw up too. At the end of the evening, Burt showed up, and the pair left. Once they were in the parking lot Karofsky paused by Puck.
“Puckerman,” He said and Puck glanced at him. “I see the way you look at him.” And Puck startled a little. “I blew my chance a long time ago, don’t blow yours.” And with that, he was gone, leaving Puck to contemplate what he had said.
Kurt was released from the hospital two days after his final dose of Chemo. He was told to rest, but he could return part time to school. If another round of Chemo was going to become required they would see about school. Puck, Santana, Artie, and Tina met him at the door.
“Sup,” Artie greeted holding his fist out to bump.
“Hey.” Kurt replied bumping his fist and accepted a hug from Tina, before glancing at the others.
“Should I be worried at the lack of glee club members?”
“Nope,” Santana assured him. “Quinn, Sam, and Brittany are taking care of it.”
“That sounds strangely foreboding.” Kurt said with a laugh.
“Yes well, Quinn can be scary when she wants to be.” Puck said, throwing an arm around Kurt and leading him through the halls. Blaine greeted him as he passed, but made no move to join the group. Kurt paused in the doorframe of the rehearsal room and a sad sort of nostalgia overwhelmed him.
“You could always join again, when you’re ready.” Tina said gently and Kurt nodded.
“I did work on a song with Quinn when I felt up to it.” Kurt admitted.
“Well, maybe you could share it.” Mr. Schue said surprising them as he came up behind. He smiled at Kurt but didn’t attempt to touch him. “It’s good to have you back. If you ever want too, you know where the choir room is.” With that, he left, not wanting to push or overstay his welcome. The first bell rang and Kurt separated from most of the others to head to his first class. He almost didn’t even notice that Puck’s arm was still around his shoulders.
Towards the end of Kurt’s day he knew the glee club was going to have a meeting. He had spoken to Quinn who had encouraged him to sing with her if he missed it, and Kurt did miss it. He missed singing, he might not miss the glee club necessarily, but he had missed singing. He was feeling fairly decent for the first time in a long time. Sure he was still a little wiped from what he went through, but he was feeling well enough to sing. So he waited for Quinn to fetch him for their song.
“I’ve been working on this song for a long time.” Quinn said as an introduction. “When Kurt was feeling well enough to work on it, we did.” She motioned him into the room, and Brad actually smiled at him. Kurt couldn’t remember Brad actually smiling at anyone before, let alone him. They handed over the sheet music and when the music started Kurt took a seat on the stool that Quinn had pulled up.
“In this proud land we grew up strong
we were wanted all along
I was taught to fight, taught to win
I never thought I could fail
no fight left or so it seems
I am a man whose dreams have all deserted
I've changed my face, I've changed my name
but no one wants you when you lose” Kurt sang softly, a little sadly.
“Don't give up
'cos you have friends
don't give up
you're not beaten yet
don't give up
I know you can make it good” Quinn sang and the others weren’t sure if they had ever heard her sound quite so haunting. Kurt picked up the next few verses.
“Though I saw it all around
never thought I could be affected
thought that we'd be the last to go
it is so strange the way things turn
drove the night toward my home
the place that I was born, on the lakeside
as daylight broke, I saw the earth
the trees had burned down to the ground” Quinn reached over and picked up Kurt’s hand before starting her verses.
“Don't give up
you still have us
don't give up
we don't need much of anything
don't give up
'cause somewhere there's a place
where we belong
rest your head
you worry too much
it's going to be alright
when times get rough
you can fall back on us
don't give up
please don't give up…” Kurt interlocked their fingers, looking at the people he once considered to be his friends.
“'Got to walk out of here
I can't take anymore
going to stand on that bridge
keep my eyes down below
whatever may come
and whatever may go
that river's flowing
that river's flowing
moved on to another town
tried hard to settle down
for every job, so many men
so many men no-one needs” Kurt noticed that Tina was crying, and Mercedes was sniffling her eyes a little misty.
“Don't give up
'cause you have friends
don't give up
you're not the only one
don't give up
no reason to be ashamed
don't give up
you still have us
don't give up now
we're proud of who you are
don't give up
you know it's never been easy
don't give up
'cause I believe there's the a place
there's a place where we belong.” Quinn finished softly, and after the music died out the room erupted into noise. Kurt took a moment to look around. Rachel looked someone devastated, and Mercedes was wiping her eyes.
“Damn Hummel.” Puck said shaking his head and Kurt shrugged before getting off his stool.
“Quinn actually introduced me to the song, and it just…you know fit.” Kurt said before gathering his belongings. “Anyway, I’m heading home, but I just wanted to sing, I’ve missed it.”
“Then come back.” Mercedes said softly and Kurt glanced at her. “Come back to the club. We’re sorry, we treated you badly, and when you really needed us we abandoned you. We’re sorry.”
“I can’t right now.” Kurt said softly. “You guys hurt me pretty bad, and I’m not invincible. I’m not stone. You cut me and I bled, and now I’m healing. Maybe one day I’ll come back, but not now.” With that, Kurt took his leave. The rest of the meeting was much more subdued.
When Kurt called to tell Puck that his test results had come in, Puck hurried over. He was not surprised to see Sam, Santana, Quinn, and Brittany there. He was a little surprised to see Mike, Tina, and Artie. He was really surprised to see the Hob-Blaine, there, standing next to Finn.
“So, what did the doctor say?” Finn asked finally and Kurt smiled.
“They think they got it all, it looks like I’m going into remission.” The whoop that Sam let out before darting forward and sweeping Kurt up into a hug that not only took him off his feet slightly, but spun him in a circle made Santana laugh. Santana, Quinn and Brittany descended hugs and kisses to his cheeks. Tina, Mike, and Artie were more subdued, still not quite sure where they stood with him. He accepted the hug from Tina, and the clasp on the shoulder from Mike. He grinned when Artie bumped his hip with the chair.
“I’m glad you’re ok.” Finn said and he sagged a little. “You have no idea, I’m so glad.”
“Me too,” Blaine said softly and smiled in the way that Kurt used to love. Puck finally seemed to be knocked out of his stupor at the news that Kurt in fact, was not going to die, and swooped down, lifting Kurt off his feet in a bone crushing hug. Kurt squawked a little at the feeling of Puck’s arms around him, not preparing to throw him in the trash.
“Go out with me.” Puck murmured into Kurt’s ear and the other boy jerked a little in surprise.
“You heard me, go out with me. Uh, Please.” Puck said, putting Kurt down on the ground. Kurt stared at him for a few moments, and Puck decided they should probably talk without the others standing there.
“Be right back!” He announced, before swinging Kurt over his shoulder. Kurt sort of, well, shrieked, but Puck thought it was pretty damn funny. Finn made to follow but Santana held out a hand to stop him.
“Give them a minute.” She demanded, and the others stood awkwardly wondering just what the hell was going on. Once Puck got the other boy away from the others he put him back on the ground and Kurt looked kinda pissed.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Kurt demanded and Puck had to smile.
“I want you to go out with me. You’re getting better, that’s awesome. So go out with me so we can celebrate, I-shit Kurt; I just want to date you.” Kurt was staring at him like he had grown extra appendages. Puck realized this probably was really out of left field for the other boy, but damn it, if Karofsky of all people noticed, Puck figured he probably act before someone like Quinn or Santana did, because they would harp on him until the end of time to do something about it.
“Puck…” He started, but Puck cut back in.
“This isn’t because you were sick, and now you’re not. This is because I’ve gotten to know you, and like you, and then I started to like you in a way that was probably completely inappropriate, and I’m actually going to take advice for once, and I’m not going to blow a chance if I got one, so I’m asking you, please give me a chance, and go out with me.” Kurt studied him for a few moments before nodding.
“Yeah?” Puck asked a little surprised that Kurt agreed.
“Yeah.” Puck grinned before throwing Kurt back over his shoulder, this time getting a muffled laugh and toting him back to the others.
“Back, now I believe a celebration is in order.”
“Pizza?” Finn suggested and Santana looked to Kurt.
“Sounds fine by me, I’m exhausted.” Kurt replied with a smile. The rest of the evening was spent watching movies and eating pizza. It was the most fun Kurt had had in a long time.
Their first date was somewhat of a disaster. The movie had been completely sold out, their dinner reservations had somehow gotten lost, and it rained. Still, as they stood dripping wet on the front porch of Kurt’s new home, Kurt laughed and said he had fun. So Puck asked for a second date. The second date went smoother. That lead to a third, and before Puck really knew it, he was dating a dude. He was Puckzilla, he was a stud, be his date male or female.
When he told the others, Santana had given him a no duh look, which made him think maybe she had known all along. The others were surprised, but generally accepting and happy for them. Every once in a while, Puck would catch Blaine watching Kurt with some sort of sad regret, but it would eventually pass. The day Kurt decided to rejoin glee, he stood outside the classroom nervously breathing between his teeth.
“I don’t know if I should do this after all.” Kurt admitted. “After everything that’s happened, and what if the cancer comes back? What if-“ Puck cut Kurt off with a gentle nudge on his shoulder.
“You’ll be fine. You got me, you got your friends. Besides, if anyone starts anything, I’ll take care of it, always.” Puck promised and Kurt smiled before nodding.
“Right, you’re right.”
“If you could just remember that, things would be so much easier…” Puck kidded.
“But it happens so rarely,” Kurt replied giggling as Puck took a gentle swipe at him.
“Ready?” Puck asked, holding out his hand, and after a moment, Kurt slid his hand into it.
“Ready.” Hand encased tightly in his own, Puck lead the pair into the choir room. Somehow with everything that had happened, when all was said and done, the two most unlikely people found each other. Puck wasn’t complaining; Kurt was superawesomemegafoxyhot, and more importantly he was his. He planned to keep it that way for as long as Kurt would have him. They could get through the glee club, they could get through the rest of high school, they could get through anything, because they were Puck and they were Kurt, and they loved each other.
In the end, Puck supposed that was all that really mattered.