Kurt doesn’t know who Finn thinks he’s deceiving by heading out early on the day after Regionals with an excited look on his face. Kurt saw Rachel’s performance and the way that she looked at Finn, and Kurt refrains from texting her since he has his own relationship to think about, now. He spends most of the day in his room texting and Skyping with Blaine, then doing homework, which he thinks is possibly the best Sunday he’s ever had during a school year.
He hears Finn come home just before dinner, sounding frustrated or disappointed when he talks to Carole, and then Kurt can hear Finn almost stomping up the stairs. He doesn’t stop at Kurt’s room, though, just waves as he passes, and Kurt can hear him all but shut his own bedroom door.
Throughout the next day, Kurt half-expects to get some kind of excited text from Rachel, but when he doesn’t, he assumes she’s too excited, and he decides to call her that evening. After school, without Warbler rehearsal, Kurt arrives home with enough time before dinner to stop in Finn’s doorway.
“Oh, hey, Kurt,” Finn says, looking distracted even as he smiles at Kurt. He keeps smiling as his eyes slide out the window, and Kurt stifles a laugh.
“How are things?” Kurt asks.
“They’re good. Really good,” Finn says. “You? You and Blaine seemed pretty close on Saturday.”
Kurt smiles, mostly to himself, and then nods. “We had… a moment. Or a couple of moments, really. It’s good. Exciting.”
“Yeah, the first part of a relationship is awesome,” Finn says, his smile getting bigger. “That’s really cool, Kurt.”
“Are you currently experiencing that as well?” Kurt asks, and Finn nods.
“Yeah, it’s so great,” Finn says, and he’s about to say more when Kurt hears his computer dinging with an incoming Skype call. Finn must hear it too, because he laughs and waves Kurt down the hall. “Later.”
“Bye!” Kurt says, running for his computer. It isn’t until well after dinner, after Kurt’s homework is half-complete, that he remembers to send Rachel a quick text. So I suppose congratulations are in order?
The response is swift and bewildering. Congratulations? For what? Are you mocking me?
Kurt frowns and closes his door, then calls Rachel. “Do you really not know what I’m talking about?” Kurt asks.
“Why would you congratulate me?” Rachel says with a sniff. “Finn told me Saturday and said he didn’t think he and I were good together! And he said he wasn’t getting together with Quinn, but I didn’t believe him.” Rachel sighs. “But Quinn insists they’re not together, and they
certainly didn’t act like it, so I suppose I have to believe them.”
“That doesn’t make any sense,” Kurt says slowly. “Finn said earlier he was just in the beginning of a relationship.” He hears Rachel’s intake of breath and a little hitched cry, and Kurt keeps thinking with that background noise. “Unless… Oh. Oh. Rachel, I think…”
“Don’t,” Rachel says. “I don’t want to know, not tonight. But don’t forget Wednesday night!”
“I won’t,” Kurt promises, and he frowns at the phone after Rachel ends the call before heading down the hall and knocking on Finn’s door.
There’s a muffled sound, like Finn’s talking to someone, but when he opens the door, no one is in his room, and Kurt concludes Finn must have also been on the phone. “Yeah?”
“Are you dating someone you’ve never dated before?” Kurt asks curiously.
“Well, yeah,” Finn says, and he smiles with his eyes cut to the side again. “I mean, we’ve been kind of leading up to it for a couple of months, but we’ve definitely never dated before now.” His smile gets wider and then he startles. “Oh! I gotta—” He pulls out his phone and waves it around, and Kurt nods, pulling the door closed behind him as he hears Finn calling someone—presumably his new girlfriend—and while Kurt doesn’t hear the first part of the conversation, he does hear “like, actually out, on Friday night,” before going in his own room.
Kurt puts Finn and his mystery girlfriend out of his head after that, at least until he arrives at Mercedes’s on Wednesday night. Mercedes, Rachel, Tina, Quinn, and Lauren are there, and he raises one eyebrow. “No Santana or Brittany?”
“I think they’re at Brittany’s,” Quinn says with a tolerant smile. She’s sitting next to Rachel, and Rachel doesn’t look angry with her, so Rachel must have come to a similar conclusion as Kurt since they spoke on Monday.
Still, the topic of Finn doesn’t come up for at least an hour, when there’s a lull in the conversation and Rachel sighs heavily. “I just don’t understand!” she says. “Who in the world is Finn dating? I’ve watched him as much as I can, to see what girls he’s even talking to, and I can’t tell.”
“Are you sure he’s really dating someone?” Quinn asks, looking at Kurt.
“Yeah, maybe you misunderstood him,” Mercedes says.
“No,” Kurt says. “I specifically asked if he was dating someone he hadn’t dated before, and he said yes, that they’d been leading towards it for a few months, but now they were dating. And then I heard him arranging some kind of date on Friday night.”
“So whoever he’s with on Friday night is the girl!” Rachel says triumphantly. “Kurt, you’ll tell me if you see them?”
“I would, but I highly doubt he’ll be picked up by her,” Kurt points out, “and I’ll be gone most of the evening myself.”
Rachel squeals at that, as do Tina and Quinn, and the conversation changes to discuss Kurt and Blaine and what their Friday night plans are, and Finn’s dating life doesn’t come up again.
Kurt forgets about it, in fact, until Rachel texts him on Friday afternoon just before he leaves Dalton, but when he gets home, Finn is in the shower, and by the time Kurt gets done with his own shower, Finn is gone, presumably dressed and ready for his date. Kurt meets Blaine near the interstate and then drives them down to Dayton for a play, and he puts his phone on vibrate well before the curtain goes up.
When Kurt returns home, Finn’s truck is in the driveway. He can hear quiet talking as he goes up the stairs, and Kurt shrugs. Maybe the date was short, or she’s actually younger with an earlier curfew, and Finn decided to have one or more of the guys over afterward. That thought is confirmed the next morning when Kurt goes downstairs and Puck is in the kitchen. He’s actually standing at the stove flipping something, and Finn is sitting at the table drinking from one of the two mugs on the table.
“‘Morning,” Puck says at the same time Finn does, and the two of them laugh. Kurt shakes his head and goes to the coffeemaker, pouring himself a mug. “Want some omelet?” Puck continues. “I think I made more than even we can eat.”
“I could eat thirds of omelet,” Finn says.
“You could, but you’re making toast, too,” Puck retorts.
“I’ll take a small piece,” Kurt says. “Thank you.”
There’s something odd about sitting down with Finn and Puck to eat breakfast that Kurt can’t put a finger on. There’s nothing overt, just an odd solicitousness in the way Puck slides Finn’s plate in front of him, and something oddly gentle about the way Finn looks at Puck midway through the omelet. It isn’t until Kurt is at the sink, putting his plate in the dishwasher, that he starts to form a guess, and he glances towards the two of them out of the corner of his eye.
Puck starts to stand, and he reaches out with one hand, sliding it across Finn’s neck and grinning at Finn, and Finn looks up at Puck with a large smile, and Kurt has to turn back to the dishwasher quickly. Oh. Oh. That explains not having dated the person previously, the lack of attention to any particular girl, and Finn not being particularly open about it either.
Kurt dawdles in the kitchen, washing the pan that Puck had used to make the omelet—and really, that should have clued Kurt in sooner. He keeps spying on them, enough times to see some touches that would alone give it away, and a very brief kiss. Kurt shakes his head and puts the pan away before heading up to his room, somehow less surprised than he feels he should be.
It changes his interest in the gossip, however, and when Rachel texts him later that afternoon, he just says that Finn left after him and returned before him—not technically true, but it makes it less likely for Rachel to ask again.
Kurt tries to decide if he should let the two of them know that he knows, and just before noon, he decides to stop by Finn’s room on the way to the kitchen. He’ll see how they’re acting and try to make a decision that way. As he knocks on the door, he hears a quiet ‘crap!’ followed by a thump, and it takes far longer than he thinks it should for Finn to open the door.
Finn looks more like he’s been in bed than he did at breakfast, and his t-shirt is clearly on inside out. “Yeah?” he says.
“I was going to fix some lunch,” Kurt says slowly, realizing that he doesn’t see Puck in the room. “Did you…” Kurt trails off, a little confused, and suddenly Puck pops up from behind the bed, looking only slightly less disheveled. “Want anything?” Kurt finishes.
“Sure!” Finn says, glancing over his shoulder at Puck, who grins, which makes Finn grin. “We’ll, uh. Be down in a few minutes.”
Kurt nods and starts to turn away. “Your shirt’s inside out,” he says just before Finn closes the door, then laughs to himself as he goes down the stairs. “That answers one question,” he says to himself.
Puck isn’t sure how he and Finn manage go an entire week at school with no one noticing them. It’s not like they’re taking out ads, but Puck really thought they were at least somewhat obvious. Finn’s insistence that they go out on an actual date is actually pretty cool, because they like almost the exact same things. It still takes them most of the week to decide what they should do, because they’re usually together as it is.
“Dinner and a movie?” Finn says uncertainly on Thursday. “It’s pretty standard.”
“Not Breadstix.” Puck makes a face.
“Because of the people?”
“Because if I want something all you can eat, I want Old Barn or Golden Corral or the Chinese buffet on Bellafontaine,” Puck says.
“We could go to the Chinese place,” Finn says. “It’s nice in there. Darker.”
“There’s not really a good movie out, though.”
They don’t decide on what to do after dinner until after lunch on Friday, when they’re walking to class. “Maybe we should just do what we really like anyway,” Puck says. “We can go by Family Video and get a movie or a game, and then go back to your place. It’s still a date. When there’s a movie we actually want to see, we’ll go out to it.”
Maybe it’s the wrong attitude, Puck doesn’t know, but this thing with Finn feels really settled and still weirdly tenuous, all at once. Part of him doesn’t want to stretch too far. It’s true that he just doesn’t like Breadstix that much, but maybe Breadstix is also too much for a first public date. A meal out and then time at Finn’s with no one else there sounds more fun, but it also sounds just a little bit safer, giving them a chance to solidify things before people push too much.
Still, Puck knows he’s probably smiling sort of stupidly to himself as he heads home after school, and it is a real date. He takes a shower, because he was lifting at school, and he put on clean clothes, and when Finn comes to pick him up, he can tell Finn did the same things. Puck leans over and kisses Finn before Finn pulls out, and Finn takes Puck’s hand once they’re on the road again, and yeah, Puck can definitely do this. This is what he wants, not just the security of knowing Finn’s not going anywhere. He takes Finn’s hand again when they walk into the Chinese buffet, and the two of them keep holding hands until they have to pick up their plates.
Puck decides, while scooping kung pao chicken onto his plate, that he’ll try not to look around while they’re eating. Whether or not there are people they know there, they should try to act the same way, or at least that’s Puck’s theory, and once they’re sitting down, they’re too busy talking and eating to notice other people, anyway.
It takes fifteen minutes at Family Video to find something they both care enough about to watch, another five to pick a game to try, and then they head back to Finn’s, which is otherwise deserted. They’re playing the game, movie watched, when they hear Kurt coming back, and Puck leans against Finn’s shoulder.
“Does that mean the ‘date’ part of the night’s over?”
Finn laughs. “Why? What part comes next? The ‘bed’ part?”
By lunch the next afternoon, Puck’s pretty sure that Kurt’s figured them out, which is funny, since he’s the person least likely to start telling everyone else. When Carole stops and asks Finn if Puck’s staying for dinner late in the afternoon, Puck’s almost positive she’s figured it out.
“You’re staying tonight, right?” Finn asks as Carole continues down the hall.
“Not tired of me?” Puck retorts, propping his chin on his hands. “Maybe I should leave so you can miss me.”
Finn opens his mouth, then closes it and frowns at Puck. “I’ll miss you tomorrow night?”
“Yeah, so why should I miss you tonight for no reason?”
“Yeah, good point,” Puck concedes, rolling onto his back and patting the bed next to him. Finn grins and lies down beside Puck on his stomach. They lie there for awhile quietly before Finn sighs.
“What happens when we fight?”
“What do you mean?” Puck says, turning his head and frowning a little.
“We’re dating and you’re my best friend, so having a fight’s kind of… extra shitty,” Finn finally says.
“Oh. Yeah. I guess we try not to fight. And make up sex.”
Finn laughs. “Yeah, okay.”
The funniest thing about school on Monday is how closely some of the girls from glee club are watching Finn. Every time a girl approaches him, they look too interested, and Puck can’t help laughing about it. When Tuesday starts out the same way, Puck spends most of first period thinking, and second period. By lunch, he’s reached a conclusion, and he slides onto the bench next to Finn.
“You wanna be more obvious?” Puck whispers. “Not completely obvious, just more obvious.”
“Like how?” Finn whispers back.
“Like this.” Puck reaches onto Finn’s plate and grabs three of his fries, which is not something he would have done with Finn, before. Finn swats at Puck’s hand and makes a face, but that’s all he does, and Puck grins as he pops the fries into his mouth.
“That might do it,” Finn says, simultaneously taking Puck’s apple before taking a bite and almost smirking.
“If you did that to me, I’d get mad,” Sam says as he sits down across the table.
“If he did that to you, I’d be mad,” Puck says.
Sam looks confused about that, frowning at Puck and then Finn before looking at Puck a final time. Puck grins a little and ducks his head as he filches another fry from Finn’s tray. Finn swats at his hand again and laughs, and Puck almost kisses him right there, middle of the cafeteria or not. The conversation changes as more people sit down around them, and when they all have to scoot together, Puck and Finn end up squeezed against each other, probably closer than anyone realizes.
“So are you going to steal my food until people catch on?” Finn asks as they leave the cafeteria.
Puck stops, which makes Finn stop, too, and Puck stands there until the hall is mostly empty. “Maybe even after they do.” He leans in and kisses Finn briefly, then pulls back with a wide grin as he heads down the hall.
Finn is surprised with himself when he looks forward to lunch on Wednesday. Sure, lunch is always a good break from everything else at school, and he likes to eat, but the food is bad enough that he’s usually not excited to go down the hall to the cafeteria. He’s not sure what Puck’s going to be up to during the meal, though, and that’s exciting.
It must be more obvious than he realized, because he catches a few quizzical looks in his direction before he gets into the lunch line. The food is gross—stuffed breadsticks and marinara sauce with a side of carrots and peas—but Finn picks up a brownie and an extra roll, at least.
The brownie never makes it into his hand. He’s just sitting the tray down when Puck’s hand reaches out and snags the brownie, and Finn can’t help but laugh. If he’s completely honest, he picked up the brownie knowing Puck would enjoy it.
“Thanks,” Puck says around a mouthful of the brownie, grinning hard enough that the edges of his eyes are crinkling, and Finn wonders when he started noticing things like that.
“You’re welcome,” Finn says, aiming for a dry tone instead of an amused one, but he must fail, because the next thing he hears is Artie.
“Why aren’t you mad? It’s not funny,” Artie says. “Puck, you should at least ask!”
“Nah, I don’t have to,” Puck says with a shrug, and while Puck’s looking at Artie, Finn reaches out and picks up the orange on Puck’s tray that Finn would bet money on really being for him, just like the brownie was for Puck.
“You don’t have to,” Artie repeats. “Are you going to steal my brownie?”
“No,” Puck says indignantly. “Why would I do that? I don’t have to ask Finn.”
“And why is Finn different?” Artie asks.
“Why do you think Finn’s different?” Puck says with a shrug, then turns back to Finn. “Hey!”
Finn grins and holds up the next segment of orange. “Yes?”
“See what I put up with?” Puck says dramatically.
“I’m very confused,” Artie says. “Is this some kind of revival of middle school friendship traditions?”
“Nope,” Puck says. “It is not.”
“I like oranges,” Finn says instead of answering, and he can tell it makes Artie a little crazy. Artie starts to reply a couple of times, then shakes his head and turns towards Mike, who’s just sitting down across from Puck.
“What?” Mike says.
“Finn likes oranges and I like brownies,” Puck says matter-of-factly.
“Why didn’t you get the brownie, then, and why didn’t Finn get an orange!” Artie explodes.
Finn shrugs. “‘Cause that wouldn’t be as much fun.”
“Fun?” Mike looks between them blankly. “Oh, are we stealing food?”
“No, you’re not,” Puck says. “Just me and Finn.”
“Stealing food, stealing time,” Finn says under his breath, and when Mike and Artie start talking about something else, he squeezes Puck’s thigh under the table. Puck grins, the same eye-crinkling grin from before, and Finn leans in to whisper in his ear.
“Want to find an empty classroom after this?”
Puck runs his tongue along his upper lip, probably deliberately, and shakes his head. “If we’re gonna skip, let’s just leave.”
“Your place?” Finn asks, feeling a rush down his spine when Puck nods, and a moment later, Puck’s hand is on top of Finn’s, their fingers briefly weaving together. “Sounds great.”