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This Is the Story of a Boy, Part V: The Future's Open Wide

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Monday feels inauspicious when Puck wakes up. He does have a pile of freshly laundered clothes to choose from, and that means he doesn't start out the day smelling like coffee, at least. He grabs his guitar and his backpack and his bag with clothes and heads down the stairs, feeling like a teenage pack mule.

The officer in the Rite Aid parking lot calls out his congratulations for Friday's game, and Puck smiles and thanks him as he continues on. The morning at work is routine, and Puck even manages to step outside, still laden down, right at eight o'clock.

Kurt's already there, standing outside the Navigator with two doors open, anticipating Puck's full hands and arms, and the smile he gives Puck sends a slow, steady warmth through Puck that he ruthlessly pushes down. Despite the smile on his own face, he's tired. He hasn't been alone with Kurt for longer than a few moments in days. Kurt has never really responded to the song Puck sent the week before, and even though Puck had said that he didn't expect a response, it doesn't change the fact that he wants a response.

He feels like he's seeing only the things he wants to see, maybe, and he doesn't know what to do about it.

"Good morning," Kurt says carefully, taking Puck's guitar from him and putting it in the vehicle, then reaching for his cup of coffee. "Thank you."

"It's morning, anyway," Puck agrees, nodding his acknowledgement of Kurt's thanks. "Just another manic Monday."

"Hopefully not too manic," Kurt suggests, a hopeful lilt to his voice. "We do have a few free hours this afternoon."

"That's true," and Puck can't help but match Kurt's grin. "No lunch at school?"

"No," Kurt replies, voice firm. "We are taking no chances. Go directly to the parking lot, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars."

Puck laughs. "All right. I assume that means my locker is out, too."

"Absolutely."

"Fair enough," Puck agrees as they pull into the lot. He grabs his backpack and guitar and they walk towards the school, collecting Finn, Rachel, and Brittany as they go.

"Puck, you should be on Fondue for Two. You and your guitar can both have fondue."

"Brittany," Puck says patiently. "My guitar can't eat fondue."

"Oh. That's too bad."

"I could come on Fondue for Two," Rachel volunteers, but Brittany shakes her head.

"No, I don't think Lord Tubbington would like that."

"Oh." Rachel answers quietly, shooting a look at the rest of them. The three boys all shrug. Who knows what Brittany's thinking?

"Are you calmer now?" Finn breaks in, addressing Kurt.

"Calmer?" Kurt raises an eyebrow. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"You were jumping around this morning. Like you'd already had two cups of coffee that size," he gestures to Kurt's venti iced coffee.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Kurt repeats loftily, but he takes a sip of coffee immediately and doesn't meet anyone's eyes, which makes Puck pretty sure Kurt was jumpy, just like Finn says.

"Whatever, bro." Finn's clearly not buying it either, but he just smiles and shakes his head. They enter the main hallway and peel off towards their respective destinations. Brittany follows Puck straight to history, while Finn's obviously visiting his locker first.

"You'd be a great guest on Fondue for Two," Brittany adds. "We just have to find someone to come on the show with you."

"Ah, thanks?" Puck offers uncertainly as they enter the classroom. He flashes the teacher a smile and she smiles back, offering him a good morning.

The class is back to talking about the same Henry VIII dude, except this time, it's about how he only had one boy kid, even after all those wives, and there's a lot of complicated stuff about who should inherit. The important thing in Puck's mind is that Elizabeth eventually took over, because she was badass.

Elizabeth I = badass isn't probably the type of notes Kurt envisions Puck taking, but Puck's pretty sure he could write an essay about her badassness.

He arrives at physics before Kurt, who looks preoccupied when he enters the room. "You okay?"

Kurt starts a little but smiles. "I'm fine. Just thinking. It's a dangerous activity, you know."

Puck nods. "Oh, I know. So why are we here again?"

"I am actually wondering that today," Kurt muses, then flashes Puck a grin as the teacher begins to lecture. Puck's going to be seriously tired of hearing about Newton and his laws by the time the test arrives on Thursday. He tries to figure out a way to make some kind of dirty joke about Newton but comes up flat, and resorts to running his foot lightly down Kurt's jean-clad calf repeatedly. Kurt's dimples show for a minute before he lets the loafer on that foot drop quietly to the floor, letting his toes sneak under the hem of Puck's jeans.

Puck hopes nothing from the second half of the lecture will be prominently featured on their test, because teasing and being teased is a lot more fun than listening or taking notes.

When the bell rings, Kurt stands and slips his loafer back on, smoothing himself down. Puck leans on the table for a moment, watching him. "You look good," he finally says quietly. "I mean, you always do, but." He shrugs. He can't help it. He was telling the truth the other day–he likes Kurt's scarves. Also the layers. And today Kurt's wearing a scarf and layers, so, yeah. Puck's kinda digging it.

"Thanks," Kurt responds brightly, and he smiles, but there's a tug at the corner of the mouth, as if he wants to smirk, and Puck wishes, not for the first time, that he knew exactly what Kurt was thinking. "I'll see you in the auditorium, then."

"Yeah. See you." Puck grins and nods, headed towards English.

Rachel's full of questions about why Brittany wouldn't want her on Fondue for Two, and Puck's torn between reassuring Rachel and questioning her as to why, exactly, she evens wants to be on Brittany's show. "Rachel, I'm sure she has a reason that makes sense in her head."

The phrase "in her head" does the trick, and Rachel nods. "Oh, of course. I'm being silly, aren't I?" She reaches in her bag. "Here. Finn said that I should just copy them weekly so, here you go." She hands over a sheaf of paper. What? Oh, right. Her English notes.

"Awesome." Puck smiles his thanks.

"You're quite welcome, I suppose," Rachel acknowledges, and then the teacher comes in to collect the worksheets that Kurt terms ridiculous. Puck pipes up once during the discussion, quoting the pink monkey website almost word for word, but when he smiles at the end of it, the teacher praises his "insight" into the text, so Puck nods and makes a mental note to keep checking out the pink monkey site.

Now if he could find the equivalent of pink monkey for Kurt and math.

Rachel walks beside him towards the auditorium. "So, what piece have you selected?"

"Fake Empire."

"I don't think I know that one," Rachel admits, and Puck shrugs.

"It just seemed like the one to do."

"Of course," she agrees, nodding. "Sometimes the right song just makes itself known." Puck wants to make a snide remark, but he knows exactly what she means, and he finds himself nodding.

"Yeah. Sometimes better than we could ever express it otherwise."

Schue's already in the auditorium, talking to Santana, who's insisting on going first. Mercedes comes in next and claims the last slot, which leaves Kurt pursing his lips and exchanging a glance with Puck. "You go second," Kurt says finally.

"You sure?"

"Yes, third's fine. And I assume we're dancing after Mercedes, anyway."

"Okay. Fine by me."

They all find seats while Santana walks to the stage and sits down beside Brad for a moment, talking quietly before rising to start singing.

Santana knows her range and her capabilities, and she picks songs that compliment them perfectly, so it's not a surprise that she brings them to their feet with Alicia Keys' "Falling."

"Wow. Just wow." Schue nods his head, and Santana smiles smugly. "Great job, Santana."

Santana takes her seat quietly, and Schue nods at Puck, who makes his way to the stage and pulls out his guitar. Standing on the stage, he starts to doubt his choice, not to mention his slight change of the lyrics, but takes a deep breath, reminding himself that only one or two people have any idea of what he's saying.

Tiptoe through our shiny city with our ruby slippers on
Do our new ballet on ice with bluebirds on our shoulders
We're half-awake in a fake empire

He takes a deep breath, not looking at the audience. He's got to say this, got to find a way to get them on the same page, even if it's not the page Puck wants to be on.

Turn out the light out say goodnight no more thinking for a little while.
Let's not try to figure out everything at once
It's hard to keep track of you falling through the sky.
We're half awake in a fake empire

He's not even finished playing the last instrumental portion of the song when he feels his phone vibrate with an incoming text message, and he tries not to let anything show on his face. He's not the best poker player ever, but he's passable, and he must manage okay as he gets off the stage and puts his guitar away.

He pulls his phone out as Kurt's climbing the stairs to the stage.

Close your eyes and listen to the words. Most of them, anyway, no song is perfect. You know I perform. Listen to the *words*

Puck frowns but does exactly as instructed, glad he's sitting behind most of the club. Only Finn's on the same row, a few seats down. Puck lets his eyes close as the music starts. The tune is vaguely familiar–sometime in the '90s, he thinks. Then Kurt starts singing, and he's not sure what to think.

He doesn't think he can handle being rejected in song, but maybe that's not where this is going. Maybe. Wait. Wait.

Your love is thick and it swallowed me whole
You’re so much braver than I gave you credit for
That’s not lip service

You’ve already won me over, in spite of me
And don’t be alarmed if I fall head over feet
Don’t be surprised if I love you for all that you are
I couldn’t help it, it’s all your fault

He keeps his eyes closed, listening, but brings his hand up to his mouth.

You held your breath, and the door for me
Thanks for your patience.

Oh. Oh. Calm down, calm down, he thinks, listen, Kurt said to listen.


You’re my best friend
Best friend with benefits
What took me so long.

Puck's glad his hand is over his mouth, because he's probably grinning like a lunatic, and how in the world is he supposed to sit through Mercedes' singing and then dancing?

Kurt changes the chorus just slightly on the last run through, and it sounds just like a change to catch his breath, but Puck catches his own breath.

Don't be surprised that I love you

Nothing else. No words after that. Puck feels like he can't breath, but he opens his eyes to watch Kurt bowing to appreciative applause and laughter, carefully not meeting anyone's eye. It's so casual that Puck's sure no one else notices.

Fuck. He wants to grab Kurt's hand and pull him from the auditorium, run with him somewhere, anywhere, and he hopes Kurt was planning on a dark movie theatre or something this afternoon, but then it's hard to talk in a movie theatre and he has words or at least he has words he wants to try to say. If he has to, he can sing them. Whatever it takes.

But Mercedes is climbing to the stage, picking up the microphone, and Kurt's sitting two rows down and to the side, perfectly still and composed, one arm draped over the back of the empty seat next to him.

 

Kurt dresses carefully. Oh, he always does, but he's spent too many of his thoughts over the last week on this day, on what it means, not to pay especial attention to what he chooses to wear.

Grey. Lavender. A little bit of brown. The perfect shoes. A scarf. Undershirt, shirt, cardigan: insulation from the world, a little last bit of armor to be peeled off.

By the time he walks downstairs, he's jumpy. He knows he's jumpy. He can't seem to control it. There's no other way (No day but today! his mind continues) but forward, no chance of being passed over in favor of others going first.

By lunchtime. And then there's the afternoon. Kurt swallows a little convulsively, hides his face in the refrigerator, claims he's having trouble finding the grapefruit juice.

Mercedes wants to go last. He can't fight her, of all people, and Santana's going first, which leaves him and Puck in the middle. Puck's looking at him, his expression unreadable, and Kurt shifts his feet, thinking.

"You go second," he says after some thought. Third will work.

Puck eventually acquiesces and Kurt doesn't really notice anything of Santana's performance, which is probably a shame, since everyone else seemed to enjoy it thoroughly. Kurt mentally slaps himself, making himself pay attention to Puck's performance.

The song is low and melodic, and Kurt can't help smiling a little; it suits Puck's voice well. The refrain makes Kurt bite his lip just a little. They are half-awake in a fake empire.

Ruby slippers! Kurt bites down harder on his lip, fighting the urge to grin.

When Puck starts the third verse, though, Kurt finds himself shaking his head slightly, if mostly unconsciously.

Turn the light out say good night
No more thinking for a little while

Wait wait wait… no. No.

Let's not try to figure out everything at once.

Kurt barely suppresses the urge to put his head in his hands and groan. Fuck.

He should have resisted the impulse for a grand gesture, should have just blurted something out. The week of what must appear to be utter silence from Kurt, at least to Puck, was a bad idea. A horrible idea. Clearly.

Kurt had taken the week to think, to figure out exactly what to say, forgetting that he should have given Puck some word, some sign, something, anything, and Puck's mood over the weekend falls into place.

Kurt's breath catches and he sinks a little lower in his seat. He doesn't know when he would have said anything; they were barely alone over the last seven days. It's not the kind of thing you want to just send a text message and be done. It would have to be better than sitting here, listening to the ache in Puck's voice, feeling the answering ache in his own chest, and if Kurt had any remaining doubts, they are burned away in the fierce flame threatening to consume his lungs.

Fumbling, Kurt pulls out his phone, texting rapidly. There isn't anything else he can do, besides get up there and sing, sing like he planned, toe the line carefully between meaning and performance.

Close your eyes and listen to the words. Most of them, anyway, no song is perfect. You know I perform. Listen to the *words*

He hopes Puck understands. He hopes Puck looks at his text messages before Kurt starts singing. He just hopes, not looking at anyone as he climbs the stairs to take his own place on stage.

He glances out into the auditorium, sees Puck sliding his phone back into his pocket and watches Puck's eyes close. Kurt takes a deep breath. Okay.

He nods to the band, and with another deep breath, he starts singing.

 

Mercedes' performance doesn't help distract Puck, because she's doing a jazzy rendition of Elvis' "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You." It's clear that she's singing to Sam, and while Puck's happy for them and all, he still kicks the (empty) seat in front of him a little bitterly. The song is too damn slow, too, even though a small portion of his rational brain knows that Mercedes finishing faster would just mean a longer time dancing.

Dancing. Fuck. How is he supposed to dance with Kurt now, without kissing him or groping him or throwing him against the wall and peeling that cardigan off of him before removing the rest of his clothes, piece by piece?

Now Puck adjusts himself, frowning, because thinking about undressing Kurt isn't really the way to help the situation.

"Great job, Mercedes!" Schue claps, and Puck realizes guiltily that he has no idea what Schue said to either he or Kurt after their performances. "Let's see what choreography you all practiced over the weekend."

Puck stands and takes a few deep breaths, ignoring everyone around him. He thinks maybe Finn said something to him, but it could have been Sam. Or Santana. Or Brittany. And none of those four look or sound alike, so it's safe to say he's not really paying attention, at all.

The dancing must be becoming second nature or muscle memory or something, though, because Tina doesn't notice that he's unbelievably distracted. Schue has them run through just the first portion of the dance three times, then has them do a complete run-through.

When they switch partners, Puck draws Kurt into his arms, and their eyes lock, feet moving almost mechanically. At least, Puck's pretty sure his are on autopilot, because Kurt's just looking at him, grinning, and his eyes are so clear and bright and so sure that Puck would stumble if he were the one actually controlling his feet. Puck's pretty sure he's grinning insanely, but no one says anything, and Puck thinks maybe that they think Kurt and Puck are just enjoying dancing. Either that, or they are all as self-absorbed as Puck has long suspected.

"Remember," Kurt whispers as they dance. "Do not pass go."

Puck shakes his head. No. He's not going to pass go. Straight to the parking lot. He looks at the wings. Could they make it out of the auditorium? No, he doesn't really want to leave his guitar. Dammit. How is he supposed to think when Kurt's in his arms looking at him like that? It's not desire or lust, though Puck's pretty sure those are there. No, Puck suddenly understands, understands why Kurt was ready to sing on Friday, why he seemed just as frustrated and disappointed on Saturday, if not more so. And if Puck knows Kurt, which he's pretty sure he does, why there was no response. Like the song said, I thought about it. Kurt thought about it, figured out how he wanted to respond, wanted to sing a song, not just send one.

Puck already knew he was in love with Kurt.

He didn't realize that he could fall in love with him repeatedly.

Finally, finally, Schue calls a halt to rehearsal, saying the bell's going to be ringing, and they've been working hard. He doesn't comment on anything specific, except to say he likes the choreography, and then everyone's jumping off the stage, collecting their bags and hurrying off to lunch.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, Puck takes note of Finn shepherding people out of the auditorium, even calling to Mr. Schue to walk with them, they have a question, but Puck has tunnel vision.

Backpack. Guitar. Watch Kurt. Kurt's bag, over Kurt's shoulder.

Kurt stops on the step beside him and bumps their shoulders together lightly. "Left and then out the side door. We've got two minutes before the bell."

Puck nods, following Kurt out of the auditorium and then out into the late summer sunshine. Their speed increases as they walk across the lot. Puck starts to speak once the doors are shut, but Kurt shakes his head and puts a single finger lightly across Puck's lips. "Wait," he whispers softly, and Puck nods dumbly.

Puck's eyes widen a little, because Kurt's going faster than he usually does, and he's not sure where they're going, until he realizes it's just the longer way to Kurt's house, avoiding passing by his dad's shop.

Kurt's house.

His brain barely has a chance to process that before Kurt's parking, grabbing his own bag and gesturing for Puck to grab his, opening the garage door. Puck's still silent as he follows Kurt inside, down the hall and up the stairs, and it's only when Kurt drops his bag beside his desk and closes his bedroom door with them inside the bedroom that Puck realizes exactly what Kurt's doing.

Kurt's brought him to the one place he can guarantee they can be alone.

Also the one rule they've managed not to break.

"Damn the rules," Kurt says, recognizing the look on Puck's face. "Irrelevant."

He crosses the room back to where Puck's still standing. "Puck." Kurt's voice is soft and demanding. "Look at me."

Puck brings his eyes up, locking them with Kurt's again, and Kurt smiles, bringing his arms up around Puck's neck. Puck mirrors the action almost automatically, hands resting on Kurt's back.

Kurt's almost giddy. "I love you."

"Say it again." Puck's voice is gravelly, and he realizes he's not said a word since he finished singing.

"I love you. I love you in a ridiculously sappy way, an amount that I cannot quantify, and not just because I hate math."

Puck grins and opens his mouth to speak, only to find himself temporarily tongue-tied. He clears his throat and tries again. "I love you. In a way I don't understand and definitely never expected but am fully on board with, anyway."

Kurt giggles, and Puck joins him in laughing. "We're one of those couples, aren't we?"

"Absolutely."

"Unbearable to be around."

"Probably."

"Hopelessly obsessed."

"Yep."

"But solid." Kurt's voice has a little question mark at the end.

"Permanent," Puck assures him, and then he can't resist any longer, and he closes the small distance left between their lips.

Kurt's lips are warm and yielding, and he presses his body flush against Puck's as his tongue darts out, sliding along Puck's parted lips. Puck opens his mouth wider, letting Kurt's tongue inside and pushing his own inside Kurt's mouth. Puck's eyes close slowly and he wraps one arm around Kurt more tightly.

He moves his other hand to squeeze it in between their bodies, determined to start unwrapping Kurt's layers. Kurt whimpers into his mouth and moves their chests apart just enough for Puck's fingers to work, slowly undoing each of the three buttons that Kurt's fastened on his cardigan.

His work done for the moment, Puck briefly hopes Kurt has great concealer-stuff, or lots of scarves, because there are going to be marks, and then he's nipping and sucking at Kurt's neck, both of his hands pushing at the now loose fabric hanging on Kurt's shoulders. Kurt lets his arms fall to his sides, and Puck guides the fabric, fingertips gliding along the shirt and then skin left exposed, capturing Kurt's hands in his own as the sweater makes a purple puddle on the floor, abandoned.

Kurt tugs at Puck's hands, urging him forwards as he steps cautiously backwards until his knees bump into his bed with a small jolt. Puck takes the movement in stride, pausing to lick soothingly at the mark he's made just above the edge of Kurt's scarf. Kurt tilts his head obligingly, and Puck starts again, just to the left and a little below the first mark. Puck's always been fond of leaving his mark, but now–now he's claiming. Mine. A possessive growl escapes from between his teeth and it's like Kurt knows what he's thinking, because his head bobs up and down, nodding.

Kurt's hands are running over the thin fabric of Puck's t-shirt, and Puck thinks that really, that's not fair, because Kurt still has on a lot more clothing than Puck. He gently nudges Kurt backwards until Kurt's on his back on the bed, Puck holding himself over him with one arm, his lips moving back to Kurt's. He uses his free hand to slowly fumble with the buttons on Kurt's shirt, pulling the tail free from Kurt's jeans. Three buttons undone, he pulls away from Kurt with a groan as his fingers encounter fabric, not skin.

"Fuck, Kurt," he gasps against Kurt's cheek. "Too many clothes, blue eyes."

"You, ah." Kurt runs his tongue over his full, red lips. "Liked them earlier."

"Aesthetically speaking, yes. Bedroom speaking, no."

Kurt giggles and Puck nips at Kurt's ear and then his neck. "Mmm, sure, laugh now," Puck nuzzles the warm skin behind Kurt's ear. Kurt wriggles underneath him and Puck experimentally teases the same spot. Yep. Kurt wiggles again. Puck grins against Kurt's neck. Sweet.

He moves down Kurt's jawline, hand returning to its self-appointed task of unbuttoning Kurt's shirt. He finally frees the last one, and sits up slightly to push Kurt's shirt to the side. "Up," he urges, "off," and Kurt nods, propping himself up long enough to slide each arm free, then flinging the shirt in the direction of his desk chair. It must not hit where Kurt intends, because he says "oops," and then shrugs. Puck grins and puts an arm around Kurt's shoulders, pulling them over so that Kurt's above him and he's flat on his back.

Kurt sits up, his ass resting firmly on top of Puck's erection, and Puck bites his lip, eyes fixed on Kurt. Kurt's still wearing a white wifebeater, though Puck's pretty sure that Kurt would call it something like 'a tank-style undershirt.' His thick watchband stands out against his pale wrist, and Puck reaches a hand up to run over Kurt's upper arms, dipping his fingers under said undershirt.

Kurt leans forward, into the touch, and then pulls back, removing the shirt in one motion and fumbling with the buckle on his watch before depositing them both on the nightstand. Puck has only a moment to appreciate the sight before Kurt's bent over him, kissing him fiercely.

Puck thinks, not for the first time, that no matter what anyone else might ever think, if either of one of them can be said to be in control in the bedroom, it's not going to be Puck.

He's just fine with that.

Kurt's mouth is busy, his tongue prodding and thrusting, wet and forceful. Puck stretches underneath him, returning the favor, his hands caressing Kurt's bare back. Kurt arches back into the touch, then pulls back suddenly, abruptly breaking their kiss.

"Shirt off, now."

"Yes, sir." Puck smirks and works his t-shirt over his head. Kurt plucks it from his hand and throws it over his shoulder before lowering himself back onto Puck, their bare chests meeting inch by inch as Kurt rolls himself down. Kurt's lips crash down on Puck's again, and that's all Puck knows for the next moments, lips and tongue and teeth, taunting and probing, hands running all over his skin and his hands running all over Kurt's skin.

Their erections are nestled against each other, each still covered in a layer of thick denim, enough to blunt the sensation as they roll their hips towards each other again and again. After a few minutes, though, Puck pulls his mouth away. "Jeans. Off," he pants, and reaches for Kurt's belt, unfastening it with a nimbleness that surprises him. The button is next, then the zipper, and purple and white stripes peek out at him.

Kurt climbs off the bed and toes off his loafers, then shimmies out of his jeans and removes his socks. He stands still, then, gaze fixed on Puck, and slowly pushes his underwear down and steps out of it. He moves slowly back to the bed, lying down on his side beside Puck, and kisses him slowly and deeply. He pulls back after a long minute and smiles. "Your turn."

Puck returns the smile and stands, rapidly removing his shoes and socks, then pushing his own jeans and underwear down in one motion. He steps out of them and returns to Kurt's side, arms pulling them tight against each other. This time, Puck initiates the kiss, a little more sloppy and little more insistent than the previous one. Kurt's hands are everywhere, on his back, on his chest, skimming over his ass, resting on his hipbones, and Puck rolls his hips forward, pushing against Kurt unrelentingly. Kurt gasps into his mouth, and then Puck pulls away, kissing his way down Kurt's chest, leaving a quickly drying trail of saliva in his wake, his mouth wet and messy against Kurt's pale skin.

Kurt whimpers and falls onto his back under the continued pressure, giving Puck better access as he continues his slow assault down Kurt's body. Puck can feel Kurt's fingers running over his back and up his neck, skating lightly over the shaved portions of his head and then tugging gently on the longer hairs, a silent plea to continue. Puck complies, dipping his tongue into Kurt's navel once, twice, then a third time, swirling his tongue inside it and then circling it before sucking at the skin gently. He opens his eyes and looks up at the rest of Kurt's chest, covered with red dots and the occasional darker, larger spot.

It's a good thing Kurt rarely goes around with a shirt.

Puck scrapes his teeth against Kurt's skin as he drags his face sideways down the remaining distance separating him from Kurt's cock. Kurt's been mostly silent, the occasional whimper or moan spurring Puck on, but now he groans loudly. "Please," he pleased. "Please, Puck."

Puck nods against Kurt's hipbone and darts his tongue out to barely touch the base of Kurt's erection.

"Oh please, please."

Puck slides closer and curves his tongue around Kurt before flattening it and dragging it from base to tip along the side of Kurt's cock. He stops at the top and pushes his tongue into the slit, tasting Kurt greedily.

"Yes, yes, Puck, yes." Words are falling steadily from Kurt's mouth now, his hips pushing upwards. Puck lets the head slip past his lips, sucking steadily and letting his mouth descend in tiny increments, Kurt whimpering between words.

Puck loses himself in the feel of Kurt's soft dark curls against the hand he has loosely around the base. The way Kurt tastes, tangy and irresistible. The feel of Kurt on his tongue, slick and a little slippery; the feel of Kurt in his mouth, heavy and musky. The compelling scent of Kurt, inexorably pulling him in, sweet and minty, the way sweat mingles with it, enhancing it.

Puck is lost, utterly and completely, surrendering to the experience.

His tongue slides up and around Kurt, his hand tightening around the base, mouth sucking desperately as Kurt's hands scrabble at his head and shoulders, tugging and pinching with a fervor that's unbelievably complementary, to Puck's mind. Kurt's still rolling his hips upwards to meet Puck's mouth each time it slides down, and Puck can taste as more fluid starts leaking from Kurt.

He pulls back slowly, hoping that there's something somewhere in the Hudmel house that will pass for lubrication, because while he wants Kurt to come inside him, he's got a slightly different plan in mind.

"Puck?" Kurt looks up, his eyes a little glazed. "Don't… don't stop."

Puck lies down beside Kurt, turning Kurt onto his side and kisses him, then pulls Kurt over on top of him. "Do you… what…" He shakes his head to try to clear it. "Vasoline? Something?"

"Oh. Ohh." Kurt nods and licks at Puck's ear. "Remember how you said I was in a good mood Saturday?"

Puck nods, confused.

"I took a little field trip," Kurt continues whispering, and Puck hears a drawer open, Kurt's hand riffling through it. Then Kurt pulls back, a slightly sheepish expression on his face. "Only, I couldn't decide, so."

Puck refocuses his eyes on Kurt's hands, juggling three different bottles between his two palms. He grins. "Awesome."

Kurt laughs. "Not overkill?"

"Nuh-uh." Puck shakes his head and pulls one of the bottle out of Kurt's hands at random. "Here. We'll just start with this one."

"Start, huh?" Kurt grins and puts the other two back in the drawer.

"Yep." Puck smirks. "Start."

Kurt matches Puck's smirk and opens the bottle slowly, dribbling a little onto his fingers. Puck focuses on the way it slides on Kurt's fingers, the pink label, the look of utter concentration on Kurt's face, because he can't spend too much time thinking about what's going to happen. His cock twitches and Kurt giggles.

"Impatient, baby?"

"Yes," Puck groans as Kurt slides one slicked finger over his balls and lightly over his perineum.

"Pillow," Kurt says with a frown, and grabs two pillows, urging Puck's hips up and settling the two pillows underneath them. He nods and replaces his finger, this time circling Puck's anus, and Puck presses against his finger. Kurt smiles and slides his finger in carefully, pushing steadily until both knuckles have disappeared and Puck can feel Kurt's hand resting on his ass.

"More," Puck pleads. "More."

Kurt just nods and slides a second slicked finger inside Puck, then pauses, moving them slowly back and forth, stretching Puck out and searching for his prostate. Puck closes his eyes and groans, meeting the motions of Kurt's fingers with own small rolls and thrusts. "Shh, baby," Kurt murmurs, his other hand slowly petting Puck's pelvic bone and thigh. "S'okay. S'll right."

Puck nods, tongue moistening dry lips, but can't help the words coming from mouth. "Please, Kurt, please."

"Slow, Puck, don't want to hurt you."

"More, just more, please," Puck begs, and Kurt nods slowly, reaching for the bottle again, removing his fingers to recoat them and then slowly pushing three fingers inside. He pauses then, holding still, and Puck opens his eyes to find Kurt studying him carefully. Puck nods in answer to the silent question, and Kurt begins to move his fingers then, pulling them partially out before twisting them back in, fluttering them inside Puck, brushing against his prostate. Puck whimpers, feeling himself relaxing into Kurt's touch, and he nods again.

He's read enough online to know there's going to be some discomfort. He's also read enough to know that after a point, it doesn't matter how much Kurt fingers him. And, well, he trusts Kurt.

"Kurt. Kurt. Please. Pleasepleaseplease."

"Are–" Kurt stops himself and shakes his head. "Okay. Okay." He pulls his fingers out slowly and reaches for the lube. Puck intercepts his arm, taking the lube in his own hand and pouring it into his palm before taking Kurt's cock in his hands, spreading the thick gel up and down slowly.

Kurt lets out a low growl from deep in his throat, his eyes fluttering open and closed repeatedly as Puck works. His weight is warm in Puck's hands, and he knows neither of them is going to last long. Doesn't matter. They've got plenty of chances to try again and again. He finishes coating Kurt and pulls his hands away. "Please."

"Yes," Kurt exhales and shifts his position. Puck angles his hip upwards and can't help the gasp that escapes when he feels Kurt's cock touch his skin. "Okay?" Kurt asks, panic flying across his face.

"Better," Puck grunts, flexing towards Kurt, and Kurt licks his lips and nods.

"Okay. Yes. Okay." Kurt grasps Puck's hips and slowly pushes the tip of his cock inside Puck. Puck exhales as Kurt stops just inside him.

"Holy shit," Puck can't help grinning, and Kurt returns the grin. "Okay." He pushes towards Kurt just a little, and Kurt nods, pushing further in before stopping once more.

Inch by inch, one deep breath at a time, Kurt moves inside him, until Puck feels Kurt's body touching him, his balls resting above the base of Kurt's cock. They stay perfectly still, Puck staring into Kurt's eyes, and Puck blurts out the first thing that comes to mind.

"I wish I could see it."

"Yeah?" Kurt's eyes glint and he leans forward awkwardly to kiss Puck's chest. "Camera next time?"

"Yeah. Yeah." Puck nods and exhales again. "Okay."

"Okay?"

"Move. Please."

Kurt nods, slowly pulling partially out and then sliding back in, Puck moving with him, and Puck lets his eyes close again, senses overwhelmed. The air is thick with the smell of sex, even though neither of them has actually come yet. There's the smell of sweat, too, and the sight of Kurt, the sound of their bodies sliding apart and then together, over and over, and then Kurt changes the angle he's at just slightly.

Just enough.

"Oh, fuck," Puck screams out. "Yes. Fuckkk, Kurt." Kurt's fingers brushing against it had felt wonderful, but no comparison to this, Kurt's full length inside him, and now each stroke against his prostate. His legs are up in the air at awkward angles, hitting god knows what on Kurt, his hands fisting in the bedcovers, Kurt's hands on his hips, and Puck knows he's going to come soon.

Kurt's hand grasps Puck's cock and slides up and down, fingers firm, and Puck can feel his climax building. He knows he's gonna go over the edge soon, and thinks–hopes–Kurt is close, too. Then Kurt opens his mouth. "Oh fuck yessss."

The sound goes straight through Puck, and he thrusts up into Kurt's hand, fluid covering both of them as he screams out Kurt's name. He can feel himself convulsing around Kurt's cock, clamping down as Kurt thrusts in and out shallowly, movements fast and frantic. It's less than thirty seconds before Puck can feel Kurt filling him, crying out incomprehensible words, and then collapsing awkward against Puck, their limbs akimbo and not making much sense.

Puck speaks first. "Fuck," he says slowly, voice full of awe. "I mean, wow."

Kurt's head nods after a moment. "Yes," he exhales.

Puck tugs on Kurt's torso, hissing slightly as Kurt slips out of him. He can feel the mixture of lube and fluid slowly oozing out of him, and Kurt pulls his undershirt off the nightstand, using it to slowly wipe Puck off and then laying it underneath him. Then he complies with Puck's nonverbal urging, lying half on top of him and bringing their mouths together.

They kiss lazily, and Puck can't help but keep his eyes open, staring at Kurt, smiling as they pull apart. "I don't have words," he says after a moment, quiet, and Kurt shakes his head.

"Me either."

They continue lying there, kissing lazily, for at least fifteen minutes, when first Puck's and then Kurt's stomachs growl. "Oops."

"Worked up an appetite." Kurt grins.

Kurt glances at the clock and rolls off the bed. "No one will be home for hours."

"Oh?"

"Nope." Kurt shakes his head and puts his hand out for Puck. "Let's go find something to eat."

Puck's a little surprised that Kurt leads them downstairs without stopping to put any clothes on whatsoever, but he appreciates the view, so he's not going to complain.

"There's frozen pizza, Hot Pockets, a bunch of Ore-Ida products," Kurt calls, his head in the freezer, and then he shivers. "There's probably sandwich stuff as well."

"Sandwiches are good," Puck says. "Naked cooking sounds dangerous, anyway."

"That's true." Kurt drifts towards Puck and leans against him. "Fun, but dangerous."

Puck bends his head to nibble at Kurt's shoulder and collarbone. "Mmm. You're tasty, but non-caloric."

"Pity?" Kurt tilts his head for a moment, then steps away when Puck pulls his head up. "Turkey? Ham? Salami? Yes?"

"Definitely yes," Puck agrees, and takes the proffered items from Kurt, depositing them on the table before grabbing a plate for each of them. They build their sandwiches with the occasional laugh or glance, sitting down next to each other, bare legs pressed together. Puck can't remember the last time something hit the spot quite so well, but he's not sure if that's his appetite or the company. When they've put the last of the sandwich supplies away, Kurt takes his hand and leads him back up the stairs with a smirk that Puck can't resist matching.

Kurt closes the door behind them again, and when he turns to look at the room, he flushes. Puck grins, because yeah, they sort of left clothes and lube and fluid and everything just all over Kurt's room. The only downside about not getting dressed before they ate is that now Puck doesn't get to undress Kurt again.

On the other hand, he gets to look without having to do any work. Life is full of hard decisions.

Puck sits on the bed and pulls Kurt into his lap. He's already more than half-hard, and when Kurt sits down, Puck confirms that he is, too. He kisses Kurt slowly, letting Kurt shift into a comfortable position, and when Kurt finally stills, they're both fully hard and ready to go, again.

"I do love being eighteen," Puck grins against Kurt's neck, and Kurt responds with a low laugh.

"Handy of our bodies, isn't it?" Kurt muses, moving just a little and smirking.

"Oh, very." Puck responds with a slight movement of his own, then presses his lips to Kurt's temple, kissing down his jawline.

"We just have one thing to take care of," Kurt continues, moving his head to the side as Puck works his way down his neck and then his collarbone.

Puck pauses. "Oh?" he mutters, lips brushing Kurt's skin.

"Mmm-hmm. 'S my turn."

"Your turn?" Puck affects innocence, sliding his tongue wetly down to Kurt's nipple and circling the little nub.

"Yes." Kurt draws out the 's' and arches his back. "My turn," he continues firmly. "Man up and fuck me."

The phrase sounds so out of place in Kurt's mouth that Puck laughs, open mouth pressed against Kurt's chest. "Man up, huh?" He slubs his tongue against the other nipple. "Okay, blue eyes."

He puts his hands on either side of Kurt's waist and pivots them so that Kurt's sitting between his outstretched legs on the bed. Puck slides his hands up Kurt's chest, then wraps one around his body and puts his other hand on Kurt's neck, drawing Kurt close into a kiss. When Kurt deepens it, Puck lets the hand on Kurt's back drop lower and lower, cupping Kurt's ass gently. Kurt pushes back into hand ever so slightly and Puck increases the pressure in response.

Kurt pulls away, then, and turns onto his stomach, looking back coyly over his shoulder at Puck. "Like this," he says, stuffing a pillow underneath him, and Puck just nods silently. He runs his hands up Kurt's long, pale legs, letting his fingers linger on the pert ass, and then follows Kurt's spine upwards, holding the rest of his body just above Kurt's in the wake of his hands. He dips his head to where Kurt's still turned his head, lips meeting lips softly and sweetly, staying almost chaste for long seconds before Kurt's mouth barely opens, and Puck's tongue begins to sweep inside it.

Puck's really glad for his guns and push ups, because he holds the position a lot longer than he would have thought he could, kissing Kurt the entire time. When he pulls away, he drops his knees and forearms onto the bed, his skin skimming Kurt's down the length of Kurt's back. Kurt sighs, a content noise escaping his mouth, and Puck reaches for the lube at that cue. He pours some of the gel on his hand and rubs his fingers together. Slow, he reminds himself. Go slow.

It feels like hours pass as he runs his well-coated finger up Kurt's ass, behind his balls, and then circles his anus, once, twice, thrice, four, and then five times, each time making the circle a little smaller. He pushes his finger past the first ring of muscle slowly, stopping when Kurt tenses, waiting until he relaxes again, and then pushing further in. Kurt wriggles a bit, then pushes himself into Puck's hand.

"Good?"

"Mmm-hmm. More, please." Kurt sounds as if he's at a restaurant, requesting a refill on his drink, perfectly composed, and Puck decides that he just cannot have that. He pushes his finger a little more insistently, then slips a second finger alongside the first, pushing it slowly inside Kurt. Puck's more than a little fascinated by the way his fingers just disappear inside Kurt, how he can feel things he won't and can't see. He moves his fingers slowly and watches Kurt inch towards him, his head turning to the side and his mouth agape. He's still relaxed under Puck's touch, but Puck's pretty sure Kurt is slowly starting to lose it a little, to begin to come undone.

Puck moves his fingers experimentally, watching Kurt's face and the muscles on his back, fascinated. Kurt's body vibrates–there's no other word for it–flexing and contracting, seemingly not under Kurt's conscious control as Puck carefully moves his fingers. Kurt's muscles clench around Puck's fingers, and he twitches the tips of them, trying to record the sensation in his mind.

"Mpphhh." Much better. Incoherence. Puck removes his fingers before sliding three fingers together around Kurt, careful to move slowly, watching Kurt exhale and the muscles part to accept his fingers. His erection twitches as the stray thought runs across his brain–I'm going to put my cock in there! He moves his fingers again, trying to make Kurt feel like he himself did earlier, the sensation of a gentle touch across the exquisitely sensitive spot. Kurt groans suddenly, his body trembling, and Puck smirks, repeating the motion. Kurt shudders again, his breath catching.

Puck falls into an easy rhythm, brushing his fingers against Kurt's prostate as he pulls his fingers almost out of Kurt, then nudging his fingers fully inside again. Kurt's body anticipates the rhythm, moving with Puck, and Kurt himself is gratifyingly not anticipating anything at the moment. Puck smirks and leans forward without interrupting his pattern, placing tiny kisses all over Kurt's shoulder blades.

"Puuuck." Kurt draws his name out, voice breathy and low.

"Mmm-hmm?" Puck continues pressing his mouth against Kurt's back.

"Please." It's muffled and whiny, almost desperate, and Puck nods against Kurt's skin, before pushing himself back into a kneeling position. He gives Kurt's prostate a final brush, and then removes his fingers, reaching for the bottle on the nightstand and coating himself with quick swipes of his hands.

Bottle closed and replaced, Puck nudges Kurt's legs farther apart to fit his knees further up, and Kurt pulls his legs up underneath him more than before. Puck positions himself carefully at Kurt's entrance and moves forward, hands steady on Kurt's hips.

Kurt gasps, and Puck stills, waiting until Kurt relaxes again, then pushing in slowly. He can feel Kurt's muscles easing around him and just in front, tightening again as he presses further inside, and when he's fully seated inside Kurt, he has to stop, taking deep breaths.

Kurt's quiet, breathing heavy, and then he begins to move, squirming and twisting just slightly. Puck grins and rolls his hips.

"Ahhh."

Puck repeats the motion, and Kurt gasps again. Puck slowly draws himself almost completely out, then slides back in, equally slowly. Kurt pushes against him, meeting his movements, and Puck whimpers a bit himself as Kurt's muscles tense around him. He looks down, fascinated, watching himself disappear and reappear, and he keeps the same steady, slow rhythm for long minutes, Kurt matching it.

Puck's lost all track of time when Kurt shimmies a little underneath him and moans. "Faster, Puck."

"Mmm?"

"Faster," he grinds out, and Puck grins a little before complying. He increases the speed, trying to keep the same steady rhythm, his hands gripping Kurt a little more firmly, and Kurt moans, increasing the speed of his own movements.

Puck forces a hand between Kurt and the bedding, fingers snaking around Kurt's cock, and lets Kurt thrust into his hand as Puck thrusts into him. The cadence of their movements shifts and alters, until Puck feels more like they are one of those oscillating waves, creating motion but no movement, their bodies locked around one another.

He feels himself drawing close, and all of his fingers clench and convulse. Puck pulls out just a little further and slams back in, then repeats the motion, coming inside Kurt with a powerful paroxysm.

Kurt bucks into Puck's hand, Puck moving it as rapidly as he can, fighting not to collapse on top of Kurt. It's enough, though, because Kurt cries out "PUCK" and Puck feels Kurt finish with surge, fluid filling his hand and seeping between his fingers. Puck can't support his weight any longer and falls to the bed, slipping out of Kurt as he does so, half on top of Kurt, breathing heavily.

After a few moments, Kurt raises his head, turning it to face Puck.

"Hi," he says with a smile.

"Hi," Puck grins. "Fancy meeting you here."

"Shocking, really," Kurt agrees, burrowing his face against Puck's neck.

Puck kisses the top of Kurt's head and shifts his arm to drape over Kurt's back. "Sleepy?"

"Mmmhmmm."

"Go ahead." Puck shifts a little, letting Kurt get more comfortable. "Sleep."

"Mmmkay." Kurt's eyes are already drifting closed, a content smile on his lips, and Puck watches his face slowly grow more and more relaxed until Puck can tell from Kurt's easier, even breathing that the other boy is asleep. Puck turns on his side, leaving his arm over Kurt, and takes a deep breath, taking in the mingled smells of himself, Kurt, sweat, and sex. It's intoxicating, and his cock gives a half-interested twitch, which makes Puck shake his head a little.

He feels his own eyes getting heavy, and reluctantly pulls away from Kurt to rummage in his jeans for his phone. School's almost out. No football practice for me today, he thinks absently, and then sets an alarm on the phone for nearly two hours later before laying the phone on the nightstand and lying back down with Kurt. He replaces his arm around Kurt and tucks his head against Kurt's shoulder, letting himself drift off.

Chapter Text

Finn stumbles, bleary-eyed, into the kitchen and about jumps out of his skin when he sees Kurt standing up against one wall.

“Christ!” Finn yelps. “I didn’t see you there!”

Kurt mumbles something about...well, Finn doesn’t know, because he can’t make it out, and it’s too damn early to worry about it anyway. Kurt seems out of sorts. No, Finn thinks, Kurt seems jumpy, like something’s not sitting right with him, mentally. Finn can’t make much sense of Kurt’s usual lines of thought at his best moment, and Finn is definitely not at his best after staying up much too late on the phone with Rachel, so he just gives Kurt the most coherent grin he can muster and does his best to assemble a passable breakfast.

Kurt doesn’t eat. He doesn’t even fix a cup of coffee. He just sort of wanders or paces or some combination, pace-wanders? Panders? No, Finn’s pretty sure that doesn’t sound right.

“You performing today?” Finn asks around a mouthful of cold bagel (toaster ovens are hard, ok?) and cream cheese.

Kurt shakes himself a little. “Yes!” He clears his throat. “Yes. I am,” he continues, voice calmer.

“Cool,” Finn says, his voice a little skeptical, because...maybe not cool? Kurt seems super-excited about something, so maybe he’s not as prepared as he usually is, or maybe it’s one of those guy-guy things that Finn doesn’t totally get, but don’t get him wrong, totally supports and good on the both of them! “So, good luck today, dude. Or break a leg. You know, whichever one works out best for ya.”

They part ways and reconvene at school a little later. Kurt seems a little calmer now that he’s with Puck, which is one of the guy-guy thing that Finn does get, because that’s love, isn’t it? And love is equally confusing no matter who’s in it. It makes Finn feel warm in his chest, so when he gets to his locker, he pulls out his phone and sends Rachel a quick text (“<3 see u soon”), because you’ve got to appreciate what you’ve got for however long you’ve got it.

Sometimes Finn feels like he’s the opposite of Kurt and Puck. They can’t seem to wait until school is over and they totally have a good reason to want to get out of there, but Finn can’t share their enthusiasm. He and Rachel haven’t talked about it explicitly since they got back together, but he knows in his heart that once they graduate, it’s probably over for them. He hates it, it makes him feel sick in his gut when he thinks about it, but he loves her, and when you love somebody, you don’t hold them back.

He makes himself stop thinking about it, because he’s not gonna spoil the time they do with feeling sorry for himself. Instead, he goes to history and does his best to keep up with his notes and then goes to English where he does his best to bring some sort of insight to the class discussion on 1984, which considering how much Finn likes the music from the ‘80s, he really thought he’d have enjoyed that book a lot more.

Finn dozes off part of the way into his math class, but his teacher tends to spend half of class with his back to the students and his face to the white board--kind of mercy, really, ‘cause he’s got pretty awful breath and sort spit-talks--so nobody really notices. When Finn wakes up before the bell, he hastily copies down the formulas and examples on the board, figuring that if worse comes to worst, he can ask Puck for some help on them later, if Kurt can spare him for a few minutes.

Finally, it’s time for glee, and he and Rachel find each other and locks hands before they even walk into the auditorium. He’s glad they performed on the same day, because now they can spend the whole period together listening to their friends sing and he doesn’t have to worry about Rachel getting herself all worked up because she’s going first or not going first or isn’t sure she gargled enough salt water this morning for the tiny tickle she’s sure she’s feeling in the back of her throat. Rachel’s a little high maintenance and while Finn would never, ever mention it to either of them, ‘cause of how he values his life and/or face, but he think that living with Kurt has either made him better prepared for handling Rachel or vice versa.

Santana goes first and Finn is uncomfortably impressed by how good she does with her song. It’s always a tough spot when it comes to Santana, because if he claps too hard, Rachel gets mad, but if he doesn’t clap hard enough, Rachel accuses him of not clapping because he’s trying to spare her feelings. Girls are super complicated.

When Puck starts singing, Finn is confused and a little worried, because it doesn’t really strike Finn as a happy song. Finn cuts his eyes over to Kurt for answers and when he sees Kurt looking distressed, Finn worries even more. What is going on with those guys? Usually, Finn doesn’t have any problems with respecting their privacy and helping them keep their personal lives a secret, but at times like these, when Finn is worried and wants to make sure everyone is ok, he starts to feel like all the secret-keeping isn’t the best plan.

Puck wraps up his song and then seems to be messing with his phone as Kurt goes up to the stage. Finn forces himself to not squeeze Rachel’s hand too tightly, because if Kurt sings something depressing now, Finn’s going to have a hard time not cornering his step-brother or best friend after glee for a little explaining.

Kurt starts singing and Finn realizes that, no, nothing’s wrong, at least not on Kurt’s end. Kurt is all smiles and big performance. It’s a great song, too, really upbeat and about being in love with your best friend and...oh. OH! Finn sneaks a look over at Puck and sees him struggling to remain composed. Finn figures it out.

He figures it out and then feels really guilty for intruding on such a private moment. He looks away, quickly, and snuggles Rachel a little more closely, already working on his game plan to make sure everybody leaves those two the hell alone for once. Kurt finishes up and then Mercedes belts out her number, and Finn can’t keep the stupid grin on his face over being the one who’s in on the biggest, best secret ever. Nobody’s worried, nobody’s upset, it’s just love and all its craziness, and well, that’s a ride Finn has taken, so he’s just gonna sit back and be happy for everyone.

When Schue directs them all onto the stage to run through their dances moves, Finn leans towards Puck and mutters, “20 more minutes, bro,” but he’s pretty sure Puck doesn’t hear him or at least, Puck doesn’t process what he’s heard. They all take their places and while Finn normally doesn’t mind being paired with Brit at this part--it’s for the best, really, because he’s less likely to accidentally break someone else’s nose...again--he kind of wishes he could be dancing with Rachel right now, because he’s got so much love and happiness that he wants to let it out all over someone who will appreciate, if not understand, it.

They switch to the same-sex partners for the second part of the song and Finn and Artie have a good time cutting it up in their seated version of the Foxtrot--which Artie has dubbed the FoxSquat--for the rest of the period. Mr. Schue seems to be calling it a little early, and Finn notices Kurt and Puck passing some seriously heavy eye contact, so he takes it upon himself
to get everyone out of there fast. He’s not the subtlest crayon in the box, but hell, he’s the tallest and not the quietest, so he manages to herd everyone in the right direction.

“Hey, Mr. Schue?” Finn shouts back, when he notices their glee coach lagging behind. “Can I ask you for a little in put on how to make the transition to the seated part go a little more smoothly?” Mr. Schue jogs up the auditorium aisle and immediately starts explaining some of the ideas he’s had for that. Finn mostly listens to Schue, but doesn’t miss Puck and Kurt sneaking out of the auditorium. Finn smiles, because he’s pretty much the best secret-keeper ever.

After lunch, Finn, Mike, and Sam head to the choir room to shoot the shit for a while. They pass the time easily, giving Sam a little grief over his reluctance to share any sort of details on how the whole relationship with Mercedes is going. He keeps slipping into impressions that Finn can almost, but not quite, pin, and then changing the subject. Sam smiles kinda funny, though, and Finn takes this as a sign of things going better than Sam’s willing to admit.

Spanish with Mr. Schue and then Anatomy & Phis, which by halfway through, turns into more like Anatomy & Impatiently Waiting for Football. Finn suppresses the “thank GOD” he wants to utter when the bell rings. He swings by Rachel’s locker for his usual pre-practice kiss and he surprises both of them when it’s a little more passionate than usual. Seize the day and all that. He leaves her at her locker, cheeks flushed and one hand up to her lips.

Puck isn’t in the locker room. Finn isn’t particularly surprised, though he makes a conscious decision to not think too deeply about why Puck isn’t in the locker room. Finn’s happiness and support only extends as far as he doesn’t have to think too hard about his brother’s, um, sexorwhatever life, because frankly, he’s pretty sure Kurt’s whateverlife is a lot more exciting than his own, and he’s just not even gonna give that too much thought.

“Hey Hudson,” Coach Beiste says, breaking Finn’s stream of non-thought. “You seen Puckerman around here anywhere?”

The lie comes to Finn’s lips as easily as breathing and while dishonesty usually leaves him with an uncomfortable feeling, this time, he doesn’t feel even remotely guilty. “He was looking a little green around the gills after glee today, Coach. Might have headed straight home after. You want me to check in with him?”

“Tell him to come see me tomorrow before practice, all right? Kid needs to let me know when he’s leaving school if he’s not going to make practice.”

“Sure will, Coach,” Finn says. “He looked like he might hurl, though, so maybe he just couldn’t make it to your office first.” Finn is proud of himself for providing such an excellent cover for Puck, and by default Kurt, and silent repeats “remember to tell Puck, remember to tell Puck” to himself several times before heading out to the field.

 

A finger tracing down Puck’s nose wakes him up, and he wrinkles his nose before blinking his eyes open. Kurt's smiling at him, finger resting now on Puck's lips, and Puck purses his lips to kiss the tip of it just before Kurt moves it away. Puck yawns. "What time is it?"

"Almost four."

"Hmmm."

"We should clean off," Kurt continues. "Shower with me?"

Puck's sure his eyes light up. "Okay." He sits up hurriedly. "I can do that."

Kurt laughs. "I should probably throw these sheets in the laundry, too."

Puck looks down at the sheets and bites his lip, fighting his own laughter. "Yeahh. I think so." He finally grins. "Bit messy." The sheets have creases that look permanent, even though Puck knows they weren't there at the beginning of the afternoon, and smears of lube and semen, crusty and still drying, randomly placed. If sheets could look debauched on their own, then Kurt's would be the picture in the dictionary to illustrate.

"Just a little," Kurt agrees. "But first. Us." He stands and stretches, leading the way to the bathroom and adjusting the water temperature. "I like it pretty hot," he warns Puck, who shrugs.

"Yeah, that's fine."

And it is, the temperature just right in Puck's mind, especially since they're each only half-under the spray. Kurt passes Puck a washcloth and body wash. "Sorry, you're in my shower, so it's mint or fruit."

Puck smirks. "Wouldn't be the first time."

Kurt throws back his head and laughs. "I wondered."

"Yeah, well," Puck shrugs and grins, lathering himself up. "As it happens, I like the way you smell." He pulls Kurt against him, kissing his wet skin.

Kurt leans against him. "Mmmkay."

Puck takes his washcloth and runs it slowly over Kurt's chest. Kurt squirts more of the body wash stuff on it and Puck watches it lather up before he continues down Kurt's body, turning Kurt in his arms and carefully washing Kurt's back and ass as well. Kurt just sighs, relaxing into Puck's embrace, and Puck thinks that it's almost like they're kind of melting together.

When Puck's hand stills, Kurt plucks the washcloth from his hand and mirrors his actions, this time starting with Puck's backside before moving to the front. It's Puck's turn to bask in the feel of Kurt's skin against him, letting the water stream over them both. Puck knows he's going to be totally spoilt after this, and a shower's going to feel just a little bit lonely without Kurt's warm body next to his.

They stay in the shower long after their bodies are clean and the water runs clear, just touching and kissing and laughing, saying nothing of any real importance. When the water finally gets too cold to stand, Kurt turns it off, and Puck shakes like a dog, sending water flying and making Kurt shriek.

It's wonderful and fun and just as easy as Puck knew it would be from the very beginning.

Kurt grabs a towel and tosses it over Puck's head, making them both laugh, and Puck starts to wrap it around him when Kurt's hand catches his, holding it still. Puck stops laughing, his eyes on Kurt's, and Kurt's dimples are threatening to peek out, the rest of his face seemingly somber. Kurt pulls the towel from Puck's grasp, letting it drop to the floor in front of him, and steps closer to Puck. Kurt's gaze is intense, and he bites his lip for half a second before taking another step and fusing their lips together, his breath escaping from between parted lips to brush against Puck's lips, hot and dry puffs, insistent, and Puck cracks his own mouth wider under their assault.

They're already stripped bare, literally and figuratively, and the passion with which their tongues meet is tempered, somehow, a slow, steady hot simmer, and it warms Puck throughout his body. There are still droplets of water sitting on Kurt's back, and Puck slides them around with his thumbs, spreading the moisture into a thin layer. Kurt shivers a little as it evaporates, and presses closer to Puck, one leg sliding between Puck's legs as Puck's leg slides between Kurt's.

There's no spoken noise, their throats silent, just the occasional sound of skin dragging along skin, the creak of a floorboard as weight is shifted. Kurt's hands have drifted downward, one hand cupping each side of Puck's ass, holding Puck firmly in place against Kurt. Puck skims Kurt's shoulder blades with his thumbs, again and again, feeling the muscles give and shift and reshift under the gentle touch. They're barely moving, a little bit of air separating them only to be squeezed out each time their skin meets again.

If they had long enough, Puck knows he could climax again, just from the way their skin kisses, the way Kurt's tongue tastes, and the way Puck can feel his lips already beginning to chap. The back of his mind notes the observation, files it away for a day when they have hours alone, however long it may take before a day like that comes along.

They're interrupted, though, when a sudden noise erupts from the other room, and after a minute of confusion, Puck recognizes the alarm on his phone, the alarm he had set before they drifted off to sleep. Kurt pulls away, eyelids heavy and eyes a little glazed, confused. "What's that?"

"I set my alarm earlier," Puck says with a shake of his head. "Before we went to sleep, in case we didn't wake up…"

"Ohh." Kurt nods and scoops up the towel from the floor as Puck crosses back into Kurt's bedroom, switching the alarm off with a swipe of his finger. "What time is it?" Kurt follows Puck back into the bedroom, towel deposited in the hamper.

"Five."

"Five?" Kurt's eyes widen for a long minute. "Damn." He gives himself a little shake. "I should change the bed." He frowns for a minute. "Finn'll be home sooner than later, so we should probably get dressed."

"Not your parents?"

Kurt turns to him and smirks a little. "They're off having a night out together. I was a very considerate son who offered to make sure Finn and I had something to eat for dinner. I don't think they even realized it wasn't their idea."

Puck laughs. "You are incredibly devious." He tugs on Kurt's arm, Kurt falling into a quick hug and a kiss on the nose. "How do you manage to appear so innocent?"

"I don't really know," Kurt muses. "I keep thinking I've shown my hand, but my father apparently still does think of me as a sweet little child."

"I don't know about sweet. Definitely not little or a child," Puck smirks, running his eyes up and down Kurt's body, and Kurt squawks, poking him in the ribs with one finger.

"What?" Puck asks, but he knows his own affectations of innocence are far less effective.

Kurt just shakes his head and picks up his discarded clothes, tossing most of them into the hamper. "So," he says with a little grin. "I may have misrepresented the situation with the t-shirts." He slides his underwear back on, much to Puck's disappointment, and walks toward the closet.

"Oh?" Puck pulls his own jeans and underwear back on, leaving his shoes and socks where he originally discarded them.

"I was in charge of ordering the shirts," Kurt's voice continues as his head disappears behind the closet door. "And I did, in fact, order two–" Kurt stops talking and Puck can hear the sounds of him pulling a t-shirt over his head "–with your number on the back." Kurt reemerges from behind the door, smirking.

He's wearing one of the Glocks t-shirts, though it's definitely tighter than most of them, like he ordered it just for himself, and Puck grins when Kurt twirls in place.

"I can't wear it anywhere in this town, of course," Kurt says with a shrug. "But it only seemed fair."

"I like it," Puck admits, taking Kurt's hand and making him spin around one more time. "And you can wear it outside this town."

"That's true." Kurt's eyes are sparkling, and Puck leans across the distance between them to fix his mouth over Kurt's. Kurt runs his hand down Puck's still bare chest as they break apart. "Leave your stuff up here for now. Including your shirt." Puck grins, and Kurt grabs a pair of white skinny workout-style pants, pulling them on before walking towards the bed and stripping it quickly.

Puck follows Kurt down the hall as he deposits the sheets in the washer, reaching for what looks like an identical set in the linen closet and tossing them on top of the mattress. "I'll fix it later," he shrugs, and pulls the door almost closed before leading them down the stairs to the kitchen.

"Pasta fine?"

"S'good," Puck shrugs. "What kind?"

"Fettuccine Alfredo, I was thinking."

"You have any chicken breasts? George Foreman?"

"Yes, and yes." Kurt smiles. "Good idea." He grabs a pair of chicken breasts out of the freezer and pops them in the microwave to thaw. "Grill's up there," he gestures to a cabinet. "Use the larger one, the smaller one is the same one Finn used once to dry his shoes."

"Ew," Puck wrinkles his nose, grabbing the larger one from the indicated cabinet. "Why on earth would you dry shoes in a grill?"

"Because your name is Finn Hudson?" Kurt shrugs. "I have no idea. If you figure it out, you could probably explain a lot of other unexplainable things."

Puck laughs and takes the chicken out of the microwave, plopping it onto the grill. "You're probably right." He leans against the counter, watching Kurt take out heavy cream, cheese, and butter while the water starts to boil.

"Speaking of," Kurt says, tilting his head towards the front of the house.

Puck looks up, surprised. "How do you know?"

"His engine." Kurt sniffs a little. "It has a distinctive rattle."

Sure enough, there's the jangle of keys and the heavy footsteps that can only belong to Finn. "Kurt?"

"Kitchen," Kurt responds, and Puck can hear Finn's footsteps change direction before he appears in the doorway.

“Hey Kurt,” Finn starts, before he’s even into the kitchen, “Mister Schue had some great suggestions for OH HOLY HELL!” Finn freezes in the doorway to the kitchen, his hands up in a whoa gesture.

Puck slides his eyes over from Kurt to look at Finn. He tries, really he does, to suppress the smirk on his lips. Kurt keeps working at the stove, but Puck can see a dimple peeking out.

“Puck! Hey! You’re here!” Finn says, forcing his hands down to his side and a polite smile to his face. “I thought maybe you’d be here. And you’re here! Here you are!”

“You’re rambling, Finn,” Kurt says as he spins around, looking perfectly composed. Puck shrugs.

“Here I am,” he agrees, but his eyes are back on Kurt now.

“So, yeah, Puck,” Finn fumbles for the words. “Coach. Beiste. Um, Coach Beiste, she wondered why you weren’t at practice. So I told her that you were, um...” he pauses. “Kurt, is that a Glock shirt?”

“Mmmhmm.” Kurt just smiles brilliantly and walks over to the refrigerator.

“What’d you tell her?”

“I didn’t tell her anything about that. I only just saw it,” Finn says, looking puzzled.

“About why I wasn’t at practice, dude.”

“Ohhh,” Finn says, with a sheepish smile. “Yeah. That. I just told her you weren’t feeling well and cut out a little early. She says next time come by and let her know, but I said you were looking all green and might puke or something, so I think it’s cool.”

Puck grins wickedly and catches Kurt’s eye as he responds. “I did spend the afternoon in bed.”

Finn blushes three different shades of red, starting at his collar and going up to his hair. He looks at Puck, then at Kurt, and then back at Puck, and then his eyes get really, really wide. “Oh. I. Oh.”

“Puck, don’t scar my brother,” Kurt laughs and steps back across the kitchen, leaning on the counter next to Puck. “He hasn’t eaten dinner yet.”

Finn laughs awkwardly and runs his hand through his hair, making it stick up at wilder angles than normal, but the red recedes from his face a little. “I’m not interrupting? ‘Cause I can grab my own dinner later, guys, seriously.”

“There’s plenty,” Kurt assures him, and Puck nods. “It won’t take long before it’s done.”

“You sure I’m not bothering you?” Finn asks, and then his mouth twitches a little. It might, yes, it might almost be a little smirk. “You guys look like you might be...occupied.”

“If you wanted a show, Hudson, I know you know how to find it online,” Puck returns the smirk, earning him a tiny slap on the chest from Kurt.

“It’s fine, Finn,” Kurt sighs. “We’re down here and we’re dressed, all right?”

“Mostly,” Finn says, under his breath and smothered somewhat by a weird cough-laugh noise. “So, uh, whatcha cooking?”

“Fettuccine Alfredo,” Kurt replies.

“With chicken.”

“Yes, with chicken,” Kurt looks over at Puck and grins, and Puck’s pretty sure his answering grin is pretty ridiculous. He almost feels sorry for his best friend. Almost.

“Must be some exciting chicken,” Finn says, catching the exchange but not the subtext. “Smells good, anyway.”

“It’ll be ready in just a few minutes,” Kurt nods. “Set the table?”

“Sure thing!” Finn says, seeming happy to have a task that means he doesn’t have to look at his brother or best friend directly. He rifles through the silverware drawer a little more loudly than necessary, then says, as if he can’t quite help himself, “So those were some interesting songs today, you guys.”

Puck looks over at Kurt, who’s flushing a little, and nods absently. “They were indeed,” he finally settles on, because Kurt’s busying himself with stirring the pasta and the sauce together.

“Yours was kinda bleak, man,” Finn says to Puck, “but then Kurt’s was all, you know, ‘yay’ and all that. Interesting, um...what’s that word, Kurt? Two things that are really different and when you put them next to each other, it’s a...?”

“Juxtaposition,” Kurt fills in, gesturing towards Puck and the chicken he’s sliced up. “A juxtaposition.” Puck slides the chicken over and Kurt adds it to the pasta. “And, um. Yes, they were. Remember what we’ve talked about before, Finn?”

“Don’t bother you while you’re cooking?”

“That’s just you and souffles. No, the other thing.” Kurt smirks. “Boys are stupid.”

“Boys are...oh! Oh yeah! That thing. Yeah, I remember that thing,” Finn says, and he’s grinning in an almost smug way. He looks like a man who wants to, but has the self-control not to, say “I told you so.”

“‘Boys are stupid’?” Puck parrots back. “I’m missing something here.”

“I’ll tell you later,” Kurt assures him, and kisses him softly for a second before moving towards the table with the pasta.

“Okay...” Puck follows Kurt to the table, one hand trailing down Kurt’s back lightly.

Finn continues to smile at them in a warm, dopey sort of way.

“Sit down,” Kurt suggests to Finn, head tilted to the side almost inquiringly, and then starts serving the pasta. Puck hides a grin at the exposed skin on Kurt’s neck, the dark bruises standing out starkly on Kurt’s pale skin.

Hell yeah. Mine.

“Dude!” Finn says, as he slops sauce and chicken onto his pasta. “What happened to your neck?”

Puck stops hiding his grin as Kurt splutters for a second. Puck can see when understanding dawns on Kurt, because he rolls his eyes a little and glares at Puck for a minute. Puck’s pretty damn sure he’s trying not to laugh, though, so Puck just keeps grinning unrepentantly.

“I believe Puck happened,” Kurt finally says with a sigh. “Though I haven’t actually seen to what you’re referring.”

“Aw, seriously you guys?” Finn says, his face a mixture of embarrassment and amusement. “What is this, ninth grade?”

“No,” Puck scoffs, but he slides his hand over to take Kurt’s and squeezes it, because it does kinda feel like a beginning, anyway.

 

“Move over, dude,” Finn says, bumping Kurt away from the sink and grabbing up a dish. “You cook, I clean. Thought we had an arrangement.”

Kurt smiles and picks up the already-cleaned grill and slides it back into the cabinet. “I thought I owed you one.”

“I’m not messing with the deal,” Finn says, in mock horror. “I live in terror that you’ll stop cooking and we’ll be stuck with whatever the other three of us can throw together!”

“Your mother does a fine job of cooking,” Kurt counters, carefully sidestepping the issue of Finn’s cooking or his father’s.

“Yeah, but I’ve been eating her cooking for seventeen years and, let’s face it, it’s not souffles and whatever that cool layered thing with the spinach is called. Spank-the-pita.”

Kurt dissolves into giggles. “Spanakopita. And a pita is that flat bread that you call ‘pocket bread.’”

Finn busts out laughing. “I totally got you! I know what it’s called. Ever since you’ve made it, I’ve been ordering it at the diner. Rachel’s thrilled that I’m willing to give up my ‘unsavory carnivorous ways’ and all that. Seriously. I’m dumb, man, but not that dumb. Spank-the-pita. Seriously.”

Kurt just screeches and flings soapy water at Finn, still giggling.

“Oh! You didn’t!” Finn yells, grabbing the sprayer and pointing it at Kurt menacingly. “Don’t step up unless you plan to bring it!”

“Oh, it is on,” Kurt replies, picking up one of the cups from the sink and filling it with suds from the sink, pointing it in Finn’s direction.

“We did this in history, man! Mutually assured destruction! You don’t want a piece of this!”

Kurt pauses, pretending to think. “Well. I did already shower today.” He pretends to sniff. “Did you?”

“OH NO YOU DIDN’T!” Finn shouts and squeezes the trigger on the sprayer, dousing the front of Kurt’s Glock shirt.

Kurt shrieks and flings the water in the cup at Finn, aiming for his face but catching his neck and shoulders. “You are dead, Finn Hudson, dead!”

Finn laughs hysterically and sprays Kurt again, hitting him in the temple and also splattering water across the back half of the kitchen. He snatches up the kitchen sponge in his other hand and dabs it into the soap suds. “Don’t mess with me, Padawan, ‘cause I’m the JEDI MASTER!”

“Obi-Wan gets killed at the end,” Kurt can’t resist reminding Finn, and refills his cup, throwing it frantically in Finn’s direction. Most of the water hits Finn’s chest; the rest hits the floor and rolls along it merrily.

“Boys?” A voice breaks in.

They both freeze in place and look up. “Mom!” Finn says, trying to suppress an insane grin. “You’re home early!”

“Not really,” Carole replies, amusement in her voice. “It’s nearly 7:30. What on earth happened in here, you two?”

“Just, uh...” Finn starts, laughing so hard he can’t continue. “Just...”

“It was ah...” Kurt plucks at his sodden clothes half-heartedly. “A wardrobe malfunction?”

“Just doin’ the dishes, mom,” Finn forces out, doubling over with laughter.

“Carole, have you seen my--good lord, boys, what happened in here?” Burt says, walking into the kitchen. “The sink back up again or something?”

“No, Dad,” Kurt assures him quickly, biting his lip to keep from joining Finn in hysterical laughter. “We were just, um. Working together!” he finishes brightly.

“Sprayer totally out of control,” Finn gasps. “Tried to save Kurt, but couldn’t.” Tears are rolling down his cheeks, he’s laughing so hard at the looks of puzzled amusement on Burt and Carole’s faces. “It was horrible! He was so brave!”

“Mmmhmm,” Burt says, eyeing both boys suspiciously. “One of you wanna tell me what’s really going on here?”

“Spanakopita!” Kurt exclaims, and finally gives in to the laughter.

“Burt, honey, I think maybe we should just go upstairs and let the boys clean up their mess.”

“Mmmhmm,” Burt says again, shaking his head. “You kids. I swear, I never know what’s running through your heads.”

“Spank-the-pita!” Finn yelps, snorting laughter through his nose.

“Well, ok then,” Burt responds. “Just, uh, make sure this gets cleaned up before you go to bed, ok?”

“We will, Dad,” Kurt gasps. “I promise.” He manages to smile in a manner he hopes is reassuring. Burt just chuckles and shakes his head again before following his wife upstairs.

Kurt gasps out a little last laughter as the two adults disappear, then slumps against the counter. “Oh, holy crap that was hilarious.”

“Totally,” Finn says. “Shit, this is a mess in here!”

“That’s what mops are for,” Kurt agrees a little uncertainly. “Right?”

“I don’t think a mop can handle this. Hand towels and hard work, man,” Finn says, gesturing to the standing soapy water on the floor. “Just don’t slip. I might have to dive in and save you!”

Kurt snorts back his laughter. “Right. I’ll keep that in mind.”

As Finn doles out a stack of towels, he glances at Kurt almost shyly, and says, “So, you seem...happy.”

Kurt accepts the proffered handful of towels and starts to squat before hissing slightly and dropping one knee onto the floor. “I am,” Kurt says, lips quirked upwards.

“And everything’s ok with you guys? When I heard Puck’s song, I was kinda...” Finn trails off. “I’m not trying to pry. You two seemed pretty great with each other tonight.”

“Everything’s fine,” Kurt nods, not quite meeting Finn’s eyes. “I told you, even gay boys can be stupid. We’re good. We’re great.” Kurt grins, almost to himself.

“He looked pretty happy about your song,” Finn notes, not looking directly at Kurt and focusing an unnecessary amount of attention on the water he’s mopping up. “He was happy about your song?”

“Mmmhmm,” Kurt confirms with a nod, still grinning. “It was a good song, wasn’t it?” He stands up and wrings out the towel in his hand before kneeling again. “Nice of Schue to play into my hand with his theme.”

“I dunno,” Finn says, “I think you probably could have come up with something for any theme, if you had something really important to say.”

“I damn well would have tried, anyway,” Kurt half-mutters.

“So, uh...” Finn begins, awkwardly. “I don’t need to know details or anything, ‘cause, it’s kinda unfair and all, that Puck gets more play than me straight OR gay, but...you guys seems pretty, um, solid.”

Kurt giggles again. “Finn, are you asking what I think you’re asking?”

“What?” Finn asks, looking genuinely confused. “What do you think I’m asking?”

Kurt keeps laughing, trying not to sound mean. “You sound like you’re asking me if we had sex, Finn.”

Finn blushes and tries to stammer an answer. “I didn’t...I wasn’t...I just...”

“Were you?” Kurt looks directly at him, not laughing, but still smiling.

Finn tries to regain some composure. “Not, um, exactly? I just, oh geez Kurt.” Finn clunks his head against the kitchen cabinet. “It just seemed like maybe you worked out some of that stuff. You know, the emotional stuff. That kind of stuff. I didn’t really mean, I mean, I didn’t exactly mean. Kind of?”

“The answer to your question–both of them–is yes.” Kurt keeps smiling and raises an eyebrow. “Any other questions?”

Finn enacts a dramatic mock-faint to the wet kitchen floor. “Killing me here, Kurt. Killing me.”

Kurt’s back to giggling at that. “Wonderful performance, brother dear.”

“Everybody gets more sex than me,” Finn moans, from his watery grave on the kitchen linoleum. “It’s so unfair!”

“Poor Finn,” Kurt coos. “Do you want me to have a ladychat with Rachel about giving it up?” He smirks wickedly, because the percentage chance of that happening is close to zero, both on his part and, he figures, on Rachel’s.

“You think that’ll help?” Finn asks, lifting his head from the damp floor.

Kurt snorts. “No. Sorry, Finn.”

“Crap,” Finn says, letting his head thud back against the ground. “I’m glad you guys have it going for you, at least.”

Kurt shrugs. “It does suck for you,” Kurt acknowledges, offering Finn a hand so he can get out of the floor. “No pun intended,” he adds as an afterthought.

“No pun taken,” Finn answers with a sigh, taking Kurt’s hand and hauling himself, dripping, off of the floor. “At least she’s ok with making out. That’s not nothing.” He sighs again, shaking his head at Kurt before Kurt has a chance to respond. “But you guys...that’s serious stuff right there.”

“It is,” Kurt acknowledges, dipping his head to one side and then the other.

“I’m happy for you, man,” Finn says. “For both of you. I’m glad you finally got it all figured out.”

“Me, too,” Kurt says a little more quietly, a soft smile on his face. “Thanks.”

 

Puck leaves Kurt's house just before 7, spending the time between dinner and then helping Kurt make up his bed. It took about thirty minutes to finish, because they kept stopping to make out and goof off. Kurt offers to drive him home, but Puck knows that if he gets in the car with Kurt, he's going to end up sitting in it, in front of the apartment building, for hours, just talking and laughing, and they both have homework and need to sleep, so he decides to walk home.

The night is clear and starting to turn a little crisp, though the sun's not quite set. Puck runs his hand over his head and sighs contentedly, taking the long way home. If he's honest with himself, he needs the time to think and process the day, because he feels so different than he did when he was walking to work.

He didn't know he could feel so happy.

In theory, he had hopes for being happy. For feeling amazing, free, loved. But he didn't anticipate the reality. He thinks he probably couldn't have. Could anyone?

And it wasn't the sex. It wasn't. It doesn't change the fact that it feels different. He's always, always been looking for the next thrill. Always wanting to have a great experience. His lack of jacking off in the past few weeks had been a great clue, but Puck stretches his hands above his head as he waits at a corner and grins. No, he's content. He can't wait until the next time he and Kurt get their hands on each other, but he's not looking for anything else.

Finally, finally, it was enough.

He rolls the thought around in his head, walking slowly through Lima. Enough. There's no itch under his skin, except the desire to leave this town with Kurt. Key prepositional phrase, his mind adds, and he laughs for a second, thinking that his English teacher would be clearly be proud.

Everything he's been searching for feels like it's clicked into place. He feels absolutely giddy.

He looks up and realizes he's in front of Starbucks, which means he's been wandering aimlessly for quite a while. Then he has to snort at himself, because seriously? Wandering around and ending up in front of the place where you work? Kinda lame.

The librarians are just leaving the library, and it's not until Puck's walking past the Rite Aid that it occurs to him to check his phone, since it is Monday and in theory, it was family dinner night. Sure enough, his mom sent a text around six, and Puck calls her, feeling just a smidge guilty.

"Hey, Mom. Sorry, I didn't have my phone on me."

"Noah! Where are you?"

"'M almost home," Puck assures her. "Just walking. Had some stuff to work on."

"I wish you'd called," she frets.

"I know, I just forgot this once," Puck tries to placate her. "I'm sorry."

"You're almost home?"

"Yeah, I'm walking past Pierce right now."

"Okay. Okay, Noah. I'll see you soon."

"Bye, Mom."

Puck slides his phone back into his pocket. It should only take eight more minutes to get home, but it takes him nearly ten as he ambles down the street, still smiling to himself. He knows he's going to have to tone it down a little, especially by the time school starts the next morning, but he indulges himself as he walks.

"I'm home," he calls out as he unlocks the door and steps inside.

"Noah!" Hannah comes running down the hall and almost tackles him. "There you are! You missed dinner!"

"Yeah," Puck agrees, patting her on the back. "Sorry. I had some important stuff to take care of."

Hannah wrinkles her nose but finally releases him. "Okay. Can you look at my math homework now?"

"All right. What're you studying?"

"Word problems with adding and subtracting."

"Okay, go get it," Puck points towards her bedroom and walks across the living room to the kitchen. "Hey, Mom."

"Oh, good, you're here," she smiles. "Good day today?"

"Yeah," Puck grins. "It was."

"Well, good." Rina opens her mouth to continue asking him questions, but Hannah comes barreling back into the room with her math workbook in hand.

After Puck walks Hannah through her word problems, he heads towards his own room at last, sending Hannah off to bed and wishing his mom good night. He falls onto the bed and thinks for a few minutes before pulling out his phone.

"Hi," Kurt's voice is a little breathless as he answers. "You made it home?"

"Yeah. Whatcha doing?"

"Changing clothes." Kurt's voice is rueful. "The kitchen was a little soaked."

Puck laughs. "What did you do?"

"It wasn't me! Finn started it!"

Puck continues laughing, a little more heartily. "Welcome to having a sibling."

"Hmph." Kurt huffs a little, and Puck can hear the sound of wet fabric hitting a counter. "The kitchen is dry now, at least, even if Finn and I aren't."

Puck bites his lip a little as he can hear Kurt stripping off the nylon workout pants he was wearing earlier. "You'll dry?" he offers after a beat.

"True," Kurt concedes, and Puck hears a drawer slide open and then a sigh. Puck thinks it means Kurt's collapsed on the bed. "You'll never believe what Finn asked me."

"Uh-oh," Puck grins. "What?"

"Well, to be fair, he asked it in a very roundabout, tentative way, but still." Kurt giggles for a moment. "He wanted to know if we'd had sex."

Puck guffaws. "Seriously?"

"I know! Apparently he has as much a chance of getting something with Rachel as Wal-Mart does of debuting a clothing line I'd voluntarily purchase and wear."

"Ouch." Puck laughs. "That's pretty bad. Sucks for Finn."

"Mmmhmm." Puck hears the bed squeak a little and Kurt shifts the phone. "Not for us, though." His voice has dropped a little lower, but Puck hear the smile in it

"No," Puck agrees, his own voice lowering in response. "Kurt…" he falters, not knowing how to put it into words.

"I know," Kurt responds almost immediately. "I know, baby." He sighs again. "I wish you were still here."

"Me too," Puck agrees, and he rolls onto his side, looking out the window. "Or you were here."

"I realized after you left that it was your family dinner night. I'd say sorry, but I'm not all that repentant."

"Yeah, me either. Mom wasn't too upset. Hannah just wanted me to help her with her math word problems."

"Noah Puckerman, rescuer of math homework."

"That's me," Puck agrees with a grin. "Amongst other things."

"I like those other things," Kurt purrs.

"Stop," Puck protests half-heartedly. "Don't write a check you can't cash, blue eyes."

They continue talking for nearly thirty minutes, switching between teasing each other, laughing, and actual topics of conversation, before Puck yawns.

"Oh, god, I'm sorry," Kurt says. "It's already late and you've got to work in the morning."

"S'okay," Puck assures him. "But I should probably hang up and do my homework and go to bed and be responsible. Unfortunately."

"Okay, baby. Be good," Kurt says softly.

"I'm always good," Puck replies, smiling, before thumbing to end the call.

Chapter Text

Puck's up at five on Tuesday morning, adrenaline still coursing through him, even though he spent the time after he talked to Kurt writing down the tune in his head. He hasn't had much time to write lately–almost none, really–but he has a lot of music floating in his head that he needs to get some of it down on paper. By the time he finishes his homework, it's way later than it probably should be. With the adrenaline in the morning, though, the result is that he makes it to work before it's even 5:30. The morning seems to fly by, until it's already time to change clothes and meet Kurt.

Kurt's standing outside the Navigator again, the scarf around his neck almost out of place with the rest of his outfit, and Puck grins lazily at both the sight of him and the reason for the scarf. If yesterday Kurt was nearly shielded in layers, today he's lean and open, a tight red t-shirt clinging to him, sleeves rolled slightly, and pink slacks that Puck thinks look like Kurt was poured into them. Shiny red loafers adorn Kurt's feet, and red sunglasses are perched on the top of his head.

"Hey," they speak together, Kurt's smile matching Puck's grin. "You left your guitar," Kurt continues, head tilting towards the backseat. "But I thought you might want it for today anyway."

"Oh, shit, yeah. Thanks." Puck steps closer to Kurt, too close for out in Lima, really, Kurt's back already against the door and hardly any space between their chests. "Damn, I want to kiss you right now."

Kurt brings his chin up fractionally, moving his face just a little closer to Puck's. "I know the feeling."

They hold the same position for a long moment, until it seems to occur to them simultaneously that they might as well be kissing, since they're close enough they can feel each other's exhalations. Kurt's tongue darts out to moisten his lips as he turns his head slightly to the side, and Puck takes a half-step back, rocking on his heels. "Dammit."

"Let's go," Kurt says quietly, nodding, and he slides close to Puck's body as he moves to walk around the vehicle.

Their fingers entwine as soon as they're both seated, and Puck relaxes into the seat. He flips the radio on and then leans his whole body towards Kurt, his free hand sitting on Kurt's thigh and his head barely resting against Kurt's upper arm. Kurt's head drifts sideways onto his at each stoplight, and they straighten as they drive onto the campus.

Puck's pulling his guitar out of the back when he hears Mercedes approach. "'Morning, boo."

"Good morning, Mercedes," Kurt replies, somewhat brightly, and Puck grins as he shuts the door, moving around the back of the Navigator.

"You're in a good mood this morning."

"I am," Kurt agrees, and he takes a sip of coffee as Puck joins the two of them.

"Did I miss the memo that it was red t-shirt day?" Mercedes asks with a roll of her eyes, and Puck has to look down to remember he's wearing a faded red t-shirt himself.

"Go figure," Puck says with a shrug, and the four of them walk towards the school. Kurt darts away down the hall with a quick smile at Puck, and Mercedes goes down the next hall as Puck continues to history.

Puck's just sat down when Sam and Finn walk into together. "Missed you yesterday at practice, dude."

"Oh, yeah." Puck frowns for a second, trying to remember what excuse Finn said he'd given Beiste.

"Too bad you were sick," Sam continues, and Puck brightens a little. Right, sick.

"Yeah, I spent all afternoon in bed," Puck says with a solemn nod, "then got up and had dinner and I felt just fine." He looks up then and shrugs with a smile.

Finn makes a strangled noise next to Puck, and both Puck and Sam turn towards him, Sam looking inquiringly while Puck raises his eyebrows.

"Swallowed my gum," Finn says after a moment. Puck shakes his head and wonders if Finn's going to be perpetually making strange noises around Puck now. Which, okay, maybe it is all pretty weird in Finn's head, but the strange reactions are going to need to be cut back, Puck thinks. Finn can get away with bizarre excuses for awhile, but only for so long.

"Glad you're feeling better," Sam says to Puck just as he turns around and the teacher starts the class, saving Puck from having to make yet another reply.

Physics, Puck decides, is an exercise in torture. When he walks into the room, Kurt's already perched on his stool, loafers empty beneath him, pale bare feet curled around the crossbars of the stool. Which is pretty much enough to get Puck hard, since he was half-hard on the walk to physics, just thinking about seeing Kurt. He closes his eyes briefly when he sits down, then opens them to find Kurt peering at him with a hungry sort of expression that Puck's probably mirroring on his own face.

"Why didn't we skip school today?" Puck murmurs rhetorically as the teacher enters the classroom.

"I don't. know." Kurt grinds out his answer under his breath, and Puck can hear the effort Kurt's putting into breathing evenly. Kurt's foot darts out, resting on Puck's ankle.

Puck nearly groans as Kurt's toes work under his socks and under his jeans, pressing lightly against his skin, and he looks around the room for a moment before reaching out and taking Kurt's hand because fuck it. They can probably come up with a decent lie if necessary. Like Kurt was checking Puck's pulse or something. Yeah.

Kurt jumps a little, startled, then does his own scan of the room before squeezing Puck's hand gently. They sit that way, carefully touching in just two places, for the remainder of class.

When the bell rings, Puck slowly withdraws his hand as Kurt moves his foot down slowly, sliding both feet into his loafers. They pack their things in near silence, and then Puck bumps his shoulder lightly into Kurt's. "Later, blue eyes," he whispers and smiles, and Kurt grins back before they go in opposite directions.

Puck is pretty psyched when his English teacher forgoes lecturing and instead shows them some topics on a website, before assigning them to re-read a specific section and its subsections for homework, while doing a freewrite for the remainder of the period. Puck finishes his pre-write, which is pretty much recycled from the pink monkey place (really, whoever created that is a genius, he thinks), and then pulls out one of his notebooks, writing down two more songs before the bell rings. Rachel falls into step beside him as he walks to the choir room.

Mike and Sam are already there, looking at the bulletin board with perplexed expressions. "Spank-the-pita?" Rachel reads the square posted in Finn's space with a befuddled look on her face.

Puck shrugs. "I dunno." He crosses the room and sits down. When Finn appears in the doorway, he raises his eyebrows. "Spank-the-pita, Finn?"

Finn’s mouth hangs open for a moment like he wants to say something, but doesn’t quite know what. “Uh, excuse me?” he finally manages.

“Up there,” Puck gestures, looking back at the board, which, now that he thinks about it, does look sort of suspiciously like Kurt’s handwriting. Finn’s eyes follow Puck’s hand to the bulletin board and he starts to make a little gasping noise, half laugh and half exasperation.

“He...he...oh, it is on. It is so on!” Finn chokes, and he doesn’t actually sound angry, though he doesn’t sound entirely calm, either.

“What’s on?” Kurt asks as he and Tina walk into the room, and while he seems perfectly innocent, to Puck’s eye, he’s definitely anticipating something.

“You!” Finn exclaims, pointing at his step-brother, lifting his pointer finger into the air, and then pointing again, vehemently. “You! Escalation!” he sputters. “Mutually assured destruction!”

Kurt smirks, breaking the facade of innocence. “Bring it,” he challenges.

Finn smirks right back. “Consider it brought, ‘cause I’m bringing it. Oh yeah. It’s brung, bro.”

Puck’s choking back laughter, watching them, though he still hasn’t figure out what is bread has to do with anything.

“But what is it?” Rachel breaks in. “I don’t understand!”

Finn and Kurt both answer at the same time, without even looking at Rachel, “Greek.”

Now Puck busts out laughing, and eventually the others in the room all join him, even though none of them are exactly sure what's going on.

The rest of the club pours in after that, and before long, Mike has them running through choreography yet again. When there are twenty minutes left in the period, he stops them and holds up a box. "Phones, iPods, whatever has your music, in here, unless I pulled yours last time."

"It was mine last time," Artie nods, keeping his phone.

Puck drops his phone in the box along with everyone else, resolving to make a playlist just for Mike, as long as Mike doesn't pull his phone out today. Mike grabs a bedazzled iPod that has to below to Rachel Berry, however, and Mike announces that today, free dancing will be done with everyone in their same-sex pairings. He plugs in Rachel's music and then Puck grabs Kurt's hand as they attempt to dance to music that is not, even charitably viewed, good music for dancing. "My Heart Will Go On" is followed closely by a song that Kurt informs Puck is from Les Miserables, and then another song Puck's never heard, this time from Hello, Dolly! according to Rachel's excited exclamation as the first notes play. Mike gives up at that point, and Puck's relieved to head towards lunch. He's definitely making a playlist, though, because he's not sure what would happen if some of his music starting playing for everyone.

Puck grins as he reads his text messages, walking towards the locker room for football practice. I'll see you after football practice. Do not pass go, etc. xx

He types a quick reply–I'll look forward to it xxx–and makes a quick detour towards Coach Beiste's office. He knocks on the door and pushes it open when he hears her call out for him to come in. "You wanted to see me, Coach?"

"Puckerman. Come in." Puck walks in and sits down, not sure if he's in any real trouble or not. Worse case, he figures he'll have to run extra laps or something, which would really suck, since he does have plans. "Hudson said you were sick yesterday."

"Yes, ma'am." Puck decides to go for maximum respect. "I think it must've been food poisoning."

She nods sympathetically. "That's the worse, kid. Listen, just try to let me know if you're sick, okay? Just want to make sure all of you are okay."

Puck blinks, a little surprised. "Yeah, okay. Thanks, Coach."

"No problem," she smiles. "Now go suit up."

"Yes, ma'am." Puck stands and leaves the office quickly, before she can remember to give him extra laps or pushups or something.

Practice gets out about five minutes earlier than Puck expects, but if he knows Kurt–and, let's face it, he does–Kurt's probably already out in the parking lot waiting for him. He speeds through his shower and tries not to let on how much, exactly, he's hurrying, but it must still be pretty obvious, because Mike speaks up as Puck's jamming his feet into his sneakers.

"Where's the fire, Puck?"

"Oh, you know." Puck pulls on his t-shirt and then sits down to tie his shoes. "Places to go, things to do, people to–"

"We get the idea," Finn interjects before Puck can continue, and Puck can resist giving him a wounded look as he stands and grabs his bags.

"You think so little of me," he sniffs sotto voce as he walks past Finn towards the door. Then, louder, he calls out to the others. "Later, guys."

"Have fun, Puck!" Sam rejoins him, and Puck smirks as he pushes the heavy door open to the outside.

"Oh, I will," Puck mutters to himself, grinning. He shields his hands to his eyes, the sun slanting into them, and then heads across the parking lot. Kurt's parked near the back of the lot, driver's side away from the school, and Puck can see his silhouette on the other side, one arm resting on the rearview mirror. He hastens his stride, coming around the back, and snakes his arm around Kurt's waist, pulling him immediately into a fierce, deep kiss.

"Well, hello," Kurt says breathlessly as they pull apart.

"I've been waiting to do that all day," Puck confesses, and he captures Kurt's lips again before forcing himself to take a step back.

"We should go," Kurt says with a little nod, almost as if he's convincing himself, and Puck nods, reluctantly letting go of Kurt to walk to the other side. Puck absently thinks that maybe he's not so good for Kurt's driving, because while Kurt's not one of those people who drives badly when he's angry or something, he's certainly started driving faster sometimes.

Not that Puck's complaining.

There's no real conversation, nothing much to say that isn't better left until they're calmer. Or better said without words, with fingers and lips and skin. Puck's hand curls around Kurt's leg, and he absently is thankful for Tuesdays and the fact that Burt Hummel works late on the same night Carole Hudson has her weekly girls' night.

When they reach Kurt's house, Kurt tugs him in, both of them dropping shoes and bags in the hallway just off the garage. Puck wraps his arms around Kurt again, kissing him heatedly, possessively, neither of them pulling away as they awkwardly go up the stairs and into Kurt's bedroom.

The first piece of clothing to go is Kurt's scarf, which he unwinds expertly and drops on top of his dresser. Puck pulls back slightly to run his thumb over the dark marks the scarf concealed so well, making Kurt draw in his breath as Puck presses down on the largest, darkest one. Puck licks a wide stripe over it, then kisses it gently. "You like that, don't you?" Kurt asks, amusement coloring his voice. "You like knowing that you put it there, that no one else knows it's there."

"Mmmhmm," Puck admits, lips barely moving against Kurt's skin. He moves his mouth to murmur in Kurt's ear. "You like it, too."

Kurt doesn't confirm or deny, which is as good as a confirmation, and Puck nibbles at Kurt's ear as Kurt tilts his head slowly to the side. He feels Kurt's hand working their way under his t-shirt, pushing the fabric up his chest until Puck forces himself to pull back momentarily, letting Kurt complete his task, the faded red shirt flying across the room behind Puck. "There," Kurt says, a distinct noise of satisfaction coloring his voice, and before Puck can act, Kurt's pulling off his own shirt, and it follows the other in an arc through the air.

Kurt's lips crash back onto Puck's, their bare chests sliding against each other, and Puck throws one arm around Kurt, pulling him so close that there's no space left between them. His other hand tangles through Kurt's hair, and Puck can feel Kurt's hands pushing and kneading at his back.

Somehow Kurt manages to walk them over towards the bed, and Puck falls onto his back, Kurt still firmly attached to him. Then Kurt lifts his body up, one hand sliding over Puck's chest, pinching and pulling gently at Puck's nipples, making Puck groan and arch his back up. The pinching and pulling grows less gentle, and Puck growls into Kurt's mouth, thrusting his tongue deep into it. His hand pulls at Kurt's hair, forcing their lips to remain fused together.

Then Kurt pulls away, and Puck groans, lifting himself up onto his elbows. "Kurt…" he whines, but Kurt just smiles and stands up, quickly unfastening his slacks and then pushing them down, along with his underwear, stepping out of them as he returns to the bed. His hands go straight to Puck's jeans, his mouth to Puck's chest, and Puck just groans again, letting himself fall back fully onto the bed. He can feel Kurt's lips curve against his chest, and he runs his hands down Kurt's back, stopping them on his ass, resting them there lightly.

Kurt works Puck's jeans open and Puck lifts his hips so Kurt can tug them off, discarding them in the floor before returning to remove Puck's underwear and throw it into the floor as well. Then Kurt rolls himself down over Puck, inch by inch, finally pressing their mouths together, and Puck groans into their kiss as their erections slide together.

Kurt breaks the kiss before Puck's really ready for it to be over, but then Kurt's hand is wrapping around the base of Puck's cock, and Kurt's tongue is darting out, teasing at the tip, and Puck swallows his objections. Puck raises himself up on his elbows again, watching as Kurt hums a little, almost as if he's considering a question, his head tilted to one side before he slides his lips down Puck's shaft.

Puck fights to make sure his hips don't buck upwards into Kurt's mouth, but it's a near thing, and he lets himself fall back to the bed yet again. "Fuccckkk," he pushes out between his lips, and Kurt takes more of him into his mouth. "Kurt!"

Kurt hums again, his tongue flat against the underside of Puck's cock, and Puck closes his eyes, one hand gripping at Kurt's shoulder, the other curled in a fist around Kurt's duvet. Kurt's mouth slowly slides up and down, the hand at the base rhythmically tightening and loosening, working in a repeated arc.

Puck hears Kurt fumbling with something, reaching for the bedside table, and the hand around the base of his cock disappears for a long moment, Kurt's mouth still working slowly up and down. Puck's letting out a steady stream of murmured words and low whimpered noises, none of them making much sense, but he pauses for a moment, his breath catching when he hears the click of a bottle opening. Kurt doesn't pause, but a moment later, a slick finger is running lightly over the skin behind Puck's balls, and he lets out another loud moan. Kurt's lips tighten around him, and his finger slides further back, circling Puck's anus twice before dipping inside.

Puck pushes towards him, digging in his heels in an attempt to force more of Kurt's finger inside him. Kurt obliges, the pressure increasing until his hand is resting against Puck's perineum, and Puck realizes that Kurt's slid a second finger alongside the first, both well-gripped in Puck's tight muscles. He groans happily, Kurt's thumb skimming lightly across his skin, teasing the underside of his balls, and Puck writhes in place for a moment, nearly overwhelmed.

Kurt's mouth is barely moving, his fingers just resting inside Puck, and Puck finally begs for Kurt to move. "Please," he whimpers, hips rocking slightly, and Kurt responds, the suction increasing as his fingers twist and pump in and out of Puck.

Puck presses against Kurt's hand, crying out as Kurt brushes against his prostate and then repeats the action, his mouth working faster over Puck's cock. Puck knows he won't last much longer, can feel his climax building, and his hand moves from Kurt's shoulder to the back of Kurt's head. Kurt's fine hairs twist around his fingers, catching on the calluses that decorate his fingertips, gifts from his guitar strings. Kurt hums again, his tongue wrapping around the head of Puck's cock, and Kurt's fingers slide apart, first one and then the other rubbing against the spot that makes Puck shudder like nothing ever has. Muttered incoherencies fall from Puck's mouth, and when Kurt plunges his lips down over Puck at the same time his fingers slide almost out before thrusting back in, Puck comes, wailing Kurt's name as Kurt carefully swallows, fingers still sliding in and out in a careful rhythm.

Kurt slowly releases Puck's spent cock, kissing the tip before awkwardly stretching upwards to bend Puck's head down, their lips meeting softly, Kurt's fingers still deep inside Puck, brushing against his prostate with every third or fourth stroke. Kurt pulls away long before Puck's ready for him to do so, and Puck whimpers, his hand weakly tugging at Kurt's free forearm. Kurt just shakes his head. "Shh, baby," he murmurs, pulling his arm free and reaching to the side. Puck blinks and turns his head to the side, lips parted as he watches Kurt open the lube again. Kurt pulls his hand slowly away from Puck, and Puck shakes his head from side to side, protesting, before he sees Kurt carefully coating his own still-hard cock.

"Ohhhhh," Puck breathes out, and pulls the last bit of his energy to roll over, burying his face in Kurt's pillow and drawing his knees underneath him. He inhales deeply, smiling at Kurt's scent on the pillow, and Kurt runs his unslicked hand lightly down Puck's spine, then rests it, fingers splayed just above his entrance. Puck nods his head once, not sure what he's nodding about, exactly, and rolls his hips back into the warmth of Kurt's hand.

Kurt chuckles, the noise low and deep, and he bends over Puck, kissing the back of Puck's neck. "Steady, Puck. I've got you."

Puck's smile against the pillow grows larger, and he nods again, agreeing with Kurt's statement, and then he can feel Kurt's cock, nudging, asking for access. Puck pushes against him again, and this time, Kurt slides inside, past the first ring of muscle before he stops. Kurt's breath is coming in shallow little pants, his hand tight on Puck's hip now. After a moment, Puck moves again, and Kurt slips farther inside before stopping again, whimpers escaping with the shallow breaths. Puck smirks and turns his head almost lethargically, resting his cheek against the cool sheets as Kurt moves again, Puck relaxing around him until Kurt's balls-deep inside Puck. Puck flexes his muscles experimentally, deriving no small pleasure from the responding hiss Kurt emanates.

"Puck," Kurt mewls, and Puck repeats the action before rocking his hips towards Kurt. "Oh fuck yes," Kurt gasps, and he rocks his own hips. Then he slides almost all the way out before pushing back in just as slowly. Puck's sure that Kurt's trying to delay the inevitable, because he can feel the drops leaking out into him already. It's a little bit like torture, though, and Puck pushes towards him on the next stroke.

"Faster," he manages to gasp out, and Kurt takes the invitation to heart, increasing his speed with each thrust, his hands gripping tightly on Puck's hips. Puck meets each thrust, knees creeping farther up under him. Kurt's thrusts grow increasingly fast and sloppy, their skin slapping with a wet smack each time.

Puck flexes and then tightens around Kurt again, and Kurt plunges into Puck with a shudder and a loud moan. Puck sighs as Kurt fills him and moves his legs just as Kurt collapses on top of him.

Kurt's head fits snugly between Puck's shoulder blades, and a part of Puck would be content to remain in the same position for a good long time. Kurt's breath skates over his back, and Puck lets his eyes close again, his back rising and falling with Kurt's weight. It takes a few minutes before the ambient sound pierces his consciousness.

"Wh'as'at?" he mumbles, the throbbing bass and loud lyrics penetrating his brain.

"What?" Kurt mumbles, and then rolls off of him suddenly. "Oh god," Kurt groans.

Puck shakes himself and turns on his side, facing Kurt. "What is it?"

"It's Finn," Kurt manages, burying his face in Puck's chest.

Puck feels like mirroring the action, but he just wraps an arm around Kurt as his own eyes widen. Fuck. He wonders how long Finn's been home, knowing that the music isn't loud enough to block out everything. He's pretty sure he's blushing, and a look at the back of Kurt's neck confirms that he is.

"It's nothing to be embarrassed about, right?" Kurt mumbles into Puck's chest, and Puck nods, even though he's pretty sure he knows what Kurt means. There's no reason to be ashamed or anything, but no, fuck, they didn't intend on having any sort of audience. He tilts Kurt's chin up and kisses him softly.

"So we'll just get dressed and head downstairs super-quiet," Puck suggests, "and I'll take you out to dinner, and that way, we can all just pretend Finn wasn't here."

Kurt nods, the motion of his head quick but not quite frantic. "Yes. Yes, good idea." He initiates another kiss before sliding off the bed and beginning to sort through their clothing.

Puck has, unfortunately, done a decent amount of redressing and quietly sneaking out, but this is the first time he's doing it with someone, which makes it surprisingly more fun than even he expected. Puck watches Kurt finish getting dressed, wrapping the scarf back around his neck, and then takes his hand as they tiptoe down the hall, past Finn's closed door, the music still blaring.

Puck grabs his bags and scoops up his shoes, heading into the garage; the only sign that they were there is Kurt's bag, propped demurely against the wall. They hurry into the Navigator, Puck putting his shoes on as Kurt pulls into the road.

"Where to?"

"Arby's?" Puck suggests. "We could go down to the one on Shawnee."

"Ooh, okay." Kurt steers towards their destination, then reaches across the console to lace his fingers with Puck's. Puck squeezes his hand gently. "I had no idea Finn was going to be home," Kurt says after a moment of silence. "I would have sworn he said he had plans."

"It's okay. I mean, I'm sure he was more traumatized than we were," he adds with a wry smile, and is rewarded by a small smile from Kurt.

"That's probably true," Kurt finally concedes. He sighs a little, almost as if he's cleansing himself or whatever it is that they said in that yoga unit in phys ed a few years back. Sure enough, when Kurt speaks again, the topic is completely different. "How was practice? You weren't in trouble with Coach Beiste?"

"Nah," Puck shakes his head. "She just said to make sure and let her know if it happens again. She didn't even have me run extra laps or anything. You go to work?"

"Yeah. Oil change, oil change, oil change." Kurt mock-yawns. "Can't someone in this town do something exciting, like skip a few oil changes and burn out their engine?"

Puck laughs. "You'd be grumbling about their poor maintenance habits."

"Yes, but at least it would be interesting," Kurt insists. "I ended up having to do billing part of the time. Ugh." Kurt makes a face, and Puck smiles, reaching across and poking his nose gently.

"Oh, no, not math!"

"Yes, math," Kurt pouts for a second. "Speaking of math, I have a test on Friday. Help me, Obi-Wan Puckerman."

"I'm your only hope?"

"Precisely. Thursday? After rehearsal?"

"Sure. We should study tomorrow night for physics." Puck frowns. "Maybe after dinner, though, we should probably make an appearance at our respective dinner tables."

"Probably so," Kurt nods. "Okay. I can just come over?"

"Yeah." Puck squeezes Kurt's hand again. "What do you want to do this weekend? I know we'll have homework and shit but."

"We could go back down to Dayton," Kurt suggests with a frown. "There's probably a library branch downtown, we could study for a bit, grab lunch, and hit that meeting again. If you want to."

"Yeah, that'd be cool." They disembark and walk into the restaurant, Puck shoving his hands into his pockets particularly hard.

Puck thinks they manage to pull off looking like friends, albeit close friends, during dinner, laughing and stealing fries from each other. They both have homework to do, but purposely linger over their jamocha shakes. Kurt doesn't start to clear the table until they each have slurped the last portion of shake from their cups, and Puck stands equally reluctantly, tossing their cups into the trash.

There's not a lot of people around, and Puck slides his arm around Kurt as they walk into the parking lot. Kurt stills for a beat. "Puck?"

"Don't care," Puck shrugs. "Not right now. Fuck it. I love you."

Kurt relaxes against him and slides his own arm around Puck. "I love you," he says with a smile. "Here or away from here."

"Yeah." They stop next to the passenger door, and Kurt presses his keys into Puck's hand.

"Drive us home?"

Puck raises his eyebrows and just looks at Kurt incredulously. "Seriously?"

"Why not?" Kurt shrugs and slips past him to open the door.

Puck just shakes his head and walks around to the other side. "I can't tell anyone, 'cause they'd never believe me."

"What? I'm not that–"

"Yes you are," Puck counters with a grin. "You threatened to remove Mercedes' weave in her sleep if she tried to take your keys, and Finn mumbled something once about home videos that you were going to post on YouTube if he tried to borrow your baby."

Kurt's eyes light up. "Not just home videos," he grins, "Finn in toddler ballet class."

Puck guffaws. "Seriously?!"

"Finn Hudson: Unable to Dance Since Age Two," Kurt confirms with a nod. "And I do have the videos to prove it." Kurt hmms to himself. "I could get used to this, though," he concedes.

"Yeah?"

"I had kind of forgotten what it was like to be a passenger."

"Not so bad?"

"Not so bad," Kurt agrees, smiling, and Puck grins to himself. He's not going to push it, but he knows no one else gets to drive Kurt's Navigator. He'd bet not even Kurt's dad has been behind the wheel more than five or six times in the last two years. No, he's not going to say anything, but there's a fierce burn in his chest that makes him grin from ear to ear–and drive extra carefully.

They sit in silence for a long moment after Puck parallel parks at a snail's pace, then Puck exits the car, Kurt sliding out and offering him his stuff. "Walk me up?" Puck finally offers, and Kurt nods, falling into step as they climb the stairs and shuffle down the hall. The hall's deserted, and Puck puts a hand on Kurt's cheek, drawing him close for slow, sweet kiss. "Be good, blue eyes," he says with a smile, key in the lock.

"I'm always good, baby," Kurt dimples, and with a last touch on Puck's shoulder, Kurt slips down the hall. Puck pushes the door open, pleasantly surprised by the silence which is explained by the scratch of pencil on paper in his sister's room, and the running water from his mom's. He sits down at his desk and starts his computer with a sigh.

He's nearly done with his English worksheet when his phone vibrates, and he finishes the last two sentences before opening the message.

no maybe about it xx and a link. Puck grins and hits the link with his thumb. The familiar strains of Billy Joel begin to echo through the room. Puck sets the phone down and lets the music play, closing his eyes and leaning back in his chair. He hits the replay button and listens again as he gets ready for bed. He has the perfect song to send in return, but decides to leave that for the next day, falling asleep to Billy Joel's voice assuring him the night is still young.

Chapter Text

Puck thinks that he's been getting less sleep so far this week, and it should really start to catch up with him, but he's doing fine so far. He chalks it up to Kurt and goes on with his morning, unwilling to ruin his good days by borrowing trouble.

Rachel captures him as they're leaving English. "You're so cheery this week, Puck! It's nice that we all seem to be having such a pleasant start to our senior year!"

"Yeah, it is," Puck nods, almost absently.

"So what's new with you?" Rachel continues, not even really pausing for Puck's reply. "There must be some reason for your smiling visage!"

Puck is not entirely sure what a visage is, though he's guessing maybe it's his face, since his is supposed to be smiling. "Just, uh, no reason not to?" he offers, after the silence stretching between them indicates that this time, Rachel does expect an answer.

She nods, accepting his answer and then moves on to other topics until they reach the choir room and she sidles off to sit by Finn.

Puck drops onto the floor near Kurt, and they start working on practice problems for physics. The rest of the club is similarly working on homework, though Mike has warned them all that there will be fifteen minutes of dancing at the end of the period. Kurt’s just handing over his page of Newtonian equations with a frown when Puck hears Finn clear his throat.

“So, I was thinking,” he begins.

“Dangerous,” Santana offers from her spot on the back row.

“Heh, I know, right?” Finn laughs. “But anyway, so there’s a football game this weekend, and I was thinking about the Glock cheering section.”

“That was so much fun!” Rachel enthuses, interrupting Finn momentarily. Finn smiles at Rachel patiently, waiting for her to calm down a little.

“Yeah, it was fun,” he says, “but I’ve been feeling kind of guilty. I mean, the rest of us are lucky enough to have someone out there wearing our number, cheering for us. Me, Mike, Sam, we’ve all got our girls out there, rooting for us, making us feel appreciated.” He pauses to let this all sink in and for a brief moment, he catches Kurt’s eye and grins.

Puck raises his head as Finn starts to speak, and he sort of freezes as Finn keeps talking, because he has a bad feeling about this. Especially after Finn grins at Kurt. No one else seems to notice, as Rachel, Tina, and Mercedes are all beaming at their respective boyfriends. Kurt’s frozen, too, though.

Finn continues, “And I know that when you guys ordered the Glock shirts, you ordered an extra one with a number on back for each of us...just in case, you know,” he adds, nodding in Puck’s direction. “So I was thinking...it’s not really cool that Puck doesn’t have someone out there wearing a shirt, but, you know, who could be available to do that, right?”

Puck exchanges a quick glance with Kurt, and Puck figures he looks like Kurt, torn between running away and killing Finn slowly. With a rusty spoon. All the girls are nodding sympathetically along with Finn’s story.

“But then,” Finn says, with a flourish, “I realized that Kurt comes to every game.”

All the girls nod again, and even Sam and Mike are nodding along with them after looks from Mercedes and Tina. Kurt looks full-on horrified now.

“And I thought, well, maybe Kurt would be willing to wear the girl-sized shirt with Puck’s number on it, you know, in the spirit of taking one for the team,” Finn says, smiling hugely. “Then Puck won’t have to be the only Glock out there without somebody wearing his number, and then everybody will know that the glee club looks after their own, on and off the field.”

Puck’s pretty sure his jaw has dropped by now, and Kurt seems to be swallowing convulsively, eyes fixed on the wall above the piano, as if the whiteboard is going to start writing on itself.

Then Artie breaks in. “Wouldn’t that make Puck a little uncomfortable? I mean, no offense, Kurt, but that would sort of imply a certain... status, wouldn’t it?”

“Maybe we should all stop talking about Puck like I’m not sitting right here,” Puck finally says, managing to sound a little bored. “And it doesn’t bother me.” He shrugs almost carelessly, thinking to himself that maybe he’s a better actor than he realized.

“See?” Finn says. “Puck’s totally cool with it. What do you say, Kurt? Think you can find it in your heart to support your teammate by putting on a shirt?”

Kurt tilts his head to the side. Puck can see his expression change rapidly, a bit of a hard glint in his eye as he finally focuses on Finn, his expression now carefully blanked. “Oh, I suppose,” Kurt says lightly. “If you’re sure that wearing a shirt is all that’s required.”

“Sure,” Finn says, jovially. “We all wear shirts. It’s totally a thing we all do! Team spirit, Kurt. That’s the word of the day...that and,” he mouths, but doesn’t say out loud, “spank-the-pita.”

“That’s five words, Finn,” Kurt manages to splutter, and Puck can tell Kurt’s about to burst into giggles. After he finishes glaring at Finn. And smirking sideways at Puck. Sometimes Puck’s impressed with how many expressions Kurt can balance at one time.

Finn winks at Kurt and says, “Brought.”

Kurt just shakes his head slowly. “Careful, little brother,” he says softly, before throwing a smirk at Finn and then looking back down at his textbook.

Puck looks over at Finn, and watches his facial expression fade from gleeful into a look of mild panic as he obviously realizes that, perhaps, he went a bit too far and that Kurt’s brand of payback is a notorious bitch. Puck catches Finn’s eye and grins at his look of chagrin.

After everyone dances, Puck finds himself and Kurt caught up in the group headed towards the cafeteria, and neither has a good chance or reason to protest, much less two. Rationally, Puck can accept that engaging socially and not isolating themselves is probably both healthy and a good way to avoid a lot of questions. It's also probably good that they're not fucking at every opportunity. At least, it sounds like a reasonable, mature thing, and fuck, it's not about the sex. Okay, it's not just about the sex. Still.

Puck kinda wishes they'd managed to escape the vortex that is most of glee club.

Mike and Tina act as a sort of mini-vortex of their own, and Puck absently wonders if they realize how much power they have over the rest of the club right now, what with the whole scheme for Invitationals. The end result of their mini-vortex is that Puck and Kurt both end up back in the choir room, along with Sam and Finn, who apparently have a free period right after lunch.

Finn launches into a conversation that's apparently a continuation of one from a day or two ago, interrogating Sam about his relationship with Mercedes, and the others join in, Tina and Kurt adding details they've learned from Sam's other half. By the time the bell rings, Sam looks utterly thrilled to escape their questioning and flees the room. Finn leaves, too, headed for something, though no one catches his mumbled response.

Kurt stays around for another period, he and Tina working on an assignment for AP English while Puck makes a half-hearted attempt at an outline for his own English paper. When the bell rings again, Kurt packs his bag and bumps his shoulder against Puck's. "I'll see you after dinner," he whispers, and Puck nods as they exchange a brief smile. Tina and Mike end up leaving the room after another ten minutes, and once the room is empty, Puck decides to take advantage of it and work on music theory. He's finished more of the syllabus in the first four weeks than Ms. Pillsbury expected him to, but he knows the hardest parts are still ahead, not to mention dual enrollment classes starting next week. He groans a little and runs his hands over his face before concentrating until the bell rings.

The sophomores that were mouthy at the beginning of the year are already in the locker room, falling silent as Puck enters. Puck can't do anything but toss them a look, since they didn't, in fact, say anything, but he has a feeling that they just keep their comments where the Glocks can't hear them.

Puck hits the sled a little harder than usual during practice, still shaking off that thought.

He's finishing his shower and walking to the locker when one of the juniors does a double take and calls out to him "Puckerman, did you take a weird angled hit?"

"What?" Puck looks at him blankly.

"Your side, dude."

Puck looks down at the side facing the other guy. His towel's slid a little on that side, exposing what are in fact very clearly finger-shaped bruises. Oops. He adjusts the towel a little and shakes his head. "Nah, just ran into uh, a table. At home." He escapes behind the next row of lockers and rolls his eyes. What was that guy doing checking out Puck's bruises, anyway, much less calling him out on them? Puck's pretty sure that if he looked, he'd see a matching set on his other hip, but he pulls on his clothes without checking.

Finn's still in the showers when Puck finishes dressing, so he asks Sam for a ride home. Sam nods and gestures towards the door. They're nearly to Sam's car when both their phones chime. Mass text, then. Puck pulls his out to read it, narrowing his eyes and then grinning when he reads what Kurt's sent.

Do me a favor, boys? 4th tomorrow, take off your shirts once you get to the choir room. And do NOT tell Finn. O:)

"Do I even want to know?" Sam muses and Puck shakes his head, laughing.

"Probably not. What's the harm, though, right?"

"Yeah, true," Sam brightens. "We are a good looking bunch, after all."

Puck chuckles and nods, and thanks Sam for the ride just a few moments later.

His mom and Hannah arrive just a few moments after he gets into the apartment.

"Noah!" Hannah greets him with a big hug. "Are you cooking dinner? 'Cause I like it when you make that Hamburger Helper that's um. Cheesy Ranch? Can we have that?"

"Um. Sure?" Puck shrugs and looks over at his mom, who just shrugs as well.

"That's fine by me," she replies. "Come on, Hannah, let's go change your clothes and I'll quiz you on your spelling words while Noah cooks."

Puck rummages around in the cupboard. "You want Cheesy Ranch, or Philly Cheesesteak?" he yells down the hall. His mom replies Cheesy Ranch, and Hannah switches her vote to Philly Cheesesteak. "Of course," Puck mutters himself. "Eenie Meanie Minie Mo. Philly Cheesesteak it is," he sighs, removing the pound of hamburger from the microwave and starting to brown it. He rummages some more and finds some canned carrots that he throws in a pot to warm up. It doesn't take long to throw the meal together, and by the time Hannah reappears, fresh from spelling word review, he's putting the food on plates for them.

"Thank you, Noah," Rina says with a smile, taking her plate.

"Yeah, thanks!" Hannah echoes, and they all begin to eat.

"How was school?" Rina asks after Hannah's chattered about her day for awhile.

Puck shrugs. "Fine. Physics test tomorrow, Kurt's gonna come over after dinner so we can study."

"Oh." Rina takes a sip of water. "All right. When will that be?"

"Just whenever he's finished eating, but Finn leaves practice later than I do, so it'll be another thirty minutes, probably. At least." Puck shrugs again.

Rina nods. "Just make sure you're quiet once Hannah goes to bed."

Puck rolls his eyes. "Sure thing, Mom."

She rolls her own eyes and shakes her head fondly, and Hannah looks between the two of them before shrugging and grinning herself.

Sure enough, thirty minutes later, there's a knock at the door. Rina's already got the television on, remarking on the premiere of Survivor that will be on later, and Hannah's doing homework at the dining room table. Puck opens the door with a grin as Kurt steps in, Puck's arm neatly settling around him. Kurt scans the room for a moment and must note that Puck's mom is facing the other way, because Puck finds himself pressed up against the wall quickly, Kurt's mouth nearly devouring his. Kurt pulls away with a satisfied look.

"Much better," he grins, and Puck smirks, steering them the few short steps to his bedroom. He slumps onto his desk chair, but Kurt settles comfortably on top of Puck's bed, kicking off his shoes and sitting cross-legged.

"We're supposed to study," Puck frowns a little. "This may not work."

"We'll just have to use a reward system," Kurt suggests after a moment. "We study, we both get a reward?"

"Strip studying?" Puck suggests hopefully, and Kurt laughs.

"I have far more pieces of clothing than you."

"Yeah, but you already took your shoes off, at least."

"You'd like me to take off more?" Kurt offers with a raised eyebrow, then lifts his hat off his head. "There."

Puck just purses his lips and shakes his head. "You're such a tease, blue eyes."

"Remember, it's only teasing if I don't follow through." Kurt smiles brightly and then reaches into his bag. "But first. This." He pulls out his textbook and slides just a little to the left, clearly intending for Puck to join him on the bed. Puck pulls out his own notes and does so, draping his arm behind Kurt. Kurt leans into him, and Puck can feel the warmth of Kurt's skin on his own bare forearm, straight through the thin cotton of Kurt's shirt.

Puck sighs and kisses Kurt's temple. "Okay, we can do this, yeah?"

"Yes," Kurt nods emphatically, and they turn most of their attention to Newtonian motion. Eventually Hannah stops in the doorway to ask what they're doing, and later Rina walks by, as they finally move to the third law of motion. It's about fifteen minutes later when it seems to hit both of them simultaneously that no one else is left awake.

"We know this, right?" Kurt says, biting his lip.

"I think so," Puck nods, shuffling his notes together and stretching to put them on his desk chair. Kurt closes his textbook quietly and then lets it drop off the bed, easing it into the floor.

"And I don't have to be home for… forty-five minutes," Kurt adds.

"It does only take you about five minutes to drive home." Puck lets his fingers slowly gather the fabric of Kurt's shirt, tugging it slowly upwards to free it from the divinely tight jeans Kurt has plastered on his legs.

"And we have been studying very diligently. It could be said that we deserve a reward, even." Kurt's hand strays up towards his neck, but Puck captures it with his free hand. He smooths the back of his hand down Kurt's chest, starting at the knot of his tie and following the silk all the way down.

"Oh, I agree," Puck lowers his voice. "We definitely deserve a reward." Puck levers himself so that he's sitting up straight, then swings a leg over Kurt, straddling him. "Like this." He bends his head down, the angle slightly awkward, pulling Kurt's head up and fusing their lips together. His hands slide back to the knot at Kurt's throat, slowly working it loose until the knot is resting over Kurt's sternum.

Kurt's hands are under Puck's t-shirt, sliding roughly over the skin and stroking the muscles that lay just beneath it. Kurt's tongue presses deeper into Puck's mouth, more insistent, and Puck lets one hand run carelessly through Kurt's hair. The other hand teases with the buttons of Kurt's shirt, and as he frees the second one, Puck sighs into Kurt's mouth, relieved not to find one of Kurt's usual wifebeaters underneath. Kurt can say it's something else, but Puck'll call it a wifebeater in his head. He's pretty sure that Kurt had one on at school earlier, though, and the thought that Kurt took it off special before coming over makes Puck groan a little and shift his hips forward involuntarily. He works his way down Kurt's shirt, finally pulling the shirttails free and pushing the fabric to the side without trying to work it all the way off. Kurt's got some of that fussy jewelry on his cuffs and while Puck likes Kurt's arms just fine, they're not essential, not when they're working on a time limit.

Kurt pulls back, leaning onto Puck's pillow and bring Puck with him. Puck separates their lips briefly. "What do you want," he asks, breathless, mouth against Kurt's ear.

"You," Kurt answers shortly, grinding his hips upwards into Puck's, their erections brushing. "You, inside me. Please, baby." Kurt pushes Puck up a little, turning pleading eyes on Puck, and damn, how's Puck supposed to resist that?

"Fuck," he says a moment later, shaking his head. "We don't have anything here."

"Yes we do," Kurt counters. "My bag."

Puck rocks back on his heels. "Damn, blue eyes."

Kurt just grins and leans over the bed, rifling through his bag for a moment before placing the bottle in Puck's hand.

What follows is fast and a little bit rough, Kurt's jeans around one ankle, Puck's clothes flying into opposite corners of the room. Puck's fingers plunge in and out of Kurt, his other hand wrapped around Kurt's cock, pumping up and down, until Kurt pleads, hips thrusting up, and Puck gives in, slicking his own cock and working his way slowly in until they're flush with each other, the weight of Kurt's balls on the base of his cock something new but entirely welcome, Kurt's erection jutting out at nearly the same angle as his legs, which are folded up and over, spread wide.

Puck could probably come soon if he just sat there and thought about it all, what they're doing, the whole thing, but Kurt's rocking his hips minutely, biting his lip, and Puck runs his hand up Kurt's chest, under the still-knotted tie and the loose sides of Kurt's shirt before beginning to move.

Kurt keeps his bottom lip held firmly between his teeth, only a few muted sounds escaping, and Puck's fighting to himself quiet as well. His mom can sleep through anything, and even if she were to wake up, she'd just ignore it. Hannah, though; they'd all be upset. Keeping quiet takes effort; words want to fall out of his mouth and he wants to hear the little noises he knows Kurt usually makes.

It doesn't take long before he's emptying into Kurt, and he pulls out faster than he'd like, kneeling between Kurt's legs and taking him in his mouth, it not taking long at all before Kurt thrusts up into Puck's mouth, the salty fluid filling Puck's mouth as he continues sucking until Kurt slumps back onto the bed, totally spent. Puck crawls up the bed, pulling Kurt's tongue into his mouth.

After just a moment, they pull apart, Puck pulling on his jeans and Kurt pulling up his jeans and rebuttoning his shirt. He leaves his shirt untucked and the tie loose as he slides his feet back into his shoes, and Puck uses the excuse of sitting Kurt's hat on his head to kiss him again.

"You should sleep well now," Kurt says with a grin, picking up his bag and sliding his textbook back into it.

"Oh, I will," Puck agrees, smirking. They walk quietly to the front door, and Kurt gives Puck one last peck on the lips.

"Be good."

"I'm always good."

Puck slumps against the door and grins before shuffling back to his room. He removes his jeans again and crawls into bed, then grabs his phone, remembering he wanted to send Kurt a link. He types in I'll make you so sure about it xx and then the link.

It's nearly ten minutes later when he gets a response. I love that movie! As long as there are stars above you… xxx

Puck grins and lets his eyes close at last.

 

Kurt catches a glimpse of himself in the plate glass windows on the bottom floor of Puck's apartment building. He looks thoroughly debauched. There's no other word for it.

When he was at Dalton, sometimes one of the students would come back from lunch off campus, or come to a late Warblers meeting after dinner, clearly having been fooling around at least. They would have cuffs undone, or a loosened tie, or shirt not quite properly tucked in. Sometimes they'd still be reknotting their tie, or have it tucked into a blazer pocket.

Part of Kurt, back then, had been faintly disapproving. He remembers the way he felt then, about sex and all things related to it, and it seems like looking back at a dream. Education really was key, he supposed, but he still thinks that he'll give a lot of the credit to Puck, anyway.

Because he can.

And he looks like one of those Dalton boys, now, and if he took off his hat, he knows he'd probably be a bit chagrined at the state of his hair, but overall? He doesn't care. He's happy, and if being happy means being a little wrinkled or a little rumpled from time to time?

Kurt will take it, willingly.

 

Most of the time, Puck is pretty content to admire whatever outfit Kurt's put together. Occasionally there's one that doesn't impress him as much, but overall, he's a fan. Sometimes, though, he thinks that Kurt's entire wardrobe may be an elaborate plan to drive him absolutely insane.

Like Thursday's ensemble, which makes Kurt look like he belongs in London in the '60s, as far as Puck can tell. The blazer is all crazy patterned, and everything else just sets that off, from the hat on his head to the shiny black shoes.

Fuck, it's good to be Puck sometimes.

He grins and hands Kurt his coffee, really tempted to kiss Kurt right there, no matter who might be watching, because he's about the hottest thing Puck's ever seen. Sometimes Puck wonders how, exactly, he remained oblivious to so many things for so long.

He'll blame Karofsky for sending Kurt away for half of junior year, because that sounds better than just being a completely oblivious idiot.

"You look good."

"Why thank you, sir. You're looking well yourself." Kurt smiles flirtatiously as Puck settles into the car.

Puck smirks just a bit, 'cause yeah, he did spend an extra minute or two staring at his clothes this morning, remembering that apparently he was going to be shedding his shirt during fourth period, no doubt merely one phase of Kurt's plans for Finn. Puck almost feels sorry for Finn, but then he remembers that Finn brought Puck into it the day before, so if Kurt wants to bring in all the other guys? Oh, yeah, Puck's in. "I thought you might like."

"Good color, excellent fit," Kurt purrs.

"I'll keep that in mind."

"I'm sure it would look divine on the floor, however," Kurt continues, and Puck grins.

"Right next to your shirt, blue eyes."

"Is that a promise?" Kurt's eyes are shining.

"A possibility, anyway," Puck smirks as they pull into the lot.

It's always interesting to see who's hanging out in the parking lot, who they walk in with. Today, it's Sam and Rachel, and Sam immediately launches into a question about football, Rachel pulling Kurt towards her. Puck can hear Rachel exclaiming about good moods and something about being dapper, and Kurt's response of "Can't a boy just be in a good mood for several days?" as he microscopically adjusts his hat.

Rachel always is a little too observant, Puck thinks absently, but Rachel seems appeased, and as Sam and Puck head to history, he hears Rachel beginning to chatter about dormitories versus establishing herself as an actual resident of the city, in an apartment. There's something about Juilliard requiring students to live in dorms for a year, and then she's finally out of earshot. Puck turns his full attention to Sam's football issues, then, though it takes him a few minutes to catch up and understand that Sam wants to try some new plays that use Puck as a fullback. Puck frowns, because yeah, he's strong, but does Sam understand that he's not fullback size?

Luckily, Finn walks in around then, and backs Puck up, convincing Sam that no, Puck is not exactly a fullback. Puck has to wince when he considers the size of some of the other players on their opposing teams. Ouch.

Kurt's nibbling on his lower lip when he walks into physics for their test. Puck knows that he's nervous, but Puck's also pretty sure Kurt has nothing to worry about. "You got this," he says with a nod, and Kurt purses his lips before nodding.

"Yes. I guess," Kurt concedes with a nod of his head. "I do have a very nice study partner."

"Really? 'Cause I just got this really distracting one." Puck grins and ducks as Kurt slaps him lightly on the shoulder.

"We really are unbearable," Kurt says after a moment, unrepentant.

"Probably." Puck shrugs, and then further conversation is curtailed as the teacher hands out the test.

Kurt looks much calmer and definitely relieved as they leave.

"See? Wasn't so bad."

"No," Kurt admits. "Don't forget, fourth period," he smirks and then turns towards his class, leaving Puck shaking his head.

Rachel is still discussing dormitories and apartments at the end of English, only this time Puck is forced to listen in detail to her ramblings and occasionally answer her questions about what he's thinking. His answers are necessarily vague but he has enough of a map of the city in his head that he can discuss Upper West Side versus Upper East Side and how everything really depends on where he ends up going, doesn't it?

Puck's not sure how Kurt's pulled it off, but when he walks into the choir room, all the other guys are there, shirtless, and Finn's nowhere to be seen. Puck smirks and puts down his backpack, unfastening his own shirt and shrugging it off before sitting down in a chair, the five of them lounging casually. Rachel, Tina, and Mercedes are clustered together, giggling, and Santana and Brittany are just acting like there's nothing out of the ordinary. Kurt just smirks.

Puck has a hard time not reaching out for Kurt, but he purposely sat with Sam and Mike both between them, which helps a little. His fingers are twitching just a little, though, wanting to run over Kurt's chest, and he's relieved that he has his guitar there to distract him, or at least to distract his fingers. His eyes keep wandering.

Quinn walks in alone and dissolves into laughter, and all the girls disperse, sitting randomly throughout the room amongst the shirtless boys. Seriously, Puck wonders how Kurt manages these things, because the bell's ringing and only now do they hear Finn's footsteps approaching.

Finn lopes into the choir room, but comes up short when he sees half the class sitting there shirtless. Confusion flickers across his face, as though he’s trying to remember if he were supposed to come to the choir room without a shirt today, and somehow forgot about it. It’s only when Finn notices Kurt pointedly not looking in Finn’s direction, but wearing a self-satisfied smirk, that Finn seems to realize something is amiss.

“Uh,” he says, “hey guys. Did I miss a memo?”

“The girls just couldn’t get behind it,” Santana offers.

Finn scrunches his eyebrows up in puzzlement and lets out a nervous little laugh. “Funny, but seriously, where’s everybody’s shirt?”

“Mine’s right here,” Sam offers, holding up a grey t-shirt that’s tossed over his backpack. Mercedes looks over at him and grins. Puck ducks his head to keep from breaking into a full-blown laugh.

“Shouldn’t it be, like, on?”

“Well, Finn,” Kurt drawls. “You see... wearing shirts? It’s not something we all do, all of the time.”

Finn turns beet red and studiously does not look at Puck, or directly at Kurt for that matter. Puck smirks and can’t resist trying to catch Finn’s eye.

“I’ve noticed,” Finn mumbles, trying to sit down without making eye contact with anyone.

“You know, I’ve found you can even eat without a shirt on,” Puck offers, and notices Mike and Artie nodding along with him.

“Totally,” Sam agrees.

Finn makes the strangled sound that Puck is becoming quite familiar with and gives an unnecessary amount of attention to pulling a stack of sheet music out of his backpack. “I think some people should eat with their shirts on,” he mutters under his breath, but not so quietly that Puck can’t hear him.

“I’m sure you do,” Puck offers, reaching out to pat him on the shoulder, friendly-like. “It must be dreadfully difficult for you when people don’t.”

“Uncool, Puckerman,” Finn whispers from the corner of his mouth, without really moving his lips.

Puck covers up his laugh by coughing, hiding his face in the crook of his elbow for a moment.

“Little brother?” Kurt offers, tone syrupy-sweet.

“What?” Finn snaps, exasperation in his voice.

“Brought,” Kurt finishes smugly.

Finn purses his lips and points his finger at Kurt for a minute, but wisely lets it drop this time.

After a few minutes, the boys put their shirts back on, one by one. Puck waits until Kurt's the only other one still without a shirt before pulling his own back on. Kurt takes his time, restoring his outfit to pristine condition just in time for Mike to announce that it's time to practice dancing. The last fifteen minutes arrives fast and Puck curses himself for not setting up a playlist yet. Luckily, Mike pulls Tina's phone out of the box and hooks it up. Tina obviously has prepared, though, because all of the songs that play actually work for dancing.

Puck knows all of them, too. "We Are Not Alone" is first, and he grins as Kurt and about half the club sings along as they dance. Tina leads them all in a very improvised version of the dance they use in the movie, and everyone's laughing, having a great time. The music goes straight into "I Melt With You" and Puck joins the others singing, all of them spinning their same-sex partners in a wild, unchoreographed melee. Kurt catches his eye and grins, mouthing the words along with him.

It's getting better all the time, there's nothing you and I won't do.

There's barely a breather before "If You Leave," starts, and personally, Puck thinks at least Tina's managed to pick out songs that are actually useful for dancing. It's miles better than the awkward attempts they all stumbled through on Tuesday when Rachel's shiny device was plucked from Mike's box.

Everyone claps when the music stops just after the bell.

"Awesome choices," Brittany enthuses, and Tina grins.

"Thanks, Brit."

"Yeah, good dance music," Artie agrees, and everyone nods, gathering their bags.

"Work?" Puck asks Kurt, and Kurt nods.

"Need to get a few hours in before rehearsal this afternoon."

"How many times you going to get undressed in one day?" Puck begins, and then finishes with a grin.

"I suppose that depends on you," Kurt whispers, then places his hat on his head and whirls out the door in the other direction from the other eleven of them. Puck just chuckles and jogs a little to catch up with the others.

Chapter Text

Puck takes a few minutes during the afternoon to look at the papers that are slowly starting to decorate the bulletin board, Kurt seemingly starting a new trend. Mercedes' area has a rectangle reading 'peach pie' in Sam's chicken scratch that Puck saw on Tuesday, and by Wednesday at lunch, Sam had one reading 'apple dumplin'' in what Puck is pretty sure is Mercedes' handwriting. At the beginning of fourth period today, Puck had noticed Tina writing something, and sure enough, Mike now has a note admonishing '10,000 crunches.' Puck grins when he sees a small little note tacked under his own name, the handwriting carefully disguised. Left-handed, Puck thinks.

"Always one foot on the ground."

Puck grins and traces the words for a second, then wonders how in the world Kurt found time to add that, unobserved.

 

Kurt looks just as immaculate when he re-enters the choir room after school, arm tucked in Rachel's, deep in conversation. Kurt catches Puck's eye and winks, making Puck wonder what exactly is going on.

Sure enough, Kurt seems to be leading the conversation in a specific direction, talking about various stereotypes and realities of living in New York City, and really, what would it be like to be a child living in the City, or even just visiting for extended periods of time.

"I mean," Kurt says carefully, just as Finn enters the room, "it's not like you can just go hop in the water off Riverside Park."

"No, exactly!" Rachel's overly enthusiastic, as she nearly always is when the subject of New York comes up.

Kurt crosses his legs and shoots a brilliant smile at Finn for half a second, then turns his attention back to Rachel, his voice just a touch louder. "Really, a good run through the fire hydrants before heading home would just have to suffice."

Finn’s face flushes and he looks away from Kurt, mouth set in a small, hard line.

Rachel makes a strange face at the mention of fire hydrants and shakes her head. “Followed by a proper bath, of course!” and Kurt quickly nods his agreement, shooting Finn another glance, this one less gleeful and more inquiring, but Finn keeps facing the other way as Schue enters the room.

He immediately has them stand up and run through the choreography for 'Human,' then turns to the top of the piano and comes up short. "Hang on, guys. I forgot something!"

Everyone is chattering quietly, waiting for Mr. Schue to return with his supposed "wonderful, amazing piece for Invitationals" when Tina speaks up more loudly, addressing the room at large.

"I've been noticing that some of us are a lot peppier in the mornings than others. We really should all be as happy as they are, and I think I figured it out."

"Yeah?" Finn asks, looking interested, and Rachel's nodding beside him.

"It's got to be those huge cups of coffee they both have every morning!" Tina finishes with a flourish, turning to grin at Kurt and then Puck. Finn makes his strangled noise, and Puck's sure his eyes are bugging out just a little. Kurt recovers first.

"Coffee is an important part of one's morning routine," he says, nodding.

"So I thought, maybe on Friday mornings, we could all meet at Starbucks before school! I know it's a little hard to park compared to the Lima Bean, but it's a lot closer and a sixth of us are already there." She shrugs, still smiling brightly.

"Yeah, that's a great idea," Finn immediately backs her up, shooting Kurt a slightly triumphant look. Puck groans inwardly as the rest of the group starts nodding, thinking that Tina's come up with a terrific idea. Kurt looks over at him and shrugs, rolling his eyes slightly.

"Let's meet at 7:40, then."

Noises of agreement are made, a few people pulling out phones to add it to their calendars, and Puck's phone vibrates with a text after just a moment.

So I'll be there at 7:30

Puck looks over at Kurt with a grin.

Schue returns then, brandishing a stack of sheet music with a large grin plastered on his face. "I thought of this last week during the 'fall' assignment, and it's something a little slower; a good complement to the dancing number, I think." He beams. "Now, we technically have time for a third number at Invitationals, so I thought for that, we could reprise one of our original songs. Since none of the schools at Invitationals heard our songs at Nationals, we could use either 'Pretending'–without the unstaged parts, please–or 'Light Up the World.' Let's see what you think after we put this one together."

Puck isn't sure if he hopes they use "Pretending" or not, but he presses his lips together when he reads the title on the sheet music Schue passes out.

"November Rain? Really?"

"How will this translate into a show choir performance?"

"We could alter the arrangement, I guess," Puck mutters, half to himself.

"Yes, exactly, Puck!" Mr. Schuester heard him anyway. "Something a little more upbeat, and sing most of it in harmonies rather than as solos."

"If we do this as a group number, plus 'Human,' we probably should use 'Pretending' rather than 'Light Up the World,'" Mercedes points out. "If those two can control themselves, I mean," she adds with a laugh.

"Is today pick on Finn day?" Finn mutters.

"Yes," half the room choruses.

"Oh," he shrugs, glum, and the rest of the conversation swirls on, debating how best to use 'November Rain' since Schue is clearly invested in the selection. They finally settle on a slightly faster version of the song, cutting out most of the instrumental introduction, and agree to use minimal choreography. They do a couple of run-throughs, everyone singing every part for now, before Schue ends the rehearsal with a beaming smile.

Puck slides to the back of the room, gathering his music theory stuff, which he'd just piled in the back of the room, and jumps a little when he feels a hat placed on his head. Then he shakes his head a little and turns to grin at Kurt. "Thought I needed sprucing up?"

"Just seeing if a fedora is your thing. I'm thinking more of a newsboy style, though." Kurt has his head tilted, considering. "Maybe a tweed." The room's empty, and as Puck turns to walk towards the door, Kurt threads his arm through Puck's. "Ooh, you know, you could rock a nice tweed coat with the leather elbow patches. Over a t-shirt, I think."

Puck's still trying to remember what a newsboy is, since he figures a fedora is the hat that's still perched on his head. "Like a professor?" he finally offers.

"Yes, exactly. In the winter… well, you're just not really going to rock a turtleneck, are you? Maybe a v-neck sweater under it when it's colder."

"Okay," Puck shrugs, because yeah, he doesn't see himself wearing a turtleneck, in Lima or New York, either one. "Hey, what time is it?"

"Only 4:30. Schue must have a hot date."

Puck makes a face but pulls out his phone. "Can we go get Hannah before we head to my place?"

"Sure." Puck calls his mom to let her know as they head out to the parking lot. "Which school?"

"Independence."

Kurt nods. "The names of the elementary schools in this town are ridiculous."

"Which one'd you go to?"

"Freedom. Then Lima South. They're so creative," Kurt snorts, and Puck laughs.

"Yeah, and uneven. I've always wondered… what happened to Lima East?"

"I looked it up once. There was 'East School' that a tornado took out back in 1898."

"Really? You think that's why?"

Kurt shrugs. "Who knows. Stranger things have happened in this town." He parks and turns to Puck. "Want me to wait here?"

"Nah, c'mon."

Puck leads the way, nodding at the janitor as they enter the gym. "Noah Puckerman," the woman inside the gym shakes her head. "I can't believe you're so old."

"Senior this year," Puck says with a grin. "It's good to see you, Miss Scaggs."

"You're making me feel even older," the teacher shakes her head. "Here to get Hannah, I assume?"

"Yeah, rehearsal got out early today. Oh, hey, this is Kurt. Kurt, Miss Scaggs, my second grade teacher. And Hannah's."

"It's a pleasure to meet you," Kurt says, offering his hand, and Miss Scaggs returns the gesture.

"Hannah!" she calls after a moment, and Puck watches her break away from Rebecca and Stevie.

"Dang, I'm still gonna be saddled with Sam as a brother-in-law, aren't I?" he says with a shake of his head, and Kurt laughs.

"Noah!" Hannah flings herself onto him, grabbing his legs tight before letting go to repeat the process with Kurt. "Time to go home?"

"Time to go home," Puck agrees. "Go get your bag, squirt." Hannah complies and leads them out of the gym.

"Are you cooking dinner again? Kurt, are you staying for dinner? Can we have Frank Fiesta?"

"Yes, yes, and I guess so," Puck tries to keep up with her questions.

"Frank Fiesta?" Kurt raises an eyebrow and slips the keys into Puck's hand as they approach the Navigator.

"Uh, yeah," Puck shrugs through his surprise. "It's like, hot dogs and corn and beans and noodles. Super-easy."

"Ah." Kurt looks like he's trying to remember something as Puck takes Hannah's bag and helps her climb in. "I think my dad may have made that once."

"Probably. It's not as bad as it sounds, really."

"I'll take your word for it, I guess," Kurt sighs but grins as they pull out of the lot.

"It's really good!" Hannah offers.

The three of them work together in the kitchen, Hannah in charge of opening cans while Kurt chops hot dogs and a green pepper. Puck pours it all into the pot and turns on the eye. "There. Hannah, homework."

"No-ah!"

"Homework. I have to go make sure Kurt can do math." He grins at Kurt, who just sticks his tongue out in response.

Hannah makes a face but sits down at the table and pulls out her AR book, so Puck leads Kurt into his bedroom. "I found something almost as cool as the pink monkey thing."

"Oh?"

"Yeah, hang on." Puck opens his browser and navigates to the site. "Ta-da. Stats videos."

"Really?" Kurt moves closer and sits down on Puck's lap.

"Here, this one is on standard deviation." Puck hits play and wraps his arms around Kurt's waist, resting his head between Kurt's shoulder blades while Kurt watches the video.

"This actually makes a little more sense," Kurt offers after awhile.

"Good." Puck lifts his head up and kisses the back of Kurt's neck.

"Stop trying to distract me."

"You're the one that sat in my lap, K."

Kurt hmmms but wriggles a little, leaning on Puck and seemingly getting more comfortable. When the video ends, he stands up, offering Puck a hand. "Check on the food?"

"Yeah. Mom should be home soon."

They dish up the frank fiesta, Kurt still looking at it suspiciously, and Rina gets home just after the food hits the table.

"Oh, good. Frank fiesta." She smiles, giving Hannah a large hug and a hiss. "Thanks for cooking, Noah."

"Hannah and Kurt both helped," Puck shrugs. "C'mon, let's eat."

Puck watches Kurt carefully as they start to eat, hiding a grin when Kurt ends up getting seconds. Rina shoos them out of the kitchen when they offer to help clean up, and Puck tugs Kurt back to his bedroom.

"So," he says with a grin.

"So?"

"So here's the deal. You work a problem right, you get…"

"Kisses?"

"Mmmhmm."

"What if I watch an entire video?"

"What do you think?"

"I think I should get lots of kisses." Kurt steps closer and puts his arms around Puck's neck. "Also lots of touching."

"Oh, you think so?"

"Yes." Kurt presses a quick kiss to Puck's lips. "And you think so, too."

"Guilty," Puck whispers, lips still just a hair's breadth from Kurt's.

"Do I have to study first?" Kurt responds just as quietly.

Puck smirks. "Is today role reversal day?"

"Apparently so," Kurt sighs, kissing Puck one more time before pulling away dramatically and sitting at the computer. "All right. I'll do problems and watch a video and then. Then you belong to me, mister."

Puck laughs and gestures for Kurt to get to work, pulling out his music theory textbook.

Puck's reward system works well, or at least as well as it can given that the door is open, Hannah's awake, and Rina is in the living room watching Wheel of Fortune. By the time Rina walks by casually for the fifth time, Puck and Kurt look at each other and grimace. "I believe that's a hint," Kurt says wryly.

"Yeah, probably," Puck has to concede, following Kurt to the door. "Be good."

"I'm always good!"

 

When Kurt gets home, he says hello to his dad and Carole, who are watching television together, and heads upstairs to change. Finn’s door is closed, soft music playing, and Kurt frowns. He continues onward to his room, changing into a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt before heading back down the stairs to rummage in the freezer and refrigerator.

Two spoons and two containers of Ben & Jerry’s later, he heads back up the stairs and knocks on Finn’s door.

“Come in,” Finn calls, and as Kurt opens the door, he can hear Death Cab for Cutie playing quietly in Finn’s room.

Kurt walks over and sits heavily on the end of Finn’s bed, tossing him a spoon and then handing over one of the pints of ice cream. “Your turn, little brother,” he says softly.

Finn catches the spoon and takes the ice cream without answering, his body still sort of folded up on itself in a protective way. He pops the lid off and starts eating.

Kurt opens his own container and takes a bite, not sure if he should wait Finn out or continue talking. He takes a second bite, eyes focused on Finn’s body language, and then cautiously puts a hand on Finn’s shoulder.

Finn tenses for a second, almost but not quite flinching away from Kurt’s touch. Kurt sighs minutely but leaves his hand there, waiting. Finn doesn’t pull away and finally relaxes a little, then a lot, and then slumps under Kurt’s hand.

Kurt starts speaking, choosing his words carefully. “It’s a little difficult, isn’t it? Neither of us knowing exactly where the line is.”

Finn’s brows knit together, like he hadn’t considered it that way, but he nods in agreement. “Hard to know all the rules sometimes,” he says.

“Exactly,” Kurt agrees, nodding. “It’s different for everyone.”

“I’m sorry?” Finn offers, tentatively. “I didn’t mean to cross the line.”

“I know,” Kurt replies soothingly. “And neither did I. But.” He sighs heavily. “We both did. And... not at home.”

Finn sighs, too. “The world is dumb,” he says. “You should get to wear your shirt just like all the girlfriends do. I shouldn’t have made a thing about it, but it’s still dumb.”

Kurt smiles ruefully. “It is,” he agrees, then his voice drops a little. “You want to explain it all to me? Because I’ve been turning it over in my head and...” he shrugs.

“Explain about the shirt?” Finn asks. “Not a whole lot to it. Just trying to razz you a little bit, but also, I thought it was kind of true. I feel sad for Puck. I feel mad for you guys, both of you.”

“That’s very sweet, and a nice deflection, too.”

Finn just looks at Kurt blankly, blinking slowly like maybe if he stares at Kurt long enough, Kurt will fill in the dots for him.

“Oh, Finn,” Kurt shakes his head. “Not that. You.” He shifts a little, poking Finn’s side lightly.

“Oh. Me.” Finn glaces away. “Yeah.”

“Yeah,” Kurt echoes. “You got some ‘plaining to do.” He smiles at the end of the sentence.

Finn shifts uncomfortably on the bed and his arms press back against his side again, closing off.

“Finn?” Kurt asks softly.

“It’s just,” Finn says, and heaves a great sigh. “I know I shouldn’t have teased you about the shirts, but...you and Puck? Once all this high school crap is over, you’re in New York together and it’s all gonna be cool for you. You can wear whatever shirt you want. You guys are gonna get the happily ever after.”

Kurt wrinkles his forehead, studying Finn’s downcast face. A few moments pass and Kurt shakes his head from side to side slowly. “And you don’t think you will?”

“Honestly? No. I don’t.”

Kurt sucks in his breath a little. “Why ever not?” he asks, tone a little incredulous.

“I just don’t have what you have. You know where you’re going. You know what you want to do with your life. You have...somebody. Somebody who you know is going there with you,” Finn says, his voice catching on “somebody.”

Kurt sighs a little and wonders what on earth Rachel has been saying to his brother to leave him so morose, but doesn’t ask, just wraps both arms around Finn silently. After a minute, Finn drops his head over on Kurt’s shoulder.

“What am I gonna do when all of you go away?” Finn whispers into Kurt’s shirt collar.

“Oh, little brother,” Kurt replies. “You’re going to go away too, you know. And you’re going to make your big brother proud.”

“You guys are all going off to New York. You’re gonna be big stars,” Finn says, sounding a little snuffly. “What am I gonna do? If I even make it out of Ohio, it’ll be a miracle.”

“Stop that,” Kurt scolds him lightly.

“It’s true, Kurt,” Finn argues, sounding increasingly snuffly. “I don’t have the kind of grades you have, I don’t have the kind of dreams you have, and I can’t even dance.”

“They tell me that you can throw a football,” Kurt says lightly, “and, well, you have that elusive thing all those college books talk about.” He lowers his voice and whispers dramatically. “Leadership skills.”

Finn sniffles loudly. “Yeah?”

“Yes.” Kurt’s voice is firm. “Also, while your dancing may in fact be... less polished than some, you can sing. So, no, I don’t know what you’re going to do, but really, shouldn’t you figure that out, instead of trying to dance?” He grins, inserting a little humor into his voice.

“Will you promise me something?” Finn asks, not sounding particularly less snuffly.

“As long as it doesn’t involve purchasing clothing at Wal-Mart.”

“Will you...look out for Rachel? In New York?” Finn sniffles loudly. “She needs somebody she knows to, you know, make sure she doesn’t get in over her head.”

“Finn.” Kurt sighs a little. “Yes, of course we will.”

“And maybe you can give me updates on how she’s doing...sometimes. Every once in a while.”

Kurt nods. “Sometimes,” he repeats, and if his arms tighten around Finn a little more, well, Finn’s not complaining.

“Thanks, big brother,” Finn chokes out, his voice cracking. “Thank you.”

“Anytime,” Kurt murmurs.

 

Puck's in the back, pulling out more caramel syrup, when his manager pokes her head around the doorframe. "Your boy's here early." Puck just looks up her and blinks before nodding. "Told him you'd be out in a second."

Puck wrestles the caramel out of the shelf and heads back towards the front, studying Kurt's profile with a smile. Red sunglasses, Glock t-shirt with the sleeves rolled a bit tucked into tight red and black plaid pants fastened with a shiny black belt. Puck's guessing the red boots from last week's game are on Kurt's feet. "Hey," he breathes out, and Kurt turns towards him, grinning.

"Good morning. Thought I'd make sure to beat the hordes."

"Good plan." Puck smirks and raises his eyebrows. "I have the hottest cheering section."

"Oh, you like what you see?" Kurt pivots in place.

"You know I do." Puck holds Kurt's gaze for a long minute before the door chimes and the clatter of some of their fellow glee club members penetrates the shop.

"Oh, very nice," Mercedes says to Kurt. "Those pants are amazing."

"They are, aren't they," Kurt agrees. "How are you ladies this morning?"

"Uncaffeinated," Tina grumbles, and Santana nods beside her.

"Puckerman! Get us some caffeine," she shouts, and Puck makes a mock bow in her direction. The next ten minutes are a flurry of orders, from the basic (Finn's coffee with room for milk) to the strange (Rachel's double-strength tea, one bag each of decaffeinated black tea and herbal tea) to the complex (nonfat decaff no whip caramel macchiato for Brittany, adding extra whip to Santana after she claims Brittany's). He makes Kurt's iced white chocolate mocha last, sliding it across with the lid off and a grin.

"Go ahead and change," his manager says with a nod. "You work hard, ten minutes isn't going to hurt me."

"Thanks," Puck nods and heads to the bathroom, changing quickly and grabbing his venti americano as he walks past the counter, then snagging the two bags he left behind the pastry case. The others are taking up most of the store, Santana, Brittany, and Quinn all shoved into one of the larger chairs, and Rachel perched on Finn's knee. Puck comes up behind Kurt and dangles one of the bags in front of Kurt's chest.

"Oooh." Kurt clutches the bag to his chest. "Mine!"

"Don't get between Kurt and his whoopie pies," Finn laughs. "That's actually one of the secrets to a happy Kurt."

"Yes, yes it is," Kurt says with a sniff, biting into one of the little pies, and the others laugh. Puck squeezes his shoulder lightly and drops into the open chair next to him. Puck pulls out his own scone and takes a bite.

"This blueberry muffin's really good," Finn mumbles around a mouthful, and Sam nods his agreement.

"Great idea, Tina," Artie grins.

"Yeah, my manager really thinks so," Puck smirks, and there's more laughter.

"Let's do this every Friday," Quinn suggests, and there's a lot of nods and chattering.

Mike notices the time before anyone else. "We're going to be late if we don't get going!" Everyone gets up in a rush, though Kurt just rolls his eyes.

"We have at least four more minutes," Kurt whispers. "I should know." Puck chuckles and swipes Kurt's bag from his whoopie pies, tossing it in the trash. The others head out the door, in pairs and threes and fours, until it's just Puck and Kurt left inside the door, watching everyone disperse to their cars down the block or around the corner. Puck shifts his coffee cup to his left hand and snags Kurt's with his right as they push through the door.