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They think they're losers. The bottom of the social heap. If you ask them why, they'd recount tales of dumpster tossing, being locked in port-a-potties, and numerous slushie facials. They'd point to these as evidence of their low standing on the school's ladder.

I don't think they've realized it yet. They're seniors this year. Somehow, they even tamed David Karofsky, and his buddies have lost a little of their will to bully without him leading the charge. The number of dumpster tosses between the twelve of them since school started? Zero. How many of them have been locked in port-a-potties this year? None. Two of them have received a slushie, but I'm pretty sure one of them truly was an accident.

That ben Israel guy hounds them. Four of them play football; three of them date football players; three of them are cheerleaders. One of them is the smartest kid McKinley has ever had roll through its halls. Another has more fashion sense in his pinkie than the rest of us combined could ever hope to have.

If they ever chose to use the things against us that were once used against them, school would truly suck for a number of us.

Today they walk in a group, twelve of them, in matching red t-shirts. They've obviously met up at Starbucks before school, some of them still carrying cups with dwindling amounts of caffeine. They're laughing and fighting, but always a group.

Despite what everyone says, we all know it. They are not Lima losers. They're McKinley's brightest stars, and come next September, the school and the state will be dimmer in their absence.

They think that they are losers, but what they don't understand is how many of us would give anything to be a part of a group of "losers" like that.

 

Finn doesn’t shower after practice because he wants to be home in plenty of time for dinner before the game. Fridays are kind of a thing with the Hudmels and Finn enjoys the little rush of “this is family” he gets every time the four of them sit down together. It’s not something he’s used to yet, but he likes it.

When he strolls by Kurt’s room on the way into his own, there’s Puck, sitting on Kurt’s bed and messing around on his guitar while Kurt does something on his computer. Finn pauses for a moment, because the scene is so strangely...domestic. Puck and Kurt look natural and comfortable together in a way that Finn has never seen either of them with anyone else.

Once again, Finn feels that little tug of envy, that Kurt and Puck have it all figured out so early, that despite all the crap life has thrown at them and will continue to throw at them, they already seem to know what they’ve got and how important it is to hold on to it. Sometimes Finn wishes--

But he made a deal and he isn’t that guy, the one who goes back on deals or puts pressure on people to do the wrong thing, even when the wrong thing is him, so he just lets the thought go to wherever thoughts go when he can’t deal with them.

Puck looks up from his guitar and catches Finn’s eye, nodding a little “hey” in Finn’s direction. Kurt turns from his computer and smiles at Finn. “Any idea how long until dinner?” Kurt asks.

“Nah,” Finn answers. “I just got in. Haven’t showered yet.”

Kurt nods. “Just let us know when you know something,” he says with a little smile, and turns back to his screen.

Finn’s in the shower before he realizes that when Kurt said “us” he meant Kurt and Puck, which means Puck is staying for dinner. He’s pretty sure his mom never mentioned that. He’s fairly certain Kurt didn’t ask or even bring it up, like Kurt just assumes Puck is welcome there, without questioning it. Finn thinks this probably means something, but try as he might to sculpt the mashed potatoes of his thoughts into a mountain, he can’t capture the meaning, and settles for rinsing the shampoo out of his hair.

 

Burt steps out of his work boots in the garage and shuffles into the house in his sock feet. He stops in the kitchen and smiles at his wife, who's busy stirring something on the stove as she talks into the phone. He leans against the wall and waits until she hangs up before coming up behind her. She turns in his arms and gives him a kiss. "Hi, Burt," she smiles, her eyes twinkling, and Burt feels once again like maybe he's done something right in his life. "How was your day?" she continues.

"Pretty good," Burt allows. "Nothing real exciting. Kurt did some of the ordering for me when
he came by this afternoon."

"That's nice." Carole looks to the side and purses her lips a little. "Speaking of Kurt."

"Oh?"

"Puck's here."

"Okay." Burt shrugs. The kid's there quite a bit, which isn't surprising since he's Kurt's boyfriend and Finn's best friend.

"No, I mean…" Carole points towards the dining room table. "I came home and Kurt had already set the table."

Burt's eyes follow Carole's finger and then on towards the dining room. One, two, three, four, five place settings.

"Uh." Burt just blinks a little. "Kurt does remember it's Friday, right?"

Carole doesn't answer for a moment, calling out a greeting to Finn as he walks down the hall and up the stairs. When Burt can hear Finn's footsteps at the top of the staircase, he turns back to Carole expectantly. "I'm fairly certain that he does," she admits. "He… may have made a point of letting me know that he'd set the table, and that he and Puck would be upstairs until dinner was ready."

Burt works his jaw for a moment and fiddles with his baseball cap. "Well." Carole just nods silently, waiting for him to continue. "I guess…" he clears his throat. "You talked to him. I'm not jumping to conclusions?"

"I don't think so," Carole shakes her head and then shrugs after a moment. "Finn was going to skip one week in March or April, I think to go out with Quinn. I heard Kurt explaining to him in great detail why that was not acceptable behavior. There was something said about bringing her here on a Friday night being a completely unacceptable solution if Finn had considered it. I heard enough to know that Finn was assuring Kurt that that had not occurred to him." She smiles a little bit. "No, Kurt knows exactly what he's doing."

Burt just breathes out loudly and nods slowly, taking the information in. "I sort of thought I had a couple more years at least," he says after a minute. "I figured it'd be Christmas break, sophomore or junior year of college." Carole just looks at him sympathetically before drawing him into another hug. "And they're so young."

Now Carole looks back and arches her eyebrow, giving him an appraising glance. "And how old were either of us?"

Burt scoffs for a moment but then nods. "Yeah, I know." He shakes his head and walks towards the fridge. "I think I need a beer tonight."

 

Kurt's phone has been ringing since before the five of them found seats in the front row, the other four of them lifting Artie up and wedging his chair securely between the bleachers and the wall. He's not sure if anyone is tired of hearing Lady Gaga yet; first his dad called, "Telephone" blaring out, and then Finn ("Dance in the Dark") looking for Rachel, who left her phone at home. A few minutes pass before "Judas" sings out, Quinn and Brittany huddled with Santana around her phone.

Kurt is absently glad that he charged his phone while they were eating dinner.

Then Mercedes asks what her ringtone is, and he dutifully plays hers, Tina's, and Rachel's for each of them. The game is nearly about to start when "the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge" calls out loudly.

"Hey."

"Hey," Puck's voice sounds like he's smiling, and Kurt smiles in response.

"Shouldn't you be, I don't know, listening to your coach or something?"

"Nah, I do the same thing every game: run with the ball." Kurt snorts back a laugh, because he'd put it about the same way. "Listen," Puck voice gets quieter, "my mom and Hannah didn't come tonight, so if you can get us out of…"

"Mmm. Okay," Kurt nods, even though Puck can't see him. "Be good."

"I'm always good," Puck says, louder again and cocky, and then they both end the call.

Kurt looks up to find Rachel staring at him. "What?"

"Whose ringtone is that?"

"Puck's." Kurt slides his phone back into his pocket, hoping it'll stay silent for a little while. "Why?" He looks up into Rachel's puzzled yet calculating gaze.

"Oh, I just would have thought you'd use 'Americano' for him," she says after another beat.

"Maybe the next time I change them out," Kurt shrugs casually. "Any requests for yours?"

That's all it takes to divert her until the team pours onto the field a few moments later, and Kurt puts the entire incident out of his mind.

 

April bounces a little in her seat when she sees the two guys from Lima walk into the room. Everyone else that comes down to the Center is really nice, but now she’s not the only one in show choir. Unlike most of the guys that come to the Center, they aren’t looking to find a boyfriend (seeing as they already have each other), which means they’re there for support and actual friends. As good as April is about scoring a night or two with a pretty girl, she’s a little short on friends, especially friends that aren’t straight.

They seem different today, April thinks, because as adorable and into each other as they were a few weeks ago, they seem almost fused now. She catches the way they look at each other (especially if they think the other one isn’t looking), and it makes her grin happily for them. She hopes they can handle the stress of rural Ohio, not to mention the stress of one of them being out and the other one not being out, because she’d give anything for someone to look at her like that. She can’t help but root for them.

Before they leave this second meeting that they’ve attended, April squirrels her way onto their Facebook accounts and contact information, and she gives them another huge hug and swears up and down she’ll see them at Invitationals, one way or another.

She’s happy for them that they’re seniors, but she’s already sad that they’ll be gone before twelve months has passed.

 

This is really fun! Brittany never realized that Puck was so good at playing games, so maybe it was Kurt’s idea, but the game they’re playing is really great. It’s like hide and seek, only Puck and Kurt are right there where everyone can see them, but nobody sees them except for Brittany, because Brittany is very good at games.

Brittany isn’t sure what she has to do to win. She thinks telling Puck and Kurt probably isn’t the way to win, and definitely saying it in the middle of glee is a bad idea. Brittany isn’t stupid; she knows you don’t say that in the middle of glee. People get upset. Santana gets upset and Brittany doesn’t like it when Santana is upset, so Brittany won’t say in glee club that she knows Puck and Kurt are playing gay hide and seek and Brittany figured it out and now she wins.

Santana will know what to do. Santana knows almost everything, and she’s also beautiful and hot and has the softest hands, much softer than boy hands.

“Puck loves Kurt and Kurt loves Puck,” Brittany tells Santana, while Santana is doing the awesome thing that’s like kissing, but without clothes on, and Santana just makes a face at her and says, “Britt-Britt, don’t talk about dick while we’re naked, it’s gross,” so Brittany thinks that maybe Santana already knows. Of course Santana already knows, because she’s the best at gay hide and seek.

Brittany wonders how long Puck and Kurt are going to play and if they get a prize at the end if nobody guesses. Puck is nice now and Kurt seems happy; Brittany wants them to get the prize, so she’s not telling anybody, not even Lord Tubbington. He’s horrible at keeping secrets, anyway.

 

Hannah has the best big brother in the world. She knows that even her mom might argue, because of how Noah’s gotten in trouble before, but he’s always been the best big brother, making her birthday cakes and throwing her parties and helping her with her homework. Sometimes he even picks her up after school, and no one else’s big brother does that–not even Stevie’s.

And now he’s dating Kurt, and Hannah’s very careful not to say that Kurt is Puck’s boyfriend, just that he’s her brother’s friend. She asks her mom why she can’t just be honest, and her mom murmurs words about people like Hitler and being safe, so Hannah does her best not to tell anyone how awesome her brother and his boyfriend are, because she hates Hitler.

Kurt’s dad is pretty cool, too, and he’s married to Finn’s mom, now, who is also pretty cool. Hannah can’t remember a time she didn’t know Auntie Carole. Hannah thinks that Auntie Carole and Kurt’s dad should have a baby, because both of them would probably like a little girl.

When Hannah mentions this idea to her mom, though, she just shakes her head at Hannah and tells her not to repeat that, that whether people have children is their business, and besides, Carole’s not as young as she used to be.

Hannah can’t wait until Noah proves her right and marries Kurt, because then she’ll have two awesome big brothers, and Kurt will have a little sister.

Hannah loves Monday nights, because Noah’s almost always home for family dinner, but this Monday is even better, because when her mom unlocks the apartment door, Noah and Kurt are already in the kitchen. Hannah thinks that her mom looks surprised, but she doesn’t know why.

“Hi Noah! Hi Kurt!”

“Hey, squirt. You gonna show Kurt how to make the stir-fry sauce?”

“Sure!” Hannah beams at Kurt, who’s smiling back at her, rolling up the sleeves of his shirt. “We have a super-secret recipe,” she confides, and Noah ruffles her hair as he walks to get vegetables out of the refrigerator.

“Ooh. Sounds great,” Kurt says. “I hear you’re quite the budding chef.”

“My favorite television show is Alton Brown,” Hannah confides. “He makes the most awesome food!”