|It's Not What You Say
Author: JooseBoxx PM
Puck secretly writes the school newspaper advice column. He's convinced high school shouldn't be this dramatic. Puckurt meme prompt. Contains depictions of a stalker situation, mentions of self-harm and abuse not main characters .Rated: Fiction M - English - Suspense/Hurt/Comfort - Puck & Kurt H. - Words: 16,722 - Reviews: 39 - Favs: 306 - Follows: 25 - Published: 10-13-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7460497
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Not mine. No money. No affiliation.
It's not like it was his first choice for extra credit -it wasn't even his ninth choice if he's keeping tabs, but it was probably the easiest and likely enough it would be the only reason he got a passing grade in his stupid journalism class (why was he even taking that class?) so it worked for him, mostly. It was all anonymous anyway, so it wasn't like his rep took hits or anyone actually knew where the advice came from. Most of the time it was bullshit problems -my mom doesn't trust me, my boyfriend keeps pressuring me, my dad hates me, I wish I was a cheerleader, blah blah blah. Most of the time, they only print five of the write ins and he's written back to twenty people in a week.
It's really eating into his fucking life. But see, he started to kind of get into it. Not in that 'Agony Aunt' kind of way, because his advice wasn't like that, but in the whole 'stop whining about your life and buck up'.
So, Noah Puckerman wrote the advice column in the high school newspaper and only his teacher knew he did. He'd been doing it for the best part of four months and after the third month he started to get better and his grade was slowly but surely improving. This meant his mother stopped bitching and his GPA crawled past the borderline and he was safe from the whole academic eligibility or whatever. Which was sweet, cause he liked playing football while they were winning and glee wasn't horrible, you know.
Dear Dr Debbie,
I've been with my boyfriend for five months, we're approaching our half year anniversary, but I'm getting the impression that he's not as serious about our commitment as I am. I was planning on sleeping with him for the first time on our anniversary, but I don't want to give myself to him if he's not serious. What do I do?
Here's the thing, for guys, anniversaries aren't a big deal. If a guy remembers your birthday you've got yourself a winner. Don't be too surprised if, when you mention what wonderful six months you've had, he thinks it's just your excitement to be half way through the year. If he's serious, you'll know -he'll listen when you bitch and know your friends names and remember your birthday. If he buys you something you actually asked for, he's probably already picked the ring. Don't get hung up those silly little dates, cause when you make it to the year and he's rented you half a restaurant, it'll make the six month celebration sex seem like a kids birthday party.
There are times when Puck's pretty sure he knows exactly who's writing in, there was one time when he laughed so hard he almost broke his laptop because it was just so obvious and he was almost ready to call Finn up and laugh at him for real. But that would out him and then there would be explaining to do and Puck just didn't think the eternal teasing was worth it.
Is it possible to like two girls at once? Sometimes I think I'm bad for liking these two girls, they are completely different, but they both have really good qualities that I find nice and good. I think I'm in love with them both but I know I need to choose one. How do I pick the right girl?
Dear Dopey in Love,
Sure, you can love two girls at once, you can love a whole bunch of girls and even a few boys. But unless you're Muslim and live in the Middle East, you can only have one girl. Most people would be tempted to make a list of pros and cons, and then weigh up which girl is better -do not do this! Seriously, it's bad karma or something, trust me. The best you can do is think about it. Do you really love both of them or does one of them just have your balls in a vice and you can't honestly say that you just don't feel that way for her anymore? If that doesn't work, you can always suggest a threesome. (if one says yes, and one says no, pick the one that says yes.)
He actually pushes for that one to be published, and it's the first time he's ever attached a note with the submissions for the newspaper. He has a dummy gmail account for all dealings with Jacob ben Israel because if he didn't he'd be far more likely to put his fist through the creepy little snots face and supposedly he's like the editor or whatever for the newspaper. So it gets printed and he actually sits in glee and tries not to laugh outright while Finn reads the advice section in what he seems to think is a covert manner. Quinn glares at him while Rachel sort of shoots this hopeful look at him from over by the piano and yeah, he's pretty sure Quinn's just got the guys balls in a vice. It kind of sucks that, when he ditches Quinn for Rachel, he isn't even gonna know Puck was the one giving him the push.
Thing is, sometimes it's not all a joke. He's had about four kids in the length of time he's been doing this mention self harming and the bullying getting too much, he's had to pass on phone numbers for the likes of the Trevor Project, Breathing Space and a list of PFLAG meetings in the Ohio areas to numerous kids and there was one rather jaw dropping time when he got Artie to get one of this computer buddies to trace an IP address for him to send fucking cops to a kids door because he confessed that his dad beat him black and blue. So it's not all fun and games, and sometimes he wants to punch his journalism teacher in the face because he lost sleep over this one girl who thought she was pregnant (reminiscent much) and had to tell her parents who she said were heavy catholic, she was scared they'd kick her out or force an abortion (hypocritical religious views for twenty please, Tony) and was doing it based on his advice. He freaked out until he got an email three days later that sounded somewhat upbeat (how upbeat can a kid get about being pregnant in high school?). So yeah, sometimes it's funny as fuck, other times it's your usual high school bullshit. But those few occasions when he actually worries about what the fuck goes on in the head of kids at school?
I'll be honest, this isn't my first option. I'm not convinced that you'll be of any help as your advice, from what I've read, is mediocre at best. However, I feel like I've exhausted all possible options by this stage and, well, I'm giving it a shot. I'm a seventeen year old boy, I'm fairly effeminate, and it's obvious to most that I'm homosexual. It's widely known that I'm 'out' but it isn't exactly accepted. Recently, I transferred from my school to another to avoid the bullying, it didn't really work out at the other school and I've just recently transferred back. I feel a little bit like a swing set. I was under the impression that the bullying would have stopped; there's a system in place you should know about, the Bully Whips. I believed I'd be safe again.
It's not physical anymore, it's just the looks. Everyone stares at me, and I feel like I'm being followed. I'm not sure if I'm being paranoid or if there is someone watching me, but I never feel safe anymore. Even with the Whips around. I think someone has been going through our garbage and my step-brother sometimes forgets to lock the back door. The stress is starting to get to me. I just don't know what to do.
Dear Justifiably Paranoid,
Beyond the possibility of really smart possums getting into your trash at night, you should probably lock your back door yourself, just to be sure. It's reasonable to feel like you're being watched, being out is likely a hardship that you've dealt with for a long time and under the scrutiny of judgemental kids who don't know any better than to take out their anger on the 'different' kids can't be easy. You don't have to feel unjust in this paranoia; you've just returned to school, there will be looks and stares and probably a few whispers.
But if you really feel like someone is following you, my best advice is to tell an adult. I could quote statistics at you, but we'd both know I'd just look them up on google, so I'll let you do that yourself. Stalking, even if that's not what this is, can be very serious if not dealt with. Tape the top of your trash cans down, lock your doors and windows at night and leave a light on at the porch. If you still feel unsafe, talk to someone you trust.
I hope things turn out to be nothing.
Puck finds himself watching Hummel closely from there out. The segment doesn't get printed, but Puck sends replies to everyone who sends in a question, because that's just how he rolls. So he might be the only person who knows that Kurt feels unsafe, even now when he's meant to be like, all cosy and stuff back in the loving arms of McKinley high. But then, just because Dave isn't beating up on kids doesn't mean that no one is, just because Santana is walking around with her stupid beret and jacket doesn't mean everything has stopped.
It's pretty easy to sort of set things up; he hangs out with Finn a little more under the guise of patching things up -and they've actually been getting back to where they were because Puck's too busy to really keep track of who Finn's dating so the Quarterback isn't paranoid that Puck's going to make a move on Quinn or Rachel or whoever he's dating just now. "Dude," they're walking up the stairs, Kurt lingering at the landing, Puck's staying over because he and Finn are doing a Call of Duty marathon on campaign with Artie and Mike who are both in their own houses. "Didja lock up the doors?" Finn smacks his forehead before darting back downstairs to lock up. "Dork."
He gives Kurt a nod before he disappears into Finn's room and hope that at least Kurt can relax enough to sleep through the night.
Dear Columnist I Underestimated;
Unless the possums are smart enough to untape and retape the bin lids, there is a problem.
I took the time to stop and think, if I was just so used to feeling eyes on me and facing the bullying from the upper-class men and the jocks, if maybe I was simply imagining things. I determined, during family dinner, that I wasn't. Someone was pressed up against my kitchen window. They left condensation from their breathing. I am officially scared out of my mind and strangely feel like this is the first place I can turn.
I don't know how to tell my dad without him over reacting, or worrying about his health. I'm scared that people won't take me seriously. How can I tell people without sounding crazy?
Dear Suitably Impressed,
First thing is first, while I'm sure your father would be grateful for your concern, I'd put money on him thinking your safety was more important than any kind of overreaction that he might have. And I don't place bets. You'll just have to make sure there's little chance of serious injury, but telling your family that there's a stranger lurking around the house should be first order of business. Make a note of what you see, call the police -even if they can't do anything, they'll have a record of every incident. It's important that they understand your concerns.
Your friends, if they are your friends, will accept your worry and react accordingly, perhaps telling your closest friends first. It's important that you know someone else will be able to look out for you.
Puck almost wants to tell Coach Sylvester, even if he fires an email at her about someone stalking Porcelain, she'd get it and probably blow up half the school to get to the bottom of it. Maybe that's why he doesn't. So he just watches everything for himself; Kurt's a little drawn around the eyes, a little less energetic, a little less exuberant. Quinn makes comment about it being his distance from the Hobbit, but Puck's not so sure. Finn, apparently, has at least learned how to lock a door behind him, and Puck knows when Kurt's 'fessed up to his Dad and Carole because Finn becomes hyper vigilant about his house key and shit. "Dude, have I lost it? Oh God, I've lost it, have you seen my key? Where did I put it?" Sam and Mike give him strange looks, and it's probably because he's freaking out in the locker room, with a towel around his waist and nothing more.
"Finn, dude, save the peep show for Rachel. You put the key in your shoe." It's something Puck had done when he was a kid, when his Ma was working too late to pick him up and Nana Connie was too busy with Sarah, Puck would go to school with the spare key in his shoe so that he didn't lose it and could get in the house and wait for his Ma to come home. Finn adopted the habit when he was fifteen and Carole trusted him at home; it took three rounds of searching for the lost key before Puck offered up that story to let Finn adopt the trait. It makes Puck feel remotely better that Finn is taking this seriously.
"Noah," it's gotten to the stage where, with the glee kids, Puck barely reacts negatively when they use his name.
"Hmm?" Least of all when it's Kurt, Britt, Rachel or 'Cedes.
"Can I talk to you?" He realises then that this isn't going to be one of those times where Kurt actually sits him down and talks, at length, about the horrors of plaid and flannel and Puck zones out and wastes twenty minutes of his life. It's serious.
"Sure." To date, Noah and Kurt have had two serious conversations. One was in kindergarten when they discussed the merits of dunking the Oreo pre-cream removal or licking out the filling and dunking the biscuit. The only other time it was serious was when Finn locked them out of the Hudson-Hummel home and volunteered to climb up the tree to the side of the house, sneak in the upstairs bathroom window and unlock the door from the inside. Puck and Kurt spent forty five minutes talking about what happened between them from the start of high school to the middle of glee and Puck finally actually apologised for the bullying. Around about the hour and twenty minute mark, when Puck and Kurt had moved on to debating between Firefly and Serenity, Puck got bored and just jimmied the lock.
"So, lately, I've been noticing things. And, I asked someone for advice I was encouraged to share this problem with friends," oh, wow. See, Puck figured he'd be the whole 'out of the loop but really knows more than the others' person in this scenario. He didn't expect Kurt to lump him in with his 'friends'. "There's um, there's been someone following me." Puck tries to look serious and interested even though he knows all this. "It's pretty harmless stuff, I guess, but it's freaking me out. I just sort of wanted you to know, you know, that there might be someone hanging around my house and sometimes you come over and well, yeah. Just, right."
"Kurt," Puck has already been trying to figure out who is paying more attention to Kurt than usual. It doesn't seem to be one of the jocks, because those were the first on Puck's list of people to watch out and potentially send to the ICU at Lima General. But nothing is standing out. He's kind of grateful that Kurt told him, like to his face and not as a faceless advice columnist or whatever. Because now Puck doesn't have to try to be so covert about it. "It is never harmless. Look at Jewfro and Rachel. I've had to break seven of his fingers and he still tries to get panty shots." Puck's decided to just go for the whole ten. "If you need anything just ask, okay?"
So Puck gets to hover more in school and he double checks the locks when he stays at the Hudmel place and he may or may not take the long way to the classes he attends so that he can make sure Kurt gets to his classes without harassment. He's just being a decent friend.
Dear Agony Aunt.
Lately, I feel like I've been losing my boyfriend. I don't know how to stop him from pulling away. What do I do?
I suggest applying duct tape, or a GPS tracker. You could always attach him to your keys and hope the keys are a good influence. If not, call a locksmith.
Dear Outside Source,
For the last few weeks, I've been trying to get the attention of a boy at school. It's like I'm invisible though. How can I make him notice me?
Dear Ms Cellophane,
So he might be phoning it in a little. His teacher is aware of the other stuff though, he doesn't know who the writer is, and Puck hasn't told him that it's Kurt Hummel, but his grade isn't slipping, because the stupid stuff gets printed in the newspaper or whatever and the rest of it goes straight to sender. Frankly, Puck's beginning to think the drama happens at the start of the year and fizzles out towards the mid-year.
"Man, some girl just flashed me in the hall," Puck raises an eyebrow at Sam. Mr Oblivious, please raise your hand.
"Was she cute?"
"Yeah." Well that's a plus.
"Didja get her number?"
"We ah, I'm going out with her on Friday." Score for Advice Guru Puckerman.
Sometimes, the simplest of solutions can help the most dire of situations. Unless you're Kurt Hummel, in which case you inherit a stalker. And there hasn't been much on the front of the stalker or whatever, not as far as anonymous emails go anyway.
"Do you smoke?"
"No, my mother would literally carve out my eyeballs." No really, his Dad smoked and if Puck ever touched a cigarette, even just for a try, she would know about it with her freaky seventh sense -she already had a freaky mom sixth sense- and would appear in a flash of sulphur and brimstone to carve out his eyeballs and use his skull as a lawn ornament. He can get hammered every day of the week so long as he never touches a cigarette. "Why?"
"There have been cigarette ends in the flower beds."
"Your Dad called the cops, right?" Because that suggests that someone is loitering around, that they are actually hanging around to wait for Kurt or something. "Dude, the cops have gotta do something now." But apparently they can't because there's no proof that this guy isn't just admiring Carole's begonias from up close in the middle of the night when it's freezing. Seriously, it's no wonder people are killed in their own homes.
Dear Helpful So Far,
My friends and family are aware of the situation, they're helping pretty well. I don't feel just as caged in any more.
The problem now is that the police don't seem to take things seriously. I feel like I'm burdening my family; my dad is home from work early all the time and it's taking its toll on business, my step-brother rarely goes out and I know he misses his friends, my step-mother is the same. How can I stop them giving up their lives, when really, it makes me feel safe.
Dear Under Too Much Stress,
The key here is a rotation. You know when you have those certain little fantasies that come out from time to time, well, apply that here. Only lose the fantasy, unless that's your thing.
If your friends know, just change it up a little. Have one or more of them stay at your place, or go to theirs, until normal closing time for your Dad. Have those sleep over things I've heard about and change up the routine. The important thing is your safety, yes. So until the police get their heads out of their asses and do something, just try not to be alone or at least be in company that makes you feel safe.
I shall be writing scathing letters to the police department in your honour.
Puck does his research; while the police can take note of everything that happens, they can't actively do anything until a crime has been committed. They need to wait until the guy does something. And that's total bullshit, because Kurt's going back to those 'scared in his own skin' days. The members of glee who know all agree with Kurt when he brings up the rotation suggestion. Mercedes and Rachel volunteer to swap days where Kurt can go to their house after school when Finn has football practice, then Finn and Puck will go home to the Hudmel house and stay with Kurt until Burt and Carole get home. Tuesdays and Friday's will be 'girls nights' and they'll do sleep overs, Puck plans to stay at Finn's Wednesday and Thursday and Santana suggests all out 'glee nights' on Saturday's to keep them all together.
"I don't want you guys giving up your Saturday's."
"Kurt, shut the fuck up, we'll give up fucking sleep if we need to." Puck doesn't care about missing a few parties that he wouldn't remember anyway, or hooking up with a few chicks he's going to forget. He and Lauren might've fizzled out but he's trying that whole 'relationship' thing instead of the meaningless sex thing anyway. "Seriously, a few nights to stop this whack from getting near you, totally worth it."
Kurt just gave him a tight smile and the plans were set. It pissed Puck off that things weren't better here for Kurt, even though they were supposed to be. Santana used the guise of the Whips to walk Kurt to class every day and Dave helped out, although he didn't know about the whole stalker aspect. Mercedes, Tina, Artie and Rachel were his lunch buddies, Mike and Sam flanked him after lunch and Puck was impersonating a hawk with how closely he watched the kids around school.
But what if it wasn't someone from school? Kurt said he felt like he was being watched all the time, but Puck hadn't been able to notice anyone at school giving Kurt more attention than usual -come on, he wore a corset to class one time, he was gonna get stares. And Puck was pretty good at picking up on that stuff, especially when he knew what he was looking for. But the only person who still screamed 'creeper' was Jewfro, and even he was avoiding Rachel until his index finger healed.
So the week progressed with Kurt literally never really being alone. If it wasn't his Dad or Carole around him, it was Finn or Puck or Mercedes or Rachel or a mix of all four. And Puck could tell that it was taking its toll as well, because the utter lack of space was probably suffocating Kurt to the point that he felt they were crowding him. Puck realised how much when Kurt turned up on his doorstep one Monday, looking completely run down.
"I just need some space, yours was the first place that sprung to mind." Puck just nodded him inside -it was just as well Sarah was at a friend's house and his Ma was working late or he'd barely get breathing space.
"Just call your Dad to let him know you're with me, okay? Lemme clean up a bit." So his room was 'moderately' clean and Puck powered down his laptop, half way through this week's advice requests before offering Kurt run of the place. Kurt sat and played Mario Kart on the Wii while Puck strummed his guitar and there was very little in the way of conversation. Not that it really mattered. Until Kurt's curfew was approaching.
"What if they don't catch him?" It was something Puck worried about too. Statistics showed that most of the time, stalkers were mentally unhinged and because of the laws, more often than not, the police were too late to stop severe damage being inflicted.
"We'll get him, Kurt. If the cops don't, we'll do something, I don't know; Sarah watches a lot of Scooby Doo, I could rig up a Fred plan." It was worth admitting he watched cartoons with his sister to see Kurt laugh. "C'mon, I'll drive you home."
There's nothing eventful until he's dropped Kurt off and watched him get into the house, careful to keep an eye on the surrounding houses to make sure no one is just hanging around. He makes it to the end of the street at a slow crawl of his truck when a baseball bat lands in the driver's side of the car windscreen. The glass splinters and cracks and Puck jerks the wheel to avoid mounting the sidewalk -although he'd probably take out the fucker that just smashed his car. He hits a lamp post, the front of his truck caving in and his face hitting the steering wheel with a jerk.
Whoever's house he's outside, the guy comes belting out of the front door and blurry vision and all, Puck sees some guy running down the street in all black. Jesus fucking-
"Son, are you alright? Careful, easy there. Marge, call the ambulance. Easy there, are you hurt?" Puck's half pinned from where his dashboard caved in, his right leg stuck under the weight.
"'m alright, 'm fine. Just stuck." The guy tells him to stay put -no d'uh- and that his wife is calling the ambulance and police. Puck would rather be horizontal at this point because his head is aching and he thinks he's going to spew and seriously, his truck is wrecked worse that when be brutalised his mother's car. It doesn't take long before there are flashing lights and paramedics and the street is almost brought out in force. His dashboard is pried up and off his leg to pull him out and it's just a torn muscle in his leg apparently. He's sitting on the sidewalk, one paramedic stitching the gash on his forehead while the cop asks him if he's been drinking because he's only just got his license back from the whole DUI juvie stint and this is apparently a pattern. Mr Rogerson -the guy whose house Puck crashed in front of- explains what happened just as Puck hears the shout of his name.
"Noah? Oh my God, Noah!" Kurt and the rest of the Hudmel's push through until they crowd around Puck and he just ends up lilting to the side, pressing against Kurt to keep him upright. "Oh, no. What happened? Are you okay?" Kurt's hand strokes over Puck's mohawk and Puck is a little surprised at just how easily he leans into that.
"'s not a student. The freak. 's an adult." He knows that he's slurring a little, which means he's probably concussed, and Burt just fixes him with a sharp stare.
"What're you sayin' Puckerman?"
"'m sayin', the nut creepin' on Kurt is an adult. He took a baseball bat t' my fuckin' windscreen." It wasn't like Puck got a really good look at him, but he got enough of one to tell that this isn't just a student in school. "He's like thirty, maybe older. Brown hair, kinda scrawny. Runs pretty fast." Burt gives a nods before going to get one of the officers, and Carole crouches down beside Puck to wrap her arms around him and he only just noticed that he was cold.
"I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry Noah." Puck puts a hand over Kurt's mouth to stop him and just slings his arm around Kurt's shoulders, because the dude is getting violent now. And that isn't good.
Dear Very Helpful,
It is possible that you're sick of hearing from me, but strangely, I feel like you might be the only person capable of offering unsolicited advice on certain issues.
You see, there's this boy. I'm pretty sure you've read that a million times as well. But it really is different, you see, he's not like everyone else's boy. He's not sweet or funny or nice. He's a bit of a jerk and has the emotional depth of a piece of cabbage. That's probably an insult to the cabbage. But there's just something about him. I'm not sure if I'm falling into the 'damsel in distress' cliché here or if there is something, but his protectiveness over this whole 'stalker' issue has sort of opened my eyes to certain things. He was hurt pretty badly in an incident with the man -he got a look at him so the police are finally taking action, but he seemed more concerned with my safety than his own.
I suppose the biggest problem should be the fact that I sort of have a boyfriend. I see him on the weekend and talk on the phone, but at this stage, he feels more like a friend that I've kissed before.
Is it possible that I've just missed all these good things about this other boy because I wasn't looking? He's a jock and a bully (well, a former bully but he was my bully for a while) but he's been different lately. Am I seeing what I want to see or is there really something that whole 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' thing? Am I a bad person for feeling this about someone who isn't my boyfriend?
Dear Regular Customer,
Considering you figured I was just a hack at the start of our correspondence, consider me proud that I have proven myself.
As to the dilemma of your 'boy' I think you really need to consider the possibility that he is just a jerk, but not to you. If we're talking about someone who routinely bullied people, including yourself, it's probable that the high stress of this situation could simply be clouding your judgement to the point of you seeing something that is indeed, not really there.
Alternatively, I could be wrong. The concept of 'absence making the heart grow fonder' may apply -you said you were transferred out of school for a while, perhaps that on top of the issue of your safety being in question resulted in certain 'feelings' that your emotionally stunted crush had to face up to.
Your boyfriend trouble does sound a little bit like losing the magic; when you work as friends but force the romantic connection. It's been done before, it's one of those timeless classics. Even I have done that.
The only definitive advice that can be given here is for you to talk to him, both of them. It may or may not work in your favour, but talking will probably work better than just kissing him and finding out you've read it wrong (I hear these things cause stress in a friendship) and losing a relationship with your boyfriend. Good luck, and hopefully with the escalation of the situation, the police will catch this stalker before something more serious happens.
It took him a fair amount of time to actually write the advice that time because 'dump the hobbit and give it a go' wasn't advice. He'd spent the night in the hospital following the crash, the paramedics wanted to keep an eye on his head injury, Burt had his truck towed to the garage in the morning and Puck was on crutches for three days to let the muscle in his leg unclench from the shock of the crash. But beyond the concussion and slight gash above his eyebrow there wasn't anything seriously wrong. His Ma had freaked about not being able to stay with him but Carole volunteered instead and then he'd spent Tuesday off school and at the Hudmel house with Carole. He did not paint her toe nails for her date with Burt and he did not offer advice on which dress she should wear. He didn't. It's all lies.
Mercedes and Rachel had cancelled girls night that day so that Kurt could stay with Puck while Finn had extra practice at school and all in all, spending more time with Kurt was only a plus in the whole 'crashed into a lamp post after a whack job cracked my windscreen and wound up concussed' fiasco that was his start of the week.
But he couldn't exactly just flat out tell Kurt that he wasn't imagining things, because yeah, Puck was starting to think that maybe this whole gender thing was a little whacked out; Kurt was pretty, in that 'I'm a boy but look at my cheek bones and my lips and my ass, you know I'm still hot' kind of way. And he was. Kurt had nice hands, and really soft looking lips, and Puck totally didn't mind when Kurt had sat and stroked his hair to comfort himself. So yeah, might not be completely straight there. Or maybe there was something to this whole 'getting to know them' thing. But there was still the Blaine thing, and Puck sort of figured that should be resolved first.
"You um, you touch me a lot." Puck stopped drying the plate he had in his hands, leaning on one foot and his weight held on the crutches as he looked at Kurt with an eyebrow raised because, hello, random? "I just, you know, most boys avoid doing that, but," Kurt shrugged, "you sort of lean on me a lot, and touch my elbow sometimes, and my shoulder and back, you sort of steer me around sometimes with a hand on my back." Puck actually didn't notice that at all, maybe his brain was just catching up to the stuff he'd already sort of been doing.
"Hmm." It was sort of weird, maybe, because he didn't realise he was doing it, and maybe that was what was giving Kurt those signals. "I didn't realise."
"Oh, well, I figured, you know. It's nothing, I'm sorry."
"No, I just, I mean, yeah. I never noticed but," Puck shrugged the best he could with the two crutches under his armpits, "sorry if it bothers you. I, guess I can stop?" Puck figures that everything he'd usually do in this situation is out the window; he shouldn't make the first move, he shouldn't say screw it and go for it, he shouldn't ignore the fact that Kurt has a boyfriend. Because Kurt might just be in this vulnerable place with the stress of his lack of security and the spiralling nature of his private life, Puck doesn't want to be taking advantage of that and leaving Kurt in a worse place -he really must be growing as a person or some shit like that. But he's had to tell enough girls that the guys they were rebounding with were just using them and it sort of sucks, so he doesn't want that to happen with Kurt, because it would really mess a lot of shit up.
"It's not like I mind, I just thought you might?" Kurt looks that scared and vaguely worried way he used to when letter jackets swarmed the halls, and Puck just shakes his head, not breaking eye contact.
"Nah, I mean," he's about to tell Kurt that he likes him, really he is. But Burt sort of bustles into the kitchen giving Puck a nod and Kurt a squeeze to the shoulders and telling them that Tron: Legacy is about to start so get their butts into the living room and sit the hell down. Puck is entirely aware of the way Kurt sits next to him and their knees press against each other the whole night.
Dear Brimming with Stupidity
I'm only doing this cause my friends say you're like, really good at this advice shit or whatever.
I'm in love with my best friend, but she's dating someone else. I don't want to break them up except I definitely want her to be with me and not him. Do I let my bitch out or keep my trap shut until they end and make a play for her?
Dear Containing the Beast;
If your friend is happy with this guy maybe you should sit it out this round. If she's meant to be with him, it'll suck for you but someone else will come along -and probably a few others after them. You don't want to ruin your friendship over what could be just another high school infatuation.
Take a chill pill and just be her friend. Standard grieving time for a relationship is approximately two weeks, one and a half if you're really impatient. Just for when/if it ends for them.
Puck always knew there was something about Brittany and Santana. And as much as he liked Artie, he was Santana's friend first and she was like his girl or whatever and really, Britt and Artie didn't make a lot of sense -it was a little like Rachel and Finn without the love ballads. But if he could sort of steer it, well, so that San could get her girl, then yeah, he'd do it. It was all about not causing hurt feelings between Artie and anyone or upsetting Britt -that was almost like kicking a line-up of puppies, popping a kid's balloon and eating all the ice cream when his Ma just had a bad date. It made you feel like the scum of scum.
And there was still the Kurt thing, because Puck was more aware of every time he let his hand linger of the boys shoulder or bumped their elbows. Kurt had taken to sitting beside him in glee more often and they hung out even when Finn wasn't around and it was pretty cool all things said, and Kurt barely mentioned Blaine at all. So really, if San could do the whole playing for both teams thing, so could he. Honestly, he wasn't sure when his minor gig as advice columnist had turned into playing damned matchmaker.
So, the key to breaking up one of your friends with a friend so that another friend can hook up with the friend is planning. And actually writing shit down, because it's confusing as fuck in his head. He thinks that if he can highlight the number of things Artie and Britt don't have in common, he'd be onto something. Ideally, he could get Artie back with Tina, but Tina is all into Mike and Puck is buddies with Mike too and seriously, can't the glee club date outside their group? (Not that he really has room to talk since Tina is the only girl in glee he's not put the moves on and he's currently looking to hook up with Kurt, but that's hardly the point, other people are making this shit complicated.) He feels bad about manipulating Britt, but it's easier than trying to outsmart Artie. So he encourages Britt to go out more with Artie -dates at the movies (Britt hates films that she really needs to think about, she likes action flicks and Disney movies or those dancing ones, Artie's more into the sci-fi genre and more 'intellectual' movies), dinner out (Britt goes through these phases of not eating certain foods and it's impossible to keep up with them unless you are her mother or Santana), sharing their hobbies (seriously, motocross, does he need to say anything else?) and it's hopefully enough to make both of them stop and think about just how they're meant to make this relationship work for them.
"I'm onto you." Santana's leaning against his locker the day after Artie and Brittany agree that maybe they aren't suited for each other, but they should stay friends, because they are good at that. Puck just stares at her.
"Oh, the week after I write into the newspaper advice column you just happen to take it upon yourself to help work along the end of Bartie?" Okay, so maybe he wasn't exactly subtle, but he totally blames it on Santana knowing him too well, because no one else has even thought about it.
"Shut up. I get extra credit and actually pass a class." He's still not admitting that he kind of likes doing it. "Besides, you just admitted to writing into that, so I think we have each other covered on 'yet another secret we won't share'." She knows like all of his shit, just like he knows hers. San just smiles.
"So, two weeks?"
"Week and a half, tops." She laughs as he slings an arm over her shoulders and walks her to glee.
"So, need my help hooking you up with Hummel?" Yeah, she totally knows him far too well.
Dear Mr Good Advice,
My boyfriend just dumped me for this other girl. I'm pretty sure she's very wrong for him but I don't want him to think I'm just bitter. How do I make him see this other girl is all wrong?
Dear Not-Bitter, Just-Jaded;
You let him make his own mistake. If she's wrong, he'll figure it out. In the meantime, enjoy your rebound.
For the most part, things calm down. Kurt doesn't write into the advice column for a while and the thing with the stalker seems to have filtered off. Puck's not stupid enough to think the guy has given up, it's just the fact that the entire street knows that Kurt's being stalked and anyone who sees something in their garden reports it. The Hudmel's live in a pretty awesome neighbourhood.
And Puck's over a lot; he noticed this when Carole just smiles when he walks in (he stopped knocking after the third time Burt told him to just come in cause it was a pain in the ass to keep answering the door when the kid knew he was welcome). It's weirdly like how him and Finn used to be, cause he never knocked at the Hudson house. Even weirder? He's usually there to hang out with Kurt.
"I um, I broke up with Blaine." It's sort of news that Puck had been hoping would come soon. Because if Kurt's seriously thinking about certain things that Puck is sort of hoping Kurt is seriously thinking about, Blaine needs to be like, way out of the situation. Like in the Alps. "We barely saw each other," Dalton is a shit long drive away from Lima, "he hardly knew anything about my life," Blaine didn't know about the stalking, apparently, Kurt didn't feel like he could share that with Blaine. "I think we rushed things, you know? We just jumped from friends to something more and I never stopped to think about how he actually made me feel." For one thing, Puck doesn't really know why Kurt is telling him all this. He's never asked about Blaine, because as far as Puck would like to think, the little Hobbit doesn't exist.
But there they were, in Kurt's bedroom, Kurt sitting cross legged facing Puck and Puck with one leg stretched out because the muscle in his thigh occasionally had a spaz fit if he crossed his legs for too long. Later, he would deny helping Kurt knit 'candle socks' for his surprise anniversary gift to Burt and Carole. "You okay about it all?" Because it was a big deal right? Kurt's first boyfriend and all. Puck couldn't rightly say that he'd ever really had a girlfriend -Rachel was only for a week, Santana was never his girlfriend, Quinn was never like that, Mercedes was just a 'thing'- so he can't tell for sure, but supposedly it was some sort of heart breaking thing or whatever, wasn't it?
"I am." Kurt seems sure, "I guess that's a clue, right? It wasn't really what we thought, because I'm not devastated about losing him, we'll still be friends and that just feels like it'll be easier." The problem now is rebounds. Puck figures that getting Kurt to get his rebound out of his system might be hard -how many gay kids are there around for Kurt to bounce it off with. Although there were a few kids at Dalton that Puck could swear were queer just from watching them sing -and yeah, maybe certain dances just made them look a little faggish, but those kids just screamed it. And then he stopped to think maybe he should be thinking words like that (if he was seriously considering this whole thing with Hummel wasn't it self-depreciating or something to think in those terms?) and tone it down on the gay jokes.
They kept going with the candle sleeves for a while, Puck not mentioning anything about Blaine while Kurt opened his mouth a few times before closing it and shaking his head. Eventually, Kurt just tossed his knitting needles down and leaned up, "Don't punch me, okay." Puck barely got to hear the words before Kurt crossed the distance between them on the bed, leaning forward on his fists and pressing their lips together.
It was, well, it was different. Except not really. Kurt's lips were soft, just like any girls that Puck had kissed, soft and lightly flavoured -Puck thought strawberry but it was possible that it was cherry. The only thing that actually gave away that it was slightly different was the very subtle touch of hair on the top of Kurt's lip and his jaw. It wasn't exactly off putting. Nothing was really off putting about it. Puck raised a hand to cup Kurt's jaw, keeping him there for a while longer, drawing out the mostly innocent kiss enough that Puck could actually return it. He definitely wasn't planning on punching Kurt at all -although it was strange that Kurt went for the 'lay one on him' approach. When Kurt pulled back, Puck let his hand drop as he licked his lips and swallowed the lump in his throat, because damn had his heart sped up at that.
"Not going to punch me?"
"Definitely not going to punch you." He'd kind of thought, if anything, kissing Kurt would be the deal breaker or something. Sure, he knew he liked Kurt; he was smart and kinda pretty in a boyish way, he had sharp wit and was cool to hang out with. But it didn't mean it was like, into Kurt. Sex wise. The sheer velocity at which the lust hit him from one kiss though? Yeah, that kinda told him that he was definitely into Kurt.
"I was worried I'd read you wrong," Kurt was half smiling, still leaning forward and Puck sort of wanted to just close the gap and kiss him again, "it wouldn't be the first time." He'd heard about the Sam thing, but really, anyone could mistake that kid for being gay.
"I sort of figured you wouldn't go for it, you know, with our history, and Blaine." Fair enough, Puck knew that Kurt was moderately drawn to him or whatever, he'd thought about it, he'd considered it. But Puck had to be open to the fact that realistically, with everything that he'd done to Kurt in the past, the boy would be taking a huge chance on Puck just entertaining the idea. "Thought it'd be better just being friends than getting shot down."
"We're friends though, right?" Puck nodded, "So, we've gotten to know each other, and we like each other, so, would you, I mean, dating? Would you be open to dating? Not just, like-"
"Being a whore?"
"Noah, don't call yourself that."
"Yeah, Kurt. Dating. Like, holding hands, dinner at restaurants, cheesy couple stuff. I can do that. I want to." Because his brief thing with Lauren sort of showed him that yeah, dating was kind of hard work sometimes, but the whole 'happy feelings' thing when the other person was all happy and shit, that was kind of nice. And he really didn't want to go back to the whole sleeping around thing if Kurt wanted to try dating. "We can start of Friday? I'll take you out?" Kurt grins at him and Puck has never been more glad that his insane journalism teacher wanted him to play agony aunt to teenagers.
Dear Advocator of Advice,
It deeply saddens me that I have to do this, but my situation has become so dire that I feel there is no respite from the woe and I must simply take advanced steps to meet my goals and unravel the unjustness of my predicament. You see, I am deeply and utterly in love, but my darling never seems to notice me. I have tried in many ways to make the object of my affections see me, but all my attempts have gone unnoticed, and some even seem like he hasn't truly appreciated the lengths to which I have gone to demonstrate my yearning for him.
While this deeply frustrates me, I understand that sometimes the simplest of things can be overlooked and my beloved has been terrible distracted by the affections of unsuitable admirers lately. This is but a small concern, as I understand that he will soon see that we are meant to be, that my worship of his every being will win his heart without competition.
The advice I seek, dear word weaver, is simply this; my competition: fire or steel?
Puck doesn't answer the send in. He prints it off, writes out the email address used, finds the registered IP address for the computer it was sent from like Artie's little buddy showed him how and takes it straight to his journalism teacher, who marches them down to the police station in the middle of the school day.
The whole thing has sort of put him on edge, because he's had three dates with Kurt, all of which ended with them making out on Kurt's front porch like the horny teenagers they are. Everyone in glee knows what the deal is, everyone just accepted it because apparently, Puck is enough of a manwhore (reformed now, thank you) that he can pull off what Rachel called pansexuality when Mike made a jibe about bisexuality. Puck zoned out, because he didn't care. But they haven't really been terribly subtle, and if Kurt's stalker is still around, well shit, he's probably seen them so that would make Puck the competition -not that he told Mr Orson that little snippet of information, and Puck's just realised that he's probably going to need to tell Kurt that he's the one that answers the fucking advice column.
Really, he had hoped the year would finish and Puck would pass the class and never need to worry about explaining that to his boyfriend (were they boyfriends yet? How many dates did a boyfriend make? Or bases? They totally made it to second base, so that meant they were boyfriends right? Oh, God he was being such a fucking chick!) and dishing the dirt on how it was him all along and he knew everything and surprise. Yeah, that could go either way.
So he's sitting in the police station for three hours, sipping on a coke because cute lady cop, who reminds him a little of his mother if she hadn't been lumped with a baby when she was nineteen and a deadbeat husband, totally took pity on him missing lunch hour at school and grabbed him a Big Mac meal when the lunch run at the station was made. He's explained things three times, Mr Orson has all the hard copies of the previous emails sent from Kurt about his stalker and Puck's replies and then this one from, presumably, Kurt's stalker, pretty much threatening to kill Puck.
What a fun afternoon.
And when Mr Orson brought him back to school, after everything was documented and recorded at the police station they had to sit in with Figgins to explain why Puck had been absent from all his classes without permission. It sort of surprised Puck that Figgins was aware that one of the students was having stalker problems.
"You realise what this means?" Figgins sighed as Mr Orson paced beside the chairs and Puck sort of inspected his fingers. "The boy needs to be told, his parents need to be told, this cannot be unaddressed."
"Do we know who the student is?" Both teachers looked to Puck in expectation.
"Kurt Hummel." He kind of hated that he was breaking a confidence that Kurt didn't even know Puck was keeping.
"And the boy he's dating?" Mr Orson finally sat down again, watching as Puck kept on picking at his nails.
"Me." He sort of muttered it, because it sucked that his journalism teacher and the principal knew he was dating Kurt before Burt, Carole or Puck's Ma had been formally told. Although Burt probably knew from the make out sessions in front of his house. "He um, we've been dating for like, two weeks." Not really that long, but long enough apparently to get death threats.
Mr Orson slumped in the chair, sighing slightly. He'd probably figured out everything Puck had. One, Kurt didn't know Puck was writing the advice column for the newspaper. Two, stalker man was aware that Puck was dating Kurt. Three, stalker man may or may not be aware that Puck wrote the newspaper column and wrote in to scare the ever loving fuck out of Puck (fast approaching a success). Four, and this one was a doozy, four, the stalker was, most likely, a member of the faculty at WMHS.
Puck was oh so very fucked.
They called Burt and they called his Ma and Mr Schue was brought in and so was Coach S and frankly the office felt horrifically claustrophobic to him right then. On top of the fact that he was basically coming out to his mother and telling Mr H that he and Kurt were a thing, well, Puck could've done without it all. He'd really like to focus on the fact that the nut job stalking Kurt and hiding in bushes and running Puck off the road is a member of the fucking faculty at school.
"Why are we all imitating sardines? The sheer proximity of you makes me want to hurl in your hair. If I wasn't opposed to genocide of the little hair gnomes that live in your curly wonderland, I would." The woman never gets any saner.
"Noah," his Ma is looking at him the way she does when he locks Sarah in the bathroom and unscrews the door handle just to make sure she has a fucking bath, "what did you do now?" That, that right there, how she just assumes she's been called for his behaviour? Okay, yeah, totally justified.
"Nothing, Ma." Kurt bumps his elbow against Puck's in some silent support, even though he doesn't know why he's there either.
"Mrs Puckerman, Mr Hummel, today it was brought to our attention that an unstable individual was planning something rather, well, violent. I'm sure you're both aware of the 'stalker' that Kurt has been dealing with of late," Schue looks surprised at Orson's words, Sue looks apocalyptic. "Today, our writer for the advice column with the school newspaper was sent a threatening message." Puck had managed to talk Orson and Figgins into letting him tell Kurt just who wrote that stuff, because as far as revelations went, there were only so many he could take.
"Threats? What threats? Who's making these threats? Lady, why the hell didn't you tell me?" Kurt seems to shrink a little in his seat, so Puck bumps his elbow this time and they kind of lean against each other in support.
"Sue, calm down."
"While the threat isn't directly aimed at Kurt, the language used is, well, disturbing at best. However, Noah, it seems, has garnered some attention." His Ma stares at him, much like Mr H and Kurt are.
"Um, Ma, eh. Kurt and I are sort of, well, I mean. We're dating. And he's not Jewish. But I can't get him pregnant." It takes him a second to glance at Mr Hummel, "Not that I'm trying. Nothing like that, nope. Not right now." See, Mr Hummel is pretty awesome -he lets Puck just walk into their house, he doesn't care if Puck stays over some nights, he's cool with Puck hanging out with Kurt or Finn at the weekend down the garage, he fixed Puck's truck up after the crash and he's sort of used to Puck just eating out of his fridge. Carole just sort of treats Noah like a second son. And Burt sort of did too.
Probably not anymore.
"You, but, and," it's the first time his Ma has ever been speechless, ever.
"What kind of attention?" God bless Mr Schue. Kurt looked just as concerned and Puck didn't really want him getting worried about this, he didn't, because it wasn't a huge deal anymore -Puck was not attending any classes with a male faculty member, especially not if they had access to any kind of fire or sharp objects. Hell to the no, as Mercedes would say.
"Well, the kind no one wants."
"He's going to hurt you, isn't he. That's why we're doing this. He's threatened to hurt you for being with me."
"Kurt, no. Okay, he's not going to do anything because he's a jumped up psycho that's got it into his head that you just need to be made to see that you two are perfect for each other. Except you're not, because he's a thirty year old crack pot and you are fabulous, okay? Nothing is going to happen." It launched this big debate about how to keep both of them safe and how to stop anything from happening, what course of action had to be taken and Puck got the impression that Coach Sylvester was preparing some kind of napalm strike on something. He kind of zoned out, taking Kurt's hand in his to just squeeze and let Kurt know that everything would be okay.
They didn't pass on the information that it was a teacher -not to his Ma, not to Mr H, definitely not to Coach S, because then the napalm strike would be over the school and although Puck wouldn't mind, the school board might or something. But the meeting goes on for another half hour before they finally get excused and neither of them are expected to return to classes anyway.
"Noah, sweetie, I have to get to work, will you be okay to stay in for Sarah?" Puck just nodded, because today his sister was walking home from school for the first time with her brand new house key and Puck just had to be in the house for her when she got home. She was a total dork and was super excited about the whole thing. "We'll talk about things later, bubbala," his Ma kissed his cheek and that at least made him half sure that she wasn't mad and/or freaking out. "Call the reception at the hospital if you need anything."
Kurt talks quietly to Burt for a few minutes while Puck sort of lingers back, giving them time to talk. He's not really too sure what Burt will make of the whole thing; he's pretty sure the man won't break out the shot gun, but there's always the chance of it. It looks more likely that Burt is being slightly accepting when he gives Kurt a hug before turning to walk away, only glancing back to glare at Puck once.
"He seems to be taking it well." Honestly, Puck had been a little concerned that maybe Burt might react worse to the whole 'dating' thing than he did the stalker thing. "You okay there?" Kurt was being pretty quiet, and didn't get the chance to answer as Mr Schue exited the Principal's office, looking to both of them.
"I want you both to know you can come to me, okay? Anything you need or anything you're worried about." He clasps a hand on Puck's shoulder and squeezes, giving Kurt a warm smile, "You both have my number." And yeah, Schue might get a little involved sometimes, but it's kinda cool sometimes, having that and knowing that the teacher does care.
Finally, Kurt and Puck are left in the hallway, alone. Kurt is still too quiet, and Puck would usually just want to chill or find a way to cheer the other boy up, but this needs to be done just now. "Come back to mine with me? We can just hang out until my sister comes home." Kurt just nods, prompting Puck to wrap an arm around Kurt's neck and pull him in close as they head out towards the car park.
"We need to talk." Ideally, they'd do this in a better setting, but his sister is due home in thirty minutes and Puck doesn't want to do it with her hovering around like the bad smell she sometimes is (seriously, it is a fight to get her into the bath ever since she watched some show about snakes in the sewer and how they can come up through the drains). So sitting in Puck's living room, the television muted is just how it's going to have to go.
"Are you dumping me? You're dumping me, aren't you. It's this stalker thing. It's okay, I understand." Kurt looks moderately dejected, staring at the floor and Puck just wants to hit himself for how he made that sound.
"Kurt, I'm not dumping you. No one is- well, I'm not dumping you. Okay?" There's the possibility the Kurt might dump him though so Puck's not promising anything
"No, but," for all that Puck's learned to use words, he's not really got this talking thing down yet. Sure, he can write this shit now, and half of the time he means it too, but he's not gotten to the stage where he's all that comfortable with talking. It likely comes across wrong with Kurt, "Well, I need to tell you something."
"Did you cheat on me?" Wow, Kurt's just jumping all over the place, isn't he. "Noah, God, did you, was it-"
"No!" The frustration creeps into Puck's voice, because ever since he sort of accepted that he had feelings of the not so platonic nature for Kurt, he hasn't so much as considered a random hook up. This is a big deal for him. And not just because it's with a guy, but his first ever monogamous relationship which started before he was even in a relationship? Yeah, big deal. "No cheating, no dumping, no stealing, no changing my mind, okay. It's just-"
"Noah, seriously, if it's none of those things, what is it?"
"They know about the letter, from the stalker, because he sent it to me." He says it in a rush, words almost merging together as he practically spits it out. Probably not the best idea.
"What?" Kurt has this ridiculously adorable bewildered expression on his face and if Puck didn't need to be serious right then, they'd be making out.
"The school advice column. It's my extra credit for class."
"I sort of knew everything from the start."
"What?" Kurt's vocabulary seems to have abandoned him from the shock and that bewildered expression is losing the adorable factor and starting to become moderately annoying. As is the repetition.
"Can you seriously think of another word."
"I just, you said, I don't- What?"
"Oh for, you wrote that first letter in and I knew it was you. There was only one boy out at school who'd just transferred back from transferring out. It's actually not that hard to deduce these things, really. So when you wrote in, I knew what was going on. Before you actually told me." He's just going to get everything out and hope that Kurt's brain processes while he's sitting there in shock. "So, I knew about the stalker and stuff and then about, y'know the other thing, and well. I thought about telling you that it was me, but that was before you were, I don't know, showing interest? I just wasn't sure you'd actually listen if you knew who was giving the advice, okay? And I'm sorry, but-"
"You write the advice column? You're the one that smacked Finn with the clue-by-four about Rachel and Quinn? Who got Jenna Keys to flash Sam? Who told Santana to just wait for Brittany?" Kurt seems to just gloss over anything Puck just said and Puck has to smack himself in the face. "Hey, woah." Kurt grabs his hand on the third smack to pull it down. "I was listening, I promise, I was."
"Seriously," Puck sighed, letting his hand drop to his lap, wrist still held in a loose grip by Kurt, "it was just supposed to be extra credit, pull my grade up, knock up the GPA, keep me from falling below academic eligibility and all that. But, like, I don't know. It's kinda fun. When people aren't talking about killing themselves. Or me."
Kurt shuffles up until he's leaning in against Puck, wrapping his arm around Puck's arm and slipping his hand into Puck's to lace their fingers together. It's a little strange, just how comfortable Puck is with Kurt's little shows of affection; the hand holding, the half hug, leaning their heads together. He's never actually done any of the mushy stuff before. The most his 'affections' have been shown are make outs in the halls. But with Kurt, Puck can just go with it and it doesn't feel strained or forced or weird at all. He has realised that, even just two weeks in, he is utterly whipped.
"You were there for me, during a hard time, when I was sure I was being crazy. Really, I didn't know if I was just being stupid or not, but you really did help by making me not feel like I was over reacting. Just one person believing me, that was help on its own." So Kurt's not mad at him, they don't have a fight and things are fine. Which is pretty cool.
"You know what this means though, right?"
"What?" Kurt better not start that again.
"The write in. From the stalker. To the school paper."
"He's at school." Puck just nods as Kurt gets the hushed words out. "Should we, I mean, Mr Schue?"
"Maybe, I mean, I don't know half the teachers there, do you?" Kurt shakes his head, "So, maybe if we give Schue a description, you know, maybe he'll know who it is."
"What if he teaches one of my classes? What if he teaches one of yours?" Puck stops Kurt before he starts panicking.
"Okay, if he taught one of yours, you'd know. Because he'd be super creepy all the time and you'd figure it out. And, well, I don't really attend many of my classes. I think I'll be attending even less until he's caught." The only classes he'd be showing up to were the ones with female teachers, and journalism.
With the secrets out of the way, they get to enjoy the last ten minutes of quiet; the television is turned to something neither of them are watching and they make out on the couch like normal teenagers until Sarah bursts through the door shouting her triumphant return. Sarah meeting Kurt is only somewhat awkward because the pre-teen is a bundle of questions dying to get out. Kurt handles them pretty well and Sarah seems to accept Kurt.
"So, are you like Noah's girlfriend?"
"Um, sort of. I'm his boyfriend. Because we're both boys." Puck takes his time in the kitchen, making up Sarah's snack while his sister talks to Kurt in the living room.
"Are you Jewish?"
"You're pretty though. And I like your vest."
"Thank you, I think."
"Noah never brings people home. Well, he brought Quinn home, but that was because she was having Beth and needed a place to stay. And sometimes, Finn used to come over, but he doesn't do that much anymore." Sarah launches into a really long and rambling story about something or nothing, she even keeps going when Puck brings her the sandwich she wanted, mumbling through the bread in her mouth. By the time Sarah gets fed up with them and heads up to her room to play with her toys, Kurt probably knows everything there is to know about Sarah's school and her friends.
"She likes you." You can tell by the fact that she didn't bite him.
"What about your mom? I mean, you seemed a little worried, earlier on, when we were at school." It's not the Puck thinks his Ma won't accept it, it's just that he's a little worried about the whole 'disappointment' thing and he can't take another 'nice Jewish girl' speech.
"Ma and me have been good and stuff, right." Since the whole pregnant cheerleader that wasn't actually his girlfriend and then giving up Beth and his mood swings and finally juvie, Puck and his mother had their shares of ups and downs. But things had been pretty good lately. "It'll be an adjustment, but we'll be fine." His mother wasn't homophobic, she wasn't even all that judgemental about stuff like that (and the gays were persecuted just as much as the Jews so there was that whole thing too) so Puck wasn't worried per say.
"So, she won't be sending you to straight camp?"
"Um, no. She believes those are almost like concentration camps and never mention them in front of her unless you want to lose about nine hours of your life." His mother, the history buff, could wax poetic about that shit.
Finn comes to pick Kurt up an hour later, because no one lets Kurt go anywhere alone anymore and that will be happening even less now that psycho boy has insinuated homicidal tendencies. Kurt texts when he gets home and Puck goes back to the rest of the write ins, hoping to hell that psycho dude is caught really fucking soon.
Dear My Last Hope.
I'm seventeen. I've been with my boyfriend for almost a year now. He's the only guy I've ever been with. I know that I love him, but sometimes, I'm not sure if he loves me. We've been together for a long time, by high school standards, and I get the feeling that he's getting tired of me. He's suggested that I change my appearance before -I was blond but I dyed my hair brown because he said he likes brunettes, I never used to wear eye make-up, but he said he prefers it. I caught him staring at a girl with larger breasts than me, when I asked him about it, he said he prefers a girl with a bigger bust than I have.
My friends are telling me that if I love him I should listen to him, but I think plastic surgery is a little bit extreme. I do want to keep my boyfriend, but I worry that he'll keep making suggestions if I listen to him about this. What should I do?
Dear Slightly Deluded;
You are seventeen. What the hell do you think you're doing considering plastic surgery for an asshole that can't appreciate you the way you are? Sure, this guy likes brunettes and girls with panda eyes and big tits. But seriously, what are you doing with a guy who doesn't like you the way you are? You're still young, you've got your whole life to change your appearance and 'find yourself', you're not meant to do it in high school because the douche your seeing wants you to look a certain way.
Big no to the breast enlargement, kiddo. These things are serious, there are major repercussions and possible health issues that could arise later. And what's to say you guys even stay together? In five years' time all you'll have is gunge filled eyes, brown hair you hate and bigger boobs. Is this really what you want?
Stand up for yourself, you're not your appearance. If he can't be with you for who you are and not what you look like, really, you guys are doomed already.
It's kind of remarkable just how much he's grown up since he started doing this stupid column. Things he said to people before and what he says now. He can't really pinpoint when he stopped being a conceited ass himself. It probably sparked from trying to give decent advice to pull up his grade and considering what he'd say if this was Sarah. He's pretty sure that if his sister every tried to change how she looked for some stupid boy he'd have to kill the little shit. Just on principle.
"You know, I can kind of understand why no one has figured this out." Kurt and him are in the library, because it's quiet and the librarian is an old maid with a soft spot for Kurt and thus not some psycho stalker. The school paper is spread out in front of them with this week's prints published and Kurt is just reading through them. "I mean, you seriously write this?"
"Shut up, I can be helpful." Sure, not all the time and more often than not he sticks to his usual instinct of being completely unhelpful with his suggestions because it's just who he is. If he changed too much, people might start to freak out. "Besides you and San, no one else knows."
"You told Santana?"
"Nah, she figured it out. Not exactly hard." Not when she knew him as well as she did. And that was pretty fucking well. Him and San were probably the only two people who really understood each other inside and out. "Shit, I gotta go, mandatory career advisement meeting." He shook his head, clearing up his history notes and leaning over the table to kiss Kurt quick. "Mercy is meeting you, right?"
"Yeah, her and Tina, we're planning something for glee." It's supposedly this big surprise and Puck just shakes his head with a smirk. "And then I'll be talking to Mr Schue about the stalker and him being on the faculty." Puck's smirk fades as he nods his head once, promising to try and make it for that discussion. He doesn't really get why they need to do the careers advisement in their junior year, since it had always been done in senior year before. But he has his and he's pretty sure Kurt has one later today and Finn mentioned something about a meeting. Maybe they're just speeding up the process or whatever, but Puck makes his way to the designated classroom he was told to attend to speak with the careers adviser.
What's really weird is that it's not in the guidance area like Miss P's office. That would make sense since the whole thing is a sort of guidance, right? So the fact that it's in the music department is a little questionable. But Figgins is cheap, so maybe one of the music teachers doubles as the career adviser and it's just easier to do this shit in their classroom? Puck's still talking himself into it not being messed up beyond all belief when he knocks on the door and steps inside. The annoying thing about these rooms are the sound proofing. Yeah, it makes sense cause who the fuck can concentrate on their composition while someone is mutilating a jazz number on the trombone in the next class room, but still. The blackout curtains are a little extreme, right?
"Hello?" No seriously, he's totally not cool with any of this. Even less so when the door slams shut and a sudden smack of something to the side of his head sends Puck into one of the desks before his vision blacks and he ends up on the floor. Yeah, totally not kosher right there.
"Noah Puckerman, McKinley Titan's running back, former juvenile delinquent, self-professed stud and man-whore of Lima." Puck's vision hasn't exactly come back to him yet, but he's pretty sure that the short, scrawny guy standing over him with a fucking baseball bat is the same guy that nailed his truck with the bat. Sweet mother of, didn't they screen teachers for mental instability?
"That would be me." His skull is throbbing, like seriously, he can feel the pulse of his blood in the side of his head. "And you are?"
"Not impressed." There's this creepy sort of tone going on there and Puck's trying to pull himself up to his feet when the bat comes down on his already fucking damaged thigh and his leg gives out. He's sprawled back on the ground with a shout of pain, because the muscle is spazzing out again and fucking Christ that was just getting back to normal. "I don't know what he sees in you," the whack job crouches down, tilting his head like he's considering something, "What did you say to him? How did you do it? What kind of lies did you tell him?" It's not hard to figure out who this guy is talking about, and Puck's remembered that Kurt has a meeting with this guy later on. Fuck.
"Didn't lie about jack shit. He just knows that you're fucking psycho." If he could, maybe, get this whack pot away from him, he could fire off a text message right? It doesn't need to be to Kurt, Mercy or Tina or Finn, they could make sure Kurt didn't go to the meeting and someone could call the fucking cops on this nut and things would be taken care of, right?
"Well," the tone goes cold and Puck curses himself for letting his mouth get away from himself again. "That wasn't very nice." The bat comes down towards his skull and the pain just explodes around his temple before everything blacks out.
There's this brief moment, when a hand touches his shoulder that Puck wakes up. There's a light shone in his eyes, his name is repeated a few times and there murmurings around him. He can't actually think well enough to formulate a response. His limbs don't respond and he can't utter a word. The next thing he knows he's moving, but not walking or anything. It feels like he's on a bed, but he can sort of feel the movement. Stretcher. It comes to him slowly. He's on a stretcher, being wheeled somewhere. Hospital is most likely considering the agony in his general head area. And his leg. Fuck, that's probably buggered all over again.
"Who did it?"
"Has anyone heard anything?"
"Is this about him dating Kurt Hummel?"
"I thought the bullying was over?"
"Puck? Puck, oh God, is he okay, what's going on, where are you taking him?"
"Has anyone seen Kurt?"
Puck zones out to the frantic noise of Finn's voice. He really wishes he could stay awake long enough to panic.
The next time Puck wakes up, he's ready to hurl.
"Come on, to the right." He hears his mother's voice and then there's the press of a bowl under his chin and he just empties his stomach of whatever there is. Her hand smooth's over the back of his head as he leans over, heaving and retching when there's nothing left to bring up. "Sip it, okay, just sips." There's a straw in his mouth to clear out the taste and Puck spits that out before taking a careful sip to cool the burning along his throat.
"Ma?" He doesn't have the energy to sit up, just leaning back into the bed and closing his eyes against the glare of the lights. "Wha' happened?"
"That man attacked you." Careers adviser, Kurt, oh shit.
"He's okay, it's okay. The police got there in time, everything is okay." Jesus Christ, the police got there? There was a there to get to? What did 'in time' mean? "Honey, just breath, it's okay. Kurt is fine, he's worried about you. The attacker is in police custody, he's being charged with a mountain of felonies. He's going to jail. Not least because he crack your head open." That was probably why it felt like his head was stapled together.
"How long've I been here?"
"You've been unconscious for three days, baby." His Ma starts telling him about everything that happened. How Mercedes and Tina never found Kurt in the library, how Puck hadn't been found until last period when the class was about to be used, how his skull had been cracked open and the blood had pooled in the room, how Kurt had been missing for almost nine hours before the police stormed the listed address and found him tied to a chair and crying. Puck felt his stomach roll again, but there was nothing to bring up and his Ma just popped some ice chips in his mouth. "Kurt will be here in the morning. They discharged him yesterday, but he keeps coming back to see you." Her hand ran over the back of his head and he figured she was avoiding the front of his head because that cracked.
"They shaved my head again, didn't they?" It's not a big deal, but it gets a laugh of out her. Enough that it seems to break her out of whatever it is she's thinking. Puck can tell when she starts doubting herself and stuff, she gets this hollow look in her eyes and it's hard to pull her out of those times.
"I like him," she whispers it somewhere around dawn, because Puck woke up around three in the morning, and now he's really just not tired. "Kurt, I mean. I was a little unsure, at first. You dating another boy. But he's sweet. Sarah likes him, she hugged him and wouldn't let go while we waited for some news on you." Oh yeah, brain surgery, stop the swelling, release the pressure. He literally had a hole in his fucking head now.
Visiting hours aren't until the afternoon, but his Ma knows most of the nurses on his ward, which means when Kurt shows up at half eight in the morning, he's just allowed straight into the room. There's surprise on his face when Puck shuffles up the bed until he's sitting and then this relieved wave and smile seems to spread over his face. Kurt's up on the side of Puck's bed with his arms carefully around Puck's neck in a hug and mumbling something into Puck's cheek. The only thing that Puck is focusing on is the fact that Kurt is right there.
"You scared the life out of me."
"Sorry." Kurt has bruises around his wrists, he waves them off as nothing compared to a broken skull. There are also little bruises on his jaw line and Puck frowns at them.
"Tight grip. It's okay though, really. The address that the school had matched up with the address from the IP you gave them. He talked a lot, and it was creepy, but I think you took the brunt of things."
"Turns out, I don't think before I speak." If he had, maybe he could've stalled longer to let Mercedes and Tina find Kurt and then the nut wouldn't have had the chance to snatch Kurt. Instead, Kurt went through nine hours of kidnapping and listening to the guy while Puck bled on a classroom floor. Yeah, he should definitely engage his brain (since everyone knows he has one now) before he starts talking.
"We'll work on that."
Puck's surprised that he can even feel tired, but somewhere around ten, he starts to fall asleep. Kurt just snuggles into his side, arm over Puck's waist, head on Puck's shoulder and Puck's arm around Kurt's shoulders. No one could move them if they tried. And apparently, Rachel tried when the glee club came to visit which just prompted Kurt to turn pink and Puck to flip them the bird. He was injured damnit, he deserved some time to cuddle with his boyfriend until his head closed up and the room wasn't in muted colours.
Santana, being the blessed demon woman that she was, herded the club out to come back when Puck was feeling a little more lively and less like a big fluffy teddy bear.
Dear Advice Columnist,
I am in an abusive relationship. That was hard to just write. I've never told anyone. I don't know how to. My friends try to tell me to dump my boyfriend, but I'm scared.
He says things to me, he hits me and controls everything I do. I know that it's not healthy, I've seen the adverts and movies and shows on television. I always thought that women who stay in abusive relationships were stupid, that they were weak and silly. But in truth, it's hard. It's hard to admit to anyone that he's doing this. It's hard to admit that I'm not in control of my own decisions. I don't know how to tell anyone, I don't know how to be strong enough.
I just don't know what to do.
Dear Starting to Realise,
Polls done in the US suggest that 20% of teenagers between 16 and 18 have been or are in an abusive relationship. You are not alone. However, you will be if you don't break away.
It's hard, yes, but those friends that tell you to dump him, they know what they're talking about. You have to know that if he loved you he wouldn't be doing these things to you. If he loved you, you wouldn't be scared of him. It's not about being brave, or being strong, it's about respecting yourself enough to know that you do not deserve this and he is wrong. There are helplines to get more tailored advice to your situation, counselling classes to help you move past it and most importantly, a police number attached to report him for domestic abuse. If he's done it to you, he will do it again, or has done it before.
You are better than his cruel words, hateful attacks and controlling ways. Turn to those friends, they'll help you though and support you. And of course, you have my email.
Let me know how it goes.
The bad thing about being stuck at home until the after effects of his head injury fade? Hours and hours with nothing to do. Kurt brings home his homework, he could do without that, but hey, it's getting to the point where even that isn't enough. He gets to watch stupid shows with his sister, learn Hannah Montana songs on the guitar for her to sing along to, watch Project Runway -which Kurt got Sarah into (but then Kurt also got Sarah to appreciate hygiene so she's more likely to actually wash every night rather than be forced to) and episodes of Drop Dead Diva with his mother who is moderately obsessed with the show.
Kurt is over almost every day, getting back to his usual flamboyant self -even after Burt insisted that Kurt see a therapist for a few weeks after this whole thing and Kurt pitched a fit before actually going and discovering that maybe he did have a few things to go there about after all. It was this whole big thing that basically had Kurt pacing in Puck's room for an hour and a half talking at length about how his Dad just didn't understanding. Puck had called in Mercedes as back up. It took her thirteen minutes and one mention of some 'Alexander McQueen' guy before Kurt was agreeing to go and the three of them ended up watching Curb Your Enthusiasm in his room.
Everyone at school has figured out that Puck and Kurt are dating, everyone at school found out that Mr Rossie, one of the music teachers, was a big creep that stalked Kurt. Kurt's in therapy and Puck's got three sessions of physical therapy a week for his leg because the muscle went into full seize and trying to get it back to normal is a bitch and a half. On the plus side, Mr Orson, his journalism teacher has already gave him his first ever A for a passing grade. Puck doesn't care why he's getting an A, he just knows that his GPA took a definite increase and his Ma couldn't be happier.
"How do you intend to dance?" His first day back at school, on the crutches again, Puck stares at Rachel. "I mean, obviously I'm glad you're well, and that the damage isn't permanent, but, we have Nationals soon and,"
"I'm sure I'll manage, so long as we don't put in anything else more complicated, okay?" Rachel accepts it, gives him a hug and tells him that he is very brave before waltzing off wherever to practice her scales or inform Mercedes about a flat note or something. Girl runs hot and cold worse than a clinically bipolar nut.
"Are you sure participating in Nationals is a good idea?" Kurt's still over protective, it's like this major swing and change in their dynamic, but it's kind of cool too. His boy can go from lovable sweetheart to Head-Bitch-in-Charge in an instant and frankly, that is a total turn on.
"Yeah, I've got the steps down and stuff, and Schue's already worked it around the movement I can make, so it's all good." And he was partnered up with Mercedes, so it worked out well enough, he could lean on her when he needed without it being obvious and she wouldn't mind. "Listen I gotta do something, meet me in History?" Kurt nods and smiles, heading off towards class without worry this time and Puck sort of hobbles towards one of the girls from Cheerio's. See, Puck can sort of tell when make-up is used for cover up -he'd seen his Ma do it enough times when he was younger that he just knew. And Theresa Kiernan wasn't as good at it as his Ma.
"Hey, Theresa," the blond turned to him, looking around with wide eyes, "are you dating anyone?" Yeah, so it's not the first time he's done that whole 'stepping outside the advice box' and the last time worked out pretty well -see Brittana power couple, please and thank you. So he's not exactly bothered about doing it again.
"Um, aren't you dating Kurt Hummel?"
"Oh, yeah, I am. Sorry, I'm not asking for me," Theresa nods shyly -she never used to be shy, she used to be like Quinn without the ice queen heart. "It's just, you know Tony Becker? On the football team?" Theresa nods slowly, "Well, he won't shut the hell up about how much he likes you, it's starting to get nauseating, you know, in that talks too much about birds and flowers and candy and shit? Well, I figured, if you're not dating anyone, you'd y'know, maybe be interested in going out with him? Seriously, you'd be doing us a huge favour, and he's not exactly an awful guy. He's pretty good with all that chick stuff too, cause he's got like five little sisters that he practically helped raise." Fact one, Tony is not huge, he's kind of lanky in a Finn Hudson way, but not tall and imposing. Fact two, Tony has dated three girls in high school and stayed friends with all of them. Fact three, those five little sisters? Tony would probably kill for them, but it also makes him almost chick like with the whole sensitivity stuff.
Theresa and her boyfriend -Mitch Duncan from the hockey team, recently split and she has been avoiding him and his rage all week. Puck knows that the asshole is the bastard hitting her. "Think about it yeah? He'd be pretty good for you, y'know, the way he practically writes poetry about how amazing you are."
There's a blush on her cheeks as Puck heads off towards History, giving Santana a nod as they pass. For all that Puck wants to beat the ever loving fuck out of Duncan he knows for a fact that what Santana can dish out is way worse -both of them understand the repercussions of domestic abuse and neither of them will just turn away from that shit.
"Who's life are you poking into now?" Kurt, for all his scheming ways, is very good at recognising Puck's scheme face.
"What? Me? I'm innocent of all speculation you have, Kurt. You can't prove anything."
"You are such a big softy."
"Bite your tongue, someone might hear."
"Everyone will know when you take me to Prom and dance with me in front of the whole school." Kurt's all smug and shit, waving their Prom tickets in front of Puck just as the teacher walks in.
"Oh, I'm taking you to Prom am I?"
"Yup. You have to, it's in the script." Kurt counts off the points on his fingers, "While hiding your identity your offered solace and advice, inherently saving my life from the evil villain and eventually, you know, falling in love with me?" Puck's pretty sure Kurt didn't mean for that to become a question.
"Okay, so with all of that standing true, you're likening yourself to a damsel in distress and me to a superhero, you do realise this, right?"
"Will the superhero dance with the damsel at Prom?"
"Yeah," Puck bumps their shoulders together while the teacher prattles on about the Russian Revolution, "he'll do more than dance." Puck intends to make sure that Kurt's Prom is the best night of his life.
Dear Fabulously Gifted and Deep Soul;
For once, my life is exactly as I hoped it would be. I've been through so much in the last few years that I honestly believed I'd be in college before I ever really felt happy. But now, even after bullying and assault and heartbreak and a terrifying ordeal with a stalker, I feel like my life has finally reached the turning point and the only way is up.
I sort of owe it mostly to my wonderful boyfriend as well. He told me to trust people and not feel like I was overreacting when I believed I was losing my mind. He showed me that I had to believe in myself and my friends, to take strength from them. It showed me how many friends I truly had and just how wonderful they all were -even the crazy cheerleaders. I've never felt more accepted in all my life.
In short, to quote Kelly Clarkson, my life would suck without him, and simply put, I am utterly and completely in love with him.
Dear Captain Obvious,
I love you too.