Author's Notes: Yeah, I know. Three updates. This is madness.
Anyway, I was in mood to fulfill promises, so this is another fic I forgot to write for une_fille. It was supposed to be more Puck/Finn but in my head their slashy boy love takes SO LONG to develop, so for now it's just a weirdly homoerotic bromance.
Then again – aren't they all.
ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies
So, the prostate thing was kind of a swing and a miss, as far as lies go. Finn is … not that great at lying. When they were kids, and Puck would convince him to do something that he was pretty sure was illegal or at least morally questionable, he'd always have to practice for days and days until he could try and fool his mom.
His mom's like, a ninja though, and not easily tricked. He remembers this one time, Puck stole a pack of cigarettes from some guy's pocket after their Little League baseball game and they were pretending to smoke them because they didn't know how to work a lighter, and this huge fat guy came up to them and was like, "Hey, what are you boys doing with my cigarettes?"
Finn totally panicked and tried to eat his, but Puck was way calm about the whole thing and just said, "I found 'em. I thought maybe you wrote your name on the inside of the box like my Mom does for my underwear."
Later, Finn's Mom asked if they're really found the cigarettes or if Puck had stolen them, and Finn had no idea what to do so he panicked and said he'd thought they were candy.
"Finn," his Mom had said, frowning, "why would you think they were candy?"
"Oh, er, um," Finn mumbled. "Because they … smelled liked raspberries?"
"They smelled ... like raspberries," his Mom repeated, and he was pretty much done for after that. At school on Monday Puck was mad at him for a whole fifteen minutes for getting him grounded. By lunch they were okay.
That was how Puck's anger worked, usually. He was grumpy until someone brought him a sandwich, and then he forgot to be mad because of the turkey.
Puck really likes turkey. Finn's never liked it but then one day Puck was like, "No, dude, you gotta try this turkey, it's like seriously life-changing meat, my friend," so Finn ate it, and Puck was so serious about him liking this turkey that he smiled and swallowed and now he's sort of stuck with it.
So the prostate thing just sort of slips out. They've been studying cancer in Biology and Mr. Johnson keeps talking about how prostate cancer is the worst cancer and he would know, just ask his cousin Bill. So Finn has prostates on the brain.
Which is … kind of weird, actually, when you say it out loud.
The point is, when Puck looks at him with his always half-lidded eyes, backpack slung casually over one shoulder and his mohawk looking awesome as usual (Finn would really like a mohawk, but his mother and Quinn and just about everyone he knows assures him that he would look stupid, and that Puck is the exception and not the rule) and asks, "Hey man, what's going on?" Finn gets totally tongue-tied.
"Oh," he stutters, panicking, "I, just… I have to miss practice Saturday afternoon."
Puck's got that look in his eye like he's hunting something, and that look sort of does something to Finn's stomach that makes it feel knotted and weird like it did the first time Quinn let him feel her up so he adds hastily, "It's my Mom. I gotta help her cook and, uh. Do … things…"
See, the thing is, if there is one thing that Puck will understand, it's doing stuff for your Mom, because his Mom basically owns him like a little puppy. Nobody else knows that but Finn, because Puck keeps it under wraps that his family is surprisingly close and his Mom surprisingly cool. He says that no one knowing anything about his family life cultivates an air of mystery that makes him irresistible to the ladies, which sort of makes Finn want to tell everyone he knows that Puck keeps his room clean and makes dinner every other Wednesday. He's not really sure why.
But Finn's Mom doesn't usually make him do much around the house, because she's really efficient and wakes up at four every morning since she stopped taking Ambien. "Why?" Puck asks.
"She just had, uhhh..." Finn looks around for something to help him, and there's a flyer for the science club's optional dissection seminar that night, which gets him thinking about science and then Biology and then cancer and then prostates. "Surgery," he concludes victoriously.
Puck's eyes get really big, that family thing kicking in again, and for a second Finn thinks he's actually going to sweep in for the hug, which is basically Finn's favorite thing ever because Puck hugs like real men play football. "What kind of surgery?" he asks seriously, falling into step beside Finn, his hand hovering just a few breaths from Finn's skin. It's not weird, because it's just Puck's way of saying that he's here for Finn if Finn needs him, but they're both dudes, so. They don't say that stuff out loud, except with girls, and only if they're lying.
Well, if Puck's lying. Finn's usually pretty honest about that stuff, and anyway, Quinn rarely needs any help from him.
"She had to have her prostate out," Finn says, more confident now that he's got his lie and he's sticking to it.
Puck winces, and their hands brush, and then he drops back. "Man, that's a tough break," he says, and they fall out of step and Puck's gone, just like that.
It's a little weird, because Finn was sort of expecting him to say more, but he takes the moment to be glad that he doesn't have to make anything else up and puts it out of his mind.
But the problem is that he forgot that Puck's his best friend, so when his door bell rings that night, he's totally unprepared for Puck to be standing on his stoop with flowers.
"Er, hey," Finn says, stepping outside because his Mom is watching TV and eating dinner and he happens to know that you don't eat for twenty-four hours before surgery. Finn's not sure how he knows that, but it's probably from watching so much Grey's Anatomy. "What's up? Is everything okay?"
Puck raises his eyebrows. "What? Dude, I'm fine. I'm here for your Mom, you retard."
Finn freezes. Oh crap. Oh crap oh crap oh crap. "Oh, uh. She's sleeping right now."
"It's like four o'clock!"
"The surgery is at like, um, five tomorrow. So she has to be, er, rested. She needs rest. Like a lot of rest." Finn can hear his own words spilling out. He's totally not making sense right now and he knows it. But like he said before, he's not good at the lying thing, and this one is snowballing into like a huge snow plow that would be awesome to ride a sled down but would suck if it fell on you because you would die.
But Puck just nods and shrugs and thrusts the flowers at Finn instead. "Okay, well, that's legit I guess. Just give her these for me, okay."
Finn nods. Puck's got that look in his eye again, the hunting one, and it makes Finn's neck feel hot. "Sure, okay," he mumbles, looking at the ground. "Yeah, I will."
They stand that way for a second, their fingers brushing around the flower stems, and then Puck shoves his hands into his pockets. "Call if you need anything, or whatever," he says quickly, not meeting Finn's eyes, and then hurries back to his truck.
Later, when he's covered in green paint and every inch of him stings, Finn takes a moment to be touched that Puck bothered looking into his mother's fake prostate cancer.
Later still, he'll walk the seven miles to Puck's house and knock until somebody answers. Sarah, or Puckerman 2.0 as Puck calls her, has this habit of hiding in the bushes whenever she sees guests coming and then jumping out at them shouting things like, "Today is history!" and "The truth is always the right answer!"
Which really just goes to show that the Puckerman family watches Schindler's List way too often.
Anyway, she's not hiding today, just chillin' on the front step with her chalk. "He's really mad at you," she says, not looking up from her drawing. It's of herself in a cape, flying over trees. Puck is stuck in one of the trees crying and she's swooping down to rescue him. There's a pair of antlers and a donut also in the picture, although Finn doesn't see how they're related.
"I know," Finn says, and is stomach knots really tightly. He's not used to Puck being mad, at least not this mad, and he doesn't like the way it makes him feel. All he wants to do is sing '80s hair metal music and not get expelled for having weed in his locker. Is that too much for a guy to ask?
"He told me that if you came by I was supposed to tell you that you're a stupid face licker who licks faces and that you should go hang out with your new pet cripple."
Finn frowns, a twinge of hurt flicking through him. Nobody likes being called a face licker who licked faces. "This is dumb," he sighs, and they both look up when Puck's window on the second floor opens. A puff of smoke billows out of it, which means he is either smoking weed or smoking cigarettes, and either way it's bad for you.
"Puck!" Finn calls, backing up so he could see in through the window. "Come on, man, talk to me."
"How was your mom's operation?" Puck shouts back nastily. "I hope her big fat donkey dick is okay."
Finn wants to say something in his mother's defense, but he's actually the one who said she had a prostate, so. He kind of can't. Instead he shoves his hands into his pockets and shrugs. "I'm sorry," he half-sighs. "Seriously, man. But I had to join Glee. If I didn't, Mr. Schue was going to go to Principal Figgins with my marijuana that I didn't know I had."
There's a choking sound and then a cigarette flies out of the window and onto the grass. Sarah obediently gets up and scurries to put it out with her foot before collecting it in a little plastic bag that also has a few gum wrappers and half a pretzel in it. "It's for my project," she tells Finn vaguely, before scampering back inside.
"What do you mean, your marijuana you didn't know you had?" Puck splutters. "You mean you had weed and you didn't tell me? Man, you don't know what the fuck is in that shit! You have to be sure you're getting the good stuff!"
"I told you, I didn't even know I had it," Finn protests, but he smiles a little, because if Puck is mad at him for buying weed then it means he's not mad at him for lying about the cancer thing. "I don't even know how it got in my backpack. Maybe someone accidentally misplaced it in my backpack."
Puck snorts, but his hands appear on the windowsill and he pokes his head out. "Dude, nobody misplaces their weed. What the fuck."
He sighs and runs his hand over his mohawk. Then he disappears, and Finn thinks with panic that he had been wrong, that they're friendship is totally over, so he starts trying to climb up the drain pipe. He's about halfway up when the front door opens and Puck's voice asks, "Dude, what the fuck are you doing?"
Finn looks down. Puck is standing on the stoop, one foot still in the house a he leans against the doorway. He's grinning. "Are you actually trying to climb in through the window? What are we, Romeo and Juliet? Jesus, Finn, you retard."
Okay, so, yeah, Finn feels kind of stupid for a second, but he just slides back down and sticks out a hand for Puck to take.
Puck resists the hug that Finn pulls him into and calls him a fucking girl, but Finn was expecting that. Puck smells sort of like Quinn, which is weird.
"Don't be such an jerk," Finn demands firmly, thinking of the look on Puck's face when he shot him with the paintball gun. "I'm staying on Glee, and I'm sorry that I lied, but you should just. I don't know. Not be such an jerk."
Puck looks at him for a long second and then shrugs. "Yeah, maybe," he says.
They're still standing close together, so Finn feels Puck's little sigh more than he hears it, and if he turned his head just half an inch he'd be able to taste Puck's breath. He kind of wants to, wants to inhale that cigarette-and-nachos smell, which is weird, because he doesn't like cigarettes or nachos that much.
Puck steps back, running a hand over his mohawk again. "All right," he says decisively, "let's go play some halo before this shit gets any gayer."
He doesn't look back when he walks inside, but that doesn't matter, because Finn can't think of a single reason why he wouldn't follow him.