Disclaimer: I don't own anything. At all.
A/N: This was written for a prompt on glee_fest, way to late for the actual competition, and because I'm livejournal-handicapped, I'm posting it here instead. It's also completely unbeta'd, and my first published fic ever, so be nice.
"Noah and I are friends now."
To say Kurt was confused was an understatement. He understood the abrupt nature of his best friend's decision – she made up her mind in an instant and it was a struggle to change it – but not the decision itself. He stared at her, head tilted slightly to the side, contemplating her declaration.
"You're catching flies, Hummel."
Kurt closed his mouth with an audible click that made Mercedes wince and turned to Puck.
"If I ever find out that this is some ridiculous half-assed prank and you hurt her, I will chop your pathetic, revolting balls off, capiche?" He was surprised when Puck snuck a glance at Mercedes, who was examining her finger nails in rapture, and then nodded. Kurt turned back to the diva, "Fine. I know I can't change your mind." He glared at her grin, "He's not allowed to make fun of me anymore."
Mercedes grinned at him, "Of course not, darling."
He expected that to be the last he'd have to deal with it. But Puck was everywhere. He was always there when Kurt took Mercedes shopping, and okay, maybe he was decent about Kurt being her number one in that he'd always hang back and let Kurt dominate the shopping trips or movie dates, but it was hard to talk to her about the personal stuff.
It was after a particularly terrible fight with a visiting aunt – she called him a queer and slapped him – that he told his dad he was going to stay at a friend's house until the witch was gone – which his dad assured him she would be by the next morning – and stormed over to Mercedes' house in the pouring rain.
Her dad didn't question the duffel bag he had with him and didn't mention the bruise forming around his eye, but Kurt froze when he heard Puck's voice drifting down the stairs. He sighed, contemplating his situation.
If he went in there, he would have to deal with Mercedes questioning him and he could either refuse to talk about anything in front of Puck, which would make him offer to leave with that stupid pouty face he put on and then Mercedes would be mad at Kurt, or he could suck it up and accept that Puck was destined to be his friend.
He did the most logical thing. He went through all of their interactions while he stood motionless outside Mercedes' door.
While shopping at the mall, Puck usually tried to make a positive comment about an outfit Kurt had tried on, which always made Kurt stiffen up uncomfortably. Even if the comments had been true – Kurt looked fabulous in anything – and surprisingly honest.
The first time they'd gone to the movies, Kurt had somehow ended up between Puck and Artie, while Mercedes and Tina sat on Puck's other side. Puck had offered to share his popcorn with Kurt, and while Kurt had turned his nose up at the disgusting, unhealthy garbage, he'd been flattered by the offer.
Last Thursday, Puck had stood up for him when Rachel had brought up the Defying Gravity fiasco, albeit he'd muttered under his breath and thrown a pencil rather than directly address either Rachel or Mr. Schuester.
He sucked in a breath, then let it out in a heavy sigh. He figured there would be less pain along the way if he just accepted that Puck – Noah – was part of their group now. Maybe they could actually get along. Kurt would just have to ignore the fact that Noah was actually a nice person or the way his shirt stretched over his muscles. Yes. He could ignore those things and still be around the brute, if it meant he could have his best fag hag back.
He took a step forward and opened the door. Their backs were to him. Mercedes was giggling, covering her mouth while she watched a YouTube video. She had headphones in, as usual, so her parents wouldn't get angry by the volume. Puck turned his head when he heard the door and smiled. Kurt took another step in and then the smile slipped from Puck's face.
He stood abruptly. Mercedes turned, surprised. She'd barely spotted Kurt and tugged the headphones out before Puck was right in front of Kurt, blocking his view.
"What the fuck happened?" He reached out as if he was going to touch Kurt's face and then dropped his hand when Kurt leaned away from him. Kurt swallowed, unsure of how to respond to Puck's... anger? protectiveness?
Mercedes stepped around the footballer, shoving him back, "Baby, what happened to your face!?" She reached up, unafraid to touch him. He winced a little; the bruise was more tender than he'd expected.
"I'm fine. My aunt, she's..." he moved his face away from her touch, "She's less accepting than my dad is, apparently." Mercedes looked appalled, so he elaborated, "She asked if I had any love interests, and my dad decided it was a great idea to insert the word boyfriend into the conversation. She called me a queer and slapped me, so I told dad I'd be at your house until she leaves tomorrow," he paused, "Is that okay?"
She punched him lightly on the arm, "Of course, you nerd." She kissed him on the unblemished cheek, and then started to move past him, "I'll get you some ice, baby."
She left. Kurt sat down on the bed, setting his duffel bag down beside it. Puck sat down beside him.
They sat in silence for a moment, before Puck leaned a little closer, "Are you okay?"
"I'll be fine." He didn't mean for it to come out so snappy, and he felt Puck deflate a little beside him, "I'm sorry, you know."
Puck glanced up, surprised. Kurt moved back to sit cross-legged at the head of the bed. Puck stayed where he was, head turned to stare at him.
"I've been fighting this... whatever this is," he waved between them loosely, "for so long, and it's tiring. I'm giving up. You win. I'll play nicely."
Puck grinned at him, "That's great, man!"
Kurt winced. "Please don't call me 'man'. Stick with Hummel," he paused, "or Kurt, if you like."
Mercedes walked in and took one look at Puck's face, "Damn, white-boy, you look like Kurt just offered to play nice." Puck kept smiling, and Kurt avoided her eyes – damn her for choosing the same words – when she looked at him. She squealed, "Oh, I'm so happy my two boys are finally going to get along."
She shoved the ice pack on Kurt's face in her excitement. He flinched sideways, "Ow!! 'Cedes!" Puck laughed as Kurt snatched the pack away from her, glaring.
She apologized, but considering the face-splitting grin she was sporting, Kurt didn't believe her. He tossed the icepack at her, laughing when she tried to catch it and ended up punching Puck in the eye. The mood in the room was the most relaxed it had been in weeks, and Kurt smiled. He hoped he didn't regret this decision.
Kurt had expected things to get better now that he was being nice to Puck, and Puck was being nice to him, but it started getting weird fast.
He didn't say anything to Mercedes, and if she knew anything was up she didn't say anything, but he was steadily finding it harder to be around a nice Puck.
After a few weeks, Puck started getting increasingly comfortable around him, which led to him standing closer to Kurt all the time and complimenting him and caring about his problems and smelling good. And okay, Kurt could admit that he had always smelled great, but the fact that he was close enough that Kurt could smell it every day was ridiculous.
Kurt tried to keep fantasizing about Finn, but whenever he tried he started to compare the two boys, it always ended the same. Now that Puck was nice and kind of charming and Kurt could appreciate how smart he was, Finn's stupidity had become increasingly unattractive.
He'd made it his goal to never be alone with Puck, so when Mercedes was forced to bail on a movie date to go visit her grandparents and didn't text them until they'd already met up at the theatre, he nearly had a panic attack.
Puck groaned when Kurt relayed the message, and then a slow smile spread across his face, "Can we see a horror?"
Kurt blinked at him for a minute, trying to think of something witty to say that wouldn't come out high and squeaky and embarrassing, and then just nodded. Kurt refused to find it endearing when Puck literally whooped with joy.
Kurt went to the theatre to save their seats, since it was a Friday and kind of busy, and Puck ventured off to buy himself some snacks. Kurt was thankful for the darkness of the theatre when Puck handed him a bottled water and a small yogurt without even asking what he might want; the blush on his face would've put an angry Sue Sylvester to shame.
He allowed himself to get so into the movie that he didn't realize that not only was he leaning closer to Puck, but his knee was touching Puck's. He bit his lip. He knew if he moved it, Puck would notice, but if he didn't, he would start twitching simply because he knew they were touching. He glanced sideways at Puck, trying to gauge the boy's attention. If Kurt wasn't mistaken, the boy was too focused on the movie.
He turned back just as the villain of the film jumped around a corner to murder the token sidekick, and he was surprised enough that he jumped. Puck snorted beside him, but Kurt was grateful for the scare. Their legs were no longer touching, and he was free to twitch and shake as much as his body demanded.
He was disappointed when the movie ended, because he knew his face would be bright red when they left. He was feeling emotional anyways – he'd been slushied three times at school and thrown in the dumpster – and the horror movie hadn't helped, and he was afraid that he'd blurt out something horrifying about his feelings.
Kurt should've known Puck was smart enough to figure out something was up. His voice sounded amused, but even though he knew it was stupid, he was immediately defensive, "Kurt, you're being weird."
All he could think of short notice was, "And you're being silly." He barely spared him a glance, walking purposefully and hoping to get to his car before Puck caught up.
"Dude, seriously, what's wrong!?" Puck launched himself forward to catch Kurt by the arm. Kurt wheeled around, suddenly furious.
"Let me go!" he shrieked, and several people entering the theatre glance over, but kept walking. Good to know none of them would actually help if he was really in trouble, "Noah, I'm just tired." He sighed, "Let me go."
Puck let go, but he didn't look happy, "I don't know what I did wrong."
Kurt paused, half turned away from him. That's a strange comment, he thought. "I'm just tired," he repeated.
"Mercedes said you'd like this." What!?
Kurt took an angry step towards him, practically hissing, "What!?"
Puck kept his eyes down. This sheepish side of Puck was freaking him out even more, but he couldn't afford to back down. Not when, if he wasn't mistaken, Mercedes had set them up on a date.
"Noah," he snapped his fingers under Puck's nose, "What are you talking about?"
Puck reached up to sweep a hand over his eyes, "I like you." It was mumbled, but Kurt heard it, "and Mercedes fucking figured it out and told me she'd set it up so we'd be alone."
Kurt stayed silent, trying to keep his elation at a manageable, inside his body, level.
"So," Kurt started, "This was a date?"
"It was supposed to be."
Kurt sighed, putting a hand on Noah's arm, "And you don't suppose you should have told me it was a date?"
Puck looked up, and Kurt smiled lightly. Kurt opened his mouth, and then Puck brought a hand up, just like he had the night Kurt had shown up with a bruise on his face, and Kurt froze.
The hand didn't drop this time. It reached up and caressed his cheek once, before curling around the back of his neck and pulling him forward. Kurt closed his eyes as their lips met and he wished he didn't think so much, because really, he should just enjoy his first kiss and not think about how he's suddenly pretty sure that Mercedes is a goddess.