I don't own anything Glee-related. I'm thinking of buying a shirt, but that's about it.
Little known fact: the average backpack is capable of holding about 35 lbs of jellybeans. You might have to squish 'em down a little to fit, but press hard enough and you can just get the zipper over that seventh jumbo bag. Puck hitched the bag up higher on his back and whistled happily as he passed a pair of teachers in the parking lot. Nothing suspicious here, ma'am, just a studious student, off on his way to…study. Yeah, that's it.
Locker 345 in the science wing. This was going to be the best prank ever. Kurt hadn't actually done anything flamboyantly annoying this week, but his locker was in just the right spot. Ever since Quinn had called him a "moronic Neanderthal who wouldn't know an original thought if it shaved his stupid Mohawk in the middle of the night", he had been stealing a bag of rainbow jellybeans a day from the convenience store. Not the one where he bought his dip and slushies, because it would really suck if he got banned, but the other, lamer one across the street. He'd show her original. And like he said, Kurt actually hadn't been too bad lately, but his locker was only 20 feet from Quinn's, so she'd be sure to see the awesomeness of a million freaking jellybeans raining down on Hummel's head and be forced to eat her words. And it's not like it was mean or anything. It wouldn't stain the loser's precious designer clothes like the garbage or a slushie shower. And seriously, they were rainbow jellybeans. It would probably make his day. Yeah. See? Puck could be freaking thoughtful.
Puck was so pumped about the complete brilliance that was his brain that he almost didn't notice Tina standing in the middle of the hall. In fact, by the time he did notice her, he was about three feet away from mowing her down, and had to stop abruptly to avoid a collision. "Block traffic much?" he sneered, not really annoyed because Stutterfly didn't really talk enough to bother him, but still: standing in the middle of the hall not moving was kind of stupid when the hall was like, ten feet wide and some people were trying to commit mayhem.
And then he noticed that she was crying. Shit. If there was one thing that Puck did not know how to deal with, it was a crying chick. And physics homework. But crying chicks were a little more messy and lethal, not to mention more likely to key your car if you didn't apologize fast enough. And this particular crying chick seemed like the type to own a crowbar or a flamethrower or something equally destructive. With that thought, Puck immediately began backpedaling. "Whoa, hey, uh…it's okay. Don't cry. You can stand there if you want." Nothing. Shit. Plan B. Puck dropped his backpack at her feet and booked it down the hall to locker 345, dialing the combination as fast as he could.
Tissues, tissues, Hummel had like, twelve thousand beauty products jammed in his locker, how could he not have any freaking tissues?! Spotting a pack of facial wipes, he sighed with relief and snatched them before running back to the human mascara fountain, who was standing exactly where he had left her. "Uh, here," he said stupidly, pulling out a strangely fragrant wipe and handing it to Tina. "They're Hummel's, so they'll probably make your face smell like a Jonas Brother's concert or something equally horrifying, but I couldn't find any tissues." Tina blinked slowly at him. "Jonas Brothers?" She asked, in that tone that all girls seem to possess for the sole purpose of making guys feel stupid. "Yeah, Jonas Brothers. I have a little sister, okay?" he snapped back. "Are you gonna take this, or are you gonna keep dripping sad clown makeup all over the floor?" She exhaled loudly, a deep, shuddering sound that nearly made Puck piss himself in fear that he'd stepped in it and that she was going to start blubbering again. He was just about to duck and cover when Tina surprised him by reaching out and taking the wipe from his hand. Puck let out his own exhale. Crisis averted.
Tina sat down with her back against the lockers and began methodically cleaning the smeared makeup off her face. It didn't look like she was going to flip out again, so Puck figured he was home free. He reached down to grab his bag and was just about to head back down the hall when he spotted the wheelchair. It was empty, just parked in the doorway to the math room, or maybe it was an English room. One of those classes he didn't ever go to. Slowly, the wheels started turning. Not the wheels on the wheelchair, because that would be stupid and a little sci-fi since there was nobody in it, but the wheel in Puck's brain. Stutterfly was practically surgically attached to Artie, and Artie wasn't here. Just an empty wheelchair. And she was crying. Suddenly, it clicked.
"Did some pedophile kidnap Wheels and leave his chair? Should we be calling the police or the fire department or something?" Tina gave him an incredulous look, the facial equivalent to the tone she had used earlier. "Ok, so that's a no," Puck said, rubbing his hand over his Mohawk in frustration. He couldn't think of any other potential explanation as to why the wheelchair would be here without the dude who sat in it, except maybe…"Can he walk now?"
At that, Tina burst into a fresh round of tears. God, what the hell did he say?! Puck looked back and forth between his backpack full of jellybeans and the crying SheVamp broodingly. There was nothing for it. Dropping the bag back on the floor and sighing, he plopped down next to Tina, leaning back against the lockers and stretching his legs out in front of him. Much as he wanted to run like hell, he couldn't just leave her crying all by herself, especially since somehow this time it was sorta his fault. Man, being a good person was seriously starting to suck hard. He should have just skipped the whole jellybean thing and switched up his routine by throwing a milkshake or a pee balloon in someone's face instead, then he wouldn't be here after school in the first place. Then he realized that Tina was talking to him.
"…just so tired of lying, and I didn't want to do it anymore, you know? He didn't deserve it. So I told him the truth, thinking that if anyone was going to get it, it would be him. But instead, he just got mad and said that we had nothing in common anymore and just left." She banged her head against the locker behind her. "And now he's pissed and probably won't ever talk to me again, and it's all my fault for lying to him for so long."
Puck looked at her, confused as all hell. "You just said he got mad at you for telling the truth, not for lying," he pointed out, trying to follow the logic. Man, he really should have listened to the first part of the story. Maybe then his head wouldn't hurt so hard trying to figure out what the hell she was talking about. Clearly she was talking about Wheels, and they'd gotten into some sort of fight, which was kind of ridiculous because the two of them were so non-confrontational that they were practically Amish. Or Quaker. Whichever one of those groups it was that wore stupid hats and didn't believe in fighting. But that was as far as he'd gotten. "Well yeah, but if I hadn't lied in the first place, then I wouldn't have had to tell the truth, and he wouldn't have gotten mad at me," she was explaining.
Okay, explanations were totally supposed to make things simpler, not confuse him even more. "Telling the truth is supposed to be a good thing," he informed her. Much to his surprise, she snorted. "Yeah, it is," she replied. "And bad things are only supposed to happen to bad people, and you're supposed to be judged on the content of your character, and all that other stuff that sounds great in theory but just isn't always true. Haven't you ever lied to someone because telling the truth would just suck?" Uh, seriously? His lie was about 3 months along and forcing Quinn Fabray into a new size dress every other week. "Touche, Asian." He conceded. "So what was this big lie, anyway?" Her face went completely blank, and for a minute, Puck thought she wasn't going to answer. Finally she looked over at him and raised an eyebrow. "Have you noticed anything different about this conversation?" she asked him, eyes boring into his. "As opposed to what," he countered, "the thousands of other conversations we've ever had?" Tina smiled sadly at him. And then it clicked. For real this time. "Holy shit," he realized, "You don't stutter."
And then she was crying again—seriously, what the hell did he say? She already knew she didn't stutter, it wasn't like he was dropping a bombshell—but it was a different kind of crying, as if she didn't even notice she was doing it. And it didn't make Puck feel so uncomfortable as before, maybe because she wasn't freaking out this time. "That's the big secret?" he pressed, still a little incredulous. "What the hell is Wheels so mad about, then? Doesn't he realize that you'll be like, fifty times less annoying now that you can get a sentence out in less than three days?" Tina shook her head. "That's kind of the point," she explained. "He's mad that now I can be normal, and he's still stuck in the wheelchair for the rest of his life. It's not funny!"
But it kind of was, and Puck was laughing harder than he had laughed all week, even harder than when Brittany had eaten seven of his bake sale cupcakes and had mistaken Santana for the chick on the raisin boxes. Which had been hilarious. "No, it really is funny," he told her. "You, normal? I don't care if you can recite Shakespeare backwards standing on your head—you are not normal. You're like, so far from normal, even Berry's got a head start on you." Tina looked like she was going to be mad for a second, but then she broke and started to giggle. "Yeah," Puck continued, encouraged, "and he's pissed at you because he can't walk? How the hell is that your fault? He's in a freaking wheelchair, you didn't run his ass over with a semi." He looked over at her. There were still faint streaks of crazy makeup on her face, but she looked a lot happier and less likely to start the waterworks again. Which was good, because he didn't know how many more quips he had left. And he was going to be late for his fight club if he wasn't back on the road in about ten minutes.
He stood up and held out his hand to help her to her feet. "If you tell anyone I was nice to you, I'll fill your freaky combat boots with onion dip," he warned her, "but I think Wheels's the idiot here, not you." She smiled up at him, and for the first time, it reached her eyes. "This never happened," she assured him, and started walking down the hall toward the front door. Finally.
Puck stared at her until she turned the corner, and hefted his bag back onto his shoulder. And headed for locker 236 instead. He hadn't lied to Schuester when he said he liked Artie, but there are some things a dude just doesn't do. And leaving your stutterless girlfriend to terrify Puck with her scary girl-tears was one of them.