Disclaimer: I own nothing.
A/N: This was written for a prompt over at the glee_angst_meme on livejournal.


It's a weird arrangement. Kurt is sitting on the edge of the couch, his back ramrod straight and his hands curled into fists on his lap.

Finn has invited a bunch of the football guys over to celebrate winning a game without the help of Kurt's powerhouse kick. The only one Kurt knows and doesn't mind being around is, shockingly, Puck. The rest have all participated in the dumpster diving within the past two weeks and two of them have slushied him.

Mercifully, Puck sits next to him and he relaxes very slightly. Finn brings in a couple cans of pop and hands them out, and Kurt just hopes none of them mention anything about him being there.

About an hour into the "party," Kurt is avidly watching the action movie that Finn has turned on and is fairly annoyed at the fact that nobody else is watching and they're all interrupting his viewing process.

He's knows it's a mistake the second he opens his mouth, "Can you boys stop talking about how fantastic your football skills are for one minute or should I turn the film off?"

A boy named Paul opens his mouth just as Burt walks in the front door and, naturally, what comes out of his mouth is completely unintelligent and appallingly offensive, "Can't you shut your face off, faggot!"

Kurt flinches–it's one thing to be called a fag on a daily basis during school, but another to be insulted in his own home in front of his father–and he watches his Dad's eyebrows furrow and his hands roll into tight fists.

Kurt opens his mouth to defend himself–mainly so his Dad doesn't go to jail for murdering this Paul–but before Kurt or his Dad can do anything, Puck has launched himself across the coffee table and knocked Paul flat off the chair.

Kurt stands immediately and shouts for Puck to stop, but the boys roll on the floor, hitting each other viciously. Kurt has no idea who is winning.

Burt and Finn finally manage to haul Puck off of Paul, who uses the chair to help himself stand. Kurt moves in front of Puck and quietly tells him to stop again, and he seems to calm down, meeting Kurt's eyes with his own impossibly angry ones and bloody nose.

"You a fag too now, Puckerman?"

Burt lets go of Puck and turns around, but Kurt doesn't move. Puck stays where he is and flinches, not making an effort to get out of Finn's grasp or around Kurt's thin frame, and Kurt hears the tell-tale crack and then his Dad's voice, disturbingly smooth, "Let's talk."

Kurt turns Puck around as his Dad starts dragging Paul out of the house, and they make their way up the stairs and into the bathroom, where Puck sits down heavily on the toilet while Kurt runs a small towel under warm water.

Kurt presses the towel to his face and wipes the blood gently. He fully expects Puck to take the towel from him and clean himself, but he lets Kurt do it and keeps his eyes closed.

"What were you thinking?"

Puck shrugs, opening his eyes again, "It's your house and he thinks he can get away with that bullshit? No way, man."

Kurt sighs, "While I'm perfectly aware of how uncalled for the comment was, I'm also perfectly capable of defending myself."

They pause for a minute, listening to Burt screaming at Paul on the front lawn, and then Puck breaks the silence, "I know, but sometimes your biting words aren't enough to make them stop."

Kurt raises one eyebrow with precision, "And they were enough to make you stop?"

Puck glances at him, "Well, not really," he flashes Kurt a cocky grin, "but if somebody would've beaten me up over it I might have calmed down a bit."

Kurt moves away to wash the towel again. Blood runs in the sink and over his hands, so he stares at himself in the mirror instead.

"My Dad punched him, didn't he?"

Puck laughs a little, "Yeah."

Kurt turns, leaning against the counter, and realizes Puck is turned to look at him again, "Why did you attack him? You saw my Dad, how angry he was. You knew that he was going to get in trouble for it, but you threw yourself at that fight."

Puck's smile flickers but doesn't fall off his face entirely, "You're my friend." It's so simple, the way he says it, but Kurt knows their friendship–if that's what this is–is anything but simplistic.

He says as much, "It's not that simple."

Puck shrugs, standing and wiping a hand up and over his shaved head, "It is to me."

Puck skirts around him and leaves through the open bathroom door, and Kurt listens to him descend the stairs again.

Kurt stands in the bathroom for a minute and then sighs. If Puck wants to be his friend he really doubts there is anything he can do to prevent it and he isn't completely sure he would prevent it.