A/N: I started this a few months ago, but I'm just now posting it. It is set after Sectionals. There are several similar stories out there but this is my take on it. I do want to mention that this is not going to be a-Puck suddenly realizes he's in love with Kurt- story.

Beyond the Pain

Kurt gripped the side of the sink tightly as the face in the mirror taunted him. His eyes were red and puffy, and his face was blotchy. Usually, he hated how he looked when he cried, but today he didn't care.

He couldn't believe it had happened again. After everything… everything that she had put him through. All the lies… the way she treated him. And he still… still went back to her.

Kurt had foolishly held out hope. Even knowing it was utterly hopeless. Even knowing he didn't have much of a chance. He could almost live with that. But not this! Not Finn taking Quinn back after all of the pain she had caused him. Pain that Kurt had helped him through.

It wasn't even his baby!

His chest felt tight, and he was having difficulty breathing. The pain was overwhelming. It was even worse than before.

Because this time it was unexpected. He and Finn had gotten closer as friends, and Finn usually confided in him. But Kurt hadn't known. There wasn't even a hint that Finn and Quinn were getting back together.

Until they announced it a few minutes ago… at Glee club.

The sound of the door crashing open broke through his thoughts. He turned in surprise to see Puck barging through the door. The other boy hadn't seen him yet and for that Kurt was grateful. Puck slammed his hand into the door of the stall, causing it to swing and bang loudly. Then he turned and noticed Kurt staring at him.

"What?" he yelled angrily. Kurt didn't say anything.

Puck ran his hand through his Mohawk. "Damn it! Why are you in here?"

The question sounded rhetorical, but Kurt answered anyway.

"Free country," he mumbled.

"Well, get out!" Puck looked like he might explode or cry, whichever came first.

Kurt didn't care. He was tired of taking orders.

"No," he replied softly but firmly.

"What did you say to me, Hummel?" He advanced on him menacingly.

Kurt looked him in the eyes then. "I said no, Puck."

"You might want to rethink that answer. I could easily kick your ass and not regret one second of it." He stood in front of him with his hands on his hips, and Kurt knew he meant every word.

"Then do it," Kurt said, this time louder. He even stepped forward toward the other boy. "Did you hear me? I said do it already. I'm not afraid of you, Puck. Right now I welcome the pain … I'm not afraid of being hurt, getting beat up … not afraid of dying. So do what you have to do!"

"What the hell is wrong with you?"

"Same thing that's bothering you… the elite couple. It's messed up… we're messed up."

"Speak for yourself!" He practically spat the words at him.

"Really? So you're fine with it then?"

Puck stepped closer to him, threateningly.

"You're pushing your luck, Kurt." His voice had a hard edge to it. Kurt knew he should be afraid, but he wasn't; he just felt angry.

"Just do it Puck!" Kurt yelled. "I want you to do it already or leave me the hell alone."

"You know what I want, Kurt?" Puck said pushing Kurt hard up against the wall. "I want answers. I want to know why… why Finn? What the hell is so great about him that she picks him over me? Not once… but twice. I'm the father of her baby, and she still picks him," he shouted. "Why is that?"

"You'll have to ask Quinn," Kurt replied.

"I'm asking you, Kurt!" His voice got lower, but it didn't lose any of its intensity or anger. "Why Finn? After all the pain he's put you through… you still want him? Why? Why him? Why not me? What's wrong with me, Kurt?"

Kurt looked at him in surprise.

"You have to ask that after all the torture… the hell… you put me through?"

"He was there, Kurt. Always there in the background. Maybe he didn't throw you in the dumpster, but he was there… holding your coat. Whatever. Did he try to stop it? No! He's just as guilty as I am. So I ask you again…" he said moving nearer to Kurt. "Why Finn?"

He was so close that Kurt could see the anger and the pain in his eyes.

"I don't know, okay? I don't know why. What does it matter? You hate me anyway."

"But that's not the point."

"You aren't gay, Puck."

"Neither is Finn."

His point hit home and caused another stab of pain in Kurt's already wounded heart.

"I'm just so sick of it! Quinn should want me. You should want me! Not Finn!" He was yelling again, and he focused all his energy on Kurt now. He slammed both hands on the wall, one on either side of Kurt's head.

Kurt felt that it was all coming to a head. Puck was going to hit him. He welcomed it. If he was lucky, he would be knocked unconscious and all the pain would end. At least for a little while.

"Go ahead, Puck. You know you want to hurt me. Hurt me for loving Finn. For choosing him over you…"

Puck grabbed his neck then, and Kurt was sure he was going to strangle him. Instead he held Kurt's face between his thumb and forefinger so that he was unable to move.

"What are you going to do, Puck," he whispered fiercely.

In response, Puck crushed his mouth against Kurt's. The kiss was harsh, angry… and unexpected.

It was not the first kiss he'd always dreamed about but at that moment, Kurt didn't care. He understood the kiss… wanted it even. He was angry, frustrated. So he kissed him back. Puck deepened the kiss. He seemed encouraged by Kurt's response. Although he might have responded the same way even if Kurt hadn't wanted it. It was almost like they were fighting to see who could win. Puck pinned him against the wall, reducing the already small amount of space between them.

Kurt felt like he was on fire. A fire that was burning away at the memory of Quinn and Finn together. He put his hands around Puck's neck to pull him closer.

Just as suddenly, Puck pulled away. He was breathing heavily. Kurt just stared at him, the implications of what they had just done starting to become clear.

"What the hell was that, Noah?"

But the other boy just shook his head.

"I'm not gay," he said finally. "I don't like guys… and I especially don't like you."

Kurt was unmoved by his admission. It's not like he cared for him either.

"I mean… no offense… but you're all prissy most of the time and some of the stuff you wear… "

"The feeling is mutual, Puck. I've never liked you. You are a Neanderthal jerk. You're stuck on yourself, and you think everyone should worship you."

Puck just gave him an annoyed look.

"But," Kurt continued, "We're both feeling the same pain right now. There's a connection between us because of what we're going through with Finn and Quinn. That's probably why we …"

"Another problem you have, Kurt," Puck said, interrupting him, "is that you talk way too goddamn much." And with that he grabbed Kurt and pulled him into another fevered kiss … full of anger, frustration, and… need.

And Kurt kissed him back just as hard.