Title: What's It All About?
Word Count: 2012
Rating: R for language and sexual innuendo
Spoilers: Up to Funk
Summary: Life had returned to normal after Kurt's birthday party. Normal and yet... not. (Sequel to Live a Little.)
Breakfast in the Hummel household was something of a ritual. No matter how hectic their schedules, Burt and Kurt always tried to make time to eat breakfast together in the morning. Breakfast time was family time—one particular bit of family time the Hudsons didn't manage to infiltrate. After his father's falling out with Finn, he cherished breakfast time all the more.
Today was Friday and Fridays were even more of a special occasion. On Fridays, Kurt let his father eat Frosted Flakes or whatever other disgusting, sugar-laden cereal he wanted, and he promised not to make even one reference to Wilford Brimley.
There was, however, one topic that could drive Kurt away from the breakfast table, even on a Friday—boys.
His father didn't bring the subject up very often, but when he did, it was always the most awkward, stilted, humiliating kind of conversation known to man. Like today, for instance:
"So, Kurt," Burt said, "Is there anything I should know about going on between you and that Puckerman kid?"
Kurt's serrated spoon slipped and stabbed into his grapefruit, spraying citrus juice into his eyes. "Owowow, oh damn it, ow!"
"I'll take that as a 'yes,'" Burt said with an eyebrow raised, looking at his son over the top of his newspaper.
"Dad," Kurt said as he scrubbed his hand over his stinging eyes, somehow dragging the word out into two syllables. Since when had his father been so in tune with his crushes? "No. There is absolutely nothing going on between me and Noah Puckerman."
"But you'd like there to be," Burt said, and he continued despite Kurt's chokingly unintelligible protestations, "I mean, if you like boys, I could see how—"
"Dad!" Kurt interrupted before his father could say anything truly embarrassing. "Please, I cannot be having this conversation with you right now."
"What? I'm confident enough in my masculinity to admit that he's an... aesthetically attractive guy."
"Lalala, I can't hear you!" Kurt sing-songed as he picked up the rest of his grapefruit and fled the kitchen.
"We're gonna have to talk sometime, you know!" Burt called after him.
Life had returned to normal after Kurt's birthday party. Normal and yet... not.
Back at school, his new awareness of Puck was indeed proving to be inconvenient, even when Mr. Shue wasn't conspiring against his skinny jeans by giving out assignments like the one that led to Puck singing The Lady is a Tramp wearing The Outfit.
No, glee was difficult enough on a regular day. Why had he never noticed how often he sat next to Puck? Or stood next to him, sang next to him, danced next to him?
He knew the answer, of course.
Before, Puck had been the asshole who tossed him in dumpsters and threw slushies in his face and attached furniture to his roof like he thought that scene from The Parent Trap with pre-crazy Lindsay Lohan was a how-to lesson. Certainly not potential infatuation fodder. And after Puck joined glee, he was still an asshole. It just didn't affect Kurt's life as much. He hadn't cared about Noah Puckerman one way or the other, as long as they stayed out of each other's path.
He cared now. Oh, how he cared! He cared so much he could write sonnets dedicated to the flashes of light reflected off of Puck's belt buckle. He wanted to be that belt buckle. He wanted to run his hands over the boy's newly shorn scalp. He wanted...
He wanted a lot of things he was simply never going to have.
That night, Kurt sat in his room, singing not-too-softly to himself while performing his daily skin care regimen. The soundtrack to his life had taken a shift lately; when he was alone, he started replacing the names in love songs with "Puck" or "Puckerman" or "Noah", depending on how many syllables there were in the original name. He could get really creative when none of those fit quite right.
He serenaded Invisible Puck late into the night when he was feeling down or lonely. Invisi-Puck gazed at him lovingly—or lustily, at least—and he never laughed at him or insulted him or anything. He'd never had such an unrealistic fantasy in his entire life.
Kurt had it bad for Noah Puckerman. It was starting to make him question his sanity. Like tonight, when Invisi-Puck suddenly became a lot more visible.
Kurt spun around to find a very solid, very real-looking Puck frozen mid-step at the foot of his staircase.
Of course he had to show up right in the middle of one of Kurt's lyrically-altered musical numbers—a particularly passionate rendition of "Noah" sung to the tune of "Alfie", a song choice he thought was rather apropos, considering Puck's reputation.
"Oh my God, Puck! What are you doing here?"
"Your dad let me in."
Of course his dad let him in. That sneaky little conniving... gah! He was so going to murder his father in his sleep for this one.
"I take it you've moved on from Finn," Puck said, sounding nonchalant and a little sarcastic, after Kurt said nothing for a bit too long.
Of course he was going to say—wait a minute... He had expected ridicule and homophobic remarks and quite possibly a slow, painful death if Puck ever found out about his crush. But here he was, launched forcefully out of the Puck-crush closet, and Puck didn't even seem angry. Not at all. In fact, the awkwardness—that adorable, endearing, butterfly-inducing awkwardness—from Kurt's birthday was back.
"That wasn't what it looked like," Kurt said, a denial coming way, way too late.
"Sure it wasn't." OK, now Puck sounded a lot sarcastic.
Sweet baby Jesus, he knew! He really, really knew. Well, no sense denying it anymore, then...
"Don't you mind that I have a crush on you? Doesn't it count as a black mark against your hyper-masculine, tough-guy image?"
Puck shrugged. "The way I see it, if you want to have lots of hot monkey lovin' with me, it's just more evidence that Puckosaurus Sex is irresistible."
"So my romantic interest is good for your ego," Kurt said, his voice flat, unamused.
Puck's stance beat Finn's homo-paranoia, unexpectedly so, but it still left a lot to be desired. Figuratively speaking, of course. Not like one might desire a bewigged, tight-clothed, high-heel platform boot wearing guitar player in full-face makeup. With arms to die for. Not like that at all.
Kurt's face reddened and he was thankful Puck decided to poke around at that moment, taking in what remained of the redecorating.
"This where all the magic happened with you and Brittany?"
"Gay, I know. Never stopped her before," Puck said, as he looked the room over one more time, "Damn. I would kill for a love shack bachelor pad like this."
"Shit yes! Nothing puts a crimp in your style quicker than your mom and your sister waltzing into the living room for a marathon of The Nanny right when you're about to get your groove on with some chick."
"I wouldn't know," Kurt said, watching the other boy finish his unguided tour of the room, " What are you doing here, Puck?"
Puck looked over in his general direction, but didn't quite meet his eyes. "Hell, I don't know, Hummel. You seemed kinda emo at school, even after we owned Carmel's asses. I guess I just wanted to see..." he trailed off and shoved his hands in his pockets roughly before continuing, "Are things going better with your dad?"
Kurt's stomach did that little flip it did whenever Puck said something unexpectedly caring. "Yeah. Yeah, they are."
"Good. Cool. That's..."—Puck's brow furrowed—"cool."
An uncomfortable silence fell over the two boys, until out of the blue:
"Have you ever kissed a guy?"
"I—what?" Kurt was completely flustered. Flummoxed. Baffled. Any number of other words meaning confused and wrong-footed.
"It's a simple question, Hummel. Have you kissed a guy or not?"
"Not. I mean, no. I haven't."
"But you want to."
"Of course I do!" Kurt exclaimed. He wanted to remind Puck that he was a red-blooded teenage boy, just like him, and he was interested in sex and all that went with it, just like him, but the best way to prove it would probably have adverse effects on his facial bones. He sat down quickly to avoid the temptation.
"So..." Puck said, as he plunked himself down on the sofa next to Kurt, "You wanna make out?"
"Excuse me?" Kurt squeaked. He actually squeaked. He had to be hallucinating. There was no way, no possible way, that this was actually happening.
"What? I've never kissed another dude either. What if I like it? You never know until you try," Puck said, unintentionally echoing Coach Sylvester's theory about sexuality. "Isn't that what you guys want anyway? Equality and shit?"
Again, Kurt wanted to explain that equality didn't actually mean everyone making out with everyone all the time just because, but his mouth wouldn't cooperate with him. His brain obviously decided its attention was better served elsewhere; his pulse sped up, his breathing quickened, his palms were suddenly and disconcertingly sweaty.
Because even though he was pretty sure this would end just as disastrously as his own experiments with Brittany, there was a small part of him—OK, not so small, actually—that wanted to make use of Puck's momentary vacation from his senses and find out once and for all what it would feel like.
To finally kiss a boy.
"...OK. Let's do it," he said after a few moments, against all his better judgment. Puck leaned in towards him so fast that Kurt's hands shot up to his shoulders automatically, stopping him. "Whoa there, tiger. Could we just... take it a little slower, please?"
Puck pulled back slightly, but Kurt didn't take his hands away. Puck's shoulders were just too good to be true, all those tight muscles tensed under Kurt's fingers. He squeezed surreptitiously, experimentally, and then swallowed thickly. Meeting Puck's eyes, he gave a small nod and said, "OK."
Puck sat up the rest of the way instead of moving forward again; Kurt fought off a not-so-tiny wave of panic and braced himself for the inevitable fist to the face, because Puck had obviously come to his senses just in time. When the touch came, though, it wasn't a closed fist, but an open hand; it wasn't even a slap. Puck was... cupping his face. The rough, callused skin of Puck's thumb pulled on his lips, just a little, and his breath caught in his throat.
"Slow enough for ya?" Puck asked, and then his lips covered Kurt's.
Kurt was floating. The warmth and pressure of lips, the scratchy slide of stubble, the hand on his cheek, the shaved head under his own fingers, the distinctly male scent of Puck surrounding him—it was sensory overload. It was almost too much.
Just when Kurt thought his chest was about to explode, Puck pulled back. He was above him now, supporting himself with his arms; Kurt was flat on his back and hadn't noticed how he got there.
Puck had a smug little lopsided grin on his face and he asked, "So, was it good for you?"
Kurt didn't trust his voice not to humiliate him again, so he just nodded. God, this was just like puberty again. And puberty sucked. During puberty, it had taken him two whole weeks to meet Mr. Shue's eyes each time the man dropped the chalk in Spanish class and bent down to pick it back up. (Most of the other boys still looked like boys at the time; Mr. Shuester was a man and Kurt's traitorous body had reacted accordingly.)
One thing was for certain: he was now one-hundred-fifty-bajillion percent sure that he was gay.