A/N: Written for the glee_angst_meme, the prompt: "Puck's mom has an on again off again boyfriend who abuses him sexually. Now they're on again and said boyfriend has moved into their house. After the last time they broke up, when Puck thought he was gone for good, he told Finn about the abuse."
Finn didn't understand Puck. May never have done so. He came closer to it with certain events; good and bad, but he never quite got there.
One of these events was last summer. It was two AM and Finn was sound asleep, only to be woken but by a rock flying through his window and hitting him in the head.
"Oww," he whined, before pulling himself out of bed, to figure who the hell was throwing rocks at him at two AM. He was a bit confused when he saw his mohawked best friend lingering down there, looking down.
"Puck?" Finn asked, and barely saw Puck's nod.
"Let me in, dude," he said, and Finn had to go to the front door to comply.
"Okay, if you wake my mom up, I will be forced to kick your ass into winter, but whatever it is… Holy shit," he trailed off when he got a closer look at Puck. He was a mess. His eyes were puffy and red like he'd been crying – since when did Puck let anyone see him crying? – his clothes were dishevelled, his mohawk messed up and sticking up at odd angles, there seemed to be blood on him, and he kept pulling his body toward him like he was scared it may crumble and fall on the carpet.
"Puck?" he asked, as if he couldn't believe this wreck he was seeing was actually his best friend. Puck raised one of his odd trademark half-smiles.
"Hey dude," he said, and fell more than stepped inside. Finn actually caught him, feeling how Puck went stiff and rigid at being touched.
Puck pulled away quickly. "Don't catch me, man; I'm not a girl," he said, bright tone somewhat undercut by the sniffle that followed.
"Sorry. But… dude, are you okay?" Finn asked, and Puck didn't answer. Finn watched as a drop of blood made it's way off Puck's jeans, and onto Finn's mom's carpet. "Dude, you're bleeding on the floor; my mom will kill me."
Puck looked down to see the stain the blood was quickly forming. "Oh," he said, sounding distracted. Finn thought the stain kind of looked like an elephant. A very small elephant.
Puck stumbled away, and managed to collapse onto Finn's couch. He curled up in the foetal position, without seeming to notice it, but that just made Finn more worried. He slowly braced himself and walked over to the couch, sitting beside Puck, and not missing the way his best friend recoiled when he got closer. "Dude, what's going on?" Finn asked with as gently as he could. It wasn't very gentle, but points for trying.
"Last opportunity," Puck muttered into the sofa covering.
"What?" Finn asked. "Dude, you're freaking me out."
Puck snorted a little. "Sorry. This was stupid, I just..." his voice trailed off, and he looked down. "My mom broke up with her boyfriend," he said.
Finn blinked. "Again?" he asked nonchalantly. "Wait, this kind of doesn't explain the crying and the bleeding and the throwing rocks at me at two AM."
"They're done for good this time. He knows it. And I wasn't crying," Puck said, slapping Finn on the arm. "It's just... complicated. I shouldn't be here."
"Dude, what's up? If you are showing up now, there is something freaking wrong. You're scaring me," Finn said, and looked at the blood Puck was now slowly dripping onto the couch. "Did he like, hit you or something? Because that dude is creepy; it wouldn't surprise me."
"No dude. He didn't hit me," Puck said, smirking strangely on 'hit me', as if it was some kind of a joke Finn just wasn't getting.
The two boys paused for a few seconds, while Finn tried to collect an idea of what to say. "Then... what?"
Puck laughed bitterly. "You're an idiot," he said, and while Finn was about to protest, Puck curled into his side. "Shut your mouth," he said before Finn could get a word out. "You point out how gay this is, I will kick your ass."
Finn nodded, confused. Still, he snaked an arm around Puck's back, rubbing circles slowly like he had been taught to with crying babies. Wait, did someone actually teach him that? Anyway. "Puck, just tell me what's going on. If I don't have a good reason there's blood all over the lounge room my mother will destroy me."
"Last opportunity," Puck muttered again, and it didn't make any more sense this time. "That's what he said."
Finn blinked a few more times. "Wait, dude, I don't get it. Would you just, like, explain?"
Puck's mouth formed a tight, white line. "Check where the blood is coming from," he said.
Finn looked over, and tried to follow the blood. There wasn't that much, but what was there rather clearly led back to Puck's ass. Finn frowned and looked away, stupidly paranoid about Puck thinking he was looking there, even if he was only doing it because Puck himself said.
It took a few more moments for the realization to hit; more him to turn back to Puck, jaw gaping. Finn was stupid and naive, but even he wasn't that stupid and naive – even though he really wanted to be right now – and he could kind of guess what would make Puck bleed from there, what would make him come around at two AM all teary-eyed and not-walking-right.
"Dude. No way," he said, shocked and shaking his head. "Puck, c'mon, man, these things wouldn't happen to you," he repeatedly insisted, not really believing it, or realizing the implications of those words.
"Well sorry if it's like, inconvenient or something," Puck snapped, sharply bringing Finn back to reality.
"Oh, uh... sorry?" he offered weakly. Puck didn't answer, just squirmed a bit and wriggled closer. "Have you told your mom?"
Puck snorted. "No. Haven't for the four years we've known the bastard, no reason to change it now."
Something in Finn's brain snapped as he fought desperately to control his gag reflex. "You mean... he's done this to you before...?"
"Not quite this. Different. Just, y'know, less. I mean, he'd... but he'd never take it all the way; like he was saving me for later or some shit. But, I mean, there isn't gonna be a later now, so..." Puck trailed off, shivering a little.
"Dude, should I take you to like, a hospital or something?"
"I'm not hurt."
"You're bleeding, dude."
"Are you going to tell your mom?" Finn asked. "Or, y'know, anyone?"
"What did I just say? No."
"I think you should."
"I didn't ask you to think," Puck snapped at him, body going rigid again. But he didn't move. "If I told Mom? It'd kill her. Either she'd be ashamed of me for letting it happen, or she'd wanna kill herself for bringing that bastard into our house. Depends what mood she's in, but she's never exactly Miss Sunshine-and-Lollipops after she's split from a guy, so I'm not taking a chance."
"Do not try and convince me, dude. This is just us; you know, to the grave."
Finn sighed. He knew that it was pretty much hopeless to convince Puck of anything; especially anything that might threaten his badass-ness.
"Okay, fine," he reluctantly agreed. "I reckon you're crazy, but fine."
Puck smiled sadly. "Thanks dude," he said, body loosening up again, and he curled into Finn's side tighter. Yeah, somewhere at the back of Finn's mind he was kind of aware of how gay this looked, but that really wasn't the point; not when he just had the sickening revelation of a lifetime, and all Puck's cuddling up to him like a wounded puppy was doing was undercutting his attempts to seem cool and badass even when revealing his massive trauma.
"I'm going to kill him," Finn murmured, half to himself.
"That's sweet and all, but that requires knowing who he is. You haven't met him. I haven't told you his last name, and I kind of won't if I think you'll go put yourself in jail for life."
"That's not funny."
"I know," Puck said. "Look, I just... he's gone now," Puck swallowed deeply. "They're over for good and he's gone and it's finished; I just want to forget the whole thing now."
"I don't really think that can be healthy."
"I know," Puck admitted. "This is so unfair."
Finn sighed. "So if you're just trying to forget, why did you show up at two AM to tell me everything?"
Puck tried to shrug, but couldn't quite hide the shaking of his shoulders. "I just... didn't want to sleep in that room, you know."
"...Thanks?" Finn said uncomfortably, and Puck laughed. But an awkward silence followed soon anyway.
"Dude, I'm sorry," said Finn.
"It's your fault... how?"
"You should have told me."
"I just did."
"I meant, like, earlier. Like four years ago or whatever. Back when I could have done something."
Puck sighed. "Doesn't matter. I'm almost too old for him anyway," he said with a disgusted grimace.
"Dude, you don't have to... Look, this has got to suck – I have no idea how much – and you don't have to pretend it's not."
"I'm not going to feel sorry for myself," Puck bristled. "It happened, he left, now we get to move on. I just... can't be in that house tonight," he conceded. "Can I just stay the night? I'll get out before your mom wakes up."
"Of course dude," said Finn, unsure why Puck even needed to ask. Ever since they were little kids, staying over at each other's houses with and without their parents knowledge was just part of them. Whether they were vanishing for good reasons, bad reasons, or not giving reasons in general (Puck did that a lot, and it made Finn's stomach churn to think of what those may have been), their houses were always open for each other. It was the same thing that meant Puck was the only guy aware of Finn's 'mailman' problem, or that Puck would never hit on Finn's mom or girlfriend or some other girl Finn would react badly to, the same thing that meant Finn was the only person ever who had seen Puck cry.
They were brothers, that simple.
"I'm here if you need help," Finn said, and maybe it was kind of cliche, but it was true.
"I don't need help," Puck responded flatly.
Finn was tempted to say I don't believe you, but kept his mouth shut. Instead, he just took Puck up to his room – not missing the way his best friend winced a little with each step – and gave him the bed. Puck eventually dropped off, but ironically, Finn couldn't; he stayed awake all night, watching his best friend's fitful sleep. He didn't mind.
The next morning, when Puck was gone and Finn's mom was up, there was still blood on the couch. This wasn't going to go well.
"Finn," Carole said in the most reasonable, calm tone she could muster. "How did blood get on our couch?"
Finn's mouth went dry as he looked back and forth between his mother and the stains. He had been half-hoping the whole thing had been some kind of terrible, fucked-up nightmare, and in reality, Puck was just fine. But those stains were proving otherwise. Finn needed to think of a lie, fast, and he'd never been a good liar. Fuck.
"Uh, it was Puck," Finn admitted that much. His mom looked unsurprised. "He came in last night; he'd been in, uh... a fight. Didn't want to go home and get flayed by his mom."
His mom seemed to believe it, and swallowed. "You shouldn't let him in like this without telling me, especially when he's just avoiding discipline. I'm not sure I think he's a good influence anyway; what kind of kid is out fighting in the middle of the night, and needs to drag the problem to his best friend's front door?"
"Hey, that's not fai-" Finn cut himself off midway through. While his mom was awesome, he hated lying, he thought Puck keeping everything secret was crazy, and his mom probably would help if she knew, Finn had made a promise. He was not going to break it, no way.
His mother cocked her head to the side. "What is it, honey?"
"Nothing," said Finn.
To the grave, he had said, and that was where he was taking it.