Disclaimer: I own nothing related to Glee, That all belongs to Ryan Murphy and FOX and everyone else :P I don't profit from this in any way, except perhaps emotionally.
Eventual Slash, I'm not certain just yet when this is set (stupid I know) but its after the incident in Theatrically, so Kurt and Finn are kinda strained still
Oh and, I really can't deal with Quinn being pregnant, because I don't want to and really there are only so many places you can go with that (they raise it together, she loses it, adoption) and I feel like I don't wanna go there, so yeah, I'm gonna have to figure out Quinn a little, since being pregnant changed her so much, how will she be in this fic?
"Alright guys, that was actually a pretty decent practice for once." Coach Tanaka yelled as the football team began to walk slowly to the locker rooms. "I'll have to thank Ms. Sylvester for keeping the Cheerios indoors today."
Puck chuckled to himself lightly, shaking his head. The Cheerios usually proved to be a welcome distraction from Coaches short shorts and over active whistle, but even Puck had to admit to himself that not having them around had lead to a more productive practice than he could remember. As he walked into the locker room and started peeling off his clothing, he looked around, noting the exhausted looks etched on the faces of his team mates.
"Man," Finn said, smiling at Puck wearily, "Coach really gave it to us today."
"Totally, guess he's lookin' to take out his frustration or something." Puck muttered, "Someone should tell him to just eat another Twinkie."
"I don't know if his shorts could hold that in man." Finn replied.
Puck finished stripping off his clothes and moved over towards the showers. He turned one on full blast, setting the water to get just a little bit hotter than he usually liked, to ease his aching muscles. He stepped under the spray, allowing all of the noise and distractions around him to melt away as he closed his eyes and focused on the feeling of the hot water running down his body.
Today had been a long day for Puck and he was grateful that it was over and even more grateful that after his shower he could get in his truck, go home and get into his sweatpants, determined to have a lazy Friday night for once, instead of going out with his friends. If he was really honest with himself, he knew this was quickly becoming a regular occurrence. Hanging out with the guys on the team just didn't seem as fun as it used to.
Sure, he played along at school, acting tough and fooling around with all the girls. He tossed Hummel in the dumpster each morning and slushied anyone that needed to be taken down a notch or two. But things had changed. He didn't go looking for trouble so much any more. A few months ago, he would have thought nothing of casually throwing a cherry flavored slushie into Rachel Berry's face as he walked the halls, he would have laughed mercilessly at the looks helplessness and anger that would be jostling for position on her face, but now, he just couldn't do it. As annoying as she was, Puck knew Rachel didn't usually deserve to be humiliated and doing it didn't feel good any more.
"Still, gotta keep up appearances." Puck muttered to himself.
Puck knew what everyone thought of him. They all thought he was a total stud, sexy as hell and at the same time, was a complete asshole. And for the most part, they were right. Every day, Puck strutted the halls of McKinley High as if he owned them, talking with his friends and pretending everyone else didn't even exist, except the nerds he decided to push around, or give a slushie shower to. Oh, and of course, he facilitated Hummel's morning dumpster dive.
He knew he was kind of a jerk, but didn't know why. For some time now, since joining Glee club, Puck had been trying to figure it out. He wasn't a bad guy really and when he sat down and thought about it, he didn't want to be known as the school bully, or an asshole. He could even give up being known as a stud, if he wasn't so afraid.
Puck chuckled again as he shut off the water. If he ever tried to tell anyone how afraid he was all the time, they would laugh it off as another classic Puckzilla joke, as some sort of trick to get girls into bed. Nobody would really listen. It wasn't even something he liked to admit to himself, but it was true.
Puck had grown up being popular, he was Finn's right hand man, the sexiest guy around and everyone knew who he was. If he stopped pushing people around and taking what he wanted, then who would he be?
More than anything, Puck was afraid of losing the respect of his friends and peers. He could turn into a nice guy, sure, and he would gradually gain peoples trust, but without being "Puckzilla", what would be left?
Puck sighed and sat down on the bench in front of his locker. All around him the guys were fooling around, pretending to fight and cracking jokes, just being happy, regular guys. Puck wondered briefly if they ever questioned themselves the way he had been lately, if they ever felt like, even though they were surrounded by friends, they were totally alone. He doubted it.
He pulled on his jeans and a tight t-shirt that showed off his muscles, before vigorously attacking his wet strip of hair with his towel. When it felt reasonably dry he stuffed his feet into his shoes and slammed his locker door shut, before yelling out a goodbye to his teammates.
He walked out of the school and across the car park towards his truck quickly, thankful for a few minutes peace, where he didn't have to think about what he was doing or how he should act. He climbed into his truck and smiled with amazement as it started right away, before slowly peeling out of the parking lot and beginning the drive home.
At home, the Puck persona he wore in public didn't exist anymore. The moment he stepped through the door, he was just Noah and the change would be obvious to anyone that knew him from outside of his family. He slung his book bag casually on the couch before slipping off his shoes and padding into the kitchen, on the hunt for a post practice snack. Upon entering the kitchen, he encountered his mother and sister baking together.
"Hey Noah," his sister said, barely looking up from the bowl of ingredients she was mixing together.
"Hey." he replied, ruffling her hair before walking over to his mom and giving her a hug.
People wouldn't guess it, but to Puck, family was the most important thing in the world. His father had walked out on them not long after his sister was born and ever since he had wanted to protect his mom and sister. It wasn't one of the classic, "Dad went out for diapers and never came home" kind of deals, but instead a lengthy argument that followed many previous arguments. His Mom had thrown his Dad out when the fighting had gotten too crazy, but he never tried to come back. The day he left was the last Puck ever saw or heard from him.
Ever since Puck had been like two different people. At home, he was open and loving, doing anything he could to protect his sister and make his mom smile again, but at school, he was Puckzilla, rough and tough, closed off to anyone who looks for more than he wants them to see.
It's tiring, keeping those worlds separate. Glee club certainly wasn't helping any. Ever since he had joined, he had felt the wall he hid behind slowly being lowered. Maybe nobody noticed, but Puck couldn't help but feel a little more exposed around the Glee kids and had to work a lot harder to keep his guard up.
He didn't expect to love it so much. Truthfully, Puck had only joined Glee club to get into Quinn Fabray's pants and that hadn't exactly worked out the way he had planned, given that Quinn had smacked him down hard and told Finn the whole thing. That strained things between them for a while, but after finally convincing Finn that he had been totally wasted, their friendship had gotten back on track. In the end he had settled for a little fun with one of the other Glee club/ Cheerio crossovers, Santana and occasionally got to watch her make out with Brittany. It was hot, but it wasn't what kept him coming back to Glee. Puck felt safe at Glee club.
And he actually liked the others. Sure, some of them he knew from football and he definitely knew Quinn, Santana and Brittany. Finn was his best friend after all. But he also felt himself starting to connect with the others.
Artie was a cool guy, he never let anything bother him, even when he had been dealt such a crappy hand. Puck respected him a lot for that
And Mercedes, the diva, was totally awesome. She didn't take any crap from anybody and was the first to offer to cut someone that had committed any transgression.
Tina was a cool chick too and they got along better than anyone would have expected. She was a good listener and always managed to crack Puck up in her quiet way, but man, when she sang, it never failed to amaze Puck how well she knocked the song out of the park.
Rachel Berry. She wasn't easy to like. Sure, she was sweet and usually meant well, but... well, in Puck's opinion, she was also a basket of crazy. He often found himself wondering where she found the energy for all of her exuberance. Plenty of vitamin D for that girl.
And then there was Hummel. Of all of the Gleeks, they had had the most contact, given their early morning "meetings" at the dumpster, and yet they were the most distant from one another. Probably because Puck decided to throw him in the dumpster every morning. He confused Puck immensely, the way he kept picking himself back up, never letting anyone know how much being bullied hurt him. Puck had watched the way he climbed out of the dumpster many times before, always marveling in how well the smaller boy hid his emotions. Within seconds of jumping out of the dumpster, Hummel always managed to brush himself off, fix his hair and rearrange his expression from humiliation to pride. If you didn't see the few moments in between where he tried to compose himself, you would never know he had been hurt in the first place.
Puck didn't know why he picked on Hummel so much. The obvious answer is that its because the kids a total flamer, but Puck knew it wasn't that. He didn't really have a problem with gay people, his uncle on his Mom's side was gay and they got along just fine. There was just something about Hummel that always seemed to get to him. The snide looks he shot Puck in Glee whenever he offered opinions and the superior attitude he carried himself with didn't help, that was for sure. Quinn had asked him many times to go easy on Hummel, especially since they were all in Glee together now, and he tried really.
But every morning, when he saw the boy get out of his big fancy car, something took over and Puck just had to mess around with him. He just felt the need to remind the boy that he was Puckzilla... to show Hummel that he was a real man and way tougher than Finn, who Hummel clearly idolized, which was something else Puck could never figure out.
"Noah? Did you hear me?" his mother called.
"Uhh..." he began, a blush slowly spreading across his cheeks as he was snapped out of his thoughts
"I asked you what your plans were for tonight." His mother said slowly.
"Oh sorry mom, guess I spaced for a second. Uh... no plans really. I might go for a drive later I guess, but it's been a long week ya know, so nothing too crazy."
"Oh sure." His mother said with a small chuckle.
"The look on your face right now, seems to me there's some pretty girl on your mind. Why not ask her out?"
Puck blushed ten shades of red at that, trying desperately to ignore the fact that he had been thinking about Hummel.
"There's no girl mom."
"There's always a girl Noah!" His sister chimed in, her smile only diminishing when she saw the silencing glare coming from her brother.
"I don't know why you don't date more Noah." His mother said. She squeezed his cheek hard before continuing. "A handsome young man like you must have no trouble getting girls... although another haircut might help. I don't know why you let that Mohawk grow back"
Puck smirked slightly at that. It wasn't like there was a shortage of girls ready and willing to go out with him, as well as a heck of a lot of fine soccer moms who wanted to share his time. He had just never met anyone he wanted to bring home, usually the attraction he felt to most girls wore off very quickly after sex.
"Mom." He said, throwing his arm over her shoulder, "How can I ever find a girl who matches up to you?"
His mother laughed before swatting his arm playfully and muttering something about him being such a smooth talker.
A sudden vibration in his pocket distracted Puck from thinking about retaliation for the swat, specifically in the form of flicking flour at his mom. He looked at his phone and saw a message from Finn.
Hey Puck. Mom and Burt gone for weekend. Come over 4 pizza+movie.
Puck considered for a moment. pizza was his biggest weakness, Finn knew that. Wherever there was pizza, Puck was sure to follow. But he was a little uncertain about hanging out at Hummel's house. Finn and his mom had recently moved in with Hummel and his ridiculously alarming father, Burt and things weren't going so well so far. Finn and Hummel originally had to share a room in the basement, something that had lead the two of them into a quite unpleasant fight that even Puck didn't like the sound of, so he knew his presence tonight would partly be about Finn avoiding being alone with his semi-stalker.
He delighted in the idea of telling Finn he was busy, imagining the uncomfortable silence that would envelope the Hummel household for the entire weekend, before deciding he couldn't possibly be that cruel. Hey, even Puck wasn't a total jerk. He quickly tapped in a reply.
Awesome man, be there at five. Tell Hummel its all action, no fruity musicals. Puck
"You know what mom, you're right." He said, looking up from his phone. "I'm way too young and awesome to sit at home on a Friday night."
"Who is she? I hope you're not still chasing after that Fabray girl, her dad told me she's very happy with Finn."
"No girls. Boys night at Finn's new place."
"Oh OK Well, be nice to Kurt, Carole told me he doesn't have a lot of friends."
Puck shifted uncomfortably, knowing full well he was part of the reason for Hummel's lack of friendships.
"OK Mom" he said, "I'll play nice."
"Good boy." she teased, before stretching up to kiss Puck on the cheek. "And take the book on the coffee table when you go, I borrowed it from Carole so long ago, I don't know what she'll think of me."
At half past five Puck pulled up outside Finn's house with two six packs he had picked up from one of the football teams older brothers in exchange for Santana's number and a large pepperoni pizza, smirking at the thought of Hummel and Finn sitting silently on the couch.
He banged on the front door to announce his arrive.
"Open up Finn, the party is here!" He yelled.
The door opened to reveal Hummel standing before him in a tight, crisp white shirt and black pants that clung to every contour of his body.
"Damn." Puck thought, eying up the boy in front of him, "Imagine trying to get those off!"
He blushed scarlet at the image before walking inside, narrowly avoiding slamming into the much smaller boy.
"Please Puck, come on in." Kurt said as he slammed the door. "Don't apologize for being half an hour late or anything."
Puck grinned and turned around to face him.
"I thought you of all people would know Princess, it's fashionable to be late." He said teasingly, before walking into the living room and setting down the pizza and beer to high five Finn.
Anx2: Ugh, hope you enjoyed. It's weird starting a new fic after writing another for so long. This is also my first Glee fic. Hopefully this isn't gonna seem lame or too OOC, but I have plans and ideas.
Also, dialogue seems to be my strong point rather than narrative (in my mind at least) so after the beginning exposition chapters, hopefully it'll roll a little smoother. Let me know what you think so far. And to any readers following from my previous stuff, hope you like Glee as much as I do :D
Oh and BTW, does anyone else always wanna put a capital P for pizza? Weird I know. Pizza is a god to me.