A/N: Written for this prompt on the glee_fluff_meme: "Puck/Artie, flaws. Bonus points if Puck is the insecure one." And this is the first time I've written proper fluff in like, years, so forgive it if it sucks.
Artie sighs. "Puck, what is it? What's wrong?"
Puck blinks a few times to process what was just said. "Wait, wrong? Dude, nothing."
"Puck, I know you. You've got that look on your face; the one that says you're brooding about something – spill."
"Dude, I do not brood," Puck insists. "I'm just... thinking."
"Not following how the two are mutually exclusive," Artie says. "And I kind of guessed, Captain Obvious. What are you thinking about?"
Puck shrugs uncomfortably, not quite meeting Artie's eyes. "Just... stuff."
Artie stares at him. "You would be terrible at doing those voice overs for versions of movies for the blind," he concludes. "Seriously; your descriptions would just be like 'and then that guy does some stuff, and then that other guy does some other stuff, and blah blah blah.'"
"...That actually does sound like me."
"Well, I'm amazing. Now are you going to say what's getting to you or what?"
Puck groans. "Can we just not talk about it?"
Artie shakes his head. "Ah, no. I know you. When you start brooding about something, I have to intervene quickly, because if I just let it ferment you don't get over it, you act bitter and resentful for days, and avoid me."
"And then you don't get laid?" Puck's voice is light and teasing, but Artie gets this weird sense like they're testing the waters.
He shrugs. "Admittedly a factor, but not deciding," he says. "Now talk, before I have to chain you up and not let you go 'til you do."
"Explain to me where that's bad?"
"Sorry," he says, then sighs. "I'm just thinking."
"We already covered that. About what?"
Artie blinks for a few seconds. "Um, okay," he says. "That look on your face now kind of worries me. What about us?"
Artie raises an eyebrow.
Puck sighs. "I don't know dude, I'm just... thinking. You and me. Things get weird sometimes, you know?"
Puck bites his lip, looking anxious and sad. Artie gets that weirdly protective feeling he sometimes gets, the one that makes him want to scoop Puck into his arms and never ever let him go, make sure he will be okay until the end of eternity – not that Puck would ever let him do such a thing, of course. Dating a guy has done nothing to curb Puck's masculine bravado.
"It's just, like... Like we're on different wavelengths, you know? I mean, we do shit together, and it's awesome being with someone who gets what Supermario Brothers 3 did for the world, but it's like... You're the kind of guy who's gonna rule the world some day, and I'm the kind of guy who used to rule the world but got kicked out of office because he sucked so bad, and now they keep him in the dungeon to play bad folk music and feed him potato peelings and shit."
Artie's mouth goes dry as he suddenly realizes what he is seeing – the great Noah Puckerman, having self-esteem issues. "You think I'm too good for you?"
Puck shrugs. "Kinda, yeah. I mean, don't get me wrong – I'm a badass – but you know shit dude. Shit like those Italian words for music Berry always uses, or the way the seasons go in the Southern Hemisphere, or how the fuck you're meant to spell the word 'maneuver' – I mean, hell, I only know the word maneuver because you said it. You know shit that'll take you somewhere."
"That somewhere will have to have plenty of ramps," Artie points out. "Yes, I know that crap, but all together – it's not like that matters much. Well, maybe not knowing the way the seasons work in the Southern Hemisphere will piss of any passing Australians. But I don't need to know everything I know, and it sure as hell doesn't make me better than you – when it comes down to it? You do have all the social skill in this relationship, you know? You've heard my word vomit. The fact you haven't dumped me out of sheer embarrassment is pretty much a miracle."
Puck shrugs. "Meh. But the thing is... It always feels like you could be better without me, you know? Like when we came out. I mean, I don't think anyone was that taken aback about me – I'm already the biggest manslut this side of like, time–"
"Does time have sides?"
"–and I totally rock that rep; I'm a stud, dude. But it wasn't hard for them to imagine me stretches my boundaries to include guys; I guess I was the kind of dude you'd expect to swing both ways. But you... You were like, completely unexpected, and I think it would have been easier if you hadn't been lumped in with me. Like, I reinforced everyone's stereotypes and made them think they applied to you; you know, the slut bi."
"Puck," Artie says, voice low and serious. "I've known my sexuality since I was twelve. It's not all about you–"
"Didn't you say I was your first guy-crush?"
"Shut up. Anyway, we do not have to fit into their prejudice. Neither of us are stereotypes, and you are not a slut."
"I knocked up my best friend's girlfriend, dude; I'm not exactly a monk."
"That was over a year ago," Artie insists. "You are just fine, Puck; you're perfect. You're exactly who I want, and if you ever say I'm too good for you again, I will feed your Xbox to a lion."
Puck nods, that look on his face that means he's trying really hard not to break into a grin. "Only you can threaten my property and make it sound romantic. If I was into that romance stuff. But I'm not. And threatening my property is just creepy."
Artie rolls his eyes. "Whatever. You over your little self-esteem conundrum now?"
Puck shrugs. "Yeah, I guess."
"I swear, you are so the girl."
Puck scowls, but he doesn't mean it. "Fuck you, Abrams."
"Not unless you ask nice."
And with that, he leans in for a kiss; simple and easy and sweet.
The rest of the Glee club have terrible timing.
"Oh god, you two," Artie hears Santana's voice ring out from behind him as he pulls away, "Could you get a room? The rest of us so don't need the sight. Or the diabetic coma."
Puck rolls his eyes. "You know you love it, 'Tana," he says, and Artie doesn't even remember to care Puck's flirting again.
"Puck, Artie, while your relationship is quite sweet, we really do have more important things to focus on right now. Please wait until your own free time?" says Rachel.
Artie nods, but leans back to stage-whisper to Puck, "You ever notice how Rachel's pupils get three times bigger when we're together than when we're apart?"
Everyone laughs, including Rachel, even as she blushes a bit.
"Seriously though you two," Tina interjects. "The kissing is nice, but we have to work. Press pause?"
Artie gives himself his daily reminder how epically he lucked out by having a girlfriend who parted on good terms with him, and didn't freak at him moving onto a guy.
"Yeah, yeah, we get it," Puck grumbles.
"Okay," Rachel says, stepping back to the center of the room. "Sectionals is coming up ever sooner. Mr. Schue isn't hear yet, but does anyone have any questions?"
"How do you actually spell maneuver?" Artie asks, prompting stares around the room. "I have no idea."