Chapter 11

Kurt's hips swayed idly, as he stood in front of the stove, making blueberry pancakes. He and his dad had a standing rule: The guy who made breakfast chose the playlist. Well...guy in the general sense now. Carole's veggie omelette (egg white and fat free cheddar, thanks) were totally worth her garth brooks collection.

But today it was just him and dad again, and Shakira. Carole had left for work and Finn was off to school. Kurt hadn't even woken up until he heard his brother slamming the door on his way out.

Burt had waited to eat with his son, reminding Kurt that it was named Hummel Tire and Lube for a reason, and the boss could be late for work if he wanted.

Kurt slid the cooked pancakes on to a paper towel, letting them cool while he fixed up a thermos of coffee.

They had already had breakfast and his dad had offered to stay home, but Kurt wouldn't let him. Burt had already took yesterday off, and left work early the day before that. So he shooed him off to the shower, and promised to wrap up some leftovers. He may have accidently miscalculated how much pancake batter they needed. The fact that blueberry pancakes were amazing with french vanilla ice cream (that Dad thought he didn't know was hidden in the back of the freezer) was just a coincidence, and besides he needed to make up all of those calories burned off by stress.

It had been two days since...the prank on Wednesday, and Dad had cooked yesterday, a horrifyingly fattening hash brown casserole that just happened to be Kurt's favorite meal ever. He planned to sneak the last helping for lunch, or maybe a second breakfast.

So Kurt was cooking today, and he hadn't told Carole but he was also planning to toss something in the crock pot (orange chicken maybe? There were some snow peas in the fridge) before spending the rest of day on the couch. Just because he was feeling lazy didn't mean he couldn't be useful.

"Mohawk's outside" Burt announced. "He's been sitting across the street in his car for an hour. You want me to run him off?"

Kurt couldn't decipher the look on his dad's face. It was a cross between annoyance and concern, and maybe some amusement.

"It's fine." He waved his hand dismissively, dropping the warm pancakes, a banana, and a handful of take out sugars and creamers into a paper bag. He handed it to his dad, along with the thermos. "It's Puck. He probably just has my homework or something." Okay, and that was probably a lie. Puck and homework didn't really mix, be he might be on a mission from Mercedes or another gleek.

"I'll make sure he goes to school before he misses too many classes." Kurt added, following his dad to the porch, hugging him tightly before stepping back to lean against the door frame. Across the street, Puck was holding a newspaper in front of his face, trying to look inconspicuous.

His dad started to stay something, evidently thought better of it, and settled for ruffling Kurt's hair. "All right Kiddo. Make sure to call me if you need anything, and don't rot your brain with all that daytime TV."

Kurt smiled, waving as his dad left, only to stare in faint horror as the older man marched straight over to Puck's car, leaning in to say something. The newspaper fell and Puck's eyebrows shot up. The teen nodded, slightly frantic, and Burt clapped a hand on his shoulder before turning to give Kurt a small nod, climbing into his truck and driving away.

With a roll of his eyes, Kurt motioned for Puck to come inside, before turning back to go into the house.

"Your dad is scary." Puck announced, moments later, as Kurt was pouring the last batch of pancakes onto the griddle.

"What did he say?" Kurt asked.

"To stop being a creepy stalker, and that if I was planning to stay until dinner to call my mom so she wouldn't worry." Puck was fiddling with a plastic bag he had brought in.

Kurt laughed. "I told him I would try to make you go to school. Guess that's not your plan?"

Puck shook his head. He had thought so. As the pancakes cooked, Kurt pulled the plate of hash browns out of the fridge, along with some other breakfast staples.

"Good Jew?" He held up a package of tofurkey "sausage" links, "Or Bad Jew?" he waved the pack of microwave bacon temptingly.

"Bad Jew!" Puck said, eyeing the bacon like a starving man. Kurt slid 5 pieces on to the plate with the casserole, along with some leftover scrambled eggs, and put everything in the microwave. He flipped the pancakes. "Coffee or Juice?...oh why am I even asking. There's soda in the fridge, and some of it's Finn's, so not diet."

Puck grinned. then tilted his head. "So how're you feeling? I'm supposed to report back. I think the girls are about to have kittens."

"I'm doing fine. And I've told them that. I'm just still kind of drained from the therapy session yesterday, and I don't have any tests I'll miss today or anything." Kurt answered, pulling the plate out of the microwave, and added a stack of pancakes and a fruit cup (A hopeless cause,really), before setting it in front of Puck.

The truth was that he was fine. Mostly. He still kept reliving bits and pieces of Wednesday, getting Finn or his Dad to fill in some of the gaps (Apparently he *had* agreed to go to the hospital, which had turned out to be a good thing, because hospitals had awesome drugs and he ended up sleeping through most of the panic aftershocks. He still thought that they had ganged up on him until he agreed to go. He remembered waking up once, and Puck bitching about the vending machine coffee.)

Puck dove into the food eagerly, and Kurt smiled.

"So you're just playing hooky then?" Puck asked "You could totally milk this thing. I think even Coach Sylvester would let you skip practice. Did you see Sue's Corner last night?"

He had actually. It had been a rambling diatribe about patriotism, respecting the flag, and mandatory stoning for people who misused school property, which was the coach's roundabout way of showing support he guessed.

"Yeah. I'll be back to school on Monday, Puck." He reassured his friend, rolling up his own pancake and dipping it in a dish of strawberry jelly before taking a bite. "How's everything at Glee?"

"Good." Puck muttered around a strip of bacon. "Schuester brought Ms. Pillsbury in to talk to us, but we got Brittany to distract her. We all decided to wait until you had a chance to explain things first. Rachel and Quinn are plotting...something, that involves cookies I think. Oh, and those jerks from Vocal Adrenaline are off to glee club until after regionals. Something about missing too many practices."

Kurt knew about that. His dad, and Mr. Schuester, had wanted him to press assault charges, but he thought that was too harsh. So he had suggested that all the members of Vocal Adrenaline attend a mandated lecture on bullying (during a rehearsal time of course). The two boys would be taking a more in depth class on the same subject. It had just been coincidence, and Caramel High's insane practice schedule, that meant the boys would miss too many practice sessions.

"What's in the bag?" Kurt quickly changed the subject.

"Oh!" Puck swallowed a mouthful of food, reaching into the bag and holding up each item.

"Some dvds from the rental machine. Finn said you liked horror." And yes, Kurt did, though it was supposed to be their dirty little secret. He hoped it wasn't torture porn. Saw was the most disgusting move ever...well since Dirty Dancing.

"Popcorn" It was fat-free too, and Kurt was strangely touched at the gesture.

"And uh-" Puck paused, shifting in his seat. Kurt raised an eyebrow.

"Well it's kind of stupid. But I told my mom I was visiting someone who I liked and was sick. And she kept harping and harping about how I needed to bring something, but I had no idea what you liked. I mean, I know what to get a girl, but I couldn't think of anything else, and I figured, well, you're kind of a girl and-"

"Puck. Noah!" Kurt held up his hand to stop the rambling, and then squinted, rubbing his temple. He felt dizzy just listening. "Just- Breathe."

Puck scowled and pulled the last item out of the bag. It was a rose, slightly wilted, with a gas station logo on the cellophane. As he held it up it sagged pathetically, the stem obviously broken from being hurriedly stuffed in the bag.

"Chicks like flowers." Puck defended himself. "I was going to get you chocolate, but I knew you'd bitch about your thighs. And they didn't have any porno mags for gay guys..."

Kurt tried not to laugh. He really, really did. Puck could tell though, and the wounded look on his face sent Kurt over the edge.

It was a solid minute before Kurt could breathe again, and he quickly reached out, keeping Puck at the table with a hand on his arm, as he wiped his teary eyes.

"Thank you." he said honestly. It was one of the sweetest, if most awkward, gestures he had ever seen. "It's lovely." his lips twitched again, and this time so did Puck's.

Kurt took the flower, and busied himself with trimming the stem, and finding a beer bottle in the recycling bin to use as a vase. The long brown neck cradled the snapped stem, keeping it upright, and he added a little sugar to the water, though it was probably too late to try to save the bloom.

He set the rose on the widow sill, next to a get well card from Mercedes (threatening his scarf collection if he tried to keep any more secrets) and Ballad, the little purple duck that Brittany had insisted he keep in case he got scared again.

"You know," Puck said teasingly, coming up behind him, studying the makeshift vase. "When a guy brings you flowers, you're supposed to at least let him get to first base."

"I thought you weren't gay?" And wasn't that an old conversation. Puck defended his heterosexuality at least once a day.

"I'm not!" Puck said quickly, and Kurt rolled his eyes.

"You know the reason I like you?" Puck continued, stepping closer to Kurt, pressing against his back, his breath warm against Kurt's ear.

"You are one of the baddest motherfuckers I know. You're a complete diva bitch to the jocks, and I've seen you put Rachel in her place more times than I can count. You made the football team dance. You can wear a dress to school, and look badass doing it." Puck paused, "You looked really hot too. I mean stupidly hot. Those heels..." he cleared his throat, and carefully wrapped his hands around Kurt's waist, pulling him back to lean against his chest.

"And life keeps throwing you all this stupid, messed up, shit, and sometimes you're not fine, sometimes you're so fucking terrified I think you're going to break, but you always keep fighting, and you come out okay, again and again. You're so damn strong, Kurt, and if I was half that strong it would scare the shit out of me."

Kurt was frozen. Because, really, he had just gotten up, and he wasn't sure he could handle something like this so early in the morning. But Puck had obviously been rehearsing what to say, and he knew how hard it was for Puck to admit he had actual human emotions.

"And I'm totally not gay." Puck added. "I like chicks. I really like chicks. Some of them have really awesome boobs. But I've been thinking... I might be a little ... hummelsexual."

Kurt choked on a surprised laugh, wriggling around so he could face Puck, still wrapped in his arms.

"Hummelsexual? Really" He asked incredulously, laughing. He wondered how long it took Puck to come up with that pun.

Puck wiggled his eyebrows, a devious grin on his face now that he apparently didn't think Kurt was going to freak out or sic daddy Hummel on him for being a creep.

"Well I think you should let me get to first base to be sure." Puck said seriously.

And really that was all Puck for you. Kurt rolled his eyed then reached up, tentatively, to kiss him, lightly, barely brushing his lips and backing off again before Puck could take over.

"I'm not that easy. Noah Puckerman." Kurt teased, staying in Puck's hold. "I think first base with me is at least worth a date."

"Okay." Puck shrugged. "I'm supposed to drag you to glee practice after school if you're up for everyone fussing over you. We can stop for milkshakes or something first."

Kurt should have known he couldn't hide from his friends for too long, and they would just convince Finn to invite them over if Kurt didn't go. Really, he could handle a little fussing, and he was woefully behind on his glee related gossip. And milkshakes with Puck sounded kind of fun.

"Starbucks." Kurt countered. He might as well make Puck work for it.

"Sure." Puck agreed, tightening his hold for a second before letting go. "Wait...who pays when two dudes go on a date? Because Starbucks is kind of expensive if you're not going to put out."

For the second time in less than a half hour, Kurt dissolved into breathless laughter.

"Don't worry" he gasped, herding Puck back to the table to finish his breakfast. "I'll buy. I've heard you're a pretty cheap date." He sat down next to him, filching a piece of fruit from Puck's plate.

"And I think I might just be a little bit attracted to you too." He admitted. "...Though if you call me puckersexual I will smother you in your sleep." he warned, letting Puck steal a quick kiss.

Yeah. They could totally handle this.

-The End-