Disclaimer: Alas, Glee doesn't belong to me.
A/N: This story scales all of season one, as a warning. And it's told from Brad's POV but give this a chance, eh? I hope you enjoy this as much as my housemate had. And that it all makes sense and doesn't feel like it's moving too fast and whatnot. Enjoy.
Hello. My name is Brad. And I'd like to tell you a story. I'm sure you all know part of it, as it's about a certain glee club named New Directions. I play the piano. Well, I usually play the piano, if Kurt is around I might not have to. I think it's a touch odd that out of thirteen people (I am counting Will in this) that Kurt is only one who can play. But I'm okay with that. If more could play I might loose my job and I'm not keen on that.
I do want to say this right away, my job is to play the piano, but I do a lot more than that. Somewhere along the line I became a therapist. And unpaid therapist, might I add.
It started with Rachel. She stayed late and asked me to play a piece so she can sing and I had nothing else to do so I agreed. She sang her heart out that day. I don't remember exactly what she sang as she does this type of thing all the time, but when she was done, she looked like she was ready to cry.
I always thought that I was never too good at helping people with their problems, or how to stop girls from crying, but I guess I'm better than I thought. "Rachel? Something you want to get off your chest?" I scooted over on the piano bench and she ran over and sat next to me, idly pressing down on a key.
"Nobody likes me." Her hair was in her face, blocking the view.
"I'm sure someone does. Will - I mean, Mr. Schuester seems to and Finn." I had hoped I said it with more conviction than I felt.
"Finn has Quinn." Rachel said quietly, with a sigh, "He doesn't really like me. No one does. Even Schue. They like my voice."
"With good reason." I agreed, "Your voice is something." I paused, "But I think you could easily become friends with a few of the others here. You just need to give them time and you should be a little less forceful. You come on strong and that scares a lot of people."
Rachel nodded, "You're right. They just don't know how to handle someone who is so sure of themselves. I'll work on it." She turned and quick gave me a hug, "Thanks, Brad. That was very helpful." She paused, "I think you deserve one of my gold stars."
She skipped out then and I stared at the star sticker before putting it on my shoe lace.
Next thing I knew, I found Quinn crying and so I sat down next to her, for moral support and all that jazz. I put a (hopefully) comforting arm around her and she turned to sob into my shirt. After getting her calmed down, I brushed her hair out of her face, "Better?"
"A bit." She smiled weakly. "Thank you. For letting me get snot on your shirt."
I looked down, "If it stains I bet I could ask Kurt how to get them out." She let out a choked laugh, "I know you don't know me, Quinn, but I want you to know that when I was in high school, I was voted most likely to be a CIA agent because of my fantastic secret keeping powers."
She smiled and rested her head against the wall. "I love Finn. But he's wonderfully stupid." A frown found her face, "I'm pregnant and it's not Finn's. I got drunk and slept with Puck."
I felt my face scrunch up in confusion, "Is that one of the new members? One of those football players?"
She nodded, "With the Mohawk."
"Oh." I said, "Yeah. Okay. So, punk father?"
"Yeah, but I told Finn the baby is his and I cannot tell my family." She sighed.
"So, you're saying your father wouldn't let you get his shirt all snotty? Like I just did?" I raised my eyebrows.
"Probably not." Quinn gave a sad half-smile. "So, thanks for doing that."
"Hey," I spread my hands out, "I'm always here and I own a washing machine and a dryer, so if you ever need someone to be there, I'm here." I paused, "Always." I patted her on the shoulder, "Sorry I can't really give you any good advice. Never really been in your situation before."
She smiled at me, "It's okay. Just being able to talk, even with the little bit of talking I did - the ratio between talking and crying is huge - it was very therapeutic. Thank you." She walked out then.
Oddly enough, events continued.
The week that April woman (who didn't even call me by my name) was a busy one for me. Will had told her that she needed to be welcomed by everyone in the team (except me, no one cared if I wanted her around - I'm just the pianist) and so she tried.
There was the normal stuff that I heard about (Rachel walking out again, bullies, pregnancies, and Matt talked about how he felt like even though he was popular, he wasn't seen or heard - I informed him that I heard him). I had to deal with her being drunk, Will venting to me about how he was disappointed with her and then there was Kurt.
He blinked heavily after practice and I walked over, putting a hand on his shoulder I said his name. The kid was plastered. "Listen, Kurt. You go home and rest." I took his hand and gave him a bottle of aspirin that I usually carried around for when I get my headaches. "Get sobered up."
The next day he came up to me and handed the bottle back, "I threw up on Ms. Pillsburry's shoes." He was looking down at his own feet. "April gave me something - it was stronger than beer and wine coolers. I didn't ask what it was. But I wanted to thank you for looking out for me, the aspirin helped."
He started walking away, but I decided to suggest something, "You should take Emma shoe shopping. Maybe help replace the pair you ruined?"
He turned around and gave me a smile that I didn't usually see on the boy - he looked like he was actually thinking about my idea, "Thanks Brad. I might offer it."
"Mind if I ask," I started, because Kurt was a very self-assured boy who seemed to keep things to himself, "why did you go ahead and drink?"
At first I didn't think he'd answer me, but then after a short length, his mouth opened, "April said it would help give me confidence."
"You don't really seem to be lacking in that area." I commented.
"Thanks for saying." Kurt sighed, "But it's difficult. I've always been picked on and called names. I can deal with that, but-" he paused, clearly not sure if he wanted to say it, "I can trust you? And have you not telling someone else?"
I shrugged, "Who can I tell?" Even though I could tell anyone, most everyone would talk to me but I didn't like the idea of ruining the trust I had with the kids. They all needed someone impartial to talk to, not their friends or family. And most teachers were too busy with their own lives. I didn't really have a life. I'm not saying I'm unhappy. I'm very happy with what I have. It's just not much, but I've got my music and that's enough.
"Okay." He took a deep breath, "I don't need confidence to face bullies. I need it to face ex-bullies. Who I have a crush on."
It was silent as I thought, "You said bullies. More than one?"
"I, uh. Yes." Kurt paused, this was clearly difficult for him to talk about.
"If you don't want to say, you don't have to. Just know that I'm always willing to listen." I smiled in what I hoped was a reassuring way.
He nodded, "I, I do want to tell someone. Mercedes would probably want to rip my head off for even thinking this stuff if I told her and my dad is so not ready to talk about this. So, here it goes." He took another breath, "I like Finn. He's a nice guy and he's always sorta looked out for me, so I've always kinda had a crush on him and has now stopped altogether with his bullying. But, I also, kinda like Puck." He hung his head, either trying to hid his face or in shame or something, I'm not certain, "He's stopped most of his harassment and has been okay. He's got a great voice and I've seen him be nice to a few people - mostly his little sister. I like seeing that side of him.
"I needed a confidence boost to see them everyday. Finn is a safe crush, I know that. And Puck, if he found out? I don't think it'd go over well."
I nodded, "I get what you're saying with both of them. Finn's got a lot happening at the moment though. And Puck," who was the one student who hasn't come to talk to me at least once, and knowing what others say, he's got his plate full but clearly wants to handle it on his own, "well, he's got a lot going on too."
Kurt nodded and jumped when his phone started singing Lady Gaga. He answered it and gave a smile with a wave as a thanks before leaving.
And then Artie was telling me about how he wished his friends thought about how he'd want to ride with them in a bus and Finn talked about how he had money problems and couldn't get a job, and I found Puck looking like he wanted to punch something and I got him talking about how he also had the same money problems Finn had along with Quinn wanting nothing to do with him. Rachel mentioned about how she thought it was unfair that they were doing a Diva Off and Kurt didn't speak, just practiced the song - hitting that note every time. Then Tina came in, crying (and I wondered why the girls always had to be crying) about how she messed up with Artie and how he'd have nothing to do with her.
"He'll come around." I assured her, "He needs time to process the news. He still likes you, I'm sure."
"No. How can he?" Tina argued.
"Because you're still you." I pointed out, "He's hurt that you had lied but he'll understand in time that it wasn't really that you lied to him specifically. And he might end up feeling honored that you came out to him. That you trusted him."
Tina nodded, "Thanks Brad. You're a big help."
And then I actually caught Puck punching a wall. "Woah there." I said, putting a light hand on his shoulder, "Wanna calm down?"
He glared and started at his rather red knuckles. Bending his fingers experimentally he shrugged when they all moved. "Listen, I know you like to help and shit but I don't think you can help me. I'm messed up."
"Maybe I don't like to help, you all just force me too." I suggested in a light tone.
"Was that a joke?" Puck's brow furrowed in confusion.
I nodded, "I'm a fan of dry humor." I sat down in a chair and raised my eyebrows.
"You want me to talk?" Puck asked, staring at the chair beside me.
"Better than breaking your hand." I patted the seat.
"I'm a dude. I don't talk." He protested even though he was slowly making his way over to the chair.
"You've talked once before. It helped didn't it?" I asked, mentioning the time when everyone was in wheelchairs.
"Yeah, but I was having an off day." Puck growled out.
I indicated his hand, "You seem to be having another."
Puck let out a dry chuckle. "Okay, fine. But I don't think you'll be able to help." He slumped in the chair, "I like chicks. I like chicks a lot. I like older ones and ones my age and skinny ones and ones with curves. Chicks are great."
"Uh-huh." I nodded, "I'm fairly certain I knew that."
Puck rolled his eyes, "Yes, but my problem is that apparently I don't like chicks anymore except that I do and it's just-" he growled.
"Okay, um." I paused, "Can you explain that a bit better?"
"I like Hummel." Puck hung his head.
"Oh." My eyebrows shot up, understanding. "Having a sexual crisis?"
"I-what?" He seemed confused, "I don't know exactly what you mean by that. But I wanna know how the hell I can be straight yet gay. It's not right."
"It's being bisexual." I answered for him.
"Bisexual. Though in your case you might be what they call bicurious. Bisexual is when you are attracted to both genders, possibly one over the other - in your case the female gender. Bicurious is what it sounds like. You are straight but you are curious to what it's like and might experimen-"
"Not curious." Puck said, "I don't even want these feelings therefore it's not curiosity."
I nodded, "Okay. You're bisexual. And that's okay. A lot of people are bisexual. It's normal. Just as normal as being straight or gay. Sexuality is actually very fluid." I loved the fact that I wasn't actually a teacher at the school, otherwise I wouldn't be able to have this conversation with a student without being fired. I'm just a pianist they hired when they found out the music teacher couldn't play to save her life. "There are many different levels and some even say that most everyone is a little bisexual."
Puck nodded a bit, "So, what you're saying is that I'm clearly too much of a stud to be straight and need to share my badassness with men too."
I paused, "Not exactly but I think you're getting the drift of it."
"How do you know so much about all this junk?" Puck asked.
This was the first time one of those I helped asked me something about myself. "When I was your age I figured something out about myself. I did some research and found out that what I am is called asexual." Puck blinked. "Asexuality isn't as common while bisexual is. Basically, I don't really feel the want for sex. I'm not really attracted to anyone." I shrugged.
"Are you serious?" Puck asked, mouth falling open.
I laughed, "Yes, actually."
"Have you had sex?"
"I have before." I nodded, "But it didn't really do anything for me." I clapped my hands, "But we aren't here to talk about me. I'm just explaining why I know so much about different sexual orientations." I paused, "So, if you feel strongly about Kurt, you should ask him out."
Puck shrugged, "I mean, I do. But for one thing, I don't think he'd even want to think about dating me, let alone sex. I threw pee balloons at him. You can't get over that shit. And how do I know that after I get him, that my feelings won't disappear. He deserves someone for a boyfriend, not a one night stand."
I thought about telling Puck that Kurt did have a crush on him as well as Finn, but then I would clearly be going against trust and Puck would think I'd tell others about what he shared. I couldn't do that. I had to keep my mouth shut. "I understand what you mean. But you never know unless you try. What's the worst that could happen?"
"He could kick me in the balls." Puck said. "Or laugh in my face, cry, punch me. There's a long list." He paused, "Serious? Sex does nothing for you?"
"I'm serious." I stated. "Okay, so don't ask Kurt. At least yet. But think about it. And if you want, you can look up bisexuality and know for sure if that is what you are."
Puck got up and nodded, "Thanks, dude." He walked out and I was left alone with my piano.
Then I was hardly ever home when not two days after that Finn found out that Puck was the father and punched him, both telling me their sides. Quinn came to cry into my shirt more, Rachel came more than others voicing her worries about making it to the competition, then Kurt came and surprised me saying that in the recent events he realized he no longer had feelings for Finn. Said feelings had been slowly disappearing when he'd gotten to know the other boy over the months. He had explained that the real Finn didn't hold up to the one he'd had in his head and with a snort he muttered that no one would hold up to what he'd had in his head.
I asked about his other feelings, about Puck. That got Kurt into a rant about how everyone shouldn't be blaming just Puck. After all, it takes two to tango and how Puck shouldn't have to deal with everything they've dropped on him. No one should be let to feel that way. It was very clear that his feelings for Puck were still there and had possibly grown.
Which was good news for both of them. After all, if they just decided to be honest with one another, they'd probably be in a relationship.
But that would never happen.
It was only after Jesse joined that things started getting back to normal. The problems slowed and I sit and am amazed that during that time that none of the kids walked in while I was talking to another.
So, everything calmed down and after watching a practice of Finn staring at Rachel and Jesse and Rachel and Jesse and Finn singing and Santana and Brittany staring at each other and Kurt looking at Puck when Puck wasn't looking and Puck, looking at Kurt when Kurt wasn't looking I thought I should come up with a plan.
Kurt liked Puck and Puck liked Kurt and I was tired of neither of them spending time together to hash out their feelings. I needed to get them together. So, I composed an idea.
"Puck." I said at the end of a practice, getting the young teenager to come over, "I heard a song on the radio the other day and I thought you'd be perfect to sing it."
Puck shrugged, "Alright. I'll bite. What song?"
"Cooler Than Me by Mike Posner." I stated, "Have you heard it?"
He frowned slightly, "I might've. Not sure."
I scribbled out the name and artist of the song, "Look it up, alright? And then if you like it we can practice. Show up here tomorrow after school and I'll play the piano and you can sing it. Then hopefully next time Glee starts, you can sing it for the group."
He nodded, "Sounds great man." He grabbed the slip of paper, "Asexual? Still a 'no' on all sex?" I nodded and he rolled his eyes, "I'll see ya tomorrow then. Late."
I figured that either Puck would want to sing the song or talk to me about why I choose that song for him, so he'd show up. And tomorrow after school Kurt always showed up. Either to just practice singing or to talk about what's been going on in his life. Which recently he mentioned he was thinking about telling his dad that he should start dating again - if he felt up to it. He stated that if he feels he could start dating, his dad should too.
So, when tomorrow came around, I hid, hoping they wouldn't see me. But I had to see how this played out. Kurt was in the room, waiting for me to show up (sometimes I was late), sitting on the piano bench to idly messing with the keys. It was a short length before Puck showed up, trying to look as dramatic and badass as ever. Probably to make an impression on me, go figure.
"Hummel?" Puck asked, stopping in his steps. "What are you doing here?"
"Waiting for Brad." Kurt looked up and stopped fiddling with the piano. "Is there a reason why you're here?" He sounded slightly breathless. Probably because I don't think either of them had ever been in a room with just the two.
Okay, so I was in the room with them but they didn't know that.
And I just realized that this could be thought of as kinda creepy. But it wasn't, I swear. I just wanted to get them together. Set them up in the only way I knew how.
"I kinda wanted to," Puck paused, "practice singing a song." Throwing down what looked like two copies of sheet music, "But Brad has to play the piano and-"
"I know how to play." Kurt said, reaching out for the music, "If you want you can practice with me. I mean, I was in here to practice too." He shrugged, "I just won't sing."
Puck swallowed and nodded. "Okay then. I guess." He seemed kinda nervous for a stud.
Puck stood, facing Kurt, lyrics in hand and nodded his head letting Kurt know he was ready for the music to start, "If I could write you a song, to make you fall in love I would already have you under my arm. I used up all of my tricks, I hope you like this but you probably won't, you think you're cooler than me." I was right, Puck's voice did the song justice. Puck couldn't keep his eyes off Kurt when he continued to sing, "You got designer shades just to hide your face and you wear 'em around like your cooler than me. And you never say 'hey' or remember my name and it's probably 'cause you think you're cooler than me."
Puck continued to sing the song that was basically written for Kurt and when it was over, Kurt's hands fell on the piano. "I actually haven't heard that song before."
Puck scratched the back of his head in what looked like a nervous manner, "Yeah, it's new and I've heard it a few times on the radio."
"Oh." Kurt nodded and they sat in silence. I wanted to yell at them about how stupid they were being. I mean, Puck was a self-proclaimed stud. I don't care if he was still having a little of issue over the fact he was worried Kurt wouldn't want to have the sex with him - he needed to make a move. "Any reason why you wanted to sing that song?" Thank you Kurt Hummel for the possible push Puck needed.
"Yeah, actually." Puck seemed more confident. Again, thank you Kurt Hummel for the push Puck needed. "My sister is a huge fan of the song." Fuck.
I rolled my eyes over the antics of the two. Kurt sat for a moment before scrunching up his nose, "What?" He looked at Puck in a calculating way, "You just said you'd only heard the song a few times. Clearly your sister isn't a huge fan. Why don't you try the truth. I won't tell anyone."
Puck blinked, clearly not glad he got caught in a lie, "Okay. Okay." He took a breath, "Honestly, Hummel? I like you. And that song kinda fits what I would sing to you. I mean, you think you're cooler than me and would have no reason to even want to think about going out with me because I threw pee balloons on you. Pee. Balloons. And that shit is unforgivable. But that doesn't stop me from wanting to have sex and possibly date you." He then threw a hand over his mouth for a second, silencing the words. "Man, word-vomit is the worst." He punched the wall.
"Word-vomit is the best." Kurt said, getting up and quickly standing in front of Puck, "Except for the fact that it uses the term 'vomit'."
"I like you too. And I'm really hoping this isn't another prank because this would top those pee balloons." Kurt answered.
"You - what - seriously?" Puck said. "Dude, first I find out that I'm bi and Brad hates sex and now you actually like me. I thought you liked Finn."
"That kinda went away." Kurt shrugged. Then his brow furrowed, "What was that about Brad?"
"Dude is asexual." Puck replied. "But that's not the important part of this convo. The important bit is that I'm a stud who is badass enough to get with you."
This is where I snuck out because it seemed like it'd get hot and heavy soon.
And then Kurt became a Cheerio. He and Puck weren't keeping their relationship a secret, though they weren't broadcasting it. As far as I understood, everyone was too busy with their drama and telling me about to notice that the two were an item. Puck had come up and thanked me for giving him the song and Kurt didn't believe my lie that I was in the bathroom vomiting when I should've been in the practice room with them (he raised an eyebrow when I gave my excuse - probably thinking of the word-vomit that Puck spewed).
"The problem is," Kurt said, pacing, "my Dad is open to the idea of dating and I've been trying to set him up with women his age who he might like but it hasn't been working out. Examples:" He put one finger up, "Apparently Dana hated mechanics," second finger raised, "Shelly liked younger men - Oh God. I bet she's one of Puck's MILFs." After giving a shiver at the idea, Kurt raised a third finger, "Vivian is a bitch." Throwing his hands up he sighed. "None of them are working. And I'm running out of options."
"Don't you trust your dad to find a date on his own?" I asked.
I was then on the receiving end of one of Kurt's glares, "My father has no time to go to bars and pick up women." He ran a hand over his hair, making sure it was all in place. "Honestly, I think Dad would get along the best with Ms. Hudson and from what I get from her, she might like him too. But it's Finn's mom and that would be awkward."
I shrugged. "Might not be that awkward. You don't have feelings for Finn anymore and you're with Puck."
Kurt nodded, "True. True."
"Hey," I spread my hands, "never hurts to try."
A few weeks later Puck was pacing much like Kurt had done. "I mean, he made sure I understood why he set Mr. Hummel up with Carole - I get that. I do. And I trust that he doesn't have feelings for Finn anymore because my princess has me now but basically as soon as I shave my head he turns into a lumberjack. What is that shit all about?"
"Doesn't he realize I'm here for him? I wanna know what the fuck is going on in his life. The Kurt I like doesn't wear hats with pigs and cows and horses on them - I'm fairly certain Britt is going to start singing Old McDonnald Had a Farm but changing it to Kurt Hummel Had a Farm on His Fugly Hats. I just don't get it."
"I know, I know. I should tell him this right? Make sure that his lumberjackism didn't show up because I'm missing my Mohawk, right?" Puck nodded, "Thanks. Brad. I hope you get over your asexualism." He gave a smile and walked out.
Next it was a moment that had never happened. Finn was talking to me when Puck walked in. Never before had a session been interrupted by another teen. But then, there is a first time for everything.
"You fucker!" Puck growled.
"What?" Finn asked, staggering out of his chair.
"Kurt just told me what you said to him." Puck stomped over whilst I stood up, worried about what might happen. "I don't care about your problems and being worried about Kurt turning you gay, but don't for one second think that it was cool that you called him a fag in his own fucking home! Do you know how he's been feeling? Huh? About how easy Mr. Hummel gets along with you?"
"You don't know what you're talking about Puck." Finn said, "Kurt introduced our parents so he could be closer to me and-"
"Get over yourself!" Puck punched a wall. Again. "Kurt hasn't had a crush on you in months. He honestly wanted his dad to be happy and be able to date, like he could. Shouldn't you be happy for your mom? She's got a boyfriend now. Just. Like. Kurt."
Finn's mouth gaped for a second, "Wha-?"
"I'm Kurt's boyfriend." Puck stated, "Surely you knew that."
Finn shook his head, mouth open, "I didn't I swear. Oh God. What I said to Kurt-"
"Yeah. Shit thing to do." Puck said.
I sat down, glad I wouldn't have to stop Puck from punching Finn's lights out. "Are we all on the same page now?" I asked.
"If the page is the fact that Finn was a douche bag, then yes." Puck frowned.
Finn nodded, "Yeah, I think I over reacted and didn't know all the stuff." He hung his head, "And now I've ruined it for my mom. Probably. She had been happy lately and I got along well with Burt and I always thought Kurt was a good friend and I've ruined it."
"Puck," I said and he looked at me, "I think you should help Finn fix it." I continued talking before he could yell at me, "It'd be being a good boyfriend and friend."
Puck growled but nodded. "Fine." He looked at Finn, "This has got to be something big."
Apparently dressing Finn up in red with a mask as a big gay superhero was big enough.
The week before Regionals was another busy one. Rachel talked the most out of all the kids. Talking about her worries about them making it but mostly about Jesse. Jesse was the one kid who'd never came and talked to me and now I was kinda glad I never got know him. I was thanked by most of the group when I helped take down the toilet paper and felt joy when I sent the New Directions off the Regionals. I'd hoped they do well.
They hadn't, of course.
They'd come to say good-bye to me but I informed each of them that if they ever needed to talk, I'd still be around, even if glee wasn't. But I was excited when I got informed that they would, indeed, be around. Glee wasn't over for this group of kids and I was glad. Though I probably needed to read a few psychology books before next year.