Disclaimer: I do NOT own rights to any of the characters from Glee. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
A/N: OK this is the final chapter to this little writing adventure – I'm killing it off now so that it doesn't grow arms and legs. I'm not going to be one of these authors that starts loads of projects and never finishes them.
Thank you to everyone for your reviews. This chapter will jump back between Puck and Kurt's perspectives as they each have their side of the conversation. I hope it reads OK, I found that I couldn't write it any other way.
"Telephone by The Jellybaby Bandit"
Chapter Three – Paparazzi...
"I'm your biggest fan, I'll follow you until you love me
Baby, there's no other superstar, you know that I'll be
Your papa, paparazzi
Promise I'll be kind
But I won't stop until that boy is mine
Baby, you'll be famous, chase you down until you love me
I stifle the sob that escapes me almost immediately. I'm Puck for fuck's sake. I'm not going to sit here crying like a pussy. I won't cry over him.
He wants me to talk. But my throat just isn't following my commands.
And it's not like I'm scared of talking or anything either.
I want to talk.
I want to rip into him so badly and make him feel what I'm feeling right now. I want to shred his damn mask into pieces and talk to the real Kurt Hummel – not 'Kurt Hummel: Celebrity'.
His voice sounds so full of regret on the other end of the line.
I've always felt protective of Kurt – even back in the early days when I'd warn off the other jocks from riding the boy too hard at High School. Of course, I still had to do some things to him to keep up appearances – but still to this day he doesn't know just how much interference I ran.
When he came back into my life again after so many years away it was like I'd been given a second chance. A chance at having the friendship with Kurt that being a badass jock in High School had denied me. No way could I have possibly been a badass if I were to admit I wanted to be best friends with the gay kid.
I clear my throat and swallow desperately trying to get some saliva into my suddenly dry mouth.
"Don't say that!"
I intended for my voice to sound harsh and uncaring - but my voice cracking – I didn't plan on that. It ended up sounding like more of a plea than anything.
'You don't love me. You don't. You couldn't. You shouldn't'
There's a pause on the line I listen to his reply.
There I'm getting back my equilibrium now. He's suddenly silent on the other end of the line and I can hear him sniffling. Good he should fucking sniffle.
I won't though. I'm too angry right now to contemplate tears. Nobody treats Noah Puckerman like he has.
"If you're not ashamed of me why did you do it?"
Answer that Kurt. Answer that one question and I'll maybe think about not hanging up on this call and never talking to you again.
His answer stutters but it's honest as far as I can tell.
Dammit why did this have to happen? My life sucked royally before but now? Now it's even worse and it could get worse still.
I'm just relieved that he's talking to me more than anything else. He won't believe me when I tell him that I love him though and it hurts like a hammer blow to the chest.
"But it's true, Noah no you have to believe me...", the plea in my voice is unmistakeable, "... I love you – I'm not ashamed of you."
Is that true? Because my actions suggest otherwise – even to me.
Clearly he doesn't believe it and I run out of words when he shouts back at me. I try to stifle the overwhelming desire to start to cry. I'm not all that successful but it's a lot better than it could have been.
I'm not going to be able to fix this. The thought fills me with despair.
"I – I was scared and I was trying to protect you."
"Protect me?", my voice is harsh this time and I cut Kurt off with my tirade, "... you protected yourself!"
I stand up, my knees protesting the action having not been used in so long, and start to pace. Pacing helps me to keep my anger stoked – it would have drained away by now otherwise.
I can't forgive him – even though a part of me, a part I'm trying to deny – already has.
"Are you – are you high?"
If I hadn't done it then they'd have run the story and it would have ruined me – ruined us. But then I've already succeeded in ruining us. I have to make him understand why – even if it's the last conversation we ever have. As I'm starting to suspect this will be.
"I know...", I pause for a second as my voice is high and squeaky and I clear my throat, "...but you have to see it from my perspective..."
I have to make him understand. I'm not just Kurt Hummel anymore – as much as I had wanted to deny it by having this secret life back in Lima – I have fame and fortune. And with that comes trashy tabloid stories about how I've been screwing around on my boyfriend with some meathead mechanic from a backwater town.
I wince at the meathead jibe – those weren't my words – they were the words of the reporter.
"Kurt Hummel slums it with meathead mechanic..."
That was to be the strap line and it would have ruined everything. My carefully constructed house of cards would have collapsed all around me.
So I dealt with it. I dealt with it like I deal with everything to do with my life – efficiently and most importantly privately.
How can he possibly think that I could put a figure on his worth to me. He's the most important thing in my universe. I'm suddenly angry right back at him for his presumption. Despite his bravado and rough exterior, Noah always has had self-worth issues.
"No I'm not high..."
How can he even think that it's in any way acceptable. Like I'd ever consent to being a kept woman – some gay guy's bitch. That's total bullshit and he knows it.
"How much did it cost Kurt? Fifty? A hundred? How much am I worth?"
I can hear his breath hitching – clearly my words are having the effect that I hoped for. I want him to realise his mistake.
I want him to regret it. He promised me if we did it that it'd be open and honest – I guess that was a load of bullshit too.
Kurt Hummel: Bullshit Peddler to the Stars
The knowledge that I'm denying that he already does regret it? I squash that easily with my anger – it doesn't fit in with my new 'lone-wolf' persona.
My jaw goes slack in surprise - that is a shitload lot of money. Still I know that he can afford it – he'll probably have justified it somehow. Probably made it a tax deductible expenditure for when the IRS comes calling.
He's still trying to justify it. Justify himself.
That came out more bitchy than I had aimed for but it got the point across. Being high would be nice right about now though. It'd sure take the edge of the hysterics that I can feel creeping up on me. Being in my industry you can't really avoid drug taking – the practice pervades everything from top to bottom.
I've had my own battles with addiction – some which Noah had helped me work through. I was now sober and clean almost fourteen months. Surely that counts for something?
He wants an answer though – he wants to know how much I think he's worth – how much the reporter wanted to keep the story from going to press. Doesn't he understand that I'd give away every cent I have just to keep things the way they were?
Fine. If he wants to know then he'll know. It's all going to Hell anyway.
"Half a million."
I know that it's shocked him. His initial guesses were far lower than the true figure I'd paid out. It wasn't a huge sum – not when I have million upon million in the bank. I'll recover the outlay in interest in a just over a year or so.
I know that he's upset but I stand by my convictions. If I hadn't done it then there would have been a media frenzy. Noah's life would be turned upside down – my quiet retreat to be with him would be smashed into itty bitty pieces.
"You could have told him to run the story Kurt. Instead you treated me like a dirty little secret."
I won't be anyone's dirty little secret.
"You used me to pretend to have a normal life. The story might not have gone to print but it did what they wanted it to do. I see the real you now – you've let your life get the better of you and you chose it over me."
"I couldn't take the chance...", I can hear him scoffing down the line – even as I scoff at myself, "... I didn't know what else to do..."
His words cut me to the quick because I know that's exactly how I've pictured it myself in my own mind. My little bit of rough. My rugged, graceless, untameable wild animal – so different from the quiet, effeminate Lukas.
My eyes are blurring and I realise that I'm actually crying as I say my piece. My final goodbye to the only person I've ever loved.
They say that love is the power.
Well that's just a load of sappy bullshit created by Hallmark to sell cards at holidays if you ask me.
Love is only the power when it comes hand in hand with trust. And I can't bring myself to trust him anymore – despite everything we've been through – the drink, the drugs – the sleepless nights.
I won't be reduced to begging for scraps like a dog.
"I'm hanging up now Kurt. You made your choice and now – if you love me like you say you do – you'll let me make mine."
His pleading whisper is like a dagger to my heart.
"Noah... please baby..."
I'm reduced to pleading with him now. I know though that it's all for nought. There's no going back – I've fractured our relationship with my secrets and lies.
He's right that I should have just told the reporter to run the story. I thought I knew better though and that I could have my cake and eat it. Noah was never supposed to find out – that he did was an accident of fate.
Fate is a bitch.
"Goodbye Kurt Hummel. And for the record. I love you too."
I hurl the cell at the wall and watch as the innards spill out an onto the floor and the light from the screen dies leaving me once again – huddled in the dark, under the glow of pink neon.
Totally alone – the way I started.
The line's gone dead and I know in my heart that were I to call again he won't pick up. I screwed it up and that's it. We're done – just like that.
I can't feel anything as I let the handset fall from between my suddenly limp fingers.
I'm numb. Totally numb.
He left me.
A/N: There we go – 10,000 words of complete ramblings moulded into a narrative. Who knows whether it was worth reading or not – that's not my call ultimately.
AND PLEASE – REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW