(A/N: This sort of popped into my head. Its terribly cliché but I decided to write it out anyway. I'd also like to apologize to anyone who is currently following my other story "A House Is Not A Home." It will be updated soon. I just had to get this Puck/Kurt pairing out of my system first. Puck's a little OOC in this but then again…when is he not in fanfiction?)
Disclaimer: Don't own the characters; I just play with them. I don't own the song "Ego," either.
Warnings: Mentions of homosexuality and egregious misuse of the word 'ego.'
'Cause You're the Boss
Chapter One: In Which Egos are Discussed
Kurt Hummel was wondering what he had done to so thoroughly offend whatever supernatural being controlled the universe. Sure, he had screwed up with the whole Let's-Set-Up-Carole-And-My-Father-So-I-Can-Get-Closer-To-Finn Plan. He was still bitter (and incredibly embarrassed) about the whole fiasco but even he had to admit he sort of deserved the comeuppance he got. He had messed around with other people's love lives just so he could try and live out some fantasy with Finn that he knew would never be reality. He had messed around in Rachel's life and Carole's life, but more importantly, he had messed around in his dad's life for his own selfish reasons. He'd never be able to forgive himself for that.
So you would think that living with the guilt alone would be enough karmic retribution to last him a lifetime.
But of course not. He had suffered in other ways. His friendship with Finn had suffered and, once his father got wind of his ulterior motives for setting up him and Carole, his relationship with his father had suffered as well.
But even that was not enough to satisfy what ever twisted, cruel spirit had control over his fate. Because here Kurt was…with one Noah Puckerman in his basement. Going through his stuff. And touching everything.
Currently, the oafish gorilla was going through his CDs.
"Sucks…sucks…totally blows…" Puck said decisively, throwing CDs to the side in disgust as he went through them.
"Would you stop tearing my room apart, you Neanderthal?" snapped Kurt.
"I would if you had anything worth not tearing apart," Puck replied evenly.
"Just because you wouldn't recognize class if it hit you with a bus—"
"Psh, class?" scoffed Puck. "You have the soundtrack to Cats in here."
"That is a Broadway classic!"
"And how do you explain the fact that you have three different versions of the soundtrack to Gypsy?"
"One is never truly complete without Ethel's, Angela's and Patti's versions of Mama Rose," sniffed Kurt.
"The Greatest Hits of Gloria Estefan?" Puck held up the CD as evidence of Kurt's crimes against music, looking at it as if had mortally offended him.
"…no one asked for your opinion, Puckerman," Kurt cheeks were tinged with pink.
"Whatever," Puck glanced half-heartedly at the pile of CDs that were left to sort through. "What else ya got?"
Kurt let out a world-weary sigh, but obligingly handed over his ipod.
"I didn't think you'd find anything you liked in the CDs anyway," Kurt shook his head. "They're mostly soundtracks."
"…you have a terrifying amount of Madonna on here, are you aware of that?" Puck commented after flipping through Kurt's ipod for a few moments.
"Madonna is a—" burst Kurt, but his outrage was interrupted by the larger boy.
"Don't care, princess," Puck said abruptly.
"Don't call me 'princess.' I'm not a girl."
"The borderline psychotic collection of Disney soundtracks you have on your ipod begs to differ."
"Just pick a song so we can get this over with," groaned Kurt. "What did I ever do to you to deserve this?" That last part was directed more at that vindictive Lady Fate than the boy sitting across from him.
"So…what qualifies as a duet, anyway?" Puck wondered aloud, still idly flipping through songs on Kurt's ipod. "I mean, it doesn't have to be a love song, right?"
"Seriously, was I like a serial killer in another life or something?" Kurt growled in a low voice at the ceiling. "What have I done to deserve this?"
"Huh?" Puck was giving him a strange look now.
"Nothing…no, it doesn't have to be a love song," Kurt almost gagged on the last two words.
"You don't have to sound so revolted at the idea," Puck raised an eyebrow.
"I'm not what?"
"Revolted at the idea?"
"Why?" Puck shrugged. "It's just a song, dude. Don't take it so seriously."
"Yeah," Kurt said slowly. "But it's a duet. With me." Then he added as an after thought. "And don't call me 'dude.'"
"Alright, babe, whatever you want."
"Please have mercy and kill me now."
"Would you focus? The faster we pick a song, the faster I can get the hell out of here."
"Ah," Kurt raised an eyebrow.
"The rare valid point coming from you."
"What did I do to deserve this?" It was Puck that grumbled this time.
"Blame Shue and his stupid Hat of Fate," Kurt said. "If it wasn't for him, I could have chosen my own partner. Mercedes and I would have been fabulous together."
Puck said nothing. Sure, he hated being here…but a partner was better than no partner. Seriously, now that he thought about it…he wasn't sure anyone in the Glee Club would willingly work with him anymore. Most of them were pretty pissed at him for one reason or another.
"So…you got ideas for this thing or what?" Puck asked abruptly.
"I don't know of any duets that would be…appropriate for us to sing," Kurt said. "But we can always take a regular song and make it a duet."
"OK…that sounds doable," Puck actually did think it was a pretty good idea. "What kind of song did you have in mind?"
"I don't know," Kurt sighed. "We don't really like the same type of music…"
"Well, we're supposed to be expressing our feelings and shit…"
"Sorry, I don't think I know of any songs that say 'working with you kind of makes me want to kill myself,'" Kurt rolled his eyes.
"Yeah, and I don't know of any songs that say, 'Sometimes I feel bad about all those times I threw you in a dumpster but then I remember what a queeny bitch you are,'" growled Puck.
There was dead silence in the room. Puck wasn't sure if he'd stepped over a line. Hummel could be so sensitive sometimes…
"You…you feel bad about throwing me in the dumpster?"
Puck had not been expecting that reaction.
"Sometimes," he said gruffly, shifting uncomfortably. "I said sometimes."
An awkwardness filled the room like no awkwardness Puck had ever felt. It was practically tangible. Seeking something to break the silence he looked back down at the ipod in his hand.
"Hey! I found a song we could do!" Puck practically shouted and Kurt jumped about a foot in the air. "Sorry," he mumbled, lowering his voice to a much more acceptable level. "I mean, I think I found a song we could do!"
"R-right," Kurt said, still trying to calm his rapidly beating heart from the sudden Puck-splosion that had happened mere moments ago. "So…which song struck your fancy?"
Puck stared at him blankly.
"Which song did you like?" Kurt amended quickly.
"Ego," Puck said promptly.
"By Beyoncé?" Kurt raised an eyebrow.
"The one and only."
"Um, Puck, I'm not sure that's a great song choice for us—"
"Aw, come on, man," Puck cut him off. "You're all into Beyoncé, right? And the remix has Kanye West in it. I could totally be down with being Kanye."
"That is a compelling point but—"
"Nah, come on, man, we'll try it out," Puck rushed over to the ipod dock.
Seeing the other teen wouldn't be persuaded against it, Kurt simply shook his head and snapped, "Don't call me 'man.'"
"Sure thing, cupcake," Puck grinned as the music started and he sang along, strutting around Kurt's room like it was his own personal pent house.
"I got a big ego. (heh, heh, heh)
I'm such a big ego. (heh, heh, heh)
I got a big (heh, heh, heh) ego.
She love my big (heh, heh, heh) ego.
So stroke my big (heh, heh, heh) ego."
Oh yeah, this was a song the Puckzilla could get into. He knew he had an ego bigger than the pile of empty bottles of hair gel that overflowed from Shuester's apartment…damn, when had he started sounding like Sue Sylvester? Point was, he had the ego and the 'ego' and he loved him some double entendres.
"I like to joke around a little bit but here we go,
Welcome to the wonderful world
Of go play the earl coz,
Everything I throw up, blow up,
Talking to the girl,
Kurt interrupted from the other side of the room, "Know what? Grow up. You nasty."
Puck simply grinned wider and replied, "I don't understand why they trippin', if you ask me—"
"Seriously, Puck," Kurt interrupted, and not through song this time. "Do you really want me to sing Beyoncé's part in front of the entire Glee Club?"
Puck thought for a minute, trying to remember some of the lyrics from Beyoncé's verses and turned a little red. Finally he answered with a very small "…now that I think about it…no…"
"That's what I thought," nodded Kurt. "Nice try, though. You were right, I do love Beyoncé."
"And it is sort of an epic song," said Puck.
"Anything with Beyoncé is epic," Kurt replied.
"And it is accurate…"
"Puck…I don't need to know anything about your…ego," Kurt couldn't even look the jock in the face when he said that.
"Aw, come on, cupcake," Puck raised an eyebrow. "You know it's impressive."
"Wait…are we talking about your ego…or your ego?"
"True either way, isn't it?"
"Well, I wouldn't know anything about…the second one," Kurt felt his cheeks burning and was wondering if it was painfully obvious that he was embarrassed by the whole topic of the conversation.
"Oh yeah? You sure?" Puck knew he shouldn't, but he was really enjoying making Kurt so uncomfortable. What could he say? He'd spent so many years not being able to get under the kid's skin even when he was serving him with daily slushie facials; it was good to know the kid a weakness.
"I…what? Why would I?" Kurt was confused by the accusation.
"Hey, I'm just saying…we've changed in the same locker room at the same time before," Puck knew it was a little unfair to bait Hummel like this but…he was kind of bored. Besides, he wanted to see how riled up he could get the boy. Puck wondered briefly what would happen if he started to flirt with the male diva. Judging from his reaction to just the mere mention of Puck's…"ego," Hummel's response to being flirted with would probably be hilarious.
"I'm not a perv," Kurt was getting really sick of people assuming that just because he was gay, it meant he peeked on every guy he could. And Puck had managed to be nice to him for almost a full five minutes, too. Way to screw it up by accusing me of being a predator, Puckerman.
"No, but you are a boy," Puck shrugged. "You think I pass up the opportunity to peep on girls if I run into them?"
Kurt was trying to wrap his mind around the detour this conversation had taken. He was highly offended that Puck assumed he was a peeping Tom, but at the same time the more unsettling part about what Puck had said was…"You seem strangely ok with the idea that I might have been watching you change."
"I don't blame you," he rolled up one of his sleeves. "Have you seen my guns? Ha, what am I saying? I don't need to tell you."
"For the record," Kurt said. "I never peeked at any of you guys."
Puck snorted in disbelief.
"Fine, don't believe me if you don't want to. But even if you disbelieve that I, in fact, have moral standards that would prevent me from doing such a thing, you must realize my instinct for self preservation is far too strong to allow myself the possibility of being caught staring at a bunch of homophobes who were just looking for a reason to beat the crap out of me to scare me off the team."
Puck had to admit that the former kicker did have a point there. It would not have been smart to peek when all the guys were already hyper aware of his presence in the locker room.
"So you never looked?"
"You sound almost disappointed," laughed Kurt.
"Hey, I wouldn't have minded you checking me out," Puck grinned cheekily. "It would have just been a compliment to my awesome bod."
"I should have realized your massive ego would outweigh your homophobic tendencies," Kurt slapped a hand to cover his mouth after he realized what he said.
Puck simply laughed. "Massive, huh? I told you the song was accurate…"
"Shut up," Kurt knew his face was as about as red as it could get. There was no way Puck was missing how uncomfortable he was right now.
"So…let me ask you something, princess," Puck had a mischievous look on his face. "You strut around the school like you own it…"
"Yeah…" Kurt said slowly.
"Do you walk like that 'cause you can back it up?"
"Puck…I need to ask you something very serious," Kurt's face was painfully straight. "Are you hitting on me right now?"
"Well…I've been here for like an hour now," said Puck. "And I've so far been deprived of females to hit on."
Kurt raised an eyebrow.
"What? I'm a sex shark, baby. You're the closest thing to a girl around and I have an uncontrollable urge to flirt with anything that has lady parts."
Kurt wanted to slap him for comparing him to a girl but instead all he said was simply, "For the duration of your stay here, please suppress it."
"And don't call me 'baby.'" Kurt added on as afterthought.
"Sure thing, princess."
Kurt idly wondered if 'he wouldn't stop calling me stupid pet names' would hold up in court as an excuse for justifiable murder.
(A/N: So…is it worth continuing? I've got plans for future chapters and I just might continue it if this is something people are interested in.)