AN: Glee Fluff Meme Fill. Prompt asked for AU in which Kurt and Puck were BFFLs. (thread=4188649) I repeat; this is AU. I used bits of canon, but screwed with a lot of stuff at whim. You'll see. ;P
AN (2): Crappy ending is crappy. Forgive?
AN (3): Uh. I don't know anything about children - I don't have them, I don't spend time around them, I don't like them. Ergo, I have no idea how a seven year old would speak. Apologies.
Disclaimer: Glee is not mine, nor is anything by Katy Perry, or anything else I mentioned. 'cause I'm lame.
It started when they were six.
No – seven, as Puck is never hesitant to remind Kurt.
It started when they were seven. It was June (the fourteenth, Puck remembers very specifically), and school had just let out for the summer. Kurt's mother had been dead for a year; Puck's father had been gone for three. Burt Hummel had decided that the time had come to do something about his son – not about his preference for musicals (The Sound of Music was forever in the background noise of the Hummel home) or his predisposition towards dancing (at least the money Burt put up for ballet lessons was going to good use), but about his loneliness.
Kurt had always been the sort of child to really love his mother. She had been, quite obviously, his best friend. Whereas the other boys were off wrestling one another into the mud, and girls were off attempting to braid each other's hair with peanut butter-sticky fingers, Kurt was always content to sit on his mother's lap, listening to her read him stories of princesses, and witches, and white horses, and magic.
When she had died – abruptly, in a car accident while doing nothing more than going to the grocery store – Kurt had withdrawn from everyone. The Hummel household remained loud with the sound of the Von Trapp children, and Kurt's ballet slippers continued to be in constant need of replacement from overuse, but it was different. Even if Kurt had never been a particular "social butterfly" with the other children, he had at least been known to chatter away for hours on the phone with someone (Burt thought that the little girl's name was Tina) on a fairly regular basis. After Mrs. Hummel's death, however, it had changed. Kurt stopped giggling at the antics of the Austrian children and their governess; he stopped wearing a cheerful expression as he and the rest of his ballet class put on small performances for the parents; the majority of phone calls received came from Kurt's teacher, to talk to Burt about Kurt's social problems.
After a year, Burt hadn't been able to take it anymore. He missed his son, his perfect, albeit slightly effeminate, son. The child that would laugh at jokes Burt had to hear twice to understand, and the child that was willing to talk with the grownups about things he loved while staying in a blissful state of childlike innocence towards the wary glances people gave him.
And so, Burt had signed up for a single parents support group. The night of his first meeting, he had had to literally carry Kurt inside, and the boy had clung to him desperately even when they entered to warm greetings, but Burt was adamant in his decision. Very carefully, he had pulled Kurt off of him, and had set his son down with the other children in a corner of the room, splattered with paint and with toys splayed out everywhere.
It was in that corner when they were seven that Kurt Hummel met Noah Puckerman. Or, as Kurt would always tell it, Noah Puckerman assaulted Kurt Hummel and forced him into a lifelong service as his best friend.
Noah – who, even then, demanded that people call him Puck – had been playing with a little girl, his sister Sarah, when Kurt had been dropped off, and had eyed the small brunette boy suspiciously. When he'd discerned that the kid was no threat to Puck's reputation as the toughest kid in the group (the new kid was tiny, and curled in on himself like a roly-poly, Puck recalled thinking), Puck had made a point of approaching Kurt.
And proceeded to kick him, very soundly, in the stomach. Not hard enough to hurt, of course, but hard enough to get his attention, and to irritate the new boy.
It was then that Kurt showed the first sign of anger that he had since his mother's death; he had glared very severely at Puck, and didn't hesitate in the slightest before demanding in his small (but somehow intimidating) voice, "What's your problem?"
Puck had grinned down at Kurt in response, and retorted, "You sound like a girl."
Kurt's answer to that had been to blush furiously, before standing up (brushing himself off very meticulously) and placing his hands on his hips. "And you sound like a brute. A caveman."
When Sarah, three years old at the time, had toddled over and giggled at Kurt (most likely due to the tassels on his black jacket, though Kurt always preferred to think it was because she found him to be clever even then), Puck had nodded his approval at Kurt, and said very sternly, "Okay. You're in."
The clarification of what Kurt was in was not given verbally; instead, Puck had simply pulled Kurt by the hand – though Kurt protested loudly, stating "Germs! You're sticky!" – to where he and Sarah had been playing before, while the little girl handed Kurt a messy-haired Barbie with a sort of triumphant smile.
Within five minutes, Kurt had been immersed in a startlingly fascinating game of "T-Rex versus Mega-Barbie," and by the end of the meeting, he and Puck had "spit-shaked" (tradition and name courtesy of Puck) their eternal best-friendship.
It had been with a pleasantly heavy heart that Burt had pulled Kurt away from his new-found friend (and new-found friend's sister) that night, and with a grateful smile that Burt had exchanged contact information with the boy's and girl's mother.
(Burt had never had to carry Kurt into another meeting again; if anything, he was lucky to keep Kurt in sight as the little boy darted ahead of him, down the hallways and into the spare room of the local community center that the meetings were held.)
By the time Kurt and Puck were both eleven (first Kurt, in February, then Puck in July – Kurt flaunted his age over Puck regularly, resulting in good-natured beatings, and eventual sincere apologies in the form of Puck being Kurt's "servant for a day"), the fatherless boy had come to find a paternal support in Burt, and the motherless boy found a friend and female confidante in Abigail (Abby, as she insisted) Puckerman. Kurt had gained a sister in Sarah, and Puck had gained a feeling of belonging and love in the Hummel home, that he'd rarely had at his own home.
It had become rare for a day to pass without one of them in the other's home – Burt and Abby had arranged a schedule, in which the three children would spend certain days after school at the Hummel house (where Kurt would teach Sarah the things he knew from ballet, and Puck would pretend that he wasn't interested), and others at the Puckerman house (where Kurt would feign disinterest in Puck's Nerf guns, only to snatch one up and land a direct shot on the back of Puck's head when the mohawked male least expected it). It had become even rarer for either of the boys to be seen without the other at school – they were very nearly attached at the hip, though it would have been more appropriate to say at the hand.
Somewhere along the line, Kurt (Kurt rather thought it had been Puck, but the latter always argued the point until he was blue in the face) had initiated hand-holding between the two. What had started as a brief, occasional moment of comfort, had eventually resulted in constant, instinctive motions of affection.
These motions did little to silence the bullies that were already showing themselves in the two's final year of elementary school – new words were discovered, and hurled at Kurt with more hate than Puck had ever thought to be possible. Jokes became more mean-spirited, and Kurt became the target of taunts declaring that he liked to kiss boys. Puck, ever the bully, suffered none of this, but witnessed it regularly. Such had been the motivation behind his bouts of violence towards other boys, which resulted in innumerable detentions, suspensions, and threats of expulsion. (Which had only been listened to after Kurt had complained that if Puck got expelled, Kurt would be alone for middle school.)
By the time the two did reach middle school, things became worse. Kurt's tortures became daily, and involved more often than not garbage, slurs, and bodily fluids that would forever haunt Kurt's dreams. Puck, however, had managed to ward off enough of the tormentors to keep Kurt sane, and his hand remained ever-present in Kurt's.
It was in middle school that Kurt had first spoken the terms of his sexuality aloud to Puck. It had been during one of their traditional post-Friday-night-supper Friday-night-sleepovers, while Kurt helped Puck with his history homework. It had been nothing more than an offhanded remark of, "In case you didn't know, I'm gay," between questions about the Declaration of Independence, and had received nothing more than a snort, and a retorted, "You forget that I know everything about you? I figured that out five years ago, Kurt."
Kurt had rolled his eyes, and proceeded to grant Puck a slight slap upside the head. That night, however, in the dark of Kurt's basement as the two lie curled up next to one another on Kurt's bed, hands intertwined, Kurt had murmured a soft, "Thank you," that required no explanation.
It was also in middle school that Puck had begun seriously dating – as serious as Puck "Puckasaurus" Puckerman could, anyway – all and any remotely busty cheerleaders in the area. Rarely were the relationships anything more than a few clumsy but always-improving make-out sessions and some mild and fumbling petting, but there were always the exceptions – such as with Santana Lopez.
She was a cheerleader, and had been extremely pretty – Kurt had noted on more than one occasion that he was jealous of her complexion, as he bemoaned his own "pasty" one. Naturally, she and Puck had been drawn together through similar senses of humor, and through Puck's involvement with football. They had been nothing exclusive, as it had been clear, but they still made a point of referring to one another as "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" for the sake of having one.
It was Santana who had first asked the question, point blank, "Are you two like, a thing?" of Puck and Kurt. The three had been two – Puck and Santana – and had been making out, up until Kurt had called, and Puck had made a point of pushing Santana off his lap. He had shooed her out of the room for a few minutes while he spoke to Kurt, and when he had let her back in, he'd declared that Kurt was going to be coming over. He had said as much without even the slightest appearance that he thought something was amiss with that, and Santana had regarded him with a curious look.
When Kurt had shown up, he had taken Santana's former spot on Puck's lap, and Puck's arms had promptly found themselves winding around Kurt as though they belonged there. Kurt and Puck both proceeded to chat amiably with one another, and occasionally Santana, as though there were nothing unusual whatsoever with the situation.
As she finally grew tired of it, Santana pursed her lips, crossed her arms, and glared at Puck and Kurt suspiciously. And then she had asked her question, very bluntly, but somehow, without a trace of disdain.
Kurt and Puck had exchanged a glance, and had burst into laughter. Puck proceeded to explain that Kurt was his best friend in the world, and the only one he could ever want, and Kurt had grinned and said, "Ditto."
Santana was unconvinced, but smirked at the two as she said her goodbyes, with a kiss on the cheek for Puck, and a friendly pat on the shoulder for Kurt.
From then on, Santana had become a familiar figure in KurtandPuck's life. When the two went out to the movies, she would tag along, with a blonde bestbestfriend of her own, named Brittany. Gradually, the four became more familiar with one another, and would have their own sleepovers together – though they always remained KurtandPuck and SanandBritt. When Kurt started coming home with Brittany on one hand, Puck on the other, and Santana on either of the other's other hand, Burt hadn't asked questions; instead, he'd smiled, introduced himself to the girls, and made it clear that they were to make themselves at home. Abby did the same.
In high school, things had changed for the worse. The arsenal of insults used against Kurt grew to include more obscene, tasteless, and hateful things, and Puck's injuries to the offending ones had grown more and more severe. For the most part, it was understood that if anyone were to do anything to Kurt, it would be Puck to answer to – no one understood why, but had long since found out that it was better to not try to, unless Puck's fist (and legendary pair of brass knuckles) were a preferred cause of death.
Some, however, insisted on challenging Puck's self-proclaimed "Badassness," and went out of their ways to torment Kurt. They were the ones who often sported black eyes.
In sophomore year, there had been Quinn Fabray. She had been a friend of – or at least a fellow Cheerio with – Brittany and Santana, had been in Glee along with the two same girls, along with Kurt and Puck (Kurt's idea, Puck would always swear), and had also been the girlfriend of the quarterback.
She had been, until an unfortunate lack of birth control (which Kurt took the liberty of berating Puck for at a later date) had resulted in a Puck-induced pregnancy. She had confronted Kurt about her situation first, apologizing profusely for having had sex with his boyfriend. Kurt had proceeded to assure her that he and Puck were just friends, and had then asked her very intently what she intended to do with the child.
From then on, Kurt had become Quinn's confidante. For nearly two weeks, he was the only person she had told about the pregnancy, and he had kept the secret (regretfully, in Puck's case) from everyone else. When she finally did tell her quarterback boyfriend, Finn, he had broken up with her – unsurprisingly – but had privately thanked Kurt, with the correct assumption that Kurt had been the one to urge Quinn to tell him the truth. (Finn had also proceeded to ramble to Kurt about how he had a problem involving a mailman and how he wouldn't have been surprised if he got Quinn pregnant in one of their hot tub moments. Kurt thought he had learned, during that one-sided conversation, what it felt like to have his brain cells commit suicide.)
Puck had been infuriated when Quinn revealed her pregnancy – not because she was pregnant, but because she had mentioned that Kurt knew she was pregnant, and had said nothing.
The following fall-out was legendary; Puck slushied Kurt in bitter retaliation, in full view of everyone, and all homophobic hell broke loose. Taking that as a sign that they were allowed to do what they would to Kurt, the other bullies upped their antes tenfold.
Puck had no knowledge of as much, as he and Kurt had had a silent agreement in that slushying that they wouldn't speak to one another after that. Sides were chosen (Puck won Santana, and Kurt Brittany, Quinn, and even Finn), new alliances were formed (Puck befriended two football players from the Glee Club named Mike Chang and Matt Rutherford, while Kurt spent time with the "outcasts" of the Glee Club; a sassy girl named Mercedes Jones, a nerdy boy named Artie Abrams, and the same Tina Cohen-Chang who had been his first best friend in kindergarten), and parents were bemused. (Though Burt had given a nod of understanding, when Kurt asked him, "Could Quinn stay with us? Her parents kicked her out…she's pregnant. With Puck's."
Kurt had vehemently denied what Burt obviously thought to be the reason behind the KurtandPuck split: jealousy.)
By the end of the year, Kurt and Puck were still not on speaking terms, though they did allow one another occasional, furtive glances that they had both been under the impression went unnoticed by everyone. (They didn't, but no one had had the heart to tell either as much.)
The only sign of a possible reunion was seen as Quinn and Puck said a final farewell to their child, whom they'd elected (out of necessity, rather than desire) to put up for adoption. Both had exchanged apologies for all of the turmoil that had happened because of the pregnancy, and Quinn had, surprisingly timidly for someone like her, whispered to Puck that Kurt had wanted to tell him from the start.
Puck had said nothing in response, preferring instead to nod wordlessly like the self-proclaimed "badass" he was, but had looked regretfully at where Kurt sat in the waiting room, as though he was desperate to say something to him.
He didn't, and that summer became the first in nine years that the two had spent apart.
In junior year, there had been Rachel Berry. She was also in Glee Club, and was very clearly besotted with Finn, who had been her boyfriend the year prior after what the Glee kids called "BabyGate". However, through a series of romantic entanglements, their relationship had ended (despite Kurt's best efforts to keep it together), and Rachel had found herself turning to Puck.
Though initially, no one had thought much of the "romance," it quickly began to appear "serious." Instead of seeing a small, brunette male holding onto Puck's hand as the mohawked boy made his way down the hall, it suddenly became a small brunette female. Such was clearly as serious as things could get, when Puck's and Kurt's relationship with one another was taken into account.
Kurt was very clearly jealous, though he had too much pride to say as much. (Although Quinn and Mercedes weren't at all shy when it came to saying it for him.) In a transparent attempt to make Puck jealous, Kurt began spending time with a boy from a nearby private school named Blaine – only to find that there was more than just an attempt at inciting envy, and instead fall head over heels.
Within three months, Blaine had transferred to McKinley for the sole purpose of being with Kurt, and the two were – in Puck's fateful words – disgustingly in love. A football player named Dave Karofsky happened to hear the statement, and proceeded to do Puck a "favor," by means of threatening the couple's lives if they continued "shoving their sexualities down everyone's throats."
News of the threat travelled quickly amongst the Glee Club members, and Finn finally took the step to inform Burt of what had gone on. With that knowledge, Burt had gone to the principle, and Karofsky had been promptly expelled. Puck was left shocked by the sudden turn of events, and heard nothing more than Burt's echoed words of disappointment, uttered at a Friday night dinner, for the course of that evening.
"I thought you were there for Kurt…what happened, Noah?"
That night, the long-abandoned post-Friday-night-supper Friday-night-sleepover tradition had been picked up again, and Kurt and Puck were up the night together, clinging to one another sorrowfully while they whispered apologies, hoarsely requested forgiveness, and informed the other of what they had missed in their time apart.
The following Monday, the two were back, walking into the school with their hands clasped tightly together. Rachel's and Blaine's jealousies, and discomforts with their newfound positions at Puck's and Kurt's sides (without hands to hold) were obvious, and didn't get better as the days progressed.
On Wednesday of that week, as the Gleeks gathered in the auditorium to watch Artie and Mike perform their number for the week's assignment of "dance" (a charming rendition of "Safety Dance," in which Artie attached tap shoes to his wheelchair), Rachel became entirely fed up with Kurt's comfortable position nestled into Puck's lap, and had broken up with her equally-Jewish boyfriend just before the bell rang.
Puck was noticeably unfazed by the rejection, and joined Kurt in urging Finn to again pursue the female.
On Friday of the same week, Blaine had pulled Kurt aside during lunch period – and thus, pulled Kurt's hand out of Puck's – and very calmly, though with a sad sort of resignation, declared their relationship to be over. Startled by the sudden turn of events, Kurt had hastily requested a reason, and Blaine had cited Puck.
Kurt had quickly tried to assure Blaine that he and Puck were nothing more than friends, to which Blaine laughed a wry sort of laugh, and shook his head.
"I don't believe that, Kurt. Don't give me that look! I believe you, when you act like you believe that, but I don't believe it myself."
"I have absolutely no idea what you're saying," Kurt had mumbled quietly to the ground as he stared at the tiled floor of the deserted astronomy classroom.
Blaine had laughed again, before patting Kurt tenderly on the hand and explaining, "You will, eventually. Even if you and Puck aren't in love –"
"Which we're not," Kurt interjected hotly, though the shameful way his aquamarine eyes instinctively avoided Blaine's hazel ones indicated the inadvertent lie.
"Even if you aren't, I still can't beat your friendship. You two just get each other, darling – you're matches; better halves; you make a perfect shape. Just wait for it – the stars will align."
Kurt had stared at Blaine, mouth agape for a moment, before nodding understandingly, offering the shorter boy a soft hug, and murmuring thoughtfully, "Did you just quote Katy Perry at me in a breakup speech?"
Grinning, Blaine confirmed as much with a small peck on the cheek. "I asked you out with Perry – I thought it was only fitting."
Kurt rolled his eyes at the memory of being serenaded by "Teenage Dream," but took Blaine's hand fondly anyway as they returned to their table outside in the courtyard.
The hand was dropped instantly, in favor of Puck's, when they reached the table in question.
By the time when senior year, and thus, graduation, had finally rolled around, Puck and Kurt had come to terms with what everyone else considered their obvious infatuation. They entered the William McKinley High School Glee Club Farewell Party as boyfriends, hands being held just as they always had been – only to exit as fiancés, after a heartwarming speech by Santana, who had ordered Puck to "Take that goddamn ring out of your pocket – oh no, bitch, don't pretend like it's not there – and just propose already."
Puck had done so, with a dramatic drop to one knee, and Kurt accepted with a heavy blush and a tearful smile.
(Santana's urging for Puck to propose was explained later, when Brittany ran into the room after a brief detour into the hallway, and had shown off the engagement ring on her finger with gleeful hugs to everyone and anyone within reach. Puck later confronted Santana about as much, while Kurt and Brittany disappeared in a mass of gushing New Direction girls (and Blaine), to which the Latina answered that, "This has been going on since middle school, Puckerman – the four of us, I mean. Double wedding's the only way to go.")
As the New Directions, by that time nineteen in number (including Blaine and Matt, the latter who had transferred away in junior year, and the former senior year), exited the choir room for the last time, hands were held all the while; none more tightly than Kurt's and Puck's.