Title: The Path to Liberty
Author: 1farmer_girl
Artist: csichick_2
Type: Slash, drama, historical!au
Rating: R
Word Count: 15, 207
Beta: tastykaromel
Characters/Pairings: Puck/Kurt, Burt, Sam, Carol, Finn
Warnings: sexual content, mention of death and bloodshed
Summary: Kurt Hummel is a loyal British citizen. Or at least he was. But when his schoolyard-bully-turned-best-friend, Puck, begins voicing his discontent in regards to King George and the actions of Parliament, Kurt begins to question his own beliefs.

And when Kurt isn't worried about the threat of violence between the colonists and the British, he gets to worry about his suddenly changing relationship with Puck. What were once innocent touches now cause Kurt to flush and shiver for reasons he doesn't understand, he only knows that he doesn't want them to stop. As Britain tries to tighten its hold on the colonies, the two young men must struggle to survive in their rapidly changing world and find liberty, not only for their country, but also for themselves.

Part 1

When Kurt Hummel woke on the morning of November 29, 1773 it seemed like it was going to be just another ordinary day. Little did he know, it was a day that would change his life forever.

As always, he was awakened by the sound of his father, Burt, moving around downstairs. When Kurt was younger he'd had a game where he would try to wake up before his father in order to scare him when he first got out of bed. However, no matter how hard Kurt had tried, he'd never been able to manage it and had eventually given up.

It was comforting, in a way, to always awaken to the reminder that his strong, steady father was nearby. Kurt's mother had been consumed by scarlet fever a few years back and since then it had been just the two of them, relying on each other. Kurt's father ran a prosperous blacksmith shop adjacent to their house. He's work brought in enough money for them to live well, but not enough to hire on a maid. So, every since his mother's death, the more 'womanly' jobs of cooking and cleaning had fallen to Kurt.

As soon as Kurt woke that ordinary morning, he rose, dressed, and headed down the loft steps to prepare breakfast for his small family of two. Mr. Burt Hummel was seated at the table, writing, but as soon as he saw Kurt he folded the paper he was working on and slipped into his pocket. The two exchanged good morning wishes as Kurt brought out the ingredients he would need.

Because of the chill in the air, Kurt decided to make oatmeal. He used his mother's recipe that called for honey to be added to the oats. This gave the oatmeal an extra sticky texture which would keep the warm meal "stuck to the inside of your ribs," as his mother used to say.

He spooned out the oatmeal into two bowls and carried them over to the table where his father was waiting. Over breakfast, the two discussed their plans for the day. Burt was looking at a regular day at his blacksmithy. He didn't have any exceptionally interesting orders, just the usual batch of crockery repairs and a couple dozen wheel spokes for the cart wheeler.

As for Kurt, he needed to make a run to the butchery to get some pork chops for the Christmas party pot luck at the church next Sunday. He also had to make lunch and dinner for himself and his father, wash any dirty dishes, darn some of his father's socks, bake and deliver a 'get well' casserole to widow Hudson whose son had managed to break his leg earlier that week, help his father with and bookkeeping he needed, and sweep the newly fallen snow off the front porch.

But he only mentioned having to go to the butchery because he knew his father didn't like the idea of him working so much. Kurt knew his father worried about his son not having a good childhood because of the loss of his mother. Before Mrs. Hummel had died, there had been talk of sending Kurt to university, but afterwards Kurt was needed at home too much, not to mention they would never be able to afford tuition.

Sometimes Kurt wondered about how his life would be different if he'd continued with his education, but for the most part he was perfectly happy to stay close to his father. The two had an exceptionally close bond and Kurt didn't like to think of his father having to manage all on his own. So, he painted a rosy picture of his days and carried out his daily chores as cheerfully as possible and without complaining.

Once the two had finished eating and the Kurt was clearing of the table of their breakfast dishes, Burt headed out to open up the blacksmith shop adjacent to the house for the day's business. Kurt worked his way through his chores, saving the trip to the butchery till the end of the day when he knew the shop would be mostly empty and he would be able to chat with the proprietor, Noah Puckerman, for awhile without taking him away from other customers.

On the way, Kurt stopped off at Widow Hudson's house to give her the casserole and wish her son, Finn, a speedy recovery. He was obligated to stay and chat with her while she gave him a detailed account of how the leg had been broken (fell from his horse as it was jumping over a gate), the doctor's prognoses (Finn was young and strong and should heal without any problems), and how much stress Finn was causing his poor mother (quite a lot).

Eventually, Kurt was able to politely make his excuses and head on down the road, shaking his head at Finn. The boy always seemed to be hurting himself with foolish mistakes. Just this previous spring he'd broken his wrist he'd tried to jump over all 16 steps leading from the first to the second floor of the schoolhouse on a dare. What in the world had made Finn think it was a good idea to make a horse jump over anything in this weather, much less a gate.

As Kurt walked into the butchery and saw Puck cutting up sections of pork chops behind the counter, he marveled at how much things had changed since when he'd first met Noah Puckerman. They'd known each other for nearly ten years, though their friendship was a fairly recent development.

There was no denying that Kurt was on the small side, physically, but this had been even more noticeable when he was younger and even most of the neighborhood girls were taller than him. Puck, or Noah as he was called then, had been something of a bully and his primary target had been Kurt.

It hadn't been that bad at first since they only ever saw each other if they passed each other on the street and then there were usually so many people, that the worst Noah could do was shove Kurt out of his way. However, when Kurt's mother got sick most of the family's finances went toward paying her doctor bills. There wasn't enough money left over to pay tuition for Kurt's private school, so he'd had to enroll at the public school that Noah went to.

After that, it'd seemed like Noah's goal in life was to make Kurt's life miserable. At first, it was just name calling behind the teacher's back, but when they were 14, Puck had hit a growth spurt that caused him to practically tower nearly a full foot over Kurt.

At that time, Noah had started making everyone call him Puck and escalated his bullying towards Kurt from basic schoolyard taunts to more physical actions. Puck would organize the other bullies in the school to throw Kurt in the compost heap behind the schoolhouse or throw seawater from the wharf in his face.

What was worse, however, was when Puck went solo in his bullying. He would corner Kurt in some alleyway between school and Kurt's home. Puck was so much stronger than Kurt that he could pin Kurt's smaller frame to a wall with ease. He would hold Kurt in place and laugh and tease while Kurt struggled in vain to get away.

Kurt wasn't sure why this method of bullying bothered him the most. Aside from a few scrapes from whatever brick wall Puck would hold him against, Puck never actually hurt Kurt in those alleyways. When Kurt was faced against a gang in the schoolyard he was able to stand strong against the pain they caused him and not let any emotion show on his face. However, when it was just Puck focused on him, mouth twisted with cruel words, Kurt didn't seem capable of holding back tears. Maybe it had become a reflex ingrained in him because as soon as he started crying Puck would instantly let him go.

Whatever the reason, Kurt didn't like to think about those days anymore, not when things were so much better now. A little over a year ago Puck's father had disappeared. No one seemed to know for sure where he had gone, but there were more than enough rumors to make up for the lack of facts.

Mr. Puckerman had never been a well liked man in the Boston community. He'd owned a small meat shop near the docks, but he was more likely to be found in the bars and brothels of Boston's seedy red light district. This caused the rumors regarding his disappearance to become rather vicious in their telling.

Some said that he'd incurred gambling debts and had been killed when he was unable to pay back the money. Some said that he'd gotten so drunk one night he accidently stumbled onto a ship bound for England and by the time he woke up to realize his mistake, the ship had already left the harbor. Some said that he'd run off with one of the dancing girls to New York.

In the end it didn't matter what had actually happened, many of the people of Boston began snubbing Mrs. Puckerman and her two children, Puck and Sarah. Puck was no longer the head of the schoolyard and he spent the remaining month of his education just as ridiculed as Kurt.

At first, Kurt was thrilled to see the tables turned, but then he saw the sad, haunted look in Puck's eyes. Kurt could remember how horrible it had been when his mother had died. Losing her had been the worst thing that ever happened to him, but he knew that she was gone because illness had taken her, not by any choice of her own.

Wherever Mr. Puckerman had gone, chances were he had gone of his own freewill. Kurt couldn't begin to imagine how much pain this knowledge must be causing Puck; that the father he loved didn't love his family enough to stay with them.

After Kurt realized that he began to extend the hand of friendship to Puck. At first Puck had been suspicious of Kurt's intentions. This was understandable what with all the grief Puck had given him over the years, but in the end, Puck had begun to open up to Kurt. He started smiling more and he began protecting Kurt whenever the regular gang got too eager.

Then after they'd finished schooling, Mrs. Puckerman had announced that she couldn't take the snide whispers from her neighbors any longer. She wanted to move back to her family in London, but she couldn't afford ship passage for both her children. It was decided that she would take Sarah with her for now while Puck stayed in Boston. Puck could re-open the butchery and once he had raised enough money for passage, he would join them in London.

Puck had put on a brave face, telling Kurt of his plans for the shop and how quickly he was going to be able to raise the money to rejoin his family, but no matter how broad his smile, he couldn't fool Kurt. Kurt could see how much pain it was causing him to be abandoned once again by the people he loved.

The day his mother and sister left, Puck had stood on the dock, waving goodbye until the ship was out of sight over the horizon. Kurt had gone with him for support and by the end of the day he was so glad he had. Kurt had never seen Puck cry before that day, but as soon as they returned to the little living space above the butchery the tears began falling down Puck's face at an alarming rate. Kurt had held Puck close, running his hands up and down the larger boy's back and whispering random words of encouragement.

Now, standing in the little shop that Puck had built up with his own two hands, Kurt couldn't help marveling at how far they had come. From the days of being schoolyard enemies, Kurt now considered Puck to be one of his closest friends. They confided in each other on everything and leaned on each other in their times of need.

Kurt walked over to the counter, grinning when Puck looked up and saw him.

"Well, good evening Princess. What brings you to my humble establishment?"

Kurt rolled his eyes at the nickname. It had been Puck's go-to-taunt when he was pinning Kurt in some alley. Once accompanied with words of how pretty and tiny Kurt was in a deep, growly voice that did strange things to his insides, it was now light and teasing though it still made Kurt feel things he never felt anywhere else.

"What have I told you about calling me that?"

Puck answered with a cheeky grin, "I just call 'em like I seem 'em and the way I see it, only princesses spend as much times as you do in front of a mirror." Kurt opened his mouth to throw out a rebuttal, but Puck beat him to it. "If you want me to say I'm sorry I will, but that don't mean I won't keep calling you Princess."

"Well, if you insist," Kurt gave a put upon sigh, but if he was honest with himself, he wasn't 100% sure he wanted Puck to stop calling him the name that changed his insides to jelly.

"Hey, have you heard the news?" Puck interrupted Kurt's thoughts.

"Hm, what news?"

"Parliament raised the tea tax," Puck sounded indignant, which caused Kurt to look over at him in surprise.

Kurt snorted, "How is that news? Parliament raised the tea tax months ago."

"Come on Kurt, surely you've heard the speeches in the square. Every since the Tea Act was passed the Colonists have been up in arms about it, it's one's civic duty to be aware of such things. Personally, I think it's an outrage," Puck had an expression on his face that he probably thought was suave and worldly. Kurt thought he looked constipated.

"I think you're just spoiling for a fight. You can't tell me you actually care about how much tea costs. You don't even like tea," Kurt pointed out.

Puck frowned, "You're not looking at the big picture here, Kurt. It's not about how much the tea costs; it's about the fact that the Colonists have no representatives in what Parliament does. It's practically tyranny."

"Puck, watch your tongue," Kurt hissed, looking around to see if anyone had heard Puck's slip of the tongue. "Saying things like that is borderline treason. You could get in big trouble if one of the King's soldiers heard you."

"Calm down, none of those bloody redcoats are going to bother coming in a pitiful establishment like this shop."

"Puck," Kurt started, only to be interrupted.

"Oh, honestly, don't tell me you're going to start harping on me about calling them redcoats. They wear red coats, it's totally appropriate."

"I wasn't going to say anything about that," Kurt said softly, laying his hand on one of Puck's. "I was just going to say you shouldn't call you're shop pitiful. You've done remarkably well running it all on your own. I'm sure your family would be quite proud of you if they were here."

Puck didn't say anything for a long moment, just staring down at Kurt's hand on top of his own with an odd expression on his face. Finally, he looked up at Kurt, "You really think so?"

"Of course I do," Kurt replied, giving Puck's hand one last squeeze before letting it go. "Just promise me you'll be more careful about what you say. I'm sure all this talk of rebellion is appealing to you, but sooner or later it's all going to die down. I would hate for you to get in trouble simply because you got caught up in the excitement until then."

"You really think it's that easy, do you?" Puck asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Certainly, this is the same as when we were schoolboys and you and your band of hooligans would whisper about what a foolish old coot the headmaster was. The only difference is that if you get caught, you'll get a far worse punishment than having to write out lines."

That got a chuckle out of Puck. "Is that a fact? And are those your own opinions or does Mr. Hummel agree with you?"

Kurt paused, trying to remember a specific time his father had spoken out against the rebels, only to find that he could not. Still, his father had never been own to pay much attention to politics; there was no reason for him to start now over such a petty affair.

"Of course, Father believes the same as I do. He is a loyal British subject, as we all should be," Kurt added pointedly.

Puck just laughed at that, "Well, then what can I get for your lordship this fine morning?"

Kurt smiled before raising his nose to play along. In his snottiest voice he commanded Puck to bring him his finest selections of sausage and pork chops. Puck bowed and acted the humble servant as he counted out the sausage links until he flicked a bit of gristle into Kurt's hair, causing him to shriek and them both to dissolve into giggles.

Once he'd calmed down, Kurt leaned coolly against the counter as if he hadn't just been giggling so hard he could barely breathe.

"So, what made you bring up the tea tax?" Kurt asked, curious. "I don't remember seeing anything about it in the newspaper this morning."

Puck grinned slyly over at him, "No, there wouldn't be anything in the newspaper. It's being kept secret from the redcoats, so it's being passed along strictly by word of mouth. There's going to be a meeting at Feneuil Hall tonight to discuss what the colonists are going to do about the new law."

"What's there to talk about? The law has already been passed, there's nothing that can be done about it now."

"Ah, that's where you're wrong," Puck said, wrapping Kurt's meat up in paper. He motioned Kurt closer so he could drop his voice down to a whisper. "There has been talk of revolting."

"Revolting!" Kurt cried out in shock. "Surely, you jest; you can't revolt against the crown. He's the king!"

"He is no king, he is a tyrant." Puck hissed, causing Kurt to flinch. When he saw Kurt's reaction to his anger, Puck took a deep breath to calm himself down. "I don't mean to scare you, but it's true. The colonists have no vote in Parliament, there isn't even a way for us to state our opinion before the law makers. Things can't go on like this. I'm not the only one who thinks this, there are dozens of other colonists who agree with me, and that's just the ones in Boston. That's why I'm going to that meeting tonight, to try and make things better."

Kurt didn't say anything for a few seconds, trying to absorb what Puck had just told him. "Puck, going to this meeting is incredibly dangerous. If one of the king's soldiers were to find out and catch you…Puck, you would be in real trouble."

"I don't care. Things can't go on like this and the only way they are going to change is if the colonists get over their fear and take a stand."

Kurt bit his lip, worried about his friend, "Then let me come with you."

"What?"

"Puck, if you have one fault it's that you are too impulsive. If you go by yourself, I just know you'll try to do something radical and get yourself hurt. If I go with you, I can make sure you keep your head down. And I won't stay up all night worrying about you."

Puck just looked at him for a moment for grinning and saying, "You'd really worry about me?"

Kurt ducked his head, not sure why those innocent words made him feel embarrassed. "Of course I would. If something were to happen to you I'd have to walk all the way to Dorchester Street to get a decent pork chop."

That caused Puck to laugh as he handed over Kurt's purchases, "Alright then, I'll meet you outside your house at 8 o' clock."

Kurt nodded in agreement and headed back home with the carefully wrapped meat in his basket.

Kurt wasn't feeling quite so pleased with his decision to accompany Puck later that night as he waited on the front step for Puck to arrive. For starters, Kurt never liked having to lie to his father, but he'd had to make something up for his evenings absence. Kurt was mollified by the knowledge that he hadn't really lied when he said he would be hanging out with Puck tonight, he just hadn't told the whole truth. But what was he supposed to say, "By the way, I'm going out with Puck tonight to a rebel meeting to make sure he doesn't do anything rash and if we're caught we could be arrested for treason. You don't have a problem with that do you, Father?" Kurt snorted at the very idea.

Fortunately, his father hadn't seemed all that concerned since he was going to go out tonight as well. Kurt didn't know where his father was going, but if it kept his father from worrying then he didn't really care. He had more important thing to worry about, like what would happen to him and Puck if they were caught at this rebel meeting.

Kurt was trying to think of the best way to convince Puck to forget all this foolishness, when who should show up, but Puck himself. Kurt frowned at the horse Puck was riding, "Has the cold made you so lazy you can't walk the short distance to Feneuil Hall on your own two feet?"

"I see that the cold hasn't dulled the sharpness of your tongue any," Puck shot back, but the wide grin on his face dampened any sting his words might have had. "The meeting place has been changed to the South Meeting House because so many people showed up that there wasn't enough room at Feneuil Hall and the redcoats were starting to get suspicious."

Kurt's eyes widened at that, this wasn't the small rebel force he was expecting. There had to be hundreds of people to justify moving to the South Meeting House. The huge building was on the other side of town, the only way to make it there in time for the meeting would be to ride, but there was a problem, "My father took the horse out just a few minutes ago. I have no way to get to the meeting."

Puck didn't respond right away, but eventually he said softly, "You could ride with me."

Kurt sighed, "Oh yes, because that's just what you need; more evidence that I'm the woman in this relationship."

Puck made a strange choking noise and shifted in the saddle. "I promise not to make any jokes,"

"Very well, but I'm holding you to that promise."

Puck laughed and held a hand out to Kurt. A not so small part of Kurt wished it wasn't so easy for Puck to pull him up. The rest of him wondered why he found it so thrilling to have Puck manhandle him in front of the saddle. At least he wasn't cold anymore, secured as he was in Puck's arms.

"Comfortable?" Puck asked, voice suddenly a lot rougher than it had been.

"Quite," Kurt whispered, for some reason unable to put his standard level of haughtiness into the word. He wrapped a hand around Puck's bicep, strictly as a safety precaution, not for any other reason.

The trip across town was oddly silent, devoid of the snappy back and forth commentary that tended to happen whenever the two were in close proximity.

Kurt enjoyed their bantering sessions, but this easy silence was nice too. After a few minutes a few snowflakes began falling from the sky and Kurt flushed when he realized that if he was a girl this scene would look like something from a romantic painting. He was almost sorry to see them arrive at their destination as it meant that he no longer had a reason to stay pressed against Puck's solid body.

However, this disappointment was quickly taken over by the astonishment at the sheer number of people that were at the meeting house. Kurt knew that the taxes were a sore spot for a lot of people in Boston; who wouldn't be upset about having to pay more money for things. But he had no idea that this many people felt so strongly about it that they would risk punishment from the king.

Puck seemed to be practically vibrating with excitement, matching the buzz of the crowd, but all these people made Kurt nervous. There's no way this many people isn't going to attract attention.

Kurt stayed close to Puck as they moved into the meeting house. He would have been happier if Puck had been willing to set near the back where there were more seats and they would be close to the door if there was any trouble, but Puck insisted that they wouldn't be able to hear everything unless they sat in the front.

Once they found a pair of empty seats that satisfied Puck, Kurt leaned over to say, "My God, there must be over a thousand people here."

"Feneuil Hall can hold 2,000, so there has to be more than that," Puck said back.

"What could have caused such a stir?" Kurt mused, mostly to himself, but Puck answered anyway.

"Honestly, Kurt. Don't you ever read the paper? A ship that just docked in the harbor yesterday is full of tea; tea that was taxed without colonial consent. This meeting is to decide what to do with it."

"What to do with it," Kurt scoffed. "That's what all the fuss is about? What else are we going to do with it? Send it back to England?"

"Exactly," Puck said, firmly.

Kurt was stunned by this statement, but before he could respond and demand an explanation, someone stepped up to the podium and began talking. Kurt didn't recognize the man, nor did he find the speech to be all that interesting. It seemed to just a rant against the king and his ways.

After Kurt got over the shock of someone openly insulting the king and his judgments, Kurt started to zone out of it a little. It wasn't until Kurt was literally shaken out of his trance that he snapped out of it.

"Uh, Kurt? About your father being a loyal British subject? I think there's something you need to see." Puck gestured a few aisles in front of them and to the left. Kurt didn't understand what he was supposed to be looking at until he realized that he recognized that profile. Kurt's jaw dropped as he recognized his father, willing setting in this rebel meeting, nodding in agreement to whatever the speaker was talking about now, and…was he taking notes?

Kurt wished he could have a moment to panic, to run up to his father and demand an explanation, to do something, but the speaker chose that moment to end his presentation and soon the audience was moving out the doors in a rush of people and his father was lost in the crowd.

"Kurt-," Puck started to say, but Kurt cut him off.

"Just take me home Puck. I need to speak with Father."

The trip back to Kurt's house was just as silent as the trip to the meeting house, but it was a different kind of silence. What had been comfortable and relaxed before, was now tense and strained. Kurt just couldn't get his mind off what he had seen. What could his father have been doing there?

"Kurt, are you alright?" Puck finally broke the silence as he pulled the horse to a stop outside the Hummel residence.

"I- yes, I'm fine, I just…need to talk with my father. I'll see you tomorrow, alright?" Kurt waved Puck off as he rode down the street then headed inside, his mind still swirling with the evenings events. With careful, precise movements, Kurt removed his coat and gloves and walked to the kitchen where just this morning everything had seemed so simply.

"Ah, Kurt," his father greeted, "How was your evening with Puck?"

"It was…enlightening. How was your evening?"

"Oh, nothing to interesting, just a couple drinks with the boys."

"Father, please, we have a good relationship with each other because we don't lie to one another. Please don't start now."

Burt leaned back in his chair and didn't say anything for several seconds, just watching his son before finally saying, "You were at the town meeting." It wasn't a question.

"Yes, Puck wanted to go and I thought it was a good idea if I went with him to be the voice of reason in case things got out of hand. I saw I you there and I-I don't understand. Why would go to something like that?"

"Kurt, I'm sorry that I lied to you, but you have to understand that there is a very good chance, especially after tonight's meeting, that the colonists will start some sort of revolt and I didn't want you to get caught up in all that."

"That still doesn't explain why you were there," Kurt protested. "Surely you don't believe what these rebels are saying. We're loyal subjects of the crown." Kurt wasn't sure who he was trying to remind with that last part.

"Kurt, I'm sure this must all be very confusing for you and I don't want my beliefs to influence you in any way," Burt leaned over the table, squeezing Kurt's shoulder with his hand. "But you have to understand, things can't go on like this."

"Father, these rebels are talking of going to war with the crown. It's insanity and can only lead to death."

"No, no Kurt, I know it might seem like that, but very few colonialists actually want that. Many, including myself are hoping to come to a peaceful arrangement. Word is, Benjamin Franklin himself is planning on traveling to Britain in the spring to do just that. Our hope, my hope, is that Mr. Franklin will be able to make Parliament see reason. All I'm trying to do is keep the hotheads of this town from mobbing the King's soldiers."

There was silence for a long moment as Kurt tried to absorb what he'd just been told. This was all crazy talk, but- it did make some sense. The King did have the prerogative to tax his citizens as he saw fit, but the people in England were able to lobby and appeal before Parliament regarding the decisions, it was only fair that the people of America be allowed to do the same. Mr. Franklin was, by all accounts, a logical man. Surely he would be able to get this all worked out in a calm and rational manner.

Kurt ran a hand through his hair, "You promise me you aren't planning on secretly running off to join some sort of rebel militia, right?"

Burt smiled, "I swear it. I truly believe that with Mr. Franklin's help, the Colonists will be able work out a negotiation with Britain without the need for bloodshed."

"Well good, this way I'll only have to deal with keeping Puck out of trouble."

Burt didn't say anything at first, tapping the table with one finger. "You and Puck have gotten pretty close lately."

It wasn't a question, but Kurt could tell that his father wanted him to expand upon the statement. It should really be a completely innocent statement. He and Puck were good friends who enjoyed each other's company. But Kurt had lots of other friends that didn't make him feel the way Puck did. Even when he went to social gatherings and danced with the pretty young ladies of Boston, none of them had ever made him feel the things he felt when he was around Puck. None of them could make him feel like he was burning up from the inside out or take his breath away with just a glance from those dark, brown eyes…

"Kurt?" His father's voice snapped Kurt back to the present and he felt his face flush as he realized he'd completely lost himself with romantic thoughts like a girl thinking about royal fairytales.

"Sorry," Kurt choked out. "Puck and I are just good friends and I worry about him a lot because he's all on his own since his family left. I just like to make sure he knows I'm there if he ever needs me."

"Sure, are you alright Kurt? You don't look so good."

"I'm fine," Kurt squeaked out. "I mean, I'm just kind of tired. It's been kind of a long day, you know? I think I'm going to head up to bed. Goodnight, Father."

Kurt stood up and pecked a quick kiss to his father's cheek. He hastened out of the kitchen as quickly as possible without waiting for Burt to wish him goodnight back.

As Kurt curled up under the coverlets, he found his mind drift back over the day's events. Try as he might, he couldn't help thinking about how warm and safe he'd felt in Puck's arms during the ride to and from the town meeting. Idly, he wondered what it would be like if Puck were to hold him like that in his bed.

Would it be the same? Different? Weird? Would the heat that Kurt had felt in Puck's arms become too much under the added weight of the coverlets? Would they take off their clothes in order to cool off and lay pressed together, skin to skin?

Kurt's eyes flew open in horror as he realized that he had subconsciously slid his hand down and pressed it against his hardening manhood over his nightshirt.

Kurt groaned and rolled over onto his stomach, burying his face into his pillow and trying to mentally will the erection away, wondering what was wrong with him.