A.N.: Starting out as a one-shot that may become more, this is a drabble-ish foray into the mind of Noah Puckerman, looking at the world of Glee through his eyes. This chapter takes place during Season 2, episodes 9 (Special Education) and 12 (Silly Love Songs).
I own nothing. Nothing at all. Least of all anything Glee-related.
The old people were freaking adorable. It was like seeing his Nana Connie and all her geezer pals from bingo night up there trying to sing their hearts out before, well, their hearts gave out. Puck hurried to hide the tears that came to his eyes, 'cause the Puckasaurus Did. Not. Cry. (Or, he never used to. From the day his old man took off for good, tears had been banned from his life. Until that moment in the delivery room when he saw his daughter in her mother's arms, and he got, for the two hours before they gave Beth away, to be a dad himself. Since then, he'd found himself fighting tears away at the most random moments; fucking annoying to get slapped upside the head like that all the time.) Mercedes and Rachel had been right - this was going to be one damn tough competition. Puck couldn't seem to wipe the sappy, tear-filled grimace induced by the Garglers' song off of his face.
Until, that is, the curtain opened on the stage full of singing dudes; then Puck's face rapidly morphed from a crease of confusion to a frown to an all-out, dangerous glower. He couldn't fucking believe the gall of those preppy-posers. It was bad enough that they had to lose Kurt from New Directions—even if the twerp wasn't his best bud, dude could sing. Dude, in fact, lived to sing, just like Rachel. And those blue-blazered bastards hadn't even let him into the Tweeters? What the hell was up with that? Sure, they killed that ear-candy pop number that had kept Puck from being able to turn the radio on for months on end when it came out, but freezing out Kurt Hummel? That seriously blowed.
As New Directions made their way to the green room to await their turn to perform, Mike and Mercedes tried to convince him that Kurt had, in fact, been singing with the Warblers. Puck refused to believe it. If Kurt had been up there, Puck would have seen him. There was no way not to see Kurt; he always stood out, no matter how big the crowd. He never moved in lock-step with anyone; he snottily insisted on going his own way and doing his own thing. That was part of why he'd always been one of Puck's biggest targets before joining glee, and it was part of why Karofsky (asshole) drove Kurt away from McKinley. There was no one Puck knew who was less able to blend into a group and not be seen than Kurt Hummel. (Well, Rachel was kind of like that, but with her it was not being able to not be heard in a crowd.)
When Puck saw Kurt hugging Mercedes and Rachel after the tie results were announced, he figured that the Chirpers were using the kid as something like their water-boy or equipment manager; he wondered whose ass among the group of identical pretty-boys would need kicking in order to convince them to let Kurt on the team. He'd check with Finn about it if Frankenteen ever stopped his sulking; Hudson had barely talked or looked anyone in the eye since Santana snatched his balls and spilled the dirt about their one-night(or was that fifteen minute)-stand to Rachel. (What kind of shit was Finn pulling, anyway, by not manning up and telling Rachel himself? The whole freaking glee club knew about what had gone down, and it wasn't like it was a big deal to any of them; at McKinley, hearing that a dude—any dude—had been banged by Santana was like hearing Coach Sylvester insult Mr. Schue's hair: totally normal and no big deal. No big deal to anyone except, of course, Rachel-certifiably-insane-about-Finn-Hudson-and-convinced-he-was-freaking-perfect-come-down-from-on-high-Berry, that is.) If the Twitterers were trying to keep Kurt silent, well, Puck would have something to say about it-and he'd say it with the full force of his fists backed up by the power of his guns. Kurt Hummel, wherever he was, even if it was on a rival team, should be singing, and Puck had no problem making sure that happened.
It was three months later that Puck realized Mike and Mercedes might have been right that day at Sectionals. 'Cause one minute, there was Kurt, up on the platform and speaking into a vile red microphone at Breadstix, spouting some drivel about love and longing and "this is our year," and then, as the singing started, he fucking vanished. Like poof—one minute he was there, and the next he was out of sight, invisible. Maybe the sea of blue blazers (did they wear them to sleep? And did they have to wear blue underwear with red trim, too?) had swallowed him up, or maybe, somehow, he had learned to blend in and abandon his individual look. If so, Puck was pretty sure that Dalton wasn't the right place for Kurt to be, no matter how much Rachel and Mercedes insisted he was happy there.
Or maybe, just maybe, in his time away from McKinley, Kurt had gone into secret training and become a ninja, able to appear and disappear in the blink of an eye, ready to strike out before you knew what hit you. That would be freaking cool; ninjas were all kinds of bad-ass. But so, in his own way, was Kurt Hummel. At least, he had been, insulting you even as you tossed him in a dumpster, refusing to change who he was for anyone, topping every put-down with verbal comebacks that left you bleeding, they were so sharp. Yeah, ninjas were cool. But bad-ass Kurt was even better. Puck was surprised at how much he missed him, since he went away.