Hey, everyone! This was written as a fill for this prompt on the glee_angst_meme:

The Glee guys are having a get together. It's the first time Finn's been over to Puck's house since babygate, and things are a little awkward, but he's mostly enjoying himself.

So when Puck is getting snacks, Finn doesn't think much of opening a few drawers in his search for the new Call of Duty game. And when he sees an envelope with his name on it instead, well, it's addressed to him, right?

It's a suicide letter, written sometime in episodes 3-4. It's mostly just an apology, but he does mention having sex with Quinn.
Of course Finn reacts, so the rest of the Glee guys see it.

Puck has to deal with everyone knowing not just about the depression he's struggled with for years, but also the fact that he had every intention of killing himself.

Hurt/comfort ensues.

*Would love it if finding out Quinn was pregnant was all that kept him from going through with it.
*I love Finn/Puck and Kurt/Puck, but het or gen or whatever is fine too. :)
*Kurt can be there or not.

The fic ended up gen (which is shocking since it's me). As always, please look at the warnings and please review!

WARNINGS:Suicide themes

Disclaimer: Glee doesn't belong to me.

What Almost Was
One-shot

It felt weird to be back in Puck's bedroom. They were on okay terms, but any times they'd hung out, it had been at Finn's or somewhere else. Maybe part of it was Finn's fault. He'd never asked for the details about the night Puck and Quinn had slept together, but there was something about sitting on the bed his then-girlfriend and best friend had created a baby in. He'd never asked where it happened and neither Puck nor Quinn ever told him. The short time he and Quinn had reunited had been awkward enough whenever they'd end up in her room.

The room looked different now. The last time he'd been in it, the place had been complete chaos. Posters of half-naked women hanging on the walls. Clothes spilling out of open drawers. Puck said he knew where everything was. Finn couldn't figure out how. His mom would have called it organized chaos, but he didn't get how it could be even slightly organized.

Maybe Kurt and his obsession with keeping the new house orderly was rubbing off on him. He was cleaner than he used to be.

Now, though, everything was different. The posters were gone and the clothes were stuffed away. The once-queen sized bed that used to take up most of the small room had been downgraded to a full and pushed into the corner with the dresser and TV directly across.

He'd never realized before that Puck had a desk.

He tried to not to look too long at the shot of Puck holding Beth. Tried to pay even less attention to the spot in the room that he knew had been cleaned out for a crib.

Ignored the ache for the little girl that he'd loved too.

The strangeness in the room went unnoticed by the others. They'd carried Artie in and set him up on the bed, so they could leave his chair in the hallway. Kurt was beside him, picking at his nails. Matt and Mike were staring at each other and doing that creepy eye-talk thing they'd established in middle school.

It was good to see Matt back, even if it was just for the weekend. The guy barely spoke, but he'd always been like that. A man of no words or something. The most any of them had heard his voice was during Glee. Rachel used to say that he was good, but that he probably wouldn't ever get a lead. Whatever. The guy was awesome at video games. That was what mattered.

They'd all been bummed when Matt had said softly during one of their weekly movie-and-Call-of-Duty days that his dad had gotten transferred to Phoenix. Well...not Kurt. He hadn't been part of it yet. He'd only managed to get his stepbrother to start playing after their parents had gotten married and Finn asked him to stop with the warm milk. Kurt had wanted to bond as brothers (and promised that the crush business was over, so everything was cool there). He'd asked if they could try it.

Two days into teaching and Finn accused Kurt of already knowing how.

The guy was freakishly good. Even Puck had been impressed when he'd dragged Kurt along one week.

For months, the weekly tradition had carried on without Puck on Finn's right side and swearing in English and Hebrew. It had felt weird, but after Babygate, Puck just hadn't been welcome. Matt and Mike had never actually picked sides in the insanity and Finn was pretty sure they just went over to Puck's after leaving Finn's.

Artie joined them sometime between Jesse going back to Vocal Adrenaline and Regionals. Finn couldn't remember exactly when.

Then Matt moved away and they had to figure out a way to get it to continue. They ended up having to coordinate the times that would work because of time zones and... Artie figured most of that stuff out.

They never invited Sam to join. Finn figured they probably should have. It was a Glee guy thing, but it just never happened. Someone (and Finn could never remember who) had mumbled once that it was something for the original Glee guys. It was their thing. Maybe they'd invite him one day, but it was something about chilling with the guys you've known in some way since you were kids and goofing about old memories that Sam wasn't a part of.

"Dude, you gonna sit or take up my doorway all night?" Puck asked, pushing past him. "Get everything set up. Pizza guy should be here in a minute and I'll grab the junk food. And before you say anything, Hummel, I ordered your salad. Don't start bitching about grease and carbs again. We don't care."

Finn rolled his eyes. Those two would never stop, but at least now it was friendly rather than mean.

He glanced around the room, trying to spot the case for the game. Usually, they just hung out at someone else's place, because Puck's mom...yeah. But she was in Columbus this weekend with Sarah and there were scheduling issues, so they ended up crammed in Puck's small room.

He frowned when he didn't see the case and started to search. Pulled out a few drawers, looking around. The dresser was full of clothes and Puck's room didn't actually have a closet, so where the fuck was it? He saw some of Puck's other games over in the corner, but Call of Duty wasn't there. He sighed to himself, riffling through the drawer of Puck's nightstand.

His glasses. Contact lens case. Lube. Condoms. One of those books Puck read that always put Finn to sleep by the second page. An envelope with his name on it. A-

Wait. What?

Finn pulled it fully out of the drawer, confused. Why did Puck have a letter to him in his nightstand? The envelope was a bit stained and bent, so he figured he'd written it a while ago. Why hadn't he given it to him?

Finn stared at it as he sat in the desk chair, flipping it between his hands. Chanced a glance at the others and then at the door before he tore it open.

I feel like I should be writing "Dear Finn" or something. This isn't a note that I'm going to flick at you in the halls between classes. This is it, man.

I don't even know where to start. Don't hate me? I'm sorry? You've probably got every reason to hate me for doing this and I am sorry, but I'm at the end of my rope. Everything's just going to shit and I'm fucking tired.

We used to talk about this stuff when we were in junior high, remember? How would you like to go? You'd say in your sleep. I'd say in a blaze of glory, something so that I'd be remembered. The truth, though? I just want to go without a fuss.

I hope I did.

If you're reading this, someone was probably cleaning out my room after and found it. Maybe Ma. Maybe you. I won't know. I just hope it wasn't Sarah. She's too young for this stuff. I don't want this in her head.

She asks me sometimes, you know? Why I'm sad all the time. I don't know how she sees it when I've been able to hide it from everyone else. I never know what to tell her. How do you tell a six-year-old that her big brother wants to die?

I suck at religion, but I'm praying she wasn't the one that found me. I was fucked up enough for the both of us.

Take care of her for me, okay? You've been like another brother to her since she was born and if she needs someone to hold onto right now, I'd rather it be you. Ma's probably already in the bottle again. She's not the best parent, but she tries. I know you don't think she does and that she's harsh, but she does care. This family just sucks at emotions.

Emotions and telling the truth.

I never told you. I wanted to yesterday. I wanted to every day since it happened, but I never could. You were happy doing the Acafellas and we were having fun. I didn't want to ruin that by telling you that I slept with your girlfriend.

I am so sorry.

I loved her, dude. I never would have destroyed our friendship for a meaningless fuck. But she chose you. Before she even had her clothes back on, she was choosing you and I can't even hate you for it. I wouldn't pick me.

Don't hate her for it. It just happened. Hate me for all I care. Hate me for sleeping with her. Hate me for not telling you until I was gone and you couldn't punch me for it. Hate me for this, but don't hate her. I know I said "don't hate me" in the beginning, but you have every right. Just remember that she chose you.

Maybe one day you'll be able to forgive me. For everything.

I love you, man.

-Noah

Finn was shaking, trembling, as he stared at the paper in his hand. His vision blurred, blending the words together, but there was no forgetting what Puck had written. He didn't think he'd ever be able to forget.

He jumped at the touch of a hand on his arm, settling slightly only when he realized it was Kurt.

"Finn?" his stepbrother asked, worried. "What's wrong?"

He hugged the letter to his chest and shook his head, eyes squeezed shut. Tears dripped from his lashes. The others wouldn't see this letter. Never.

"Finn-"

"Geez, dude, what the hell? Did someone turn on Bambi?"

A sob ripped through him and he surged to his feet in a second. Thrust the letter at Puck as the other teen put down the pile of pizza boxes and snacks.

"Finn, what the-" Puck cut himself off, paling when as he realized what Finn was shoving at him. "Where did you find that?" he whispered shakily.

"Where the fuck do you think I found it?" he snapped. "I was looking for the game and I found this!"

"I wrote it a long time ago," Puck murmured, like that was any kind of comfort.

"A year ago! You wrote it a fucking year ago, Puck!"

"He wrote what?" Kurt asked from where he stood to their side, looking ready to jump in if a punch got thrown. The others were quiet behind them.

"Nothing."

"A suicide note isn't fucking nothing!"

The words were out of his mouth before he could even think about stopping them. Puck reeled back like he'd been slapped, eyes wide and mouth open. There were gasps from the others and Finn heard Kurt whisper oh, my god.

"I...Finn..."

"You were gonna kill yourself," Finn whispered, bottom lip between his teeth.

Puck didn't say anything for a couple minutes as his eyes darted between Finn and the others before finally falling to his feet. The soft yeah made Finn's knees shake.

"Why?" Kurt asked. "Why would you want to..."

Puck gave a hopeless shrug as he sank onto the desk chair Finn had been sitting in.

"There has to be a reason. The way you were writing, it was like you were about to fucking do it, Puck!"

"I didn't!"

"Why didn't you?" Artie asked. "If you had it planned, what made you change your mind?"

Puck sighed, rubbing the back of his neck. "I didn't do it. Isn't that enough?"

"No," they all whispered except for Matt who shook his head.

Puck's eyes flickered up to meet Finn's for a second before lowering. "Quinn got pregnant. I couldn't do it knowing that she was pregnant with my kid."

Finn nodded, mostly to himself as he sat on the bed across from Puck. Somehow, that didn't surprise him.

"How?" Kurt whispered as he took a seat beside Finn.

Puck signed again, defeated this time. Like he knew he wasn't getting out of this. Not with five pairs of eyes watching him. "Sleeping pills. Was gonna take them before I went to bed one night and just... I didn't want my mom or Sarah to find some bloody mess or me hanging or something, and I didn't want some cop showing up at the door. Pills were clean."

The fact that Puck had put that much thought into his own death and how to make finding him easiest on his family... Finn's chest hurt and he reached across the gap, chick moment be damned, and held Puck's hand. Puck gave a weak squeeze back and a half-hearted smile before his head dropped again.

"What was juvie?" Kurt asked. Finn turned to look at his stepbrother, confused. "You're not stupid enough to try and steal an ATM."

Finn's stomach dropped. Oh, God...

"You tried, didn't you?" Mike asked, sad. "You tried to kill yourself."

"No," Finn said, holding onto the last bit of denial he had. Denial that Puck hadn't tried to kill himself, that he wasn't so blind that he hadn't figured it out himself. "You said you didn't want a cop showing up at your house..."

"I didn't plan to," Puck mumbled. "The last few months had just sucked and there was this mom with her kid at the coffee shop on the corner. She looked like Beth and...I just hit the gas. Cops got there and the ATM was hooked on my bumper. They assumed. I didn't bother to correct them."

"Puck-"

"Don't."

"I can't not! You tried to kill yourself!"

"Do you still want to?" Artie asked.

There was a long moment of silence until-

"Sometimes."

"Puck..."

"It doesn't stop, Finn. I'm not thinking about it every second, but there are more bad days than good. Sometimes I think about it, sometimes I'm just in a shit mood and don't even want to get out of bed." He sent them all a short glare. "And don't. We don't have the kind of money to send me to a shrink."

"Then at least talk to Ms. Pillsbury," Mike said.

"Or us," Kurt added. Artie and Matt nodded in agreement.

"Please," Finn nearly begged, squeezing Puck's hand. "I kinda need my best friend."

Puck bit his lip, looking back down at the folded letter in his lap. Finn could feel the other teen shaking, was sure the others felt it too as they each laid a hand on whatever part of Puck they could reach. Artie laid on his stomach and reached out to take a knee as Kurt gripped the other. Matt took Puck's free hand while Mike grasped his wrist. He watched as Matt squeezed and Puck look up to meet the silent boy's eyes.

It was the first time that Finn had ever managed to understand Matt's eye-speak.

I've been there, man.

It kind of made his chest hurt more, but Puck gave a teary nod. Bitched a second later as they pulled him up onto the bed for a group hug.

They didn't play Call of Duty that night. Hell, they never got around to eating the pizza. They spent the night crammed onto the bed with Puck squished in the middle. The most moving they did was when Matt got up to flush the pills Puck told them he still had before he returned to his spot pressed up against Mike's back.

Everyone but Finn drifted off to sleep at some point, but he stayed awake just to watch the steady rise and fall of Puck's chest.

Nothing as simple as breathing had ever made him cry before that night.

The End

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