This came about rewatching the hug on the finale. There was more to it than just the fact Will was staying. The emotions of Puck's face is what started this fic. So please let me know what you think of it...Hemmy
This is not slash!
The Right Decision
Will Shuster knew he made the right decision the moment when he saw Noah Puckerman leap off the bed and envelope him into full fledge hug. The light that shone in Puck's eyes showed to Will how much he really meant to the once troubled teen.
Sitting down in the bar after Coach Goolsby left him with pearls of wisdom advice, Will looked back at the two years he had been with his kids. From the first time he met each one to the first time he had been a father figure to some of them.
He remembered the first year of being their teacher and Glee coach. The baby drama, the drama of Terri's faked pregnancy being a big part of that fiasco. He had been the father that Finn needed during that time; the one person that he could trust without doubt.
Many nights had been spent listening to the distraught teen questioning whether he was going to be a good father. Finn had been so scared of the idea of being a father and even though he knew he wasn't ready he accepted the hand that fate had dealt him. He got a job and put all of the money towards the medical bills of "his child".
He stayed with Quinn even though he knew he was falling in love with Rachel. Rachel let Finn be who he wanted to be without constantly worrying about his reputation. Will understood that; he stayed with Terri even though he had fallen in love with Emma Pillsbury the guidance counselor.
Both men had cried on each other's shoulders a few times when the world had become too tough. One who wanted desperately wanted to be a father but with a different woman and one who wasn't ready to give up everything to be a teenage father.
When the world self destructed for both of them it brought them even closer together. They both had been hurt so badly by the women they were trying to do the right thing with that they could commiserate. The betrayal felt by both men left them bitter. For Will there was no baby and for Finn Puck had been the real father of Beth from a one night stand.
Looking back at how the events played out Will knew he should have been there for the other boy in the equation long before he fully understood what was happening with Puck. It had almost been too late for Puck.
The night of Regionals when Quinn had gone into labor was the first glimpse of the boy inside the tortured young man. Will had stayed close to Finn that night knowing that Finn was dealing with "the loss" of a baby that wasn't even his he almost missed the strangled cry down an empty corridor.
When Quinn would not change her mind about giving Beth away; Will found Noah Puckerman crumpled into a ball on the floor, sobbing over the loss of his daughter Beth. In all of the mess he had overlooked the way Puck had changed from being a bully to a young man that wanted to take care of his daughter.
When he tried to comfort Puck that night, the young jock shoved him away asking him "why aren't you with your favorite Finn?" The shame that overtook Will made him sick to his stomach. He watched as Puck walked away from him. He felt an even greater shame when he didn't try to stop him.
Will leaned against the bright white wall thinking back on the last few months. He had been too caught up in his own drama with Terri and being there for Finn that he forgot about the other kids, he forgot about Puck. He didn't see the signs of depression, rage, and utter sorrow until it was almost too late.
A phone call the next night changed both of their lives.
Puck had dialed Will's number by accident; the fifth of Jack Daniels in his veins muddling his thoughts and coordination. He was at the old rail road bridge and he just wanted to say goodbye to his little sister. Puck was standing on the wooden ledge thinking that the hurt would go away if he just stepped off. Beth was gone so why couldn't he just go away too?
Will heard Puck's cracking voice telling him to tell Hannah that he loved her and that he was sorry but it hurt too much to stay. Will knew that Puck was in danger and he had to find him. He kept talking to Puck letting him know that if he left his sister would never be able to tell him goodbye herself and that would always hurt her. Puck finally told Will where he was and that he would wait for him he didn't want to hurt the one person that loved him.
The drive felt like it took forever with Will breaking nearly every traffic law possible to reach Puck. He ran red lights, speeding through the small Ohio town white knuckling the steering wheel of his car. Reaching the bridge; he found Puck leaning against the railing peering into the dark waters.
Will approached Puck quickly telling him that Hannah was waiting in the car, he motioned for Puck to follow him back to his car. He could only hope his plan worked and it did. Puck stumbled behind Will making his way to the car. The closer the broken jock got to the car he began realize that Hannah wasn't in the car and he turned to his teacher screaming "you're just like everyone else! You lied to me! Why?"
Puck tried to run back to the wooden ledge but was tackled by Will. Both went tumbling down hard to the ground. Will kept his arms locked around the frantic teen taking everything Puck dished out trying to break free. After several minutes Puck finally broke down in Will's arms sobbing "why can't anyone love me, want to be with me, why?"
Will was stunned when the crying jock twisted in his arms and latched on to Will begging him not to let him go, not to leave him alone. Will held him tight against him telling he was not alone anymore and that he would never be alone again. They stayed like that for a while.
Will managed to get Puck into his car and back to his apartment. Puck took a shower and Will made a pot of coffee for them. It took a while for Puck to open up to Will but once he did he found it easy to talk to the man. Will would not interrupt when Puck was talking; he only encouraged the teen when he fell quiet.
Will learned so much about Puck that night. The young jock wanted to keep Beth and make a life for them. He regretted losing Finn's friendship. The true story behind the hook up with Quinn, it wasn't quite the way Quinn had described it to everyone. It seems that Puck drank the wine coolers not Quinn. How he wanted to claim his child from the beginning but it was Quinn who told him she would deny his claim, 'even if the baby comes out with a Mohawk'. Will no longer saw Quinn as the victim but saw two young men as the victims.
How fight club was really a cover for one of his mother's many drunken boyfriends deciding he needed to be taught manners or respect. Sometimes he gave as good as he got but most times he was sucker punched and well sometimes he just didn't remember after being knocked out. It scared Will when he heard Puck talk about being beaten like it was nothing. Will offered to let him stay with him in the extra bedroom but Puck refused 'can't leave my sister there alone with no one to protect her'. Will understood and agreed not to say anything as long as Puck promised to leave the next time he didn't remember or some guy went after his little sister.
Will knew the deal he made with Puck was wrong but he also knew Puck enough to know he would deny what he had just told him to anyone else, especially Human Services. Will would have to be on the lookout for any unexplainable bruises and any absences; if either one happened then he would call HS and report it.
The fact Puck learned to play the guitar and piano on his own, they couldn't afford lessons. He also learned to read sheet music with the help of friend that went to Temple with him. Will learned that Rachel was one of Puck's closest friends even though at school they barely tolerated each other. The reason being Finn, Puck didn't want to cause anymore drama for his former friend.
That he was truly proud of his Jewish heritage. He knew Yiddish and Hebrew fluently; his Nana made sure he could speak both languages. This impressed Will both languages were extremely hard to learn. He felt a sense of pride for Puck.
That he was actually smart and not a dumb jock like everyone thought, he had already been checking out law schools. Will actually spewed coffee when Puck said he wanted to be a lawyer. The jock's words making him laugh, "I know how to get in trouble now I want to learn how to get out of it". Puck also wanted to work with kids like him, be able to offer the help that no one gave him until now.
Will watched the soft expression flitter across Puck's face, the sparkle that had been missing slowly returning to those hazel eyes that could make a girl scream. It was nice to see the softer side of Puck, to realize that the teen actually stood a chance at getting out of this cow town.
The night ended the next morning when both Will and Puck began to yawn and the caffeine buzz was starting to dissipate. Will fixed the couch and made sure the curtains were closed so Puck could get some rest. He asked Puck for one favor before walking to his bedroom and that was to be there when he woke up and Puck promised he would be.
That night started a summer of Puck hanging out with Will. Some nights it was just to hang out and work on music; other nights was spent letting Puck talk about what was bothering him. By the end of summer Will had watched the layers of Puck be peeled away revealing Noah. Puck was still the student at school but Noah was the kid that came over.
When school started back for Puck's junior year everything was going great until the ATM incident. Will knew something was going to happen when Quinn wouldn't even talk to Puck at school. The jock had only wanted some closure with the mother of his child and she just ignored him.
Will had tried to reach out to Puck during the week it happened but Puck kept walking away telling his teacher he was okay. Will saw the anguish and torment that was weighing heavy in Puck's eyes and he knew it was only a matter of time when Puck would lash out recklessly again.
So when Puck had called him telling him about being drunk and driving his mom's car through convenience store window and knocking the ATM across the room; Will wasn't surprised by the call.
Will tried to get Puck out of the attempted robbery charges but the local DA took one look at his record and told the judge "the boy needed a wakeup call".
Will talked to the probation officer that had been assigned to the case and finally got Puck released early doing community service. When the paperwork was completed Will was the one to pick up the terrified teen from that awful place.
Puck would just sit and play his guitar and listen to Will ramble on about songs the kids could sing as assignments for Glee. Will knew that when Puck was ready to talk he would and until then he would just wait letting him have a safe place to be.
It took two weeks before Puck told Will what happened to him in that place. Will had sat in silence as Puck talked about losing his nipple ring, his food being taken away by the other inmates and about being attacked in the shower.
Will held a sobbing Noah in his arms for a long time just letting the jock cry it out. There were no words Will could offer of comfort; nothing he could say would ease the emotional pain.
After hearing the horror stories and giving Puck enough time to calm down; Will asked him if he needed counseling to get through this nightmare. When Puck nodded Will picked up the phone and made an appointment for Puck to see a psychologist the next day. Therapy last several months for Puck and it helped him to deal with the assault.
The rest of that afternoon they talked about the plan Puck had come up with while he was in juvie. His probation officer thought it was a good plan if he would stick with it. He had to stay out of trouble until his probation was over and the year after that. He had to take AP courses to show that he truly wanted to go to college. If he could accomplish that then his probation officer would talk to the judge about sealing his record, a good college would accept him and he could leave his past behind him. He still had a chance to be a lawyer.
"Do you remember that night on the bridge when you said that you would be there for me?"
The question caught Will off guard for a moment before answering 'yes' to Puck. The next statement from Puck caused Will to tear up a little.
"The only way I can make my plan work is if you will be there for me, to keep me in line, to remind me of why I need to do this. You are the only person that gives a damn about me."
Will wiped away a tear as he told Puck that he would help him any way that he could. He knew it was hard for the teen to ask for help. They spent the rest of the afternoon working on Puck's class schedule changing a few of his classes to include AP courses.
The rest of the school year was uneventful except for a couple of instances involving alcohol. The first time Puck had listened to Will yell at him for a couple of hours about throwing away everything he was working towards for a cheap thrill and apologizing for not being a good example for Puck due to the drunk dialing of Coach Sylvester.
The second time Will told Puck he needed to apologize to Artie for taking the blame for trying to spike the punch at Prom, even though he knew it was a tradition. Will told him he was falling back into what everyone expected of him, he was falling back under the peer pressure.
Puck was the only one of the kids that knew about April Rhodes and the offer of helping her with the musical. Will knew that Puck had been hurt when he told him about the offer but the jock had told him he should follow his dream, just like he had been teaching Puck to do. Will was so proud of him at that moment.
The choice in the end was simple.
Will had watched a bully become a Gleek who still had an edge to him. He watched a broken friendship mend between two of his 'sons'. Will had watched all his kids change and grow in the last couple of years. He knew he had made a difference, helped all that to happen. So yeah he made the right choice.
They didn't win that year but twelfth out of fifty was nothing to be upset about and he tried to explain that to them after the outburst from Santana. He had never been more proud of his kids than at that moment.
Senior year was uneventful for Puck except for one thing, her name was Josephine Michelle, Josie for short and she stole the jock's heart. She had joined New Directions at the beginning of the year after transferring from another district. She was a beautiful girl inside and out with a voice that could rival Rachel's.
Noah had asked him for advice about pursuing the girl that made his heart skip a beat just by looking at him. Will gave him the only advice he could, 'just be the real you Noah'. And that is what Puck did; he became the young man hidden under all the layers. Will watched as Noah really emerged around Josie. She was exactly what Noah needed to be complete.
Will and Emma had worked out their own relationship as Noah and Josie worked out theirs. They would often double date to the movies or have a cook out in the park. Noah played the guitar as Will sang a heartfelt love song to Emma and then dropped to one knee and proposed to her. He was Will's best man at the wedding.
Will was the first person Noah told when he proposed to Josie and she said yes. It was after their second year at Duke University. He congratulated the happy couple via Skype.
Will was the loudest person cheering for Noah when he graduated Duke University's Law Program in the top ten percentile ranking of his class.
Will was the best man at Noah's wedding to Josie and he was present for the birth of their first child.
Will watched the young father holding the tiny bundle in his arms; seeing the look of pride in Noah's eyes when he introduced his son to them. Noah and Josie had talked about what names to give Will and Emma as they considered them grandparents of Caleb too. So the name Poppy was given to Will and Mimi was given to Emma.
One of the proudest moments in Will Shuester's life was holding his grandson Caleb William Puckerman.
Will knew once again that he made the right choice that day in the hotel bar in New York City and he had never once regretted it.