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The first time Puck leaves rehearsal without a word Rachel gets mad. She practically rips him a new one when he comes back and Puck just stands there and lets her. He's ashen, tired, looks like he's ready to keel over any second. Rachel doesn't bother giving him a break but Mr Schue tells Puck to sit out if he needs to. Half way through the group number, Puck sways on his feet before taking a seat. Rachel sent a glare, with a rather put upon sigh before swishing her hair forward and ignoring Puck for the rest of the day. Finn had shuffled away from his girlfriend somewhere between the finish and the restart of the practice.
"Y'okay dude?" Most of them wanted to ask, but no one really wanted to go near Puck -since he got out of juvie, he'd been more and more confrontational and argumentative.
"Fine." Finn left it at that, and no one mentioned it again for a few days.
Until Puck drops off the football team. He spent fifty minutes with Coach Beiste before he walked into the choir room and told Mr Schue that he wasn't attending rehearsal and then left. It was Sam who filled them in on things.
"Beiste just said Puckerman quit," No one believed it, because football was Puck's thing. Just like Finn and Sam and Mike, Puck was a jock through and through. "Do you think he's like, sick or something?"
It's the start of December that they find out it's the 'or something'. Mr Schue starts rearranging some of the choreography of the group number and everyone starts asking questions. "Because, I'm up the duff and every time we go into that fucking spin I'm ready to yak all over the place." Puck's outburst is met with silence and shock and Mr Schue just sighs at the front. It does explain Puck's temper and the mood swings and the fact that he keeps walking out of classes and the teachers don't say a thing.
"What? Well, how far along are you?" Quinn and Santana are very obviously trying to see if Puck's showing, and Kurt's too busy wondering when the hell Puck started liking guys, and then he's just blown away that Puck of all people carried the male pregnancy gene.
Puck says he's due in July, so he'll be pregnant through all their competitions, which means he's not lifting anyone and if someone elbows him he's going to punch them in the face, and no, he's not talking about it and yes, he is keeping it. When they stop for Christmas break, Kurt finds that Puck is over at the Hudson-Hummel house rather a lot. Kurt had thought that he wouldn't be seeing much of Puck and his pregnant self since he'd transferred, but Puck is practically a figure point in their house.
"Kurt, have you seen this? Come see this. It's amazing, look." Kurt isn't sure what he's supposed to see, but when he walks into the kitchen, Carole and Finn are cooing over a small polaroid picture and Puck's sitting at the table with a bemused looking Burt. "Look, Kurt, look at little Bean."
"Dude, stop calling my kid Bean." But Kurt understands why Finn's doing it, because looking at the ultrasound, the baby does look like a bean. Puck just looks tired, and Carole is constantly petting his head or giving him a hug. Finn keeps asking to feel the baby and Puck is clearly starting to get sick of it.
"The baby isn't big enough yet, Finn." Ever since Puck told them he was pregnant, Kurt's been researching the male pregnancy gene. They believe that it's a step backwards in evolution, but it does offer an equalisation of the genders that some people are viewing as a step towards a more full equality. Other people declare it a work of Satan and that carriers are abominations. Kurt can't imagine the stress Puck must be under. "You need to wait until at least March before you'll be able to ask again." The good thing is that male pregnancy works almost the exact same as female pregnancy.
Finn seems to accept it, and Puck looks grateful. But Kurt finds that now, Finn thinks Kurt is the go-to for pregnant Puck questions. "He gets these weird food cravings, is that normal? Like weirder than Quinn's cravings. I found him eating dried seaweed yesterday, and he keeps asking Rachel for some of her tofu, he turned down a slice of pizza for some of her vegan stuff." Kurt keeps up to date with most of the goings on with Puck and the pregnancy and the others through Mercedes. The Warblers think it's a little inappropriate that he's still friendly with the team they tied with to go to Regionals. He tells them that one of his friends is pregnant, he's just keeping up with that. They all assume it's the cheerleader -which one Kurt doesn't know, but since Puck wasn't showing when they went to Sectionals, Kurt doesn't correct anyone.
Blaine finds out when they go to support the girls at the football game. Puck's sitting beside Carole in the stands and looks like someone shot his puppy. Kurt gives him a tight smile that he hopes is apologetic. When Tina goes down, Puck grips Kurt's wrist and holds his stomach and Kurt stops breathing for a second.
"This is fucking killing me. I should be out there." It's the biggest game, Kurt knows because Finn hasn't shut up about it. It's probably like being sidelined at Nationals in relation to Glee and Kurt couldn't imagine having to sit that out but watch as it happens.
"Why aren't you? I mean, you play, don't you?" Puck looks at Blaine like he's lost his mind.
"Dude, I'm pregnant. I can't play football." Kurt doesn't know how Puck can do that, make it like it's not a huge deal, because it is a big deal. Only 7% of the male population carry the gene, only twenty cases of male pregnancy have ever been recorded. Puck may not be some medical breakthrough or evolutionary phenomenon, but he is fantastically special just by being able to carry a baby through the first trimester and in Lima he's probably one of a kind.
"Your pregnant friend is a male." Blaine says it like an accusation and Kurt only feels a little bad.
"I never said it was a girl, I just said a friend was pregnant. It's not my place to tell people, if Puck wants to tell people, he can tell them." But Puck doesn't keep it quiet, the whole school knows and the one time anyone said anything about it Puck broke the hockey players jaw. It turns out that Puck's probation officer is a middle-aged female with three young children. She understands that 'pregnancy hormones' are a viable excuse for sending a classmate to hospital.
When Rachel holds her party, Kurt absently wonders how much Puck has changed, even as he's walking down the stairs into the Berry's basement. Puck is sprawled out on one of the sofas with Quinn sitting beside him and Lauren on his other side, he's wearing this white henley shirt and Kurt can see the starts of the bump forming. The party takes it's time kicking off, but soon, most people are drunk and singing karaoke and, in Brittany's case, taking off their clothes. Kurt finds Puck exactly where he started off. "Hey, you okay there?"
"Little tired," Puck admits, smirking softly. Kurt doesn't want to say it, but being pregnant seems to have softened Puck up just a little. "It sucks that I would've been just as gone as the rest of them if it weren't for the kid." Surprisingly, Puck's been completely responsible while carrying; no drinking, no smoking pot, eating properly and healthily, lots of rest, regular doctor appointments. Finn goes to the baby doctor with Puck a lot, Kurt knows that he's excited to be an 'uncle' and that he's already throwing out names that Puck shoots down ("Seriously bro, if you named the baby Luck it would be Luck Puckerman, that's awesome!" "What about Mavis?" "You know what name I like? Retro. I think it could catch on." "What about those celebrities? You could use a fruit, or something you ate a lot of while you were pregnant. Although Tofu Puckerman isn't all that great, is it. Oh, what about Cheese!"). If anything, the fact that Puck's having a baby seems to have helped mend the boys friendship. That and the fact that Carole pretty much adopted Puck into their home.
"Are you staying at our house tonight?" Kurt got used to it, found that Puck wasn't really all that terrible to be around, that he could handle conversation with Puck on occasion too. They sort of built a tentative friendship around Puck's condition and the things Kurt learned about it; just to be helpful, of course, and to fend off Finn's questions.
"Yeah, Ma still bursts into tears when she sees me. And with these stupid hormones it's a bitch." Puck managed to laugh at it, although Kurt knew that Puck was still stung that his mother was apparently having a hard time with things. Kurt didn't know the full extent of it -if it was because Puck was pregnant, because Puck was pregnant and apparently on his own or because of what had to happen for Puck to get pregnant, some parents weren't as understanding as his Dad and Carole. But Kurt understood the hormone aspect -even someone crying on the television seemed to kick Puck off and he got into such a state he'd be hiccuping for hours afterwards. "Carole's taking me shopping for baby stuff tomorrow."
"Isn't it a little early? I mean, do you even know what you're having yet?" The group were starting up a game of spin the bottle, Kurt didn't move from the sofa with Puck and Puck didn't even seem like he cared.
"No like, for a crib and car seat and all those little things, y'know? She's got a list and stuff." Which made sense, because Carole seemed ready to announce herself as a grandparent to the baby just as much as Finn was uncle and really, considering their closeness, Kurt isn't too surprised that his family is almost a surrogate family for Puck. Maybe Kurt stole it from Puck before Puck stole them back. "And we find out on Thursday, the sex I mean. I think Quinn and Lauren are fighting over who gets to take me." Kurt missed that, the family aspect of New Directions. The Warblers were more of a committee than a family, they sang together and studied together, but they weren't close, not like his old club.
"Will you text me? I want to know what to buy for your baby shower." Puck just groaned, because he hated the idea of the baby shower, but Mercedes wasn't taking no for an answer and he'd finally just given up. Kurt laughed, leaning against Puck's side in a careful nudge. "Come on, you need to let us spoil you a little." Hesitating just a little, Kurt's hand hovered over the bump before Puck sighed and covered Kurt's hand with his own, lowering it and sliding it to the side, where Kurt's hand rested just under Puck's rib cage.
Kurt was too busy marvelling at the fact that Puck had a tiny little baby in there to notice Blaine kissing Rachel.
It's at Mercedes' house when they realise everything that Puck isn't saying. They'd found out that Puck was having a boy, Quinn won the battle of wills with Lauren to go to the appointment with him and the doctor confirmed that it was a boy and printed out another ultrasound. Quinn made copies for all the Glee club members. The girls, plus Kurt, met up at Mercedes' house that night to finish planning for the baby shower.
"Okay, so it's not one of our boys, we all know that. What about Karofsky?" Rachel bursts out laughing at Mercedes' suggestion.
"Are you kidding? Have you seen the way Puck wants to murder him with his eyes? Besides, Karofsky is far too much of a homophobe to ever father a child with another boy." Kurt's a little lost, but the mention of Karofsky jolts him out of the conversation for a minute.
"Alex Hill, he's on the hockey team right? He was pretty adamant about getting the other players to lay off Puck."
"Yeah, only because he's got a gay uncle. Alex is dating Stacy, the red head on the Cheerios."
"I'm not convinced it's not Finn." Santana smirks at Rachel. "Those two have patched things up really good. Two words, Berry. Hate sex."
"Okay, stop. One, Puck and Finn? Ew." Kurt almost thinks of Finn and Puck as brothers, only he can't because then Puck would almost be his brother and that's just awkward because, well, because it just is. "Second, what are you talking about?"
"Oh, sorry sweetie, we're playing 'Guess the Baby Daddy'." Mercedes explains, as if it's utterly natural. "Puck still ain't talking and no one has heard anything about a guy stepping up, so we're just speculating on who's his baby daddy."
"And you honestly suggested Karofsky?" Kurt doesn't even want to go there. "Okay, stop guessing and just count backwards. He's due in July, so count forty weeks back and then figure out what happened that could've resulted in Puck's pregnancy and you'll have a smaller pool of potential partners." Kurt loves his girls, he does, but sometimes they are just such gossip queens.
"Okay, so the 26th of July is the estimated date," Quinn pulls out her cell phone, flipping through her calender to see the dates. "Which puts us at, roughly, the third week in October for conception."
"Pre-Halloween Halloween party at Hannah's?" Brittany offers, nibbling on the ends of her hair until Kurt bats the tips out of her mouth. "But Puck didn't go." They try to figure out why when suddenly Rachel gasps and covers her mouth.
"October. Puck wasn't in school in October, not all of it. He went to juvie on the 12th. He didn't get out until the 7th of November." There was silence from everyone and Kurt suddenly couldn't feel anything. Puck got pregnant in juvie. Puck's baby daddy was behind bars -maybe, or possibly out by now, who knew- and there was this huge, massive, possibility that it was not consensual.
"Holy shit, this just got heavy." Lauren actually pushed her bag of pretzels away and hugged her stomach.
Kurt can't believe what they've just worked out. He can't believe that Puck felt the need to keep that to himself, or that Puck wasn't at least affected by it just a little. He was going to be a single parent because, presumably, he was assaulted in juvie. The fact that Puck was released after three weeks makes a little more sense now, and his probation officers sympathetic attitude is probably more than just because Puck's an unfortunate high school kid. Kurt walks into his house, stopping short because there he is, sitting on the sofa with a sleeping Finn and the TV on.
"Hey, how was girls night? You paint your toenails?" It's something Kurt has no control over, before he even knows what he's doing he's hugging Puck's shoulders to his chest and clinging to the boys neck. Puck doesn't pull away from it, but he does tense up. "Um, Kurt, what're you doing?"
"Why didn't you say something? Why didn't you tell us?" Kurt feels like maybe Puck didn't trust them, and it hurts just a little too much. "Were you that sure that we wouldn't understand? Why can't you trust us?" Puck frowned at first, as if he was confused and didn't follow, until something must've clicked and his shoulders sagged. Kurt just waited for his answer.
"Help me up," Puck put his hand out, and Kurt was so used to just giving the assistance when Puck asked that he did it without thinking. Puck was starting to get bigger, the bulge was mostly a baby bump rather than just making Puck look like he was tubby. But Puck was stiff a lot and his back was giving him problems, so he was usually asking for help getting out of sofas and out of cars. "Not here," Puck nodded to upstairs, and Kurt followed him, leaving Finn sleeping on the couch with the TV playing. They end up in Kurt's room, and Puck sits on the end of Kurt's bed, letting Kurt stand there and wait. "I figured it might take a little longer for anyone to realise. Kinda hoped no one would." Puck sounds a little lost, but there's nothing obviously different about him.
"Why would you hide it? We're your friends." Kurt takes a step forward before he stops.
"That's why." Puck just nodded his head towards Kurt, frowning again and rubbing his hand against the swell of his stomach, Kurt had noticed he did it when he was stressed. "You're already acting different. Ma keeps freaking out at the smallest things, she keeps acting like I'm gonna break or something. Yeah, it sucks but I'm dealing, okay? I'm not some fragile little flower that's going to break at the first loud noise." Kurt sighs, understanding what Puck means but finding it difficult to really believe that Puck fully understands or feels that way.
"Noah, I know that you feel like you have to be strong all the time, but this isn't one of those cases." Kurt does move forward this time, running his hand over the side of Puck's head like Carole sometimes does, stroking his other hand down the back of the mohawk like Quinn used to. "You were hurt and it wasn't your fault, it's okay to feel something about that."
"I do, I feel mad that it happened, and I'm pissed that no one stopped it, and I'm hurt that I lost something in it. But I'm not some victim, Kurt. I'm not." Puck stares up at Kurt, his hands holding to Kurt's hips without any trouble or hesitance and Kurt realises what sort of position they're in. It's intimate, it would be so much more intimate if they were anyone other than who they were, except sometimes, Kurt doesn't think that's true either. "Yeah, I was raped," Kurt feels his heart clench when Puck says it, "but it's not going to define me. I'm not a rape victim, I'm a survivor." And that, right there, makes Kurt's affection for this brilliant, arrogant, idiotic, sweet, stupid boy just flair.
It might not be the best time, or it might be the only time there ever could be, but Kurt leans down just slightly and Puck instantly tilts his head up so that they meet for a kiss. It's slow and soft, tentative in a way that Kurt would never be able to place with Puck. But this is Noah; Noah who opens his legs to pull Kurt between his thighs, Noah whose hands run up Kurt's back and slide over his spine, Noah who lets Kurt dictate everything about the kiss that leaves them breathing harshly against each other and just pressing their foreheads together.
They both agree that a relationship is something they would like to explore, but they need to take things slowly. Kurt doesn't want to pressure Noah into anything, and he gets the feeling that Puck's worried that Kurt only feels obligated by some sort of misplaced guilt or pity. By the time they perform at Regionals, Noah is noticeably pregnant, but he's not exactly over worked through the routine. After all the groups have performed there's half an hour for deliberations. Kurt finds Noah sat on a bench behind the stage with Quinn, Brittany and Rachel.
"Babe, c'mere." Noah waves him over and Kurt just goes, ignoring the looks the Warblers are giving him. "Here, feel this." Kurt's hand is pressed over the side of Noah's stomach, and it takes a little minute or two, but then there's a kick and Kurt gasps at the feeling. "How awesome is that?" Kurt has to agree that it is pretty amazing, but he doesn't get to enjoy it for very long, because suddenly Finn is there with Sam and Mercedes and Tina, telling them that they need to feel the baby kick.
They have to separate back into their respective groups, and Noah gives Kurt a look before he's dragged away by a far too protective Santana. Blaine, Wes and Chris stand beside Kurt before the curtain goes up for them to find out who is going to Nationals. "Did he just call you 'babe'?" Chris asks quietly, even though most of the Warblers can still hear them.
"What? Oh, yes. Noah seems to think it's an appropriate pet name." Kurt has never hid the fact that he was gay from anyone at Dalton. They were always accepting and the bullying was never an issue. "He tends to do it with anyone he's dating, although it's usually an abbreviation of their name. Kurt isn't exactly something he can shorten, so I get 'babe'." And really, Kurt doesn't mind it at all, because he always ends up smiling when Noah uses it in front of people.
"But, you're not the baby's dad, are you?" Kurt frowns, looking over to Noah who is fending off Brittany's adoring stroking at his stomach.
"No, but that's not a problem for us." Strangely, it's Blaine that adds on the finally word.
"Really? You're in a relationship with a guy who's having someone else's kid? Isn't that a little serious a little fast?" Kurt is surprised at the nature of the questioning. Not because it's directed at him and Noah, but because they seem to think the baby would be a burden. Kurt doesn't get to respond, because they start announcing the places for the competition. He's a little disappointed that they didn't win, but looking over to see his friends, and how happy they look, he thinks that maybe they deserved it more anyway.
Kurt is only slightly surprised, two days after Regionals, when Mercedes and Rachel start asking him when he'll be coming back to McKinley, because they need him for Nationals, and Puck needs someone to look after him, and he misses McKinley, they know he does. Kurt doesn't dispute it at all, because he does and he'd love to go to Nationals with his friends and he'd adore being back in New Directions even if they weren't going to Nationals. Mostly, he wishes he could see Noah every day and make sure his boyfriend is eating properly and steal kisses and looks around the school and watch the baby grow.
"Are we forgetting something? I'm not going back to McKinley while the homophobia is running wild. I'm not going to be a target for Karofsky or his friends." Kurt hasn't told anyone what David did, no one but Blaine. But he doesn't want to be in the situation where he'll be threatened to keep his silence, where he'll be tormented in the hallways every day by letter jacket wearing imbeciles.
"Oh, man, that's not even an issue. Karofsky called Puck a buttboy and Lauren went Hulk on his ass." Sam smirks slightly, looking over as Mercedes and Rachel nod, "It was pretty epic. He's in traction for nine weeks, I heard he's already transferred out of state." Kurt still doesn't understand Puck's friendship but Lauren, but if it's keeping people like Karofsky out of the school, Kurt can't talk his father into the transfer fast enough.
The club make a big deal of his transfer, although Kurt can tell that Blaine feels a little slighted. Kurt would feel bad if it weren't for the comments about Noah back at Regionals. He's not sure what he expects of his relationship with Noah when he returns to McKinley -Carole and Burt know about things, so does Noah's mom although she wasn't too thrilled but Kurt could understand that. Naturally the Glee members know, but beyond that, they've never actually announced anything. They've never hidden it, but Puck's never came out to say as much as he was dating Kurt. And things have been rather slow -there's kissing and they sit together to watch television sometimes, and Noah took him out to the movies one weekend, even letting Kurt pick the movie. Things are good for them, so Kurt doesn't want to put pressure on anything for Puck to come out or anything -even if he is pregnant, Puck's never admitted to being gay or bisexual or anything like that. Realistically, Noah might not be anything but straight, and that scares Kurt a little, because Puck didn't actually seek out to have sex with a male.
But Noah spots him at lunch, in the cafeteria, sitting with the rest of the Glee clubbers at 'their' table. "Welcome back, babe." And right there, in front of teachers and jocks and chess club geeks and Cheerios, Noah Puckerman gives Kurt Hummel the kiss of his life. So apparently, they're coming out to the school as a couple.
"You guys are so hot." Brittany says with this dreamy expression and Kurt can't hide the blush as Artie gives him a mild glare.
It's like everything is perfect for a while. But that never lasts. Sue starts up the newspaper again, and with two throw away comments Brittany reigns chaos down on the Glee club. She accidentally outs Santana and pretty much lets everyone know that Puck was raped. The issue comes out in the middle of the school day and Puck practically locks himself in the choir room. Brittany doesn't know what she's done that's so bad because she never meant it the way it came out and Mr Schue is busy yelling at Coach Sylvester in the auditorium about ruining students lives.
Kurt manages to get in to see Puck, who just sits at the piano, aimlessly playing out mixed up melodies. "Are you okay?" Sitting beside Noah, Kurt's arm automatically goes around his waist and Noah leans in towards Kurt.
"What're they saying?"
"Not a lot. Everyone is a little shocked. Finn got a hold of all the issues he could and burned them. The Cheerios are still scared of Santana so they aren't saying a thing." Kurt knows that Noah's image, while not the most important thing, is a pretty important thing. He doesn't want people to think less of him, doesn't want them to see him as weak or a victim. Doesn't want them to pity him. "Whatever happens, you have us, all of us. Finn and Rachel and the others. You have me."
Noah sighs loudly and just lays his head on Kurt's shoulder. "Can I stay at your place tonight?" Kurt just nodded silently, stroking a hand over Noah's side.
Carole and Burt aren't happy with the school, or how they handled the situation at all. Kurt tries to talk his Dad out of marching into the school the next morning, but at the same time, he feels that someone should be sticking up for Noah's privacy. Noah makes himself a pillow fort in the middle of Kurt's bed and proceeds to hibernate until Mercedes calls Kurt for a full run down on the gossip tree. Kurt crawls onto the bed with Noah and puts Mercedes on speaker as the tree goes into full swing and just about all the gleeks are on the line.
Brittany is still hysterical it seems. "I'm so sorry Puck, I didn't know they could find out secrets. They had mind powers and I didn't try hard enough and I'm really sorry they found out your baby daddy isn't Kurt." Noah winces a little, sighing softly and Kurt knows that it's impossible to stay mad at Britt.
"It's okay, Britt, really." Santana calms Brittany down, and Mercedes fills Kurt and Noah in on what happened after they tucked themselves away in the choir room.
"Sue's already scraped any future plans for more editions, and we all know that there aren't any more copies of the paper since Finn went all pyromaniac on them and nearly toasted the girls toilets."
"I forgot about the window, okay, I was just really mad." Noah snorts slightly, leaning into Kurt's side and pressing his nose to Kurt's throat. "They were saying stuff about Bean."
"What I wanna know, is why you picked the girls toilet." Sam's been initiated into the tree by Rachel, since he's hanging out at her house with his siblings for dinner. "I mean, why not the guys?"
"Because, it smells weird in there. I wasn't going to spend that much time in there." For Finn, it's surprisingly logical.
"General consensus on the school ground is that Puck got jumped, got pregnant and the system booted him from the slammer cause ain't no one wanting that drama all up in their place." Santana has always been able to get away with bluntness that no one else can.
"Figgins knows he's gone and messed up. No one said shit to me when Azimio thought it'd be fun to pass negative remarks, apparently he forgot what happened to his buddy Karofsky."
"Lauren, I am forever impressed at your easy ability to impose your own brand of justice and instil fear into the hearts of the jocks at our school."
"Thank you, Berry. I do try." Kurt realises that Noah's fallen asleep when he doesn't make comment on Lauren once again proving how badass she is.
"I have a sleeping Puckerman here, we're going to bow out." Because Kurt doesn't need to know what people are saying about his boyfriend. Later, when he's more composed, he'll log on to Jacob Ben Israel's blog and read through that. It's usually a waste of breath and time and browser history, but it is the best way to see what the idiots at school are spouting off. But right then, Kurt's happy to lie back, with Noah curved carefully into his side and just pretend nothing exists outside of their pillows and blankets.
Even though Kurt's Dad is still livid about the situation, Kurt and Noah are still ordered to school the following day. Kurt's glad that at least one member of Glee club ends up walking Noah to class, he's always got someone with him. Noah gets a certain degree of allowance for tardiness to class -the fact that he's almost waddling rather than walking goes a long way, and certain teachers get this look on their face every time Noah jerks a little from the baby kicking. It gives Noah an excuse to skip out of classes early, and Kurt finds him and Quinn waiting outside Kurt's locker before lunch. They spend lunch in the choir room, because Kurt takes his lunch with him and Carole's force feeding Noah food to help the baby grow.
"Everyone's been weird."
"Has someone said something to you? Lauren wants full details on anything. She's already talking about removing testicles and planting boots." Noah laughs slightly and shakes his head.
"No, they're all just being really nice. It's weird. It's like I'm Finn or something." They sit in silence for a little while, and it's not awkward or anything, but Kurt gets the impression that Noah wants to say something. Eventually, he just scrubs his hands over his mohawk and goes for it. "So, I was sort of wondering, I mean, we're going to Prom together, right? I mean, I'm not good at that asking thing, I'm pretty sure I've never done it right in my life, but I sort of want to take you to Prom and do everything right and-"
Kurt stops him with a kiss, smiling against Noah's lips, because Noah isn't good at the feelings thing, but he's so honest sometimes that Kurt's heart just bursts with pride that this boy is his, this is his boyfriend and Kurt still can't believe it. "Yes, we're going to Prom, and you'll be great, and everything will be perfect." Just going to Prom with a boyfriend, with someone who wanted to make the night special for him, it was everything he wanted it to be.
He goes dress shopping with the girls, gives his personal opinion on each other their dresses and makes suggestions. He gets his own outfit, and just because it's Noah he's with, he goes for something subtle -his boyfriend is six months pregnant, it's not like they aren't going to get attention anyway. The only thing that makes anything awkward is meeting Blaine in the mall. The girls decide that maybe, for their men, it would be nice to wear some sexy lingerie. Kurt's fairly certain that whatever Santana and Brittany go with, they'll be peeling it off each other on Prom night, and Lauren isn't fooling anyone when she says she's not letting her wrestler boyfriend into her pants. So Kurt isn't going into Victoria's Secrets with them. He flat out refuses.
It means he's on his own, sipping at a green tea smoothie when Blaine spots him. It's awkward, and Kurt doesn't actually know what he has to say to Blaine at all. New Directions are gearing up for Nationals and he's out shopping for his Prom and he actually can't think of anything to say to Blaine. But Blaine asks him about school and how things are going at McKinley, asks if their club are prepared, and then- "How's Noah? It's Noah, isn't it?"
"Yes, Noah. He's fine. He's a little stressed, but he's pregnant, who wouldn't be?" Kurt just smiles wide, the way he can't help but do when someone brings up Noah and the baby.
"Has he thought of any names? Gotten things ready?"
"We've not really talked about names, I'm sure he'll have ideas but he hasn't said anything. We've got the most adorable baby stroller though, it's just to die for. Our little boy is going to be the most comfortable baby in the world." Blaine gets this pinched look, before smiling tightly.
"Wait, you guys are, what, raising the baby together? He's keeping the baby? I heard that- I, I mean I heard that the baby was- that Noah was raped." Kurt freezes, because he didn't realise that the rumours -which were actually true- had spread as far as Westerville. He also had realised that he'd been thinking about the baby as theirs when he wasn't even sure what Noah's opinion of the matter was. They were dating, yes, and Kurt knew that he could fall hopelessly and helplessly in love with Noah given the time, it was just a matter of time now, but they hadn't actually talked about the baby or their plans or even what Noah wanted.
"I- well, yes but that doesn't change anything."
"Kurt, you might not think it does, but it will. Noah went through something traumatic, and now he'll have a baby to remind him of that all the time. Do you really believe that it won't affect your relationship?" Kurt doesn't get to answer, because Lauren is suddenly there and everything in Kurt's life has to happen in dramatic sequences of self realisation.
"Kurt, baby emergency, hospital now."
"What?" There's no time to say anything to Blaine, to argue the point to even figure out why Blaine would feel the need to point any of this out to Kurt, or just why Blaine feels this way. Kurt's rushed off with Santana towards the hospital, because Santana is the one that drives like a drag racer on speed while other people observe things like stop signs and red lights. Kurt can only hope that if she does wrap them around a lamp post he'll be taken to the same hospital as Noah. But it's just his luck that they'd take him to the only other hospital in Lima. But Santana doesn't get them into a fiery wreck and they get to the hospital in less time than it takes to get from one end of the mall to the other. Kurt's so frazzled that he doesn't mind running up the three flights of stairs to the maternity ward -and who thought that pregnant women would want to be three floors up? Who designed this place?
Carole and Finn are standing there, in the hallway looking scared and lost and Kurt's heart drops to his feet. It's only May, it's too early, something had to have happened, there's something wrong. "Noah, where's Noah?"
"He's in surgery, sweetie." Carole pulls him into a hug, and Santana moulds herself to Finn's side as they hug each other, both of them are kind of Puck's best friends. "He complained about stomach pain, and then he doubled over. Finn got him here as soon as he could. They're delivering the baby now." But there's still a month to go, there's still a month before Noah's due date and Kurt knows how many weeks it should be, because Kurt knows the exact date of conception and oh God, he's crying all over Carole.
Mrs Puckerman arrives with Sarah fifteen minutes later and then the whole glee club arrive and sit in the waiting area, listening for news. It's four hours later before a doctor comes out. "Family for Puckerman?" Every single one of them stand up. "Okay, well, baby and daddy are fine." There's a collective sigh of relief and Kurt squeezes Sarah tightly in front of him as he feels the iron fist around his heart unclench. "There was a slight tear in the sac protecting the baby that caused the premature labour, but Noah came through like a champ and the baby is strong and healthy. We're just getting both cleaned up and situated in a private room and then you can visit. I'm afraid I'm going to have to limit it to immediate family for now. Noah is still pretty weak from the surgery."
Kurt doesn't care. Kurt just knows that they're both okay. Rachel and Quinn pull him into a hug, and Kurt only just keeps his tears from bursting out again. Mrs Puckerman and Sarah are led down the hall shortly afterwards and Kurt tries not to feel left out. They're barely gone for a minute before Sarah's back and pulling at his hand. "Come on, dummy. We get to see Noah. You gotta come and see him." It's so surreal, and even as Kurt is trying to apologise to Ruth as he's pulled into the room, he can't get the words out when he sees Noah sitting there, cradling this tiny little thing with a head of dark hair.
"Oh, wow." Kurt hadn't understood the way parents described loving their children. But it's right there, this unconditional wave of pure love for this tiny little boy that Kurt isn't even a part of, that Kurt has no claim to. "He's so perfect." And he is, nestled into Noah's side, tiny little hands curled into fists and one pushed into his mouth, tufts of pure black hair on his head like a little baby monkey.
"Noah, what's his name?" Sarah's leaning on the bed, her finger stroking at the baby's foot.
"I was thinking Jonah. What do you think?" Kurt's throat seizes up, Noah's asking him about baby names, wasn't he just talking to Blaine about baby names? God, is this some sort of-
"I like it," Kurt nods, running his hand down the back of Sarah's head as he reaches over to stroke the back of Jonah's head in the same way. "Jonah Puckerman."
"Sarah, honey, why don't we go tell everyone what he's called?" Ruth is as subtle as Noah is, and Kurt could almost laugh, but Sarah's already running out of the room to tell everyone the name of her nephew and Kurt leans over to press a kiss to Noah's lips.
"Sorry I ruined your Prom." Prom is the furthest thing from Kurt's mind right then.
"I'll have another Prom." He has senior year to worry about that, but he might've never had Noah and that is not something he's wanting to think about. "Why did you ask me about his name?" Kurt sits on the edge of the bed, watching as Noah glances down to his son.
"Well, I thought- I mean," Kurt wonders if they'll ever get this communication thing to work for them, "I kinda thought you wanted to be involved. I mean, I want you involved, if you want. I kinda thought we'd do this together, and you'd maybe want to, I don't know, be the other parent? I get that it's a lot, I mean, it's huge and you're only seventeen, why would you want a kid, God, I'm sorry I was just-" Kurt kisses Noah again, shutting him up, and it turns out to work for them.
"I would love to be his other dad." Noah smiles, he smiles this blindingly happy smile and Kurt knows it's not a case of falling in love with Noah, because he's already there.
"You wanna hold him?"
Kurt's never cherished anything as much as the little boy in his arms right at that moment.
Everyone gets all gushy over Jonah, and Noah ends up having his baby shower in the hospital room. The attention is split between Noah and Jonah and Finn is just in awe, "Look, look at his tiny hands, they're not even as big as my thumb, just so small and-" Kurt isn't sure when the shock is going to wear off for Finn, but the novelty does when Jonah starts crying and Carole takes over to feed the baby.
It's long after visiting hours when everyone leaves and Jonah's been taken to the nursery for the night and Kurt is allowed to stay by Noah's side because Sarah accidentally gave the impression that Jonah was Kurt's baby, except Noah's practically said that he's okay with that. "So, my mom wanted me to ask, and I know you're an atheist and all, but I sort of want Jonah to be raised Jewish." Kurt is half torn between shock and love. Because Noah is asking him about parenting things, about raising the baby and it's still not sunk in that Noah wants Kurt to be part of it. But Noah is considering Kurt, and Kurt's beliefs, and how Kurt would feel.
"I'm okay with that." Kurt knows that religion is important to Noah, even if he hides it well. "But your mom isn't going to try and convert me or anything, right?"
"No, she likes you, and Sarah adores you." Apparently, as much as Noah's been adopted into the Hudson-Hummel family, Kurt is counted as one among the Puckerman's. Noah and Jonah are released the following afternoon, Burt shows up with the Navigator and the car seat already fitted in the back for the baby. The go straight to Kurt's home, and Ruth and Sarah are already there so when they arrive, everyone is fussing again.
Carole puts Jonah down for a nap and Kurt and Noah sit down for a serious discussion in Kurt's room. "You really want me to be a parent? Like, the mom to your dad?"
"Technically, I carried him, so I'm the mom, but pretty much, yeah." There are times when, while talking about things like this, Noah gets this scared look in his eyes, like he's said something wrong, or done something wrong. Kurt hates that, hates that someone, probably a lot of someones, put that there.
"Like, my name on his birth certificate? Like my thoughts on his pre-school, on his middle school, on when his curfew is and when he's allowed to date and-" Noah presses his lips to Kurt's, cutting off his tirade. It's annoying that Noah is using his own technique on Kurt, but it's just as effective. Especially when Noah draws it out, nipping at Kurt's bottom lip and running his tongue over it before pulling away slowly.
"Yes, to all of it. Everything that goes with it. Kurt," Noah takes a breath, smiling that smile and making Kurt forget anything he was unsure of, "it's not ideal, I know it's not, but I want to make the best out of it. And I want to do that with you." Kurt really likes the sound of that. He lets Noah pull him to lie down, careful of the stitches and everything else holding Noah's side together from the surgery and delivery of his son, of their son. "I was figuring, since Carole already sort of cleared it with my mom, Jonah and I'd stay here for senior year, and then, when we graduate," Kurt hadn't even thought that far ahead, he'd been so wrapped up in everything that he'd forgotten about the future, about what it all meant, "I've got some money, from the courts after what happened in juvie, it's not a lot, but it's enough for a place in New York, I looked. It's enough for an apartment, big enough for the three of us. So you won't be giving up your dreams."
"What about your dreams?"
"Kind of got them already. Anything on top of this is just gravy." Kurt doesn't understand the phrase, he can't figure out Noah's weird tracks of thought, but Noah's planning for the future, and it's both of their futures.
"It sounds pretty awesome."
"We're gonna be awesome, babe." They already kind of are.