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At first, Kurt was absolutely sure his worst nightmare was being rewritten and played out. The plan had been simple; Dad would go to the Parents Association meeting, Carole Hudson would be there, eyes would meet across the room, sparks would fly, bam! Kurt would have his in with Finn, Finn would realise that Kurt is way more fabulous than Rachel or Quinn combined and then it would just be a matter of time, wouldn't it? The only flaw in his plan had been his bladder. Stupid thing. He left for five minutes. Five. And when he comes back, there his Dad is, standing by the snack table, flirting away with a pretty brunette. It would've been perfect, if it had been the right pretty brunette.
Ruth Puckerman is nothing like her son. She's petite and a little on the slim side, plain but not in a boring way. She's well spoken, interesting and funny. Puck has her wit, Kurt can tell, and she's a hard willed woman. Kurt can tell that his Dad likes her, even after just ten minutes of watching them. Tragically, his plan is foiled.
He doesn't really expect it to last. Yes, Ruth is lovely and they both like each other, but they are both single parents and juggling their own family and a relationship is probably nearly impossible, right? Apparently he's wrong.
"Dude, wait. Your mom is dating Kurt's dad?" Kurt isn't sure how Finn found out -probably Carole, since Ruth and Carole still talked even if Finn and Puck weren't exactly friends thanks to Puck sleeping with Finn's girlfriend behind his back.
"Oh, hard luck Puckerman." Kurt feels himself growing warm under the collar. He's not going to blush, because he knows what Santana means by that comment. Mercedes just nudges his shoulder. He's about to say something when Puck, surprisingly, speaks up.
"Shut the fuck up, Satan." And Kurt hadn't mentioned anything to Puck, but he'd half thought about possibly approaching the boy about maybe making things awkward or something for their parents, since he doubted Puck wanted his mother to continue seeing Kurt's dad. "Yeah, Ma's dating Mr Hummel, get the fuck over it. She's fucking happy." Kurt doesn't know what that means, but Santana and Finn both back off.
Kurt is moderately wary when his Dad tells him, after a month of dating, that Ruth is coming over for dinner with her kids. Kurt hasn't ever met Puck's little sister, he's heard about her, yes, but never met her. He's a little apprehensive until the doorbell rings and he can hear the soft sound of voices through the door. "Did you give her sugar?"
"No, she had like one juice box, she's just nuts."
"She's not nuts, stop that."
"Ma, she's bonkers."
"Noah, Noah, Noah, can we sit on the lawn chairs? Why're they on the roof? Is that for the roof-fairies? Doesn't Santa hit them when he's bringing presents? Are Mr Hummel and Kurt Jewish like us? Is that why Santa doesn't hit them? Cause they don't have the old perv either?"
"Noah said it first!"
Kurt opens the door just to stop the conversation and keep from laughing. "Ms Puckerman, Noah, and you must be Sarah."
"Yup, that's me. You have furniture on your roof, it must be hard to get to, cause you're kind of short, do you have a secret hatch to roof? Is this like Satan's place? Can we play ball?" Puck grabs his sister around the mouth, his hand muffling her words even as she keeps talking. And Kurt is suddenly hit with the memory of the lawn furniture just as his Dad approaches.
Ruth and his Dad actually kiss; right there in front of them and Puck moves his hand from Sarah's mouth to her eyes. "Mother," Kurt is floored, the grin on Puck's face is nothing like anything he's seen before, and the tone of the comment is just, well, it's teasing. "And in front of the child?" She's shaking his head while Ruth glares and then, taking advantage of Sarah's eyes being covered, flips him the bird.
The whole thing gets a laugh out of Kurt's Dad while Kurt, personally, is wondering if he fell and hit his head. "Burt, this is Noah and Sarah. Kids, Burt." Sarah raises her hand to peel Puck's fingers off her eyes.
"I think we totally got that from all the 'Burt is so nice' and 'Burt is just so sweet' and 'Burt took me here' and 'Burt does this thing where..." Puck's hand went back over Sarah's mouth.
"Before anyone moves anywhere," his Dad pulls out a hammer, and Puck frowns slightly before taking it and nodding, pushing Sarah inside the house.
"If it starts to storm, I'll protect the television aerial." The door closes behind Puck and the two adults slink off into the kitchen while Sarah stares up at Kurt.
"You were on the football team, weren't you?"
"Um, yes. I was the kicker." Sarah nods, as if everything makes sense from just that one comment.
"Noah only breaks out the crazy shit when he's trying to impress people. He's never actually nailed anything to a roof though. I can't believe you don't want to keep that. There's even a strip of fake grass to play golf!" It seems that, since Puck is partial care giver to Sarah, she's a lot like her older brother -only in a sweet, seven year old girl shell.
Puck gets all the furniture off the roof -apparently there's a trick to it, because Kurt and Burt never managed to move a thing when they tried- and then promptly falls off the roof. Kurt's a little surprised that Sarah and Ruth take it so well. "Um, shouldn't we- I mean-" Kurt takes comfort that his Dad is as equally shocked.
"Oh, no, he does that all the time." Sarah waves her hand. "We've got a deck chair on our roof, but he bolted that down. Noah's like, imperious or something."
"Impervious, brat. Get a dictionary." Kurt is down the rabbit hole.
He learns a few things that night. Number one, Ruth and his Dad are sickly sweet and rather obviously in love. Number two, Sarah Puckerman is a sneaky, sneaky little devil and fits into Kurt's clothes. Number three, Noah Puckerman and Puck are completely different people. Noah doesn't eat green vegetables, at all. He and Sarah swap food off their plates, much to their mother's annoyance, and then proceed to race until completion. The winner gets the losers desert and apparently, Sarah always wins. Noah also develops table manners that Puck has never displayed. So much so that he makes a point of swallowing anything he's eating before he even thinks to open his mouth.
"Well, they look happy." Kurt has to admit, it might not have been The Plan, but his Dad is happy.
"Ma totally took ages to get dressed." The three of them are sitting in the living room while Ruth and Burt talk about something -their next date, going out of town, the left over casserole. "She tried on like five dresses. And every time she changed she had to redo her make-up."
"And then you hid her shoes and she freaked out and had to change again." Kurt sort of envies Noah and Sarah their relationship. He loves his Dad, and he knows there isn't anything he can't tell him, but sometimes he wishes he had a sibling.
But Noah vanishes at school and Puck's back and Puck doesn't even look at Kurt and the boy is left wondering if Puck or Noah really, has some kind of personality disorder. And things are fine, really, they work. Every now and then they do a big dinner night, and Kurt gets to see Noah and not Puck, who still makes vaguely insulting remarks at school, and Sarah 'borrows' items from Kurt's wardrobe and he's sure it's going to be monumentally depleted by the summer thanks to the combined efforts of the Puckerman children.
Really, Kurt thinks this would work out fine for them. Except a few months in, the bombshell is dropped. Burt asked Ruth to move in with him; she said yes.
"Really? Like, all five of us?" Sarah is a little enthusiastic, which is good, because Noah and Kurt are just a little surprised. Ruth and Burt assure them that they're actually looking at buying a house, a bigger one for all of them. Kurt is stunned. They want him to share a house with Noah Puckerman; the boy who threw slushies at him, tossed him in dumpsters, shoved him into lockers, nailed furniture to his roof! They're all just meant to live together?
"Noah, sweetie, you're awful quiet." And Kurt knows that if Puck throws a fit over this it won't happen, because Noah and Ruth are painfully close, they're practically friends. And Kurt knows he has a good relationship with his Dad, but Noah talks to Ruth about everything.
"'m wondering how I'm gonna get that damn chair off our roof." But of course Noah won't make a scene, because Ruth is happy, Kurt sees that, and Noah's ridiculously invested in his mother's happiness since he's usually the root cause of her displeasure.
It takes four more weeks to find a house big enough ("I am not sharing a room with a boy!" "I can still have my own bathroom, right?" "Ma, this says dungeon, not basement, dungeon.") and that they all agree on and then to actually move. Kurt is happy with his room the way it is -paint wise, but Sarah insists that they cover up the pink in her room with purple, so Noah and her paint her room while Ruth and Kurt organise the kitchen and Burt sets up the electrics. Sarah spends the first three nights in their new house sleeping in Noah's room while the paint in hers dries.
Living with Noah and Sarah only shows Kurt just how different Puck is. Because Noah cuts the grass every week, even when it's Kurt's turn, because Kurt gets into sneezing fits from hay fever and complains about a blotchy face. And Noah actually forces Sarah to do her homework, like he does his ever, before she can have any fun with toys. Noah also knows all the songs in Hannah Montana and watches Grey's Anatomy with his mother. Noah actually wears glasses -like milk-bottle thick, black rimmed nerd glasses- but is horribly self-conscious about them that he never goes to school without his contacts in but is fine sitting around the house on the weekend with his glasses on. Noah also has this weird sort of thing where he'll do just about anything Burt asks (and Kurt knows it's something to do with his latent Daddy Issues, so Kurt never presses the matter) but Noah never approaches Burt to do anything, even though Kurt knows he kind of wants to.
The transition is actually kind of easy, to be honest. Sarah still raids Kurt's wardrobe, but now it's easier to make sure she wears it right, looks fabulous and that Kurt gets it back. Ruth is adamant about taking care of Burt and makes the most amazing food that is still healthy for him -although he will point out that Jews are just a little too fond of fried food for his liking. The biggest surprise, of course, is Noah.
Because after a while, he starts seeing Noah at school as well. Like when Ruth makes latkes but Kurt leaves before they're ready and Noah brings them to school for him, "Yo, Kurt, Ma made you some." And Kurt gets his Tupperware box with the fabulous food. And Noah doesn't care that everyone knows they're living together, because apparently, it's none of anyone's business. "Seriously, you're living with the cumguzzler?" Azimio doesn't even try to keep his voice down and Kurt flinches at the slur before raising his head. "Call him that again and I'll rearrange your fuckin' face."
The protectiveness, Kurt didn't expect. Noah does not allow anyone to insult Kurt. Not even Santana. The one time she'd said something, he'd pointed out that she had "better watch her tone" if she wanted her rep to remain intact. Mercedes thinks it's a little weird too.
"White Boy is trippin' on something, ain't he?" Kurt just shrugged slightly, because he was starting to see the human side of Noah; the side that ate cereal at midnight, sitting on the sofa listening to his mother talk about her work colleagues, the side that played dinosaur games with Sarah to tire her out before bed, the side that sat in his room sometimes and played guitar for hours on end, the side that looked absolutely adorable first thing in the morning, stumbling to the bathroom in his sweat pants, glasses and nothing else.
The first weekend that their parents go away, Kurt realises he's in trouble. Sarah is at a sleep-over with one of her school friends and Noah has already promised that no, he won't throw a 'raver' and 'wreck' the place, and even if he tried, Kurt would probably rat him out or whatever and he's got more sense than that, okay. So it's just Noah and Kurt, at home, from Friday night until Sunday night and Kurt's worried that Noah will revert to Puck and that Kurt will spend the weekend locked in a closet and that just won't be fun. He doesn't, Noah is still Noah, although he plays his guitar on the sofa in the living room on Saturday morning, and Kurt isn't locked in a closet.
"Do you think they'll get married?" Kurt asks it over lunch, watching reruns of Deadliest Catch with Noah, which he doesn't watch with Kurt's Dad, which he could, but Noah thinks it would be imposing or something (like he's not already living with them).
"What?" Noah just shakes his head, "Can't." Kurt doesn't get it, because they're happy together, and Sarah and Noah and Kurt, they all get along okay and Noah's acting pretty decent -not like he does with Sarah, they aren't really brothers, but Noah doesn't really let anyone push Kurt around anymore either. So Kurt doesn't see what the problem would be if they wanted to get married. "She's still Mrs Puckerman."
"Dad never divorced her. She's still married to him." Noah doesn't like talking about his father, Sarah doesn't know who the man is and her only experiences with father figures are her big brother and now Burt. "Fucker just took off and never came back, could be dead, could've changed his name, could've made the big time and just never bothered. Ma's got the papers all ready for signing and stuff, but," Noah just shrugged, "can't find him to sign them, can't get divorced."
And Kurt wonders if that bothers Ruth, the fact that she's still basically married to the man who abandoned her and her children. Clearly it bothers Noah. All his little attempts at Burt's approval make startling sense; the chores he does, the times he helps out to make things easier, the way he's trying to make up for what happened with Kurt. Noah has Daddy Issues and Abandonment Issues by the bucket load.
The biggest trouble with the weekend is that Noah doesn't go anywhere. Which means he spends the entire time in a muscle shirt, his sweats and his glasses and Kurt is hit with the urge to climb into Noah's lap and kiss him stupid. Which is, well, stupid. Because Noah will punch him. It is highly inappropriate to develop a crush on your almost-step-brother. Even if he did, does, have a crush on Finn and tried to do the exact same thing. It's more real when he realises that Noah's stupid little habits don't annoy him as much. Like how Noah gets up at the butt crack of dawn just to work out, or the way he always drinks the last of the coffee and neverrefills the pot, or how he sprawls on the sofa regardless of who else is using it, or the way he hums songs under his breath when he's washing dishes. Kurt kind of finds them quirky and cute and endearing.
"Can I shave your mohawk back in?" Kurt expects Noah to say no right off the bat, but he sort of stares.
"Is this a ploy to get me to say okay and then you shave it off?"
"No, but the sides are coming in and you need that done, right? I can do it." Kurt doesn't even know what possessed him to asked, beyond the fact that the sides of Noah's hair were coming in and the mohawk had less of an effect and really, it was growing on Kurt. So, Noah agrees, but swears that if Kurt messes it up, he'll shave Kurt's hair, and there is no way Kurt could rock that look.
So they set everything up in the bathroom upstairs and Kurt shaves the back of Noah's head first, "You want to leave the length in the 'hawk?" And Noah does, because it looks better, so Kurt doesn't touch it. But then he reaches a stumbling block, because in order to do the front, he needs to stand between Noah's legs, he hesitates, which makes Noah roll his eyes and pull Kurt forward with a grip on both of Kurt's hips while spreading his thighs to give Kurt space to stand. Kurt takes his time with the front, partially to stay where he is, close to Noah with those hands holding his hips and partially because he's worried he might screw up and shave off part of the mohawk and then Noah will never let him do this again.
When he's finished, he just runs his hands over Noah's hair, the one strip of hair on his head now, and when he gets to the end of it, just at the base of his neck, Noah's head tips back. Kurt realises that Noah likes it, and something emboldens him to do it again, this time with more pressure and Noah moans. Kurt feels his breathing speed up, something pushing him further than he's ever pushed himself before.
Noah's head is still tipped back as Kurt moves closer, his eyes are open and Kurt sees Noah's gaze drop to Kurt's lips, so he licks them and closes the distance to press their lips together in a kiss. Noah's eyes flutter shut, his hands sliding up to hold to Kurt's waist instead of his hips while he presses back to Kurt's kiss. It's definitely Noah that deepens it, licking at the line of Kurt's lips and startling the gasp out of him and giving Noah the opportunity to slip his tongue into Kurt's mouth. It might've been that first touch of their tongues that jolted them both from the kiss, Kurt staring wide eyed while Noah licked his bottom lip into his mouth and, wild as it seemed, Kurt had the insane desire to suck on it.
Kurt being Kurt, he fled.
It was bad enough that he'd developed this inappropriate crush on the boy who was, effectively, his step-brother, but this was Noah Puckerman, Puck. The boy who had teased and tormented him for most of their high school lives. And yes, Kurt did know now that this was also the boy who had a geeky streak; who watched The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, not because his sister wanted to watch it, but because he liked it. Who was moderately Star Wars obsessed, owned the original Doctor Who series box sets of DVDs and read books by some author named Christopher Brookmyre with strangely endearing titles (One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night, Boiling a Frog, Be My Enemy (or Fuck This for a Game of Soldiers) and A Snowball in Hell being Noah's favourites). Noah who spoke Yiddish to his grandmother when she called and played buffer when the elderly woman started arguing with Ruth.
Kurt reasoned that it was only probable that he'd become infatuated with this new side of the boy who was rude and arrogant and played up the dumb jock persona. It was just a phase, like with Finn, and Kurt would get over it. It was just taking a long time to happen.
They didn't talk about the kiss, and Noah didn't act all that differently, but Kurt definitely noticed the way he licked his lips when he ran his hand over his mohawk. "Noah, honey, we've run out of Kurt's avocado dip," Kurt's head snapped up from his studying when he heard Ruth's comment, "can you get some cough syrup for Sarah too?" Noah actually just shoves his feet into a pair of shoes a grabs his keys from his mom, nodding his head.
Kurt's avocado dip comes from the specialist organic store on the other side of town. But it's Sarah's birthday weekend and the poor girl is loaded with a chest infection that has her barking like a chainsaw and curled up pathetically on the sofa. And Kurt knew that Noah was a doting big brother, but driving to the opposite end of town for dip is a bit above and beyond. "I'll come with you."
He thinks that it'll be a good chance to talk to Noah about the kiss, and why, obviously, it was a mistake, even if it was amazing and Kurt really wants to do it again, because he heard that first kisses weren't the best, and if it can get better than that, then hell yes he wants to try it. But, they can't, obviously. He doesn't actually get around to telling Noah this as they drive; they flit through conversations, what they'd each gotten for Sarah, what they had done for their History project, their glee assignment, thoughts on the upcoming football game. By the time they got to the organic store, they'd talked about anything but the kiss and Kurt was running out of reasons not to bring it up. Noah went into the store, got the dip, went into the drug store three doors down and got Sarah some syrup and then popped into one other store before getting back to the truck. "Here," Noah had a pack of cherry whips in his pocket and one whip in his mouth, handing the bag with all the items over to Kurt as he climbed in to the vehicle. "Got that weird canned coffee that you like."
The weird, canned coffee was a frappuccino coffee blend drink from Starbucks that the store stocked and Kurt didn't like it he adored it; smooth blended coffee and low fat cream. It was just an indulgence that he afforded himself. And apparently, Noah wasn't oblivious to it. "Hey, why'd you get the jocks to back off with the names and dumpster dives and slushies?"
Noah frowns at him over those glasses -and really does he need to wear them and then be ridiculously adorable? "Cause, they're all thinking you're just this fruity little fairy." Kurt raises an eyebrow at that. "Okay, yeah, you are kind of a fruity little fairy but you're kinda cool too. Okay?"
"What- What do you mean?"
"I mean the way you know baseball and car stuff, I mean, I can't tell anyone shit about their car, you can fuckin' put it together blindfolded or some shit. And Sarah doesn't shut up about your music, and I know my sister, and she's not a show tune kid, so there's gotta be some dance crap in there. You're all into Mythbusters and you totally get excited every time they blow shit up." Kurt had no idea Noah was paying such close attention to him. Kurt had thought it was because they lived in the same house, that Burt might hear about the bullying and Noah, being the idiot that he was didn't want Burt to think less of him -like he didn't already know about what Puck did, had stopped it for that reason.
"I thought, I mean," Kurt looks at the can in his hand, shrugging slightly, "I thought it was because we were almost brothers or something and, y'know, you were just being nice." Noah chuckled around his cherry vine, chewing slowly and his eyes crinkling at the sides with his amusement.
"If I thought of you as a brother my other thoughts would get me locked up in most States." Kurt turned his head to blatantly stare at Noah, who kept his eyes firmly on the road, but Kurt could see the grip on the steering wheel tighten and, wow.
"I um, I know what you mean." It was the weirdest admission of having feelingsfor each other that Kurt could remember hearing, even if he knew that Noah wasn't one to do the feelings thing. "You know," Kurt put his can into the cup holder at the front dash, shifting a little in his seat, "you should wear your glasses more often." More often would be at school. Because Noah always took out his contact lenses when they got home because they irritated his eyes and his glasses were just easier.
"Kurt, they're like five inches thick, I really don't think I'm walking around school like a total dork." Kurt felt that rush of boldness all over again, like at these weird, inconsistent times when Noah actually showed a little vulnerability, a little insecurity, Kurt always felt a little bit of a power rush.
"You don't look like a dork," it was impossible to figure out why Noah didn't look like a dork, but the dark jeans and the shirts and t-shirts and glasses, somehow, even with milk-bottle sized glasses, Noah Puckerman still looked disgustingly sexy. "It's hot, in a totally cliché hidden-depth, smart-jock kind of way." Kurt leaned on Noah's shoulder, his breath against Noah's neck and his lips brushing just the shell of Noah's ear. "Then again, maybe you shouldn't, cause I sorta like that no one else knows just how much hotter you can get."
It was all a bit of a blur when Noah pulled them over, slamming the truck into park and wrapping an arm around Kurt's waist to haul him over and fusing their mouths together. And oh my Gaga, it's so much better than anything. Noah pulled Kurt until he was straddling Noah's lap and keeps his arm tight around Kurt's waist while he licked through Kurt's mouth, as if he'd been trying to get the taste of the coffee out of there and taste what it was like without it. It was like a drug, like some addicting substance and Kurt just wanted more and more, fingers pushing into the mohawk and mouth opening to Noah and tongue pressing against his just as ardently. They made out on the side of the road for a good ten minutes before either even stopped to think that maybe Sarah could use her cough syrup, and Noah instantly felt like a shitty big brother and Kurt had to laugh and convince him that he really, really wasn't.
So they make out a little, and do stupidly domestic stuff, and help each other with glee projects, and Kurt helps Noah with French, and Noah helps Kurt pass gym. They arrange some elaborate date for their respective parents on the six month anniversary of their moving in together, and Kurt can't believe that it's been that long, and since living together is likely to be the closest they get to marriage, it works out well for an anniversary plan. Noah shows are startling romantic side, surprises Kurt with pop-culture references that Kurt would've never expected from him and actually foregoes his contacts one day at school.
"You're wearing your glasses." Noah is resolutely trying to find something in his locker, and Kurt knows he's a little embarrassed by the whole thing, but he's doing it because Kurt told him they were hot. He is being influenced by Kurt's turn ons. This is like, relationship territory or something. "I can't believe you're actually wearing them at school."
"My eyes hurt this morning," Noah mutters the excuse into his locker but Kurt knows better. "It's not a big deal."
"I totally want to just ravage you against the wall right now." It gets a smirk out of Noah, the small raised eyebrow as if to say 'well if you must' and Kurt just nods his head. "Fancy meeting me in the choir room during third?" They both had that free; the choir room will be completely empty because all the other Gleeks have class.
"See you then." And Noah doesn't seem half as self-conscious about his glasses.
"Is that White Boy in glasses?" Kurt just nods, staring after Noah's back, "Damn, I would totally get me some of that."
"Back off sister."
"Seriously? You and Puck? Boy, don't tell me you're crushing on another straight jock?"
"Mercedes, my fabulous partner in crime, not everything is as it seems." Like that straight, bull-headed, small-minded, crass talking, Neanderthal of a jock being a closet geeky sci-fi watching, bisexual, tall glass of smoking hot man. Who is just so totally into Kurt. He can tell.
It's an almost-step-brothers but not quite kind of thing that totally makes their getting it on utterly hot and not really morally questionable at all.