A/N: I wanted to write a Kurt trans fic, seeing as how I have not really read any and it seems logical to me, but I was writing it with a Klaine coupling and it was set at Dalton. Essentially I just had a lot of trouble with it and it didn't feel right to me. I recently started over and with a PucKurt pairing which I have also really loved. This time around I have been feeling it a lot more and I have a lot of it planned out so hopefully this one will stick. This is one of my first attempts a published fic writing so I would apprechiate feedback. Hope you all enjoy. I am having a great time writing it. Hopefully I'll have update around once a week or more if people really take to it. Thanks all!
P.S. The middle section from Kurts point of view may be reworked a bit just in narration. I went back and forth between using names or typical he/his pronouns and I like using their names to narrate for Burt and Puck so I'll probably use the same format with Kurt too. Just a small note but it deosn't change the story at all. If anyone has an opinion on it feel free to tell me what you felt while reading.
Ask any parent and they will surely tell you that the stress of raising a kid is hard for anyone. However, the stress of raising a kid on your own when you only understand him half of the time, if you're lucky, is heart wrenching. There are times, especially lately, when Burt thinks that he can literally feel a vice squeezing the organ in his chest so hard that it might explode with the pressure of doing right by his child. It's not for a lack of trying but Burt hasn't been able to understand his kid for years. Sometimes he will just watch Kurt push around food on his plate while they eat dinner at the living room table, and watch whatever musical Kurt decides on for the night. The fear of letting his kid down he goes through in those moments are worse than any nightmare he has ever had.
It wasn't always that way though. When Kurt's mother was alive she would explain everything to him as if he were the most clueless man on the face of the earth and he would get so frustrated with her for it. She would explain to him the benefits of letting Kurt wear her heels if it made him smile. She would sing along with him when he belted out songs on the playground as the other kids stared so that he never had to feel alone and she would tell Burt that being able to face adversity was something they should be proud of their kid for. She would hold Kurt while he cried about being teased as Burt watched with clenched fists. After Kurt was fast asleep, she would explain that sometimes words weren't what he would need with his son but simply to let Kurt know that he was there and that he loved him. It was in those moments that he though she was trying to teach him as if she knew she wasn't always going to be there. Now with her gone, he is positive that she was right all along about exactly one thing: that he is clueless.
Burt loves his kid more than anything else in the world and would do anything to fight for his safety and happiness, but the more time passes the less he knows what makes Kurt happy. He can't keep up with Kurt and his appetite for fashion or musicals. No matter how hard he tries he can't understand half of the things that bring a smile to his son's face. That leaves him, then, focusing on keeping Kurt safe, which has become a lot more complicated lately. After his mom died, keeping him safe meant simply holding him close and making him feel loved and protected. But now, it is impossible to ignore the way Kurt flinches at the slightest touch, or winces when he sits down. And Burt may be clueless but he isn't blind, and he can see that Kurt is having a hard time at school. The look of exhaustion painting Kurt's face when Burt gets home from work every day is enough to tell him that, without the obvious physical pain to accompany it. Then, there are the phone calls. He doesn't tell Kurt about them anymore. The first one got him upset enough to throw a competition, but it isn't like they suddenly stopped. It was then that Burt thought maybe keeping him safe was about hiding some things from him and letting Kurt enjoy what he could, since it was obvious that joy was becoming harder and harder to come by in the Hummel house.
The only time he sees Kurt happy now is when he talks about getting out of this town. As much as the thought of his kid thousands of miles away makes Burt sad, if that's what Kurt needs, then he is more than happy to let him ramble on about his plans for the future. These plans are so detailed it's almost like Kurt has created a fantasy world in which to live. He has apartment locations scouted. He knows the views he will see from his window of the New York skyline. He talks with enthusiasm about color schemes and lavish parties with other people like him. When Kurt goes on and on about the wonderful life awaiting him in the world beyond Lima, Burt feels bad for wanting to hold him back. He is torn between wanting to just hold Kurt close again to make him feel loved and protected once more, or setting him free to explore the diversity of the world by himself and relish in the sights and sounds of not being held down.
Of course, there are the other times he has seen Kurt happy– times when Kurt doesn't even realize that Burt is watching. The first time it was an accident. He was going to call Kurt up for dinner and he hadn't knocked before he started to walk down the steps. Kurt had his music loud enough to mask the noise of his feet on the steps. The sight of Kurt in a skirt left Burt frozen and even more fearful than ever before. The look of pride on Kurt's face couldn't be missed. It was like he had never felt better about himself. His lips curled high in pure delight and his eyes literally glowing with something that looked like anticipation. The air around Kurt was even electrifying to watch. It was as if his kid was suddenly set free of the chains that typically wore him down. No more thoughts about insults and epithets. In that mirror he only saw possibility and promise. Those were the moments that Burt knew he had to let Kurt go, because Lima would beat any possibility, as well as the life, out of a boy in a skirt.
After Kurt's mom had died, Burt did some research, figuring that since he didn't have someone to explain everything to him anymore, he should put in some extra effort. His Google searches turned up a whole lot of information that he wasn't prepared for. Some videos he wished he had never clicked on. He loved his kid but there were some things he didn't need to see or even knew happened in theory but most definitely not when he was thinking about his kid. Burt searches for information on what to do when your teenage son is wearing women's clothes and that is the first time he is hit with the word "transgender." He sits staring at the screen wishing over and over, "Not my son, not my son." Burt will take Kurt however he can get him because, after all, they are talking about his child, but the idea of something even more difficult for Kurt to deal with fills his eyes with tears. It is as if the world is hell bent on adding to the suffering of his kid with each passing day. He vows then and there to love his kid no matter what, and to never stop fighting for his happiness and safety. Burt is so intent on giving his kid the best life that he can at all costs that it isn't until he wakes up in a hospital bed with Kurt's fingers clutching his that he realizes just how badly it was all getting to him, and how close he came to really leaving his kid alone and helpless in this cruel world.
As Puck stared at the ceiling above him he wondered just how things had gotten this screwed up. OK, so no one was really going to be surprised by him getting thrown in the slammer. That was kind of part of being the resident bad boy in the small town of Lima, Ohio. When he got back to school, everyone would talk in hushed tones behind his back about how crazy he was and how no one in their right mind would mess with him, but no one would say anything to his face for fear of getting their ass kicked. The halls would be filled with people whispering about him while staring.
There are many words that can be used to describe the Puckasaurus. Puck is a bad ass. Puck is a jock. Puck is a singer and a fucking good one too. Puck is a ladies man (womanizer, depending on who you asked). Puck is many things, and for as long as he could remember, he was fine with it all. He enjoyed the looks of fear that he got from the nerds. He got off on the way the girls at school would fall at his feet pretty much. It was as if he were some kind of high school god that they all bowed down to. Sure he had his favorites; Santana being the most recent and long lasting, but it wasn't like there was any lack of ass for his taking. He loved that, as much as everyone thought he was a screw up, when there was a serious problem, he was often the one to step up and make things happen. When the glee club needed money, he was the one to find a way to get the cash. When that Jesse dude egged Rachel, as classic as that could have been, he was right there to step up and lead the charge against the punk in Vocal Adrenaline. No one messes with Puck's territory. When all was said and done, Puck knew that he was about as high on the food chain as one could get in high school. So then why the hell was he finding himself more bored than anything else lately? Well the answer comes down to one thing really.
After the year he had been through with Quinn and Finn and… Beth... everything just seemed to be way too crazy now and it wasn't at all an enjoyable kind of crazy like it had been before. Something was missing. Not that Puck was all that against to being the lone alpha wolf at McKinley, but he was lonelier as the days went on. As much as he hated to admit it, he liked having other people around. Girls were good for sex, Finn was good to hang and play video games and shit. It was cool to feel like people wanted to be around. Finn didn't "get" him anymore. As much as they had been "brothers" for a long time, maybe he never did. Quinn certainly didn't understand him, and made it pretty clear that he obviously didn't get her at all. The way Quinn still refused to look at him and treated him as if this was his fault entirely actually killed him, even if he wouldn't admit it to anyone. His mother made it clear that she had no clue what was going on is his head. She also loved to point out that it was a feeling reminiscent of the way she felt about his father before he left. When it was all over he wound up losing his best friend and now was left with no one but Santana to talk to; and she didn't really do all that much talking when they were together, so he found himself texting her, or sexing as she would call it, less and less. And really, to top it all off, he couldn't get Beth out of his mind. Her being put up for adoption was constantly there, nagging at him and pushing his buttons. He felt like he left her, even if he had no choice in the matter. It left him feeling like his father; something entirely worse than everything else combined.
So basically the Puckasaurus was left staring at a fucking ugly ceiling surrounded by bars and for the first time being a badass wasn't so great. With everything going on, his reactions came as no surprise. Anger. Hostility. Mischief. All the usual party guests. It was just that for the first time he wasn't having fun being the king of his party. His typical party games weren't working. Instead they got him laying on an uncomfortable cot pulling at the threads of his worn tee shirt and actually thinking about school. Sure he hated classes but he has never realized how much he liked that place. That was just bad. But even more messed up was why he missed it. If his whole life really revolved around being able to throw around the kids lower than him on the flag pole then what the hell was he going to do in a year and a half when it was over? Maybe Quinn was right. He was destined to be just some Lima Loser. Puck turned off of his back to face the even crappier looking gray wall.
Ok, so stealing an ATM wasn't his fucking brightest idea ever. It's not like he needed the money, since he lived at home and, as much as she would never shut up about being disappointed in him, his mother keeps the house stocked with whatever he and his sister could need. It wasn't even about the money, really. He was walking down the street, passing store after store, when he passed the window display of a crib and baby clothes and blankets and a rocking chair that made him just want to wreck the world. He made it another ten feet to an ATM just outside of a convenience store. After he had knocked it over and broken it beyond function, he just decided to drag it to the alley down the street and stash it there, which would've been a great plan… except that was when the police rolled up and got in his face. He didn't bother to deny anything they accused him of. What was the point anyway? Tall, Muscled, letterman jacket, and sporting a sick hawk on his head. Yeah and the cops are totally going to buy what he's selling. No Way. He just kept his mouth shut and his hands behind his back, like they said.
Lima wasn't exactly a filled with criminals, so the local juvie lock up consisted of half a dozen kids who were more like candidates for an episode of "Scared Straight" than actual, menacing whack jobs. One kid barely stopped sobbing long enough to blurt out his name. Even in juvie, Puck was king of the castle. None of the kids messed with his tough exterior and his take no prisoners smirk. He kept to himself for the week he was there and spent the long nights doing exactly what he was doing now; staring around his cell and wondering how much longer he could go on feeling like this once he got out.
Sure, everyone expected him to be a Lima Loser for life. That was obvious. His teachers didn't push him to work hard. His mom had all but given up on expecting anything of him. Women didn't find him appealing for anything other than sex. God, even Santana had broken up with him over his credit score. What was that bull shit? Well, if the world at large wrote him off as a no good punk who would amount to nothing, it was all up to him to start holding himself responsible for shit. Problem was, as much as he would never admit it to anyone else, he was scared. Even if Santana was only there to sleep with him, at least he wasn't alone. At least there was a warm body around every now and then to make him feel like there was someone there who would miss him if he were gone. Maybe it was about time, then, that Puck found someone who actually understood him. Someone who needed him and accepted him for exactly who he was, and didn't write him off as a failure, or a screw up. That was the last thought to cross his mind before Puck's eyes finally closed. He drifted to sleep with a little grunt, wondering if such a person really existed.
Kurt sat in glee lost in his thoughts. So many questions ran through his head almost constantly now. The least of which was the question, how this had become his life? Events as of late had left him feeling unfocussed and exhausted. He had spent his freshman year of high school finally finding a place to fit in. He had joined the glee club, and made a best friend in Mercedes. Tina would often talk fashion with him. Hell, even Quinn turned out to be not that much of a snob to him, once her status as head cheerio had been revoked and she was kicked off the team. He had developed and eventually gotten over his first crush, as tumultuous an experience as that was. It hadn't gone well at all seeing as how it ended with Finn getting kicked out of the house for calling him a faggot. Yea sure, last year had been quite the ride but everything being said and done, he finally had a group where he belonged.
All in all he had done a lot of growing in his first year of high school. However, with all of that growing taken into account there was still something that just didn't feel right as far as he was concerned. He had fought so hard to be out and proud as a gay man because that seemed to be what every sign pointed to. Finn was hardly the first person to call him a fag. It was really more of an everyday term for the masses to sling at him. So he knew very well what others thought of his identity. But the more that he thought about it himself and took into account his situation the more he noticed that he was getting tired of standing out so much. Well, maybe not tired of standing out in general. He was certainly willing to be gawked at for his impeccable fashion sense and cutting wit. Maybe it was just from being pushed around and tormented at school but he was finding that more than anything else he wanted to stop being defined as a freak or an outsider and he wanted to take on a definition that he could be proud of and feel comfortable with. He wanted to stop believing what other people were telling him. Why should anyone else get to dictate who he was, especially when they had never taken the time to get to know him before they condemned him? It wasn't like Karofsky or the other Neanderthals had even asked him anything remotely personal. They didn't care who he was as a person so much as they wanted to punish him for what they perceived him to be. He had long accepted the labels that had been put on him with every shove and locker slam. The only problem being, recently he was thinking more about what he actually wanted to be called, and he was finding that the more he explored who he was and what he wanted from life, what he really wanted more than anything was to be seen as was a girl.
Now he had been well versed by the adults in his life to take things slow. He had heard all of the reasons to leisurely enjoy his childhood and to cherish his high school days. Sure he was young. Sure he was a little naïve. Sure he was an extreme overachiever and perfectionist. Kurt Hummel was many things, which people have no problem using against him in an effort to tell him to wait before he wished to change his life. He could hear the words in his head. 'Why rush it?' Mr. Schue had told the glee club that before when they did things he deemed to old for them. His dad had used it on him when he would go off on tirades about New York and his future. Even though he knew his dad was only sad to hear him talk of leaving.
Well the short answer is because knowing who you are when you are young sucks. Especially when what you know is that you are different. It was no secret that he was into fashion and dressed to kill in all the latest avant-garde, and sure, sometimes gender bending fashions but it hardly stopped at knee length sweaters like most people thought. He has been hiding a collection of girl's underwear and bras, as well as a good deal of less revealing items in his closet for a couple of years now. It started as a nagging question about what silks must feel like against your bare skin and before he knew what was happening one pair of silk women's briefs turned into a whole separate wardrobe for his time alone in his basement. Luckily his dad gave him a lot of privacy.
Every now and then he felt like some monster being locked in a dungeon for fear of scaring the world outside, but it was worth it for the few moments he got to feel good about himself. Standing in front of that mirror and taking in his own reflection, when he could almost see the life that should have been his, was not something he was going to give up no matter how much people might think he looked like Frankenstein's bride. He had kept the secret to himself, pushing the boundaries as far as he could without breaking them wide open. Train sweaters and knee high riding boots could be argued as men's fashions. Maybe gay men's fashions, sure, but it's not like anyone was questioning that part of his life. He knew better than to go around dressed in skirts and bras and heels. Lima was a small town but it was big enough that people wouldn't mind counting him out of the population density.
The secret was getting harder and harder to hold in as time went on. At first there were excuses for why he was dressed in spandex and sequins singing Beyoncé. There was a reason to wear a dress to school if it was for a Gaga experiment. All excuses aside though, it was becoming increasingly more painful to lie to those around him when he knew the truth. Lately it felt like it was a hunger eating him up from inside. He had such a desire to let someone into his world of secrets. He needed someone to see him for who he saw when he stood in front of the mirror and made wishes on the movie stars adorning his walls in photographs. But the insatiable desire to spill his guts aside, he wasn't an idiot. He knew that telling someone would be the biggest risk he had ever taken. His dad was out of the question. There was no way he was adding to his stress level now that he was recovering from a heart attack. He could still see how the man he loved was weaker than he liked to let on. He struggled more in the shop, wincing as he had to lift heavier parts and taking more time overall to complete simple tasks. He wasn't back to his old self yet. It was his job to make sure that his father was healthy now. He couldn't neglect that anymore. His father was the one person he could count on for anything in the world. Unless it was for trusting that he would not die of another heart attack when he found out his little boy wanted to be his little girl instead. Mercedes was his best friend but was also one of the biggest gossips at school. Rachel would probably see it as a new way for him to try and steal her solos. Finn wouldn't even understand what he was saying. So there weren't a lot of options for him even if he was stupid enough to tell someone.
Luckily having already presented his song for the day, he felt relieved when he came out of his daydreams to find people leaving for the day. Glee was over and he had zoned out for the last half hour. As he grabbed his books and threw his messenger bag over his shoulder he sauntered out to his locker. The halls were much quieter this time of day and he was thankful as he was already starting to develop a tension headache that pulled his immaculate brows together. Stopping in front of the row of small metal doors he began to twist his combination and pull open his locker to put away his books for the day and grab his jacket. He had closed his door with a small exhalation of breath that spoke of how tired he was, and when the metal door finally clanged shut there was a face behind it. Darkened eyes stared back at him in a mix or anger and something else. Something that was foreign and possibly more threatening than the hostility that was obvious. He took a step back to physically distance himself from the emotions written on the bully's face.
"What do you want Karofsky?" He almost squeaked out. He hated himself for letting this blatant fear show but he was so tired he couldn't keep it in check.
"I just wanted to come say goodbye to my favorite fairy." The other boy spat out with a mock sweetness. "I know how sad you must be that you won't get to check out my ass again until tomorrow so I figured I should drop by to see you off for the day. Give you something to get off to tonight."
Karofsky's hands wound into his shirt and he shoved until Kurt flew back into the row of lockers behind him, the metal grating on the door digging into the never fading series of bruises already on his back.
"You know, Karofsky, for someone who hates gays, you sure spend and awful lot of time thinking about what I do at night." Kurt shouted as something broke inside of him. He wasn't holding back now.
Kurt was almost shocked at his own bravery. He was so spent that he couldn't even bare to think about the words that flew from his mouth. By the time he got over the shock of his own words there were only milliseconds left to see the fist already being swung into his stomach. The force of Karofsky's blow lifted Kurt off the ground. His eyes were watering and throat closing around the sick threatening to escape as Kurt fought for air. He slid down the cold metal of the lockers and he fell to the ground clawing for support. Karofsky had stepped back to admire his work. Over the ringing in his ears Kurt could hear Karofsky speak.
"You had better watch your mouth fag. Don't go using that mouth of yours to accuse the normal people around here of your freakishness unless you want your jaw shattered. That'll be where I aim next time."
With that Karofsky turned on his heel and stalked out of the hallway. Kurt could do nothing but half lay on the floor praying for the pain to ease. He didn't know how long he lay there, holding in groans and blocking out the world behind closed eye lids, before he felt a touch. His eyes snapped open almost expecting to see Karofsky having returned to finish the job. Instead it was Puck. Before Kurt could even take in the look of concern on the boys face, he immediately assumed that Puck was there to kick him when he was down so to speak. Sure the dumpster tosses, the shoulder checks, and the slushies from Puck had stopped but it wasn't as if there was ever an apology or a promise to never do it again. It wasn't until he felt a warm, strong arm wind around his waist that he realized Puck was asking if he was alright.
"Fine. Never Better." Kurt half groaned out at the pressure on his bruised back. Then he looked up to meet Puck's caring, worried brown eyes and he lost it. Tears built up and began to overflow from his eyes. His throat closed again but this time with a lump of emotion and all of the words he had kept inside. He had never told anyone about how hard this all was. He had never complained to teachers or asked friends for help. The way Mr. Schue dismissed every idea or concern he had was proof enough about how much assistance he could ask for. He had certainly never told his dad about the incessant torture and physical abuse. He had kept it all bottled so deep inside that he wasn't even aware that the hurt was so overwhelming until it was spilling out.
Kurt turned out of Puck's grasp and put a hand up on the wall for support as he half collapsed back into himself. His other arm wound around his own middle, fist clutching in his shirt and trying, without even the hope of success, to keep at bay any more emotion from spilling out. He expected Puck to walk away, to run as soon as he could from the crazy display in front of him. Instead Kurt felt a warm hand on his back. It was gentler than he would expect Puck knew how to be. It was also not something he was used to. Sure, Mercedes would sometime latch arms with him as they walked, Rachel had hugged him once or twice, and recently with his dad being sick people in glee had shown more care when he was considered but this was a guy openly touching him. This was a masculine, large, unwavering hand on his body. It was warm through the layers on his back, and it was a new enough sensation that it sent shivers throughout his body. It wasn't something Kurt was used to and the immediate need for it to never go away brought with it a sense of fear for how much he really desired it.
"Take your time Hummel. No one is here, dude. It's just you and me so… take a minute and let it out."
Puck's voice was soft and yet firm. It had a deep quality to it almost like the boy knew what he was going through even if he had never been picked on a day in his life. It made Kurt so conflicted between the resentment he felt, and the desire to let the words curl around him and smooth out all of the rough edges. After a couple of minutes Kurt gave in to his need for comfort. He let that hand on his back absorb as much of the pain as it could. He let it leech the doubt from his body and finally he felt his shoulders go down. His breathing steadied as his lungs readjusted to the access to oxygen. Finally the tears relented and he was able to compose himself enough to face the boy who had his back, literally. When Kurt turned Puck was still eying him with care and confusion.
"What happened, man?" Puck's voice was quiet and calm with a little hint of anticipation like he cared about Kurt's answer.
"Karofsky." There was a pause and Kurt felt the question building in his throat and then clawing over his tongue. "You care."
Kurt heard the words come out of his mouth. He was just as shocked as Puck, by the look on the other boy's face, to hear that when the words finally crept out they weren't a question.
Puck laughed. It was a silly, childish, free laugh that brought Kurt down with it. Before either could speak one more word, they were both reduced to giggling idiots. Kurt held his stomach again from pain but this time it was a good pain. As they rode out the waves of their surprise Puck's hand once again came into contact with Kurt's body. His hand on Kurt's shoulder pulled them both slowly back. It was an anchor for the both of them as they made their way back to the reality, and the fact that they were standing in the hallways at McKinley High. Puck glanced around them, which Kurt took to mean that he was nervous of someone seeing him toughing the gay kid, and yet he never moved even a finger. When his eyes came back to Kurt there was a smile on his face.
"C'mon. Let's go get you cleaned up and I'll give you a lift home."
Sure Kurt had his truck and he was perfectly capable of driving himself but there was something authoritative about Puck's tone. It was protective and firm and comforting. Kurt couldn't argue with that at all and, on the contrary, he was willing to do whatever it took to keep those feelings in Puck's voice all the time. As Puck led him towards the bathroom he laid his arm across Kurt's shoulders and gave a squeezed.
Being out of juvie was great but being back at school was about as bad as he had imagined. Puck had spent so much time worrying about his newfound search for someone who 'got' him that he had totally blocked out the fact that he would have to spend time with people that still didn't. By the time the day was over he was sure that every person he knew had looked at him with some kind of judgment. Santana looked at him like sex was the last thing on her mind due to his royal pathetic-ness. Finn just had his usual confused 'I don't understand you anymore' face on. Fuck, the sight of that guy made him want to punch something so much that Puck wondered how they had ever been best friends to begin with. Quinn looked at him with satisfaction and hatred at the same time. It was as if she was patting herself on the back for getting rid of Puck while she could. It all just made him sick. Sure he screwed up sometimes. Hell, sometimes he really screwed up but it wasn't like any of them were without any past mistakes either. How dare the give the Puckasaurus any looks of disapproval.
By the time glee came around Puck was completely fed up. He walked to the top row of chairs and sat in the corner away from any judgmental eyes. He was determined to keep his 'I don't give a fuck what you think' attitude. Puck was so busy trying to ignore everyone that he actual felt like he was a good student, with the amount of focus he had on each performer. The theme this week was apparently uplifting people though song; another brilliant Schue idea. At least he had moved on from one word lessons. Puck had heard them all talking about last week with Kurt's Dad and how depressed everyone was while he was in juvie. He guessed Mr. Schuester must have decided to use this week's assignment to try and cheer them all up. The numbers were good, mostly. Rachel did what Puck could only assume was a Broadway number since he didn't know it and she acted it out as if it were supposed to tell some crazy story. Finn did some song Puck had never heard of called "Happy Together" which he said was about how he felt about the glee club. Loser. All of the numbers were equally as happy and equally as stupid. Not only that but most people were singing to Kurt, as if he was paying any attention. He had gone after Rachel, singing "Here Comes the Sun." It was a good song and his voice sounded like usual, which meant it sounded high but nice. It was obvious he wasn't over his Dad's heart thing. He sounded like he wished the words of the song were true but that he couldn't believe them yet. It was sad, and Puck could actually relate a little bit. After he was done, Kurt just sat in the front row with a far off look on his face. He imagined that was how he looked when his mom yelled at him to do stuff when a football game was on. He barely even noticed anyone else's performance after that.
Finally when Schue had let them go for the day Puck felt free. He almost made it out the door before Schue called him over to talk while everyone else left. He had some stupid stuff to say about how he hoped Puck would put his anger into song instead of acting out. How he knew Puck was a good guy and he had just been through some tough times but that he had to find better ways of coping. Schue was funny how he tried to pretend like he had all the answers. He was obviously just as messed up as any of them were. I mean, come on, the guy had bought that his wife was pregnant for how long before he found out she was lying? He was like the grown up Finn. By the time Schue finally let him go he just wanted to jet. When he was walking to the parking lot he heard what sounded like whimpering from the hall behind him. He turned the corner to see what it was and he was surprised to find Kurt lying on the ground. Hummel wasn't obviously crying or anything but it was obvious he was in pain. Puck walked over because, well, only an ass would run when they could see the guy right there, and the Puckster was doing his best to not be complete ass anymore; just a Badass. Kurt didn't seem to notice him in any way. His eyes were closed in pain or fear or something. When Puck leaned down and tapped him on the arm Kurt's eyes shot open and he shook like someone was going to hit him. When he saw Puck he didn't relax. He still looked pretty rattled. Did he really think that he was gonna kick the kid while he was down? Come on. It kind of pissed him off that even after he had stopped harassing the guy he still thought the worst of him.
Puck bent down to help him up and Kurt went willingly. Kurt almost clung to his arm like it was a lifeline. The guy must have been really hurt. He definitely looked to be in a lot of pain and he winced even as he held onto Puck's arm. When Puck finally asked how he was doing Kurt made some funny but sick noise and he said "Fine. Never better."
Even when he was down, Hummel was still all about the defense mechanism. This kid was tough. But when Kurt finally looked up and met Puck's gaze he tensed. His eyes were the first sign as they welled up and then he gasped in for breath. Suddenly he had turned out of Puck's arms and was trying to hold himself up against the wall. Even though he was now facing away from the guy, it was obvious Kurt was freaking out. His shoulders were clenched and shaking. He was literally holding himself together with and arm around is own waist. The guy was a mess and getting worse by the second. Puck did what was the only thing he could think of. He didn't know how to help but he figured that it would be nice to know someone was there right? I mean that was basically all Puck had wanted recently; someone to be there and just try to understand him.
When he finally put a hand on Kurt's back and said some stuff to get him to calm down, it was just something to let him know he wasn't going anywhere. After a minute though, he could see that the hand was having an effect on Hummel. His shoulders began to go down and his breathing evened out. Eventually the sobs stopped all together. He still had no clue what led to the guy being on the ground in the hallway but at least he was coming around again. When Kurt finally turned back to face Puck he was a lot more composed. The tears had dried on his face and, other than the red eyes and odd looking color in his face, he looked a lot better. He looked more relaxed now that it was out of his system, as if he had been holding that in for a while. Puck thought with a grin that at least he didn't try and beat up an ATM and get thrown in the lock up.
When Kurt had steadied a bit Puck saw his chance to get some answers. He didn't want to scare the kid again but for some reason he wanted to something. He couldn't help himself but Puck might actually be able to help make Kurt feel better so it was worth a shot. Puck ventured a "What Happened?"
"Karofsky," Kurt said as if it was the most obvious thing ever. Maybe Puck never really noticed how bad it had gotten but he really didn't get the way the guy almost said duh after the name. Then Kurt's eyes got funny again. It was like he was stuck between wanting to cry again and thinking too hard that it hurt. What came out were two words.
Puck was torn between being glad that Kurt wasn't actually crying again and being scared of that statement. Puck shot out a little laugh he couldn't suppress. Hummel, the smart, know it all kid was actually shocked that someone had stopped to help him off the floor. Maybe it shouldn't be as funny as it was. Maybe it was actually sad that Kurt didn't even expect anyone to notice. Maybe it was horrible that Puck might have even put Kurt on the floor once or twice in their time at school together. But maybe it was just one of those situations where things were too sad to even cry so all you could do was laugh. Whatever it was, it had both Puck and Kurt doubled over in laughter. Puck couldn't remember when he had laughed so hard; certainly not in juvie and not since he had gotten out. Even before that he couldn't remember the last time he had really and honestly just been carefree enough to laugh like this. The Puckasaurus was feeling some weird stuff right now. He reached out a put a hand onto Kurt's shoulder to steady himself. It was a simple action and Puck didn't even think about it. He was glad that Hummel was able to bring his walls down. He was happy that Hummel was laughing and not crying. Puck looked around to make sure that no one was going to ruin their moment.
Finally both boys stilled. Puck wasn't ready for the moment to end. He felt oddly protective of Kurt. It was definitely a switch from the days of tossing him in the dumpster. He squeezed Kurt's shoulder under his hand. It was small and delicate. It spoke of how fragile Kurt must have been feeling that he shifted into the touch. He really looked like a mess. Puck took that as his in since he knewHummel was all about his looks.
"C'mon. Let's go get you cleaned up and then I'll give you a lift home."
And just like that Puck was beginning to wonder if maybe this was what he needed; a friend. Someone for him to help. Someone to protect. Someone that could learn to trust him. Maybe that was a start at finding someone to finally understand him. Puck led Kurt down the hall with a renewed sense of purpose. He didn't need to tear anyone down. He just needed to make sure Hummel was ok.