One day, about six weeks into the school year, Mercedes noticed Kurt wearing an ... unusual accessory. She'd seen him wearing a fox tail before, usually hanging off his belt or his bag, but this one was different, redder in coloring and attached to the seat of his pants, looking much more alive than it should have. And she swore she saw it twitch at least once.
Near the end of the day, she caught her boo alone between classes, when both of their boyfriends were on the opposite side of the school. Linking her arm through his, Mercedes asked, "Going furry today, baby boy?"
"Wh-what do you mean?" Kurt stammered, blushing a little and turning away from her to wave at someone and say, "Vote for Hummel!"
"What I mean is that sexy tail you're sporting," Mercedes replied, rolling her eyes and holding Kurt tighter when he tried to slip away gracefully. "You know I love it when you push the fashion envelope, but this? Please tell me this is fashion and not some weird sex-thing you and Blaine have going on."
"Oh my god!" Kurt cried, slipping his arm out of hers and hissing, "It's not a-a sex thing, okay? It's just ... yeah, fashion. Everyone will be wearing them come February. Just you wait and see."
Mercedes nodded slightly before Kurt hurried away toward his class, that fox tail almost wagging as his hips moved. She had to say, it did emphasize certain assets, and Kurt was almost never wrong about fashion.
Quinn noticed that Kurt had been wearing that fox tail of his for almost a week straight when Felicity Abel, who was on the volleyball team and notoriously slutty, showed up with a dark, white tipped tail peeking out from under her miniskirt. The placement was odd, because it looked very uncomfortable, but it did have all the boys staring at the backs of her thighs.
Quinn refused to be jealous. She was a good girl now, intent on proving that she could be a good mother, so she could get Beth back in her life. She didn't have time to worry about silly fashion trends.
Rachel barely noticed how Kurt was still wearing his red fox tail just before Sectionals, but everyone noticed when Mike and Tina both came to school one morning wearing them. Mike's tail was jet black and looked like it was threaded through a hole nipped in the back of his skinny jeans, much like Kurt wore his, while Tina's tail was black, but frosted blonde and she wore hers peeking out from under her black polka-dotted dress.
"I hope you three aren't planning on wearing those to Sectionals," Rachel pointed out. "They're distracting and attention-grabbing and if they are real fur, more than a little horrifying. And unless you can get enough of them for everyone, we won't match!"
Rachel did not miss the way several sets of eyes shifted to look at Puck, who was sitting on the back riser one seat removed from Quinn, with his legs spread out very casually and his arm resting on the back of the empty seat next to him. Mike, Tina, and Kurt all seemed to implicate Puck in knowing how to procure said tails, and Blaine seemed to know to look to Puck, too.
"You've got something to do with this?" Rachel asked, frowning when Puck scowled first at the others looking in his direction and then back at her.
"Do I look like the kind of guy who's into fashion trends, Berry?" he scoffed, crossing his arms defensively.
"Um, no," Rachel replied honestly. "You really don't. So can we all agree? Who votes for no tails at competition?"
Rachel was relieved when everyone except Kurt raised their hands. "Well, then, that's settled. Shall we warm up while we wait for Mr. Schue to arrive?"
Finn had a feeling that Kurt didn't take off his tail during Sectionals like Rachel wanted, but instead taped it under his pants or something. He couldn't understand why, even though the trend had gotten really popular with the girls' volleyball team and Blaine had one now, too.
Maybe it was a good luck charm or something, because the New Directions totally won first place at Sectionals, even though Finn's dancing wasn't as great as it should have been, because every now and then, a blondish bit of fur peeked out from under the hem of Quinn's dress and it was really distracting, okay?
As head Cheerio, it was Santana's job to make sure that each and every one of her girls matched perfectly. When Ariana Lebowitz came to practice with one of those dorky fox tails between her spanks and her skirt, it was nothing less than a travesty. Even if Kurt was still wearing his, there had to be some limit to this fashion trend, right? Knowing if she didn't take care of this before Sue saw it, the Coach would be down her throat in a heartbeat, Santana stalked up behind Ariana, grasped the tail, and tugged harshly.
It didn't budge.
In fact, the girl cried out in pain and the freaking tail twitched in Santana's hand. "What the fuck is this?" Santana demanded, tugging the tail again and feeling Ariana's whole body go with it, like it was actually part of her.
"Ow!" Ariana cried, pulling the tail out of Santana's hand and rubbing the base of her spine as she pouted. "Leave it alone, Lopez!"
"What freak show sort of shit is this?" Santana asked, crossing her arms under her boobs. "How did you get that thing?"
"You wouldn't be interested," Ariana replied, totally stonewalling her. "You missed out on your chance to get one."
"Yeah?" Santana huffed, doing everything she could to avoid showing her confusion. "Do you know how many fucks I give? None. Now hide that freaking thing however you can before Coach Sue sees it and kicks you off the squad, Lebowitz. I don't want to have to train your replacement before Sectional competition."
This fox tail nonsense had to stop, and Santana knew just the girl who could declare the "fashion trend" hopelessly uncool.
"You have to find out how to get one, Berry," Santana insisted, clutching Rachel's arm painfully. "If you get one, everyone else will realize how tacky they're being and this whole trend will just go away. Maybe."
Rachel saw something in Santana's face that said she wasn't telling the whole truth, but when did she ever? "To be honest," she said, pulling her arm out of Santana's clawed grasp, "I'm offended that you think my approval of a fashion trend is considered its death knell, but I must admit that you have a point." Frowning, Rachel asked, "But where do I start? No one wants to tell me where they're getting these tails and believe me, I have asked."
"Start with Puckerman," Santana insisted. "Corner him at your cult headquarters and get him to tell you. I know he's behind this somehow."
"Noah has never cared about fashion before," Rachel pointed out. "What makes you think he'll know what's going on?" Frowning as Santana's words fully sunk in, she added, "Judaism is not a cult!"
"Whatever," Santana shrugged before staring Rachel in the eyes and poking her chest with one very sharp index finger. "Just get it done. Three more Cheerios were sporting tails this morning and it's only a matter of time before Sue catches on."
By the time Saturday rolled around, Rachel had noticed a few more Cheerios wearing tails under their uniforms and even one of the teachers, Mrs. Castle, had one. After services were over, Rachel stalked up to where Puck was talking to a group of girls (two of the four were wearing those tails), and grabbed him by the ear. "Noah Puckerman, you are coming with me," she demanded, giving her fiercest look to the other girls so they would leave her and Puck alone.
"Jesus, Berry," Puck complained while she dragged him to a quieter corner before letting go of his ear. "What was that for?"
Putting on her best Jewish mother voice, because she knew it was one that Puck responded to, Rachel demanded, "I need to acquire one of these tails, Noah, and you're going to tell me how to get one."
"No way," he replied, rubbing his ear and pouting. "I'm not gonna do that to Finn … again."
"Do what?" Rachel asked, more than a little confused. "Give his girlfriend fashion advice? It's not like I'm asking you for…" putting on a disapproving look and lowering her voice, Rachel whispered, "… sex!"
A slow grin spread across Puck's face as he said, "Except you are."
"I most certainly am not!"
"Look," he said, taking a step closer with that grin on his face and something sly in his eyes that Rachel really didn't like. (Or really didlike; she couldn't be sure.) "It's not my fault, okay? I was just doing a favor for some friends and it happened. How was I supposed to know that fox in Mrs. Jackson's pool shed wasn't normal?"
Rachel tried to put the pieces Puck was giving her together in a way that made any sort of sense for about thirty seconds before having to admit that she just kept coming up empty. "What?"
"Over the summer, pool cleaning, I got bit," Puck replied, pushing up one of his sleeves to show Rachel a small, ragged white scar on his forearm. "Turns out that the freaking thing wasn't rabid…"
"And the tails?"
Shrugging, Puck told her, "Everyone I've slept with since I got bit grew them. For some reason, they've become really popular. People have been conning me into sex. It's totally awesome!"
Mouth opening and closing as she digested this information, Rachel finally concluded, "This fashion trend is a sexually transmitted disease?" Smacking him a few times for his idiocy, Rachel huffed, "But what about Kurt? And Blaine? And Mike? Surely you didn't…" Puck raised one eyebrow. "Oh. You did."
Puck had been spreading this thing around like it was syphilis, all because someone decided it was cool? It was wrong on so many levels! Plus, there was no way she would go along with Santana's plan now. And she just had so many questions!
"How could you do this? Do you have a tail? Is everyone permanently disfigured because of you? Your lack of morality is absolutely disgusting, and I say that as your friend. What is wrong with you?"
"Best I can tell," Puck told her, scratching the side of his face against his shoulder, "I'm, like, a were-fox now. I haven't changed at the full moon or anything, but I can…" Puck pulled Rachel into an empty classroom and then closed his eyes and appeared to be concentrating and after a second he sort of shimmered. When Rachel could look at him again without getting sick to her stomach, he had dark-furred triangle-shaped ears on top of his head, sharp teeth in his grin, and a black, bushy tail peeking out from between his shirt and his low-slung jeans. "Pretty awesome, huh?"
"No!" Rachel cried, hitting Puck again, despite the fact that he was now some sort of supernatural creature. "How could you infect all our friends like that? What happens to them?"
"Relax," Puck said, rolling his browner-than-normal eyes before switching back. "Everyone else is temporary. It lasts, like, two weeks. Tops."
"How do you know that?" Rachel challenged him. "Kurt's had his for almost two months!"
"Yep!" Puck declared happily, like it was no big deal. God, Rachel wanted to strangle him. Until she got it.
"Oh. Oh! But…? What about Blaine?" Rachel could not believe that Kurt would cheat on Blaine like that. Repeatedly.
"He supervises," Puck admitted, completely without shame, which made Rachel roll her eyes.
"Of course he does," she scoffed, shaking her head and then deciding there was nothing else to be done and she couldn't think about this anymore without being very skeeved out.
"Hey!" Puck called after her as Rachel escaped the classroom. "Let me know if you change your mind. If Finn agrees to supervise, I'm all yours!"
"Never going to happen!" Rachel called back, even as she sent a text to Santana.
Puck's involved. Nothing I can do. We might just have to wait this thing out.
Will hadn't paid much attention to the latest fashion trend spreading around McKinley. He never did, content to wear his vests day in and day out. He did notice, however, when Kurt and Blaine stopped talking to each other and the whole glee club stopped talking to Puck. A few days later, Kurt sang I'm Sorry by Brenda Lee and everyone seemed to make up. The next week, he didn't wear his fox tail at all.
By the time Regionals came around, only a few students were still wearing their tails, and none of them were in glee club. (Or in Cheerios, once Sue put her foot down about the issue.) Will was used to the teenagers he taught being so changeable, so he didn't pay much mind to these observations, instead focusing on the road to Nationals. Well, and keeping his eyes and ears open for the next stupid trend, just in case it happened to be something harmful, like that year in the early two-thousands when rubber-band wars were all the rage and Timmy Johansson almost lost an eye.