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In the words of whatever stupid idiot said it (and yeah, he knows that's a double negative, thanks), karma is a bitch. He's pretty sure that's what this is, pretty sure that the cosmic whatever is royally pissing itself with laughter over this whole thing and he's just up a creak with no paddle and a fucking hole in the boat. It's stupid as fuck, but he probably deserves it.

Thing is, he was totally ready to like, commit or whatever. It's not like he was fucking around, he hadn't even thought about doing that shit in months (no really, he was sleeping with one person, for three months, no lie) and he's still not too fussed about it. Whatever kicked up between him and Kurt when he got out of juvie just sort of happened. It was cool, just two dudes hanging out at first, they worked on a glee project together and Kurt got Puck up to speed on the whole 'drama' that was going on. Everyone seemed to tiptoe around him on the whole Sam and Quinn thing, but seriously, Puck was over that shit. Somewhere, they went from hanging out to exchanging glances and then there were the jokes and the light touches and eventually (a week, a whole week after the flirting started) Puck just gave in and kissed Kurt.

Which, by the way, pretty awesome.

And it escalated pretty quickly, because he was a stud and Kurt barely got any action (make that no action) and they were both teenage boys, so yeah. He was kind of surprised to figure that he didn't mind having Kurt's cock in his mouth (and apparently it's rude to spit, so there was the whole swallow thing, and frankly, Kurt didn't taste bad at all) and he really didn't mind when he got to put his cock in Kurt; the boy was fucking wild, crazy sexy and had a pair of lungs on him that made Puck glad for the sound proofed basement. What had totally thrown him was when Kurt asked if he could top, what surprised him more than that was him not freaking the ever loving fuck out over it and saying yeah. And dude sex? Amazing from both ends.

So they were like, casual and stuff (if you can be casual when you're spending most of your time with one person and only having sex with said person), for three months. It worked really well in Puck's opinion, because they hung out and had sex and tolerated each other and Puck was down for it. No one knew, at least they hadn't told anyone, but Puck figured he was pretty into Kurt, especially since he was kind of interested in keeping things going when Kurt mentioned that he was transferring schools.

"Do you hate me for going?"

"No, you gotta be safe, that comes first. So, if you gotta go to this fancy prep school or whatever, then yeah. You gotta go." They still talked, and Puck didn't sleep with anyone while Kurt was at Dalton, and when he came back on the weekends, they tried to hook up when possible. Puck figured they were sort of dating, except without either of them saying it.

It's Regionals that proves him wrong. They're all sitting there, watching the Warblers perform and giving Kurt their support (and fyi, it's just Kurt) when it hits him right in the face, just watching them. See, he's done the whole side glances and longing looks and little smirks. He's been the recipient of those little 'bedroom eyes' from Kurt too. The really stupid thing is how he realises just how deep he was in this thing when the pain in his chest starts. Because he's not blind, okay, he may not have done that whole relationship thing like, ever, but he knew it when he saw it. Something was there, and Bland Boy and Kurt were just starting up and clearly Puck had read something wrong with him and Kurt.

So, he got the hint. Kurt wasn't going to meet him after the competition like he'd texted to ask about, Kurt wasn't going to listen to what Puck had to say and Puck had to just deal with that. Winning Regionals was a completely bitter and hollow win because Puck felt the wave of nausea come on and he just had to bite it back and pretend that he wasn't rejected for something better all over again. He spent the drive back to McKinley on the bus silent, with Lauren sitting next to him and Santana and Brittany in front of them, the three girls all singing the adrenaline rush off. Puck was just going over everything in his head and working out when he'd screwed this up by getting way more involved than he should've and not realising that Kurt was just blowing off steam before his Prince came along (the irony of the role reversal there isn't lost on Puck, except he was never waiting for any Prince).

In the end though, he can't take it. Because he's built it all up over the last week, he's thought it through and planned it out and fucking rehearsed it in his head a million times over and now he's just got to bottle it all back up again and try and figure out how to deal with it on his own. Except he can't, he can't just bury it back down because once he makes the conscious decision to do something, he actually needs to do it or he'll lose his fucking mind. His mother is out of the question, his sister is too young to dump this on, Rachel is too involved in the whole Blaine and Kurt thing for him to trust her with this and Santana is a no go with shit like this. So that leaves just one, and Puck ends up back at the Hudmel house even though he's there for the other step-sibling this time.

Finn's a little shocked when Puck climbs up and in his window (it's the first time Puck's done it in over a year, and yeah, he's aware his daughter turned one today. Karma, total bitch,) but he still let's Puck in and still lets Puck pace the floor and get his words in order and figure out what the hell he's trying to say and where to start. He decides the beginning is easiest.

"So, I've sort of been sleeping with Kurt for like, the whole semester. It wasn't like, planned or anything, shit just happened. And then you know, kept happening but whatever. It was good -not the sex well the sex was, but I'm not going to talk about that, but you know, hooking up and hanging out and just chilling that was all good. I mean I thought it was, but then he's all moving to Dalton and I just figured, y'know, we'd do it on weekends or I'd road trip up on long weekends, and we'd text or whatever, but God, he's making eyes at that curly haired wonderbrat and I'm seriously messed up and shit isn't going well. I mean I totally had a plan, okay. I had this stupid speech and this ridiculous apology, and really, he should be the one apologising because it was his fucking condom and seriously, this is not how junior year was meant to play out. I'm not equipped to deal with this -well I kinda am in all the wrong ways but that's hardly the point at this juncture of the-"

"Puck, dude," it's fairly evident that he's lost Finn somewhere in all the talking, and he realises he just word vomited all over the place but shit, this stuff has been bugging the fuck out of him for days now. "What're you trying to say?"

"I'm pregnant." The look he gets from Finn is somewhere between blank misinterpretation and utter horror (he's pretty sure that's a throw back from when Quinn said those exact words, but dude it's not like it's his baby so Puck doesn't get it) while he just sits there and doesn't move. "Seriously? Do you need a minute? I'm freaking out here!" He doesn't see why Finn gets to have this little brain melt down when Puck's been trying to figure out how to tell Kurt that he'd be cool with them maybe actually labelling whatever they were doing and, oh yeah, by the way, he's pregnant.

"No, I mean, it's just, I don't, how?" And yeah, fair question, it wasn't like Puck had actually heard about the whole 'male pregnancy' thing or whatever, but apparently certain males were victims of some hidden womb thing or whatever thanks to a pre-natal drug experiment a few years back and his ma had been one of the ones on it and surprise, Puck was one of the lucky guys who could get up the duff. He still hadn't told her that he was pregnant; he hadn't told her that he'd been doing a guy, and now she'd be all Jew guilt because it was her pre-natal shit that did it. Finn still doesn't follow. "Yeah, but how?"

"Do you want me to draw a diagram? Kurt and I fucked, I'm pregnant, can we get back to my freak out?" Is it too much to ask that he gets just twenty minutes to break down?

"Why are you telling me? Why not him? C'mon Puck, I mean, I sort of figured you were, y'know, doing something." Finn actually blushes at that. "Kurt's pretty cool like that, he'll stick by you."

"Do you have cotton in your ears?" Puck seriously cannot believe that they're going over this. "Kurt is into Blaine, and the Hobbit seems to finally have gotten over himself or whatever. He's all into Kurt too."

"Yeah, but you're-"

"I'm not gonna trap him with a kid," he's not, he's not telling Kurt that he's pregnant and that it's his, because Kurt wants Blaine and if Puck makes him stay with him just because there's a baby then no one will win. "Ma did that, look how that turned out of her and Dad." Puck refuses to turn into his parents, and if what Kurt wants is Blaine then fine, Puck'll do it on his own. "It's fine, it'll just be me and the kid and that's fine. It'll be easy to pass it off, y'know, no one will question me fucking around and it's not like me and Kurt talked about like being exclusive or whatever."

"Did you fuck aro-"

"No, okay. I didn't, but shit, come on. Everyone will think so." And it's totally pathetic and stuff, sure, he's being a pussy. But fuck, he's not even sure how he's meant to do this and shit. When Quinn was pregnant he was just worried about Finn hating him and the baby being safe and Quinn giving him a fucking chance to just help out. But this time it was him; he had the baby, he was going to be the, well the mom really, he got to make the decisions. He didn't know what they'd be though.

"What do you want to do?" Puck had to stop pacing the floor, had to sigh and just sit beside Finn on the bed. It was the first time in more than a year that he'd actually felt like he had his best friend there, and yeah, Finn wasn't the sharpest tool or even all that quick thinking, but he was a fucking bro. The fact that he even let Puck in the damn room after the bullshit of the last year?

"I don't know." He seriously has no idea what he wants. He knows that he wants the kid, stupid as it might be he cannot deal with giving up another kid, losing Beth was like a fucking knife in his chest for so long and he legit couldn't take it again. So he'd do it himself, yeah, and that'd be fine. Cause it'd be him and the kid and they'd be fine. Even if he never got out of Lima, he was pretty sure he never would, because this was where Beth would look, right? If or when she ever came to find her birth parents, when Shelby told her, she'd come to Lima and Puck wanted to be there. "I need to tell my ma. God, she's gonna flip out."

"You should tell Schue, I mean, I did, and he was really helpful, you know. And hey," Finn's hand patted awkwardly on Puck's shoulder, "I'm here, man. Like, whatever you need, okay?" And yeah, they could bust out the bro-hug and the awkward man love or whatever, but Puck just nodded, more than fucking grateful that he might actually get Finn back after all his fuck ups over the year and that? Well, shining fucking beacon and all that crap.

#

The great thing is, he doesn't need to deal with Kurt at school now. Seriously, it would fucking kill having to get the first months of this shit if he had to keep seeing Kurt and his perfect fucking choice. But Kurt and Blaine are all locked up in Dalton, safe and sound and making puppy love eyes at each other and Puck is spewing up his breakfast into the toilet after third period because morning sickness is a horrible, horrible lie and it happens whenever the hell it wants.

His estimate put him at almost three months, and yeah, sometimes chicks wouldn't know yet or whatever, but he'd fucking had to go to a doctor for the stomach pain and shit and apparently, blood test trumps peeing on a stick (seriously, how could a chick not know if she missed three fucking periods, that shit was gross, but you noticed it). And it wasn't like he couldn't figure out when he'd had the chance to get knocked up; Kurt was the only dude he slept with and they did it that way a total of twice. He wasn't a dumb fuck like some people thought.

So he might be skipping a few classes, and doubling up on water and fucking salt-crackers because that shit was all he could stomach sometimes. And yeah, Finn has a point, he needs to tell Schue because help and whatever aside, the guy has to know that come Nationals, Puck's not going to be looking to lift anyone or risk getting elbowed or shit. Hell, six months at the point, right? He sort of remembered Quinn being pretty big by the six month mark. Fuck, that meant by then everyone would need to know; would he even go to Nationals? Was that too late to fly? Pregnant chicks weren't meant to fly after a certain time, right? Probably the same for dudes.

And if rambling that shit out to Finn was hard, explaining it to Schue was just awkward as hell.

"Hey, Schue, um, you got a minute?" Puck didn't do the talking to teachers thing, but if he had to, well, Schue was probably best right? Schue or Ms. Holiday, because he was pretty sure that Miss. P would faint or some shit.

"Sure Puck, c'mon in. What's up?" Schue sat on the edge of his desk, arms crossed over his chest, so Puck hoisted himself up to sit on the end of the nearest table.

"So, here's the thing; I'm three months pregnant." Puck figures that when it comes to this just ripping it off like a bandaid is the best. He can't beat around the bush, because then it just turns into the whole ramble thing he ended up doing with Finn and fuck if he's got the energy to do that with everyone. "It's this thing called hidden-womb syndrome, something to do with drug testing, affects male foetus, whatever. Ma was on it and here I am, pregnant." Schue was sort of reacting like Finn had. "Figured you should know, y'know, for Nationals."

"Puck, how, what, when," Schue's head was just shaking and Puck just shrugged; he should start getting used to this maybe.

"Shit happens, I got careless and, well, I gotta deal with it." He'd already sworn Finn to secrecy about the baby's parentage, as far as anyone was going to find out, Puck had a random hook up of the male persuasion and if that made him a hypocrite or a target, then fine. People would figure out soon enough that he was still Noah fucking Puckerman and shit like that wasn't gonna fly.

"How are you dealing with this? Does your mother know? The- the- the other father?" The problem with Schue caring is that he wants to help, that he asks questions and tries to be there and shit like that. Puck isn't sure if he can deal with that right now.

"I'm telling my ma tonight, kinda impossible to hide it from her really." She paid his fucking medical bills, and yeah, he was getting the maternity stuff dealt with on a grant from the company that fucked up and landed him with a fucking womb, but she still got all his paperwork. He's not expecting a massive freak out, because surely they told her this was possible, but informing your mother a year after her first grandchild was born that hey, there's another on the way but this time her son was carrying it? Yeah, totally gonna go well. "Sort of hoping Finn can deflect a lot of the Jew guilt."

"So Finn knows?"

"Yeah, I told him last week." Schue just nods, probably working out shit in his head and processing this (dude is probably sick of his students coming to him knocked up but whatever). "I ah, I'm sort of not ready for everyone to know yet." He needs to give it some time, because he can't risk Mercedes telling Kurt and Kurt figuring it out and shit hitting the fan. He's just not up for dealing with that.

"Don't worry," Schue stands up, moving close enough to place a hand on Puck's shoulder, giving him a squeeze that Puck's pretty sure is meant to be in comfort. "Anything you need, I'm there for you." It actually felt a little better, and it probably would help when it came to glee and all the dancing and stuff.

He wasn't telling anyone else until he absolutely had to, but Lauren knew that something was up, so she kept close like always in glee and Finn practically flanked his other side, as good as ignoring Quinn and Rachel; something that didn't really go down well with either girl, truth be told. It only got a little awkward when Finn blew off Quinn to come back to Puck's place, because they had a total of an hour with his ma before his little sister came home and Puck wanted to get through it before Sarah got there and started asking questions.

Not like it was easy telling Ma; she just had a bunch of questions that Puck wasn't answering, like who the other parent was, why didn't he tell her that he was seeing boys, when did he figure out that he liked boys too? It was just stuff he wasn't really thinking about. Sure, if he'd told her he was sort of seeing someone and they were a guy she'd probably have sat him down to drop the bomb that he could get impregnated, but that was neither here nor there anymore. On the plus side she didn't freak out and kick him out of the house, she just got all quiet and a little sad and yeah, he knew why, because this was him, seventeen and going to be a dad, again. At least it wasn't totally his fault this time.

#

The most annoying thing about this shit, it's not the sickness (and he's not calling it morning sickness, because it's never just in the morning), it's not the constant need to pee, it's not even the fact that he's missing out on basketball season, it's the tiredness. He's constantly feeling drained and it blows. He's stopped going to maths again, having naps in the nurse's office and she literally took one look at him one time and hurried him inside to lie down, like he looked like he was going to collapse or something.

Apparently, male pregnancies take their toll on the body. He figured it's because he's not actually meant to be able to get pregnant.

What's worse? Kurt transferred back. Yeah, okay so it's a little good at the same time, and Puck's found that he's probably still into the guy, which is a pain in his fucking ass, because he's not supposed to be. And all he ever hears out of Kurt's mouth is about fucking pod-person Blaine. Which sucks because Kurt's not only the father of Puck's baby, which Puck is four months pregnant with, but Puck's probably more than a little in love with the little bitch.

And now it's like impossible to keep shit from the glee club, because he's starting to show and he's pulled from sports and the hospital have informed his probation officer and the school, so it's officially out of the bag in a few days and he sort of feels like it'd be a dick move to let the glee club hear it from Jewfro's blog. Mr. Schue did his supportive 'there for you' thing, and Finn sort of thought it was past due that Puck said something (Puck is aware that Finn thinks Kurt's going to put the pieces together and figure out it's his baby, but Puck is sort of hoping he doesn't).

He manages to get the words out before practice, and yeah, he's a coward because this week he's not sticking around because he's got some blood test and shit to get done to make sure he's not going to die from carrying the baby to full term or something (and shit his ma freaked out over that) so he can high tail it out of there pretty quick. It's not quick enough that he can avoid the questions from them.

"Run out of girls to fuck?"

"How is that even possible? Physiologically speaking it's an impossibility."

"Who the hell were you dating?"

"Are you gonna get all 'Aliens' and have that thing just like, bust out or something?"

"Okay," Puck just cannot deal with rambling questions at the same time, "number one, ha fucking ha, Santana, let's talk about pots and kettles?" It at least shuts Santana up, because she knows what he's talking about even if everyone else just thinks he's calling her a whore, "Rach, I don't know, it's some stupid genealogy bullshit to do with drug testing pre-natal shit that my Ma took. Not dating anyone Quinn, it's just me, and no, Sam and thousand times, no." He just shakes his head, gives Finn a small nod and walks out after his little clap on the back from Schue. He's lucky that he gets to avoid the aftermath, because he's not stupid enough to believe that they'll actually rehearse today, not even Rachel will.

He gets a text from San later, while he's in the waiting room at the doctors. He's surprised that she actually apologises for the comment, because normally she'd just wave it off with a 'whatever' and move on, which he's cool with, because she's his girl or whatever. But she offers to give him a lift anywhere he needs and she'll help where she can. Which is cool, since Santana Lopez is not a maternal person by any stretch of the imagination. So, Finn knows, like everything, and San is up for helping out, his ma is cool with shit, even if she'd rather it wasn't happening and Schue is all fatherly and stuff. All in all, it doesn't seem too bad.

#

All in all, he didn't think he'd be that bothered with the whole 'being presumed a slut' thing. See, he's been sleeping around since he figured out how to use his dick for more than just pissing. And it's not exactly a secret that he's banged more cougars than he has high school chicks, and he's done a lot of high school chicks. He's used to being known as a bit of a manwhore, it wasn't an issue, he didn't care. People could call him a slut or a whore or whatever they wanted, and he didn't care. But he's pretty sure that the baby hormones or whatever make him a little unstable or whatever and every time he hears whispering in the halls he totally flinches.

"You okay there, White Boy?" The entire girl section of the glee club (Kurt not included as an honorary girl this time) got super mothering, super fast. Mercedes was the worst of it, probably because she's got like, kid siblings or something and the kids at her church or whatever. And she notices shit pretty good. Like when he's not eating or sleeping or totally zoning out because he's just been reminded that he's actually going to be raising this baby and it sometimes freaks him the hell out.

"'m fine," it's his standard answer, because he's not yet given up his balls in order to break down and sob out his heart (he figures that'll come around month eight when he's just a hormonal bowling ball or whatever). "Just tired, seriously, my back kills." He's starting to show, and he's pretty sure he's bigger than Quinn was (karma being right back in there and laughing in his face, oh yeah) and it actually hurts to sleep sometimes.

"Listen, my dad has this friend, he works with pregnant teens, I'm pretty sure I can get you some stuff. We got a bunch of it for Quinn, back when, you can borrow that. They've got this pillow; it sorta helps to support the baby while you sleep. It'll help." Puck slams his locker, because there's a group of Cheerio's standing far too close and whispering and he's getting sick of that shit.

"Yeah, that'd be great, thanks." He's not above accepting help, 'cause this shit is hard to deal with and he's not good at dealing with shit. Least of all when his nerves are getting frayed and he's pretty close to snapping. And the worst of it is that he still gets it in glee; Kurt's a judgemental little bitch, because he hasn't figured out that Puck wasn't sleeping around with guys like people seem to think, it was just Kurt, Quinn's all awkward and stuff, because he's having another kid, and it's right in her face, and her faith is probably being smashed up in front of her, because he's a guy and he's up the duff, so yeah, he can understand.

Rachel tried to be helpful, but all she was doing was freaking him out with all these statistics and facts and crap, it wasn't cool. And the thing? The really annoying, stressing, bullshit thing? They were just as bad with the judgement thing. He wasn't sure if they meant it or if they just didn't realise how much it bugged him, but the times they brought up how he 'didn't know who the dad of his baby was' or how 'it could be any number of people' or the way they just looked at him? Yeah; sometimes he just wanted to tell them that Kurt was the fucking father.

But he didn't, and it just went on, and it just bugged him more. It wasn't until some weird bonding shit that it really came to anything. And even then it was Finn who got sick of it.

"Well, it's not exactly hard to find out parentage anymore." Puck would really like to punch Blaine in the face; he's pretty sure he could do it and write it off as hormones. Because the Hobbit has no reason to stick his two cents in and it pisses Puck off just as much as the fact that Blaine and Kurt haven't stopped with the hand holding, lovey eyes and stupid little kisses ever since they got to Rachel's place.

"The problem is getting the male population of Lima to give up their DNA and the length of time it would take to test against everyone Puck's slept with." See, Quinn can be totally nice one second and a real bitch the next. It's good that hasn't changed about her.

"That's enough," Finn has his little outburst after a small chuckle from the group and Puck feels a slice of fear go down his spine.

"Dude, chill." Because Finn has a tendency to blurt and Puck will not deny anything if Finn blurts the truth, because he does not lie. He can handle this, he can. It's just a matter of ignoring the annoyance at every little dig; he just needs to get the hell over it because it doesn't matter.

"No, okay, because this bullshit is bad enough at school. Did you know that these type of pregnancies miscarry seven out of ten times due to stress? And this shit about the other dad, it's stressing him out." Quinn looks slightly contrite and Puck just gives her a stiff smile because she's the only one who will really understand this stuff. "So it ends now, okay. I'm the other dad."

"What?"

"Finn," everyone chimes with the 'what' just as Puck stares at Finn. "What're you doing?" Because Finn isn't the other dad, or dad, or anything really. Finn knows who is and he's lying to their friends and his own step-brother. "Have you lost your mind?" Puck has to lean up to hiss into Finn's ear because the idiot is just going to fuck up his life with this. "What do you think you're doing?"

"No, okay, I know what I'm doing, it's fine." Finn's hand just rests on his bicep, rubbing slightly and Puck's aware that he's putting on a little show and seriously Finn thinks this won't still stress him out? Now everyone's going to give Finn hell over a kid that's not even his. It was one thing when it was Quinn; back when everyone thought it was Finn who got her pregnant. It was like he was great or something according to the other guys on the team, 'cause his hot ass girlfriend was having his baby. But when it was Puck's it was just shit because he got another guys girl pregnant and it was his best friend too. But this is Puck, a guy. There's not gonna be a line of guys ready to pat him on the back for getting the town fuck up pregnant.

"Finn, really, you expect us to-"

"Listen up, cause I'm saying it once. We fooled around, we didn't realise what could happen and now we're going to deal with it. Together." He says the last part to Puck and really this is going beyond Finn being a good friend, or even a bro. He's like stepping up for something he doesn't need to and Puck just doesn't feel like he can handle this right now. "Y'okay?"

"Can we just go?" He doesn't miss Rachel's hurt look, or Quinn's glare, or Santana's shock, or the betrayal on Kurt's face and yeah, Puck just cannot deal with it.

#

"Why'd you tell 'em it was yours?" He's been trying to sleep for nearly an hour, but even if Finn's giving him his bed, it's just not comfortable. "They'd have stopped with that shit eventually."

"Because," Finn's just lying there, and Puck half wants to tell him to get his ass up to the bed because he doesn't want to lean over to look at Finn, but he can't stand not seeing the expressions on Finn's face. "Kurt should've figured it out. And even if he didn't want to be with you he should've been there for the baby. But," there's a sigh, and Finn shifts until he's sitting up and Puck can see the top of his head. "I heard him talking with Mercedes. They think you've been sleeping around this whole time. Like, Kurt said you probably slept with all the husbands of the housewives you've been with and, God Puck, it's shit okay. Everyone's saying all this shit about you and the baby and," he feels a little weird doing it, but Puck stretches out a hand to flick at Finn's cheek with a finger.

"Thanks." Finn could've just told them to lay off, could've just left it at the whole 'stress can cause a miscarry' thing and they'd definitely back off, because no one wanted that. Tina was already bringing up baby names, and Rachel had knitted some baby booties, Mercedes was constantly giving him stuff from her dad's friends thing and Sam and Mike were fighting over Godfather status (they seemed to forget that Puck was Jewish and the baby was going to be Jewish because Kurt was ignoring it so he didn't get a say). And now Finn was looking to play the part of co-parent?

"We're best friends, right?"

"Yeah," he'd never had a friend that stuck by him as much as Finn. He'd fucked up time and time again and Finn still stuck by him and called him a friend and did over the top shit just to help him out. Puck was a pretty shitty friend in comparison.

"We both loved Beth before she was even born. Let me help you with this." It's impossible to say no. So whatever Finn's reasons, whatever he's looking for out of this, or if he's just really that decent a guy or whatever, Puck figures he owes it to him.

"Well, if you're gonna play the other dad; you wanna come to my next ultra sound?"

#

Weird thing, Finn's really good at playing his part, or whatever. It's not like he's all PDA or whatever, but he's like constantly there if Puck needs anything. A little freaky yes, but totally helpful for those moments when Puck is seriously craving something but doesn't want to ask for it. Finn just seems to know and doesn't stop until Puck gives it up and then he just, well, gets whatever it is. Puck's eaten more Reese's Pieces in the last week than he ever had in his life. And the baby likes Rachel's vegan crap, like he's stopped with the morning sickness (thank Moses) and he's getting his weird cravings, but sometimes the smell of food just puts him right off and he's all grossed out at lunch time because the cafeteria is not helping at all. But Rachel sits next to him one day, pats his tummy this affectionate way (she's sort of forgiven him for his pretend affair with Finn since technically, Finn was just experimenting, and she'd made out with Puck during their sort of break anyway so it's whatever apparently) and pulls out her tofu and seaweed wrap and he's actually kinda interested. He ends up eating half her lunch and she brings extra for him the rest of the week.

It's nuts.

Not that things get easier. Everyone is under the impression that Finn is the dad, making Puck the mom, and that's fine. He's got a baby inside him, playing space hopper on his bladder, he's sort of over the whole 'who's the girl' bullshit that inevitably comes with this sort of thing (like they couldn't tell? He was pregnant for crying out loud, where were these idiots during Health Ed?).

But that wasn't what bothered him. What bothered him was Kurt. More specifically Kurt and Blaine. Ever since Finn had declared himself the father it was like any time Puck saw Kurt there was something to do with Blaine, and any time they were just hanging out or whatever, it was like Blaine and Kurt were surgically attached to each other; at the hip, at the hand, at the mouth. It just didn't stop. Puck wasn't sure if he was imagining it, if it was his conscience speaking up or just some form of Jewish guilt taking over. Because he was pretty much doing what Quinn did, kind of, only not. Kurt was the father and Puck wasn't telling him and Finn was pretending to be, so it was like a backwards scenario from what Quinn did and seriously, it was clawing away at Puck every time he saw Kurt. Which was a lot, because he was like always over at the Hudmel home since Finn was taking this responsibility thing really seriously.

He was also exceptionally protective of anything that had to do with Puck and Kurt. Finn was always a buffer there, because Kurt seemed to be especially catty towards Puck, or about Puck, or about the baby, and really, Puck couldn't figure out why. But Finn's antics only led to Santana's realisation (he should've known that out of everyone, she'd see it, whatever it was, she'd see it). They went bowling once, as a group of friends, not a glee club, which meant Kurt bringing Blaine. Kurt kept sitting in Blaine's lap and wrapping his arms around Blaine's need and fucking nuzzling him right there in the bowling centre (because they needed more attention on them beside the pregnant teenage male in their company?) and Mercedes had gone Mama Bear on them all after two comments were made about Blaine and Kurt while Puck was getting dozens of dirty looks from people; like he was something they stood on in the street.

And usually, Puck knew that Kurt would get embarrassed and a little awkward and sort of sit there quiet. He half expected Kurt to just sit beside Blaine and covertly hold his hand or something like that (which was bad enough sometimes) but he didn't, he just kept right on going and Puck felt bile rise up in his throat.

"Gimme a minute, yeah. Britt can take my shot." It wasn't like he was really playing anyway, he was fucking huge and bowling was just not going to happen for him. Finn moved to get up and follow him when he shifted, but Puck pushed on his shoulder. "Just a minute okay." He needed to pull himself together and he didn't want to do it with Finn hovering around being all supportive and stuff; because awesome as Finn was, and great as it was that he was there and helping, Puck would kill for it to be Kurt instead and that shit just isn't happening because the little diva is ass over hips for curly fries there and it's just something Puck's going to have to deal with because he made his decision and it sucks.

He can't exactly get far, but he can get to a closed off area of the building and lean against a counter, just to catch his breath and cool his heartbeat and try and get the baby to stop fucking wriggling. His head is pressed to the cool surface top and he's got his eyes shut, so he doesn't see Santana come up behind him, but he knows it's her from the way she runs her hand over his head.

"You okay there, Moby Dick?" Only she can be concerned and insulting in the one go.

"Yeah, 'm fine." He's far from it really. He'd never really understood the way Quinn would do anything to keep Finn, never understood the way that Rachel would be anything to have Finn. He'd always thought it was stupid, doing all that over one person, going to those lengths for one guy, being so caught up in what one person thought that you completely changed things just for them. He's starting to get an idea. It's not that he'd change who he is, or how he'd act, or what he'd do; it's just that he can see himself doing other stuff. Like if Kurt said he hated the mohawk that much, Puck'd shave it off. It's just hair, and yeah he digs his 'hawk and it's there for a reason, but if Kurt really totally hated it, he'd ditch it. Or those times Kurt threatened him with a 'make-over' because his baggy clothes were 'ridiculous', Puck wouldn't really care too much (although his baggy clothes were coming in handy now weren't they). So he's fairly certain that this is that whole 'love makes you do crazy stuff' thing, only he can't do it because the boy he's in love with wants nothing to do with him.

And that sucks just as much as Quinn wanting him to have nothing to do with Beth.

"Bullshit." Santana's always been able to see through him, just like he's always been able to see through her. It's like they've both got the same fractures and damages, they know how to hide them from everyone else, but it's like looking into a mirror when it comes to each other. "You ever gonna tell Kurt that he's the dad?"

"No, because he doesn't want to know. If he did, he would've figured it out. So," so Kurt wasn't going to see what he didn't want to see. Kurt would just believe that Puck was sleeping around, even though he would've never had time to do anything considering all the time he spent with Kurt. Not to mention he'd fucking told Kurt that he'd never been with any other guys, when they started really fooling around Kurt had been all shy and shit and said he wouldn't be any good cause he'd never done anything; Puck had been right there with him on that. And that first time that Kurt topped, he fucking knew that it was a big deal, because it was like submitting to something and giving it up and Kurt said he knew it was a big deal, said he knew it was a lot, but could he please? And Puck was stupid enough to think they were headed towards a relationship anyway, so why not? "So, it's just gonna be me, and Finn wants to help and, that'll need to be enough."

"Hey," he turns his head to look at her, seeing the familiar flash of his girl right there. Santana was possessive, it didn't matter what you were to her; friend, fellow cheerleader, gleek, best friend, lover. Whatever it was, you were hers and that worked for her, because it made her this ferocious, amazing, sometimes vindictive woman that looked out for hers. He'd never really been too bothered by being her boy, because she'd always be his girl. "You got me too. Anyone that says otherwise, you know I'm gonna cut a bitch." It got a laugh out of him, even if he felt like shit. "C'mon, before Finn gets his panties in a wad wondering where you've gone."

#

But it wasn't like anything would stay simple at all.

It was the night that Kurt sort of hinted at him and Blaine sleeping together that things got really out of control. Kurt mentioned it at dinner, and Puck knew for sure that him and Finn were the only ones who picked up on it. But it kept running through Puck's mind, and he felt this horrid build up in his chest that had to be jealousy and seriously, it fucking hurt. It wasn't until after dinner, half way through the movie Finn picked to watch that Puck realised it wasn't jealousy and it wasn't in his chest, it was in his side and, oh shit no.

"Finn," his fingers dug into Finn's forearm, just as a stab of pain jerked into his side, "oh holy mother of, sweet merciful, ow." It took Carole less than five seconds to have the ambulance dialled and on the way, Puck's mother informed and everything ready to go.

"It's too early, the baby isn't big enough, oh God, it's far too early." He was just coming up to the six months, he'd read that babies could survive after that, they'd be little and in an incubator and stuff for a while, but the baby could make it, right? "Just breathe Puck, c'mon, just breathe."

He didn't pay attention to anything other than the pain and the panic and the fear that he was going to lose the little thing before he'd even really named it, he didn't even know if it was a boy or a girl, he'd never actually asked, sort of for a surprise and now he might not get to-

Everything happened like a scene from some movie, like it wasn't his life; the ambulance bundling him up, Finn never letting go of his hand, even when he squeezed too hard, the turbulent ride that he didn't remember, Finn's voice just a constant over the paramedics and the pain, the rush into the hospital with everything happening around him like some natural disaster, Finn was made to wait in the area for family, Puck was taken into the OR and the next thing he knew he was waking up in a bed with Finn and Kurt in his room and Finn shouting.

"Would you just stop with the bitch fest? He's in hospital; do you see what all this has done? He's sick, he's underweight, he's not sleeping, his blood pressure is off the charts for a teenager, all this stress is tearing him down and it's just adding on the drain of his body going through this. Do you know how easily he's affected by things? That's what caused this, all the stress from your bitchy little moments. That's why it happened." He lost it, didn't he? That's what the pain was, and the reason for the private room and the yelling. It's really weird though, because he can still sort of feel the baby, right there and it's like, comforting or something. But Finn wouldn't be yelling at Kurt if everything was fine, so he must just be imagining things.

"Are you kidding me? This has nothing to do with me. Maybe if he wasn't such a-"

"Don't even say it, don't you dare."

"What? You don't like hearing the truth about him? You know it's what he is. He slept with all the girls, he's slept with Santana and Quinn and you and me. He's the glee bicycle, hell, he's Lima's bicycle." It's not like he didn't know that was how Kurt saw him; even before Kurt thought he'd slept with Finn. It was pretty evident by that point that Kurt just saw him as some warm body, tension release or something. Kurt never really considered them friends, it was just some work up in courage or something, building up to what they did together. "I'm not to blame for him being a slut."

"Have you even listened to yourself? He's pregnant and you treat him like crap. You've got Blaine and you're all pissed off that he's been with other people or something? News flash for you, he's never had sex with any guy but you." Puck thinks he should tell them that he's awake, or at least tell them to take the family drama outside so that he can mourn his baby in peace. He doesn't even care that Finn's pretty much telling Kurt that the baby was his. He doesn't care because he's never going to see bright green eyes, or perfect pale white skin, or soft hazel hair, or any of that. He's never going to see Kurt in his baby, or know if it would take after him or after Kurt, or even if it'd resemble either of them. Because it's gone, even if he still feels like it's there. "It was you, okay. And he didn't want to say anything because you'd started whatever with Blaine and just, dumped him or something. He never fooled around with anyone but you. And that one time he kissed Rachel. He was gonna tell you at Regionals, tell you he was pregnant, that there was some kind of medical thing, but you were all doe eyes with Blaine that he just didn't, he came to me instead. And then you all pissed me off with this bullshit about him being a whore or whatever, so yeah, I lied to you, but you didn't even stop to think for one damn second about the timing and anything he ever said to you. God, Kurt, you didn't even look."

"What- but- he's,"

"Can you two shut up and get out?" He just wants to be alone. Like seriously, not even just being a pussy or whatever, he's fairly sure he needs to be on his own for a while.

"Puck."

"Noah." They end up one on each side of his bed, Kurt in front of him and Finn behind. "How're you feeling?" It's the first thing Kurt's said to him in months that hasn't been some sarcastic comment or witty little rejoinder. And seriously? How is he feeling? He feels like shit because he's just lost his baby. Puck just stares at Kurt, who officially knows that Puck was carrying his baby, and is wide eyed and stunned.

"You really scared us. I'm really sorry dude, they said there wasn't anything they could do, but it's okay, because the other one is strong and it looks like you'll both pull through." Okay, now Finn isn't making sense.

"Douchebag, come around here so I can see your crazy face when you're talking."

"It was twins, Noah," Kurt reaches out, almost placing his hand on Puck's swollen stomach, before Puck shifts so that he can't. "One of them, one of them had a heart problem, his heart hadn't grown properly and when he, when his heart stopped trying to beat, you went into distress and they had to operate." He can feel the numb line along his side, just where the tightness in his stomach starts and his chest and ribs hurt; they cut him open and took out his child, one of his babies. He had two?

"You want us to get a nurse? Doctor?" He just nods, because he's fairly certain they're telling him that he just lost a child, but he still has one, and he's not entirely sure how that's possible. Kurt and Finn aren't allowed back in, his ma comes in with the doctor though and he knows she'll set him straight on what happened.

There had been two heart beats all along, one was just very faint and in time with the other, so they never caught it. One of the babies didn't show up on the ultra sound for some reason that they're looking into. They know that the boy had a hole in his heart, something hadn't formed and it never really worked right, when the heart stopped beating his body tried to reject the baby but there was nowhere for it to go. He just miscarried a baby; but his daughter, the second child, she was okay. They had their own amniotic whatever's, so she was protected from whatever and that was the reason he was so tired, and why he'd looked further along.

"Baby, why don't you get some sleep? You need to rest up." His ma placed a kiss on his forehead, stroking his cheek lightly, and he wasn't exactly tired, but the prospect of maybe having to talk to someone about what happened? Of having to see Kurt or Finn and listen to them some more? Of the pitying looks he's likely to get when everyone hear about it? He'd rather sleep than do that right now.

#

He just doesn't know how he's supposed to feel. One the one hand, obviously he's devastated that he lost his little boy, but on the other there's this elation that he's still got the other one, he's still got his little girl there; he can feel her moving, feel the tiny little kicks of her feet or the little punches of her fists, can feel her shift around and press on his bladder. He's just so aware of everything she does while he's stuck there in that bed, waiting for them to let him go home.

But they want to keep him in for a few days, because he's clearly under too much pressure and his body isn't taking it well and they want to make sure there are no further complications. He's still trying to figure out what the hell he's meant to feel when the entire glee club visit him. It's like he's some attraction in the zoo; there's the staring and the shock, they try to keep things focused on the little girl and it's like no one mentions how he's just lost his son.

And someone brought Blaine. He knows it wasn't Kurt, Kurt's at the other side of the room and he's not looking at anyone or anything other than Puck's stomach, because now he knows that this is his daughter, not Finn's, not some random guy, not someone from school. His. He hasn't spoken to Puck since he and Finn told him about the babies and Puck's not holding out for that changing any time soon.

"I was looking up more baby names. Naturally I was mostly sticking to the Jewish names, I didn't want to be too presumptuous but, well, it's Noah." He thinks that's supposed to be a joke or something about how they share that one thing and it sort of bonds them sometimes, like he'll stick by her for Jew solidarity or something. But he just can't make himself care. "I thought Aviva looked nice, it means spring time, which I know isn't really appropriate since she was conceived in the winter and will be born in fall, but it's a lovely name. Or Rebecca, which means to tie, or to bind. It's a very lovely name and I myself was almost a Rebecca. I know that Sarah thinks Hannah is a wonderful name, it means grace, or in Gods favour. Sarah's already trying to stitch that onto little baby bibs. And Mich is absolutely just an underused name, it would be good."

"Isn't that a boy's name?" Tina asks it just so innocently and Puck just completely zones out, because as much as he knows Rachel is doing her own thing to try and be comforting, it's just hit him that he's never going to name his little boy, never going to see him or hold him or watch him walk or hear his first word or laugh or any of that stuff you want your kids to do. So he misses Rachel explaining how Mich is a unisex name while Mika is a girl name and Micha is a boy name and what they all mean and he's just not there.

"Everyone out." Santana's voice just cuts through it all though, and he realises that he's about to cry and she's probably noticed because she's watching him like a hawk. "Move it, out." There are grumbles of complaint, but Mercedes stops after a half formed comment and starts to herd the rest of them out, so she's seen it too.

"I should-"

"I got this one, Finn." Santana just nods at Finn, who nods back and he heads out with the rest of them until it's just Kurt and Santana, and she literally starts staring him down. "I said out, Ladyface."

"I don't think so; I need to talk to him."

"Not right now, get out." Santana isn't one to back down, and as spectacularly stubborn as Kurt can be, there's no way he's going to out stubborn Santana Lopez. "Take a number, come back later, but get your designer booty out now." The door to the room is barely closed before he feels the first sob, and Santana just pulls the blinds on the window and climbs onto his bed, pulling his head to her chest as he finally just breaks. He has no idea what she says or even if she talks at all. He just knows that he clings to her Cheerio's uniform and sobs against her for the little boy he's never going to know and the girl still with him.

#

No one mentions baby names to him at all. He's in the hospital for five days as far as he can tell, and Finn has either made a schedule for who can visit him or Rachel has. He's sitting with Rachel and Sam on the third day of his hospital stay; Mercedes and Quinn took the morning visit that day and he knows that Santana and Finn (weird bonding thing that they've done) are coming to see him after dinner.

"What's going to happen while we're at Nationals?" It's a viable question, since he's not meant to be left on his own and all his friends are going to New York in a week. It's not like his ma can take the time off work, and Sarah has school and it would just be way too stressful to deal with that. But there is no way he wants to stay in the hospital until they come back. But there doesn't seem to be a lot of options.

"I'm not sure; I guess I'll be here." He's pretty sure that, even if Miss. Pillsbury offering wouldn't be frowned up (he's a pregnant student and she's an OCD guidance counsellor who is sort of dating his glee and Spanish teacher what isn't weird there) she wouldn't be really up to handling the pregnant male part of him being there. She does give the impression of great nurse material, but she also has that crazy germ phobia going on too.

"Dude, that sucks. We get to go to New York and you're in a hospital bed." He doesn't really need Sam pointing this out, but if Sam wants to, well, he just did.

"On the up side, free cable."

It's not really an upside though. Because he'd rather not be in the hospital (cute nurses fawning over him aside) he'd much rather be at home, or at least at Finn's where the giant dolt can run around like a nut when all Puck's bothered about is playing some Halo or Call of Duty and Santana popping over to make sure he's eating. Carole, it seems, doesn't like the idea of him being in the hospital on his own either. Finn tells him that he's not staying in the hospital, that in two days he's getting released if everything is okay and he's set to stay with Carole and Burt, because apparently they can work their hours around him staying there, and since it is their granddaughter they want to help.

Puck doesn't really get the chance to say no, because his ma is all for it, and they've practically moved him into Finn's house when he's released. It would be great if not for the fact that Finn has a last minute meet up with Santana (not a date, but totally a date) and Puck actually convinces him to go.

"Seriously dude, I'm going to sleep. I'm way past exhausted, your mom is like right downstairs and she keeps checking on me every twenty minutes. I'll be fine." They're heading off to Nationals in two days, Puck's pretty sure that Santana thinks this is her shot to get Finn (and it's not like when she hooked up with him last year, 'cause she sort of likes him now or whatever and everyone can kind of see Brittany forgiving Artie already and it's just this whole big thing so San wants to give it a shot at an actual relationship with Finn) so she's taking it and he's just going to lie back and sleep while they do whatever out at Breadstix.

He completely forgets for the whole of his conversation with Finn that Kurt is in the house and that he knows what is really going on. He blames the pregnancy for his further failing brain capacity.

It's not like he never expected Kurt to confront him. He just didn't really want to picture it or think about it or really give it any thought at all beyond knowing that it would happen. Because it's not going to be fun for either of them, Puck knows this. He doesn't really expect Kurt to appear at the door to the room he's sort of sharing with Finn, with a mug of warm milk.

"I usually have warm milk before bed. It helps me sleep. I thought, maybe it would be good for you?" The thought is sort of nice, especially since they've barely spoke to each other for the best part of five months; which would be the better part of Puck's pregnancy.

"Thanks, but dairy makes me heave." It's something the kid is doing to him, or something they'd both been doing to him, but it's just the one now and he's not chancing things since he actually hates throwing up.

"Oh," Kurt just looks at the mug of milk, and Puck would feel bad, but it's not his fault that Kurt doesn't know he's been off dairy since month three, or that meat smells horrible to him, or that he's oddly fond of peaches, and if you so much as have a plain biscuit in the room he will find it (Finn was a total douche at one point and hid them around Puck's house just to see if it was legit -Puck punched him in the shoulder after he found them all). "Well," the mug is left on the corner of Finn's dresser, Kurt still hovering by the door. He sighs slightly before closing over the door. "So, I was thinking I wouldn't go to New York."

"Why not?"

"Because there should be someone else here to help and I've already missed a lot, so I need to start pulling my weight. It's unfair to expect you to manage everything on your own." Puck's not actually following. Honestly, he expected hostility. Maybe some shouting, a little diva fit, Kurt blaming him or accusing him or something; he might deserve a little of it for the months of secrecy and lies, but he wasn't intending on taking it all without a little dish back. He definitely wasn't expecting this.

"Um, until she's born, there's really not much to do." Yeah, they'll need to sort out things like who has her when and all that document crap and Puck would probably need to discuss things like naming and religion and all that with Kurt now that he knew (maybe it was easier when Finn was shouldering it all like a trooper, because Finn just said 'whatever' to anything, so long as he got to pick the baby's middle name and help with her).

"Sure there is, you'll need help getting around, and I don't think you'd like to be stuck in the house all day, so I could take you out sometimes just to get out, and there's still things to be done. Do you have a crib or a baby bath or a car seat or rocker or clothes or-" Kurt literally rattles off twenty things (rattle is one of them) that he needs to the kid that he doesn't have (he's been too busy not losing his mind with this baby thing) and Puck is still stuck on the why.

"And you'll fit your own life in there where?"

"Puck, we're having a baby, it's time to put that to the side for now."

"Really? You're just going to stop living your life because there's a baby? No more school, no more big dreams, no more friends or clubs or boyfriend, just baby, twenty four seven?" He gets that raising a kid is a big deal; people might think that he's blind to the fact or whatever, but he's not. He watched his mother raise two kids, work a job, pay the bills and get over her good for nothing husband all at the same time and still manage to go out once in a while. He's not dumb enough to think it'll be easy at his age, but he's not intending on stopping living because she's going to be there.

"I can work for my dad during the summer and then work weekends during the school year, of course I'll need to graduate. All our friends want to be involved in the baby's life, and, well, I'll tell Blaine what's happening and we'll end things so that'll be fine."

"What? Why are you breaking up with Blaine?"

"You're carrying my baby." Kurt says it as if the answer is obvious. Like there's no question to really ask, because the answer is like, right there or something. Puck doesn't get the logic (okay he does, he's seen it done, the logic is flawed) and he didn't exactly expect Kurt to hit out with it.

"What's your point?" He's not going to be in a relationship with anyone just because he's pregnant. Even if it was Finn, which it would've never been because they're bros and nothing more and Finn is straighter than a fucking arrow (probably straighter than people thought Puck was) and Puck's not getting into it.

"Why are you being so stubborn about this? Finn said you wanted to be with me." Finn has a far too big mouth sometimes. Yeah; Puck had told Finn about the extent of his 'relationship' with Kurt. It wasn't so much a relationship as continuous hooking up, disregarding other potential hook ups, hanging out with extended conversation and just generally liking each other. Or Puck liked Kurt at least. Puck doesn't really know what constitutes a 'real' relationship or anything, but he was pretty sure that what he had with Kurt was a relationship in everything but acknowledgement. Which might've been the problem.

"You don't want to be with me." That fact was made perfectly clear when Kurt didn't even tell Puck about his crush on Blaine while they were doing whatever the hell they were doing, or even that he was starting something up with Blaine which meant he was ending things with Puck. "Why would I settle for being with someone who's only there for a baby, who only has some misplaced guilt or something? So you can leave in seven years? No, okay." He was the only reason his parents got married. They weren't fresh out of high school or anything, his ma was nineteen and hadn't attended school for two years when she got pregnant and his dad was twenty one and wanting to be a rockstar. But his girlfriend got pregnant so they got married and settled down and then, seven years later, she's pregnant again and he's off somewhere with all their savings and his guitar trying to make the big time without the constraints of children or a wife or responsibilities.

He will not be the thing that Kurt resents in ten years, and his daughter will not be the burden to walk away from.

"What- I wouldn't leave. I want us to do this together."

"Well we can, I'm not gonna stop you seeing her okay." Admirable as Kurt's intentions might be, Puck's not that naive; he's a realist, a pessimist sometimes. But it's not like he's going to deny Kurt his daughter, not now. If Kurt wants to see her, he can. They'll work something out where she can stay with Kurt sometimes, where Kurt can be as involved as he wants. Kurt will be named on the birth certificate and have a say in her life, but Puck won't chain himself or Kurt into something that Kurt evidently never intended on. And Puck's not just talking about the baby.

"But you won't be with me? Like we won't be together? I don't get you at all." Kurt starts pacing the floor, and Puck's never seen Kurt agitated like this before. Kurt's always been that composed in control way (okay, not during sex, but that's completely different), he's always sort of had a grasp of his emotions and his actions and Puck's a little surprised at this anxious, out of sorts Kurt (it's annoyingly cute).

"Why are you pushing this? You have a boyfriend; it shouldn't even be an issue." Last Puck saw, Kurt and Blaine were all loving glances and holding hands and deep conversations. Last Puck saw was Prom night, and he was pretty sure that the whole thing just sort of brought them closer or whatever and that was great for them or something (bitterness was still an issue). "I'm just saying, you'll have a say in things, if you want to tell people then tell people, but we're not going to be something we aren't. And we are not a couple, we are not together, we are not in a relationship. So, go to New York, have fun at Nationals, call your boyfriend at night to tell him you love him or whatever and I will be fine, here, with Carole and my ma and sister."

The diva thing finally comes out when Kurt throws his arms up and stomps out and Puck just rolls his eyes. He'd love to just turn over go to sleep and ignore everything. But he's still the size of a beached whale, and getting up is a pain.

"Hey, Kurt?" The smaller boy stops at the door, not turning back and that's kind of easier. "Could you take the milk; the smell kinda gets to me." He's going to pretend that Kurt didn't slam the door on him.

#

One of the biggest complications comes just after school stops. Burt and Carole are both at work, Kurt has a planned afternoon to help out at the garage and Finn had to run out to the store for the stuff Carole asked him to pick up the day before that he forgot about. It was only meant to take twenty minutes, but Finn was gone for over an hour before the front door opened. Puck wasn't too concerned, sat out on the sofa like he was with the television on some mindless show and practically swaddled in blankets.

"Dude, what happened? You forget why you were out?" But when he turns his head, it's not Finn standing there with groceries he wasn't meant to get. It's Blaine (even though this is the first time Puck's seen Blaine without his blazer and honestly, it looks like the curly haired hobbit is out in disguise or something). "Um, Kurt's at the garage, you'll get him there until like five I think." What's weird is that Blaine just walked in, Blaine is like super polite and all that crap that Burt seems to like or whatever, so it's a little off that he didn't ring the doorbell or something.

"I know, I was there." Okay, so why was he here? Puck didn't bother asking it, just raising his eyebrow in question instead. "Finn's been held up on whatever errand he was running. He text Kurt to see if he could check in on you."

"And Kurt sent you?" Puck got that Kurt was still a little pissed off at Puck's whole new age way of raising a kid (rather than the traditional method of being miserable in your life) and was probably looking at ways to show Puck this. Sending his new little boy-thing to sit with Puck while Finn was out might top that list of 'ways to really irritate and annoy Puck'.

"Not really, no." Blaine moved to sit on the table beside Puck's seat on the couch, his curly little head right in front of the screen. Puck recognised this from Sarah's attention getting methods. "He didn't get the text message, he was busy, so I thought I'd stop by." Okay, creepy little Warbler is seriously not needed and Puck's getting the impression that Blaine has something he'd like to say.

"Okay, you have five minutes to get whatever is on your chest, off it. Then I'm kicking you out. Pregnant or not, I don't care, I will toss your ass on the street." He doesn't intend on playing nice, since Blaine pretty much invited himself over to talk at Puck if he's reading this right, so it's not as if he needs to be polite or anything. He's pregnant and hormonal, that shit is like a get out of jail free card or whatever.

"I'm getting the impression that you don't like me." Puck wonders where that impression came from; possibly the fact that Puck's not all that keen on Blaine? "At first I thought maybe it was just because Kurt transferred to Dalton, but he said you two weren't really friends, so I thought maybe it could be something else. But Kurt's back at McKinley and you're still a tad hostile and I couldn't figure out why until Kurt called a few weeks ago and pretty much blurted out everything." So Kurt had at least told Blaine that Puck's daughter was Kurt's baby. It's oddly satisfying to know that it's not some huge big secret that Kurt genuinely doesn't want people to know about.

"So? I'm hormonal; I don't like a lot of people. On good days I only mildly dislike most people." Since just about everything annoys the hell out of him, Puck's even finding it hard to be around Britt and Artie most days (they are sickeningly sweet in their whole reconciliation thing and Puck wants to stab them in the face with blunt kitchen utensils more than a third of the time).

"Look, I get that you might be upset that I stole your boyfriend,"

"Woah there munchkin," Blaine went from 'not even friends' to 'boyfriends' in one big leap there, didn't he. "Kurt and I weren't dating. There was no relationship, there were no dates, there was no big announcement. It was sex, pure and simple. He said so himself, we aren't even friends." Puck's pretty sure it's going to take a lot to get this through to people. Kurt did not want him and thus there is and was no them. Finn and Santana were bad enough, now Blaine and eventually there would be Rachel and Mercedes. Puck was going to need to strangle a lot of people.

"Right, okay. But now there's going to be a baby, and that's a big thing. I just don't want you punishing Kurt because you feel like you lost him to me."

"I never had Kurt to lose." Kurt clearly didn't think enough about their...whatever, to even call them friends. Which was weird, because Puck was pretty sure, before they got to the whole sex thing, they were becoming friends. "And I'm not doing anything. He can see her as much as he wants to, it's not like I'm saying no."

"I'm glad that's how you feel." Blaine stands up, smiling his stupid little smile that isn't all smug and shit, it's just this annoyingly genuine smile. "Because I hope to be a part in Kurt's life for a long time to come." Puck just raised an eyebrow at Blaine before the Warbler nodded once and left. So apparently Blaine wanted to be around Kurt which meant being around their kid which meant that the littlest Puckerman was going to have like three Daddies. Puck just hit himself in the face with the nearest pillow.

This shit was muffed up.

#

He's under an umbrella in Rachel's back yard, the rest of glee (and Blaine who is like their unofficial mascot or something) hanging out around the pool while he stays out of the sun as per Mr Berry (the short one) and his instructions (seriously, there had been a list). It's one of those days where he wished they'd just let him chill out at home or leave him in the house. Santana wouldn't hear any of it though and he was dragged out to Rachel's in a pair of board shorts and a muscle shirt that was three sizes bigger than his usual pulled over his stomach and then left in a lounger by the pool with a cold drink (Rachel's special made just for him green tea concoction that he actually rather liked) and a parasol to protect him from the sun.

He'd have been just as well inside.

They have two more weeks of summer, Puck is officially as big as a house and cannot actually get himself out of a chair on his own (Quinn likes to point out that she didn't get that big at all, which causes Tina to elbow her and shake her head because apparently they're worried about him with the whole it was twins thing) and he wants the whole pregnancy part to be done already. He kind of gets mostly ignored, except when someone is going inside the house to get a refill on their drink or some snacks, and then Puck gets a fresh drink and some crackers because Rachel has a cupboard filled with stuff for him. She also has a cupboard with baby formula and shit, but he's not mentioning that.

It happens just a little suddenly, like a cramp in his side from running too much or something; except he's not been running anywhere for ages. It stops as quickly as it comes on, so he sort of dismisses it, until it happens again five minutes later or so. It's seriously annoying, and just a little painful in that sharp, stinging kind of way. When the second one stops, he pulls himself up, swinging his legs over the side of the lounger to lean forward. The third one comes a little sooner than the last and he's smacked in the face with the realisation that these might be those contraction things that Quinn had. Of course her water broke first, but it wasn't like he had anywhere for that to go, and holy shit he was having his baby.

"Fuck, fuck, fuck." He wasn't prepared for this, there was no way he'd manage it. Oh crap he was actually going to have a baby.

"Puck, sweetie, you okay?" Mercedes is with the others in the pool, Finn and Santana went to get refills ten minutes ago and are probably making out in Rachel's kitchen right then, and now he had everyone's attention (bar the indisposed couple).

"No." He had to grit his teeth through another of the pains, and yeah, that was definitely a contraction. "Pretty sure I'm in labour." The splashing of activity is all that tells him the others are getting their shit together, because he's too busy glaring at the decking in front of him to look over. Sam and Mike are the ones getting him to a car, Rachel is the one grabbing all their stuff and Finn and Santana are calling around the families to make sure everyone knows. Kurt is the one driving him to the hospital.

"Just do the breathing thing, like they do on the television." Kurt's the one doing the breathing and Puck just grinds his teeth with each contraction, hoping to hell they give him some morphine or something soon. "We're almost there, keep breathing, just in and out and in and out and-"

"Kurt, please just shut up and drive." Labour hurts. Why the hell do chicks go through all this? The morning sickness and the sore back and the sore feet and the cravings and the stupid sleep cycles and the kicks and the mood swings and the hormones and the contractions, holy crap this shit is insane. He's comforted at least by the fact that he won't be pushing a melon out from between his legs thank fuck.

When they arrive at the hospital, Puck is herded inside by a still panicking Kurt who tries to tell the nurse at reception that Puck is having a baby, but it comes out in French and both Puck and the nurse just stare for a minute before Puck manages to tell the woman that he's having contractions about three minutes apart and he'd like that epidural they told him about thanks. It's all a whirlwind of activity until he's in a private room with Kurt, the rest of the club nowhere to be seen but probably not allowed back there anyway, he was in some stupid little gown and the contractions were still coming. It took a doctor twenty freaking minutes to come and see him and by then he was ready to get Kurt a paper bag.

"It seems like the baby wants to join us, so we'll get you scheduled in for a C-section." No fucking shit. He's always known that he'd have to be cut open to get the kid out, but they'd expected that he'd go into labour and they'd know when the baby was ready to be delivered. "I'll have one of the nurses get you ready and have you in there shortly. Don't worry Mr. Puckerman; you'll have your baby soon."

"It's just routine, right? I mean this stuff must happen all the time." Kurt seems more anxious than Puck, but maybe it's just that he wasn't really aware of how the baby would be joining them. Or he'd just chosen not to think about it.

"They always knew they'd have to cut her out. I mean, there's nowhere else for her to come out." They'd already had to cut him open when he'd miscarried her brother, so it stood to reason they'd have to go in the same way to get her out. Maybe they'd leave him with symmetrical scars.

"But they seem pretty sure. I mean, you're both going to be fine, right?"

Puck had nothing to say to that, so he just shrugged. He wasn't sure if the male pregnancy could really be routine, or if they could be sure about any operation. He'd already scared the shit out of himself with a few stories about complications during surgery and shit like that. Wasn't sure if the doctor's confidence was a good thing or just bluster. He didn't comment when Kurt reached out to grab his hand, or when he placed the other over the swell of their baby. He just sighed and held onto Kurt's fingers for his own support.

#

When Puck wakes up, he feels like shit. It's like this wall of agony just hit him the second he regained consciousness and it's not fucking fun at all. He's kind of groggy, but he can tell that it's after the section, which means he's officially a parent again. Trying to move is a little bit of a pain, in both senses, because his side hurts like a bitch and he's stiff as hell.

"Hey, careful." Kurt helps him finish shifting; sitting at the edge of his bed and a light snore draws his attention to Finn in the corner.

"At least you're not fighting this time." It's possibly the one good thing about everything. "What happened?" He remembered being taken in; they wanted to keep him coherent through the surgery so that they could monitor everything. But he can't really remember anything other than being in the operating room and the initial cut because the sound had been utterly disgusting.

"They had to sedate you, there was a, there was a complication." That word has been in his head for far too long. "They delivered the baby, she's perfect. Ten fingers and toes, I'm pretty sure Santana is still at the nursery watching her so that they don't switch her. But the um, I don't know if it was afterbirth or the sac or what, but they had to like, clean out your insides and they said there was excessive bleeding. You were unconscious for a while, but, they said everything seems okay now." Puck's just glad that Santana is watching over his daughter, because that means she's fine, she's okay and everything is fine.

"Why're you still here? Thought you'd've gone home." Kurt just raises an eyebrow at Puck and yeah, okay, maybe not home. But Puck had thought Kurt would be wherever the baby was. That was why he was there.

"The doctors said that they'd had the opportunity to, well, to remove the um, the womb and stuff. They asked for my permission to do so." Puck's not sure why that should make any difference. "They'd already given me the baby to hold and then they asked that, and I was just, I just thought, what if you wanted to, one day, what if you wanted another? What if you wanted her to have a little brother or sister? I didn't want to make the wrong choice."

"You said no?"

"I did it wrong, didn't I? God, I'm sorry. I don't know why you'd ever want to go through-"

"Kurt, shut up, it's okay." He kind of doesn't know if he would go through it again, if he would want another that way or if he'd go the whole conventional thing and let the chick carry the kid. Before it hadn't been an issue. And he's not even sure what he'd define himself as sexuality wise. It's just not something he's had time to think about. "I'll figure it out later, but thanks. For not taking the decision away from me." Kurt just nods. "Nice as this is, when can I see my daughter?"

"Hang on," Kurt just laughs, "I'll go get the nurses."

#

"What's her name?"

"Hannah." He totally caved to his sisters' constant argument for the name; he kind of liked it anyway. And Sarah was over the moon about the whole thing. She'd already told everyone she could that she named her niece.

"That's lovely," Blaine smiles at Hannah and Puck doesn't even care right then, curled up with Hannah on his chest in the Hudmel living room. It's the first time a lot of them have gotten to see Hannah, since Puck was released with her and ordered to rest because it was a big operation, and Carole has been limiting the excitement in the house; he's literally seen his family and Santana, and of course the Hudson-Hummel clan, for the last week. "Little Hannah Hummel." Everyone knew by then that Kurt was the one Puck had been sleeping with but he'd pretty much leapt straight to Blaine. No one brought it up (and Puck knew that Rachel, Quinn and Santana were aware of his feelings on the matter, Mercedes probably was too, but Blaine just flung it around sometimes).

"Puckerman." Santana is like some kind of guard dog (in the nicest way possible). Puck doesn't need to even mention when something is getting to him, because Santana is on it like a fat kid on cake.

"What?" Blaine is usually the source of Santana's wrath if Finn's stories are anything to go by. Puck's not entirely sure why, because it's not like Puck's overly obvious about his dislike for the house elf.

"Her name is Hannah Puckerman." And it is. It's on her birth certificate, because Puck is the one who fucking carried her for eight and a half months (like she'd keep to schedule) and this isn't the nineteenth century or whatever, so Hannah can have his name instead of Kurt's. They're both technically her dads since neither of them are female although Puck was the one pregnant, so it shouldn't matter. And Kurt has been there for everything; Kurt saw her before he did, Kurt was there when they checked her over, Kurt was the one who took both Puck and Hannah home, he's listed as the 'father' on her birth certificate, everything so far, Kurt's been there for. Including the three in the morning feeds (since one time Puck fell asleep standing in the kitchen with his head against the counter and Kurt took over).

"So much for inclusion then." Blaine mutters it under his breath as he leans back in his seat and Puck can see the guys looking for somewhere else to be.

"You know, I think Hannah wants another bottle. I'll just go boil up the kettle." Rachel is dragged out of the room by Quinn, Mercedes sort of following.

"I think I should know how this works. We should all learn how to make up bottles." It's like a mass exodus of the room, only San, Kurt, Puck, Finn and Blaine remaining behind while Artie slowly wheels after all the others into the kitchen (and Puck can only imagine how they're all fitting in there).

"Listen here, oompa loompa," Santana is without a doubt worse than Puck when it comes to names for Blaine. "Whatever happens with Hannah has nothing to do with you. It's Puckerman and Ladyface that are raising her. If Puck wants to call her Princess Delilah Archibald Magenta Lopez, he can." He really, really wouldn't. "If he wants her to be a hippy, or if they decide to raise her as a Mormon. Nothing to do with you, curly fries." It wasn't like Puck was calling all the shots, although his major stipulation was that Kurt accept that Hannah would be raised Jewish (his mother had the zeved habat organised before Hannah was even out of the hospital).

"How is that raising her together? She has nothing from Kurt; it's all Puck's choice." Puck is still nursing Hannah, sort of ignoring Blaine's objections, because he's talked things over with Kurt already any way.

"Yes she does," he doesn't look over at Blaine, running his hand over the back of his daughter's head, stroking her soft hair, "her middle name's Elizabeth." Yeah, she had Puck's name, and Puck's religion, but she took her middle name for her grandmother she'd never know and she looked like Kurt; the pale skin, the big eyes, the soft brown hair. Puck just knew she'd grow up looking like Kurt.

Santana has her smug thing going on, she's been a little more bitchy towards Blaine since Puck had Hannah, and he's not really sure but there has to be a story behind that and Puck hasn't been following it too much because he's got his daughter home and that's where his attention is. He'll let Santana get her claws out because she's always been in his corner since the moment she knew and that's what matters. She's already as good as Hannah's aunt, just like Finn is totally her uncle and the rest of glee too. Because when he really looks at it, he's not doing any of this alone.

Blaine goes quiet, and Kurt doesn't say a word, and Puck knows he's missed something, but the rest of the gang come back and Puck manages to give up Hannah long enough for Quinn to feed her and Rachel to burp her and have a few cuddles and then Mercedes puts her to bed. There's a definite change in the atmosphere, even while everyone's attention is on Hannah it's evident that they can feel how awkward things are. Puck's just surprised that it's not him feeling awkward.

"Hey, I'll keep an eye on her," Kurt gives him a small nudge as Hannah is laid down in her Moses basket to sleep, "why do you go catch a quick nap?" He's not sure if it's because he's still getting used to not being pregnant or if it's a parent thing, but he hardly sleeps because he's prone to wondering if Hannah is okay. It means he's hardly functioning sometimes, but he's more concerned with his daughter.

"Awesome, I'm gonna grab a shower first." His shoulder bumps Kurt's in quiet thanks, because he's aware that he's not getting enough sleep, but it's not like he means it. And really, Hannah is his kid, he's technically the mom and all that, so isn't he meant to be the one losing sleep and stuff? He'll still welcome a quick nap and shower while Kurt watches the baby though. And Santana and Finn are there, so she'll be fine.

#

Finn checks on him an hour and a half later; as if he'd need help with the sleeping thing or something. But the point is, he's not sleeping when Finn creeps into the room (he's still sharing a room with Finn, something that Finn is kind of stoked for or whatever, because Hannah's cot is set up in there too) so he figures now is as good a time as any to find out what's going on.

"Finn, what's going on with San and Blaine?" Finn stares at him for a minute, as if he's talking some other language.

"What? Nothing. It's fine. What makes you think there's something?" How the hell Finn managed to lie for two months about being Hannah's dad, Puck has no idea.

"Dude, just spill. What happened?"

"It was after they brought Hannah out to Kurt, you know while you were still in surgery. They gave him the baby and they were telling us that you were having some troubles, but the doctor said that you'd be fine. He kept calling you Kurt's partner, kept telling Kurt that his partner would be fine, and Kurt never corrected him." Puck could understand the doctor making the assumption, when he'd seen Puck and Kurt it hadn't exactly been obvious that they weren't together. He's not sure why that's significant. "I don't know for sure what Blaine said, but Santana went off on him right there in the hospital. A lot of it was Spanish, so I don't know what she said either." He can picture it though, Santana's fuse is short, and when it comes to certain things she just explodes in a Latina firework display. Apparently, Puck and Hannah are part of that.

"And Kurt didn't smack her down?" It's probably a little weird, but he's always kind of wondered who would come out on top in a bitch off; Santana or Kurt.

"Kurt was a little too caught up in Hannah and you bleeding too much and complications to really respond to anything." Finn shrugged slightly. "Kurt and Blaine don't seem to be so close right now." Puck had noticed, but he'd figured it was more because of Hannah really. Kurt didn't want to miss anything, just like Puck didn't want to miss anything, so they were just always at home. But everyone else goes back to school in a week, Puck has another two before he's back at McKinley, and that'll change things. Only Kurt and Blaine don't go to the same school anymore, so maybe things wouldn't be easier. Puck had no idea, he didn't even know if he cared. He didn't rightly want to cause a break up, but it wasn't as if he was overly fond of Blaine anyway.

"Probably just the timing or whatever, like one of those rough patches." He wasn't going to think too hard about it; because if Kurt and Blaine broke up on their own, well, that wasn't as if he was making Kurt dump his boyfriend. It was a whole other thing. And if he did think too hard on it he'd just fall to conclusions and mess things up and he had to face facts, there was a reason Puck had to do the first few months of pregnancy alone. Kurt wasn't interested beyond Hannah, so they'd just be civil for Hannah and Kurt could date whoever the hell he pleased.

"Right, it's just timing or whatever." The way Finn rolls his eyes and shakes his head before leaving is not comforting at all.

#

Truth be told, Puck totally loves having Hannah to himself while everyone else is at school. It gives him the time to just chill with his daughter; she's ridiculously adorable, makes the weirdest noises ever, is addictive to cuddle with and not entirely demanding. Puck's not sure how this child could be his and Kurt's but there it is. She doesn't keep them up all night either; she goes down at nine, wakes for a feed at midnight, then again at three and then she sleeps through until seven when she wants another feed. Puck and Kurt aren't up and down with a crying baby, although she does prefer to always have someone's attention and appears to be far more fond of males than females (strangely, Santana is the exception to this). She's already got Burt and Carole wrapped around her tiny little fist.

It really is great how much help everyone offers, but sometimes Puck just wants that time with her away from everyone. Her zeved habat was a showcase of this; it was really just a sort of party for everyone to come to at the hall by the JCC, Hannah was named officially and things, the Rabbi did a blessing and then there was food and drink and music. And everyone kept stealing his baby from him. He spent the entire day trying to get her back, managing only when Santana scared off three Jewish women and Carole told everyone that her little bones would be getting sore from the handling.

She's good with people though, in ways that Puck would never have been. She'll sleep through some epic fights (Santana and Quinn) or some horrifying dance attempt (Rachel and Finn) and the worst television shows (Blaine, Kurt, Sarah, Mercedes and Tina). And what Puck just loves is lying her out on the floor and letting her kick around and gurgle 'til he just can't leave her alone and then he'll just swaddle her up again. Kurt comes home from school early on the days where his last period is a study hall, Puck gets that he doesn't like being gone so much, and Puck isn't sure how he's going to handle things next week when he's back.

"Hey," Kurt keeps his voice down as he drops his back and hangs his jacket over the back of the couch, moving to sit beside Puck on the floor in front of where Hannah was playing. "How's she been?" There are a few days where she's a bit of a fuss, Carole says its natural because she's so young and getting used to everyone. There are days she'll cry if she's not in Puck or Kurt's arms and days she'll do nothing but sleep on top of Burt's chest while Deadliest Catch plays on the television.

"She's been good. She's been alright, we've just sort of playing around, fed her, changed her."

"Barely looked away." There's a smirk on Kurt's face and Puck knows that he gets ribbed about just how bad he can get with her; but she's tiny and his and there's no reason not to be. "So, listen, Mike's got this night all organised, video games and sci-fi movies, he's celebrating his parents being gone for two days really quietly."

"Yeah, the Chang's would freak the fuck out if Mike threw a party. Hell, I'd freak out if Mike threw a party, it's just not Mike." The guy went to parties, he didn't have his own. "You going or something? It's cool; I can manage to pull myself together at three for one night." He could really, he was fairly certain that if he was on his own, he'd manage fine with Hannah as she is now, because she's such an awesome baby and doesn't make him crazy (officially the only girl who doesn't).

"I was thinking you would go." Kurt looks at him like he's ready for something to go off or whatever; Puck just raises his eyebrow in question. "It's just, you told me that we weren't going to stop living our lives just because we had a daughter, and you've pretty much stopped living your life for the last seven months. She's three weeks old, I think it's okay if you go out for a few hours and have fun." Which, okay, fair point. It wasn't like Puck was completely putting his life on hold or anything though; it was just that he didn't want to miss anything. Even though she was small and just slept and shit and puked most of the time, he was still there for it all.

"So, you're going to give up your night to stay in with her?"

"Noah, I'm not giving up anything. I'll do my homework, look after her. Blaine is going to come over for a while." Puck wasn't sure how he felt about going out and leaving Kurt and Blaine to play house with Hannah. But he'd been the one agreeing to things and setting the whole thing where he and Kurt raise her together but aren't together thing. He supposed he just needed to deal with Kurt and Blaine, because it was the reality of the situation and Hannah would need to get used to him.

"Okay. Yeah, you know, you're right." So he called up Mike to say yeah, he'd be along, he wasn't staying too late, but he'd show up. He's a little apprehensive, because he's leaving Hannah at home and going out, and seriously, is he that much of a pussy he seriously doesn't want to go?

"You know, when Finn was just a baby, I didn't go out for nine weeks. I just stayed in the house with him the whole time. I missed so much, Noah. That's not what's meant to happen." Carole strokes the back of Puck's hair, smiling at him softly before bending to kiss Hannah's forehead. "You'll enjoy yourself, and she'll be here when you come home." She slips her earring into place and kisses his cheek before heading off for her night out with Burt. Puck just tells himself to get over it, kiss his daughter goodnight and go out.

Kurt's more than capable of looking after their daughter, he doesn't even care when she throws up on his shirts or whatever, he just sighs and cleans her up and gets on with it. It's not that Puck doesn't think that Kurt can do it. It's just that Puck doesn't really want to leave Hannah at all, never mind leaving her with Kurt and Blaine. And it's the Blaine part that he's not so keen on, because without a doubt, Kurt's a great parent. But these are all things that Puck can't say, because he's letting Kurt love whoever he wants, and if that's Blaine then Puck needs to deal. So he goes out, he tries not to think too much on what time would be okay to go home without being rude and just tries to enjoy himself.

And he does, because it's a night with the guys and Puck finally feels like he's not been tossed back into being too old too soon, he's just his seventeen year old self again and it's good for him. He still beats the shit out of Sam at Halo, still leaves Finn in the dust at Mario Kart and he's still the only one who really gets Mike's obsession with Pulp Fiction (it's John Travolta being badass and dancing like a loon, and Samuel L. being his awesome self, how can you not love it?) so it's good. It's great really, even if he doesn't stay the night like most of the guys are doing. He catches a ride home with Artie's dad, tossing Artie a fist bump as he heads out to the Hudmel house which has quickly become his and Hannah's home and actually surprises himself that it's almost two in the morning.

He's not exactly prepared to walk in on Blaine and Kurt making out on the sofa (it's that whole clich├ęd babysitting and making out thing, but it's to be expected maybe) and he really wishes he could just slam the door, but Hannah's probably sleeping and that shit wouldn't be cool. He's not about to disturb his daughter just because Blaine has his tongue in Kurt's mouth. He just didn't really prepare himself for seeing shit like that, and it stings a little, because it's just another reminder that Kurt picked someone else. But Kurt pulls back the moment he realises that Puck's back, looking a little embarrassed and Puck can remember when it used to be Puck doing that with Kurt, and Kurt was never embarrassed after, he usually was too dazed to be anything other than pleasantly debauched. Not that he's comparing or anything.

"You're home early." Kurt makes a point on standing from the sofa, although Blaine doesn't, he just leans back with a slight frustrated expression on his face.

"It's like two in the morning," Puck points out, glancing between them. "I would've been home at ten but Artie started a debate on the differences in the CGI in Avatar and Star Wars, to that took up about three hours' worth of arguing." Puck just shrugged a shoulder, waiting to see if Kurt actually figured out he was joking. "How was she?"

"Fine," the smile that appears on Kurt's face is one Puck knows well, because he has the exact same one whenever anyone asks him anything about Hannah. "She's been perfect actually, haven't heard anything out of her since I put her down." Kurt frowns a little but Puck just nods and heads towards the stairs. He figures he'll check in on her, get himself ready for bed and by then she should be up for her three am feed. Except, when he gets to the room, Hannah's lying on her back, feet in the air, gargling away to herself perfectly content. The issue isn't that she's upset or wanting fed or anything like that, it's that he didn't hear her, and they have a baby monitor in the living room for exactly that purpose.

"Hey sweetheart, c'mere and we'll get you something to settle you, eh?" He just has to pick her up and she's snuggling into him like the content little thing that she is. But as he walks downstairs Kurt and Blaine stand up to meet him at the bottom of the stairs. "She was awake, eating her feet," and it wasn't like she'd just woken up or something. "Did you forget the monitor?"

"No," Kurt is still frowning, even as he moves to the hand held over by the couch on the table. "I swear I didn't, Noah. I turned it on before I even put her down." They all made a point of it, because she could get a little fussy sometimes so listening for her was just easier if it was one before she went into her cot. And Puck wasn't the only one who'd read far too many warnings and safety tips and horrific stories about babies and cot deaths and he was not going to forget those any time soon. "I don't understand." The power is flicked off on the monitor and Puck just sighs.

It's not like anything bad happened, it's not even like she was crying or hurt or anything like that. But she could've been. Easily.

"I'm so sorry, Noah."

"Why are you apologising? It's not like you did it on purpose, you just forgot to turn it on." Blaine crosses his arms over his chest, still a little rumpled from his and Kurt's earlier activities and really, Puck would punch him this time if he didn't have his daughter curled into his chest. "Accidents happen."

"I did turn it on. I didn't forget. I turned it on." Kurt is pretty adamant, from the glare that he's suddenly throwing at Blaine, and Puck's pretty sure that he probably did turn the monitor on. It could've just not clicked right or something, so he's not going to make a big deal out of it.

"It's okay Kurt, really." He just figures that it won't happen again, because Puck's done with nights away from Hannah anyway. "I'll just get her a bottle and put her down; you guys have a nice night." He thinks that's pretty decent of him, right? And he's not exactly spewing venom or whatever, so that's good for him too. He gives them a nod and heads through to the kitchen, balancing Hannah in the cradle of his arm while getting her bottle made up and warmed. He gets that Kurt has more than just Hannah going on; Kurt's got college applications and student class president elections and his boyfriend and the school show or whatever to be dealing with. So it's not like Puck expects that Kurt's going to stop whatever he's doing for Hannah, but Puck, he's not really got that much going on. Glee will be the biggest thing when he gets back at school, maybe football if he's able to go back. But Puck's always going to think about Hannah first and foremost, because Hannah is what he's got to think about now. Kurt still has all his life ahead of him and stuff.

"I swear, Noah, I definitely turned it on," Kurt trails into the kitchen while Puck's waiting for the kettle to boil, rocking Hannah slightly. "I have no idea how it didn't click on, I know that it did. I heard her a few times." Puck's not angling for a fight or anything, but maybe if Kurt was less involved with sucking face he'd have noticed. Not that he's going to say it, it's just his opinion.

"Seriously, it's not a big deal. She's okay, everything is fine, we're good."

"No, we're not. You're being passive aggressive and obviously this is bothering you but you're not saying anything, it's just going to cause a fight down the line, so we need to deal with it now." Puck's pretty sure that Kurt has been talking to Miss. Pillsbury about raising a baby with someone, that she has pamphlets or something that she's given him. That or self-help books.

"Okay, I just think that maybe if you'd been paying more attention to what was going on, you'd have noticed she was too quiet and it wouldn't have even been a thing, happy?"

"Is this about me having Blaine here?"

"No, okay, I don't care about Blaine." Like at all. "It's about priorities, and I don't expect you to make her yours, but she's always going to be mine." The kettle pops and Puck fills up the jug with the bottle in it to heat Hannah's feed, the little girl pressing her ear over Puck's chest and just listening to his heartbeat. He knows that this is probably going to start something with Kurt, something like Kurt wanting to be just as involved and trying to juggle everything and the idiot working himself to the bone just to prove it to Puck when he doesn't even need to. "You've got a lot going on, and it's fine. So just don't worry about this stuff." Puck tests the bottle, drying the outside of it and shifting Hannah in his arms. "I got it; just go back to your boyfriend, okay?"

Kurt stares after Puck as he leaves the room and Puck's certain that this isn't the end of their conversation.

#

Puck goes back to school the following Monday; he's not happy about it, but his mother refuses to let him drop out and Carole and she already worked out a way to make sure Hannah is taken care of while he's at school. He has the classes he needs to graduate and that's it. Rachel won't even hear of him dropping from glee (there's something about family and working Hannah into the family and all this bullshit that he stops listening to and just gives up) and Coach Beiste really wants him to stay on the team, so he does. It's all the extra-curricular he wants never mind needs and it takes up enough time away from Hannah.

He spent the weekend with her at his own house; his ma had the weekend off work so she wanted them to spend time together as a family. They went to the Shabbat service, hung around the JCC for a while, went out for dinner and Sunday was spent doting around the house with Hannah and Sarah making noise and mess. Puck's pretty sure; disappointment in being a grandmother when her son isn't even legal smoking age yet aside, his ma is over the moon about Hannah. He can kind of see why.

But sitting in history class, playing knots and crosses with Britt on a sheet of paper when they're meant to be learning about the Napoleonic wars, well, it's just hammering home how over this whole school thing he is. Yeah, if he wasn't in school he'd need to get a job, and that would take him away from Hannah for a few hours each day too. But at least he'd feel like he was actually doing something and not just sitting around bored in class. It's not even like he's stupid or any of that shit, people think he is because his grades are shit and he barely goes to class, but it's just that he can't be fucked with this bullshit. Who the hell cares about Napoleon and his short complex? Why is Pythagoras important for anything? Does it really matter if he knows what the molecular make up of potassium is? He really doesn't think so.

But he attends class, and he hands in work and the teachers are starting to realise that he is actually pretty smart and that shit. His maths teacher totally thinks he's cheating somehow, but fuck that noise, he's already figured out that he's not gonna be relying on anyone when he gets out of school, he's gonna get a decent fucking grade in his classes, get a decent job in this town and take care of his daughter, no fucking hand-outs. It's cool that Burt and Carole are all for helping just now, and he'll always have his ma and Sarah, but he's gonna be the one taking care of Hannah, and when Kurt goes off to his college dreams in New York, Puck's not planning on overstaying his welcome at the Hudmel house. He'll get an apartment nearby or something, he'll get a job and a place and stop scrounging off his baby-daddy's parents.

So he's the fucking epitome of a well behaved student; he could give Rachel Berry a run for her money. And he's totally not even bothered about going out or whatever. He seriously wishes his friends would get their lives in order though; he hates having to watch Quinn try to get her claws into Finn while Santana is actually having a serious relationship for once in her life, hates having the front row seat to the Blaine and Kurt show which involves arguments and sneers and hand holding and sweet kisses, hates seeing Mercedes go through this stupid weight and body image thing all because of Sam fucking Evans (seriously, if that kid hadn't transferred, Puck would punch him in his stupid face right now). Britt and Artie, Mike and Tina, they're the only ones who actually have shit in order. Rachel is her usual demented self more often than not, but she's full of these helpful little moments that sort of make him forget when she gets all crazy and stuff. Like when they need to do some weekend practice, and Puck is convinced to just bring Hannah along, because they can look after her or whatever. And Rachel legit takes ten minutes out of practice because Hannah is being fussy and she's the nearest to her. It sort of balances out her making them get up at seven in the morning on a Sunday.

So by the time they hit Valentine's Day in their senior year, Blaine and Kurt are off for the third time, Santana and Finn are back on, Quinn is flirting with this transfer kid and Mercedes is getting this attention from someone on the football team that apparently rocks at poetry. And Puck. Well, he hasn't had sex since Kurt knocked him up, a year ago. He thinks there's something vaguely wrong with this, but then Hannah will pat his face or giggle at him and he'll remember that he's got more important things and move on.

And it's not like he means to interrupt Blaine and Kurt's 'let's figure this out and make up' date the week after V-Day, he doesn't. It's just that he is majorly freaking out and he has no idea what to do and he's not sure if he wants to do it on his own anymore and really, Kurt is the one he'll call because Santana mentioned something about whipped cream and marathons and he's not calling her or Finn right then. He's in the hospital waiting room, pacing back and forth with Hannah screaming her little lungs out, and seriously, this is an emergency, they can't get a doctor from somewhere to see her? Kurt comes tearing into the room, Blaine a little later behind him, less than ten minutes after Puck's exceptionally panicked call to Kurt.

"What's wrong? Have you seen anyone? Why are you still out here?"

"They haven't looked at her, apparently, they are very busy." There are four people in the waiting area; one middle aged guy with a nail in his hand, a pre-teen girl with a bandage around her foot, a dude their age with a compress on his head and blood on his cheek and a mother and daughter duo with a towel under the daughter's chin where blood is seeping out. His little girl is the only one breaking his fucking heart right then. "She's burning up, she's crying, she's fucking inconsolable."

"Right," see, when Kurt pulls out his ice bitch thing, Puck remembers why he's in love with the little priss and fucking kicks himself for turning Kurt down about being together. He has these moments where he wonders if Kurt could love him, if they could make it where his parents didn't, if maybe he could do it better than his ma and make Kurt want to stay with them. He thinks that maybe Kurt loves Hannah enough that it'll work, that they could try it. But his dad loved him at one point too, he knows because he idolised the guy and they were fucking tight. But it's not always enough and he couldn't bear it if Kurt walked away from them down the line. He won't be his parents. But Kurt just keeps reminding him just how much he loves the diva boy. And it's getting harder not to hate himself a little.

Kurt fumes off towards the help desk area, and Puck feels a little bad for the older chick behind there, but then Hannah starts hiccupping through the sobs and he stops feeling anything but concern for her, while Blaine huffs slightly and sits in one of the seats. Puck just goes back to rocking Hannah, trying desperately to just help her in some way; he can't get the fever down, can't placate her at all, she's just crying until it probably hurts her.

"Okay, c'mon, we're going back to wait." Kurt is a little red in the face and the woman behind the desk is a little uncomfortable but Puck doesn't care if it gets Hannah seen.

"Uh-huh. Parents only." The woman doesn't seem to be willing to give in to Kurt completely though. "Just the parents." She glares at Blaine a little, and Puck likes her just a touch more than he did before.

"Seriously? I'm his boyfriend; we're like, all the parents or something." Except Blaine is absolutely not Hannah's parent in any way; Blaine doesn't hold Hannah, or play with her, or feed her, or change her, or bathe her, or even look at her most of the time. Puck figures it's some testament to how Kurt wasn't the blushing virgin Blaine thought he was, and Puck knows that's what Blaine thought Kurt was for the longest time ever.

"I don't care if you're Mother Theresa, unless you are the baby's daddy or mommy, sit your ass down."

"Dude, go have your dinner or whatever you were doing, I'm sorry I called, it's okay, I got her." He just wants to get Hannah down the hall, into a room and have a doctor tell him what is wrong with his baby girl and fix it. He just wants to make it better.

"No, no, I'm staying, Blaine we'll rain check, I'll call you later, just, I'm sorry, but it's-" Kurt shrugs his shoulder just as Hannah lets out another wail and Puck starts towards the room they're directed to. He couldn't care less where Blaine goes (preferably Tahiti) so long as Hannah is okay.

One of the nurses gets them to strip her down to her diaper, getting some cool clothes to pet over her chest with while trying to calm her. The doctor who finally sees them tells them it's an ear infection, which for babies of Hannah's age is common, but still painful. They're giving antibiotics for her and medicine to calm her down. If it doesn't clear up in a week, bring her back. By the time they get back to the empty Hudmel house, Hannah is sleeping, likely exhausted from all her crying, after the doctor gave her a quick shot to help her. Puck just can't believe how panicked he got over an ear infection. He knew that if anything happened to he would legit not deal with it at all. Losing one of them, two if he counted Beth, it tore him up, he couldn't stand if anything happened to her at all.

He wants to hold her all night, he knows he can't because it'll do worse than any good, but Kurt has to take Hannah away and place her in her cot and Puck just sits on his bed and watches her sleep, he's drained himself but he just can't even think about closing his eyes right then.

"Hey, are you okay?" Kurt sits beside him, and Puck doesn't have the energy to do anything but shake his head. "It's okay," Kurt's hand slides over the top of Puck's hair, smoothing down the back of the mohawk before he coaxes Puck to lean on his shoulder, "the doctor said she'd be okay." It's easy to just sit there, letting Kurt pet over his hair and taking a little comfort in the fact that he isn't really in this alone, because Kurt freaked out just as much. Only Kurt freaked out in a totally hot kind of way and Puck needs to not think about that or he'll do something stupid.

But Kurt's hand is really fucking soothing, and it'd be nice if he could just use that to lull him past the panic and over to sleep or whatever. Only it doesn't seem likely, because he's still got the pent up energy and shit to deal with and he knows that he should go for a run and that way he'll at least tire himself out. But running means being away from Hannah and that really isn't going to happen. The stroking just relaxes him, puts him to the point of just thinking 'fuck it' and going with whatever he wants, not thinking through the actions or what might come of them (he's always been pretty good at that). It's the reason he doesn't stop himself, he's sure it is. Kurt's fingers along the line of his mohawk just throw him back to the time where that would be the after-sex snuggle and petting that would send him off to sleep.

So he turns his head, twists up and Kurt meets him. It's soft, just lips pressing to lips, just a tentative kiss between them. Until Puck shifts, mouth moving against Kurt's with a little more pressure to coax Kurt into a deeper kiss. It doesn't take much coaxing, not with the way that Kurt leans into him, hand sliding to cup the back of Puck's head as his lips part for Puck's tongue. He rolls them slightly, twisting Kurt underneath him and leaning over. It's a better position; for Kurt to run his hand over Puck's hair, for his other to slide along Puck's ribs, for Puck to slot between Kurt's spread thighs, it just works out better. Kissing Kurt was always easy, always simple and addicting and something Puck could just get lost in. He enjoys kissing, it's no secret, it's not just this stopping point on the way to sex, it's fun and sensual and fucking hot (it's partly the reason he and Rachel lasted that week of dating). Kurt arches up under Puck, pressing their hips together and pulling a moan from Puck's throat.

Puck's not thinking of Kurt's boyfriend, or the reasons why this is a bad idea, as Kurt's hands slip under Puck's shirt to pull it off and Puck starts on the buttons of Kurt's shirt. Pants are off and boxers lost until it's just them, pressed against each other on the bed and Puck can pretend this is just last year, that it's before all the crap that killed them last year. Puck doesn't exactly have 'supplies' or whatever, but they've got lotion for lube and Kurt's started carrying a condom in his pants and Puck doesn't need to think what that means.

"Noah," two fingers in, stretching Kurt out and watching his spine bend backwards, the flush on his cheeks and chest, the way he responds so beautifully to everything Puck does, it goes a long way to wiping all thoughts of other boys out of Puck's head. Especially when Kurt's spreading his legs back, hands tugging at Puck's shoulders and pleading for him to get on with it.

Pressing into Kurt, feeling him wrap around Puck and cling is like everything he's needed for the last nine months and everything he shouldn't still want all in one. But it's like yesterday was their last time together, and everything just slots right back into place easily. Kurt's fingers at the base of the 'hawk, Puck's hands finding just the right spots to drive Kurt wild, the way their bodies just know how to set the rhythm, what angle is best, and Puck has honestly missed Kurt's legs wrapping around his waist.

Kurt comes with a shout of Puck's name and Puck has to muffle his groan into Kurt's neck as he trips over the edge a few thrusts later, heart hammering in his chest, pressed up against Kurt. He half thinks that it should be awkward, that once the need and lust has worn off they'll get that tense way with each other and Kurt will trail off to his own room with a blush and they'll never talk about it again. Instead, Kurt helps with the clean-up, pulling the sheets away after and just slotting into Puck's arms easily.

He doesn't know what it means, to either of them really, but Puck stops thinking about it and lets himself slip under the blanket of sleep, arms around Kurt's waist with Kurt pressed, back pressed to his chest and Puck's nose against the curve of his throat.

#

Sometime later, he's not sure when, he wakes up to Hannah's whining. His chest is pressed to Kurt's back, arms still around Kurt's hips and both of them pulled tight against one another. He's moments away from getting up to deal with Hannah when Kurt slips from the bed, reaching back to pat a hand on Puck's hip.

"I've got her," Puck just lies there, absently watching Kurt pull on a pair of pants and go over to the crib. There's just a slight light coming in from the window, casting enough of a glow to see Kurt stand with Hannah curled into his shoulder. She just wants a little attention, that's clear from the way she sucks her pacifier and slips back to sleep fairly quickly. Kurt doesn't put her down straight away, and Puck takes the time to think on things. It's yet another thing that sticks right there and he realises that this is what he could've had if he wasn't such an idiot; maybe he was too hasty with turning Kurt down on the whole 'together' thing. It had made sense at the time, because he didn't want Kurt to just be with him because of Hannah.

But then he sort of wishes he had this; he had this ease of normal everyday things. Someone to wrap around at night, someone to look over and smile when Hannah did something utterly adorable, someone to have those moments with while she was sickeningly sweet, someone to talk him out of his panics, someone to be the other parent. As much as Kurt was her dad and Puck was technically her mom, they weren't her parents together and it ached a little that he didn't really share that much with Kurt.

And this? The whole waking up and Kurt dealing with her and sharing a bed? Wasn't going to help him at all, because Kurt was dating Blaine, and Puck wasn't with anyone, and it wasn't going to be a recurring thing, so why the hell was he letting himself enjoy it? He can't let this feel like anything, because it was a mistake, it was a moment of comfort and that was all.

Only Kurt puts Hannah back into her crib, pulling her blanket up over her legs and turns back to the bed, kicking off the pants and crawling back under the covers. Puck doesn't really know what to do when Kurt shuffles up, pillowing his head on Puck's shoulder and wrapping an arm over Puck's waist before sighing and slowly falling back asleep. Puck half wishes he could do that too, just ignore everything for a while and sleep, but there's too much running through his head.

He understands that he's probably always going to be a little bit in love with Kurt, even if he eventually manages to fall out of love with Kurt, just like he's still got that piece that loves Quinn. They have a child together, and Puck's never going to be able to regret that, never going to be able to deny the person who gave him that, even if he doesn't see Beth grow up, even if he only ever knows of her and loves her without ever meeting her. So he's always going to feel that, for Quinn and Kurt. But he knows that he's going to have to address the matter of being in love with Kurt and letting himself fall into these habits. He can't be kissing Kurt, or having sex with him, or sleeping with him, they can't do couple things or treat each other like more than just co-parents, because that's all they are. They are co-parents to Hannah, nothing more. Puck can't let them be anything else, because if he does he'll never get over Kurt.

He'll just always remember how Kurt kisses him; deep and slow, like there's absolutely nothing better to be doing, the way they can draw it out and use it to just wind the other to the point of desperately needing something more. He'll remember the way Kurt knows every place to touch or kiss or how to pull at Puck's hair. He'll just know that Kurt whines when he's stretched out slowly, but how he'll do it that way too, because he knows it feels so good, how Kurt can wrap himself around Puck's hips and cling, how they just know what rhythm to fall into, how to work each other. He'll have this one last time to remember how it feels to have Kurt sleeping close; cool breath on Puck's neck, warm body curved along Puck's side, one hand possessively curling over his hips and their legs just tangling together. Up until Kurt, Puck never did the snuggling together to sleep thing, after Kurt, the bed feels a little big on his own.

It's all just things he's not allowed for himself, not with Kurt. Because Kurt is with Blaine, and he's just deluding himself to think they could be more than the fuck buddies that made Hannah.

#

Puck's gone from the bed by the time Kurt starts to stir, Hannah's still sleeping away soundly, so Puck uses the time to do his homework and sort out the kitchen for Carole coming home from her little trip with Burt and get something into the oven in case they're a little hungry. He's trying to just have this day start as the rest will have to go on.

Kurt is forever throwing spanners in the works though, and it's no different.

It's barely after ten, but it's still late for Hannah, but Kurt has a tendency to wake before then anyway. Puck's rinsing out some bowls in the sink when Kurt's arms wrap around his waist and before he can think to stiffen, he's already leaning back into the kiss that's placed on his neck as Kurt mumbles good morning. It gives Puck another flash of that potential life, that domesticated version of just how his life could turn around if he was as naive and hopeful as Rachel.

"Your phone's been chirping constantly." Puck already knows that it's not just Mercedes who was asking what Kurt was doing today, he knows that it's not just a few little notifications of Facebook messages or anything either. Puck was sitting in the living room, eating his breakfast, when Kurt's phone started vibrating on the table and Blaine's face appeared on the screen. It instantly put him off his breakfast.

He's fairly certain it should have the same effect on Kurt; because last night, Puck made Kurt cheat on his boyfriend, and neither of them even stopped to think about it. He's not sure what that says about Kurt's relationship with Blaine, but it does tell Puck that he hasn't changed a bit and that's a frightening thought. It leaves him alone in the kitchen for long enough to get himself under control and to stop letting his heart over rule his head, because it's just going to hurt more in the long run.

"So," Kurt comes back into the kitchen, phone in hand and Puck just turns to lean on the counter behind him. "Should we talk?"

"Nothing to talk about," Puck figures if they just brush it aside, no one gets hurt. It's not something that Kurt needs to tell Blaine, it's nothing that San and Finn need to know, nothing for anyone. Because it's not happening. Nothing is changing. "We don't talk about it, we don't tell anyone, you can go back to Blaine and pretend it didn't happen." Because Kurt doesn't need that in his relationship with Blaine and Puck doesn't need the drama it would bring. Because yes, sometimes Puck thinks that maybe Blaine did stealKurt, if it was possible to steal something that never belonged to anyone, but Puck doesn't need their friends being forced to take sides in the matter because he turned Kurt into a cheater.

"I think we should, I think it matters. Noah, it's," Kurt shakes his head, in frustration or annoyance or defeat, Puck doesn't really know, "it's something to me. What we had, what we are even without it, it matters. And I know that I've messed up, and I'm so sorry for what- for the-" Kurt's head bows and his lips quiver and Puck's seen almost crying Kurt a few too many times if he's honest. "I know I can never make it right, and I understand if you hate me, but I'm sorry about, about our son and I can't change that, I just-" Puck can't make himself not pull Kurt closer, wrapping his arms around Kurt's shoulders and pulling him in tight to let him cry against his chest.

He never honestly thought that Kurt was holding on to that, to their other baby. He didn't realise that Kurt felt guilty about it.

"His heart never formed, Kurt, he didn't-" it's still difficult to think about, because Hannah could've had a little playmate, a brother to share everything with, they could've had two children sleeping upstairs right now. "It wasn't your fault." Santana had whispered it to him over and over again as he'd sobbed on her, blaming himself for something he had no control over and going through the what ifs. But their son's heart was malformed, the valves or chambers or something never fully grew and he couldn't support his own life, even in the womb. Nothing but nature was to blame.

"But you hate me for it."

"No, I don't." He wonders sometimes if it would be easier to hate Kurt; hate him for not caring the same, hate him for the condom breaking, hate him for Blaine. But it's impossible. "I really, really don't." Kurt sniffles against Puck's shoulder, raising his head and Puck starts to drop his arms, even as Kurt tips his head up. It's not really a kiss, it's more just Kurt brushing his lips over Puck's and Puck just lets him.

"Last night meant everything to me."

"You're with Blaine," he can't be hearing things like this, because it's this that makes him think maybe being like Rachel isn't so bad, and hoping can sometimes get you where you need to be, that maybe sometimes you get that lucky break and it's not on a stage or in a recording studio or in front of a camera. Sometimes it's in a kitchen with a stupidly brilliant boy and the world right there in front of you.

"I haven't been with Blaine since you held our daughter in your arms." Kurt looks so sincere, and Puck does want to just give in, to stop fighting what he doesn't even want to fight, to just try and not make the same mistakes his mother made. He could do it, he thinks, he could be pretty much whatever Kurt wanted, so long as it made him stay. "I just never believed you wanted me, after everything I did, I just figured I could have you as a partner, to raise our daughter, and that would have to be enough."

Puck has no idea what to do with this. He has no idea how he's supposed to handle these confessions or the nature of their relationship now that Kurt's pretty much admitting it's not obligation that makes him want to be with Puck.

"You never told me about Blaine, you never mentioned the kid you had a crush on at Dalton, or when it started to be more than that. You never even told me when you started dating him." He gets that they were just hooking-up, he's not calling it anything else, because he never got the chance to tell Kurt that he wanted something else, not before Kurt had already started something else with Blaine. "I had to figure all that out on my own, watching you perform at Regionals with him." And it's not just that which stings, the fact that Kurt never said anything. It's that it never meant what it meant to Puck. "We've never been on the same page before, what makes you think we can be now?"

"Because we know? Please, Noah, I get it, I'm sorry. I never knew it was more, I thought you were just blowing off steam with me, experimenting or something. I never figured it was just me." Kurt's fingers clench on Puck's biceps, clinging almost, "Let me make it up, please. I can do anything you want, I swear. I just want us to try; I just want us to prove that we can do this, that it's not impossible." Puck's not sure what Kurt wants to prove, or who he's proving it to, but he's not sure if he's really got the strength to say no.

"I can't turn into my parents." It's as honest as he can get about this. "I won't be my mother in seven years' time, cursing you for not trying hard enough and hating myself for loving you anyway." He knew he could try it; he knew that he could go for things with Kurt and try to do whatever it took to make them work. But he wasn't sure if Kurt understood the seriousness of it. "You need to decide what you want. Because I'm not Blaine, I'm never going to be Blaine. And if he's what you want, then stay with him. I'm not making this decision for you." Puck is saved from having to further the conversation by Hannah, grumbling in the bedroom as she wakes up. It means Puck can busy himself with their daughter; he can leave Kurt to his thoughts and decisions and take care of Hannah now.

It feels like a bit of a cop out, but he's sort of glad that Kurt disappears (out with Blaine or Mercedes or Rachel or whatever) while Santana comes over when Finn comes home to wait for Carole and Burt. Hannah's still fighting off the infection though, so she mostly just curls up with whoever is nearest and sits quietly, playing with whatever is closest to hand. He's sitting with Santana later, Hannah sleeping on San's chest, both of them lying out on Puck's bed while Finn is downstairs talking with the adults.

"I slept with Kurt last night." San is probably the only one he could honestly talk to about this and have it make sense, because she figured things out on her own, she knew how he worked. Even if Finn knew that Puck felt something for Kurt, he probably didn't know what. San did.

"Are you guys getting together?" She understands being in love with someone and not really getting it, she understands caring but showing it the wrong way, she gets being afraid of your own feelings. "Cause you know we'd be behind you, hundred percent. Me and Finn." Finn's been hinting at it, not enough that Puck could honestly say that Finn didn't like Blaine, but enough that Puck knows that Finn isn't Blaine's biggest fan.

"I don't know." He cups the back of his daughters head, stroking her soft hair, his fingers brushing against Santana's where they spread over Hannah's back to hold her against San's chest. "He's still technically with Blaine." But Kurt said he hadn't really been in that relationship since Hannah was born, that he wasn't just looking at them because of her. Puck didn't know what to think yet.

"So, you're just letting him decide? Even if he picks the easy option, even if he sticks with the Hobbit?" Puck just nods, shifting closer to lie on his side, head close to San's shoulder on the bed, hand still smoothing over Hannah's head. "If he breaks your heart again, I swear to God, I'm gonna castrate the little princess." He doesn't comment, just smirks slightly and stays where he is.

Even if they aren't really touching, it's sort of like a hug and it's pretty helpful by itself.

#

School and Regionals and general life sort of gets in the way of Kurt and Puck actually talking about anything.

They have rehearsals almost constantly in the run up to Regionals, Rachel is like a slave driver, but it does make them near flawless. They pull out some impressive things; Santana and Rachel singing a duet, Mike and Britt's dancing, a little hip-hop in their group number for Artie. It's new, and fun, and they take the show easily. Nationals are in California this year, so it's not New York, but it's not Ohio either.

Puck hears from Quinn that Blaine and Kurt broke up again, and it might be for good this time.

"Have you like, heard anything?"

"Like, what?" Puck does still live with Kurt, so he was privy to a lot of the arguments that Kurt had with Blaine, most of them over the phone so he was only getting one side of them. But there hadn't been anything lately, and with their slightly hectic week and a half, he hasn't actually had the chance to sit and talk to Kurt since the morning after their hospital visit.

"Like the reason why? Last time it was Kurt's unwillingness to go away for winter break, the time before that it was Blaine's pushing for Kurt to stay in Lima until Blaine graduated, the time before that it was the whole sex issue, the time before that,"

"No, okay." He really doesn't need the run down on each of Kurt and Blaine's break ups and the reasons behind them. "I have no idea. Ask Finn." Or Mercedes, although if Quinn is looking for gossip then it's possible that Mercedes doesn't have it, because those two are tight.

But it does sort of stick with him for the rest of the day. Kurt broke up with Blaine, or Blaine broke up with Kurt, what if that was what it was? What if Kurt had picked Blaine, but Blaine had broken up with him? Would it matter? Did it change anything? What if Blaine knew that Kurt cheated on him? Puck had no hope in hell on concentrating during history when all he could think about was Kurt and Blaine's latest break up. It doesn't help that he can hear little rumours (the weirdest is that Blaine's leaving with the circus, but it's always a dream) because by now, news of Kurt's relationship is the kind of gossip people will talk about.

"Hey," he walks into the choir room during his study period, because if he's not catching up on a little sleep (like when Hannah is really fussy at night) then he'll head to the choir room to work on some stuff or just jam and relax. It's not a secret, so it doesn't surprise him that Kurt knows where he'd be.

"Hi." It feels a little lame, just a touch surreal too, considering all they've been and done and whatever. They aren't meant to have those hesitant moments, those unsure little quirks to things.

"I broke up with Blaine." He's not surprised to find himself relieved at how the end of that relationship played out. Because it means Kurt made the decision. "I want to try. I know we can't promise it'll be perfect, or even that it'll be everything we hope, but I want to try." They just sort of cover the space between each other, Puck moving forwards into the room and Kurt taking small steps from the risers to where Puck stands. "I don't want to look at Hannah and always wonder, what if we'd tried? I don't want her to grow up thinking we didn't love each other, because I do. I do love you and I know you love me, and that's all I need."

It's all Puck really wants. He doesn't need the confessions or the dates or the remembered anniversaries or the serenades. He just needs to know that Kurt loves him and that they both love Hannah and it's enough, isn't it? He wants to stop fighting how he feels.

"I've never done this relationship thing before." He doesn't really know how it works, because he's never had one.

"It's okay," Kurt's fingers graze over Puck's sort of drawing him in to link their fingers, "you were actually pretty good at it when I was trying to pretend it wasn't what I wanted from you." Puck just sort of smiled, because he knew they were an almost-relationship when all they'd been looking for was sex.

"Just don't expect me to get it right all the time." Kurt starts to lean forward, body angling into Puck's.

"I'll talk you through the difficult stuff." Their lips meet in a soft kiss, Kurt's fingers squeezing at Puck's just as lightly before they pull apart. "But we should keep things quiet for about a week. That way, Santana wins the bet on when we get together and she's more likely to babysit if we need her."

"Please, you just have to mention it to her and she'll change her plans. That girl has a maternal streak a mile wide. Finn's in big trouble." It's all deceptively easy, just how they can slip into it. But in the privacy of the choir room it's simple to just lean against the piano and make out. They'll have to deal with the world later; with Blaine, with Finn and Santana, with Carole and Burt, with managing themselves as a pair instead of two separates, with their future. It can all come later though, because Puck's sort of missed just living in the moment for a while.

#