Title: An Irrational Hatred of Michael J Fox (a Glee/Firefly cross-over)
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Puck, Jayne, Mal, Zoe, slight Puck/Kurt ending
Genre: Angst, Sci-fi, cross-over
Warning: Unexplained time-travel, unbeta'd
Spoilers: S1, ep 3x09 wardrobe
Disclaimer: Glee is not mine, at all.
Author Notes: Written for a prompt in the puckurt fic meme over on LJ. Mostly a Puck story, with some slight Puck/Kurt shoehorned in at the end! Also, it's been awhile since I've watched Firefly, so hopefully I didn't mangle the speech patterns too badly.
Summary: Puck's father didn't leave Lima to launch his music career. He left his guitar, the planet and the whole damn era behind.
Word Count: 1500ish
Noah knew he was supposed to be in bed, that if his dad caught him up and wandering around the house, there would be hell to pay. He'd probably make Noah clean all the guns, even though his Dad never used them, except for hunting in the fall, so why did they even need to be cleaned? It was just ... Noah forgot his Black Ranger action figure in the kitchen and what if he wanted to play Power Rangers when he inevitably woke up in the middle of the night and wasn't supposed to bother his Ma, because she was tired from feeding the baby?
So Noah crept through the house, as quietly as he could, hoping his Dad was still out getting diapers or "sloshed", whatever that was. He didn't count on his dad leaning against one of the kitchen counters, his face full of shadows from the solitary light above the stove. And, Dad wasn't alone.
"Took you long enough," he said in a harsh whisper to someone that Noah couldn't quite see until, holding his breath, he moved a little closer and peeked around the corner into the room. There were two someones - a black woman with big, curly hair in a loose ponytail at the nape of her neck, and a man. The man had a smirk on his face, even though Dad looked super pissed, and his hair was kinda swoopy, like that guy on the news, only cooler. The fact that he was wearing suspenders didn't seem lame at all, especially since he was also wearing worn, dusty boots and a pistol strapped to his leg.
Noah's dad had his arms crossed over his chest as he continued, "I been here eleven gorram years, Cap'. I started a life here when it looked like you weren't comin' after me. Now you reckon I'm just gonna up and leave?"
Leave? Why would Noah's dad leave? He knew his dad wasn't happy here - the man said as much often enough - but it was a man's duty to stick with his family, wasn't t? That's what he always said. Clenching his jaw, Noah watched and waited for his dad to tell those people that his family - that Noah - was more important than anything they could offer.
"Eleven years?" the "Cap" exclaimed with a wry half-grin. "You know, I thought you looked a little ragged. Doesn't Jayne look a little ragged, Zo?"
"He does, indeed, Captain," the woman replied, her grin mirroring the man's. Noah wanted to punch the smiles off their smug faces, but his dad had taught him not to start fights he couldn't win. (Of course he also taught Noah how to fight so he had a better chance of winning, but two armed grown-ups against one ten-year-old wasn't a fight he could ever win.)
"Well, gee," the Captain continued, "eleven years! And here I thought the raggediness was on account of the water bein' all historical and unsanitized or somethin'. And really, could you fault us, Jayne? It's not like we had a time-machine where we could just punch in the numbers and pick you back up five minutes after your escape pod landed here. Getting here was a major ordeal. River almost broke her brain making it happen and if we're gonna get back-"
"Oh, we're gonna get back, sir," the woman cut in.
The captain nodded shortly at her interjection and said, "If we're gonna get back to our own time, we gotta go now, Jayne. I understand you're a family man now, and a man's gotta do right by-"
"Screw that," Noah's dad interrupted, to Noah's surprise, and the visitors seemed surprised, too.
The woman, her voice a little softer than it had been, asked, "Are you sure you don't-"
"What? Wanna stay here with that annoying woman and two whiny brats? Nah, I'm comin' with you folks, where I belong."
Noah felt like he couldn't breathe as his chest caved in and tears stung in the corners of his eyes. This couldn't be it. This couldn't be the day his dad stopped talking about leaving and actually did it. No! What about family?
The captain opened his mouth like he was going to say something (Please, say something!), but then closed it again with a snap and shrugged. "It's your life and your - they're your spawn, ain't they?"
"Do I look like the kind of man who would raise someone else's little ones?" Noah's dad scoffed, standing up from his lean on the counter and opening the high cupboard that no one was allowed into, pulling out Vera and a few other weapons.
"Nope," the captain replied, popping his 'p' in a flippant way that made Noah want to scream. "I reckon that's that."
"I reckon so," Noah's dad replied, pulling open the screen door in front of the kitchen door.
It was now or never.
Gathering up his courage, Noah called out, "Wait!" startling all three grown-ups. His dad seemed pretty determined to leave and thinking about how school sucked and the new baby sucked even worse and how no one would let him clean the guns once his dad was gone, Noah plead, "Dad! Take me with you!"
"Who's this?" the captain asked, that wry grin back on his face. "Y'know, Jayne, he does look like you, don't he?" The man reached forward, probably to rough up Noah's hair, but the boy was too fast for him, ducking away with a glare.
His voice all growly in that way that made Noah's heart jump up into his throat in frightened anticipation, Jayne ordered, "Go back to bed, Noah, or so help me..."
"What?" Noah asked defiantly, ignoring his fear. "What would you do, Dad? You're leaving. If you want to punish me, you'll have to take me with you."
"C'mon! You can't just leave me here with them! The baby stinks and Mom hardly notices I'm even here! Please, Dad?"
Getting an awkwardly uncomfortable look on his face, Noah's Dad waved his friends theough the kitchen door and then came back, bending down to take Noah's shoulders in his hands and look him in the eye. "Look, kid. It's dangerous where I'm going and you don't belong there. I need you to stay here and look after your Ma and the baby, huh? You're the man of the house now, Noah."
"You're never coming back, are you?" Noah asked, shrugging away from his father's hands. He felt sick to his stomach and like his heart might explode from beating so fast and so desperately. "The way they were talking..."
When Jayne assured him with a grin, "Sure, I'll be back!" Noah could tell he was lying. And then he was out the door, shaking off the desperate hand Noah flung around his waist, trying to either keep his dad there or force him to take Noah along. But Jayne had big guns (he'd shown Noah what exercises to do to make his arms stronger than anyone else's dad's) and he easily pushed Noah away, making his escape into the night.
Noah wanted to cry, but he didn't let himself. The man of the house didn't cry. It was one of his dad's few rules. Noah also lied to Ma when she asked questions. Noah told her he hadn't seen anything, that he didn't witness his father escaping into the night and back to a different time. She assumed he'd run off to start a band like he'd always threatened to do.
Noah took his mother's last name and became obsessed with protecting his family, even though he couldn't wait until he was old enough to leave this stupid town, too.
He developed an irrational hatred of Michael J. Fox.
But, he still played his dad's guitar and cleaned his dad's guns before selling them for rent money. When he found Jayne's collection of knit hats - which reminded the man of his late mother - Noah took to wearing them during the winter, especially the one with a Mohawk made out of tassels, though he liked the orange one, too. Despite his hatred for what Jayne had done, Puck modeled his grown-up self after memories of his father. It took him a long time to realize how poorly some of the pieces fit.
When he gave his daughter up for adoption, Noah told himself that at least he was still on the planet and in the right time and everything. If Beth needed him, she could find him and maybe he'd tell her about how her grandfather had been a prick who abandoned them to go far, far away and lead a much more interesting life, something he would never, ever do. He would play her songs on Jayne's guitar and give her the Mohawk-hat when her head got big enough to wear it.
As it turned out, Puck would only ever tell one person about where his father had actually gone, because it would be the night before their wedding and Kurt would ask. Puck would be able to tell that Kurt didn't believe him, but it didn't matter. There would be relief in the telling, just the same.