Puck woke up to the feeling of being almost dragged out of his own bed.
He opened his eyes cautiously – the bedroom was flooded with light; it was already morning. Probably Saturday, since he didn't hear his alarm going off and, when he focused a little, he could just make out the smiling, dark-haired form of his daughter standing next to the bed.
He smiled contendedly, blindly reaching out his right hand to wake Kurt up. However, his fingers only brushed thin air. Puck frowned. If his husband wasn't in bed with him, it could only mean two things – either he was already downstairs making breakfast, or…
Oh, hell. Puck squeezed his eyes shut, remembering the previous night.
"It's not up for discussion, Kurt. I don't want another kid!"
They were standing in the kitchen, the half-eaten dinner forgotten on the table. Puck was trying to keep his voice down and not wake up Emily. Kurt, on the other hand, was almost blind with rage.
"Is that why I should ignore what I want? Simply because you don't find it convenient?"
"That's not it! God, just look at us, Kurt – we barely manage to pay rent every month, and that's counting the money Burt sends us. We just can't afford another screaming mouth to feed right now!" Puck shouted in response, cringing at his words. He'd never had his way with them, and they have always caused him more problems than he would have liked.
"What are you saying, then? Should I get a job? Should I let our daughter be raised by nannies and become a weekend parent? Because, in case you haven't noticed, that's your role in this family!" Kurt threw a wine glass into the sink violently. The sound of breaking glass echoed in the kitchen.
"Now you're just being unfair! The only reason I work my ass off in a job I hate is keeping the two of you comfortable and giving you a roof over your heads. You have no right to accuse me of not being there for my daughter!"
"Yeah, well, the time will come when you won't be able to buy her affection anymore."
Puck's nostrilis flared. He saw red.
"Would you listen to yourself? If I was home more, I would be in work less, and if I was in work less, you know damn good what would happen! You know, Kurt, I used to do what I liked before you got pregnant with a kid I didn't even want in the first place!"
And in that moment, he knew he'd gone too far. Kurt's pose went even more tense than it already was, his back straight as a ruler, head defiantly raised, but eyes darting over the floor. When he spoke again, it was in a light, trembling voice.
"Sorry for reminding you, but you're the one who knocked me up," Kurt's breath was shaky. "And you know what? I'll just do what you want. Give me a couple of days and we're out of your life, so you can pursue your dream of being a rockstar."
Puck only realized his eyes were full of tears when one of them slipped down his cheek. Perfectly synchronized with Kurt's dramatic departure, it slid down his nose and splashed on the floor just as the kitchen door closed with a bang.
"Dad, wake up! You gotta help me!"
A small voice interrupted his thoughts.
Puck glanced up. Emily was still standing by his bed, blinking at him, a little scared. He just held his daughter's gaze for a moment. She was the most beautiful little girl he'd ever seen – the perfect combination of Kurt and himself. Big, blue-green eyes, dark, curly hair and a beautiful little dress Kurt had bought even before she was born because he'd just liked it so much.
How could Kurt thing he wouldn't want another beautiful little person like Emily was in his life?
True, Puck almost always said something entirely inappropriate, but he'd hoped Kurt was the one that understood him. He was just trying to be practical; another baby would mean a ton of money they just really didn't have. He wanted the best for his family – maybe wait a year or two more, untill he could get a promotion in the law firm he hated so much, move into a nicer house, one with a garden in the back and a view of something other than a busy road; and only then give Emily a sibling. He was actually looking forward to that – making love to Kurt knowing they are creating a new life, going to the doctor's appointments, riding out in the middle of the night to buy pickles and holding his husband's hand whenever he needed him to.
If it was up to Puck, he would maybe start considering having a first baby around now – with a steady job and a bit of savings.
But, as it was, he managed to get Kurt pregnant by the time they were 19 and he had had to change his plans quite a bit. Burt, of course, helped them a lot, but it was still fascinating that they managed to maintain a fairly domestic life in only four years.
He could, however, very probably see where Kurt's desire to have another child was coming from.
Kurt was planning on going to college before he got pregnant with Emily. He'd wanted to act and sing and be a star, but the further into the pregnancy he was, the less he missed the things he'd thought he dreamed of. He was glowing for all nine months and he was fucking beautiful, if anyone asked Puck.
And after their daughter was born, he surprised everyone, even himself, with how good a parent he actually was. Puck had always thought that with Burt for a father, Kurt had a plenty to learn from. It was only natural tht he would want another baby with time, even though four years ago, just after giving birth, he swore he was never going to go through a pregnancy again.
"Dad, Daddy is sick!" Emily was almost crying now, her big eyes bright.
That caught Puck's attention.
"What do you mean, Princess?"
"He's in the bathroom and he's kneeling by the toilet! You always tell me not to kneel on the ground, so there has to be something wrong!"
Puck frowned. Kurt had a strong stomach; he practically never got sick.
He sat up, bracing his feet on the floor. He pulled his t-shirt over his head and held out a hand for Emily to take.
"Come show me, Princess."
They walked out of the bedroom and down the corridor to the white bathroom door. Puck knocked tentatively, not sure how his husband was going to take his presence.
The only answer he got was a violent retching sound. Puck's frown deepened. He knocked again and received the same answer. He tried the doorknob – a soft click told him the door was open. He turned to his daughter.
"Did Daddy make you breakfast?" The little girl nodded, wiping her eyes.
"Why don't you go finish it, then? I'll take care of Daddy and we'll be right down."
"Okay," Emily nodded and took off down the stairs. Puck released a breath he didn't realize he was holding. Whatever was going on behind the bathroom door, his daughter didn't need to see it.
"Kurt? I'm going in."
He opened the door, slowly stepping inside. The sight in front of him did nothing to ease the feeling of guilt, already gnawing at his stomach because of last night. Kurt was indeed kneeling on the cold tiled floor, his hands gripping the toilet so hard his knuckles went white. His messy hair stuck to his forehead, sticky with sweat.
"What the fuck?" Puck murmured. He took another step and reached out for Kurt's shoulder, but his hand only caught air. Again.
Kurt glared at him murderously with glazed eyes, wiping at his mouth.
"Get out." His voice was hoarse and barely audible, which didn't exactly calm Puck down.
"No fucking way, man! Something's wrong with you, I'm not gonna leave you on the bathroom floor."
Kurt stood up shakily, bracing himself on the edge of the toilet seat and flushing.
"I said get out. I don't need your damn help," he said, taking a few shaky steps. Before Puck knew what was happening, the bathroom door was slammed into his face.
Okay. What the fuck just happened?
"Don't worry, Princess. Daddy is just taking his time, you know he always wants to be pretty."
Puck was kneeling on the bedroom floor, trying to coerce his daughter into wearing the dress for her ballet lesson. He silently cursed Kurt – his husband had promised to dress Emily up in a few clipped sentences he exchanged with Puck that morning.
It's already been four days since The Argument and Kurt still wasn't up to talking about anything other than their daughter. He banished Puck onto the couch, stopped making breakfast for him and brushed off all of Puck's efforts to apologize. And, or so it seemed, didn't even bother to fullfill his promises anymore.
"But Daddy always dresses me up! And you don't know how to braid my hair the right way!" Emily looked close to tears. Puck wanted to snap at her, but that would only make things worse (and Kurt hate him more), so he sighed and stood up instead.
"Allright. You stay here, I'll go get Daddy for you." When the dark-haired girl nodded enthusiastically and flopped down on the bed, Puck walked out of the bedroom.
"Kurt?" He shouted down the stairs, but only got silence in response. Shrugging, he set to explore the first floor, peeking into every doorway.
Not surprisingly, he found Kurt in the bathroom. Suprisingly, he wasn't applying make-up. On the contrary, it looked a lot like he wanted to get something off his face – he was scrubbing at it intently, rinsing out his mouth at the same time.
Puck took in the sight in front of him and tried not to think about Kurt's ass in those amazingly tight jeans. He looked at his husband's face – Kurt didn't look that good. Actually, combined with the sound of water rushing in the plumbing and a strange, faint stench in the air…
"Have you been throwing up again?"
Kurt's eyes caught his in the mirror. For a split second he looked terrified, like a deer in the headlights, but Puck recognized his mask of indifference the second he slipped it on.
"That's none of your business," Kurt replied and splashed his reddening face with water one last time. He turned, trying to slip past Puck, but the stronger man caught him by his wrist.
"I'm your husband, Kurt. Of course it's my fucking business! We need to get you to a doctor or something…" Puck tried to catch Kurt's eyes, but the younger man was very obiviously avoiding his glance.
Puck felt a cold lump settle in his stomach. Something was going on.
He opened his mouth, but before any words could come out, Kurt took a deep breath and looked Puck in the eye.
"You certainly didn't seem to care about my needs the other day. Don't try to act concerned."
And with that, he left. Moments later, his excited shouting for Emily echoed through the house.
Puck was left standing dumbstruck once again.
What the fuck was that?
The third time it happened, Puck was sitting downstairs in the living room, leafing through an extremely boring, two years old business magazine he found in his car. It was Sunday morning and both Emily and Kurt were still asleep. It would've been a beautiful day with early spring sunlight shining through the window and the smell of brewing coffee filling the air – if it wasn't for the silent treatment Kurt was still giving Puck. He reduced their communication to notes and short sentences passed through by Emily and Puck honestly thought his husband was getting a bit ridiculous. He was still trying to get a chance and explain himself, but Kurt started using the same method he'd had in high school – stuffing his fingers into his ears and singing.
Sighing deeply, Puck turned a page without really seeing it's content, wondering how much longer it was going to be untill one of them snapped and completely ruined whatever was left between them. He was trying to come up with a way to force Kurt to listen to him, when he heard a very suspicious sound.
His hands on the magazine immediately stilled. He unconsciously held his breath, listening to anything out of the ordinary. For a few minutes, there was only silence, but then it came again – a loud, retching sound that made Puck freeze. Something was definitely going on. What if Kurt had some kind of uncurable disease, or cancer like his mother, or…
Well, fuck it.
Puck flew up the stairs, stomping like an elephant horde. He almost kicked the bathroom door open, coming to a halt next to the toilet.
Sure enough, Kurt was kneeling and wiping at his mouth, his hands shaking a little bit. He looked drawn out and pale, still in his pyjamas.
He didn't even have the strenght to protest when Puck pulled him up and helped him stumble back to the bedroom. He pushed Kurt down onto the bed, drawing the covers over him.
"You're going to see a doctor tomorrow, and I'm driving you. You don't have a choice, so I'd rather advise you to stay quiet and get some more sleep. I'll bring you tea." Then he turned and stomped out, all the time mumbling under his nose.
The fourth time wasn't at all unexpected, though that doesn't mean it was welcome.
It was a Tuesday and Kurt and Puck were sitting in front of the doctor's office, waiting for Kurt's blood test results, when the younger man suddendly stood up and ran to the bathroom. He managed to wave dismissively at Puck before he dissapeared, leaving his husband outside listening to Kurt's painful heaves.
When Kurt returned, he was called straight into 's office. Puck stood up to go with him, but the door was slammed in his face, the doctor's name mockingly glaring at him from a little golden nameplate right in front of his nose.
So Kurt didn't want him to know. Considering the way things were with them, it was no surprise, but it still fucking hurt.
Kurt emerged twenty minutes later, looking even worse than he did before, if that was possible. He didn't say a word, followed Puck to his car and got in.
The whole ride was spent in silence, interrupted only by Neil Diamond's lyrics from the radio.
That night, Puck woke to a thin stripe of light burning on his forehead. He blinked a few times, confused, untill he realized the lights were on in the kitchen. He stood up, opening the door.
Kurt was leaning with his back to the kitchen counter, watching the steam coming out of his mug of tea. He looked deep in thought, but still too pale and drawn out for Puck's liking. When Kurt heard the living room floor creak, he turned his head sharply, taking in his husband's half-naked form standing in the doorway, watching him with a thoughtful expression.
"What are you doing up?" Puck asked gruffly, not really expecting an answer. He took a few more steps into the kitchen, reaching the fridge and pulling out a bottle of milk. He was already up, there was no harm in having a late-night snack.
Puck almost dropped the bottle, hearing Kurt's response. He hasn't heard his husband's voice in almost three days, he realized. It was always post-it notes or gestures or facial expressions, but he hasn't heard the sweet, flowing sound only Kurt could make.
"You better get back to bed. You're sick, you should rest," he replied, pouring the milk into a pot and setting in on the stove to warm.
Kurt scoffed behind his back. "You don't know that."
"Right, because I asked to be left in the fucking corridor while you were getting your results. I can only assume, and since you've been puking your guts out for more than two weeks, I'm pretty sure my assumption is right." He didn't look at Kurt; it hurt. He focused on picking a calming color of his mug, instead.
"You don't know anything, Noah. Anything."
"Sure I don't. And it's my falut, isn't that right? I'm sick of you, Kurt. You won't even hear me out when I want to explain! You're shutting yourself out and I fucking hate seeing you in pain and not being able to help!" Mugs be damned, he turned to face Kurt. The other man was trembling, hands holding his tea in front of him protectively.
"Well, don't worry. Emily and I are leaving tomorrow, so if I will be 'puking my guts out', as you so eloquently put it, it won't be in your bathroom."
"I don't—wait, what? You couldn't have said what I think you just said."
"No, you're not." Puck had to fight not to slam his fist into the wall. When exactly did things get so fucked up? And where the hell did Kurt get the idea of Puck not wanting him in their house?
"Yes we are, Noah! Can't you see it? We're drifting apart! I want a baby – you don't. That's a major difference! A relationship can't work if the people in it want different things." Kurt's eyes were filled with tears, though he probably didn't even realize it.
Puck was rendered speechless. During the weeks of the silent treatment, Kurt had obiviously blown up their argument into an inhuman size, but…this was just ridiculous.
"We don't want different things, for Christ's sake! I never said I didn't want to give Emily a sibling. I've been trying to make you see it from the practical point of view – we're already thin with money, we just couldn't afford another kid! But you wouldn't listen, would you? Fuck, I don't want you to move out. Nothing's changed, I love you, I love Emily and I'm gonna love all the kids we're gonna have, but just…not now!"
There was something akin to hope in Kurt's eyes, but during Puck's speech, it dissapeared before it could even spark. Kurt shut his eyes against the burning he felt in them and took a gulp of his lukewarm tea.
"I—I called my dad already. He's waiting for us…"
"No fucking way, Kurt. I'm not going to let you walk out of that door with our daughter. Didn't you hear what I just said? I thought you'd understand."
"I…I heard. And I do. Understand. But it doesn't change anything, not now…"
Puck blinked. Then he blinked again. He was obiviously missing something. It felt big. Important.
"What aren't you telling me?" Kurt's eyes shot up and found his, fear clearly reflected in their blue-green depths.
"There—there's nothing else. I've already explained, Noah."
"The fuck you did," Puck replied. And then an idea sprang into his head. "You're not trying to spare me the pain of losing you because you're dying of cancer or some bullshit like that, are you?"
Kurt actually almost laughed – it was a sad sound, though, like a bird singing in a cage.
"I'm not, Noah, I swear. But I…you're obiviously set on this. And I understand, I do, it's just…too late."
Okay. Now, Puck just felt plain dumb.
He saw Kurt closing his eyes – he was obiviously supposed to figure something out right about now, but his mind felt blank. If Kurt wasn't dying, and finally understood Puck's reasoning for not having a baby, then why the hell was it too late? Too late for what, anyway?
And then, like a scary, gigantic pieces of puzzle, things started to click together.
Kurt was throwing up. A lot. Mostly in the mornings.
He was obiviously overly emotional. Even for him.
He didn't want Puck to see his blood results.
And God, did he just hold a hand over his stomach?
Yeah, that felt important enough. Except Puck just couldn't believe it. This couldn't be happening. Not now. Not Kurt. He wasn't-
"I'm pregnant, Noah."
Okay, so he was. Puck blinked again.
"But that's—how? I'm pretty sure we've been careful," he sat down behind the kitchen table, stunned. His mind felt blank, all the implications of Kurt being pregnant slowly rising somewhere in the back of his brain. He risked a glance at his husband; Kurt looked almost livid under the white kitchen lights, the black circles under his eyes standing out. It struck Puck for the first time how much stress the younger man must've been under, discovering he was pregnant and thinking Puck was going to kick him out – or whatever it was he'd thought. Stress wasn't good for the baby, that much Puck knew.
"You know these things aren't so reliable, I guess the condom broke or something…I'm so sorry, Noah."
Puck frowned. "What for?"
"For getting you into this. For…not being careful enough. I should have known better than to press you into having another baby. I know you love Emily and…I'm so sorry for throwing away what we had."
Puck was frowning so much it hurt. He shloud resolve this as soon as possible; he didn't want his current facial expression to become permanent.
"What the hell are you talking about? You didn't throw away anything." Wait. Could Kurt really… "You think I'm going to break up with you? You think I'm a big enough jerk to send you away with our daughter and our baby?"
Kurt's downcast glance was answer enough.
"Wow. You amount of trust in me is astounding." Puck continued, his voice dripping with sarcasm. Kurt looked like he was about to cry again.
"It's not…it's not that, Noah. I just didn't want to trap you with a baby you don't want…" Kurt quietly said.
And just like that, Puck's anger was gone, leaving an overwhelming feeling of sadness in it's wake. How did they come to this?
"Kurt…" he was about to say he won't let Kurt get away, looking into his husband's eyes. The bluish orbs stared worriedly back at him.
And then realization hit home. That something, preventing all the new, crazy things he'd learned from surfacing, suddendly dissapeared and Puck was left with one big, crystal clear information written in capital letters: Kurt was pregnant. His beautiful, charming, smart husband was going to carry another baby the two of them created.
It meant he was going to have to turn into a slave in his law firm to get a promotion.
It meant sleepless nights and lots of crying and headaches.
It meant lots of awesome pregnant sex.
It meant having another little person with huge, bright eyes and soft hair he could love and protect.
It meant Kurt being weirdly emotional, Kurt wanting fish fingers with custard in the middle of the night, Kurt complaining about looking like a basketball, Kurt being beautiful and glowing and happy and…
Puck was sure as hell going to be a part of it, damn the timing. He blinked at his husband, slowly.
Kurt's worried expression was still firmly in place.
"Yes, I just told you." He honestly didn't understand why Puck's eyes were shining. And why the hell was he smiling?
"But…you're pregnant. Don't you get it?"
Kurt subconsiously placed a protective hand over his stomach.
"I'm afraid I don't."
"We're going to have a baby!" Puck suddendly got up and, without a warning, pressed his lips to Kurt's, his arms encircling Kurt's waist. Despite the feeling of warmth in his chest, the younger man frowned.
"I'm not going to ask why you sound so surprised – of course I'm happy. We're fucking going to have a baby, Kurt!"
Puck placed one hand on Kurt's still flat stomach, a warm smile on his face.
Kurt almost flinched at the sensation. Puck's hand was just as big and warm and calloused as it always had been. It felt amazing. It felt right.
It occurred to Kurt that maybe, just maybe, he had been acting a bit too dramatically. He also remebered the former reason of their argument, though.
"But what about money? You said we can't afford a baby…"
Puck just smiled, pulling Kurt closer. He buried his nose in his husband's hair and breathed in the familiar scent.
"Well, since your old man is already expecting you and Emily, I'll just take a few days of vacation and go beg my father-in-law for one more loan. And then I'll come back and work my ass off. I just…I want you to know I'm going to make this work, okay? We certainly didn't plan for it , but I'm not letting you walk away."
Puck felt Kurt caress his cheek. He carefully stored the look he received at the words to his memory, so he could recall it while he was sitting in his office after hours, finishing up a contract.
"I…" Kurt's voice hitched, "I love you, Noah. I really do. I was just…angry I didn't get my way."
Puck kissed him again.
"I love you too, Hummel," he murmured.
"You forget I'm not just Hummel anymore," Kurt chuckled, snaking his arms around his husband's broad shoulders. "Our wedding anniversary is in two days."
"Think we could give your old man a present?" Puck laughed, placing his hands back on Kurt's stomach. He only got a smile and a kiss in response.
Later that night, Puck was laying in their bed, staring at the ceiling. It certainly felt good to lay on an actual mattress again. He tried to just close his eyes and sleep, but soon found out it didn't work. There were too many things running through his head.
He was already quite familiar with the thought of having a second baby, since he and Kurt have spent more than an hour just talking about what's it going to be like.
There were other things bothering him. Despite the fact that they cleared eveything up and their argument was already forgotten, he couldn't help but wonder how much of what he said Kurt had really meant.
He worked a lot, that much was true, but he thought Kurt realized it was all for his family. He wanted to keep them comfortable and financially secure. It was understandable…wasn't it?
Almost as if he'd heard his thoughts, Kurt stirred next to him. Moments later, his small hand gripped Puck's elbow.
"Noah," he croaked out in a sleepy voice.
"I don't think you're a weekend parent."
Puck met the younger man's gaze – it was gentle, full of love shining deep within the blue-green orbs. It was impossible not to believe him.
"I know," Puck smiled, and kissed his husband. He flattened his hand against Kurt's abdomen, silently woving to protect their unborn child.
This was going to be great.