Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue :D
Author Notes: Thank you so much to xlessxthanx3x, wearemagnetised, and mavilous for your help and advice with this story!
The club was dark, lit only by the flashing lights of the dance floor, and the very walls seemed to pulse with the beat of the music. Well-dressed men littered the dance floor, grinding up on each other, and Noah Puckerman took a moment to survey the room, making sure nothing required his immediate presence.
The music was pounding. It wasn't music anymore though, not really. It was a force, moving bodies and bringing unlikely people together. Puck didn't work as a bouncer often (filled in for his friend, Tony, when he needed him to), but the nights he did? The events and people he had witnessed would shock the people from his hometown to the core.
Well, to be fair, it was a gay club. The closest thing Lima had to Posh was Scandals. Last time Puck checked, Scandals didn't have a Zagat review, or, you know, a crowd of over ten people.
Posh was packed. Puck didn't really understand how it could be on a Tuesday night, but there was absolutely no room for Puck to move in without sliding against three or four different guys. Which Puck didn't exactly have a problem with. Especially if they were hot. Especially if they were locking eyes with him and doing very interesting things to the neck of that beer bottle with their mouth.
"PUCK!" Puck broke the gaze with the sexy, sexy man to look over to another sexy, sexy man. Jeff was the 6'5" lanky bartender with a cute boyish grin and a body to die for. He was a swimmer in college and had the chest and shoulders to show for it. Puck recalled licking tequila off his abs fondly. Jeff was a great hook up.
Jeff's smile was nowhere in sight however, his boyish features clouded over in worry and annoyance.
"WHAT'S UP?" It was ridiculous how loudly they had to shout just so they could hear each other.
"WE HAVE A SITUATION AT THE BAR AND JAKE IS TOO BUSY GETTING A BLOWJOB TO HELP." Puck had to laugh. Jake was one of the other bouncers tonight and he had some problems focusing on the job. Well, the bouncing job. Not the blowjob.
"GOT IT." Puck squeezed his way past the muscular redhead that was now blatantly attempting to deepthroat the glass bottle. Damn it. Just as he was going to get his gay ginger on. This situation better be good.
Puck walked the perimeter of the dance floor in an attempt to get to the bar faster. When he made his way past the mass of gyrating bodies, he saw what Jeff was talking about.
At the bar was a smartly dressed young man, trying to nurse his martini. Trying because it's hard drinking out of a glass like that with a man draped over your side.
"Listen, you're really cute. Seriously. But I'm married. And my husband is on his way over here and he's really possessive."
"I'm up for threesomes. Seriously, I bet I could fit both your—"
Puck's laughter was prematurely cut off by the appearance of a very large, very angry looking man.
"HEY!" The man wasted no time grabbing the wrist of the stranger hitting on his husband. "He's taken, twink! So back off!"
The severely intoxicated man didn't miss a beat. He smiled slyly and turned his attention to the man grabbing his wrist. He placed his free hand on the guy's chest and said, "Back off or jerk off? Because like I told Mikey here, I'm up for threesomes."
That did not appease Mikey's husband, whose face took on an even darker hue. Puck decided to intervene before things got too hairy.
"Alright, sir, if you would let go of the gentleman's arm, I could escort him to the back and make sure he gets home safely without disturbing anyone." If college taught Puck anything, it was how to bullshit his way out of anything. Not that he didn't know from high school, but college polished his skills up a bit.
"But we were having so much fun!"
Puck shared an amused look with Mikey, who held his husband back, "I'm sure you were, sweetheart, but you need to come with me."
"Okay! You're hot!" And with that, he threw his arms around Puck's neck and buried his face into his ear.
Puck groaned, knowing he walked into that one. Slowly, but steadily, he led the intoxicated man behind the bar and down the hallway to their supply room. The trek was a long and annoying one, but at least Puck could hear his own thoughts. Florescent lighting and dull remnants of the bass line replaced the darkness and music.
Once he got to the supply room itself, he placed the almost-limp form in his arms on a crate of recently shipped flavored vodka. Once seated, the man looked up at Puck with hazy blue eyes.
Hazy blue eyes that Puck knew. Hazy blue eyes that Puck spent a lot of time looking into at his high school graduation party. Hazy blue eyes that widened in recognition.
So he wasn't that far gone. Good. Not that having to deal with a wasted Kurt Hummel was ever good, but silver lining and all that.
"Hummel, what the hell are you doing here?"
Kurt's eyes weren't entirely focused, "Me? What about you? This is a gaaaaaaay club, Puck. You're not gaaaaaaay." Puck was struggling to hold back laughter.
He was about to respond when a voice interrupted him, "Puck? Jeff told me that you were taking care of a drunk baby gay? I have no idea what that means, but I have his bag!"
Puck turned to the beautiful Asian girl that was making her way down the hallway, "Thanks, Mai. He's going to appreciate it, especially if its Alexander McKing or whatever."
Mai rolled her eyes, "McQueen, Puck, it's McQueen." She handed the bag over to Puck, stealing a glance at the seated Kurt. She squealed, "Oh my, God! He's so cute!"
Kurt winced and Puck laughed, "Calm yourself, Mai. You don't want Mav to think you're leaving her for a dude."
"What's this about Mai leaving me for a dude?" Mai and Puck jumped at the entrance of the aforementioned girlfriend.
The tall, attractive woman looked at Kurt, "Well, if you're going to leave me for a guy, might as well be the prettiest one I've ever seen."
"Mav, you're supposed to be keeping track of the DJ! Now he's going to sneak off to snort coke in the back alleyway!"
"I had to see what you and Puck were up to! You always have these adventures without me." She came up behind Mai and wrapped her hands around her tiny girlfriend's hips, placing her chin on her shoulders. "'Sides, I switched out his bag of coke for a bag of Pixie Stix. The only thing he's going to be high on is sugar."
Mai and Puck cracked up. "And that's why you're my favorite lez. And as hot as it is to watch the two of you together, could you leave me and Hu-Kurt alone for a bit?"
They nodded and waved bye to Kurt before walking back to the club, hand in hand. Puck took a moment to appreciate their asses before turning to the now sleepy looking Kurt.
"Where do you live? And did you come here with anyone?"
It took Kurt a second to respond, "Village. West. And no. Gosh, I'm dizzy."
"Woah, there!" Puck lunged forward to catch Kurt's falling torso. He sat him up again, hands gripping Kurt's upper arms in an effort to keep him that way.
Kurt's head lolled, "I want to go to bed."
"K, we can do that as soon as you give me your address."
"228 West 11th Street."
Puck nearly dropped him, "You're serious?"
Kurt glared from under his half-lidded gaze, "Why would I joke about that?"
They lived ten blocks from each other? Ten blocks. Running into him at the club was a crazy enough coincidence, but this? What was the universe trying to tell him?
"Tell you what. I'll take a cab with you and make sure you get to that bed of yours safely, okay?"
Kurt let his face fall against Puck's chest, "Okay."
Puck managed to guide Kurt out of the club and unto the dark, damp streets of Midtown. He begged off the rest of his shift on to Jake and the other guys, who didn't mind taking over. Mai helped him put on his coat by holding Kurt up with her 5'2" frame. Well, she tried. Mav prevented Kurt from completely toppling over and for that, Puck would be eternally grateful because if Kurt broke his nose or something, Puck would never hear the end of it.
He hailed a cab with the arm that wasn't holding Kurt up by the waist and gently shoved the intoxicated man into the back seat, where he joined him. Puck gave the driver the address and soon they were headed down West Side Highway with Kurt sprawled in Puck's lap and Puck, too tired and still reeling with the shock of seeing Kurt Hummel for the first time in six years, just sitting there watching Kurt's pale face, relaxed in sleep.
They made it to Kurt's building in fifteen minutes, given there were barely any cars on the road at one in the morning. Puck paid the driver and pulled Kurt out of the cab.
"Come on, Hummel. You need to show me which apartment is yours." Puck fished through Kurt's bag until he found a key ring. Trying each of the keys, he finally found the right one for the building. He took a second to read the names next to the doorbells before his eyes landed on a "Hummel" tag next to Apartment 4B. Great, four flights of stairs and not an elevator in sight.
"Work with me, Kurt. We need to go up the stairs." The sleepy Kurt nodded and, with Puck supporting his unsteady frame, he made it up the stairs with minimal incidents.
The pair finally made it in front of 4B. Puck once again played a game of Which Key? As he was trying the second key, the door flew open and Puck found himself face to face with Finn Hudson.
Puck winced, did he have to be so loud? "Yeah, it's me. What are you doing here, Hudson?"
Finn's eyes could not be any wider, "I live here. What are you doing here?"
"He took me home, Finn!" Kurt stumbled past the threshold of the apartment and took a header into Finn's chest. Finn wrapped his arms around Kurt, hugging him to his body.
"What the hell is going on?"
Puck shook his head, weary from the night's events, "Dude, he'll explain when he's sober. I have to go. I'll talk to you later, k?"
He turned to leave. Finn called out after him, "Wait, Puck!" He didn't have a chance to finish, however, as Puck heard Kurt whine, "Finn, I think I'm going to throw up."
Puck paused to listen to the sound of frantic scrambling and the door of the apartment shutting with a slam. He sighed and continued his journey home.
Fifteen minutes later, Puck was lying on his bed, shirtless and worn out. He drifted into sleep wondering if the last hour had actually happened.
"Noah! Noah!" Puck groaned, forcing his eyes open. He felt dead; there was no way he got enough sleep last night. Every muscle in his body protested as he moved to sit up and look at his cousin.
"What, Seth?" Seth Puckerman grinned from where he stood at the foot of the bed.
"Rough night last night?" Puck understood why it is that so many people wanted to rearrange his face when he smirked. It was just annoying.
Wait. Last night. Last night. Kurt. Finn. Gay club. Ten fucking blocks.
Puck groaned and threw himself back into the pillows, "Understatement."
"Yeah, okay. I can see that. But you have to get up."
Puck looked to his bedside clock with bleary eyes, "Seth, it's noon. I don't have to be anywhere. Why am I awake?"
"There's a really pretty dude sitting in our living room, waiting for you."
"WHAT?" Puck jumped out of bed with all the energy of someone who had gotten a lot more sleep than him. He ran out of the room and into the living room.
Kurt Hummel, in all his coiffed glory, sat on the couch, legs crossed and hands folded in his lap.
Puck wasn't wearing a shirt. Or pants. He knew this because Kurt told him so.
"You're not wearing a shirt. Or pants," Kurt said in a tone that took Puck right back to high school. Nothing had changed. His face still flooded with color at the sight of a semi-naked man (messing with him in the locker room senior year was so much fun).
Puck couldn't help it. He laughed. Laughed and laughed and just when he thought he was going to be okay, he made the mistake of looking at Kurt. His incredulous face only sent him into hysterics again.
"What's so funny?" Kurt asked bewildered, after Puck managed to calm down and plopped down on the love seat opposite the couch.
"Nothing, Hummel. I swear." Puck couldn't get rid of the grin on his face, however, "What's up?"
Kurt's jaw dropped open, "What's up? What's up? We run into each other in the middle of Manhattan and then it turns out we live ten blocks apart. We haven't seen each other in six years!"
Oh, good. It wasn't just him, then. "It wasn't so much running into one another as it was me hauling your drunk ass out of a very sticky situation."
Only Kurt Hummel would be able to hold his head up high and turn up his nose in a prissy manner in response to that, but Puck was delighted. Between the red cheeks and crossed arms, Kurt looked exactly like he did right before being tossed into the dumpster.
This was fucking awesome.
"Hummel, dude, whatever you wanted to bitch me out about today, I don't care. I'm really happy to see you." He didn't know why and it could definitely be a result of sleep deprivation, but seeing Kurt (sober!) after six years was amazing.
Kurt's arms loosened in what appeared to be shock and he turned to face Puck head on, eyes wide and mouth slightly open.
"You think I'm here to bitch you out?" Puck crossed his arms and shrugged.
"Yeah, look, I'm sorry if I ruined your clothes or something when I took you home, but I just wanted to make sure you were safe. I can try and replace whatever I ruined, but knowing your shit, I might not have enough—"
"Noah, stop!" Puck shut his mouth immediately. If it wasn't the use of his given name that surprised him, it was the volume he yelled it at.
"How could you think that awfully of me? I know it's been a while, but we were friends at some point." Kurt uncrossed his legs and leaned forward so that he was at the edge of his seat. He locked gazes with Puck and said, voice as serious as Puck has ever heard it, "I came here to thank you. Thank you for being an amazing person and going beyond the requirements of your job to make sure I got home safely."
Puck smiled, "Dude, it was no—"
"No, it was a big deal. Noah, I was so out of it last night," his face colored "I'm pretty sure I would have gotten hurt or," his face took on a darker hue "um, hurt someone else if you hadn't stepped in."
Puck grinned, "Yeah, safe to say, you were more of a threat to others than vice versa."
Kurt groaned and buried his face in his hands, "Why did you have to witness that of all things? I swear, I've never been that drunk in my life." Kurt paused, face screwing up in regret, "Or that slutty." Puck laughed.
"Hey, I've been there a couple of times."
Kurt shook his head, "That's the insane part. I don't drink. I rarely have time to go out and when I do, I don't really drink. Last night was just a result of someone saying something at work—" He cut himself abruptly, face flooding with color again.
Puck was curious, but didn't want to pry. Much. "Seriously, dude. No biggie. Also, if you being plastered meant that I got to see you again, so be it."
Kurt looked up at him, a smile slowly making its way across his face, "That might have been the sweetest thing you've ever said to me."
"What, 'Hummel, get into the dumpster' wasn't nice?" They both laughed.
"I'm glad I can look back and laugh, Puckerman. Do you have any idea how many outfits you ruined?"
Puck winced, ashamed, "Sorry, man. I was a dick."
"You more than made up for it last night, Noah. Really." There go the chills again. Maybe he should put on a shirt or something.
Kurt continued, "I actually came here to thank you for that. Do you think you have time to have lunch with me today?"
Puck blinked, "Dude, you don't have to—"
"But I want to!" Kurt jumped off the couch and dropped on to the love seat next to Puck. He didn't seem to mind being in such proximity to Puck's nearly naked form. Puck certainly didn't mind, although the goosebumps that popped up, well, everywhere were probably going to get awkward.
"Noah, please. We can catch up and eat at this really adorable café with this delicious tomato soup and watch the people in the park go about their pre-Christmas season and, you know, have fun." He said the last bit with all the grace of a five year old presenting the same argument and Puck couldn't help but say yes.
"Okay, we can do that." Kurt squealed, face lighting up with excitement and he threw his arms around Puck's neck, initiating an exuberant hug. Puck returned it, while starting a countdown in his head.
Three, two, one…
Kurt jumped back as quickly and suddenly as he jumped on Puck. For the umpteenth time in the last fifteen minutes, his face glowed red.
"Um, you should probably put on clothes, then."
Puck smirked, "You don't say?"
"I do." Kurt smiled through his embarrassment.
"Give me ten minutes to shower and get dressed and then we can go, k?"
Kurt nodded, "Sure. I'm sure I can entertain myself with your copy of—" he picked up a magazine off of the coffee table in front of him. "—Maxim." His face screwed up in disgust as he read off the title and threw the offending magazine back on the table as if it burned him.
Puck threw back his head and laughed, long and loud. "I've missed you, Hummel."
The smile Kurt bestowed upon him nearly stopped his heart.
Thirteen minutes later, they were on the sidewalk in front of Puck's apartment. They were held up a bit by Puck's cousin incessantly asking questions ("No, Seth, we haven't fucked. We went to high school together." "My point."), but managed to get away.
"So, what train should we take? Where is this place, anyway?"
"Central Park. And we're taking a cab. I love the train, but the week before Christmas? Filled with insane shoppers and teenagers high off the excitement of winter break. No, thank you."
Kurt hailed a cab effortlessly and opened the door for Puck. Bowing gallantly, he said, "After you."
Puck grinned, "You do that well. Did you get a job as a doorman?"
Kurt squawked and pushed him in the cab with surprising strength. Puck chuckled. As Kurt made his way into the seat next to him, he remarked, "You also did that well. Maybe you're a member of the NYPD? New York's finest?"
"New York's finest, yes. Cop, no. The uniform was too gaudy." He mock shuddered and turned to give the address to the waiting driver.
The ride was executed in silence, with the two of them taking in the sights of the city at Christmastime. It truly was the Eighth Wonder of the World.
As they got out of the cab, Kurt paused. They were on the corner of Central Park West and 68th. Puck turned to the quiet man, "You okay?"
Kurt's face was one of wonder, "It's funny. I've lived in the city for six years now and still can't believe it. It's gorgeous, isn't it?"
Puck looked at the tall buildings across the street and then at the entrance of the park. Old and new. Nature and mankind. Green and gray.
"Yeah, Hummel. It really is."
Kurt took in a deep breath and released it, "Alright, let's go! The restaurant is kind of in the middle, so we have a little bit of a walk."
Together, they walked into the park. Side by side, they trekked in silence, listening to the noise of the people beside them. There was a thin layer of white snow covering the park, remnants of last night's snowfall. It crunched beneath their feet and reminded Puck of Ohioan winters. It was poetic that he was sharing the walk with a fellow Ohioan. Not that he'd ever call Kurt that to his face. He'd probably throw a fit.
The restaurant wasn't crowded and for that Puck was grateful. As much as Puck was looking forward to the food (which was as excellent as Kurt described), he was really looking forward to finding out what Kurt was up to for the last six years. And how the hell he had ended up at the club last night.
As they dug into their soups and sandwiches, Puck asked, "So, the Village, huh?"
Kurt grinned from over his butternut squash bisque, "Where else is a boy like me going to live in a city like this? But, seriously, I made friends with an elderly lady during college. Lana Latruna. Amazing woman. She did costumes for Broadway shows for over 40 years. When she passed away, she left me the lease to her apartment. Her partner had passed away a while ago and she didn't have any other living family members." Kurt shrugged, "It's the only way we could afford the place. Her lease was rent-controlled."
Puck nodded in understanding, "Yeah, and when did Finn come into the picture. He went to OSU, right?"
"Yes, he went for teaching and music. He visited me a lot during college, after him and Rachel broke up. Finn fell in love with the city and asked if he could live with me while he was getting his Master's in Teaching and New York Teaching License. I jumped on the chance to have a roommate I actually liked, so I said yes. He's almost done with the Master's and working as a substitute for now."
Puck grinned, "So, he's the new Schue?"
Kurt laughed, "Exactly! I wanted to make fun of it so much, but even I teared up when I saw Schue's face after Finn told him what he wanted to do with his life."
"That man is and always will be a softie."
"Finn or Schue?" And the two laughed again.
They both took a couple of more bites of their food, "What about you? How'd you end up in the Village? Or New York for that matter?"
Puck shrugged, "I went to OSU with Finn for the first year, but transferred to a school on the East Coast for the last three years of college."
At Kurt's questioning eyebrow, he elaborated, "So, I'm registering for classes first term freshman year, yeah? And fuck if I know what the fuck to take, so I pick four random classes."
Kurt snorts, "Oh, this should be good."
Puck smirked, "Me being an idiot, I didn't even look at the class titles, just where I had to be and when."
"So what was the final line up?"
"Econ 101, The Chemistry of CSI, Intro to Film Studies, and—" he paused for effect "—Feminist Theory."
Kurt choked on sip of water he'd just taken. "No way," he breathed. Puck nodded and Kurt fell into hysterics. Puck laughed with him.
It took them a while to regain sobriety, but they managed after receiving bewildered looks from their waitress.
"That's amazing. Tell me you changed classes."
"No way, man. The Puckster—" Kurt rolled his eyes "—never quits. And 'sides, it was full of chicks!"
"Trust Noah Puckerman to take a Feminist class in order to objectify women."
"It wasn't like that! Most of them were gay anyway—" Kurt rolled his eyes again "—but I learned a lot. Actually, I learned a lot in all my classes. The great thing about college was the profs actually cared about teaching. It was cool watching someone talk about something they loved for three hours a week."
Kurt's expression was soft, "You were always moved by passion, Noah. It showed every time we watched other people sing. Don't think I forgot how you cried after I sang 'Candles' junior year."
Puck colored, "Whatever, dude. It got me to go to class and do the work."
Kurt ran a finger around the rim of his water glass, "So, how did you end up transferring?"
"Right! Well, turns out Film Studies was the best thing ever and the prof was this young chick that I really loved—"
"Please, please, tell me you didn't sleep with her!" Kurt's face was aghast.
Puck laughed, "NO, dude. I swear. She was awesome, though. And thought I had potential." He mimed air quotes. "She was the first adult other than Schue to believe in me, so I threw myself into it. Next semester, I took her Documentaries course."
"That's really amazing, Noah."
"Meh. But it turns out she was only a visiting professor. She had the opportunity for a tenure position at another school, so that year was her last. Professor Michaels told me mid-semester where she was going and so I checked out the school. It had an amazing Film program and I was already hooked. I applied as a transfer, got in, and the next year I was in Connecticut."
Kurt's brow was furrowed, "What school?"
Kurt actually spit out the drink of water he took this time, "Wesleyan University? You, Noah Puckerman, went to Wesleyan University?"
Puck was hurt, "Don't sound so shocked. I had skills. It wasn't that hard to get in."
Kurt's face did that shocked-hurt thing again, "I'm not surprised you got in, Noah. I'm just surprised that you, king of the jocks, went to a hipster-alternative-activist school like Wesleyan. It has a reputation, you know."
Puck grinned, "Dude, Wes was awesome. Sure, I met some of the freakiest kids ever, but that was cool. They were all over the place. Politics, arts, music, hell, my best friend at school was a chemistry major. Best years of my life."
Kurt smiled, "I'm glad you had fun. College was a time of self-discovery, sure. But for me, it was also a way to discover the world. We had so many kids from all over the place, it was really interesting learning about how every one grew up."
"Totally. Like, 90 percent of the kids I met at Wes had no idea that a school like McKinley existed."
Kurt snorted, "After being in the real world for six years, I'm having trouble believing a school like McKinley existed. Apparently, a person like Sue Sylvester would have been arrested in most states, not revered."
They shared a look before breaking into laughter at the thought of Sue being arrested. You think this is hard, try evading the NYPD while running a championship winning cheerleading squad!
"Well, what about you? You didn't end up going to NYADA, right?"
Kurt nodded, "I got in, but something wasn't sitting with me. I don't know why, but it didn't feel right. I also applied to the Fashion Institute and got in. I went and was so glad I did. I had a lot of fun, met a lot of people, learned a lot of things. College done right, I suppose."
"So, you're a designer now?"
Kurt giggled, "Yeah, but not of clothes. I'm an interior designer."
Puck boggled, "Wait, what?"
Kurt outright laughed, "That's what my dad said! I don't know. By the end of my senior year, I was so sick of it. I spent four years and all three of my summers interning! The industry was too full of obnoxious jackasses that thought of themselves as the next Alexander McQueen. I was done."
"Okay, so you went into interior design."
"It's not that different," Kurt shrugged. "It still involved an eye for detail and taste for color and space. I went home for spring break my senior year and remembered how much fun I had putting together the new house. It was really fulfilling, so when I got back to the city, I applied for jobs at interior design firms."
"That's awesome, dude. So, you're like a big shot designer now?"
Kurt laughed, "Getting there. It's hard being the youngest designer at the firm, but I think I finally convinced people that I'm there to stay and I am superior to all of them."
Puck laughed, "That's the Hummel I remember! Have you advised any people to apply for jobs at the local rendering plant yet?"
Kurt blushed. "No," he said, unconvincingly.
"Sure," Puck smirked. "It's just you and Frankenteen, then?"
"Oh, and Mercedes!"
"I can't believe I forgot to tell you about Mercedes," Kurt exclaimed. "Well, she went to Northwestern for school. Her parents told her that she needed to major in something practical for college. They didn't want her to graduate with a degree in the arts, just in case." Kurt rolled his eyes. "As if Mercedes Jones isn't talented enough to make it. What a—anyway. She went to Northwestern with the idea of double majoring in the Musical Theater Conservatory and something practical—" Puck had to laugh at Kurt's skill to inject a single word with that much disdain "—and settled on government. She got really involved in Obama's second campaign. Soon, she dropped the Musical Theater major in favor of focusing on government. When senior year came by, she applied to grad school for government and is now pursuing her PhD in government at Columbia."
The pride in Kurt's voice and face made Puck grin. "Go Aretha."
"So she called you and asked to live with you?"
"Don't sound so surprised! We spent a lot of time in college becoming friends again. I missed her and Rachel was driving me crazy. She lives on the Lower East Side, by the way. Wait! That reminds me!" Kurt reached over to dig through his bag. After a second, he emerged with an envelope triumphantly.
"Here, this is for you!"
Puck stared at the proffered envelope in confusion. It was a plain white envelope, but it was covered in gold star stickers, leaving no room for speculation as to whom the sender was. The question was, what the hell could Rachel Berry possibly want from him?
He opened the envelope with trepidation. Inside it, he found a rather gaudy card with a Christmas tree and menorah on it. Upon opening it, he despaired at the gold glitter that fell into his lap while Kurt laughed.
Puck sighed and read the card.
You are hereby invited to
Rachel Berry's Annual
Bring your Christmas cheer and Hanukah
happiness on Christmas Eve Eve!
Underneath listed an address and a number to which he could RSVP at. He looked up at Kurt's grinning face.
"She never changes, does she?"
Kurt laughed, "No, she doesn't. And don't bother calling to RSVP, she already decided that you were coming, no matter what." Puck chuckled.
"Of course. I'm her best gay." They shared a grin. "Besides, I have nothing to do that night. Dad and Carol are coming for the holidays on Christmas Eve and staying until January 4th, that'll be fun. Did your mom come for Hanukah or did you go back home?"
Hanukah was two weeks ago, coming early in December that year. "Nah, the ticket was too expensive for me to go and Sara still had school, so they couldn't come here. Now that Sara is about to go on break, the two of them are going to Florida to spend winter break with some of the family."
Kurt looked horrified, "You spent Hanukah alone and now you won't get to spend some of the holidays with your family?"
"Dude, chill. It wasn't a big deal. Hanukah isn't that big of a holiday and I spent it with Seth and his family, my Uncle Ezra and Aunt Ruth. It was pretty good," Puck assured him.
Kurt was not having it, "You are definitely going to Rachel's party, then. And you're going to spend the next couple of days with me and Finn and Mercedes. No question."
Puck smiled, "No question?"
"Not a one."
"I'm okay with that," Puck said, meaning every word.
"Good. Now finish your food so we can walk around the park for a bit. Be aware that tomorrow, we'll be ice skating in the Rockefeller Ice Rink."
Puck choked, opening his mouth to protest.
"Not. A. One."
And that was that.
"You do know if we fall, there are, like, a million tourists that are going to witness it."
Kurt waved him off, lacing up his skates, "They aren't New Yorkers and therefore do not matter."
The World According to Kurt Hummel. That was probably Rule #1. Rule #2 was probably, "Sequins, sequins, sequins."
And with that thought, Puck finished lacing up his skates and stood up, taking Kurt's proffered hand.
"Let's do this!"
Together, they got on to the ice, careful to avoid the other skaters. Kurt and Puck went around the rink once to get into the hang of it, not letting the grip between them fall.
Puck laughed, "It's been a fuckton long time since I did this!"
"Me too! I love it!" Kurt's face was already red from the cold, but Puck couldn't help but notice the way his eyes shimmered with happiness.
"Hey, Hummel, race you around the rink!"
Kurt laughed, "Alright, on the count of three."
"Three," they began in unison. "Two, ONE!" Kurt shoved Puck into the side of the rink and skated away.
Puck was so shocked, he fell over. Staring at Kurt's retreating form, he shook himself out of it and stood up.
"YOU'RE SO GOING TO GET IT, HUMMEL!" His yell startled some teenage girls near him, but Puck didn't see any of it as he was already skating away at top speed.
Kurt turned back for a second. He laughed in delight as he saw Puck coming for him and turned back, picking up speed.
Kurt just made it to the 'finish line', when Puck closed the gap and tackled him around the waist. They hurled to the ice in a tangle of limbs and skates. It hurt, but Kurt was laughing too hard to yell at Puck for acting like a Neanderthal. Puck joined in and soon they were the crazy men, laughing on the ice in the middle of New York City.
Kurt finally regained his breath, causing Puck to quiet his laughter. He was shocked to find himself on top of Kurt so that they were face to face. Kurt's laughter turned into quiet giggles, eyes blue and clear. Puck had never seen such a beautiful sight. Their faces were so close, Puck could feel Kurt's breath on his mouth and count the freckles on his nose.
It was just like one of those movies Sara made him watch all the way through. Any second now, their faces would connect at the lips and Puck really couldn't see a downside to it. Kurt was attractive, anyone could see that. But he was also funny and snarky and—
"Are you two alright?" Damn you, passerby. Damn you.
"We're fine. Except for this cheating bastard, that is." Puck grinned and got up. He extended a hand to Kurt and helped the slender man up.
"Thank you for your concern, but the only thing hurt was his pride when I beat him." Kurt smiled at the young girl who had inquired about the two of them.
She smiled back, "Glad to see you're okay. You two make a really cute couple!" She skated away, leaving a dumbstruck Kurt in her wake.
Puck clapped a hand on his shoulder, "Forget it, dude. Want to skate?"
Kurt took his suggestion and his hand and the two spent the next hour skating and trying to one up one another in tricks. Puck maintained the hop-turn thing Kurt did was not a jump and Kurt said the only thing Puck's attempt at backward skating looked like was a deer trying to moonwalk.
"Oh my, God! It's seven already?" Kurt gaped at his wristwatch. "Finn is going to kill us!"
"What's Hudson got to do with any of this?"
Kurt made his way to the exit of the rink. He paused and turned back to Puck. Wordlessly, he grabbed Puck's hand and dragged him off the ice.
"I promised Finn and Mercedes that we'd meet them by the tree at seven so we could have hot chocolate!"
Puck matched Kurt's frenzied unlacing, "Dude, you do realize the tree is five yards away?
Kurt scoffed as he put on his leather boots and began lacing them, "More like fifteen."
Puck slipped into his Timberlands, "Always have to argue, Hummel? Sign of anal retentiveness." He smirked.
"You should ask my old boyfriends about that one." And with that, Kurt strode breezily by a shell-shocked Puck.
White spots flashed in front of eyes. Kurt…sex...anal—
Alright, then. Puck marched after Kurt, gaze drifting to his jean-clad ass. Oh boy.
They practically ran up the stairs from the rink to the Rockefeller Plaza, dodging hundreds of people as they made their way through the crowd. When they reached the base of the tree, Kurt stopped suddenly, causing Puck to bump into him.
"Woah, sorry dude!"
Kurt ignored him, "Where are they? They're probably too busy ma—aha! I knew it!"
Puck looked in the direction Kurt was facing. He couldn't make it out at first, but after adjusting his eyes to the overly bright lights that bathed the plaza, he stopped breathing.
There was Finn and Mercedes, standing in front of the tree. They hadn't changed much, except Puck could swear that the last time he'd seen them together, they weren't sucking each others' faces off.
Finn and Mercedes were making out in front of the tallest Christmas tree in the world.
"What. The. Fuck?"
"And that's what you get for not having a Facebook." Kurt remarked dryly.
"No. Seriously. What the fuck?"
Kurt shrugged, "They found love in a hopeless place?" He grinned at Puck before turning to wave at Finn and Mercedes, who had seen them and were now walking over to them.
Mercedes squealed and ran to him, wrapping her arms around him in a tight hug. Puck returned it eagerly, but when he went to greet her in her ear, all that came out was, "Seriously, what the fuck?"
Mercedes burst out laughing and needed to be consoled. She fell back against Finn's chest, still laughing. Finn grinned uneasily.
"What's so funny?"
Mercedes shook her head and went back to give Puck another hug, chuckling. "Sweet Jesus, I missed you, Puck."
Puck grinned, "You too, Aretha. One day, soon I hope, we'll sit in a bar, get drunk, and you can explain you and Finn to me, okay?"
Mercedes giggled, "Just as soon as you tell me how you ran into Kurt again! He wouldn't say a word!"
"Well, it's like this—"
"No! I refuse to be present at the telling of this tale," Kurt's face took on a pink hue as he raised his hand in protest. "That's for the two of you to catch up on later."
"Whatever you say, boo. Now, who wants hot chocolate?"
The four of them made their way to a café nearby, where they spent the next couple of hours talking and laughing as they watched the people out and about that night.
When the café owner kicked them out at midnight, they took the subway down to the West Village, where Puck walked with the three of them to their apartment.
Kurt turned toward him after Finn and Mercedes bade him goodbye and made their inside.
"That was a lot of fun, Noah. Thank you for agreeing to do this with me."
Puck's smile was easy, "I had fun, too. Thanks for inviting me, Princess."
"There it is! I was wondering when the nicknames would be broken out!" Kurt playfully glared at him.
"Hey, I'll stop calling you Princess when you stop acting like one."
"Not a spoiled one, I hope."
"Never!" He cried in mock surprise, "You're always the classy one, Princess."
Kurt smiled haughtily, "Good. I approve."
"I'm glad." In the course of their banter, they had unconsciously moved closer together. Now their noses were almost touching and, for the second time that night, Puck had a feeling that a kiss was inevitable.
Just as he was about to go for it, Kurt pulled away. Damn it!
"What are you doing tomorrow night?"
"Wha—nothing! I'm not doing anything. Why?"
Kurt beamed at him, "Tomorrow night, Finn, Mercedes and I are going to gorge on Christmas movies. Do you want to come over?"
"Sure!" His mouth moved faster than his brain, but spending an evening with Kurt sounded like heaven, even if Finn and Mercedes were going to be there. "You sure you aren't getting sick of me?" He grinned.
Kurt turned to the door of his building. "I'll let you know when that happens." His tone was playful, but when he turned back toward Puck, his face was one of quiet content. "Goodnight, Noah."
"Goodnight, princess. I'll see you tomorrow."
"You'd better." With one more smile and a wave, Kurt entered the building. Puck waited for the door to close before turning to walk home.
Puck knew what was happening, but he couldn't stop it now, even if he wanted to.
Not that he did.
"Noah! I'm so glad you're here, now you can break the tie about which movie we're going to start off with!"
That was the greeting that awaited Puck after he made his way up the stairs to the Hudmel-Jones apartment. Kurt had been waiting in the open doorway, looking comfortable in wool socks, skinny jeans, and an oversized white sweater that had the effect of making his eyes glow and cheeks extra rosy. Puck was in too good of shape to blame his shortness of breath on the four-flight climb.
He was in so much trouble.
After toeing off his shoes, Puck followed Kurt down the short hallway and into the living room, where Finn and Mercedes were splayed out on one of the couches, snuggled together under a large blanket. Finn's arm poked out and Puck could see a beer in hand. Mercedes' back was against her boyfriend's front and she seemed to be slipping into slumber.
"'Sup, dude? I didn't know you were coming."
Puck played offended, "Thanks, bro. I feel the love. If you don't want me here, I'll go." He pretended to turn and leave the way he came.
"Sit your white-ass down, Puckerman. If my boy wants you here, you stay. Doesn't matter what my boyfriend wants." Mercedes smiled up at Finn, lessening the impact of her words.
He smiled back at her, placing the beer on the floor, "My opinions don't matter, huh?" Finn's face transformed from one of subtle slyness to outright devilishness as his hands moved quicker than lightning to Mercedes' torso, tickling her.
The effect was immediate. "NO! FINN, STOP—," Mercedes squealed and shifted into fetal position, trying to move out of her boyfriend's grasp. Their laughter was contagious and Puck found himself smiling as Finn tortured Mercedes. He outright laughed when the inevitable happened and Mercedes fell off the couch and on to the floor. Finn looked over, horrified, as Mercedes glared.
"I'm so sor—"
Finn was cut off by Mercedes' rambunctious laughter. Finn smile was relieved and he pulled her back on top of him, still laughing. The laughter only stopped when the kissing started.
Six years ago, Puck would have thrown a pillow at the two of them and called Finn the Dickless Wonder. Now, he watched with a longing he hadn't felt since seeing Beth for the first time. The pain he felt in his chest was almost a welcome one, the same kind of pain associated with using a muscle that you haven't used in a while. The pain was Puck learning to want something again. Want something beyond all other things. Want something despite all other things.
Puck wanted what Finn and Mercedes had. He didn't know if it was because he had just spent his first Hanukkah without his mom and sister or that the holiday season was always filled with wishes for a significant other to spend them with or if it was because running into Kurt thrust him into this almost dreamlike state, where everything was so perfect, yet so tenuous at the same time. He couldn't shake the feeling that these Days of Kurt (as he like calling them in his head) were limited. That after Rachel's Chrismakkuah party, he'd never see Kurt again.
That would suck. Hardcore.
Puck shook out of his reverie instantly, "What's up Hummel?"
Kurt called from the kitchen, "Can you come help me with the snacks?" Puck stood up from the armchair he was occupying and walked over the small distance to the kitchen. Kurt was arranging crackers and cut up cheese on a plate. He motioned with his head at the cutting board, which had an assortment of raw vegetables on it, "Do you think you could cut up the peppers and cauliflower? I still need to arrange the fruit platter."
Puck walked over to the sink to wash his hands first, "Sure thing, dude, but you really don't have to do all this. Popcorn and beer would be totally cool."
Kurt snorted, "Sure, and allow these beautiful hips to balloon and for all my pants to go to waste. Great idea." He flashed Puck a mischievous smile, "Besides, the only way I can get Finn to eat his fruits and vegetables is by placing them in front of him while he's watching TV. He snacks so mindlessly, I could probably put pickled tofu on a plate and it'd disappear in the same time it would take Bruce Willis to reload a gun."
Puck laughed out loud as he dried his hands and made his way over to the cutting board. Working elbow to elbow with Kurt, he asked, "So, is that how Frankenteen manages to survive? You make sure he eats his greens and Jones takes care of the rest?"
"If by 'takes care of the rest', you mean provide sexual favors that have lead to me investing in a pair of amazing earplugs, then yes. That's exactly how it works."
"Oh, dude, did not need that visual in my head, thanks."
"How can it not be in there already? Half the reason I asked for your help is to rescue you from the PDA Champions over there!" Kurt huffed.
Puck paused, a thought crossing his mind, "Kurt, were they together when you guys first moved in?"
Kurt shook his head, "No, they weren't. It's why we have a three-bedroom place, which actually works out really well because now we have a guest bedroom for Dad and Carol or for Doctor and Mrs. Jones, when they visit."
"So you didn't sign up for any of this?"
Kurt stopped arranging the grapes around the strawberries and turned to Puck, face serious. "Why do you make it sound like a bad thing? I'm living in my dream city with my brother and best friend. My other best friend lives twenty blocks away and now I know you live not even a five-minute walk from here. I'm happy, Noah."
His heart soared at the thought of being a checkpoint on Kurt's list of happiness, but he needed to get his point across. "Not like that, dude. I just meant that it sucks being the third wheel all the time and if I had to live in a third wheel situation, I'd be ready to explode, especially if they're going to be all lovey-dovey during the holidays."
The corners of Kurt's mouth lifted into a small smile. He turned back to the fruit platter, head down in concentration, "It's worth it. Believe me. Every time I see them together, after the feeling of nausea passes—" they both laughed "—I get chills knowing how good for each other they are. And how content they are. And how cute their children will be." Puck almost sliced off a large chunk of his finger.
"Not that they are anywhere near that point! I just get these feelings sometimes. Like they're going to make it. Or, at least, I hope so."
Puck turned to gaze at Kurt. Visions of doing this everyday flashed through his mind. Making dinner side-by-side. Discussing their friends' lives. Enjoying life.
"Yeah, I think I know what you mean."
They worked in silence after that.
Fifteen minutes later, the snacks were complete and arranged ("Noah! You need to put the yellow peppers after the orange ones and before the green ones. That's aesthetically pleasing!" "Do you think the colors will hold up in Finn's stomach, Hummel?" "That's so gross, Noah!") and Puck was helping Kurt bring out the fruits (hahahaha) of their labor to the living room. Finn and Mercedes were once again wrapped in one another, but the kissing and tickling was over. Instead, they spoke so quietly to one another, Puck didn't even know they were doing it until Mercedes chuckled at some remark Finn made.
"What's so funny, Hudson?"
"We just wondered where the two of you went. And now we know Kurt went all Martha Stewart on you. Did he make you color coordinate the vegetables? Kurt, the vegetables all end up the same color in our stomachs."
Puck chuckled as he placed his platters on the coffee table before reaching over and offering Finn his fist. They fist-bumped as Kurt rolled his eyes, "This just proves my hypothesis about the collective jock hive mind. How else would you explain having the same thought regarding the digestive process of peppers after six years of not seeing each other?"
He looked to Mercedes for her support but was met with a bowed head, shaking with silent laughter, "'Cedes?"
"Sorry, boo, I love you and your quirks, but I have to admit I've had the same thoughts regarding this matter." Finn crowed triumphantly as Kurt yelled his disappointment, "Not you too, Mercedes! You were my last hope for this night!"
"Speaking of this night, tell me we didn't just spend half an hour preparing food for nothing. What's this 'magical Christmas movie line-up' you have, Hummel?"
Kurt clapped excitedly, "Okay, Finn and I have taken over mine and my father's tradition of marathon-ing the Christmas classics four days before Christmas."
Puck helped himself to a baby carrot, "Why four days before Christmas?"
Finn took the last pull of his beer before sitting up, causing Mercedes to sit up with him, "You haven't caught on to Kurt's ridiculously planned out pre-Christmas season yet? The entire week is scheduled. Three days before Christmas was the only time he could chill out on the couch."
Kurt colored, munching on some celery, "I love Christmas, okay? And it only comes once a year, so if I forget to do something before Christmas, I'll end up kicking myself for an entire year."
"So, the first day was always dedicated to nursing monster hangovers and catching up with dudes you haven't seen since high school?"
Kurt chucked the rest of his stalk of celery with frightening accuracy at Puck's laughing mouth. "No, that wasn't actually on the books, but it did fulfill my reformed Christmas plans for Day One. When I first got to New York, freshman year, I had to tweak the Christmas week a little bit. So the first day had to be spent in Central Park and we did that!"
Puck's heart sank a bit. Wryly, he commented, "So, lunch with me was just checking a task off your schedule?"
Finn and Mercedes got quiet, but nothing compared to the absolute stillness that Kurt's form took. His eyes widened and face paled instantly, mouth parted on a gasp. Puck regretted speaking at all. Hastily trying to reclaim the playful mood that was murdered by his stupid mouth, he started to play it off as a joke when Kurt found his voice.
"No!" Puck wasn't aware a grown man could reach that pitch, but Kurt Hummel was the exception to most things, why not the laws of physics? "Why would you ever think that? You made that day so much better than I'd ever expected. You've made every day so far better than expected. This is the best Christmas I've ever had and, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I am so glad I got drunk and almost sexually assaulted a happily married man."
There was a beat during which three things happened simultaneously: Finn and Mercedes clapped their hands over their mouths, containing obvious mirth, Kurt's jaw dropped open as he took in exactly what words came out of his mouth, and Puck accepted the fact that Kurt Hummel was the most perfect human alive.
"SO, movies?" Apparently realization of perfection went hand in hand with regression to high school methods of dealing with emotion: avoidance.
Finn coughed, laughter lacing his words, "Yeah, so we have three that Kurt says we need to watch: Love Actually, It's a Wonderful Life, and Die Hard."
"I'm sorry, can we play a quick game of "Which of These is Not Like the Others?"
Kurt seemed to regain the power of speech in order to defend his traditions, "Hey! Die Hard is perfectly seasonal choice! Terrorists take over a corporate Christmas party and Bruce Willis restores law and order by embodying the spirit of Saint Nick."
"I think the AK-47 might have had more to do with his victory, Kurt."
"Whatever, I still say we should start with it, then move into Love Actually, and finish off the night with It's a Wonderful Life."
Finn waited until he'd finished chewing the cheese he was eating before speaking (a clear indication to Puck that he'd been living with Mercedes and Kurt too long), "Dude, we should go in chronological order. Start with Jimmy Stewart, move on to Bruce, and end with the fuckton of British actors and Kiera Knightley."
Kurt looked at his brother with disdain, "Trust you to ignore Colin Firth and Hugh Grant for Kiera Knightley."
"Uh, duh. She's smokin'." Puck winced, could there be an actress that looked more different from Mercedes? It didn't bother her, however, if the tender looks she sent her overexcited boyfriend were any indication.
"I do not understand why men find Kiera Knightley attractive," Kurt was apparently having a meltdown, "She has no breasts, her jaw is more defined than Puck's, and her body doesn't contain a single curve. I swear the men who find Kiera Knightley attractive are gay. Gay, gay, gay."
Puck burst out laughing at the purple hue Finn's face took on. "What, NO! She's a chick."
"I look more like a woman that she does."
"GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY!"
"CHICK CHICK CHICK CHICK CHICK!"
Mercedes and Puck were beside themselves. Mercedes had buried her face in her hands, body shaking. Puck could swear he was about to throw up from laughing so hard. Their faces. He wondered if the friends they made in New York knew that they weren't biological siblings. They amount they argued, the way both their faces turned red as they yelled, the comfort they had developed with one another, Puck would have a hard time believing they weren't blood brothers if he hadn't grown up with the both of them.
"ALRIGHT! THIS ARGUMENT IS OVER." Mercedes apparently had enough. Instantly, the Hudmel brothers took their respective seats on the two different couches they had occupied before they got up in each other's faces over Kiera Knightley's perceived gender.
"This is why you're here, Puckerman. I really don't care which order we watch them in as long as we fucking watch something tonight." The last part was directed at the now cowering brothers. She turned back to Puck, smile with an edge on her face, "So, Mohawk, which one first?"
Puck felt the weight of every gaze in the room on him. Deciding to be a neutral as possible, "Love Actually, Die Hard, and It's a Wonderful Life. Reverse chronological order. So we end the night with fuzzy feelings."
Kurt and Finn both opened their mouths to protest, but were quickly halted by Mercedes turning severely and pointing one menacing finger at them. Their jaws snapped shut and Puck picked up the first movie to pop in.
After putting the DVD in, Puck went to sit on the couch with Kurt, keeping a couple of inches between their legs. Finn and Mercedes settled in, reclaiming their own couch. Kurt took a throw blanket off the back of the couch and wrapped it around himself before leaning more on his side of the couch. Puck sat awkwardly, not knowing what to do with his hands as the movie began.
Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that.
It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends…
They pretty much remained silent throughout the movie. In fact, the only significant conversation that occurred was toward the end, as the school Christmas pageant was coming to a close and the young American girl broke out into a truly spectacular version of "All I Want for Christmas Is You."
"That girl has some serious pipes," Puck offered, reverently.
Finn agreed, "You're telling me. The only better version I've ever heard was Mercedes'."
"Preach!" Kurt and Puck said in unison as Mercedes swiped a hand at them.
"Hush!" On screen, the girl was turning around the room, pointing to random people and singing. Mercedes laughed as she pointed to the young boy, whose face lit up, only to fall a split second later when the girl moved her attention to the next person.
"Oh my, God." Kurt's jaw was on the floor. Puck, Mercedes, and Finn turned to him, inquiring.
He hastened to explain, "The boy and girl! The dorky, white drummer and cool, black singer! It's Finn and Mercedes!"
The other three turned to the screen dumbstruck, just as the song was finishing. Mercedes was the first to react: she cracked up.
"Yes! Finally a realistic representation of our relationship on screen!" Puck and Kurt laughed.
"Hey, now! Why is he dorky? Why am I dorky?"
Kurt raised his eyebrow, "Let's not go into the story of how you and 'Cedes first got together."
Finn blanched, then pouted, falling silent.
"Aw, boo. It was cute." Mercedes pecked his lips, eliciting a small smile.
"How'd they get together?" Puck whispered.
"Tell you later. Over alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol," Kurt whispered back.
They remained in relative silence until the end of the movie, when Kurt started clapping, inciting the rest to offer half-hearted applause.
"Must we applaud after every movie? It's not like they can hear us!"
Kurt turned to his brother, "People worked hard to produce a movie that entertained us. The least we can do is offer thanks!"
Puck hid his smile. If they only knew how much work went into making a movie.
"So, Die Hard?" Finn seemed excited for action.
"Sure, Finn. But first, can we raise the thermostat? I'm freezing!" Kurt shivered in his cocoon of blankets.
Puck goggled, "How can you be cold? You have, like, a million layers on!"
"Boo has poor circulation. Cold hands, constantly."
"Cold hands, warm heart," recited Puck and Finn in unison. Kurt offered them a small smile before shivering again.
Finn hesitated, "Dude, sorry to be obnoxious, but couldn't you get your comforter or something? 'Cedes and I are practically sweating."
Kurt glared, playfully, "Well, maybe if you two weren't plastered to one another…"
Mercedes laughed, "Or you could just cuddle with Puck. If I remember correctly, the boy is a human furnace."
Sure enough, Puck had stripped down to his T-shirt and was completely comfortable.
Kurt's eyes narrowed, "And just how do you know that, 'Cedes?"
Finn started, "Yeah! How do you know that?"
Puck braced himself to run. Did we ever…?
"Oh, shut up you two! Don't you remember all those cold ass, early morning bus rides to competitions? Quinn and I traded seats next to Puck constantly. Boy was asleep for most of them, anyway.
"So you used my body for warmth? Jones!"
"Oh shut up. Like you aren't thrilled that two hot women practically draped you over their bodies like an interactive blanket!"
Kurt's laugh was bark-like and Puck found himself grinning, "Fine, fine. Hummel, get your ass over here."
Kurt paused, hesitant, "You sure?"
Puck chose not to answer and instead wrapped one arm around Kurt's blanketed form, pulling him into his body. Soon, Kurt's torso was against Puck's side, head tucked under his chin. "Comfortable?"
Kurt shifted more into Puck's body heat, "God, yes. Can I rent you for cold nights?"
Mercedes and Finn burst into laughter and Kurt turned completely red as he realized what it must of sounded like. Puck smirked down at him, but Kurt probably couldn't see it as he was attempting to bury his face in the cocoon of blankets.
"Potential prostitution aside, can we start the movie now?" Mercedes didn't wait for an answer and pressed 'Play' on the remote.
Puck was in heaven. Die Hard was always awesome, but having Kurt plastered to him throughout made it phenomenal. Puck loved feeling the vibrations of Kurt's laughter as they watched John McClane talk to himself for a good half of the movie. Halfway through It's a Wonderful Life, Kurt's form became heavier and Puck quickly figured out why. Kurt had fallen asleep.
"Dude, should I wake him?" Puck whisper-shouted at Finn.
Finn looked over and chuckled, "I wouldn't. He's seen this movie like, a million times. And he had a long day at work."
"Should I take him to bed then?"
Mercedes snorted. Finn smirked, "You'd have to take off his pants. He can't sleep in those jeans, they'd cut off circulation to his brain."
Sounds good to me. Puck wondered at what point in the past week he started seeing Kurt as a potential boyfriend, but it would be useless to think about it too much. If he were perfectly honest, it probably happened that first night at the club.
"Dude, I was kidding. If you want to carry him to bed, that'd be enough. He'll probably wake up and change himself."
"Or maybe you could continue quietly whispering and wake him up through conversation." The voice came from the mass lying on Puck and he and Finn winced as they realized they'd woken Kurt up.
"Sorry, Kurt. I shouldn't have said anything. I really didn't mind."
"No, it's okay." Kurt sat up, leaving Puck missing his warmth immediately. "It's—" he paused to look at his wristwatch that Puck would bet was for women "—one in the morning and I have to be up for work in five and a half hours. I frankly don't have time to see Jimmy Stewart get his happy ending."
"Dude, harsh," Finn laughed.
"Oh shut up, Mr. Public School Teacher that doesn't have to work on Saturdays."
Puck was confused, "Wait, that's right. Tomorrow's Saturday. What are you doing working?"
Kurt sighed, "If I want to have the entirety of time between Christmas Eve and New Year's off, I need to finish up some things in the office this weekend. I really want the time off for when Dad and Carol get here. It's okay, it's nice working alone in the office for once." He offered a sleepy smile and Puck found himself grinning back.
"Kurt, go to bed. Puckerman, stay or leave, I don't care. But if you stay, you have to be quiet. I'm watching a movie over here!" Puck rose, eager to avoid annoying Mercedes more.
"I'll go. I have things to do tomorr—later today and I didn't get much sleep last night."
Kurt smirked up at him, "Yeah, all those bruises from ice skating must have made it hard to sleep."
"Shut it, Hummel."
"Both of you shut it!"
Kurt jumped off the couch, "I'll show you out." Grabbing Puck's coat off the armchair, he led him down the hallway. "'Cedes gets scary sometimes."
"Welcome to the week I spent dating her."
Kurt laughed, "I almost forgot about that!"
Puck smiled wryly, "Still actively trying to forget, actually. Not that it was bad. More that I was a jackass."
Kurt helped him into his coat. After, he grabbed a scarf off the coat rack by the door, "It's probably colder now. Take this." He threw it around the back of Puck's neck and tied it for him.
Their faces were close together. Puck was still getting used to Kurt being the same height as him. It would have been unnerving, the gaze that he held with Kurt, if it wasn't so fucking hot. Those blue eyes almost glowed green with the red rim of tiredness lining them.
"There. You should survive the ten block walk." Kurt smiled and Puck smiled back.
"You're not the only acclimated New Yorker, Hummel. I'll be fine. Thanks, though, for the scarf. And the movies." He paused, thoughtfully. "And the color-coordinated vegetables."
Kurt laughed, "Thank you for coming. And for cutting up the color-coordinated vegetables!"
They stood there, just looking at one another. Puck was sure his face was sporting a ridiculously sappy expression.
"Sorry." They laughed at their unison response.
"I'd better get going. Good night, Kurt."
Kurt's eyes shimmered with mirth, "Good night, Noah. Get home safe."
"Will do." Puck turned to walk down the stairs. A thought struck him halfway down the flight and he practically sprinted back up the stairs.
He rapped, quick and loud, on the heavy door to the apartment. He was startled by how quickly Kurt opened the door and found himself dumbstruck.
"Did you forget something, Noah?" Kurt looked surprised at the abrupt return.
Puck shook his head to clear cobwebs, "I completely forgot to ask you something. What are you doing after work tomorrow?"
Kurt's face scrunched up in concentration, "Um, well, after work I was going to wrap some donated presents at the local homeless shelter, but I should be free around six. Why?"
"Perfect." Puck breathed in deeply. Do I really want to show him this? Probably not, but I'm going to anyway. "I got tickets to a film screening tomorrow and I was wondering if you wanted to come with."
Kurt face was delighted, "That would be so much fun! Of course I'll go with you!"
Puck breathed out a sigh of relief, "Cool. I'll pick you up at six thirty? The event starts at seven, but it's right here in the Village, so I think we'll be okay. Also, this is stupid to say, but dress nice."
"Noah Puckerman, when have you ever known me to not dress nicely?" Kurt's eyebrow was somewhere in the stratosphere.
Puck grinned, "Sorry, princess, but it's a suit and tie event, so—"
"So a suit and tie is what I'll be wearing. Got it."
Puck grin got wider, "Goodnight, princess."
Kurt smiled, "Goodnight, Noah."
Puck practically skipped the entire way home.
Puck stared at his reflection in the full-length mirror and he sighed as he undid his tie and threw it on the bed with the other five he'd already discarded. Why was choosing a tie so difficult?
It was a pointless question, he knew, because the difficulty didn't come from the tie. It came from the fact that he was about to bare his soul for Kurt to see and was seriously afraid he was about to get rejected.
Why did he think he could do this? He should have gone with the original plan and taken Seth or Mai or Mav. This meant too much to him and if Kurt didn't like it or—
"What's the problem, dude-bro?"
Puck jumped, "Seth! You have to stop sneaking up on me!"
Seth smirked, "I thought you were a badass, Noah."
Puck glared and turned back to the mirror, "Not tonight. Tonight I'm a pansy."
Seth sat on the bed and looked at the tickets Puck had placed there at the beginning of his tie quest, "I don't get it. You made a movie about gay youth, inspired by the same gay man you're about to show it to. I'd be nervous, too, but, wait, what was that one thing? Oh, right. It won a fucking award at the fucking Cannes Film Festival!"
Puck shrugged, "So?"
Seth snorted, "What game did you once claim to possess? If you can't bag this guy with an internationally acknowledged film, you're shit out of luck for the rest of your life."
"He isn't just some guy. Seth, you're talking about Kurt Hummel. The gay kid that got bullied every single day, but still managed to rule that school. Hell, his bullies raised him on their shoulders after he won a football game dancing to Beyonce. He's not just some guy, he's—"
Puck avoided his gaze, but muttered, "Maybe."
Seth sighed and got up to stand behind Puck in the mirror, "Dude, you're golden. Just chill, take a deep breath, and forget about the tie."
Puck breathed in, slow and deep. Releasing the breath, he said, "I guess you're right. Doesn't matter what tie I wear anyway. I'll go with the red one."
"No, dude, I mean forget the tie. Here." Seth turned Puck around so that they were face one another and he unbuttoned the top two buttons of Puck's black shirt. He opened the collar slightly and smoothed down the shirt.
"There!" Puck looked at himself and had to admit it looked better. "Dude, you're wearing a black shirt with a gray suit. No need for a tie."
Puck nodded, "Okay."
"Also, it's six-fifteen. If you don't want to be late, you'd better leave."
"Shit!" Puck grabbed the tickets, put on his overcoat and smoothed down the mohawk one more time before rushing out of the apartment and to Kurt's building.
It took him a while because he didn't want to sweat in his suit, but he still arrived at Kurt's door at six-thirty. Finn buzzed him up and five minutes later, Puck was walking into the apartment, calling Kurt's name.
"Kurt, I don't want to rush you, but we're going to be late if we don't leave soon."
"I'm coming!" came Kurt's response from a room in the back of the apartment. Mercedes exited said room, shaking her head.
"He's almost ready, but he's redoing his hair. Apparently my advice doesn't matter."
Puck grinned, "I'm sure he meant no offence, Aretha."
Finn walked into the room from the kitchen, holding two glasses of wine. He handed one to Mercedes, remarking, "I don't get it. How many ways can you gel up hair?"
Puck held back his chuckle as Mercedes patted Finn's arm sympathetically, "And that is why you're not allowed to use any hair product at all."
"Why is Finn not allowed to use hair product?"
Their heads whipped around to see Kurt, standing near the couch, hip cocked and arms folded.
"Oh, Kurt, you look amazing!"
Good, good. Mercedes is doing the talking. Good that she's handling that particular task because there was no way in hell Puck was going to do it.
One needed to breathe to be able to speak and Puck was having a little difficulty doing that at the moment.
Kurt was beautiful. He was wearing a silver suit that shimmered in the light, paired with a white shirt and black skinny tie. He abandoned his customary coif for slightly gelled back bangs. His eyes glowed and his cheeks were pink.
He was gorgeous.
Kurt giggled, "Why, thank you, Noah."
Fuck, oh fuck. Had he said that out loud?
Oh, well. Anything that made that stunning blush overtake Kurt's face was awesome by default.
"And you look very dashing yourself."
Puck bowed, slightly, "Thank you. Now, we really have to go if we're going to make it."
Mercedes hurried and passed Kurt his coat, "Here. Put it on quickly and get your skinny ass out of here!"
Kurt did as told, pausing to kiss her on the cheek, "Thank you for your help, 'Cedes. Have fun tonight!"
Finn patted him on the back, "You, too."
Puck bade them goodnight before holding his arm for Kurt to take, "Ready?"
Kurt nodded and the two were off.
Because the movie theater was literally five blocks away, the two decided to walk. They trekked in companionable silence until halfway there, Kurt inquired as to what they were watching tonight.
Puck swallowed, throat suddenly have gone dry, "Um, well. Do you know the Trevor Project?"
Kurt laughed, "Are you kidding? Their number was on my speed dial in high school!"
Puck stopped walking, finding breathing a difficult task again. Kurt, linked at the arm, stopped as well. He must have read Puck's face correctly, because he hastened to explain.
"No, no! Nothing like that. I would have never done that to my dad. It was just nice to talk to someone who understood, even if I'd never met them. And then Glee and Blaine happened." He shrugged.
Puck sighed in relief and started walking again. "Okay, well. They have an annual benefit in LA called—"
"Trevor Live. I know. I went to it a couple of years ago!"
Puck smiled at Kurt's excitement, "If you'd let me finish." Kurt apologized, giggling.
"Anyway, this year, they organized a New York fundraiser. They decided to have a film festival with independent movies made around LGBTQ issues. It's pretty low-key, compared to Trevor Live, but if it goes well this year, it'll become bigger for next year."
Kurt's eyebrows were furrowed, "How did you hear about this?"
Puck fought down panic, "Friend of mine told me about it, I think."
Kurt nodded, his expression dubious. Puck was going to change the subject, but they had arrived at the IFC, where they were asked for their tickets at the door. Puck handed them to the usher and they were shuffled inside.
The theater was packed, but Puck and Kurt were ushered to two seats marked 'Reserved' at the front. They had just taken off their coats and made their selves comfortable before a smartly dressed woman that looked to be in her early thirties took the stage.
"Welcome everyone!" The dull roar of the theater quieted down and she continued, "Happy Holidays! We at the Trevor Project are so honored that you chose to spend part of them with us!" She paused as applause filled the room.
"Tonight, you've donated to a great cause and in return you can witness the beautiful creations made by allies of the LGBTQ community in honor of the community!" Applause cut her off again.
"What you'll be seeing tonight are a series of three short-films, ranging from ten to fifteen minutes and the night will be capped off with a screening of the award-winning documentary, King of the Dumpster. Without further ado, we'll start the show!"
Applause rang out and only died down when the theater lights dimmed and the first movie began.
Puck couldn't really tell anyone what the plot of the first three movies was. He couldn't tell anyone anything about the movies because he was too worried about his own to focus on the first three. His palms were sweating and his heart beating faster than it ever did. Finally, his film began playing and Puck stopped breathing altogether.
The film was a collection of coming out stories, told by gay and transgendered youth from ages fifteen to twenty-one. They were intertwined with musical performances given by the entirety of the movie's contributors.
Puck nervously watched Kurt's reactions from the corner of his eyes. Kurt's face was filled with wonder for a majority of the movie, but crumbled into tears about halfway through. On screen, Rider Hadley was telling the heart breaking tale of how his mother slapped him with a hot curling iron after he told her he was gay. The tale was edited with his rendition of Martina McBride's "Concrete Angel".
"A name is written on a polished rock
A broken heart that the world forgot."
Rider's haunting baritone cut through Puck and he'd heard it countless times while filming and editing. He wasn't shocked when Kurt lost it, breaking down into quiet, hysterical sobs. Puck grabbed him and brought Kurt's head to his chest, cradling it and making nonsense noises of comfort.
It wasn't until Daisy Zheng filled the theater with her performance of Shakira's "She-Wolf" that Kurt wiped the tears from his face and laughed. Daisy, dressed head-to-toe in leather performed the song at a family reunion. When it seemed that her performance was going to end in the same tragic way Rider's coming out story did, her incredibly conservative parents jumped in on the chorus and her grandmother drummed her hands to the beat on the dinner table.
Puck grinned. The Zheng family never ceased to amaze him.
Half an hour later, the film was coming to a close around the final performance. The twelve kids were on a stage, singing Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors" at the top of their lungs. As the final words came out of Sally Stephen's mouth, the camera moved to the bright stage lights hanging above her before the screen went black and the movie was over.
Puck held his breath for the three seconds it took the audience to react to the ending.
The theater erupted in applause, people screaming and cheering. Kurt leapt to his feet, clapping his hand so hard, Puck was afraid he was going to hurt himself. Kurt was screaming his voice horse, tears making their way down his face again. At first, he was the only one standing, but that soon changed. It took only a few seconds for the entirety of the audience to be at their feet. Puck was the last to do so. He felt silly clapping for himself, but would have looked like an absolute douche if he didn't.
The woman who had introduced the films was back on the stage and her presence was the only reason the applause died down and everyone took their seats again.
"I can tell you enjoyed that!" She grinned as the applause started again, but waved it down. "The first film is called "A Day in the Life of a Gay Grandson" and it was made by Tim Dao. The second is titled "Aud Lang Syne" and was made by Samantha Diggs. The third short film is called "Me: A Life Story Told in Thirteen Minutes" and was made by Luna Faredi."
She paused and Puck held his breath. "The documentary, King of the Dumpster, has won numerous awards, the most notable of which comes from the Cannes Film Festival. It won Prix Un Certain Regard, an award reserved for young talent, innovative and audacious works. It is our great pleasure to announce that the writer, director, and filmmaker is here tonight and has agreed to a short Q and A session."
Puck tried breathing, Here we go.
"Everyone, it's my honor to introduce Noah Puckerman!"
In the future, Puck would regret being too nervous to milk the moment. Had he been calmer, he would have thought to bring a camera to take a picture of Kurt's face because it was work of art. The surprise emanated from each pore and his dumbstruck look would have entertained Puck for years.
Trying not to throw up, Puck stood up and made his way to the stage, weaving through the applauding audience. When he got onto the stage, he accepted a kiss on the cheek from the host of the evening and the microphone she thrust into his hand. He turned to the audience and was taken aback. Every single person was on their feet, clapping. Puck's gaze zeroed in on Kurt, whose shock fell away to unrestrained admiration. He was the last person to take their seat when the host waved her arms again.
"I guess I'll be accepting questions now?" A titter of laughter rang through the audience at his apparent awkwardness.
A woman in a beautiful red dress stood up, "Where did you meet those kids?"
Puck was relieved. This he could handle. "Some of the older kids, like Rider and Sally, went to school with me. They were involved in activist and gay culture groups on campus and I met them there. The younger kids were met through Trevor. I posted a casting call on some message boards for kids who lived on the East Coast and were interested in telling their stories and got a handful of responses."
The lady in red smiled, "Thank you. And thank you for making that film. It's exquisite."
Puck smiled in thanks and moved to an older man who had stood, "Why music?"
Puck laughed, "It was a complete coincidence, really. Nothing in the casting call asked for musically inclined kids, but when I interviewed everyone, I noticed a common trend. If they weren't involved in music through extra-curriculars, they were singing under their breaths as I set up my equipment." The audience laughed and Puck relaxed a bit.
"More than that, I was inspired by my past. You see, I was in Glee club in high school—" Scattered cheers erupted from people who no doubt were alumni of their school's glee clubs. Puck grinned as he heard Kurt cheer extra loudly "—And we had this thing of using singing as therapy. We used singing for everything really—breakups, make-ups, study sessions—" The laughter rang again "—but mostly, we used music to tell the world who we were. And what we were about. And that we were never going to change that, for anyone."
The applause was almost deafening and Puck had to orient himself. Was this really for him? Was he actually doing this well?
If Kurt's face was any indication, then yes. He was.
Another woman, this time in blue, stood and asked, "Why title it King of the Dumpster?"
Puck sucked in a sharp breath. It was stupid of him to think that this question wasn't going to come up. Here goes.
"Like I said, I was inspired by my past. Specifically, one person I went to high school with—" Why was this so hard? "—He's actually here tonight. Kurt, would you stand up?"
Okay, this was the most shocked Puck has ever seen Kurt. He couldn't hold back the laugh that erupted from his mouth when he saw Kurt's face. He motioned for him to stand and Kurt did, if shakily.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I present Kurt Hummel. This man was tossed into dumpsters, thrown into lockers, physically and emotionally abused every single day. This man was also the undisputed King of our school. He played football and was on the cheerleading squad. He was the best dressed and the fiercest presence. His voice could make the angels cry. He was my inspiration for this film and is my inspiration for life."
The audience went nuts, cheering and screaming. Kurt didn't know what to do with himself for moment, but his instinct took over and he graciously bowed to his newly adoring fans.
Puck waited until he could be heard, "Kurt was my introduction to the gay existence and I couldn't have had a better representation. I made this for him."
Their gazes were locked, heated in ways Puck couldn't explain. All he knew was that he had absolutely no regrets about bringing Kurt tonight.
It was another hour before they got out of there. The Q and A went on for a little while more and Puck had to speak with the organizers of the event for a bit. It was midnight when they stepped out into the chilly December night.
Their walk started off in silence, but it was broken by Kurt.
"I don't think I've ever been so proud of a single person in my entire life."
Puck colored, "Thank you."
"I also don't think I've ever been so confused. Noah, stop." Puck did as he was told and turned to face Kurt's serious face.
Puck grinned, "I went to Wesleyan University, Kurt. My roommate was gay. That's how it started, anyway. Slowly, I became a part of a group of friends, half of which were gay or bi. It was a natural progression for me to be involved in some of the gay groups on campus and one thing led to another and—"
"You were making award-winning films on behalf of the community?"
Puck shrugged, "That was actually my senior thesis. I started it in the middle of junior year and it just got bigger and bigger."
Puck hung his head, "Because your story deserves to be told. Because their stories deserved to be told. Because if kids know there are people out there to listen, they won't snuff out their voices."
A silence lingered, before Puck heard the sound of quiet sniffling. Looking up, he was stunned to see Kurt crying again.
Kurt threw his arms around Puck's neck and squeezed. Puck wrapped his arms around the small of Kurt's back and they stood like that until Kurt's tears subsided.
Pulling away, Kurt wiped the tears off his cheeks, "I'm really, really glad I got drunk that night."
Puck laughed. He motioned his head in the direction of Kurt's apartment building and Kurt nodded. They walked together again in silence. It was Puck who broke it this time.
"There's more." Kurt motioned for him to continue and Puck had to blurt it out before he lost all nerve.
"I know." Kurt clapped his hands over his mouth, eyes wide. Puck's expression must have mirrored his, because Puck could honestly say he wasn't expecting that response.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry! What a stupidly shallow thing to say. Noah, I am so sorry."
Puck was still trying to clear his head, "What do you mean 'you know'?"
Kurt looked guiltily at the ground beneath his feet, "I found out the morning before we had lunch in the park."
Kurt's voice was small, "I needed to find out where you lived, so I went back to the club. Mai, the small one, right?"
"Pocket-sized one, more like."
Kurt grinned and continued, "She told me what had happened, how I acted. I flipped out a bit, ranting about how you had to see me at such a low point and why were you even at a gay bar? I said something along the lines of 'Noah Puckerman, king of the jocks wouldn't ever step foot in a gay bar, furthermore work in one.'"
Puck winced. "So, Mai told me about that she had no idea of whom I was speaking about, but her Puck was no more straight than the surface of the world was."
"Yes, well. Then Mav, is it?"
"Mikayla, but she goes by Mav."
"Mav proceeded to tell me the frequency at which you take men home, before Mai ended it with a look that could put Quinn Fabray to shame."
Puck smiled, "That's Mai for you. Sweet as honey one beat, severe as fuck the next."
Kurt sighed, "I'm really sorry, Noah. I should have told you I knew beforehand. Or feigned surprise when you told me yourself."
"Kurt, I'm not angry, I swear. I was just surprised, that's all."
Puck found Kurt's gaze and bore into it with his own. "I'm sure."
Kurt visibly relaxed. He opened his mouth to say something before he was cutoff by his own yawn.
"You look exhausted, princess. Good thing that we reached your place."
Kurt looked surprised, "Wow, I didn't even realize."
Puck grinned, "Time flies when you're coming out."
Kurt slapped him on the arm, but laughed. "Thank you for this night, Noah."
"I'm glad you enjoyed yourself."
"That would be the understatement of the year. The decade, really." His eyes shined with something Puck couldn't place.
They were doing that leaning in thing again. It was Puck that pulled back this time. It wasn't the right moment.
"See you tomorrow for Berry's party?"
"Come by at eight and we can all catch a cab together." Puck nodded.
Kurt stared deep into Puck's eyes, "Goodnight, Noah."
It was like déjà vu. Puck was once again standing in Kurt's living room with Finn and Mercedes, waiting for Kurt to be ready.
"Boy, I swear, if you don't come out here in thirty seconds, we will leave without you!"
Puck and Finn shared an amused look. "Coming! I'm coming!"
Sure enough, Kurt came out of his room, looking impeccable in red skinny jeans and a large, white wool sweater. The black lace up boots that came to his knees completed the look.
"You're going as a skinny-Santa?"
"Yes, Finn. Didn't you get the memo about the costume part?"
The sarcasm was laid on so thick, even Finn picked up on it. "Fine, be snippy. But can you be snippy in the cab? We're going to be late."
Kurt rolled his eyes and gestured for Finn to go, "After you."
The foursome left the apartment and found a cab with no problem. Ten minutes later, they were standing in front of an apartment building on the Lower East Side. After being buzzed in, they made their way to the fifth floor, where Rachel's party was off to a loud start.
Rachel practically jumped on Puck in excitement and Puck was surprised to find himself just as excited to see her. He missed the kids he spent the majority of his days with, once upon a time.
Rachel introduced them to some of her friends from Broadway and old NYADA classmates. Puck couldn't keep the names straight, but they seemed like a nice bunch. Much calmer and less insane than he pictured friends of Rachel Berry being.
Puck stuck to Kurt side for most of the party. People were chatting and mingling and Rachel was flitting around, playing the host perfectly. Finn and Mercedes sat together on a couch, keeping to themselves for the most part.
Puck and Kurt were in a heated discussion with a couple of chorus girls from Rachel's show over the merits of keeping Rachel's ego in check with carefully placed insults when the woman in question called out excitedly.
"Look, it's snowing!"
Puck and Kurt joined the rush of people to the windows. It was snowing, and heavily too. The snowflakes were huge and falling in excess. It was beautiful.
Kurt poked him in the side, "What do you say about a walk?"
Puck quickly agreed and, after they assured Rachel they would be back in time for the karaoke, escaped into the cool December air.
They danced and twirled in the snow for a bit before Kurt grabbed Puck's hand with his own and tugged him gently down the street. They walked, hand in hand in comfortable silence for a couple of blocks. The streets were clear of people and with the exception of the occasional car passing by, they were alone.
The lights of Christmas decorations lit up Kurt's face in a majestic way. He looked like some sort of mythical snow creature, too beautiful for human eyes to see. Only the warmth seeping into his hand from Kurt's reminded Puck that this snow nymph was flesh and blood.
A window was open nearby and the strains of a piano being played could be heard. The tune was a familiar one.
"This is my favorite Christmas song. Ever since I was little," Kurt's voice was quiet, but not small.
"So it was you who suggested it for the New Directions Christmas Special senior year?"
Kurt's laugh was more of a surprised bark, "Oh, God. Let's not mention that ever again.
Puck hummed in agreement, "Yeah, I kinda see where Artie was going with that direction, but man."
"Well, we can't all be award winning filmmakers, now can we, Puckerman?"
Puck grinned, "Guess not."
"The worst part about that was that Artie sped up this song. It's meant to be sung slowly!"
"Like this?" Puck gestured toward the source of the music.
"But if you'll really hold me tight, all the way home I'll be warm!" Puck almost forgot how breathtaking Kurt's voice could be.
He took the next line, "The fire is slowly dying, and my dear, we're still goodbying."
They sang the final part together, "But as long as you love me so, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"
Their noses were now touching. Kurt's breath was keeping his face warm and he could bet that his breath was doing the same for Kurt.
"But as long as you love me so—" Puck surged forward, cutting Kurt off by capturing his lips with his own.
Kurt responded instantly, drawing Puck against him, almost gently, mouth open and hungry against Puck's. Kurt put an arm around Puck's neck and kissed him back.
Puck kissed Kurt well and desperate and afraid and confused and this was Kurt. Kurt who had changed his life in high school and Kurt who took five days to change his life again now. He twisted one hand in Kurt's snow-damp hair and got him closer, face curved towards Kurt's exactly right and the kiss making fire curve sharply down to Puck's stomach and hit the base of his spine. Kurt broke his wet mouth away to breathe and moan against Puck's lips for a moment and Puck was so in love, he couldn't grasp anything but this feeling.
He wasted no time peppering Kurt's face with kisses. Puck fed on Kurt's harsh breathing and placed a kiss to his cheek, his chin, his nose, his jaw. Then Kurt threw back his head a bit, and Puck took the opportunity to place a kiss on Kurt's neck, lips trembling with emotion and adrenaline.
Kurt moaned again and Puck didn't think for a second before biting at the skin of his neck gently. Kurt gasped and tightened his hold on Puck's neck because his knees gave out. Puck moaned, heatedly.
Kurt Hummel was going to be the death of him, Puck concluded, face still buried in the soft expanse of Kurt's neck.
"Noah, please, I need—"
With all the strength in his body, Puck pulled away from Kurt, hands never leaving his waist. Kurt's eyes were so heavy with desire, the fire in Puck's stomach raged. He placed a kiss on Kurt's cheek again, speaking against the hot flesh.
"Princess, we can't. Not here, not now."
The desperate sob Kurt let out made Puck want to throw every piece of common sense out the window and take Kurt right then and there. But it wasn't right.
Puck kissed Kurt's lips gently, breaking it before it got too hot. He brought his forehead to rest on Kurt's, breath heavy on his face.
"I think I'm falling in love with you, Noah Puckerman." Puck felt the words on his face and they warmed him to the core.
"I know I'm falling in love with you, Kurt Hummel."
Kurt sang the lyrics against Puck's mouth, "But as long as you love me so, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow."