Summary: Will wins the Teacher of the Year Award and afterwards the Glee Club assembles for their own little party in the choir room. Kurt fed up with everybody's praising for Will tells him his opinion on the matter. AU after Nationals [the episode not the competition]. (Puckurt)
Warnings: Will-bashing, mild Blaine-bashing
A/N 1:I hope someone like this and feedback is always appreciated.
Surprised outbursts and unexpected revelations
It's impossible to ignore that Mr Schuester has his favorite students and Kurt knows he's not one of them. There were way to many occasions that the blatant favoritism of some students was shown, so that Kurt isn't delusional to think that he may have a special place in Mr Schuester's heart only because he happens to be in Glee.
But that's okay, because Kurt doesn't like him either. He doesn't hate him, but he's not exactly fond of his teacher.
Kurt is pretty sure he's the only one in Glee thinking that their teacher didn't deserve the Teacher of the Year Award. Even Mercedes and Santana who in the beginning of the year were cursing Mr Schue and his favoritism seem happy for him now. Kurt doesn't think he's mean or wrong for thinking that there are other teachers who deserve the award more than him.
He has absolutely no interest in celebrating Mr Schuester's win after the ceremony. However Ms Pillsbury prepared a little party in the choir room and Kurt doesn't want to explain why he doesn't want to attend. It's only a matter of days until he can leave McKinley and he's going to avoid as much drama as possible. He's going to smile and congratulate his teacher and pull through the last weeks until graduation. And then he doesn't have to talk to him again unless he wants to. Which he probably won't.
"Isn't it great that Mr Schue won the Award. And in the same year with our Nationals win. Of course it was my solo that made the decision and our victory is probably why Figgings decided to give the award to Mr Schue, but he so deserves it. He's just the best teacher."
Kurt can't keep himself from rolling his eyes. Rachel just won't shut up about it. Since Figgings called her and Finn into his office to announce that they would hand over the prize she didn't had another topic to talk about. Well, this and that her solo hopefully got her into NYADA. And considering that Finn and Rachel were supposed to keep it a secret doesn't make it better.
Kurt wishes that Rachel and Finn would have just managed to not blab this particular secret out. The last days would have been so relaxing if he just didn't know about the award beforehand. Every time they turned the topic to Mr Schuester just so wonderful teaching skills, Kurt became more and more irritated.
"Yeah, he's done so much for all of us." Of course Finn has to support his fiancée.
Kurt hears someone snort next to him. Turning to the side he sees that it was Puck. Like Kurt he retreated to the back of the choir room. He's sitting two seats next to Kurt on the highest row reading in his Geography book. Kurt isn't sure if Puck's reaction was due to Finn's word or whatever he might be reading.
In the front Rachel is talking to Quinn about all the things Mr Schuester has done for her in the last three years. The main aspects are him taking over the Glee Club and finding her a suitable duet partner. Rachel seems to forget that said duet partner was Quinn's boyfriend at the time, who broke up with her twice for Rachel. Quinn doesn't seem to mind Rachel's words. Like the last months Quinn has these fond look on her face when she's talking to Rachel.
Puck makes a gagging sound beside him. When Kurt makes eye contact with him, Puck smiles at him. The smile abruptly changes into a scowl when he sees something on the other side of the choir room. Kurt turns to the front and sees what caused his friends reaction.
Mr Schuester entered the choir room. Grinning he holds up his prize. The others immediately start cheering and clapping. Kurt joins them halfheartedly but sees that Puck doesn't. Suddenly he feels better about his thought. Apparently he isn't the only one disapproving of their teacher.
"Thanks guys. It means so much to me." He starts his speech when the cheers calmed down a little. "Teacher of the Year. Wow! Who would have thought?"
Kurt has to bite his tongue to not make an inappropriate comment.
"But I also have to thank you guys. I wouldn't be a good teacher without students to teach. You really brought out the best in me and I want to thank you for it. I'm just as good as you guys made me. Thank you for making me the teacher I am today."
Is he for real? Kurt doesn't know if he should be ashamed of the speech or insulted that he is implying that Kurt himself had a part in Mr Schuester being the teacher that he is. The disgust about that implication must show on his face, because Puck starts laughing and mouths "Thanks Kurt".
"I don't want to bore you any more let's just start the party."
Of course Rachel has to add something. Kurt really loves her, but sometimes she just need to keep her mouth shut. Today is one of these times.
"Before we start I think it would be a good idea that everyone tells us a story about Mr Schue. To thank him individually. How he helped you with a personal problem or something. I start so you know what I mean."
Instantly Finn is by her side with a chair. For a moment Kurt thinks that she's going to climb on the stair, but that would be even too much for her. Instead she and Finn order the rest of the Glee Club to sit down and make Mr Schuester sit on the chair facing them.
Why is no one complaining about this unnecessary activity? Why can't they just eat some cake, drink some soda and leave?
Blaine who is sitting in the first row beside an already talking Rachel, turns around and winks at him. Kurt smiles back and waves a little. After all the drama with Chandler they have been better for a while. But then they retreated back to not talking about next year and missing the appointed make-out sessions.
Kurt tries not to think too much about it.
Right now he has to think about what he's going to thank Mr Schuester for. He can't think of anything. Rachel talked all the time about this stupid award and the preparation for the performance at the ceremony and she never mentioned her plan on thanking him individually.
He listens to some of the others speeches. They really have great things to thank about him. But really, everything they mention is overshadowed by the things they don't tell.
Artie thanks him for not treating him any different and giving him a chance to do what he loves.
He doesn't mention the fact that he didn't get solos at competitions although he has one of the strongest male voices.
Quinn thanks him for giving her a place where it doesn't matter what happened in the last years and taking her back after the way she behaved in the beginning of the year.
She completely ignores that Mr Schuester didn't bother about her skank-phase until she started talking bad about him and Glee Club. Everybody at school knows that he yelled at her for being ungrateful. Although she probably had every right to be mad.
He stops listening after hearing his best friend thanking him for helping her find her inner Diva. Did Mercedes forget that in the beginning of the year she quit Glee Club because her talent wasn't appreciated?
Far too soon it is his turn. He can't think of a single thing to say. It's not because he wants to be mean or teach his teacher a lesson. He just can't think of a something when there is so much he can't thank him for.
"I... I'm thankful for... " His mind is blank. What should he say? Something. Anything. "I don't know."
Everybody is staring at him. Some surprised. Some disbelieving.
"Kurt, weren't you listening?" Rachel sounds annoyed by the mere though that someone might have not listened to her. "Tell us one thing when he helped you."
"Uhm... Yeah, well I'm thankful that you helped me with..." Kurt feels the heat rising to his face.
Puck tries to take the attention from him. "I can go first."
"No it's Kurt's turn." Finn chimes in. "Come on. With the bullying or something."
"What do you mean?" Mr Schuester asks confused.
"I'm not thanking you for something I'm not grateful for. I'm not grateful for anything because you've never done a single thing for me."
His friend's reactions are almost funny. Disbelieving they gasp and cry out their surprise. Kurt is amazed by their dramatics. Since everybody is looking at him no one sees the thumbs-up that Puck sends him with a huge grin.
"Kurt, you don't mean that, do you?" Blaine asks him.
Come on, is his boyfriend really turning against him? Kurt talked enough with his boyfriend about Glee Club, the favoritism of some members and Mr Schuester's ignorance. Of all people Blaine should be the least surprised.
"I do. I didn't want to say anything but you wouldn't let it go."
"I'm sorry if you feel that way, but I've done the best I could for you." Mr Schuester tells him and the turns to the rest of the room. "But I know that some students don't want to admit that they like their teachers."
What the hell? Is he for real? And why are the others laughing at this stupid statement.
"It's not that."
"Kurt." Blaine sends him a disappointed look. "Just leave it."
The way his boyfriend talks down to him really infuriates him. He's not some child that doesn't know what he's talking about. He has every right to give his opinion.
"I'm not letting it go. Rachel wanted me to say something and I'm going to. Three years ago, I was happy when I heard that someone new was talking over Glee Club. Mr Ryerson was a creep and I thought that Mr Schuester was going to appreciate the talent of each and any Glee Club member." His next words are directed at his teacher. "But then you focused completely on Rachel and Finn and forgot about the rest of us. We were just good enough to do the back-up for your favorite students."
Kurt sees that Rachel is about to interrupt him. Probably with her main argument for why she always got the solos in their first year in Glee Club. Every time he mentions Wicked she loves to remind him about Defying Gravity and the way she could sing it when he couldn't.
"When I wanted to sing one of my favorite songs, you wouldn't even listen to me. You just gave it to Rachel even though I expressed my interest. My dad had to come to school for me even getting an audition. Maybe I couldn't sing it maybe I blew it on purpose. It doesn't matter anymore. But I should have had the opportunity to audition in the first place. Without needing my father to talk you into it."
"What do you mean you blew it?"
Kurt ignores Rachel's question. He's also great at ignoring the accusing looks of the others and the firm waving, telling him to stop.
"And you always disregarded our suggestions for new songs. Apparently the others forgot the songs they wanted to sing, but I didn't. When I suggested Britney Spears..."
"That's me!" Brittany calls out giggling.
"...you brushed it aside multiple times and just took it into consideration when Rachel also expressed her interest. When we finally performed Britney, which was my idea, you took part in the performance and sung most of it. Did you forget that you are our teacher and not a member of the Glee Club?
I know that it was mostly to impress Ms Pillsbury and that goes hand in hand with bringing your personal issues into Glee Club. We're teenagers. We have enough problems on our own. We don't have to deal with your problems too. I couldn't care less who you are involved with."
Mr Schuester finally has the decency to look ashamed.
"Finn apparently thinks that I should thank you for helping me with the bullying." Kurt continues even though he sees his step-brother flinch. "Well, I have no reason to. When I was still thrown into the dumpster you walked by everyday without saying anything. Did you really think I was hanging out with the football players. You are a teacher for enough years to know that the football players normally don't hang out with the unpopular kids. And you saw me a lot of times drenched by a slushie to know that it couldn't be an accident. Last year you finally acknowledged the bullying I was going through but didn't do anything to help me stop it."
No one responds for a while. Maybe they are waiting for him to continue. He probably could go on for a while, but he decides not to. However the lack of a reaction is disturbing. He could deal better with someone yelling at him than complete silence.
"Kurt." In the end it is Blaine who breaks it. "I think you should apologize. You're clearly overreacting."
Kurt is taken aback by his boyfriends betrayal. Isn't one point of being in a relationship to support each other?
"Shut it, Anderson. He's right."
In retrospect it isn't surprising that Puck is the one supporting him. Ever since last year Puck has been awfully nice to him. Especially since Kurt came back from Dalton Puck has been a very good friend to him.
"If my boy Kurt lets you get into his tight pants the least you can do is not being an ass to him. And if you can't he really deserves better."
Satisfied Kurt sees that Blaine blushes of shame. It probably would have been even more satisfying if Kurt wasn't blushing either by Pucks words. Why would Puck feel the need to bring up sex while defending him?
"Whatever, I'm out of here." Suddenly Puck stands up from his chair and makes his way down to the floor. "You're coming?"
It takes a few seconds until Kurt realizes that Puck is talking to him. Automatic Kurt grabs his bag and joins his friend by the door.
"Have fun with your party Mr Schue!"
With that they both leave the choir room and make their way to the parking lot. First they walk in comfortable silence, but then Kurt feels the need to laugh. Soon after he starts giggling Puck joins him in a full-blown laugh.
"Have you seen their faces?"
"Yes, I did. It was great, dude!" Puck shoves him playfully. "Thankfully you're outburst came before my turn. I probably would have told some bullshit about him being the best teacher and always being there for me and my problems. My Nana would have been really disappointed, after all she always tells me that I shouldn't lie."
They reach the parking lot, with Kurt still smiling over the image of Noah Puckerman, McKinley's resident bad-ass, being scolded by his grandmother.
"I meant it when I said that you deserve better."
Still coming down from his laughing fit Kurt takes a while to remember what Puck is talking about. Blaine. Puck said that Kurt deserves better than a boyfriend who can't support him.
"I know that you're going to New York and the boys there are going to be at your feet. Especially when they see your ass in those pants you always wear. You don't have to change who you are for anyone. Here in Lima there is at least one other guy who likes you besides Blanderson. And he appreciates you the way you are. "
Kurt knows what Puck means. This year there were times when he didn't even recognized himself. It was like he gave up all his character traits in favor of a boy. Blaine likes standing out and a boyfriend who does the same doesn't fit. Kurt knew that and backed down.
And Puck is right there are people who like him the way he is.
There is Dave. Although he didn't believed him at first, now Kurt is sure that Dave's feelings were genuine. But he didn't tell anyone about Valentine's Day so Puck is probably not referring to him.
Chandler liked him too. But Kurt isn't sure if Puck knows any details of that particular week. At least not from him. It was embarrassing enough to hear his boyfriend tell everybody that he cheated, he didn't want to spread out the rest of the details for his friends.
"What do you mean by other guys?"
Puck doesn't respond. He just looks at him like he missed something obvious.
Then he understands.
There are those hugs that just last a tad to long.
Hazel eyes looking at him attentively while he performs. Those eyes either happy or sad. Always in tact with his own emotions while singing.
The way they often happen to sit side by side. Talking about important things or just nothing at all.
Him complementing particular outfits of body parts for that matter. Way too many times telling him that ass or legs looked great.
They way they always laugh at the other one's jokes and lean towards each other so that it stays between them.
How could Kurt have missed it. He taught it was just Puck being a good friend, but it wasn't. He made it clear that it was much more. It changes everything. Kurt never actively thought about Puck that way. How could he? There was no evidence. Okay there was but Kurt didn't recognized it as such.
"But your straight." Kurt blurts out the probably most prominent argument for him not thinking about Puck in that way.
Kurt is majorly confused and Puck has the nerve to roll his eyes at him.
"I don't care about labels. I know that I like you and that's enough for me. And I also know that you changed over the past year. And not for the better."
"But... I don't understand. What do you want me to do?"
"Nothing." Puck responds instantly and like it is self-evident. "I didn't tell you, because I want you to say it back. I just want you to know that you don't have to settle for one boy who doesn't bring the best out of you. You have to find that boy that likes the real you, but for that you have to find yourself again. The real you. The one who fought for solos and a week dedicated to his favorite singer. The one who wore a fucking dress to school and was proud to be different. That's the Kurt I like and that is the Kurt you should like too."
Why does everyone think that Puck is stupid? That was probably the wisest thing everyone, besides his dad, has ever said to him. His friend is so right, he needs to find himself again.
Suddenly Kurt has the desire to kiss Puck. He never thought about Puck as anything other than a friend. There were times Kurt fantasized about laying in his strong arms or stroking Puck's abs, but those were fantasies that had no chance in getting real. He never included kissing in those thoughts.
He really wants to kiss Puck. But he doesn't.
It wouldn't be fair to his boyfriend who is still somewhere in the school behind them.
Neither would it be fair to Puck to be once again used by someone who is not sure about the feelings for him. Kurt doesn't want to hurt him like all the others before him.
Kurt doesn't know what to say. There is so much going through his head right now. He could thank him for saying those things. He could promise him that he's going to take the advice. He could tell him that he's just has a lot of thinking to do after that surprising revelation. Instead he settles for a hug. He hopes that it is enough of an explanation for now. Puck seems startled for a moment but then his arms settle around him.
It doesn't feel that much different from all the other hugs they exchanged before Puck's confession. Maybe that is enough of a sign, but Puck was right.
Kurt has to find himself again.
It may sound egoistic but from this day forward he has to put himself first. Some people might have to be left behind. People that drag him down. Puck is not one of these people so Kurt is sure that in his future there is always be a place for him. Either as friends or more. Only time will tell.
A/N 2:Okay, I'm sorry that it ended quite cliff-hangerish. It's supposed to be a one-shot, but maybe it won't? But a possible sequel might take a while.