Title: Baby Blues
Characters: Quinn Fabray, Kurt Hummel, Noah Puckerman, Glee Club
Pairings: Puck/Kurt (past Quinn/Puck)
Warnings: Swearing, male pregnancy, slash
Spoilers: All of season one to be certain.
Word Count: 4620
Disclaimer: Glee does not – and never will – belong to me.
Summary: Quinn doesn't understand why it hurts so much.
A/N: Unbeta'd, so sorry for all mistakes.
They've been dating a while when they ask for a word with her – four months in private, almost twelve months publicly. Puck's got his arm wound tightly around Kurt's waist, and Kurt's leaning back into the touch, and they both look so happy. Something knots in her stomach, twisting and pulling at her insides painfully. She has this urge to turn away, because when she watches them together, sometimes she just gets this horrible feeling in the pit of her stomach, and it makes her feel like an awful person. She doesn't though, and she pushes the feeling away, smiling as she follows them into an empty classroom.
To this day, no one actually knows how they got together. Burt doesn't know. Mercedes doesn't know. Finn doesn't know. None of them do. Puck and Kurt won't say a word, instead choosing to smile knowingly at each other, and make out, which always serves to successfully turn the attention away from how they got together. It makes the girls all hot and bothered, and the boys either shocked or nauseous.
There's been rumours, plenty of them, but Quinn's more than sure that Puck didn't blackmail Kurt into it, and that Kurt definitely didn't sprinkle some of his 'magic gay fairy dust' on Puck. (Those were the exact words of one of her Cheerios, and Santana had laughed so hard that her side of the pyramid collapsed, meaning that they were forced to redo the routine for the twenty third time.)
Quinn thinks that it was a simple case of sexual frustration. After the news of Puck being her baby's father got out, not a single girl in the school would touch him. The news has spread like wild fire thanks to Jacob Ben Israel's blog post about it. All girls from Shawnee and Bath High Schools (and the girls at the Catholic school on the outskirts of town who didn't believe in no-sex-before-marriage) refused to bow down and worship Puck anymore in case he impregnate them with his 'magic sperm'. (Another quote from one of her Cheerios.) The MILFs he 'cleaned pools' for were much the same. Puck was left alone with only his right hand for company.
Quinn knows that Puck can't get by without sex. So she assumes that he realised how hot Kurt was – is – and somehow managed to persuade him to get together. (Quinn will freely admit that Kurt's hot. During her pregnancy, she had more than a few hormone-related fantasies about him, and she knows that the other glee girls – and some of the Cheerios – have had fantasies, too, and they don't even have the pregnancy excuse. Santana's favourite fantasy is particularly kinky – something about a ball-gag and handcuffs – though that's really no surprise.)
Most likely it was Puck's admittedly impressive 'guns' which persuaded Kurt, or that thing hanging between his legs, because if there's one thing that Quinn can remember from that night, it's that Puck's more than just well endowed.
"Quinn?" Kurt asks softly, looking up at her through those big, thick lashes that she and the other girls are so jealous of.
Quinn shakes her head to clear her head of her rather inappropriate thoughts, and smiles at them. She doesn't know when she sat down, but apparently she had, and is now facing the two. Puck's sprawled in a chair across from her, legs spread eagle, while he's got his right arm wrapped around Kurt's waist, while Kurt perches daintily on his knee, and she gets that feeling again. A deep breath manages to push it away, and she asks, "What did you need to speak to me about?"
"Well, Kurt is... I'm not really sure how to tell you this, Quinn," Puck says, scratching the back of his neck with his free hand. His curls bounce, and Quinn suppresses a smile. She's glad that Kurt managed to convince Puck to let his hair grow out, because the curls are much better than both the Mohawk and the shaved look. "Kurt... he's..." Puck falls silent, looking to Kurt to explain, and Quinn wonders what he's finding so hard to tell her.
Kurt smiles at her again, gentler and softer than she's seen him look before, and says quietly, "I'm four months pregnant."
Quinn's mouth doesn't fall open in shock. That's an undignified look, and Quinn's a lady. She doesn't want to look like an idiot, so the only sign that she's shocked is the slight widening of her eyes as she stares at them. Did he just say... Oh my goodness, he did.
"We thought you deserved to know first – after our families, of course – because of..." Kurt continues, but he trails off, glancing back at Puck.
"Because of Beth, Quinnie," Puck tells her, ever so gently, and she pauses for a second to ponder the immense changes he's gone through since he started dating Kurt.
Puck doesn't skip classes, attending them all, and thanks to Kurt, he's managing to hold a 3.6 GPA. He doesn't pick on anyone – okay, sometimes he throws Jewfro into the dumpsters, and he's been known to give anyone who even looks at Kurt the wrong way a black eye. He's got a steady job at Kurt's dad's garage, working every weekend, and sometimes, after school. On the whole, Puck's a nicer person, and Quinn knows that she isn't the only one to appreciates the changes.
"Are you keeping it?" She questions, looking up at them, folding her hands in her lap. Quinn's a master at lying and acting, and she makes sure to hide the distraught look she just knows is in her eyes.
Puck nods. "Yeah, we are."
"That's great news," she tells them, beaming, and it really is. "I'm really happy for you," and again, she is.
"Are you sure?" Puck asks, looking at her as if he expects her to burst into tears at any moment.
She assures them, "Yes, I am," and she is.
Though, at the same time, she's not. Not totally anyway. She loves both of them – in a platonic way, of course – and she's happy that they're happy. But, at the same time, she's a little jealous of them. Why do they get to keep their baby and she didn't get to keep hers? Why do they get to experience that little bundle of joy growing up and she had to give Beth up?
Kurt smiles gently at her, again, that true smile which used to be so rare, and the smile kind of hurts to look at because she hates feeling jealous of them, and annoyed with them. She can't help it. She really doesn't want to feel like this. It just... happened.
Kurt eases himself off Puck's knee, and she embraces him carefully. Puck hugs her afterwards, and she stays in the classroom alone while they head off to first period, Puck's arm around Kurt's shoulders, Kurt's around his waist, as their bodies as pressed together from shoulder to knee.
(Kurt's changed, too, because before he would never have hugged her. He's loosened up: Quinn's not seen the mask he used to hide behind in months. He smiles more, that beautiful, bright smile, which always seems to cheer everyone up, and he isn't as socially awkward as he was before. He lets his guard down a lot more, and Quinn likes this softer, nicer Kurt much more than Ice Queen Kurt. Admittedly, he's still a bitch, but he wouldn't be Kurt if he didn't mock people's clothes and argue with Rachel about everything.)
Her usual grace leaves her as she falls back into the chair, dropping her head into her hands, careful not to mess up her hair, because if it isn't carefully scraped back into that high pony tail, Coach Sylvester will go crazy. She feels a few tears fall from her eyes, and she wonders why she can't just be happy for them. It doesn't take her long to work it out.
Because she wants her baby back... and that's never going to happen. And yet, in almost identical circumstances, Kurt and Puck get to keep theirs.
"And yes, we're keeping the baby," Kurt's saying as he and Puck stand at the front of the choir room, watching their friends closely.
"Oh my God," Mercedes murmurs, before jumping from her seat and encasing both Kurt and Puck in her arms. "I'm so happy! I can't wait to be Aunt Mercedes!"
Her outburst seems to have knocked everyone else from their shock, and soon they're all surrounding the soon-to-be parents. Except, Quinn notices, Finn, who's still staring at them in shock. She shakes her head at the boy, and gently prods him in the shoulder as she passes. He glances up at her, wide eyed, before getting to his feet and joining the group at the front of the room.
"... I, of course, am very happy for you, and I know that you two shall make wonderful parents, just like my two gay dads," Rachel's saying as they approach. "However, I am more than a little worried about the effect that this might have on our chances of winning Nationals."
"Don't worry, Rach," Puck laughs, and Quinn's laughing, too, like most of the others. "The baby's due in February, but they think it'll come earlier, 'cause most male pregnancies are premature, so Kurt'll be fine for the competitions. No need to worry."
Rachel beams and starts ranting on about something, but most of them tune her out. She's mellowed out, sure, but she could talk for America.
"What did your dad and Carole say, Kurt?" Tina asks, after she's hugged Kurt. "And what about your mom, Puck?"
"Dad was disappointed at first," Kurt tells them, "but he's ecstatic now. He can't wait to be a grandfather. Carole and Elizabeth are the same. Everyone's just so excited and so happy for us."
"Kurt, Carole and my mom have started discussing colour schemes for the nursery already," Puck says, much to the amusement of the rest of the group, who laugh.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Finn demands, looking at the two in confusion, and, Quinn can see, not a little hurt. "You told Burt and my mom, but not me. Why?"
"Because, Finn, you would go and tell everyone, and Noah and I were not ready for everyone to know at that point," Kurt explains, smiling gently at his step-brother. "We're sorry, of course. Really, we are."
Finn's hurt look stays in place for a few more moments, until he eventually nods, and sweeps Kurt into a bear hug. "Congrats, dude."
"Thank you," Kurt says softly. "And don't call me dude. You know how much I hate that."
Finn laughs as he lets Kurt go, and the group disperse once each of them has congratulated Kurt and Puck. The two boys settle into seats at the front of the room, and Quinn watches them silently, as they all wait for Mr Schue to come and start the rehearsal.
Quinn knows that she shouldn't be jealous, but she sort of hates the way that everyone's accepting the pregnancy without another thought. When they found out she was pregnant, she got dirty looks and sneers and muttered insults, but Kurt and Puck gets congratulations and smiles. How is that fair?
She couldn't tell her parents for fear of what they'd do, and when they did find out, they threw her out. Kurt, on the other hand, tells his dad and his step-mom, and they're happy about it. That surely isn't fair. Not at all. When Carole found out about her baby, she was so disappointed in them. When Mrs Puckerman found out about her baby, she was disappointed in them. But now, for Kurt and Puck's baby, they're happy? They're planning the nursery? How is that fair?
Kurt is glowing, there's no other word for it. The whole 'glowing' thing is a terrible cliché, but in Kurt's case, it's impossible to deny. She's not seen that beaming smile drop from his face all day, and his skin has this ethereal radiance about it that's simply astounding. He looks, dare she say it, even more beautiful than previously.
It hurts. A lot. Way more than she could have possibly predicted if she'd ever thought of this scenario. She doesn't love Puck in anyway other than a platonic one. The same goes for Kurt. However, the sight of them together, Puck's hand on Kurt's barely-there bump, makes her heart clench painfully.
It's because of the baby. It's not that she's not happy for them, because she is, truly. It's just... they look so happy together, and during her pregnancy, she never had that, not with Finn and not with Puck. Kurt and Puck are together and in love and expecting a child and they're happy about it. She and Finn were together, but in a non-serious relationship, and while they were expecting a child – which wasn't even his – they weren't happy about it.
Kurt and Puck seem to want this baby. She knows that it wasn't planned, they'd said that when earlier, but they still want this child. They don't mind giving up their teenage years – the few they have left, anyway. They don't mind not going to parties or giving up on their social lives. They don't mind being weighed down by a baby when they're eighteen or having to give up on their dreams to bring said baby up.
The thing is, no matter how much they all loved, still love, Beth – her, Puck, Finn – none of them actually wanted a child. They all wanted to be teenagers, to go to parties, to have lives. They didn't want to be weighed down by a baby when they were sixteen and have to give up on all of their dreams to bring said baby up. Beth was – still is – precious to them, but she knows that they're all secretly glad that they didn't have to raise her.
Sure, Puck said he wanted her, and Quinn believes that he did, but she also believes that that was only because he didn't want to turn out like his dad, abandoning his child so that he could live his own life.
But now, she's older, more mature, and even though she's only eighteen, she wants Beth back. She wants to raise her daughter like she should have all along, and yet she knows that that will never, ever happen. Shelby's raising her, and she'll never give Beth back.
But Puck's being given a second chance. And she's not.
"What's going to happen next year?" Artie asks, and everyone glances over at him. "Are you two going to college?"
Puck nods. "Kurt's going to go to that FIT place..."
"If I'm accepted," Kurt corrects.
"No, he's going to that fashion school, and I want to study at the Institute of Culinary Education. His grandparents live there, and they've said we can live with them until we get enough money to rent our own place," Puck explains.
"You, a chef?" Mercedes asks. "What you gonna do? Feed the customers pot brownies?"
"They were pot cupcakes, actually," Puck corrects, sticking his tongue out at her.
"I'll defer entry for a year to bring up our baby, while Noah studies, and by the time I start my degree, Noah will hopefully have an apprenticeship at a good restaurant," Kurt adds, smiling up at Puck and leaning into his side.
The way they've got it all planned out hurts, too. They've thought about it. They're fitting their lives around the baby. Why is it so easy for them? Why do they seem to be able to organise their lives and their child's life almost effortlessly just weeks after finding out, when she couldn't do that after nine months?
She hates herself a little more when she wishes that there was no baby and that they weren't together. How selfish is that? Not wanting her friends – two of her best friends – to be together and happy and expecting a child because it hurt her too much.
"Pathetic," she mumbles under her breath, ignoring the look Puck sends her.
She is pathetic. Why can't she just be happy for them?
Time seems to pass by quickly. Before they know it, it's the beginning of November, and it's been raining constantly for almost a week. Quinn hates the rain – it ruins her hair – but there's nothing she can do about it, except keep going on with her life. Sectionals is just a week or so away, and they've got their songs picked, practised and perfected – and have had them that way for weeks.
Kurt's been expanding rapidly as time passes. His bump is much smaller than hers was, though it isn't by any means tiny. He manages to pull it off with the grace and elegance that he does everything with, and she won't admit to anyone that she's jealous of that. He still struts down the corridor, head held high, and the crowds part like the red sea for him in a way she's never been able to regain after her downfall. She doesn't know why that happens, but she assumes that it has something to do with Puck.
(She vaguely remembers hearing about him threatening the football team and the hockey team and the soccer team and every team in the school at the start of term. The rest of the school seem to have taken the lead from them, and no one dares to even give Kurt dirty looks anymore, from fear of Puck's wrath.)
Kurt's still in his skinny jeans and fitted tops, only they're in bigger sizes and the jeans come with the belly fit stretchy part on the front. He's still the little fashionista he was before, only he's got a bump to work around. He looks amazing, and, funnily enough, Quinn can't remember looking that good during her pregnancy. Sure, she pulled off the pretty-girl-next-door thing, with the flowing hair and the pretty dresses, but still, there's something about a pregnant Kurt that she just didn't have.
And she's pretty sure that it's that glow he's still got about him. The radiant skin and the bright smiles are still there, still clichéd, but impossible to deny. Never during her nine months of pregnancy did she look so radiant or happy or even content. She was always green around the gills from morning sickness, or worried about what was going to happen to her and the baby, or crying about her horrible, horrible life.
She's about to open the door to the mostly unused girls' bathroom on the far side of the library when she hears sobbing from within and pauses.
"Look at me," someone's saying, and it doesn't take her long to recognise the high, clear voice as Kurt's, despite his crying. "I'm fat and hideous. You must be so disgusted by me. Why are you still with me?"
"C'mon, baby," Puck's saying gently. "Don't cry. Please. You're beautiful."
"Stop lying to me!"
"Baby, listen to me, you are beautiful. There's nothing sexier than seeing you like that and knowing that's my kid in there." Puck's voice is quiet, but Quinn hears his words loud and clear.
"Really?" Kurt asks quietly, his voice barely more than a whisper, and Quinn can just picture his wide eyes and his trembling lip. She's seen him crying far too often in the last few months. His hormones seem to be much worse than hers. (And she feels bad that she's amused by that, instead of sympathetic.)
"Yeah, princess," Puck assures him. "You're smokin' hot, baby. Absolutely smokin'."
They go silent for a few seconds, and then she hears the moans, and she rushes away, because she doesn't want to creep on them making out. Or more. That would be truly horrifying.
She doesn't stop until she gets to the girls' locker room, on the other side of the school, where she, embarrassingly, breaks down in tears. She's acting like Kurt, and she doesn't even have the pregnancy hormone excuse anymore.
All she can think of is Puck saying that Kurt's beautiful because he's carrying his child, while he told her while she was pregnant with Beth that he "wasn't into fat chicks," despite the fact that she was fat because of the baby. It's a double standard, a complete and utter double standard, and it's totally unfair.
Why didn't Puck want her when she was pregnant? Why does he want Kurt? It's the same circumstances, and yet, Puck refused to be faithful to her, while he dotes on Kurt, getting him anything he wants.
She was fat and ugly.
Kurt is beautiful and sexy.
It doesn't make sense, and it hurts more than it should, and she feels like a complete bitch for wishing that Puck didn't want Kurt in all his pregnant glory. That he was as repulsed by Kurt as he was by her. It's not going to happen, though, because she heard the love, the dedication, in his voice.
She hears Coach Sylvester's voice yelling down the corridor, and she immediately sets to work, removing all evidence of her crying. She'll be destroyed if she shows any form of weakness in front of that woman.
Kurt and Finn invite them all over for a celebration part after they win Sectionals. Usually, Puck would bring alcohol, and they'd all get so drunk that they couldn't remember their own names. Instead, the plan is for them all to gather round the 52" TV in the Hummel/Hudson living room, and watch movies all night long.
When she arrives with Brittany, Santana and Mike, the house is quiet. Burt lets them in, welcoming them with a smile, and directing them into the living room. The house is just what someone would expect for somewhere Kurt Hummel's grown up. It's very modern. Wooden floors with white walls and statement furniture, and much too... contemporary for Burt Hummel. It shows just how much his dad loves him, Quinn muses, the way that Kurt's been allowed to decorate the whole house by himself.
(She is not jealous of the relationship Kurt has with his father. No way.)
Finn stops them in the hallway, beaming like usual, and says, "C'mon, guys. I need a hand in the kitchen. Gotta take the food through."
They exchange looks, eye rolls mostly, as he starts blabbing on about something, but follow him into the kitchen, which is all granite worktops and stainless steel appliances. The worktops are covered in plates and bowls of food. Slices of pizza. Finger sandwiches. Mini quiches. Chips. Candy. Cupcakes. Popcorn. A selection of specially marked vegan foods.
Quinn feels more than a little ill just at the sight of all the food. She lifts up a plate of cupcakes – the fancy ones with the swirly icing – and heads towards the living room, leaving the rest in the kitchen, salivating over the food.
She stops as she gets to the door, and balances the plate precariously on one hand, while she uses the other to push upon the door. As she's about to step inside, she hears them.
"Hey, baby," a voice she recognises as Puck's says. "This is your daddy."
Kurt's high-pitched giggle rings out, loud and clear, and Quinn holds back a laugh.
"That's your mama," Puck says, and Quinn hears the sound of a slap reverberate through the room.
"I am a man!"
"I would know." Quinn can hear the smirk in Puck's voice. "But you're still her mama. We love you very much, baby. You're our everything and you're not even born yet."
"Can you feel that?" She hears Kurt ask. "Oh, she kicked again."
"Is it..." Puck begins, trailing off to exclaim, "Oh my God! That's amazing. My baby's gonna be a badass little ninja."
"Our baby is not going to be a ninja," Kurt says patiently.
"Is it sore?"
Kurt pauses, before telling Puck, "No. It just feels really weird. Nice weird, but still weird."
"So, baby, daddy wants you to be good for your mama, because all of this kicking is driving him mad. And me. I've not had a good night's sleep in weeks because you keep waking your mama up."
(Quinn didn't know that Puck had been staying here. It's not a surprise, though, because he's been doting on Kurt at school and at Glee and any time she's seen them outside school, so it makes sense that he'd want to do that at home. He didn't do that with her, though. And that hurts. It really hurts.)
"Puck, it isn't helping. She just kicked again," Kurt says, sounding not a little exasperated.
Puck sighs, before asking, "Baby, please don't kick so much? Okay? Mama's bladder can't take it."
Quinn hears Santana and Brittany coming behind her, so she shoves the door the rest of the way open, and heads inside. Kurt's lying out on the sofa, back against the arm, and Puck's lying between his legs. Kurt's top's been pulled up, his baby bump on show, and Puck's head is resting just to the side of it, on Kurt's thigh.
Quinn can see his lips puckered, pressing against the bump. "Love you, baby. Mama loves you, too. We can't wait until you're here."
Quinn clears her throat. "Hey, guys."
"Oh, Quinn!" Kurt exclaims, pulling down his shirt and blushing fiercely, red covering his cheeks and his nose and his neck. "Hi! It's good to see you. Glad you could come."
She laughs gently, hoping that it doesn't sound forced. "You, too. I'm sorry. Did I interrupt anything?"
"No, no," Puck insists, shaking his head as he pulls himself up into a seated position.
She just nods, and places the plate down on the coffee table, before sitting down on the other sofa. Santana and Brittany come through the door next, and they're chatting away a mile-a-minute, and they engage Puck and Kurt in conversation immediately, giving Quinn a chance to think.
Puck had never done that to her. In the whole time she was pregnant, he never talked to her bump or kissed her bump or felt the bump when Beth kicked. She doesn't know what the difference is. And she doesn't know why it hurts.
Seeing Puck's lips on the bump, his eyes filled with love, his voice filled with love... it hurt her more than she could have possibly imagined. He loved her. Maybe not in the same way as he loves Kurt. Definitely not in the same way he loves Kurt. But, still, he loved – loves – Beth. Even though it was her stomach, it was Beth in there. His baby girl. He loved, still loves, her. He should have been the same way with her. The touching. The kissing. The talking.
The only reason that she can think of that he didn't is that he was so disgusted by her that he didn't want to touch her. That she was so revolting, distasteful, ugly, that he couldn't possible touch her. He couldn't even touch her skin because she made him feel sick.
She doesn't love Puck in a romantic way. She never has. But it hurts that he couldn't touch her stomach when their child was in there.
She plasters on a smile, though, when Rachel comes bursting through the door, followed by Tina and Mercedes, and pretends that everything's fine. She has to. She's not got any other choice.
However, she's got one problem:
Quinn doesn't understand why it hurts so much.