The Untitled Wound
Spoilers: Set During Season 1; spoilers up until episode 20, Theatricality.
Summary: Kurt does everything he can do to survive the final moments of a shooting at McKinley.
Pairings: Kurt/Puck!Friendship, maybe more.
The Untitled Wound
Kurt can slowly feel life returning to his body, his bladder suddenly filling and his body filling with ache. Through the thin layer of skin that he's keeping over his eyes, he can see that his room is full of dim light, coming from the small window of his room. He used to love waking up feeling the warm light on his skin as he lays spread out on his bed. It made him feel like he was lying in the middle of a field of flowers, the light making it seem so peaceful in the spring breeze. It was a moment of peace that he always fantasized about, just a moment of having no worries, no anxieties.
It feels like it's the most he's slept in days, which is true. He had only dozed off for an hour or two a few times a day when he was at the hospital, and not much before everything just because of stress. He had doubted that sleep would find him, but it did . . . somehow.
He lets his eyes stay shut as he slowly stretches his body out, letting his mind stay in a hazy mist as usual so he doesn't have to worry about anything until he opens them. His mountain of pillows around him creates a nice soft island around him and his entire body is at peace, feeling no pain. It's the way he likes his mornings to go.
He goes to stretch his arms out now and stops when his hand runs into something solid. He glances over and the memories of the night before returns to him: Puck coming over, the crying, the closeness that he's surprised that two people like them would ever share. The sleeping boy next to him looks so innocent as he lies sleeping, his head turned on the pillow in Kurt's direction. He ordinarily wouldn't apply innocent to Puck, but that's what it seems like with the boys face void of any emotion and his lips parted slightly as he breathes in the morning air. Kurt smiles when he hears the light snore coming from Puck, adding even more to the innocent fact. It's one face that he never thought he'd see.
Kurt turns his head to look back at the ceiling before he nods and sits up. He realizes that with Puck being there, their sudden connection, is the main cause of this. He's extremely grateful. He glances down at the boy as he remembers that Puck had hardly slept this week even though he had been home the entire time. Maybe Puck needed this release of sorts just as much as Puck. To think that talking about this experience with someone else that had went through it would leading to many moments of peace, it was unfathomable to wrap his mind around, or at least it was because it's so early in the morning.
He puts his arms above him and leans forward to stretch his body out, pushing his blanket off of him with the movement. He finds himself yawning again, smiling into the yawn because he could easily fall back to sleep. He doesn't have anything planned for that day besides memory lane and pop-a-pill hill, but he feels too energized to let that be his only plans.
He glances over as he scrambles to his knees, needing a way off the bed since Puck had taken the outer edge to the bed and he's now trapped against the wall. He struggles to his feet, thanking his dad for getting one of the best beds he could afford so it won't bounce and will try to distribute weight. He grabs the corner of his bed, the post that extends high up in its wooden fashion, to help hold himself before he looks down to watch where his feet go. Now normally, as he's fantasized, he would freak out, giggle, or go completely still at the sight of seeing someone else's morning wood in his bed, but he doesn't feel that when he sees Puck. He's just glad that he's functioning the same as other boys when he gets his own. He makes a mental note to not mention seeing Puck's morning state to the boy before he hopes off the bed quickly, his feet landing gracefully in the soft carpet with a thud.
His room is still in the same melancholy tone of last night, at least to him. He and Puck had managed to only swallow down half a sandwich each from the bunch that his dad had brought down, so the plate remains with the hard bread on his nightstand. Puck's clothes from the night before are hanging out of his bag, half-hazardly put away before he had jumped into the bed and curled up into a ball so Kurt could get off to change. He had been in the same position when Kurt had returned from changing last night, only stretching out next to Kurt once Kurt returned to his position by the wall. It wasn't uncomfortable last night either, just a quiet and growing connection between the two as they finally drifted off into their forgotten dreams.
Kurt pops his toes as he walks over to the bathroom, ready to relieve himself in the morning. Part of him wants to give Puck a break, but the other half wants to ask the boy to change is wound again so he doesn't have to. He smiles to himself before he hops into his dim bathroom and shuts the door.
It doesn't take long for Puck to wake up once Kurt returns to the bed, the boy stirring for several minutes in his body before his eye lid even twitches to open. When he does, he finds glasz eyes staring at brown ones, nothing but comfort and support coming with them. Puck waits for second to be used to being awake in this new environment before he tightens the blanket around his body and rolls to his side, his eyes shutting again.
"What time is it?" Puck's voice is thick with sleep as he asks.
"Almost ten." Kurt answers from his Indian-style position against the wall, his own part of the blanket over his lap to protect him from the cool temperature of the room.
Puck groans softly. "God. I haven't been this awake this early on a weekend in ages. Why?" Puck's voice becomes more of a whine by the end of his sentence, making Kurt chuckle.
"Well you did sleep for a long time. We both did, in fact. I thought we went to bed early in the morning, but it was only a little after midnight. So ten hours. Ten long hours, which is a lot considering that you or I haven't been sleeping much this past week."
Puck nods slightly, snuggling even more into his share of the pillows. "So besides from a decent amount of sleep, how are you doing? Things got . . . things got kind of intense last night."
"They did." Kurt slowly nods as he stretches his feet out for comfort, only stopping them a few inches from touching Puck. "But I'm good. At least I'm doing a lot better. It felt nice, so relieving to talk this out with . . . with someone who understands. No one else really understands . . . they're not like you." Kurt sighs and looks to his lap. "Today's the first day I can actually see myself moving beyond this . . . this sadness."
He looks back to Puck, finding the boys eyes open and staring at Kurt, a glint in the corner of them. He gives Kurt a small smile before he sits up, letting the blankets fall to pool around his waist. He nudges Kurt's legs as he starts moving, waiting for Kurt to get with the idea. Kurt gulps before he shuffles to his left slightly so Puck can scoot to the wall next to him, settling quickly and quietly into a comfortable position next to Kurt. Unlike the night before, it is Puck's turn to take Kurt's hand, seeming to remember that this was a form of comfort between the two of them: the contact.
"You passed through the five stages pretty quickly." Puck says as he sets their hands on his lap, smiling.
Kurt shrugs, a small smile on his own face. "Everyone moves at different paces. Plus, I really didn't have much to be angry about. This whole experience has been nothing but sad. So that's what? Stage four." He looks to Puck, who slowly nods after thinking about it for a second. "I guess the first three stages happened while I was in that coma thing." Kurt looks down to his lap. "I probably would have been in the anger stage for a while if I would have come straight home after everything. What about you?" He looks to Puck. "Did you skip any stages?"
Puck sighs before shaking his head. "No, but they went pretty quick. I know I was angry for a good chunk of these past couple of weeks. Denial was only for a few days, but ma and Sarah helped me through that." Puck lets out a shaky breath. "I didn't tell you at first because I was just happy that you were alive, but you helped me through that anger with that call. As soon as you called, it broke. Before that, I was punching walls and yelling at everyone. My family stopped trying to help and just said that they'd be there if I wanted to talk, but I didn't want that. I just wanted to . . . hurt something." He looks to Kurt. "After that call, I started thinking about you and where we stood before all of this. I was prepared to . . . try and get through this together."
"Stage three." Kurt slowly nods. "I think you and I were in a mixture of three and four at first last night before four set in. There was a lot of back and forth between those two last night."
Puck nods before he lets his head roll back to rest on the wall. "I think I'm on stage five now, like you. It . . . I know it happened and, well I'm not exactly fine with it, but . . . yeah. Does that make sense?"
"It does." Kurt nods before he lets his head fall to the side and land on Puck's shoulder. "Is this okay?"
"Yeah." Puck's voice is soft as he squeezes Kurt's hand to amplify his answer through touch as well. "So now that we've . . . accepted all of this, in two weeks I might add. Kind of impressive."
Kurt chuckles. "I guess it does seem so."
Puck sighs. "Anyways . . . where do we go from here? What do we do?"
"Well . . ." Kurt stops, unsure of how to answer, and raises his head. "I don't know. We can't really move on with life because the school's not even open, or at least it's not as far as I know. An alternative one." He adds when Puck looks confused. "We have to continue our education, but we need to wait on that one." Kurt hesitates before shrugging. "I guess this is like Spring Break or something. Just a mini-vacation."
"To do what?" Puck groans. "I'd usually hang with friends or something like that. That doesn't seem very possible now. I . . . I can't treat this like a normal vacation." Puck's voice starts shaking. "I've accepted it, but I freaking hate it. I hate that we're the only ones of our group of friends to have survived. Why us? Why me? Anyone in that room is a better person than I am and-"
"Shut up!" Kurt's stern voice makes Puck stop, his head and wide eyes looking to Kurt, the boy who is desperately trying to convey hope with his look as well as his words. "Please don't slide back into these thoughts. Why you? Why not you? You stepped up and became a very mature man for someone of our age when you found out that Quinn was pregnant. Everyone, and I don't speak ill of the dead lightly, had just as many flaws as you. You-" Kurt leans forward as Puck turns away. "You deserve to live. You deserve . . . to show people that you have changed. And . . . I need you . . . Noah. We may not have been the best of friends before everything, but we are now. And I will not let you talk yourself down. You have value."
Kurt lets his last pleading word ring out into the room, his morning energy and comfort suddenly fleeing from him. As much as he'd love to move on and pretend that he hasn't been affected, he knows he can't. He'll have to be Puck's rock to reality just like he's sure that puck will be to him. Puck lifts his teary eyes to meet Kurt's gaze, his bottom lip shaking.
"I-I'm . . . I'm sorry. I shouldn't . . . I can't-"
"It's fine, Noah." Kurt gives him a comforting smile. "I'm sure I'll have moments like this too, and I know I can count on you to help me as well." Puck quickly nods and Kurt smiles wider. "Let's just restart our morning. I can go get us some breakfast."
Puck shakes his head. "I want to come with you."
Kurt nods before he lets out a shaky breath. "Come on, but be quiet. I haven't heard dad yet so I don't know if he's awake or not."
Puck nods before the two of them slide off the bed, neither of them knowing who let go first. The connection that was made between the two of them seemed be slightly dimmer now that their physical connection is diminished, but it's still there. Kurt doesn't want to seem like some clingy and depressed teenager, so he lets his hands drop to his side as he pads across the room.
"Oh." Kurt suddenly stops. "Do you need to go to the bathroom or anything? Sorry for forgetting my manners. I can't just drag you up because I'm hungry."
"It's fine, Kurt." Puck chuckles, his chuckle thick with sleep still. "I'll hold it in until I have some food in me."
Kurt smiles before he turns around and starts up the stairs. His mind goes back to Finn, the boy who had only lived with them for a few days and the habits that had left and impact on Kurt's mind. The only comparison between Finn and Puck was that they hated mornings, but Puck seemed wide awake once he sat up, blood rushing through his body. He always thought that Puck and Finn were two similar Neanderthal hot-blooded and hot bodied teenagers, asides from knowing the Finn was a virgin while Puck played the field, but there were so different. He knows better than to just lump a bunch of people into the same group anymore, no one actually being the same once you get to know them.
The first floor is nice and quiet once Kurt opens the door to peer out, the sunlight coming through the windows and bathing the hallway and adjacent rooms with an orange tint. Nothing but the sounds of their breaths and twittering birds from outside break the silence. He can't hear the echoes of his dad in the garage, so he's probably not even out of bed yet; not even to start fixing the old car in the garage. Kurt feels some guilt sting in his chest knowing that he's the reason his dad's been sleep deprived. That man could sleep for years and still not be rested after all of the drama from this week. He knows his father would rather Kurt be even the slightest bit of happy than get any sleep, but it still doesn't stop the guilt from seeping further into him. He promises that he'll try and make these next few years as a son the easiest as possible.
Puck jerks on hands softly to break the boy out of his frozen state of thoughts to question him with his own brown eyes before he nods to the kitchen. Kurt quickly smiles before he moves quickly forward so he can walk in front of Puck, not wanting to the boy to see his hurting and guilt-filled eyes. It's not guilt exactly, but he doesn't know how else to explain it. He just wants his father to not worry and have an easier time with this situation that he currently is. He's tempted to look to his left, wanting to question Puck about if he feels the same way about his mother or god forbid his sister . . . but he doesn't.
He forces himself to keep quiet as they pad into the kitchen, the cool linoleum that had been laid down decades previously feel nice against their warm feet. The bright kitchen is lit with solar energy and it makes Kurt feel much calmer. Memories flood back to him of a time when things were simpler, to a time where his mother was alive. He'd always arrive to the kitchen to find smells of her cooking a large breakfast, but . . . he doesn't smell that today.
He lets go of Puck's hand in favor of walking across the room to flip some of the burners of the stove on. "Go ahead and take a seat. Get comfortable too. I plan on making a big breakfast."
Instead of hearing a chair scratch lightly over the floor being pulled back, but he hears movement before Puck is suddenly propped up against the counter next to him, his eyes roaming the burners before he reaches over to turn one down a hair. "How about I help you cook? I'm actually not that bad." He adds with a smile when Kurt raises a daring eyebrow. "And we'll cut down the prep time in half."
"Prep time?" Kurt chuckles before he reaches up to open the nearby cabinets. "That's a pretty fancy phrase for a football player."
"Well this football player is a pretty fancy cook who can and just might cook circles around you." Puck retorts with a grin as Kurt pulls down a box of pancake mix. "Now what all are we making? Scratch that. What do you have so I can make the best breakfast from what you have?"
Kurt rolls his eyes and shoves the box of pancake mix into Puck's chest, the lid popping open and pancake mix poofing out. "Stop being cocky. It doesn't suit you and it's not cute."
"I'm always cocky." Puck grins as Kurt pads over to the refrigerator, shaking his head all the while. "And I am absolutely adorable. See."
Kurt turns at Puck's words to find the boy cupping his own face, the goofiest smile on his lips and his eyes fluttering as he looks to Kurt.
Kurt snorts and returns to the cold box for a carton of eggs and the jug of milk. "You're more along the lines of dorky, so we'll settle for adorkable." Kurt's eyes glance up and down Puck's laughing body as he makes to set his new ingredients on the island in the middle of the kitchen. "Even if I don't see half of it."
Puck snorts before he reaches out for the milk and drags it towards himself. "Just watch the master in his element."
Kurt rolls his eyes and let's himself settle into the quiet work environment that the two had created, each only being vocal when it came to asking a question about where something is or how the other liked it cooked. Kurt was happy that they had both found this happy place together in the kitchen. They could talk about this recently learned similarity instead of regressing back into their deep and serious talks. This fresh of breath air is both exciting, but also a great contribution to Kurt's memory sense of what it feels like to be happy.
Kurt shuts his eyes as he beats the eggs, his fingers dancing gracefully along the containers of various herbs and spices that they own, knowing which ones to choose to add into the mix to make sure that everything is cooked into the eggs. He can imagine his mother being there, a knowing smile on her face as she knows which spices Kurt would choose first. Kurt loves adding a picture of garlic and paprika into the mix, the eggs getting that extra burst of flavor with each taste. The only downside is the lack of fresh bell-peppers in the house. His dad hasn't went shopping this week most likely so the freshest ones they had were probably rotting away, something that he'd have to check on later.
Kurt places the egg beater down and makes his way back over to the stove, grabbing a small skillet from the hanging rack, the one that's above the island, as he goes. He spots Puck eyeing him, impressed as he nods at Kurt's fluid movements through the kitchen before he reaches for his own skillet and places it down at the same time as Kurt. Both boys glance at each other and the challenge is accepted as both adjust their burners and start cooking.
In between their main battle, they had battled between the cuttings of fruits and who could start the sausage links on the third burner. They never really had any problems communicating as they dances around each other and the kitchen, never running into anything or the other one. Kurt finds himself being much happier than he has been in a long time, which had started much longer than the whole shooting incident. His life was too busy for him to find a glimpse of happiness. He had felt false hope, a boost of adrenaline or confidence, but not happiness. Not even when it came to him and his petty crushes. Crushes that he had wisely learned and accepted as things that would never come to fruition.
His whole high school experience had been more of a joke than anything now that he's had the time to think, and mope, about it. I always thought that he was better than the people of Lima, but then he'd bring himself down to their levels by judging others or trying to one up them on things. That's what they were doing with him and he found himself doing the same. In all honesty, he's realized that he's just an average Lima Citizen. While he's likely to achieve more with his dreams and move past the average stage, that's just where he is at the moment. He doesn't see himself as anything more, but he does see himself doing more."
"Done." Puck smiles with pride as he turns off his burner and shows Kurt a glass plate stacked up high with thin pancakes. "Eat it."
Kurt sticks his tongue out as he scoops the last of the eggs out of one skillet into a large plate and moves to do the same with the sausages. "I was cooking two separate things. I win. And-" He starts when Puck opens his mouth. "You were at the stove first. That's a penalty."
Puck frowns. "Who said this was a race?"
Kurt chuckles at the low tone that Puck had used and reaches up with his free hand to touch Puck's shoulder gently. "It's okay. Not everyone can keep up with a fabulous person. Not even an adorkable one." He ends with reaching up to tap Puck's nose.
Kurt freezes internally at the unusual action, but quickly forgets it when Puck doesn't respond in any negative way, but grins. "We'll see about that next time." Puck challenges."
"Deal." Kurt chuckles before he turns off the last of the burners and looks to the counter where he and Puck had taken the three largest plates that the Hummel household had to use to hold that copious amounts of food made. "So what do you usually eat with your breakfast? My dad eats his pancakes with brown sugar so we have some of that if you do too."
"Sweet." Puck grins. "Brown sugar and fruit make pancakes taste real rich."
Kurt crinkles his nose. "No thank you. The sugar cakes the dough and syrup to where it's too thick."
Puck scoffs. "I don't think you know your food."
"Well I don't think you know your-"
Kurt snaps his head from an equally surprised Puck to find his father standing in the doorway of the kitchen, his eyes moving slowly between the two previously smiling boys. Burt himself looks much better than he had last night after getting a good amount of hours asleep. The bags were still under his eyes, but not as dark. The older man lets out a sigh as he settles against the doorway.
"Sorry if we were loud, dad." Kurt quickly apologizes as he turns around to transfer the plates from the counter to the island where they usually sit for breakfast. "We were just having some fun."
"Then by all means don't let me stop you." Burt smiles, unbelievably happy that his son is laughing and smiling and being carefree for the time being. "I'll just go check for the paper."
"And I'll set your plate." Kurt smiles to his father as the older man bows out.
Kurt lets out a shaky breath and busies himself to setting his father's plate, trying not to blame him on the sudden change of atmosphere that seems to be happening. It's not that his father had taken away the happiness, but he had disrupted the connection and the feeling of 'it's-just-us-and-that's-all-we-need" kind of moment that he had felt during it. Kurt pushes the plate onto the table and lets out a shaky breath, seeming much more stressed that he was making himself worry about what would eventually turn out to be nothing.
"Hey." Puck reaches out and takes Kurt's balled up fist from the island, Kurt being angry surprising both of them, and massages the muscles in both of his hands. "I'm kind of picking up on what you're feeling, but you can't blame him. If it wasn't him, then it'd have to be me leaving today." Puck jerks on Kurt's hand until Kurt turns to face him. "Remember, we're going to try and move on. You-" He moves their hands to touch Kurt's chest. "And me-" He brings them to his own chest where he holds them. "We're pretty much the only two that either of us has that can relate. So we work through this together. Okay?"
Kurt sighs and nods before he leans forward and lets his head rest against Puck's shoulder. "Sorry. I honestly don't know what came over me."
"Maybe you're a bit possessive of me." Puck teases, grinning wide when Kurt pulls back.
"Shut up." Kurt mutters before he hits Puck in the chest and grabs his own plate. "Get the brown sugar out of the third cabinet." Kurt slides the bowl of fruit to the center of the island. "And here's your nasty extra mix to your meal."
Puck sticks his tongue out before he goes on to make his own plate, unashamed that he's loading it up much more than he would if he was a first time guest anywhere else. Kurt watches him for a second before he goes for the slim pancakes first, only getting a few instead of many because he saw Puck add some vanilla extract and a few dashes of sugar into the mix; most likely delicious, but not exactly his cup of pancake.
"How long have you guys been up?" Burt asks as he returns to the kitchen with the newspaper in one hand, bringing Kurt from his recent memories.
"Almost an hour." Kurt asks after a glance to the kitchen clock. "We've only been up here for about 20 to cook. All of your favorites." Kurt adds as he pushes the plate made for his father to the seat where the man had decided on sitting.
"You didn't have to." Burt mutters, but a happy gleam is very apparent in his eyes.
"We both were hungry, Mr. Hummel." Puck smiles as he sits down on the opposite of the older Hummel. "I hope you don't mind me digging into your brown sugar stash? I love it on my pancakes."
Burt roars with laughter. "Finally. A boy that knows how to eat."
Puck and Burt both laugh at that while Kurt rolls his eyes at the jibe. He sticks his tongue out at them and sends them into another fit. Kurt chuckles under his breath before reaching across the table to pick up the newspaper that his dad had set down. He slides his plate to the side so the newspaper in front of him. He uses one hand to spread the paper out over the empty side of the family-sized table and uses his other to feed himself with, accidentally biting his finger at one point and cursing internally for his mindlessness.
He's pretty sure his reaction sends the temperature of the room plummeting down when his eyes spot the front page news: The Massacre of McKinley High. He knows he should have expected it, but this morning for the most part had felt normal enough that it was like that day never existed. The article only gets worse with a long list on the side of the paper that listed funeral dates for loved ones, each date and time almost on top of the other. He had been told that many people had participated in a group funeral for the families that were close to each other in this small town. Out of the 40 percent that had died, about half had already been buried. The school only had about 400 to begin with, about 60 have had individual funerals while so many more had had group ones to be with their nearest and dearest. Kurt had been unfortunately told, although he had kept this from his mind until now, that some of the glee kids had already been buried as well.
Kurt hears his voice and looks up to find both Puck and his father looking at them, burning questions and hesitating actions in their bodies. Kurt shakes his head before he folds the paper up and hands over the part that he's concerned with the most, the names face up when the paper hits the table.
"So . . . who's ready for a funeral?" Kurt asks slowly as he feels himself conflicted already with his own question.
I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. It took me a while to figure out everything that would go into this, but I'm satisfied. Please, let me know what you think. :)