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
"I can kind of tell that you're leading me back to my room." Kurt chuckles as he walks the very familiar steps down to his room, only this time Puck has his hands tight over his eyes.
"Humor me." He can feel Puck roll his eyes as his free hand that's not on his eyes and tightens his grip on Kurt's wrist to guide him. "Now stand still. You move too much."
Kurt smiles and lets the boy continue to guide him, curious about where this is going. It didn't help that Puck surprised him upstairs by jumping on the couch and all but sitting on Kurt as he asked for Kurt to trust him. It was a silly question as they both knew that Kurt did, but Kurt appreciated being asked nonetheless.
Something felt strange as his feet his the carpet of his room. He couldn't explain it, but he knew that room like that back of his hand so he knew something was off. Before he could interrupt or make another offhand comment that Puck would roll his eyes at, Puck stops moving him forward and drops his hands from Kurt.
"Keep your eyes shut." Kurt hears as Puck moves ahead of him.
Kurt rolls his eyes under his eye lids and brings his hands up to pop a few of his knuckles while he waits. "You know whatever it is that you're planning isn't really a surprise since it's indoors and I've been locked out of my room and forced to not look in the hallway so you could do whatever it is that you've been doing. Just saying?" He adds as he holds his hands up with a smirk.
"Hardy." He hears Puck's voice sound slightly ragged as he moves about. "Har." Suddenly the voice and warm breath is a few mere inches from his face. "Har." He finishes dryly before reaching up and placing his hand on Kurt's eyes. "Now open your eyes and let me deal with the big surprise."
Kurt opens his eyes and is met with the view of a tan hand with small cracks of light coming in from between his fingers. Kurt lifts his head in the hopes that the boys hand will drop, but Puck just chuckles and holds it there for a second longer before dropping it from his eyes. Kurt expects to wince since he usually does when he goes from complete darkness to the bright lights of his room, but the room is lit in a dim glow.
"Noah." Kurt breathes out as he can't help but smile.
The dim glow is coming from the various candles set up around the room along with a trail of Christmas lights that circle around a picnic. An actual picnic that you'd see outside in a park on the grass. A red and white checkered picnic blanket is spread out in the middle of his room and holding various foods and a couple of soda's in a cooler that's on the cloths side. A fake candelabra with fake glowing lights is placed right in the center to give light from within.
"It's for you." Puck starts to explain. "And me as well. Just to celebrate where we are in life, and for how far we've come." He takes Kurt's unmoving hand and starts moving the shocked boy closer to his surprise. "I mean we've been through hell and back, but now it seems like we're stronger and better from the experience. And I'm not meaning that in a bad way. But because it happened, it somehow helped us to be us. To be friends."
"I don't know what to say." Kurt mutters, the silence in the room allowed Puck to hear the soft words. "It's . . ."
"It's also to celebrate our birthdays." Puck admits, making Kurt's eyes finally go to him. "Since we only really had a dinner with my mom and you talked to your dad, so this is for us. Friends hanging out. So we're making up for missed birthdays, and personal growth, and friendship . . . oh." He stops as he gulps, his voice more hesitant as he continues on. "It's also sort of a relaxation time before we go back to school tomorrow. Neither of us had been back since . . . well since you know when. And I just wanted us to relax tonight and not worry about what's coming tomorrow. We'll eat, and drink. And I even brought a few beers ma said I could have if we want to really relax, but that's just a Plan B if we're not relaxed before midnight and we need to crash. And no need to wake up with a hangover, right?" He drops Kurt's hand as his nerves start to hit him and his words become more jumbled. "But I just thought that this would be the ultimate way to kick off the new school year. Look here." He points over to the TV. "I went out and rented your favorite movies, or at least the ones you don't have already. I have a few of mine in there, but I'm starting to like a few of yours. And we have Super Mario 3 if we want to try and beat the next world before we crash. And your favorite foods." He steps over to the picnic as he rubs his hands hastily on his jeans. "I have PB&J's with a side of marshmallow fluff for when you like to smear that on. And the generic ruffled chips since you said they taste better than the expensive kind. I also got popcorn for throwing it at the TV whenever we see something cliche or stereotypical like a modern rom-com. And-"
"Noah." Kurt smiles as he steps up and places a hand on the boys slightly trembling shoulder. "This is . . . perfect. Exactly what I needed." He takes a second before letting out a shaky breath. "Just . . . thank you."
He quickly moves forward and wraps his arms tightly around the boys neck, feeling the boy quickly wrap his arms around Kurt's body just as tight. It continued to surprise him at how often and easily it was for Puck to surprise him, but it was never bad. The boy continued to blow away previous negative thoughts that he once held for him. Puck had proved that he was a good friend who actually listened and didn't mind putting up with Kurt's actions such as a hug, which is something many guys wouldn't like because there was emotion there instead of it being a quick bro-hug. And Kurt found out that they have the same taste in many things: movies, books, foods, ideas for inventions, etc. It was just one thing that no one could have expected, but Kurt Hummel and Noah Puckerman were best friends.
Kurt finds himself blinking his eyes open to the flashing fuzzy channel of static on his TV. He groans and shuts his eyes, happy that the volume is all the way down and he doesn't have to hear that dreadful sound. it's not that he's drunk, it's just that he just woke up and he's sure that he could fall asleep it any moment. And he's not drunk. That's something he'll keep telling himself because there's no way that he could get drunk off the half bottle of beer that he has plot with Puck. To be honest, it confused him at first because they were sharing the same bottle, but he just assumed that it was easier than opening a second bottle and both of them having some left over to spill on the carpet when they crashed. Luckily for them, all of the food had been eaten by the two hungry boys so nothing was spoiling or being stained to their clothes from where they lay on the picnic blanket, the various empty containers spread around them.
Kurt opens his eyes and rolls his head over, only finding himself looking at the top of Puck's mohawk. The boys body is sprawled out like Kurt's, but he's on his side facing Kurt. He even has one hand twitching every once in awhile near Kurt's face. His face looked peaceful while he slept; it always did. It made him look like this innocent boy; the boy that Kurt had come to lo-like . . . to like as a friend.
Kurt shakes his head and rolls his head away to look at the ceiling, smiling as he sees the second surprise of the night. He doesn't know how Puck managed to do it, bar bringing a ladder down without Kurt noticing, but his ceiling was covered with glow in the dark stars. While many of them were scattered in various nonsensical patterns, there was one spot above him that spelled out, 'Survive'. At first Kurt had been confused, but Puck had explained that the word was in relation to his life. At a young age, he had lost his mother, and now he had survived a school shooting with a wound to show for it. He had survived the torment and abuse of a homophobic school and somehow managed to never stop. Kurt thought that he could have something like 'courage' or strength up there, but he realized that those were stupid because he always had those and he always would. Surviving is more than that because you need to have hope, the guts, and the desire to want to keep going even if all seems hopeless. You can be afraid, and you can be hesitant and have a few times where you're low, but you never stop.
Kurt lets out a shiver as he realizes how cold he's become. The candles were out, and the basement doesn't warm up in a matter of minutes like the main level of the house. He would have a shirt on, but he had taken that off when Puck volunteered to change his bandages again. He sighs before rolling over, enjoying the warm glow that Puck gives him. However he needs more, so he scoots his body to within an inch of Puck's and grabs the picnic blanket from behind him and drops it over his body to cover his back: warmth achieved.
The sound of the cell phone alarm sends him jolting awake and grabbing his phones from his jeans to turn it off. He's always hated those little adrenaline rushes that alarms give you when he wakes up, so he drops his phone back to the floor and lets himself settle back into the silence that hadn't rudely protruded his dreams. Or rather he would let himself drift off if the light wasn't so bright in his room. He hated that part of waking up too. He tried putting curtains over that little window so many times, but then he'd never wake up because the morning light was a vital part at keeping him awake once the alarm went off.
He rolls his head over to look at Puck and finds the boy in a similar position as before, except this time Kurt's arm is locked under Puck's head and the boys eyes are half-open. "Still asleep?" Kurt inquires as he smiles softly.
"Yes." A thick with sleep voice replies as his eyes shut. "Turn out the light."
"You've woke up here before and you know that I can't do that." Kurt chuckles before reaching up to poke Puck's cheek. "Come on, now. Wake up. That alarm means that we have an hour and a half until school and I don't want to be late."
Puck groans, but opens his eyes and peers up at Kurt. "I guess it wouldn't be good to make it a habit of being late like last year."
"Probably not. Now get up and . . ." Kurt shrugs. "I don't know. Take a shower or something. it'd probably be best for you to get in their first because I'll take longer because I need to re-wrap things."
Puck lets out a heavy breath as he rolls over, his body clashing into Kurt's and his nose burying into the crook of Kurt's elbow. "I guess you can go do that while I shower. Make it easier."
Kurt slowly nods before bouncing his arm up and making Puck finally sit up. "I'll be there in a second. To give you time to get into the shower."
"Alright." Puck yawns. "Give me . . . give me a minute." He reaches up and rubbing his eyes, and the small amount of stubble as well before he looks back down to Kurt. "I forgot to ask you last night, but do you want to drive today? I somehow always get the crappy parking spot and you always get the good ones."
"Yeah." Kurt smiles before shutting his eyes and laying his arm over his eyes. "I don't mind."
Puck freezes once he hears Kurt's voice call out through the door for permission to come in. It's not like they haven't been in a situation like this before so he doesn't have a problem letting the boy in, but something seems different. He had been awake long before Kurt's alarm went off that morning and he found himself doing something he'd never thought of: watching Kurt.
It had all started when his mom had talked about them dating. Sure he thought it was all a joke at the time, but his mind had started to change. It's not like he didn't notice that Kurt was kind of amazing. Before everything he never had more than a thought about Kurt and who he was. Even in glee club he kept their interactions to a minimum because he never thought that they would have anything in common. Turns out, they do.
His mind had been blown after the shooting and he found out that Kurt might be the only friend that he has left. He didn't expect for their to be hugs and crying and a union of sorts. He had expected Kurt to tell him his side of the story, and vice versa, along with what they knew before parting ways. He could have easily found one of his football mates and hung out with them all summer, but he didn't.
He found out that Hummel, that Kurt, was actually one of the coolest guys he's ever known. Not to speak ill of the dead, but he was even better than Finn. Sure he liked being one of the bros and tossing a football around, but Kurt was amazing at keeping up an intelligent conversation that he never thought he wanted or needed. He felt so much better and more at ease than he would have thought.
Avoiding Kurt's fondness of Broadway and Puck's for some rap, their musical tastes were almost identical. As were their movie, food, and other various preferences. And the best part was that they still learned new things about each other and they enjoyed them. Turns out, fashion can make his guns look even more amazing. So he may not be the next fashion designer, but Kurt has taught him how to have taste in the quality over the cheapness or plain look that he had been living in during his life. He even taught Kurt to appreciate the hard core shooting video games, although they both preferred to play Mario in all honesty.
Puck snaps out of his daze and listens to Kurt as the boy strips off his shirt. He tries to keep moving under the showers spray to make it seem like he's not listening to the boy for some odd reason. The reason he's creeped out because at one angle, he can see Kurt's bare back and it's doing things to him that he doesn't want to explain. Sure he's noticed the talent and the personality, but now he's starting to notice things more.
Kurt glances at the running shower and the outline of the boy within before he turns to look at himself in the mirror. It had been three months and he was looking much better than he ever thought he would be. He's no longer sleep deprived, or looking like he's on the verge of death. He's slept more than ever with out any unnecessary stress and he's been eating a lot better. He'd like to think Puck, but he feels that his experience has pushed him to be better. However, Puck was the one that gave him some free weights to work out and make his body mature a bit faster to a more satisfying state for his own benefit.
He reaches down and touches his wound, happy that stitches are no longer required. The scar is still there, as will most likely be a permanent picture for his body now. Luckily for his urge to stay clean and take a shower every day so he's not infected. The only issue is that the healing process is slightly slower than the doctor's would have liked. The soft pink area has to be void of any strain because there's a chance that the skin can rip/
"Damn." Kurt mutters, tired because he has enough energy in him to run a marathon or hunt for wild game in some obscure part of the universe.
He carefully takes his medicine and carefully rubs it onto the wound. He winces slightly as he feels a pang from behind the skin. As much as his doctor reassured him, Kurt always had this little gut feeling, no pun intended, that there was still some complication that went wrong. The only time that changing has bandages felt easy and somewhat relaxing was when Puck had helped him. He was too nervous to do this while Puck's touch was rather tender.
"Fu-" Kurt stops himself from swearing as he accidentally presses down to hard and part of the scar pops and blood starts seeping out.
He reaches out a grabs a wash cloth and quickly brings it to the wound. As he continued to remind himself, he swears because this unfortunately isn't the first time that he's done it. He'll have to admit that his father may be right about his lotions infecting his skin and that's why he was so soft in certain areas. While he had gained muscle this summer, his stomach area had only hardened to an extent but not enough to make the skin thicker over and around the wound.
"Kurt." Kurt freezes up and holds the cloth closer to his body as he sees the shower curtain move and Puck's voice call out. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah." Kurt tries to keep his voice level. "Why?"
"Because you just dropped the f-bomb about five times." Puck chuckles before the shower shuts off. "If you caused yourself to bleed again then you're buying breakfast too."
"It's just a little blood." Kurt admits. "I applied too much . . . pressure . . ."
He trails off as he watches Puck reach out of the shower through the mirror for a towel. He can't help but let his gaze drift down the wet skin as the shower curtain swings open more than Puck probably anticipated. He gulps before looking down from the mirror and pulling the wash cloth off of his skin.
He smiles as he sees that it had stopped bleeding. "See. All is better."
"We'll see about that." Puck chuckles as he steps out of the shower with a towel around his waist. "What'd you do this time? Get distracted by your gray hair in the mirror?"
"I do not have gray hair." Kurt snaps before sighing at the boys unnecessary attempt at humor. "And you're right. I wasn't paying attention. Just thinking about today and added too much pressure."
"Kurt." Puck groans as he makes his way over to Kurt's side and stares down to the wound. "You have to be more careful. And stop worrying about today. I thought that's why we were relaxing last night. Here."
He takes the cloth from Kurt and starts dabbing at the dry blood while Kurt looks at the boy through the mirror. "I mean I am relaxed, but I'm still thinking about today. It's going to be different walking into school like it's not. Their won't be as many people as before, and we'll have new . . . teachers." Kurt frowns as he thinks of the teachers that had died. "I'm starting to wonder about how things are going to work."
"Well maybe there's a new system." Puck chimes in as he removes the cloth from Kurt and stands up straight to look at him. "Just try to stay positive. The upside of the first day of school is that there are tons of announcements and assembly's that will prevent us from learning. It's a nice little win."
Kurt smiles before he nods towards the door. "Go ahead get changed out there. I need to start on my shower so we can get out of here in time."
"No, dad." Kurt hides his keys behind his back as Burt steps forward. "I can drive us. You don't need to be there."
"But it's your first day back, son." Burt sighs as his attempts to persuade his son is useless. "I'd just rather be there when you go back. To make sure that things are safe."
"You know they are." Kurt reassures him. "You know more about the new rules and guidelines of the school since you actually bothered to read them. And you've talked to all of my teachers, both new and old."
"I know, but . . . I worry about you, kid." Burt admits. "I just keep thinking about everything that happened and how easily it can happen when you're least expecting it. Does that make sense?"
"It does. Trust me it does, but things have changed." Kurt smiles. "And we all know that I'm a survivor now. And I have Puck at my side and you know how protective he is of me. Remember when that reporter tried to interview me last week and he went crazy on them."
Burt snorts. "I'm just happy that he only yelled instead of punching the poor guy."
"Exactly." Kurt chuckles. "So you should just trust that everything will be fine. Otherwise we'll be stuck in this rut for the rest of our lives of being afraid of trying anything new or moving on. I want to be able to do things and not be afraid. Yes, bad things do happen in life, but so do the good things and those are the things that I want to focus on."
Burt sighs, very hesitant of letting Kurt go off into the world, but accepting that he has too. "Fine. But text me when you get there, on your lunch break, and before you head home. And-" He quickly adds when Kurt goes to respond. "This is just temporary until I get used to you not being in the house all day every day."
Kurt smiles before pulling out his keys from behind his back. "Temporary indeed. Now I need to go before Noah gets bored and starts to tear apart my car like a rabid animal."
"As long as you don't have any candy in the . . . seriously, Kurt!" Burt chastises him as Kurt's face becomes incredibly guilty. "You can't leave him in the car with candy. He's going to be wired all day."
"I know." Kurt cringes. "I wasn't thinking."
"Go." Burt gives him a slight push. "And you guys are eating at his house tonight so I don't have to deal with his craziness."
Kurt chuckles before he starts backing away, hoping that his distraction works long enough for him to escape the house without another hug. "I'll be by after school to check in, but then I'll head over to his place. Might go shopping tonight for any supplies that I might need once I get the syllabuses."
"Okay." Burt smiles before he returns to his seat in the kitchen chair. "Love you."
"Love you too." Kurt calls out before rounding the corner and letting out a shaky breath.
So he might have been lying to his dad when he was playing up the confident act. He was also lying to Puck as well. He is downright terrified. Nope . . . that would be an improvement. He was dreading this day. He'd be insane not too. He was going back to the school where he was tormented, abused, and then straight shot up and left for dead. Sure their will be new safety features in place, but the atmosphere and image will still be something that continues to haunt his memories. The only thing that will get him through the day is Puck and and the fear of freaking out or having a heart attack in front of everyone.
"You okay?" Kurt jumps as Puck's voice calls out for him from the car.
"Fine." Kurt smiles as he shuts the front door and makes his way down the driveway. "No shut the door. I don't want any heat getting in."
Puck chuckles before snapping his door shut.
"Remind me why we're here again?" Kurt asks as he parks the car and looks out the window up at Puck's house. "Don't get me wrong I love your mother, but I have a feeling that she'll want to stuff by like a turkey with breakfast food and you've been wanting to get to the school half an hour early. I don't really see this working without one of us losing our battle here."
Puck chuckles before reaching over and patting Kurt's hand on the steering wheel. "I'm just here to pick up a few things and yes, Ma does know that you drove me. She promised not to make a scene as long as I'm only here for five minutes. After that it's fair game."
Kurt goes wide-eyed as Puck exits the car, his unamused gaze following the boy. His eyes then narrow before he smirks and pulls out his phone, setting up a timer. He's prepared to leave Puck behind if it means to escape the woman that will feed him a barnful of food without his consent.
He's beyond happy. He had expected the day to go by slow, to be full of dread . . . but it wasn't. Everything's gone by in the blink of an eye. He had arrived and greeted his teachers with a wide encouraging smile; the same way that he's always done. Even though the school is a part of hell in his life, he hopes that by playing happy that it will appear so and people won't worry. He understands why they worry because after all, they are the ones that have watched him get bullied for years.
After arriving at the school and smiling at his classmates, he made his way down the hall. He frowns when he finds his locker empty, remembering that he had a large collection of hair products in the small metal contraption. Rolling his eyes, he figures that one of the jocks must have done it earlier on in the day. There's no other way to explain it.
He finds himself in the cafeteria by mid-day, observing at how packed it seemed. It was busier than normal and that was fine for him. It gave him a chance to disappear and to pretend that he just didn't exist.
He didn't mean to get down on himself, but it just happened. It seems like everything bad in his life is somehow connected to that school. Barely a day would go by where he would escape unscathed. He had so many marks and sores on his body that he's lost count. Sometimes, he wishes he could just go back to a simpler time when he was younger. He wanted to worry about where to sit on the bus, or why he couldn't color his fish bright blue or pink. He wanted that freedom that growing older didn't provide. He wanted no responsibilities or decision to make in life.
For the umpteenth time that day, the schools PA system interrupted his thoughts. He was happy for them because it meant teachers had to stop mid-sentence and start over again, but it also meant having the assignment rushed at the end and that's never fun. This one was about safety in the hallway and how to be curious. He snorts because no one ever listens to those, especially the bullies.
He sighs before turning from the large room and making his way to the hallway. He spots the familiar girls face and smiles as he reaches her side. It feels like it's been ages since he's had a good talk with a friend. There's just no time these days with school, and work, and family. The only downside is that she doesn't see how unhappy he is. How-
He jumps and hears screams as a crack sounds through the air. He looks around wide-eyed, jaw dropping when he sees a gun and it's holder. How could this happen? Here of all places . . . to him . . .
Sorry for the lateness of this, but it's a lot sooner than the other one. This was due on Christmas, but Puck's part kept fighting me. So here it is, and I hope to get another out soon. Let me know what you think.