Title: Always Shout Fire
Warnings: Adult themes (now with smut), some violence and bad language and set in season 2
Spoilers: Spoilers for up to Duets
Summary: Kurt decides further investigation is needed regarding the Puckerman situation. He is both surprised and shocked to find his former nemesis brought low and how it changes them from team mates, to friends and perhaps...Previous Chapters: ( Chapter 1 ) ( Chapter 2 ) ( Chapter 3 ) ( Chapter 4 ) ( Chapter 5 ) ( Chapter 6 ) ( Chapter 7 ) ( Chapter 8 ) ( Chapter 9 ) ( Chapter 10 ) ( Chapter 11 ) ( Chapter 12 ) ( Chapter 13 ) ( Chapter 14 ) ( Chapter 15 ) ( Chapter 16 )
( Chapter 17Collapse )
Thanks for the reviews and calls to get the next chapter up quick - done and done. Some of you had some good theories on who it would be but sometimes the simplest explanation is the truth, so find out right now:
Previously: [Finn’s voice] Puck’s recovered from surgery and he and Kurt are together, like officially – they’re even allowed to sleep over, which is like totally unfair; anyway, Kurt is worried Puck is hiding something and Puck is worried Kurt’s going to get hurt because of his near-death experience. Kurt brought Blaine to help explain they may be in danger from vengeful bullies but Blaine seemed more intent on getting to know Sam, who didn’t seem to mind – weird. Kurt’s safe though, but someone still got attacked… and that’s what you missed on ‘Always Shout Fire’.
“He should’ve been back by now,” said Kurt hoarsely. Rachel’s diatribe had distracted him and he hadn’t realised.
“He should have been back ages ago.”
“Kurt what the hell?” said Puck as Kurt raced from the room, he had to jog to keep him in sight.
He knew everyone was following but no-one could move as fast as Kurt on a mission and besides, it was obvious what his destination was.
“You’re just a bunch of fags and homo lovers,” he heard one of them sneer followed by a spitting sound. “You think you can mess with the way things are meant to be?”
Through one bleary eye he saw a foot lift to kick him, even though his head was already on the ground.
“Come on man, he’s had enough.”
Someone grabbed his hair and he could tell from the way it squelched that his own blood was soaking it. A very angry face backed by a very ugly mullet hairdo looked into his own.
“Tell your friends if they put any of that shit on the web they’re all gonna get the same treatment.”
His head was shoved back, the impact made everything go white so he never saw the punch that crunched across his jaw and split his lip open.
All he could hear was footsteps walking away and laughter.
Puck reached the main hall as he saw Kurt disappear through the front doors, his own breath was laboured after his rush to Glee and now this, but no way was he letting Kurt out there without him.
“Hey man, need a hand,” a voice asked to his left.
He was too breathless to say much and allowed this new guy to grab his elbow and lead him to the doors.
“Blaine,” announced the guy, opening the door. “You must be Noah.”
Puck just nodded, exiting the door and from the top of the steps he looked down – from here he could see Kurt standing near the dumpster but he couldn’t see the dumpster itself.
Rushing down his blood ran cold as it all became familiar.
The hand just visible
The blood that covered the hand
He raced up to Kurt, frozen looking down at the person slumped against the back of the bin. Puck did not hesitate and slid down.
“Sam,” he whispered, gently putting a hand behind his head and turning his head. Sam flinched but visibly relaxed when he saw Puck. One eye was already swollen shut and his face was a mess. Even his famous blonde head of hair was matted in blood and dirt.
Years of sport taught Puck to quickly check Sam for serious injury without moving him too much. His limbs seemed okay, if suffering a lot of defensive wounds. Quickly pressing across his sides and torso Sam flinched again but not enough to indicate any broken ribs – and the fact this close Puck could hear Sam’s forced steady breaths meant he was in pain but had no airway problems. Looks like he was trying to calm himself down – Puck hoped it was also because of sports experience and not that Sam had been through this before. His shirt was torn away from the neck, they had been rough but not brutal – at least until you got to his face. Blood still dripped from his nose and a deep cut was open over one eyebrow – most of the blood had come from that. Glancing to the side Puck could see a smear of blood on the ground. He must have been left there and that explained his head being covered in blood and dirt. Sam had obviously managed to prop himself to a sitting position against the bin and seemed comfortable enough so Puck didn’t try to move him.
“Hey man,” he said softly. “You with us?”
Sam tried to smile through a split lip and rapidly bruising cheek. “Thursday, Sam Evans, you’re holding up six fingers because you’re a freak and I’m here because a bunch of sub-humans attacked me.”
“I’m not sure humour rules out concussion,” said Blaine, moving in from the other side and staring into Sam’s one good eye, alternatively blocking the light with his other hand.
“I know you,” mumbled Sam. “You thought I was pretty.”
“I thought your shirt was pretty,” answered Blaine and gave a tight grin. “But sure, the other works too.”
Puck could hear lots of voices in the background. Quinn calling out Sam’s name. Mercedes yelling at some ambulance call-desk on her phone. Santana was, well Puck felt similar but the things she was threatening to do to the perpetrators, sucks to be them.
He could hear Kurt too, probably because he was closer. Muttering about it being his fault. Catching Finn’s eye Puck motioned him over to take his place, besides which Blaine was doing a good job of continuing to check Sam over – having used his red pocket slip to staunch Sam’s head wound and was keeping him talking about some movie involving something called Reavers.
“Kurt,” Puck said as he enveloped Kurt in a hug. “Its okay, Sam’s going to be okay.”
“This is my fault,” Kurt said, close to breaking. “He was getting my phone for me – I didn’t ask him to, typical Sam doing the nice helpful thing.”
“Come on,” Puck hugged him closer and pulled away from the others. Telling him it was not his fault would be useless with Sam bleeding in front of them and as Mr Shue arrived, immediately taking charge, Puck knew they could leave. “Let’s get you home,” he whispered, knowing Kurt would not resist.
Kurt did not argue when Puck insisted on driving, which was bad – but then he wasn’t totally breaking down, so Puck figured that was good. He kind of felt like breaking just a little himself. He’d been in fights, got beaten himself – but never like that and what cowards would gang up on one guy, leaving him to lie in his own blood.
Well, Puck was almost certain he knew which cowards they were.
He liked Sam, not best buds or anything but they’d spent a lot of time in training before Puck had quit football and recently in the weight room as Puck rebuilt his body. There weren’t even any hard feelings about Quinn, Puck surprised himself by being happy she was with a good guy. That good guy would now be at hospital, getting all the usual checks and probably a visit from the police… unless of course the school tried to cover it up. Okay, as a former bully Puck was still amazed at the shit that could go down and not be reported to the authorities. Drugs, assaults, false imprisonment, blackmail – things if you did on the street you’d be in jail; but in school it seems the law is, for the most part, kept out of it. No wonder those goons thought they could mess up Sam with impunity. That was a big reason he wanted the website to go up; not only to force the school to act but to make everyone understand they are responsible for their actions. Maybe it took almost dying to make him realise it but Puck wasn’t going to avoid trying to change things just because he used to be one of those bullies.
Walking Kurt to the door Puck was at a loss to say anything. He knew Kurt would blame himself when he knew who was really responsible – himself. They had been waiting for Kurt, well maybe not specifically since they wouldn’t have known he’d be there. But Puck knew if he hadn’t have made Rachel stop him, Kurt would have been the one going to his car to get his bloody phone.
Sam had been the gentleman and gone instead.
He hadn’t changed the future, just changed who got hurt.
“Noah,” whispered Kurt, so low he almost didn’t hear him. “Can you stay?”
Like he needed to ask. Puck walked them both inside and made Kurt sit in the lounge while he put the kettle on. Joining Kurt he handed him one cup and pulled Kurt’s legs onto his lap. They stayed like that, in comfortable silence, until falling asleep.
Blaine wiped some dried blood from his finger using one of the handy wipes he’d got from the Glee club first aid kit; apparently they used it quite a lot.
“Thanks for the ride,” he said to his driver. “I’ll put in some fuel money.”
“Nah,” Finn waved away the offer with one hand and Blaine resisted the urge to demand he have both hands on the wheel. “After how you helped Sam it’s the least I can do.”
“I didn’t really do anything,” said Blaine modestly.
“You kidding? You were all like Doctor McAwesome with the pressure on the wound and keeping him talking, and then you just whipped off all his injuries to the ambulance guys like you worked in the ER.”
“Car!” Blaine slapped the dash as Finn swerved back into his lane and gave Blaine a look that said ‘like it was even that close’. “Um, well I would like to be a paramedic one day.”
“Oh, so you could flirt with all the nurses.”
Blaine laughed, Finn had said it like that was the only possible answer. “Actually,” he countered. “It’s the hot male doctors I’d want.”
“Um yeah, I did mean the male nurses… gee you’re not only elitist but sexist at that all male school aren’t ya?”
Waiting a few seconds to process that Finn had not only not freaked that he was gay and was also willing to give him hell Blaine let himself laugh again. “You know Finn, you are not exactly what I expected.”
Finn looked at him from the corner of his eye. “Kurt has been known to exaggerate.”
“Yes, I get that impression,” Blaine grinned and decided to have some fun. “But not about that boyfriend of his, if anything he undersold him – talk about sexy all wrapped in one snug man bundle.”
“Dude! That’s my best friend.”
“Sorry, of course.” Blaine tapped his thigh to some non-existent beat. Always let them think you’ve moved on, then…
“That means you’d know all about him then, boyhood secrets, favourite food… penis length.”
To his credit Finn just laughed, not even a little freaked out.
“Well he does call it Puckzilla for good reason.”
Blaine couldn’t help the surprised yelp and had to bite his lip to say anything else. Maybe living with Kurt had built up Finn’s tolerance to gay panic.
They turned off to Dalton’s exit and Blaine sighed, the events of the day starting to catch up.
“Do you think this will stop the website? I mean it is why Kurt and I came down – this is exactly what we were worried might happen.”
Finn frowned but shook his head. “When Puck first thought it up I spoke against it but now I can’t believe how many people have got involved – its like a revolution and the site isn’t even up yet.”
They parked in front of the main entry but Blaine remained in the car; Finn didn’t seem to mind.
“Its things like this though, they’ll use it to argue against the site – saying it promotes violence instead of quelling it.”
“That’s crazy – how can anyone say that an anti-bullying campaign will promote bullying?” asked Finn, crossing his arms.
Slipping off his seat-belt Blaine turned towards him. “It doesn’t have to make sense, the haters will just get some ‘experts’ to say some psycho babble about enablement and before you know it the victims have become the problem – not the bullies. They’ll talk about providing them the skills to avoid being bullied, they’ll explain that the victims are the ones who have to change how they interact with others...”
He noticed Finn was staring at nothing, his face a myriad of emotions. “Sorry,” Blaine laughed a little at himself. “I get carried away sometimes, all up on my soap box as my Mom would say.”
“No, that’s cool,” said Finn, literally shaking his head back to normalcy. “Thanks again for helping Sam.”
There was an awkward silence as Blaine felt Finn wanted to say something else, but it soon passed and he smiled, holding out his hand to shake. “No worries, hope he’s okay and you get the guys responsible.”
“Yeah,” Finn tried to smile as Blaine walked away. “Responsible,” he muttered to himself and backed out, not particularly looking forward to the long drive home.
Puck awoke to hear familiar laughter in the kitchen, that of Kurt and his father. By the lack of light through the windows he’d been asleep for several hours. That was happening a lot lately and after the inability to sleep when he was sick Puck was not going to complain. Stretching he made his way to join them.
Burt was sitting at the counter as Kurt stirred something on the stove, by the smell it was chicken soup.
“The sleeper wakes,” stated Burt, going back to reading the paper – probably the cartoon page by the earlier laughter.
Puck made a non-committal grunt, feeling comfortable enough around Burt to do that. He sidled up to Kurt and hugged him from behind, he would have risked a kiss but he wasn’t that comfortable around Burt – especially after being caught in bed with his son. “Feeling better?” he whispered into his boyfriend’s ear.
“Much, Dad always has a way of putting things in perspective.”
Deciding not to argue Puck joined Burt at the counter. “Where’s Finn and Carol?”
“Carol’s on a late shift, Finn took Blaine back to Dalton then said he had some stuff to do,” Kurt answered, sniffing the soup and adding a pinch of salt. He looked to his father and shrugged as if to say, just that and no more.
“Yeah, he’s got Rachel to do,” Puck chuckled.
He knew Burt was trying not to laugh and Kurt was pretending he didn’t hear it. “How’s Sam?” he asked, deciding not to do the normal pick on Finn continuation.
“He’ll be okay, like you said,” Kurt said, pouring out three bowls of the soup. “No broken bones but he’ll be sore and bruised for a while – maybe a scar from that cut but Quinn said Sam thought that would be cool.”
“Scars are cool,” stated Puck.
Kurt just sniffed and put the soup in front of them. “If you say so.”
Too busy eating Puck gave up arguing the point – there were some differences they would never overcome and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Later, back on the couch as they watched World’s Greatest Military Machines, Finn finally walked in. Kurt tensed a little in Puck’s embrace and he wondered why, but looking up he saw that Finn looked terrible. His eyes were red, his face pale and his body slumped. Being guys they said nothing, even Kurt – maybe thought Puck, he was rubbing off on him. Finn joined them on the couch, making it a little squashed, especially when there was a spare armchair, but again they said nothing but the normal ‘heys’.
It was only after another hour, as the program finished, that Puck realised something. He had been toying with Kurt’s hair, idly twisting the tuft behind his ear – when he noticed Finn had fallen asleep, leaning up against him. Finn had been pressing against him for a while, not on purpose but just from lack of space. Now his head had lolled to Puck’s shoulder and his face had finally relaxed from the tight expression he’d worn since he got home. The fact that neither of them had baulked at being squashed against the other for that long really did mean something. For the first time since their argument all that time ago Puck knew he finally had his friend back.
He smiled and softly kissed Kurt’s neck, risking a glare from Burt. Life was good and they could deal with the other stuff tomorrow – for now Puck just wanted to enjoy the company of his favourite boys.