Word Count: 12,450
Notes: This is set in the same 'verse as The Right Side of Reason, I'm Numbing My Feeling, and Every Second's a Longer Wait. It was getting long, so this part is divided in two. The second part is almost done, so it shouldn't be as long of a wait.
Summary: Puck tries to work through his feelings, and he doesn't mean to leave a path of destruction in his wake—it just kind of happens.
The fact that Puck can’t stop thinking about kissing Sam has put him in a really foul mood. It has him irrationally angry at everyone, including Sam, which is really stupid because, you know, he likes Sam.
He really likes Sam. More than he should. Their kiss had given him the opportunity to study Sam up close, so Puck suddenly has all these little details in his mind, like how Sam’s eyelashes are actually brown, and how his eyes are green with actual dark golden flecks, and how he has just the faintest smattering of freckles across his nose that you can only see if you’re inches away from his face.
He thinks he should maybe stop hanging around Sam so much, especially after their whole seven minutes in heaven stunt at the booster club party. The dickweeds on the football team are going to start mocking them soon. However, Puck has a certain edge just because he’s Puck. He’s a badass and everyone knows it, so Karofsky and Azimio will definitely think twice before they try messing with him.
This is why he’s shocked when the team lumbers into the locker room after practice and Puck is greeted with a poster hanging on the far wall that reads, “Puckerman loves dick” in giant black letters.
There’s a lull for a second as everyone stares, then the jeering starts. There’s laughter and guffawing, and Puck is too stunned to produce an immediate comeback. He quickly glances at Sam, who looks just as shocked as he feels, his eyes wide and his lips parted slightly as he stares at the poster. Puck almost wants to poke him just to make sure he’s still breathing.
Puck’s shock gives way to rage fairly quickly, and he’s about to let loose with a string of expletives when Beiste comes in. The laughter dies fast as she sees the poster.
“Who did this?” she demands. Puck almost scoffs as he glares daggers at Karofsky and Azimio. It’s obviously them; Puck has no doubt about it. No one says anything, though. Puck tries to meet Sam’s eyes, but Sam’s gaze is focused elsewhere, his brow furrowed and his jaw set in displeasure.
“Which one of you jerk-offs did this?” Puck asks, turning around and facing the team.
“I’ll ask the questions, Puckerman,” Beiste says. Puck sweeps his eyes across the group of faces before him, and he almost misses the smirk on Karofsky’s face. Almost.
“Fucking Karofsky,” Puck snarls, plunging into the group so he can sock Karofsky right in his fucking face. He can hear Beiste yelling above the chorus of cheering that breaks out at the possibility of a fight, but doesn’t stop until he reaches Karofsky, lunging forward with his fist drawn.
He doesn’t get to hit him, though, because there are arms yanking him back. Puck is ready to throw a punch at whoever is trying to stop him, but then he realizes Finn’s got his right arm and Sam has his left, and hitting the two of them would be kind of a dick move.
“Let go,” Puck demands instead, trying to shake them off.
“Forget it, Puck,” Finn says, keeping a firm grip on his arm.
“I’m not forgetting this, okay? I’m gonna fucking kill Karofsky!” Puck lunges forward again, and this time Sam steps in and blocks him, then shoves him back so hard that Puck would have crashed into the lockers if Finn hadn’t been there to steady him.
“Leave it,” Sam hisses, putting a hand firmly against his chest to hold him back. They’re both still hot from practice, and Sam’s bangs are plastered to his forehead, his face red. Puck glares at him for a moment, his anger rushing back, but he knows Sam just did him a huge favor, because Beiste would kick his ass if he got into a fight with Karofsky right in front of her.
“They’re fags,” someone—Azimio, Puck thinks—mutters from the back, and Sam’s hand drops like he’s been burned, his head snapping around to search out the voice. For a moment Puck thinks he might have to hold Sam back from getting into a fight of his own, but everyone falls silent when Beiste’s voice thunders through the locker room.
“Quiet down, all of you!” she yells, and Puck tries to be nonchalant about it, but his stomach gives a tiny quiver, and even Sam steps a little closer to him. Finn is trying to hide behind him like a moron, which is really stupid considering he’s taller than almost everyone else in the room.
“Who put this sign up?” Beiste asks, and Puck marvels at her ability to sound even more dangerous when she’s speaking than yelling. The room stays completely quiet. “I want the person who put this sign up to come forward right now.”
No one moves. Beiste has them all so terrified that Puck doesn’t think anyone will. After another moment of excruciating silence, Beiste speaks again.
“Puckerman, hit the showers. Get out of here.”
“What?” Puck asks, lifting his head.
“Everyone else, get back on the field.”
A ripple of protest runs through the team, and Puck catches Sam’s eye as he turns around to glance at him.
“I said get back on the field. If no one wants to come forward, then we have another hour of laps to do,” Beiste says. “Get moving!”
Puck stays still as everyone grumbles and heads for the door. Sam grabs his helmet and gives Puck a shrug, then files out with the rest of the group. Beiste walks over and tears the poster down, ripping it in half before tossing it into the trash.
“If anything else happens to you, you tell me, all right?” Beiste says.
“Like what? I don’t get bullied,” Puck scoffs.
“Puckerman, stop being abrasive and just tell me if anyone bothers you,” she snaps.
“Yes, ma’am.” Puck watches as she grabs her clipboard, meeting her eyes when she turns to look at him.
“You see anyone bothering Evans, you tell me as well,” Beiste says.
That takes Puck back a little. “Why, did anyone do anything to him?”
“Did I say that?” Beiste frowns at him. “I said just tell me if you see anything. Now hit the showers.”
Puck grumbles for a moment as he watches her go. He figures he should wait for Sam, so he heads to the weight room to kill some time, then showers and dresses. He’s stuffing his dirty clothes into his gym bag when the team returns, trudging in slowly, most of them clutching their sides. Puck smirks when he sees Karofsky and Azimio doubled over with cramps from running too hard. Serves them right.
“You’re still here?” Sam asks, appearing beside him, panting. Sam presses his face against his locker door, closing his eyes and letting out an exaggerated groan.
“Dude, take a shower.” Puck picks up his water bottle and squirts some in Sam’s face.
“I’ll pass out and drown on those nasty tiles with feet-germs on them. You want me to die with feet-germs crawling on my face?” Sam opens his eyes and gives him a pointed look, water dripping from his bangs.
“Would it kill you to not be a giant nerd for five seconds?”
Sam laughs, grabbing a towel as he sits down to rest. Puck goes back to putting his clothes into his gym bag, sniffing at his shirts to see which ones he needs to wash. The locker room grows emptier as people leave, until it’s only Sam and him, and once they’re alone, Sam lifts his head, still red-faced but breathing easier.
“Karofsky, huh?” Sam asks. Puck shuts his locker and drops his gym bag to the floor as he sits down beside Sam.
“Yeah,” Puck replies grimly. “I want to fucking kill him. I’m not even kidding.”
Sam slowly exhales, wiping his face with the towel draped around his neck. “This is my fault.”
“How?” Puck arches a brow.
“I shouldn’t have kissed you.”
“Oh, God. Dude, I’m not in the mood for you to play the martyr.”
“It’s true, though. None of this would have happened if we hadn’t kissed.”
“Okay, look,” Puck says, turning to Sam. “I kissed you. You tried to stop in the middle and I was the one who wanted to keep going, so stop trying to act like you sprang this on me.”
Sam sighs, looking sulky. “I just don’t want this to happen to you. I don’t want you to know what it feels like.”
“What what feels like?”
“Being bullied like this.” Sam looks at him, his eyes clouded, and Puck just frowns at him even though he wants to run his hands through Sam’s damp hair and tell him to quit worrying. Puck’s throat suddenly feels tight, and he looks away quickly while scooting away, putting a few extra inches of distance between them.
“It’s not gonna happen. Go take a shower and chill out,” Puck says. Sam doesn’t say anything as he gets up and disappears into the shower room. Puck lets out a nervous breath as he hears Sam turn the water on. Maybe it’s not a good idea for him to be alone with Sam anymore, but at the same time the only thing he ever wants to do nowadays is be with Sam. Aside from the fact that he likes hanging out with him, he has a bunch of questions swimming around in his head and Sam’s the only one who can answer them.
Maybe if he just plays it cool and acts nonchalant, it won’t be a big deal. Puck really needs some answers; he’s tired of worrying himself to sleep and being confused all the fucking time. He steels his nerve and straddles the bench, waiting for Sam to come back even though his body is telling him to hightail it out of there.
Sam returns after a few minutes, his ridiculous abs on display as he enters in a towel, and Puck starts thinking about their kiss again. He hadn’t touched Sam’s body except through his shirt, but he could feel the hard muscles beneath his fingertips, and he imagines how they’d flex and clench if Puck did get the opportunity to make contact with skin.
Puck forces his brain to halt. Sam is getting dressed behind him—naked—and he should not be fantasizing about him. At all. Ever. Puck blows out a sigh and Sam comes around, his gym bag slung over his shoulder.
“You want to go?” Sam asks, taking a step toward the door. He stops when Puck stays put, and after a moment Sam puts his bag down and straddles the bench along with him, leaving a sizable distance between them. “What’s wrong?”
“I’ve been wondering about some stuff,” Puck begins, trying not to mumble. His eyes dart around the room, flitting over everything that’s not Sam’s face.
“Uh-huh. Um…” Puck clears his throat. “Look, can I ask you something personal?”
“Okay. Uh, well… I just wanted to know…” Puck trails off, losing his nerve, but he forces himself to focus and keep talking. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to sound like a jackass, but I just have to know.”
“Just ask, Puck,” Sam says, and Puck finally looks at him, taking in Sam’s careful gaze.
“When did you know you were gay?” Puck asks finally, his stomach churning. He hopes Sam doesn’t get offended. He waits to see if Sam’s expression changes to anger, but it doesn’t. Sam just looks thoughtful.
“Well…” Sam says slowly, flicking his eyes up as he thinks. “I think I always kind of knew. But I didn’t really get it until all my friends were talking about girls and I wanted to talk about boys.”
“Oh.” Puck considers this. He’d never done that as a kid. It’s always been tits or bust for him.
“I think I was around nine or ten when I admitted to myself that my feelings for boys were stronger than they were for girls,” Sam continues. “I thought maybe it was just a phase, but… it never stopped. I didn’t tell anyone because I was scared that I would get in trouble and that what I was thinking was wrong, but at the same time… I really liked how I felt. You know? It felt good. It felt right.”
“Uh-huh.” Puck tries to figure out if his feelings for boys are stronger than his feelings for girls. Maybe this whole thing had been a bad idea because he’s pretty sure he’s just confusing himself even more. Does he like Sam more than, say… Santana? Sam’s awesome, but Santana’s awesome in bed. But Sam might be awesome in bed, too. How is he supposed to know? He tries to compare Santana’s tits to Sam’s dick, but he’s never seen Sam’s dick. Puck’s always been about girls, though, so doesn’t that count for something?
“So, why are you asking?” Sam asks timidly, and Puck freezes up and starts stammering.
“Oh, you know, I, uh, just wanted to, like… get to know you, dude. Plus, this stuff is, like, really fascinating, you know. Like, really interesting shit.”
“My story’s not that interesting,” Sam says with a small smile. “I came out to my parents when I was around thirteen and by that time I was more worried about what other people might think, so I asked them not to tell anyone.”
“Yeah, that’s cool. So you always kind of knew? It didn’t, like, come out of nowhere?”
“That’s how it was for me,” Sam says slowly, and Puck swallows. He doesn’t like the look Sam is suddenly giving him. “It’s completely different for everyone, though.”
“Yeah, well, the fact that you clearly dig dudes over chicks is pretty telling,” Puck scoffs. “That’s universal. People like one or the other, it’s not hard to figure out.”
“That’s not true, though.”
“I was just curious.” Puck leans down and grabs his gym bag, putting it in front of him.
“Just because I figured it out when I was little doesn’t mean that that’s how it is for everybody,” Sam says. “You know some people don’t come out until they’re, like, married with kids, right?”
Puck stares at him, chewing on his lip. “Yeah, I guess… that sucks.”
“And what you said about liking one or the other—”
“Okay, just chill, Sam. It was just a harmless question because I was curious.”
“Some people don’t like either men or women, and some people like both.”
Puck grins tightly. “Yeah, okay. You know, I should probably—”
“It’s confusing, I know, but—”
“It’s not confusing!” Puck says suddenly. “Sam, would you stop? Whatever you’re thinking, you’re wrong.”
“You asked me for a reason and it wasn’t because you want to know more about me,” Sam says quickly. “You’re trying to figure out something about yourself, aren’t you?”
“How about you don’t make assumptions about me,” Puck snaps. “You have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“I’m not.” Sam shakes his head. “But I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Look, I know how it feels to be confused and scared by something you don’t understand. I want to help.”
“Help me with what?”
Sam pauses, his brow creased as he looks at Puck. His face is uncertain for a moment, and anger surges through Puck because he knows exactly what Sam is thinking.
“I’m not gay,” Puck grinds out, standing.
“I didn’t say you were.”
“Yeah, but you’re thinking it. You think I need help trying to figure out my feelings.”
“I think you’re lashing out because you’re scared,” Sam says.
“Oh, yeah, you’d know all about being scared. You live your entire life in fear of people finding out who you really are,” Puck says viciously. He doesn’t even have time to react before Sam is off the bench and slamming him against the lockers, his hands fisted into Puck’s shirt. Puck thinks Sam is going to hit him, and he’d deserve it if he did, but Sam stops, visibly trying to calm himself. Puck can feel Sam’s harsh breath, can see his face twist in anger, barely disguising the hurt behind his eyes.
“Thanks a lot for throwing that in my face,” Sam says bluntly, his voice hard. “All I’m trying to do is help.”
“If I needed your help, I would ask for it,” Puck replies automatically.
“Puck, stop.” Sam voice softens and trembles slightly, tugging at something in Puck’s chest. “I don’t want to fight. I don’t know what happened to us after we kissed—something changed, I know that much, but… whatever happens, I don’t want to lose you.”
Puck swallows hard, trying to keep his breathing even. It’s hard when Sam is pressed so close, his face open and pleading before him. He suddenly has such a strong desire to kiss him, to wrap his arms around Sam’s shoulders and pull him into him. Puck bites the inside of his lip until the skin feels ragged, thinking about Karofsky’s sign, and how his mother would take it if she knew he’d kissed a boy, and how the whole school would see him differently if he came out, and terror washes over him. He can’t even figure out if he’s gay or not—he’s not—so how is he supposed to deal with everything that comes with it?
“I need a break,” Puck says, hating how weak his words sound. Sam gives him a questioning look, and Puck wishes he could have just had this entire conversation by text, because he doesn’t want to see Sam’s face anymore. He can’t get his next words out, but he has to because Sam is just staring at him expectantly, waiting for him to explain.
“I think I need a break from you,” Puck says, feeling lower than the feet-germs on the shower tiles. “It’s just… it’s gotten weird, and I just need… maybe we shouldn’t be hanging out so much.”
Sam blinks, and Puck catches a glimpse of his crushing disappointment before Sam licks his lips and steps back with a nod.
“Oh,” Sam says softly, his eyes flicking to the floor. “Okay.”
“Sam, look, it’s not personal,” Puck mumbles, even though it’s impossible for this to be anything but. Sam turns around and picks up his gym bag, adjusting the strap over his shoulder.
“Practice should have been done over an hour ago,” Sam says, his eyes shifting to the door. “It’s pretty late, man. I should go.”
Puck closes his eyes briefly and sighs, still leaning against the lockers. “I’m… I’m sorry.”
Sam just shakes his head, giving Puck a tight smile. Puck can practically see the dam threatening to break, the mix of anger, confusion, and hurt that Puck caused in the span of about five minutes.
Sam lets the door slam shut behind him, and Puck drags his hands down his face wearily. He can’t help but feel like he just broke up with Sam—except it wasn’t even an upstanding break-up; he basically just dumped Sam on his face with a shitty explanation. Despite Puck’s reputation for badassery, he does not like dumping people. He usually never lets his relationships get so serious that actual dumping is required.
Puck trudges to the bench and grabs his bag. He tells himself that he had to do it. It’s for his own mental health. He can’t go around obsessing over a stupid kiss with Sam forever. So he kissed one guy—that doesn’t mean he’s gay.
It doesn’t mean anything.
- - - - -
Puck sort of hates seeing Sam at school now, because he doesn’t have the nerve to go up and talk to him, and Sam, understandably, won’t approach him. They used to sit at the same table at lunch with Finn and some other guys from the team, but Sam doesn’t show at the cafeteria much anymore, and when he does, he’s either in there for five seconds to buy something from the salad bar, or he spends a couple minutes sitting with Kurt and Rachel and some other people from Glee Club. Puck knows Sam kills most of lunchtime in the weight room nowadays—it’s not like he ever eats anyway.
He especially doesn’t like seeing Sam in the hall. All the guys on the team are still friendly with him, saying hey, slapping him on the shoulder, or chatting for a second while Sam switches his books, but he always walks to class alone. And it makes Puck feel like the world’s biggest prick.
Basically, school sucks now, and football practice is just awkward.
He only runs into Sam once, and it’s the worst timing ever because Santana is hanging off his arm, cooing in his ear about taking her to Breadstix. They round a corner and bump into Sam, and Santana starts going off on him before she realizes who she’s talking to.
“Oh. Sam. Sorry,” she says, not sounding sorry at all. “Watch where you’re going.”
“Sorry, Santana,” Sam says, then flicks his eyes toward Puck. “I didn’t know you guys were back together. It’s nice.”
“We’re not together together,” Puck says, and Santana scoffs. Sam smiles, but it doesn’t reach his eyes. Puck furrows his brow and watches as Sam mutters a goodbye and pushes past him. Their arms brush for a second, and Puck feels a shiver run through him. He turns and sees Sam disappearing into the crowded hallway, and then Santana is dragging him along again.
“What’d you guys do, break up?” Santana asks, and Puck scowls.
“I didn’t do anything.”
“I didn’t ask what did you do, but the fact that you’re automatically on the defensive means you totally did something.”
“That’s stupid,” Puck protests, his face reddening.
“So, what did you do?” she presses.
“Nothing. We’re just not hanging out as much. People just grow apart sometimes.”
“Uh-huh, not buying it,” Santana says flatly. “You two have been practically macking since Sam got here.”
“Well, I’ve got other friends and so does he,” Puck mutters.
Santana laughs loudly. “Sam has no friends. He’s hanging out with losers like Kurt and Rachel now.”
“Shut up.” Puck bites his lip, bristling. “He’s better off hanging with them anyway, at least they’re not douchebags like the guys on the team.”
“You mean guys like you?” Santana gives him a pointed look.
“Ha, ha, you’re so hilarious,” Puck says, glowering.
“Hey, don’t get bitchy with me just because you’re mad over whatever you did to Sam.”
“I didn’t do anything to him,” Puck insists. “Fuck. Just meet me after practice, okay?”
“Whatever,” Santana replies, untangling herself from Puck’s arm and flouncing down the hall. Puck watches her find Brittany, and the two of them hold hands as they head to class. He sighs, disgruntled, and trudges to class to endure another math lesson.
He can hardly concentrate in any of his classes nowadays—not that he was a model student before, but when he and Sam used to study together, between the both of them they could at least pull high C’s or B’s. Football practice is a drag without Sam to horse around with. Puck leaves school everyday with a frown on his face.
Sometimes he sees Kurt and Sam walking out to the parking lot together, and he’s instantly filled with jealously. Kurt’s gay and Sam’s gay, so why don’t they just make out? Never mind that Sam’s never shown any romantic interest toward Kurt, but maybe it’s because he’s always been monopolizing Sam. Puck scowls as he shoves his hands in his pockets and strides to his car. It doesn’t matter. Seeing Santana will cheer him up.
Except it doesn’t. Even the sight of her perfectly rounded boobs doesn’t help. Neither does her smooth skin, her flat stomach, or her incredibly flexible legs. All he can see is the look of pained disbelief in Sam’s eyes when Puck had dumped him.
He almost wishes Sam had punched him, or at least put up a fight. At least then Puck wouldn’t feel like he kicked a puppy.
“Okay, you know what? Get out of my bed,” Santana says after they’ve been making out for about ten minutes.
Puck arches a brow at her. “Are you kicking me out of your bed?”
“No one kicks the P—”
“Yeah, newsflash, no one cares about your stupid Puckasaurus alter ego,” Santana says snidely. “You suck at macking today.”
“It’s not an alter ego,” Puck mutters after a pause. He has to focus on that part because the other part—the part where Santana is saying he’s currently not good at kissing—is too horrific to consider right now.
“You’re not all here,” Santana says. “You’re thinking about something else, and I’m not interested in making out while you daydream.”
Puck heaves out a sigh and flops onto his back. He can feel Santana rolling her eyes at him.
“Seriously,” Santana says, settling down beside him, propped up on her elbows. “What’d you do to him?”
Puck sighs again. He knows she’s talking about Sam. He grumbles for a moment while she starts filing her nails.
“So, what, you guys kissed during the party and now it’s all awkward?” she asks.
Puck furrows his brow. “Where’d you hear that from?”
“I didn’t hear it from anyone. It’s not that hard to figure out, though. Sam’s got homo written on his forehead. Or on those cock-sucking lips.”
Puck sits up, looking at her seriously. “Santana, you can’t tell anyone about this.”
“Whatever,” she replies, but Puck grabs her hands and forces her to look at him.
“I’m serious. Don’t tell anyone,” Puck says. “If you out Sam… just don’t, okay?”
“All right, I won’t.” Santana pulls her hands away and blows at her fingernails. “Since when have you actually cared about this stuff?”
Puck looks down, scowling. “You don’t know Sam. If you did, then you’d know. Just leave it at that.”
“Wow,” Santana says after a pause. Puck waits for her to go on, but she just starts filing her nails again.
“What?” Puck asks crossly.
“Nothing. It’s just pathetically obvious that you really like him.”
“I don’t like him. I’m not gay.”
Santana shoots him a look. “I meant that you like him as a good friend. You and Finn, I know you guys are cool now, but you two haven’t really been the same since babygate. But you and Sam don’t have all those issues to work though.”
Puck stops, his face growing slightly warm. “Oh. Right.”
“Sex isn’t dating, you know,” she reminds him.
“Sam and I haven’t had sex,” Puck hisses, horrified.
“Okay, you know what? You are being way too touchy.”
“You’re practically saying that I’m gay for Sam.”
Santana shrugs. “You’re something for Sam, that’s for sure.”
“I’m leaving,” Puck says, getting off the bed disgustedly. “Thanks for nothing.”
“Whatever you did to Sam, you need to sort it out,” Santana calls as Puck heads for the door. “Or else we’ll never have great sex again.”
“I didn’t do anything to him!” Puck yells over his shoulder. He goes outside and seethes for a moment as he climbs into his car. He stays mad at Santana as he drives, but by the time he reaches his house, he realizes that none of this is really her fault. He has no one to blame for this entire shitty week except himself.
He really shouldn’t have dumped Sam. Things are even more messed up with Sam out of his life than when he’s in it. None of the fear and confusion has gone away anyway. The only thing that’s changed is that he’s added a big pile of emptiness to his already conflicted feelings.
Puck parks in his driveway and turns off the car, letting out a long sigh. He closes his eyes and drops his forehead onto the steering wheel. He’ll allow himself this one moment to be a complete and total pussy.
He just really misses Sam.
- - - - -
Puck waits until after second period to approach Sam. He spots his blond head at his locker from down the hall, and Puck throws out some glares to make the freshmen move out of his way so he can catch Sam while he’s still there.
Sam’s switching out his books when Puck reaches him. He doesn’t notice Puck at first, but then Puck clears his throat, and Sam glances over. His hands falter for a second, and he almost drops a folder before he shoves it into his locker. Sam looks away quickly, staying silent.
“Hey,” Puck begins, his hands in the pockets of his letterman jacket. God, he sounds so lame even to himself. If he were Sam, he’d totally punch him.
“Hey,” Sam responds, keeping his eyes on his locker. He doesn’t say anything more, so Puck swallows and tries to think of something non-douchey to say next.
“So, uh, I’ve been doing some thinking,” Puck says. He wishes Sam would look at him.
“Yeah?” Sam asks, pushing some books around. “Did you have any great epiphanies on your break from me?”
Puck sighs tensely, chewing on the inside of his lip. “Okay. I admit what I did was shitty.”
“No, it was fine. If you needed space, then whatever. You do what you gotta do, man.” Sam shuts his locker. “See you around.”
“Wait,” Puck says in a low voice. “Please.”
Sam hesitates, then exhales softly and turns around. His face is as cold as ice and carefully guarded, but at least they’re facing each other now.
“Look. I’m just… I’m in a weird place right now,” Puck says. Sam’s expression unfreezes just the tiniest bit, and Puck is encouraged to go on. “I’m trying to figure some stuff out.”
“Puck, if I’m making things weird for you, then it’s okay if you don’t want to hang out anymore,” Sam says quietly. “You could have given me a better explanation… I mean, you didn’t have to be an asshole about it, but I get it.”
“I don’t want to not hang out with you,” Puck blurts out. He glances around quickly to make sure no one is listening. People are passing quickly, but no one is paying attention to them. Still, Puck is paranoid enough about this whole thing. “Can we talk somewhere in private?”
Sam shakes his head stiffly. His expression looks strained, and Puck watches as Sam’s fingers clench around his history book.
“You were right,” Sam says. “About… us. It was getting weird. Maybe we shouldn’t hang out anymore.”
“I wasn’t right. I was being a dick.”
“You have every right to walk away, though.”
“I don’t want to walk away.” Puck furrows his brow as Sam’s gaze lowers.
“It’s no big deal,” Sam says finally.
“Yeah, it is a big deal,” Puck insists angrily. “It was a big deal when your douchebag friends turned their backs on you at your old school, and I’m not about to do the same thing to you here.”
Sam shrugs marginally. “You kind of already did.”
“I know,” Puck says, closing his eyes briefly. “I know I did. And not to sound like a self-centered jerk, but it sucked a lot. For me. And for the record, this conversation sucks, too.”
“I’m sorry to add so much suckage to your day. For the record, this whole thing has been peachy for me.”
“Okay, yes, I get it. I’m an asshole and I suck and you have good reason to shun me right now, but I—” Puck swallows, his stomach churning. He licks his lips and continues. “I want my friend back.”
Sam looks at him for a long moment, and Puck tries to look as remorseful and pathetic as possible so Sam will take him back. Suddenly the thought that he’s wrecked things with Sam forever is unbearable.
“We need to study science together again,” Sam says. “I failed a quiz this week.”
Puck feels a weight lift from his shoulders. “Yeah? Get your head in the game, Evans. You flunk science and you’re not QB anymore.”
“I haven’t been able to concentrate,” Sam admits. Puck feels a pang in his chest, but he steels his nerve and nods.
“I’ve kinda… been the same way.”
“It’s just…” Sam worries his lip and sighs, shrugging again. “You know. This week sucked.”
“It sucked,” Puck agrees, and he sees the corner of Sam’s mouth lift in a tiny smile. “Hey, you want to do something on Friday?”
“I don’t know. Let’s see a movie.” The instant the words are out, Puck wants to take them back. Sort of. It’s not that he doesn’t want to see a movie with Sam—it just sounds so gay.
A part of him is glad he asked, though, because Sam’s eyes actually kind of light up and stuff. He looks happy. Puck feels another pang because he can’t remember the last time Sam looked like that.
“Okay,” Sam says, nodding. “Sure.”
“Cool. We should go together, so… I can swing by your house and get you or something,” Puck says. He wants to punch himself. Why is everything coming out sounding so gay? It’s like he’s asking Sam out on a date. Which he’s totally not, because Sam’s gay and Puck isn’t.
At least Sam’s not making a big deal out of it.
“Okay,” Sam repeats as they start walking down the hall. “I’ll call you whenever.”
“Sweet.” He slows as Sam stops in front of a classroom, and Puck suffers a small moment of panic when he realizes he’s just walked Sam to class. What’s wrong with him? He might as well carry Sam’s books as well. He’s pretty sure even Hummel isn’t this gay.
“See you in practice?” Sam asks, looking at him hopefully.
Puck relaxes a little, nodding. He’s probably overreacting. “Yeah, definitely.”
Sam’s smile grows a little wider, then he ducks his head with a quick goodbye and goes inside. Puck exhales, turning around as he heads for his own locker. He feels a little warmer than usual, a little more nervous, but he’s happy to be on speaking terms with Sam again. He’s really looking forward to spending some time together on Friday—it’s not a date, though, it’s just him seeing a movie with his buddy. He doesn’t date dudes. He doesn’t date anyone, really. Especially not Sam.