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A Thin Line Between Love and Hate~ A Collection of song inspired Puckurt Drabbles/One shots

Chapter Text

Warnings: Language, Underage Drinking, Spoilers for Season One and Two


Selective Memory

If I was your girlfriend, would you remember,

To tell me all the things you forgot when I was your man?

-If I Was Your Girlfriend, Prince

"Were you ever going to tell me?" Kurt asked quietly. He didn't turn around as his hands pushed papers into his messenger bag. His shoulders were tense, and his eyes refused to come up from the floor.

"No, I wasn't because it's none of your business. This is between me, Quinn and Finn. Just because you let me fuck you every once in awhile and suck like a Hoover doesn't mean I owe you anything," Noah said. He pretended he didn't see Kurt's back stiffen at the cruel words and pushed on, "I didn't tell Santana either but you don't see her bitchin' at me about it, do you?"

"Well pardon me for actually giving a damn about you Noah. I thought-"

"I don't care what you thought, Hummel. I didn't ask you to give a damn. I didn't ask you for anything."

Kurt whirled around. "I…you…we're sleeping together, Noah. You shouldn't have to ask me to give a damn, I just should, and I do because that's how it'ssupposed to be," Kurt cried. "I'm worried about you Noah. I care about you. Quinn doesn't, that much is obvious and everyone else is too busy worrying about Quinn or Finn to even consider what you might need or how you might feel. I have real feelings for you, Noah. This isn't just sex for me and-"

"Shut up, Hummel!" Noah hissed, looking nervously at the choir room door, worried that someone might have overheard them. "I don't give a fuck about you or your feelings. I don't give a shit if you care about me 'cause I could give a fuck about you. We weren't boyfriends-hell we aren't even friends. You were just a new place to get my dick wet and if you're gonna trip like this, even that's over."

Noah strode over to where Kurt stood in open mouthed shock and stood over the smaller boy, and said in a harsh, low voice. "This shit between us? It's over. It was a mistake in the first place and it never should have happened. If you know what's good for you, you'll forget it ever happened and you won't tell anybody, you got me Hummel? I'm going to win Quinn over and us and the baby are gonna be a family and if you ruin this for me, I'll make you pay."

For a few terrible seconds Noah could see the naked pain and utter devastation his words caused Kurt, but just as quickly as the emotion flickered over his face it disappeared, replaced by the boy's patented Ice King mask.

"That's fine by me. I would never want anyone to know that I lowered myself and my standards enough to ever let someone like you touch me," Kurt spat before snatching up his bag and walking away.

Noah sank into the nearest chair in the now empty choir room. He drew in a few shaky breaths before he lost his internal struggle and the tears started to flow. Hurting Kurt, letting him go, was the hardest thing Noah had ever done but he didn't have a choice. Parents were supposed to make sacrifices for their children and he was going to be a parent. That meant the baby had to come first. They were in Lima, Ohio. Being bisexual, being with Kurt, none of it would be accepted here. He'd be targeted, constantly harassed and so would his friends and family-and eventually his kid. He couldn't-he wouldn't-do that to his child.

Noah was determined to be a good father, or at the very least a better father than the one he'd had. If that meant he had to give up the one person he could actually see himself having a future with, then fine that's what he'd do. He couldn't afford to think about Kurt's feelings or his own, his baby and by extension, Quinn had to come first.

Even though he was sure he was doing the right thing, it didn't stop the tears from falling.


Seeing Kurt in school every day was torture. He barely acknowledged Noah's presence and looked for all appearances like he didn't have a care in the world. And to add insult to injury, he'd suddenly become Finn's new BFF.

As hard as it was to put the brunette out of his mind, Noah realized he couldn't afford to focus on Kurt. He had to convince Quinn that she, him and their baby could be and should be a family. He had to be there for his daughter, and he had to make sure that breaking everyone's hearts: his, Quinn's, Finn's, his ma's, and Kurt's-especially Kurt's-had been worth it.

Giving Beth up for adoption and walking away from his baby girl was the hardest thing Noah had ever done. It was even harder than breaking Kurt's heart. Oh God, Kurt.

Noah took another swig of vodka and relished the burn in the back of his throat. He'd broken Kurt's heart and let go of the one person in his life that he might have actually loved and who could have loved him back and it had all been for nothing because Quinn was back living with her mother and acting like Beth didn't exist, Shelby Corcoran was raising his daughter, and Kurt had moved on with life.

Noah had given up everything to be a father. He'd sacrificed his reputation, what little respect his mother had left for him, his best friend, his pride, his relationship with Kurt and in the end he'd not only lost everything he'd given up but he'd lost his child as well.

Noah took another long drink of vodka and this time the burn he felt had nothing to do with the alcohol.


Noah couldn't believe the words that were coming out of Kurt's mouth. The idea of Kurt leaving was so foreign a concept that Noah couldn't even wrap his head around it. As he listened to Kurt's voice breaking while he made his announcement, Noah wanted nothing more than to run up to him, wrap him in his arms and promise to keep him safe.

Noah wished he could go back in time and fix it so that Kurt felt like he could come to him, trust him enough to let him help. He wished Kurt had let him in enough to try to help before it was too late. Noah wondered if Kurt knew how serious he'd been when he'd offered to be his own personal guard dog. He wondered if Kurt knew that he'd never stopped wanting him, never stopped missing him and never stopped looking for any sign that Kurt would give him a second chance.

Noah hadn't been able to do anything but sit there, stunned and silent, and watch Kurt walk away from him again. As he listened to the muffled sobs of Tina, Mercedes, Rachel and Brittany, watched Finn struggle not to give in to his own tears of rage and sadness, saw his own anger and helplessness mirrored on Mike, Artie and Sam's faces and saw the looks of pure malice written on the faces on Quinn and Santana, Noah took solace in the fact that he wasn't the only one devastated by watching Kurt walk away this time.


"Were you ever going to tell me?" Noah demanded, slipping into the empty rest room behind Kurt.

"Noah," Kurt turned around suddenly, his smile wary but real, "You scared me to death. What are you doing sneaking around? No never mind, I'm sure I don't want to know. What are you talking about? Tell you what?"

"I was sitting next to Rachel and Mercedes during your duet. They were saying that you and that hobbit you sang with-"

"Blaine Noah, his name is Blaine."

"That you're like, together now or whatever. Is it true?"

Kurt raised an eyebrow. "I forgot how quickly gossip travels in our dysfunctional little New Directions family," he said shaking his head fondly, "But yes, Rachel and Mercedes were correct. Blaine and I are together."

Noah closed his eyes and let the words wash over him as he tried not to show just how deeply the words cut him.

Noah felt like he was watching his dream die right in front of him. It was like losing Beth all over again. Every hope, every dream, every plan for the future he'd made had gone up in flames the moment Kurt had confirmed his relationship with Blaine.

Noah had let himself believe that he still had a chance with Kurt. He'd planned on waiting until they'd graduated, until they were leaving Lima in their rearview and then he'd tell Kurt everything. He'd tell him how breaking Kurt's heart broke his own. He'd tell him how he dreamed about him, about them, almost every night. He'd tell Kurt how sorry he was and how much he'd missed him and how badly he wished he'd done things differently. Noah had spent a lot of time thinking about how things would go. He'd known that Kurt wouldn't just fall back into his arms, that he'd have to work for it, but Noah was willing to do that. Kurt was worth it.

What Noah hadn't planned for was Blaine. He'd never seriously considered that Kurt could find someone else. They were in Lima, for God's sake so it wasn't like Kurt had a lot of options, not for a boyfriend. Yeah, there were plenty of closet cases or guys who were "curious" but Noah knew Kurt wanted to be more than someone's secret or their experiment. He wanted to go on dates and hold hands and not have to hide. Noah had let that knowledge, along with the fact that if Kurt did, by some miracle find a guy willing to be out and proud in Lima that he liked who liked him back, the guy would still need to earn Burt Hummel's approval and that was next to impossible.

Burt would approve of Blaine, Noah was sure of it. The kid was a parental unit's wet dream. He was charming and polished, nice and well mannered, polite and mature. He had "going places" written all over him. He was the type of boy with a bright future ahead of him-exactly the type of boy every parent wants their kid to end up with. Blaine was the type of boy that everyone thought was just perfect for Kurt and if that wasn't enough he'd already set himself up as Kurt's hero.

Blaine was the one Kurt had leaned on when things with Karofsky had escalated. Blaine was the one Kurt had confided in, depended on, trusted to see him through to the other side. And Blaine had even already survived Burt finding him hung over in Kurt's bed, if Finn could be believed. Noah had no doubt that if Burt had walked in and found him in Kurt's bed, Noah's body would have never been found.

"When were you gonna tell me?" Noah asked quietly.

Kurt cocked his head to side and studied Noah for a minute before he answered. "Noah," he began slowly," I haven't even told my dad yet although I think he has his suspicions. In any case, I don't see how my personal life is any of your business."

"Of course it's my business! I was your first-"

"Shut up!" hissed Kurt, flapping his hands back and forth. "Blaine has no idea that I've ever…you ever happened. You told me to forget it and I did. You were right. It was a mistake and it never should have happened and there's no reason for Blaine to know about just how lonely and stupid I was."

Noah felt the world collapse in on him. "Kurt-"

"No," Kurt bit out sharply, "I…I don't know what's going on with you right now and I don't care. I don't know why after all this time of pretending that you and I never…of you treating me like I don't even exist you come in here demanding explanations and acting as if you care. I don't know if this jealousy or bitterness or just some cruel and unusual way to torture me but you don't get to ruin this for me. You broke my heart once, Noah and I won't let you do it again. I have something good with someone good, someone who wants me and wants to be with me, really be with me. I won't let you take that from me. Whatever is going on with you, don't drag me into it."

"I can't keep you out of it!" Noah yelled. "Kurt, if you just let me explain-"

"No. I don't want to hear it, Noah. Just-"

"So you're just going to pretend that we didn't exist? You're not gonna tell your boyfriend that you and I-"

"No, I'm never going to tell Blaine. There's no reason for him to know that I was so stupid and my self esteem was so low that I allowed you use me like a two dollar whore-"

"Kurt, babe it wasn't like that-"

"That's exactly what it was like! You made that abundantly clear when you broke things off and-"

"If you'd just listen-"

"There's nothing you can say!" Kurt yelled. He strode over to Noah, his eyes blazing and said in low, dangerous voice, "I don't care what you have to say, Noah. I found a way to put myself back together and I moved on and I found Blaine. I care about Blaine and he cares about me. He respects me. He's good to me,he's good for me and I won't lose him. He will never know. I'm going to be with Blaine and I'm going to have someone who I care about and who thinks of me as more than just a place to get his dick wet. If you ruin this for me, I swear I'll make you pay."

"Kurt-"

"Please, Noah just-"

"Kurt?" Another voice broke in from the doorway and both boys whipped around to find Blaine standing there uncertainly. "Wes wants everyone on the bus in five. Are you," he looked back and forth from Kurt to Noah, "are you ok?"

Kurt put on a smile that fooled no one. "I'm fine, just give me a minute and I'll be right there."

Blaine clearly did not want to leave Kurt alone with Noah but he nodded and backed out of the restroom, after shooting a dark look Noah's way.

"Noah," Kurt said quietly, "I don't want to fight with you. I don't want to hate you. I want…we were starting to be friends before I left and I hope that we can continue on that path. I would love to be your friend Noah, but that won't happen if you do anything to make me lose Blaine. You asked me once to keep us a secret and I did, so now I'm asking you to return the favor. Like you said, we were a mistake that never should have happened and its better to just forget it and move on."

Kurt didn't wait for Noah to respond before walking past him and out of the rest room.

Noah didn't wait for the door to finish closing before he started sobbing.

Chapter Text

In Love and War

Why does love always feel like a battlefield, a battlefield, a battlefield

Why does love always feel like a battlefield, a battlefield, a battlefield
I guess you better go and get your armor (get your armor), get your armor

-Battlefield, Jordin Sparks

 

Sitting in the audience watching Kurt sing “Candles” with, no to Blaine, sent waves of pain and jealousy crashing over Noah, causing tears to well up in his eyes.  No matter how much Kurt claimed not to be holding Noah’s decision to remain in the closet against him, Noah knew that Kurt felt slighted by it.  The younger boy had told him on more than one occasion he felt more like a dirty little secret than the love of Noah’s life.  Noah had always been able to silence any protests by dragging Kurt into the janitor’s closet at school or sneaking into his window at night and showing the countertenor just how much he wanted him, but with Kurt away at Dalton Noah’s go to solution for conflict resolution was no longer an option.

Kurt’s transfer was quickly turning into the biggest test of their year long relationship.  Ever since he’d been forced out of McKinley, Kurt had been slowly drifting away from him and towards Blaine.  Noah wasn’t stupid; he knew that Blaine was the type of boy everyone assumed Kurt would end up.  He was polite, well spoken, and practically had future Ivy Leaguer tattooed on his forehead.  Blaine and Kurt had so much common ground: from fashion to politics, movies to music, books to belief systems, sometimes it was if they shared the same brain.  It didn’t help that there was really nothing objectionable about the guy that Noah could see.  Blaine was at the top of his class and even though he was loaded he volunteered at a homeless shelter every other weekend.  Noah was pretty sure he probably read to the blind and helped little old ladies across the street as well.  The cherry on the sundae was that Blaine was the type of boy that Kurt could bring home to meet Burt with minimal fear of Burt’s infamous shotgun being brandished. 

As annoying as that was, none of it really worried Noah.  What worried Noah was that Blaine wouldn’t hesitate to meet Burt.  That he’d have no problem holding Kurt’s hand in public or kissing him in front of his friends.  If the way Danny Dapper was looking at him was any indication, he wanted Kurt.

And from the way Kurt was looking back at him, he had a shot at getting him.

Noah’s hands curled into fists.  He was losing the boy he loved because he was too afraid to fight for him.  As he watched Blaine smile at Kurt and listened to Rachel coo about how adorable they were together, he realized that he could either suit up and meet Blaine on the battlefield or wave his white flag and watch Kurt’s heart go down as the spoils of war.

His eyes found Kurt’s face again and a kaleidoscope of images from their relationship flooded his mind.  He saw the good times, like their first kiss and the time he taught Kurt how to make pot brownies and they ended up making love on the his ma’s kitchen counter.  He also saw their bad times like when he used to throw Kurt in the dumpster and the razor sharp insults Kurt used to hurl at him that hurt more than he’d ever let the tiny brunette know.  He saw their hard times like when Burt was in coma, or when Noah had gone to juvie.  He remembered the awkward apology he’d made for the lawn furniture, pee balloons and just being a jackass in general that Kurt hadn’t accepted until the third time Noah had issued it.  He realized he wanted more with Kurt.  He wanted more moments, good and bad, with his boy because as many as they’d had…it wasn’t nearly enough.

The only way to do that was to show Kurt that he wasn’t ashamed of him, of them.  He had to come out.  Not just for the sake of his relationship but for the sake of his sanity.  He felt like he was lying to everyone, every minute of every day.  He realized that coming out wouldn’t be all glitter and rainbows but it would be real and it would be honest.  It would be being proud of who he was, all of who he was, and being proud of Kurt and what they had together.  It would be walking in his truth and it would be worth any slurs or slushies he’d have to take because he’d be free and Kurt would be walking right beside him.

He would fight for Kurt, for their love, and for his truth.  Noah watched as Blaine took his bow and then dragged Kurt into the spotlight, smiling and laughing, so open and casual about it, as if he didn’t care who saw how he felt about Kurt.

Noah wanted that.  Noah vowed that he would have that.  That nonchalance, that ease in expressing his feelings for his boyfriend, the confidence to let everyone see just how much Kurt meant to him.

Noah took a deep breath and blew it out.  “You better go and get your armor, Anderson.  I’m not going down without a fight,” he murmured under his breath as he applauded.

 

Chapter Text

I Get So High When I’m Around You

I smell sex and candy here

Who’s that lounging in my chair?

Who’s that casting devious stares in my direction?

Mama this surely is a dream.

                                 -Sex and Candy, Marcy Playground

 

Kurt briefly wondered if he and Noah would have happened had he listened to all those PSA’s back in school.  He wondered if they’d be in this situation if Kurt had just said no, risen above the influence, and let …something be his anti-drug.

Maybe he should have, drug use was illegal after all and Kurt was pretty sure that his father would flip his lid if he ever found out.  But Kurt hadn’t just said no or let fear of the wrath of Hummel be his anti-drug and now he found himself eating Swiss cake rolls and watching Tosh.O with Noah Puckerman.

To be specific, Kurt found himself eating Swiss cake rolls and watching Tosh.O with Noah Puckerman while they lay in his bed clothed in only boxers and Noah’s t-shirts.

Perhaps had it been just that, a little illicit drug use, snack cakes and a low brow comedy show, what was going on between the two boys could have chalked it up to the beginning of an epic, if ill advised, bromance.  It would have been simple, easy, oh so predictable.

But Noah was anything but easy and Kurt had never liked to be predictable so of course keeping things at acceptable levels of bromantic behavior was out of the question.

As he took another bit of his Swiss roll, Kurt decided if it all went to hell he was just going to blame Finn.

After all, Noah had shown up Friday evening expecting to spend the weekend with the jolly green giant.  Finn hadn’t been there, and he had apparently neglected to tell Noah that he, Burt and Carol were going to a prospective students week end at Urbana University and wouldn’t be back until late Sunday night.  Kurt had taken mercy on mohawked teen and invited him to hang out with him-if he wanted.  Not wanting to spend the weekend dodging his mother and his sister, Noah had quickly agreed to stay.

All had been going well.  They had played some video games, watched truly terrible 80’s horror movies and agreed that Sue Sylvester would be the faculty member they’d most like to be stuck with during a zombie apocalypse because she offered the best chance for survival.

Then things had veered horribly off course.

It started with the cupcakes.  When Noah had removed the Tupperware container from his bag with a raised eyebrow and a smirk, Kurt had immediately put his foot down and refused.

Then Noah had dared him to “live a little, Hummel.  It’s just a little pot.  What’s the worst that could happen?”

Kurt, never one to back down from a challenge, had eaten a cupcake.  Then he’d eaten another one, and still another.  Before he knew it, the Tupperware container was empty and Noah was suddenly his “best, best friend, even bester than Blaine because Blaine’s never given me magical cupcakes.” 

Had things stopped there the option for an epic, if ill advised bromance would have still been on the table.

Things hadn’t stopped there, of course.

The boys had been out of cupcakes but not, apparently, out of the mood for getting high. 

Cupcakes?  We don’t need so stinkin’ cupcakes.  I got this, Hummel,” Noah said with a smirk that should have warned Kurt that no good could come from any of this.

Noah reached into his backpack and pulled out a Ziploc bag full of marijuana and a pack of cigars.  He placed them on Kurt’s vanity, and then rooted around in his pocket, coming out with his lighter and a pocket knife.

As he watched Noah lick the cigar, then cut a straight line from end to end and remove the insides, Kurt couldn’t help but feel as if he were starring in some sort of bizarre afterschool special where the juvenile delinquent corrupts the honor student and they end up going to rehab and struggling through the twelve steps.

He watched transfixed as Noah cut off the rounded end of the cigar and lick the edges, folding it down the center and filling it with the sticky green buds from the Ziploc bag.  Noah smiled at him as made short work of folding and rolling the rest of the cigar.  Giving it a final tuck and roll, he licked the last half inch of paper before taking his lighter and running it up and down the length of the blunt while spinning it.

“Just how often do you…you know, do this?”  Kurt asked.

“I do it often enough, Princess.  Now, take the batteries out of your smoke detector crack that window, and turn on that fan,” Noah replied.

Kurt rushed to comply and when then noticed Noah had taken up residence at the end of his bed.

“Now what?”  Kurt asked.

“Now we spark it and have deep conversations about the meaning of life and whether Thundercats or Voltron was a better cartoon,” Noah answered, lighting the cigar.

Kurt felt a little intrusive sitting on his bed with Noah and watching the other boy put the blunt to his lips and inhale, sucking the smoke down deep with his eyes closed and a look of pure relaxation on his face.  Noah held the smoke in, shuddering a tiny bit as he fought the urge to cough but never losing his air of contentment.

It was an oddly intimate experience but before he could fixate on it too much Noah was blowing out smoke rings and passing the cigar to Kurt.

Kurt took a deep breath and then tried to ignore the thought that he was about to put his lips in the same place Noah’s had just been, in some sort of second hand kiss almost, and sucked down a lungful of smoke.

Kurt had tried to imitate Noah, holding in the smoke instead of immediately blowing it out, but he had been unprepared for the burn and really unprepared for the choking cough that wracked his body.  His eyes had begun to water and it seemed he’d never stop coughing.

“Damn Hummel, this your first time?”  Noah asked, thumping Kurt on the back.

“What was your first clue?”  Kurt volleyed back, slightly sarcastically and a little embarrassed.  He was embarrassed to have choked and embarrassed to admit he was upset because Noah had seen him not in control.

“Chillax man, everybody chokes at first,” Noah said gently, handing Kurt a bottle of water from his mini-fridge.

“Thanks,” Kurt said gratefully as he took tiny sips of the water until he felt the tickle in his chest subside.

Noah took another hit off the blunt and passed to Kurt, who managed to only choke a little this time and eventually the boys developed a rhythm, passing the blunt back and forth until just the tip of the cigar remained.  Kurt waved off his last turn, letting Noah finish it.  

Kurt settled back among his pillows, feeling deliciously heavy and weightless all at the same time.  Time felt as if it’s going syrup slow but Kurt felt as if he was seeing everything for the first time.  He noticed the crisp white (Dior grey he mentally corrected) of his walls and the sharpness in all the angles of the furniture.  His bedding felt so much more decadent than it normally did; soft and plush, as if he were lying on a cloud.  Kurt turned and rubbed his cheek back and forth against his pillowcase.

He felt Noah settle next to him.  “So, which one is it, Princess?  Thundercats or Voltron?”  Noah asked quietly.

“I’m a boy, so I’d be a prince.  And I pick Jem.  She was truly outrageous,” Kurt answered.

Noah laughed and Kurt couldn’t help but wonder why he’d never noticed how pleasant the sound was before.  He turned over and looked, really looked, at Noah. 

“You’re really attractive when you aren’t throwing me into dumpsters or pushing me into lockers,” Kurt said before his brain could catch up to his mouth.

“Is that right?”  Noah asked, laughing a bit.

Kurt nodded solemnly.  “You really are,” He paused as if working out a mental puzzle then added, “If that weirds you out and you’re going to have a big gay freak out, do it internally so you don’t blow my high.”  Kurt ordered.

Noah laughed again, before turning to face Kurt.  “I’m not Finn;” he said quietly, “You wanting to bang me doesn’t freak me out.”

Kurt’s eyes widened and he shook his head.  “I don’t want to bang you, Noah,” he said scandalized.

Noah smirked and wet his lips.  “So you want me to bang you?”

“What?  No I-“Suddenly Kurt got a mental picture that caused the denial to die on his lips.  He saw himself naked, writhing and moaning, desperate and wrecked, spread out underneath Noah.  The image was so explicit that he started to get hard.

“Well hello there, little Kurtie,” Noah drawled, as he looked at Kurt’s crotch with what could only be described as a leer.

“’Snot little,” Kurt said immediately and then clamped his hand over his mouth because his internal editor was apparently out to lunch at the moment.

“Prove it,” Noah said, arching his eyebrow.

“I’m not showing you my, my…thing,” Kurt squeaked.

“I’ll show you mine if you show me yours,” Noah leaned forward and whispered into the shell of Kurt’s ear.

The hot breath tickled Kurt’s nerve endings and stirred to life the butterflies in his stomach.

“Are you…are you flirting with me?  Why are you flirting with me?  I’m a boy and you like girls.  You can’t flirt with me,” Kurt said in a rush.

Noah cupped Kurt’s jaw and made him meet his gaze.  “Yes, I’m flirting with you.  I’m flirting with you because you’re hot and I’ve wanted to kiss you ever since you I got back from juvie and you gave me that welcome back gift and told me to call you if I ever needed a friend or just wanted to hang.  You were the only one besides Wheels that gave a damn.  Not even Finn welcomed me home.”

“Noah-“

“Yes, I’m a boy and yes I like girls but I also like you and I think that’s all that’s required for me to flirt with you, Princess.”

“I’m gay.”

“You’re gorgeous.”

“You’re high.  You’re high and horny and probably thinking that a hole’s a hole but I promise you, it’s really not.  I-“

“Kurt.  I’m not…this isn’t me being heteroflexible because I’m high.  You wouldn’t be the first guy I’ve ever been with.”

Kurt’s jaw dropped.  “Oh.  Who?”

Noah shook his head.  Come on, now you know I can’t tell you.  Thou shalt not out and all that.  Just…just know that it’s not the weed talking.  I mean it is the weed talking cause this feelings shit is so gay-no offense-but me being attracted to you, liking you, that’s all me.”

“Noah, how many times have I told you saying “no offense” doesn’t make the offensive thing you just said any less offensive?  And really, it doesn’t get much gayer than you trying to get into my pants,” Kurt pointed out.

“Is it working?”

“I,” Kurt thought for a minute.  “You’re not Blaine.”

“What’s the hobbit got to do with us?”

“He’s not a hobbit he’s just,” Kurt gestured with his hands, “compact.  I like him.  Or I did but then he kissed Rachel and dated Rachel even though they both knew I liked him and said I was just like Karofsky and that hurt my feelings so I’m not sure how I feel anymore.  I just…I thought if I were ever here, with a boy, it would be Blaine.”

“I’m not Blaine,” Noah agreed, “I wouldn’t kiss Rachel…I wouldn’t kiss anybody if you told me you liked me.  I sure as hell wouldn’t date them and you are nothing like Karofsky.”

Kurt swallowed.  “I said some horrible things that you might find offensive and-“

“I’m pretty sure I’ve said worse to and about you, both to your face and behind your back.”

“I said bisexuality was a term that gay guys in high school use when they wanna hold hands with girls and feel normal for a change,” Kurt confessed.

Noah blinked.  “That’s…pretty fucked up coming from you.”

Kurt nodded.  “And that’s why I’m Karofsky.”

Noah shook his head.  “You may have a completely fucked up view of bisexuality but you aren’t running around torturing anybody because of it.  You aren’t making me feel like I’m less of a person for liking tits and ass and cock and balls.  You aren’t physically attacking anyone because of your own issues with their sexual preference.  Yeah, I think it’s a jacked up, ass backwards opinion but…until you’re throwing me in a dumpster, pelting me with pee balloons and threatening to kill me, you aren’t anything like Karofsky or any of those other douche bags in this backwater town.”

Kurt blinked back tears.  “I don’t…I know that people can like both.  I don’t even know why I…I don’t understand it but I know sexuality is a scale and people fall all over it.  I mean, I know that, I do.  I just…it was Blaine and I liked him so much and it wasn’t fair and-“

“It’s ok, Princess, I get it.  Can we not talk anymore about Blaine?  He’s not here and when I’m in your bed, I don’t want you thinking of anyone else.”

“Why?”

“Because I only want you thinking of me,” Noah said, and then suddenly his face was a mere inches from Kurt’s, his breath ghosting over Kurt’s face.  They were so close that Kurt could see the flecks of amber in his eyes and notice how long Noah’s lashes were and how soft, pink and full his lips were.

“You should kiss me,” Kurt blurted out, then groaned.  “I have no filter.  The pot stole my filter.”

Noah smiled.  “It’s ok, I was actually thinking the same thing,” he said before bridging the gap between them.

Noah’s lips were dry and warm, a little chafed but very gentle as they brushed across Kurt’s.  Kurt noticed it was so different from the kiss that Karofsky forced on him and different from the kisses he’d shared with Brittany.  It wasn’t at all how he’d imagined his first kiss with a boy would be; after all it was with Noah Puckerman and Kurt was high, but somehow the fact that it wasn’t anything like he’d planned just made it better because that made it was real.

Kurt sighed and let his eyes drift close as Noah began to lick across his bottom lip.  Kurt gasped and Noah took his open mouth as an invitation to slide his tongue inside.  Noah’s tongue was firm and wet and felt sosogood mapping the cavern of Kurt’s mouth that Kurt hadn’t been able to stop the helpless moan that bubbled up in his throat and escaped.

“Kurt,” Noah groaned, “Nothing’s going to happen that you don’t want to happen but I just…I really want to make you feel good right now.”

“I want to make you feel good too,” Kurt breathed, blindly reaching out for Noah and tangling their fingers.

Noah slowly, cautiously fit himself along the length of Kurt’s body so they were chest to chest, breathing in the same air, looking into each other’s eyes.  “You really don’t know how fucking hot you are, do you?”  Noah said softly, running the pad of his thumb over Kurt’s bottom lip before fusing their lips together in a scorching kiss. 

Kurt hadn’t expected Noah Puckerman to be one for unhurried kisses and innocent, barely there touches but he was grateful for the slow pace.  He knew they would get hot and heavy sooner rather than later and Kurt just wanted to be able to savor every kiss and caress.

Kurt grew bolder and his hands had become a bit more adventurous.  He explored Noah’s famous “guns” and let his fingers record the angles and planes of Noah’s chest and torso.  He ventured under the tight t-shirt Noah had on and ghosted his fingertips up Noah’s abs.  With every touch and encouraging sound Noah shifted closer to Kurt until he was stretched out half on top of the smaller boy.

Kurt hadn’t minded in the least.  To the contrary, he’d pulled Noah over the rest of the way and parted his legs so that Noah could fit between them.  Noah had immediately begun grinding into Kurt, rubbing their rapidly hardening cocks together.

“Pants,” Kurt huffed, pulling his mouth away from Noah’s.  “Pants are in the way, we should, we should do something about that.”

Noah stilled.  “I don’t,” he started slowly, “I don’t want mess this up.  Quinn keeps saying the only reason she and I …you know, hooked up that one time was because she was drunk.  That sucks because I didn’t think she was, you know?  I’m a lot of things but I wouldn’t have…we were friends and I wouldn’t have done that to her if I’d thought…you’re high, Kurt.  As good as this feels and as bad as I want you I don’t want you doing something you’re going to regret a few hours from now.”

Kurt shook his head.  “I’m not.  I…I know what I’m doing and who I’m doing it with, Noah.  Trust me to know my own mind and my own limits…the only thing I’ll regret in a few hours is that it took us this long to…figure out how good we could be together.”

Noah smiled and leaned down to kiss Kurt.  “Then by all means Princess, release the Kraken.”

“Puckzilla and the Kraken, it sounds like a bad B movie.”

“Or an epic gay porn.”

“Your mind is a truly scary place.”

“Less talking, more stripping, Princess.”

They rolled around on the bed, quickly divesting themselves of their clothing.  Kurt’s nerves got the better of him at the first contact of bare skin and he wrapped his arms shakily around Noah’s body.  There was so much of everything: hot skin, cool sheets, tension, friction and want.  Kurt felt like he was sinking into a relaxing pool of cool water.

“You’re so fucking hot,” muttered Noah, as he licked and bit at Kurt’s collarbone.  “So fucking hot.  Want you so god damn bad.”

“Noah, we…I don’t think I’m ready to-oh fuck, “Kurt’s protest got cut short as Noah slipped a hand under his shirt and tweaked a nipple.

“I know,” Noah groaned.  “I know we can’t…we can wait, just let me, I just wanna touch you.  Let me touch you, Kurt.”

“God yes,” Kurt choked out, trembling from the effort of trying to keep from rutting against Noah like some sort of indecent farm animal.  He gave up the ghost as Noah managed to get Kurt’s shirt both unbuttoned and off with only one hand, and rewarded himself by swirling his tongue around the nipple he’d just teased and then using his teeth and lips to torture it into a hardened peak.

Kurt keened so loudly that he was sure that even if his basement was sound proof if anyone had been home they would have heard him.  His hands floated to the hem of Noah’s t-shirt, paused for only a moment and then yanked it up and off. 

Kurt’s right hand wound its way into Noah’s Mohawk, and gripped the short hairs as his left hand fisted the sheets.  Kurt heard moans, groans, whimpers and shouts and it took a moment for him to realize the sounds were coming from him.  He couldn’t bring himself to be embarrassed or feel ashamed because everything that Noah was doing just felt too good to leave room for anything but positive feelings.

“You feel so good, so so good baby,” Noah moaned, before moving over to the other nipple and starting the pleasurable torment anew.  Kurt gave a small squeak when Noah suddenly grabbed his hips, one large hand on his ass and tugged, rolling them until Kurt was sprawled on top of him.

Kurt’s momentary surprise gave way to pleasure as Noah began moving them at a solid pace, establishing a rhythm.  Both boys were open mouthed, panting and moaning into each other’s mouths.  Every place that Noah touched him blazed a trail of fire that burned itself into Kurt’s skin.  When Noah fused their mouths together again, Kurt thought to himself that this must be what passion tastes like.

His orgasm took him completely by surprise.  Sparks flew up Kurt’s spine, time stopped and his entire world view narrowed to nothing more than the drag of skin on skin and the taste and smell and feel of Noah, and how incredibly ohfuckgodpleasemoreperfect everything felt until his edges of his vision blurred and his body seized up and then released.  He came hard and fast, screaming Noah’s name and leaving a hot, sticky mess all over himself and up between their bodies. 

Noah kept thrusting straight through Kurt’s orgasm, whispering in his ear about how beautiful he looked as he fell apart and how good he felt and how he couldn’t wait to fuck him for real and Kurt figured that thought must have been too much for the jock because he followed Kurt right over the edge, hips losing their rhythm, faltering, stuttering and jerking to his climax, hands gripped tight enough on Kurt to bruise, face contorted in a mask of pure pleasure, and Kurt’s name a benediction on his lips.

They stayed together, panting, coming down from both their mutual highs, as their bodies quaked through the aftershocks and their minds raced. 

“That was fucking awesome, Princess.”

It was such a ridiculous thing to say and at the same time the exact perfect thing to say because it’s just so Noah that all Kurt could do was smile and nod.  He felt heavy, boneless and sated in a way he’d never been before and felt himself slipping into unconsciousness.

Noah curled one strong arm around his waist and drew him close to him.  Kurt didn’t question it, he just allowed himself to settle into Noah’s embrace and closed his eyes, letting himself drift to sleep on the echoes of the ecstasy that was still coursing through his veins and the symphony of Noah’s slow, steady, gentle breathing in his ear as he slept beside him.

The boys woke up the next morning, and any awkwardness there might have been disappeared when both their stomach’s loudly rumbled, causing both Kurt and Noah to collapse into giggles and venture upstairs into the kitchen to forage for food. 

Kurt, after all the miscues and misunderstandings with Blaine wasn’t going to allow room for any miscommunication between himself and Noah and he took the bull by the horns.

“So,” Kurt said as they settled back down in the basement eating pancakes and watching Top Gear, “What are we doing here, Noah?”

Noah raised an eyebrow.  “Eatin’?”  He replied.

Noah.”

“Princess.”

“Look,” Kurt began, “if this was just…a physical thing, then I’m ok with that.  I just need to know so I’m clear on where I stand.”

Noah regarded Kurt carefully and then put down his plate and crawled over to the spot on the floor where Kurt was sitting so they were face to face, nearly nose to nose.

“So if I said all I wanted was a onetime thing, or to be friends with benefits, you’d be cool with that?”

Kurt felt his heart plummet but he wasn’t going to let his disappointment show.  He raised his chin and, ignoring the voice in his head that sounded suspiciously like his father telling him not to throw himself around because he mattered, Kurt nodded.

“Liar,” Noah whispered, brushing a gentle kiss to the corner of Kurt’s mouth.  “But that’s cool cause I don’t want you to be a one nighter or a booty call.  I want…shit Princess; I want to try to do things right for once.  I want to take you Breadstix, and let you drag me to suck ass chick flicks.  I want our friends to take each of us aside and warn us not to hurt the other and I want to see if we can actually make Finn’s head explode.  I want to walk down the hall holding your hand and not give a fuck who sees and I want to sit across the table from your father fearing for my life,”  Noah paused, conjuring up the mental image of Burt Hummel, “and my balls.” He added sincerely.

Kurt laughed.  “I promise to protect you and your balls from my father’s wrath,” he teased.

“Shit, Princess I’m serious.  Finn told us how your dad went all hulk smash rage on him that one time and everybody saw him put a choke hold on Karofsky.  Your dad is like the fucking Terminator, man.”

“Scared, Puckerman?”

“And badass enough to admit it.”

“There’s nothing to be afraid of, my dad’s bark is worse than his bite,” Kurt stopped for a moment.  “Just in case though, we’ll make sure Carol’s around and the shot gun is hidden when we tell him you want to take me on a date.”

Noah shook his head.  “A date my ass.  You’re my boyfriend, property of Puckzilla.”

Kurt’s smile threatened to split his face in half.  “I’m nobody’s property, Noah.  However I do find being your boyfriend an acceptable proposal.”

“Prissy bitch.”

“Arrogant Neanderthal.”

“We’re gonna be so good together.”

“We already are.”

The boys’ lips met in a gentle kiss but before things could get too heated Kurt’s cell phone rang.  The notes to Teenage Dream filled the room and the name Blaine Anderson flashed across the display.

“You gonna get that?”  Noah asked quietly.

Kurt shook his head and reached out a hand to help Noah up from the floor.  When they were standing Kurt drew his boyfriend into his arms and kissed him.  “I’m spending the day with my boyfriend.  My friends will just have to do without my fabulousity for a few hours.”

Noah smiled and kissed Kurt’s nose.  “So what do we do now?”

Kurt tugged Noah towards the bed.  “I’m sure we’ll think of something.”

Hours later, after another steamy make out session and both boys ignoring numerous calls from their friends, Kurt sat on his bed, laughing at a show that he’d always considered gauche, eating food that he knew his skinny jeans would hate him for, leaning against Noah and feeling safe, happy and content.

Kurt wasn’t sure how he’d missed when Puck became Noah and Noah became Noah, but he was glad that it had happened and he was glad that he’d gotten a chance to peek beneath the rough exterior to the person underneath.  Kurt wasn’t sure where things would go between them, but he was anxious to find out.

Noah laughed as some idiot on the screen attempted to ride his motorcycle into a church and pop a wheelie but proceeded to take out a bingo table instead and scare the hell out of the congregation.  Kurt smiled at the sound of Noah’s laughter, and decided it was one of his favorite sounds.  He was startled out of his thoughts when his boyfriend poked him in the ribs.

“Hey babe, did you see that?”

“Yeah,” Kurt said, smiling up at his boyfriend, “I did.”

Chapter Text

My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration

 

I’m not a perfect person

There’s many things I wish I didn’t do

But I continue learning

I never meant to do those things to you

                   -Hoobastank, The Reason

 

Most of the time, Kurt and Noah can forget how they started, with Noah throwing Kurt into dumpsters and tossing drinks in his face and casual slurs his way.  Kurt hadn’t been a wilting flower; he’d held his head high and fought back the best he could, with biting sarcasm and well placed barbs about Noah’s intelligence, and chances for future success that hurt far, far worse than Noah ever admitted to.

Most of the time those days stay in the past, relegated to a corner of their collective memory dedicated to their high school experience.  It’s not denial or repression, it’s just that they’ve both worked through their childhood traumas and the men they have become bear precious little resemblance to the boys they used to be.  It’s ten years later and Kurt doesn’t have to be the Ice King and Noah doesn’t have to be Puck to make it through the day, they can be themselves, secure in the knowledge that they ARE good enough, talented enough, LOVED enough, just as they are.  There’s no need to slip back into those masks and replay those roles.

After graduation, Noah having had nothing better planned, followed Kurt, Finn and Rachel to New York and had quickly landed a job at a local coffeehouse where he played his original music for the customers during his breaks and on open mic nights.  During one of his performances a representative from a major record label happened to hear him and offer him a recording contract.  Now, ten years later and Noah was one of the labels most successful acts.

Kurt had originally tried to let his light shine on The Great White Way but found he was either ruthlessly typecast or repeated rejected for lead roles.  Taking inspiration from a long ago talk with his father and Rent, his favorite musical and the definitive work of one of his idols, playwright and composer Jonathan Larson, Kurt penned his own musical based on his life story, cast himself as the lead and found a theatre workshop that was willing to allow his play to be put on as a staged reading on a conditional basis.  “Empathy and Apathy” became an almost overnight sensation.  Three years later Kurt found himself taking a bow on the very same Broadway stage that had once seemed so far out of his reach.  He was now highly in demand for both his on and off stage talents.

Kurt and Noah’s relationship had taken both men by surprise.  Living together, watching each other struggle for success and acceptance, struggle to prove that they were more than the “gay kid” and the “Lima Loser” that everyone in their hometown believed them to be led to a mutual respect that blossomed into genuine friendship that turned into love.  It wasn’t instant, it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t expected but it was organic and solid and it was real.  As success came with all its trappings they both found themselves increasingly grateful for having found the love of their life in a person who had seen them at their worst, knew their darkest secrets, had seen their greatest failures and would never let them forget who they were or where they came from.

Noah was currently standing off to the side, watching his husband finish up an interview.  Things seemed to be going fine and then the interviewer asked Kurt a question that Noah had always wondered about but never asked for fear of finding out what the answer could be.

“Your career took off after the success “Empathy and Apathy”, a musical that you penned and have been quoted as saying is based almost entirely on your real life experiences.  Now, most people who’ve seen the play are struck the casual cruelty of your classmates and the apathy of school officials to your suffering.  It’s especially highlighted in the opening scene where you’re surrounded by a bunch of popular jocks and thrown into a dumpster, right after a teacher walks by completely unaware of the situation.”

Kurt chuckled, “Yes well, that particular teacher…if you looked up “he meant well” in the dictionary I’m sure his picture can be found as the definition.  He turned being oblivious into an art form.”

Mindi laughed, and then leaned forward.  “My sources tell me that your husband, rock star Noah Puckerman, was one of the kids who used to throw you into the dumpster.  In fact, according to my source, he was the ringleader and subjected you not only to the dumpster tosses, but took to tormenting you outside of school as well, nailing your lawn furniture to your roof, pelting you with balloons filled with urine, throwing homophobic slurs at you…how do you go from being victimized by someone to being married to them?”

Kurt’s smile froze and then his eyes narrowed and he raised a perfectly manicured eyebrow.  “My my, Mindi what interesting “sources” you have.  Tell me, did your “source” also tell you that Noah was one of the first people to come around and not only stop targeting me, but stop bullying other kids completely?  Did they tell you that when the bullying reached the point where I was receiving death threats he offered to organize my own personal “secret service” security detail to keep me safe, despite the fact that if he were caught fighting or even looking like he was breathing incorrectly he’d be sent back to juvenile detention?  Did your sources tell you that he was also bullied and attacked for sticking up for me?  Did your sources tell you that when my peers, in a truly inspired fit of malice elected me prom queen, Noah stole the ballot box and made sure that every single person who had voted for me apologized?  Did your sources tell you about any of that?”

Mindi’s composure slipped and she stammered, trying to find a way to answer Kurt’s questions, “Well, I, I, my uh-“

“It would seem my dear,” Kurt said with false sweetness,” that your sources aren’t quite as informed as you thought they were,” Kurt made a show of looking at his watch, “And your time is up.  I would say its been a pleasure but my father raised me to tell the truth.  Now I simply must run.”

With a grace that never failed to take Noah’s breath away, Kurt slipped from his seat and managed to make a simple walk across the room look a strut down the catwalk.  He reached Noah and slid into his arms, breathing in his husbands scent and kissing him softly on the corner of the mouth.

“I missed you, baby.”

The tenderness in the endearment, coupled with the fierceness he’d just seen Kurt display in defending him-defending them-made Noah’s chest tighten.  As he stared into Kurt’s big, beautiful, trusting, glasz eyes, Noah flashed back to times when those eyes had looked at him and reflected hurt and pain, fear and humiliation and the guilt threatened to swallow him whole.

“Don’t you dare,” Kurt murmured, taking Noah’s hand and leading out the studio and down the hall.  “I know you heard that Noah Puckerman, and don’t you dare try finish what she started and force us to take an unwanted trip through the more unpleasant neighborhoods of memory lane.”

Noah stopped short, forcing Kurt to stop walking and look up at him.  “Babe,” he said hesitantly, slowly, “I’ve never told you why.”

“Noah-“

“Kurt, babe, please…just listen.  It was never, I know I always said stuff, about you being gay and I made your life hell but Kurt, I need you to know it was never about that.”

“Noah-“

“You were better than me,” Noah said quietly.  “You didn’t play ball or bag chicks or have any of the right friends but you always had your head held high.  And your dad was always the first person ready to kick ass if he found out about anyone hurting you.  You were smart and you were talented and even back then I knew that you were getting out and I thought, I just knew Kurt, that I was gonna be a Lima Loser and I hated that.  I hated myself and I hated you for being better than me, but I never hated you for being gay.”

Kurt swallowed and nodded, blinking back moisture in his eyes.  “I wasn’t as sure as I seemed.  I…it was an act.  I was as lost and insecure and terrified as you were.  The difference is, somewhere in all that you accepted the thought that you wouldn’t get out, that you wouldn’t be more and I couldn’t.  If I-if I let myself think that I wouldn’t ever get out, then I wouldn’t have made it, Noah.  The hope of one day getting out, being free, living someplace where I didn’t have to walk down the street in fear or be afraid to answer the phone was all I had and if I’d lost that or let it be taken from me, I don’t think I’d be here.

“I’m sorry,” Noah said, low, hushed, anguished.  “I’m sorry for everything I did that made you that desperate, that lonely and that afraid.  I’m sorry that I didn’t get my head out of my ass sooner and I’m sorry it took you getting that death threat for me to realize how much you mattered to me and how wrong everything was and to try to do something about it.”

“Apology accepted, but Noah I forgave you a long time ago.  I remember the first time I realized that “Puck” was really and truly gone.  It was during that unfortunately named Booty Camp where Mr. Schue was trying to defy the laws of nature and teach Finn to dance,” Kurt paused and they both laughed at the shared memory, “you and I were standing off in the wings with Mercedes, waiting with bated breath to see if Finn would finally land the combination and you…you reached over and took my hand.  You held my hand.  You touched me like it was no big deal and the guy who threw pee balloons at me and called me ‘Homo Hummel’ would have never touched me for any reason other than to throw me into a dumpster or shove me into a locker.  That was the day I realized that you had grown up and that you were my friend.  That was the day I really forgave you, Noah.  So, thank you for the apology but I need you to know I forgave you years ago.”

Noah nodded, tugged Kurt into his arms and began to walk them towards the elevator.  “Sometimes I hate to think about the person I would have been if you hadn’t been in my life.  I’m not a perfect person, but I know I’m a better person for having you.”

Noah pushed the button to the lift and he and Kurt climbed in and the doors slid closed behind them.  Suddenly, Kurt reached across Noah and pushed the emergency stop button.

“Kurt!  What the hell are you-“

“As much as I enjoy it when you let your softer side show, our Lifetime Movie bonding moment is officially over.  We haven’t had sex in three days.  I’m horny, you’ve made me all emotional and there’s no camera in this elevator-don’t ask me how I know, I just do.  So drop trou, Puckerman.  You’ve got five minutes.”

“Kurt, we don’t have any-“

“Left front pocket.  I’ve been married to you for years, Noah.  I’m like a boy scout now, always prepared.  You’ve got four and a half minutes left.”

As he undid his belt and pushed his husband into the wall of the elevator, Noah couldn’t help but be grateful to the boy he’d been for being brave enough to find a reason to be change and become a man worthy of the love and forgiveness that graced his life.

Chapter Text

Rescue Me

 

I can’t help you fix yourself, but at least I can say I tried,

I’m sorry but I gotta move on with my own life.

-Scars, Papa Roach

 

Noah wasn’t sure how long he’d sat there, fisting the piece of paper that signified the end of his marriage, holding onto Kurt’s wedding band and crying.  His tears landed on the note and the black ink ran together and swirled into gibberish.  It didn’t matter; Noah had already burned the words into his brain.

Dear Noah,

For the last six years I have loved you with every fiber of my being.  I loved you so much I stopped loving me.  I put up with your lying.  I looked the other way when you cheated.  I told myself it didn’t hurt when you forgot my birthday or our anniversary.  I told myself you didn’t really mean it when we would fight and you would say horrible things to me, about me.  I lost myself in you and loved you so much that I was willing to settle for whatever crumbs of affection you were willing to show me.  I may have bent Noah, but I didn’t break and I’ve put up with a lot but I’ll be damned if I’ll let you beat me.  A black eye and a split lip is my official rock bottom.  You need more help than I can give you and I’ve finally realized that the only one of us I can rescue is myself.  So I’m walking away while I’m still able to, bruised but not broken.  I love you, Noah.  I’ll probably always love you, but I can’t save you if you don’t want to be saved and I’m tired of trying.

Kurt

Noah knew that he’d let his drinking get out of control.  He had just never imagined it would get to the point where he was actually physically violent with Kurt.

Kurt.  He loved his husband, despite his near constant stream of fuck ups, he loved his husband.  Kurt was Noah’s saving grace, he was the best thing that had ever happened to him and he’d hit him.  Noah felt sick.

Kurt was gone.  The idea that it was for good was too much for Noah to bear.  Noah glanced at the half empty bottle of tequila on the coffee table.  He could take a drink to dull the pain.

Or he could take control of his life-of his addiction-and maybe salvage what was left of his life.

And if he were extremely lucky he might be able to save his marriage.

He got up and shakily made his way over to his cell phone.  Scrolling through his contacts until he reached his manager’s number he pushed the speed dial before he could change his mind.  Donovan answered on the first ring.

“Noah, my man, what’s happening?  You get those tracks done?”

Noah winced because no, he hadn’t shown up for his scheduled studio time once in the past week.

“No, but D-“

“Damn Noah.  Come on, man we’ve talked about this.  You can’t just blow off Jalen Elazar, man.  He’s the hottest producer in the game right now and it took me months to-“

“Kurt left me,” Noah interrupted.

“Noah, I’m sor-“

“I hit him.”

Silence.

“I don’t even, I can’t even remember it.  I was drunk and I hit my husband and I don’t even…I can’t believe…I just woke up and he’s gone.”

“What do you need, Noah.  Tell me what you want me to do.”

Noah took a deep breath.  “I want you to take me that rehab you told me about last month.  I need…I have a problem and I need help.”

“I’ll be there in fifteen.”

Noah hung up without saying good bye.  He could do this.  He was going to do this.

He was going to get sober and he was going to get his life and his husband back.

Because he couldn’t go on living like this and he couldn’t go on living without Kurt.

 

Chapter Text


The Last Time Before The Last Time

Kurt signs his name on the lease with a flourish. The penthouse is tasteful and elegant, all gleaming hardwood floors and floor to ceiling bay windows, exactly the type of place he always imagined himself living.

And Blaine is exactly the type of partner that he always imagined himself having. He's intelligent and beautiful, charming and sophisticated. Blaine is kind and giving, polite and well mannered, respectful and respected. They watch Moulin Rouge and sing "Come What May" in perfect harmony. They flail over the Lady Gaga edition of Vogue together. They go antiquing and have high tea at The Russian Tea Room. Their relationship is balanced and easy, loving and gentle but above all else, stable.

Blaine is perfect and KurtandBlaine are perfect and Kurt knows that should be enough.

The problem is, that isn't enough. In the middle of the night Kurt lies awake sometimes and looks at his husband and imagines darker skin, eyes a different shade of hazel and hair cut in a ridiculous stripe desperately trying to be a Mohawk. He imagines the body beside him is taller, broader and more muscular. He imagines that the scent on the pillows is spicier, a bit sharper with hints of bergamot and olive tree blossom instead of the subtle blend of citrus and sandalwood that Blaine wears.

Kurt pushes the feelings down, ignores them, viciously represses them until he can't anymore and the longing threatens to swallow him whole. Then and only then he finds himself dialing a familiar phone number and sneaking across town and walking up the front steps of an all too familiar brownstone.

Noah isn't perfect. He's crass and he's blunt. He's rough around the edges and couldn't care less if he offends someone. But Noah is kind and he's loyal and he's solid and he grounds Kurt in a way that no one else –not even Blaine-can.

Kurt finds himself stumbling into Noah's arms no sooner than he steps across the threshold, fusing their lips together in a kiss full of desperation and longing, guilt and confusion, want and need as if he needs it like the air he breathes.

Later, as Kurt's pulling back on his layers, and Noah lies in bed naked and sweaty, sated and silent, Kurt turns to him and shakes his head.

"This can't happen again. I can't keep doing this to Blaine or to you or to myself. This has to end."

Noah, looks at Kurt without a trace of anger or judgment and crawls forward until he's pressing a kiss onto Kurt's forehead and simply says, "That's what you said last time, Princess."

Chapter Text


Noah Puckerman Versus the (Not So) Evil Ex

Noah didn't hate Blaine. Truth be told, it was pretty impossible to hate Blaine, which just made everything that much worse. If Kurt's ex was a complete jackass Noah would have been justified in wanting to wrap his hands around the curly haired singer's neck and squeeze…

But no, Blaine wasn't a jackass. Blaine was the definition of a Nice Guy. He was charming, polite, well mannered, laid back enough to tell a raunchy joke or two and just…nice. He was also the only one of their –and Noah guessed he had consider Blaine his now too-friends who hadn't given him the evil eye and a long winded lecture about how if he hurt Kurt he'd lose various and vital pieces of his anatomy. Blaine's reaction had been an enthusiastic embrace for Kurt and a fist bump to Noah, along with instructions to "beware the bitch face and when all else fails an Alexander McQueen scarf will always get you out of the doghouse."

Under normal circumstances, Noah would consider the hobbit a bro, or at the very least not be actively fantasizing about throwing the kid in a dumpster.

And the hell of it was, Noah didn't exactly know why these weren't normal circumstances. Things with Kurt and Blaine had ended long before Noah was in the picture and if they were gonna get back together, it would have happened months ago when they first broke up. Kurt was his now and Blaine was just a friend.

Blaine was just Kurt's best friend.

The two of them were so close that it had taken almost a month before anyone realized "Klaine" had gone their separate ways. Except…they didn't go their separate ways. They still hung out together almost every day. They still had Facebook statuses that no one understood but them. They still did mushy duets with one another and drove to Columbus to see the theater and went to semi-annual Warbler sleepovers. Blaine still came to Friday night dinner at Kurt's and worked at Hummel Tire and Lube.

It was enough to drive Noah up the wall. It figured that Blaine and Kurt would be the only two high school kids in the history of high school kids who said "let's stay friends" and not only meant it, but pulled it off so perfectly that people were taking bets on when they'd get back together.

Kurt assured Noah that it wasn't going to happen, that he and Blaine were better friends than lovers (and yeah…that was a mental picture Noah had never needed) and the romantic nature of their relationship was over and only the friendship remained. And Noah tried to believe that and most of the time he did believe that except…

Except for the times when he didn't. He couldn't believe it when Blaine's eyes would linger on Kurt just a little too long when the brunette wasn't looking. He couldn't believe it when Blaine seemed to invent reasons to touch Kurt. He couldn't believe it when Blaine was always there, with secret smiles and inside jokes and shared plans ("Blaine's graduating early! Isn't it wonderful? He'll be able to go to NYADA with Rachel and I just like we all planned.") He couldn't believe that Blaine had let Kurt go and didn't want him back.

Blaine wasn't that stupid and Noah wasn't that naïve.

In retrospect, he should have told Blaine he was definitely interrupting when he'd shown up at Kurt's earlier that evening. Burt and Carol were out of town and Finn was over at Rachel's. Kurt and Noah had made plans to take advantage of the empty house and then Blaine had shown up, looking like a kicked puppy and complaining about a horrible date with some guy named Sebastian. Dapper Dan had apologized for intruding and offered to leave but Kurt had swept in with sympathy and cookies and Noah's plans to fuck his boyfriend through the mattress turned into a Disney movie marathon with his boyfriend and his boyfriend's ex.

By the time the last movie ended Noah was on edge. His knuckles were white from how hard he'd clenched his fists and his jaw was aching from grinding his teeth. When Blaine rose from the sofa, apologizing for crashing their date and making noise about going home, Noah almost danced for joy.

Then Kurt, his always polite, ever compassionate, amazingly sweet and sexy boyfriend turned into to a total cockblock, telling Blaine it was much too late for him to drive all the way back to Westerville and he could crash in the guest room.

Noah wanted to scream. He wanted to pick Blaine up and chunk him back to the shire or Westerville or wherever the hell he came from. He wanted to throw a bigger bitch fit than Kurt and Rachel were capable of throwing combined.

But Noah didn't do any of that. He simply cleared away their dishes while Kurt got Blaine settled in the guest room…and took much longer than Noah deemed necessary before returning to kitchen and wrapping his arms around Noah's waist.

"Thank you," Kurt said softly, "I know that having Blaine here wasn't part of the plan but he just looked so miserable I couldn't turn him away. Thank you for being so understanding."

Noah's grip tightened on the plate, but Kurt just kept on talking. "Finn was worried you know," he said dropping a kiss on the back of Noah's neck, "he had the ridiculous idea that you might be jealous of Blaine. He claimed that its unnatural for exes to be as close as Blaine and I are and that it might make you insecure, especially since he's going to be my roommate at NYADA and-"

"What the actual fuck?" Noah interrupted, spinning around to face his boyfriend. "You're going to be living together? When the…what the fuck, Kurt?"

Kurt's eyes widened and he took a step back. "I…I told you that Blaine was coming to NYADA with Rachel and I since he's graduating early. We…we were always going to be roommates, Noah. You knew that."

"Yeah," Noah bit out harshly, "When you two were fucking boyfriends I knew you planned on rooming together in college, hell everybody did, New York was all you guys and Berry ever talked about. But you're not boyfriends anymore. You're mine, Kurt and I'll be damned if you're gonna be living with some other guy –especially one who you fucking planned on marrying and adopting a United Nations worth of kids with."

Kurt narrowed his eyes. "Noah Puckerman, we have talked about this. I am not property and you cannot dictate to me what I can and cannot mmmph-"

Before Kurt could finish Noah had him backed up against the refrigerator, his lips captured in a dominating kiss. Kurt immediately yielded to Noah, opening for his boyfriend and moaning while Noah's tongue plundered the hot, wet cavern of his mouth. Kurt's arms wound their way around Noah's neck and knees went weak, causing Noah to haul him up tight against his body to keep him upright.

Noah pulled back after several minutes of heated kisses and smirked slightly at Kurt's appearance. His normally pale skin was flushed, his usually perfect hair was mussed, his soft pink lips were a swollen, kiss bitten red and his eyes were glazed over, the pupils wide and blown. Noah's cock jerked at the sight and he said in a low growl, "Bedroom, and move your ass, Princess."

Kurt's tongue snaked out to lick nervously along his bottom lip and he nodded. His breathing was coming in rapid, harsh pants and his skinny jeans had an impressive bulge tenting the front of them. Every trace of the cool, calculated, in control diva was erased, replaced by a picture of pure wanton need. He shakily slipped out from between the refrigerator and Noah's body, leading the way down the hall to his bedroom.

Under normal circumstances, Noah knew that damaging Kurt's clothes was more likely to piss Kurt off than turn him on, but these weren't normal circumstances and Noah didn't have the patience to deal with Kurt's buttons and buckles and hidden zippers. Clothes were ripped, torn and cast aside in the pursuit of skin on skin contact.

Under normal circumstances, Noah was gentle with Kurt. Kurt's bullying had left him a little skittish when it came to being manhandled and the fact that Noah had been one of his bullies was a part of their history that they actively had to work through. Under normal circumstances, Noah wouldn't touch Kurt with anything less than skillful, passionate tenderness. But these weren't normal circumstances. Noah needed to mark Kurt as his, to write his name across that perfect porcelain flesh in bruises and bite marks, he needed to make Kurt understand that he was his, that he did belong to Noah, that he would always belong to Noah, whether he was in Lima or New York.


Kurt arched under Noah's touch, his arms shaking and straining against the scarves that secured him to the headboard, his head frantically tossing from side to side, his body coiled tight with tension desperate for the release Noah continually denied him. He whimpered and moaned when Noah's warm, wet tongue made contact with the hardened rosy peak of one nipple. His back bowed in pleasure as he cried out when Noah licked a wet stripe over its twin and then blew over the skin. "Noah, "he whined, his voice breaking, "Noah, please, please, oh please, baby."

Noah smirked and sucked a fresh bruise onto his collarbone and ghosted his fingers over Kurt's red, leaking cock. "Please, what, huh? What do you want, Princess? What do you need?"

Kurt keened, and thrust his hips up, silently begging for the friction he sought."Noah, please. I want you, you know that I want you," he begged, pulling against the scarves, shaking the headboard and groaning in frustration when Noah moved back onto his haunches denying him contact.

"You want me? You say it. Say you're mine," Noah demanded. He kissed and bit his way up the side of Kurt's neck, creating a mark so high up on the countertenor's neck that would peek out over even the top of a turtleneck. It was a brand, a mark of ownership so that everyone would see and know that Kurt was taken, that Kurt was his. He smirked in satisfaction and then moved to do the same thing to the other side.

"Noah," Kurt wailed, dropping his head back onto the pillow in frustration. "Fuck me, please, just please, fuck me. Noah I need it, I need you, please, please. I'm yours, I'm yours."

Noah spread Kurt's legs and poured a liberal amount of lube onto his fingers. He gently slid in one, then two, then three fingers, carefully but swiftly prepping his lover. Kurt moaned and yowled throughout the ministrations, a stream of filthy requests pouring from his lips.

When he couldn't wait any longer, Noah positioned himself at the entrance to Kurt's tight channel and pushed all the way in with one, hard thrust. Kurt's back bowed and his mouth opened in a silent scream as he felt the burn and stretch of Noah's cock buried to the hilt inside of him.

Noah's fingers slid into Kurt's hair and he grabbed a handful and yanked, pulling on it hard enough to make Kurt yelp. "Whose ass is this?" Noah demanded, harshly, forcing Kurt to look into his eyes. "Who do you belong to? Whose are you? Say it, Kurt. Whose are you?"

"I'm yours, only yours, oh please, Noah, only you. Please, please, I'm yours." Kurt screamed.

Kurt's admission pushed Noah into action. He set a brutal, demanding pace that had the headboard ramming into the wall behind them and the bed creaking underneath them. Noah relished the sight and sounds of Kurt coming undone underneath him, screaming, begging and pleading for more at the top of his lungs, yanking on his bonds and calling out Noah's name. When he remembered Blaine was just down the hall, he pushed himself into Kurt's body harder and deeper, faster and stronger, until he was sure the ex-Warbler could hear everything. "You're mine. You belong to me. You were made for me, I'm never letting you go, I love you so much, you're mine, mine, Kurt, mine," he said, wrapping a hand around Kurt's cock and beginning to pump him in rhythm to his thrusts.

"I'm yours. I'm yours, I promise I'm yours. I love you Noah, I love you so much, take me, take me, yes," Kurt yelled as his body seized and spilled out over Noah's hand and up between their sweat slicked bodies. Noah followed soon after, gripping Kurt's hips so tightly he left finger shaped bruises as he came.


Noah woke the next morning to the smell of pancakes, coffee, eggs and bacon. The warm, heavy weight on his chest confirmed for him Kurt was still in bed with him so it had to be Blaine that was cooking breakfast.

Noah decided it was time he and the curly haired crooner got a few things straight and he carefully extricated himself out from under Kurt, slid on a pair of pajama pants and a wife beater and stalked into the kitchen.

"Morning, Noah," Blaine said brightly as soon as the mohawked boy made his way into the kitchen. "I figured Kurt would be, ah, indisposed this morning so I made breakfast. It should be ready in about ten," Blaine said with a happy smile and a teasing light in his eyes.

Noah was taken aback. Blaine had clearly heard them but he wasn't acting upset…he was acting the opposite of upset, actually.

"Look Blaine-"Noah began, ready to throw down the gauntlet.

"Coffee," Blaine asked cutting him off. "It's the good stuff Kurt hides in the back in that he thinks no one knows about."

"Sure," Noah said slowly, trying to figure out what kind of game Blaine was playing.

"How do you take it?" Blaine asked, removing two mugs from the cupboard.

"Black, two sugars."

Blaine made their coffee and handed Noah his cup before sitting across from him and smiling. "You know that Kurt and I are best friends?"

Noah nodded, and motioned for Blaine to continue.

"He tells me things, like where he's hiding his tiara collection these days and why his crush on Anderson Cooper doesn't mean he has a daddy complex. But mostly, he tells me about you."

Noah's fingers tightened on his mug and he glared at Blaine. "Does he now?"

"Yep," Blaine said cheerfully, taking a sip of coffee, "he tells me how much he loves you. How happy he is and how if anyone had told him two years ago that he'd be head over heels for you he would have assumed they were in the middle of some type of psychotic break and slowly backed away from them until he was at a safe enough distance to run for it."

Noah laughed because, yeah, that sounded like his boy.

"I love him and he loves me," Blaine said quietly, causing Noah's head to snap up and his eyes to narrow, but before he could say a word Blaine continued, "but we're not in love. We haven't been for a really long time. He's in love with you and he's happy with you. I'm happy for him because if anyone deserves happiness it's Kurt. I'm not a threat, Noah. I'm not hanging around waiting on you to mess up so I can swoop in and steal him back and I'm not pining away waiting for a second chance. Kurt and I are best friends and that's all we were meant to be, you and Kurt…you're meant for something far greater." A timer dinged and Blaine jumped up and walked over to the stove.

"I have GOT to get one of these grills," Blaine exclaimed as he scooped out perfectly made pancakes and omelets.

"Blaine-"

"Did you know NYADA has co-ed dorms?" Blaine said casually, handing Noah a plate. "Rachel and I talked about it and her father's feel better about her being in the city and rooming with someone they know and trust."

"What about Kurt?" Noah asked, feeling a bit guilty that Kurt was going to be forced to live with a stranger because of his insecurities.

"Dude-"

"Kurt tells me you're still working at Sheets-N-Things," Blaine said suddenly, thrusting a plate into Noah's hands.

"Huh?" Noah said, completely lost as to why the shorter boy is bringing it up.

"Did you know they do employee relocation?"

"I-"

"And there just happens to be a location about five miles west of NYADA's main campus?"

"Why-"

"And there's a reasonable apartment complex within walking distance between the two?"

"Dude…are you telling me to put in for a transfer and move to New York and live with Kurt? His dad would never go for that."

"Kurt told me your plan was to take a year off and work, save up a little money and then go to school. You can do that in New York as easily as you can in Lima," Blaine said, raising one triangular brow, "And Burt might be interested to know that the cost per semester of the housing and meal plan at NYADA is roughly the equivalent of six months of rent on studio in that complex I mentioned. Also it might make Carol feel better to know that with you there and working, Kurt's won't be surviving on take out and tv dinners. Burt knows that you love Kurt…he might be interested to know just how much you respect him and how much you want to support him."

"Are you…are you decoding the Hummels for me? Are you telling what to say to Kurt's parents to get them to agree to this, to pitch this to Burt without losing my balls in the process?" Noah asked incredulously.

Blaine shrugged. "I'm just telling you some interesting facts I learned by making a few discrete phone calls and some Google Fu, as well as giving you the benefit of my own personal Burt Hummel Experience. What you do with it is up to you. Good morning, Kurt!" Blaine said brightly, effectively ending the conversation.

Two months and three tense Hummel-Puckerman family meetings/torture sessions later, Noah had secured a work transfer for after graduation and his mother and Kurt's father had finally given their approval for the two of them to get an apartment in New York. As he held Kurt close to him and his eyes met Blaine's from across the room and the boys exchanged a small smile, Noah had to admit that as far as unwanted exes go, Blaine wasn't so bad.

Chapter Text

Our Way To Fall

It isn’t until Noah reaches out to take his hand, fingers slick and grimy from the butter and salt on the popcorn they’ve been sharing that Kurt realizes that he’s on a date with Noah Puckerman.  Noah picking him up, paying for the tickets and the snacks and choosing a seat way in the back of the theater were all things that had happened before on their standing Sunday afternoon movie non-dates but this-Noah taking his hand and curling his fingers around Kurt’s -this was new.

Kurt isn’t freaking out.  He’s pretty sure he should be.  He’s not though and that just adds to his general confusion.  He has a million questions in his head, not the least of which is how Lima’s self proclaimed “sex shark” can be anything other than straight, and what it says about Kurt’s self-esteem that he’s falling for yet another boy who threw pee balloons at him but strangely he finds that he’s ok with not really understanding what’s happening here.  Kurt decides all he really needs to understand is how Noah’s hand seems to fit in his and how good it makes him feel to be sitting in the chilly theater, eating over priced snacks, watching The Immortals and holding Noah’s hand.

He can tell that Noah’s watching him out of the corner of his eye, just waiting to see what Kurt’s going to do.  Kurt takes a long drink of his Diet Coke and plays out in his head every scenario from snatching his hand away and running all the way home to leaping over the seats, straddling Noah’s lap and kissing him within an inch of his life.

In the end he decides to go against the grain of his dramatic tendencies and opts to simply tighten his grip on Noah’s hand, interlocking their fingers as both boys stare straight ahead trying, but ultimately failing, to keep ridiculous matching grins of their faces.

Chapter Text

You Boys Sure Found A Way to Make the Time Pass Up There

It’s gray, cold and dreary.  The rain is coming in sheets, steady and relentless so that nothing can be seen from out the windows except for blobs of green representing the trees surrounding the cabin.  There’s a fire in the fireplace, casting the room in a warm, fuzzy glow and providing the occasion crackle to contrast the steady drumming of the rain against the window panes.

Kurt turns over on the couch, pulling the blanket up to his chin as he lets loose a contented sigh.  “This is nice,” he murmurs with his eyes closed.

Noah lets out a discontented snort and scowls.  “This fucking sucks.  We’re supposed to be camping.”  

“We are camping,” Kurt argues, cracking open one eye and grinning at how disgruntled and annoyed Noah looks.

“This isn’t camping.  I gave in and agreed to a cabin because you pitched a bitch about going Brokeback style-“

“I was not about to sleep on the ground, Noah.  Kurt Hummel requires a mattress.even one as dubious as the pull out here is.  Nor was I going to, as you so wonderfully put it, act like a bear and shit in the woods.  I have standards and-” Kurt interrupts.

“Like I said, pitched a bitch,” Noah repeats, “but now I’m stuck inside.  No fishing, no hiking, no hunting.”

“No bugs, no sun stroke, no ruining my vintage LL Bean leather lace ups.” Kurt adds breezily.

“Why is it raining?  There’s nothing to do, now.” Noah whines. 

Kurt sighs and opens up his blanket.  “Come here, Noah.”

“No.”

“You know you want to,” Kurt wheedles.

“What I want is to go fishing and hiking and-“

“I’ll do that thing you like.”

Noah bangs his knee on the coffee table and nearly falls on top of Kurt in his haste to get to the couch.  As he gets to work sucking on that spot behind Noah’s ear and unbuttoning his boyfriend’s shirt, Kurt briefly wonders how long it’s going to take Noah to remember that he’d asked Kurt to check the weather and make sure it was all blue skies and smooth sailing for their trip and if maybe he should fess up to intentionally coming on a rainy weekend so there wouldn’t be any hiking and fishing and fashionable boots being sacrificed to the back woods of Ohio.

As Noah tilts his head to give Kurt better access, and slides a hand underneath them to palm Kurt’s ass, Kurt decides that maybe he’ll just keep this one to himself.

Chapter Text

Last In Love

Noah knew that his insecurity was one of his more unattractive personality traits and he was grateful that Kurt seemed to understand that from time to time it tended to take over him.  Kurt, having battled his own self worth issues, made sure that when Noah did fall into the trap of negative thinking he  did everything he could to let Noah know how much he loved him and all the things about him that he thought were special.  The difference was that for Kurt he tended to internalize his negative emotions and Noah retreated into his Puck persona because it was easier to be angry than to be hurt.  Over the four years they’d been together Kurt had helped Noah painfully and carefully shed Puck’s skin so that Noah could shine through.  For the sake of his sanity and his relationship, Noah learned to keep his insecurity at bay and trust that Kurt was right, that he was good enough and he did deserve the happiness he had.  Most of the time Noah did a good job of keeping Puck but when he did rear his ugly head Puck managed to cause a maximum amount of damage with a minimum amount of effort.

Puck can’t be blamed for the situation he currently found himself in though, at least not entirely.  No, Sebastian Smythe had to share some of the fucking wealth on that one.  Between Puck and Sebastian, Noah had found himself at the mercy of his insecurity and drowning in a sea of self doubt.

As soon as the invitation had arrived Noah had known no good would come from it.  It had taken years for Noah get comfortable with the fact that Kurt and Blaine had remained such good friends after their break up but after getting to know the guy Noah had to admit that if Kurt were going to be BFF’s with an ex, he was glad it was Blaine.  Besides, Blaine was in a stable, long term relationship and had never even looked like he wanted to make a move on Kurt so Noah had come to accept he had nothing to worry about.

Sebastian fucking Smythe on the other hand, was a completely different story.  

When Kurt’s other high school ex had sent Kurt and Noah an invitation to his gallery opening, Noah’s first instinct was to trash it but Kurt insisted on going.  Not, he said, because he wanted to see Sebastian, but because he was fairly certain a good number of his Dalton friends would show up and he hadn’t gotten to catch up with them in ages.

So Noah had allowed Kurt to dress him up and drag him to look at paintings that looked like someone had let their three year old fling paint at the canvas so he could spend an evening surrounded by people he didn’t know or particularly like so Kurt could take a trip down memory lane.

Noah’s one hope at refuge had been dashed when Blaine had informed him he’d rather starve to death in his apartment and then have his body eaten by cats than voluntarily encounter Sebastian again.  Despite Kurt and then Noah’s pleas, Blaine had refused to attend, and urged Noah to get Kurt to change his mind as well.

“Noah, I hate to speak ill of people but I feel the need to be frank here,” Blaine had said that afternoon over the phone, “Sebastian is like a bad penny that just keeps turning back up when he’s least wanted.  I don’t care what he says, he’s never gotten over Kurt dumping him and if you two show up he’s going to try to make waves.  Don’t let him.  He ran into Alex and I at the theater a few months ago and…long story short we ended up fighting about him for almost a week.  Just don’t let him get in your head.”

Noah had promised Blaine, and himself, that he wouldn’t let Smythe get to him.  That promise had gone out the window within five seconds of them exchanging hellos.

“Kurt!” A voice had called out from across the room.  Kurt had turned to look and found his ex boyfriend making a beeline towards him, two glasses of champagne in hand, and a calculating look in his eyes.

“I’m so glad you could make it.  I’ve missed you and since we both live in the city it’s inexcusable that we haven’t made the time to catch up,” Sebastian said handing Kurt one of the champagne flutes, making sure to deliberately brush his fingers over Kurt’s.

Kurt had given Sebastian “bitch face number 4”, the one he used for when he wanted to let someone know he was onto their game and wasn’t about to fall for it and his fingers had twitched on the glass ever so slightly, as if he’d given serious consideration to throwing the contents in Sebastian’s face. 

Kurt of course, had not thrown his drink or thrown a fit.  He’d simply smiled icily at Sebastian and taken Noah’s arm.  “You know how brutal the pace is here in New York.  I’m amazed I find the time to eat and sleep, never mind catch up with…friends.”

“Yet I imagine you still find the time for Blaine,” Sebastian had said, bitterness playing around the edges of his tone.

Kurt had merely nodded before replying, “Well, you of all people know how truly special Blaine’s always been to me.”  And Noah had forced himself not to laugh at the well placed jab.  Kurt’s dumping Sebastian to reunite with Blaine was a well known sore spot for the other man.  Sebastian had put in months of time wooing Kurt away from the younger boy, only to find himself stood up on prom night while Kurt and Blaine reunited and then made good use of the suite that Sebastian had booked in hopes of finally getting Kurt into his bed.

Sebastian’s meltdown in the hallway when Blaine had answered the door, wearing a fluffy white robe and a shit eating grin had been enough to attract the attention of the rest of their floor, several of whom were McKinley students who’d whipped out camera phones and recorded Sebastian flipping his shit and ending up being dragged away by hotel security.

He was still the only guy Noah knew that had ever been banned from Lima’s only Best Western.

“Yes well,” Sebastian had said, “enough about Blaine.”  He’d turned to Noah and given him an appraising look.  “He looks familiar.”

“He should,” Kurt said drily.  “Noah went to high school with Blaine and me.  Noah, baby, you remember Sebastian.”

Noah had merely grunted and then given Sebastian his most menacing glare.  Kurt had looked appalled and Sebastian anything but intimidated.  “Baby huh?  You have my congratulations, Noah,” Sebastian had said.  “Kurt’s an amazing guy.  Hopefully you’ll have better luck than I did convincing him to stick around.”

Before Noah or Kurt could reply, Sebastian had excused himself to go talk to a potential buyer.

“No wonder Blaine calls him Sebastard,” Noah had grumbled.

“Don’t,” Kurt had admonished, “That’s just Seb being Seb.  Don’t let him get to you.  Look, Nick and Jeff are here, let’s go say hi.”

Noah had spent the next hour with Kurt, Nick and Jeff laughing at the various displays and catching up on the details of everyone’s lives.  Noah had managed to shake off his bad mood and had wandered over to look at a painting that had caught his eye when suddenly Sebastian sidled up next to him.

“Enjoying yourself, Noah?”  He’d asked, his eyes raking over Noah shrewdly.

“I was until you showed up,” Noah had replied.  He’d had every intention of walking away and keeping his promise to Blaine and to himself but then Sebastian had opened his big, fat mouth and stopped him cold.

“You know you’re just a placeholder, don’t you?”

Noah’s back had stiffened and his breath had caught in his throat.

“You’ll do, for now, but don’t think you’re going to be china patterns and getting happily ever after because you will lose Kurt, just like I did.”

“You don’t know anything about me and Kurt.”

Sebastian had smiled wry and cruel.  “I don’t have to.  You’re not Blaine.  No one is.  Blaine is the ghost of the perfect love and he haunts Kurt.  No one else will ever quite measure up to their little teenage dream.  Blaine is perfect and unattainable, incandescent and unforgettable and Kurt has him so high up on a pedestal that he’s dining with the gods.  He’s so far above us mere mortals that you can’t even see him until he comes back down to earth and he’s in your face and make no mistake Noah, Blaine always comes back, always.”

Noah had taken a threatening step towards Sebastian but the smaller man hadn’t backed down.  “Don’t shoot the messenger, Noah.  You can’t tell me that in the four years you’ve been together you haven’t thought it, haven’t seen it.  You know as well as I do that it’s just a matter of time.  You may be sharing Kurt’s bed right now but do yourself a favor and don’t get too comfortable there.  Never forget that you are a substitute and you always will be.”

Sebastian had then turned and walked away, as if he hadn’t just ripped open a raw, gaping wound that had taken Noah almost the entirety of his relationship with Kurt to heal.

“Hey, there you are,” Kurt said running over to him breathlessly.  “We kind of need to go because David, Wes, Nick and I may have taken some of the masks from the tribal display and did the Jin Go La Ba dance and now security may or may not be looking for us.”

“Yeah,” Noah had said tightly.  “Yeah I’m ready.”

That had been three days ago and Noah still hadn’t been able to get Sebastian’s voice out of his head.  They kept playing in his head like loop, over and over, the soundtrack to his deepest fear: that Kurt would figure out he was too good for Noah and leave him.  The stress had put him in a contemptible mood and he’d been short tempered and foul mouthed, picking fights and pushing all of Kurt’s buttons. 

Noah knew he was giving Sebastian exactly what he wanted but he couldn’t seem to stop self sabotaging.

Kurt reached the end of his rope when Noah refused to engage him in conversation at dinner but then had a three hour phone call with Finn.  “I’m done with this Noah,” Kurt exploded, snatching up his jacket.  “I have no idea what the problem is and I’m almost past caring.  I do know that nothing I’ve done warrants being ignored until you decide you want someone to fight with.  I’m going out.  I’ll be over at Blaine’s and maybe when I get back-“

“Of fucking course you’ll be at Blaine’s,” Noah yelled before he could stop himself, “That’s where you belong, isn’t it?  Where you want to be?”

Kurt stood stock still then slowly set his jacket down on the arm of the couch.  “Noah,” he said softly, “what was that?  You haven’t had issues with Blaine and I for years, so where is this coming from?”

It Kurt had yelled back or stormed out, Noah could have kept up his defenses.  He probably would have gotten rip roaring drunk, drunk dialed everyone he went to high school with and ended up passed out on the living room sofa.  But because Kurt was just…standing there, looking at Noah with not only care and concern but love Noah crumbled.

“Am I a substitute?”  He asked quietly, unable to meet Kurt’s eyes.

“Are you a substitute,” Kurt repeated blankly, “like Splenda?”

Noah laughed in spite of himself and shook his head.  “No, I don’t mean like Splenda, I mean like Sebastian.  Am I a substitute for Blaine?”

Kurt’s jaw dropped and his mouth opened and closed several times before he found his voice.  He shook his head and sat down on the sofa.  “Come here,” he said patting the seat next to him.  As soon as Noah sat down Kurt drew him into his arms, placing small kisses along his jaw and running his hands soothingly up and down the expanse of his back.

“You have never been a substitute for anyone,” Kurt said emphatically.  “You aren’t second choice or second best and I’m grateful every day of my life someone as amazing as you chose to love me.”

“I was there Kurt,” Noah mumbled.  “I saw the epic love affair that was Klaine.”

“I loved Blaine,” Kurt said simply.  “I’m not going to downplay it or deny it.  The boy that I was at seventeen was truly in love with Blaine Anderson.”  Noah nodded and tried to wiggle out of Kurt’s embrace but Kurt refused to let him go.  “But the man that I am at 26 is completely, totally, head over heels, truly, madly, deeply, irrevocably in love with Noah Puckerman.  Blaine was my first love, but you, Noah, you are my last.”

Just like that Noah felt all the tension drain out of his body.  Kurt loved him.  Kurt chose him.  What he had with Kurt couldn’t be and shouldn’t be compared to what Kurt had had with Blaine, anymore than it should be compared to what Noah had had with Quinn.

“There’s one more thing we need to clear up,” Kurt said forcefully, “Sebastian has never understood this but he never could grasp the concept that he might not be as wonderful as he thinks he is.  The simple truth is I didn’t break up with Sebastian because of Blaine.  I broke up with Sebastian because of Sebastian.  He’s always been an ass and my teenage self had about the same amount of patience and tolerance than I do now.  Something you might want to remember next time you get in one of these moods, mister.”  Kurt added

“I’m sorry,” Noah said, “I know I’ve been dick lately.  It’s just Sebastian totally mind fucked me and had me-“

Kurt’s eyes narrowed and the temperature in the room dropped at least 20 degrees.  “Sebastian?  You were upset because of Sebastian?  He said something to you the other night, didn’t he?  I will fucking end him.  I will rip his entire spine out through his throat-“

“And that’s the last time we let you play Mortal Kombat,” Noah interrupted Kurt’s tirade.  “Don’t baby.  Neither one of us is going to give Sebastian any more space in our head.  I never should have let him get to me in the first place, it’s just...he hit me where it hurt. I lose the people I love.  My dad, Quinn, Beth…I try to hold on but I’m always left grasping at straws.”

Kurt cupped Noah’s face in his hands.  “I am so sorry you’ve had so much pain but Noah, I need you to believe me when I say that I love you and I’m not going anywhere.  Blaine is my past but you, you are future.  Trust in me, trust in us.”

“I trust you.  I believe in us.  Just…don’t get too upset if I forget sometimes ok?”

Kurt nodded.  “It’s ok if you forget, baby.  I will always be here to remind you.”  He vowed before taking Noah’s mouth in a tender kiss filled with sweetness, love and the certainty of last love.