A/N: So, this is my first venture into the Glee fandom, let's hope it isn't too disastrous.
This was born, only because I was rewatching the 1x13 episodes of Glee and GG and really wanted a bit more action when the two best friends fight it out (in both scenarios ;) )
Hope you like…
Title: I Don't Think They Know, That's My Heart Exposed
Disclaimer: I own nothing – quite said really :I Title from lyrics to the song 'Trade Yourself In' by Shinedown.
A/N: Warning = swearing.
Summary: Because they'd have to talk about it some time, have to resolve it some time; but his best friend's still angry, and honestly, Puck can't blame him.
"A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights."
"Dude – " he reaches out to his best friend: because that's what Finn is, even if he tries to deny it, they've been through too much shit together to let this – her – come between them now.
Besides, it'd be kind of cool for his best friend to have his back when his kid is born.
So he reaches out his hand, appeals to his best friend, and tries to resurrect the bridge between them that Finn has since tried to tear down; brick by brick. He's felt each little destruction like a stab to his chest, felt the pressure of what it means weighing down on him like he has hundreds of those bricks stacked on top of him waiting, just waiting, until his lungs collapse with the sheer force of it.
"Look, it's not like I didn't want to tell you," he tells him; his hand by his side once more, it starts to spasm slightly against the energy he's exerting to stop it from clenching shut.
"I did, so many times," he continues.
It's true: even if his sole aim was to break the 'happy couple' up so he could swoop in and take his rightful place next to his baby-mama. On some level he had been thinking of Finn, had been thinking about his best friend, and the fact that he was his best friend, and that it was wrong, and unfair and a whole other lot of words-as-feelings that Rachel could probably describe much better, to let his best friend raise his kid, his little girl.
"But Quinn – she – " he's tripping over the words, and he doesn't care; because he doesn't want to say them, even if they are true.
"She loves you, man."
He releases the breath he's been holding, fights against the stone-wall piling up against him; because this is what it all comes down to in the end.
"So you're saying this is my fault?" Finn grinds out, and he looks madder than ever; madder even than he did that day when he wailed on him while everyone stood back and watched.
He closes his eyes, ducks his head; he doesn't need to remind himself anymore than he already knows that the group will always follow Finn; that anyone he ever chooses to surround himself with will always look to his best friend before they look to him.
His leg bounces as the tremors from his hand ricochet from one limb to another till they course through his veins; because Finn really does get everything, and Finn always does come out on top, and it's not fair. So forgive him for thinking that maybe just once, just once, he might actually get something out of it all. It's not as if he didn't have to put out either; he did, and anyway, he's offering to take everything, his best friend should be a little more freakin' grateful. This way he could go back to mindlessly playing Xbox or getting repeatedly body-slammed into the grass without having to get stressed about having to provide for a baby and its mother too. This way he could use his lame-ass cripple-wage for something other than Quinn Fabray and Puck's baby.
"You're putting this on me?" his best friend takes a step towards him.
He holds up his hands, lifts his head to reply, "No, that's not what I meant – "
And he didn't mean that, not really. He can take responsibility when he wants to, and it was him that was with Quinn that night, him that slept with her, him that got her pregnant. It was also him that agreed not to say anything to his best friend when she informed him of her 'plan' – yeah right – so he's not blaming Finn, not really; he's just trying to tell him how it is. But he won't listen.
"You're saying that you having sex with my girlfriend, you getting my girlfriend pregnant, you lying to me about it all – somehow that's my fault?" his best friend demands of him, and he's getting closer and his hands are raised and he shoves him. Hard.
He stumbles back, regains his step; runs a ragged hand across his Mohawk and drags in a breath, "Fuck, Finn, just listen to me a sec here – "
He doesn't meet Finn's eyes, doesn't have the chance to what with his eyes being closed and all, but he can hear the boy's jaw clench, his teeth baring down on one another as he releases a low growl; right before he's thrown backwards by the blow to his cheek.
"She was my girlfriend!" his best friend grinds out, and lands another punch that makes him stagger backwards till his head catches on the lockers and he falls with the third consecutive hit.
"I know!" he screams back, wildly swinging out more on instinct than anything else at the boy who's hovering above him else: because this might be his best friend, but he's been going to fight club for ages, and it is instinct that drives it all.
There's hits against his ribs, and he's trying to dodge, weave against the force that weighs him down, but his mind can't quite concentrate like it can with any other opponent, because this isn't like any other opponent, this is Finn; this is his best friend.
He releases a groan with the next blow to his torso and brings his elbow up to the other boy's face; tries to ignore the sickening feeling that rises ever higher within him when he hears the crack of Finn's nose being broken.
"I loved her!" are the next words that flood through his ear canal, before his hearing is rocked by a blow to the side of the head that he's sure has just made his brain smack off the insides of his skull.
There's another punch; a tiny crack and then he feels his best friend's nails scraping against his skin like Finn's taken a potato peeler to him. His lip splits open, blood spurting out like the water from the fire hydrant that shot in the air like a fountain that time he and his best friend took their baseball bats to it on that really hot summer day. He can still hear his little sister's laughter, still see her brilliant smile as she danced in the rain; he tries to concentrate on that and not the image that floods his brain next: the one of Quinn and Finn in each other's arms, slow-dancing under the water's arc.
"I know!" he grinds his teeth and shouts back when he catches a breath.
He kicks out till he catches Finn's knee, causes the other boy to gasp and pull back momentarily. He punches him then, his best friend, because it gets him off him; gets him to fall backwards and allows him the chance to grab hold of a locker door and try to haul himself to his feet.
"You lied to me!" his best friend says then, and he's breathing heavily, bent over, hands on his knees, blood staining his jeans.
"I know," he acknowledges, his voice eerily quiet, and he's still holding onto the locker because screw that if Finn thinks he's going to let go and be at his complete mercy; please, he might be stupid at times, but he's not suicidal.
He knows he deserves this, and he does, probably more than this even; because he's been a shitty friend, and he's slept with his best friend's girlfriend, and he's gotten her pregnant, and he's lied to his best friend.
And he knows this is merely justice, because it hurts – so fucking much – everything hurts.
He tastes the blood on his tongue and spits it out.
And suddenly Finn is on him once more; lifting him up by his shirt and slamming him against the lockers with so much force he thinks those ribs that his best friend was wailing into are definitely cracked.
"You were my best friend," he grinds out, and there's blood on his lips from where it's dripped down from his nose – it really is quite bent – and his eyes suddenly look glassy and he thinks Finn could be looking into him and seeing everything he's ever done, everything he's never told him.
"I trusted you," Finn says next; and then lets him go like he means nothing to him, like there are no ties that bind them.
He drops to the floor and squeezes his eyes shut at the pain that courses through his body at the impact. He leans back against the lockers, grinds his teeth together as he pushes himself up with clenched fists against the floor till he feels his elbows lock and he tilts his head up to look at his best friend.
Finn's watching him with a mix of disgust and betrayal, and he's not sure if it's because he's a bloody and pathetic mess on the floor – seriously someone throw a Slushie on him now and that would just be the icing on the freakin' cake – or because he's really done it now; he's really let his boy down. He's really let his best friend; he's really let Finn, down.
Finn who's just beaten the crap out of him, twice now, but is actually in the right; as usual. Finn who's still the star of Glee even though he ditched them all to play football and they – he – didn't. Finn who's loved by everyone and betrayed by the two that are supposed to love him the most in return, because that's how it works, right?
So, of course his best friend won't forgive him.
He tilts his head, blinks slowly and stares right back at his best friend. His head throbs as he rolls his head back, because fuck is Finn tall: tall like his dad was, and everything that's always been out of his reach.
He's never really deserved his friendship; but that doesn't mean he doesn't want it.
"Look, I'm sorry, ok?" he shouts after his best friend, and watches as the other boy turns and looks down at him like every other person in this cowtown does; like he's the lowest of the low.
It hurts more than it should; no, he thinks, cuts himself off, because it hurts just the right amount. Hell it should probably hurt more.
He's struggling to breathe, and this time it's not because of the wall his best friend has been building up between them; it's because he honestly can't.
"She loves you," he offers next, because he'll ram that point through till the cows come home. It means everything.
So does what he says next.
"And you're my best friend, and I didn't know what to do."
Because that's the truth.
The curtains close as he watches his best friend walk away.
Tell me what I can do to fix this, Finn; you're my best friend.
He blinks open his eyes and sees two girls staring down at him; he squints against the bright light assaulting his vision and manages to make out who they are.
"Quinn?" he asks. "Rachel?"
Everything hurts. It hurts so much, and even then some; because he knows he deserves this.
The girls are talking, both of them, more at him than to him. They're sending looks across his battered frame to one another every-so-often, but still talking.
He catches one thing Rachel says though.
"Finn told us where to find you."
He supposes that's something at least.
And then it comes flooding back to him: he remembers that moment when he blinked and looked up, expecting to see his best friend staring back at him, but instead finding Mr Schu.
And he was rambling.
It wasn't his fault, wasn't Finn's fault; was my fault, all my fault.
That's what he'd been trying to tell their teacher, though he can tell now it must've sounded so impossibly jumbled, and he wonders if the man could even make out what he was saying through his busted lip, mashed brain and half-conscious state.
I started it, I kept at it, I ended it even – I think. Look, jus' don't call Finn's mom, none of it's his fault, it's mine, it's my fault. He didn't do anything wrong; I'm the one who did it all; I'm the one to blame.
And he can remember now, with perfect clarity, the look in Mr Schu's eyes at that moment.
Mike and Matt were there; helping their teacher half-lift/half-drag him up from the floor and towards what he figured was the Nurse's room, but they didn't seem to do more than glance at him with the words.
He wonders if they know what he knows, that he wasn't doing it to be forgiven, wasn't doing it because he thought it would fix anything; it was justice, was all. It was right.
He Slushied the Gleeks an then he got Slushied for being a Gleek; so Finn beating him up for sleeping with his girlfriend, getting her pregnant, and then lying about it; well it was karma, right? Justice, whatever; basically what he deserved.
Mr Schu looked at him with a different kind of disappointment than his best friend had bestowed upon him – don't gawp, so some of Rachel's words might've stuck, big deal – it was the kind that said, I thought you were better than this.
Only with Finn, he's known him his whole life, so he knows where he's come from, knows he has talent, knows he has ambition, knows he can go places; but he is his best friend.
Mr Schu saw something in him that the others didn't; and it was Mr Schu's disappointment that cut the deepest in a way, because it also read of what he'd seen so many times before: I should've known not to expect anything more from you. I should've known you weren't the one I needed.
So he did what he did best; he drowned out the noise. He didn't think about anything, which meant he didn't feel anything either – the pain went, and so did their looks and their words – and he knew this was part of the justice, the karma, the deserving it too; because lying assholes don't get to have or feel anything. It's just the way it is.
He blinks and the girls come back into focus.
"I'm tired," he announces, and they quiet at his words.
"Ok, well do you want us to – " it's Rachel who offers, but he can feel Quinn's eyes on him throughout and knows she's silently asking the same thing.
"No, go home," he tells them, and then lets out a sigh. "Just leave me."
The space around him is suddenly cold and they're at the door before he opens his eyes and calls out to them.
"Hey!" They turn at his voice, faces softening and then wincing slightly when he struggles to push himself up against the pillows and fails rather spectacularly.
"Thanks," he says lamely, and his mouth curves in an attempt at a half-smile. "For… being here with me, for staying."
"Of course," Quinn tells him and then ducks her head as she leaves; the soft smile that graces her lips compliments Rachel's words and her beaming face perfectly.
"We're your friends, Noah," she says simply, as if he should know better than that, as if he should know this. "We'll always be here for you."
You were my best friend too, Puck.
"I'm sorry," he says; because he is, he really is, and he can tell Finn is standing by the door watching him, and to be honest, it's really starting to freak him out.
His best friend flinches as he utters his apology and it's the first thing he sees when he opens his eyes.
"Yeah, I know," Finn's voice doesn't quite resonate off the walls, but it's loud enough that it reaches his ears, quiet enough to have impact.
"But – God, what am I supposed to do with sorry, Puck? I mean; sorry doesn't stop Quinn from being pregnant. Sorry doesn't stop you from being the father of her baby. Sorry doesn't take back that you slept with her and lied to me about it all," his best friend tells him, and he knows this; but he's still sorry, and he's not sure of much else except that right now.
"If you ever – I mean – If you decide to – " he starts to say in return, but he's not sure what words can stand up against Finn's, if any ever could.
And then his best friend cracks a slight smile; he can't help it, he knows.
"Man, spit it out already, you're starting to sound like Tina with all that stuttering you've got going on," Finn tells him, and his brow falls into a frown for a split-second before he grasps the moment for all its worth; it might be the only chance he gets.
"I'm not going anywhere, Finn," he tells him and then his lips split into a smirk at that as he adds, "Well, obviously" and gestures to his current state in the bed.
"But, ye know, if you ever wanna hang-out or something again, nothing gay – I'm talking some Xbox, have a beer, throw a ball around, stuff like that – well, I'll be here," he says, and he means it; he'll always be there for Finn, and he meets his best friend's eyes for the first time in so long, too long.
His best friend has panda eyes from the broken nose he gave him, and it makes him smile despite himself. Finn so doesn't suit the bad-ass look.
"I dunno, Puck, I mean – there's just so much stuff going on right now, with Quinn and the baby, and you – " his best friend tells him; it's not acceptance, but it's not a complete blow-off either.
He figures it's a start.
"Yeah, well, like I said," he says again; because there's nothing like repetition to put your point across. "I'll be here."
"Thanks man," Finn tells him, and then cracks a smile as he gestures to the various cuts and bruises that run across his face, the large lump on the back of his head, the cracked ribs, the broken hand; "And sorry – about all the damage."
"Yeah, well, jus' don't count on me being your little punching bag anymore – don't know how more of your shit I can take," he breathes out with a sigh, and a half-glare.
Finn smiles at him then; wide and brimming and it lights up his whole face so his eyes are like sparkling.
"Oh, you can take it," Finn tells him confidently, grinning, "You're my best friend."
"Don't I know it," he says, and allows a smile to creep along his lips as he settles back into the pillows, his best friend's laughter the soundtrack to his life once more.
Either those drugs are really doing their thing or the wall is slowly being taken away; because he can breathe easy again, no pressure, nothing standing between them; just him and his best friend.
He figures the pain is worth it if it means he's going to get his boy back.
When Finn drops by his house later that week, with a six-box and his favorite games for the Xbox (and a football tucked under his arm because he figures himself a funny-guy now) he knows things are going to be ok.
Besides, they all need a little drama in their lives, they're in a performing arts group for Christ's sake; it's what they live for.
He's got his best friend back; that's all he really needs.
You're still my best friend, Puck. It's always been that way; I don't think you could ever not be.
Oh yeah? Well, I said it first, so mine counts for more. Alright, best friend?
Alright, best friend.
Not entirely sure about the ending, but I couldn't think or another way to end it tbh – lame, I know, but still, hope it fit ok.
Hope you liked it, and please let me know what you thought – it means a lot!