The Boys of Summer: part 2
The Boys are Back in Town: part 1
The Boys are Back in Town: part 2
Part III: Feels Like the First Time
Bobby stood on his front porch, thinking.
The day had passed without great incident once the Winchesters arrived; something of a novelty. Bobby had hit the books with Sam while. Dean had kept Puck and Kurt busy outside. Puck had left before they broke for dinner; boy had keen eyes, noticing the faint lines of the wards on his house, though he obviously didn’t know what they were, and Bobby could see the beginnings of suspicion when he entered the study for the first time, to tell Bobby he was heading off. Puck’s eyes had caught on the books on the shelf, and Bobby had seen the look of confusion, the one that said “why would a junkyard owner own twenty-nine Bibles? And why would he store them next to the Quran and the Talmud and LaVey’s Satanic Bible? Bobby was going to have to come to a decision about Puck soon. If nothing else, he was tired of people telling him what to do.
Speaking of. Where the hell does Dean get off trying to tell him what to do? Since when was that the way it worked. Bobby knew Dean was hung up on his Angel, and even with all the knowledge of angels they’d gathered in the last few years, Bobby still didn’t know enough for comfort, let alone how to help Cas.
So, now Bobby had a Hunter-in-training, a border-line basket case, a man at the end of his rope, and a fallen angel all under one roof.
Bobby looked to the heavens. “What did I ever do to you?” He asked.
Bobby heard the door behind him open, and close, and then there was a pale hand holding out a bottle of beer. Bobby looked up, and Kurt shrugged at him. “It’s not quite warm milk, but...”
Snorting, Bobby took the beer. Maybe he should have bought more. They sure went through it fast. “How you doin, kid?”
Kurt shrugged, and sat on the steps. He had a can of Diet Coke in his hands (and boy did Bobby get some odd looks when he picked up a case of that stuff at the grocery store. You’d think he never got guests, or something), and he sipped at it periodically. Bobby waited. No matter what Sam or Dean liked to think, they weren’t that far off from teenagers themselves. Bobby didn’t forget how to deal with them. He waited.
“I feel like I’m spinning my wheels,” Kurt said, finally. “I mean. I’m here to learn to be a Hunter, and so far, all I’ve done is catalogue cars. And don’t,” Kurt pointed at Bobby, “give me any of that, Karate Kid-wax on, wax off, shit.”
Bobby sighed. “Kid,” he said. “Kurt. You saw them, earlier.” There was no need to say who ‘them’ was; it’d be obvious even if they weren’t the only ones who came by all day. “You still sure you want to do this?”
“Yes,” Kurt said tightly. Bobby nodded.
“Good. I’m gonna train Puck up to be your partner.” Bobby paused, beer halfway to his mouth, and forced himself to complete the motion. Huh. Wonder when he decided on that one. Bobby looked down at the bottle. Maybe this should be his last one for the night.
“Good,” Kurt said. “If you didn’t I’d just do it behind your back.” Bobby raised an eyebrow at Kurt, and the teen flashed him a brilliant smile.
Bobby grunted something that might have been a laugh and shook his head. “And probably get killed on your first Hunt.”
“That’s why it’s so good that you agree,” Kurt said, and drained the last of his soda. They sat there in silence for a moment, and Bobby was struck once again by how similar Kurt looked to his mother; the same eyes, nose, skin. But there was something very Burt about the way Kurt sat on the porch, content to let the world turn around him as he disappeared somewhere behind his eyes. Elizabeth was always spark and motion, for all of her brightness, and there was no doubt that Kurt was her son. This, then, was his father’s legacy.
Good Lord, Bobby was getting maudlin. He put the bottle down.
Sam poked his head out of the door. “Hey,” he said. “Bobby. Cas is awake.” Bobby nodded at him, and looked at Kurt.
“Well. You wanna meet a soon-to-be-ex angel?”
Kurt raised his eyebrows, eyes wide. Bobby smirked. It was always fun to shock Melody; it was good to see that Kurt reacted the same way. He could see Kurt try and reason out why the Winchesters were carting around a half-dead fallen angel. It was too depressing to say that half-dead was better than all-dead. But Kurt stood, and followed Bobby inside and up the stairs.
Sam opened the door and Bobby passed through, noticing but not commenting on the way Kurt stood just behind Sam.
“Hey, Sleeping Beauty,” Bobby said. “Enjoy your nap?”
Cas raised an eyebrow. “Dean has informed me that my naps are feline in nature. But my nap felt nothing like a housecat.”
Bobby saw Kurt tilt his head, a strange smile flashing across his face; something fond and bittersweet. Cas turned to look at Kurt, fixing him with his wide-eyed stare and a head tilt of his own.
“Hello,” Cas said. “I am Castiel.”
“Kurt,” he said. He didn’t seem inclined to say anything else, which is struck Bobby as odd. Kurt was usually much more talkative.
“It is alright,” Cas said. “If I was not what I am, I would not believe either.”
“Cas,” Dean said, and Cas cut him off.
“You are not the first non-believer to come face to face with concrete proof of my existence, Dean,” he said. “Nor were you the last.” He looked back at Kurt. “I would be happy to speak to you when you are ready.”
Kurt nodded, mouth pinched in a straight line. He wasn’t looking at anybody. Bobby saw Sam look sympathetically at Kurt, saw his hand twitch like he wanted to reach out to comfort but knew it wouldn’t be welcomed; he saw Sam’s eyes flicker to an empty corner, and then down, his shoulders grown suddenly tense. He frowned. That ain’t right.
Bobby looked over to Dean, but Dean only had eyes for Cas. Bobby refrained from snorting. Damn fool was so obvious; it could be seen from space. Maybe now that Cas couldn’t zap away, they’d be forced to settle the matter once and for all.
Cas turned his gaze on Bobby. “You have questions.”
“Several,” Bobby said, registering when Kurt slipped from the room, but pulled up a chair and sat. “Why don’t you start at the beginning.”
Cas nodded. “Very well. I don’t remember much. And the memory I had is--fading.” He paused. “I remember the experience from before, when I had drained too much of my grace. But it feels different this time.” He picked at the pills on the blanket. It was, to date, the most human thing Bobby had seen Cas do. He shifted in his seat.
“I was underwater,” Cas began. “And--there was pain. And dread. And terror. And guilt and regret and anger and--” he swallowed. “And then nothing. I was in the void, the space that is not Heaven nor Earth, Hell nor Purgatory nor Limbo.”
Expression never changing, a tear slipped from the corner of Cas’s eye. And another; a steady stream with no heaving breaths, no tortured expression; just tears. “Then I heard my Father. I do not remember what he said; my mind can no longer comprehend the message, only the meaning; this is deliberate. My reward and my punishment all in one.” Cas smiled. “How very human.”
He looked Bobby in the eye, but Bobby knew he was speaking to Dean. “There is nothing you can do; this is His will and His work and--” Cas’s smile grew a little wider, a little more human. “I can be happy this way.”
Bobby saw Dean take a deep breath, saw his chest shudder with the force of it. “All right,” Bobby said. His voice was rougher than he expected, and he was unsurprised to find moisture hovering in the corners of his eyes.
“But,” Cas said. “You will teach me to Hunt. Like a Human. I will not be a burden.”
There was a moment of silence before Dean began to snicker. “Maybe you should invest in some school uniforms, Bobby,” he said. “Or, at least, a catholic school girl.” Bobby sighed.
Rarely, Puck would get really kinda pissed that people continuously underestimated his intelligence. Mostly, he let it slide. Played up the dumb jock act. It made things easier when he could paste on a vacant look and not be called on in class, or not asked to talk about things he knew he really shouldn’t say anything about, or deny knowledge of any wrongdoing, Principal Figgins, I had no idea, honest.
Sometimes, it depressed him, like when his mom--when his mom accused him of cheating in math (“off that wheelchair kid? Really, Noah?” “No, Mom, I didn’t cheat!” “Don’t lie to me!”), or talked about him like he wasn’t there, or ignored what he had to say. Then he would think that maybe, just maybe, he was fooling himself. That he really was just a dumb jock, a Lima loser who would never get out, so why even bother. But that way led slushies and crashed cars, so, no thanks.
And sometimes, just sometimes, being underestimated just pissed him off. Like with whatever was going on up at Singer Salvage. Because Puck wasn’t stupid, and he wasn’t blind, and there was something weird happening and everyone knew except Puck. Including Kurt.
And that hurt the worst, really. Kurt was one of the few who looked at Puck and saw potential, who saw past the dumb jock looks and the bad boy attitude, and saw Puck. And Puck had thought, for a while, that Bobby did, too. But there they were, keeping secrets like Puck couldn’t see.
Well, fuck that.
Old Puck would have gone out, gotten drunk or high or whatever just fucked up, and done something crazy and stupid and violent and destructive and would have ended back in juvie or worse.
New Puck, better Puck, decided not to get mad, but to get to the bottom of it. So, when he was getting ready to head over to the salvage yard, he gathered the notes he had scribbled on the backs of scrap paper, sticking them deep in his pockets so they wouldn’t fall out, and biked back to the salvage yard.
His plan, to present the papers in a neat and orderly manner, lasted until he got there, and found the yard abandoned; no music, no yelling, no Kurt.
Puck entered the house, the front door unlocked, and found Kurt in the kitchen once again, half in his blues, shirtless, and muttering curses as he tried to sew a button back onto his shirt. It was more skin than Puck had ever seen of Kurt and he stopped in the doorway, brain skipping to a halt.
Kurt looked up and blushed a deep red and, yep, that blush went all the way down. Puck’s mouth went dry as his (stupid, stupid!) dick work up and he barely heard Kurt say;
“Puck! You scared me. I’ll be ready in a second; I just have to fix this damned button.” He sighed. “This would be so much easier with my own kit.” Kurt blinked at Puck. “You gonna get out of the doorway?”
Oh. Right. Puck walked into the kitchen, and Kurt gestured towards the pantry. “Can you get me another spool of thread? There’s a basket on the top shelf and this--shit,” the thread snapped and Kurt slumped. “This thread keeps breaking.”
“Sure,” Puck said, voice slightly strangled as he fled to the pantry, hoping Kurt wouldn’t notice. It was one thing to fantasize, and something completely different to be sideswiped by fantasy. Once in the pantry, Puck took a moment to calm himself down. Once he convinced his dick that it’s not happening, stop it, we’ll talk later, Puck pulled the cord for the light, and frowned when the light stayed off. He peered at the top shelves. He didn’t see a basket.
“Where is it?” Puck asked.
“Top shelf,” he heard.
“Top shelf,” Puck muttered. “No shit, that’s where I’m looking.” Louder he called, “I don’t see it!”
“Oh, for--” Puck heard, then the scraping of a chair against linoleum. Kurt appeared in the doorway, shirt held loosely in one hand. “No wonder, it’s dark in here.”
Kurt stepped forward to tug the chord as Puck said, “Bulb’s burned out.” Then, Kurt was falling forward, the door swinging almost shut as Kurt’s sleeve caught on the knob, and Puck found himself holding a half-naked Kurt in his arms, his previous problem back in force, and there was no way Kurt couldn’t tell--not with that wide-eyed look of open mouthed surprise.
Puck licked his lips nervously, and he saw Kurt’s eyes follow the motion. He saw the way Kurt swayed forward, eyes glazed, heard the short breaths; Puck had never been this turned on in his life. Distantly, he knew there was a reason why he shouldn’t kiss Kurt, but he couldn’t think with that lovely pink that was darkening Kurt’s cheeks. He leaned in to go for it, why the fuck not? when he heard the front door slam.
“Where are they?” Puck heard Sam say.
“I told ‘em to work in the back,” Bobby said. “Figured that’d give us some time to chat.”
Kurt frowned, pulling away. Puck breathed a heavy sigh, and tried to adjust himself as best he could without Kurt noticing; he was still standing close enough that their chests would brush together if they breathed in at the same time. Kurt held up a hand for silence. Puck rolled his eyes. Right, because he’d want to talk and draw attention to their situation.
Puck was only mildly comforted that he’d be less embarrassed if they actually had been getting up to something.
“What did you hear?” Dean said.
“More of the same,” Bobby said. “Something’s got the typical nasties running scared. Even the ghosts seem to be lying low. Nobody seems to be sure what it is, but...” Bobby trailed off. Puck raised his eyebrows at the mention of ghosts. Nobody knew this (because he wasn’t stupid enough to talk about it,) but Puck believed, without a doubt, that ghosts were real; he had always gravitated towards horror stories and ghosts, and when he was in middle school, he had stumbled across a cheap paperback series called Supernatural. He had devoured all he could find in the Lima public library, going so far as to model his badass after the older brother, before he started High School and shoved everything that could keep him from being top dog deep into the back of his closet.
In the first days of his fall from social grace, Puck had spent some time dicking about the internet, thinking about buying the set of books from eBay (they were only, like 50 cents a book, come on!), when he had stumbled across a website called Ghostfacers. According to their bio, they were professional ghost hunters, and had been successful in documenting several apparitions. Puck had watched the first video, where the Ghostfacers had investigated an old theatre with a pair of amateurs, and been hooked. Sure, it could have been special effects, but there was something genuine about those videos.
And come to think of it, those amateurs looked a lot like Sam and Dean. Puck narrowed his eyes, thinking.
“Fucking Big Mouths,” Dean muttered.
“It gets better,” Bobby said. “Nobody knows how to kill ‘em. Seems nobody lives long enough.”
Puck looked over at Kurt, to find Kurt staring back at him. There was no confusion on Kurt’s face, no anything on Kurt’s face. Like Kurt knew what they were talking about, and was just waiting on Puck to--Puck’s eyes widened, as pieces slotted into place.
They were Ghost Hunters. Like the Ghostfacers. But--they were talking about something other than ghosts. Something that scared ghosts.
“Did you hear that?” Bobby asked.
“Hear what?” Dean said.
Puck stayed very still. If he didn’t move, they couldn’t see him.
The door flew open and Puck raised a hand against the light.
“What are you--get out of there!” Bobby said, and Puck slunk out of the pantry, Kurt following as he pulled on his shirt.
“What do you two think you’re doing in there?” Puck had never before realized how effective Bobby’s scowls could be when his mouth was hidden by his beard.
“Getting thread,” Kurt snipped, holding up his sleeve and showing them the loose button.
Puck looked over at Sam and Dean, who were having some sort of silent communication with their eyebrows, the same kind he and Finn used when they didn’t want anyone else to know their top secret ninja plans. Only, they had top secret ninja ghost fighting plans, while Puck and Finn’s plans usually revolved around how many Twinkies they could eat before they puked. Sam moved, and Puck knew, knew, that they were going to try and keep him out of whatever was going on, and damnit, Puck had had enough.
“Something is going on here,” Puck said over Bobby. The kitchen was silent as they looked at Puck. “I mean, damnit--” Puck broke off. How could he say “I’m not as dumb as you think I am” without sounding just that, especially if he were to open his mouth about ghosts, even if they talked about it first. He should have kept his big mouth shut. Way to go, looser, you--
“You’re right,” Bobby said. Puck looked at Bobby in surprise. He hadn’t, actually, expected them to own up to it so readily. “But it’s not something most folks want to believe.”
Puck looked up at Bobby after a moment. “Because then people need those protection charms that cover this place?”
That got everyone’s eyes on him. “You know about them?” Sam said.
Puck shrugged. “Saw ‘em my first day. Thought they were art at first, but then, well--” Puck pulled the papers out of his pocket and handed them to Bobby. “Here.”
Bobby opened the papers, and Puck knew what he would see; proof that, even if nothing was actually real, that Singer Salvage was outfitted for some kind of supernatural war.
Puck looked at Sam and Dean. “So--what are you?”
“We’re Hunters,” Sam said.
Puck blinked. “What, like the Ghostfacers?”
“No!” Dean said, “Not like the--wait, you know about the Ghostfacers?”
“Yeah,” Puck shrugged. “There was an ad for their website on the--” Puck broke off and coughed. On the Carver Edlund fan page. There was No Way he was going to admit to having read all of those books. Those books would kill whatever rep he had left, no matter how much of his badass was based off of Dea--Puck’s eyes widened.
“Holy Crap!” Puck cried. “You’re Sam and Dean! Like--Sam and Dean, Sam and Dean.”
“Uh yeah,” Sam said, frowning, and Puck realized everyone was staring at him. “We told you that--”
Dean groaned, cutting Puck off. “You read the books.”
“What books?” Sam said, and then closed his eyes. “Oh. The Supernatural books.”
Puck knew he must be red in the face, and the smug look on Kurt’s face wasn’t helping.
“Shut up,” Puck muttered. Then he stopped. “Those books were real?”
Kurt was grateful for an excuse to laugh at Puck; it took his mind off of what had almost happened in the pantry and was in no way cute or adorable, and did not make Kurt want to hug him. Because Kurt had a boyfriend who he liked to cuddle, even if Blaine didn’t have Puck’s arms. Or chest. Or--ahem.
Oh, honestly, Kurt thought. You’re old enough to want them; you’re old enough to say it. Cock. You felt Puck’s cock and it was bigger--and more interested--than Blaine’s. There’s nothing wrong with it; it was an accident. You’re still with Blaine, and he never has to know how much you want to touch it again.
Because nothing was going to happen.
Puck, once he had gotten over his original embarrassment, had started grilling Sam and Dean about the Supernatural books, much to Bobby’s amusement. Dean kept shooting the old Hunter dark looks every time Bobby would laugh. Puck, while not oblivious, was too caught up in his own enthusiasm to stop, even when Sam started to look a little hunted, and Dean’s eye started to twitch.
“Alright, enough,” Bobby said at last. “I still need you and Kurt to finish outside.” Bobby looked Puck up and down. “Tomorrow, we’ll start your training.” He looked over at Kurt. “Both of you.”
“Training?” Puck said. “You--you’re going to train me?”
“It’s why you’re here,” Bobby said. “Now get to work.”
Puck looked like he just learned Santa Claus was real; granted, a Santa that would eat you if he saw you, but still. He drifted out of the kitchen. Kurt raised his eyebrows at the three remaining Hunters and without a word, turned to follow Puck and make sure the other boy didn’t walk off the porch in a daze.
However, when Kurt walked out the front door, he found Puck waiting for him, arms crossed.
“How long?” Puck asked.
Kurt hesitated. “How long--what?”
“How long have you known about this stuff?”
Kurt shrugged. “All my life. My parents were Hunters.” He walked past Puck and down off the porch, heading towards the garage to grab his tools. Puck followed half a step behind. “My dad gave it up when my mom...” Kurt trailed off.
“What happened?” Puck asked, surprisingly gentle.
“You’ve read the books,” Kurt said, suddenly cross. He had the hardest time keeping his emotions in check around Puck recently, and anger was better than affection. “What do you think happened?”
Puck backed away, hands in the air. Kurt sighed and grabbed his toolbox.
“Sorry,” he said. “It’s still a bit of a sore topic.”
“It’s cool.” Puck shrugged. He stepped into his own set of blues, and the kit Bobby lent him, and followed Kurt outside. They were down to the last few cars, still working together more than not. They could, probably, start taking their own cars, but Kurt had found himself strangely reluctant to leave Puck’s side. It was nice to be close to a boy and not have them back away; to have them lean closer, and not worry about whatever straight boys worried about when a gay boy was around.
Of course, Puck wasn’t exactly a straight boy. And wasn’t that a revelation.
Of course, in retrospect, Kurt wasn’t really surprised. Puck often blurred the line between “secure in his masculinity” and “possibly gay.” And his revelation earlier in the year that he was attracted to a person and not just the physical--Lauren was still a girl, not matter what was whispered in the halls, but the jump from “not just too physical” to “likes boys and girls” wasn’t that hard to make. In retrospect.
And Kurt really had to stop thinking about this if he was going to be in close quarters with Puck for the rest of the afternoon.
“She taught me to shoot,” Kurt said.
“Your mom?” Puck asked.
“Mm-hm,” Kurt said. “Right over there,” he pointed. Kurt and his mother had come to visit Bobby the summer he turned seven, and one day, late in the afternoon, she had taken him to the back and given him a rifle. She had helped him aim, helped brace him, and they had stayed out, shooting at cans, until Kurt could at least wing them every time. “My Dad and I still go to the ranges, but,” Kurt grinned. “My mom was always a better shot.”
“When I was younger,” Puck said. “I used to wish my dad was a Hunter, like in the books,” Puck laughed. “That way he left because he wanted to keep Me and my mom and my sister safe, not because he just fucked off to wherever.” Kurt looked over at Puck. Puck shot him a rueful smile. “Now? I’m glad he wasn’t. Because it’s just one more thing that separates me from him.”
“Part of the reason why I want to Hunt,” Kurt said, “is to be closer to my mom. There’s so little of her left; I can at least keep this alive.”
“Which reminds me,” Puck said. “If you can do all this,” Puck waved a wrench to indicate the yard, but Kurt was pretty sure he meant “Hunting,” in general. “Why did you let them push you around at school? Like, when Karofsky was punching you into lockers, why didn’t you bring the pain on his ass?” he asked. Kurt heard, “why did you let them chase you away?”
“A Hunter works in secret,” Kurt says. “Like Batman; he’s only effective if no one knows who he is. If I start bringing the pain somebody’s going to notice. Besides,” he said. “They’re just human.” It’d be like--” Kurt paused, trying to think of a reference Puck would get. Well, Puck had read Supernatural, so Kurt took a chance. “Like Buffy. She can use her abilities to kill monsters, but humans are innocents in her fight; if she hurts them she’s no better than the monsters.
Puck nodded. “Makes sense. Though, you don’t have to worry about the Watcher’s Council getting on your ass.”
“No, just my dad.”
Puck laughed. “True. Your dad can be scary.”
“So can I,” Kurt said, smirking, and Puck shot him a look that made Kurt’s stomach flutter. His grin fell, and he turned back to the car.
“Kurt,” Puck said. “I--”
Kurt held up a hand. “No,” he said. “It happened--or, didn’t happen. We can ignore and just, move on.”
“That easy,” Puck asked after a moment. His voice was darker, deeper; the last time Kurt had head Puck talk like that, Quinn had just told him she was giving Beth up for adoption.
Which meant that this might mean something more for Puck; that Kurt was someone Puck really wanted, as opposed to someone he just wanted. And yes, they had grown close over the last year, and Kurt may have developed a teeny tiny pearl of a crush that he really didn’t want to acknowledge; he was done crushing on straight boys, Puck’s admission notwithstanding.
Even if he had seen the lengths Puck would go to for someone he loved. Kurt wasn’t fooling himself; he wished that he had someone who would be that devoted to him.
No. His current issues with Blaine aside, Kurt had made a commitment. One he would not break. No matter how much he really, really wanted to.
“I’m still with Blaine.” Kurt said. “And I wouldn’t call it easy, no.”
Puck nodded. “That’s fair,” he said. “Since we’re being honest,” Puck spat. “I think you should dump his Hobbit ass, and I’m not saying that because of me. Any boy that makes you feel like his issues are your fault, ain’t worth your time.” Puck picked up his kit. “I’m gonna work over there.”
“Puck,” Kurt said. He really didn’t want to force the other boy away. Puck held up a hand.
“You need to think about what you want,” Puck said. “And I need to calm down before I wreck these shorts.” Kurt couldn’t help a small giggle at that; after so long talking about sex in codes and half-sentences, it felt naughty to be this frank about it. With Puck.
“When did you get so wise?” Kurt said. Puck just shrugged, flashing a grin. Ignoring the voice in his head telling him that this was something he could get used to, something he wanted, this easy back and forth, Kurt popped the hood of the Volvo and got to work.
He had a Skype-date with Blaine tonight. Everything would be clearer after he talked to his boyfriend.