Chapter 22: Rumor Has It
I had been in a remarkably good mood as far as my usual mood swings were concerned.
After leaving Santana's house after lunch with her parents, I felt as though I was living on top of the world. They were kind, smart and very funny, more interested in engaging me in conversation than anything else while we ate. Though I had been apprehensive about not making a good impression, I had nothing to worry about. They didn't seem to care much about where I came from or what troubles I had. They were more interested in what I enjoyed doing, and the happiness they could see radiating from their daughter.
Even having to be back at school, there wasn't much that could dampen my mood. Not the teachers, not the students that gave me a wide berth and not even Puckerman.
"- So I don't even know what the hell I did. All I did was check out that one chick, and then Sugar is up in my grill about being a cheater. We weren't even fucking dating!"
Puck was in the middle of a rant as we sat in the back of the English classroom. The old teacher was droning on and on, reading from an old book, not even realizing that the majority of the class was engaging in private conversations, texting or actually asleep on their desks.
"So she broke up with you?" I smirked, quirking my eye at Puckerman's dramatics.
"No. We weren't together," He huffed, crossing his arms across his chest.
"Good. Because you would probably make a really shit boyfriend," I added, turning back to doodle shapes in my notebook.
"Right? People like me n' you.. We're sharks. We rail our way through the school and chew up all these losers like chum,"
He really did sound like an idiot, but I couldn't help but laugh at him. For someone who had seen the younger and more sensitive sides of him, I knew that he didn't really mean it. Honestly, he would probably make a pretty good boyfriend to someone one day when he got his head out of his ass. I had seen the way he cared about his mother.. How he had welcomed me into his home before.
"Whatever you wanna tell yourself, dude,"
There were a few moments of silence before I felt his foot kicking slightly at my calf, trying to get my attention. I chose to ignore him, not really wanting to talk about whatever he had going on with Sugar. From what I had seen of the two of them, it was all kinds of gross.
"Britt… Bee," He whispered, kicking at me harder.
"What?" I sighted, dropping my pen onto my notebook and turning to look at him with a scowl. "Gonna cry about Sugs some more?"
He scoffed, shaking his head that I would even suggest that… But given as it had been all he had talked about since class started, it was a pretty fair assumption.
"You wanna hookup tonight?" He asked, wiggling his brow suggestively at me.
"Yuck. No thanks," I grimaced, rolling my eyes.
"Why not? S'not like you have anyone else dusting off your cobwebs,"
I sighed, fighting off the major urge I had to reach out and give him a dead arm. He had a fair point, though. As far as he or anyone knew, my name wasn't floating around with some rumor that I was having sex with a football player, or seen with some college boy at the skatepark with his tongue down my throat. No one was crying to their friends about me ghosting them after getting my fill of them when they had thought that they had 'something special'.
"I'm not in the mood," I brushed off, picking up my pen and starting to tap it on my folder. I wish he could just leave it alone, but Puckerman was one of the least subtle people I have ever met in my life.
"You're always in the mood, B. That's your thing," Puck continued, kicking me again so I couldn't ignore him further if I tried.
He was by best friend, but he was such an annoying, dumb pain in the ass almost all of the damn time.
"I just don't want to," I replied simply, swallowing dryly. I knew him long enough to know when he wouldn't leave something alone. He knew me too well.. And he would definitely know that something was up with me.
"What the heck is up with you?" He asked, trying to force his way into my eyeline. "Are you like…. Seeing someone?"
I stayed quiet, staring at the teacher but not hearing anything she was saying. Maybe it was time to tell him.. At least then, he could start just leaving me alone when it came to getting his freak on with me. He was a good guy, regardless of what anyone else thought about him. Puck was always good to me, and I could trust him. Truthfully, it would be nice to have someone to talk to about this new part of my life and someone I could share my feelings with.. And share the real parts of me that I was only just discovering.
"You are! Fuck.. Who is he?" Puck whispered loudly, pushing at my shoulder to jolt me out of my thoughts.
"Shh," I hushed him, pushing back at him and making him let out a small noise of triumph. "Not here… Come over later and we'll talk,"
Puckerman grinned from ear to ear, obviously feeling pretty triumphant that he was right about something for once. That was a more likely explanation than him being happy that I was seeing someone.
"Well fuck.. It must be someone pretty special, huh?" He whispered, leaning back in his chair and shaking his head at me.
"Yeah," I answered quietly, not being able to help myself from smiling back at him. Santana really was something very special.
When the end of the school day arrived, I was getting more nervous. I was so sure that telling Puckerman was the right decision, but I had begun to doubt myself. I knew in my heart that I could trust him, but secrets became secrets for a reason. Maybe I wasn't ready to let anyone in on our perfect little world just yet. Having Santana's parents know about us, and have them on our side was wonderful, though. Just being able to share that little slice of heaven made it all the more sweeter.
"Hey, Britt," a very recognisable high pitched voice rang out behind me.
"What do you want, Sugs?" I sighed, not stopping my walking pace towards my truck. This was the last thing I needed right now.
"I was just wondering if you wanted to hang out or something," She asked, jogging to catch up to me.
"Hmm.. So you're done with Puckerman and you need someone new to hang out with now?" I smirked, rolling my eyes. She had been so obsessed with Puckerman since that party, I don't think I can really remember her speaking to me once since. Not that I really blamed her for that. After all, I had been pretty distant myself.
"Pftt.. No. I just miss you! You know you're my favorite. We need girl time,"
I felt bad for her, I really did. Sugar had always wanted so desperately to fit in with us. I don't really remember seeing her around at all before she started to hang around with us, offering great places for parties and taking on the role of our lookout when we got into mischief. But now was really not the time for… Girl time.
"Not tonight. I have plans," I stated simply as we turned into the parking lot.
"Oh yeah.. Okay, that's fine. Maybe another time or some-.." She started, before cutting off when my truck came into view. Puckerman was waiting, lounging against the dented side and flashing a wide smirk at the sight of the both of us.
"You have plans with him?" Sugar spat out at me, grabbing hold of my arm to stop me from walking. "Do you know what he did? I can't believe-.."
"Look. He's my boy, Sugs. Whatever went on between you is none of my damn business and I don't care,"
I had really had it up to my ears in Sugar and Puckerman drama for the day.
"Whatever!" Sugar scoffed, stomping her feet and storming off into the rush of students heading out of the school. I rolled my eyes and started back towards my truck. I had enough drama going on in my life right now, the last thing I needed was to get involved in two of my friends having an annoying little spat.
I pulled my keys out of my pocket and hopped in my truck, Puck following suit and jumping in the passenger seat.
"Was she giving you a hard time?" Puck asked, nodding over to where Sugar started interrogating me.
"Nah. But you really did a number on her," I chuckled lightly, the truck roaring to life to start us on the ride back to my apartment. "She'll get over it, but you should probably stop messing around with her,"
He sighed, running his hand through his messy mohawk. It was a strange look on him - feeling bad about something. He and I had always been people that ran through life like a couple of bulls in a china shop, but apparently I wasn't the only one with a little ounce of sensitivity on the inside.
"Just tell her you're sorry, or whatever," I suggested, driving through the early evening traffic. "I know you probably said some dumb shit after she went off on you.. 'Cause I doubt that she was that mad that you got wandering eyes,"
"Yeah…" He admitted, leaning back in the seat. "I called her some…. Bad stuff,"
"Bad stuff? What are you? Seven years old?" I snorted, causing him to chuckle along beside me. "Fix it, though. She's asking me to have girls' night and that sounds like something I would rather gouge my own eyes out than get into,"
We finally pulled into my apartment complex, pulled into a parking spot and I killed the engine. He followed me out and up to my home, which had practically been a second home to him, too. The fat cat was lounging on the couch and jumped off as soon as we entered, probably looking to go find some dark space to hide in.
"So Britt… What gives? What's with all the secrecy," Puckerman asked, throwing himself down to sit on the couch and putting his feet up on the coffee table. Apparently he had waited long enough to hear whatever I had to say.
"Right," I sighed, sitting on the opposite end of the couch, "So…. I've been seeing someone,"
"I kinda gathered that much," Puck nodded, scratching his chin. "Lemme guess… That linebacker who was obsessed with you last year? The weird art guy that was stalking you…. Is it Broseph?" He listed, eyes widening with each suggestion.
"Uh no… Joe has that weird gross thing with Mercedes," I grimaced. Though, I guessed that I was probably in that same position of having a 'weird gross thing' with someone. And Puckerman wouldn't guess who it was. He had no idea.
"Then who?" He asked, his eyes scanning my face. I was nervous… This could go very wrong, very fast. I hadn't told anyone about any of this.. Unless you could count Rachel, which I really didn't. But this was Puckerman. If anyone was going to accept me with all my faults and messes, it was going to be him.
The silence was heavy, falling onto my ears like a heavy weight. Puckerman's mouth hung open as he tried to process the information.
He started at me, and I could have sworn that I had somehow broken him. It took him a few moments, his mouth opening and closing, unable to make any sounds.
"Since when?" Puckerman finally managed to get out.
"I dunno… I don't even know if I'm fully gay, or whatever, but I guess I just never even thought about it. But-"
"Nah.. I don't care about that part! Well… I kinda do, 'cause that shit is HOT, but when did you and Lopez become a thing?"
I felt as though a weight had been lifted off on my shoulders. Puck didn't care if I was gay or not, which was a little surprising to me given that he always wanted to hook up.
"Oh um…. We kissed after a party, and then it kinda went on from there…" I shrugged, scratching the back of my head nonchalantly.
"Well shit, that would explain the mood swings. Some days you've been weirdly happy and the next.. You've been a fucking bitch, B," He laughed.
"I had a lot going on," I replied defensively, reaching out to hit his arm playfully. He laughed and pulled his feet off the table to sit forward.
"That's cool though.. I'm happy for you. I mean, kinda sucks for me 'cause I ain't gonna be able to get in your pants again, but that's good. You deserve to be happy,"
I smiled, feeling incredibly grateful to have a friend like Puckerman. Even with all his many, many faults, he was the best friend I could ask for.
"Thanks, dude. Santana is…. Awesome. She's sweet, funny and she really kinda.. Gets me. I feel different around her. I don't feel angry anymore," I sighed, knowing that I sounded really lame. "And she's super hot, under all the nerdiness,"
"Oh yeah? You're a certified vagitarian now?" He smirked, finally reminding me how ridiculous he could be.
"Shut the fuck up," I groaned, leaning back into the couch just enough to throw a decent kick his way.
"Alright… I'm gonna need some deets one day, though"
"Sure.. But can you keep your mouth shut about it? I don't really want anyone knowing yet. I'm.. Not ready for all that. I had a hard enough time trying to admit it to myself,"
Puck nodded, knowing that I wouldn't ask unless I was serious about it. I usually didn't care what people said about me but this? This was precious and I wasn't prepared to have it all blow up in my face just yet.
"Your secret is safe with me, B,"
"Cool… But enough with the sappy shit. This is looking too much like a Hallmark movie and I'm starting to feel nauseous," I mocked, standing up to go and see if I had anything left over in the fridge for us to snack on.
I was just about to pull out a half eaten pizza when I heard Puck clear his throat from the couch.
"Ahhh… Fuck," Puckerman groaned just as I walked back in and set the food down on the coffee table.
"What's up your ass?" I asked, watching how Puck started scrolling away on his phone.
"Sugar," He muttered, clicking on something and holding his phone out to me as I sat back down.
[ Social media update from #sugsmotta: Not even ONE full day after dumping me and Puckerman is already back in bed with Britt. FUCK YOU BOTH kthanks. ]
I snorted, handing my phone back to Puck. Typical.
"You gotta tell her you fucked up," I sighed, shaking my head. But the way he was looking at me, I knew that wasn't what he was worried about. I waited, and he didn't say anything.
"What?" I asked, furrowing my brow and fighting to urge to slap him upside the head unless he said something soon.
"Everyone's seen this, B," He stated as though it was as plain as the nose on his face. It hit me, then.. And my blood ran cold through my body.
"Yeah.. Even Santana,"
I smacked myself in the forehead and let out a long sigh. This was exactly what I needed, now that things were finally going right for me for once. Santana saw that, and was probably crying her eyes out thinking that I was still sleeping with Puck while telling her something completely different. After all, why would she question something that one of my friends was saying? The other rumors flying around were ridiculous and could be explained away. But this?
I was screwed.
A/N: Two chapters in one day.. and there's only three chapters left! Thank you for all your support and I can't wait for you guys to see what happens! Any guesses?