Pairing: Finn Hudson/Will Schuester
Summary: If the ringtone wasn't bad enough, calling Finn 'baby' in front of Puck most certainly was.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the boys. All characters belong to respective copyrights.
Notes: Written for winners' latest bi-weekly prompt of; "Accidentally letting slip a private nickname/term of endearment in front of someone else".
"Mr. Schue?" Rachel's voice rose over the chaotic ruckus of the choir room, pulling Will from his unfocused daze. "I know that Finn's really only been gone for nine minutes, but I feel that his current absence is extremely detrimental to our group's rehearsal," she insisted, eyes wide as she ran a hand down the straight line of her blue skirt.
"I know, Rachel," Will agreed, leaning against the piano, as he folded both arms over his chest. "Just give him a couple more minutes, okay?" He requested, despite knowing that the school had a rather strict three-minute washroom break rule since Sue had become principal.
"But, Mr. Schue," Mercedes started, piping up from the back row of chairs, where she'd been idly talking to Kurt about manicures for the last five minutes. "This is our last practice period, and we need him here," she reminded, tone dripping with an obviousness that bordered on being snarky.
Will sighed softly, running a hand through his hair, before pulling his cell phone out of the back pocket of his slacks. "I'll let him know he's got two minutes, alright?" He asked vaguely, an offering of comfort to anyone who may have needed it, as he started on a text.
bck 2 class, hudson. save the jerk off 4 bed l8er. 2 mins.
Typing it out was easy. Pressing 'send' was no sweat. It was after he'd done that, that the real drama started.
"Oh yo, this my jam!" Artie grinned, as the sounds of Chris Brown's 'I Love You' started up from an unknown location across the room from Will.
"Artie, what jam isn't your jam?" Mercedes challenged around a smile, as Puck leaned forward in his chair, eyes dark and questioning as he shifted his focus to his left.
"Dude," he mumbled to himself, drawing no one's attention, as Will swallowed hard, realizing that Finn's cell phone was evidently not with Finn.
Puck's eyes shifted to Will suspiciously, and Will fumbled to flip his phone back into his pocket, feeling like he'd been caught red-handed with a weapon of murder or mass destruction. Or possible a really embarrassing sex toy.
"Uh," Will stammered, eyes wide as Puck's legs tensed, half-raising him from his chair, one foot turned in the direction of Finn's bookbag. "Journey! Journey," Will started, wincing as he wondered why Journey was his default jump-to in awkward situations. "We can learn a lot from the classics," he preached lamely, launching the class into an impromptu (and totally unnecessary) lesson, as Finn walked through the door.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Schue," he apologized sincerely, face flushed slightly as he made his way past the teacher, before dropping his weight onto the plastic chair that covered the now-silent cell-phone. "What did I miss?" He asked innocently, and Will's mouth quirked into a smile, that was hopefully unnoticeable by anyone who wasn't Finn.
"Our dear old teacher here is teaching us of the importance of Journey," Santana sighed, voice dripping with distaste. "Again," she added, waving a hand in Will's general direction.
The room was filled with a chorus of groans and whines, until Puck's accusing tone rose over it. "Oh, but, haven't you heard? Schue loves Journey," he drawled slowly, cocking an eyebrow at Will, as he directed his words to Santana. Or perhaps not.
"Do you love anything, Finn?" Puck asked coldly, accenting Finn's name with something sharp, as he crossed his arms over his chest, slumping in his chair, while a smirk bled over his features.
"Uh," Finn shifted slightly under the pressure of Puck's gaze, before Rachel decided to play heroine of the day.
"While I'm sure we'd all love to discuss the relevance of Journey to today's modern life, there are more pressing issues to address," she insisted, falling into role of team leader easily, as she flitted between her team members, handing out sheet music, along with repeated advice.
The tension broke after that, with everyone breaking into their own respective groups. Puck stayed silent, as Finn stayed confused, and Will should have seen what was coming next.
"Hey," Finn shuffled almost uncomfortable in front of Will, who'd resumed his spot leaning against the piano. "What... what was that all a--"
"Your cell phone," Will sighed softly, rubbing one hand over his face, as he felt his skin flush slightly. "I... I thought you had it with you, so I texted you," he explained, and Finn's face fell an alarmingly long amount of time later, as he realized what that meant.
"Oh," he answered back simply, eyes wide and worried, as they fell to the floor. "I... I didn't..."
"It was a close call, I admit," Will chastened softly, still unsure of who thought what, and how many pieces of the puzzle Puck had apparently put together. "But it wasn't your fault, baby," he smiled, letting a familiar warmth fill his chest, as Finn smiled back.
Puck's loud and obnoxious cough startled them both out of their comfortable moment, and straight into one that had no chance of being anything less than a nightmare.
"But... it wasn't your fault... what?" Puck questioned, taking long, slow strides into the space that Finn and Will were currently sharing.
Will's heart rate picked up alarmingly quick, as he ran his words back in his mind, letting the echo of exactly what he'd said ring through his entire body, chilling and heating his skin all at once.
Finn's eyes darted everywhere but to his friend, who was clenching his fists into balls at his sides, and Will wondered exactly what the issue was here.
It was illegal, yes, that much he knew. They kept it a secret, because Finn was underage. They'd been flirting for, well, damn... since; "You're Finn Hudson, right?" And it hadn't taken much longer after that before "Call me Will," and "Pick you up at eight." It'd been three months of dating, of tentative kisses, and awkward fumbles, before school days bled into nights, which would turn into mornings, which would start them all over again.
Will had been doing Finn's laundry for months now, and Finn had been happily cleaning Will's house. They'd gotten good at keeping it secret, not out shame or spite or the shakes. They knew what they were doing, and where exactly they were headed. But, it was still a year until Will could legally put his hands on Finn without the fear of arrest, and the fact that he was his teacher didn't exactly make things easier, either.
They never came out as gay, because a double-admittance of such a thing would lead to question, no doubt, followed by speculation, as people would accuse their 'casual' interactions of being something more.
And so, they'd hidden it, and gotten good at doing so. One giant lie, over one undeniable love.
But, now, Noah Puckerman was mad.
"In the hall, Schuester," he stated calmly, eyes blackened in a way that Will didn't like.
He bit at his lower lip, studying Puck's face, before Puck growled out the words again, lower this time, and the Cobain wannabe in Will made him comply immediately.
"P-Puck," Finn's shaken warning was pathetic at best, barely making it over the distracted roar of the other students, before the cold, solid door was shut between them, dividing Puck and Will from the rest of the class.
"Truth," Puck requested simply, voice loud and stable as he crossed his arms, looking over Will's body in a way that was entirely uncomfortable.
Will floundered for a minute, considering his options. "It... it was just a ringtone, Puck," he tried, deciding to make the attempt at a brush-off. "You can't really think that... that Finn's thoughtful enough to make his ringtones mean anything," he dug, laughing awkwardly, before watching Puck's face fall even darker.
"That's not what I'm talking about, man," he warned, stepping directly into Will's personal space, causing the teacher to press his back up against the row of lockers behind him.
Will swallowed hard, wondering if his voice would be affected by a broken nose. "W-what--"
"He's been talking about you all day. Every day. All the time," Puck explained finally, rolling his eyes as he gestured widely. "All... the time," he repeated, more softly this time.
Will stayed stone still, and absolutely silent, focusing on the sound of Rachel's voice inside the classroom, muffled by the wall between them.
Puck slammed an open palm against the locker near Will's head, rattling the doors all the way down the row. Will flinched as Puck spoke, sounding dangerous and deadly. "Why the fuck won't you talk?" He asked loudly, voice echoing off the empty hall walls. "I did this to Quinn too, you know," he added suddenly, as if it were an after thought. "And Rachel," he continued, and Will tried to push away his nerves with one of Terri's less-psychotic breathing exercises.
"What... what do y--"
"Don't know what's going on," Puck shrugged darkly, leaning even closer into Will's space. "Don't care, don't wanna care, don't wanna hear it, don't wanna... I... I just don't, okay?" He pressured, eyebrows high on his face, as his mouth twitched into something resembling a snarl. "But I do know that you look like a twelve-year-old girl when you look at him, and he sounds like he's been married for a year when he talks about you. And if you ever hurt him," he started, letting his hand drop to fist roughly in the fabric of Will's shirt over his chest. "I will do the things that Sue asked me to do to your hair," he threatened, and Will stammered an incoherent string of consonants and vowels, before being shoved roughly against the lockers, as Puck slammed his way back into the classroom, leaving Will to stare at the opposite wall unfocused, before following Puck's lead.
Finn was pale and trembling slightly as Will re-entered the room, feeling shaken and guilty, as his eyes caught Finn's. He nodded slowly, and Finn relaxed visibly, knowing he was okay, before mouthing the words 'I love you' across the room.
Will could feel Puck's eyes on him, as the rest of the class ignored all details of life that weren't their own. He was tense under the pressuring weight of Puck's attention, but he mouthed the words back anyway, eyes flickering over to Puck's, just in time to see him smile.