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Clinging to This Hating Game

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Santana Lopez, Brittany Pierce and Quinn Fabray were not easy friends to have, but they were loyal. Quinn had plucked him out of the sight lines of the school bullies in freshman year and found him a place on the cheerleading squad. By sophomore year, they had even joined Glee club with him. Kurt had been sure at the time it was so Quinn could keep an eye on her (now ex-) boyfriend - who happened to be Kurt’s step-brother Finn, and Rachel Berry, but Kurt appreciated having them around. And on top of that Quinn and Santana could really sing, which was great for the glee club. And what was good for the glee club was good for Kurt’s college applications.

Of course the bullying didn't stop completely - it was still the middle-of-nowhere Ohio - but a few football players even joined glee club, and for Kurt it made things a little better. Now that he was heading into his senior year of high school, and he still hadn’t so much as kissed another boy, he needed Quinn’s help with one last thing.

--

Kurt checked himself in the mirror one last time, putting finishing touches on his hair, smoothing the non-existent wrinkles on the Burberry asymmetrical checked shirt - turquoise accents, thank you very much (it was from two seasons ago, but he was pretty sure no one would notice where he was going) that he'd snagged off eBay. Quinn had scored them invites to a “kick off the year” party in Columbus, and while it was still Ohio and he hardly expected anyone with an especially evolved sense of fashion to be there, he did have his own standards to live up to.

He added a pair of snug denim shorts - distressed up the front but neatly hemmed (by his own hand) at the cuff - and decided he looked hot enough to score with a college guy.

Three years of cheerleading had turned his ass from a liability in a china shop into lean muscle, and the shorts did amazing things for his thighs. A pair of Jimmy Choo croc print espadrilles he’d scored off of ebay completed the look.

“Well, Kurt Hummel, if you can’t get a guy to want to make out with you in this getup in Ohio you’re never going to make it in New York.”

Kurt skimmed the stairs, hoping to sneak out without a judgmental eye from his dad. Burt knew he was going out with the girls tonight, and since he was only a few months shy of 18 he really didn't have a curfew.

“How late do you expect to be out, Kurt?”

Damn.

“Well, Quinn has to go to church tomorrow, so I think we’ll try to leave by midnight.” Burt grunted. “We should be home by two at the latest.”

“Who's the designated driver?”

Kurt raised his hand to shoulder height, wiggling his fingers. “Yours truly.” Kurt knew Burt always felt better if he drove.

“Okay.” Burt sighed and rubbed the top of his head. “I'm never going to get used to you being so grown up son. I mean, a year from now you’ll be gone.”

--

Quinn asked The Question during the drive to Columbus.

“How serious are you about this Kurt?”

“That will depend entirely on my options. You’re sure there will be gay guys at this party?”

“It’s being co-hosted by the drama frat at OSU, and Jordan said there would absolutely be a very diverse group attending.”

Santana leaned forward from her seat in the back. “As long as there’s booze and dancing, I’ll be happy.” Quinn turned and frowned at her.

“I love it when you’re happy Santana,” Brittany chirped from the back seat.

“And I am in full support of your getting some, my pretty pony.” Santana poked Kurt on the shoulder. “Sex is awesome.”

Kurt snorted. Santana had taken some getting used to at first, but dating Brittany had eased some of her anger, and lately she’d been encouraging Kurt to go hang out at Lima’s only gay bar and just ‘get it done.’

The truth was that Kurt was more than a little nervous about what he was planning - hoping really, to do at this party.

Kurt had always hoped that at some point he'd meet a nice guy at school, one who was sweet and romantic and out and brave enough to be with him. Someone who'd want to figure out things together, share French fries and movie dates and clothing tips, and various firsts of a sexual variety. But that guy never showed up, and in a year Kurt was moving to New York having possibly never even held another boy’s hand, much less kissed one. He intended that to change tonight.

--

There were a lot of cars parked on the street as they got near the party, so they parked a couple of blocks away and walked over.

“I told my dad we’d be on the road by midnight, which means we can probably push it to one am if we’re having a good time.”

“By good time do you mean if some junior frat boy is on his knees with his -”

“Santana!” Quinn hissed. Santana rolled her eyes and walked ahead, her pinkie finger linked with Britt. Quinn slipped her arm through Kurt’s as they made their way toward the house. The party looked to be in full swing. “There will be a lot of people there and it can get intimidating.”

“I have been to parties, Quinn.”

“Still, you’re looking to pick someone up - or get picked up -” She looked at him and batted her eyelashes knowingly - “and this is more or less a first for you. Remember - never drink anything someone hands you unless you watched them pour or open it - or open it yourself, and you don’t have to do anything that you don’t want. Ever. With anyone.”

“I’m driving so I won’t be drinking much at all -”

“People put things in soda too Kurt.” He supposed she had a point. “Just mingle for a while, see if you’re comfortable.”

Quinn gave the guy working the door her name, which he checked off a list and gave them each three drink tickets. “Have fun!” He said brightly as they trailed in. Definitely theater department, Kurt thought.

They did a lap around the party, all of them grabbing drinks when they got to the booze room. Kurt had decided earlier that he would have one beer to loosen up and maybe settle some of his nerves, but after that it would be water or soda. After leaving Quinn with the guy who had invited them, and an agreement to text each other at midnight to see where they were all at, Kurt went with Santana and Brittany to find the dance floor.

The frat house was predictably large, but for this end of summer blast they had set up a lighted dance floor in the back yard, complete with DJ and strings of mismatched lights strung up all around the dance area. There were tables and chairs off to either side for just hanging out, and an outside bar. It was a lot more civilized than Kurt had expected from his first official (and hopefully only) frat party.

Kurt finished his beer, then danced with the girls for a few songs, keeping his eyes open for any guys who might be interested. After a few songs a tall, blond, very attractive guy cut in, pulling Kurt away from the girls. They danced a couple of songs, but he didn't get too handsy, and Kurt switched him out for another partner, then another after that.

The dancing went on for a while, and while he was having a good time, Kurt hadn't connected with anyone in a way that made him want to drag him up to an empty bedroom somewhere. He did want another beer, but he wasn’t actually drunk enough off of the one he’d had to talk himself into it - he’d had road safety drilled into his head since before he could walk - so when he was ready for a break he grabbed a water from the outside bar and wandered back into the house.

It was hot inside, and the dancing had made him sweat. He did notice that there were a few cute, older looking guys eyeing him up, but he felt a little too gross and sweaty to let some stranger get too close, although they were just going to get sweaty anyway. Kurt shivered thinking about it, but he didn’t know if was excitement or nerves. Maybe he wasn’t really ready for this at all.

Kurt drained his water, but he was still hot and thirsty so he wandered to the bar room for a can of soda.

Standing in front of the bar was a guy he hadn't noticed earlier. He was talking to a girl with long dark hair, so Kurt took his time noticing him. He wore well fitted navy shorts and a retro patterned polo that Kurt immediately recognized as Brooks Brothers - where everyone else at the party was decked out in J Crew or Abercrombie. He was wearing sandals, which Kurt was willing to forgive only because of the excessive heat, and his hair was neatly combed and gelled down.

Kurt was still staring when the guy turned and noticed Kurt looking at him. He smiled with the corner of his mouth, but Kurt looked away, embarrassed for getting caught looking. When Kurt had no choice but to turn back as his turn came at the bar, both the guy and the girl he had been talking to were gone. Kurt sighed and took his mercifully freezing cold diet soda from the guy minding the bar and walked out to drink it on the front porch, hoping it would be a little quieter than inside the house.

When he finally made it outside, Kurt was surprised to find that the only person actually on the front porch was Mr. Brooks Brothers, from the bar. He had turned when Kurt opened the door, and was looking right at Kurt when he stepped out.

“Hi,” Mr. Brooks Brothers said.

Kurt blinked about a hundred times. “Uh, hi.” He looked down at his soda can and popped the top. He could already feel his mouth drying up. “Cool party.” The guy didn’t say anything, so Kurt kept talking. “Do you go to school here?”

Brooks Brothers stared for a moment, then seemed to realize it was his turn to say something, and nodded sharply. “Yeah, um, sophomore.”

God this guy was cute. Kurt kept staring. “Oh, cool.”

“What about you? Do you go here?”

Kurt had decided his cover story would be that he went to school at NYU - there would be less likelihood of ever running into someone in NY. And he was absolutely going to get in there anyway.

“No, I go to NYU. I'm here with some friends.”

Brooks Brothers nodded. “Ah.” They both stood silent for a moment, and Kurt had to wonder if he would ever have a not-awkward moment with a guy, when the guy spoke again. “I saw you dancing earlier - was going to cut in, but then you disappeared.”

Brooks Brothers took a couple of steps closer while he talked. He wasn't close enough to touch him or anything, but Kurt could see that they guy had quite pretty eyes, and biceps that threatened the integrity of the sleeves on the shirt he was wearing and oh wow pretty lips…that were still talking.

“I don't know if - you can say no if you don't, um, my car is parked just about a block away -” he shrugged, “if you maybe want to get away for a bit.” His confidence in what he was proposing was undermined somewhat by how nervously he was proposing it, but Kurt was sure when he asked that all of the hesitation about hooking up at this party that he’d had inside the house had disappeared.

“Okay,” he heard himself say, and he was rewarded with a smile that lit Brooks Brothers’ face all the way from his mouth to the tips of his sweetly triangular eyebrows. “Lead the way.”

Silently, Kurt followed Brooks Brothers to his car, which was parked around the corner from the frat house but in the opposite direction from where Kurt had parked his car earlier. There were other cars parked along the street on both sides, but it was secluded from view of the frat house by a large row of shrubs, and the street was darkened further due to a broken overhead street lamp. It seemed remarkably well concealed from prying eyes and Kurt wondered if the guy had parked here for exactly that reason. Kurt filed that idea away in case he ever found himself at a party looking to pick up virginal young high school students trying to pass themselves off as college. Brooks Brothers unlocked the car with a ‘blip blip’ and opened the back door, indicating for Kurt to get in, a small smile visible on his face.

Kurt slid into the back seat turning his body so that his left knee was folded on the seat and he could face Brooks Brothers, who slid in next to him. After auto locking the car and tossing the keys onto the center console in the front, he played with his phone and set it on the floor of the car. It was letting off a low glow that gave off some light allowing them to see each other, but not so bright that it lit up the car.

“Better,” he breathed, turning to Kurt and sliding an arm across the back of the seat. His left hand curved around Kurt’s right thigh, and without any preamble at all, he leaned in and pressed his mouth against Kurt’s.

For the first time in his life Kurt was kissing another boy, and he was so surprised by it that he let out an actual squeak. Brooks Brothers pulled back, looking at him in the near dark.

“Are you okay? Did I do something wrong?”

Kurt was mortified. It might be the first time he’d had his lips on another boy, but the last thing he wanted was for the boy know that.

“No it’s fine,” Kurt said, forcing a smile. “Caught me off guard.” He gathered all the courage he had and leaned in, grateful that Brooks Brothers didn’t seem to be annoyed with him and went right back to what he’d been doing too. Which was kissing Kurt. Kurt parted his lips, tilting his head to get a better angle, and Brooks Brothers made a pleased noise and pushed closer. The hand across the back of the seat moved to Kurt’s shoulder, then around the back of his neck, long strong fingers holding him as they kissed harder. Kurt gasped when he felt a tongue slide alongside his own and without thinking he sucked lightly on it. The hand on his thigh drifted higher, stroking along Kurt’s leg until fingers teased into the holes Kurt had made in his jeans.

Kurt had been at an initial loss for where to put his hands, and pressed them against Brooks Brother’s (very firm) chest. He moved them up, over muscled shoulders, moaning without realizing it as he did.

“Mmm, wait, wait,” Brooks Brothers stopped just as Kurt was wriggling his hips to shift closer. “What’s your name?”

“My name?” Kurt asked between kisses. “What?” Kurt kept kissing and Brooks Brothers didn’t object. But he wasn’t done asking.

“Yeah, your name.” Kurt moved one hand down across Brooks Brothers’ chest and down, getting his own grip on the guy’s thigh.

“Does it matter?” Kurt kissed along his jaw, dragging his teeth below Brooks Brothers’ ear.

“What? Yes, yeah. I’m about to put my hand in your pants - at least I hope I am” he ducked his head with a bashful smile that Kurt found both sexy and endearing. “I want to know your name. It matters.” He paused. “My name’s Blaine.”

Kurt stopped kissing Blaine, pulling back to look into this boys eyes, panting just a little from the kissing. Back in sophomore year his dad had given him the sex talk, complete with actual how-to pamphlets and instructions to ask him if he had any questions. He didn't know whether his dad was hoping that Kurt would meet a boy, or was just completely clueless about the unlikelihood of that ever happening at McKinley High School in backwardsville Lima, Ohio. Either way, Kurt had been mortified at the entire thing, hiding in his room for the next several hours (okay, reading the pamphlets, but that hadn’t made the experience less mortifying). But Burt Hummel had said one thing that had stuck with him, and was sure would lead him to be incredibly disappointed with his son if he knew what he was doing right now. “Don't throw yourself around,” he'd said. “You matter, Kurt.” Kurt blinked and looked at Blaine.

“Kurt,” he said. “My name’s Kurt.”

Blaine grinned a smile so bright Kurt thought it could have lit the car from the inside all by itself.

Kurt.” Blaine leaned in, his kiss swollen lips slotting onto Kurt's for a long brain melting moment. “I was calling you ‘hot guy’, you know, in my head,” he said, pulling away for just a moment.

“That's okay,” Kurt responded, kissing back. “I was calling you Brooks Brothers.” Blaine laughed, sharp and sweet, that same grin threatening to split his face in two.

He leaned back in, fingers now playing at the buttons on Kurt’s shirt. “May I?” He asked, kissing Kurt on the cheek.

Kurt nodded, nervous about how this was going to go, or what exactly was going to happen. He kissed Blaine as a distraction as Blaine unbuttoned his shirt, then groaned when Blaine put his hands on Kurt's bare chest. Kurt inhaled sharply, but leaned in so Blaine wouldn't pull away. He didn't know what he was doing, but he didn't want to stop. At least not yet.

They continued touching and kissing, each step closer to what, Kurt wasn't sure. The angle in the back seat made getting closer difficult, and the hard on in Kurt's shorts was getting uncomfortable.

But the making out was getting more intense. Blaine wriggled and slid under Kurt, his back on the back seat, and he tugged until Kurt was lying on top of him. They were both obviously hard. Kurt propped himself up with his elbows and looked down at Blaine who looked gorgeous and a little desperate in the odd light of the back seat. His hips churned little circles against the weight of Kurt on top of him.

“That feels good,” Kurt gasped, dropping his head to Blaine’s shoulder.

Blaine was panting against Kurt’s cheek. Kurt swore to himself that if he ever had the opportunity to make out in a car again he’d make sure he had his Navigator. “Yeah?”

“Uh huh.”

“Can I touch you?” Blaine was running a finger up and down the obvious bulge of Kurt's cock straining in his shorts. Kurt thought he might black out just at that.

“Yes, yes please.”

Blaine gripped Kurt by the hips, pushing him off just enough to get his hands between them. He rubbed firmly against Kurt’s erection, a quiet wow escaping his lips. Kurt stared at Blaine’s face as he slid each button on the fly of his shorts through its hole, breathing harder as Blaine opened his pants and slipped his hand inside, over the fabric of his underwear.

“Oh god,” Kurt thrust into Blaine's hand, once, twice, a third time. The blind pleasure of having another boy touch him rippled from his jaw down through his spine, leaving him jolting into the air when Blaine removed his hand.

“Wait, hang on,” Blaine said. He pushed Kurt to sit up a bit more, then pulled his own shirt over his head. Blaine dropped back to the seat of the car and then quickly unfastened his belt and undid his own shorts. Kurt watched as he wriggled them down just a bit past his hips. Then he reached back for Kurt's shorts, pushing them down until he could reach into his underwear and then he wrapped his hand around the bare flesh of Kurt's cock. Blaine whimpered, then pulled his own cock out of his underwear. Kurt put a hand on Blaine’s wrist.

“Can I?” He searched Blaine’s eyes for any hesitation, but it wasn't there. Blaine nodded, and Kurt lay the palm of his hand against Blaine’s cock, wrapping his fingers around it and stroking slowly. He felt like he should say something, compliment Blaine on how amazing his body felt or how gorgeous his cock was. Blaine moaned, tilting his head back, and Kurt didn't have the words.

Then Blaine wriggled again, positioning Kurt over him and then pushing on his lower back until his cock was pressed against Blaine’s.

Kurt gasped, and Blaine spit into his hand and wrapped it around both of their cocks as best he could, trapping them in the channel of his fist. Kurt wanted to be disgusted at Blaine using spit for lubricant, but honestly the whole thing was so hot and they looked so hot in Blaine’s hand as he rubbed them together that he just couldn't.

“Just - put your hands here,” Blaine said, placing Kurt’s hands on the back of the seat and the door handle behind him. ”Brace yourself. Let me take care of you.” Blaine smiled up at him, and Kurt was grateful he knew what he was doing. This had been a good idea.

After that it was all heavy breathing and the sound of rustling clothes and skin on skin until Kurt couldn't watch anymore. He closed his eyes, thrusting into Blaine's hand as he jerked them both off.

Oh god,” Kurt moaned. He wanted to focus on what was happening. Another boy had his hand on Kurt's cock for the first time and he wanted to watch, wanted to know what he was experiencing. But Blaine's hand was so sure and his cock was so hard and it was all so so different from when he touched himself anywhere that he just couldn't. Blaine was grunting and making noises underneath Kurt and Kurt wanted to know what he was feeling, wished he would say something, could say something. It was all so much.

Then Blaine moaned and shifted, and Kurt had to brace his leg so he wouldn't slide right off the back seat and somehow it made Blaine lose his grip on them for a second - Kurt heard Blaine hiss no then replace his grip on them, twisting in a totally new way that caused Kurt to make a noise somewhere between a choke and a whine. He looked at Blaine, hoping he hadn't noticed Kurt's completely virginal reactions to what they were doing; he didn't want to let on that he’d never done anything like this before..

But Blaine had his head thrown back against the arm of the door, his eyes closed, his mouth open in a perfect ‘o’ and Blaine was coming in thick white stripes across his chest, over his fist, come smearing all over Kurt’s cock as he continued pushing through Blaine’s fist. It only took fractions of fractions of seconds for Kurt to make all these observations and then he felt the familiar whip-crack down his spine into his balls and he was coming all over Blaine’s chest, his release pooling with Blaine’s.

It took Kurt a few moments to come back to himself, the intensity of the experience both more and less than he'd expected, now that it was over. Blaine had stroked him through the last pulse of his orgasm, seemingly knowing just when to stop before it was too much. Kurt wondered if the whole thing had been too much, but Blaine was smiling up at him so sweetly, what looked like real feeling in his eyes, so Kurt didn't say anything. Blaine shifted up on one elbow and pressed the hand not covered in their come against Kurt’s cheek, holding him in place for a soft, closed mouth kiss that should have felt chaste but was anything but.

“That was amazing,” Blaine said, pulling away. His messy hand trailed circles through the come on his stomach.

Kurt blinked, his cock throbbing. “It was?”

Blaine looked up and frowned, a worried look instantly taking over his face. “You didn’t - you could have said if you wanted something else.”

Kurt couldn’t in that moment imagine what else he could have wanted. He shook his head, some need to reassure Blaine spiking in his chest.

“No, no it was, um great. You were great.” He tried to match Blaine’s smile, but wasn’t sure anyone could actually do that. “I’m glad you liked it,” Kurt said, cringing a little and sitting back on his heels, bumping his head on the roof of the car with a loud ‘oof’. He looked at Blaine and forced himself to grin. Be natural. “I’m always a little clumsy after a good orgasm.” Blaine giggled, but his eyes were wide. Smooth Hummel.

Now that they were both coming down from the rush of orgasm, their half naked state was starting to get awkward and Blaine made an attempt to sit up.

“I think there are some tissues under the seat there, do you think you can reach?” Blaine asked.

Kurt twisted around, finding the box and offering a handful to Blaine to clean himself up with. Eventually Kurt tucked himself back into his underwear and fastened up his pants, shifting so Blaine could free his legs and sit up. He watched out of the corner of his eye as Blaine eventually wriggled into his shorts, realizing in a panic that he didn’t have an exit plan. He couldn’t imagine etiquette called for him to hang around long. He was trying to think up some meaningful parting words when Blaine reached for his keys on the front console and unlocked the car doors.

“So, can I walk you back to the party?” He sounded fully composed. Was this all there was? Kurt wondered. They shake hands and leave?

“No, I have to get going.” Kurt shook his head, trying to offer a polite smile. He really had no idea what time it was, or what the girls were up to, but he didn’t think it was quite curfew yet. “Thanks.”

He reached for the door, pulling the handle and pushing the door open so he could step out. Blaine sat in the car, making no move to follow him, so Kurt leaned over to stick his head in the car to say goodbye.

Blaine jumped in his seat when Kurt reappeared. The light from Blaine’s phone shone more directly on his face, and he looked scared.

“Hey I just wanted to say good-bye.”

Blaine nodded, his smile back in an instant. “Yeah.” Blaine waved. “See you ‘round.”

Kurt had had enough of the party, and walked back to his car, his limbs still a little shaky. His body felt good, but his heart felt a little empty, and he didn’t know what to think about that. He hadn’t really expected to feel anything like that. He thought he would just feel experienced.

Kurt climbed into his car and checked his phone - there were two texts from Quinn and one from Santana. He texted that the combination of J.Crew and the oppressive August heat had put him off his original plan, and he had gone back to the car to keep from becoming sick. It was barely 11:30. He wanted to be alone for a while.

Chapter Text

Kurt almost didn’t think about it at all.

Senior year started in less than a week, and Cheerios practice had started the week before and he had plenty of things to think about instead. He did. He didn’t have time to waste on thoughts of fumbling hands and pretty eyes and orgasms shared with anyone. He didn’t.

--

“Ready for your final year of academic domination?” Quinn asked slipping her arm through his as they walked through the parking lot, Santana and Brittany stepped right in line with them. Kurt grinned.

“As long as Harriet Gomez doesn’t pull off enough extra credit to make up for tanking her Chemistry final last year, I think I’ve got it nailed down.”

“Just so you don’t forget -”

“That I wouldn’t be in this position if you hadn’t blown your sophomore year. Of course Quinn, you’d never let me.”

That first morning went more or less as usual, with syllabi and class behavior requirements handed out and gone over with little attention paid by the students. By the time Kurt’s lunch period arrived his book bag was weighed down by an advanced Calculus textbook, a copy of The Invisible Man, an exam schedule for AP World History and a request to bring a box of tissues from each teacher.

Kurt loaded his tray with the few healthy items he could find and then sat at his regular table in the cafeteria, where Quinn, Santana and Brittany were already seated.

“Anyone see the new kid yet?”

“There’s a new kid?” Kurt wasn’t really that interested in new students at this point. No one was going to challenge his status in the Cheerios, not this year, and it was highly doubtful that someone could transfer in now and upset his run at valedictorian. In a year he’d be out of McKinley and out of Ohio and wouldn’t have to think about any of these people ever again.

“Yeah, apparently some brainy rich-kid.”

“New guy?” Quinn looked interested.

“Focus Quinn.” Kurt pointed his spoon at her. “You are better than all of these losers.” Kurt held up a curled pinky finger and Quinn hooked her own around it in solidarity. He pulled the top off his yogurt and turned back to Santana. “How brainy?”

Santana clicked her tongue. “Valedictorian-level brainy, Elf-Lord.”

“I thought transfer students couldn’t qualify for valedictorian at this point?”

“Britt says that she heard Coach Sylvester fighting about it with Figgins and Coach Beiste in the office. Apparently he used to be at some snooty private school and his parents are insisting he be given consideration for the top spot or they are going to send him somewhere else, so they’re considering it.”

“And he’s a football star,” Brittany said. “They think college scouts will come to see him play and maybe some of the other boys will get offered spots too.”

Quinn rolled her eyes. “That explains it.”

“I don’t see anyone new.” Kurt looked around the cafeteria, landing on the football table. “Do we know what his name is?”

“Blaine something.” Brittany said. They all looked at her. “What? I was filing student arrest reports in the office when they were talking about him.”

Kurt looked at his yogurt. It wasn’t possible, was it? He steadied himself and turned to look at Brittany. “Blaine?”

“Someone you know?” Quinn asked.

“No.” Kurt schooled his face back into his everyday indifference and shrugged. It was a coincidence. It had to be. Party-Blaine had said he was an OSU sophomore. And he was way too small to be a football player, if the goons at McKinley were an accurate example of the type. He popped a spoonful of yogurt into his mouth. “I thought Blaine was a girls name.”

--

Apparently the new kid’s parents got what they wanted from the school administration, because when Kurt walked into glee club for his final period of the day there was a new kid standing at the front of the class listening to Rachel Berry suggest that there was no possible way he could keep up with her on Broadway standards and proposition him for duets in nearly the same breath.

Kurt did a double take, then looked deliberately at his regular seat at the back of the risers and marched there. His hair was curlier, and he was wearing loose jeans, a McKinley high football t-shirt that still had the fold lines running down the sides, and worn sneakers - but Kurt was sure. It was the same Blaine from the summer. Blaine who was apparently not an OSU sophomore. Blaine who had seen him with his pants down. Blaine who had jerked him off until he came. The first, and only, boy to ever touch him like that.

They couldn’t know each other, and Kurt definitely did not want to have to explain to anyone how they did. Maybe Blaine wouldn’t recognize him and he wouldn’t even have to acknowledge it. Kurt calmly took his seat near the back with Quinn and the girls as everyone got ready to watch the new recruits, but his stomach was twisting into knots.

There were a half dozen new kids there to audition, including Blaine, and Mr. Schuester had them all sitting in the front row. They went down the line, and the first three weren’t bad. Kurt wouldn’t throw too much of a fit if they were added to the group. Clearly none of them were going to challenge him for competition solos. He knew he wouldn’t be the main soloist, Mr. Schuester would probably pick Finn for that, but now that he was a senior he was definitely going to get more opportunities to sing in competition.

Then Blaine got up in front of the class. Kurt had to admit that in the light of day he was still cute. He had a sweet, enthusiastic smile, and while Kurt thought the more gelled look he’d sported over the summer gave off a more sophisticated image, his short hair was neat enough.

Then Blaine opened his mouth.

His audition song was “Put on a Happy Face,” and he killed it. The minute he started singing he was fully into the song, performing, flirting, charming everyone in the room, even Brad - their piano player, and he hated everyone. He even pulled a very willing Rachel out of her seat and danced around her as he finished the song.

Kurt deflated. There was no way he could compete with that, even with his unique vocal talents. Blaine was exactly the lead male vocal they never quite had. Finn and Puck could hold their own, and his own vocals always turned heads and ears in competition, but even in the tiny McKinley High choir room Kurt could tell. Blaine was an expert showman.

“Blaine that was fantastic!” Mr. Schuester gushed as everyone applauded. “I think your addition will really open up a lot of possibilities for the group this year.”

Blaine smiled at Mr. Schuester, clearly soaking up the praise from the teacher as well as the other members of the glee club, who were all gathered around him slapping him on the back and touching him. Kurt sat back in his chair and scowled, Quinn and Santana flanking him on either side.

“No love for the new kid, Hummel?” Santana asked.

“He’s a showboat. And he’s going to steal all my parts.”

--

The next day Kurt arrived late to calculus to find Blaine already filling one of the extra seats - thankfully across the room from where Kurt sat. Blaine was also in his English class and his gym class, and in his afternoon biology class as well as glee club. He never so much as glanced at Kurt, so maybe Blaine really didn’t recognize him. Kurt supposed he did look different; he wore his Cheerios uniform and his hair was styled differently.

That was probably a good thing. Kurt really didn’t want anyone to know what had happened. He hadn’t even told Quinn.

Later, in the locker room after Cheerios practice, any hope that Blaine hadn’t recognized him disappeared.

“So I guess you meant you’re going to be at NYU next year?”

Kurt grimaced and turned to look at Blaine.

“This isn’t exactly your sophomore year at OSU,” Kurt snapped. “We both lied. So? It’s not like it matters to anyone.” Blaine nodded once, but looked at the lockers instead of Kurt’s face. Kurt could only imagine one thing Blaine would be worried about. He went back to dressing himself. “Don’t worry, I won’t out you.”

Blaine shrugged and looked surprised. “My teammates know I’m gay. It’s not a secret.”

Kurt turned to look at Blaine, who was looking at him too, now. “The football team knows you’re gay?”

“Sure.”

“And they didn’t beat the crap out of you and throw you in a dumpster?”

Blaine’s face darkened, but he shook his head. “No, should they have?”

“Well lucky you.” Kurt said sourly, and turned back to his locker. He really didn’t feel like having to explain to Blaine how things were at McKinley. He’d figure out what neanderthals he was playing with soon enough. Blaine stood there, not really watching as Kurt pulled on his shirt - post practice he could wear his own clothes - but he didn’t say anything. “Did you need something else?” Kurt asked. He wanted out of this conversation.

Blaine looked like he was about to say something, but the rest of the football team started to stagger in from practice, and he snapped his mouth shut. Kurt grabbed his assortment of hair product out of his locker.

“Excuse me, I have places to be.” Blaine stepped aside so Kurt could get to the communal mirrors. As he did his hair he watched Blaine’s interactions with the rest of the team. They didn’t flinch, didn’t call him names, didn’t insist he leave the locker room before they would get into the shower.

Instead they joked around, talked about football and what they were doing on the weekend. Kurt wasn’t trying to listen.

“So I bet gay dudes get a lot of dick in an all boys school, huh?” It was Puck. Kurt rushed out of the locker room without waiting to hear the answer to that question.

--

“I don’t know, I think he’s kinda cute,” Quinn said a few days later at lunch.

“Keep it in your pants Quincy, word on the street is that he’d prefer Little Miss Hummel here,” Santana answered.

“Really? Kurt you should get to know him,” Quinn suggested. “Maybe he can help you with your goal of actually having sex before you leave high school.”

Kurt’s insides chilled. If only she knew. Somehow he managed to convince his outsides to make a disgusted face. “Absolutely not. Not my type.”

“Don't be ridiculous Hummel, given your options in this high school hell pit your type should be gay and breathing,” Santana said. “Beggars can’t be picky assholes.”

“I don’t think that’s how it goes, Santana,” Brittany whispered.

“No, I think it is, sweetie,” Santana squeezed Brittany’s arm and smiled.

Kurt glared at Santana. “You're disgusting.”

“I'm just saying Kurt. Even I can tell that's a fine piece of man ass.” Santana turned her body around as if trying to catch a glimpse of said ass. “Well, boy ass.”

Kurt rolled his eyes. “I'll stick with no thanks.”

“This is why unicorns are extinct,” Brittany observed.

--

For the next week Kurt managed to avoid most interactions with Blaine. He went about his day without having to speak to him, despite their numerous shared classes, and Mr. Schuester hadn’t managed to pair them up for any insane weekly lesson yet (of course the fact that Rachel would barely let Blaine out of her sight probably helped Kurt in this area). They were occasionally in the locker room at the same time, but since most of the guys tolerated rather than accepted Kurt in that space he easily avoided any interaction there.

They even managed to avoid each other after the first football game, since it was at Lima Central and the Cheerios traveled separate from the football team - Coach Sue preferred as little fraternization between the two groups as possible. Luckily the novelty of dating football players seemed to wear off for most Cheerios after only a couple of months of knowing them. Kurt didn’t exactly have first hand experience in that area.

But their second game was at McKinley, and Kurt couldn't avoid being in the locker room with the football team entirely.

Sue had kept them on the sideline after the game to chew them out about a mistake no one could have noticed, so Kurt was late getting into the shower and was just getting out, a towel wrapped around his waist, when the football team came in.

“What are you doing here princess? You're supposed to be dressed by the time we get in here.” It was Dave Karofsky.

“Hoping you’ll get a peek?” Kurt drawled and walked away in the direction of his locker.

“You wish.”

“Is that really the best you can do?” Kurt taunted. He went about his usual routine, but dressing quickly and keeping one ear open for trouble anyway. “Maybe you hit your head harder than you thought tonight.”

“Shut up, fruitcake.” It was Karofsky’s lackey, Azimio.

“What did you say?” Blaine had come from around the other side of the bank of lockers opposite where Kurt was standing. He was obviously talking to Azimio.

Kurt frowned. He didn’t need Blaine to get involved.

“Whatever,” Kurt said, turning back to his locker. He just wanted Blaine to go away. “Between the two of them they're about as clever as a post-it note and about as dangerous.” Kurt shouldered his bag and shut his locker.

“Apologize.” Blaine was still talking to Azimio, but a few guys had come over to see what the noise was about.

Now Kurt was annoyed. “I don't need your help,” he said to Blaine. Blaine just stared at him, his mouth a tight line. “I've been dealing with this for years. You just have to ignore them. They’re like gnats.”

“No one should have to deal with it.” Blaine looked pained. Kurt felt a flash of sympathy for the boy, but he let it pass.

“I'm sure your fancy prep school had all sorts of progressive policies,” Kurt said with disdain. “None of that applies here.” They were starting to draw a crowd and Kurt wanted to get out of there before he said something he’d regret.

“What's that supposed to mean?” Blaine turned and was facing Kurt now, the other boys’ insults apparently forgotten.

Kurt tried not to let his eyes wander. Blaine still had on his pads and pants, but was offensively shirtless. There was more hair on his chest than Kurt remembered.

“It means that out here no one is going to be nice to you just because some school administrator told them they have to - and, newsflash, no administrator in this school is even going to go that far. And that Azimio is an animal.” Kurt started to walk away, but turned back to Blaine. “And I've been dealing with this forever,” he added. “I don't need your help.” Kurt stormed out of the locker room, leaving Blaine standing with his mouth open, gawking with the rest of the football team.

--

After their near-altercation in the locker room Blaine seemed to be taking just as much care to avoid Kurt as Kurt did avoiding Blaine. They didn’t have to interact at all outside of glee club and they didn’t. Even football games provided enough other distractions that they could simply avoid talking to each other.

Kurt did notice that Blaine had become friends with Tina Cohen-Chang from glee club and her boyfriend Mike Chang. They were nice enough people, Kurt supposed, but he didn’t really know them outside of glee. They were kind of nerdy.

They all spent time with another kid named Beckham Lee, another senior Kurt had in a few classes over the years. Kurt didn’t know Beckham that well though, since he wasn’t in glee club or a Cheerio, or on the football team, but Kurt had always had a sneaking suspicion he might be gay too. The fact that Beckham was hanging out with Blaine so much just confirmed it in Kurt’s mind. And that was fine, if he wanted to put up with Blaine he was welcome to him. Kurt did have to give Beckham’s parent’s props though for being bold enough to name their son after a Spice Girl.

One afternoon in glee Mr. Schuester tried to pair everyone up by pulling names out of a bag, Project Runway style. Kurt was not at all shocked that his name was pulled to pair with Blaine, that was just how his year was going. He could be a team player, though. He needed as many things on his transcript as possible if he wanted to get into NYADA and move to New York, and the more they all worked together the better they would be and the better chance they’d have to move past Regionals.. . But he didn’t need to make it easy on Blaine, so he didn’t hide his irritation at the announcement.

“Mr. Schue can I sing with someone else?” It was Blaine.

Mr. Schue looked around at the class. “Everyone’s already paired up Blaine. Is there some reason you don’t want to sing with Kurt?” Blaine hadn’t turned around from his seat in the front to look at Kurt, but Kurt had frozen in his spot on the riser.

“I really don’t think our voices work that well together,” Blaine answered. Kurt knew that was a lie, the few times they’d had to sing together in group numbers they had sounded great. He crossed his arms over his chest and stared daggers at the back of Blaine’s head.

“I can sing with anyone, Mr. Schue,” Kurt said. Blaine ignored him.

“I would be happy to work with Blaine, Mr. Schue,” Rachel piped up, raising her hand as she spoke. “After all, it’s very likely we’ll be paired together at Sectionals which is just a month away, so we should take some extra time and learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses.” She threw on a perky grin almost as an afterthought and Kurt shook his head.

“Mr. Schue, I can sing with Kurt.” Mercedes had been paired with Rachel, and Kurt knew she could barely tolerate Rachel’s drama on a good day. “We sound great together.” She turned and winked at Kurt.

Kurt always liked Mercedes, even though they didn’t spend much time together outside of glee club. He was too busy with the Cheerios and keeping his grade point above a 4.1 for much extra socializing. But Mercedes could bring the vocal skills.

Mr. Schuester looked at the class with his usual vaguely confused expression, and clapped his hands together. “Okay great! Now that’s settled everyone get with your partner and we’ll start in ten minutes.”

--

Along with preparing for Sectionals, October brought on homecoming activities for the school, and the pending announcement for the school musical.

Somehow, the addition of Blaine to the football team had actually made the team better, which lead to them winning more games than they lost for the first time in years. Everyone in the school and most of the residents of Lima were all of a sudden excited about the homecoming festivities. That meant more football practice, more cheerleading practice, every club and team making floats for the parade, and generally excited mayhem throughout the school. Kurt had to admit that every once in awhile he even felt a little something that might have been fondness for his school. And maybe his classmates. Maybe.

In the middle of this fresh wave of school spirit, Kurt was eagerly awaiting Mr. Schuester’s announcement of which musical they were going to put on this year. Auditions were open to the entire school, but Kurt was sure that this year - being a senior, he would finally have a decent chance at a lead part.

It was the Monday of homecoming week and they were all gathered in the choir room waiting for Mr. Schuester to come in and break the news.

“Maybe it will be Funny Girl,” Rachel sighed.

“You always think it’s going to be Funny Girl, Rachel,” Tina reminded her.

“You never know Tina. It always pays to have a positive outlook.” Rachel wiggled primly in her seat.

Little Shop of Horrors could be fun,” Mike suggested. “Or Anything Goes?”

Finn looked uncomfortable. “Isn’t there a lot of dancing in that?”

“Everybody ready?” Mr. Schuester came into the class, rubbing his hands together. Everyone was ready. “I had a bunch of great suggestions for the musical this year, and as you know we have to get the selection approved by the school board now.”

“Really? Why?” Blaine asked from his spot in the front row. The whole class moaned.

“Four words,” said Puck. He raised his hands in front of him, punctuating every word. “Rocky. Horror. Picture. Show.”

“Again I ask, really? You guys did Rocky Horror in a high school? In this high school?’ Blaine’s mouth hung open just a bit in astonishment.

“All right, all right, enough of that everyone.” Mr. Schuester interrupted. “I would actually like to thank Blaine for suggesting this year’s musical.”

Kurt held his breath. He may have no time for the boy, but he had to grudgingly admit that he had decent taste in music, at least from what Kurt had seen in school.

“You all remember that Blaine auditioned with a song from Bye Bye Birdie, and I thought that would be a great one for us to try, so I put it on the short list that was submitted to the board, and they approved it! Isn’t that great?”

Everyone murmured, more or less happy with the selection. Kurt could feel his stomach tense up as he counted the members of the glee club against the list in his head of the major parts in the musical. There weren’t enough parts.

“Mr. Schue, if I may?” Kurt raised his hand, getting his teacher’s attention. “There aren’t enough parts in that for all of us.” He swallowed hard. There were probably enough girls parts, but not nearly enough guy parts. And only one Kurt thought he could shine in.

“I think we can make it work. Maybe we’ll double up if it makes sense.” No one liked that idea, if the rumble of random complaints that bubbled through the room meant anything.

Kurt didn’t want to double up, he wanted to play Albert. He glared at the back of Blaine’s head, hoping he might break a leg at the homecoming game.

--

The rest of the week was a blur. Between Cheerios practice (which had been doubled for Homecoming) and picking and rehearsing a song for his Bye Bye Birdie audition Kurt was exhausted almost to hallucination. To top it off two of his teachers insisted on assigning homework projects, and Kurt was not giving up his shot at Valedictorian for anything.

So he gave up sleep instead. He took all his meals in his room, which his dad wasn’t happy about, although between Kurt’s and Finn’s various obligations Burt had adjusted to the erratic nature of meal times so he left Kurt alone. Kurt contemplated giving up eating altogether, but between all the various things he had going on he didn’t want to collapse on the field on Friday. So he grudgingly stuck to his meal plan.

--

Blaine ran for seven touchdowns and caught another three in the end zone in the kind of blowout that only ever happened in high school football games in the Midwest.

“Fuck yeah Anderson!”

“WOOO MCKINLEY!”

“TI-TANS! TI-TANS! TI-TANS”

The locker room after the game was an orgy of sweaty football players and bubbly contraband. Tragically, as far as Kurt was concerned, that did not mean champagne - not even the cheap bubbles from the Rite-Aid that were really only good for pouring over your teammate’s head. Coach Beiste had let them have a case of beer so long as they promised to spray it all over each other and not drink it. Kurt often wondered if he were the only sane person in Ohio.

“Hey man, I couldn't have done it without the great blocks,” Blaine protested through the congratulations of his teammates. “And Finn!” Blaine slapped Finn on the arm as everyone tried to crowd into Blaine's space to congratulate him and themselves. “Great play-calling man.”

Kurt rolled his eyes at his locker, rows away from the celebration. The jerk scored 60 points and he wouldn't even take credit for it. Kurt didn't understand that at all. He'd kill for that kind of recognition from anyone, even his peers.

Mike’s parents were conveniently out of town visiting relatives for a week, so the afterparty was going to be at his house. Kurt showered quickly and dressed in a pair of yoga pants and a tank top. He’d brought a change of clothes with him for the party, and was meeting Quinn, Santana and Brittany in the girls bathroom outside of the choir room so they could all get ready together.

He had nearly escaped the boy’s locker room when Finn stopped him with a large paw on his shoulder.

“You coming to the party little brother?”

Kurt rolled his eyes. “I am not your little brother Finn. And of course I’ll be at the party. Just going to get ready.”

“You can’t get ready in the locker room like the rest of us?” Blaine snarked as he walked past them both.

“Is this any of your business?” Kurt clapped back.

Blaine held his hands up in front of him and backed away without answering. He was really starting to get on Kurt’s nerves.

“Are you going to need a ride home later?” Kurt turned and asked Finn. “I’m the designated driver tonight so I don’t want to leave without you if you need a lift.”

“Yeah thanks bro, don’t leave without me.” Kurt nodded and left the locker room.

Standing in the half darkened hallway, leaning against the wall of lockers was Beckham Lee, the kid who’d been hanging out with Blaine. He was staring at his phone and startled when the locker room door slammed behind Kurt.

“Hi Beck,” Kurt said. He tried not to smirk.

“Hey Kurt. Are you going to the party?”

Kurt nodded. He had a pretty good idea what Beckham was doing there. “Are you waiting for someone?”

Beckham blushed. “Yeah, um, Blaine said I could get a lift with him.”

“Closet getting a little stifling?” It was out of Kurt’s mouth before he could stop it.

Beckham turned even redder, but he didn’t say anything.

Kurt looked at the other boy for a long moment, and a wave of sympathy rushed through him forcing him to bite back the next snarky thing that wanted to escape.

“Well I hope he’s worth it,” he said instead, then turned to walk away.

Kurt went off to find his girls, regretting volunteering to stay sober tonight. All of a sudden he could really use a drink.

Chapter Text

Kurt was nervous heading to the party. It was his first party since his ill advised hook-up with Blaine and, while he didn’t have any misconceptions about what sort of hook ups might occur at this party, Blaine was going to be there.

He didn’t blame Blaine for what had happened that night - he couldn’t bring himself to be that unfair, as much as it would have made it easier on himself. Kurt simply didn’t enjoy being faced with his mistake on an almost daily basis.

Because that’s what it had been, he knew that now. He didn’t let himself regret it as much as want to put it out of his mind. Blaine was making that difficult.

Mike’s house was in one of the nicer middle class neighborhoods of Lima, and while it wasn’t ostentatiously large there was a lot of front lawn. He was walking up the wide driveway with Quinn, Santana and Brittany when Puck’s truck pulled up and parked directly in front of the house. Puck and Finn jumped out of the front of the cab; Blaine and Beckham climbed out of the back.

Kurt raised an eyebrow. If Blaine and Beckham were showing up at the party in the back of Puck’s truck then it was hardly a date, at least not by Kurt’s standards. Not that he’d ever been on a date. Or was thinking about if they were on a date.

Still, he worked to ignore the butterflies banging around in his stomach as they stood on the front lawn and watched the boys head up the house

“Are we going in?” Santana asked. “Or are we going to hang out here in the front all night looking gorgeous?”

“We’re always gorgeous, Santana,” Kurt volleyed back. “But yes, let’s go in.”

“S’up,” Puck nodded at Quinn as he caught up with them, the other boys trailing.

“Congratulations boys, that was an impressive win,” Quinn answered, her voice calm.

Kurt tensed just a bit, and he could tell Santana was reacting similarly on the other side of Quinn. Puck had been kryptonite for Quinn during sophomore year and even though they had seemed to have gotten over each other, Kurt knew that Puck possessed enough dangerous charm to mess Quinn up if he wanted.

The boys mumbled their thanks, walking past them into the house. Blaine glanced in Kurt’s direction as they passed, but Beckham was looking at his feet the whole time. Santana sidled up to Kurt once they had gone into the house.

“What is going on there Hummel?” She asked quietly.

Kurt half-shrugged and shook his head once. “I’m not entirely sure.”

Once inside they gathered their drinks and found a corner of the living room already occupied by a few other Cheerios and got to gossiping about the football team, college applications and who was most likely to wind up knocked up before they graduated. There was still a few months, after all.

“You’re not drinking, Kurt?” One of the other girls asked. She’d been on the JV squad since last year but Kurt couldn’t remember her name. She always seemed to be wearing a neckbrace.

“Designated driver,” he said, wiggling his fingers in the air in an approximation of a wave. “Besides, I think I’ll wait to uncover my inner alcoholic when there’s something other than Jagermeister and Schaeffer in cans on offer.”

“It all gets you drunk.” Neckbrace rolled her eyes. Kurt noticed Santana bristle at that. Santana could harass Kurt all day and into the night about his occasionally uptight behavior, but damned if she’d let anyone else give him attitude.

“Yes, well, tonight I’ll pass. I promised Finn I’d drive so he could enjoy the party.” Kurt looked around, sipping his pop. “Has anyone seen him? He wasn’t in the front when I came in.”

“I think that Berry chick dragged him into the basement,” another girl offered. When Kurt made a horrified face she added, “They have a karaoke machine set up down there, I think.”

The music upstairs was loud, so Kurt couldn’t hear anything from the basement, but he excused himself and headed to find Finn. Santana, Brittany and Quinn followed him down the stairs.

When they reached the room where the karaoke was happening Kurt was less surprised to find Rachel standing in front of the machine emoting Stevie Nicks than he was when he realized Blaine was her duet partner. He hated how amazing they sounded.

Kurt stood in the back, frowning at them, wondering idly exactly how much sabotage would be beneath him, and if Santana would help him (he was pretty sure she would).

“Hey.” It was Santana, as if on cue. She nudged his shoulder, nodding across the room, where Beckham was standing, staring daggers at Rachel as she play-acted against Blaine’s Tom Petty. “I always wondered about him, but he never let anything slip.” Kurt huffed. “I guess Blaine’s got more skills than football and singing, huh?”

Kurt turned to her, eyebrows raised. “What do you mean?”

Santana smirked. “Obviously he’s the Twink Whisperer.”

-

Kurt and the girls hung out in the basement for a while, eventually taking their turn on the karaoke machine. Everyone in the room got drunker, except Kurt.

After running through their repertoire of solo choices, Brittany punched in “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls and the four of them got up and bounced around, singing and pulling the other kids in the room into their performance. Kurt ignored the fact that Blaine stayed far away from the group. They collapsed into a heap together on the floor when they were done.

“Nice choice Britt, that was fun.” Santana leaned across Kurt to give her girlfriend a kiss on the cheek.

“I thought for sure Beck would join in,” Kurt said playfully. “I mean it is his namesake.”

Quinn gave him a confused look. “What?”

“Victoria Beckham? That’s obviously where his name comes from.” Kurt looked at the three of them.

“Kurt, sweetheart, I know you’re gay as a three dollar rainbow but he was not named after a Spice Girl.” Santana explained, laughing. “He was named after her husband.”

It was Kurt’s turn to be confused. “Why would someone name their child after an underwear model?”

Quinn laughed. “Oh my god, Kurt, he’s not - ”

“Come on everyone let’s play spin the bottle!” Rachel was standing in the middle of the basement room, an empty wine cooler bottle in one hand and a full one in the other.

After various noises of objection and resignation, a group of willing players moved to the room next door and some other group took over the karaoke machine.

Kurt wanted no part of spin the bottle, especially since Blaine was one of the people coerced into playing, so he found a corner that wasn’t too occupied and sat back to watch the teenage carnage unfold.

It started out more or less fun. But as the game went on and Beckham had to watch Blaine kiss more people that weren't him, Kurt could see the boy get more and more agitated. When Blaine wound up kissing Rachel on the mouth for much too long Kurt thought Beckham was going to tear them apart with his own hands.

When the bottle finally unleashed its magic in Beckham’s direction, he lept across the circle and planted a kiss on Blaine with enough enthusiasm to elicit ooohs and catcalls from the rest of the group.

“Someone wants a piece of your ass Anderson,” Puck crudely observed.

Blaine blew it off. “It’s just the game.” He shrugged and looked flustered. “It’s all right.” Beckham’s face was beet red.

At some point Santana’s spin landed on Brittany, and instead of stopping they just rolled themselves out of the circle and into a corner to continue making out.

When they’d had their fill of each other they joined Kurt on the sofa to watch the game play out, and when they grabbed some shots from a passing tray he indulged along with them.

“Oh my god, that tastes like motor oil.” Kurt gagged as the flavor backed up his throat. “Gross. No wonder I don't drink at these things.”

“You don’t drink at these things because you’ve got one leg in a nursing home, Hummel, don’t kid yourself.”

“Better than having one wrapped around a stripper pole,” Kurt shot back, but there wasn’t (much) heat behind it. The teasing went on for a while, but when the spin the bottle game broke up they all wandered back to the room with the karaoke to find, to everyone’s delight, that someone had plugged in an ipod and karaoke had turned into a dance party.

Couples had paired off, and Kurt saw Beckham tug Blaine into a dark corner, so he danced with the girls for a while. Eventually, Puck pulled Quinn away - eliciting a raised eyebrow from Santana. Kurt excused himself after that, leaving Santana to Brittany’s mercy, and wandered upstairs.

Kurt made a solo loop around the house, wondering how MIke was going to get it cleaned up before his parents came home on Sunday night. He hoped for Mike’s sake they didn’t come home early.

The line for the bathroom on the first floor was long, and rather than take the advice of several hockey players and relieve himself in the hydrangea bush out back Kurt decided to risk going upstairs. He assumed the upstairs was full of classmates in various states of undress (or worse), but he thought if he just focused on getting to the bathroom he wouldn’t be exposed to too many teenage hormones.

Kurt slipped up the stairs, making small talk with his classmates as he passed them. He didn’t have a lot of close friends at the school - and didn’t want them, but he was a Cheerio and by default fit in the class of ‘popular’ students. He was pleased to find that the line for the upstairs bathroom was much shorter, with only two people ahead of him. Kurt was thumbing through his Instagram feed when the door to the bathroom opened and Blaine stumbled out, Beckham tucked up against his back, his hands tight at Blaine’s waist. They both looked drunk and he watched them stagger down the hall in the opposite direction until they tumbled through a half-open door, slamming it behind them. Kurt swore under his breath.

By the time he worked his way back downstairs, Kurt’s heart was banging in his chest, and he felt like he couldn’t breathe.

It shouldn’t bother him, Beckham and Blaine, there wasn’t any reason for it. He didn’t want either of them - he wasn’t jealous of that.

Kurt rubbed the heels of his hands in his eyes, pressing hard against his eyelids. Kurt had been the only out gay kid he knew for years. Even before he was really aware of what it meant to be gay, other kids - hell, adults, had assumed things about him that he barely understood. And when he when he did want to hide it was almost impossible.

He had Santana now, and Brittany, and they helped him feel at less alone, but Kurt had been going to school with Beckham Lee for years. And while Kurt would never, ever, expect someone to come out before they were ready, or ever, if they didn’t feel comfortable, he was having a hard time reconciling the fact that he could know this boy for years, that this boy could have witnessed the things that Kurt went through (because honestly, Kurt’s humiliation was nothing if not public) and never say a word, but the minute handsome, talented, charming Blaine Anderson shows up he’s ready to expose himself in a room crowded with his drunken classmates without so much as a second thought.

Kurt opened his eyes, gasping. There were other people in the room, but they weren’t paying much attention to him. He was in the kitchen, so he lifted a half empty bottle of something and a plastic cup and walked out into the back yard.

It was late October chilly, but Kurt didn’t care. He found a spot not already occupied by couples making out and sat, pouring what was probably too much alcohol into the cup. He swallowed a few gulps. It tasted like the foul shot from the basement. He drank some more. He wondered how much he’d have to drink before he either threw up or passed out.

-

Kurt didn’t know how he got home, but when he opened his eyes again he was in his own bed, stripped down to a t-shirt and his underwear. His mouth tasted like hot asphalt and he wasn’t sure he could move his head if he wanted to.

“Kurt!” His dad called, followed by three explosions that could have been knocks on his door. Kurt heard himself whimper. “I’m coming in son.”

Burt sat on the bed next to Kurt’s legs, but all Kurt could do was stare at the ceiling and blink.

“So I have to say that I’m a little disappointed in you, Kurt.” Burt set a large bottle of water and two ibuprofen down on the side table. “But not for the reasons I suspect you think.” Kurt wanted to nod, or say yes, or apologize, or die. “For the time being I’m going to hold off on being angry about this until you can speak for yourself.”

Kurt managed a nod to show he understood. “Dad?” He croaked.

“Yes Kurt?”

“When does it stop spinning?”

-

Kurt didn’t really fall back to sleep so much as bury his head under a pillow and lie in his bed for another few hours. After dragging himself into a shower and putting on clean clothes he felt marginally better, so he forced himself to go downstairs and face the wrath of Burt Hummel.

Finn was sitting at the dining room table in front of a plate full of homemade hamburgers, and his dad was helping his step-mother Carole put the rest of dinner on the table. Apparently he had slept the entire day. Kurt sat gingerly next to Finn.

Finn leaned in and whispered. “Dude, you were so drunk.”

“Finn, how did we get home? Tell me I didn’t drive.”

Finn chuckled. “Are you kidding? I had to carry you to the car. Brittany drove us home. Burt took me over to her house earlier to pick up your car.”

Kurt closed his eyes and tried to remember anything from last night. “Was Dad mad?”

“Well, a little, but he kept asking me what happened. He kept saying you didn’t do things like this so something must have happened.” Finn looked nervous for a moment. “He asked if someone could have slipped you something.”

Kurt managed to turn his head enough to look at Finn. “Like what?”

“Like, you know, like a roofie.” Finn looked uncomfortable again. “Do you think someone drugged you?”

Kurt chuckled darkly. “I wish I could blame someone else for this, but no. I did this to myself.”

Burt and Carole joined them before Kurt could go on or ask any more questions. He couldn’t help but wonder if he’d done anything stupid, or if he just passed out on the grass until someone found him. He sincerely hoped it was the latter.

Dinner was quiet, but Kurt felt about seventy five percent better after he’d eaten. He thought he could handle whatever Burt had in store for him.

When Carole drafted Finn to help her clear and clean up, Kurt knew it was time to face the music.

“Come on Kurt, there's a game on.”

Once they were settled in the den with the TV on Burt cleared his throat.

“So, was this about a boy? Because I know I wasn’t always ready for this, but you can talk to me, Kurt. Or Carole, if that’s easier.”

Kurt squirmed until he was lying flat on his back, legs stretched out over the couch. Between the unbearable pain of his first hangover and the accompanying embarrassment, Kurt wasn’t sure if he would ever feel human again.

“Sort of, I guess. But probably not the way you think.”

Burt hummed.

“It seems I'm not the only out gay kid at McKinley anymore.”

“Yeah. Finn told me about the new kid. Impressive game last night.”

Kurt huffed a humorless laugh. Of course his dad knew about Blaine’s football prowess.

“You have something going on with this kid?”

“No. Oh god no Dad.” Kurt flapped his hands in the air. “He’s - annoying.”

Burt laughed. “Finn said he was a bit of a showboat.”

“Yeah he’s just good at everything. He doesn't even have to work for it, I mean he came in and like, everyone loved him Dad. The football team is winning, he's getting all the leads in glee, he's definitely going to get the lead in the musical. It's like suddenly I’ve disappeared. I've worked so hard to be accepted, and to get what I wanted,and now it's all just back to square one.”

“I'm sure it's not as bad as all that Kurt.” Burt rubbed a broad hand over his face. “Your school applications are all in, you’ll get auditions for your programs -”

Kurt sat up, his legs swinging around as he leaned forward. Now that he was talking he just wanted to get it all out.

“It is, it's that bad.” Kurt propped his elbows on his knees, burying his face in his hands. “And NYADA is not a guarantee. Without the musical I have no idea if they’ll even get back to me.”

Blaine’s arrival at McKinley had upset Kurt and his expectations for his senior year, but now - raw from the hangover and alone with his dad, all of the uncertainty he’d been feeling all year came bubbling to the top and he was frustratingly aware of how completely changed everything felt.

Burt started to object, but Kurt cut him off.

“But the worst part, Dad? The worst part is that no one cares that he’s gay. I mean, I should be happy about that, right? I should be happy that everyone has evolved to the point where they just treat him like a person, and who and how he loves someone shouldn’t matter, right?”

Burt sighed, but answered slowly. “Yes, you should. But Kurt - ”

“I mean, no one’s thrown a slushie at him, or tossed him in a dumpster, or even shoved him against a locker. Not that I’ve seen anyway. And there’s this kid, at school -” Kurt stopped and looked at his dad, “I’ve always wondered, you know, if he might be, well, like me -”

“You mean gay?”

Kurt nodded. “But it’s not, I wouldn’t do that to someone - ask them - if they weren’t ready.”

Burt indicated for Kurt to go on.

“But all Blaine had to do was show up, and this kid - he started following him around like a puppy. And last night - well, let’s just say he’s not in the closet any more.” Kurt tried to sound sardonic, but he could hear the cracks in his own voice. His dad chuckled, but there was no humor in it.

“I don’t know if I’m following Kurt. Did you like this boy?”

Kurt shook his head. “No, not like that.” Kurt hugged himself, sitting back against the couch. “But, why not me? It’s not like I could hide from anyone, even when I wanted to. Why couldn’t he have come forward some other time, been my friend?”

For a moment neither of them said anything, then Burt got up from his chair and sat next to Kurt, wrapping him up in one arm.

“Kurt, I am so sorry for the things that you went through, and for not knowing what to do about them sooner. I wish things - no, I wish I had been different.” Kurt tried to object, but Burt shushed him. “No let me finish. As the parent I should have been able to figure it out sooner. No one should have to go through what you went through, and I do believe in my heart - if not my head, that the world is becoming a better and more accepting place. Whether it always wants to or not. But one thing I do know, Kurt, is that you can’t blame yourself for any of those things. You can only be yourself, all of yourself. And I think you are.”

Kurt laughed and willed himself not to cry, but wiped a sleeve across his eyes anyway. “It’s just - it would have been nice to know there was someone else. You know?”

Burt nodded, hugging Kurt tighter. “Yeah, I know son. But I’m proud of you.”

-

Kurt spent the rest of the weekend sleeping and doing his homework, and didn’t think much about what to expect when he got to school on Monday. If he had he might have been more prepared for it.

He met up with the girls in the parking lot, even Quinn - who had little to say about what she’d got up to with Puck at the party, but only smiled coyly at Kurt when he asked.

When they rounded the corner to head to class, they saw a crowd gathered around one of the lockers.

“It’s a little early for drama,” Santana said. “But who am I to question it?”

As they got closer the crowd parted a little, and they could all see, spray painted in huge black letters across a few of the lockers, F-A-G. Kurt choked back a noise that threatened to bubble out of his throat, and he could see various people looking at him as he stared.

“Whose locker is this?” Quinn demanded of the crowd.

Kurt swallowed. “It’s Beckham’s.” The girls all looked at him, but the crowd parted from the other side, and Blaine, Tina and Mike came through.

“Oh my god.” It was Tina. “Where’s Beck? Has anyone seen him?” She looked around at the crowd, and Kurt could see her start to panic. Someone said they thought he was in the office, and Tina took off in that direction, Mike on her heels.

Kurt watched Blaine, who was still staring silently at the defaced locker. After a few long seconds Blaine turned to follow Tina and Mike, brushing past Kurt as he did.

“All we did was make out at a party,” he sobbed out, so quietly Kurt was sure he was the only one who heard.

-

By the time glee club met that afternoon the news was all over the school.

“Beck’s parents pulled him out of McKinley,” Quinn whispered to him once they were sitting. “It seems his parents weren't entirely in the dark about his orientation and they've already petitioned the school board to let them home school him for the few remaining credits he needs to graduate. Turns out they'd been preparing in case something like this happened.”

Santana leaned forward, “Apparently he told his parents about all the shitty things that happened to you freshman year.” Without looking she locked her pinky with Brittany’s. “I guess some people were paying attention after all Kurt,” she said quietly.

Kurt bit his lip, hard, to keep from bursting into tears right there in class.

The class bustled in, and Kurt noticed Blaine looked a little unsteady, but he took his place next to Tina on the risers like he did every class. Mr. Schuester followed them in.

“Alright everyone, I know today has been a difficult one for a lot of people, but we need to get started on a few things. Sectionals is coming up in only a couple of weeks, and we need to cast the musical so we can get started on rehearsals.

“I was thinking we could start auditions for the musical today, so I can post the cast by the end of the week. Anyone without a prominent spot in the musical will be featured in our sectionals performance. How does that sound.”

From the murmured sounds that erupted from the group it sounded like everyone agreed that it would be a more fair opportunity for everyone than they were used to having.

“Mr. Schue,” Rachel interrupted. “I do believe that with my particular level of commitment to performance I could easily handle a major part in the musical as well as my usual place as the lead vocalist for -”

“I’ll stop you right there Rachel. We have more than enough talent for everyone to have a place right now, and I have no doubt that we will get through sectionals, no matter how the class splits its vocal duties. So why don’t you just wait until we get through rehearsals and I make some decisions about the casting before you start to petition me to make changes.” He paused, and the rumbling started up again. “That goes for everyone here.”

Rachel sat back and made a motion to zip her lips, and everyone quieted down.

Mr. Schuester drew their names out of a hat and they all auditioned at random. Kurt paid less attention to the girls as they went on, since he wasn’t in competition for them for roles, but perked up when they boys were performing.

For his own audition he’d chosen “What I Did For Love,” since Mr. Schuester had given up trying to dissuade him from singing songs written for girls early within his first six months in glee club. When Blaine, his eyes red-rimmed and blood-shot, auditioned with “Not While I’m Around” Kurt had to give him props for melodrama while trying not to blame him for what happened to Beckham. It wasn’t easy.

Beckham hadn’t been part of any popular crowds, so the only kids who were still affected by his loss were his close friends (Tina was still upset by the whole situation), so when news that there would be recruiters from some major college football teams coming to watch the team play on Friday pushed the excited uproar about his removal from school faded away. Even the posting of the cast for the musical was really only of interest to those who might get a part.

When the cast notice was posted Friday afternoon during lunch, everyone involved crowded around the board outside the choir room. Blaine, not surprisingly, was cast as the lead, and bashfully accepted congratulations from his friends in the group.

Kurt, also not surprisingly but disappointingly nonetheless, was cast as Mr. MacAfee. Santana as Rosie, Rachel as Kim, and Puck and Finn trading off the role of Conrad Birdie completed the cast. Kurt was relieved to see Mercedes cast as Mrs. MacAfee, since they generally got along and it would make the entire experience somewhat easier to bear. He grabbed her as the crowd broke up to commiserate.

“I am delighted to be your husband for this event, Miss Jones,” he teased. “I have to imagine you’re as disappointed as I am to not have a bigger role.”

Mercedes chuckled. “Well, I had a talk with Mr. Schue earlier in the week. He promised that I would get a lead at Sectionals, and some input into the song selection, so I’m willing to let it slide for now.”

“I wonder if I should go talk to him,” Kurt mused. “Get ahead of the crowd.”

“It couldn’t hurt,” Mercedes said. “But I’ll be doing a solo, so don’t even think about challenging me on that.”

Kurt held up his hands in mock protest. “I would never.”

-

Kurt Hummel was nothing if not determined, despite whatever setbacks might come his way, so if his only opportunity to shine was going to be as the campy comic relief, then he was going to be the campiest, most comic relief that anyone had ever seen.

He was still contemplating the potential things he could do in the role, what he might be able to expand or adapt, when he found himself more or less alone with Blaine Anderson in the locker room after the game that night.

“You should give up the lead in the musical,” Kurt said it to his locker, but there was no one else he could have been speaking to.

Blaine turned from his own locker, looking at Kurt as if he’d grown a second head. “Why on earth would I do that?”

“If you’re getting a football scholarship then I don’t understand why you have to take my arts scholarship too. It’s greedy.”

Blaine rolled his eyes and went back to taking his clothes off. Kurt absolutely did not sneak a sideways glance when Blaine took off his shirt

“I am definitely not getting a football scholarship, Kurt,” he said quietly.

“What are you talking about? All those scouts are here for you? And from what I hear through the grapevine there will be more next week! Why else would they be here if not to offer you a scholarship?” He went back to his locker.

Kurt could see Blaine walk toward him, stopping just a few feet away. “Look at me.”

“What?” Kurt’s skin went hot.

“Look at me, Kurt.”

Kurt did not want to look at Blaine. He knew Blaine was stripped down to his football undergarments, and he also knew what Blaine looked like with his pants (mostly) off. He centered himself, and turned towards Blaine, but let his gaze drift over his shoulder. Blaine was shorter than he was, so it wasn’t hard.

At me, Kurt.” Kurt did. A sweep from head to toe and back, but he landed on his (so, so amber) eyes.

“I will never get a football scholarship. I am too small to play professional football. Hell, I’m too small to play college football most places. Also? I don’t want to play football. I don’t like it, I’m good at it. There’s a difference between those two things.”

“Oh poor you. So good at everything you do.” Kurt was beyond frustrated, and he couldn’t keep it out of his next question. “So what are you doing here?”

“Well, believe it or not, this strangely typical midwestern high school has apparently developed quite the reputation for the arts and as a breeding ground for talented kids. And my father was not happy with my declaration that I would not be going to school to be a lawyer, and that I planned to pursue performing arts. As a compromise, he agreed to help pay for my education only if I was accepted into a short list of elite programs, and this seemed like the best place for me to be so I could make that happen.”

Kurt scoffed. “What about your fancy prep school?”

Blaine held his hands out, an appeal for belief. “Nope. Academics, yes, and they had a decent glee club there. But it was stuffy and not very challenging and wasn’t going to get me noticed, even as the lead vocalist.” Kurt rolled his eyes, Blaine was insufferable. “Nope, it’s true. When the McKinley athletic department found out I was interested they bent over backwards to get me to come here.” Blaine put his hands on his hips. “They just want to use me to help get some of the other kids scholarships. I’m letting them.”

“It’s not fair.” Kurt shook his head and turned away.

“What’s not fair about it? I’ve worked just as hard as you have.”

Kurt spun and looked at him. “You have no idea what I’ve had to go through to make it out of here alive! What this school was like? The bullying, the threats, the general hatred and disinterest from people who should have been able to help me. And you just waltz in, Mr. Fucking Perfect at everything, and ruin all of it for everyone else. My god, Beckham wasn’t even out, and look what happened to him. Do you even care?”

Blaine took a step closer so fast Kurt flinched, eyes flashing.

“You don’t know me, Kurt. You have no idea what I care about.” Blaine took two steps back, then turned and went back to his locker, grabbing a towel from inside before storming off to the showers.

Chapter Text

Kurt did his best to avoid talking to Blaine after their confrontation in the locker room.

Football season was over two weeks later anyway, so there were fewer run-ins in said locker room to try and avoid.

Of course dodging him altogether was impossible, with rehearsals for sectionals and the musical starting up in earnest. But those were both group events, and Kurt could be a professional. In fact it would be excellent practice for when he was a working actor. After all, there was no guarantee you would always get along with everyone in the cast of a show. Kurt convinced himself that he was even looking forward to the challenge.

But he couldn't let it go altogether, so he wrote out a card for Beckham.

“I hope this isn’t too weird,” he said to Tina, approaching her in the cafeteria one afternoon. “I know we were never really friends, but if he wants to talk, or anything, I’m available.”

Tina took the card, but looked at Kurt warily. Kurt smiled a thank you and went off to join the other Cheerios at their regular table.

Kurt was more shocked than he thought he’d be, and definitely pleased, when he got a text from Beckham two days later asking Kurt to meet him at the local coffee shop. Claiming he had to be home early for a family dinner that day, Kurt ditched the girls after rehearsal and went to the Lima Bean to meet Beckham.

When he arrived, Beckham was sitting at a corner table far from the door. Kurt was suddenly less confident about this. DId he really have anything helpful to say? Would Beckham even care? Kurt steeled himself and joined Beckham at his table. They exchanged somewhat awkward hellos, and Kurt went to the counter to get coffee for both of them.

Once they were settled with coffee and a cheesecake brownie between them, Kurt broke the delicate silence.

“I’m really sorry, Beck, about what happened to you. It shouldn’t happen to anyone. Not like that.”

Beckham’s cheek twitched. “Thanks.”

He didn’t say anything after that, so Kurt continued. “How are you doing?” It was the most open ended question he could think of. He didn’t want to push too hard.

“I’m good.” Beckham fiddled with his cup. “I really just wanted to tell you that I appreciated your note, and that I’m fine. Um, my parents are being very cool, so that makes it easier, I guess.”

“That’s great. I know the fact that my dad was so amazing when I came out made a huge difference for me. It really helps having the support at home, because you can’t count on it anywhere else.”

Beckham laughed, a little painfully, Kurt thought.

They chatted for a while, discussing college applications, hopes for landing somewhere more accepting, and how Beckham felt about finishing school at home. They’d been talking almost an hour, and they both needed to get home for dinner, when Beckham cleared his throat uncomfortably. Kurt sat back in his seat.

“Kurt, can I, um, tell you one last thing?” Beckham scratched his head. “I just - I don’t want you to blame Blaine for what happened to me. I mean, how it happened. He told me you kind of, well - yelled at him.”

Kurt froze, but tried to keep his face neutral. “He told you that?”

Beckham shrugged. “We are friends, me and him. I just feel like you should know, it wasn’t his fault. He told me he didn’t think it was a good idea, that he’d had some bad experiences and he wasn’t looking to find a boyfriend, even after I told him I was interested.”

Kurt wasn’t sure how much of this he wanted to know, but he sat quietly while Beckham went on.

 

“At the party I just had too much to drink, and I just wanted to kiss him, you know?” Kurt bit his tongue, hard. “If he hadn’t been drinking too I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have let me.”

Beckham sat expectantly, but Kurt didn’t say anything for a minute. He was trying very hard not to get caught up in wondering what the ‘bad experiences’ Blaine had been referring to might be. Had he been a bad experience?

Kurt tried to avoid thinking of that night pretty much all the time (because who was he kidding, he was a still-horny teenager and wanted to think about it pretty much all the time). Had it been bad? Kurt knew it had been a mistake, for himself, to lose his virginity (whatever that even meant) to a total stranger, but he hadn't thought, at the time, there had been anything inherently bad about it.

Beckham broke the silence as it dragged. “It could have been a lot worse. I saw what you went through freshman year - I still see it sometimes, you know.”

Kurt startled a little. He always assumed no one saw anything. But he supposed he could be honest enough to acknowledge that if another gay kid saw what Kurt had gone through he wouldn't feel terribly safe coming out.

After a little more small talk they finally went their separate ways, and Beckham even asked Kurt if he could call him again if he needed to talk. Kurt of course said yes.

Kurt couldn’t help but wonder, though about what Beckham had said - he didn't want to be one of anyone's bad experiences. And how many was ‘some?’ Blaine seemed to be experienced - at least compared to Kurt's inexperience. Blaine even went to an all boys school - which to Kurt seemed like both a teenage fantasy and nightmare all at once - but he couldn't imagine how there would not be opportunity there that simply didn't exist in his small minded public high school.

-

Before the glee club could get started on rehearsing songs for the musical, they had to finalize their songs for sectionals. Kurt felt it went about as smoothly as usual.

“Mr. Schue I don’t understand why you think I can’t handle a lead solo at sectionals as well as my lead role in the musical,” Rachel trilled. “Any professional singer-slash-actor can certainly handle more than one performance at a time, and I just -”

“Enough Rachel,” Mr. Schuester interrupted. “You’re not getting a solo at sectionals. Mercedes is more than capable of anchoring this performance.” Kurt could tell Rachel wanted to go on by the strained wriggle in her shoulders, but she kept quiet when Mr. Schuester held a hand up to stop her from talking. “Mercedes, have you thought about what you want to sing? A couple of options, maybe?”

“Well Mr. Schue, I would love to sing “Beautiful.” I know we did it before for an assembly, but I’d love to really let loose for a competition.”

“I think that’s a great idea,” Mr. Schuester agreed. “Anyone else have any ideas?”

Everyone shouted stuff at the same time, but eventually they all agreed that it was a good idea to use songs they had in their pocket from past rehearsals. They would open with “Bad Romance,” with Kurt and all the girls but Mercedes on vocals and using the costumes they already had. A costume change would give Mercedes time to come out solo for the start of her song, and the whole glee club could join her for the finish.

For the remaining boys they decided to go with “Whatever Happened to Saturday Night” from Rocky Horror as a final group number. They would need to work out choreography for that one, but it was a lot less pressure than coming up with three brand new performance arrangements from scratch.

“Mr. Schue, if we’re going to use the old Lady Gaga costumes we should probably take a look at what kind of shape they’re in,” Quinn suggested, once everyone was in agreement.

“Great idea. I think they’re still in the storage room behind my office. Kurt? Do you think you can help get them into shape?”

“What? Oh, sure Mr. Schue. Do you think they’ll let me use the sewing machines in the Home Ec room?”

“You sew?” It was Blaine. He’d twisted around to look at Kurt, his eyebrows drawn together in a question.

“You don’t?” Kurt shot back, and Santana cackled next to him. Blaine’s mouth fell open for a second, then he rolled his eyes and turned his back to Kurt.

Mr. Schuester looked confused for a second, then had Blaine, Artie, Puck, Finn and Mike join him in the auditorium to start working on some choreography. Kurt and the girls pulled the costumes out and got to work on them.

-

They breezed through sectionals with a first place win two weeks later, and Kurt had to grudgingly admit to himself that adding Blaine had helped Mike anchor the other boys in the group, and they had performed better at sectionals than they had at any other competition Kurt had been in.

That left just the musical to work on before the end of the semester.

They had broken off into groups after school to work out blocking and choreography, even while they were rehearsing for sectionals, but now they were beginning to layer everyone's vocal performance over that. Kurt only had one song with complicated choreography, so he worked on learning his lines and helping with costuming.

Kurt was in the choir room with Brittany inventorying the men’s pants they had and that they thought they could use convincingly (wool tweed trousers - yes; striped polyester clown pants - no), when Santana and Blaine came through the door, pushing each other playfully and laughing. They’d been spending a lot of time rehearsing together, and Kurt could see Santana was growing fond of him, in her own inappropriate way.

“Can we help you?” Kurt held back an icy glare. He loved Santana but she could be unpredictable.

“Cool your jets, Lady Hummel,” Santana said. “Schue sent us down to see if you'd found any costumes that might fit us yet.” She tugged Brittany up with one hand and pulled her towards the empty office. “So bang on the wall when you’ve got something,” she said, as the door clicked shut behind her.

Blaine looked up from where he was poking at a pile of shirts Kurt had laid out over the piano.

“Mr. Schue said we might need to bring stuff from home if there wasn’t anything that would work.” Blaine paused, looking at the various piles of clothes around the room. “I didn't realize you were into this stuff Kurt. I’ve rarely seen you out of your uniform.” Then Blaine turned, and caught his eye, and winked.

Kurt’s eyes went wide and he had to forcibly keep his jaw from dropping. He looked down at his uniform. Sue required them to wear it any time the Cheerios were in season, and even though he did not participate on the basketball cheer squad, he was a team leader so he was required to wear his uniform anyway.

“I am required to wear my uniform, but I can assure you I have a closet full of highly fashionable habiliments at home.”

Blaine turned to face Kurt, leaning his ass that Kurt had definitely not been staring at against the piano.

“You know Kurt, don’t you think it’s about time we bury whatever hatchet there is -”

Blaine’s mouth snapped shut when Santana and Brittany tumbled back out through the door to Mr. Schuester’s office, giggling.

“I hope we didn’t interrupt you explaining the birds and bees to young Master Hobbit here, Hummel-fairy.”

Kurt rolled his eyes. They were friends but sometimes she just couldn’t help herself, and he knew it. The only way to manage her was to give it back, just as crudely.

“Maybe the two of you could just give us a demonstration,” Kurt proposed, his hands snapping to his hips. Kurt watched Blaine’s expression move from embarrassed to annoyed to horrified.

 

Santana smirked, looking between the two of them as if she’d just cornered dinner.

“I’d be happy to, but I don’t think we’ve got the right parts.” She took a few steps closer to Blaine, then grabbed his ass. “But if you want I can show you where everything’s supposed to go.”

“I, no, no thanks. I don’t need anyone to demonstrate anything, thanks Santana,” Blaine protested, squirming away from her. He shook his head, as if removing the last 10 minutes from his brain. “I’ll see you guys tomorrow,” he said, scuttling out of the choir room.

Santana snapped her fingers, squinting at Kurt. “I like him.”

Kurt exhaled loudly and went back to sorting the costumes. “I think you just scarred him for life.”

“You did have your claws out Santana. You might have drawn blood,” Brittany said.

“Nah,” Santana said, smiling at Brittany before looking out the door Blaine had escaped through. “We’re actually getting along great. He works hard, he’s an actually nice guy, as nauseated as it makes me to say it.”

She wandered off to look at her reflection in the office window, fixing her ponytail and adjusting her bra straps as she went on.

“Honestly, I don’t know how you two got off on the wrong foot so fast. In another universe you’d be sharing awkward gay firsts in the back seat of that ugly hybrid he drives.”

Kurt’s spine locked and he shot a glance at Brittany - who was looking at her phone and not paying any attention to him or to Santana. “Why on earth would you say something like that?”

Santana eyed him suspiciously through the reflection.

“What aren’t you telling me Hummel?” She turned around. “Please don’t tell me all this hate you’ve got going on for the short-stack is just masking a secret passion you’re both too frightened to admit to, because that would be entirely too perfect. And utterly cliched.” Her eyes narrowed as she stared at him.

If Kurt was capable of anything, it was hiding how he really felt about anything, and anyone. Even if they were stupidly attractive. And he didn’t even like Blaine. He set his jaw and stared right back. “He stole my lead solo and my lead role,” he bit out. And everyone who hated me loves him. “The hate is real enough Santana.”

-

By the time the date of the final dress rehearsal arrived, everyone was exhausted and ready to perform. They had cobbled together costumes that worked, Rachel had enough spotlight on her to be happy, and no one had tripped or fallen over anyone else in several days.

The year before, Mr. Schuester had set up a video camera to record the final dress, so that they all could watch together and make further tweaks before the curtain went up two nights later, and he did the same this year. As disappointed as he was to not have a bigger role, he was proud of what he’d managed to do with what he had, and he felt he’d honed his comedy chops in the role well enough. After all, it could never hurt to have another weapon in your acting arsenal.

They all gathered in the choir room, where a big screen had been set up for them to watch the video. Kurt was surprised when Blaine took a seat behind him, instead of the front row with Rachel where he usually sat, but he shrugged it off. When Quinn and the girls came in Quinn took her spot to one side of Kurt, but Santana and Brittany climbed one extra row and sat with Blaine. Quinn looked over her shoulder and raised an eyebrow.

“What? I thought I’d mix it up a little,” Santana hedged.

Blaine leaned over closer to Quinn, and his hand gripped the back of Kurt’s chair. “We’ve got a lot of scenes together so we wanted to be able to comment if necessary.”

“We have a lot of scenes too,” Quinn said to Blaine. She hadn’t cared whether or not she had a song for the musical, so had happily taken the role of Albert’s mother.

“Do you want to sit over here?” Blaine asked, patting the chair on the other side of him. Kurt leveled his iciest bitch-glare at Quinn.

Not at all,” she said sweetly. “Just let me know if you have any notes for me too. We can compare after.” Kurt squeezed her knee in thanks.

Kurt was surprised at how good they all looked. Of course it was poorly recorded, and looked like a high school production, but they could really sing, and some of them could even act.

They all commented throughout, some loudly, some to the person sitting next to them, and some just to themselves. Kurt hadn’t been sure, but he’d thought he’d heard laughing during his scenes, which he supposed was a good thing, since he had dialed up the camp to eleven.

When Kurt’s big number came up, he tried to watch critically. They had to change the key, because there was no way his countertenor was going to be able to sing the baritone called for in the role, but it was working. He and Mercedes danced around each other without missing too many steps, and Artie as Kim’s younger brother did a serviceable job.

And he definitely heard laughing behind him

He was about to turn around and glare when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He could feel Blaine’s breath across his ear before he spoke. His nose bumped against Kurt’s temple.

“Kurt you are hilarious,” he whispered. “Your timing is amazing!”

Kurt leaned back too fast, his nose bumping Blaine’s, and he felt Blaine suck in a sharp breath as he pulled back.

“I’m sorry, sorry” Blaine whispered. Even in the dark Kurt could see a shadow cross Blaine’s face, his eyes wide and nervous.

Kurt shook his head. “No, it’s okay,” Kurt whispered. “And thanks.”

Kurt turned to face the screen again. He did not need to be having any kind of thoughts about Blaine Anderson.

-

All four performances went off without a hitch, surprising everyone. Well, Kurt did find Quinn making out rather intensely with Puck in a deserted supply room, celebrating together after their last performance. Puck just punched Kurt on the shoulder with an unconcerned ‘s’up’ as he walked out, leaving Quinn and Kurt alone in the closet. Kurt shut the door, cornering her.

“Oh my god Quinn, what are you thinking?” He kept his voice to a whisper; the last thing he wanted was for anyone to hear.

Quinn gave him a soft smile. “Oh don’t worry Kurt.”

Kurt stared at her, blinking repeatedly and throwing his arms up in surrender. “Do you not remember what happened to you last time you got involved with him? I mean, yeah, he can be charming when he’s not being an utterly, utterly selfish sleazeball.” Kurt shook his head sharply.

“I’m sure I remember being pregnant, Kurt,” Quinn snapped.

Kurt was about to open his mouth but shut it when he saw the angry hurt in her eyes, and his own shock at seeing her with Puck waned slightly. He considered his next words carefully.

“Okay, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said it like that” he apologized, edging away from his shocked reaction. “But Quinn, are you really sure this is a good idea?” It was hard for him to fathom. They were so close to getting out of Ohio, out of Lima. The thought that she would get involved with Puck again at this point confused him.

Quinn shrugged. “I’m not that same girl anymore Kurt. And I think I just decided that it was okay to have something for me.” She sighed. “Not every relationship has to be forever, and I’m okay with letting this be what it is, just for now.” Quinn smiled and squeezed his arm. “Now come on, we need to get to the party before everyone thinks there’s something going on between us.”

By the time they made it back to the choir room, half the cast had stripped out of their costumes, there were pizza boxes everywhere, and Puck was spraying Mike and Blaine with non-alcoholic champagne.

Kurt watched Blaine as he pulled a slice of pizza out of a random box. He was wearing sweats and a tank top with his hair still styled like the character he'd been playing for the past few days, and Kurt could feel his skin heat up. He thought about what Quinn had said, and wondered if maybe, just for a little while, he could stop worrying so much and just enjoy the moment.

“Hey,” Blaine appeared at his elbow, a paper plate with a slice of pizza in each hand. “Pizza?”

Blaine’s shirt was soaked, and he smelled a lot like apple cider. He had a hopeful expression on his face, like he was worried Kurt would say no to pizza.

“Sure,” Kurt said, trying to return the sentiment and look pleased as he took the offered slice. He was happy to have the offer. He just wasn’t entirely sure he knew how to convey that to someone. “Who doesn’t like pizza?”

Blaine bit his bottom lip, but his smile dialed up a notch. “Great.”

They chewed in silence for a while, watching their friends enjoy themselves.

“So, uh, Kurt,” Blaine started. “What are your plans for the rest of the semester?”

Kurt shrugged. “Study for finals, any extra credit I can get.”

“Ah yes. Have to maintain that GPA.”

Kurt shot him a glance, wondering if Blaine was mocking him. The grimace on Blaine’s face suggested that maybe he was mocking himself a little bit. Kurt flashed back to what Blaine had said about his parents being able but not entirely willing to pay for him to study performing.

“Well, not all of us get to be so sure our talent will be recognized.” Kurt knew it sounded bitter, and he almost regretted saying it when he saw Blaine’s startled expression.

“Kurt, I -”

“No, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said it like that.” He wondered if every conversation they had would be awkward. “You are, um, very talented. I’m sure you’ll have a lot of options.”

Blaine flushed pink, but Kurt couldn’t tell if it was from embarrassment or something else. “You will too. I don’t know how you couldn’t.”

Kurt laughed, but it wasn’t funny. “Crossing my fingers.”

“Yeah.” Blaine smiled, but looked somewhat crestfallen as he folded his plate in half. “I guess I’ll see you in class. Good luck on your finals.”

Kurt watched as Blaine gathered his book bag and random items of clothing from around the room, saying goodbye to everyone along the way. Kurt knew why he was so prickly around people, and it had served him well, had made it possible to get through high school. For the first time, though, Kurt wondered if it might be okay if he started to smooth out some edges.

Chapter Text

Kurt had always expected that by the time he reached his final semester of high school the pressure that he’d felt for four years would have fizzled out. The pressure he’d put on himself to be better, to rise above everyone’s expectations, the pressure to get everything right all the time, to take away any ammunition that could be used against him.

After all, his college applications were in, he’d sent out his audition videos (except NYADA, of course, they would require an in-person audition) and he was still in the lead for valedictorian. That should mean he should be able to coast through one semester.

It didn’t.

The glee club had a real chance of winning nationals this year, but they had to get through regionals first, and spring cheer competitions were going to start up in March and Coach Sue wouldn’t accept anything less than a first place finish. On top of that, there was no way he was going to let Blaine the Usurper take his valedictorian crown. He might be smart, and a little hot, but he was also the enemy, And he was a transfer student for pete’s sake.

So when school started back up after the holidays Kurt was outside the guidance counselor’s office checking the rankings. Kurt was still at the top of the class with a 4.21 GPA.

Blaine, however, had overtaken Harriet Gomez, and was now in second place behind Kurt. With a 4.13 GPA Blaine was poised to take the lead any time Kurt stumbled. He couldn’t let it happen. Kurt examined the rest of the standings, to make sure there weren’t any likely dark horse threats (there weren’t).

“Kurt, I’m so happy I found you.” It was Rachel.

Kurt sighed and turned to look at her. “It’s a Monday Rachel, where else would I be?”

She kept going without acknowledging his obviously rhetorical question.

“Blaine and I both received our invitations to audition for NYADA on Saturday and I thought we should all discuss carpooling together since they are holding them for all invitees on the Ohio State campus in Columbus and it just makes sense for all of us to go together.” Kurt barely heard what she said after “invitations.”

He turned away. “I didn’t get one.”

It was distressing. It was unheard of that they would audition three students from the same program and his chances had materially diminished when Blaine arrived. He had to face the fact that an audition appointment might not come at all. “I guess you’re on your own.”

“What? That’s ridiculous Kurt, you have very unique talents, and I’m sure that when the dean of admissions hears you they’ll -”

“Stop Rachel. Please.” Kurt tried not to glare, but her whole demeanor was provoking him. “I’ll let you know if an invite comes. If not you two crooners are on your own.” Kurt spun and walked away from her and toward his next class.

“I am not a crooner, Kurt!” He didn’t have to turn around to know she was stomping her foot.

-

Kurt managed to slip into his chair in home room with plenty of time to spare. Quinn was already there, Cheerios uniform on.

“Did you have a nice trip to Chicago with your parents?” Kurt asked her.

Quinn huffed a frown. “Delightful. My father found out I’ve been seeing Puckerman again and took away the keys to my car.”

Kurt’s eyes went wide, and he was about to disparage Mr. Fabray with the full muscle of his well-honed snark, but Blaine came rushing into the classroom just as the bell rang. Kurt’s eyes stayed wide.

In the months since football season ended Kurt had noticed a subtle change in Blaine’s personal style. (He hadn’t been looking, it had just been so obvious.) His jeans had become more well fitted (okay, tighter), the McKinley football t-shirts had been replaced with crisp polo shirts (that may have pulled teasingly across his shoulders. No - wait). The trendy sneakers had been replaced by top siders and loafers. The tidy curls were being tamed by some actual hair product.

But today, the first day of the last semester of high school, Blaine Anderson was wearing snug raspberry colored chinos, a vertically striped polo with a bow tie and two-tone oxford shoes that matched colors of the stripes on his shirt. Kurt had to bite his tongue to keep his jaw from dropping as he watched Blaine take the open seat at the front of the class.

“See something you like?” Quinn whispered.

Kurt hoped his feigned recoil was convincing; he did not need this from Quinn. “Good lord no. I was just wondering what kind of monster would pair that shirt with those pants.” Kurt shook his head. Obviously one with a ridiculously tiny waist. How had he never noticed that before?

On top of that, the glee club still had regionals to prepare for, and unlike their sectionals competition there was nothing like the musical to distract half of the group from wanting a lead. When Kurt arrived to class at the end of the day Mr. Schuester was already trying to reign them in.

“Okay guys, we need to decide on a theme for our performance before we start song selection. Who has something they’d like to suggest?”

Blaine raised his hand. “It’s near Valentine’s Day, we could do love songs.”

A few of the girls responded with positive noises, but overall no one really liked that idea. Kurt didn’t think it was so bad.

“That’s lame,” Puck said, voicing the more popular reaction. “Unless you had some dude you wanted to serenade. Then we’d totally have your back, man.”

Blaine turned to look at Puck, eyes wide in horror. “No. No, that’s not something I think I would want your help with.”

Puck shrugged. “Your loss bro.”

-

It turned out that this year regionals was taking place at Dalton Academy, Blaine’s former high school. Kurt thought it was funny that they had never competed against Dalton before, but here they were going up against them for the first time, after Blaine had transferred to McKinley. It was probably a coincidence.

When they pulled up in their bus the first thing they saw was a giant banner stating “Welcome 2013 Midwest Regionals Finalists: McKinley High School New Directions and the Western Illinois Prep Spinal Chords!” They were led to a tidy room full of soft furniture and dark wood. It had a minimum of refreshments; bottled water and some snacks were laid out along a sideboard. It was pretty nice.

“You went to school here, Hobbit?” Santana asked, flopping down on one of the oversized couches.

Blaine grimaced, but Kurt couldn’t tell if it was because of Santana’s question, or because she put her feet up on the arm of the couch.

“I did,” Blaine answered. “Right up until the beginning of this year.”

Kurt thought about what Blaine had told him months before, about Dalton’s glee club - that they weren’t good enough to get Blaine a scholarship, and he wondered how much competition they would actually be. Blaine had been confident during rehearsals, practically assuring everyone that while the Warblers were good, they weren’t quite up to what Blaine had seen from the New Directions this year. But Kurt knew that competitions were never as simple as just talent.

Mr. Schuester came and gathered the boys, leading them to the lounge that was serving as their changing area, while the girls changed in their waiting room. Kurt and Blaine were the last two dressed, and on the way back they passed a group of boys in navy school uniforms, looking like entitled rich kids. Kurt assumed these boys were Warblers.

“Hey killer, why don’t you return my calls?” Kurt stopped to look at the speaker, and to see who he was talking to. Blaine’s face had turned red and he turned to face the boy, who was skinny and had too much hair. “At least public school hasn’t ruined that fine ass.”

“Oh my god, Sebastian.” Blaine’s eyes went wide, and Kurt stopped, arms crossing over his chest. He wasn’t sure if he should stay with Blaine or leave. They weren’t friends but he was willing to stand up for him. For McKinley pride if nothing else.

Sebastian was eyeing Kurt. “I don’t know why you left if this is the best public school has to offer, I mean he’s not even - ”

Kurt took a step forward, he might not look like much, but he had the upper body strength of someone who threw humans into the air on a regular basis. Blaine stepped in front of him, putting a hand on Kurt’s arm as if to stop him from whatever he was going to do.

“Hey, guys, come on.” Finn came walking toward them. “We need to get ready.”

Sebastian laughed, glancing at all of them. “Maybe I’ll see you later, Blaine.”

“I - no. You won’t.” Blaine turned, pulling Kurt by the elbow toward Finn. Kurt was shocked enough by Blaine grabbing him that it took him a minute to form a retort.

“Not on good terms with your ex?”

Blaine looked at him, mouth open. “He’s not, it wasn’t like that. He’s not an ex.”

Kurt turned to watch Sebastian walk the opposite way down the hall. “Well if you’re still dating him you might want to take a good look at your relationship, because that guy - ”

“I’m not dating him, Kurt. He wasn’t my boyfriend.”

“Then what was he - ” They got to the door before he could finish his questions, and Blaine shot him a look that clearly said stop talking. Kurt stopped. He wasn’t even sure why he was pushing it. It was none of his business if this boy was Blaine’s ex boyfriend. None at all. He followed Blaine into their waiting area and joined the rest of the group getting ready for the performance.

They easily beat the competition with an inspired selection of Michael Jackson songs. Blaine’s lead on “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” had the entire auditorium on their feet, cheering and dancing, and they even flawlessly managed a costume change for the big finale. When the judge announced them as the winner they all jumped and hugged and cheered, just as they always did. Kurt was high-fiving and hugging randomly; Santana, Quinn, Brittany, and even Rachel threw themselves into his arms.

Kurt turned around in the crowd as they celebrated, and found himself wrapped in Blaine’s arms. Kurt returned the gesture before he even realized it was happening and he could feel Blaine sag into his body, as if he forgot where he was and who he was with, before quickly giving Kurt a squeeze and releasing him to move on to the next person.

Kurt stared at the back of Blaine’s head for a moment, but was snapped back into the moment by FInn’s arm around his shoulder. Kurt shook it off, it didn’t mean anything.

Once they had all made it back to the bus for the ride back to Lima, Kurt let himself think about what had happened. He convinced himself it was nothing, they were teammates and they had won a competition, and even if they were favorites to win it was still nice to be recognized. So they hugged. He hugged all of his teammates after a win.

WHen Kurt climbed on the bus he found Quinn and Puck had managed to claim the last row, with Brit and Santana in the row in front of them. The other glee couples had also paired off and overhead lights were snapping off even as he walked down the aisle. Kurt wasn't entirely sure that he'd enjoy making out with someone while listening to other couples make out too.

“That's all vaguely repulsive,” Kurt said, taking the empty seat next to Mercedes.

“Do not tell me that if you had someone to make out with on this miserable ride that you'd be sitting here next to me.”

Kurt laughed. “Maybe, but that's never going to happen in this crowd.” Kurt hadn't noticed Blaine sitting across the aisle, one row in front of him and Mercedes. Blaine turned around as Kurt spoke, staring at him just a second too long.

Kurt wasn’t really in the mood for a confrontation, so he just looked away without trying to start anything. He could find plenty to talk to Mercedes about on the trip home.

-

To Kurt’s relief, his invitation to audition for NYADA had arrived not long after Rachel had accosted him in the hall on the first day of the semester, and just a week after regionals he wound up driving a very chatty Rachel and a much less chatty Blaine to Columbus so they could sing for their prospective futures.

Kurt insisted they stop for coffee before they got on the road, to which Blaine had eagerly agreed. Rachel ordered tea with honey, causing Kurt to pause a little when he looked at his morning mocha as he picked it up from the counter. Blaine caught him hesitating.

“Change your mind?” Blaine took a long sip from his own coffee, waiting for Kurt to respond. He really didn’t need Blaine judging him for his coffee order. Or for drinking coffee at all. But Blaine was also drinking coffee.

Kurt frowned. “No. I want my coffee.” He looked at Rachel arguing with the barista about wanting to look at what type of honey she was going to be putting into her tea. Blaine turned to see what Kurt was looking at.

“Ah. Has coffee ever affected your vocal performance in the past?” Kurt shook his head. “What are you drinking?”

“Non-fat mocha,” Kurt answered.

Blaine scrunched up his face. “Well the dairy’s not the best idea, but it’s probably not enough to really do any damage,” Blaine assured him.

Rachel finally finished directing her tea to her specifications and joined them, beaming. “Are we ready?”

Once they were on the road they were all relatively quiet. Rachel wanted to save her voice for the auditions, and Kurt didn’t have all that much to say to either of them, if he was being honest. Blaine dozed in the back seat most of the way.

-

“I cannot believe I choked!” Rachel wailed in the passenger seat.

“You didn’t really choke, Rachel. You got through it all eventually,” Blaine tried to reassure her, his voice calmly irritating.

Kurt had been stunned when Rachel had forgotten the words to “Don’t Rain On My Parade” just a few bars in, but it had taken him a few minutes to realize what was happening.

The NYADA representative had called them all into the auditorium together, and Blaine had gone first, doing “Something’s Coming” from West Side Story. At first Kurt thought it had been a safe choice, a musical theater staple that they must hear 50 times a year at auditions, and he was underwhelmed. He thought Blaine could do better.

But Blaine was just so charismatic, despite all of his other very irritating qualities (like how could he be so patient with Rachel? She was one of the most annoying people Kurt had to deal with on a regular basis. And that was saying a lot considering how annoying Kurt found most people), that he was swept up in his performance.

Kurt had had to convince himself that he really couldn’t be blamed for finding Blaine attractive, as a performer of course. And Blaine was gay, so he technically wouldn’t mind another guy finding him attractive, right? He had seen Blaine nearly naked, after all, and Blaine hadn’t minded at all at the time. He didn’t really have to like him to find him attractive.

So yeah, Blaine had really killed his NYADA audition, and been entirely dreamy doing it.

That’s why Kurt could be entirely forgiven for not noticing Rachel getting herself into trouble right away. But he did notice when she forgot her lyrics a second time, after she was allowed to restart. Rachel had been singing the song since she was two years old, if her own claims were to be believed. The NYADA rep let her take a 60 second break and a sip of water, and she finally did get all the way through it, but she was clearly shaken at the beginning.

“What if I don’t get in? Where will I go to school? How will I get to New York and conquer Broadway?” Blaine was spending a lot of time trying to console her from the back seat. “I had planned to win a Tony by the time I was twenty-four Blaine!” She was practically shrieking.

“Where else did you apply Rachel? You're very talented and I'm sure there is a program that will work out.”

Rachel twisted in her seat so she could talk to Blaine directly, thank god. Kurt didn’t need to be involved in this.

“Nowhere else, Blaine. NYADA is the best place for me and it's the only place I'll accept.”

“Oh, wow, well in that case I hope it all works out.” Blaine mumbled a few more reassurances, but Kurt tried not to listen.

In fact, Kurt tried to ignore all of Rachel’s dramatic fussing. He had his own performance and acceptance to worry about.

Wanting to go with something unexpected and leave an impression, Kurt had performed “Not the Boy Next Door,” complete with gold lame pants and ass wiggling for his audition. It had seemed to go over well, but it was a risky choice and there was really no telling how it would fare against the more traditional auditions as they went through all of the applicants once the audition portion was over.

“That was an impressive audition, Kurt,” Blaine said, when Rachel was taking a break from predicting the tragic loss of her future career. Kurt glanced in the rearview mirror - Blaine's eyes were wide and he was focused on Kurt's reflection.

Kurt shrugged. “I was pretty confident going in, but now I'm having second thoughts. It's not an obvious choice. You were good.”

“No, that's why it was so great. Inspired, even.” Blaine was nodding, not taking his eyes off Kurt. Kurt smiled a thanks. “And thank you. I felt good.” Kurt could see him smile in the rear view mirror. It wasn’t the big, light up his face smile he usually offered people, though. This one was smaller. More personal. Kurt had to look away. It’s a good thing he was driving.

Eventually Rachel dozed off, but he and Blaine never really managed to strike up much of a conversation after that. Even so, every time Kurt looked in the rear view mirror he saw Blaine watching him. He always averted his eyes when Kurt caught him.

-

After Kurt dropped Blaine and Rachel off at their houses, he turned the music off to think. He didn’t need to complicate anything about his life right now, and thoughts about Blaine Anderson were not helping. He was less than four months from getting out of Ohio in one more or less sane piece and he did not need some cute guy to charm his way into his life. Where had he been three years ago?

He was supposed to have been a one night stand, for god’s sake.

By the time Kurt got home, dinner was over, so he took an apple up to his room, promising to come back down after a shower and eat more if he was hungry. Right now it wasn’t his stomach that was talking to him.

Kurt stripped, eating his apple in four bites. Leaving the core on his bedside table to deal with later, he stepped into his bathroom (he had insisted when his dad married Carole that he had to have his own bathroom. It was the only demand he made), turning on the shower until it ran warm and steamy, but not scalding.

In the privacy of his own shower, he closed his eyes and could easily see the expression on Blaine's face that night as he undid the buttons on Kurt’s shirt, feel the phantom memory of Blaine's barely there stubble against his cheek and chest. He could see the look on Blaine’s face, hear the tiny, thrilling gasp as he came.

Kurt sucked in a breath, bracing one hand against the tile wall of his shower, and wrapping the other around his cock.

-

The next week was tense for Kurt. His feelings about Blaine were confusing him, and he didn’t really want to unpack any of them. Avoidance was so much easier. He had decided over the weekend that there wasn’t time to know someone, and that was what Kurt wanted. He wanted more than the physical contact (although he definitely wanted that too). Blaine Anderson had fogged up enough of his thoughts.

By Thursday he was ready to break. Some of his classmates had started receiving college acceptance letters, and he had seen on the NYADA boards that they expected letters would go out this week. He didn’t know how accurate it was, but every day waiting he felt more brittle.

Kurt was sitting in the choir room, counting down the minutes until class started (and then he planned to count down the minutes until class ended) when Rachel came bursting into the classroom.

“Blaine! Kurt! Blaine!” She was waving a piece of paper in front of her and his heart sank. “They’re here!! I got in! Did you get your letters yet?” Her eyes were going in four directions at once. She looked like a maniac. “My dad got the mail and drove it right over during last period. Has anyone called you? Did your mail come yet?”

“Chill out Rachel,” Finn stopped her, patting her on the shoulder as he moved past her to sit down. Kurt knew Finn wasn’t that happy about Rachel moving to New York, because he wasn’t going to go with her. “I’m sure they’ll find out when they get home.”

Kurt barely knew what they did in class that day, running out without talking to anyone and driving straight home. He’d have time to get back for Cheerio practice.

He knew there wouldn’t be anyone home to get the mail, so when he pulled into the driveway he jumped out of the car, leaving it running in the driveway as jumped over the four steps and landed on the porch.

 

“Bill, bill, LL Bean catalog - you don’t need any more flannel for god’s sake dad,” Kurt ran down the mail out loud, looking for the envelope that would change his life. “New York Academy of Dramatic Arts. This is a small envelope. ” Shit. He ripped it open.

Dear Mr. Hummel,

Thank you for your interest in the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts. Unfortunately, while your audition showed promise of the kind we might normally be interested in, we had quite a number of talented applicants this year, and you simply did not make the final cut.

While we do not anticipate having a wait list for the upcoming semester, if you would like to reapply and audition again for the spring semester we would welcome the interest. NYADA often accepts students in the spring semester, as it is a competitive program.

Best wishes and good luck in your academic and career pursuits.

Sincerely,

Carmen Tibideaux

NYADA Admissions

Kurt tried not to cry, he really did.

When he was done feeling awful he texted Quinn.

Tell Coach I’m sick. Vomit everywhere. I’ll make it up next week.

Are you sick?

Yeah. Of everything.

Chapter Text

WARNINGS FOR THIS CHAPTER: attempted sexual assault, homophobic slurs

Kurt cut school on Friday too. Rachel had texted him to tell him that Blaine had also been accepted and asking him if he’d gotten a letter. Kurt ignored her.

His family had indulged him, and Finn had even been kind enough not to tell Rachel Kurt had been rejected, until Kurt had decided it would be easier for Finn to do it and then he wouldn’t have to answer any questions on Monday. Kurt turned his phone off completely after her seventh text asking how he was and what was he going to do now.

Monday turned out to be unbearable anyway. He managed to avoid talking to Rachel until glee club, but she went on and on until Kurt had to stop her.

“Rachel. You need to stop. You and Blaine can run off to New York together and be Broadway besties and I will stay here in Lima and become the first flaming midwestern car mechanic of Ohio.” The whole class went silent. “But until then could you keep your thrilling futures to yourselves? Please?” He wasn’t probably being unfair to Blaine. He hadn’t gloated about anything. He hadn’t really said anything at all in fact.

Until now.

“I’m not going to NYADA.”

“What? Rachel told me you got in?”

Rachel chimed in. “Yeah, what?”

“I accepted an offer from Carnegie-Mellon last week. They offered me early admission and a great aid package. NYADA doesn’t do aid at all so it seemed silly to turn it down.” His smile was so fucking pleasant Kurt wanted to punch him in it. “I can’t believe they didn’t accept you Kurt, Your audition was - ”

“What do you mean you’re not going?? You turned them down? You turned down NYADA?”

Blaine looked irritated for a moment, then his smile went back to normal. “That is what I just said.”

“So you fucking took my spot and then aren’t even going to use it?” Kurt was steaming. If he weren’t so against violence he thought he might be able to slap Blaine in that instant.

“Look Kurt, I’m sure there’s a wait list or something. You’ll get in.”

“There’s no wait list Blaine. They were very clear about that.” Kurt stood, towering over Blaine who was still sitting in his seat in the front row. He barely noticed that the class was emptying around him. “God why did you come here?”

Blaine scoffed. “You already know -”

“No, I mean did you come here to mess up my life? Because everything was okay, you know? I was getting by. I was going to make it through, and it was awful a lot of the time, but I had figured out my place here.”

“Kurt - ”

“And now you get into my dream school and I don’t.”

Blaine’s face twisted up in confusion. “Oh my god, you can’t blame that on me. We all auditioned.”

“Yeah, we all auditioned. Three kids from the same program. There was no way they were going to not judge us against each other Blaine, you can’t be that naive.”

“Maybe if you weren’t such a diva and could learn to work with people instead of against them all the time you’d be more successful. But everything has to be you against them.”

“Have you looked around here? Me against everyone is the only way I could get through this. You have no idea - ”

“I have plenty of idea. You just can’t stand thinking that someone else might be just as entitled to something as you are.” Blaine looked around the room, as if just noticing that there was no one left there but them. “We could have been friends Kurt.”

“No we couldn’t, Blaine. You ruined everything.”

-

For the next few weeks Kurt’s schedule was more cheer than glee, and Coach Sue wasn’t about to let him forget it. This worked out well for Kurt, since it meant he could try to put everything else out of his mind. He didn’t need to think about Blaine or Rachel or New York or failure or anything. Sue had them practicing for hours after school, sometimes not letting them quit until dusk. He just wanted to work out until he was exhausted, then go home and push himself to do his homework until he passed out on his books.

It was the last week before the final three-day competition in Terre Haute, and Sue had let the varsity team break early. They had their routine down flawlessly, with some variations in their back pocket once they actually got to the meet and could take a look at what they were up against. The JV team wasn’t quite as polished, and Sue had them out on the field running extra drills.

Kurt wasn’t the only guy on the Cheerios, but the others skipped the locker room and went straight to where their parents were waiting to pick them up. Kurt didn’t like to use the school showers when he didn’t have to, so he went to his locker to pick up his bag. Mrs. Gilchrest had offered up an extra credit project in English that he wanted to work on, and he still had homework to get to before he went to bed.

The locker room was quiet. It was late enough that the after school sports clubs had, for the most part, gone home. Kurt could hear stragglers in the showers, but he didn’t need to know who it was.

He was about to leave when a very large shadow passed across the end of the bench.

“Hummel. What are you doing here?”

It was Dave Karofsky. He had pretty much left Kurt alone since the confrontation earlier in the year, but he, more than any of the other potential dangers, made Kurt nervous. And now Dave was blocking the exit. Kurt could turn and go the other way around, but Dave could easily beat him to the exit from where he was standing. As with every challenge he ever faced, the only way out was through.

“I’m not doing anything, Karofsky,” Kurt managed his best condescension. “I need to get out of this torture chamber and get home and do my homework.” He made a mode to walk by Dave, but Dave shifted so Kurt could not pass him without squeezing his body against him, and that was not happening.

“Why do you have to be here?”

Kurt frowned. “I had practice? Why are you here.”

Dave made a frustrated noise, slamming his hand against a locker. “I mean here, at this school. Being how you are.”

Now Kurt was just confused, but Dave was really being weird and Kurt didn't want to know what was happening. He wanted to leave. “I don't understand what you're talking about. Can you please move so I can get past you?”

Dave didn't move out of the way. Instead he moved closer, his eyes closing and his face contorting into a pained expression, and in one horrible split second Kurt realized what was about to happen. He’s going to kiss me. Kurt coughed out a hoarse no just as Dave grabbed him by the arms and slammed him up against the lockers.

Dazed by the shock of what was happening, it took Kurt a moment to gather his strength and push Dave away, catching him in the groin with an indirect kick. It was enough for him to loosen his grip

“Get the fuck off me!” He shouted pushing hard. Dave didn't fall to the ground, but Kurt did, banging his knee against the bench. “Shit!”

He could see Dave was regrouping, but before he could get closer someone grabbed him from behind, catching Dave off-balance so that he slammed backwards against the lockers opposite.

“What is your problem?” Blaine screamed at him.

Dave said nothing, but started to get up.

“I think the question is what is your problem, tinker bell.” Azimio joined them from out of nowhere.

“Fuck off, Azimio.” Blaine spat. Kurt wasn't sure he had ever heard Blaine swear.

“Oooh, nice language Anderson. And bee tee dubs, where’s that scholarship I was supposed to get, huh?” He pushed at Blaine’s shoulder, but Blaine stood his ground. Dave had stepped back and was leaning against the opposite bank of lockers, eyes flicking between Kurt and the altercation unfolding. “Isn’t that why they brought you here?”

Kurt’s breathing had started to even out, but the adrenaline from Karofsky’s attack was slow to drain. He stayed quiet. He didn't want Blaine to be involved in this at all, but he wasn't stupid enough to tell him to leave. In this moment he was the only backup Kurt had.

“Three of your teammates got offers Azimio, so I guess that means you just weren’t good enough,” Blaine goaded quietly.

Well, that sure wasn't going to help.

“Fuck you you little fag, I’ve been wanting to lay you out all year but everybody told me not to because you had some special fairy dust you were sprinkling all over the field.” Azimio swung at Blaine, but Blaine ducked the first punch and landed one of his own on Azimio’s ribs. Azimio picked himself up, shoving Blaine so hard toward the locker that he tripped backward over the bench and slammed his head against the locker, crumpling into a heap.

That got Kurt moving. “Blaine!”

Kurt fell to his knees and shook him, but Blaine was out cold. He heard Dave and Azimio swear and run out of the locker room, so useless, so Kurt ran out into the hall, shouting until Coach Sue heard him and came running down the hall.

“I thought children were supposed to be seen and not heard. What is your problem Hummel?”

“It’s Blaine. Anderson. He and Azimio got into a fight and he fell against a locker and he’s unconscious.” Kurt led his coach into the locker room.

Kurt could hear Blaine moaning when Sue kneeled to check on him, which at least meant he wasn’t dead.

“Should I call 911?”

Sue breathed out a concerned huff, nodding at Kurt. “It’s probably just a minor concussion, but better to be safe than sorry. Call for an ambulance and then come back here and stay with him so I can call his parents.”

It was almost 10 by the time Kurt got home. He peeled off his uniform, showered and crawled into bed just as his phone dinged with an incoming text. It was Quinn.

We all saw the ambulance Kurt, what the hell happened tonight??

Azimio and Blaine got into a fight in the locker room

Blaine hit his head, maybe a concussion?

They took him to the hospital

I heard both Azimio and Karofsky are being suspended for a week and can’t go to prom

That was fast.

-

The next day at lunch Brittany filled them in on the details.

“Blaine won’t be in school for a week either. He has a concussion and his parents are thinking about suing the school.” It was helpful having someone who worked in the office in his inner circle.

Kurt huffed and sat back in his chair. “Someone’s parents should sue this god forsaken asylum.”

“I don’t think you should be so happy about that. I heard Coach offer to make him valedictorian if they didn’t.”

What?” What happened to Blaine was terrible, and Kurt felt a pang of guilt over the fact that it was in his defense, but Kurt was still in the lead and he was not giving it up. “That is not happening.” Kurt picked up his tray and slung his bag over his shoulder. “I’m going to talk to the Coach.”

In the end it didn’t matter. Blaine had apparently insisted that his parents not push the issue, since he’d already been accepted at his preferred college and his grades at this point wouldn’t change that.

-

The rest of the year somehow managed to pass in a blur for Kurt. The Cheerios varsity squad took top honors at the cheer competition weekend, although the JV squad did not perform as well, and Kurt spared a moment of sympathy for the girls who were going to bear the brunt of Sue Sylvester’s drive to win next year. But he only spared a moment, because it wasn’t going to be his problem to worry about anymore.

Blaine was up and running in time to make all the rehearsals for nationals, and they won handily no small thanks to Rachel Berry killing her lead on “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now.” He had to give her the proper respect for how much she’d matured as a vocalist. They took their time celebrating backstage, everyone feeling the bittersweetness of the win, knowing it was the last time they’d all be together like this.

Kurt felt a little guilty that he hadn’t really spoken to Blaine about what had happened in the locker room. But only a little. Once his acceptance to NYU came in the mail everything that happened in Lima started to feel like a dream he was only living temporarily. His body had to continue going through the motions of living there, but he would be gone soon enough. It wasn’t NYADA, but it was New York, and nothing else mattered anymore.

-

“Come on Kurt, I’m not going to prom by myself.”

Quinn had been badgering him for a week. She broke up with Puckerman for good once she got into Yale and while Puck had been a little mopey, Quinn had moved on as if making peace with her own high school demons had finally freed her of them.

Kurt caved. “Oh, fine. I suppose I can’t really pass up the opportunity to wear a fabulous tux once before I leave high school.”

Quinn squealed into the phone.

Of course Kurt spent more time that he’d admit to getting ready for a prom he swore he didn’t care about. “It’s for Quinn,” he told himself, settling his top hat onto his head in the downstairs bathroom mirror.

When they arrived Santana and Brittany pulled them into the crowd, and the four of them danced until Kurt’s feet started to ache. There were empty chairs around a table with a few other glee kids, so he took one. Mike and Tina were there, and Artie across the table. Kurt blinked and looked around, then took a look around the gym. He noticed for the first time that he didn’t see Blaine anywhere.

“Is Blaine here?” He leaned in and asked Mike over the noise. Kurt was feeling good. Maybe now would be a good time to thank Blaine for interrupting Karofsky in the locker room, even if he would never tell anyone what he was afraid was happening. “I don’t see him anywhere.”

Mike shook his head and took a sip of his drink, frowning into it before answering. “I think Puck got to the punch bowl already, but no, Blaine’s not here. He doesn’t do dances.”

Kurt rolled his eyes. Everything this guy did bordered on pretentious. “Why not?”

Mike twitched his shoulders, not answering for a minute. “He got beat up pretty bad at a school dance in the eighth grade, from what I understand. He doesn’t talk about it much.”

Tina leaned in, giving Kurt a slightly judgemental look. Kurt wondered just exactly how much Blaine told Tina about, well - about everything. He guessed it was probably a lot.

‘Yeah. He had just come out and went with a friend. Not even a boyfriend. A bunch of goons beat them up while they were waiting to be picked up. Blaine had a concussion and a broken wrist.”

-

Their actual graduation ceremony took place just a few days later. Between parties and senior trips and skip days and general mayhem most of the seniors didn’t even bother going to class, and Kurt was no exception. His valedictorian spot was secure, he had a speech, he was packed for his three day trip to New York that his dad was taking him on the following weekend - just to scope out the area and the campus, and maybe squeeze in a show, and he was more than ready for it all to be over.

His speech seemed to go over well; he vaguely remembered saying something about staying true to yourself in the face of those who’d always want you to be different, and about forgiving yourself when you weren’t always sure that you could. He had written down some things about always trying to be kind, but when he saw Blaine Anderson’s earnest face staring at him from the front row, he couldn’t make himself say them. He ad-libbed something about striving to be a better person every day.

Once the (long) process of handing out diplomas was over, Kurt met up with his friends out on the football field where the school was throwing a goodbye picnic for the seniors. Kurt really just wanted to go home.

“I’m so proud of you Kurt!” His dad wrapped him in a Burt Hummel bear hug.

“Thanks dad, I’m pretty happy to be done with it all.” Kurt glanced around at the crowd.

“You can’t fool me.” Burt ruffled Kurt’s hair.

Kurt swatted at his dad. “Dad! No! My hair!” Burt laughed his you will deal with it and like it laugh, and Kurt couldn’t help laughing with him.

“You need to say goodbye to anyone? I know Finn is going off to some party, did you want to go with him?”

For a moment, Kurt felt like he should still try to thank Blaine, and looked around to find him in the crowd. Amid the hugs and tears and parents and celebrating students, Kurt watched Blaine say goodbye to his friends across the yard and decided it didn’t really matter anymore. He was getting out of there.

“I don’t think so, Dad. I think I’m ready to go.”

--

6 years later

“You are going to come with me Kurt,” Mercedes said. “We have been out exactly three times and I really like him. Sam said his friend just moved to New York and doesn’t know that many people.”

Kurt rolled his eyes, wrapping one arm around her shoulders in a friendly squeeze. “You know I don’t love blind dates, but I will do this for you.”

Kurt hadn’t been that close to many people in high school, but when Mercedes moved to New York to work with a hot producer a few years ago they had reconnected, and now he considered her one of his best friends. It did occasionally make him wonder sometimes how much high school could have been different if he hadn’t been so afraid to open himself up more to some people (then he thought about some of the experiences he did have, remembered that children were cruel, and he came to his senses).

“What’s his name?” He asked her.

“What?” Mercedes looked up from the shoes she was trying on. “Oh, I didn’t ask.” She shrugged. “Sam just said he was an old friend and he just moved here from Chicago a couple of weeks ago. And that he was hot and gay.”

“And you trust this Sam character’s taste in men?” Kurt arched an eyebrow, picking a different boot off the display and handing it to the salesperson who had been helping them. “Let’s try these.”

--

The next Friday night Kurt dressed as he normally would for a date, opted for white super skinny jeans, that he knew would turn anyone’s head, and the latest Commes Des Garcon t-shirt from the sample room at work. He didn’t have high hopes for this guy, and didn’t feel like overdressing for the occasion, but he did like to make an impression no matter what the situation. He trusted Mercedes well enough to fix him up once in awhile, but he’d never met her new almost-boyfriend, and really had no idea what to expect. After one last look in the mirror he added a black silk constellation patterned neckerchief. Kurt could tell a lot about a guy by how he reacted to neckwear.

Mercedes had texted him the name of the restaurant earlier in the day, since they were planning on all meeting at the bar, so when Kurt arrived at the restaurant he was surprised to see Mercedes waiting for him outside.

“Hi hon,” Kurt leaned in for a flustered cheek kiss. “It everything all right? Sam didn’t stand you up did he? Give me his number I’ll give him a piece of my mind - ”

“No, no, Sam’s here,” Mercedes assured him. Kurt made a move to open the door, but Mercedes grabbed him by the arm, stopping him. “Kurt, wait, I swear to you I didn’t know. He never told me his name and I guess I was too distracted by Sam to think about even asking.” Mercedes choked out a nervous laugh. “And who would have thought? I mean after all these years?”

Kurt put his hands on his hips are stared at her. “Mercedes, what are you talking about? I have never seen you this nervous. And I was there when you met Beyonce and when you met Aretha.”

“Hey man.” Kurt followed the direction of Mercedes gaze to a tall, rather gorgeous, man with a mop of shaggy blonde hair on the top of his head.

“Kurt this is Sam,” Mercedes introduced them and Kurt noticed Sam smirk and look him up and down once as he shook his hand.

Kurt couldn’t stop himself from flirting, taking Sam’s offered hand . “It’s very nice to meet you Sam.”

“Nice to finally meet you Kurt.” Sam smirked again. “They want to seat us so -”

“Oh! Of course, lead the way.” Kurt held open the door for Sam and followed Mercedes, tugging her back and letting Sam get a step or two ahead. “So, uh, are you sure he’s 100% straight? I mean I definitely got a little interest vibe outside.”

“No, no, he’s straight,” Mercedes said, but the worried look she’d had outside was back. Sam stopped at a table where someone had already been seated, and Mercedes turned and mouthed “I’m sorry” before moving to take her seat.

‘Kurt Hummel. Wow.” Kurt stared at the man who had stood as they arrived, who was holding his hand out for Kurt to shake. A man who was wearing a slim cut Thom Browne suit and smiling at him as if he was actually happy to see him.

Blaine?

Chapter Text

“Kurt I swear I had no idea,” Mercedes hissed under her breath.

Apparently not quietly enough because Blaine chuckled across the table. Kurt could feel his face heat up, and not just because of embarrassment. Blaine had been cute in high school; Kurt was attracted to him from the moment he spotted him in that frat house, before they’d even officially met. After they were unexpectedly thrown together Kurt had found himself drawn to both the scruffy football version as well as the more dapper, prep-school Blaine that had started to emerge as their time at McKinley had ended. But all grown up? All the hints Blaine had shown of his potential for old-Hollywood handsome had bloomed into one very attractive and well put together adult. Kurt would have checked him out thoroughly if he’d been a stranger.

“You can imagine how shocked I was when Mercedes showed up at the restaurant,” Blaine said, eyes twinkling. “Then when she said you were meeting us -” Blaine scratched at his temple. “Well, I confess I was even more shocked.”

“Hmm, I suppose it’s a good idea that this was a blind date then,” Kurt said. He tried to be flirty, like he would be on any date, but he could tell it came out a little too icily and Blaine’s pleased expression slipped for just a moment. Kurt bit back a grimace. “I only meant,” Kurt faltered, “expectations can play games with you.”

Blaine audibly sucked in a breath through his nose, lifting his chin a fraction in Kurt’s direction. “Yes, I suppose that’s true,” Blaine said. “It’s not often you get set up with your high school rival.”

Kurt wondered if Blaine would have come if he’d known it was Kurt he’d be dining with. Or if he himself would have agreed to it if he’d known it was Blaine. Sitting here across the table from him now he still wasn’t sure. He felt like such a different person now than he had been in high school; he could give Blaine as much credit as he’d expect to get.

“Oh my god, high school was forever ago.” Kurt attempted to wave away awkwardness with a laugh. “Water under the bridge.” He could see Blaine force a smile at him from across the table, but he appeared relieved.

“Not wearing your Cheerio uniform anymore I see?” Blaine teased.

“No, no Cheerio uniform,” Kurt answered, forcing a smile. Then, before he could stop himself, “I see you’re still sporting Brooks Brothers - even if a more sophisticated version.” Something flashed dark in Blaine’s eyes, but he pasted on a smile in an instant.

“Hey man,” Sam interrupted. “As much fun it sounds to rehash your old high school rivalry, I'm hungry.” He tapped at his menu.

That got Kurt’s attention, and he shook his head once and smiled at Sam, ignoring the flush that crawled up his neck and hoping everyone else would too. He wasn't sure how he felt when he noticed Blaine’s cheeks coloring as well across the table.

“Yes, yes of course,” Kurt said and took a sip of water to give himself a minute to collect himself. There was no reason Blaine should get under his skin at this point. He was far from the eager, blushing virgin he’d been when he and Blaine first encountered each other.

“It’s great to finally meet you, Kurt,” Sam said. “Of course, Blaine used to talk - ow! Dude!” Sam gave Blaine a harsh look.

“What?” Blaine looked at Sam with an innocently puzzled expression.

Sam rolled his eyes at Blaine. “Whatever.” He turned back to Kurt.

“You know, before you got here Mercedes was telling us about how you guys reconnected so long after high school, maybe you and Blaine can bury the - shit!” The table shifted and both Blaine and Sam’s water toppled to the table.

Kurt bit his lip to keep from laughing as Sam made a ‘wtf?’ gesture at Blaine and righted the glasses, mopping up as much water as he could before the waiter came and took over.

‘Like I said earlier, high school is - thankfully - in the past.” Kurt glanced at Blaine, who was looking at Kurt now with a wary curiosity as the waiter fussed around him. “How long have you and Blaine known each other?” he asked, once the table had been put back together.

“Oh, wow.” Sam paused, looking at the ceiling for a moment. “Well, we’ve been friends since sixth grade. ”

“Oh really? That’s a long time.” Kurt looked between the two men. Blaine had gone quiet, and was staring at a spot on the tablecloth. Blaine had obviously mentioned Kurt to Sam at some point in their past. “So you know all of Blaine’s secrets, I imagine?”

“Pretty much, yeah.” Sam smirked, and Kurt realized that Sam probably knew everything. If that was true he was the only one who did. This was not a conversational road Kurt wanted to travel tonight.

“So what brings you to New York, Blaine?” Kurt changed the subject. Somehow talking about Blaine was easier than talking about himself. And wasn’t that strange. “When Mercedes roped me into this she mentioned that Sam’s roommate had only just moved to New York.”

Blaine chuckled, blushing just a little. “I um, I opened the Chicago cast of School of Rock last year, and they just moved me to Broadway. I start at the Winter Garden in two weeks.”

Kurt sat up. “Wow. That's impressive.” Kurt was surprised that the idea of Blaine on Broadway didn’t even make him jealous. He’d been lucky since graduating from Tisch and he had plenty on his plate right now.

Blaine shrugged. “It's kind of an old show at this point, but it still has ticket sales for the next year. I just hope I don't screw it up for the next guy.”

“Who knows?” Kurt said. “Maybe they'll keep you on for a while?” Blaine shrugged again, but his eyes were trained on Kurt in a way that, if this had been an actual date, would have given Kurt a lot of ideas about what they would be doing after dessert. Or possibly instead of. But it wasn’t an actual date. “I’m sure you’re a great Dewey.” Kurt grinned. “You’ve got the hair for it.”

“You’ve done pretty well, I think?” Blaine said. “Can I ask you how you hooked up with Saturday Night Live? How do you even get an audition for that?”

He shouldn’t be surprised that Blaine knew this, SNL was a huge show. Still, it felt a little bit gratifying to know that Blaine had paid some attention to his career.

“Well my amazing lack of an ability to be cast in more traditional roles carried on into NYU,” Kurt started. Blaine frowned and looked guiltily at Kurt. Maybe this wasn’t as neutral a topic as Kurt expected. “It’s not - It’s fine, you know. I know that I don’t pass as well as some other actors. I’ve accepted as much of that reality as I can, I guess. I’m never going to play a straight romantic lead, and there aren’t enough gay ones yet to keep us all employed.” Kurt smirked, trying to play it off as a joke, but Blaine shifted in his chair, reaching for his wine.

“It’s not really fair though, is it.” The way Blaine said it made it clear that it wasn’t a question.

“No, but that hasn’t seemed to be much of an issue for you.” Blaine looked stricken, and Kurt could hear Mercedes sharp inhale next to him. Kurt instantly regretted saying it. “I’m sorry. That probably wasn’t fair either.”

“We’re all battling something, I think,” Blaine offered, some of the shock draining from his face, but Kurt still felt bad. “So, um, go on, please.”

Kurt glanced at Mercedes, who gave a quick nod for him to go on. “Okay, well, I connected with an off campus improv group over that first summer, and I spent lot of time with them. It was amazing and I learned so much from just being on a stage every night, in front of people. And it turned out I was good at it.”

“That does not surprise me at all,” Blaine said. “You’ve always been very in the moment. I mean in your performances.” Blaine fiddled with the stem of his glass. “From what I remember, anyway,” he finished weakly, glancing at the table and then back at Kurt.

Blaine was looking at him so intensely now that it was Kurt’s turn to shift uncomfortably. There had been more than one time in high school when he had seen that look on Blaine’s face. He wasn’t sophisticated enough to be able to read it then. But he could read it now. “Thank you.”

Appetizers arrived, and the waiter refilled their wine glasses. Kurt was grateful for the time to compose himself.

“Ooh! Tell him about your plays,” Mercedes said. “Kurt writes plays, good ones,” she went on. “He’s had two of them produced just before the SNL gig came up.”

“Wow, really?” Blaine lit up, and the tension from before dissipated. “Maybe, if you have some time, you can give me some recommendations for some smaller productions. I have a couple weeks to kill before I have to start and I was hoping to get in as many different theater experiences as I can before my time is no longer my own.”

Kurt agreed to give Blaine some recommendations, and went on to tell the story of how someone from the SNL cast was in his second play, which started the long and winding road to him getting a shot to write for the show. By his sixth episode he was appearing in crowd skits, and he was asked to join the cast just before his second year when a couple of long time cast members decided not to return.

“That’s really amazing Kurt. Congratulations.” Blaine raised his half empty glass in a toast, smiling pleasantly at Kurt. “It’s well deserved.”

The four of them chatted amiably through the rest of the meal. Kurt was happy to find that Sam was obviously smitten with Mercedes, so he could stop worrying about her.

“Have you heard from Rachel lately?” Blaine asked. “I mean, after that whole NYADA debacle.” Blaine made a horrified face.

Kurt bristled. He didn’t want to - he had been lucky not to get into NYADA, ultimately, but for some reason it remained a sore spot. Even after it was exposed as a scam school, defrauding its students and their parents out of millions of dollars before its lack of accreditation was made public. Kurt had had to live through the school’s unmasking every step of the way as Rachel scrambled to come up with alternatives. In the end she just packed up and moved to Los Angeles, but a lot of other students hadn’t been so lucky.

“She’s doing great, she’s in LA, getting a lot of guest spots on various television series, but hasn’t landed a permanent role yet.”

“I guess you really dodged a bullet there,” Blaine said.

“Not like I was exactly placed in the line of fire, was I?” Kurt felt surly all of a sudden. “You know, I think I’ll skip dessert, if it’s all the same to everyone.”

“‘Line of fire?’ What’s that supposed to mean?” Blaine sat back in his chair, eyebrows raised and obviously offended.

“Kurt, they have cheesecake.” Mercedes pointed to the dessert menu, her eyes narrowed in a warning. Kurt knew her well enough to know she was irritated at him. “It’s supposed to be amazing.”

Kurt tuned Mercedes out. “It means that if anyone dodged a bullet it was you, going to Pittsburgh instead.”

“Kurt, you can’t still be sour about NYADA rejecting you, come on! They were a total Ponzi scheme.”

Sam looked puzzled. “What is that? Is that like one of those witches covens?”

Blaine’s attention shifted to Sam. “No Sam, they weren’t witches. But they did charge their students a lot of money and didn’t actually teach them anything. Or give them a degree.”

“Yeah, well finding out you were rejected not because of talent, but because they figured out your dad couldn’t afford tuition, room, and board, didn’t exactly make me feel better.” Kurt crossed his arms and huffed as he leaned back in his chair.

“And you think knowing they only offered me based on my family’s finances made me feel great about it?” Blaine said.

Sam motioned for the check. “Mercedes, I saw a great ice cream place on the corner, would you like to split a sundae?” He looked at Kurt and Blaine, who were now silently glaring at one another. “Just the two of us?”

“Sam, that sounds like an excellent idea.” Sam went to pull out Mercedes chair; as she stood up, she stared down Kurt with a look that made him suddenly feel like a huge jerk.

“I’m sorry,” he mouthed at her.

Mercedes grabbed Kurt’s arm as he stood, holding him a step back as Sam and Blaine walked toward the exit. “I don’t think it’s me you owe an apology to, Kurt. Although you can buy me brunch on Sunday and we will discuss what the hell you think you were doing tonight.”

Once they had exited the restaurant, Sam hugged Blaine, then turned and shook Kurt’s hand. “Kurt, again it was nice meeting you. Good to put a face to all the stories I’ve heard.” Kurt blushed as Sam winked at him again, and his stomach dropped. Sam probably had the whole list of Blaine’s conquests memorized so he could keep track when Blaine ranked them on gay-bro night. Kurt watched Sam turn and offer his arm to Mercedes; as she took it, she turned and looked over her shoulder one last time at Kurt and Blaine, who both stood on the sidewalk, not looking at each other.

She whispered loudly, “Y’all better settle your business and make peace, you hear me?”

Kurt kicked the sidewalk, watching Mercedes and Sam walk away. “She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”

“She’s your friend, Kurt.” Blaine stood with his hands in his pockets, head cocked to one side. “And I’m pretty sure she watched us both behave like children for a large portion of this evening, so she kinda does.”

Kurt didn’t really want the answer to the next question. He wasn’t even sure why it mattered at this point. “So how much does Sam actually know?”

“Sam knows everything, he knows everything about me.” Blaine paused, rubbing his hands over his face. “He knows I met you before I transferred. And he knows, well, we have a little history. ” His voice was strangled. “I talked to him a lot during that year at McKinley. It wasn’t the best time for me either you know.”

“Oh god.”

“He’s my best friend Kurt, you’ll have to excuse me if I told him things that happened in my life.” Blaine paced in a circle. “There were times when he was the only person who cared!”

Kurt scoffed. “You had a lot of friends, if I remember correctly.”

“People liked me, yes. But that’s because I never challenged anything they thought. I didn’t stand up for myself, not at school. I did what was expected of me to fit in. That’s how I got by. Being popular is different than having friends who actually understand you. I was pretty sure you understood that, even then.” Blaine threw his arms up. “It was forever ago, Kurt. And you hated me back then!”

Kurt was silent. He’d heard people say, more than once, that the scars of high school really do fade once you get away. Even after only a few years Kurt could look back with clearer eyes on the whole experience. Everyone struggled, he realized that now even if he couldn’t then. Blaine just seemed to bring out his bitchy side.

“I didn't hate you.”

Blaine was looking at Kurt like he’d started speaking a foreign language. “Oh my god were you not there? You were so mean to me Kurt.” Blaine was staring at him, his eyes all hurt and pleading, and definitely something more.

“You made everything so much more difficult.” Kurt hugged himself as they stood on the New York street, staring at each other. It was almost too much. “I was jealous. Everything had been so hard, and you showed up and it was like nothing I had done had mattered.” He sighed. “I guess nothing is ever really what it looks like, is it?”

Blaine shook his head, shrugged his whole body as he looked up at the sky then back at Kurt.

“I’m sorry, Kurt. I really am,” Blaine said, sounding hopeless, then pleading, “I was just trying to get by.” He held a hand out in front of him, then dropped it to his side. “Like you.” Blaine paused again shaking his head. “God we can’t seem to get this right. If we could start over again maybe w -”

“We’d what Blaine? What could we have done differently?” Kurt didn’t know why he was continuing to have this - argument? discussion? Whatever it was, he knew he didn’t want to end it and have them both just walk away. Blaine was staring at him. Well, Blaine was staring at his mouth, open desire etched across his face. Kurt blinked. They were much closer than they had been just a moment ago.

Kurt.” Blaine was breathing hard.

“Get a cab.”

Blaine spun on his heel and flung his arm out into the street. He opened the door of the taxi that pulled up to the curb so Kurt could get in, then climbed in beside him, slamming the door shut. The cab didn’t move.

The cab driver turned around and looked at them. “Where you headed?”

Blaine was leaning forward, his elbows resting on his knees, his face buried in his hands. “I'm sleeping on Sam’s pullout sofa.”

Kurt gave the driver his address.

They were silent in the cab, Kurt staring out the window while Blaine’s fingers tapped steadily on his knee, but once they were in the apartment and Kurt had locked the door Blaine grabbed him by the wrists and pushed him up against the door, sealing his mouth over Kurt’s with a grunt.

“I spent most of senior year thinking about you while I jerked off,” Blaine hissed. “It didn’t matter how much you hated me, I, god -” Kurt pushed his tongue into Blaine’s mouth, licking wildly. Blaine pinned Kurt's hands to either side of his head, hard against the door, so Kurt moved his hips against him, his own erection pressing eagerly against the front of his snug jeans. “I still think about you coming all over me in the back seat of that car, that noise you made, that first time? Still top three in my spank bank, Kurt.”

Kurt moaned as Blaine kissed across his jaw.

“What are the other two?” Kurt managed to gasp out, trying to maintain some control over himself. He was failing fast.

Blaine chuckled into his ear. “Those fucking pants you wore at the NYADA audition. My god I wanted to blow you so bad. I’d never -” Blaine moaned.

“I jerked myself raw that weekend thinking about you,” Kurt confessed as Blaine’s hips pressed him hard against the door. “I had to hide in my room and wear sweatpants for two days my dick was so sore. My dad thought I was sick.”

Oh my god.” Blaine let go of one hand and reached to cup Kurt’s cock, rubbing hard against the material. He took Kurt’s hand and pressed it between his own legs, up against his erection.

Kurt panted into Blaine’s mouth. “That was the first time I ever, oh fuck, the first time I ever fingered myself.” Blaine whimpered.

“I’m gonna come Kurt, in my pants right here. Like a fucking teenager.”

Ohmygod we should have done this in high school.” Kurt squeezed Blaine’s cock through his pants and he jerked closer. “I’m sorry I was such an ass to you,” he panted. “I had a lot of anger issues.”

Blaine ignored that as he huffed against Kurt’s neck, sucking hard below his ear, jerking Kurt off over his jeans. “Come on, come on Kurt.”

Kurt’s cock throbbed and he came with a choked off sob, soaking his underwear through to his jeans until Blaine was rubbing wet come around with his hand on the front of his pants. Blaine pushed his fingers underneath the waistband of Kurt's pants, fingering the soft, wet head of his cock until Kurt twitched away.

Fuck. Your turn.” Kurt caught Blaine’s cheek with his free hand, holding his face still so he could bite Blaine’s bottom lip, rubbing his cock through the thick fabric of his suit. Blaine shuddered, coming with a long moan in his expensive wool trousers.

Kurt wanted to fall to the floor, but Blaine kept him pinned to the door as they both caught their breath and their senses. Kurt’s eyes darted around his dark apartment, waiting for Blaine to move. Blaine didn’t pull away, he pressed his mouth against Kurt’s neck with a gentle suck, kissing back across his jaw until Kurt tilted his head to kiss him back.

“Come on,” Kurt mumbled into Blaine’s mouth. “Shower.”

Kurt ignored the soggy mess in his pants, trying hard not to think about how that was one of the hottest things that had ever happened to him. New York had offered plenty of opportunities for Kurt to settle into himself, and his first two years of college he’d gotten some unexpectedly wild behavior out of his system. This night was promising to be up there.

When they got to the bathroom Kurt looked at himself in the mirror - there were marks on his neck and his skin was flushed from his collarbone to his ears. He peeled off his clothes, adding them to the pile Blaine had started on the floor. When he turned around Blaine was bent over the edge of his tub, completely naked, trying to turn the shower on. Kurt couldn’t stop a laugh from bubbling out.

“Everyone looks incompetent trying to work a strange shower,” Blaine said over his shoulder. “And I am nervous as fuck Kurt. How do you turn this thing on?” He stood and turned around, catching Kurt looking. “Are you staring at my ass?”

Kurt shrugged one shoulder. “It’s a nice ass.” Blaine ducked his head and blushed, moving aside as Kurt leaned in to turn on the shower. “You’re standing naked in my bathroom Blaine, don’t you think it’s a little late to be coy about it?”

Blaine crossed his arms across his chest and Kurt had to look away, fiddling with the water temperature to distract him from the naked man standing next to him. “I’m actually hoping that it’s not too late for a lot of things.”

In Kurt’s previous experiences showering with someone was always a little awkward at first; were you showering? Were you making out? How far did the other guy want to go? When were you supposed to ask? What if you had to call 911? Kurt still had visions of slipping in the middle of shower sex and having to explain to his dad what had happened. It was a lot to navigate.

He stepped into the shower, tugging Blaine behind him until they were both under the water, and Blaine didn’t give him a lot of time to ponder. He stepped into Kurt’s space, hands reaching for his face and pulling him into a heated kiss. Kurt wrapped his arms around Blaine’s shoulders and went with it. This kiss was intense in a different way than the one at the door when they had come in. If Blaine had attacked his mouth before, now he was memorizing it.

“Wow,” he said, breathless once Blaine pulled away. Blaine kissed him again, a quick one as his hands worked their way to Kurt’s waist.

“Kurt, I need to ask -” Blaine ran his hands over Kurt’s sides as the water ran down his back. “Did you get taller?”

Kurt laughed and threw his head back under the water. Grinning he rested his forehead against Blaine’s. “Yes.

“How?”

“The puberty train hit me late. I had quite the growth spurt freshman year.”

“Well that seems rather unfair,” Blaine said, pecking him on the corner of his mouth. “And also insanely hot I’ve got to say.”

Kurt leaned into another kiss, then Blaine reached for the shower gel over Kurt’s shoulder and they actually took a few minutes to soap up and rinse off. Taking turns under the spray, they washed the product out of their hair. When they were finished Kurt reached his arms around Blaine and hauled him in for another kiss, this time letting his hands wander down to Blaine’s ass. Kurt slid slippery fingers between his cheeks, pressing lightly as Blaine moved closer with a soft oh okay. Kurt squeezed one thick cheek with his other hand and Blaine gasped.

“I have to be honest Blaine, I’m not sure I’d have known what to do with an ass like yours in high school, if we’d ever taken it that far.”

Blaine giggled against Kurt’s neck. “Are you sure you know what to do with it now?”

Blaine’s hips were working against Kurt and Kurt could see and feel Blaine starting to get hard again. Kurt wasn’t going to be far behind him. He grinned into a kiss, pulling Blaine’s cheeks apart while teasing one finger between them. “Uh huh.”

Kurt spun Blaine around until he was facing the shower wall, tilting the shower head so it wouldn’t rain on his face, and dropped to his knees. Blaine’s ass was so thick Kurt had to hold his cheeks open so he could get his tongue on Blaine’s hole. Normally he would have taken more time, teased his partner until his rim was twitching, begging for something inside it. But this time he wanted it more than he wanted to tease. He wanted to taste, to take, to leave a mark. He spread Blaine wider, frantically licking at his damp skin until he’d licked away the water and his crack was dripping with spit, his tiny hole puckering impatiently.

Blaine shifted, spreading his thighs in the small space, and Kurt sat back on his heels to keep from slipping. When Blaine had started fisting his cock Kurt nipped at the tender skin of Blaine's ass to get his attention.

“We should move to the bedroom,” he said.

“Hunh?” Blaine turned to look down at him, a little glassy eyed. Kurt stood and wrapped an arm around his waist, pulling his back snug against him, knowing Blaine could feel Kurt’s erection pressing against his ass.

“You don't need to break your ankle two weeks before your Broadway debut.”

Blaine chuckled, nuzzling his head back against Kurt. “You're probably right.” Blaine twisted in Kurt’s arms, searching for a kiss Kurt willingly gave.

Kurt shut off the water, reaching for one of his oversized towels and wrapping Blaine in it long enough to keep him from dripping all over his apartment, then did the same for himself. Kurt’s bedroom was just on the other side of his small kitchen, so he led a naked Blaine through to his bedroom. Once inside Blaine pulled him in for another deep kiss.

“Do you want something? Water?”

Blaine shook his head, hands moving to stroke Kurt until he was hard. “Later.”

“Get on your belly then, I’m not done with you,” Kurt whispered, surprised at the husky sound of his own voice. Blaine grinned, ‘okay’, kissing Kurt once with a smack and scrambling to the bed. Kurt joined him, pressing lips against the back of his neck, arching so the length of his cock settled in the cleft of Blaine’s ass. Kurt wanted to take the time to explore; Blaine’s body was gorgeous and there was a lot to enjoy. He didn’t want to dwell on whether he would have another chance.

So he kissed across Blaine’s shoulders, licking the salty taste of the sweat that prickled on Blaine’s skin, even after the shower. Kurt kissed and bit, and memorized every sound Blaine made while he did. When he reached Blaine’s ass, he dug in, tongue firm against Blaine’s pucker until it was twitching, inviting. He pressed his thumb carefully against the invitation.

“Can I fuck you?” Kurt asked, loud in the quiet dark.

Blaine shifted, hugging a pillow under his chest. “Oh, god, I wish you would.”

Kurt scrambled to the side table, retrieving condoms and lube before settling between Blaine’s thighs and spreading them just a bit more. Blaine hitched his ass up in the air, spreading his cheeks wide. “You look amazing,” Kurt breathed; he had to slow down and squeeze his cock to keep under control. The last thing he wanted was to come before they even got started. He couldn’t embarrass himself now that they’d gotten this far.

He pressed his middle finger against Blaine’s twitching hole, teasing in and out a few times before sliding it up to the last knuckle; after a few twists, he added a second finger, turning them against the press of the tight muscle. Blaine sighed and Kurt could see and feel the tension leaving his body. “How many do you need?” he asked, stroking himself as his fingers worked Blaine open.

“One more.” Blaine hugged the pillow tighter and wriggled a little, fucking himself on Kurt’s fingers. “But not for long, just a little more.”

Kurt nodded, more to himself than to Blaine, who had pressed his face against the bed; he added more lube and a third finger, twisting them until he could feel the stretch. The god Kurt Blaine moaned was enough of a check in for Kurt, so he rolled on a condom and pressed his cock against Blaine’s hole. Blaine pushed back and Kurt watched as the head disappeared inside; he waited a moment for Blaine to nod, then pressed in, slowly. Blaine, gasping, begged him to move, and with one hand on the bed and one gripping Blaine’s shoulder he pulled out, pushing in again slowly, and again until they found a rhythm, Blaine working as eagerly to fuck Kurt as Kurt had ever had in a partner, if not more so.

“Mmm, Blaine?” Kurt bent low, mouthing at Blaine’s ear, his hips making a smacking noise as he “How long can I keep fucking you?”

Blaine twisted under Kurt, wrapping his arm around him and mouthing at his neck. “I don’t know,” he panted, almost giggling. “How long can you keep fucking me?”

Kurt bit at Blaine’s lip. “I see, okay.” Kurt mouthed at Blaine’s neck, then pulled back, pressing him down to the bed before sitting up on his knees. He pulled Blaine’s hips higher, but Blaine pushed up until he was on all fours, laughing as he glanced back at Kurt.

“Go on,” he invited.

Eyes locked onto Blaine’s, Kurt reached blindly for more lube, squirting an excessive amount into his hand before slicking his cock and wiping the excess over Blaine’s puffy hole. Eyes still on Blaine he pushed his cock back in, a satisfying thrill shooting up his spine when Blaine closed his eyes and gasped. After that there was no more talking, or teasing, or asking anything; just the slap of skin on hot skin, sweat dripping down Kurt’s back, droplets collecting in the dimples above Blaine’s ass. They fucked until Kurt’s thighs were shaking, until he was sure he would pass out if he came, until Kurt couldn’t hold off one more second. Then with a strangled cry that sounded like it could have been “Kurt,” Blaine reached for his cock and pushed back hard, grinding his ass against Kurt until he came, and Kurt could only give in, fucking them both through each pulse until they were spent.

Kurt could feel Blaine’s legs start to give out, so he grabbed him around his hips, holding him close until his cock softened and he had to pull out. Blaine fell to the bed with a muffled “nggghh.”

Kurt must have passed out for a few minutes, because when he opened his eyes he was still wearing the used condom, and Blaine was naked and sprawled next to him on top of the coverlet, making snuffling noises. He took care of the condom first, then stood on wobbly legs and went to the bathroom. He considered a shower, given how much sweat had already dried on him, but sleep beckoned, so he wiped himself with the still damp towel from earlier and brought a wet towel for Blaine.

When he got back to the bedroom Blaine was still asleep. Kurt sat next to him on the edge of the bed, shaking his shoulder until he woke.

“Hey, I didn’t want to freak you out when I wiped up all the lube.” Kurt chuckled, and Blaine shifted until he was raised on his elbows. “We made quite the mess.”

“Mmm, yeah.” Blaine grinned sloppily. “No complaints.”

Kurt finished wiping the worst of it, and Blaine escaped to washup. While he was gone Kurt pulled the mussed covers off and sat on the bed. Should he put something on? Did Blaine want to stay? Kurt was pretty sure he wanted him to stay, but what would happen after the morning was anyone’s guess, Kurt wasn’t sure he could think that far. Was this the marathon to ‘get it out of their system’ that they’d apparently always needed? Or was there a future? Or maybe they’d just be friends after. Like they couldn’t manage to do when they were young and took everything too seriously.

He was still contemplating when Blaine rejoined him in the bedroom, still gloriously naked. Kurt had hooked up with some good looking men in the last six years, but Blaine was definitely in the top two.

“Hey,” Blaine said, sitting next to him on the bed. “I don’t know what you had in mind, but I’d really like to stay. If that’s okay.” The question was confident, but Blaine looked like he expected to be shot down. He wasn’t going to be, not tonight.

Kurt leaned in, kissing him almost chastely, considering their evening so far. “Please stay.”

Chapter Text

Kurt blinked his eyes open and looked at the clock. It was almost two a.m. and Blaine Anderson was naked and sprawled across the right side of his bed. He didn’t even snore. Kurt sat up, almost wishing that he’d been drinking; at least then he’d be able to wonder how they got there.

He didn’t wonder though. Blaine had asked to stay, Kurt said yes. They had fallen to the bed a tangle of limbs and mouths and tongues, but adrenaline spikes and orgasms had drained them both, and the last thing Kurt remembered before falling asleep was Blaine’s arms around him as they both dozed off.

Kurt debated for a minute getting dressed at all, but decided against wandering around naked and slipped into yoga pants. He stepped quietly out of the room, careful not to wake Blaine.

After a trip to the bathroom he stopped in the kitchen for a glass of water, leaning against the counter as he drank. He needed a few moments to think.

Six years in New York CIty had given him plenty of opportunities for one night stands, casual relationships, a boyfriend or two - and he’d taken most of those opportunities. He hadn’t been interested in denying himself experiences after living most of his life up until then wondering if he’d ever be anything but alone. He didn’t regret any of those experiences; he had learned a lot about relationships, about sex, and about himself. Kurt couldn’t pinpoint exactly when he had gone from slightly nervous, totally inexperienced, gay kid from the midwest to sexually confident, experienced, gay man about New York, but he was pretty thankful for the change.

But standing in his kitchen in the middle of the night, with Blaine Anderson in his bed, was not something he could have predicted. Even less predictable was how comfortable it all had felt.

“Don’t overthink it, Kurt,” he mumbled, setting his glass in the sink. He grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge and went back to his bedroom.

“Hey.” Blaine was sitting up, ankles crossed, arms wrapped loosely around his knees. He rubbed his eyes sleepily and Kurt’s stomach actually flipped. This was bad. “Everything okay?”

“Mmm hmm.” Kurt kept a smile under wraps, but he couldn’t help but admire Blaine’s body while he sat there. “Thirsty.” He handed Blaine the water bottle. “I brought you some.”

Blaine took it, twisting off the cap and sucking down half the water without coming up for air. Kurt felt his dick twitch and he had to mentally tell himself to keep his pants on.

“You should take those off,” Blaine said.

“Huh?”

“Your pants. Take them off and come back to bed.”

Kurt didn’t waste time, bending over enough to push the pants down and dropping a knee to the bed. When Blaine reached for him, Kurt straddled Blaine’s lap, holding onto Blaine’s shoulders as they met in an open mouthed kiss.

Kurt pulled away with a smack. “You know, you never told me what the third one was?”

Blaine barely stopped sucking on Kurt’s throat, mumbling, “What?”

“Top three masturbation fantasies? I’ve already got two, would it be too selfish to hope for all three?” Kurt had meant it as a joke, but he couldn’t deny that it would give him a small amount of perverse satisfaction to know Blaine had spent a significant amount of time with his hand on his cock thinking about him. Well, perverse was probably the wrong word.

Blaine chuckled against Kurt’s neck. “My sophomore year roommate.”

“Oh yeah?” Kurt gasped as Blaine gripped his ass and lifted Kurt, positioning them so they could rub cocks easier. “He oh, he that cute?”

Blaine laughed again, wrapping his hand around them both, stroking them hard together. “He was okay I guess.” Kurt groaned as Blaine hitched an arm tighter around his waist, holding him steady. Beads of sweat prickled on Blaine’s neck and Kurt bent his head to lick at them. “I swear he had no gag reflex at all. He could lick my balls with my cock down his throat.”

Kurt shook himself alert, stilling for a moment before looking down at Blaine’s cock, fully erect and pressed against Kurt’s belly - it wasn’t small. He looked back up at Blaine’s face. “Wait, what?”

Blaine shrugged, teeth biting his bottom lip and holding back a grin. “I didn’t really question it.”

Kurt blinked at Blaine, then burst out laughing, burying his face in Blaine’s neck. “Oh my god Blaine.”

“I know! He transferred out in the middle of the year, but it was an interesting semester. I don’t know how I didn’t flunk out.”

Kurt sat back on his heels, forearms resting on Blaine’s shoulders as he watched Blaine watch him. He wished he knew what they were doing. Asking felt too much like ruining it.

When the shared attention threatened to spill from relaxed to uncomfortable, Kurt tilted his head, pressing his mouth to Blaine’s. “I guess I can give up one spot to your roommate,” he whispered.

Blaine shifted, kissing Kurt hard and fast, then flipping him onto his back. “It’s not even close, Kurt.” Blaine kissed him again, slow and steamy until Kurt was gasping for air. Blaine moved to his neck, his shoulder, teased a nipple between his teeth. He kissed across his ribs, his belly. Kurt risked a glance in time to watch Blaine open his mouth and suck the head of Kurt’s cock between his lips. Kurt groaned, and he could see a tiny smirk in Blaine’s eyes as he bobbed his head up and down, pulling off with a pop and a string of spit trailing from his lip to Kurt’s cock.

Wordlessly Kurt handed Blaine the bottle of lube, his head flopping back on the pillow as Blaine pushed his legs wide, positioning him so his lower back rested on Blaine’s thighs. Blaine took his time stretching him open, easing each finger in, twisting until Kurt could feel his hole twitching. When Kurt was ready, he lifted his head to see Blaine rapt, watching his fingers move in and out of Kurt’s body, pupils blown. “Blaine.”

Blaine grunted and looked at Kurt, seeming to realize suddenly what he was supposed to do next. He tore open a condom wrapper and rolled it on, pressing the head of his cock against Kurt’s ass. Kurt swallowed, drawing a quick breath. Blaine was thick and anticipating the coming stretch made his cock jump on his belly.

“Go slow,” he said hoarsely, “but don’t stop until you’re all the way in.” Blaine blinked, nodding once as he leaned his whole body forward, catching Kurt’s legs as he moved, kissing along one ankle and gathering them to him as he pushed his cock deeper into Kurt. Kurt whined and Blaine almost stopped, but Kurt’s pleading no and hands reaching to spread himself open kept Blaine going until he bottomed out, pelvis snug against Kurt’s ass.

Blaine panted, his eyes squeezed shut, and Kurt could feel Blaine’s thighs shaking as he held back, waiting for Kurt to adjust. Kurt’s legs were spread wide, and Blaine smelled like sweat and sex and soap and god everything Kurt ever wanted, so he relaxed and told Blaine to move.

And he did, slow thrusts until Kurt was moving with him, then faster, Kurt bent in half underneath him, Blaine’s face buried in Kurt’s neck. Kurt twisted his fingers in Blaine’s hair, tugging purposefully when Blaine groaned at the contact.

Blaine cursed and murmured; fuck and Kurt and so good and don't wanna stop until Kurt had sweat through the bedding, fucked out and shaking, and he hadn't even come yet.

“Blaine I need,” he gasped, reaching a hand between them. He needed something on his cock.

Blaine pushed up, one extended arm holding him over Kurt. “No,” he said, pushing Kurt's hand away. “Can I?”

Kurt choked, gasping wetly as Blaine’s hand circled his cock, and in a flash he was in the back seat of Blaine’s tiny car, scared and desperate and wanting. Only this time he knew what all of that meant. “Oh god, yes, please Blaine, need to come.” Kurt threw his head back, arms reaching for the bars of his bed frame as Blaine fucked him hard, a firm hand on his cock until he came.

Blaine smeared the fist full of come on the bed, hooked Kurt’s legs behind the knees and a dozen strokes later came with a low moan, collapsing onto Kurt in a sweaty mess of arms and legs and softening cocks. “It should have been you,” Blaine murmured, so quiet that Kurt almost missed it in his post-orgasm stupor. He fell asleep wondering what it meant.

-

Kurt woke the next morning sore everywhere. Blaine. The last thing Kurt remembered was Blaine’s apologetic sounding lament, and then passing out with Blaine still wrapped around him.

But Blaine wasn't in bed any more, so Kurt retrieved his yoga pants from the floor and pulled them on before stepping out of his room to look for him.

“Hi.”

Blaine was already dressed, in his pants and the t-shirt he must have been wearing the night before. He’d managed to tame his hair somewhat, but there were curls all over the back. It really did take all of Kurt’s restraint not to pull Blaine back into the bedroom and maul him. But Blaine’s jacket and shirt and bow tie were folded in a neat pile on Kurt’s kitchen table and Blaine was looking everywhere but at Kurt. “I thought I'd get the walk of shame over early, let you get on with your day.” He cleared his throat softly.

“Oh.” Kurt tamped down the hope he’s allowed himself to have that Blaine might - he didn’t even know anymore. Might want him? Did Kurt want Blaine to want him for more than last night? He thought maybe Blaine would stay for breakfast. Or coffee. “Can I at least make you a cup of coffee? Unless you have somewhere you need to be?” He didn’t want Blaine to stay out of some obligation, but he didn’t think he wanted him to run out just yet.

Last night had been good. Easy. Kurt hadn’t felt awkward, or like they weren’t communicating, or were a bad match in bed. He’d never really had a hookup like it before. Before last night any hookups he’d actually engaged in were with people he barely knew.

Kurt bit his lip waiting for Blaine to answer. You barely know Blaine.

“Okay,” Blaine smiled just a little, and sat at Kurt’s small kitchen table. “Coffee would be great.”

There was already a sugar bowl and a small shaker of cocoa powder on the table, and after setting two cups of coffee down Kurt grabbed some milk from the refrigerator.

“Let me know if you need something else. I usually keep supplies for a fauxca -” Blaine made a face, not understanding. “Oh, a faux mocha - I made it up.” Kurt laughed awkwardly. “It’s a little dorky I know. I just stir in some sugar and cocoa and milk, but it’s not quite the same as when a professional barista does it.”

Blaine grinned shyly, but chuckled at Kurt’s explanation. “I don’t know, Kurt, it sounds enough like a mocha that you can probably steal the name.” Kurt watched as Blaine put just a splash of milk into his cup. “But I don’t need anything else, this is fine.”

They each sipped their coffee, saying nothing for a moment that kept drawing out until Kurt was squirming in his chair.

Blaine, I -” “Kurt, can I -”

Blaine scrunched up his face. “Can I go first?”

Kurt nodded, hugging his mug closer to his chest. Maybe he wouldn’t get to say anything at all. “Of course.”

“Thank you.” One side of Blaine’s mouth curved slightly up. “I had an amazing time last night, with you, ah, but I don’t want to pressure you into anything, or want you to feel like I’m trying to impose on you, you know?” Kurt nodded again, but didn’t say anything. He wasn’t sure where Blaine was going with this speech and he didn’t really want to make a fool out of himself. “I just,” Blaine looked away, “I think I should go,” he pointed a finger and waved it back and forth between them, “because this was all a little unexpected and I think I need to process it a little.”

“I - if you think so.” Kurt sat back a little in his chair. The room wasn’t so big that he could actually move away from the table. He could not believe this was happening again.

Blaine stood up and gathering his things, stopping to turn back to Kurt after he had opened the door.

“Kurt, when we met, how we met, that was a really significant moment for me. And being here with you, again, it’s kind of a lot.”

Kurt rubbed his eyes; he was really tired of this. “Please god don’t tell me it’s when you figured out you were gay.” As soon as the words were out of his mouth Kurt remembered what Mike Chang had told him in high school, about Blaine having been beaten up for going to a dance with a boy before he’d come to McKinley. He didn’t bother to correct himself.

“No,” Blaine said. “I knew I was gay pretty early. It’s just,” Kurt could hear Blaine’s voice crack, but he couldn’t make himself look at him. “I know it didn’t mean the same thing to you, but it really meant something to me. You were the first boy I ever kissed.”

Kurt heard the door click shut before the words managed to work their way into his brain.

What? “Fuck.” There was no way...

Kurt lived on the fourth floor of a five floor walk up, so Blaine couldn’t have made it very far yet. He grabbed his keys and stumbled through the door, the sound of his bare feet slapping on each step echoing through the stairwell.

“Blaine! Blaine!” When Kurt rounded the next flight Blaine was stopped on the landing below, a very puzzled look on his face. “Wait!” Kurt panted.

“Kurt, I just made it really easy for you, no expectations -”

“Stop talking. What did you say?” Blaine’s eyes narrowed as he watched Kurt flail on the landing above Blaine. “I don’t mean stop talking completely, I mean, stop assuming I don’t want you.”

Blaine looked at the floor, his jaw working silently.

“In my apartment. You said I was the first boy you ever kissed.” Kurt shook his head, hands floundering in front of him. “That can’t be right, that night, you knew what you were doing, I’d never -” Kurt stopped, running his hands through his hair until it had to be standing straight up over his head. This couldn’t be happening. “Blaine, you were the first boy I ever kissed, too.”

Blaine took a few steps up toward Kurt, his eyebrows raised in shock, or confusion, or maybe expectation. “I didn’t know what I was doing.” He came another step closer. “I still don’t know what I’m doing, apparently.”

Kurt’s shoulders sagged, his hands falling on either side. “Well, can you figure it out?” Kurt pleaded. “Because I'm not doing so great eith-” Kurt didn't get to finish, because Blaine had taken the last two steps to where Kurt was standing, and was kissing him. Kurt wrapped both arms around Blaine’s neck immediately. He didn’t plan to let him go this time.

Kurt reacted to the door slam before the surprised shriek, separating from Blaine with a clumsy step backward. “Oh my! Are you naked? I’m calling the super!” It was Mrs. Helfer from the third floor.

“No, no need for that, I’m not naked,” Kurt tugged at the fabric on his thigh. “See? Pants.”

Blaine bit his lip, smiling. Kurt felt Blaine’s hand tug on his pants too. “Maybe we should go back inside?”

“Yeah, but can we maybe talk?” Kurt picked some lint off of Blaine’s shoulder. “I mean, the sex has been great,” he rolled his eyes self deprecatingly, “but I think it might be time we actually talk to each other.”

“Okay,” Blaine said, his smile soft.

They had gone back to the apartment and settled on Kurt’s couch, Kurt sitting cross legged at one end, and Blaine shifted so he was facing Kurt. Kurt had a million questions, but only one came out of his mouth. He’d wondered for years.

“Why did you pick me? At the party?”

Blaine shook his head, worrying his fingers together in front of him. He wouldn’t meet Kurt’s eyes.

“That’s kind of, well, it’s kind of a long story.”

“I’ve got time if you do,” Kurt encouraged.

“Okay, um. Okay.” He seemed nervous, so Kurt tried to reassure him with a smile. “Ah, this may be a little embarrassing,” Blaine went on, scrunching up his face in the most adorably embarrassed expression. “I don’t know if you remember, but I went to an all boys school.”

“I do, Dalton Academy. I remember you knew a lot of those boys when we competed against them senior year.”

“Yes, well contrary to what you might think it was not a hotbed of gay teenage sex, although I was definitely not the only gay kid there, so it was a pretty supportive environment in general.”

“You were lucky.”

Blaine bobbed his head back and forth. “Mostly, yes, I was lucky. I know McKinley wasn’t like that for you, or at all really.” Kurt hummed. It didn’t seem the right time to bring up how it wasn’t quite so bad for Blaine. “But there was a boy there, he was really, um, forward, and because I was gay too, he assumed that I would just be willing to do anything with him. And he was very pushy about it.”

Kurt bit his lip. “He didn’t threaten you or anything?”

Blaine shook his head quickly. “No, nothing like that. But he definitely made his intentions known, and wasn’t happy that I kept turning him down. But he was too aggressive, and I just didn’t want my first anything to be with him.”

“Did he still bother you after you transferred?”

“No, not really. Oh, but he tried to get handsy when we went to Dalton for sectionals.”

“Oh, yeah.” Kurt remembered that too. “I thought he was an ex-boyfriend.”

Blaine made a face. “Ew, no. Definitely not. He was just kind of a jerk. But it did get to me, a little, before I left Dalton. I wondered if he was right, if I was too immature, or too inhibited.” Blaine paused. “I mean, I didn’t think so. I liked boys, I just didn’t like him.”

“Did you know you were leaving Dalton when we met?”

Blaine nodded. “Yes, but I didn’t know yet where I was going to go, I think there was one other school that had an arts program that I liked, and my parents were really involved at that point.”

“How did you wind up at that party?”

“Well, over the summer it turned out that one of my other friends knew about this party at OSU, and we decided to go. When I got there I realized that I could just hook up with some random college guy and get it over with. I mean, maybe I was too inhibited? I had no idea. I didn’t pre-plan it or anything.” Kurt laughed, and Blaine stopped for a moment, raising a questioning eyebrow.

“I’ll tell you when you’re done. Go on, please.”

Blaine shrugged one shoulder and continued. “So, some of the guys there seemed kind of interested in me, but I got nervous pretty quickly - they all seemed so much older than me.” Kurt bit his tongue. There was so much they could have done for each other. “But then I saw you dancing, and well, you were cute and didn’t look that much older than me, and then when I met you outside and you said you went to NYU that seemed perfect. It never even crossed my mind that you didn’t.” Blaine chuckled to himself. “I don’t know if I was more desperate or more naive.”

Kurt was hugging himself, leaning back against the arm of the couch just listening to Blaine’s story. He didn’t want to be surprised at how completely similar his story was to Blaine’s, but he was. When he was in high school the thought that there was another boy out there struggling in the same ways he was was just something he couldn’t believe in - he couldn’t let himself believe in. It would have felt too much like hope then.

“Blaine,” Kurt started. “I went to that party intending to lose my virginity to a stranger, any stranger, really, only I got scared too. It was all too much.” He uncurled his legs, rubbing some feeling back into his thighs, but teased at Blaine’s leg with one bare toe. “Then there you were.” Kurt looked away, the sudden intensity of his emotions overwhelming him. It was hard to think about how determined he was about so many things back then, and how much those priorities had shifted. It wasn’t even that long ago.

Blaine brought him back to the moment. “I would never have guessed, Kurt. I mean, you didn’t seem like you didn’t know what you were doing.”

“Neither did you, you know. I was just following instructions.”

Blaine’s eyes went wide in mock shock, then he looked sheepish. “I was watching a lot of porn then.”

“I never told anyone. About you, I mean.”

Blaine looked surprised. “No one? Not even Quinn? You guys were pretty close.”

Kurt gave his head a small shake. “No. I was embarrassed.” Blaine narrowed his eyes in a question. “I was. And the worst part was that I had told them - Quinn and Santana - what my plans were that night, then I lied and said nothing happened, that I chickened out. Then when you showed up at school I panicked. I was sure you were going to expose me as a liar and an inexperienced kid and - god. I was a mess.”

“And that’s why you hated me so much? You thought I would tell people we had messed around?”

Kurt looked away. It seemed so ridiculous now. “I didn’t want anyone to have any more ammunition to use against me than they already did.”

“Kurt, I thought -” Blaine paused, “I thought you were mad at me because - god this seems so stupid.”

Kurt poked Blaine with his toe again. “What? I think at this point we’re both equally stupid.”

“I thought that you were pissed because you didn’t want your, um, conquests hanging around.”

“Oh my god.” Kurt buried his face in his hands. “No, no conquests.”

Blaine laughed. “Yeah, I mean, you were hot. I assumed you just didn’t want one night stands making demands. So I tried to stay out of your way.” Kurt gave Blaine a look that he hoped clearly conveyed ‘are you kidding me?’ “Well, mostly.” Blaine winked, and Kurt wanted the talking to be over.

“I’m sorry, Blaine. I wasn’t kidding when I said I had a lot of anger issues in high school. I should have taken them out on someone who deserved it. I think you were just the person least likely to hit me back.”

“It wasn’t your fault. I didn’t exactly make it easy for you. And we were both in survival mode.”

They locked eyes, one beat, two beats longer than you could consider polite. Blaine broke first, glancing at the floor.

“I really should probably go.” Blaine moved to stand, but Kurt reached out and grabbed him by the wrist.

“Where does this leave us?” Kurt didn’t mean for that to sound quite as desperate as it did. But maybe he was desperate.

Blaine twisted his arm so he could tangle his fingers with Kurt, who stayed sitting on the couch, but he didn’t say anything.

“Blaine, you are beyond the last person I would ever have expected to see last night, and I don’t know what’s happening here,” Kurt looked up, hoping Blaine could believe him, “but I know last night was - well it was something I don’t want to lose. Not again.” Kurt stood, a tiny smile making its way to one corner of his mouth. “So you can go if you want to, provided you leave me your phone number and promise me that I can come see your Broadway debut.”

“Kurt, of course,” Blaine grinned, a happy and hopeful smile that lit up his face. Kurt pulled him into his arms, and Blaine’s slid easily around Kurt’s waist. “I would love that.”

“Or -”

“There’s an ‘or’?”

“Mm hmm, yes. There’s an ‘or’. Or you can stick around, I can make you a real breakfast, I can tell you all the great things about New York that Sam has in all likelihood forgotten to mention -”

“You don’t happen to have a good real estate broker do you? I really need to find an apartment.”

“I do, yes. Broker, restaurants, gym -”

“I do need a gym,” Blaine said, his mouth twitching as he fought a smile. “But not too much of a scene, I’m not that interested in meeting anyone at the moment.”

“Oh, really?”

“No, um, there’s this guy,” Kurt raised his eyebrows, “and I really want to see what happens there.” Blaine tilted his head up slightly, touching his nose to Kurt’s, his lips barely brushing against Kurt’s mouth.

Kurt kissed him. “”Yeah?”

“Uh huh.” Blaine pressed his mouth to Kurt’s, lips parted and tongue teasing into Kurt’s mouth.

Fuck, your mouth Blaine.”

Blaine giggled against Kurt’s lips. “Well, I don’t really have anywhere to be.”

“Mmm, good. Get back in the bedroom.

--

Kurt heard the yelling before he could understand the words or had any idea what was happening. He wasn’t hungover - well he was maybe hungover from sex - he hadn’t had a two day sex marathon since his his last boyfriend. He and Blaine had only gone to sleep a few hours earlier, and every single muscle in his body was making sure he knew it.

Blaine was not in his bed. Maybe it was him yelling? But why would Blaine be yelling?

“Kurt! Are you in here! I let myself in with the extra key!”

Mercedes. Fuck. Where was Blaine? “I’ll be right out!” He pulled on his yoga pants (gross - making a mental note to absolutely make sure to wash them today) and a t-shirt from his top drawer, hustling out into his living room.

“Oh.” Sam was standing in the kitchen leaning against the counter. “Hi Sam.”

“Why the hell haven’t you been answering your phone? I sent you at least a dozen texts and left three messages.” Kurt stared at her, not quite sure why this was a problem. “We were supposed to have brunch today.”

Kurt could tell she wasn’t really mad, just giving him a hard time for being checked out. He could see Blaine’s jacket and shoes by the door. Kurt fought back a panicky feeling. If Blaine had gone to the bathroom he hoped to god he had put clothes on.

“I’m sorry, I just got busy and was trying to avoid distractions.”

Kurt glanced at Sam, who was staring at Blaine’s jacket. Sam just looked at Kurt, who was giving him his best ‘please don’t say anything’ look, and winked. At the same moment Blaine came walking out of the bathroom, towel wrapped around his waist.

“Oh good, you’re awake. I was going to wake you earlier but you looked so peaceful - oh wow.”

“Dude.” Sam was barely holding back a laugh as Blaine’s eyes darted at the three people standing in the apartment.

Mercedes narrowed her eyes at Kurt. “Kurt Hummel. What. The. Hell.”

Kurt raised his arms in a helpless shrug. “You told us to make peace!” Mercedes didn’t seem impressed.

Blaine sputtered laughter, covering his mouth with one hand while still trying to cover his bare torso and keep his towel from falling off. Sam was laughing silently next to him, his shoulders shaking up and down as he tried not to draw attention to himself.

“Did you know about this?” She asked Sam.

“Maybe?”

“You have fifteen minutes to get dressed and meet me and Sam at the Sour Clam. Both of you.” Blaine made a face and mouthed Sour Clam at Kurt. “Yes, it’s a horrible name but they do this amazing challah egg casserole thing that I woke up craving,” Mercedes explained.

“It really is amazing,” Kurt said to Blaine. “But I need at least twenty-five minutes Mercedes. Look at my hair.” Kurt pulled at the wilted ends. Then he smiled. He hadn’t done his hair since before their date Friday. The only thing that had been in it since then had been Blaine’s hands.

“Fine. Twenty-five minutes.”

“Cool,” Sam said, heading for the door. “Now we have time to stop at the comic shop on the corner.”

“Comic shop?” Blaine’s face lit up. “I need a new comic shop. Let me throw my clothes on and I’ll come with you.” He started toward the bathroom, but got caught in the glare Kurt levelled at him. “Maybe I’ll check it out after brunch,” Blaine backtracked, but he winked at Kurt.

Once Mercedes and Sam were out the door, Kurt went into the kitchen and wrapped his arms around Blaine.

“Do you really want to do this?”

“Do what? Have brunch with you and our friends? Should I be worried about something?” Blaine pulled back so he could look at Kurt. “Unless you don’t?”

Kurt shook his head, holding back a grin. “No, I do. I just - I don’t want to rush you.”

Blaine shook his head. “I don’t feel like we rushed this at all, Kurt.”

Kurt managed to find Blaine an old pair of pants and a polo shirt he’d received as a gift but never worn, (“It’s not really my style, but you look adorable in it”) and they were standing in front of the restaurant only five minutes late.

“Ready?” Blaine squeezed Kurt’s hand, and Kurt leaned in for a quick kiss.

“Ready.”

Chapter Text

“Kurt! We are going to be late!” Blaine stood near the door to Kurt’s apartment, jingling keys in his pocket. After two years Kurt’s ‘get ready’ time seemed to be getting longer rather than shorter.

“I’m almost ready!” Kurt’s voice sing-songed out of the bedroom.

Blaine zipped up their respective tuxedo bags, triple checking that they each had everything they needed. “That’s good because it would not look good for both the Best Man and the Man of Honor to be late for the wedding.”

“Whatever.” Kurt came sailing out of the bedroom, looking stunning in a pair of cloud patterned jeans and a plain white button down that somehow emphasized Kurt’s shoulders so well Blaine’s mouth actually watered. “Mercedes will just think we were fooling around and lost track of time.”

Blaine smirked. “And she would be right. Hey -” He pulled Kurt in for a quick kiss. “You look gorgeous.”

“Mmmm, so do you.” Blaine’s heart skipped a tiny beat when Kurt wrapped his arms around Blaine’s shoulders, deepening the kiss. “But you always look gorgeous.”

-

Blaine loved weddings. The crazy relatives, the nervous grooms, the anxious brides. He loved the music and the dancing and the certain feeling, at the best of them anyway, that love could get you through the hardest times. And he loved them even more now that someday he might even be able to celebrate his own.

So hours later, after the pictures and the ceremony, after the many, many, many champagne toasts, after the couples dances and the Electric Slide and the quick trip to the supply closet Kurt had found unlocked on his way to the men’s room, when Blaine finally had Kurt to himself, in his arms on the dance floor, he let himself have the fantasy.

“I know I said this earlier, but you look amazing in that tuxedo,” Blaine murmured into Kurt’s ear as they barely swayed together in the dwindling crowd. He let out a squeak when Kurt’s hand slid purposefully down his backside, squeezing his ass.

“That was a thank you grope, in case you couldn’t tell,” Kurt explained.

Blaine raised an eyebrow. “Is that what that was?”

“Yes,” Kurt said, adopting a fake lofty air. “That’s my story. And don’t bat your eyelashes at me, you know I can’t resist that.”

“I did not know that,” Blaine said, batting his eyelashes not-so-innocently before laying his head on Kurt’s shoulder.

They stayed on the floor, dancing together and with friends as the band began their wind up. Sam and Mercedes had left the party an hour ago. They could leave whenever they wanted.

“You look tired,” Kurt said, his arms around Blaine’s waist. “You ready to head upstairs?” They had booked a room in the hotel just for the night, so they could be around in case either Sam or Mercedes needed anything in the morning before they left on their honeymoon.

Blaine pulled Kurt tighter. “I love you.”

Kurt laughed sweetly. “I love you too.”

“No. I mean I really love you Kurt. And I am so happy, and grateful, that we found each other again. That you were willing to take a chance on us after, well - after everything.” He kissed Kurt softly on the mouth. “I hope you’re happy.”

“Of course I’m happy Blaine,” Kurt answered. “Wait, you’re not going to propose are you? Because I’m open to it, but I think Mercedes would kill me if I got engaged at her wedding.”

“No.” Blaine laughed as he spun Kurt around the dance floor one last time. “But it’s good to know that you’re open to it.”

Kurt went up to their room while Blaine settled some things with the band and the catering. Blaine had thought about it a lot recently, proposing. It was hardly surprising that he had weddings on the brain, since they’d both been so involved helping Mercedes and Sam plan theirs.

They’d only been together for two years, but it felt like forever to Blaine - in all the best ways. Most of the time Blaine was appreciative of the time they’d spent apart. He knew that everyone needed to grow into themselves, he certainly had, and he was (mostly) happy with how he was turning out, even though he knew he had a long way to go. Kurt, too, talked often about how much more comfortable he felt in his skin once he’d gotten out of Ohio.

Sometimes, though, he still let himself wonder what it would have been like to have had Kurt on his side when they were younger. Or to have been able to be there for Kurt. He still remembered when ‘Kurt from the party’ had walked into glee club on his first day at McKinley. Blaine had thought about Kurt often in the days following the party, and was embarrassed to find out Kurt hadn’t been a college student. Blaine hadn’t been that worldly back then, no matter how much he would pretend he was. But in the light of day Kurt had been so cute, and a cheerleader? Blaine had been so nervous he couldn’t work up the nerve to talk to him. Coming to the realization that Kurt wanted nothing to do with him had hurt a little. At least until he’d realized Kurt was such a diva. Blaine smiled to himself as he got on the elevator.

They both went through so much growing up. Blaine didn’t like to dwell on it, because what he and Kurt had now was fantastic, but still, sometimes he wondered about what might have been.

Maybe, he thought as he slid the room key into the door lock. Maybe someday soon.

They had splurged for a suite, but Blaine was surprised to find the entryway dark when he entered. Kurt had gone up at least half an hour earlier and Blaine expected to find him either showered and naked, or waiting for him in the suite’s hot tub.

“Hey Kurt? Don’t tell me you fell asleep already? I had plans for you.” Silence. “Sexy plans,” he sang. “Kurt?”

“I’m in here,” Kurt called. The large entryway lead to a walk-through bathroom. On the other side was a huge entertaining area that opened to an L-shaped bedroom with a king sized bed Blaine had been looking forward to getting Kurt into all day.

“Kurt are you okay?”

Blaine didn’t know what he was expecting to find when he stepped through the doorway. What he did find was Kurt, his beautiful face lit by a dozen candles. “What’s all this? Where did you pack all those candles?”

“Blaine, don’t say anything yet.” Kurt took a step closer, reaching for Blaine’s hand. “I know we took a long time to get here, but I need you to know that am also so very happy that we found each other again. It makes me endlessly happy that you love me. I have never felt as loved, or as safe, as I do when I’m with you. Your love and your support mean more to me than I ever seem to be able express in words.”

Kurt got on one knee, and Blaine felt lightheaded. He thought he might faint. “Kurt, what -”

“Wait let me finish.” Kurt dug into the pocket of his jacket and pulled out a ring box. “Blaine, I know it took us a while from when we met to getting here, but I think a lot about how happy I am that I fell in love with the first boy I ever kissed. And, if you'll have me, I would love, with all my heart, to be the last boy you ever kiss, too. Blaine Anderson will you marry me?”

Blaine choked out a sob, falling to his knees in front of Kurt and pulling his face to him for a kiss. Kurt pulled away after a minute.

“Well? Are you going to leave me hanging?”

Blaine laughed again, smiling so big he felt his face would split in two.

“Oh my god, yes, yes I will marry you.” He kissed Kurt again. “Every day. Yes.”