ladydreamer: Wonder Woman draws her sword from behind. (Glee Kurt Heart)
[personal profile] ladydreamer
Title: Your Corporeality (is all I need)
Pair: Kurt/Adam
Spoilers: Starts after 4.11 and goes through after 4.14 with vague hints towards the events in the episode, but they play out differently here.
Word Count: 4810
Prompt for apples_n_coffee: Kurt isn't sure if Adam's lack of romantic affection (he gets plenty of the brotherly kind) is due to Adam not being physically attracted to him, or Adam being overly considerate. Kurt decides to take the bull by the horns, so to speak, and makes the first move himself.


It had been so busy when they’d reached Le Éléphanteau Rose, the pretentious little cafe on the corner near Callbacks, that they’d had to sit outside. Though the crowd inside had thinned, and the air was chilly and bit their cheeks and ears, the two of them made no move to go anywhere. Their quick cup of coffee had lasted three hours, and Kurt, swaddled in a fluffy scarf, sipped his latte, now cold, and leaned forward on his hand. He was oddly warm, anyway.

Well, not oddly. He knew his heart was racing, and his cheeks were bright red. But the cold explained that, right?

“No, truly! I must have watched it twenty times or more!” Adam laughed and sat back. His broad hands engulfed the empty mug, fingers rubbing along the rim.

“So what was your favorite part? The Judy Garland references, the Star Wars stuff, or when it suddenly descends into Jesus-town,” Kurt joked in a dry tone.

“I think it was the bit about ‘holiday roommates,’ actually, and of course that jaunty dance number at the beginning. Oh! And the way you... Oh, how do I describe it... Just the character you created. ‘This dreadful weather!’ I laughed so hard, every time! You did put that on your application, yes?”

“Not on the first one.” Kurt shrugged. “It came out at Christmas after the deadline. But I did on the last, not that it seemed to help much.”

Adam shook his head. “I hate to be so jaded, but the business of the arts can be terribly unjust. Quite completely arbitrary.”

“Well, I’m here now-”

Adam’s phone lit up, and he leaned over. “Aw. Kurt. It’s five o’clock already. So unfair.”

“That’s the business.” Kurt leaned his hand on his cheek. “Do you have to go?”

“Unfortunately. Well, that is if I want to keep feeding and housing myself.” Adam sighed.

“You might want to keep doing that.” Kurt nodded. “I work tonight, too, but later. I should probably get some homework done before my shift.”

“Where do you work?” Adam asked as he rose to his feet.

Kurt smirked. “Why, so you can pop in behind me with grand, unfulfilled promises of pyrrhic Sondheim mash-ups and soft-rock rap?”

“Exactly that!” Adam clapped his hands together.

“The rival coffee/bar place that way--” Kurt motioned with one hand. “--I do a couple of days a week. Weekends I go over to my former boss’ place and work with her on website content as a ‘freelance consultant’.”

“Ahh. Well, watch your back, then. One night you’ll look up and I’ll be demanding tea.” Adam winked. “I’ll text you tomorrow, all right? I really enjoyed this.” He pressed his lips together, just watching Kurt.

Kurt waited a moment, then raised his brows. “We should do it again.”

“Yes. Yes, we should. Of course.” Adam nodded and bowed at the same time.

Then he checked his wallet in his back pocket and walked over to Kurt. When he started to lean over, heat rushed to Kurt’s cheeks once again. He pressed his palms into the fabric of his pants and drew in a deep breath, waiting.

Adam touched the back of his hair gently and gave him a wide, warm smile. “See you at practice tomorrow?”

“O-oh. Yeah.”

And Adam was on his way. Kurt watched him retreat, with a his hips swaying loosely in worn, generic blue jeans thin enough that Adam had to be cold. Kurt couldn’t help but smile. They’d had a great time. But that little touch... What was that? Was that a little pat, or an affectionate caress? Was that gentlemanly behavior, or was Kurt a baby penguin to him? Kurt turned back to his coffee and stared at it, completely perplexed.

***


Since going out for coffee, Kurt had become more rather than less confused regarding their status. Adam was never cold (it was possible that the man was part radiator, in fact). He always seemed interested in what Kurt had to say. He always seemed to enjoy joking with him. And he wasn’t particularly shy about touching, but... he took no opportunities. Kurt stumbled once while practicing choreography, and Adam’s hand pressed to his sweaty back. Then, with a smile, he got Kurt back on his feet and stepped away. He’d touch his shoulder to get his attention, but not linger. When Kurt got frustrated, Adam might venture a light, one-shot rub to his back.

It was all very innocent, very friendly. Not as grabby as some guys were, never without purpose. There were a few moments when Kurt would look up from what he was doing to realize that they were sitting shoulder to shoulder. Other moments, he would realize that Adam was just looking at him, his eyes and mouth soft, in an open, unreadable expression.

Kurt wasn’t feeling weepy or pining, by any means, but he did sort of ache when Adam was around, wishing his friend (as they most certainly were now) wanted to touch him a little more. He seemed to ache when Adam wasn’t around, too, in a different way.

He began to feel a bit anxious, a bit guilty about all this wanting. Maybe he’d misread the signs again. Maybe Adam just flat wasn’t sexually attracted to him. It was a possibility, and Kurt had suspected on more than one occasion that Blaine had never really thought he was sexy. He’d even failed his sexy lessons, apparently. But more importantly, Kurt didn’t want to push himself on Adam just because he’d mistaken recruiting for interest.

“Hey, Kurt!” Adam came bounding by as Kurt lifted his eyes from the floor.

“Hello, there.” Kurt favored him with a smile, since he was happy to see him, no matter what their status was or would be.

“Look, I’m in a bit of a rush, but I wanted you to look over this arrangement, eh?”

“Oh, certainly.” Kurt took the offered music and looked down at it.

Then Adam’s hand came down on his shoulder twice, and squeezed once. “Can’t thank you enough.”

“No problem.”

Kurt was starting to feel like a baby brother.

***


Kurt lifted his head and scratched the side of his hair. He stretched his arms over his head and yawned widely. His lids blinked sluggishly.

“Welcome back to the living!” Adam’s voice floated into the small apartment, threatening to spread cheer at this early hour.

“Thanks.” Kurt rubbed his eyes and pulled the blanket over his head as he flopped back down on the sofa pillows.

Adam laughed. It was his laughter, Kurt had decided, that made it almost impossible to ignore Adam as a romantic prospect. His laugh was light, and kind, and so sexy. Adam’s brightness was something that Kurt was continuing to parse out. Adam had his insecurities, and his worries, but he had such an infectious cheerfulness. He was like sunshine entering the room, and had an innate gift for caring for people.

Kurt didn’t feel like this was true, but when he’d described it to Finn over the phone, he’d commented, “Oh, so he’s a lot like you?”

It made Kurt wonder. He didn’t think that he exuded the same aura as Adam, who now had sat by him, careful not to touch Kurt’s legs as he did so. Kurt could feel the weight of him shift the cushions.

“Up up up,” Adam encouraged. “I have the most marvelous tea, and we have a full day, if we want to get some work done on the play before you abandon me.”

Kurt wiggled himself into a sitting position under the blanket, hearing Adam’s laughter the whole time. Then he sat there and reached for the tea through the blanket.

“Kurt!”

He finally pulled the blanket off his head and draped it on himself like a toga as he pinched his mouth to the side. He knew his hair was probably defying gravity at this very moment. Mornings weren’t his best time. Adam raised his brows and then pressed his lips together, the merriment twinkling in his blue eyes.

Kurt reached for the tea again. “Thanks again for the place to crash. I’ll head back tonight, I guess, but I just couldn’t handle another night with the Shrieking She-Queen of Bushwick and the Naked Man. ”

“Not at all. We work hard and play hard. We need our sleep!”

Kurt sipped his tea and watched Adam sift through papers. Writing day. He didn’t meet with Isabelle until the afternoon, and since Adam’s place was in Manhattan, he didn’t have to leave for quite a while. He swung his legs over the sofa and padded towards the kitchen.

“I could make you some breakfast?” he offered.

“Oh, that’s not necessary.”

“I’m a good cook,” Kurt half-sang. “I can make cre-epes.”

“Can you? Do I even have flour in there?”

“I make it work. It’s what I do.”

A few minutes later, Kurt had a decent breakfast going. Not a crepes, unfortunately. Kurt would have to make those for Adam another day.

“Smells exquisite in here.” Adam entered the kitchenette behind Kurt and looked around at the bowls spread around.

“You have more food than you think. You shouldn’t let it go to waste.” Kurt leaned over the stove and stirred the spinach around in the pan. It really just needed a few more minutes to thaw, and then he could pop the eggs florentine in the oven.

“You didn’t have to cook for me,” Adam said.

Adam’s hand touched the curve of Kurt shoulder. Kurt felt himself stiffen in anticipation, but before Kurt could look back to Adam, the hand was gone. Kurt glowered at the eggs. He turned his head to see Adam fussing about with his cell phone, but not actually texting or doing anything as far as Kurt could tell.

There was a bit of color to Adam’s cheek. Kurt wondered why.

“It’s okay. I enjoy it.”

***


The warmth of Adam’s hand on his back before going up to sing had been an infusion of strength. He hadn’t challenged Rachel lightly. In some ways, maybe he should have done this years before. But before, he’d still had people to protect. Now, he was at the bottom of the heap. A second semester freshman, who some thought entered the school illegitimately. A member of the Adam’s Apples. The guy whose “best friend” from high school shunned him completely in the hallway.

He really had nothing to lose in challenging Rachel except Rachel herself, and while she had immediate gains from being the biggest star/mean girl at NYADA, the long term trajectory of that path wasn’t pretty.

When he’d told Adam that he’d issued the challenge, he’d gotten yet another pat on the shoulder and encouraging words, but as his anxiety grew, Adam seemed to move closer. Sometimes comforting him with a physical touch, sometimes, just being there. At the first the proximity to Adam made Kurt more nervous, but as they began to set up the room, he realized he was glad to have him there. This room was a hostile space, full of the same people who had been sneering at him since his first day here, and the so-called friend who had little trouble throwing him under the bus, when the conditions were right.

After Brody announced the winner, Kurt felt an overwhelming wash of relief and excitement. The others in the room were chatting and fussing, and one of Rachel’s minions placed a lingering hand on Kurt’s forearm to tell him he’d been, “Simply out of this world!”

Kurt didn’t know whether to believe the gushing, but he retrieved his arm from the minion’s clutches and turned to Adam, who looked like his grin might break his face.

“I told you!” he said. “I told you, you had nothing to worry about.”

“Maybe not... nothing.” Kurt looked over his shoulder at Rachel, who was now storming out of the room.

“Hey.”

Kurt looked back to Adam, who had his arms raised. Without a thought, Kurt went into them, accepting a warm, encompassing hug. Kurt squeezed Adam back tightly, letting the remains of his nerves leech out of him.

“Thanks,” Kurt breathed.

“No worries.”

***


“Ugh, okay, troll-face incoming. Can’t wait for him to make another faceplant in the middle of a scene, like he did last year. You know, they say you really need to have talent or looks to make it. One of those, at least.”

Kurt had come to think of Rachel’s now ex-minions as Thing One and Thing Two (although their names were Ronnie and Paul), and while Thing One, who had voted for him in Midnight Madness continued to follow Kurt around sometimes, Thing Two tended to... not. Whether he was with his conjoined interracial twin or on his own, his purpose in life seemed to be to squeal about things, repeat gossip, or issue insults just within earshot of his target.

But Thing Two wasn’t talking about Kurt. His comments were directed at Adam, who had been looking over a script as he walked in their direction. Without looking up, Adam turned and went in the direction of some open benches, as though he’d meant to find an open bench from the get go.

Kurt watched him for a moment, then walked over to the group of student, most of whom widened their eyes, including the dual Things.

“You know, that’s so interesting. Because obviously, as a turtle-face, I got in here on my talent. So I was actually wondering how you got in, Paul. Y’know, without either.”

Ronnie laughed and pouted at Paul, who crossed his arms and glared daggers at him.

“What?” Ronnie spread both hands. “I think we all know that I got in here because I’m pretty, gurl!”

One of the girls laughed and hugged Ronnie’s arm.

Kurt gave them a bitchy smile and headed over to where Adam was sitting by himself. The script was obscuring his face, so Kurt lingered only a moment before sitting beside him and touching his arm gently.

“Hey.”

“Hey, Kurt!”

Kurt blinked. He knew what Adam’s enthusiasm sounded like. This was a mockery of it.

“Are you busy? We could go for lunch.”

“Oh. Yes. That would be great, actually.” He let the script fall. Kurt could see a slew of red marks all over it.

“Is that for your script writing class?” Kurt peered over the marred copy.

Adam moved his hand over it. “Not quite done, I’m afraid. I was hoping to set the Apples up with something to work on, but... I don’t want to embarrass them.”

“Well.” Kurt caught himself sweeping the room with his eyes instinctively, as though this were Lima, and anyone would care what he was about to do. He did it anyway, and put his hand on Adam’s shoulder, rubbing his back slightly. “You know, some of us are looking to do some scriptwriting. I think we’d all appreciate a session to share our work, even if it’s really drafty. I’m sure we’d have kinder notes for each other than our teachers will.”

“Learn from my failure? Or flailures, maybe.” His smile was tense.

“Adam, if you’re not taking risks and challenging yourself, you’re wasting your time here,” Kurt said. His hand moved to the center of Adam’s back. “My first audition got me praise and comparison to Hugh Jackman. My second got Tibideaux to say that I’m shallow and not even an artist. My third, on a song she hates, got me in. This business is cruel and arbitrary.”

“Hm, I seem to remember hearing that.” Adam leaned over onto his knees and closed his eyes for a few seconds. “I’ll think about it. I suppose it would do them good to see some constructive criticism before getting their hearts ripped out.”

Kurt gave Adam a few more rubs, then stood and offered his hand. “Up up,” he ordered.

“Right. Lunch is on me, okay?”

“You don’t have to do that,” Kurt scoffed. Though he didn’t have much spare tips cash this week. Theatre school kids were alternatively spoiled and cheap or just poor.

“You don’t have to cook for me, and yet.” Adam stuffed the script into his bag and walked alongside Kurt, putting his hand on Kurt’s opposite shoulder.

***


Somehow Ohio had seemed colder than New York. Kurt couldn’t quite figure out what it was, at the time. He had been knee deep in other people’s drama, handling problems between Blaine and Tina (and Sam to a degree), listening to Finn’s frustrations over women, and trying to manage more than one awkward conversation with his father about Blaine without explaining exactly why they’d broken up and causing the man a metric ton of stress.

When he returned to New York, he was drained, and chilled, but it wasn’t long before Adam came over, as he’d promised he would when Kurt had texted him before getting on the plane. They settled into the couch, and Kurt started to give him the most entertaining highlights of the trip when he realized that far from being cold, he felt... snug. He was sitting with his legs crossed under him on one side of the sofa, and Adam was on the other, one ankle crossed over his knee and his arms loose at his sides. But his presence, the physicality of him, right there... it did things for Kurt’s heart that were sort of new and confusing. He should know what this felt like, but it was different somehow.

Those arms...

“And?” Adam encouraged.

Kurt realized that he’d just stopped mid-sentence to stare at Adam.

“And... it was awkward. I’d just gotten done with the two of them less than twenty minutes ago, talking about boundaries, and consent, and there we were in the back of the car, his hand on my...” Kurt pursed his lips and looked up at the ceiling, shaking his head.

“That’s awful!”

“I was able to push him off. Blaine shouldn’t be allowed to drink, ever.”

“Well, they might at least wait until he’s of age. Did he hurt you?”

Adam’s voice dripped so heavily with concern, that Kurt looked to him again with a smile.

“Recently, not so much. We’ve not had a lot of contact, although I’ve been trying to get to a friend place with him, for my own sanity, I guess. There was a moment when I wasn’t sure I’d be able to push him off, but I got out of the car and sent his friend Sam in to pour ice on him. I went back to the hotel with them, just to make sure that he got there safe. Then I bunked with my friend Unique since her bff was off in someone else’s room.”

Adam reached across the gap between them and brushed his fingers over Kurt’s hand. “It sounds like a very stressful trip.”

“Going home is never a vacation.” Kurt shook his head. “Although I’ve missed my family... You must miss yours.”

“Well, England is a bit of a trip,” Adam said. “And it’s only my mum’s side that I miss. My father lives over here.”

Kurt nodded. The tea kettle blew, and Kurt bounded up and sang, “Teeaaa!”

Adam laughed and leaned over onto his hands, elbows on the sofa cushion. “Can I help with anything?”

“Nope. I am the host. I get the tea. And biscuits,” Kurt said cheerfully as he poured the steaming tea into both mugs on his serving tray.

“I get biscuits, too? You spoil me.”

“Well, you deserve something for listening to all this drama.”

“It’s no trouble really. I love gossip, when the drama isn’t mine. Had enough of that with Felix.”

“Cat troubles?” Kurt opened up the box of chocolate biscuits.

“No. Just an ex. The man was endless store of drama and problems.”

“And you missed him, so you listen to mine?”

“See, the difference is that yours are... real. They actually happened.”

“Ohhhh.” Kurt paused as he looked over the tray, then back to Adam. It seemed like everyone had baggage of some kind. He couldn’t imagine what someone like that would do to Adam, who was always so bright and supportive. “Must’ve been exhausting for you.”

“This one of yours sounds exhausting. And in need of a rehab, most likely.”

“Gettin’ shady in here,” Kurt teased. He steadied his hands, suddenly remembering the feel of drunken, clumsy hands on his thighs, grabbing at his shirt and popping buttons carelessly. “I just don’t understand why he never really wanted to touch me unless he was plastered. Or someone else wanted me. It only took us five months between getting physical for the first time and lesbian bed death.”

Adam choked back a laugh.

Kurt lifted the tray and started towards the sofa. “Sometimes, I felt like I just wasn’t sexy. There would be days when I’d feel great, like this amazing diva beast, and when I got near him, suddenly I was this awkward big-pawed kitten. I thought maybe that was why it was so easy for him to keep from touching me for the first months we were dating.”

He set the tray on the coffee table. “Maybe that was why it was so easy for him to cheat on me with some random guy.”

“If that’s the case, then I’m quite sorry for his utter lack of taste.”

“You would say that,” Kurt scoffed.

“What?”

“It’s hard for me...” Kurt felt his heart go into his throat just stared at the tray and the tea and the cookies. “It’s hard to believe you mean everything you say, sometimes. I mean, I don’t think you’re a liar at all, but it’s hard for me. I don’t know how to respond.”

Adam’s hand cupped over Kurt’s shoulder blade. “Kurt, I do mean them. I understand why you have such issues with trust and honesty, but I mean what I say.”

Kurt sat on the cushion next to Adam. Their knees bumped against one another, and Kurt looked at him. “Do you mind?”

“Oh, I... No.” Adam’s face went tight, and then he seemed almost flushed and embarrassed.

“I could move.” Kurt stirred a bit of Truvia into his tea and picked up the mug to blow on it.

“I... Don’t.”

Kurt leaned back, against Adam, taking in his warmth. “And this? This is okay?”

Adam nodded silently. Kurt placed a hand on Adam’s knee and squeezed it, meeting his eye purposefully.

“I like being with you. I think you like being with me, too. But it’s difficult for me to tell, and I have all these experiences that tell me that clearly you would keep your distance because I’m not that attractive-”

“Kurt! That isn’t-”

“And I just- If you’re not attracted to me sexually, if you just see me as this adorable little friend, that’s okay. Just tell me, and we can friend zone this, and I’ll get over it. Honest. I’m a tough little kitten.” Kurt sipped his tea and looked down at his hand, where Adam’s hand drifted over to cover. “But, for me? I think you’re incredibly handsome. And your voice, and your laugh, just drive me crazy.”

Adam stared at him for a moment, his lips parting in surprise. “I suppose it’s just strange to me that you have to ask.” He squeezed Kurt’s hand tightly and tented his brows. “I care about you, Kurt, and it isn’t that I’m not interested. Far from it! You’re beautiful. Whenever you walk by, I can’t help but stare at you pathetically... But I can tell you’ve been through a lot, and quite recently, and though you weather it well, it’s marked you in a way that tells me that just can’t be careless with you. I don’t want to hurt you, or rush you.”

“Okay.” Kurt took that in for a moment. “Then let’s just try this?”

Kurt propped his blue-socked feet up on the sofa and laid back on Adam’s chest. Adam’s arm circled around his waist, and their free hands intertwined.

“I like this,” Adam said with a quiet merriment.

“I do too. I’ve been kind of dreaming about this. That’s how wild I am, just so you know. I fantasize about tea and snuggling.”

“I quite approve of those fantasies!” Adam pouted. “But now I can’t reach my tea.”

Kurt lifted his cup up for Adam and let him take a sip.

“Much better.”

Kurt sighed, sinking into Adam, and Adam twinning around him. His head rested against Kurt’s, and Kurt closed his eyes, just... just being. Just enjoying Adam’s corporeality, which he missed when they were apart and enjoyed when they were together, even if they weren’t touching.

“I need to take you out on a real date,” Adam murmured after some time had passed.

“Let’s set one going out, and I’ll shoo my roommates out for a night and have dinner here for another.”

“Lovely. I was a bit afraid you’d ask me to double with Rachel and the Naked Man.”

“I’m proud that nickname has caught on at NYADA.”

“Well, I think he rather likes it, too.”

Adam lifted his head, and Kurt turned back slightly to look up him. He looked anxious, actually, and flushed. Kurt smiled at Adam’s shyness, and his concern. They could take it slow. That could be good.

But Kurt pressed his palm to the side of Adam’s face anyway, and gave him a lingering but soft kiss. Adam set the tea down on the end table and wrapped his arms around Kurt. They kissed again, and again, slowly and gently. Kurt could wait for everything that came after, because this tender, tentative, exploratory beginning was exactly what he needed after everything. Maybe it was what they both needed.

The door slid open loudly, and Santana groaned. “Get a room, you two.”

“Can’t. No interior walls,” Kurt breezed, as he brushed his nose against Adam’s.

“Oh! Oh my god!” Rachel squealed at the doorway.

“You are the loudest creature to ever exist,” Santana said.

“Oh! Oh, Kurt!”

Rachel clapped her hands, and when Kurt finally looked back, she was bouncing up and down. Santana was just standing there, eyes narrowed and arms crossed, and glaring at Rachel.

“Oh, tell me how! Tell me when! Oh, god, does your dad know!” Rachel rushed over to the sofa and sat beside them.

“Well, ah...” Adam shook his head and looked to Kurt in bafflement.

“No.” Santana went over to the sofa and grabbed Rachel’s arm.

“Wha-?”

“No.” Santana pulled her towards the closet aka, racks of clothing. “Put on something slutty. We’re going out.”

“We are...? Oh.” Rachel looked back at them and with a giggle started changing.

A whirlwind of clothing and grackle noises back and forth, and the two of them were gone, with Santana telling Rachel that she’d be paying.

“We lead such interesting lives,” Adam murmured.

“Some of us do.”

“Oh, if any of the Apples were over here right now...”

“They’ve been singing the chorus from ‘Won’t Say I’m in Love’ at me for two weeks. I get the picture.”

“Let’s forget them, hm?” Adam’s quiet confidence returned, his lips curving upward as he touched Kurt’s jaw with two fingers.

And they kissed and cuddled once again.

And that was how it started. Not with a bang, but with touches, gentle and brave.

(The bangs would come later.)
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ladydreamer: Wonder Woman draws her sword from behind. (Default)
Jenny Wrayne

April 2017

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