Title: Be Positive
Pairing: Kurt/Blaine past relationship, Kurt/OCs, Kurt/Adam (main)
Warning: HIV plot. Hints of depression in later chapters.
Summary: As Kurt slowly tries to piece himself back together after the break-up, he and Adam circle around one another in New York without truly meeting. When Kurt comes home for Christmas, a prank and poor bookkeeping result in Kurt getting the shock of his life. Reeling from the news and still trying to be strong for those around him, Kurt returns to New York with baggage of a diagnosis he never expected weighing heavily on his shoulders that will complicate his life more than he thought possible. Then, he runs into Adam at NYADA.
AN: No songs in this part, really, so let me bolster my credibility by linking some news stories. Man Misdiagnosed for FIVE YEARS. Woman, Nine Years.
The cabin was starting to get stuffy with the plane taxiing along the runway. Kurt tried to stretch his legs and blew air through his lips impatiently. It wasn’t much longer, but as exciting as it had been only a year and a half ago to fly for the first time, Kurt had found that he was not a fan. It made him anxious. Not because they might crash, but because the quick succession of deadlines, between getting to the airport, through security, to the gate and being there and not anywhere else in the airport when they decided to board the plane, it just wound him up. He’d not slept at all on the plane, despite popping an Ambien to try to make that happen.
Patting a hand on his knee, he sat up straight, practically vibrating in anticipation. He shot up the moment the unfasten seatbelt bell chimed, then grabbed his bag from the overhead and stood to wait again.
He didn’t know much about science fiction, but they really needed to get to work on those teleporters.
It took too long for the people in front of him to start moving. Then they trudged along while Kurt clenched his jaw, and the moment he started to step forward an older man suddenly decided to stand and take his time pulling a huge bag out of the overhead.
Kurt bit back his annoyance and helped the man get it down, then let the man and his wife go in front of him.
By the time he was walking out into the terminal, his legs stretched with every step, grateful to be able to swing free. He drew breaths in and out. One last step, and the tension would loose from his shoulders like a snapped cord.
He looked around for the sign to the luggage claims and hurried in that direction. As he walked past the security guards, his heart started to speed up in anticipation. He scanned the people coming and going all over the front of the airport.
Then his eyes spotted a familiar baseball cap. His heart skipped, and then so did he, for at least a step, as he hurried toward his father.
“Hey!” Burt’s arms opened wide for Kurt to come into.
Kurt wrapped his arms tightly around his father. His shoulders relaxed, and he just couldn’t let go. Burt patted his back and hugged him, laughing softly.
“Can’t wait to get you back to the house.”
Kurt reluctantly pulled back. “Yeah?”
“We didn’t put the tree up yet! Didn’t seem right without’cha.” Burt reached over for Kurt’s bag, but Kurt hefted it back up on his shoulder and started towards the luggage carrel.
“I can’t wait. I have this whole vision for Christmas decorations this year,” Kurt said excitedly. He reached into his bag as they stopped with the crowd to wait for the belt to start bringing out the luggage. “I got something for you.”
“Hey, we said no presents,” Burt objected. “I know you kids gotta to save your money right now.”
“I just couldn’t help myself.” Kurt pulled out a black ball cap and presented it to his father. It read NYADA across the front.
“Hey! Can always use one more o’those.” Burt took the cap in his hand, then frowned and looked at Kurt. “Holy shit. You got in!”
“I got in!”
As Kurt submitted to his second hug, he couldn’t believe he’d even thought for a moment about not coming home for the holidays to see his family.
No blue Christmas for him this year.
Kurt opened the door to the Hudson-Hummel abode and smiled. The house was in disarray, but the air smelled like cinnamon. With a deep breath, Kurt felt himself being swept back.
“Aw, baby. Did you wait out here all night?” His mother scooped him into her arms and laid down with him on the couch, while the lights from the tree flickered on them.
“Sana came,” Kurt mumbled and pointed at the meager offerings under the tree.
She kissed his forehead and looked up at his father. “Let him sleep a little?”
“No… I’m not… sleepy,” Kurt protested.
He yawned, and his father’s big hand ruffled his hair.
“Get some shut-eye, kid. I’ll whip us up some pancakes,” he said. “You want chocolate chip? I bet I can get the smilie faces without setting the oven on fire this time!”
“Please don’t,” his mother pleaded. She rose and deposited Kurt into his father’s arms, and he curled up there, warm and secure.
“And that’s how we get chocolate chip pancakes for Christmas breakfast,” he whispered in Kurt’s ear.
“Yay,” Kurt murmured.
Kurt’s fingers brushed along the dusty old boxes. Within were the memories of his childhood, waiting to be freed to haunt their house once more.
“Just you and me, kiddo.” Burt held Kurt’s hand as he lifted up the little ornament that Kurt had made. It was small, and pretty, and it smelled like her.
Kurt reached up and Burt let him take it in his small hands to put it on the tree.
“She’ll always be with us, y’know.”
Kurt felt his throat closing, and he could feel his father’s eyes on the back of his neck. What a homecoming. He was making himself depressed already. Hadn’t he promised to be less of a downer this Christmas?
“I wanna raise a glass to us,” Burt said.
Against their better judgment, Burt and Carole had let Kurt make mimosas to go along with their Christmas brunch, a tradition that even Finn enjoyed, because it meant getting to snack on a bunch of delicious breakfast foods all day, and he didn’t have to cook. Instead, that evening, he and Carole would go visit Carole’s family, and Kurt and Burt would have some alone time.
It had worked out almost seamlessly, actually.
“I can’t say how grateful I am to have us all here together,” Burt continued.
Carole patted his arm and threaded their fingers together.
“No, I’m serious. This fall started off like hell on Earth. All those kids in news killing themselves, my heart attack-” He looked at Carole. “-and death threats. It was like a friggin’ epidemic this year, and I thank God you two didn’t get taken out by it.”
Finn’s eyes widened slowly.
“There’s nothin’ a parent fears more than having to outlive their kid.”
Carole nodded and looked at Finn and Kurt with gratitude in her eyes. “So true.”
Finn turned his head slowly, eyes still bugging in alarm. Kurt looked up at him and forced an almost deranged smile.
“But we’re all fine now. And we’re a family,” Kurt pointed out.
Finn’s arm came around his shoulder and squeezed Kurt into his side so tightly it almost hurt. Somehow that made it sweeter.
“Damn straight.” Finn’s voice was rough, and a little choked.
They clinked their glasses together and drank.
“Hey! It’s the big city boy!” Finn exploded from the kitchen wearing an apron and held his big arms wide.
Kurt laughed and set his bag down to let his brother wrap him up tight. “Hi, Finn-Finn.”
“I’ll be right out!” Carole called.
“I can come in there!” Kurt offered.
“Not if I never let’cha go, little brother!” Finn teased.
Burt shut the front door and came over to rub Kurt’s back.
“I’m trapped,” Kurt complained.
“If you want the tree decorated, you’d better let ‘im go,” Burt said.
“I can do without a tree,” Finn argued.
“How about my caramel popcorn for the movie tonight?” Kurt suggested.
“Aww.” Finn released him and brushed his hand over the tips of Kurt’s hair. Kind of him not to mess it up too much.
“Kurt!” Carole came out, and Kurt was once again embraced, and this time given a firm kiss on the cheek as well. “How are you, honey?”
“Oh, I’m good,” Kurt answered vaguely.
“Were you not good?” Burt prodded.
“Kurt thought he might be coming down with something last week,” Carole said. She kissed his cheek again and rubbed his back. “We’re lucky you recovered in time for your flight!”
“You make it sound like it was actually serious. It was just a cold, or a microflu or something.”
“You oughta get your flu shot,” Burt advised.
“Maybe when I get back,” he said, mostly to assuage whatever worries his father and Carole might be harboring.
Before they put him to work, Carole brought out a plate of cookies and tried to get Kurt to let her bring him something more substantial to eat, and they sat around the sofa and easy chairs catching each other up on their lives, starting with Burt waving around the NYADA hat, and Kurt telling the story of his impromptu audition, which had somehow not made it back through Rachel.
Kurt prodded Finn for info on the New Directions, and hassled him a little about community college applications, an effort that was supplemented by Carole’s pointed looks.
“I still don’t really know what I wanna do though, you know?” Finn shrugged.
“That won’t matter. If you get in through community college, then you can work on core requirements and getting your grades and experience where it needs to be to get into a program that you really want to do.” Kurt held up his hands. “This is the last thing I’ll say, and then we can bust out the tree.”
“Whoo!” Burt pumped his fist.
“No one believes in you more than the people in this room, Finn. I just don’t want you to get stuck in that place, okay?” Kurt reached for Finn’s hand and rubbed it. “You’re more than that.”
“It’s not that bad. I’ve actually liked kinda being in charge of the New Directions.” He shook his head. “Until we lost.”
“Um, Mr. Schue didn’t always win, either. And he had years of teaching experience and he still pulled some really boneheaded moves sometimes. Where was he when you guys needed him?”
“In Washington.” Finn pinched his lips to the side.
“That girl needed help,” Carole said sharply. “And not the kind you could have given her. She needed a doctor. I hope she’s getting that. But I have to say that I’m disappointed none of her friends came to you, or any of her teachers. I’ve been that age. Girls know more than they’ll say.”
“I just wish there was something I could do. Like, something was happening with her, and I was there the whole time, and I didn’t see it,” Finn said.
Kurt tilted his head to the side and narrowed his eyes. “Now you really do sound like Mr. Schue.”
Finn laughed. He gave Kurt another squeeze. “Let’s break out the tree,” he declared.
Kurt spread his hands in front of him and looked off into a far away point in the pretend horizon. “I’m gonna make this whole town shine.”
“Children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile…”
Kurt’s bright, sweet voice rang out through the shop as Blaine entered with Sam by his side. He froze where he was and stared up at Kurt. Somehow his memories didn’t do justice to the graceful creature before him, perched on a chair and singing with such a clear, pure tone that Blaine believed he was shuddering from the sound, not the snow outside.
Had Kurt been so rawly beautiful when he’d left? Blaine seemed to remember a cuddly, adorable boy, defiantly proud of his sexuality, in the abstract anyway, while being almost afraid of the physical reality of it.
The Kurt up there— hanging a delicate string of garland with glittery green leaves, molded silver leaves and twigs, and little ringing bells— was not his Kurt. It was a New York City fashionisto, a star on the cusp of being discovered. This guy was so far out of Blaine’s league it almost hurt. Just the way Kurt held himself and dressed himself. It wasn’t the multiple layers of self-defense that had marked Kurt’s Lima wardrobe… it was casually sexual.
Kurt stepped up on the desk to keep setting up the garland. Blaine leaned forward slightly. Those were some… tight pants.
Sam laughed and smacked Blaine’s arm. “Dude.”
Kurt jerked and half turned. Blaine darted forward, afraid Kurt would come tumbling to the ground. But he didn’t, he just looked down on Blaine, his brow arching slowly as the moment between them ached on with an ever yawning silence.
Blaine imagined himself eventually slinking away out of sheer awkwardness. But thankfully, Sam broke the ice with a wave.
“Hmm, never seen you after hours, Moneypenny… lovely.” Sam curled his lips around the words in faux Scottish accent.
Kurt laughed and shook his head. He took a second to recover and then said, “Flattery will get you nowhere.” His eyes narrowed coyly. “But don’t stop trying.”
He stepped back down onto the chair, and Blaine reached out to take Kurt’s hand. Kurt hesitated, briefly, then apparently decided that it wasn’t worth it to crack his head open just to avoid mixed signals.
“Are you guys having a good winter break? Are you on break yet?” Kurt asked.
“Friday’s the last day,” Blaine said.
“Finn said you got in last night,” Sam said. “I was over at Blaine’s.”
“Oh. Sleep over. Fun.”
Blaine’s heart was rushing into his throat. “Do you want some help…? Actually, I need to get changed.”
“Your dad is letting me work off debt on my car.” Blaine winced and shrugged. “The transmission went kerplooie.”
Kurt rolled his eyes. “I told you that car-”
“I know, I know.” Blaine shook his head. “Believe me. Now I know.”
“So he has you doing repairs and…?” Kurt jerked his thumb behind him.
“No, mostly just simple stuff. Oil changes. Refilling windshield washer fluid and replacing bulbs. But the other guys are giving me tips so I can help them with other things. It’s been a good experience.”
“Well, that’s nice of him.”
Blaine tried to attribute some warmth to the carefully measured statement, but found none. Kurt was looking out over the shop. He seemed more nostalgic for working in here, than he did for talking with Blaine.
He couldn’t say that it didn’t hurt, or that it was unexpected.
“Yeah, well,” Blaine said. “Finn’s only working part time now, so Burt needed someone… probably could’ve used someone with more experience, I guess.”
“You’ll adapt. I’m sure you will.” Kurt patted his shoulder lightly.
“I’m just here because I’m bored,” Sam pitched in.
“Oh? No plans with Britt-Britt?” Kurt asked.
“She dumped me.”
“That was fast!
“Or I think she did, because she started dating another girl and now she only talks to me in Glee club.”
Kurt fought a smile, then covered his lips and shook his head. “Ohhh, Brittany.”
“Yeah. I mean, I guess I’m used to it. Santana never bothered to break up with meeither. She just picked a different beard.”
Kurt rubbed Sam’s shoulders. “One day, Sam, you will meet a nice girl who likes you for you, and remembers she’s dating you. But as a consolation, Brittany would probably date you and the other girl at the same time if you were into it.”
Sam couldn’t help but laugh. “What about you?”
“What?” Kurt’s voice jumped up into his upper register.
“You dating anyone?”
Blaine gave Sam a sharp look.
“Oh. Um…” Kurt paused for almost too long. “No…”
Blaine looked down at his hands and swallowed. “Kurt, if you’ve found someone, you don’t have to lie for me.”
“I’m not. It was just… I work so much. It’s not a good time to try to devote to starting a relationship.” Kurt crossed his arms and shrugged. “So I’ve gone on dates, but nothing exclusive.”
“Wow.” Sam pinched his mouth to the side and shot another look to Blaine. Go for it.
Blaine scowled at him. “I guess as… as long as you’re safe.”
Sam tilted his head to the side.
“I’m not stupid. Of course, I’m safe,” Kurt said.
“I just, um, want to know that you’re okay out there,” Blaine tried to cover lamely.
“Hm.” Kurt’s gaze moved back over to Blaine. “I can take care of myself. I’ve always been a survivor.”
“Yeah. You have.” Blaine drew in a deep breath.
“I hope you have been, too,” Kurt said after a moment.
The word cut through the air. It was tinged with just enough annoyance to bring Blaine back to why it was so awkward between them. Not just the distance, or the break up, but the reason for the break up. Which undoubtably Kurt had not been trying to highlight, but it had come to the surface of everyone’s thoughts anyway.
“I’m not really seeing anyone, either,” Blaine admitted. But still, that night…
Kurt pressed his lips together. He looked back up at the garland he’d been stringing. “I’d better finish this. I’m meeting Mercedes and some of the girls later.”
“Oh. Okay. I’ll change.” Blaine exited for the bathroom to change into his coveralls. When he returned, Kurt and Sam were talking easily about some British television show with zombies in it.
“No, you weren’t seeing things. It’s coded gay. Gay without labels, but definitely, definitely more than just homosocial,” Kurt said energetically while Sam nodded.
Blaine wasn’t sure what he’d been hoping for. Maybe that his connection with Kurt would override everything that was broken between them.
But it clearly didn’t.
Sam bid them both goodbye, and Kurt returned to his chair. As Kurt finished up the decorations, Blaine disconnected his brain and just did the oil and bulb changes as ordered. But he wasn’t thinking about Kurt now, or how they’d promised to have a conversation about their relationship (which was seeming less now like something Blaine should be looking forward to). He was thinking about Eli’s unopened condom left on the dresser as Blaine had left his room.
“Ow!” Blaine pulled his hand back and shook it.
“You have to let the engine cool.” Kurt came over and peered over the engine. “This one looks like the cooling fan needs to be replaced. What did they bring it in for?”
“What’s the work order?”
“I… don’t know. Cassius just asked me to take this apart.” Kurt picked up the clipboard and wrote down a few notes. Then he looked at Blaine’s hand, set the clipboard down, and touched his fingers. “You hurt yourself.”
Blaine looked back at him. His heart raced as Kurt held his hand in his own. “It’s fine. I just scraped it. I just wasn’t thinking.”
“Hmm.” Kurt narrowed his eyes, then walked back over to Burt’s desk and ferreted through some papers. He pulled out a bottle of alcohol and a clean rag and brought them over.
Blaine bit his lip as Kurt gently cleaned off the cut. “I’m sorry.”
Kurt sighed and focused on Blaine’s hand.
“I mean it. I was… I was selfish, and I know you couldn’t control your schedule- ow!”
“Don’t be a baby.” Kurt smiled at him softly.
“I’m not!” Blaine swallowed.
“So you don’t think it was my fault anymore?”
“You said that you did that because you were alone and you needed me.” Kurt let go of his hand and focused on screwing the cap on the bottle.
Kurt sighed again and started to turn away.
“Kurt, don’t. I shouldn’t have said that. It was me. I lost faith in us, and I was selfish, and mean. I knew how much that would hurt you, and I regretted it right after. Like, rightafter.” He looked at the car engine. Because he couldn’t look at Kurt right now.
“You knew it would hurt me. You did it on purpose.” His voice was quiet, as measured as any other words Kurt had given him since that night. Aside from the ones in the hallway.
I don’t trust you.
“A little, yeah. It wasn’t just that you weren’t there. You were lightyears away, and not just physical distance. And I started to feel like maybe you didn’t care.” Blaine touched the side of the car. “I knew what would make you care.”
“How can you say that I didn’t care? You told me to go!” Kurt was still fighting to remain composed, but a brief look at his eyes said he was struggling with that. “I know that sometimes I’m not always honest about how I feel, especially when I think you won’t like it, but I really don’t know what I did to deserve this.”
“I mean, you couldn’t even pay enough attention to help me pick out a tie-”
“You broke my heart over a friggin’ tie?”
Blaine straightened. Kurt’s voice hadn’t been loud, but it had resonated.
“It just felt like you weren’t that interested in my stuff anymore,” Blaine said. “And then you couldn’t talk to me on the phone-”
“Not when I’m working, no, I can’t.”
Blaine crossed his arms over himself. He had to look away. Kurt’s shining blue eyes were just too intense.
“Does my dad let you gossip on the phone when you’re on the clock?” Kurt pressed.
“No, it’s just.. I wanted you to understand my side.”
“I got your side. We all got your side. I’m pretty sure there are space aliens out there that know you think I’m a negligent boyfriend,” Kurt said.
“That’s not… Kurt. Be fair.”
“Do you want to know how I feel? Well, you get to hear it anyway, because I’m up to my ears in your feelings about this. I feel like I’m completely worthless. I feel like you took everything that was important between us, and you just threw it away, like it was nothing. Like what I gave to you, of me, was nothing. Haven’t I shown you that I’m willing to listen? Haven’t I always been the one to try to work things out when we argued?” Kurt lifted his chin and held his jaw tight. “We could have fixed this. But you shattered it.”
Blaine looked down and exhaled slowly.
“And I can’t get over that. I know myself. I can’t. I can hardly deal with how it shook me when you refused to stop seeing Sebastian. Even went behind my back, just to get complements from a guy who was awful to me. But this? I can’t, Blaine.” Kurt threw his hands up. “I have no hope of ever getting over this.”
“Is this what you wanted to tell me? Our big relationship discussion.”
“I was hoping we could do it over tea and cookies,” Kurt said dryly. He dropped the smile and held up a hand with a shrug. “I said I wanted to still be friends. Not that we would get back together at Christmas.”
“I’m not sure I want to just be friends.”
“Well. That’s the only option.” Kurt sucked in his cheeks a little and looked over towards his bag. “See you later.”
The girls were already ensconced in their booth at Breadstix when Kurt entered. He’d taken the time to go home and change into a slick pair of jeans and a wisteria colored corset-vest over his white shirt.
“Hey, ladies.” Kurt gave them a wink as he slid into the booth with Mercedes. “How are we this evening?”
“Oh, don’t you sit all the way over there!” Unique got up and came over to give him a squeeze. Suddenly Mercedes was on his other side doing the same.
Marley sat across from them, twining her arms together awkwardly and biting her lip, and she shrugged at him when she caught his eye. It must have been strange for her. She barely knew Kurt, though Mercedes had come by to do some vocal coaching for them for the musical and for Sectionals.
Not that it mattered now.
Unique released him but when she sat, she touched his hand and she and Mercedes started grilling him on what it was like to work at Vogue.
“How do you afford those clothes?” Marley asked after being silent for the first section of Unique and Mercedes’ interrogation. “Do you get a discount?”
“Oh, not really. Sometimes Francesca will give away old items— she’s in charge of the Vogue closet. But most of the time I shop bargains, swap, or make things myself.” He moved his finger down the embroidery on the front of his vest. “Like this.”
“Wow.” Marley stared it it. “That’s gorgeous.”
“You should’ve seen the stuff he came up with in high school. There was this one sweater that looked like he skinned a cat,” Mercedes said with a booming laugh.
“Y’know, I make good money on my knock offs,” Kurt pointed out. “Even the ugly ones.”
He pinched his lips together, then grinned and licked his lower lip slowly. “Though there are other specialty outfits that pay just as well and are easier to do.”
Unique laughed. “Oh, honey. It’s gettin’ dirty in here.”
“Your mind is dirty. I’m talking about convention clothes.” Kurt shook his head. “People spend good money on well-tailored costumes.”
“Yeah, like you haven’t sewn up a dress or two for a man who didn’t want to go out and buy it,” Mercedes said.
“How do you know it was a man, baby?” Unique said with an arch of the brow.
“There are limitations for what men, and women, can find in stores that will fit them. Off the rack is mostly cookie cutter. To look really good, you have to get creative,” Kurt said.
The waitress came by to take their order. “Are you kids ready?”
“Well, I am,” Mercedes said. “I’ll have the classic lasagna.”
“Ravioli de Portobella,” Unique said, raising one hand with flair.
Marley toyed with the menu anxiously.
“Is anyone interested in splitting anything?” she said a little quietly.
Unique’s eyes moved over her with concern. “Um, well…”
“I will,” Kurt said. “My stomach is in knots from talking to my ex this afternoon. Do you like capellini pomodoro? It’s… pasta. With tomatoes and a little olive oil. If we split that and each had a salad, that would be good, but not too heavy, right?”
“That… that sounds great, actually,” she said, flushing a little.
“Like you need to be any skinnier.” Mercedes poked his ribs.
“I work at a fashion magazine. Believe that I am always aware of my weight.”
The girls laughed, and the conversation started up again as soon as their waitress left. Unique insisted on trading places with him, saying that she wasn’t going to let him pick off their plates when he got hungry.
“My metabolism has gone crazy since my last growth spurt. But the joke’s on you. I’ve been baking cookies most of the day.” Kurt flipped his napkin out and winked at Unique coyly.
“I thought you and Blaine were banging things out,” Mercedes teased.
“Girl,” Kurt said simply, pointing at her.
“Boys suck. You get away with everything, and your metabolisms are faster, too,” Marley complained.
“Well, it’s not all fun and games. Too much testosterone can shorten your life span, or kill your swimmers, or make you bald.” Kurt smirked and leaned over to sing in a higher voice, “But that’s not my problem!”
“Are you sure about that? Your dad is awful bald,” Mercedes teased.
“I’m much more careful about the frequency of my hat wearing,” Kurt volleyed back. “Enough about the drawbacks of hormones.” He pointed between Unique and Marley. “Glee. Update.”
“Not much to update,” Unique said. “We lost.”
“Yeah, but that doesn’t mean the club ceases to exist, does it? We won Nationals last year. Figgins can stuff it up his money grubbing ass.”
“Apparently they lost their practice space to Sue,” Mercedes said.
Kurt narrowed his eyes.
“And that’s my fault,” Marley muttered. Her lips drew together as she looked into her lap.
“Hey. No way.” Kurt touched her shoulder. “There’s always things going on around competition time. Remember our first Sectionals, Mercedes?”
“Yeah.” Mercedes let out a laugh. “I finally got a solo, and the other two show choirs hadall our numbers.”
“And ask Brittany who leaked the set list to them,” Kurt added, “and how no one got mad at her for it.”
“Regionals we did lose that year. Because Rachel had to go date that St. James jerk.” Mercedes shook her head. “And I was mad at her for that.”
“True, but that didn’t last long. And you were mad mostly because we told her that this guy was bad news,” Kurt said. “We also had member go into labor right after our set.”
“Wait… what?” Unique laughed.
“Yep.” Kurt looked up. “And then the next Sectionals… I guess I was the drama that year? But not like they really needed me-”
“We did, and the drama was coming from Rachel and Finn and Santana,” Mercedes argued.
“-and the year after that it was technically Mercedes bringing the drama-”
Mercedes pointed at him. “I put up with a lotta sh-”
“Well-deserved drama. But in the end our big crisis came because Rachel decided to cheat in the presidential race, and got suspended. And we did fine without her, but when the STAR-” Kurt flailed his hands in the air. “-can’t perform, everyone melts down.”
“Remember the Kiss that Missed?” Mercedes leaned forward and grinned.
Kurt made his dinosaur hands impression, and Mercedes stuck her tough out in a mockery of a French kiss. Marley and Unique laughed and looked at one another shaking their heads.
“Is it any surprise that I fangirl these two?” Unique asked Marley.
“If there isn’t drama, it isn’t a show choir competition,” Kurt said seriously. “The ones who win are the ones who don’t let it bring ‘em down. And Mr. Schue wasn’t there for you. He should be taking responsibility for this. At least, he could’ve given you guys a real teacher along with Finn. I love him, and he’s my brother, but he doesn’t have the training to do it alone and it’s not fair to anyone to put him completely in charge.”
“But now we’re practicing on the roof.” Marley shook her head despondently.
“Or whatever open room we can find,” Unique added. “Sometimes there are people on the roof who throw things at us.”
“Or Coach Sylvester invites her Cheerios up there to make laugh at us.”
Kurt creased his brow and accepted his salad as the waitress set them down in front of him and Marley. “What’s in the Glee room now?”
“Stuff for her ‘super elite’ Cheerios,” Unique said with an eye roll. She reached over and stole a cherry tomato. “We’ve all joined other clubs, but we still try to meet. I don’t know what for.”
“Are you doing a Christmas concert?” Kurt picked up his little dish of dressing and drizzled it on his salad.
“No, I don’t think so,” Marley said.
“Not even for the school? Huh. I’ll talk to Finn. Last year we performed at the local soup kitchen.”
“That would be a great way to keep the club going with some kind of a goal. Nonprofit performances,” Mercedes said. “Emphasis on the non.”
“Right. And you should also consider doing a spring play.” Kurt stabbed his salad. “Everyone could use extra lines on their CVs.”
“I would love that…” Marley widened her eyes and shook her head a little. “But… I should try for a smaller part. Lead is so much pressure, and I felt bad that a senior didn’t get it.”
“There’s no reason to. The seniors kind of bailed,” Unique said. “Tina refused to try out, and then got mad when she didn’t get my part. Brittany wanted to be the dancer. Blaine refused to take the lead part. Artie was director…”
“Maybe this time they could try to choose something a little less white,” Mercedes said.
“Right?” Kurt chuckled. “Ahhh, Glee. Oh, and you guys could start working on some arrangements for next year.”
Kurt bumped Marley’s shoulder. “There’s plenty of learning to do in an off year. And all the seniors won at Nationals last year, so don’t worry about them too much.”
Marley didn’t look too convinced, but she nodded and took a small bite of her salad. Kurt figured that eating with friends after being publicly shamed for an eating disorder had to be stress-inducing, so he hoped the conversation would be a good distraction and keep the pressure off of her.
“A couple of us seniors could drop back in on the song-writing lessons. Not that our first songs were that good, but I’ve got a lot more now.” Mercedes reached into her purse and pulled out a little bound journal.
“I um.” Marley looked up at Mercedes. Her fingers pressed hard against her fork before she managed to speak. “I have some songs, but… I don’t really know how to arrange them.”
“That’s perfect to practice with! Let me show you some of my first drafts so you can see how crazy stupid they are.”
Marley’s face lit up, and she ate a tomato, letting it pop in her mouth.
Kurt smiled. Then he felt his phone buzzing in his pocket. He pulled it out and looked at the name, then sighed. His eyes skimmed over the faces of his companions, now embroiled in talk about song writing. He glanced down again and opened his messages.
I need to talk, Blaine’s text pleaded.
Kurt let out a slow sigh. I’m at dinner with friends. Can it wait?
Please. I’m really scared.
Kurt blinked at the answer and stood up. “I’ll be right back. Phone call.”
“Hot guy in New York?” Mercedes asked.
“Grindr?” Unique teased.
Kurt lowered his lids at them and went into the bathroom. He steeled himself for a moment, and then hit Blaine’s name, and called him.
“Kurt?” Blaine sounded almost startled.
“Well, yeah. Unless an alien has taken over my body and forced me to call you. I don’t think that’s the case.”
Blaine was quiet for a moment.
“What is it, Blaine? You said you were scared. Are you okay?”
“Yeah. No, no, I’m okay. I just…”
“Well, then what happened?”
“It’s just… The last guy I was with…”
“The guy that you…” Kurt couldn’t finish his sentence. He knew what the end of that sentence was. And he knew that Blaine knew the end of that sentence, too.
“Yeah. That guy.”
Kurt pinched the bridge of his nose and exhaled forcefully.
“Is he there?”
“What?” Blaine’s voice practically went soprano.
“Is he there? Is he bothering you? Is that why you’re scared?”
“No, no. It’s about what you were talking about before, and it got me thinking.”
“Blaine. Sweetie. I don’t have the slightest idea what you’re talking about.”
“He didn’t use the condom.”
Ice seemed to spread through Kurt’s veins. “He- He didn’t? Why the hell not? Did he just say no, or…?”
“No, I mean, we were fooling around, and then things started to get a little more heated-”
Kurt quite literally felt a pain spreading in his chest. He wondered if it was a heart attack.
“-and I gave it to him, but I lost track, and when I left… the condom was on his nightstand.”
“What a dick!”
Blaine laughed. Probably out of surprise, but Kurt felt himself getting angry.
“This isn’t a joke, Blaine. You don’t even know this guy. You don’t know where he’s been, what he’s done, who he’s done!”
“Sorry. That was kind of why I called… Actually, I don’t know what I expected you to do-”
“Have you gotten tested?”
“Well, I’m not sick or anything.”
“Blaine, you didn’t call me scared because you’re so incredibly stupid that you think nothing could happen to you. There is a clinic not too far out of town. You can go there and get tested for all kinds of things.”
Kurt waited. For all of three seconds. “So you’re going to go?”
“I- I guess I should.”
Kurt rubbed his hand over his chest and took in another deep breath. Even if he couldn’t be in a relationship with Blaine, he still wanted the guy to be taken care of. Unfortunately, it seemed like there was only one person who was going to do that right now.
“I’m coming to get you tomorrow, and we’ll have our first test together.”
“This is your Christmas present, by the way.” Kurt sat with his legs crossed primly at the knee. “It’s all you’re getting.”
There was something wrong with him. Going with his ex to get tested for STDs that said ex might have contracted while sleeping around on him.
There was definitely something wrong with Kurt. Something this clinic probably couldn’t help him with.
“I know.” Blaine’s hands fidgeted. “But thanks. I just couldn’t ask Coop to do this.”
“I very nearly threw one of those bizarre metallic blobs in your front yard at his head before you came out.”
“What did you tell him?”
“Oh, he’s just seen me whining about the break up. He means well, I guess, but he’s still an Anderson.”
“Well, that explains everything,” Kurt muttered.
“As I live and breathe,” a smug, velvety voice came from behind them.
Kurt’s insides clenched.
“It’s Gay Face!” Sebastian said cheerfully as he strolled around to face them. “Ah, andDidn’t Place.” He chuckled to himself, then bounced on his heels. “How’s Glee club?”
“We’re fine,” Blaine said with a pout.
“They’re taking the time off to rally more opportunities for club members to develop their skills and beef up their resumes. We can’t all have daddy buy our way into school, can we?” Kurt replied swiftly. Being near Sebastian just made his blood boil. One look at that hamster face and smug demeanor, and all the frustration and grief from Blaine’s infidelity weighed him down even further.
“Fun. Missed havin’ you around, Gay Face. What’s on your agenda these days? Serving coffee in New York now?”
“Ah, no. Just working at Vogue.”
Sebastian leaned on the back of Kurt’s chair and laughed loudly. Kurt was doing his best to make Sebastian’s head explode.
Kill him with your brain. Kill him with your brain.
Instead, Kurt reached into his bag for his billfold and handed him a card. “Here. Don’t call me.”
Sebastian studied the card for a moment, then held it up to the light and examined the watermark. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
“Don’t be sad.” Kurt pushed out his lower lip. “You’ll find someone else to harass. I have faith in you.”
“I thought you’d given this up?” Blaine said finally.
“That was until we won Sectionals,” Sebastian muttered. “Hunter told me to play nice with the competition, and neither of you are that any longer.”
“You must feel really good about yourselves,” Kurt said. “There’s nothing quite like winning because one of your competition’s lead singers is being bullied to nearly to death.”
He could feel Blaine’s eyes on him now.
“Then again, maybe you could use this as an opportunity to raise money for some kind of cause… make The Warblers look good on the back of a tragedy… again.”
“That wasn’t just to make The Warblers look good,” Sebastian said, flicking Kurt’s card at him.
Kurt placed it back in his billfold. “No? What did Dave say when you visited him in the hospital? Hm? Anything?”
Sebastian flattened his lips and arched a brow. “So are you two back together? Things can’t be going that well if you’re already here.”
“We’re just here to get tested,” Blaine said firmly. “It’s the responsible thing to do.”
“For you, maybe. For the virgin princess here…”
“That’s true. I don’t frequent clinics that often. Since I have a real job with real insurance, and, you know, standards… but you, they probably know you by name here, huh?” Kurt said with a sickeningly sweet smile. “You’re in, what? Every other week? You could probably start up a business here solving crimes given the number of guys you knowinside and out.”
The nurse called Kurt’s name, and he rose. Sebastian moved his hand forward with a smile, and Kurt pulled backward to avoid touching him, then blew him a kiss as he followed the nurse inside.
Sebastian didn’t even bother to keep talking to Blaine. He turned around and dropped down by his friend Frankie who he’d run into today. His cheeks were burning, and his head throbbing. Normally playing with Kurt was fun. Who did that prissy little princess think he was? He wasn’t better than Sebastian, and no, Sebastian hadn’t gone into the hospital to visit Dave, but that wasn’t.. It really wasn’t any… He just couldn’t do it at the time. He couldn’t, and it was none of Kurt’s damn business how he’d handled it.
He ignored Frankie’s questions about who he’d been talking to, until he realized that Frankie had already come out from his appointment.
“What are you still doing here?” he asked.
“Waiting on a prescription. They have a sliding scale for guys who can’t pay.”
“Oh. Anything good?”
“Oh, uh.” Frankie blinked and coughed. “Just a refill on antibiotics.”
“Don’t be coy with me.” Sebastian rolled his eyes. “We’ve got enough dainty queens in the house for one day.” He paused. “Frankie, it’s me. C’mon.”
“It’s um… syphilis.”
Sebastian grimaced and patted Frankie’s shoulder. “Hey, did they take your blood?”
It took him a few minutes of flirting with Damian at the front desk to get in the back without a nurse. They made out in the supply closet, and then Damian had to slip back to work, and Sebastian promised that he’d find his way back to the waiting area.
Instead it was a quick trip around to the lab, with his gloves on, of course, and as luck would have it, it was open, and empty. A look at the computer, and the corresponding numbers assigned to the names for confidentiality among the lab techs, and Sebastian had all he needed. A quick copy and paste to switch the numbers, click save, and prank completed.Wouldn’t Mr. Perfect get the shock of his life when his tests came back positive for the syph?