Author: CP Coulter PM
Post-Furt: Spinning off from Glee, Kurt begins an entirely new chapter in his life at Dalton Academy for Boys. Blaine, Wes, David and the boys of Windsor House make his life, for better or worse, far more eventful than he imagined.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Kurt H. & Dalton Academy Warblers - Chapters: 27 - Words: 406,101 - Reviews: 7,407 - Favs: 7,712 - Follows: 7,329 - Updated: 02-25-12 - Published: 11-29-10 - id: 6515261
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hi, I'm C Coulter, your author for this fic.
The idea of this came from turning over ideas in my head about what Kurt and Blaine's life in Dalton might be like... So in fair warning, I think I can safely say that this "Dalton" will not be following the Glee continuity. All the better for it, I imagine-the writers are fantastic and they've got one hell of a hit going, and this work is at best, a dilution of that excellence.
Dalton begins after "Furt". Dalton will star Kurt and Blaine, of course, but the rest of the cast will also be given their due emphasis. It's my own little attempt at a "spinoff" show.
All that said, I don't require your reviews (but some would be very nice), because I just hope you'll enjoy it or read it as something to kill time. For the most part, I'm letting the characters go on by themselves as I write them down. Also, some of the things that happen here might be taken off from my own experience in private school.
I hope you enjoy it. :)
(PS. I don't own Glee. If I did, it probably wouldn't be as amazing as it is now.)
Pilot: Windsor House
"…and so I told Mrs. Ramsey that I really didn't care if I have to stay in a dorm; it's long enough a commute for gas money and I just can't stand the thought of having to have my dad pay for any more than he and Carole already have…" Kurt hugged the books to his chest and kept his head down.
Blaine considered this posture. Kurt held himself ramrod straight with good bearing as usual, but the way he kept his head down and refused to look most Dalton boys in the eye made it clear that he had yet to become truly comfortable in the new environment.
Blaine glanced at David, who was looking up from where he had been previously studying sheet music, also glancing at Kurt. The two Warblers exchanged a glance that acknowledged what they had both noticed, and the lead Warbler turned to the prospective one: "Well, we'd be more than happy to have you at our dorm, of course."
"Oh, you board?" Kurt blinked up at him.
"Windsor." Blaine nodded, averting his gaze with as much of a casual air as he could adopt—whenever Kurt bestowed the full power of those incredible cesious eyes (at the moment amplified by the floods of sunlight from the bay windows) towards him, thinking rationally became difficult.
David pretended not to notice the steep drop in Blaine's general intellect and simply rolled his eyes. But he said, "There are still a few rooms free at Windsor, you know." Windsor House, in the East wing was one of the three dormitories of Dalton, the others being Hanover House, farther in the West wing, and Stuart House in the North wing. The South and Main was where all the major classrooms and facilities were housed.
Blaine nodded—just slightly too enthusiastically to be noticed. "We can talk to Mr. Howard for you. He's the head of Windsor House."
"Are you sure that's all right…?" Kurt asked carefully. He had only been to Dalton for a few hours and was still getting his bearings, but even he understood that there were certain societal standings in the school.
Each dormitory was protective of its own fraternal pride and the boys often segregated accordingly when traveling in packs. Kurt marveled at the amount of gossip he'd heard about all this in under a day and concluded that boys talk generally as much as girls do.
"Of course it's all right," David smiled kindly. "Besides, even though the group is a big hodgepodge, there are more Warblers in Windsor than there are in Stuart and Hanover. We're pressed for rehearsal time as it is—it'll be easier for you to catch up if you were practicing with us. Assuming you get accepted, of course." David looked almost apologetic as he amended that last part.
Kurt swallowed and let out his breath. "Right." He nodded. "I get to finally try out."
"Hey, don't worry too much," Blaine smiled. "You'll get in, I'm sure."
Kurt smiled faintly at him. "Thanks, but since you've actually never heard me sing, I'll take your prophecy with a grain of salt." He smirked and lifted one charming eyebrow.
"There's Wes," Blaine then waved his friend over in an attempt to not get snagged by another Kurt-gives-me-an-adorable-expression trap. "And he's still alive! He dodged Madame Saint-Clair's bullet."
Catching sight of the other three, Wes jogged up to them, breaking free from the mass of boys that just came out of the French professor's forum. David greeted him with a grin. "And how did it go? Was there blood? Your brain seems to be intact."
"I refuse to study any more French," Wes sighed with a little melodrama as propriety allowed—he had manifestly determined to help Blaine rein in the madness in Dalton so as not to scare the new boy too much just yet. "If I promise to refuse my parents' yearly trip to Paris, I won't need it anymore, right?"
The others laughed. "I'll help you, if you like," Kurt offered with a grin.
"You?" Wes raised an eyebrow. He glanced at the other two boys before turning back to Kurt, "No offense but…does McKinley drill juniors that hard on Advanced French?"
"Trust me—I can help," Kurt said confidently. "I've over-exaggeratedly given emphasis on French." The red and white uniform that was still hidden in the depths of wardrobe was a testament to that. "If you don't pass next week's oral, I'll buy you lattes for a week."
"Well, what do you know—we are just too lucky to have you." Wes' expression flashed to Blaine, implying something that the other boy might've previously said. Blaine colored up just slightly—but he did "accidentally" jab Wes in the ribs as he cleared his throat and moved forward to keep his place next to Kurt as they walked. The two behind them looked at each other and bumped fists with barely disguised snickers.
Blaine looked at Kurt and gave him a smile. Kurt returned it, still anxious, but felt better.
I'm Kurt. And this is Dalton Academy.
As you may know, I just transferred here in order to avoid some…difficulties in McKinley. Don't get me wrong: I love the glee club back at McKinley—but the truth is, push came to shove and now…here I am. I'm officially a student at Dalton.
My problem is that my plans got as far as actually going to Dalton. Now that I'm actually here, I realize that I've made absolutely no plans as to what I intend to happen to me here.
Fortunately, I have Blaine, David, and Wes to, for better or worse, lead me to some direction.
"Come on!" David called as he jogged ahead down the steps. "If we want to catch Howard, we've got to get in early into the Dining Hall!"
"What are you talking to Howard for?" Wes asked as he followed.
"Getting the newbie into Windsor."
Wes' smothered burst of derisive laughter was checked by Blaine's glower. Wes backpedaled. "Whoa, I mean, sure. Hey, maybe Howard won't kill us if we ask this time. Gee, good luck getting up to the professor's table, David, I won't be joining you, but I'll be sending flowers to your grave."
"Is there something about Mr. Howard I should know about?" Kurt asked, blanching just a little. "I am to meet the man and I think I'd like to remain intact after I do."
"It's not you, it's us," Blaine sighed. "This isn't the first time we've tried to get someone into Windsor."
"Or the second," chipped in David.
"Or third," added Wes.
"What is going on here?" Kurt stared.
"New people don't last long at Windsor…" Wes smiled faintly. "And when they do, it doesn't really help Windsor's case."
The other three paused, looking at each other. Kurt looked at them and gestured expectantly. "Well?"
David grinned. "We're not supposed to scare you this early, Blaine said so."
The lead Warbler lunged at him—David ducked, tucked, rolled and sprang up again—but Blaine turned back to Kurt and responded, "Don't listen to him. It's just that it takes a special kind of person to tolerate some of the crazy that goes on in Windsor. Not just in the common room. It's…everywhere."
Kurt, a veteran of madness who had survived over a year of glee at McKinley where he had been drunk, slushied, had walked around as Lady Gaga, had been a football player, a cheerleader, had experienced hallucinations, some incredibly wild performance numbers, dealt with a psychopathic cheerleading coach, a neurotic guidance counselor, a glee teacher stuck in the 80s, accrued a heated battle against soulless robots (Vocal Adrenaline) and, most importantly, had dealt with the issues of the entire glee club and Rachel Berry (who deserves a separate mention), now lifted an eyebrow.
Blaine turned up the wattage of his smile. "Come on, Mr. Howard, seriously. You're not going to have a problem with Kurt."
"That's what you said when you brought Dwight."
"And Dwight is still in Windsor!" David exclaimed happily.
"Unfortunately, he still is," the tall sprightly man glowered down at them. "When you told me that he had odd habits, you didn't say it was that he was even more superstitious than an old homemaker in the 1800s."
"So he likes to hang cloves of garlic at his windows…" Wes, who, despite his better judgment, decided to participate in getting the new one into Windsor to spare them Blaine's promise of undying vengeance should he not, tried to adopt a nonchalant tone. "We've already convinced him to stop lining his doorways with salt!"
"And we told him to stop "ghost hunting" at the old cathedral!" David supplied. "…how's the caretaker doing, by the way?"
"I don't know what kind of food coloring Dwight used, but as I understand that "brand" on Mr. Tamerlane's arm is still there!" Howard all but roared. Blaine winced, grateful that they'd caught the house head while he was still in the hall. They were given a few odd looks by some passing Hanover boys who may have known what was up. Kurt remained at one side, quiet, seemingly intent on trying to ignore what he was hearing.
"And seriously, Kurt is more normal than some of us," Blaine said with a smile. "He went to his old school's glee club—that's about it. We were hoping he'll join the Warblers."
"If you want him to join your group, that's fine, but he'll be complaining me in a week, I'm sure," Howard crossed his arms over his chest.
"Actually," Kurt finally said, and they looked at him, "I've put up with quite a lot of strange things at my old school, I'm sure this is…fine."
Howard seemed to be taken aback by this and moved past the other three boys. He looked Kurt over through his spectacles. Kurt looked up at the man's great height and did the same.
Todd Howard had been the head of Windsor house for nearly twenty years. Having been given that position allowed him to watch the nation's future leaders come and go from Windsor House, some of them returning to visit on occasion. In recent years, things often did not go as peacefully as he liked. Sometimes even less. Windsor may be a very popular house, but if there was anything about it that was notable, it would be that life is never (for better or for worse) boring. Making a living out of refereeing all this at the very least allowed him to read a boy's bearings early on. He gave Kurt a look over.
"What's your name, son?"
"Kurt Hummel, sir," Kurt smiled.
Howard considered the small boy with the elfin features. "So you sing?"
"Is that all?"
"Well…I like fashionable clothes."
"Unusual sleeping habits? Food allergies? Odd hobbies? Tendencies to destroy property? Uproot magnolias out of compulsion? Walk backwards? Release lab animals? Recite the entire Summa Theologica? In Latin?"
Kurt was barely able to stop giving him an "are you crazy?" expression. He instead looked at the corner of his eyes to Blaine. Blaine just shrugged, trying not to smile. Howard saw where he was looking and glanced back to Blaine, who immediately put on another charming grin. David and Wes were veritable twin angels who looked like they had no idea what Howard was talking about.
Howard turned back to Kurt. "Are you positive that you would like to board at Windsor?"
"I don't see why I shouldn't."
The coughing from Wes and David nearly gave it all away, but even Howard seemed to understand. He sighed and looked at Kurt. "Fine. Windsor it is." He turned to the other three. "I'll be keeping an eye on this one, make sure you boys don't scar him too much. After Marcus Holland fled Windsor for Stuart—"
"His loss!" David scoffed.
"—Reed thought he was sick and was just trying to help—" Wes added.
"Which is why he threw twenty two comforters on top of him while he slept?"
"Guys!" Blaine snapped.
Silence. The three boys looked at Mr. Howard expectantly, and Howard looked at the new boy, cogitating. Kurt took this opportunity to give Mr. Howard his best "I-really-don't-give-a-damn" expression.
"So when do I move in?"
Kurt had read all about the school's housing in the pamphlet he ended up reading during the truly awkward one and a half hour ride to Westerville with his father on this first day of school. As far as background went, it seemed as though all the dormitories were desirable and extravagant in ordinary standards as majority of Dalton's elite student body resided in them. As it stood, Windsor House was by far the most desirable house, with a great deal of accomplished alumni graduating from it and all but being hand-delivered to Ivy League schools.
That was how it looked like from the black-and-white. When Blaine, Wes and David brought Kurt to Windsor for the first time, that massive manor-style building with ancient columns and could put some of the nation's best collegiate fraternity houses to shame, it looked as though it would live up to everything it had been acclaimed to be. And it did, in one way or another.
"You…all live here?" Kurt asked, watching some boys go into the dormitories. Inside, past the oak doors, a vaulted entrance hall greeted them. The floor was marble and across the great wooden beams overhead that broke the sunlight, a massive drop-down banner in deep royal blue cut through with a golden ray, Windsor's colors.
The architecture was exquisite; from the rich tints of the wood to the elegant hues of the walls and the tasteful décor, Windsor might as well have been an exhibit at a museum depicting old world elegance.
"Yes, well…Wes used to be in Hanover," Blaine smiled.
"Really?" asked Kurt, following the others down the hall. "Why did you switch?"
"It was more exciting here."
"All right, I might be starting to get a little nervous," Kurt said, frowning at them.
Blaine laughed and put his arm around his shoulders. While Kurt tried to restrain his heart from flying out of his chest at this sudden action, Blaine tried to exude feigned coolness. "Okay, look, those things that we talked about with Howard—they're extreme cases. The boys here are rational—mostly. Don't worry. We wouldn't actually put you in danger."
Something upstairs exploded, making Kurt jump. Everyone in the hall barely batted an eye. Without so much as breaking his stride, Wes pulled out a fire extinguisher standing at nearby and handed it to a boy who was seemed to have arrived in the hall for that very reason. Everyone carried on.
Before Kurt could marvel at this, his phone rang. He pulled it out and read the text.
Hey Kurt! You at Dalton? What are you up to? –M
Kurt smiled and quickly replied. Thinking of boarding. –K
So…you'll only be around on weekends? –M
Kurt felt a twinge. He'd seen the look on Mercedes' face when he had announced his intention to leave. She was the first person who he should have talked to about it and in the end, she had been one of the last. Even he had to admit that after all that he and Mercedes had been through together, she deserved more than a last minute announcement without even consulting her prior to his decision.
Sorry, M. I just thought it would help Dad and Carole if I stopped commuting so much. -K
I get that. Don't worry about it. –M
You know I'll be right over in a heartbeat if you need me, right? –K
Kurt, relax. We understand. And don't worry, we'll catch up on everything on weekends. –M
There's that "we" that Kurt was dreading. It hadn't just been Mercedes. It was the whole club. He started to wonder what they were doing now. It was lunch time, so they must be in the cafeteria, or maybe even in the music room rehearsing for whatever performance Mr. Schuester had planned for them. Mike, Tina and Mercedes would be dancing, to what Puck might be playing on the guitar, and Artie might be trying to explain to Brittany that facials were not things done by fascists. Santana and Quinn might be discussing some madness by coach Sylvester while Sam kept his arm around Quinn. Rachel would be baffling Finn by obsessing about rehearsals, and since Kurt was no longer around, she might well be taking the solo that would have supposedly been for him.
If he hadn't left.
He looked up and saw the other three staring at him in concern. He blinked. "What?"
Wes glanced at Blaine, who had been trying to catch Kurt's attention twice and had only now succeeded. As he expected, Blaine looked apprehensive. "Is everything all right?"
"Yeah," Kurt breathed, shoving his phone back into his pocket. "Fine. Why?"
David raised an eyebrow and glanced sideways at Wes. Wes looked back and then looked at Blaine. Blaine kept his eyes on Kurt as he moved forward. "You sure…?" he asked.
"Yeah," Kurt nodded and smiled for good measure.
The problem with having so much in common with Kurt was knowing when he wasn't telling the whole story. But for now, Blaine decided to overlook this and grabbed Kurt's hand with a dazzling smile. "Come on, I'll show you the rooms."
Kurt, blindsided by the grin, could do no more than smile and follow him up the hand-carved staircase. David and Wes looked at each other and just shook their heads with a laugh.
"I seriously wish they'd get a move on," David complained, loosening his tie. "If I hear Blaine pine over him one more time…"
"I don't know, the last time Blaine had a crush on someone, it took him two months to actually say something to him…" Wes said doubtfully.
"Let's not talk about that, it pains me to remember what we had to go through," David winced. "I remember when he heard this song and decided that it was perfect for their situation and it was the only thing playing in his room for a week."
"I avoided his room like the plague."
"I actually had to live with that; we shared a room, Wes. WE SHARED A ROOM. I kept earmuffs next to my bed!"
"And yet here we are…again," Wes sighed, waving to the stairs where Blaine and Kurt had disappeared to. David made the same long-suffering sigh. "What we do for the sake of friendship…"
Kurt was pretty sure that Blaine went this way down the halls, but after the older boy had let go of his hand for a moment to talk to a Warbler in one of the rooms, he found himself lost. Surely he couldn't be that hopeless in navigation, but Windsor's corridors not only looked identical but they looked similar in every floor. Kurt had simply wandered away for a moment, staring at the art that hung on the walls, the furnishings, the fact that the floors were carpeted and that the wood furniture looked as though antique dealers would have heart attacks upon seeing them.
And now he had no idea where he was.
And he had the feeling he was being watched.
And now I remember that thing I told Coach Sylvester…about feeling like I'm in a horror movie… Kurt glanced around surreptitiously. He thought he heard movement behind him, but there was nothing there when he looked. He nearly jumped out of his skin when he turned back in front of him and found that a blonde boy was standing there with a Cheshire Cat grin.
"Hello, Alice," he said, ice blue eyes sparkling.
"Pardon?" Kurt stared.
"Welcome to Wonderland," spoke an identical voice behind him. He quickly turned and found the same boy, with the same grin, standing the same way. Or…at least that was what it looked like.
"Okay…" Kurt stared back and forth at the two of them.
The twin behind him made one smooth step with his long leg and was now standing next to his brother. The pair of handsome twins were grinning.
"You look lost, Alice," said one. "Did you fall down the rabbit hole and hit your head?"
"Because if you're lost, we can point you to the right way," said the other.
Kurt decided that even Brittany's hallucinations might have made more sense than this, but he shook it off and just flashed them a rather nervous grin. "I'm Kurt. I'm—"
"New," the twins chorused. "We know."
The twin on the left raised a hand. "I'm Ethan."
"I'm Evan," said the other twin.
And in unison, they both grabbed each of Kurt's hands. "Come on, Alice!" they chorused. "We'll give you orientation!"
Not really having the strength to protest and not really able to hold back the twins dynamos who were currently pulling at his arms with enough force to amputate, Kurt flustered, "Actually I was here with Blaine…?"
"We know where he is."
"He's looking for you!"
"He won't mind if we borrow you for a bit."
And Kurt was unceremoniously swept into a Windsor room for the first time.
The hallways only prepared him partially for what a room in Dalton actually looked like. It was like stepping into the set of the Tudors. It didn't look like much from the outside, but inside was the size of a large apartment, with no walls to separate the common area from the beds. There was a central area where comfortable furniture lay. In the twins' case, there was a lush white couch, a glass coffee table, with a large television screen. The coffee table was occupied by some massive nerf guns that looked out of place amidst thick schoolbooks.
Beyond this living circle were the beds, one on each side of the room, each standing on a wooden dais that served to separate it from the common area. The beds were well-kept antique four posters with sheer drapes. One bed was made, the other was not (but it had school clothes all over it). There was a third dais, directly across the doors, that could serve to hold another bed, but in this case, it just served as an extension of the common area.
"Okay!" said one twin, probably Evan, plopping Kurt down unceremoniously onto the sinfully luxurious white couch in the common area. "This is what a Windsor room looks like."
"Actually, it's what every dorm room looks like," said the one who was probably Ethan.
"We've seen the others."
"But Windsor is still the best."
"Um…I don't mean to be rude, but could you guys possibly talk in one straight go one at a time?" Kurt asked, confused.
Ethan laughed. "Blaine says it helps if you just think of us as just one person. If you're new, that is. You'll get used to it."
"Thank you," Kurt grinned.
Evan continued, "Here at Windsor, there are two to three people in a room. Unless you're special, you can request for your own room. Like if you're a captain of a sports team. Or if you've always broken the ninety-eighth percentile in class."
"But that's difficult," Ethan said blandly. "Because everyone gets amazing grades here."
"Excellent is average here."
Kurt wavered slightly, trying to take all this information in. While he looked for "challenging" back at McKinley, this wasn't quite what he expected. "Everyone. All right…"
"There are three dorms—Windsor, Hanover and Stuart, and we like Stuart the least." The other twin made a thumbs-down gesture and a grimace. "Why?" he continued before Kurt could even open his mouth to ask, "Because they're a bunch of brownnosing ass-kissers and that's basically all you need to know."
"And you'll protect your fellow Windsor boys from them to the death, and we'll do the same for you," nodded the other twin sagely. "Windsor is, without a doubt, the best house—don't mind Hanover, they're harmless—but Stuart is looking to trip us up with every step. Do not trust them."
After that statement, the manic gleam in their eyes died away to Kurt's relief.
"Curfew is ten on weekdays, eleven on weekends," said Ethan. "Until then, you can run around doing basically whatever you like. But if you don't make it, you'll get locked out."
"Which is why it's useful to have us as friends," grinned Evan. "Because we can get you back inside and Howard would be none the wiser!"
Ethan looked proud. "We can unlock any door, any window, on campus. Both literally and figuratively."
"This must be your thing," Kurt raised an eyebrow, wondering if these two were for real. They seemed like the type who might be pulling his leg. "They said that everyone in here has something off about them."
"Well…not only," Evan smiled sweetly and then offered Kurt a Nerf gun.
Kurt considered, then smiled and took the gun.
"Good choice," grinned Ethan. And he pulled out his own nerf gun and shot Kurt right at the forehead.
When Blaine walked out from the twins' room not more than ten minutes later, he was livid for a few reasons: one, after yelling at the twins for grabbing Kurt without letting the rest of them know where he was, two, for getting Kurt mixed up in their twice-a-week Nerf battle, and three, for assaulting him with said Nerf guns the moment he walked in. Leaving the new boy alone in Windsor House was never a good idea, but at least Kurt was breathing when he pulled him out of the nerf war going on. Barely, anyway.
Kurt was laughing so hard that he was stumbling in his walk, Blaine's hand clutching his firmly, and he looked the older Warbler and choked, "What are those guys on?"
"We wish we knew," Blaine smiled, amused nevertheless at how Kurt seemed to have been enjoying himself. He leaned a bit closer to inspect Kurt's scarlet forehead. "They got you there, all right."
"It was worth it watching Evan manage a perfect matrix backbend after my first clear shot at him," Kurt swallowed, smile turning rather awkward at Blaine's close proximity. Blaine, however, looked intrigued. "How do you know that one was Evan?"
"I don't," Kurt admitted. "He just…felt like Evan?"
"That was actually Ethan," Blaine grinned. "He's the springier one."
"Oh so they do have differences," Kurt laughed.
"Very few." Blaine stopped at one door and opened it. "This is my room."
Kurt looked inside and saw that though it may have been completely alike the twins' in architecture, it was all very…Blaine. The furnishings in the middle common were different, made of warm comfortable colors and material. There was a thick rug under the middle common, and only one bed looked in use. Since it was surrounded by a study area heaped with books, pens, papers and a sleek laptop and had a corkboard full of Warblers' photos, Kurt assumed that this bed was Blaine's. The other dais had a bed, but it was pushed to the side and the space left was full of pillows large enough to sit in. The middle dais, to Kurt's utter fascination, had been set up as a small theatre with a cinema screen.
"How…did you even get that screen in?" Kurt gaped.
"It's actually pretty old—it used to be in one of the AV rooms, but when they upgraded, I asked if I could have it."
"And they let you?"
Blaine grinned. "It's not for me entirely. A lot of the Warblers come here to hang out. So we pulled strings."
McKinley's glee club couldn't even afford transportation, let alone a whole cinema screen, Kurt marveled. He walked around the room, looking at Blaine's collection of theatre posters and stopped at the corkboard full of photos of Warblers and others who weren't in the Dalton uniform. It suddenly struck him that the room was very quiet. And then he looked up. "Wait—you room alone?"
"If a person had as much as ten other boys crashing in at every given hour to harmonize, make noise, and generally cause confusion, roommates don't last long."
Kurt smiled and sat down onto the couch with a sigh, looking around. "So you're here, by yourself…" He looked around the largeness of it all.
"Helps me appreciate the quiet time better, when the boys don't come by," Blaine admitted, sitting next to him.
A silence fell that was neither awkward nor tense. They both looked tired without really acknowledging what it was they were tired about. Both seemed lost in thought for a moment. Blaine roused himself first, and saw Kurt staring into his phone. There was nothing on the screen.
Blaine nudged him gently. "Hey."
For an instant, Kurt glanced to him in response before he leaned against his shoulder, not even trying to smile this time. Blaine looked at him, a bit surprised, but welcomed it while it lasted. He put strong arm around Kurt's shoulders, not sure if he was trying to soak up warmth or impart it to the other boy. In spite of himself, Kurt turned his face to Blaine's shoulder and let out a shuddering sigh, and Blaine clasped his free hand in his.
"…it gets easier," he finally murmured.
A pause. "…when…?" Kurt whispered without moving, clutching a bit tighter onto his hand.
"When indeed…" Blaine sighed. He glanced at Kurt again. He was always so close to those enticing lips that had first mesmerized him that afternoon at McKinley's damp staircase. And just like then, he turned away from them before he did something regrettable.
He wanted to tell him everything so badly, but though he thought about it day after day, there simply weren't any words at present to explain what he felt about him. Even he himself couldn't properly understand how one boy managed, in under a day, to win over his attentions without even knowing he did.
And with everything that had gone on, he would simply hurt Kurt right now; he was sure that Kurt did not need this new complication. In his current state, any move from him would be seen as taking advantage of him.
And he would never forgive himself if he just managed to add himself to Kurt's problems right now.
For now…I'll protect you. From everything. …even from me.
Blaine smiled down at Kurt. "…when you trust yourself to stand again."
Kurt looked up. Blaine's smile widened. "You must be an amazing person, Kurt, to have withstood all that for so long." He turned away, eyes wandering to the mass of photographs on his corkboard. "…I didn't last that long."
"Blaine…?" Kurt sat up, looking at him, brow furrowing in concern.
But Blaine just looked at him with that same warm expression. "You're really so much stronger than you think you are. Kurt…courage can also mean believing in yourself to rise past everything and become who you want to be again, at a time when everything seems to have fallen apart."
He took Kurt's hands. "This time, though…I'm with you all the way. Like I told you before, I've got your back. All right?"
Kurt looked down at their hands, and back up at Blaine's smile. He felt his eyes sting as they filled with tears but his pride refused to let them fall, blinking them away. He laughed through the haze in his eyes and nodded. "Yeah. All right."
Blaine laughed and grinned at him. "Hang in there."
Kurt just laughed, wiped his eyes and nodded.
"It's like something out of a Julia Roberts movie," Wes grumbled, rolling his eyes good-naturedly from the hall, having seen the whole scene play out.
David grinned at him then looked back at the two in Blaine's room. "I'm going to have to agree. But they're almost disgustingly adorable."
"Blaine actually looks happy," Evan smirked, and Ethan added, "which is better than watching him stare at his Blackberry waiting for a text from his pretty pretty nymph."
"Is it officially his pretty pretty nymph yet?" David asked.
"Not yet. If the way they're being so fidgety around each other is any indication. And you know as well as I do that if Blaine were ever officially "with" anyone, well…" Wes rolled his eyes. "He'd be struggling a lot less." He gestured to the two chatting amicably inside the room.
"Can he sing?" asked Ethan curiously. "You did mention he was from McKinley's glee club."
"The only McKinley tape we've got has that small girl with the major pipes up front," Evan commented. "And Blaine's little nymph was chorus vocal."
"Well Blaine insists he can sing—I don't know how he knows when even Kurt says that he's never heard him," David shrugged.
"We'll find out soon enough," Wes nodded, crossing his arms over his chest, keeping his eyes on the couple on the couch. "He'll have to sing for Harvey and Medel. They'll decide."
"He'll be fine," chorused the twins.
"And how would you know?" David raised an eyebrow.
Evan—or was it Ethan?—smiled as he studied Kurt's bright smile as he looked up at Blaine. "Just a feeling."
Coming up next episode: Moving pains as the boys attempt to make Kurt feel at home. Dalton has no bullying, But it has all its own rivalries; and Windsor, Stuart and Hanover are about to get their first major event. Kurt has his own problems as he has to impress the choir instructor Greg Harvey and the musician Sylvia Medel. Between studies, Warblers, and trying not to get hopelessly distracted by Blaine, Kurt starts to learn to juggle life in Dalton.