Takes place after Kurt's return from a trip to Rome where he had gone to deal with an attack on fellow priests by a mutant terrorist group.
Kurt stood in his small apartment staring at his bags, still packed and leaning against the couch. Normally after a trip like this one he would have gone straight to his room and fallen asleep for a good twelve hours or so. This time though, he'd tossed and turned for about an hour before finally getting out of bed with a sigh. There was just too much on his mind.
After changing back into one of his roman collared shirts and a pair of black jeans he puttered around his apartment for a while, drinking tea and straightening things; he hadn't spent much time there lately though, so the place hardly needed it. He thought about unpacking his bags except then he would have to look at the various charred remains he'd brought back from the presbytery and he didn't want that. He started the rosary, but found his mind repeatedly wandering and so finally, with another sigh of resignation he picked up his briefcase and, still running the rosary through his fingers, walked down the hall. If he was up, he might as well get some things done.
Kurt wasn't really paying attention to where he was going and so he was surprised to realize that once on the ground floor he'd walked right past his office and was standing outside the kitchen. He shook his head. How stupid. Then again, Kurt thought, he could get something to eat. If the students hadn't ransacked the place, he was sure he could find something better than airline food. He pushed the door open.
The kitchen was unusually empty but then Kurt realized that it was dinnertime and the students were probably all in the dining room. It was the only explanation. After staring listlessly into the refrigerator for a few minutes he shut the door. Kurt had never been much of a cook, in fact in his house in Los Angeles his new stove had still had the tags on it when he moved out since he had never actually turned it on. He lived on sandwiches except, without Remy here to steal it, there was way too much mustard in the jar and that made him lose his appetite.
Kurt was about to leave when a sudden idea struck him. Then he frowned because it was a terrible idea. Still, his experience in New Orleans had been an accident. He hadn't really known what he was doing so just because things had gotten completely out of control there didn't mean they had to get out of control everywhere. Like here for instance; this was a completely different environment than Mardi Gras. He had so many responsibilities here, it would be impossible for him to behave that way here, to go that far.
Kurt knelt down beside the cabinet where they kept the liquor and slowly opened it. It had always seemed strange to him that the school had a liquor cabinet that was always freely accessible to the students, especially since the students had been treating it like it was theirs since day one. In fact this whole kitchen, the bStaff Kitchen/b was probably the school's most popular hangout.
Looking inside, Kurt decided that if the only vodka there was, was the swill he'd confiscated from Victor that day, he was going to abandon the whole idea. There was no point in drinking anything if it wasn't pleasurable right? That was the difference between an alcoholic and someone who just wanted to enjoy themselves. And it looked like Victor had found his alcohol and taken it back anyway because instead of his two bottles of Gordon's or whatever that had been, was a single unopened bottle of Stolichnaya. Kurt wasn't sure whether he wanted to laugh or cry. He'd had an idea, it was a dumb one, he had given himself a perfect excuse for abandoning it, and now he'd had this temptation plunked down in front of him. Realizing his best option was to simply slam the cabinet door shut and leave as quickly as possible, Kurt did so.
But that was not until after he'd shoved the bottle of Stoli into his briefcase.
In his office Kurt realized that though he now had a bottle of vodka, he'd rushed out of the room so fast that he hadn't bothered to take a glass or any ice. And since the vodka had been in a cabinet and not the freezer, it was warm. He sighed. Drinking warm vodka straight from the bottle certainly counted as desperation, no matter how high the quality of the alcohol. So instead he put it on the desk and stared at it morosely.
It had often seemed to Kurt that he never did anything the "normal way". While growing up in Europe he never drank at all. But after moving to Canada into the pressure cooker environment of Cirque du Soleil, he had discovered that nearly everybody liked to unwind during their downtime with a few drinks. Kurt had spent his first few months with Cirque at their training campus in Montreal learning his new act with a group of Russian aerialists and their social activities seemed to always involve drinking a lot of vodka, straight and ice cold. Kurt had found it too strong at first but after a little while developed a taste for it.
In the U.S. he'd found bars never served it cold enough so he ordered it on ice, which was never quite as good. And now he was stuck here, in his office, with a bottle of really good vodka that should have been in the freezer but wasn't. It was really just plain wrong.
Instead of worrying about it, Kurt decided to unpack the rest of his briefcase, stacking several small binders off to one side and then finally pulling out his laptop. He had all of Jono Starsmore's followers to look after now. He could already see the work piling up. What were they doing on that farm up there?
He'd talked to TJ and Remy now, knew the location of Jono's "secret commune", and of course the identity of the people who had destroyed his home and killed a fellow priest. Connections. Connections even as far as Europe. It appeared that these "Fringes" were more than just a grass roots operation holding secret meetings in warehouses and alleys. What if Remy had lied to him, what if he and TJ knew… Knew that they were planning to actually bomb a person's home. That was certainly a far cry from saying we want to be isolated so we can have independence.
Kurt dropped his head into his hands. He still hadn't told Christine about TJ. Kurt sifted through the stack of messages on his desk. Two of them were from Christine, she'd seen the news and wanted to know if he was alright. The second message included her condolences for Father Richtor, but worse, asked after TJ, why she called in so long.
God, what could he tell her? Could he tell her about Remy, about how they'd runaway? And how could he possibly tell her where it was they'd gone? And God… If they were involved in the destruction of his Presbytery… He couldn't tell her, but he couldn't lie to her either. So there was no way he could even return Christine's calls.
Kurt sighed and looked for a place to put the binders. He spotted his electric teakettle on its table in the corner with a few Xavier U. mugs sitting next to it. Now that would work wouldn't it? He picked up a mug and inspected it. He still didn't have any ice, but certainly a mug counted as a sort of glass. He brought it over to the desk and was about to crack the seal on the bottle when he had second thoughts.
What if it just made things worse? Wasn't he dealing with enough already with the unrest at the university, with "Fringes" group now revealed as much more dangerous and determined than he'd originally realized, with the loss of his home and the death of his friend? What if he was wrong, and he couldn't control himself? Kurt closed his eyes and sighed. He missed TJ and Remy too. He was worried about them. He was so tired but he couldn't sleep because every time he shut his eyes, all Kurt could see was the bombed remains of the only place he'd ever called home. And when it came to being in control of his actions, there was only one way to find out.
Kurt cracked the seal on the bottle and poured.
Author's note: Temet Nosce is latin for "Know Thyself"