Together We're Unlimited

Mercedes is reluctant to leave him, but Kurt assures her that he's just going to pick a book he forgot and then he'll go back, promising to text her as soon as he's home.

Kurt knows he didn't fool her: she gives him a big hug, her face serious.

"Oh, don't you worry a bit. So the diva got it this time, you'll have it next time," she tells him. "Right?"

"Right," Kurt says, snapping his fingers. "She only has it because I let her have it."

"Amen! That's my girl!" Mercedes says, hands up in the air, never knowing that he's being honest. Then she smiles sweetly at him, and leaves him alone, and Kurt considers buying her something as a thank you.

He sits down by the piano, touching the keys, and wondering how it could hurt so much losing something he never had. He would have thought that a lifetime of doing that would have taught him better. Specially now, that it was he who chose to give it up.

"You're not going to cry, Kurt Hummel," he chides himself, looking up, blinking quickly. "You're wearing eyeliner and you do not want to look like a raccoon."

"Kurt?"

The last person in the world he wanted to see right then, with the possible exception of Sue Sylvester. Kurt turns around, waving air at his face with his hands. He has never been able to cry prettily enough, and Liza knows he has tried.

"Did you forget something?" he asks, sounding as chirpy as he knows how. It's the voice he used for a whole week after Kevin left the Backstreet Boys. "Please tell me you're not here to gloat. I thought we had been very professional when we congratulated each other."

A handshake, some words of 'oh, you were great' and 'no, you were great' and then Rachel had gone to Finn and Finn had barely even looked at him. Kurt really, really should be used to not getting the things - or the people - he wanted.

"We were," Rachel agrees. "It's going to be great experience for when we're at Broadway. But that's not what I came for. See, my daddies called me to find out how everything went, and it so happens that I have Idina and Kristin's version of Defying Gravity for them, and that got me thinking that..."

"You're not going to say that I should have the song, are you?" Kurt interrupts, but he has to know now or sooner, because he doesn't think he's going to be strong enough to give up the song twice.

"Oh, I don't give up songs, they pry them off my dead cold fingers," Rachel deadpans, not a single pause in her tone that makes him doubt that she's honest about that, but then Kurt hears her approach the piano, hesitantly. "But... I was thinking... the song is originally a duet, right?"

His heart hurts, but hoping hurts too much, and so he just turns to look at her, an eyebrow raised.

"Of course."

Rachel does the thing where she both rolls her eyes as if she couldn't believe she had to explain herself and then sort of... shrink into herself. She's already tiny, but she looks so very much human then, nervous an uncertain, and she starts talking a mile a minute.

"I was thinking that although I'm more than capable than singing the solo, as we proved earlier, the powerful message of the lyrics and the song just does not sum up properly when its sung by only one person. The song was meant for two to sing it, and I think it would be so much more interesting and amazing if we delivered it like that."

Kurt stares at Rachel, wondering if she knows what she's offering. Rachel looks at him, her eyes half worried and half embarrassed, hopeful and afraid. Kurt blinks again, and he clears his throat cocking his head to the side so that he can press a fingertip to the corners of his eyes, making sure that they do not come back smudged before he finds his proper smile.

"Well. I suppose that in honor of Wicked, it's the least we could do," he says. He stands up, smiling. "After all, it is the love story about an awesomely beautiful and popular diva," he touches his own chest, and then looks at Rachel. "And her somewhat less fortunate girlfriend."

He offers Rachel his arm, and she looks at him for a moment before she hooks hers with his.

"I suppose we can keep our relationship as 'just friends'," she agrees.

Kurt smiles at her. "Fat-free cappuccinos?"

"My treat," Rachel says, smiling back at him.