While You're Dancing
Kurt was desperately trying to get over Finn. He really was. But it seemed like the harder he tried to resist the attraction, the more he tried to put the other boy out of his mind, the harder he fell for him. Deep down, Kurt knew that his crush could (and would) only lead to heartache, but he couldn't help it.
He loved Finn.
And that was why, when Finn had come up to him with a rather strange request after glee club one day last week, he just hadn't been able to say no.
That day, Glee had run long due to a last minute Christmas concert Schu had scheduled with the Lima Tulip Growers Association. The rehearsal had been… awful. Puck had complained about not being able to sing Adam Sandler's Chanukah song while Rachel had lectured Mr. Schuester on the irresponsibility of scheduling a last minute concert full of songs they'd never practiced before during finals.
In the midst of everything, Kurt had plopped down on one of the plastic chairs next to Mercedes. In a huff, he'd crossed one arm over his chest while placing the thumb and middle finger of his right hand against his forehead. As much as he'd hated to admit it, and he really had hated to admit it, Rachel was right. He had tests to study for and a paper to write. Normal glee rehearsals he could manage with that. But ones that ran an hour over? Not so much.
As Rachel had continued to rant and rave, Kurt had leaned over to say something to Mercedes but stopped when he'd seen that she'd been studying from a large textbook propped open on her lap. If he'd had his bag, he would have done the same thing, but he'd taken it out to his car after school.
He'd thought about asking Mercedes if he could study with her, but another look at the text and that idea had gone right out the window. The pictures in between the paragraphs had been of some ugly painting he'd never seen before (and never wanted to see again). And he'd only been able to assume that it was for Art Appreciation, which he hadn't been taking (and never would take).
Understanding the need to study, Kurt had looked around the room in hopes of finding someone he could work with. A few of the others had had the same idea as Mercedes. Mike and Matt had been quizzing each other with flash cards for what looked like French, while Tina and Artie had sat at opposite ends of the room cramming by themselves. Everyone else had been either talking or texting while Rachel had complained and Puck had belted out his own version of the Chanukah song.
But as hectic as the room had been, everyone and everything had seemed to melt away when Kurt's eyes had found Finn.
The other boy had been sitting at the other end of the row of seats, his Spanish book propped open on his knees. And for just a second, Kurt had thought about asking Finn if he'd like to study with him.
But as he'd watched him, Kurt had changed his mind. Yes, his book had been open, but he hadn't been studying. Not really anyway. Occasionally he'd looked down at the glossy pages of the text, but just as soon as he'd looked down, he'd looked right back up. And each and every time he'd found Rachel.
With each obnoxious wave of her arms, Finn's face had fallen a little or twist in embarrassment. But his eyes… they'd never once reflected any of the emotions that were on his face. They never once had said that he didn't care for the clearly insane person who was lecturing the teacher.
So many times Kurt had imagined Finn looking at him the way he looked at Rachel. (Or the way he used to look at Quinn for that matter.)
Whenever he looked at Rachel, he looked so kind, so loving. That was not to say that Finn's eyes were full of disgust or hatred whenever he looked at him. But there was a tenderness and warmth in his gaze that seemed to be reserved just for her.
And he'd wanted that so badly that it was almost painful.
"Geez, Kurt, are you still crushing on that boy?" Mercedes' voice had ripped Kurt out of his thoughts so sharply that he'd jumped a little in his seat.
"What? I… I have no idea what you're referring to Mercedes." Kurt had put as much shock and disbelief into his voice as he possibly could. But from the disbelieving look on his bestie's face, he'd been able to tell that it hadn't worked. With a sigh, Kurt had sunk down in his chair, a feeling of defeat quickly overtaking him. "Is it that obvious?"
"Honey, it's about as obvious as you are gay." Mercedes face had split into a wide smile as Kurt's eyes had widened in shock, effectively giving him a classic deer-in-the-headlights look. Unfortunately, his response had only caused her to laugh.
He'd wanted to make his own snarky remark back (he'd had a few choice words about her lime green and black leopard print top in mind), but he just hadn't had it in him. And that had been a first.
So rather than respond, he'd looked back towards Finn. And in a very quiet, sad voice, he'd asked her, "That obvious, huh?"
When he'd felt her hand on his arm, Kurt had looked down at his lap, pretending to study a non-existent flaw in his brand new Calvin Klein's. "Nah, it's just obvious to me. 'Cause I know you so well." Looking back up at Mercedes, he'd found that her wicked smile had become softer, kinder. "I just couldn't resist giving you a hard time about it. You know you'd have done the same to me."
Kurt had simply nodded. Mercedes had been right; if the situation were reversed, he'd have done the same thing. Only he'd have been wittier about it.
"But really, Kurt. Don't you think it's time to… move on? Preferably to someone a little more…" Together they'd watched Finn who had been intently studying a still complaining Rachel as if she were the most amazing thing he'd ever seen. "Gay? Or bisexual at least?"
Kurt had turned back to Mercedes, unable to stand the sight any longer. It had hurt too much to see Finn looking at Rachel that way. "I know. I'm trying. But…"
"You love him." Despite the fact that they'd never talked about it before, her words hadn't been a question.
Unable to speak, Kurt had just nodded before looking at his impossibly tight jeans again.
"I know it hurts. But think of it this way…" Kurt hadn't looked up even though Mercedes had been trying to get him to. The hand she'd placed on his sleeve had been gently tugging on the fabric as if she'd been trying to get his attention. "If Finn has a thing for Rachel, then he's obviously got issues and isn't good enough for you."
Just as the words had been out of her mouth, Rachel had let out an angry shriek that had caused Puck to drop his guitar halfway through his fifth repetition of the Chanukah song. Obviously trying not to laugh, Mercedes simply had said, "case in point," before giving way to a wave of giggles.
Kurt had been just about to reply about what an excellent point she'd had when Mr. Schuester's voice had caught everyone's attention. "Look, everyone, I'm extremely disappointed by the lack of enthusiasm over this opportunity. You're champs now. You should be proud of that."
"But, Mr. Schuester, correct me if I'm wrong, but don't we need to keep our grades up if we want to remain academically eligible for glee?" As always, Artie had been trying to be the voice of reason in a very unreasonable situation.
"Yeah, like, when you had the Cheerios kicked off the team because they were failing your class. And Coach Sylvester hired -" Brittany's dreamy voice had been quickly cut off by Santana.
"Brittany, shut up!" Santana had hissed out the words as Schu's eyes began to bug out of his head.
"What they're trying to say is that we really need to study. I mean, you've seen my homework. You know it's true." Finn's voice had been so earnest that Kurt hadn't been able to help but look over at him. It was moments like that, when Finn was at his most sincere and clueless that Kurt loved him the most.
Kurt would have stayed happily lost in his thoughts about Finn if Mr. Schuester hadn't thrown his arms in the air as he'd all but yelled at the group, "Fine. Go home. We'll discuss this some more tomorrow."
Everyone had let out hoots and cheers as they'd rushed from the room. But Kurt had waited behind as Mercedes had gathered up her things. He'd been just about to tell the girl to hurry it up when a voice had come from behind him.
"Uh, Kurt, could I ask you something?" Finn's voice had been so soft and unsure that it had completely disarmed Kurt. And before turning around, he'd taken a moment to compose himself.
When he finally had, Kurt had had to fight the grin that always took over his face whenever Finn was talking to him.
Or looking at him.
Or… even near him for that matter.
It was a ridiculous reaction to the other boy, and Kurt had wished he could keep it from happening. Butterflies in his stomach and a heart racing in his chest, he hadn't been able to, because they'd been inside of him. He could hide that.
What he couldn't hide was a goofy smile and a tell tale blush that would blossom around his neck and creep up to the tips of his ears, nose and cheeks. That just wasn't acceptable. Everyone else (read Finn) could see those things.
But then again… Finn wasn't particularly adept at picking up on the things that were right under his adorable nose.
Desperately trying to fight back the flush threatening to take over his porcelain features, Kurt had nonchalantly brushed back his bangs, "Sure thing, cowboy." Next to him, Mercedes had given a small shake of her head, and Kurt had sworn he could practically hear her rolling her eyes. But he hadn't cared. Finn had been there, looking at him, preparing to ask him something.
"So… uh." Finn had sounded nervous so Kurt had waited patiently as Finn had looked from Mercedes to him. He'd been obviously having a hard time choosing his words. "I was wondering if, like, after finals, you could teach me… how to dance."
Even if he'd tried, Kurt wouldn't have been able to hide the shock that quickly overtook his soft features. His mouth had dropped open slightly, and he'd felt the traitorous ache of a blush burning his ears. And when he'd been finally able to speak, his words had been slightly shaky. "But… you've finally learned your rights from your lefts. And your kick ball changes are greatly improved."
Finn had just nodded, looking pleased with the praise despite Kurt's discomfort. "Plus, wouldn't Rachel be more suited to such a task?" As the words had fallen out of his mouth, Kurt had felt like kicking himself. But once he'd started, he couldn't stop, "I mean, you two are an item now," His voice had been falsely bright, the bitterness bubbling just under the surface.
A fact that Finn miraculously hadn't seemed to notice.
"Yeah…" Finn had paused, looking off into the distance as if he were thinking of Rachel. After a second he'd given his head a little shake before continuing on. All Kurt could do had been to stare at him. "But see, that's the thing. I want to learn for her. As a surprise."
"Ah." The response had lacked any finesse or elegance, but it had been the best Kurt could come up with after that.
"So… would you?" Finn had sounded hopeful.
But before Kurt could say yes, something else had popped into his head. "Umh, Finn, I'm honored by your request. Honestly. But I don't know if that's such a good idea." Even as he'd been speaking, Kurt couldn't believe what he was saying. "I mean, when we were paired up for the ballads, you couldn't even sing one word to me because I'm a dude." Kurt had made little air quotes around the last word even though he'd emphasized it with his tone. "Wouldn't it be better if you learned from a girl?"
"Look, man, I'm really sorry if I hurt your feelings with that. I'm not usually so… homophobic. But with everything that was going on, I just couldn't deal." Finn had shifted a little from foot to foot, his hands shoved in his pockets. "And you're right, but after…" Quinn, Puck and all of the mess that followed had been left unsaid. "I just thought it would be better if I asked a du – I mean guy." Finn's voice had become sullen, and Kurt had had to fight the urge to reach out and rub his shoulder.
"I just thought, since you're so good at the dancing and stuff… But hey, it's cool. I understand." Finn had shuffled his feet a bit before moving to turn away.
Before his better judgment could take hold and point out the stupidity of what he was about to do, Kurt had reached out and grabbed Finn's elbow.
Instantly, Finn had stopped, and when he'd turned around, the look of hope in his eyes had been almost enough to take Kurt's breath away. When he hadn't spoken right away, the look on Finn's face had started to fade. Hoping to bring it back, Kurt had smiled softly as he'd tightened his grip on the other boy's elbow. "Sure, yeah. I'll help you."
As Finn's face had split into a wide smile, Kurt had let his hand slide down the other boy's sleeve. Desperate to keep the contact for as long as possible, he'd allowed his fingers to trail over the fabric. "How about next Saturday? It'll be winter break then, and we can take as much time as you want. And we can use my basement. There's plenty of room there."
"Yeah, sounds good. Thanks, Kurt. I really appreciate this." Before Kurt had had a chance to say another word, Finn had sort of mock punched him on the shoulder before walking out of the room.
Watching him leave, Kurt had felt his heart sink to a point somewhere near the perfectly pointed toes of his white leather shoes. He had known he should have been over the moon about spending a day up close and personal with Finn Hudson. But all it did was fill him with a sense of sadness. There was, after all, no way it would lead to anything. And in the end, it would only fan the flames of the crush he was trying desperately to smother.
And then there was the fact that their "date" would benefit Rachel.
A few months ago they'd established a shaky truce over how neither of them would ever end up in Finn's arm. But once he'd broken up with Quinn and fallen into Rachel's all too eager clutches, that solidarity had shattered. And once again, Kurt had been left alone to deal with the pain.
Finn had gone for the "distant second," and Kurt had been left with the knowledge that he'd never even be a viable option.
Thankfully though, despite her normal nature, Rachel hadn't been completely obnoxious about it. In fact, she'd pretty much taken to ignoring Kurt altogether. He hadn't really known why that was, but frankly, he hadn't cared. When it came down to it, Kurt had just been glad that she wasn't rubbing his nose in her victory.
"Kurt, I -" Mercedes' voice, gentler than normal, had quickly drawn Kurt out of his thoughts.
"Don't. I already know." He hadn't been able to look over at his best friend, couldn't bear to see the pity he knew he'd find in her brown eyes. And rather than wait for her to respond or even finish packing up her books, Kurt had walked out of the room.
At that moment, he'd wanted nothing more than to be alone.
Finals week had passed by in a haze of manic study sessions and nervous breakdowns. The glee club's Christmas concert for the tulip growers had been cancelled by Principal Figgins. (Thanks to some well placed tears from Rachel and, surprisingly, Tina.) Mr. Schuester hadn't been happy, but as far as Kurt had been concerned, Schu could either get over it or perform the show himself. Kurt's dad would have killed him if him if his grades had suffered because of a glee concert.
When Saturday finally rolled around, Kurt was filled with a nauseating mixture of dread and excitement. Part of him was tickled pink at the idea of spending the day with Finn and an excuse to touch him as much as he wanted. But the other part, the more logical part, knew that whatever happened would only make his thing for Finn that much harder to get over.
But of the two voices, it was the excited one that won out in the end. And so, just as soon as he was finished getting dressed (dark grey skinny jeans and a soft black v-neck sweater with a black and white pinstripe button-down underneath. – elegant and presentable, but still laid back), he set the scene for the day.
However, before he could do anything else, Kurt turned on the flat screen television across from his small couch and popped in his White Christmas DVD. As far as he was concerned, there was nothing more festive than Bing Crosby crooning Irving Berlin's classic tune.
With the movie's opening sequence playing in the background, Kurt set about straightening up his already spic-and-span basement bedroom. He tidied his already perfect bed before checking to make sure there weren't any stray socks or other unmentionables lying around. (There weren't, of course.)
Once he was completely satisfied that his room was in order, Kurt looked over the tiny silver tinsel Christmas tree on his bedside table. All of the miniature ornaments were perfectly in place, and the gift he'd bought for Mercedes was sitting beneath it, expertly wrapped in green foil-y paper and topped with a sparkling red bow.
After making sure the small string of white lights he'd hung around the small window was turned on and twinkling, Kurt grabbed the bag of candy he'd bought special for the day. He was just filling a tiny candy dish on his bedside table with Hershey's kisses wrapped in red, green, and silver foil when his father came down the stairs. And even though he knew he was there, Kurt still jumped at the sound of his dad's voice.
"Hey, Kurt, I'm heading out and…" Burt stopped mid-sentence, and when Kurt turned to see why, he was just in time to see his dad's eyes go from the TV screen to the candy dish and finally to his ensemble. Kurt instantly felt a flush creeping up his neck as his dad's eyes widened in shock.
"Have you got someone coming over?" Burt stopped for a moment as if bracing himself for something. "Because if you've got a… date…" When his dad stumbled over the last word, Kurt felt his blush turn red hot as it took over his entire body. "We'll need to set some ground rules for…"
That was it.
Kurt simply couldn't take it anymore.
He loved his dad, and the fact that he was trying so hard meant more than anything to him. But what his father didn't seem to understand was that things like opening up and talking about boys were just as difficult for him. "Dad! Stop. Please, stop. It's nothing like that."
As his dad stared at him, Kurt couldn't help but think that he looked relieved at not having to finish his sentence. But the relief he saw there quickly gave way to confusion. "Then what's all this for?" Burt gestured around the room and at Kurt's outfit. And as his dad pointed out his clothes, Kurt couldn't help but wonder if he'd overdressed. However, the confused look in father's eyes kept him from considering the matter further.
"No, I do have someone coming over." Kurt quickly hurried over to the TV and pressed pause just as Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen were about to start his favorite number in the film. "It's just not like that." The 'but I wish it were' was left unsaid.
His dad looked him straight in the eye as he said, "Well, it looks a lot like that, Kurt."
It was the first time his father had officially brought up the subject of boys and dating without sounding uncomfortable. Instead, he sounded a little… worried.
And because of that, Kurt felt his mood drop just a little. "It's not. Finn Hudson -"
"The quarterback?" Burt was staring at him intently, and Kurt was unsurprised that, of all things, he had remembered that Finn was the quarterback.
"Yeah, Dad. The quarterback." Kurt nodded at his father a little before continuing. "Well, he's also in glee club with me. And he -"
"The quarterback is in glee club?" Kurt just stared at his dad, his lips pursed together impatiently. "Ok, sorry. Go on."
"Anyway… Finn asked me to teach him how to dance as a surprise for his girlfriend" Kurt placed a little more emphasis on the last word than he'd meant to, and he instantly regretted it. Praying his father hadn't noticed, he tried to gloss over the slip up by forcing himself to keep talking. Even if, when it came down to it, he wasn't really saying anything at all. "So, that's it. That's all there is to it." Kurt shrugged, hoping he'd managed to fool his father.
"No…" Burt eyed his son, and Kurt felt himself squirm under his father's searching gaze. "I know when you're trying to hide something Kurt. There's more to this." Once again he gestured around the room.
The moment the words were out of his father's mouth, Kurt felt himself deflate. He'd tried to hide his mistake but failed. And he was pretty sure that even if he'd managed to cover up the snafu that his dad would have still known something was up.
Sighing deeply, Kurt dropped down onto the white couch, the TV remote still clutched in his hands. Looking down at the small device in his hands, Kurt tried to think, tried to figure out what to say.
His father didn't push him to speak. Instead, he just waited silently. And when he couldn't put if off any longer, Kurt looked up at his dad, who was waiting expectantly. When Kurt finally spoke, his voice was soft and filled with resignation. "He's straight, Dad."
"Oh." The meaning behind Kurt's words wasn't lost on his father, and he watched him tense a little before visibly forcing himself to relax.
"I understand." It was neither brilliant nor insightful, but yet it said so much to Kurt. And as his dad's nervous gaze melted into something akin to pity, Kurt felt the back of his throat tighten up. But rather than let the tears spill, he looked back down to his lap.
Staring at the black plastic remote in his hand, Kurt shrugged a little as he spoke, not only to his dad, but to himself as well. "See, I told you there was nothing going on."
When Kurt felt his father's hand on his shoulder, he looked up into his dad's eyes. "Look, Kurt, I don't really know what to tell you. I'm still trying to figure out what types of rules to set down for you. But I do know this, you're a great kid, and anyone would be lucky to have you in their life. Even if it's only as a friend."
Just as a single tear began to slide down his cheek, Kurt looked away to wipe at it with the back of his hand. His dad was being so open, so honest, that it didn't really matter that his advice didn't really help the situation at hand. In that moment, all that mattered was that his dad was there for him and that he was trying.
When he was finally able to look back, he felt a few more tears begin to prickle at the backs of his eyes. "Thanks, Dad."
"Look, I've got to go out for a while so you've got the house to yourself." Burt reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet. "Here," he pulled a crinkly twenty dollar bill from in between the worn leather folds, which Kurt took from him. "In case you guys want to order a pizza later."
Kurt nodded his head, slipping the cash into the pocket of his button down shirt. "Thanks, Dad."
"Have fun." Burt moved over to the stairs, but before walking up them, he looked back at his son, his eyes completely serious. "Just… be careful, ok?"
Somehow, Kurt knew that his father wasn't referring to his physical safety but rather to his emotional well being. A small smile pulled at the edges of Kurt's lips as he looked up at his dad. "I will."
Burt nodded before trudging up the steps. When he reached the top, Kurt called out to him. "Dad?" The older man turned and looked down the steps at him expectantly. "I just wanted to say…" Kurt paused for a second as his dad stood with his hand on the doorknob. "I love you."
"I love you too, Kurt. Don't ever forget that." Burt nodded at his son before walking out of the basement.
When he heard the door shut, Kurt sighed to himself. Rather than get up, he settled back into the white couch and un-paused the movie. The room was as neat and orderly as it could possibly be, and short of hanging some mistletoe (which he so wasn't going to do), Kurt was as ready as he was going to be.
So it was with a heavy heart filled with the knowledge that nothing could or would come of his "date" that Kurt watched Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen dance across his TV screen.
Unconsciously tapping his foot in time with the music, Kurt, more out of habit than anything else, began to sing along. "The best things happen while you're dancing. Things that you would not do at home come nat'rally on the floor."
Kurt smiled a little bit despite himself. Danny was so tall and gangly and Vera the picture of elegance, but they were such a wonderful match. They were so different but still so right. He'd always loved watching them together. And as much as he loved listening to Bing Crosby's velvety voice crooning White Christmas, when it came to the dancing, his favorite parts were the ones between those two.
Feeling a little less gloomy, Kurt sang a little bit louder than before. "For dancing soon becomes rom-"
"Uh, I don't think I can do that" Completely caught off guard, Kurt shrieked a little and dropped the DVD remote. As he scrambled to pick it up, he tried to force back the blush that was creeping into the tips of his ears. When he finally had a hold of the remote (and himself), Kurt stood up and stopped the movie.
"Finn, didn't your mother ever tell you that it isn't nice to sneak up on people?" Kurt's voice was breathless and a little sterner than he'd meant it to be. And he instantly regretted it when Finn's face fell a little. "Finn -"
"Your dad… he let me in. He said you were down here." The shock that had been there only seconds before changed to confusion. "Then he poked me in the chest and told me not to hurt you." Finn absentmindedly rubbed at his chest as if the spot hurt.
Kurt froze when Finn told him about his father's threat. And instantly his mind went into overdrive as he tried to come up with something to say. But even as his brain reeled, he felt a small wave of emotion for his father. It amazed him that even though the older man was still uncomfortable with his sexuality, he was still comfortable enough to meet his dates with a proverbial shotgun.
When he'd finally come up with something to say, Kurt tried his hardest to sound nonchalant. "Oh, he just knows that dance lessons can be dangerous for those who aren't naturally coordinated." Kurt tried to smile and look calmer than he felt. "He would know. He stomped all over my mom's feet when they took dance lessons for their wedding."
"Oh, ok." Finn nodded and smiled good-naturedly, and Kurt practically sighed in relief. "That makes sense."
Kurt simply smiled, unable to think of anything to say. Because, despite his conversations with Mercedes and his dad, despite the absolute knowledge that Finn would never return his feelings... Kurt was happy. Seeing Finn there, in his basement with rosy cheeks and huge snowflakes melting in his hair, filled Kurt with so much contentment that he could barely stand it.
And when Finn unzipped his jacket, Kurt rushed forward and helped him take it off as if it were the most natural thing in the world. When he spoke, Kurt's voice was breathless with excitement. "I'll just put this on my bed." Kurt hugged the black jacket to his chest, absorbing the warmth from the fabric as he did so. Just as Finn turned away, Kurt lowered his face to the jacket and inhaled deeply.
Finn's scent wasn't a specific brand or aftershave. Instead, it was an intoxicating mixture of fabric softener, soap, and something that could only be described as seventeen-year-old boy.
Taking one last deep breath of the material before laying the coat on his bed, Kurt closed his eyes, allowing the heavenly aroma to fill his nose, throat, and lungs. When he finally placed the jacket on his bed, Kurt let his hand longer on the sleeve for just a moment before turning back to Finn.
Sadly, Kurt wasn't surprised to find the other boy looking a little uncomfortable and nervous. And though it killed him to do it, Kurt decided to offer Finn an out. "Look, Finn, if you'd rather ask someone else, I'd understand. I know this is -"
"No, it's cool." Finn sounded determined, like he'd been preparing himself for the lesson since he'd first asked. "I can do this."
"Alright." Happy that Finn hadn't backed out, but still a little worried that Finn would run, Kurt gestured to the open area in the center of the room. "Let's get started."
Together they moved to the middle of the floor, making sure to leave a few feet between them as they faced each other. And as Kurt looked up at the taller boy, he felt a thrill of excitement run through his body. "Now, for the purpose of this exercise, we're going to pretend that I'm…" Kurt thought about saying Rachel, but he just couldn't bring himself to do to so. She'd won; she'd gotten the guy. She didn't get to hog the scene when it came to teaching him how to dance as well. "I'm a girl."
"Wait, I'm still me though, right?" Finn looked down, confusion twisting his adorable features.
"Yeah, Finn. You're still you." Kurt fought back the urge to shake his head in exasperation.
But only just.
"First, I'm going to teach you a simple box step. Watch my feet." Kurt demonstrated the step slowly, stepping backwards first with his right foot then completing the simple step. "See? Easy. All you're doing is making a square with your steps."
Finn nodded, but his eyes looked worried nonetheless. "Ok. I can do this." Finn picked up his left foot and went to step backwards.
"No, stop." Kurt held up one perfectly manicured hand, and Finn froze, his foot still hanging in the air awkwardly.
"But, you…" Finn set his foot down and pointed hopelessly at Kurt's slender feet.
"You're right, I'm sorry." And he was. So caught up in the moment, Kurt forgot to explain something very important. "I forgot to tell you that, since I'm the girl, I'll be doing everything backwards. Here…" Kurt moved from in front of Finn to stand right next to him, their elbows brushing slightly. Without thinking, Kurt reached over and took Finn's hand in his own. When the other boy tensed, Kurt looked up at him, only just realizing what he'd done. But he didn't let go. "It's just so I can help lead you."
As Finn nodded, Kurt smiled softly, experiencing a little inner thrill at being able to hold his hand. "Now, just follow me…" Very slowly and deliberately, Kurt stepped forward with his left foot as Finn followed along.
Together they completed the rest of the step, and when Kurt looked up to congratulate Finn, he was surprised to see the other boy beaming down at him. Unable to speak, Finn beat him to the chase.
"I did it!" Finn's face was glowing, and the pride was evident in his voice.
Kurt squeezed his hand a little bit before retuning the smile. "See, I told you it was easy. Now let's do it some more, just to make sure you've got the step. After all, practice makes perfect." Kurt smiled encouragingly as Finn started the step, just as slowly as before but with more confidence. All the while he clung to Kurt's hand as if it were a lifeline.
After a while, their pace picked up, and Finn became more and more confident with the simple step. But, much to Kurt's dismay, the more comfortable Finn became, the looser his grip on his hand became. And the moment Kurt felt Finn pulling his hand away, he decided to try something new.
Without warning, Kurt allowed the movements of the box step to carry him around so he was facing Finn, seamlessly changing from the male to the female variation. Finn, so caught up in his own steps, didn't even seem to notice. But then again, he was staring at his feet as if willing them not to make a mistake. However, that didn't seem to be working as his next step faltered.
"You're fine. Just keep doing the same thing as before." Finn's steps had once again become clunky and unsure. "Here…" Kurt reached out his free hand, and instantly Finn responded, clasping his large hand around Kurt's smaller one.
Kurt slowed the pace of the step down in response to the strength of Finn's grip. Any tighter and he was sure that his fingers would go numb. It was a sure sign that Finn was freaking out, and Kurt wanted to keep that from happening. Because he was sure that the moment the other boy became too upset or unsure, it would all be over. But with the steps slower and more deliberate, Finn managed to fall back into step with him.
"See, that's not so hard now, is it?" Kurt's voice was encouraging, and at the sound of it, Finn looked up.
His eyes were bright and wide, sparkling with excitement. If it hadn't been for the steady rhythm they'd established or the grounding touch of Finn's hands in his, Kurt would have faltered.
He would have stopped in his own tracks.
Thankfully, Finn's voice brought him back to the present. "So… I think I've got it. What's next? I mean, how would I, like, hold you… I mean, her… closer?"
That time, Kurt couldn't control his reaction as a deep flush flooded his cheeks. Oh, he wasn't stupid. He knew that Finn hadn't meant that he wanted to hold him closer, that he'd merely said that because they were practicing together. But to hear him say the words sent a shiver down Kurt's spines the likes of which he'd never experienced before.
So, filled with a newfound confidence, Kurt took Finn's hand, still clutching his own, and placed it on his lower back.
When Finn didn't pull away, Kurt slid his hand away and trailed it up the boy's arm, letting it rest on his shoulder. And while Finn still didn't break their hold, his eyes had become very large and nervous.
"Too much?" Kurt's voice was low and a little shaky. He knew he'd been pushing his luck with the way he'd switched their hold. But things had been going so well. He had hoped…
"No, I'm fine. I told you: I can handle this." As if to prove his point, Finn pressed his palm into Kurt's back.
The increased pressure caused Kurt to gasp slightly before he settled back into Finn's touch. His voice was breathless when we spoke again. "Ok, good. Because there's something else." When Finn's eyes went wide, Kurt chuckled softly. "Don't worry…" Very carefully he raised their still clasped hands and adjusted them to a proper hold. Instead of the awkward grip from before, Kurt's hand was now nestled securely with in Finn's. "See? No big deal."
Finn just nodded, his eyes still a little worried and his shoulders tense. "I… uh…"
Desperate to keep Finn in the moment, Kurt gave their clasped hands a little shake. "Hey, I -"
Unfortunately, the unexpected movement seemed to be just enough to throw off Finn's tentative hold on the box step. And the next thing Kurt knew, Finn stomped on his foot despite the fact that, if he'd doing the step right, he'd have been on the opposite side.
As the pain seared through his foot, Kurt gasped, involuntarily tightening his grip on the other boy. And not realizing what he was doing, Kurt buried his head in Finn's shoulder, wishing that the throbbing agony would ease up a little. His toes, squeezed into the pointed shoes, were burning, and his instep felt as if it had been crushed to bits. And when he tried to move it, the pain flared, causing his eyes to water.
"Kurt! Man, I'm sorry! Are you ok?" The moment he heard Finn's worried voice, Kurt's attention was pulled away from the pain. Sure, his foot still felt like it was going to fall off. But…
He had his forehead pressed into Finn's shoulder and his arms around him. And despite his better judgment, despite the tiny voice in his head that was screaming out, 'bad idea!" Kurt inhaled Finn's scent deeply.
And the moment the intoxicating mixture of fabric softener and seventeen-year-old boy hit his nose, Kurt was lost.
The hand clutching his somehow became more real, and the fabric under his left hand became softer. And with every breath he took, Kurt's chest pressed against Finn's. It was as if everything about the other boy had become bolder and brighter.
Kurt felt like he'd just fallen in love with him all over again.
When Finn spoke again, his hand clutched at the back of Kurt's sweater, and his breath tickled his ears and neck. "Oh, man. Your dad was right. I -"
The pain was still pulsing through his foot, but the thudding of Kurt's heart drowned it out. Finn sounded so upset, so concerned, and Kurt felt so safe in his arms. And the most amazing thing was just how right it felt.
So many times Kurt had tried to kill his crush by telling himself that if he were, in some alternate universe, to end up with Finn, that it would never match up to his fantasies. That he'd realize that the real Finn just couldn't live up to the Finn in his head.
But when he looked up into Finn's soft brown eyes, so full of worry and concern, Kurt knew he'd been wrong.
Because right at that moment, he had everything he wanted.
And it was better than he'd ever imagined it could possibly be.
Before Kurt could stop himself, he turned his face towards Finn. But instead of reassuring the other boy that he was fine, Kurt pressed his lips against Finn's.
It was tender and shy.
Nervous and exciting.
And the most amazing thing of all was that Finn didn't run away screaming or shove him to the ground. Instead, he just stood stock still, his breath caught in his chest.
But even though he didn't return the kiss, Kurt would never forget the way Finn's fingers seemed to dig into his lower back or how he tightened his grip on their clasped hands.
Realistically, Kurt knew that his reaction was the byproduct of shock. But part of him would always believe that, just for a moment, Finn Hudson was his and only his.
What felt like an eternity later, Kurt pulled away, feeling as if he'd just won. It didn't matter what exactly it was, but he had won. However, the second their lips separated and he saw the shock in Finn's eyes, Kurt was flooded with fear.
And rather than face the rejection that was sure to come, Kurt tried to pull himself out of Finn's arms and turn away. He didn't think he could handle the look of disgust that would surely taint the other boy's features.
But the more he tried to extricate himself from the other boy's grasp, the tighter Finn held on.
"Look, Kurt -" Finn's voice strained as he tried to hang onto him as he squirmed. "Kurt, look at me." Finn sounded so determined that Kurt couldn't not look at him. And when he did, he was surprised to find that Finn's eyes were filled with concern rather than hatred. "I'm not gay. But I told you, I… I can handle this."
"You mean… You're not mad." He'd finally stopped moving, and no matter how hard he tried, Kurt couldn't keep the shock out of his voice.
"No. I mean, I get it. We're down here, dancing all alone. And you like guys. And I'm a guy. So…" Finn finished the sentence with a shrug, obviously proud of how calm he was staying.
And Kurt, for as calm and collected as he always tried to be, could do nothing but stare at him, mouth hanging open like a fish.
The last time they'd spent any time together, Finn had all but flinched whenever Kurt so much as put his hand on Finn's shoulder. And the abrupt change in his feelings was just so… unbelievable. But before Kurt had a chance to call him on it, a loud rumble came from Finn's stomach.
Looking up at the other boy, Kurt thought about what Finn must have gone through over the past few months.
Becoming a father only to find out that he really wasn't one.
Realizing that his girlfriend had cheated on him with his best friend and losing both in the process.
And adding football, school, and glee on top of it all, Kurt couldn't help but think that maybe being kissed by another boy wasn't such a big deal in the grand scheme of things.
"Uh… I sorta skipped lunch today." Finn looked sheepish and almost embarrassed. As if being hungry was a bad thing.
It was then that an idea struck Kurt.
"Hey, umh, would you like to order a pizza? My dad left me some money, and I think I need a break." After everything that had happened, Kurt was so sure Finn would say no. It just seemed like too much too hope for.
But Finn didn't even seem to think twice before he said, "Yeah, I'd like that. Maybe we could even finish that movie you were watching."
"Well, I'll go place the order then. Cheese, sausage, and mushroom sound good?" It wasn't Kurt's favorite, but he figured Finn would want something heartier than the olive, tomato, and mushroom he liked. And cheese, sausage, and mushroom combo came to mind because it was what his dad always wanted to order. So he'd hoped that Finn would like it. And when Finn nodded, a small smile crossing his face, Kurt smiled back. And very reluctantly he pulled away from the other boy and hobbled over to where his cell phone lay on the bedside table. But before punching in the number, he called over to Finn. "Why don't you practice by yourself for a while? Remember, step forward with your left foot first."
The rest of the afternoon passed in a flurry of nervous box steps, pizza slices, and Hershey's kisses. And no matter how he tried, how desperately he tried to stay away from the cliché connection, Kurt couldn't help but think that maybe Danny Kaye was right…
Perhaps the best things really did happen while you were dancing.
Squeeka Cuomo's Notes
- Merry Christmas "1jennyfan"! I'm your gleefulsanta Santa! You asked for Finn/Kurt, Burt and Mercedes and I did my best to get them all in here. I'd have had this finished sooner, but time (and the word count) got away from me. I hope you like it.
- This fic was inspired by "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing" from White Christmas. The lyrics I used are also from that song.
- Quack: Thank you so much. You're such an awesome beta and friend. :)
- Reviews are love.