Sorry it took me so long to update! I've been out of state for a while and working almost every day for the past two weeks, plus I move back to school next week. But I'm hoping to get a few updates in before I move back, because then I'll have to start writing essays again... Bane of my existence.

On another, unrelated note, I'm shamelessly using this author's note to pimp the Help Pakistan auction community on livejournal. There's some pretty sweet stuff over there, so you should go check it out: community. livejournal. com/help (underscore) pakistan. I'm offering a fanfic, so if you want to take a peek, it's on page 9 of the comments on the "Word Post." I'm puppetdumbly.

Okay, long note over. Enjoy the chapter!

While the glee club had certainly changed since the events on Day of Silence, the rest of the school had yet to catch up. Sure, no Karofsky brothers meant a significant drop in bullying, but they still had Azimio and the rest of the idiot jocks to deal with.

Which is why, when Mike steps in front of Kurt to stop a slushie, it doesn't stop. He's suddenly covered in ice and syrup and he feels like he's been punched in the face by someone with a giant icicle for hands. And worse than that, he can feel it seeping everywhere. It's all over his face, in his hair, sliding down his neck and into his shirt…

His entire body convulses in a shiver that feels more like a spasm.

"Oh my God," Kurt's voice sounds far away and he wonders if the slushie got into his ears as well. "Azimio, get the fuck out of here!"

Even though he's shivering and sticky and he's positive that the slushie is going to get in his underwear in about two seconds, Mike can't help but feel amused at Kurt's language. That boy never uses the f-word unless he's really upset.

"Mike, are you okay?" He feels Kurt's hands on his arms, steering him toward the nearest bathroom.

"W-would you believe m-me if I t-told you y-yes?" Mike manages to stutter out, cracking a grin.

"No," Kurt says matter-of-factly, opening the door for him and ushering him inside. Mike checks the little person on the door, noticing that it is the boys' bathroom. Then he feels guilty for checking. Kurt's helping him out, so why should he care if the boy takes him into the girls' bathroom?

"Bend over the sink," Kurt instructs, turning Mike around and giving him a push. Mike does as he's told, bending backwards so he's practically lying down on top of the counter. Kurt turns the tap on, and suddenly there's warm water on his head and gentle fingers massaging his scalp.

While Kurt works on his hair, Mike manages to un-zip and take off his jacket. He can still feel slushie everywhere, but he hopes that his jacket blocked at least some of it. He wants to ask Kurt, but the water is rushing past his ears and he knows he won't be able to hear the answer.

Kurt turns off the water and goes over to the paper towel dispenser, saying, "So you can wipe off your face," as he does so. Mike straightens up and turns, focusing on the purple streaks on his face and the stain at the top of his shirt that thinned as it tricked downward. But yes, it does go all the way to the waistband of his jeans, proving his I-have-slushie-in-my-underwear theory.

Kurt wets the paper towel and hands it to him, so he begins wiping off his face. Kurt watches, a frown on his face.

"Why did you jump in front of my like that?" he asks. "I wore an older shirt for a reason." Mike looks in the mirror at Kurt for a moment, deciding that Kurt's "older" shirt looks like it's never been worn. "Plus, I have a change of clothes in my locker," Kurt adds. "I'm prepared for such monstrous attacks. But you're not."

"I hoped they'd stop," Mike shrugs.

Kurt laughs mirthlessly. "Mike, honey, you're in glee club and you were silent on Day of Silence. You're a loser now."

"I kinda figured," Mike grinned, showing Kurt that he didn't really care.

"Then why did you think they'd stop?" Kurt presses for a better answer.

Mike shrugs one shoulder. "I dunno, they did before."

"What, you stopped a slushie attack?" Kurt asks, obviously not putting two and two together yet.

"Yeah," Mike finishes wiping off his face and turns so he can speak to the real Kurt and not the Kurt in the mirror. "It worked every time I cut you off in the hallway. Well, you know, except for the bitchy grief I'd get about bad driving."

Kurt's face turns completely red in about two seconds.

"I'm sorry," Kurt says almost immediately, and Mike flaps his hands to shut him up.

"Don't worry about it," he says quickly. "It's not like I told you what I was doing, or anything."

"But," Kurt pauses, and Mike can practically see the wheels in his head moving, "you've done that so many times." A small frown creases his face, and he meets Mike's eyes. "A lot of times."

Mike shrugs. Again.

"I notice things," he says in an offhand voice. "Side effect of being quiet, I guess."

"Thank you," Kurt smiles at him warmly, making Mike forget about his sticky underwear for a moment. For one tiny moment it's almost like they're locked in place, looking at each other and smiling and forgetting that they're standing in the boys' bathroom and Mike's clothes are stained and the stickiness will probably start chafing if he doesn't do something about it.

The toilet flushes. Both of them do as well, but then Matt walks out of the stall, laughing. Kurt rolls his eyes and Mike gives his friend a shove. Matt just keeps laughing, washing his hands and saying, "Just be glad I'm not Jacob."

He's still laughing when he leaves them to it. Mike shakes his head, embarrassed, but Kurt just says in an almost business-like tone, "I have a spare shirt in my locker, if you want it. It's just a T-shirt, and I doubt anyone will notice if it's a little small."

Mike can't help but notice how Kurt splutters a little between "notice" and "if," almost like he had meant to add something else but thought better of it halfway through.

"That'd be great," Mike nods, deciding to ignore Kurt's splutter. "You don't happen to know where I can get a pair of pants in my size, do you?"

"Artie?" Kurt guesses as they leave the bathroom, heading for Kurt's locker. "I doubt you'd be able to fit into my extra pair of jeans." The way his cheeks flush again tells Mike that, more likely than not, they're a pair of really tight jeans. But he accepts the T-shirt without peering inside Kurt's locker to find out, ducking back into the bathroom while Kurt flags down Artie. He cleans himself off quickly, using the now empty bathroom to his advantage, and tugging the shirt on, noticing that it does feel almost uncomfortably snug.

There's a knock at the bathroom door, and then Kurt comes in holding a pair of pants. Mike thinks it's absolutely adorable that Kurt actually knocked on the door of the public school bathroom before coming in. Then he mentally shakes himself for finding Kurt adorable.

"Here," Kurt offers him the pants. "Artie did have an extra pair. I hope they fit okay."

"Thank you," Mike takes the pants and holds them up. "And Artie too, obviously." He backs into a stall, changing quickly once he assessed the whole I-have-slushie-in-my-underwear situation. He's glad to find that it was more a mental thing and that the purple slush hadn't gone much further than the waistband. (Because going commando in someone else's pants is so not an option.)

"Not bad," Kurt says when he comes back out. "You're taller than Artie and bigger than me, but I don't think anyone will notice a little extra ankle."

Mike takes a moment to take in the fact that Kurt just told him that he was taller than Artie. That's a double-take kind of sentence.

As they leave the bathroom again, Mike now completely cleaned up and feeling much better, he asks Kurt, "So which one's worse: slushie or dumpster?"

"Slushie," Kurt says without hesitation. "It shocks your whole system and you feel like someone stabbed you if they hit you in the right spot. In the dumpster, most of the time you land on something soft. Smelly, but soft."

"Makes sense," Mike nods. Kurt grins wickedly and says, "If you don't believe me, I'm sure Finn and Puck would be willing to complete your initiation as a loser by tossing you in."

"No tossing," Mike shakes his head. "Knowing my luck, they'd toss me in right after it's been emptied. And I need to be conscious for the musical this weekend, right?"

"Right," Kurt agrees. He's practically glowing at this point, and Mike notices that his arm twitches. He can't help but wonder if it's because Kurt is so used to walking with his arm linked with Mercedes'.

"See you in class," Mike waves as they reach his first classroom.

"Don't walk in front of any more slushies!" Kurt calls as he continues down the hallway.

Requested by and dedicated to: Daydreaming Nightwalker and nycRENTgirl.