Kurt has always hated sports.
He can appreciate the hard work and amount of time that goes into them, but that's where it ends for him. He didn't like being on the football team and can't stand to watch the game to this day. He found hockey to be trivial and primitive, what with all the fighting. Baseball put him to sleep because nothing ever happens. Tennis is completely pointless. Rugby is basically football for people that like boxing. And boxing makes him wonder why people think the human race has advanced from the Dark Ages.
Oh yeah, there's soccer too. Kurt doesn't really get the point of soccer, either. Especially the size of the net. How's a goalie supposed to defend something that's about ten times as wide as he is? Completely pointless.
Obviously Kurt has never taken the time to actually watch a game of soccer. He probably would have found it much more interesting and... ahem... catering to his interests than he thought. When else can you watch a bunch of sweaty men run around in form-fitting shirts and shorts that were just a tiny bit too short?
Then Mike Chang wore his soccer uniform to glee practice.
And Kurt was definitely not, under any circumstances, giving him a once-over. He didn't notice how small and tight and form-fitting that jersey was. He didn't notice how the sleeves tightened whenever he moved his arms. He didn't notice how his knee-high socks clung to his legs. And he did not pay any attention whatsoever to those shorts. Nope, didn't even look at them. It didn't even register in his mind just how short they were or that he was seeing a lot more leg from Mike Chang than he'd ever expected to see.
He didn't spend the entire practice staring at Mike's legs, what gave you that idea? And if his eyes occasionally traveled north... no, no, that never happened either.
By the end of glee practice, Kurt was certain of one thing. He had just spent an entire hour perving on Mike's legs. And the scary part was, he didn't regret it at all. Hooray for hopeless crush on a straight boy point two!
If this was hopeless crush point two, that had to mean that devious and cunning plan to get straight boy to like me point two would be coming soon after, and when he heard Brittany wish Mike good luck at his soccer game, he knew he had his plan.
But no, he couldn't go by himself. Half of the school didn't even know they had a soccer team, which meant his presence would be even more noticeable and awkward once someone asked him why he was there. He needed backup. He needed pawns in his cunning and devious plan point two. He needed... friends.
Thank God he had Mercedes.
"We're going to the soccer game," he informed her as soon as Mike left the classroom, seizing her wrist and starting for the door. She giggled, saying, "I knew it! I knew you were totally ogling Mike's legs the entire practice. Kurt, honey, you've got to learn how to be subtle. I think everyone except Mike knows you spent the whole time staring at him."
Kurt flushed, but decided that this was just a minor setback. So ten other people knew what he was up to. Big deal. It wasn't the end of the world... was it?
Quinn joined them, asking, "So what's Kurt's master plan to get Mike to like him?" Kurt glared at her. Mercedes grinned, saying, "We're going to a soccer game with Kurt so he doesn't stick out like his dad would at a showing of Rocky Horror."
"Must you tell the world my business?" Kurt lamented dramatically, sticking his nose in the air and walking huffily ahead of the two girls, who were giggling again. He then realized the flaw in this I-walk-in-front idea, because he had no clue where the soccer field was.
"To the left, sweetie," Mercedes told him as they exited the school, linking an arm through his and pulling him in the correct direction. He almost retorted with, 'I knew that,' but stopped himself just as the 'I' left his mouth.
"Yes? You what?" Mercedes teased.
Kurt glared at her some more.
They sat down in the third row of the not-quite-as-nice-as-the-football-field stands, Kurt perching on the very edge and sitting up straight, watching as the players stretched on the side of the field.
He totally didn't try to sneak a look up Mike's shorts when the boy rested one leg on the bench and bent over it.
Mike obviously sensed eyes on him, because he looked up not five seconds later and, go figure, looked right at Kurt. He frowned, mouth forming a little 'o' but then he caught sight of Quinn and Mercedes and his face split into a wide grin. He jogged over to them, saying, "Thanks for coming."
"Sure," Kurt tried to shrug it off as no big deal. "We're here to support you as a fellow glee club member. You know, stick together, lean on me, some sappy message from a song I can't bother to quote at the moment." Mike laughed, and Kurt decided that Mike should laugh more often.
"It means a lot," Mike was grinning again. "We don't usually get the best turnouts for soccer. Everyone knows football's the big deal, so when football season's over, most people stop showing up."
"Their loss," Kurt decided, ignoring Mercedes and Quinn's sniggers.
"You a fan?"
Mike laughed again. "Soccer, of course."
"Oh, right. Yeah, yeah it's my favorite sport," Kurt lied.
"Awesome. Who's your pick for the World Cup?" Mike's eyes lit up and Kurt felt his stomach turn over. "I know it doesn't start till summer, but it's like Christmas. The one time when the entire world actually knows soccer exists."
"Uhh," Kurt looked toward Mercedes for help. "I haven't really... thought about it yet." Mercedes was being completely unhelpful. All she was doing was trying hard not to laugh.
"Understandable," Mike didn't seem too put off. "But you'll be watching, of course?"
"Of course," Kurt nodded.
Their coach blew a whistle, so Mike waved goodbye and ran back over to join his team. Mercedes and Quinn practically fell over laughing.
"What?" Kurt was affronted. He had made a valiant effort to engage in a conversation about common interests. That's what you're supposed to do when you like someone, right?
"Kurt, that was horrible," Quinn said bluntly. "You clearly had no idea what you were talking about."
"It's obvious the only thing you care about are those short shorts they're wearing," Mercedes added.
"Hey, those shorts are pretty much the equivalent of a Cheerios skirt for me, girls. Lets me see so much more than I usually can." He's totally not craning his neck so he can see Mike at the back of the group, not at all...
"So basically, we're here to ogle hot boys with nice legs?" Quinn raised an eyebrow.
"You two are here to ogle hot boys with nice legs," Kurt corrected. "I'm here to admire the grace and skill and agility of Mike Chang, and the ogling of his legs is just an added bonus. And repeat that to anyone," he added, because Mercedes was grinning in a way he definitely didn't like, "and I'll deny it until my face turns purple."
"Whatever, honey," Mercedes threw up her hands, exchanging a grin and a wink with Quinn that made Kurt wonder just what they were planning to do.
He decided that instead of keeping a running commentary about who looks best in a soccer uniform - which Quinn and Mercedes were currently debating - he was going to make an effort to actually pay attention to the game. And he actually did learn a little. He learned that Mike normally played offense and that he had the best aim out of the entire team when tossing the ball in from out of bounds. He learned that Mike did a jig-like move with his feet whenever he wanted to fake out the other team, and it always worked. He learned that Mike's entire face lit up whenever someone on their team - usually him - scored a goal. And he learned that the entire soccer team wasn't shy about celebrating via group hug.
Maybe he should join the soccer team next year.
McKinley's team won by six points, and Kurt couldn't stop himself from standing up to cheer along with the rest of the crowd. Mike was positively glowing, and Kurt could tell that Mike really did love soccer, maybe even as much as he loved to dance.
But before he knew what was going on, Quinn and Mercedes had looped their arms through his and were dragging him over towards the team's bench.
"What are you doing?" he protested, trying to twist out of their grip.
"Well we've got to go congratulate him!" Mercedes' tone suggested she thought this was obvious.
"But... the rest of the team is still there," Kurt tried to argue. "We'd be interrupting."
"Their coach already left," Quinn pointed out. "So we're not interrupting anything."
Kurt hated both of them.
Mike spotted them as they walked over, and he came over to meet them, grinning like a madman and still radiating excitement.
"First game this season, and we won!" he exclaimed, and Kurt worried that his smile was going to crack his face, it was so big. "Thank you guys so much for coming!"
"It was all Kurt's idea," Mercedes supplied, ignoring the look Kurt gave her.
"Yep, he practically dragged us here," Quinn laughed, adding, "Not that we didn't want to come or anything, he was just very enthusiastic about it."
Kurt was going to murder the pair of them in their sleep. Or tell them that fezzes are cool and make them both wear one to school.
"No way," Mike's grin didn't slip at all. "Thanks Kurt."
"S-sure," he stammered out, cursing his heartbeat for picking up and solidifying the fact that he was nervous and had no idea what he was supposed to say.
"Kurt said he really liked your little trick of faking out the other team," Mercedes lied, pretending that Kurt wasn't trying to burn a hole through her head with his eyes. "Think you could teach it to him?" Quinn and Mercedes finally let him go, all but shoving him forward.
"Yeah, definitely," Mike's face brightened even more, if that was possible. "I came up with it myself. You know," he pointed to himself, shrugging, "dancer."
"Well, it certainly was effective," Kurt managed to get out as Mike led him over to the bench, choosing a ball and kicking it back out onto the field. He jogged out after it and Kurt followed, ignoring the fact that the field was torn up and muddy and these are really nice shoes he's wearing.
Kurt really tried to pay attention to Mike's feet, but that was practically impossible when those skinny, stick-like legs were that close. That's probably why, when Mike prompted him to try it, he slipped and fell on his backside.
"Whoops," Mike stuck out his hand and hauled Kurt back up to his feet.
And Kurt couldn't even bring himself to care about his beautiful, expensive pants, because Mike was still holding his hand and his hair fell into his eyes in just the right way and Mike was saying something about having an extra pair of shorts he could borrow, as long as he doesn't have a problem wearing soccer shorts.
"I like soccer shorts," Kurt said. "They're so much better than stirrup pants." Probably not the most logical thing to say, but hey, Mike Chang was still holding his hand as they started back over to the bench and it was making Kurt forget about what exactly was going on. His brain decided to come back once Mike let go of his hand and offered him his extra pair of shorts. Kurt disappeared into the port-o-potty (which was something he would never, in any other circumstances, ever do) and changed quickly, trying not to feel self-conscious about just how ridiculous he had to look when he came back out.
Mike was totally staring at him, and that gave Kurt goosebumps all over his legs. Well, maybe the breeze had something to do with that too, but there was no denying the fact that Mike was totally checking out his legs.
If they had lived anywhere other than Lima, Kurt would have made some silly comment about reciprocating the favor by now. He would have totally worked those shorts, but they lived in Lima, and just because Mike was staring at him did not mean there's something there. Mike probably just didn't realize that Kurt has never shown that much leg either, and he's just... surprised. Or something.
He ignored Mercedes and Quinn, who were still there and were giggling again.
"Thanks," Kurt said when he went back over to where Mike was standing. "I'll give these back in glee practice tomorrow?"
"Yeah, that'd be good." Mike was looking down at Kurt's knees when he spoke, hastily looking up to meet his eyes and blushing spectacularly.
But that doesn't mean anything, right?
"Okay," Kurt nodded. "Great game. I'll... see you." He turned to leave, but then Mike called his name, so he turned back around.
"Um, do you maybe want to come to an after-game dinner?" Kurt tried and failed not to notice the way Mike's fingers folded into his shorts nervously, pulling them up even higher.
"I don't think the team would want me there," Kurt shook his head. "Thanks for the offer, though."
"I didn't mean with the rest of the team," Mike admitted.
"Oh, okay," Kurt smiled. "That sounds fun."
Mike laughed, relief written all over his face, and slung his bag over his shoulder. He stuck out his hand again, even though Kurt hadn't fallen on his backside this time, and Kurt took it, grinning and decided that soccer shorts were the best piece of clothing to ever be invented.
And he loved Mercedes and Quinn. A lot.