For Jessie

"Where are my jeans?"

Kurt lay across his bed with a magazine, chuckling. Finn was, as usual, wandering aimlessly around their room in a ragged pair of underwear, looking for whatever he felt like wearing. By this time, Kurt was used to seeing Finn in various stages of undress. It was almost strange to see him wearing pants at school, since he seemed to consider pants a "public-only" deal.

"If you're talking about the ones you wore yesterday, you kicked them off next to the vanity." Kurt murmured, re-immersing himself in his magazine. Even now, it was hard not to allow his eyes to scan Finn's almost-naked body, but he knew they were brothers now, and if Finn trusted him enough to not oogle his goodies, he had to respect Finn enough to not treat him like a piece of meat. He glanced at his watch. "We need to leave for school in five minutes."

Finn tripped over a pile of clothes in the floor and landed directly on top of the jeans he was looking for. "Owww…thanks. I'll be ready in a minute."

A minute turned into ten as Finn couldn't find his orange T-shirt and tried putting on a vest that ended up being Kurt's, and then he needed assistance getting the tiny vest off of his broad shoulders without ripping it (and Kurt scolded him as Finn winced, carefully twisting his torso impossibly to delicately remove it).

"You would think," Kurt replied, climbing into the driver's seat, "that since I'm the one who CARES what I look like, I would be the one that takes forever to get ready, but no…"

"It wasn't my fault! It was that vest!"

"Finn, you don't even OWN a vest. And if you had ripped it, I would have kicked your ass so hard you wouldn't be able to sit for a month."

"There are so many gay jokes I could make right now." Kurt glared at him. "Like you could even kick my ass."

"Sweetheart, never underestimate the power of an angry queer."

Finn giggled, followed by a sheepish, "Did you fix my lunch?"

Kurt reached into the backseat and grabbed a brown paper bag with Finn's name on it and plopped it into Finn's lap.

"Thanks, you're the best."

"Whatever. Don't make us late again." Kurt replied as they pulled into the parking lot. His voice sounded irritated, but Finn could tell by looking at him that he had forgiven him already.

They went to Ms. Lockman's homeroom like they did every other morning. "Boys, boys, boys…" she greeted them sarcastically. "How many times does this make the two of you late, hm? Mr. Hudson? Mr. Hummel? Any ideas?"

Finn's mouth gaped as he tried to come up with an answer. Kurt calmly replied, "I believe this one makes three."

"And do you know what that means, darlings?"

"We need to promise never to be late again?" Kurt made a mental note of Finn's "Hopeful Face" before it got killed.

"Detention this afternoon. Enjoy it."

Both boys rolled their eyes as they trudged into the classroom and sat in their assigned seats. Finn passed a note back to Kurt.

Sorry. F.H.

Kurt scrawled back, I'm glad you realize this is all your fault. You owe me big time, cowboy.

I'm not a cowboy…

Are you stupid?

I really wish people would stop asking me that! It's not my fault Lockman is a doosh.

It's spelled douche. Stupid.

Rachel is late every single day and Mr. Jenkins NEVER says anything.

"And what is this?" Ms. Lockman swiftly zeroed in on the piece of paper on Kurt's desk and picked it up. Kurt looked horrified as he watched her read it.

"I see. Looks like you two can continue this conversation in detention all week." She wadded up the note and tossed in the trash can. No wonder she never got married, Kurt thought absently as he watched her waddle down the aisle and back to her desk, the woman is as big as the Versace mansion.

Finn shot a dirty look at Kurt. A whole week without Glee or football. Ugh.

There were other twelve ne'er-do-wells in the detention room when Kurt and Finn walked in. A gothic boy with a metal-spike necklace stood in the middle of the room, leading four other gothic kids in a rousing death-metal chorus of "Mary Had a Little Lamb". Five other kids lacking the originality to warrant a description were scattered about as well, the occasional head-bob to signify that they were still alive. Azimio and Karofsky were sitting in the farthest corner, eating Oreos and sharing a glass of milk.

The teacher—Mr. Janikowski—sat at the desk in the front of the room, clearly bored out of his mind, reading a Women's Fitness magazine. His gazed wandered to the door where Kurt and Finn were standing.

"Come on, boys. The sooner you come in, the sooner you leave." He said. "Names?"

"Hudson and Hummel." Kurt replied. His mockingly bored tone was completely lost on the teacher, but Finn caught it and couldn't help smirking. Mr. Janikowski made check marks next to their names.

"Take seats. You're here for an hour a day for the rest of the week. Get homework done…" he gestured to the gothic kids, "or join the choir." He replied with a self-satisfied grin.

Kurt sat down somewhere between the two jocks and the goths. Finn sat next to him, and Kurt immediately scooted down a seat. "You are so dead to me right now, Finn."

"You're the one who got caught with the note!"

"You're the one who made us late in the first place, making the apology note necessary!"

"Oh, look what we have here, Karofsky." Came a voice from behind them. Kurt's eyes widened in fear as a hand clapped down on his shoulder. "Hi there, Homo!" Azimio exclaimed brightly.

"Looks like Hudson has a boyfriend!" Karofsky squealed, wiping black cookie crumbs from his mouth. Azimio laughed as each of them began to pick Kurt up by his arms.

"Stop! Put me down!" Kurt squirmed, their grip tightening on him. His face twisted in pain.

"Leave him alone!" Finn shoved Karofsky hard. Kurt dropped to the floor as Azimio ran to Karofsky's aid. Kurt quickly stood up and brushed himself off.

"I can take care of myself, Finn." Kurt said haughtily. They could hear Azimio whispering in the background, "shh, baby, it's okay. You're not hurt." Which was bizarre.

"You obviously can't…they were going to murder you!" Finn reached for Kurt's hand to be comforting, but Kurt snatched his hand away.

"Don't." Kurt stormed out of the room.

Finn stayed his hour in the room, surrounded by the terrifying and the boring, and then made his way home. It was only a twenty minute walk, but it was also pretty cold…Finn had taken to not wearing a jacket, since the heater in Kurt's car was so toasty-warm. By the time he'd arrived home, he was a faint shade of blue. He went to the basement in hopes of burrowing in his own blankets and taking a long, warm nap.

Of course, Kurt wouldn't let him.

"So, you made me late for school, got me detention, and called me weak in front of jocks who will exploit it. What a great brother you are!" Kurt sat on his bed, arms crossed.

"You made me walk home!"

"It's not that far of a walk!"

"It's fucking twenty degrees outside!"

"Wear a jacket!"

"I usually don't have to!" Finn was starting to get angry, but stopped when he got a good look at Kurt. "What are you wearing?"

Kurt reached his arms around himself in a hug. "Well, like you said, it's cold. My clothes aren't generally warm." He was wearing a long-sleeved white T-shirt and a pair of baggy sweatpants, neither of which appeared to be his. Finn recognized his shirt on Kurt.

"Are those your dad's sweatpants?"

"No, they're yours. I don't own sweatpants." Finn realized Kurt was hugging himself tighter as he was being questioned. "I'm sorry. I should have asked before I borrowed your clothes."

Finn broke out into a sweat as something clicked inside his head. "Take the shirt off." Kurt looked a little hurt. He got up and started to rummage around the room for something else to wear. "No," Finn stopped him. "I mean…I don't mind you wearing my clothes. But I want you to take the shirt off."

Kurt looked at him uncertainly as he began to pull the oversized shirt over his head. As Finn had suspected, there were big, purple-and-blue bruises on his upper arms from where Azimio and Karofsky had grabbed him. Seeing Finn's look, Kurt cleared his throat. "I'm fine. I really am. They only hurt a little. I've had much worse. This is nothing." He shivered a little. "Can I put the shirt back on now?"

Finn seemed mesmerized. He slowly came toward Kurt and reached out a hand to him. Kurt inhaled sharply as Finn's cold hand came in contact with his skin. Finn traced Kurt's bruises with his fingers, holding his breath. Finally, he whispered, "Okay. You can put your shirt on."

Kurt pulled the shirt over his head and stared at Finn. They stood inches apart now. "Are you okay, Finn?"

"Nope." Finn stripped to his underwear and got into his bed. "I'm cold."

Kurt settled himself back on his bed. After several minutes of silence, "It's not your fault, Finn."

Finn rolled over to look at Kurt. "Nobody should ever hurt you."

"You've hurt me before."

"That was different, Kurt."

"You're right." Kurt was casually flipping through his magazine as he spoke. "It was different because when those jock-types hurt me, they don't give a shit about my feelings or what they're doing. They're just doing what they do. You cared about me and your hurt me anyway."

Finn's expression hardened and he rolled back over, facing away from Kurt. Later, when his shoulders began to shake as he wept silently, Kurt would pretend he didn't notice.

Finn stayed in bed for the rest of the afternoon. Kurt ate supper with his dad and Carole, telling them Finn wasn't feeling well. Kurt undressed and got into bed around eleven and turned off the light. Suddenly, he was jarred out of his sleep by a warm body against his back. He began to shriek, but a hand reached around to cover his mouth.

"Shhh." Finn's voice immediately calmed him. "It's me."

"What are you doing in my bed?" Kurt tried to ignore the fact that yes, Finn Hudson was in his bed, and yes, he was fairly sure Finn Hudson was in his bed wearing nothing but underwear.

Finn's skin against his back was incredibly warm. Finn wrapped his arms around Kurt's tiny body protectively. "I'm sorry I hurt you."

"That's very sweet; apology accepted…what are you doing in my bed?" Kurt repeated. "This really isn't—"

Kurt froze. First, he realized Finn's hands were fighting with the hem of the shirt to remove it. Once Finn had pulled the shirt off of his body, he pressed his warm chest against Kurt's back. Kurt felt little kisses being left on the bruises that were staining his arms. "Where else are you hurt?" Finn mumbled, his lips still against Kurt's arm.

Kurt didn't know what to do—he didn't want to stop him, but he wanted to know why this was happening. He finally settled on answering. "M-my legs. Shins."

Finn slowly got up. Kurt rolled onto his back and looked up at Finn, who was standing over him at the end of the bed. Kurt was right; he was in only his underwear. He grasped at the rolled-up waistband of the sweatpants and pulled them down Kurt's legs until they pooled at his ankles and rested his mouth against the multiple bruises and scrapes that blemished Kurt's otherwise flawless porcelain skin. After he had finished, he took Kurt's feet and eased them out of the sweatpants, casting the soft material to the floor. He went back to Kurt's side and pressed his chest to Kurt's back, wrapping his arms around Kurt once again.

"Why…?" Kurt whispered.

"Do you feel better?"

"I'm…confused."

"Me too…but you wearing my clothes to cover your bruises drove me crazy. I had to do something about it." Finn started to kiss Kurt's neck.

"I…" Kurt suddenly was struggling to keep a breath. "I'm not hurt there."

"I know." Finn's teeth gently scraped against Kurt's neck, then shoulders. His hands explored Kurt's chest and stomach, and Kurt stopped him as they were about to breach the waistband of his underwear.

"I don't want to be an experiment for you, Finn."

Finn gently turned Kurt to face him. "You are the strongest person I've ever met. You take everyone's crap and you empower yourself with it. You don't complain that people beat you up. You accept it and keep going. And you don't have to be that strong." Kurt's eyes met Finn's. "I realized today…I want to take care of you."

Kurt's heart was beating out of his chest now, and when Finn's lips landed on his, he didn't protest.

They lay like that a long time, sinking deeper into their reverie of mouths and tongues, only stopping briefly to come up for air every so often and the room growing hotter and hotter with skin upon skin and the air becoming thicker with every movement. Finally, the sun was coming up and Kurt nestled himself in Finn's arms. "I think I'm in love with you."

Kurt laughed. "One long make-out session and you're in love with me? I must be good."

"You know it's more than that."

"Yeah, I know…I've always been in love with you, Finn."

"Yeah, I know." Finn rested his forehead against Kurt's tousled hair, and they fell asleep.

Later, when Carole woke her husband for work, she would conveniently forget to mention that she found their sons snuggled in bed together in a state of undress, and when they both came upstairs for breakfast, she would secretly smile as they squeezed each other's hands under the table.