Written for the glee_angst_meme; the prompt: "Five times Kurt acted no better than the people who tormented him, and one time someone calls him on it."
He wheels up to the front of the room – this idea is ridiculous; he sympathizes with Artie, but Mr. Schuester is being irrational and more than a little patronizing by making them do this – and speaks to the whole group.
"Look, we all know I'm more popular than Rachel," he says, barely repressing the urge to roll his eyes when she looks so shocked and indignant. "And I dress better than her," he adds as a parting attack.
Rachel looks like she wants to set his head on fire with only the power of her brainwaves. Then again, given how crazy Rachel is, that might be an actual risk.
He makes everyone promise to vote for whoever sings the song better – only fair, even if Rachel is a conceited bitch and gets every solo anyway. Brittany raises the wrong hand, because, well, she's Brittany – not that it really matters.
Kurt wheels himself back into position, gossiping with Mercedes and watching as Rachel fumes.
Everyone knows he's more popular than her anyway. Why should he be letting her delude herself?
And besides, than skirt is hideous.
"How could you? I thought we were friends?" she asks, and he can't help but laugh.
"What on Earth gave you that idea?" he asks, looking down at her. She actually looks hurt, and he feels a little bad – still, she was being stupid in the first place. Finn is having a baby, for Christ's sake; what does she think trying to make a move on him now?
Okay, maybe he's doing the same thing. But that's different.
He tells her not to think she's a viable second choice, and she looks shocked that he'd say that – Rachel's stupid that way.
"You think I'm a second choice?"
"A distant second," he sneers, starting to walk off. Rachel is having none of it, and starts to come after him.
"If I was second, or if I was third, or even if I was fiftieth I'd still be ahead of you because I'm a girl."
Her words sting – he probably did deserve them, but they make him want to cry. Because he knows that. But he just spells it out for her:
"We're both just distractions."
"You cannot be serious," he says, staring at her, jaw gaping.
Mercedes is eying a piece of chocolate cake across the room, eyes glazed and dreamy. "I... just..."
"Mercedes!" he grabs her by the shoulders. "We are Cheerios. We are the top of the social pecking order. We are not going to stay that way unless we drop like stones, so if you even think about consuming that amount of empty calories, by God I will force my fingers down your throat myself."
Mercedes looks ashamed. "Sorry, Kurt," she says, avoiding his eyes. "I know how much this means to you. I know how much it means to me. It's just... this is really hard."
He smiles, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. "Yeah. I think it's meant to be that way; Sue Sylvester bringing pain wherever she goes."
Mercedes snorts. "Yeah. 'Think this is hard? Try losing your testicles to a freak beekeeping incident; that's hard!"
They break up into laughter, as he leads her away from the dangerous, disgusting chocolate cake and tries to avoid feeling the pudges of fat on her arms.
It's probably a very bad idea, but he can't help but feel like he's meant to do this – come on; both his dad and Finn's mom being conveniently single must be more than a coincidence. It's like destiny. Yes, Finn is freaked out now, but that's only normal – his mother is in a new relationship, Finn has residual issues; it happens. Poor boy. Kurt wishes he could just hold him and make everything better, but he's pretty sure Finn wouldn't let him yet.
But it will happen soon. He knows it will. Once he and Finn live together, and Kurt is always there, no matter what. Kurt tries to be like that, but if he's a constant reassuring presence in Finn's homelife, it makes him a figure of trust unlike any other Finn has.
But of course, there's no blood relation, so if Finn finds himself having certain... feelings toward such a supporting, reliable person; well, that's nothing to be ashamed of.
Okay, maybe it's a little manipulative, but Burt and Carole seem like they are happy together, and the ends justify the means, right?
Brittany looks like she's trying desperately to comprehend the situation, but failing rather spectacularly. Okay, most of the time she looks like she's failing rather spectacularly to comprehend the situation. But most of the time she doesn't look like she cares as much as she does now.
"Yes, I deceived you, but my homosexuality is something–"
"Words, please," she whispers. He sighs.
"I lied to you. I'm sorry. I was trying not to seem gay, when I was, and you were the only one dumb enough to fall for it."
"So you really are capital G gay? You sure you don't want to make out more, to be sure?" she suggest brightly, but she looks like she's on the verge of tears. Something in Kurt's chest feels a sharp, sudden sting.
"No, I'm sure," he says, and she sniffles. Gently, he brushes her blonde hair behind her ear. "Don't cry, Britt. I should never have involved you in all this, I'm sorry."
"You used me," she says, the words sounding foreign and unfamiliar coming from her. "I didn't know gay guys did that too."
"Hummel!" he hears Coach Sylvester bark out, and he turns around to face her wrath. What did he do?
"Heard about that little stunt you pulled on Berry when Finn invited her round for dinner; getting her to go to the wrong restaurant, making Finn think she stood him up," Sylvester says, and Kurt's eyes damn near pop out of his head.
How did she find out about that?
"Congratulations, kid," Sylvester continues. "It's up to my head cheerleader to rule the school with the same sort of philosophy of terror I apply to my Cheerios; Quinn Fabray was fantastic at that, before your damn Glee club got to her; Lopez was good in the interim. But that kind of dedicated bullying, risking estrangement from family to further your pointless vendetta? I'm impressed, kid."
Kurt gapes. "What? No, I just – I mean – Rachel deserved it!"
Sue snorts. "Of course she did, Hummel. She's a sub-basement loser who nobody really likes. Aren't you glad that's not you anymore?"
Kurt is speechless, and Sylvester grins. "See you at practice, kid."
She leaves, and Kurt reaches for his phone. He texts Rachel with one word:
He's actually surprised when she doesn't reply.