Hooray for Fall! Boo, food poisoning. Hooray, said food poisoning giving me ample time to finish typing this!
Part of the Mostly Gay Not-Couple series, which goes:
1.) Amicable Exes,
2.) Platonic Domesticity,
3.) Cordial Affections.
Some of the jokes might make a little more sense if you've read the others (such as Kurt the Postal Service employee) but 98% of it stands on its own (:
I don't own Glee. I do own the cable bill that will allow me to watch Glee in about a week. Can we trade?
Brittany was excited.
No, scratch that. Brittany was super excited. It was finally Wednesday!
During the school year, Wednesdays were kind of lame, because Brittany had math tutoring before school, a weekly quiz in English class, and third period gym. Most of the sports teams didn't even have to go to gym, but Coach Sylvester said that repeated physical beatings built character, so Brittany was forced to redo her sweaty makeup in science class twice a week.
That was sort of all right though, because every once in a while she'd accidently-on-purpose drop her eyeliner into some boiling tube they were supposed to be sciencing on, and the teachers would let the whole school hang out in the parking lot for two hours instead of going to class. Those were the best days.
But this Wednesday was going to be even more awesome: it was summer, so she didn't have to go to school at all, and it was Kurt's day off from work. The two of them were going out to the mall to hunt fall fashions and then stop for sushi on the way home. She wasn't sure how they were going to hunt without a gun, but Kurt was pretty sneaky, so she figured he had a plan. And he was the best person to go out for sushi with, because he knew which fish were from Mercury and which ones were safe to eat.
Plus, Brittany's history teacher was always talking about how people used to hunt and fish like, a billion years ago, before they had cable. She was definitely going to tell him about the trip when school started again—she might even get an A for effort!
Sitting on the steps in front of her house, Brittany happily tapped her shoes on the concrete and checked the time on her phone. Kurt was coming to get her at noon; it was 11:47. She knew she was early, but her mom always said to leave herself extra time to get somewhere in case there was traffic. (As usual, there was a lot of traffic between her bedroom and the front porch—Megan's toy cars were everywhere—but she just stepped over them and kept walking. Kind of like Godzilla, but way prettier.)
Brittany's daydreams about being Godzilla didn't get very far—her phone was ringing. Frowning slightly, she looked at the screen: GAY KID—THIS IS NOT A BOOTY CALL, I MEAN IT, BRITT. Brittany smiled. Every time Santana played with her phone, all of the Glee kids got renamed in her phonebook. Sometimes she had trouble figuring out who was supposed to be who—DUMBASS FOOTBALL PLAYER had her stumped for a week—but this one was easy.
"Hi Kurt," she chirped brightly. "Are you here yet?" She didn't see him in the driveway, but he and his car could be hiding or something. There was a weird moan—the non-sexy kind—on the phone. "Hey Britt," a rough sounding voice answered back. Brittany stared at her phone, confused. "Mr. Hummel, are you pretending to be Kurt?" she quizzed. "Because if you are, you're kinda doing a bad job."
"Sorry," she added as an afterthought. There was just no nice way to say that.
The voice coughed. "No, baby, it's Kurt," it said. "I just have a really bad cold." He sniffed sadly. "I'm really sorry, but I just woke up like this, and I think I'm too sick to go out today. I'm really sorry." Brittany nodded, then remembered that he couldn't see her. "It's okay," she answered out loud, trying not to make him more upset by sounding upset herself.
It probably didn't work, because Kurt sounded even worse. "Are you sure?" he was asking. "Because maybe if I take some more cough syrup and sit in a steam bath for an hour, I could walk without swaying for a little while."
"No," Brittany insisted, "we can go on Friday, it's okay. I don't want you to feel bad."
And that's when Brittany had her super genius idea. Smiling widely, she stood up on the porch. "I know exactly what you need to feel better!" she gushed. "I'll be over in a couple hours."
Wow, Kurt really was sick. Brittany could hear him choking even over the phone. "Britt, sweetie…" he managed to get out, "we've been over this, remember? We're not make-out friends. We're friends who don't make out."
Brittany shook her head. "I know that," she promised. "And anyway, Santana says not to hook up with people who have diseases. This is something better. See you soon!"
And ignoring Kurt's last, sputtering protest, Brittany hung up and bounded back into the house.
Whenever Brittany was sick—which wasn't very often ever since Coach Sylvester started injecting all her Cheerios with vitamins and Cyclofem every month—her mom would make her a big bowl of chicken noodle soup. Brittany normally didn't really like soup (especially the kind with the letters—she had enough trouble reading without the words mixing themselves up every time she stirred), but something about getting special treatment when she felt tired and gross made her feel just a little bit better. And if it worked on her, maybe it would work on Kurt too.
And even though recipes were confusing, Brittany was pretty sure she could make a bowl of soup without screwing up. After all, all the ingredients were right in the name—all she needed was soup and some chicken noodles.
After raiding the hall closet for her purple mittens—the cafeteria ladies never cooked without gloves, so it was probably a rule—Brittany opened the cabinet above the stove. The only kind of soup they had was tomato, but that was okay because vegetables were full of anti-oxygens, or whatever it was Rachel had said. Brittany popped the lid open (it took a few tries with the mittens) and dumped the reddish liquid into a bowl.
She smiled. Cooking was way easier than she thought.
The chicken noodles were a little bit harder. There were four different kinds of noodles in the cabinet, but none of them were chicken. But…maybe egg noodles would work! Chickens came from eggs, after all, and eggs came from chickens. That was really cool, even if she wasn't sure which one came first. Puck had asked her once, saying it was a riddle, but Santana had decked him in the throat and pulled Brittany away before he could tell her the answer.
Pulling open the box with her fuzzy purple thumb, Brittany shook a bunch of noodles into the bowl of soup. And bit her lip. It didn't look like the soup her mom always gave her. But maybe it only looked wrong because it was still raw. Maybe if she cooked it, it would look better. Feeling happier, Brittany gently lifted the bowl into the microwave, being extra careful not to spill soup on her mittens—the soup was red, and she didn't want to turn her purple mittens blue by accident.
Brittany scanned the side of the noodle box, looking for the number of minutes to cook it. There were a lot of directions, but finally she found it: 15-18 minutes. Triumphantly, Brittany closed the microwave door and punched 1518 START. The microwave started whirring, and she could see Kurt's soup slowly turning on the spinney thing inside the microwave. Brittany beamed at it. Maybe she'd make Kurt a card while she waited for the soup. That would be a nice idea.
Cooking was awesome.
Cooking totally sucked. Brittany rang the doorbell at the Hummel's house, twirling a strand of wet, floury hair around her finger. She'd washed it twice after putting out the fire and cleaning up the Bisquick she'd spilled all over the floor, but she still smelled like melted plastic and soggy pancakes. She was never cooking again.
Mr. Hummel answered the door, which Brittany thought was kind of weird—it was only 2:00. "Hi Brittany," he said, sounding a little tired. "Come on in." Brittany closed the door behind her, leaving her shoes on the mat. "Hi Mr. Hummel," she answered. "Are you sick too?" Kurt's dad shook his head. "Nah, just called it an early day in case Kurt needed me," he replied. "Anyway, the invalid's in the basement."
Brittany nodded blankly. "Okay. Is Kurt down there too?" Maybe Mr. Hummel was sick after all—he sort of looked like he had a headache, and it took him a long time before he answered the question. "Yeah, he's there too," he said finally. Brittany nodded uneasily. If she had known Mr. Hummel wasn't feeling well either, and that they had a guest over that she didn't know, she probably would have waited to come over.
Mr. Hummel was staring at her. "Brittany, are—is everything okay?" he asked awkwardly. "You have something in your hair, and your face is a little red." Brittany reached toward her hair automatically. Her fingers came away with another bit of melted bowl. Oops.
Brittany blinked a few times, thinking. She didn't want to tell Mr. Hummel that she ruined Kurt's soup, in case it made him mad. But she wasn't a very good liar, either. "Well," she explained, slowly and vaguely, "I got a little battered when I made a mess in the kitchen, but it was my fault."
Well, it sort of worked. Mr. Hummel didn't look mad, but he did kind of look like Mr. Schue did every time the teacher fidgeted with his tie and gave Brittany a long lecture about living up to her potential. She hated those talks—Mr. Schue knew too many big words, and she still wasn't even sure she owned a potential. Luckily for her, though, Mr. Hummel wasn't wearing a tie, and he didn't really talk a lot.
Instead, he coughed uncomfortably. "Listen, Brittany…you know if you're having problems at home, or, y'know, guy trouble," he mumbled, "you can always talk to Kurt and me about it, right?" He nodded at her, lips tight. "Because I don't want you taking crap from anyone, okay? I haven't used a tire iron outside of the garage for a little while, but I guess I should get in some practice before Kurt turns eighteen and starts dating dance club meatheads from Akron or something."
Brittany only understood about half of that, but she could tell he was trying to be helpful, so she smiled prettily and patted him on the shoulder. "Our tires are a little wrinkled," she admitted. "I thought they were like that on purpose, but I'll tell mom to bring the car here so you can iron them if you think it's a good idea."
Mr. Hummel choked a little. Brittany shook her head. Guys would never admit when they were sick. At least, not in front of anyone. Maybe if she went downstairs, he would take some medicine and go to bed.
Waving goodbye to Mr. Hummel, Brittany almost made it to the stairs before remembering the other thing that he had said. "Oh! And don't worry about Kurt dating," she called back reassuringly. "Santana says that he and his right hand will be in a loving, exclusive relationship until he's 35. Have you ever held his hand? It's really soft."
When Brittany made it downstairs to Kurt's room, Kurt was stretched out on his bed, wearing pajamas and a face mask like the one her dentist wore. She'd never seen him with one before, and it didn't really match his outfit, so Brittany was a little puzzled as to why he was wearing it. Except…maybe Kurt was a dentist now! He'd be a great dentist: he was really smart, and his mouth was really clean. But no wonder he was sick—between school, Glee, football, Cheerios, working and designing hats at his Dad's garage, co-parenting Cracker the duck, his secret job at the post office, and now his double secret job as a dentist, Kurt was definitely overworked.
Kurt looked up, and even though Brittany couldn't see his mouth through the mask, she could tell by his eyes that he was trying to smile. "Hi Britt," he said in a muffled voice. He tapped the mask with a finger. "Mercedes brought these over the last time I was sick so we could watch the ANTM marathon without her catching my flu." Before Brittany could answer, his baby blue eyes narrowed into little slits. "Brittany, I don't want to be mean, so I'm going to say this as nicely as possible: you're hair is looking unusually trailer park today. What happened?"
Brittany stared at her socked feet, embarrassed. "I kind of screwed up," she admitted, and Kurt's eyes widened. "What happened?" he asked again, and Brittany squirmed a little before taking a deep breath.
"I made you soup, but the bowl melted and started a fire, and I knocked over the pancake mix and the smoke alarm went off and it was loud and when I dumped water on the fire to make it go out, it turned the pancake mix into pancake goop, and it took a long time to clean, and now I smell funny and have pancake batter and melty bowl in my hair and I don't have any soup to give you. I'm sorry."
Kurt's cold was worse than Brittany had thought—his skin looked all pale and clammy, and he even looked like he was shaking a little. "You…you made me soup," he said flatly. Brittany shrugged. "I tried," she answered.
Kurt nodded slowly. "So I don't have to eat it," he reasoned. Brittany shook her head. Kurt put a baby soft hand to his sweaty cheek. "Thank God," he muttered, before eye smiling at Brittany. "That you're okay," he finished, "thank God that you're okay. All things considered. Listen, since you're here, and I'm no longer in danger of molestation or food poisoning, why don't you take a shower, and we can watch a movie or something?"
Brittany nodded happily. Kurt's bathroom was Super Fabulous and covered in beauty products, just like Kurt. It was one of her favorite places to hang out ever. "Can I use the shampoo that smells like coconuts?" she asked hopefully. Kurt fixed his hair with one hand. "Of course," he agreed. "Bring the blow dryer out here when you're done; there are some hair tips in my UK Harper's Bazaar that I want to test out on you."
Brittany was about to race toward the bathroom when she remembered. "Hold on," she paused, "I have to give you your card! I made it for you since you liked the Break Up card I made so much." Opening her purse, Brittany produced a glittery piece of pink construction paper. "I didn't make your dad one yet," she admitted, "so maybe you guys can share for now."
Slowly, Kurt took the card from Brittany and read it out loud. "Happy Sick Day Kurt! Try not to operate heavy machinery, and don't eat all of your medicine at the same time. Unless you want to wake up on the roof wearing cherry red pants (you can borrow mine if you do). Let me know if you want to Play Doctor! Super Love, Brittany.
Brittany patted Kurt's back as he coughed uncontrollably. It was really too bad about the soup—her Super Gay Not-Boyfriend was getting sicker by the minute.