Okay, final chapter. Sorry for the long delay! Finn and Kurt becoming actual brothers on the show kind of threw me off track for awhile but I finally got my AU brain cells working again.
"You ready?" Finn asked, giving Kurt's hand a reassuring squeeze as they sat in the parking lot looking up at the red brick building that housed McKinley High School. It was the first day of junior year and the first time they would be facing all of their peers as a couple.
"I'm ready," Kurt replied. "The question is, are you? By the end of the day, the entire school is going to know that you're involved in a relationship with me. We don't have to do this if you'd rather keep things quiet."
This was not the first time that Kurt had made such an offer and Finn knew that it was sincere. A small part of him was honestly tempted to take it and keep his reputation and popularity intact, but the hopeful expression in Kurt's beautiful eyes squashed that cowardly impulse.
"I want the freedom to be myself," he said. "Even if that means I have to take Slushies to the face and dumpster dives every day until I graduate. We're doing this, Kurt. You and me, together."
Voice sounding slightly husky, Kurt repeated, "Together."
Finn smiled and kissed him quickly on the cheek before climbing out of the car. They walked resolutely toward the school, hands automatically reaching out and clasping tightly as they entered the building together.
"Aw, hell no!" an unwelcome voice instantly greeted them. "Tell me I am not seeing this!"
They had not made it ten steps down the hallway before Azimio and Karofsky had stepped in front of them, cutting off the path to their newly assigned lockers. The couple's hands reflexively tightened their grip, seeking strength from one another, and the two jocks sneered unpleasantly.
In a loud, mocking tone Azimio announced, "Check it out, everybody! Queer-eye actually managed to bag one! What's up, Hudson? All those months in Homo-Explosion set you up and spending all summer under the same roof with this pillow biter finally knocked you down? Yeah, I bet the little faggot was just turning his ass up and begging you to fuck it, day in and day out, until you finally got weak and drilled him just for the hell of it."
Karofsky laughed at his friend's jibe. "I bet you loved making him beg for it! I hear that Berry girl dumped you after you blew your little singing contest. Guess that must've made you pretty desperate. You figure that stuffing a willing little cock-sucker like him would be better than never getting any action at all?" He looked down at their tightly clasped hands and snarled, "It's bad enough that you're screwing guys now, Hudson. No need to go rubbing all of our faces in it."
"Maybe he's too stupid to realize that Hummel is a guy," Azimio cracked back, elbowing the other boy in the side. Shaking his head at the tight black leggings and long, tan sweater decorated by a woman's face and a large polka-dot bow that Kurt had chosen as his back-to-school outfit, he added, "I almost can't blame him. Look at that shit. Dude dresses like a girl, he's got a face like a girl, he sounds like a girl . . . hell, I bet when he's face down and ass up, you can't even tell the difference!"
The two jocks brayed with laughter, and more than a few snickers and embarrassed titters were heard from the surrounding crowd of students.
Kurt had stiffened at the flurry of hateful slurs, automatically shifting closer to Finn. His delicate features were set in hard lines and his chin had raised, but Finn could tell that the reason he hadn't launched into a volley of return insults was that he was struggling not to show the bullies how close they were to making him cry.
It was up to him. Fortunately, he had already decided what he wanted to say.
"Kurt is more of a man than a couple of limp-dicked, asshole losers like you would ever understand. I love him and I'm proud to be his boyfriend," he said firmly, his quiet voice somehow traveling to every ear in the hallway.
The place went almost silent, just an indrawn breath of shock rippling over the crowd as they realized what Finn Hudson, star quarterback and all around popular guy, had just admitted to. Even Azimio and Karofsky didn't seem to know what to say.
Finn glanced down at Kurt and gave him a reassuring smile. Raising his voice a little, he looked around and said, "You all might as well spread the word. I'm gay and not the least bit ashamed of it. Kurt didn't turn me, or force me, or make me gay just by hanging around me too much. That's stupid. I've been this way all along, for as long as any of you have known me. I'm the same person right now that I was a year ago, I just figured out who and what I need to make me happy. That's it."
A few people grimaced or made expressions of disgust, but a surprisingly large number smiled and gave small signs of approval. Whether it was because Finn was popular enough to get away with something like this, or just that they respected his forthrightness in admitting the truth, the other kids had not completely turned on him.
Ducking around the two stunned athletes, the boys resumed their journey down the hall until Azimio, trying to regain his high-ground, blustered, "Right, so we're all supposed to believe that it was just a coincidence that you didn't notice you liked to fuck dudes until after you moved in with the Fairy-Queen?"
"What makes you so sure he fucks me?" Kurt shot back over his shoulder, eyebrow rising disdainfully, having regained control of his emotions and his diva attitude with Finn's amazing words. Keeping his eyes on the jocks, he reached down and gave Finn's ass a firm squeeze, drawing a grin from the taller boy. "It seems to me that if Finn had just wanted a hole to stick it in, he'd have either stayed with girls or taken you boys up on your offer."
"What the fuck do you mean by that?" Karofsky growled, giving away his unease by backing up a step from Azimio.
Kurt smiled pleasantly. "I mean that nobody gets this upset about being around a couple of gay kids unless they're seriously overcompensating for something. Plus, it's pretty hard not to notice that you two can't seem to keep your mouths closed whenever either of us is around. Hoping to score a little action, are we?"
The two jocks snapped their gaping mouths shut so fast that the surrounding students burst into laughter, loving the sight of the two worst bullies at McKinley getting some of their own medicine back at last.
"You guys have nothing to worry about from me, by the way," Finn added, swinging his arm around Kurt's shoulders. "I've been taking showers with you both since Pee Wee Football in the 4th grade and I've never once seen anything worth getting excited about. Guess I like my men a few grades above the pee-wee level."
Azimio drew himself up, somehow looking more uncomfortable than imposing. "What do you mean by that?"
"He's saying Hummel's a stud," another voice answered. Noah Puckerman sauntered into view, left arm wrapped casually around the shoulders of Santana Lopez, the right around Brittany Pierce. "That's what the rest of you dumb-asses never have quite figured out about glee-club. It's got nothing to do with anybody being gay or straight. It's just general, all around bad-assedness. The girls are stacked, the dudes are hung and you wish you could have half as much fun as we do together."
Releasing Brittany long enough to exchange cordial fist bumps with Finn and a rather surprised looking Kurt, Puck jerked his head. "C'mon, bros, let's go find out where our classes are. You can help me figure out which ones I should skip first."
The crowd parted as he led the way, staring after them with shocked but respectful faces.
Mercedes and Rachel joined the group out of nowhere, linking their elbows with Kurt and Finn, respectively, allowing the two boys to continue walking together.
"You do realize that Puck just implied to half the school that Glee rehearsals are nothing but a gigantic daily orgy, right?" Kurt said after a moment, laughing at the wicked grin Puck shot over his shoulder. "As much as I appreciated the intervention, now Principal Figgins may feel the need to shut us down for a whole different reason than losing a competition."
"Don't worry about that," Artie said as he, Mike, Quinn and Tina took up positions at the back of the group, neatly hemming Kurt and Finn into the very center. "If he tries to shut us down, we'll just confirm the rumor that glee-club is actually made up of all gay, lesbian and bi-sexual members and threaten to sue him if he tries to take away our civil liberties."
Rachel piped up, "My two gay dads have a great lawyer who will be more than happy to put the motion through for us. They told me so this morning after I explained what was happening."
"You guys are pretty awesome, you know that?" Finn said, extending his arms to gather Rachel, Kurt and Mercedes into one big, clumsy embrace. It was pretty obvious that the other Glee kids had decided to stick close on this first day back to school, just in case things got ugly and the new couple required backup.
"You two were pretty awesome yourselves back there. I think everybody's going to be looking at Kurt a little bit differently from now on," Santana chuckled. She cocked an eyebrow and flashed a meaningful glance below his waist, instantly drawing a rosy blush to his cheeks. "Sounds like you've been holding out on us there, stud."
Brittany beamed at her. "See? I told you Finn is smarter than you said." She smiled vacantly at them. "Can I come over to your house and watch some time? I bet you're super hot together."
It was difficult to say which of the two boys in question turned redder. Finn coughed and Kurt said weakly, "That's . . . um, very flattering, Brittany, but we'd rather just keep that stuff to ourselves."
She shrugged. "Oh. Okay."
Mercedes could not hold back any longer, her cheery laughter ringing through the halls and making them all smile. Hugging Kurt's arm, she said, "Do not think you're getting off that easily, white boy. You, me, the mall after school. I'll buy you a latte and then you will give me all the juicy details."
"Not all of them!" Finn interrupted quickly, making everybody laugh.
"Okay, now I really want to know what you've been holding back," Mercedes teased, drawing a groan from both boys and a burst of laughter from the others.
Tina poked Finn in the back with pointed tip of the black, lacy parasol she was carrying. "I think we should all go. I've spent the whole summer at camp and didn't hear about any of this until I talked to Mercedes. You guys are about to be number one with a bullet on the school gossip chain and I want some dirt!"
"Ditto," Mike said. "When I saw Finn on his birthday a couple of weeks ago he was pretty closed-mouthed about this whole thing."
"Maybe Kurt has been keeping his mouth too busy to talk," Quinn suggested, so sweetly that everyone stopped to stare at her. Her lovely hazel eyes widened with supreme innocence but there was a sparkle of mischief in their depths. "What?"
Kurt burst out laughing, his face now about the same shade as a ripe tomato. "I can't believe you guys! You're all completely perverted."
"I knew there had to be a reason I became friends with all you losers," Puck shot back.
They laughed again and the conversation quickly wandered away to other topics as the group caught up on each other's summers and compared notes on all of their new classes.
Finn and Kurt exchanged a surprised look. It was a little unbelievable that things had gone so well, with neither of them sporting so much as a bruise or a Slushie stain after the big announcement. It might be only a matter of time until something happened, especially considering that Finn was still on the football team, but the open support of their friends had given both of them new hope.
Glancing around the hallway, noting the way that the other students were giving them looks filled with curiosity but very little aggression, in spite of the fact that Kurt had one arm wrapped securely around his waist, Finn relaxed.
Feeling the lessening of tension in his body, Kurt looked up at him and smiled. The expression was filled with so much joy that Finn felt warmth spread from his head all the way down to his toes. Kurt never looked so peaceful and happy when he was at school. In fact, he rarely looked that way anywhere in public.
Finn decided right then and there that whatever troubles might come in the future, he was going to hang on to this moment. It would be worth anything to know that he had been responsible for bringing that expression to Kurt's face.
"I love you," he murmured under cover of the surrounding conversation.
Kurt just swallowed and hugged him a little tighter, the look filling his shining eyes more than answer enough.