Author's Notes: Written for the darkship prompt meme, the prompt: "the mess you made." Inspired by the quote from Henry David Thoreau (in the summary).
Resigned (The Art of Desperation)
"He's not over you, you know."
Finn blinks and looks back at him. Wait, what is Blaine saying? He barely even knows this guy yet (though he seems like a totally awesome guy). Huh?
He says that out loud. "Huh?"
"Kurt," explains Blaine. "He's not over you."
Finn blinks at him. "I'm straight. And he's your boyfriend."
Okay, fair point. "Dude, sucks."
Blaine shrugs, and Kurt comes back into the basement.
Kurt renovates his room. Not that he tells anyone this.
"Finn," he says when Finn walks in on him, voice high-pitched and nervous. "I thought I locked the door."
Finn shrugs. "Guess you forgot? You've been charging up and down the stairs all day; I was starting to get worried you were like, building a nuclear bomb down here. Or obsessively exercising, which could be like, an eating disorder or something. Or maybe you just had the runs and were too embarrassed to say it."
"Finn!" Kurt blushes bright red. "No. No. No atomic weaponry, no exercising beyond an appropriate level, and no physical illness. I'm just..." he vaguely gestures to the cushions he has strewn around him.
"Decorating. Cool," says Finn. "You know, you could have just said. My mom would be whining a lot less about your footsteps giving her a headache."
Kurt doesn't answer. Finn blinks. "Kurt?"
"What? Oh, sorry," Kurt says. "Well, um, I'm decorating now so... if you didn't want to interrupt..."
"Oh, uh, right," says Finn. As he heads for the stairs, Kurt turns away and starts holding a cushion up to that seat-thing he has built into the wall now.
Kurt turns his head around so fast he looks like that chick from the Exorcist. "What?" he asks. His eyes are wide and he looks... scared.
Finn shrugs uncomfortably. "Uh, are you going to put that cushion there?"
Kurt bites his lip.
"'Cause, I don't know, I don't think it would work. The colors kind of really don't match."
Even if he's trying to be subtle, Finn can see Kurt sigh in relief. "'Kind of really'? That's not an oxymoron."
"I am not a moron! I was just giving an opinion!"
Kurt rolls his eyes. "Okay, now you can go."
Finn pouts. "Fine," he says. He tries not to think of Kurt's scared face from before.
He doesn't get it. Or at least, he's trying really hard not to.
"You were fooling around in my bed!"
Kurt rolls his eyes. "And yet again, you prove yourself to be uncomfortable with the idea that gay couples may work like 'normal' couples; shockingly enough, we may do more than hold hands and sing weird covers of Disney songs. It's not like we were full-blown having sex or anything! I don't see what your problem is!"
"You were doing it in my bed!" Finn repeats. "I don't have a problem with the gay thing. Really. But my bed? I'd be freaked out if my sister did that, believe me."
"You don't have a sister."
"The point, you missed it."
"Kurt," Blaine steps forward with a hand on Kurt's shoulder, "He has a point. I think whatever your sexual orientation, you're not meant to do anything like that in anyone else's bed without some sort of permission, explicit or otherwise." He then turns to Finn. "Sorry man. I wouldn't have, but he was kind of distracting."
Finn shrugs. "It's cool. Just don't give me any details, 'kay, cause he's kind of my brother and I might have to kill you."
Blaine laughs. "Okay. I can live with that."
He then turns to Kurt, who is just pouting at the floor.
"Kurt. Tell me I don't have to tell you to say sorry. Because that would make you seem about five, so I'd feel like a child molester, which would be bad."
Kurt doesn't even crack a smile. "Sorry," he grumbles.
Finn blinks. "...It's okay."
There's an awkward pause.
"So, uh," Blaine clears his throat. "We're going to... go now."
They do so. And Finn's not thinking about that.
Blaine avoids him when New Directions get together with his school for one of their jam session things, at least whenever Kurt can't see them. They've done that for like, ever; pretty much since Kurt and Blaine started dating. It was the best way to deal with any misgivings about spying or whatever.
"Dude?" asks Finn when Blaine won't look him in the eye for like, the fifth time. "Are you, like, avoiding me?"
...Okay, Finn wasn't expecting him to admit it. "Uh... why?"
Blaine snorts. "Why do you think?"
"I don't know. That's why I just asked."
Blaine rolls his eyes. "Okay, Finn. Do you not think I noticed why he dragged me to your room?"
Finn doesn't have an answer to that.
"Rach. Question. Like, in an abstract, not-really-happening way?"
"Hypothetical?" she looks curious. "Absolutely. Unless this situation somehow involves my vocals being transferred away from New Directions – which is something that should not even be joked about, Finn – ask away."
Finn breathes in heavily. "So. Person A liked Person B. Person A got over Person B. Person A now dating Person C. Persons B plus C think Person A is still crazy into Person B. What does Person B do?" Wait, did I even keep the right letters for everyone there? Hypotheticals suck.
He knows she's going to figure it out. There's a long, awkward pause where he just waits for it.
"I don't know. Depends if it's really a big deal or not."
Let down much?
Rachel sighs heavily. "Well, look at it this way. Person A's... If Person A's relationship is happy, and everyone's comfortable not talking about the lingering of B, why talk about it? Let that elephant sleep awhile yet."
"What? There are elephants now?"
"It's an expression, Finn."
"...Oh," he says. "So, uh, define 'comfortable'? What if like, two out of three are fine with it?"
Rachel sighs. "Depends on the situation."
"...You kind of suck at hypotheticals, Rach."
"Blaine dumped me."
Cue awkward silence.
Kurt snorts. "You don't have to bother," he says. "I know the sorts of thoughts you gave him. You said I wasn't over you. What was it, Finn? Did you think having a couple of fags backstage was hurting our chances at sectionals or something?"
Finn says as much. "Wait, what?"
"Don't act like you're all innocent!" yells Kurt. "He said I wasn't over you. Said I trailed you around like a lost puppy; now, who could have given him that idea?"
"Kurt, I swear, I didn't say–"
"Just stop, Finn," says Kurt. "You've always had a problem with me, with who I am... Who Blaine is, too. Every time I think you've gotten better, you just turn around and embrace your homophobic asshole roots yet again. I've just kept waiting for it to get better... and I'm through."
He starts for the stairs and Finn chases after him. "Hold on a second; we're not done here!"
Kurt spins around. "What is it?" he asks. "Did you want to gloat?"
"No," says Finn. "Kurt, I never told Blaine anything, okay? He... he kind of said he thought you weren't over me. I... didn't really know what to think about that, so I like... didn't. Think about it, that is." There's an awkward pause. "I'm really sorry, man."
For a second, something flickers behind Kurt's eyes. Then he just scoffs. "Uh-huh. Sure. I'm going to believe you. After all, it's not like you've ever said anything to indicate you'd be less than okay with this before, right?"
Finn groans. "For christ's sakes, Kurt!" he yells. "I'm sorry. Alright? I'm sorry I've been such a dick to you before. I'm sorry about all the times we threw you in dumpsters before we really meant, and I'm sorry about like, pressuring you to be subtle about everything 'cause I was scared that it'd get us in trouble, and I'm really sorry about that thing, you know, in your basement."
"You have apologized many a time, Finn; explain to me why I should accept them?"
"That's just the thing!" Finn gestures wildly with his hands, praying Kurt will get his point. "You act like you've forgiven me, and I think we're all cool again, until I get even the slightest bit mad at you for anything and then you drag everything out to play the homophobia card! So I have to apologize again and you never have to admit to doing anything wrong, and it's not fair Kurt."
He doesn't expect what happens next.
Kurt punches him in the face.
"Ow!" Finn pulls his hand to his face, staring up at Kurt. Kurt glares at him, which isn't unusual, but he looks weirdly glassy-eyed now.
"You don't get to tell me what's fair," mutters Kurt. Then he turns back around, and starts running down the stairs.
"Kurt, wait–" Kurt's gone before he can finish. Finn sighs and hits his own forehead.
Finn's lying on his bed and turns around in confusion. He sees Kurt standing in the doorway.
"Can I come in?"
"Sure," he says, scooting up the bed. Kurt wrinkles his nose at the state of Finn's room – he's always like that – but sits down next to him.
"How's your face?"
Finn shrugs. "Okay," he says. "You kind of suck at punching."
"Shut up," says Kurt. "I could barely even reach your face; it's not my fault."
Finn laughs a little. Then it returns to awkward silence.
"So. Um. Here to apologize," Kurt explains. "I shouldn't have hit you. And I shouldn't have just assumed you were the bad guy in my situation. It was my own fault what happened with Blaine, really."
"Kurt, don't blame yours–"
"He was right," says Kurt.
Finn blinks. "Huh?"
"He was right," Kurt chuckles humorlessly, and Finn stares. "I'm not over you."
"I'm not asking you for anything," Kurt explains. "We went through that, and it ended rather decidedly badly. I know I don't have a chance with you. I spent so long trying to convince myself I was done with it; I wasn't wasting any more of my life on you. Look how that worked out."
Finn doesn't know what to say.
"Fuck, what's wrong with me?" asks Kurt. "Why am I like this? You're one crush. You're not even really great; you're selfish and stupid and your personal hygiene is severely lacking–"
"Sorry," says Kurt. "I spend a lot of time trying to convince myself of your flaws so I can pretend not to feel hopelessly in love with you for five seconds. It's pathetic really."
Finn winces. "I'm sorry."
"For god's sakes, Finn, don't say that, please," says Kurt. "Okay, you were right about one thing: this is completely unfair. But... I can forgive you, for the dumpster throwing, the pee balloons, the years and years of torment. I can forgive you for not wanting me to sing with another boy – I can even understand your argument on non-prejudiced grounds, given how we could incur all sorts of bullying from this school. I can forgive you for what happened in the basement – I knew you weren't comfortable, and kept pushing regardless."
He takes in a heavy breath. "...But I can't forgive you for not loving me back."
Finn blinks. What is he meant to say to that?
Kurt sighs. "So, I'm going to go now. I'm sorry about hitting you. If you need ice or anything, I'll get it."
"It's fine," Finn mutters. Kurt walks out, and Finn groans before falling back onto the bed.
What is he going to do now?
"You're dumping me?"
It's a genuine question. Rachel nods.
"Yes," she says sadly. "I am. I really like you, Finn, but – we bring out the worst in each other. I think this is for the best."
"Wait, we do?" he asks. "I never noticed."
"You're willfully blind, Finn," she says it as softly as possible, as if she expects him not to notice the insult if she does that. "You always have been. You just can't acknowledge what's wrong until it's gone too far, and then everyone gets hurt. I'd rather pull the plug now than become part of that everyone."
She starts for the door, and he softly grips her by the shoulder. "Wait, Rachel!" he says. "Did I do something? Say something? 'Cause I'm sorry, if I did; I promise you, I'll change. I know you have no reason to trust me, with what happened when I dumped you last year, but–"
"Finn, it's not your fault," she says. "At least, not anymore than it is mine. I know it hurts, but it'll be for the best, I promise."
"But I need you," he blurts out. She sighs.
"No, you don't... You need to be needed, Finn," she explains. "The quarterback position, the leading man role, Quinn, the baby, me... You get so attached to everything, because... you don't know what to do on your own," she explains. "Look, I am not saying you were in any way in the right given the circumstances of our break-up last year, but – you had something of a point about finding yourself. Admittedly, I've been fairly terrible at that too, which might be why we can never keep this together."
And that is the moment where he's lost. Fuck.
"I'm sorry," she repeats. "Go find your inner rockstar, if you want. But do something."
He wonders into Kurt's room in a daze. "Hey."
Kurt looks surprised he'd be there. "Hi Finn," he says. "What is this about? Have you finally concedes to my request to reexamine your various sports uniforms and see if the patterns–"
"No," Finn cuts him off.
Finn breathes in. "Rachel d..." the words die in his mouth. He tries again. "Me and Rachel..." it doesn't work. "...I dumped Rachel," he eventually forces out.
Kurt looks more than a bit surprised. "Huh? I mean, I'm sorry or... why?"
Finn shrugs uneasily. "It's... complicated." From the look on Kurt's face, Finn thinks he can at least guess Finn is bullshitting him, but they ignore it. Finn moves over and sits down next to him on the bed.
"If you wrinkle my covers, I'll kill you," Kurt whines. Finn rolls his eyes. "Can you give me the abridged version, then?"
"Not really," mostly because he hasn't thought of a lie for the abridged version yet. Why did he lie? Why is he still lying?
Kurt sighs. "Are you okay?"
Finn shrugs. "Yeah."
It's not true. But he doesn't want to dump that on Kurt.
"Then could you leave?" Kurt asks. "I promised Tina I'd call and help her–"
"Dude, I'm your brother figure going to you for advice, or like, sympathy or something," Finn responds in disbelief. "Are you kicking me out? Really?"
Kurt sighs. "You're right," he says. "I'm being stupid and selfish; I should be acting more compassionately, even if I don't understand the situation. It's just that..."
Finn bites his lip nervously. "...That?"
Kurt exhales. "...You're on my bed," he mutters.
Kurt twists uncomfortably, and Finn blinks. It takes him a few seconds to get it. Oh. "Uh... shit. Sorry. I was... kind of ignoring that," he admits. "I can go if you want; I'm not really having problems–"
"No, Finn, it's fine," says Kurt. "This isn't about me."
"I don't believe you."
"Well I don't believe you when you say you're one hundred percent alright with this break-up that's obviously too painful to even speak about; we'll both just have to deal," says Kurt. Finn doesn't answer, just shuffles closer.
"You really are awesome, Kurt," he murmurs. "I don't know, sometimes I think maybe..."
Kurt just stares at the bed covers. "For god's sakes, Finn, don't."
Finn feels a sharp pain to his gut. Kurt wants him. Scratch that. Kurt needs him. He can't move on; he's tried and it's kind of backfired.
It's not fair. This isn't Kurt's fault. Why can't Finn be smart enough to fall for the one person who's always wanted him back, right or wrong? But no, his stupid brain's still hung up on this 'straight' thing.
He's spent like, ninety percent of his life ruining Kurt's and he should be doing better now. He's not. The one thing Kurt can't forgive him for is not loving him back, and why doesn't Finn love him back anyway?
He looks at Kurt. He's pretty – you know, in a dude way. His hair and his lips seem really soft; it could be pretty cool to touch them, right? Personality wise, Kurt switches between sweet and cute, and funnily crazy-bitchy all the time. He's kind of like Rachel minus the boobs, and that's good, right?
No, bad. Don't compare him to an ex; that's douchey.
Finn could love him if he tried. Really, it would be best for everyone.
"Finn? What are you doing?" Kurt's voice is nervous and high-pitched, and when Finn blinks he realizes he has a hand tangled in Kurt's soft hair. Oh.
"...You're hair's really soft," he mumbles. He has absolutely no idea what he's doing, but that's okay, because clearly Kurt has absolutely no idea what Finn's doing either. Finn slowly moves his finger down to trace Kurt's mouth. "Your lips, too."
"Stop it," Kurt says, and Finn feels his breath blow over his fingertip. "You're straight. You're not mine. You're not going to sweep me into your arms, kiss me and tell me you love me. Now stop before I can't be in denial anymore."
From the sheer pain in Kurt's eyes, Finn figures it out. He owes Kurt everything. Accident or not, he made Kurt need him like no-one before, and he can't just back out on that now.
He pulls Kurt into his arms, and leans in close. Kurt looks disbelieving, then happy as Finn's face gets closer to his.
It's giving up on something, but it's not like Finn needed whatever it was.